Recent Items

Links 3/10/19

Hungry 20-tonne whale mistook diver for a sardine and tried to swallow him Metro.co.uk Make time to watch the amazing video.

Martin Shkreli “Didn’t” Call The WSJ From Prison To Remind Everyone That He Is Still Doing Crimes Dealbreaker

Physicists are decoding math-y secrets of knitting to make bespoke materials Ars Technica

Levi’s now blending hemp with cotton for more sustainable fabric TreeHugger

Chimpanzee Culture Is Disappearing Thanks to Climate Change, Study Finds Motherboard

Eric Hobsbawm, the Joy of History and All That Jazz Consortium News

Jussie Smollett is facing up to 48 YEARS behind bars after being hit with 16 charges over claims that he staged a homophobic and racist attack to help him get a pay rise Daily Mail: re Silc: “manafort will do far less time usa usa.”

Ethiopian Airlines plane crashes and kills all 157 people on board just six minutes after take-off as witnesses say fire crews arrived at the scene two hours after the Boeing 737 came down Daily Mail. Notice the ‘plane is a brand new Boeing 347 MAX aircraft – the same model as the Lion Air aircraft that crashed in Indonesia October.

Families of Lion Air 737 crash victims file lawsuit against Boeing KOMO News

Waste Watch

Trader Joe’s is Eliminating a Million Pounds of Plastic From Its Stores Grub Street. A drop in the bucket? Perhaps. Whenever I’m in the US and stop into Trader Joe’s, I’m srtuck by the amount of plastics waste. So much so that I avoid shopping there for fruits and vegetables, because they’re all swathed in plastic. So, glad to see them trying to clean up their act.

Climate change is wreaking havoc on Italy’s olive harvests Inhabitat (re Silc)

Fukushima: current state of the clean-up Phys.org (chuck l)

Syraqistan

(Urgent): YouTube terminates Middle East Observer after almost 10 years online The Saker (chuck l)

Algeria

Algeria’s antiquities museum looted during massive protest Euronews

Algeria shuts universities as rallies pile pressure on Bouteflika Al Jazeera

Gilets Jaunes

Yellow vests protest for 17th consecutive week as Macron’s ‘grand debate’ reaches its final weeks Euronews

Brexit

French customs strike delays Eurostar, airports ahead of Brexit France 24

Brexit: the next steps EUReferendum.com

Karen Bradley’s ‘mistake’ was more than ignorance – it reveals the political class’s disregard for Irish life Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

Sam McBride: The last fig leaf of scrutiny of NI civil servants is illusory; it is they who rule News Letter (guurst)

Labour and Antisemitism London Review of Books

China?

I’d side with rich China over fickle US: Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad SCMP

Venezuela

Venezuela – Three Total Blackouts In Three Days – Government Presumes U.S. Cyberattack Moon of Alabama (The Rev Kev)

Venezuela’s Maduro thanks military for defeating ‘coup’ BBC

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Mark Zuckerberg’s boast about Facebook’s data storage was torn apart by human rights groups Business Insider (furzy)

US Re-Imprisons Manning To Coerce Her To Testify Against WikiLeaks Caitlin Johnstone (The Rev Kev)

Police State Watch

A viral video that appears to show police officers searching a cancer patient’s hospital room for marijuana sparked outrage on social media Business Insider (The Rev Kev)

India

Lok Sabha elections: EC to announce polling dates at 5 pm on Sunday Scroll.in

Air pollution crisis: Can India ape China in tackling the problem? Economic Times

Ilhan Omar: Obama’s a ‘pretty face’ who got ‘away with murder’ NY Post

25-Year-Old FOIA Request Confirms FOIA Delays Continue Unabated National Security Archive (chuck l)

2020

The Republican Planning to Run Against Trump in 2020 New Yorker (furzy)

Bernie Sanders-Style Politics Are Defining 2020 Race, Unnerving Moderates MSN (re Silc)

First-time voters for Bernie Sanders don’t care about his age, say he speaks to what matters to them and would’ve voted for him in 2016 Business Insider. furzy:  “and Biden is 76, but no die hard party Dems are saying he’s too old!!….pathetic…” Moi: Not to mention Bloomberg’s no spring chicken either. Nor for that matter is HRC.

‘It’s a bit much’: Beto drags out his 2020 tease at South by Southwest Politico

Trump Transition

FLORIDA MASSAGE PARLOR OWNER MAY HAVE SOLD CHINESE EXECUTIVES ACCESS TO TRUMP Vanity Fair (re Silc)

GOING BACKWARDS: Trump To Slash Renewables Funding in New Budget Common Dreams

Tax “Reform”

Dems seek relief for worried taxpayers in tough filing season The Hill

Senators Urge IRS to Focus on Big-Time Tax Cheats, Citing ProPublica Stories ProPublica

Tax collectors chase rich New Yorkers moving to low-tax states. Auditors inspect cell records, even your dog’s vet bills CNBC

Class Warfare

Making the World Safe for Oligopoly American Conservative

If We’re Going to Break Up Big Tech, We Shouldn’t Forget Big Telecom Motherboard

Would Expanded Criminal Background Checks Hurt Federal Job Applicants? Marshall Project

Amazon’s Tax Breaks and Incentives Were Big. Hudson Yards’ Are Bigger. NYT

From Meyer London to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Jacobin

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterdays Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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187 comments

  1. notabanker

    Italy’s olives:
    All signs point to a continually increasing problem for European countries, as putting a stop to climate change is proving to be an intricate issue
    Food austerity. Turns out Mother Nature is a neoliberal. Hoocoodanode?

    1. urblintz

      My sister has been living in Spain the past 3 years and 2 seasons ago I went over to help her and her neighbors pick olives from their private (and quite abundant) olive groves. It was a genuine cultural experience that I enjoyed. This season there were almost no olives to pick. If anyone has traveled through the south of Spain you will know of the massive, endless ( and corporate, alas) olive groves. I can’t imagine that anything but panic has set in given the part olives play in the Spanish economy.

    2. polecat

      “putting a stop to climate change” .. to which I say “good luck to that !”.

      That phrase should be dropped from the whole climate debate like a hot-house potato, unless one thinks that untested ‘mitigation techniques’ are the answer.
      Adaptation is where it’s at !

    3. Adam Eran

      I’ve read that for every one degree of warming, food production is projected to decline 10%…

      Meanwhile, Michael Pollan says that U.S. industrial agriculture burns 10 calories of petroleum for every one calorie of food it produces–hence the dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi and other rivers because of the pesticides and fertilizer rinsed off those Midwestern cornfields.

      On a happier note, it doesn’t have to be this way. See Mark Shepherd’s Restoration Agriculture

      1. LyonNightroad

        When you consider that 1% of total global energy use is devoted just to making fertilizer, that seems very believable.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          And considering that almost all of that 1% energy use is devoted to making Haber-Bosch Nitrogen fertilizer . . . . which is totally unnecessary given the ability of numerous microbes aBOVE and beYOND just rizobia to bio-fix Nitrogen . . . cutting that !% to near zero would be easy to do on the small to medium size farms.

          Overmechanized understaffed huge Corporate Soviet farms would have a harder time doing without Haber-Bosch. A Hansen carbon punitax would make them pay . . . and charge . . . for their Haber-Bosch-driven natural gas use.

          1. LyonNightroad

            Do you have any thoughts on what the human carrying capacity of the planet is without Haber-Bosch?

            1. The Rev Kev

              Heard once that the actual carrying capacity of the planet for humans is actually 500 million to 1 billion using sustainable agricultural practices. If you have more that that, it gives you overpopulation, water wars, massive pollution, climate change, unsustainable suburbia, overuse of depleting resources, etc.

