Links 2/26/19

At This Small, Family-Run Dairy, Animal Welfare Comes First Civil Eats (Nikki). Aaw, happy cows.

An Archaeologist Says He’s Figured Out The Secret of The Pyramids’ Peculiar Alignment ScienceAlert (David L)

Climate change: CO2 emissions fall in 18 countries with strong policies, study finds CBC (martha r)

A World Without Clouds Quanta Magazine (Chuck L, martha r). Important.

This strange “paint disease” is putting Georgia O’Keeffe paintings at risk ars technica (Chuck L)

Doctor Reveals Dangerous Content In YouTube Kids Videos Interesting Engineering (Chuck L)

Cardinal Pell guilty of sexual offences BBC

The Corruption of the Vatican’s Gay Elite Has Been Exposed Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine

A Dangerous Herbicide Found In Beer American Craft Beer (David L)

Healthy Nation Rankings: These Are the Healthiest Countries Bloomberg (resilc)

Unnatural DNA just changed genetics forever SlashGear (David L)


China and Saudi Arabia: The Xinjiang Factor LobeLog (resilc)

Vodafone CEO Says Banning Huawei Could Set Europe’s 5G Rollout Back Another Two Years CNBC


Indian Air Strikes Reported, Pakistan Claims IAF Jets Dropped Payload ‘in Open’ The Wire (J-LS)

India Increases Pressure on Amazon and Walmart Wall Street Journal

The Daily Fix: By washing the feet of sanitation workers, Narendra Modi merely mocks their plight Scroll (J-LS)

Brexit. Please visit our Brexit Linkfest special.

Spies Infiltrated Unions in Brazil The Intercept


Sen. Rubio’s Tweet of Bloody Gadhafi Seen as ‘Warning’ to Venezuelan President Antiwar. Resilc: “Our Cuban wannabe Napolean knows no recent history, does he? How that one work out over there?”

Venezuela: Guaidó wants ‘all options’ open as he meets Pence Guardian

Burning Aid: An Interventionist Deception on Colombia-Venezuela Bridge? Max Blumenthal, Grayzone Project

Military Intervention Would Be a Disaster for Venezuela American Conservative (resilc)

New Cold War

How CNN Led Facebook To Censor Pages Of Russia-Backed Video Company And Manufactured News Story Shadowproof


To Unseat Netanyahu, His Challengers Risk Becoming Just Like Him LobeLog

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

People Are Concerned About Their Privacy in Theory, Not Practice, Says New Study Fortune. Not news.

Chinese police test gait-recognition technology from AI start-up Watrix that identifies people based on how they walk South China Morning Post

New Flaws In 4G, 5G Allow Attackers To Intercept Calls and Track Phone Locations Techcrunch

Are you being scanned? How facial recognition technology follows you, even as you shop Guardian

Researchers Break Digital Signatures For Most Desktop PDF Viewers ZDNet

Imperial Collapse Watch

Americans’ Perceptions of U.S. World Image Best Since 2003 Gallup

Trump Transition

America faces many emergencies. The ‘border crisis’ isn’t one of them Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Former National Security Officials Challenge Emergency Declaration Wall Street Journal

Trump’s Border Wall Threatens the La Lomita Chapel Atlantic (resilc)

Crowley joins coalition to pass Trump’s new NAFTA The Hill (Chuck L)

Green New Deal

Democrats Criticized for Shying Away From Green New Deal The Intercept

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Could Cost $93 Trillion, Group Says Bloomberg


Ex-Clinton staffers slam Sanders over private jet flights Politico (UserFriendly). What hypocrisy. I forget where I saw the records, but Clinton virtually lived on private jets. One of my friends thought a great debate question for her would be for her to identify the last time she had flown commercial.

What Happens If All the People Who Disapprove of Trump Vote For a Democrat? Washington Monthly

Supreme Court Screw-Up Sullies U.S. Constitution  Counterpunch (Chuck L)

We should be outraged’: Alabama congresswoman tackles voter suppression Guardian. Resilc: “Obomba LLC is too busy with basketball and book tours.”

SEC Asks Manhattan Federal Court to Hold Elon Musk in Contempt Wall Street Journal

Microsoft CEO Defends Pentagon Contract Following Employee Outcry CNN

Class Warfare

How a payday lending industry insider tilted academic research in its favor Washington Post (J-LS, TF)

‘Austerity, That’s What I Know’: The Making of a U.K. Millennial Socialist New York Times

In LA, Climate Change Gentrification Is Already Happening Daily Beast (resilc)

Antidote du jour. Richard V: “I think the photo from yesterday’s email was of a female Indian Paradise Flycatcher. If so, below is the male IPF.”

See yesterdays Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Huey

    The comments on the Craft Beer article are funny “Roundup is a herbicide, not a pesticide” and “It’s also not dangerous” followed by “This is bad and lazy reporting.”

    I must confess to not really caring about the difference between pesticides and herbicides, in this context, nor knowing the ‘level of danger’ that it has been proven to cause. In my experience a lot of studies on these things tend to be company sponsored to paint them favourably, and as even mentioned in the article there’s a conflict between the crappy EPA required minimum and what can actually cause cancer so to me this is just another example of corporate shills trying to divert attention from noteworthy reporting. All I can say is thank god I don’t drink, although at this rate we’ll all ingesting herbicides whether we like it or not.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      What I find interesting – and not mentioned in the article – is that some pesticides and herbicides may be soluble in alcohol, but not water, therefore (theoretically) more bioavailable (or, alternatively, may not be sufficiently volatile in alcohol to break down rapidly, as supposedly glyphosate is designed to do).

      Given that we now know there is a small but statistically significant link between alcohol consumption and some cancers, I don’t think its an unreasonable hypothesis that alcohol might not be the chemical causing the cancers.

    2. Harry

      Is it time to note the existence of the pro-cancer lobby?

      Commercially it works on two levels. Allow carcinogens into our food chain so as not to lose valuable patented products. And thus generates demand for chronic use of cancer fighting drugs.

      Its the twofer of capitalisms dreams! Its funny how price inelastic cancer drug demand is. Paging Martin Shkreli….

    3. notabanker

      Sounds like an opportunity to go long on credit default swaps of warning label manufacturers. Do they issue CDS ten years out?

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      Glyphosate is banned from use in Certified Organic Agriculture. So if you are prepared to pay the more money for Certified Organic, you can dodge the glyphosate. Or also, if you live in a suburb with gardenable land, you may be able to grow your own “no-glypho” fruits and vegetables.

      And even on the conventional side, there are still some crops, mainly fruits and vegetables, which are grown with low or no glyphosate.

  2. Skip Intro

    Gait Recognition Technology!

    It is time to learn to walk arrhythmically like Fremen in the deep desert. Dune just keeps getting more relevant, god help us.

    1. Marcus

      Skip: My thoughts exactly! I think Frank Herbert knew something. My stillsuit prototype needs work but I think my childrens’ generation will figure it out.

    2. The Rev Kev

      A small stone in one shoe will also change your gait, especially if you swap the stones between shoes or even have stones in both shoes.

      1. Skip Intro

        News You Can Use!

        Thanks Rev Kev, that sounds painful but preferable to retaining various cumbersome objects in various nether orifices!

      2. Wukchumni

        One time we were coming down a gnarly off-trail pass in Sequoia NP named Pants Pass, and it’s steep and full of gravel, so much so that as you were walking down, a pile of gravelly rocks would follow you, and every once in awhile you’d have to plant your hiking poles and stop, to the let the pile continue on w/o you. When we got to the bottom, each boot had around 30 little rocks in it, and 1 little stone is a pain, but when you have that many in your boot, not so much.

        A visual of the route:

        1. samhill

          If you walk arrhythmically or too odd they’ll just double their focus on you so best adopt other people’s normal walks, eg if you’re square adopt a funky gate, if you walk like John Travolta’s Tony Manero at the opening of Saturday Night Fever best walk like a schlub – and mix it up every few days. And don’t forget the Groucho glasses… but if you have glasses, bushy brows and a big moustache they’ll probably focus on you first… hmm, bet Alexa will learn to identify too funny voices and route those for extra attention… sounds like a Black Mirror Episode.

          Dune just keeps getting more relevant, god help us.

          Lots of dystopian literature becomes more relevant each day. This is concrete proof the world’s going to crap and not just my cranky geezer imagination. If your world is turning more and more into a scifi dystopia – it’s going to crap.

          1. polecat

            At least moar of us Fremen scum are able to indulge in da Spice – wink wink. It’z in everything I tell ya ! The downside is that between the Emperor Orange man Bad, the SOCIOPATH Guild, and the two Landstrad houses, they will tighten their grip on the goods, as it were … leaving us no way to devine and direct the future !

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In India, levitating yogis can easily get around this problem.

      Unless they can recoginze the way you float.

      In that case, you might try roller-skating all the time, 24/7.

    4. Eclair

      And we thought that The Ministry of Silly Walks was a silly comedy skit. We need such a Ministry now, to help us all develop disguising alternative gaits.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Ex-Clinton staffers slam Sanders over private jet flights”

    Hit piece
    Plural ‘hit pieces’

    (idiomatic) a published article or post aiming to sway public opinion by presenting false or biased information in a way that appears objective and truthful.
    slam piece
    hatchet job

    As I have made clear in my comments I have issues with Sanders as a candidate but this is really low. I seem to recall the reason that he was jetting around the country was because he was campaigning for Hillary who swiped the nomination from him. I am guessing that this was a set-up done at the time. They probably scheduled a lot of whistle stop tours that meant that he had to used charted jets rather than commercial jets. The next election is nearly two years away and they are already pulling crap like this. Sanders is going to have to harden up and say stuff like: “I made a mistake back in 2016. So Hillary – about those damn emails!”

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think it’s less of a set up than elements of Team Blue followers/donors are asking about all the negative stories about Sanders because he didn’t “face scrutiny.” Like everything done by Team Clinton, they are too stupid to check on basics.

      A million and one volunteer sign ups. That’s a big deal. If I was questioning recent investments in Team Blue, I would expect something big because the Other candidates aren’t close to ready for prime time. Outside of Warren and Gabbard, they are Clinton acolytes and not much else.

