Links 3/16/19

Dear patient readers,

In case you missed our note yesterday, one of the two key members of our moderation team is hospitalized and unlikely to be back in the saddle for at least two weeks. Please send her your best wishes for a recovery.

In the meantime, Lambert and I will do what we can to take up the slack, but please bear in mind we can only do so much, and forgive us since many of you will find if you comments get caught up in the moderation tripwires, that it may well take us longer to free them than usual. Ditto with fixing bad links in posts.

Study finds people in Ireland and Scotland made “bog butter” for millennia ars technica (Chuck L)

India follows China’s lead, bans plastic waste imports TreeHugger (resilc)

In Fatberg Fight, NYC Goes to War Against Flushable Wipes Bloomberg

Scenes From the Worldwide Student Climate Strike Rolling Stone (David L)

Dimien: Fighting Climate Change With Nanomaterials Wired (UserFriendly)

Aquaculture wars: The perils and promise of Big Fish Christian Science Monitor (resilc)

Artificial intelligence: 3 ways it’s already changing medicine Vox (David L)

Scientists Call For Global Moratorium On Gene Editing of Embryos Guardian

Are Eggs Good Or Bad? How You Should Interpret This Latest Study Forbes

New Zealand Massacre

Christchurch terror attacks: What you need to know DW

A Mass Murder of, and for, the Internet New York Times (furzy)

North Korea

CIA Blames Its Proxy For Its Raid On North Korea’s Embassy In Spain Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)


This is what a politics based on lies looks like Chris Grey

Brexit: DUP in talks with ministers ahead of third vote BBC. DUP machinations dominated the Guardian live stream, so it seems not much new is on.


Mike Pompeo Will Never Let the War in Yemen End Splinter (resilc)

Syria: from wheat-sufficient to import dependent Asia Times (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

A new rash of highly covert card-skimming malware infects ecommerce sites ars technica (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Amnesia of the U.S. Foreign Policy Establishment New Republic (resilc)

‘Change your course!’: Pompeo threatens ICC over US war crimes probe RT (Kevin W)). Not the behavior of a confident nation.

Trump Transition

Dems prepare next steps after Trump’s veto The Hill

Trump’s border agency admits he has built ZERO new walls Daily Mail

Trump: You wouldn’t like my supporters in the military if they got angry Washington Post

Court files reveal role of McCain, associate in spreading anti-Trump dossier Fox News (Kevin W)

Christopher Steele admitted using posts by ‘random individuals’ on CNN website to back up Trump dossier Washington Examiner (Kevin W)

Senate Rebuke of Trump Isn’t a GOP Rebellion New York Magazine

Supreme Court to rule if citizenship census question is constitutional Axios

GOP quietly works to expand ballot-harvesting in California while criticizing Democrats for the practice Washington Post. UserFriendly: “Shocked!”

Kamala Harris Introduces Bill To Send Millions To Local Governments For Tech Support The Verge. Enriching CA squillionaires in the guise of “infrastructure building” rather than fixing crumbling roads and bridges.

Green New Deal

G.O.P. Congressman: Green New Deal Is Basically Ethnic Cleansing Vanity Fair (resilc). Lambert featured a different piece on this incident yesterday.

Can climate optimism survive reality? TreeHugger


Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign staff will join a union Washington Post (UserFriendly)

Beto O’Rourke was a member of the US’s oldest hacking group Verge (resilc)

The Trailer: What Beto O’Rourke’s entry means for the 2020 race Washington Post (UserFriendly)

The Profound Emptiness of Beto O’Rourke New Republic

An Update on Elizabeth Warren’s Housing Plan Data For Progress (UserFriendly)

737 Max

Grounding a global fleet: Boeing faces its greatest challenge Financial Times. Important. Try Googling the headline if you are not a subscriber.

Boeing Software Fix to Max Will Be Costly Following Twin Crashes Bloomberg

Boeing ‘Promised’ Pilots a 737 Max Software Fix Last Year—It Never Came Daily Beast Resilc: “We need more AI powered cars and trucks ASAP! You can’t spell shIT without IT.”

College Admission Bribery

Students Are Suing the Hell out of Schools Tied to the College Bribery Scam Vice (resilc)

Fake News

How To Write A Political Puff Piece Current Affairs. UserFriendly: “Devastating.”