            2. drumlin woodchuckles

              Here is a true-life example of a reasonably mechanized farmer running a 5,000 acre operation who gets more overall net-net FOOD off his farm withOUT Haber-Bosch than what his Haber-Bosch mono-crop neighbors are getting WITH Haber-Bosch.
              Here is a whole big menu of videos by and/or about farmer Gabe Brown in North Dakota and what he is achieving withOUT Haber-Bosch.
              https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=AwrJ7FW_s4VceFMA5ilXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–?p=you+tube+gabe+brown&fr=sfp

              If this were really nothing but a lie all along, it seems to me that Brown would have been “outed” by now. But he hasn’t been. So I am accepting this as true.

              So . . . IFF! all the land currently undergoing the Haber-Bosch treatment were managed by Gabe Brown methods instead; then yes, we could support the same human population we are now supporting.

              1. LyonNightroad

                Thanks for sharing this with me. I find it very interesting.

                While there are still many other energy intense processes involved in the production of the world’s food supply (and all of the infrastructure that makes it possible), Haber-Bosch feels like the starting point to reduce energy needs for large scale agriculture.

                Knowing that we can all eat without abundant, cheap energy would reduce some of my anxiety.

                1. drumlin woodchuckles

                  Gabe Brown’s farm is still mechanized, powered by tractors and etc. Because he runs a no-till operation, he probably has fewer tractor passes and hence less fuel use than a mechanical-tillage-based operation. I don’t know how much tractor fuel he still requires. Or combine fuel. Or other engine fuel.

                  The question arises . . . can these tractors and etc. run on plant-derived oils? If so, what percent of any farm would need to be planted for crushable oil-seeds or other veggie-oil source to power the machinery needed to operate that farm? If the percent is low enough to be acceptable, then the mechanized-engine farm is not-a-problem. If that percent is too high to permit meaningful food production from the land not producing veggie-diesel for the farm’s engines; then farming would have to go all the way back to horses, oxen and people supplying as much of the power as possible and using fuel only for things humans and other animals cannot do through brute force over time. In which case, the only way to feed current populations is for most of those populations to be re-settled onto the land their ancestors either left or were driven from.

                  The fuel-for-power side of the problem is something I have no answer for. The replacement of Haber-Bosch Nchems with microbial bio-fixed Nchems is easy and straightforward by comparison.

    4. Oregoncharles

      OTOH, it will be feasible to grow olives in western Oregon; there already is a grove near Salem, 40 miles from here. They can be interspersed with the millions of hazelnuts. Then maybe citrus – there are a few hardy citrus; I have one growing – no flowers yet.

      The real issue for olives here is the damp in the winter, but stock from wetter areas like NW Spain should be OK.

      1. Cal2

        If you determine at the gate that the plane you are about to board is a 737, loudly demand a different flight with another kind of aircraft that is safe.

        When enough passengers do this, the planes will be grounded until authentically repaired.

          1. Klimashkina

            apparently it’s the new ones. they have a new anti-stall software algorithm compared to the old ones… that may not have been notified to airlines and pilots.

    1. Wukchumni

      This issue with 737’s reminds me of the de Havilland DH 106 Comet…

      The de Havilland DH 106 Comet was the world’s first commercial jet airliner. Developed and manufactured by de Havilland at its Hatfield Aerodrome in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, the Comet 1 prototype first flew in 1949. It featured an aerodynamically clean design with four de Havilland Ghost turbojet engines buried in the wing roots, a pressurised cabin, and large square windows. For the era, it offered a relatively quiet, comfortable passenger cabin and was commercially promising at its debut in 1952.

      However, within a year of entering airline service, problems started to emerge, with three Comets lost within twelve months in highly publicised accidents, after suffering catastrophic in-flight break-ups. Two of these were found to be caused by structural failure resulting from metal fatigue in the airframe, a phenomenon not fully understood at the time. The other one was due to overstressing of the airframe during flight through severe weather. The Comet was withdrawn from service and extensively tested. Design and construction flaws, including improper riveting and dangerous concentrations of stress around some of the square windows, were ultimately identified. As a result, the Comet was extensively redesigned, with oval windows, structural reinforcements and other changes. Rival manufacturers meanwhile heeded the lessons learned from the Comet while developing their own aircraft.

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

    2. Lambert Strether

      Here is the latest (last) post from the Professional Pilots Rumor Network. This, on the same thread, caught my eye. It’s pure speculation that this is an MCAS error, a la Lion Air, but the larger points made are interesting:

      A common feature in recent aircraft accidents is erroneous data being generated by angle of attack and airspeed devices. The big problem is that modern autopilot systems will largely compensate for the faulty readings and continue to fly and trim the aircraft [via e.g. MCAS] until control can no longer be maintained and the whole mess is dumped back in the lap of the pilots.

      The only reason so much importance is placed on angle of attack indicators is that they allow the aircraft to be flown higher and closer to aerodynamic limits, thus reducing drag and reducing fuel costs. In other words, the aircraft can be routinely flown closer to a stall in order to save money. It all works fine, until something goes wrong and it doesn’t.

      Placing new and bigger engines under the wing of the latest Boeing 737 aircraft necessitated the engines be mounted further forward on the wings, increasing pitch up moment when full power was commanded. A powerful and automatic trim system [MCAS] is designed to minimise pilot workload with power changes, but as other posters have pointed out, the full implications of the best way of swiftly identifying a fault and how to best carry out reversion to manual flight have not been fully thought out and implemented. A trim system that is more powerful than the primary flight controls seems like a very bad design choice.

      Two apparently very similar loss of control incidents on a new aircraft design seems more than a coincidence. It is also a matter of concern that in both cases it would appear that the pilots had visual contact with the ground and yet still lost control of the aircraft.

      Comments from aircraft mavens in the readership?

      1. Norello

        I asked an insider in airplane design what the hell happened here. He said this failure was because of corrupt management and that it all came down to money. The only reason for a flight control system to be used that was known to be defective is that was a selling point to save a little bit of money on fuel with efficiency. If they changed the system used it could necessitate a redesign of the plane which could cause the delivery to be months late. More development time to fix the flight control problem was another option, but there is no guarentee the problem would be solved and again the delivery would be late. Management incentives would be at play there.

        Furthermore, previously the wsj reported the engineers devolving the system knew of the problem and training could be done to prevent a crash (pilots kill the automatic flight in certain conditions). The reason that never happened is because the plane buyers would question if the product is defective and at worst cancel the order entirely. A lot of money was on the line if that happened. If the plane was marketed on the basis of efficiency by changing the flight control system then that may have threatened the contract.

        The bottom line this got pushed through because executives were going to be out some money or even their jobs if they couldn’t deliver as promised.

        He said the planes should all be grounded but all the dirty money from Boeing prevents that from happening. After asking about the revolving door in the industry the examples he gave on the military side in the past 50 years were mind blowing. I’m cynical and paranoid to the extreme, even so what he told me was far beyond what I could have imagined. I don’t know if what was going on was technically legal or not, either way there is no way I’m posting it in public (god only knows what kind of government list or visit I’d get).

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Martin Shkreli “Didn’t” Call The WSJ From Prison To Remind Everyone That He Is Still Doing Crimes”

    If there was only some technology in a handy device to jam mobile phones so that they cannot receive phone calls. Some sort of mobile phone jammer. And if only there was some law like the UK’s 2010 Crime and Security Act which makes possession of a mobile phone punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. If only guards had the right to go into a cell and to toss it to find such illegal contraband. If only Martin Shkreli could be forced to share a prison cell with a six foot seven inch body builder named Casper who needed Daraprim to treat a medical condition.

  3. David

    I’m glad the Anglophone media is starting to take an interest in the situation in Algeria, because it promises to get very bad very quickly. As you would expect, if you know the country at all, it is horrendously complicated, but there are two things to bear in mind here that make it easier to understand.