      1. Skip Intro

        To paraphrase Deliverance-banjo-picker James Carville, drag a quarter-million dollar grant through a DNC watering hole and you never know what you’ll find!

          1. Procopius

            OT, but one of my pet peeves. The purpose of the speeches was to give her money. Cash. Mazoolah. It was not so she could impart the wisdom of the ages or make unethical promises. Whatever she said was completely unimportant. She could have read random pages from the Manhatten Telephone Directory (is that even a thing anymore?). The people who were obsessed with getting transcripts were dompletely diverted. The people who were sent to form an audience for her were probably bored out of their skulls, but the quality of the food and wine probably made up for it.

    2. integer

      The references to private jets and second homes is ratfucking, plain and simple. They are attacking his strengths; projecting their corruption onto him. I’m not (yet) sold on the Venezuela tweet thing, but I think Sanders is making a big mistake by publicly agreeing to fight clean and refrain from criticizing other D party candidates. Kamala Harris and other establishment-approved candidates are going to have the liberal media establishment doing their dirty work for them, and at some point Sanders’ core base is going to want to see him lash back, even if it’s just for the satisfaction of hearing him say what they already know to be true in a public forum. It’s a thin line to walk though, because liberals and the left are at an impasse; either group can destroy the other group’s preferred candidate, and both groups need the other group’s votes to win the general election.

    3. UserFriendly

      I thought of this shortly after reading that….
      I see Clinton staffers want to revive the #BernieOrBust movement again. Fine by me.

    4. Arizona Slim

      One of my local acquaintances was on the “drive Bernie around southern Arizona” detail.

      And, yes, he did use a chartered jet when he came here in the spring of 2016. Said acquaintance posted a picture of it on her Faceborg page. The plane looked like an ancient thing that had been used to fly a college football team around. ISTR that the team was the Florida Seminoles.

      OTOH, Trump has his own private plane, which isn’t the newest aircraft on the tarmac. ISTR reading that he purchased it from a Mexican airline that is now defunct.

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To be safe, to play it conservatively (not libearlly), people should have suspected this, and should expect more surprises.

    6. Jeff W

      Aside from the fact that one Sanders spokesperson makes an entirely plausible claim regarding the necessity of using private jets (i.e., “it was physically impossible to get to all of the event locations in such a short period of time without chartered flights, especially since the senator was traveling to many smaller markets with limited commercial air travel options”) and the broader, not-too-hard-to-grasp idea that one’s own individual actions don’t necessarily have to track positions on public policy— voluntary individual actions and public policy are obviously different things—so the criticism on its merits is basically inane, the whole thing strikes me as a bunch of ingrates smearing someone who, perhaps too nobly, was trying to help them out. Really, this is what passes for political discourse in this country? It’s not a good look for ex-Clinton staffers.

  4. Wukchumni

    An Archaeologist Says He’s Figured Out The Secret of The Pyramids’ Peculiar Alignment ScienceAlert
    At Fajada Butte in Chaco Canyon, there is a similar gig-although more astrological in scope, where a Sun Dagger marks the winter solstice & equinox.

    In 1977 the artist Anna Sofaer visited Chaco Canyon as a volunteer recording rock art. There she recorded petroglyphs on Fajada Butte at what is now called the Sun Dagger site, now perhaps the most famous site in Chaco Canyon, located at a southeastern facing cliff near the top of Fajada Butte. She noted three large stone slabs leaning against the cliff which channel light and shadow markings onto two spiral petroglyphs on the cliff wall. On her second visit she saw a “dagger of light” bisecting one of the spirals. At about 11:15 am. on the summer solstice a dagger-shaped light form pierces the larger of the two spirals (Sofaer, Zinser and Sinclair 1979, p. 285). Similar sun daggers mark the winter solstice and equinoxes.

    1. Procopius

      For finding true North you don’t need to wait for the solstice or the equinox. The technique has been known for thousands of years. You make a circular wall, maybe 20 or 30 feet in diameter. Sit in the middle. Mark a line pointing to the place on the wall (artificial horizon) where the sun rises. Do the same thing when the sun sets. Bisect the angle formed by the two lines. That line points true North. I don’t know about any bias clockwise or counter-clockwise, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I’ve seen this explanation published for many years in many places. Why this archeologist didn’t know about it is puzzling.

  5. el_tel

    re homosexuality in the vatican: As a gay man and lapsed Catholic this issue interested me for years. I only have anecdotes to offer but IMHO they are interesting. One is consistent with the widespread levels of homosexuality: years ago a gay Church of England clergyman (very Anglo-Catholic) told me of a notorious bar in Rome where all the gay Roman Catholic clergy hung out.

    Another anecdote from a former friend of the family who is a priest supports a theory my Dad has concerning why the paedophilia etc is so successfully covered up: all these “vulnerable because of violating church doctrine” groups have dirt on each other. It may have been NC (I read too many sources to remember where some things came from) which recounted the tale of the priest doing his female housekeeper who wanted to expose a paedophile colleague but who eventually kept quiet because he’d been threatened with exposure of his own relationship.

    The ultimate “weapon of mass destruction” is what legions of priests know from the confessional. I wonder if those who’d like to “clean up” the corruption won’t, due to fear of what the kiddie-fiddlers could reveal from confessions. The recent disgust at the pope’s lack of formal action over the scandals suggests circumstantial evidence that “those who are in power” can’t actually do much for fear of too many skeletons being revealed. If Cardinal Pell loses his appeal and is *not* excommunicated, it may provide yet more evidence that the church simply can’t clean up its act for fear of what defrocked clergy might reveal. The recent South Park Catholic-church-follow-up episode is, as usual, completely on the money. To use a familiar phrase “a feature not a bug”.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      I’m not a catholic(or even an xtian), but my wife is…so i spend a good bit of time in the lady chapel.
      this whole mess outrages me.
      it’s not like the vatican doesn’t have “methods” for dealing with this( or )
      all the denial and foot-dragging indicates, as you say, that someone knows where the bodies are buried.
      so it’s cowardice.
      and this from the same bunch that won’t allow my wife communion because she’s married to me(20 years, now. last year, i tried to set it up to give her “married though the church” for our 20th anniversary. more like a tax audit than some divine epiphany. they got hung up on my refusal to lie,lol)
      I am generally opposed to “zero tolerance” policies…but with kiddie diddlers,a quick trial(due process) and severe punishment are in order…no matter what heads roll.
      perhaps digging up and airing all those proverbial corpses is just what the church needs.

      1. el_tel

        Sorry to hear of the grief your family has endured: similar happened with mine. My mother got her first marriage annulled in the 1970s. In those days annulments were done personally (she was told) by the pope. For some reason (despite horrible treatment by the church) she kept her faith and wanted her marriage (necessarily a civil marriage) to her 2nd husband (my dad – also Catholic, though lapsed) to be somehow “legit” by the church, hence the annulment (done in addition to her official divorce).

        The church allowed a “blessing” of her marriage to my dad after 20 years – done by the priest who told us a lot about “where the bodies are buried” and who was NOT a dodgy guy (apart from, we suspect, doing his female housekeeper). I was church organist until going to university at the new parish we attended when we moved house. Although I’d lost my faith at 13, I was kept on by a “fire and brimstone” priest because of my role. He took me to a diocesan meeting of organists and those involved with music in the local churches when I was 13. The priests got drunk and our priest not only drove me home when clearly over the limit but had acceded to pulling me out of the “music meeting” to talk to a bunch of priests. At the time I was simply puzzled – why ply me with booze? With the benefit of hindsight I recognised just how scary and malign that meeting was and where things could have gone. My parents also checked out a Catholic boarding school to send me to at age 11 – I said “no bloody way” after seeing it. I knew something was really really off. Again in hindsight I knew what. I got away lightly. Most of my family now won’t set foot in a RC church.

        1. Polar Donkey

          I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school. I was fortunate to steer clear the clergy as much as possible. Catholicism and the institution of the church always seemed off to me. In 8th grade, we were supposed to go through confirmation. I told my parents i don’t think I’m ready for that. Amazingly, my mom didn’t make me go. I’m glad she didn’t. After high school, I never had to go to church again. Now I have 2 sons. My mom asks if they have been baptized yet. Oh no, my boys aren’t going anywhere near a Catholic church. I can’t understand why with everything known, anyone goes to Catholic church, or let their daughters be gymnasts, or sons play football at Penn state, or listen to an R Kelly album, etc etc.

        2. CanCyn

          I am with your family el_tel, why does anyone attend Catholic church? I often wonder what it will take for the whole thing to come tumbling down. Maybe this book? I am very interested to see if there is any reporting on it in the MSM.
          What we need is a good old fashioned schism. If there are any good guys in the Vatican, they need to pronounce a new pope, and change things up. Let priests get married – any gender, let women become priests, those would be good places to start. As for all the openly gay priests – let it go and just prosecute the ones doing illegal & fraudulent things. From the sounds of it, most of them should be demoted or de-frocked for lying or other criminal activities, not because they’re gay. Then no one has anything to hide and they can expose and prosecute the hell out of the paedophiles – this last being by far the most important thing that the church needs to do.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            The utter corruption of every single one of our other institutions (DOJ, FBI, CIA, political parties, press, FDA, Congress etc etc ad nauseam) has been completely exposed and nothing has resulted, why would the Catholic Church be any different?

        3. el_tel

          A PS to that RC school tale. My mum, although keen on a RC education, put “the BEST education” as top of her priority list. I was offered an unconditional scholarship to the RC boarding school I mentioned (creepy central). But I won a scholarship to the nominally-non-denominational-but-really-Anglican independent day school in our city that at that time was one of the top 10 schools in the country.

          Education trumped religion and my parents instantly accepted my place at the latter school. A priest who was supposedly a “family friend” and who rang to tell my mum the “joyous” news that I had a place at the RC boarding school, upon being told el_tel was going to the independent school, said rather uncomplimentary things about non-RC education and my parents’ decision-making ability. My mum told him to F*** off over the phone – very loudly. Kudos to her.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The victim often becomes the victimizer.