Modern Monetary Realism James K. Galbraith Project Syndicate (J-LS)

Plain Dealer Editor Announces 12 Reporters and Editors Will Lose Jobs, Decimating Print Newsroom Cleveland Scene. Chuck L flagged this section:

Well, it may very well be the final chapter for the nation’s first News Guild. That’s why the Plain Dealer is Local 1. Its tiny membership has been decimated by this latest assault.

In a statement, the Guild said that its membership had been reduced by roughly 90 percent in the past 20 years, from 340 to about 30, after the latest cuts.

Esquire: America Has Always Exported Culture. Have We Added Mass Shootings and Online Fascism? Esquire (resilc)

Tesla’s introduction to the Model Y underwhelms and stock promptly falls MarketWatch

Amazon takes another step into the medical space by accepting pre-tax health spending accounts CNBC

Antidote du jour (martha r). Squirrels like views too! This is Yosemite:

And a bonus from bob:

See yesterdays Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. c_heale

    I think the name of the new Tesla “Y”, is a poor choice. Asking “Tesla, why?” doesn’t sound too good…

    1. Alex V

      Musk literally wanted the model names to spell “SEXY” but a trademark prevented the model 3 from being the model E.

    2. Wyoming

      What gets me is the lack of styling of the bodies. bland.

      If I was going out to buy a luxury sports car (or any kind of sports car) I would want it to look cool. How fast sports cars are is not of much relevance, but how they look is. Tesla’s look like your typical family sedan.

      A buddy of mine bought a Model S a couple of months ago. I have noticed however that when he takes the sports car out (vice his pickup) about 3 out of 4 times it is the antique Corvette he goes by in. That is an eye catcher. When he is in the Tesla he has to honk at me because I don’t notice him.

      1. Dan

        I must agree with you. There are a LOT of Teslas where I live (outside silicon valley, but within the fallout zone) and I’m quite struck how dowdy they look to me these days. The SUV is rather smooth and blobby. Fine for a $30k car, not so much at $85k. I saw an electric Jaguar recently, and that thing had 100x the sexy IMHO.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Also Ferlinghetti:

        “Pity the nation whose people are sheep

        And whose shepherds mislead them

        Pity the nation whose leaders are liars

        Whose sages are silenced

        And whose bigots haunt the airwaves

        Pity the nation that raises not its voice

        Except to praise conquerors

        And acclaim the bully as hero

        And aims to rule the world

        By force and by torture…

        Pity the nation oh pity the people

        who allow their rights to erode

        and their freedoms to be washed away…”

        1. newcatty

          Ho’oponopono Prayer

          I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.

          Adapted ancient Hawaiian prayer-1958, Kapuna Nana Veary

          1. RWood

            Robert Kennedy, when he announced the assassination of
            Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

            In our sleep

            In our sleep, pain which cannot forget
            falls drop by drop upon the heart
            until, in our own despair, against our will,
            comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

    1. Brucie A.

      Another assessment here: The green deal is hopium.

      An interesting snippet:

      The technologies that we might refer to as “modern renewables” – upon which the green deal is supposed to be based – have barely scratched the surface of global energy demand. As energy expert Kurt Cobb has pointed out:

      “I recently asked a group gathered to hear me speak what percentage of the world’s energy is provided by these six renewable sources: solar, wind, geothermal, wave, tidal, and ocean energy.

      “Then came the guesses: To my left, 25 percent; straight ahead, 30 percent; on my right, 20 percent and 15 percent; a pessimist sitting to the far right, 7 percent.

      “The group was astonished when I related the actual figure: 1.5 percent. The figure comes from the Paris-based International Energy Agency, a consortium of 30 countries that monitors energy developments worldwide. The audience that evening had been under the gravely mistaken impression that human society was much further along in its transition to renewable energy. Even the pessimist in the audience was off by more than a factor of four.”

      Smoke ’em if ya got ’em.

      1. Edward

        I think these figures are misleading, because renewable energy is probably concentrated in a few countries like Germany. Taking an average doesn’t really show what is possible, if many countries have not tried to shift to renewables.

  2. pretzelattack

    that kangaroo thought it needed to stop an alien invasion–a reasonable conclusion on its part. when it realized it was only a silly human, it went on about its business.