    The current demonstrations are against Bouteflika’s candidature for a fifth mandate after twenty years in power. However, this is not your usual strongman refusing to leave power story. Bouteflika was a figure in the independence war, and a young and charismatic foreign minister in the 1960s and 70s, during Algeria’s period of high-profile support for anti-colonialism. After twenty years in exile, he returned to lead the country out of the nightmare of the civil war of the 90s against the islamists. With his policy of reconciliation and of amnistie/amnésie (amnesty and forgetting) he stabilised the country. The anger of the protesters is less against him personally than against the lack of any real economic progress in the last two decades, increasing corruption and nepotism and a massive young population with nothing to do (I was told a few years ago that there are precisely two cinemas in Algiers). The government has bought off the islamists by letting them have much more influence over society (restaurants now tend not to serve wine, for example), and tried to buy off the general population with social programmes funded by exports of petrochemicals. But they have run out of road. The problem is that Bouteflika has been ill for years, and it’s not clear whether he wanted to run, or is even aware that he is running. But the establishment, a shifting and ill-defined group of politicians from the FLN and other parties, businessmen linked to them, and the security forces, has not been able to agree on another candidate, and so Bouteflika has been put forward more out off desperation than anything else. The government is recycling the idea that, unless the demonstrations are stopped, there is the risk of a new civil war breaking out, but few people are convinced.

    Secondly, the opposition is not in a much better state. Bouteflika will win if his candidature is not withdrawn, partly because he retains some legitimacy, but also because the opposition is hopelessly divided. The demonstrators (a million on Friday) want him to stand down, but can’t agree on anything else. So effectively we have an establishment which is reluctantly backing a useless consensus candidate because it can’t find another, and an opposition which opposes the candidate but has nothing else to suggest.

    There are signs of some cracks in the system. Veterans of the independence war have begun to distance themselves from Bouteflika, and the Army, which staged a coup in the 90s to prevent the islamists from winning the elections, will not intervene again. Increasingly, the Army is made up of younger officers with no particular investment in the independence war, and in many cases no experience in the civil war either. The Police, who played a restrained role in Friday’s demonstrations, are not going to die for the establishment either. Al Jazeera showed footage of police and demonstrators shaking hands, and the reports in Le Monde quoted policemen on the streets as agreeing that Bouteflika had to go.

    Why is this important? Well, Algeria is a country of 42M people, an oil and gas producer, a key regional player and a state which has borders with practically all of the current regional trouble spots. It has a generally well educated and politically active population. Large numbers of Algerians have emigrated to France, where they or their children often occupy important positions in government, business etc. The French government is watching this problem as you might watch an unexploded bomb, desperately hoping that things go right, and not wanting to intervene (though there are pressures to do so) for fear of complicating yet further the almost incomprehensibly difficult and sensitive relationship between the two countries. Watch this space.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Thanks for the synopsis.

      Sounds like one of those situations where there’s a bunch of fractured players that are powerful enough to exercise a veto over the other players, but none are powerful enough to establish control.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Thank you David! I always look for your comments on France and will now also look for your comments on Algeria. The story you told of the Algerian situation as JohnnyGL so well encapsulated it: “…fractured players that are powerful enough to exercise a veto over the other players, but none are powerful enough to establish control.” — describes the condition of politics in many places now.

        1. JohnnyGL

          Yeah, I had the UK in mind, too.

          May’s too weak to pass legislation, but strong enough to keep the peace among Tories. Hard Brexiteers are strong enough to torpedo May, but only represent a narrow, mostly wealthy faction of disaster capitalists.

          Corbyn’s got some strong grassroots elements, and might be strong enough to win a general election, but still has dangerous Blairite centrists who can stop him, or at least damage him. The Blairites themselves are too weak and too discredited to govern.


          Everyone’s got a hand of the steering wheel, but no one can turn it. Instead, they’re all cancelling each other out and driving straight ahead and over the ‘no deal’ cliff!!! :)

          1. Lambert Strether

            > Everyone’s got a hand of the steering wheel, but no one can turn it. Instead, they’re all cancelling each other out and driving straight ahead and over the ‘no deal’ cliff!!! :)

            No, they don’t. May threw the steering wheel out the window in a game of chicken….

    2. Adam Eran

      Thanks.

      One wonders whether our libertarian plutocrats are playing any role here. Kochs are definitely in the oil business, and anything to discredit or cripple any public policy machinery is something they would welcome. Trump is, in effect, doing their bidding with things like the government shutdown over the wall. He could have passed wall funding when he had congress on his side, but the contentiousness, divisiveness, and the shutdown were the points of his actions…not the wall.

    3. ewmayer

      Many thanks for the detailed summary, David – re. your “a massive young population with nothing to do” note, let’s put some numbers on that: My mac dictionary app is just about 10 years old (copyright notice shows “2005-2009”, and its entry for Algeria states a population of 32M. So a 30% net population gain in a mere 10 years – that will certainly exacerbate whatever other problems the country faces.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      The downside risk of the anglo-media world taking an interest in Algerian affairs is that the anglo-governator class will then take an interest. And then try to do another Arab Spring and another Color Revolution Regime Change to show they can “get it right this time”.

      Algeria would be better off if the anglo-mediashpere were to continue taking zero interest even though the events are interesting.

    5. Foy

      Thanks very much David. Comments like this are why I love NakedCapitalism. Another quality example of why NC has a commentariat like no other…

  4. Shonde

    In addition to the New York Post article in today’s link, Rep. Ilhan Omar got a double whammy in her home town newspaper today, one of which made page one.

    http://www.startribune.com/ilhan-omar-s-actions-fuel-fresh-doubts-divisions-in-her-district/506932182/

    http://www.startribune.com/rep-ilhan-omar-s-remarks-on-president-obama-stir-up-fresh-furor/506933232/

    I am not happy that she back tracked after the Politico article came out and said in a tweet that she had been misquoted and actually liked Obama. However, in my imagination I picture Pelosi calling her and telling her, “This is the last straw”.

      1. Olga

        On the other hand, it is refreshing to hear someone speak the truth. But she will be made to pay a price.

        1. integer

          As far as paying a price, I’m hoping the Road Runner (Omar) and Wile. E. Coyote (the establishment) dynamic will continue. In any case, I think she knows what she’s getting herself into:

          “I am certainly not looking to be comfortable, and I don’t want everyone necessarily to feel comfortable around me. I think really the most exciting things happen when people are extremely uncomfortable.” – Ilhan Omar

          1. Lemmy Caution

            I’m sensing some similarity in thought and language regarding the use of the word “comfortable” by Cortez and Omar.

            Remember when Peggy Noonan tweeted about AOC’s demeanor during the State of the Union address:

            “AOC had a rare bad night, looking not spirited, warm and original as usual but sullen, teenaged and at a loss.”

            AOC tweet in response also employed the word “comfortable”:

            “Why should I be “spirited and warm” for this embarrassment of a #SOTU?

            Tonight was an unsettling night for our country. The president failed to offer any plan, any vision at all, for our future.

            We’re flying without a pilot. And I‘m not here to comfort anyone about that fact.”

            Almost like they jointly decided to employ the word and concept of comfortable to mean the status quo, business as usual, don’t rock the boat, etc. Seems their attitude is going to be if you’re not uncomfortable, you’re part of the problem.

            1. Dallas C. Galvin

              More than status quo or ‘rocking any boats,’ there’s a history here. Pull back to the Bush-Cheney Iraq Invasion years, and you will find the Air Force Joint Chief of Staff using the term “comfortable” to refer to officials “accepting” “collateral deaths” in Iraq. (I’ll look for the correct name and attribution; don’t have it off hand. I wanted to get this note off quickly) At the time, it — comfortable with — curdled my blood. . . and then fury ensued. I’ve not forgotten it.
              However, at that time (2001–2005), the use of phrases incorporating “comfortable with” (usually attached either to a heinous act or situation) was common, particularly among the U.S. military brass, policy wonks, and the administration.
              When I read that AOC had used the same term in referring to the SOTU, I was tickled. Noonan be damned! I do not know — and doubt there was a conscious decision derived from those days (when AOC would have been about 13) — that she or Omar are trying to flip that bizarre linguistic construct. However, given the butchering that the Republicans have given to the English language, I’ll take any course correction, flip, or finger I can get!