        And this seems to have been around for centuries.

        Are these powerful men also child-victims?

        Is one way forward some sort of amnesty, with those currently in charge not capable of actually doing much ‘for fear of too many skeletons?’

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, I’ve heard rumours for years about ‘gay cabals’ etc., in the church and I was always sceptical, but I think you are on to something when you say that the omerta was partially enforced by a sort of mutual fear of being exposed. There is no question now but that I think there is something very toxic at the institutional level of the catholic church.
      There is of course a strong dynamic for any organisation to cover up – you need only look at how this type of scandal has been seen in everything from football teams (most codes), the BBC, gymnastics, swimming, scouting and so on. It probably extends too beyond the catholic church – in this weeks ‘Phoenix’ magazine (an Irish Private Eye, not online), it accuses the Irish Times (traditionally a protestant paper) of deliberately supressing complaints about non-Catholic institutions in order to focus on the guilt of the Catholic Church.

      There is no doubt I think that the catholic church has stupidly allowed itself to be a symbol of guilt for this sort of cover-up, when it is not alone and may not even be the worst. It does however deserve all the opprobrium it gets, even if it does allow for a certain amount of blame deflection from other quite nasty institutions and individuals.

      1. Harry

        I hate the term “gay cabal”. Lets be nice and call it “friends helping friends”

        I remember the “gay cabal” at the Bank of England were by far the nicest of the cabals. I much preferred them to the horrible “christian cabal”, (who, by the way, hated catholics) or the “freemason cabal” who were terribly posh and hung around late at night.

        If I left any ambiguity, the “Christian cabal” were the worse – no sense of humour, and never forgot an enmity. I am sure Jesus would have hung out with the gays if forced to pick a cabal.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        i think we give short shrift to the existence of secret cabals of powerful people.
        here, the movers and shakers meet in a back room while the lions club meets up front.
        that’s aside from the ad hoc, ordinary “meetings”.
        once, long ago…during my outlaw days as a musician…my band played a party at an indoor swimming pool for the elite of my hometown.
        host owned a bunch of strip clubs, and there were naked women as waitresses(plus,lol). priests, preachers, sheriff, superintendent…doing lines of coke on a naked painted beauty.
        I obtained enough dirt in that one night alone about everyone in a position of local power that I feared for my life just from knowing it,lol.
        folks I knew refused to believe it…they didn’t want to know, if they secretly did.
        i have since thought about this experience as scalable…if it was there and up and running in my backwoods east texas town…then it was there in houston, in texas…and in the usa and globally.
        everything from who gets hired to what businesses sail through their permits…
        we enjoy the appearance, sometimes, of democracy and the people’s voice and all that more or less egalitarian stuff…but the reality is much more Mario Puzo.
        Robert Anton Wilson was closer to the truth of Power than CNN ever will be.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Helluva story that, Amf. Makes you wonder what dirt people like Jimmy Savile and Jeffrey Epstein had on establishment figures that kept them out of prison. Not isolated figures either as there seems to be a sub-class of kiddie-fiddlers in many countries among our elite that are untouchable.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Kev.

            A decade ago, ehen I worked in Brussels, someone explained to me that Dutroux’s network extended beyond Charleroi to Brussels and from Brussels, via the international institutions based there, further afield.

            1. Redlife2017

              Colonel Smithers – whenever someone mentions Dutroux I think of a film I saw at a film festival in 1998 – Out of Range. It wasn’t directly about that as it came out after Dutroux was arrested but before the trial years later. When the director was doing Q&As afterward, he noted that he was inspired (or maybe not surprised) by Dutroux, as these kinds of things have been going on for some time.

              From Variety review of the film, which notes that the film is based on real-life events:
              “Murky plot involves a wealthy right-wing baron (Raymond Gerome) who, in cahoots with the secret service, is videotaping higher-ups (including royalty) in pedophile parties at a nightclub where Kristl dances. Toussaint [diplomat killed earlier in the film], it emerges, was a double agent killed by the baron’s chief terrorist, Sophie (Natacha Amal), who’s also in charge of spreading panic through anarchist attacks on shopping malls. As Peter taps into his contacts in the secret service, he finds his life threatened.”

              Over 20 years later and I can’t get that movie out of my head. This has all been going on for sometime – everywhere…

              1. RUKidding

                Thanks for the tip about that film “Out of Range.” That and this discussion, in general, puts me in mind of the Fellini-esque party scene in the film Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kubrick in 1999.


                And speaking of Fellini, his excellent film “Satyricon” plays on the same themes as discussed here about the RC Church.

                Yes, these debauched behaviors have gone on forever. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            Bill Clinton can’t be the only famous person who ever flied Epstein’s Air Pedo down to Epstein’s Pedo Island in the Caribbean. All the famous people on those flights have that as dirt on eachother, and Epstein has that as dirt on them all.

        2. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, A.

          “I obtained enough dirt in that one night alone about everyone in a position of local power that I feared for my life just from knowing it,lol.
          folks I knew refused to believe it…they didn’t want to know, if they secretly did.
          i have since thought about this experience as scalable…”

          This reminds me of an interview with the British newscaster John Snow from the 1990s. He volunteered for some social work in the north-est and midlands and used similar language when recalling what the children he worked with were saying (about events in the 1970s). A minute tip of that iceberg emerged at the beginning of this decade.

          PK is spot on. I agree with his comments and just add that, for reasons to do with Pope Francis’ stances on some issues, the neo-cons and neo-liberals are more than happy to air the church’s dirty linen. It did not escape me that, last year, the pair calling for the (US) church to be prosecuted under RICO were neo-con Zionist so and sos. This week, the BBC has broadcast live about Pell from Sydney. How about a live broadcast outside an establishment institution in London?

          As a Catholic, I am disgusted with what goes on, but still set foot periodically in church.

          1. el_tel

            Thanks for that. One of the things my Dad has researched is the allegations regarding politicians and child abuse. I don’t want to make specific allegations here (which might be wrong and counter to NC rules) – over 50% of the time the stuff he finds is stuff NC reports on (and so I believe to be true) but he sometimes reports stuff that may be tinfoil-hat material. However, the various points in this entire discussion suggest some horrid goings on he talks about (regarding groups that are not limited to the RC church) are true.

            I do understand and respect that you can set foot in a church. Personally I cannot. I remember in 1980 doing “colouring in” exercises in a RC primary school of protestants burning in hell. To this day I find it mind-boggling that this was ever considered “OK”, even in a “less enlightened age”. My (still desperate to keep her faith) mother shops around our city for a RC church that “isn’t creepy”. Our local one has a priest that invites the kids up and hugs them all in a way that she finds profoundly weird….and this is a woman who is (by her own admission) very naive….she didn’t know what a lesbian was until her late 30s and still doesn’t get most sex jokes! But she now knows a priest that seems dodgy when she sees one….

            1. Colonel Smithers

              Thank you, Tel.

              I was at Catholic school at the same time as you. Apart from snowball fights and sporting events with the Anglican school who shared the playing fields, no one ever gave Protestants a second thought. The one Protestant teacher was excused assembly.

              Catholic pupils are largely from eastern and central Europe, Italy, Spain, Africa, India and the Philippines in my neck of the words. Feuds from “dreary Fermanagh” mean nothing to them.

              1. el_tel

                Much nicer experience! What worries me now is less “horrid experiences” and more “unqualified but RC teachers” being promoted. My half-sister (from my mum’s first marriage) sees this routinely. Whilst “evil nun syndrome” of my parents’ generation has largely gone, it still worries me when frankly illiterate Catholics are getting the top educational spots.

        3. diptherio

          Yeah, something tells me Eyes Wide Shut was something more than just fiction.

          And, for the uninitiated, Robert Anton Wilson said that the secret of power lies in understanding two things: 1. half of all people are dumber than average; and 2. a disciple is just an @$$hole looking for a human being to attach itself to.

        4. Chris Cosmos

          You’re absolutely right and it does scale up. Washington is the center of an organized crime syndicate. That doesn’t mean it’s all bad there it means Machiavellian rules generally apply.

          1. Skip Intro

            Luckily we know that ‘Pizzagate’, the lurid tale that inserted the “Fake News” meme into our political narrative, was fake. That’s why it is so beyond the pale that even to mention it could lead to being erased from public discourse.
            Power corrupts, but blackmail controls!

    3. DJG

      Andrew Sullivan’s article is interesting, but Sullivan still is attempting to be the good Catholic boy. Above, el_tel mentions “feature not bug”: But I’d also point out, as I am wont to do, the Continuing Crisis of Monotheism. As Stephen Greenblatt mentions in his book, The Swerve, about Lucretius and Epicurean thinking, he (Greenblatt) cannot accept a religion based on sacrifice of a son to the father. So there goes Judaism (Isaac and that little gambit), Islam (Ishmael), and Christianity (Jesus and the Passion). The implications of sacrificing children go deep in monotheism, and a horror of sexuality and, in particularly, homosexuality is part of it. So much of it is the Malign Father in the Head, Endless Making Demands.

      Yet: I am currently reading Toward a Gay Communism by Mario Mieli, which was written in 1977 (yes, 1977) and has just recently been retranslated and reissued in English. In 1977, Mieli was pointing out what happens when so much sexual repression happens, what happens when you have gay gatekeepers to repress homosexuality, and what happens when you have a culture that cannot deal with the normality of homosexuality but creates an artificial–and death-dealing–sexual Norm. (He likes to capitalize Norm, partly as a joke.) Recommended reading.

      1. Jeff W

        Your comment about Stephen Greenblatt’s thoughts in The Swerve led me to find the actual quote:

        Religions are invariably cruel. Religions are always promoting hope and love, but their deep, underlying structure is cruelty. This is why they are drawn to fantasies of retribution and why they inevitably stir up anxiety among their adherents. The quintessential emblem of religion – and the clearest manifestation of the perversity that lies at its core – is the sacrifice of a child by a parent.