  3. "The Rev Kev

    That squirrel in the Antidote du jour looked bright and chipper but meanwhile, far far above this landscape-

    “Eagle One to Eagle Two. Target acquired and locked in. I am starting my run…”

      1. Wukchumni

        The yellow bellied marmot cong are asleep for 7 or 8 months in hibernation, ensconced in caves with a bed of snow overhead, and one time I watched a marm emerge out of the crust of the snow it broke through, in later April en route to the Pear Lake ski hut in Sequoia NP.

        1. kgw

          We tried, and gave up, trying to reach the Pear Lake ski hut, oh, half a century ago…
          A cold spring snow storm had been covering Sequoia with deep powder snow. It was about 16 degrees out, and the ranger told us to watch the temp: if it rose 10 degrees or more, it might become avalancheville…We managed camping after stamping out a place for the tent, melting water for cooking. Sun came out the next day, so we went skiing! Nature, totally awesome.

          1. Wukchumni

            They had a large group cancel, and i’m gonna see if I can go for 2-3 days, in about 10 days from now. As per yesterday, there is 14 feet of snow on the ground @ Pear Lake ski hut.

            My ‘epic’ was @ Pear Lake (another 1/2 mile away) around the turn of the century, when I was with 4 friends and we didn’t even need to put our skis on until well after the Hump, about 2/3rds of the way being relatively snowless, and the hut wasn’t open because the hutminder was gone, etc. and we were snow camping @ Pear Lake, so it didn’t matter. The forecast had nothing coming of note, and we got there Saturday and set up our pyramidical tarps after having dug out snow shelves and a kitchen in the snow, had dinner and went to bed and woke up to silence, which is natures way of telling you it snowed a whole lot last night, and there was 3 feet on the ground, followed by 3 more by Monday morning when we decided to vamoose, and skiing through 6 feet of new snow is no fun whatsoever and taxing as hell, so we had to do it indian file style, with the leader taking the hindmost every 15 minutes or so, and somebody else breaking bad. It took us 9 hours to get to Hump, and a friend had made some peppermint tea and carried it in a thermos, and shared it with everybody, and to this day whenever I drink it, i’m always there, tired as all get up with another 4 hours of getting down time to go, but refreshed.

      2. Lee

        I was looking for a recipe. Didn’t find one yet, but someone was concerned that marmots might carry plague. But I’m pretty sure the live above the flea line.

        1. Wukchumni

          I’d catch me a female blue grouse (you almost never see the male, for some reason) and eat that bad bird, way before i’d stoop to a marmot stew.

          1. ambrit

            I considered making a lame pun about marmots becoming marmite, but had second thoughts about it when I realized that it would get a ‘rise’ out of many.
            Q: What does the well accoutered traveller eat his or her marmite with? A: A spore-k.
            (Thought I’d foment some controversy here.)

              1. ambrit

                Indeed you did. (Those d—-d pre-dementia symptoms keep interfering. With something or other. I’m not too sure just now. Hey! Isn’t that a marmot?)
                As the woman at the gynecologist said: “That’s the yeast of my worries.” (Men get it too. Take my word on that.)

  4. Wukchumni

    Through the looking-glass, and what AI saw up there.

    We’re pretty rural here, kind of tucked away if you will. That’s the way I want it to be, and so far so-good.

    In a chat with my neighbor, I asked if he’d ever seen a drone, and he told me last summer, one came overhead and then was gone. It turned out to be piloted by a 12 year old from about 1/2 a mile away, and he showed the up-close photos of our neighbors to his parents, who were not amused and told him to never do that again!

    Its another thing to worry about, home invasion robbery via aerial surveillance. Contrary to popular opinion, there really isn’t any place that’s safe in this high tech world we’ve carved out for ourselves.

    1. Arizona Slim

      And this, people, is why I keep my garden hose connected. If I see a drone hovering over the Arizona Slim Ranch, it is going to get a drenching.

      1. Wukchumni

        Circa 1984 in L.A., the police helicopters @ night were the bomb, no suspect was going to get away under their steely guise overhead, with a crew of 2 or 3 relaying the information to perhaps dozens below.

        Now a crew of 2 or 3 utilizing a drone in the hands of one of them, is all it takes.

        Brave new world, my ass.

      2. polecat

        You’re on to something there, Arizona Slim ..
        I think it’s high time to invest in Wrist-Rocket futures.