          2. jsn

            Sounds like an adrenaline junkie. I’ve worked with people like this, it will likely get very exciting.

            Trying to frighten such people tends to produce something quite different from the expected result. It will be interesting to see if such a person can hold their seat in Congress.

            If she is reelected, it will tell us a lot about her electorate and how corporate media is perceived in her district.

            1. a different chris

              Also note that “they” have a lot, lot more to lose than she does. At worst she goes back to being whatever, after what she went threw growing up it won’t seem so bad. Other truth tellers will follow regardless, we’re at that junction where instead of scaring people b shutting them up you just make more people mad.

              Ms Pelosi and associates simply can’t imagine not being the Center Of The World. And that is their glass jaw.

          3. lyman alpha blob

            That was a great quote by her. Reminded me of the old saying “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.

            Couldn’t remember who said that originally – I thought it might be Mother Jones, the real one, not the current rag – but after a search it turns out it was a muckraking journalist named Finley Peter Dunne who coincidentally also coined the phrase used on NC from time to time – “politics ain’t beanbag”.

            She’s putting herself in very good company.

            1. remmer

              Dunne’s Mr. Dooley also said “The Supreme Court follows the election returns.” You’d think he was writing about the early 21st century instead of the early 20th.

        2. Carolinian

          I’m with you. And she was already going to be made to pay the price. She might as well use her platform to get some truth out there while she has the chance.

        3. marym

          Interesting that Omar’s questioning of Eliot Abrams, and US intervention in Latin America got in and out of the news cycle pretty quickly. Better for the MSM not to talk about that at all, since neocons and r2p’s are all on board with intervention?

          Meanwhile, today’s twitter flutter is a Fox news personality saying Omar’s head covering may indicate disloyalty to the Constitution, keeping the focus on identity politics where “both sides” of the establishment are most comfortable.

      2. tokyodamage

        If telling the truth and having huge balls is the definition of a tin ear, then I wish all politicians had that much of a tin ear

        1. Hopelb

          Yes! I wish she would have doubled down saying, “ I liked Obama. And I should have included likability along with being polished and having a pretty face in my assessment.”

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Wouldn’t it be neat if someone were to ask Sanders what he thinks of Omar’s “Obama” comment?

        Wouldn’t it be even neater if Sanders put on his sorrowest sadface and said ” I wish she were wrong”.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Stoller keeps saying (paraphrasing brutally) that Democrats will never take power (as opposed to taking office) unless they confront the debacle that the Obama administration was.

          I do wonder how much of Obama hagiography is expressed because people think the other person loves him. Omar has made a lot of conversations previously not thought possible, possible, I think.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Pelosi can strip her committee seat. That’s the ace to play in the near term

      Establishment can also throw a primary challenge, but that’s a bit more dicey. A failed primary challenge would make the establishment look like they’re losing control.

      1. JohnnyGL

        From Pelosi’s standpoint, she can’t get too aggressive on squashing Omar because Bernie looks like he may be a strong contender for 2020, so Pelosi might need to play nice if she wants to stay speaker, because a strong Bernie 2020, will bring localized coattails. That means, for 2020, potentially…if I can paraphrase from ‘The Wire’…

        …there’s more Omars coming!!!

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmtuRRhtGQw

              1. Tyrannocaster

                Yes, you’re correct. For some reason I was thinking House terms are four years, but of course, they are two. And yet, for some reason, I have the figure of “4” in my faulty memory.

    2. nippersdad

      In my comments on Pelosi, Vargas, Engel, Lowey and Deutsche’s pages, I have been using the phrase “political lynching of a black woman on behalf of Bibi Netanyahu’s political action committee” quite a bit. Who ever said that only Democratic leadership could weaponize “harmful tropes”?

      If that is the argument that they want to have, we should be more than happy to give it to them.

      1. Eureka Springs

        It’s been fascinating watching Omar create this hairline crack in the paint. She deserves much credit. But the wall held. The hazers won. Turning an fake/lie of an “anti-semite bill into an fake/lie of an anti-hate bill for AIPAC at lightning speed while arm twisting all but 23 members of the House into voting for a false premise and the Benjamin’s. Even Omar the truth teller voted against herself. Once again this demonstrated the power of supremacy and delusion which so many are willing to operate under. Even the vast majority of the left twitters fell for it. The power of the lobby and actual supremacy they demand. AIPAC, the Lanisters have once again spayed their pets in broad daylight.

        1. nippersdad

          I saw that much differently. The speed with which they backtracked after Sanders weighed in was astonishing to me. After the changes in that resolution, truly dramatic ones, it looked to me like the hazers were being hazed. They had to do some kind of triage after a debacle of that magnitude, and one that ended up singling out twenty three Republicans for future ridicule was a master stroke IMHO.

          What I have been most looking forward to since the first censure is how the anti-BDS bill will be handled in the House. If it comes up now I will eat my hat. That is the kind of success that makes watching this process so rewarding.

          1. WheresOurTeddy

            Not sure how “the wall held” when the frontrunner for president publicly backs you and a significant percentage of the population got to witness Vargas making Omar’s point for her.

          2. Eureka Springs

            What backtracking? The change of anti-semite to anti-hate is the only change in tack I saw. Both were false and still addressed in the bill which had nothing to do with what she said. The power, to haze all based on lies in order to distract from facts remained.

            Omar never said anything wrong, anti-semetic or hateful. She spoke of the power of money and the power of demanding allegiance by a member of U.S. Congress to a foreign State.

            All of that prevailed. And so will BDS, the bombing of human beings in a shrinking Gazan cage, false wars upon Syria – Iran etc., and whatever else the lobby demands. Including perhaps especially the ability to demand augments based on merit never ever happen.

          3. lyman alpha blob

            I had the same take. They took a pro-AIPAC resolution aimed at demonizing fake anti-semitism in general and Omar herself specifically and turned it into a resolution that sounded like it was written by Mr. Mackey from SouthPark – “The Great Being-Mean-to-People-is-Bad-M’Kay” resolution of 2019!

            1. Eureka Springs

              https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20190304/BILLS-116hres183-SUSv1.pdf

              The first words on the bill –

              RESOLUTION
              Condemning anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intoler-ance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States and con-demning anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States.

            2. nippersdad

              Just speaking for myself, I thought that the elimination of the first draft’s definition of anti-semitism, written by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and subsumed into the text by reference, made all the difference in the world. Definitions matter, and I was pleased to see that that one was deep-sixed.

              The AIPAC brigade were trying to define the terms of debate, and that effort was clearly rejected by both the Progressive and Black caucuses. As for the rest, inclusion of such things as the Dreyfuss Affair aren’t things that you can railroad someone on, so why not leave it in there? As triage goes, it looked like they did a pretty good job of it.

              1. skk

                well that’s good news that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism was deep-sixed. Because the IHRA working definition conflates the two by characterising everything other than anodyne criticism of Israel as anti-Semitic
                The UK’s Labour Party has got caught up in this subterfuge by adopting the definition and then having to backtrack and remove some examples and the un-backtrack and put them back in.
                What a mess !
                And who else BUT Israel’s Irgun-wing Zionists have created this mess ? I have to be specific of which Israelis are behind this because other Israeli organizations have been prominent in criticizing the definition.
                This is also an insight of how the sausage is made in the inner workings of political organizations. Don’t they have better things to do ? Don’t they have a day job instead of crafting crafty documents ?