        Almost all religious faiths incorporate the myth of such a sacrifice, and some have actually made it real. Lucretius had in mind the sacrifice of Iphigenia by her father Agamemnon, but he may also have been aware of the Jewish story of Abraham and Isaac and other comparable Near Eastern stories for which the Romans of his times had a growing taste. Writing around 50 BCE he could not, of course, have anticipated the great sacrifice myth that would come to dominate the Western world, but he would not have been surprised by it or by the endlessly reiterated, prominently displayed images of the bloody, murdered son.

        [Is that true—”almost all faiths incorporate the myth of such a sacrifice”?]

        Fascinatingly enough, although Isaac is not sacrificed in the typical interpretation of the Biblical story, one scholar argues that, in an earlier version of the story, he is, in fact, killed.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          roam around in myths and religion the world over, and one finds lots of gods nailed or otherwise affixed to trees.
          then, you get to eat the dismembered god, as well.
          pretty creepy when you think of it that way.
          I’ve never been a believer…but i’ve often attended…out of obligation, politeness, or as an academic exercise. whenever they do the call to communion, priest or preacher turns around and makes the bread into flesh…I sit there thinking “frelling cannibals”,lol.
          voicing this observation, however, is one of the quickest methods I’ve found to getting a mob together after you.

          1. Jeff W

            then, you get to eat the dismembered god, as well.
            pretty creepy when you think of it that way.

            I do and it is.

            What does it mean, really, that, in lots of religions, people kill the god and eat it (or kill children), aside from the overt deicide, quasi-cannibalism, and infanticide? Why are those foundational myths, if they are? What does it mean if, religions, “always promoting hope and love,” are, as Greenblatt says, “invariably cruel”? I’m not sure that’s not creepier than the stories themselves.

            1. amfortas the hippie

              most basic…almost freudian…reason: partaking in divinity.
              you are what you eat.
              nature–the Big Thing behind things— eats itself…ouroboros,snake eating its tail….per paglia, if that aint selfcontained autoeoticism,what is?
              i watch folks in church and am amazed….to so many of them, its as real as a slap.

    4. integer

      While he was PM, Tony Abbott shielded Pell from prosecution, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see that he has finally been convicted. There is no doubt in my mind that the verdict was correct.

      1. el_tel

        Indeed, Abbott was and is a hypocrite – he was my local MP when I lived in Sydney. I find it hilarious that his constituency had more outrageous behaviour going on (at least on the beaches) than anywhere else in Sydney…..whilst he and his party minions were desperate to drum up “outrage” against us gays, the worst example of “non kiddy OK behaviour” was on the “straight” nudist beach – a male-female couple who delighted in open-air sex….what we in the UK would call doggers. It was well-known that they liked a bloke to join them… least gays on the other “gay” nudist beach were discreet and those that did “stuff” did it in areas that were totally inaccessible to random people. Of course Abbott’s disciples used dog whistle politics to maintain support but I myself saw more “non traditional – straight – behaviour” going on than I’d ever seen in my life before. His constituency is a hotbed of outdoor sex and dogging. He’d claim that the beaches are state govt run (correct) so not something the local council can influence but when push comes to shove nobody statewide shows any sympathy to his views.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Tony Abbott’s behaviour is to be expected. He is a Roman Catholic and was taught by Jesuits so of course he would try to protect Pell. He also opposed same sex marriage when it came to a vote. I think that for a lot of Aussies though, being gay is a matter of DKNC as in Don’t Know, Don’t Care except for some ribbing of course. I seem to remember a story about Tony Abbott’s university days that when he was not boxing or brow-beating women, that he and a group of like-minded students would harass and chase gays through the campus. Later on in a 60 Minutes interview he admitted that he felt threatened by gays so make of that what you will.
          Look, gays in the church is half expected historically, and if you had women priest you would have cabals of lesbian priests. This is not a shocker and is not an issue for most people. But kiddie-fiddling is the line. Hardly anyone will defend that one as that is abusing the helpless. Nope. That is where the line is.

    5. Carolinian

      The Houston Chronicle recently did an expose about the Southern Baptist Convention and its failure to address abuse by pastors and other church workers. In this case the targets seem to have mostly been young women and girls. This isn’t close to the scale of the Vatican scandals but it’s not just Catholics who have a problem with priestly misbehavior.

    6. Pylot

      I have recently been reading The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. If you are not familiar with the work its 100 little stories told by 10 individuals who fled to a villa outside of Florence to evade the plague of the 14th Century.

      In one of the little stories there is a tale of an individual who visited the church in Rome around 1330 or close to it. In the story the individual is appalled at the acts of Sodom he observed at the church.

      So the only thing new or different is the ongoing the power of the church leaders to hide and dissuade its followers of their centuries long practice of debauchery. Why anyone is a Catholic I will never understand, the church has long been exposed as a place where perverts prey on children while hiding in the garments of God. All defended by the so called vicar of Christ.

      1. Olga

        We had to read Decameron in our excellent, socialist high school. A must-read to understand ol’Europe. This “The Corruption of the Vatican’s Gay Elite Has Been Exposed Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine” (and the book) is important in relating the excesses of Vatican – and the deep-seated hypocrisy – although we always assumed most of priests were gay. Gayness is ok, hypocrisy is not. How has the western public allowed it to go on for so long? Jan Hus was burnt at the stake for going against the church- that is how… The whole matter is sickening…. but will probably continue.

      2. adrena

        My oldest brother was sexually abused for many years by nuns at the boarding school he attended as a young boy.

        He says that “Celibacy is so unnatural, it’s incredible that it exists”.

        As a result of his interview, many others in The Netherlands have come forward with their stories of sexual abuse by nuns.

        Thankfully, I escaped sexual abuse but not the physical and psychological abuse meted out by nuns.

        Needless to say, my entire family is atheist.

        1. Arizona Slim

          My mother wasn’t sexually abused, but she is left-handed.

          What does this have to do with the Catholic church? A lot. One of her cousins was beaten for being left-handed — he went to a Catholic school and the priests and nuns viewed the left hand as the devil’s hand.

          When it came time to enroll my mother in first grade, my grandmother marched her into the principal’s office at a public elementary school. Grandma, who was no one to be trifled with, announced that my mother was left-handed, and that was how she was to be educated.

          And that’s how my mother was educated.

            1. polecat

              It IS the devils hand !! .. try handling a circular saw that’s made to be used by those more ‘dexterous’ plebians .. or try as you might, end up smearing pencil lead all over that just-in-time essay you finally managed to turn in, or just try to use a righthander’s mit with that flyball zooming in, or the bread wrapper ties that have the whole family be-twixed, because you twist them in the Opposite Direction … I could go on and on about it .. cuz I’m sinister

          1. Jack Gavin

            My mother and uncle – her brother – were ruler whacked for being lefty. Mom became ambidextrous, uncle rebelled and got tossed. My wife and I are lefties as is one of 3 kids. My mother made the same announcement on my behalf in 1945. Not sure it was necessary but she wasn’t taking any chances.

            1. el_tel

              When I asked why one or two of my mum’s Dublin childhood friends wrote letters with handwriting that looked weird, she informed me they were left-handed and the nuns beat them to force them to use their right hand. Although my mum was a day-pupil, the boarders at the nun-run school had to show they had their hands above the covers before lights out. My mum didn’t know the reason until her much more savvy best friend told her when they were in their 20s! As I said elsewhere, my mum is rather naive….!

              Meanwhile my dad endured canings that drew blood in late 1950s/early 1960s at a British RC school.

      3. Procopius

        In browsing web sites dealing with the history of the church I’ve seen some incredible horror stories of popes of the 8th and 9th Centuries. Too bad Google is so crapified, but I think it’s time to renew browsing that period again. Wonder what I can find about the fifth and sixth Centuries. And, of course, there were the Renaissance Popes, including Alexander VI, the Borgia Pope. Barbara Tuchman devoted a third of her book, The March of Folly, to them. Millions of florins to buy the votes, because they could steal so much more from the Church.

    7. Adam Eran

      In other news, the Methodists solicited signatures to make it official church policy to welcome LGBTQ relationships and marriages. Their central confab has declined to entertain the motion.

      This is kind of a big deal in the mainstream churches. One example: Fair Oaks Presbyterian (in the ‘burbs of Sacramento) paid $1.2 million for their building to buy it from the national church rather than allow icky gay people in.

      Best answer I’ve found to them so far is Rev. William Barber’s counsel that, while the Bible does say some intolerant things, it advises compassion and acceptance literally thousands of times more. Focusing on gays, or abortion amounts to theological malpractice.

      Also, there’s this about the real meaning of St. Paul’s advice to reject gays.

      1. barefoot charley

        That’s a very thoughtful point well taken, even if it is from Huffpo, thanks!

        It says sexual exploitation of inferiors was such a normal part of privilege, Paul didn’t have to describe its conditions. What we now see as gay sex, he knew as abuse of power, having one’s way with slaves and boys.

      2. Plenue

        “The real meaning”. I always find it a bit sad to see ‘progressive Christians’ attempt to explain away Biblical homophobia. The problem with claiming that ‘the ancients’ meant something different, that they were just condemning certain kinds of gay behavior, is that ancient Christians themselves were quick to jump on the ban everything bandwagon by the end of the fourth century, which isn’t very long after Christianity itself was fully codified.

        And the Old Testament also condemns homosexual behavior, so Christianity is a bit screwed from jump since “Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” – Matthew 5:17

        1. Procopius

          Oh, they just pay no attention to that. In fact, it seems to me Paul/Saul esteblished the precedent that they just pick and choose whatever Laws they want to follow and which ones they ignore and which new ones they want to make up without any real justification.

    8. marieann

      I am also a former catholic, I gave it up at 15 when I started dating my boyfriend (now husband) he wasn’t catholic and that’s a no-no. My sister was told by the priest she would burn in hell…she also married a non catholic.
      I suppose it was lucky for us young girls in the parish that our priests where just alcoholics.

      The church where I live no has a big congregation and one of the priests stole a lot of money…they had him caught, tried and defrocked in record time….that shows you their priorities “do what you like, just don’t touch the money”

    9. ChrisPacific

      A few years back Michael Lewis wrote one of his interest pieces about a group of monks in Greece who had somehow amassed a vast financial empire (“Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds”). The details were hazy but confessions taken from powerful people seemed to be a feature.