        “! WHAMMO !”

        1. Lee

          In CA, the last time I bought replacement tubing for my wrist rocket at a sporting goods store I was required to give them my details. Next time I’ll get it from the hardware store.

          1. polecat

            You could’ve mentioned to them that you were into ‘sports medicine’, check hearts in the wilderness the ol fashion way, with your stethoscope, rather than that useless i t sh!t !

  5. voteforno6

    Re: New Republic on “Beto” O’Rourke

    “Profound emptiness” indeed. I think my favorite part of it was describing O’Rourke as “Obama fanfic.” That’s gonna sting, especially when you consider that Obama’ time in office was essentially The West Wing fanfic.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Especially when you remember that Obama once said: “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” So, is it six ‘profound emptinesses’ or half a dozen ‘blank screens’ then?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Minor clarification. Obama wrote this line. As to why the fans missed it, this reason likely requires years of research on how television or “teevee” rots the mind.

          1. katiebird

            Grrrr. I either missed that or forgot it…. Somehow reminded me of that Esquire cover of Nixon being made-up

          2. Hopelb

            And Obama’s campaign song was Fake Empire by The National. Of course, the lyrics were removed probably because they thought that might be relying a bit too much on the pleb’s capacity to be uncritical.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          When I read Obama’s books, this line was what really jumped out. The rest was just banality and whining. Of course, Obama’s books aren’t widely quoted either. It’s almost as if people acquired them as status symbols.

          The minor scandals of Republicans cribbing from Obama was largely a result of his efforts being so innocuous they could be said on any occasion.

          1. Wukchumni

            After a couple years of the charade, I got to calling Obama ‘The Great Spelunker’, as he’d cave on anything.

          2. Adam Eran

            Thanks to the best-seller status of those books, Obama was a wealthy man. Yet he still gave a speech at Goldman Sachs for hundreds of thousands right after he exited the presidency. That’s kind of a hint about where his priorities lay.

            1. chuck roast

              Actually, that small bundle of cash was his payoff. He could have pounded them for way-more.

  6. katiebird

    Best wishes to our sick moderator. Hospital stays are horrible and the post-stay recovery gets worse and worse as we age. I wish there was something a remote reader could do…..

    1. richard

      I’m not sure who the sick moderator is. Is it Jerri-Lynn? Best wishes for a speedy recovery and a stressless interaction with our health carr industry.

  7. ACF

    Re Harris’s bill helping states/local gov’ts with their IT

    yes, it’s about giving her in-state squillionaires money that could be spent on other infrastructure, but that’s not what offends me–I think governments throughout the country could use the internet more effectively to inform and empower residents.

    What’s offensive is that she put $15 million on the table for the *whole country* to be doled out in $200k to 2.5m chunks. If all the grants were in $200k chunks, that’s 75 grants. if they were all 2.5 m, that’s 6 grants. If it’s one/state they’d each get $300k. My small town has a ton of info on its website, much more than many, but it’s not so easy to navigate. Other towns have the reverse problem. And that’s not even getting to the many state or county websites. It would take a lot more money than K put on the table to do anything meaningful.

    That said, if the Feds are going to invest real money into tech, I’d like rural broadband over money to fix websites. So K picked a small fish to fry and a pan too small to fry it…

    1. carycat

      Wonder if there are any provisions in the bill to require that any labor billed by the contractors must be from a US taxpayer? I can just see all the $ going to the “low cost” outsourcer sending all the work overseas.

    2. Cal2

      Timing? In less than two weeks, “An Evening With Kamala Harris”, suggested donation, $10,000.
      To be held in a private home in—drumroll please:

      Atherton, California

      THE Silicon Valley bedroom community.

      “Atherton is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 7,159 as of 2013. In 1990, Atherton was ranked as having the highest per capita income among U.S residents.” Wikipedia

      Here’s a typical real estate page for Atherton. See what the new American Gilded Age looks like?

      1. Acacia

        Overflowing with Internet millionaires, Atherton is indeed a bedroom community to the new guilted age.

        Another nail in the coffin of Harris’ campaign. Fine by me ;)

    3. polecat

      I think we need more lowtech .. trains, shuttles, ferries, electric trolleys and such .. but no, instead we get moar grift-n-graft, whilst squeezing in another freeway/expressway lane or three !! Plus, the wounderous money pit of the never-to-be-fulfilled dream of autonomous vehicles. But hey, private jets are in, so that’s good ….