            3. Lambert Strether

              I think transforming a resolution that says (or strongly implies) that “Omar said anti-semitic things about Israel, which is bad” into a resolution that says “bad things are bad” is a win, and Omar and her supporters should take the win.

              When you think about it, it’s amazing that the liberal Democrat leadership was forced to back off. It’s a real confession of weakness. More like this, please.

        2. John k

          Neoliberal Rome won’t be demolished in a day. Or…
          The longest journey begins with a single step.

    3. Chris Cosmos

      Omar is stretching limits and that means directly threatening Pelosi’s rule–she doesn’t like it. As Schumer warned Trump about not f*cking with the CIA “they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” Let me clarify that for you. The CIA, Pelosi or anyone else in power will give you a lot of rope, but when you step over the line you are history one way or the other. That doesn’t mean they’ll kill you physically but they can kill your career in other ways as Cynthia McKinney found out. So let’s give Omar some space to maneuver.

      1. KB

        Yes that….She happens to be my US Representative. I predict no concrete material benefits coming back to our district in the near future, if ever.

        1. John k

          So… she replaced somebody that brought you lots of goodies?
          In any case change is usually uncomfortable, sometimes even dangerous. But so is the status quo; foreign wars, opioids, no infra and fot many crappy health care, and unplayable student debt being the benefits many districts get now.
          I wish my district was similarly represented.

          1. KB

            You are preaching to the choir, John….My response was to timotheus….I see her differently is all. I won’t get my hopes up until she earns my respect. So far including her 2 year stint in the Minnesota House I have seen nothing to get excited about…To me, she appears too self interested. It’s a gut instinct I guess. I already got burned by Clinton, Obama, and Bernie….and all the rest…I’ll get excited when I do. For now being cautious is self preservation.

      2. nippersdad

        If one looks at what he has actually said, she is bringing up an issue that makes the Democratic Party look like bought hypocrites. How can anyone be against international human rights” Against big money in politics? Against war criminals?

        It is not that she is making herself the issue, but that the Democrats are going out of their way to make her an issue for having the gall to underscore their moral bankruptcy. Every time she opens her mouth they prove her contentions correct. I hope she continues to do it; I love seeing them doing Chinese fire drills on command.

      3. lyman alpha blob

        If more people had the guts to speak the truth, she wouldn’t be so noticeable personally. The reason she’s getting the attention is that no one in DC has dared to speak like this for years and it’s not her fault her own party – the one that calls for unity and loves women and Muslims and black people when it’s politically convenient – turned against her.

        More power to her. What she’s saying now is what many of us have been waiting for years to hear.

        Time for solidarity, not shooting the messenger,

      4. WJ

        This is false and I suspect also disingenuous. It sounds like the kind of talking point that would be repeated endlessly on corporate media to try to sway that fading minority of its viewers who are not themselves Beltway empty suits.

        I am addressing Timotheus.

        1. Donald

          I agree with you and Lyman alpha bob. She is the first politician I can remember to challenge the Lobby head on and not back down and yes, she stands out for that reason. We need a few hundred more like her.

          And I expect she will be primaried if she isn’t bullied into submission. The arguments that Timotheus and KB cite will be among those used. If she continues to challenge Pelosi, there will lots of talk about her inability to get things done for her district.

          On the other hand, if she caves in then she will be no better or worse than any other Democrat.

      5. Lambert Strether

        > She continues to make herself the issue rather than the issue.

        Well, when one person speaks the truth in the midst of a group of liars, it does tend to look that way. Eh?

        1. a different chris

          This.

          And — how is she making herself the issue? Sounds more like everybody else is trying to make her the issue. I’ve read most everything she’s said at least in the national press, and surprisingly I don’t know if she’s married, don’t know where she went to school, don’t know her favorite food…. so what makes her the issue? I think the issue is what she’s talking about. Which is not herself. Maybe I’m weird that way.

    4. Alain de Benoist

      The strongest card Omar has to play is the race card. She has the Black Congressional Caucus behind her. The primaries are going to be delicate for donor class Democrats: how are they going to find an AIPAC sycophant that can win the black vote in this crowded field? Omar can easily “BBQ Becky” Nancy Pelosi by pointing out how rich and out of touch she is.

      So going after Obama was not a smart political move. She needs to reinforce her black base, not allow Pelosi to “white knight” in defence of Obama.

      Omar needs to just continue tweaking The Taboo every so slightly, always in a defensible way: a strategy of tension. The cucked right will irrationally scream out in protest and bought and paid-for Democrats will be forced to decide whether they stand with Trump and AIPAC on Omar or with the progressives. The result will be that the crevice between right and left over Israel will deepen with each episode. None is this is any good for Kamala Harris.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        None of this is any good for Kamala Harris

        None of this is any good for wage earners. FIFY

        The billionaire elite chuckles every time the plebes find new ways to divide themselves.

        So long as the division is about race, or gender, or age, or religion, or sexual preferences, or headgear, or favorite soda pop and not about class then they are home free with their looting.

      2. WJ

        The best thing about Omar is that she clearly doesn’t believe the twaddle about identity being sold by the Democtrat$. She is able to play that game without actually believing it because she realizes how much hypocrisy drives the other side. Good for her. I wish I could vote for her.

  5. timbers

    Syraqistan

    (Urgent): YouTube terminates Middle East Observer after almost 10 years online The Saker (chuck l)

    I guess we are supposed to get all our News about the Middle East from forces loyal to the current U.S. Regime…(If I may use U.S. mainstream corporate media-speak).

    The list of demonetized youtubes I watch is growing, like Jimmy Dore. Is South From demonetized? How does one tell if something on youtube is demonetized – is there a way to tell besides what I gather from hearing about it?

    I would frequently watch South Front during the early stages when Russia entered to help Syria. I watched RT’s Cross Talk for a while but soon realized South Front was way better, It was best go-to reality based “just the facts, ma’m” type accounting (it reminded me of the old Dragnet TV series “just the facts, ma’m”) I knew of. A foreign accented voice would report in English the battles and outcomes with no political commentary except to tell you which side each represented.

    I believe South Front is associated with RT but I’m not sure and it often linked on The Saker.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      Here is the point we all need to understand: Google and other big players are part of the State now. People mistakenly misunderstood the nature of power in this country as limited to elected office because one of the weaknesses that result from the American obsession with economics is that intellectuals understand very little about political power. Political power involves the applications of coercion and sometimes persuasion but coercion is always the “bottom line” of power. Google, Amazon and the corporations that make up the bulk of a virtual board of directors of the federal (and to a lesser extent local) governments use coercive techniques to enforce their will and because they do they are allowed seats at the table of power to the extent they can use their power. We will see more of this as we move inexorably towards neofeudalism.

      Google has political power and it makes deals with the security services particularly NSA/CIA and others to scratch each others backs and maintain stability. The best way for us to deal with this is move away from YouTube and Google as much as we can. There are good alternative search engines but other video channels aren’t quite there so let’s use YouTube sparingly if we can.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Brexit: the next steps”

    Earlier today I went to listen to the 3 Blokes In The Pub…Talk No Deal Brexit video (https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/08/3-blokes-pub-talk-no-deal-brexit.html) that featured here last September. Going through YouTube this time, I found three more in the series but after watching one, found yet many more in the series. So I watched the one dealing with Brit expats in Spain and it is appalling as they reel off of the consequences of No Deal Brexit. No matter how bad you think it is, they always find another level of Brexit hell as they go into the mechanics. Some of the worse things to come out of their talks is how clueless the people are that are responsible for dealing with Brexit.
    One bloke mentioned that he was talking with a police commissioner. The UK police has access to thirty two EU crime databases which they use every day but that all stops in 18 days. The commissioner had no clue that that would happen but was smart enough to take pages of notes of what this guy was telling him of the consequences. They mentioned too that one Tory minister, Owen Paterson, mentioned several years ago that he wanted UK pensioners to be below-minimum wage fruit pickers to replace eastern European workers. God, you can’t make this stuff up. This is the quality of the so-called elite running Brexit.