      My wife (who studied medieval history) read it and remarked on how little the church methods for acquiring and holding power had changed over the centuries.

    10. vidimi

      it’s a great article on a remarkable book (who would have thought that i’d ever praise the writing of neocon turned neolib andrew sullivan). what becomes apparent is that st pope john paul simultaneously encouraged rampant homosexuality in the church and vigorously condemned it outside to drive recruitment. it’s why approximately 1 in 20 men are homosexual in the general public and, according to Martel, 4 in 5 are within the church. it’s also an example of bill black’s gresham’s dynamic where the egregious hypocrisy on the issue by the church drives out anyone who isn’t also a hypocrite. for someone raised in a very catholic family like myself, this is both very upsetting and incredibly liberating.

      i’m also currently reading michael hudson’s book on debt and debt cancellations, so even without this massive scandal of rot at the heart of the church it is all too clear that the church has moved so far away from jesus’ message as to not have any credibility left. the current pope may be the best there ever was, but i doubt he can save this unholy institution.

      1. vidimi

        adding, if the church stopped persecuting homosexuals, seminary enrollment would likely decrease by almost 95%, meaning that it’s basically what is keeping it alive.

  6. John Beech

    All this Republican voter can say regarding Senator Sanders is, yay Bernie, you go girl!

    Why? Because had the choice been between him and Mr. Trump in 2016, I’d have voted Democrat for the first time since 1976. I don’t believe the DNC yet understands the profiund contempt I hold for a politician worth 10s or maybe 100s of thousands when they enter office now worth hundred of millions. And citizens who don’t ask this fundamental question of themselves while voting for her just because they want to win more than anything have earned nothing but my contempt.

    So I voted for Donald Trump for President. And I’m not ashamed of it. What I am ashamed of is the non-stop level of hate and obstruction he’s faced since he took office. better for the country to go down in flames than he enact any of his signature pieces, eh?

    Just remember, the world is round and what goes around comes around. Put another way, Karma is a bitch! While I support Senator Sander’s efforts to this day, I have no doubt the DNC will opt for Kamala Harris, or failing that, maybe run Secretary Clinton once again.

    Me? I’m settling in with the popcorn to watch the carnage. Meanwhile, I suspect that as he sense he’ll lose the President will pivot toward Medicare For All and just like that garner enough middle of the road voters to retain office. Oh boy, can you imagine the cries of anguish by the media and they make bank with that development?

    Anyway, I like what Senator Sanders has in mind and don’t believe the lot of it can be enacted no mater what so just as President trump hasn’t ruined America, a President Sanders wouldn’t be able to either. But he might get some good things done. I remain hopeful but not expectant.

    1. KLG

      “Meanwhile, I suspect that as he senses he’ll lose the President will pivot toward Medicare For All and just like that garner enough middle of the road voters to retain office.”

      Exactly what I told a friend recently. He replied that I overestimate Trump. No, actually. Of course, Trump won’t follow through, but that is not the point.

      1. John k

        If Bernie wins nom it’ll be too little, top late. People will believe Bernie will do everything he can to deliver, trumps own base won’t believe him, they’ll remember the big middle class tax cut he promised.

    2. Plenue

      Trump thoroughly deserves most of the hate he gets, and obstruction is a good thing. I have nothing good to say about the hypocrisy and performative virtue signaling that comprises 99% of #resistance, but Trump himself is still an utter worm. His signature pieces, such as they are, are universally terrible.

      And you like what Sanders has in mind….yet have spent the last 40+ years voting for a series of candidates who didn’t even pretend to support any of the types of things Sanders is championing?

  7. Watt4Bob

    So we just got a preview of the way they, the MSM are going to treat Bernie Sanders.

    Wolf Blitzer doing gate-keeping, and an audience full of trolls doing their best to obscure, and deflect the message, not to mention the howling adjits that followed up with anal-isis.

    Bernie did a good job, but it’s obviously going to be a long two years.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      The only chance left-of-center candidates have to win the nomination is if people tune out, at least to some degree, the MSM. It is the Narrative that keeps most of the population in thrall no matter how obviously the media depart from reality. People need institutions to enforce a norm-making mythological framework more than they need truth. People may hope for single-payer health but if they continually hear it is impossible they’ll eventually believe it.

      On the other hand if enough candidates support universal health-care then the corporate propaganda outlets have to cover it and if a candidate emerges who is strong enough on screen like Trump was during the, such a person could get elected and then face Pelosi and Schumer who would make sure that someone would get rich off of health-care by keeping spending at twice the OECD average. Money is money….

      1. Mac na Michomhairle

        The American Populists got as far as they did because they:
        1) established independent structures that provided tangible local relevant benefits and support to people
        2) and established alternative media that allowed discussion and debate outside the hegemony
        3) and spoke American

      2. Grant

        “On the other hand if enough candidates support universal health-care then the corporate propaganda outlets have to cover it”

        Eh. Booker says he supports single payer, kind of, maybe, on Tuesdays. He doesn’t. In fact, I see no evidence he understands the issue. He was on some worthless corporate outlet, I think CBS, and they brought up the cost of single payer. It is going to cost this much, big number, boo, how you gonna pay for that sir? He didn’t have a coherent response. How can anyone in favor of single payer not be prepared to answer that question? The cost of single payer is a big number, the cost of the present system is a bigger number, there would be societal savings. All single payer systems cost less, have less waste, give some data, explain broadly why. Done. Not hard. Booker incoherently rambled, as will others that pretend to support single payer but don’t and haven’t studied the damn issue. I don’t think the fakes should say they support single payer or any other progressive issue, cause they do the issue no favors. But they have to lie to win, and it at least helps in negotiations to pretend to be in favor of structural changes.

        Remember the 2008 election when Obama said he would re-negotiate NAFTA? The TV cameras were on, and he said he would re-negotiate NAFTA. People across the ideological spectrum wanted that. His donors and the Canadian government freaked and someone in his campaign used their contacts in the media to let it be known that it was just empty campaign talk. He never meant it. Obama on TV wanted to re-negotiate NAFTA when tons were watching, then the retraction came out and was printed on page 50 or whatever in the NY Times. That retraction was for those that actually run the system. Don’t take the propaganda I feed the rubes seriously guys. Harris gave a perfectly good answer to single payer when the cameras were on, then her campaign said, well, she is open to single payer, the public option, some vague strengthening of the ACA, or maybe expanding Medicare, or this or that. Anything under the sun. Bernie would fight for single payer, she would sign it if placed on her lap, but nothing more. That retraction wasn’t in front of the cameras though. But the establishment hacks cannot win elections if they are honest, and what will suffer in regards to our discourse will be people that are inept defenders of policies Sanders actually supports, which could weaken support for those policies. Another problem though is that if you don’t at least pretend to be in favor of single payer, you begin negotiations already from a compromised position. If you want some quarter measure like Brown, it would make logical sense to at least pretend to be in favor of single payer, so that you begin negotiations from that point. But Brown doesn’t do that, before he even begins negotiations, he has already compromised, which means he won’t get what he is offering, which is pathetic to begin with.

        This whole thing is maddening.

        1. Philip Martin

          The short answer is : The same way we have paid for 17 years of fruitless warfare in Afghanistan.

      3. zagonostra

        There is something that enthralls – ( to hold in mental or moral bondage, 1570s, from en-(1) make, put in + thrall (n.) – a majority of people to the MSM.

        I often send links to friends/family on “Mockingbird,” Chomsky/Michael Parenti, and so many more references, and than when we meet and exchange views, they still parrot what they heard on CNN/MSNCBC, WaPo, etc…

        It’s curious if you do a YouTube video, the results are all ranked by degree to which they dissemble the truth – or at least the the extent that I have been able to approximate it.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      I thought Bernie did well, the audience received him enthusiastically, some of the questions were trolling maybe but he’s gotta be able to handle that and he did. Most of the questions spoon-fed him the opportunity to talk about the policies he has championed as solutions to what ails us.

      All in all, excellent, considering the MSM ignored him completely last time!

      What was disappointing was the talking heads after. So much idiocy, too much time. I could only watch a few minutes. And still enacting a cardboard cut-out of a real person, Wolf Blitzer???

      1. Watt4Bob

        I hear you, Bernie did a great job considering the venue.

        Bernie has that ability to stay on point even in a strong head-wind.

        My fear is that we’re going to see much more of the sort of gate-keeping that Wolfie was doing, and that stuff seems to have the intended effect with a certain sort of voter.

        If I was more optimistic, I’d be hoping they give Bernie the sort of FREE wall-to-wall coverage they gave Trump.

        But something tells me they’ll be more effective opposing a champion of the left, as opposed to their ‘opposition‘ to Trump in 2016.

  8. jsn

    In the Gallup link regarding Americans self image as popular abroad, did anyone else notice the URL ends with “crackheadistanies”?

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            istanies => could really BE istanies.

            “Crackheadistan” —> “Crackheadistanies” . . . a “mis-spelling” of “Crackheadistanis”?

    1. Wukchumni

      Bear in mind that most Americans have never traveled outside the country, so they have no idea how foreigners think of them, aside from sanitized accounts on tv, radio & the internet.

      Perhaps it was a backdoor way for somebody to express contempt, but you’d have to change a letter to make it say ‘crackhead distances’.

      1. jsn

        Or you could just assume that anyone who thought the US was well liked in the world must be from Crackheadistan, making the plurality that show up in the poll “Crackheadistanies”

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        America is a nation of immigrants…so goes the quote.

        Yet, most have never traveled outside, it seems.

        Is it something in the water here that when immigrants come here, they themselves and their children (and their children) stop going abroad?

        Trapped in the USA?

        Not escape from here?

        1. Shonde

          Most are busy paying for medical bills, their children’s education etc. It is a question of priorities. Vacationing in the USA may be their only affordable option.

    2. diptherio

      Weird, I hadn’t noticed that.

      I thought the article was pretty uninteresting. It would have less so had it included what the rest of the world actually thinks about the US, so we could see how deluded everyone is.

    3. integer

      I used DuckDuckGo to find the article and it wasn’t included in the URL, so it’s probably just some sort of cut and paste error.