      What say you, KarmaKamala ??

    4. Stillfeelinthebern

      What our local units of govt really need is public information officers to regularly put the info up on these websites and make it so citizens can find it.

      All the local newspapers/radio are lacking in providing just the basic info down at the very local level.

      This means hiring people. Not likely to happen when everyone (including Dems) keeps taking about lowering taxes.

  8. Sanxi

    I’m not sure how to send word to the moderator, so please pass this on:

    Buddha Said,
    If the only
    I ever
    Thank you
    It is enough,

    I say to you,
    Thank you,


    1. Lee

      I recall during a sesshin reporting to the teacher that I was experiencing strange feelings of existential gratitude. He smiled. I laughed.

  9. Wukchumni

    David Parker, the Attorney General of New Zealand, just announced the country will ban semi-automatic rifles in the wake of #NZMosqueShooting.

    Could you imagine if we’d done the same after the Vegas shooter struck approx 666 people?

    1. Tom Stone

      How are you going to enforce a ban on semi auto rifles in the US?
      There are tens of millions of them…some more than 100 years old and still being used.

        1. ambrit

          That would have to be specifically mandated in America. I personally have seen troves of ‘confiscated’ and ‘seized’ firearms in police evidence rooms sold to gun dealers for the ‘secondary market.’ ATF would have to be significantly strengthened and made truly independent in order to carry out that task with any success.
          Plus, even if a semi-auto ban were arranged, remember that snipers almost always use bolt action rifles for reasons of accuracy and reliability.
          To further put the cat among the pigeons, I will point out that the Warren Comission asserted with straight face that Oswald performed an amazingly fast and accurate shooting spree in Dallas one afternoon with a war surplus Italian Carcano bolt action rifle.
          Frankly, if there is to be a firearms ban of some sort, I look for it to be pretty comprehensive, like in Australia.

          1. Wukchumni

            For the record, i’d like to state that there was a baker’s dozen worth of snipers on the grassy knoll, let it be known.

            The idea here is to decrease lethal means, which lead to murder scenes later dignified by a memorial plaque. It wasn’t as if the shooter had a Crossman 760 or a Red Ryder, Model 1938.

        1. JBird4049

          I don’t agree with banning guns, but it is not insane at all to want to do.

          What I don’t understand is the hysteria about knives. The British in particular, but there are places in the United States that also are wacky. Why? Should people worry about my kitchen knives, or the pocket and belt knives of people who work in the trades? Or axes? Just how far are we going to go in banning things to keep us “safe?”

          How about dealing with the causes that make our fellow humans crazy or twisted enough to do such evil deeds.

              1. ambrit

                I keep a cheap Winchester multi-tool in our car emergency bag. Worth it’s weight in Latinum.
                My ‘carry’ gadget is a cheap multi-tool. If I lose it, well, no big deal. (The older I get, the worse the pre-dementia symptoms.)

                  1. ambrit

                    LOL! A ‘fold up’ Claymore! As in “Out Claymores and charge!?”
                    At the Battle of New Orleans, which actually happened somewhere near Chalmette Louisiana, (south of the city proper,) the ‘English’ troops contained Scottish Highlanders led, unfortunately, by English aristocrat officers.
                    One military historian I read once remarked that all the English officers needed to do to win the battle was to scream out, “Highlanders! Draw Claymores and charge!” The sides were close enough at the middle of the battle for that to have worked. So, because the English army of that time allowed wealth and status to determine military leadership instead of competence led to the loss of what would have been an extensive English Gulf Coast colony. Such are the vagaries of history.
                    The wiki on this classic clusterf—:
                    If you carry a Claymore in your back pocket, then I guess your motto is: “Back towards enemy.”

            1. ambrit

              One argument for banning firearms is the ease with which murder or self-murder can be dome with firearms. Shooting yourself is a lot quicker than slitting your veins. I don’t have any idea how painful shooting yourself would be, not having had that experience, but from several accidents with edged weapons and industrial surfaces, I will testify that slitting any part of the anatomy hurts like H—!
              The problem with edged weapons use in crimes and disputes in England increasing can also be correlated with lots of sources of stress and discord.
              Teaching people how to handle disputes rationally, on a societal level, is probably the optimal strategy. Too many people grow up in our culture with the idea implanted in their unconscious that force is the ‘go to’ strategy for dispute resolution.
              To knobble a common riposte to that idea; standing up to a bully does not require one to become a bully oneself.