    1. flora

      “… you can’t make this stuff up. This is the quality of the so-called elite running Brexit.”

      A few days ago, there was a very interesting exchange here between PlutoniumKun and Colonel Smithers. The ideas seem very plausible to me, considering how the approaching worse result has been carefully stage managed.
      https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/03/brexit-slouching-towards-bethlehem.html#comment-3114294

      The people most hoping for no-deal are keeping themselves anonymous wrt their campaign spending.
      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/09/obscure-no-deal-brexit-group-is-uks-biggest-political-spender-on-facebook

  7. Tyrannocaster

    Got all excited by the Levi’s hemp, but the hemp jeans are only available in white; the other colors are non-hemp. It’s only 30% hemp anyway, so at $128 I will definitely pass. Hemp-based bluejeans are the holy grail for me. So far, they are also priced accordingly, with these being among the less expensive.

    1. jefemt

      Blue is an inherently unstable color, getting it to ‘fix’ and not fade is extremely difficult.

      Remember the admonitions and process of separating the old shrink-to-fit 501’s from other laundry, for several wash cycles?

      Time for a fashion paradigm shift? Function over form?

    2. Lee

      If you are looking for durability rather than style, I recommend Arborwear. Their tree climber pants are made of canvas, have double knees, and a crotch gusset to avoid binding your bits when performing whole body physical labor.

      1. kgw

        Not much, if any, cheaper, but Patagonia has been using hemp in its clothing line for the past few years. Do a search for Worn Wear, the Patagonia “recycled clothing” site: bargains to be had.

    3. Kurt Sperry

      There is also the false assertion that hemp fiber is coarser and less soft than cotton. Well, sure, it is if you use hemp varieties bred to make nautical rope fiber. The Japanese had centuries ago bred varieties that were famed for the luxurious softness of their fiber and the textiles woven from them. There is no good reason jeans made of hemp fiber should be either coarser or more expensive than cotton jeans.

    4. Oregoncharles

      I prefer brown or black, but I mostly buy at thrift stores, so I get what’s available. I’m a gardener, so I go through clothes, esp. pants.

      I suppose they figured if you spend $138, you aren’t going to actually WORK in them.

  8. Tyrannocaster

    Apropos nothing, really: does anybody else look at Mark Zuckerbook and see an adult Teletubby? Same creepy vibe for me.

      1. tokyodamage

        I’d love to see him set up a charity to help out other people afflicted with Human Skin Mask Syndrome.

    1. Kevin Carhart

      He’s Dorian Gray, and what the portrait soaks up is all the stuff the outsourced content moderators are looking at so that Zuckerberg doesn’t have to.

    2. Lambert Strether

      What I keep noticing is his hairline. There’s something creepy and android-like about the interface between Zuckerberg’s hair and forehead. It’s as if the Disney audio-animatronics engineers — consulting with Madame Tussaud’s — got the flesh part almost right, but flubbed the hair somehow, and the seam between the two. His handlers should definitely look into this.

      Is it just me, or does anyone else see this?

      1. ambrit

        Yeah, it looks like the same Disney team that built the Ronald Reagan replicant back in 1981 were involved.
        Zuckerberg looks more like a Romulan from the old Star Trek than a teletubby. That hair! Save him from it!

    1. notabanker

      If Aurora was smart, they would build the tower themselves and put out a bid to lease it for an astronomical sum for 10 years. In fact, every city in the chain should eminent domain them and take the revenue for public services.

      Locally, the municipalities that have built their own fiber networks are killing it. They are hitting ROI’s years ahead of schedule. They can get people on it fast enough. Why is this any different?

  9. Olga

    From “Physicists are decoding math-y secrets of knitting to make bespoke materials Ars Technica:”
    “There’s this huge wealth of knowledge in the knitting community that hasn’t been translated into a quantitative model yet.”
    Am I the only person, who puzzles why everything has to be turned into some model or other?

    1. Dandelion

      And yet the claim is always that women are bad at spatial relationships.So interesting that scientists are now realizing women have used applied mathematics and geometry with textiles and garment construction for millennia.

      Just as the shape of a tool is derived from the way one conceives of the problem, so is the design of a skills test derives from how one conceives of the skill being utilized in the world.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I’ll hazard a guess — a model abstracts the information to a simpler form more easily further abstracted into applications in other areas. Also I believe a certain amount of translation of jargons has to take place. I believe the phrase near the bottom of this link suggests much about the value of a quantitative model “…he was able to boil the mechanics down to a few simple equations, adaptable to different stitch patterns.” The “huge wealth of knowledge in the knitting community” holds powerful simple truths within which can be more broadly applied once they are discovered.

      1. Olga

        Yeah, just not sure yet another “quantitative model” is really the best way to learn and apply knowledge and wisdom. That’s all.

    3. Susan the Other

      I thought that too. Why distill these skills into math models to be exploited by mass production when we could be doing something far more interesting imo: de-codify math models so that they can be applied at our fingertips… just think of the self-sufficiency applications! And the long, slow economy it creates. Not really being facetious, I just like this thought.

      1. Carey

        Great comment. Another vote here for a Slow economy, as the PTB “rationalize” the Many right out of existence.

    4. ewmayer

      ‘Model’ is scientist-speak for “theoretical/mathematical framework allowing for analysis and (hopefully) deeper understanding of the phenomen(on|a) of interest. E.g. the standard model of particle physics. A useful model in this sense is the most-simplified abstraction of messy reality which still captures the physics of interest. One simply cannot do useful mathematical-scientific analysis without a useful working model. Exmample from my PhD field of study, fluid mechanics: assume a Newtonian continuum fluid – that means no molecular-level complexity except in terms of easily measurable bulk parameters which the molecular dynamics give rise to (e.g. density, coefficient of viscosity). Resulting model is the famous Navier-Stokes equations, a system of time-dependent, coupled, nonlinear partial differential equations, which are still intractably nasty without further simplification. In my case I was interested in concentrated vortex flows, and made the following further simplifications:

      o Steady-state: throw out time derivatives;
      o rotationally symmetric: Starting with the cyclindrical-polar (r,theta,z)-form of the N-S eqns, throw out the angular-dependence terms (theta derivatives);
      o Slender flow: r-variation much larger than z-variation, thus keep only a specified subset of z-derivatives;
      o Self-similar flow: Everything describable not in terms of (r,z) derivatives but in terms of a single specific ratio of r/z^n.

      Result was a coupled system of *ordinary* diff-eqns, still having no closed-form solutions, and that was the model I used for my work.

      Let me try an analogy: Doing physics without a proper model is like trying to build a house without a blueprint or standardized materials.

  10. icancho

    Handsome Ultramarine flycatcher, Fidecula superciliaris there. Breeds from Kashmir to s. China. A great antidote, for sure.

  11. Pat

    Forget Smollet’s possible jail time vs. Manafort’s, for me it is what I figure the Sacklers are going to get. THAT is the real atrocity. Not a Manafort fan, but in the great scheme of things what has done more damage – his far too standard money laundering or the pushing of highly addictive drug for fun and profit?

    I realize that we shouldn’t have to pick which failure of justice is worse, but unfortunately our laws and our regulatory system has made it far too common. As someone put it to me the other day, “if R Kelly was still making money hand over fist and able to do favors do you think all this would be happening.”

    1. Chris Cosmos

      People love public scapegoats. Manafort believed he could get a away with stuff because others did–he just failed in understanding the political lay of the land. Those “others” are still getting away with crimes because they are politically protected. The Trump connection for Manafort was a poor career move. He should have known that the knives would come out for anyone supporting Trump. As for the Sacklers, I see no way they can be touched.