    1. johnnygl

      OMG!?!! They take this democracy stuff seriously?!!?! Quick, kill it!!!!! Kill it with FIRE!!!!

      Lol, thanks for that one.

  9. PlutoniumKun

    Healthy Nation Rankings: These Are the Healthiest Countries Bloomberg (resilc)

    As always, this type of list is both fascinating and infuriating. Its not a surprise I’m sure to find the US and UK relatively low – but Spain so high? Spain has a very good health system (rated 7th in the world I believe), and a relatively good diet, but I think most people would have assumed the French and Italians are healthier. I was thinking maybe the answer maybe smoking, but this chart suggests not.

    Spain has the highest life expectancy at birth among European Union nations, and trails only Japan and Switzerland globally, United Nations data show. Spain by 2040 is forecast to have the highest lifespan, at almost 86 years, followed by Japan, Singapore and Switzerland, according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

    Another surprise is that Germany and Denmark are quite low – lower than the UK. I’d be interested to know what’s behind that. From a quick look at the list, its not particularly clear if its more important to have a good diet lifestyle or a great health system. The English and Dutch have excellent health care, but generally pretty poor diets., etc. while the Greeks, Turks, etc., may be the opposite. It seems a balance of both is best (presumably why Spain is so high).

    I’ve heard a few diabetes specialists who think health and life expectancy in Asia is likely to plummet – primarily due to the recent huge upsurge in processed (sugary) foods – my understanding is that Asians are more prone to diabetes than Caucasians so may suffer much greater impacts from adopting this diet. I’m not sure if this is fully reflected in the projections (of if other factors will mitigate it).

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      regarding Asians and diabetes….that makes sense.
      with Latina’s like my wife, it’s the “indian” DNA that makes them prone to such disorders. not just sugar but refined flour…carbs that are too easy for the body to utilize…body works harder for whole grains or tree bark.
      many of the La Raza/LULAC people I know are into a sort of ancient ancestral diet. mesquite flour, nopales, forgoing tortillas, etc….due to this very idea.
      since Amerindians are descended from Asians, this fits.

      as far as the study….seems such things ignore Happiness(eudaimonia) as a matter of course.
      some of the happiest people i have known were beneath dirt poor….and often didn’t live past 60(swamp people in the Atchafalaya Basin, for instance.)
      admittedly, it’s hard to quantify….

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, I think I phrased that wrong – from memory its not so much that Asians are more vulnerable to diabetes, its that genetically Europeans are more tolerant of sugars and high glycemic foods. I could be wrong with this but I think its connected to the same genes that give Europeans greater lactate tolerance.

      2. Synoia

        Thank you Amfiortas:

        with Latina’s like my wife, it’s the “indian” DNA that makes them prone to such disorders. not just sugar but refined flour

        That begins to explain a comment from a Hispanic neighbor of mine made: “Hispanics become fat when they move to the US, they remain thin at home…”

        My wife is Asian. Many of her frients have elevated A1C, or are diabetic. I will discuss this with other friends of ours who are MDs.

      3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Speaking of the Atchafalayan Basin, local activists,, BOLD, Louisiana Bucket Brigade et al are fighting the new pipeline being built by Energy Transfer Partners.

        Save the Crawfish!
        Down with Big Energy!

        Standing Rock lite IOW

    2. el_tel

      Diabetes may indeed be a factor. But I’ll propose another possible contender – mental health services. Unfortunately, despite my health economist background, I can’t say a lot about such services across the key countries in this list. Anecdotally, I know two of the top seven (Aus and Sweden) have extraordinarily good access to secondary care in mental health. Much better than my home country (UK). Whilst I am fully signed up to the idea that things like economic inequality etc are highly detrimental to mental health (the kind of issue NC has drawn attention to), and that we really need to be addressing this CAUSE of the problem, addressing the outcomes well can be a “somewhat OK” second best. I’d be interested to hear what others have to say about mental health services in countries high up in this list……

    3. Lee

      I was feeling pretty good this morning til I read the article and saw that my time is nearly up. I will now have to give more thought to the purchase of green bananas.

      Speaking of old age and bananas:

      Trader Joe’s CEO reveals the unusual reason it sells bananas individually for 19 cents

      In an episode of the Trader Joe’s podcast where the grocery chain’s employees reveal company secrets, CEO Dan Bane explained that years ago, he was at a store located not too far from a retirement complex. A woman walked up to the bananas, looked at all of the packages, and walked away without putting one in her cart, Bane said.

      He described their interaction in the podcast: “I asked her, I said, ‘Ma’am, if you don’t mind me asking, I saw you looking at the bananas but you didn’t, you didn’t put anything in your cart.’ And she says to me, ‘Sonny … I may not live to that fourth banana.'”

      1. a different chris

        One day, a couple of years ago, I was looking at bananas. Not quite the same problem as that woman, but I had an idea of how fast they would be eaten vs how fast they would rot. All the bunches were too big.

        Finally, I did it! I grabbed the largest bunch and pulled 4 bananas off of it, leaving 3. And nobody said, or has said to this day as I continue to do that, anything about it. See, bananas are sold by the pound most places. Why we are afraid to pull them apart now in hindsight looks bizarre. I need 4 bananas, I take 4 bananas, I pay for them. Everybody is happy.

        1. marieann

          I am also a former catholic, I gave it up at 15 when I started dating my boyfriend (now husband) he wasn’t catholic and that’s a no-no. My sister was told by the priest she would burn in hell…she also married a non catholic.
          I suppose it was lucky for us young girls in the parish that our priests where just alcoholics.

          The church where I live no has a big congregation and one of the priests stole a lot of money…they had him caught, tried and defrock in record time….that shows you their priorities “do what you like, just don’t touch the money”

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I tried to match your reply with the subject matter of the thread (bananas) but could only come up with mental images of long large fruit poking out of vestments


      2. ewmayer

        Interesting, but that little old lady not being willing to buy a whole bunch explains why TJs sells bananas for 19 cents each because…

        [I thought it was some weird cultish bananas-and-prime-numbers thing, myself: “OK, even numbers are out because 2 is the only even prime – thus making it the oddest prime of all, hahaha! Yes, a million laughs, that’s me – and we’d lose way too much money at 2 cents per. In fact we’ve calculated that even as a loss-leader, we can’t charge under 15 cents per. 15 … 3 x 5, composite, that’s out. The top of the range which makes them an effective draw is 25 cents per, but we mustn’t price them at 25 cents because 25 is not only not prime, it’s a perfect square! That would bring on the bananapocalypse!! 23 is prime, but that’s gonna get us confused with that DNA testing service, seriously, we’re gonna have morons sticking bananas up their noses and into various bodily orifices, trying to get a ‘DNA sample to give to the cashier’. Bad business! …21, another composite, out. Coming from the other direction, 17 is prime, but I lost my virginity at 17, and it was not a pleasant experience, gah! Getting morning-after flashbacks just mentioning the number, like some nightmarish passage from an Irvine Welsh novel! So 19 it is.” :]

  10. Chris Cosmos

    The cloud-cover story is really interesting and gives us an idea of the sophistication of climate science. Yet another danger of a positive feedback loop. Anyway, climate science is not about throwing darts at possibilities like climate-change denialists claim. It’s hard to see much support for green-new-deals without some minimum science literacy in the American population.

    1. Geo

      My guess is that if Sanders did any call time or big donor events he’d be wasting his time. Doubtful many deep pockets are in his camp yet still need to be “courted” to donate. If they’re rich and still a Sanders supporter than they’re most likely already “woke” as the kids say.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The usual point of money in a campaign for campaign purposes is to field enough staff to not miss opportunities and build name recognition. Being able to afford mailers and ad campaigns without an ad campaign because an opponent did something heinous matters. If Warren can get to this level, yes, this would be a great move. After all, being a contender will get free media. I think HRC making it rain (after all, why was she running ads on Comcast Cable News? It wasn’t about name recognition) put her in a position where dismissing Sanders was possible by the msm. Fear of the loss of access and interview pieces is pretty powerful.

      Warren has decent name recognition. Its not great. Two, she has media presence, and three, she should be able to attract enough starry eyed types to work without the promise of later jobs. With the exception of her 23 and me, she hasn’t really flubbed anything for the average voter. She sat out when it mattered in 2016. I don’t know what kind of campaigner she is. After all, she had a outsized presence when she won in Massachusetts and the state party wasn’t going to challenge her after the Coakley embarrassment.

      Sanders is a big name now, and will have legions of starry eyed people. I signed up, but the Others might not have the ability to attract this kind of action. They will have to hit the Summer time fairs hard. Warren has been good enough for long enough she should attract people without needing an onslaught of media buys and more fraudulent rallies.

      Gillenbrand might have been able to avoid it. By virtue of being in New York, she’ll make the news, and her stance on sexual assault in the military was good. Harris may have been able to, but I don’t know if she has the personality to draw the starry eyed.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Venezuela: Guaidó wants ‘all options’ open as he meets Pence”

    Yeah, can’t see Random Guy picking up a rifle to lead a charge. That is what muppets are for. Guy reminds me of a street thug in a suit. This whole Venezuela gig is starting to resemble the Bay of Pigs ( The CIA organized a force of 1,400 paramilitaries as an invasion force for Cuba. Didn’t even bother to keep it secret as they were giving television interviews from where they were training. Their Opsec sucked. The CIA attacked Cuban air fields with WW2 era B-26s and then they landed the invasion force. Three days it was over as Kennedy refused to be suckered into a full US invasion of Cuba to back up that rabble.
    Guaidó may want an invasion but who wants to die for him? To invade by land, Venezuela is bordered by only Brazil, Colombia and Guyana. Any invasion from there invites counter attacks upon those countries and maybe some high-profile assassinations to boot. An invasion by sea is also tough to attempt and the question arises with which force? For defense, apart from the regular Venezuelan armed forces, there are also 500,000 National Bolivarian Militia of Venezuela members making the occupation of Venezuela problematical. If the US tried it, where would the soldiers be found to do it with? The UN won’t be in it and I doubt that other nations will be keen to kick in more than token forces.
    It seems that Trump will weigh in with sanctions and grand theft of Venezuelan property overseas but I doubt that he want to do more, even for all that lovely oil. He is letting the neocons run this show and they are already running out of steam. If Maduro can hold fast and keeping getting aid from other countries, then there is a fair chance that this will splutter out over the next coupla months and there won’t be a war involving the northern section of South America.