              1. kgw

                You hit the nail on the head…This fellow is simply acting like the national governments of certain nations. Such role models!

                1. Cal2

                  Banning guns gets us back to where we were in most of history, the strongest, fastest and most vicious with a blade rapes your wife, takes your property and there’s nothing you can do to defend yourself, save be stronger, faster, more vicious with a blade.

                  That’s about where England is now with the wave of stabbings and the inability of citizens to defend them self with firearms. Yet, there are still mass shootings.

                  The elite won’t last long when there are no firearms to defend them. Or, maybe they believe that they and only they have the right to self defense?

                  1. Darius

                    Yes. And they don’t have any mass shootings like we do. What’s wrong with them? Get with the times! We lead the world in mass shootings! USA! USA!

                    1. Cal2


                      Dunblane massacre in 1996, with 18 killed and 15 wounded.
                      The Cumbria shootings in 2011 with 12 dead (plus the shooter committing suicide) and 11 wounded.

                      There were also two borderline cases:

                      Raoul Moat in 2010 killed two and injured two over the course of several days. This lead to the largest police manhunt in modern British history.
                      The Monkseaton shootings in 1989 with one dead and 14 wounded by someone firing a shotgun out of his window.

                      Finally the Hungerford massacre with 17 dead (including the shooter) and 15 wounded doesn’t technically fall into the past 30 years, having taken place in August 1987 but should probably be mentioned. It also took place over six and a half hours – and yes, this was considered severely incompetent.

                    2. Cal2


                      Forgot to add this:

                      “Knife crime has hit a new record in England and Wales as the latest statistics show violence continuing to soar and the number of cases solved falling.

                      The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said police recorded 39,332 knife offences, the highest number on record and an annual increase of 12 per cent in the year to June 2018.

                      In the same period, overall violence rose by 19 per cent to almost 1.5 million crimes, homicide increased by 14 per cent and robbery by 22 per cent.
                      Read more

                      Meghan Elkin, head of the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said knife crime has been rising for four years.”


            2. JBird4049

              We keep banning stuff because they might be used somehow to hurt someone. In the United States people have been arrested and even sent to prison for having a “knife”, or really a pocket knife or a multi-tool. The same is true in other areas of the country although New York City is an extreme example.

              I used to support gun ownership because I believe in the 2nd Amendment. Now I am more worried about this fear everything all the timeban, ban, ban! and this fear will destroy us. Further, the laws are more often used to control the lower classes, inconvenient beliefs, or the wrong skin color, and not to protect us.

              Sometimes I think they use our fears to pass more laws that they can use to control, not protect, us. Just look at the shootings in Christchurch, where the authorities used all their increased funding, manpower, and weaken legal protections to spy on the law abiding who were inconvenient for the power structure. So 49 people are dead, and now semi automatic guns might be banned, but I doubt the incompetence of the police will get much focus.

      1. ChristopherJ

        Hundreds of thousands of guns were bought back by the Australian Govt after Port Arthur events in 1996. Paid market value for them and they were destroyed Gun owners were shamed by friends and family to give them up and many did.

        But you are right, can’t be enforced, except where there is strong licensing of firearms and then they can be tracked down.

        What I can’t seem to get about these disturbed people is that they should be going for the rich, the elites, yet they choose soft targets, the very people they should be standing shoulder to shoulder with. I guess when you are that angry, thinking goes out of the door.

        1. Cal2

          You assume that you actually know the true motivations of the guy in New Zealand, who he was and that he did indeed post all that stuff online? You are a trusting soul Brother.
          Cui Bono?

          1. ambrit

            Despite the shooter’s motivations as shown on internet posts, the question is valid. Where are the Leftist mass shooters when we need them?
            I’m reminded again of the purported quote from the late, lamented Adam Clayton Powell Jr. When speaking to a crowd of angry locals during one of the riots of the ‘sixties, he supposedly said that they were stupid. Instead of burning down your own neighborhoods, he said, they would be much better off to go uptown and burn the rich man’s neighborhood.
            Focus is everything.