    2. Tyrannocaster

      The Sacklers will file for bankruptcy and their personal fortunes will remain untouched. If corporations are people, and we have a death penalty, why the f can’t we use it?

    3. Lynne

      Comparing what Manafort got and what Smollet faces is not really a fair comparison. I suspect, as many commentators have said, that Smollet will plead to one count and get probation. And for many, probation means nothing. I know probationers who have repeatedly violated and never been sent to prison. He may likely also be able to get it pled down to a misdemeanor. Honestly, if he didn’t already have a prior for false personation, he could probably get a deferred prosecution agreement. That’s how the US system works: charge them with everything possible and then quietly cut a deal.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “I’d side with rich China over fickle US: Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad”

    Well, that’s not good. The Pacific region is supposed to one where the US hopes to expand economically into this century. That was why the “Pivot to Asia”. But if a major country like Malaysia is saying that under certain constraints, China is a better partner, well, the auguries are not good. Then again, maybe Mahathir Mohamad had better be careful that he does not find a Malaysian city under attack by an ISIS attack force.

    1. Olga

      This kinda says it all:
      “But even though Malaysia learned to navigate the relationship, Mahathir offered a perspective from history: ‘We always say, we have had China as a neighbour for 2,000 years, we were never conquered by them. But the Europeans came in 1509, in two years, they conquered Malaysia.'”
      Something tells me there’s a lesson in that statement for all the neighbouring countries.

      1. notabanker

        Add on to that the link you posted yesterday on China vs US reaction to the fin crisis. China pours sovereign debt into infrastructure and technology. As a result, exporters to them recovered quickly and they have surpassed silicon valley in speed to market and scale.

        US throws QE at the banks and GDP minus fin svcs has contracted, we have runaway monopolies and massive infrastructure problems. Europe has Brexit and austerity.

        Clinton destroyed the labor markets, Bush went after Iraq, Afghanistan and the Patriot Act, Obama bailed out the financial sector. Three strategically disastrous outcomes.

        China now owns the four largest banks and four largest technology companies none of which existed during Clinton, find intellectual property concepts amusing and have a billion people to drive the world’s production economy. They have massive investments in Central and South America, Australia and Africa, good relations with every major Asian country. AT Kearney published their top 10 predictions for 2019 and No 10 was increased cooperation between China and Russia.

        Writing is on the wall.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I recall a Korean proverb from a book of Korean proverbs I read: “Eat Chinese mustard … and cry.”

  13. Olga

    Making the World Safe for Oligopoly American Conservative
    Love the analogy to Jaws:
    “On December 21, 2000, in the closing hours of the 106th Congress, the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, complete with a lethal provision absolving certain toxic financial derivatives from regulation, glided quietly through the Senate, and was duly signed into law without demur by President Bill Clinton. For years, like the shark in Jaws, it moved beneath the surface, invisible to a heedless public. Then, in 2008, it erupted terrifyingly into the sunlight, as the world watched the global financial fabric ripped to shreds by the immensely destructive derivatives it had been protecting.”

    1. Chris Cosmos

      I was told by someone in the know in 2006 that the Street knew very well those derivatives would crash–I think the PTB always knew or at least suspected that the CFMA would result in fraud particularly after 9/11 when the FBI and other agencies focused on enticing mentally retarded men into plotting terrorist acts and “investigated” dissidents and put them on no-fly lists. Bill Black has spoken/written extensively about that.

    2. Carolinian

      That’s a good article and an argument for stocking up on canned foods for when this behind the scenes chicanery hits the fan. There was some discussion yesterday about dual loyalty but perhaps we should remember that conflicted loyalty doesn’t just apply to countries but also to politicians who are willing to sell out the public good in favor of benefit for private parties like drug companies, megabanks etc. In the US genuine patriotism is always in short supply when there is money to be made.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Also dry grains, beans, seeds. Honey, coconut oil( non perishable for years). Garden tools and knowledge and a well prepared super-garden in your suburban yard. Also, a lifetime supply of various ground up rock and mineral powders for keeping the garden soil nutri-dense and able to grow nutri-dense food. Also roofwater harvesting, waterless compostoilet , super-insulated house able to “harvest” its own heat and chill at the right times, etc.

    3. Off The Street

      Brooksley Born may yet be acknowledged more widely for trying to get others to admit and address derivative risk.

      Of course, Lawrence family-blogging Summers figures in.

  14. tegnost

    Thanks JLS for the birds, and esp. this week among others that we get to figure it out our selves. I have indeed figured this one out using this method…
    what kind of beak is a big clue
    http://www.birdsandblooms.com/birding/birding-basics/basics-bird-beaks/
    then I went a little further with this one
    https://www.allaboutbirds.org/build-your-bird-id-skills-size-shape/
    Though yes I’ve figured it out, no I’m not telling,…yet
    figuring it out is a lot of fun and a nice distraction, Thanks, more please!

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Oops– that was an oversight on my part. I forgot to add the via tag — since corrected. Nonetheless, I encourage readers to try and identify the bird — rather than peek at the answer. Not so much fun that way.

      1. tegnost

        I had figured there were attribution issues so I can always find it first then read the comments. Thanks also to samthebirder for the great pictures and info :)

  15. KeithInModesto

    “A viral video that appears to show police officers searching a cancer patient’s hospital room for marijuana sparked outrage on social media Business Insider (The Rev Kev)”

    I watched that video on Twitter. It was disgraceful. And what work is the word “appears” doing in that title? They imbedded the video right in the article, and everything else in the article confirms that the police really were searching that room. There’s no journalistic reason to soften the title with “appears to show.” The title “A viral video shows police officers…” would have been perfectly accurate and defendable.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      Yes, didn’t even occur to me–however, the it could just be an acting job. This is the problem we have–we cannot even trust our own eyes–almost anything can be faked if you put enough effort into it. However this is typical of cops so I’m sure it’s very real.

  16. roxy

    Business Insider First time voters for Sanders. Check out the t shirt that kid is wearing. Will Sanders, or any of the candidates, say that homophobic “humor” is not okay, even in the service of Trump hatred?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Not so much homophobic as buying into the whole Russia!Russia!Russia! gig. Can’t really blame the kid as Bernie himself backs the whole thing publicly. Once you do that, you buy into the whole treason/homophobic memes.

  17. Philip

    Chelsea Manning:

    An American who can’t be bought, can’t be threatened…

    Sounds like a Courageous Leader to me, better than we deserve.

    Manning 2020

    1. John k

      Courage not enough.
      Courage, policy, political smarts… and position from which to launch. Jail only works in exceptional situations.
      Bernie 2020.

    2. Big Tap

      I don’t understand how she was sent to prison at all. Wasn’t Chelsea Manning given a pardon by Obama on this matter? Isn’t this a case of double jeopardy and thus illegal? Since Manning’s conviction was in military court can the government now go after her in the civilian court system where the pardon doesn’t apply? I don’t know the answers.

      1. Grebo

        Manning’s sentence was commuted by Obama. That’s not a pardon. She was jailed this time for refusing to testify before a grand jury about Wikileaks, not for leaking to Wikileaks.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      Fox, as a whole, has been presenting more diverse POVs compared to MSNBC/CNN. Rachel Maddow is Joe McCarthy not Tucker Carlson. I think the political waters, at present, are changing rapidly–the left is beginning to move out of its own way–I’ve seen a major change within the mainstream–I think the corporate board of directors that oversees the media has seen so me kind of power-shift.