    1. Geo

      It’s immature but my brain has begun reading Guiado’s name as Giardia – which is a parasite that causes explosive diarrhea. Seems fitting for a US installed fascist coup dictator.

    2. Cal2

      Dear Vice-President Pence,

      Could you please point out some nations where the U.S. has intervened militarily
      “on behalf of the people” in say, the last say generation, and things have turned out better for them than it was before?

      We’re anxiously awaiting your list.

  12. nyc transplant to south carolina

    QUESTION,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,what happened to JMcPhee?. Always enjoyed his comments laced with real work experiences.

    1. tegnost

      I’ve been wondering that myself, hope he’s ok. I dreamed I read a fresno dan comment a couple of weeks ago…

        1. polecat

          Well, we all start ‘disincorporating’ at some point .. and I would include myself in that appraisal. One never really knows when the ferryman showeth upon their side of the river Stix, arm outstretched.

      1. integer


        Anyway, glad to see I’m not the only one who has been wondering where JTMcPhee has been of late.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Da J Man prolly got burnt out posting all the time. I like his brash and vulgar responses to some of the more bourgeois NC commenters.

      Plus his names Jonathan IIRC…

      Us ‘Gods Gifts’ gotta stick together!

  13. Shonde

    In today’s link regarding climate change and Los Angeles gentrification, it is noted:

    “Climate change is multifaceted, Koslov noted. It is a weapon with many edges. Some may try to escape extreme heat and find themselves in a flood zone. They might move away from storms and find themselves in a place engulfed by fire.”

    Last year I sold my home in a southern California coastal city once I realized the two entrances to my subdivision had been reclassified as “extreme fire risk” and my insurance cost skyrocketed. I was fortunate and received multiple offers and a good price. Now the market in that area has seen a downfall.
    I moved to a Minnesota town with two rivers (water) and no history of tornadoes. I found out a month or so after multiple tornadoes hit my new home city that tornado alley had shifted eastward and now I was in that path. I have already received notice that when my home insurance comes due in May, I will have a 20% deductible that was not present previously. What’s that old saying, “Man plans and the Gods laugh”? Time to look at moving again?

    1. Wukchumni

      You left a place 100% dependent upon imported water for somewhere else brimming in it, and used your equity refugee status quite wisely, meaning you paid one heck of a lot less for your new abode than your previous one.

      Don’t sweat the details, you’re on the right path.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      No. If you are near two rivers in a town of nice people in a flat or flatish place with good food-growing soil; the answer to tornados coming to town is either to always know where the nearest shelter is, or to have a tornado shelter inside your own house able to withstand the F6 and F7 tornadoes of the global warming future.

      Weather chaos will show up anywhere and everywhere at random. There will be no hiding from it. If your area has all the daily survival necessities for surviving daily life between the extreme weather episodes, you are in a good place.

  14. BoulderMike

    Regarding the story about the ranchers humanely raising their cows, etc. from Civil Eats – It amazes me that they fail to see the hypocrisy of supporting animal welfare, but not human welfare. Note the following:

    “they sell their products at the Old Town Auburn farmers’ market and online through Amazon and the farm’s website”

    Since it is widely believed that Amazon mistreats it’s employees, I would think these ranchers would avoid supporting that abuse.

    1. diptherio

      Hard to understand a thing when your paycheck depends on not understanding it. I suggest applying a little pressure, maybe a nice little note explaining why you think they shouldn’t be working with Amazon. A few years back I encouraged a relatively well-known lefty podcaster to please stop shilling for Amazon. The response I got was…nasty. However, the podcaster no longer has Amazon as a sponsor and I would like to think that my unsolicited and poorly received criticism may have had something to do with that eventual change.

    2. Spring Texan

      I think that would be cutting off their nose to spite their face . . . pointless. We need laws to control Amazon not purity boycotts from those who can’t afford them.

      1. BoulderMike

        I somewhat agree. But, if we only stand up for what is right when we can afford it, that we will surely be the victims of Oligarchs forever.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Wow, 15 min in and the questions are pulled right out of the Clintonite-DNC playbook. Wolf Blitzer’s decided his role as DNC ankle-biter, sniping away at him the whole time.

      Luckily, Bernie’s ready for them.

      How you gonna pay for dat!?!?!

      You’re an old white guy, how can you rep POC and women?!?!?

      If people like their Health Ins. can they keep it?
      We’re taking the old card, mailing them a new card. We’ll give them a better plan.
      So that’s a no!?!?!?

      We NEED YOUR TAX RETURNS!!! When you gonna give them to us?!?!?!


    2. Skip Intro

      A lot of the YouTube comments noted that the stream stops and lags selectively in the middle of important answers. Between that that the absurdly blatant mislabeling of the questioners, their attempts to undermine Bernie and the message just reduce CNN’s already vanishing credibility.

  15. Wukchumni

    San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced Monday that his office will wipe out more than 9,000 marijuana-related convictions in an unprecedented step following California’s cannabis legalization more than two years ago.

    Gascón last year teamed up with Code for America — a nonprofit focused on using open-source technology to improve government — to find every marijuana case eligible for expungement or resentencing under Proposition 64. San Francisco will be the first city in the country to clear all eligible pot convictions.

    I had my Rosetta Stoned moment about a decade ago during the Playboy Jazz Festival @ the Hollywood Bowl, as I was surrounded by a haze of 420, when some sap decided he’d light up a Camel, and was duly arrested.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Wow, that’s an awesome move. In a country that talks so much about freedom, It’s nice to see someone restore that freedom to many of those who’ve had it taken from them.

      On a side note, can anyone name a former AG that is running for higher office that did NOT do anything like this?!?!?!

      1. Skip Intro

        Ccould be Kamala ‘Dirty Cop’ Harris, she rightly saw that they needed to keep prison populations robust to provide slave labor for her donors…

    1. JohnnyGL

      Good link, nice to have the details on exactly how the deck was stacked.

      It’s pretty clear the DNC wrote the questions, with Wolf Blitzer following up persistently, like a sniping little dog biting his ankles. I’m 30 min in….Sanders is so well-prepped, they’ve ended up making him look superb. He doesn’t flinch one bit. Cracks a few jokes, too.

      The plan was clearly to drop him into a hornet’s nest and he’s swatted them all away….so far…

  16. human

    Question for any chemists here: Is there any way to neutralize or safely dispose of glyphosate containing products?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      In theory, glyphosate is highly volatile in water – its original selling point is that it breaks down rapidly into harmless compounds when left in a damp environment for sufficient time and it does not contain compounds that bioaccumulate or are highly persistent. However, there is plenty of evidence now that significant amounts don’t break down as designed as the beer article indicates.

      In most jurisdictions, the only legal way to dispose of glyphosate is through your local licensed waste disposal operator, although in reality very few domestic users do that in my experience. It is frequently recommended that empty domestic glyphosate containers can be ‘cleaned’ for recycling by rinsing them several times and flushing the water down the toilet (not a surface water drain).

      I’d never buy or use glyphosate or have any near me, but if I found myself with some old Roundup that needed disposing of and the quantities weren’t too big, and there was no means of getting it to a licensed operator, then I’d dilute it as much as possible in water and flush down the toilet, but only if the toilet is connected to a proper municipal system, not a septic tank.

      I’m not, btw, suggesting this is a ‘good’ or even ‘legal’ thing to do, just realistically if you have an old bottle of it lying around its probably the least damaging way to get rid of it. A licensed operator will almost certainly send it for incineration or landfill disposal, which is highly problematic.

      1. human

        Thanks. I have a container left here by a previous tenant.

        An anecdote: About 20 years ago, I rented a property where I was responsible for the parking lot. One morning I found a paper bag with a few laboratory type bottles of acids in it. I did what I thought was the responsible thing and called my county hazardus waste team. An inspector came out and inspected. “Yup. You have some hazardus waste there.” I asked him when the hazard team would arrive to remove it. He replied that that was my responsibility. He left. I flushed it down the toilet (public sewer system) and ran some extra water down after it.

        1. JEHRr

          Good heavens! Your toxic waste made the extra water toxic too. Maybe you could have obtained a steel drum with a lid and taken it someplace that disposes of toxic materials. Find that place in the phone book, or go to a garage that has toxic materials that they must dispose of. You are a scary “human.”

          1. human

            I hope that your comment is missing a /s tag.

            “Toxic” and “hazardus” are very different classes of material that _should_ be handled in specific manners. The bottles I handled were of a very low level of danger (chemical engineer) and dilution is the commonly accepted method of disposal.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        A senior Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology at Purdue University named Don Huber has been studying glyphosate and plant-systems for years now. He has also been tracking research conducted by other University Research Academics into glyphosate. There used to be videos of his lectures on You Tube but they have either all been removed or I can’t find them.

        The best I could find was this:
        which is a video about Don Huber’s work but not a video of Don Huber’s lectures their own selves.
        ( I suppose the lesson is. . . if you see a You Tube video you like, take down the URL so you can look it up that way. Maybe also the entire You Tube title of the video, in case that might be helpful).

  17. zephyrum

    The Pyramid article is interesting, but perhaps more compelling is the circumpolar star theory of Dr. Kate Spence: Pyramid secrets written in the stars. Published in Nature in 2000, there was some controversy at the time–partly because Egyptology has its own journals with all the attendant politics.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think a general rule of thumb with this sort of problem is that if it can be worked out simply using sticks, this is how it was done. The simplest explanation is usually best.

      A lot of archaeologists have created enormously elaborate theories to explain, for example, how the Romans got their roads so straight, or how Neolithic Irish got the astronomical alignments at Newgrange so accurately. In both cases, the truth was almost certainly the simple one that they used very simple techniques with care and imagination. Since Erastothenes in the second century BC worked out the circumference of the earth and the tilt of its axis with remarkable accuracy by simply using two sticks stuck in the ground, its safe to assume that most other amazing acts by people in the past were done using a mix of ingenuity, acute observation, and the simplest tools imaginable.