            1. Wukchumni

              Every Angeleno that went to a sporting event or a concert back in the day, ventured to the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, which was for many, as far into South Central L.A. as one got, getting off on Manchester on the 101 or 405 freeway, typically. If you got off on the 101, there was about 10 miles till the Forum.

              Fast forward five years after the Rodney King Riots when I drove the same route, you’d occasionally see 3 and sometimes all 4 corners of an intersection empty still, after having been burnt out all those years ago. Lots of other landmarks of my youth gone, including the liquor store we could score at, well south of the legal drinking age.

              1. JBird4049

                Even in California the economic sacrifice zones are increasing in numbers and size. So why spend any money on fixing areas where those people live?

                I mean how dare they riot over being treated like garbage by the city and the police. Since most of the industries that used to exist in Southern California and attracted blacks during the Great Migration no longer exists there, they are now completely disposable labor.

                Being black and poor just about guarantees that most of the money being spent on you is spent on getting you to prison.

                Economically California is not liberal, forget leftist.

            2. JBird4049

              Trying to jinx us all? :-)

              Yeah, I know you’re being tongue-in-cheek, but why would we want more crazy angry people murdering others because somehow they are bad?

              Don’t forget about the leftist guerrilla/terrorists groups in 60s-80s. They might make a comeback sometime along with all the other violent right wing groups. The one that never changes in America is the predisposition for violence if a group of us feels hopelessly oppressed and unable to get change via the ballet box.

              All the way into the late 70s during the previous four centuries it was a thing. So the previous 30-40 years is an anomaly.

              Of course, considering just how @@@@@@up our government is and just how violent our law enforcement is becoming at all levels it is likely to make a comeback.

          2. GERMO

            Moreover, it wasn’t a shooting it was shootings, plural — let’s not forget there was a second gunman at a second mosque and there seems to have been a couple people helping them out, i.e., this was a well planned and coordinated effort by a group…but media reports are evolving in the customary direction of the “lone nutjob.” Very hard to find any in-depth coverage about the second mosque where 7 were killed and harder still anything about exactly how that is connected to the shooter with the helmet cam and the 49 victims. One gets the feeling this story is being managed for us.

            1. integer

              It was the same shooter at the second mosque. An Afghani guy named Abdul Aziz fought back with a credit card reader (!), causing the shooter to flee. He saved a lot of lives. The second guy who was arrested is 18 years old, and appears not to have been involved in the shooting, so was probably involved at the planning stage. The third guy was driving to pick his kids up from school and took a gun for protection. He was initially thought to have been involved but has since been cleared and released. The woman is still in custody, but no info on her involvement has been released.

        2. Lukas Bauer

          We are talking about the people who according to many studies don’t give a flying fuck about things like extreme inequality, steep hierarchies, poverty, mass suffering, the works.

          At the very mist they think that different people should at the top of the pyramid, and they themselves a couple steps higher, so they want to murder the vulnerable people that are useless parasites in their view, and stopping them from rising in the pecking order.

          But they have no real beef with billionaires or authoritarian presidents in general, and certainly no problem with the pecking order as such, their concepts of justice narrow, highly selective and self serving.

          The idea that one could ever make common cause with fascists against the ruling class is nuts.

          1. JBird4049

            This is such a cliche that it hurts to it. However, it should be said again.

            It is easy to condemn “those” people as the bad ones, the cause of all of our problems.!! The Blacks, the Jews, the Disposables, the Poor, the Faceless Whatever because you then have an enemy to unite against and you also do not have to look at yourself.

            Many people help in the creation of the Bad People doing Bad Things because it gives them power; too many people are eager to give control of their lives to those claiming that it will help keep them safe. It is a political form of Disaster Capitalism. We can all see our various rights, freedoms, and protections from the government and the elites evaporating. The older you are the greater the loss you can see. We are destroying ourselves in the impossible goal of absolute safety by giving up everything.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Agreed here. I think that Martin Luther King had it right about judging people only by the ‘content of their character’. He was talking about race in that speech but it applies right across the board.