    2. Montanamaven

      Tucker is sounding like a Wobblie lately. He criticized Elizabeth Warren’s pre-school platform as anti-Family. If parents got paid more, one of them could stay home. His guest was advocating especially for mothers to be able to stay home. It’s an argument I often make. His pro family position is also now embracing pro community which takes into consideration single people as well. “Community is more important than GDP,”said the guest. She was making a David Graeber argument that the care of humans and the earth are our number one priorities not the making of machines aka GDP. Watch the latest video at foxnews.com Tucker Challenges Warren’s preschool idea

        1. montanamaven

          ‘Right libertarianism and left libertarianism have a lot of things in common. but they disagree on private property. he was for the Iraq war and then felt he was duped. he has become more skeptical. he has Professor Steven Cohen on. and Tulsi. so i find him worth watching.

      1. Harold

        Finland provides direct payment to mothers who chose to stay home to care for their toddlers rather than use the free state-funded preschool facilities, and it and also provides them with educational support and guidance, I understand. Why should pay for mothers have to be channeled through a spouse?

    3. notabanker

      I’ve seen Anand Giridharadas on a few MSM shows. One point that he makes is that publicly he gets a lot of criticism from the billionaire class, but privately he has received recognition from them that the pendulum has swung to far and they are worried about it.

      Watching these town halls on CNN, all of these candidates have watered down versions of Sanders platform. All of them are talking about universal health care, college financing reform, climate change investments. UBI and jobs guarantees are definite splits.

      The bottom line is they (PTB) realize they have to do something and my sense is we are seeing a national focus group experiment on how little they can get away with, with Sanders platform being the worst case, and not acceptable, scenario.

    1. Tyrannocaster

      Oh, for a high-tech television that would show me the net worth of any talking head that appears on it. One hundred million dollars? No wonder she’s calling it the Green Dream or whatever.

  18. Daryl

    > “and Biden is 76, but no die hard party Dems are saying he’s too old!!….pathetic…” Moi: Not to mention Bloomberg’s no spring chicken either. Nor for that matter is HRC.

    Bernie is old, it’s true. But he has vital energy that none of those individuals have, and I suspect probably have never had. VP selection will be important, don’t want to end up in a Henry Wallace to Truman situation.

    1. Jeff W

      I’ve tended to view the “age issue” with regard to Bernie as a kind of pluralistic ignorance, where people think that other people might be concerned about it but very few people actually are. (And it is, of course, a disingenuous Democratic talking point aimed at Bernie but never Joe Biden, who is just nine months younger.)

      You have only to look at Bernie indefatigably running around the country, from town hall to town hall, and strike to strike, and now from campaign event to campaign event, not to be concerned too much if Bernie is “too old” to be President.

  19. Oh

    Trader Joe’s Plastics Reduction Policy
    About a month ago when TJ ballyhoo’d announced that their new policy to eliminate a million pounds of plastic at our local store I commended them for the effort and asked them if they were going to sell vegetables without the plastic wrapping. I was given bum excuse that they cannot due that because of their supply chain. Needless to say, I no longer buy any vegetables there. I don’t see what their problem is when so many other stores in my city sell fresh vegetables without plastic wrapping. They also sell nuts and other perishables in sealed plastic which I find unacceptable. This wrapping cannot be recycled in my city. It’s time they sell these items in bulk. Even Whole (Amazon) Foods does that!
    If we cannot cut off the use of plastics at the source, no amount of recycling will help. And I wonder how many of the items sent to recycle end up in a landfill.

    1. Cal2

      Supply chain changes are slow. However, when there is no attempt to change anything, it’s time for civil disobedience. All excess plastic packaging goes back into the bags of the stores from whence it came. We drop it off at the customer service desk. i.e. Massive special razor tool needed blister packaging holding one thumb drive.

      Here’s what we did at Costco:
      “What’s this?”
      “Plastic wrap from your products. You recycle it.”
      “We can’t recycle it here”
      “Nor can we at home. It’s your problem.”

      Put it down, walk away then do your shopping.

      1. AndrewJ

        Unless you are putting a similar amount of on-the-ground work in to recruiting dozens or hundreds of others in your local community in to your quest, you do realize you’re just making a handful of drones – who are putting up with shitty jobs – have a worse, more complicated day than they already have, right?
        You think direct action can cause changes in the amount of plastic swaddling the crap you buy, take it out on the execs, not the guys who are just trying to make it through the shift.

        1. Cal2

          The execs will hear about it if a couple hundred people do this on a regular basis at every store. Drones doing shitty jobs is not my responsibility. They might see it as a way of getting back at the bosses.

    2. Eclair

      We shop at the PCC grocery coop in Seattle. Their fruit and veggies, with a few exceptions such as some bagged apples and potatoes, are loose. If you must bag, they give a choice of thin plastic or paper. Same in their bulk section. (And I compulsively reuse the paper and thin plastic bags.) At the deli counter, they offer the choice of plastic or cardboard containers for salads, etc. A ‘local’ dairy provides milk in returnable glass bottles (drawback is they weigh a ton!) Meat is packaged on special ‘industrial compostable trays,’ that we can dispose of in Seattle’s food and yard waste system.

      They also have bulk dish, hand and washing detergents … bring your own containers.

      Their prices are higher, but since it is only my husband and myself, and their local store is one block away and we walk instead of driving, we now do almost all of our shopping there. We have reduced our ‘garbage’ to one small bag per month. Am now working on reducing our ‘recyclable’ (hah!) plastic containers.

    3. Synapsid

      Oh,

      Trader Joe’s is known for poor quality fruit and produce anyway so we’re better off avoiding it plastic or no. I buy their garlic and the occasional yellow onion but that’s it. Neither are packed in plastic. I wish they had some yellow onions that weren’t the size of softballs, though.

      There was a notable outbreak of salmonella last year, I believe it was, traced to salad greens packaged in plastic.

  20. lordkoos

    A retailer that could make a big impact if they would reduce the use of plastic would be Costco. The amount of bottled water that they sell in single-use bottles is huge, just to name one example.

    1. John k

      its A buyer, not seller, problem. Costco doesn’t sell everything, just stuff in high demand, people go elsewhere to get what they can’t get at Costco. No conveniently wrapped water at Costco? No problem, just pick up at vons when I go there for the special fiber cereal I like. Need regulation, say .25 tax for every thruway single use plastic. Like straws.
      The trader joe issue mentioned above is a packaging issue that joe could, but chooses to not, change.

  21. Susan the Other

    About Fukushima’s success at clean-up. Those are just the designated measurables. They define the situation down as they ignore all the radiation absorbed, and still being absorbed, by the archipelago; and by the oceans, and floating around the planet on the jet stream. I’m sure it is verboten for anyone in Japan to comment on the amount of contamination in Tokyo, or the difficulty protecting Olympic visitors from that drinking water. I doubt the validity of their ability to purify all that stored water. Those tubs of stored water are probably there just for propaganda purposes. It’s still a complete disaster and it will always be one. And the denial of it all is the biggest disaster of it all.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Are Geiger counters still illegal to buy in Japan? I recall reading how after Fukushima, the Japanese were banning them as being “unscientific” in their readings. Seems a lot of housewives were using them when shopping for food which was making the government unhappy.

  22. jfleni

    RE: Economic Consequences of the U.S. Convict Labor System.

    One does not have to be a math whiz to see that convict labor is VERY profitable
    for plutocrats and the political offal that bum-kisses them; is this cart before the
    horse or just bozo plutocrats ahead of everything else?

    Sentences are served for PUNISHMENT, and to protect the innocent,not as grab-bags to keep people locked up for ages to satisfy yahoo judges!

  23. Oregoncharles

    “Labour and Antisemitism London Review of Books”
    The comments are illuminating, but it’s a confusing and unfriendly commenting system, since it appears you can’t reply specifically to another comment.

  24. Wukchumni

    Best day of skiing this year @ Mammoth under optimal conditions, there’s so much snow that the resort has had to cordon off areas higher up on the mountain below ski lifts, as skiers or boarders would hit the chair lift coming down.

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