      1. DJG

        Thanks, Plutonium Kun: The other problem, largely unnoticed and unspoken, is that modern Americans, in particular, don’t look at the sky much. In ancient times, there was less light pollution. The stars and their constellations were much more evident. So aligning by the stars and navigating by the stars–or moon, or sun–is something that moderns don’t know how to do. Do people even understand that a clock’s circuit is related to a circuit of the heavens?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Take away widespread literacy of the 19th century, what percentage of the population knew how these skills before 1800? 1700? After all, not everyone on board a ship was a navigator. I fear its like computers. Many things simply are, but how many people who build websites can use a programming language? Not to mention machine code.

          Certainly, there would be greater demand for stellar navigation, but I don’t know if its as bad as all that. Before GPS systems, wasn’t the joke about how everyone refused to stop and ask directions because they thought they knew the way and couldn’t read a map in the first place?

          “The End of History” types (I fear they pop up periodically) and maybe more racist types don’t like to acknowledge ancients were just like us, hence they look for magicians or aliens as explanations instead of systems that could do the same job.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          That’s very true – anyone who has done wild country camping in clear skies will know how fascinating the sky is, and how it seems to talk to you. Deeply observing it becomes entirely natural, not a ‘science’. So most ancient people would naturally have a very deep knowledge and understanding of the motion of the stars and other bodies.

          1. Wukchumni

            We’re lucky to have dark skies here (there are 6 or 7 private observatories in town) and to watch the sky in all phases of the moon is something else, with the new moon being the best.

            One thing to keep in mind is just how dark our predecessors world of not so long ago was, lights out!

            Not only would they have been used to the dark, with planets and stars offering the only luminescence.

            When i’m in L.A. and look at the night sky, there’s no there, there.

            1. amfortas the hippie

              aye. im sitting outside the hotel in san antone with a couple of beers. ragged clouds all pink and glowy… and nothing behind them but a more diffuse pinkish blue. 130 miles NNW, at my house, i could walk down the trail by starlight right now(i checked weather. were clear out there). since most people live in cities, most people never see the stars.

              (and, for those innerested, surgery to remove the basketball tumor was a great success and ill be carrying her home manana. thank yall for the prayers and such)

              1. The Rev Kev

                That’s good news that Amf. Great to hear it. Here is wishing you both well. Time now to savor those beers now. Looking at my local time and the time where you are sitting, I can see that it is now beer o’clock.

              2. Oregoncharles

                Thank you very much for the good news, we needed that. And best of luck to you and yours with the recovery!

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A stick or two on the ground is simple and not too time consuming.

        Sometimes, what seems simple today was very time consuming. Other times, what is simple now was very difficult. So, we have various possibilities comparing the past and the present.

        Here, in this particular case, why was it so simple that we (or archaeologists) fail to see it immediately? Is it because

        1. we know too much, as in having too much information, that we are overwhelmed?
        2. our knowlege is built upon layers and layers of abstraction, that we don’t see the foundation now? Maybe it’s like reading some cryptic or dry writing, and one is forced to ask, ‘can you give an exmple?’ Here, it’s ‘go gaze at the stars!.’

  18. John Mc

    Re: Payday Lending Wash Post Article

    The KSU Stats Professor who is working with the payday loan industry is such a disappointment. It makes me ill to see these kinds of corporate/academic alliances, when it has been clear for decades how predatory debt is used as a weapon to impoverish entire communities.

    This not only highlights individual professors as sell outs, but it also speaks to the pressures of publish or perish in a coveting of tenured positions (leading to unsavory alliances, poorly designed or obtuse research methods, and manipulated data) obsession.

    If we can learn something from Bill Black here, it leads to a Gresham’s Dynamic where more and more academics sell out because of the culture within academia (which has been carefully constructed over the past 30 years in the Neoliberal era).

    So upset by this.

  19. Michael

    Fed chairman Powell testifying before Congress on MMT:

    “I haven’t really seen a carefully worked out description of what MMT is. It may exist.”

    “I have heard some pretty extreme claims about it and I don’t know whether that’s fair or not.”

    “The idea that deficits don’t matter is wrong.”

    A true scholar who is aware of the broad spectrum of ideas in his area of expertise. Def not a tool of the banking industry. /sarc

    1. Synoia

      I bought a copy of Wray’s MMT book from Amazon, and sent it directly to Powell

      Shipping Address

      Jerome H. Powell, Chairman US Federal Reserve Syst
      WASHINGTON, DC 20551
      United States

      Charged on March 1, 2018

      1. Massinissa

        Powell will never read it, but Wray will appreciate it, so its definitely money well spent.

        And if we are lucky Powell will give it to a library or something.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          And if a hundred thousand people send Powell a hundred thousand copies of that book, it might make the local news.

    2. JohnnyGL

      “I’ve been trying to insulate myself from changing my mind and learning stuff, but this MMT thing keeps seeping in. I’m doing my best to avoid it.”

      I love this….“The idea that deficits don’t matter is wrong.” LOL!!! Pay no mind that 3 consecutive Republican administrations have smashed the idea with a sledge hammer!!!

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Deficits matter.

      Per MMT, a major limit to deficit spending is the availability of real resources that can be obtained.

      From there, one might ask, does it tempt the sovereign, the state or the empire to ‘get more real resources,’ in order to spend more?

      Does it exacerbate imperial adventurism?

      Is this what we have been seeing empirically?

      1. skippy

        Slack labour is the key resource being talked about, adventurism you say – see history and currency dynamics of the day for at least 5000 years. Closer to home one might think a cold war hangover is more likely than say a simplistic money [tm] factor.

        Do try the link to Lars above.

          1. skippy

            The range of things a JG could engage is not strictly limited to Oil dependency, in the currant usage, per se more local needs that diminish FF consumption. The trick is informing others the Government is not broke so we don’t need to keep chucking everything into the market and thus privatizing all. Then someone will tell you about the need to tighten your belt for moral wanting.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              You have labor, and you have oil.

              On labor, the domestic labor has been replaced with global labor. So far, not a limiting factor, as more and more countries have ‘opened up,’ either voluntarily or not.

              So, the question, from the point first raised here, relating to labor, is, has deficit spending led to a need to expand that global labor resource (as production has been outsourced) to more and more places all over the world, and more adventurism?

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Indian Air Strikes Reported, Pakistan Claims IAF Jets Dropped Payload ‘in Open’ The Wire (J-LS)

    Some people talk about Russia, China, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. getting together (in a big block) and presenting a challenge to the existing order.

    It may go as smoothly as envisioned.

  21. Carolinian

    Interesting story about the paint problems cropping up on the work of O’Keeffe and others. It demonstrates that the archive problem doesn’t just apply to our digital era. In the film world most color film from the last century is subject to deterioration due to the organic dyes that were part of the chemistry. Processes that used inorganic–Kodachrome–or a black and white taking medium–the original Technicolor–do better Meanwhile books or photographs not printed on acid free paper will deteriorate. Of course with digital there’s the additional question of whether any work that depends on software intervention to be viewed or read can be accessed by some distant generation. But whether it’s software or paint or paper the problem may be much the same–humans may need to stick around, vigilantly maintaining.

  22. anonreader

    Suffer the children and those who try to protect them.
    That is the world of entertainment, and of politics, and of religions.
    One shudders to think of Rhinestone Cowboy compromises to get on stage or on radio.
    Where are the Internet auteurs to document the debauchery?

  23. polecat

    Maybe what’s needed, is a new order of monks, to faithfully recreate …as close as possible to the originals …thus maintaining an archive of the works of the ancients … so that there will still be records of import through the coming centuries, when things completely crack up ! We could even give it a label : The Order of St. Leibowitz
    … ‘;]

        1. Wukchumni

          Must’ve been the era of uncertainty, and another excellent book along the same post apocalyptic lines also from 1959, is Alas Babylon, a good read.

  24. Cal2

    “What Happens If All the People Who Disapprove of Trump Vote For a Democrat?”

    More importantly,
    ‘What Happens if all the people who disapproved of the last Democratic candidate voted for a Democrat?’

    Joe Rogan’s hour long interview with Tulsi Gabbard has left me in awe.

    On every single issue that’s important, she has a carefully articulated position that shows thought and knowledge. If she were to be the candidate, she would kick Trump’s ass.

    Tulsi or Trump.

    The corporate DeMICrats can’t smear her the way they can, and have, smeared Bernie.
    Plus there’s the age factor. Tulsi is young and Millennials will identify more with her then Sanders.
    Sanders with Tulsi as a Vice Presidential nominee would be unstoppable.

    1. Milton

      I’m with Tulsi as she checks most of the boxes important to me and I can’t continue with my eternal search for the perfect candidate. One thing, I attempted to send a donation from her official site and was promptly redirected to an actblue server. The Gabbard campaign did not get a donation from me that day. Instead I snail-mailed a check.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Common – all us guys are thinking it. Makes a great change from all those politicians in their 70s and 80s who should have put themselves out to pasture long ago.

          1. pretzelattack

            caitlin johnstone wrote an article about that today–“mummified gerontocrat says she didn’t know about cell phones or the internet“.

  25. ewmayer

    “What Happens If All the People Who Disapprove of Trump Vote For a Democrat? | Washington Monthly” — Ooh, wait, I know this one! Answer: They get outnumbered-or-near-enough-to by All the People Who Disapprove of the Democrats and Who Vote For Trump, thus middle-fingering the corrupt big$-Dems a 2nd time in a row. What do I win?

  26. Oregoncharles

    From “How CNN Led Facebook To Censor… “:
    “Although Khalek and Sparks detailed their editorial independence at Maffick extensively, Griffin remained incredulous at the reality that officials working at the Kremlin are not dictating what specific stories should be covered. ”

    So why would CNN be so certain that the ownership dictates the reporting? Not speaking from experience, is he?

  27. The Rev Kev

    Richard V – thanks for the great image of that male Indian Paradise Flycatcher. It really is a stunning bird, isn’t it?

Comments are closed.