          1. MT_Bill

            M1 Garand is almost 100, powerful (30-06) and very reliable. For a while (early 90’s) were pretty easy to come by for about $500. Modern builds of the same rifle are used in 1000 yard competitions.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Amazon takes another step into the medical space by accepting pre-tax health spending accounts”

    People with a long memory might remember an old anti-richard Nixon poster from the 60s which featured his photo and the words “Would YOU buy a used car from this man?”. Here is what it looked like-

    Maybe it is time to revive that poster and have one featuring the image of Jeff Bezos as seen on that CNBC page and the words “Would YOU trust this man with your health care?”

  11. Carla

    Here’s a follow-up to the link about Cleveland’s newspaper, from the editor-in-chief.

    The following online comment from someone with the handle of Papa_katz got the most “likes” (I “liked” it, too) :

    “In the liberal utopia, the most consistent ideology we hear is that it is our collective responsibility to sacrifice for the betterment of our fellow man or woman.

    One would think that Chris Quinn, George Rodrique, Brent Larkin and most of the editorial board would all agree to take a reduction in pay to save their fellow team members? And yet, here we are.

    Weird, huh?”

    1. notabanker

      Important to note the Plain Dealer is owned by the Newhouse family on Staten Island, the 44th largest private company in the US, 4th largest in NY. They also operate cleveland dot com, to which the PD is the main contributor, and have been using that entity to strip union work from the organization.

      Advance Local, the subsidiary that runs cle dot com is a digital syndicate of 25 local newspapers in 11 of the top 20 US markets with over 50 million viewers. Their strategy has been to centralize production and operations stripping local reporting markets of publishing and editing autonomy under the banner of efficiencies.

      35 years ago, Cleveland Scene was the free weekly local alt rag that covered the music scene. It’s now the only print source of non-billionaire sponsored local reporting.

      1. barefoot charley

        Chicago’s alt weekly once worth reading, the Reader, was Village Voiced a decade or more ago and is now owned by the Sun-Times, damned if I know why. It and the Tribune pile up free training newspapers as well, seldom read. Would the kids read newspapers on free burner phones?

  12. pjay

    Re: ‘The Amnesia of the U.S. Foreign Policy Establishment’

    This is a good article, a well-deserved critique of the hypocrisy of the neoliberal foreign policy establishment. It emphasizes the key point that the UN and postwar international order was built on the principle of non-intervention — which the U.S. has violated countless times. Here is the gist:

    “Our hypocrisy has always been a threat to our legitimacy, but in the past it was often managed with careful rhetoric and diplomatic maneuvers designed to conceal the discrepancy between our words and our deeds, to camouflage our violations in language that reinforced the order or appealed to higher values. Trump is distinct from his predecessors not because his foreign policy is a radical departure, but because he is carrying out similar policies without the moralistic righteousness of his predecessors.”

    When I saw that it was in the New Republic I almost didn’t bother to read it, given that magazine’s recent track record. So I was a bit surprised that I agreed with it. Then I checked out the author:

    “John Glaser is the director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute”

    Of course the New Republic would call on a Cato libertarian to critique the “liberal” establishment. Who else? Fun times!

    1. ewmayer

      “the UN and postwar international order was built on the principle of non-intervention — which the U.S. has violated countless times.”

      Funnily, the exact same discrepancy between the ideal and the practice is captured in that embodiment of post-WW2 American-Internationalist idealism, Star Trek. You had an integrated multiracial international crew – naturally led by Americans (OK, Bill Shatner was actually Canadian by birth, but he played an American, and Starfleet was based in the SF Bay area) – busily spreading ‘Merican-style liberal-democratic ideals across the galaxy. And Starfleet’s highest law, the Prime Directive of non-intervention, of course comes into conflict with the liberal responsibility-to-protect regime-changery, so it gets violated under some pretext or another pretty much every other episode. The cartoonish bad guys in form of the Klingons and the Romulans represent the evil Asian-axis powers of the Cold War, seeking to subvert the Good Americans at every turn, by every dastardly means available to them. The more I think about it, the more Star Trek strikes me as the perfect cinematic embodiment of the liberal R2P policeman-of-the-globe-ery. Which differs from neocon imperial violence only in its pretensions, not in the actual awfulness of its effects.

      1. LifelongLib

        Well, there were also the Metrons or the even more powerful Organians who could shut things down if the humans and company got too carried away. Don’t know what their equivalent would be in real life — global warming?

      2. The Rev Kev

        You’re forgetting all about the context here. A show in this era would normally feature an all-American crew but this one had, as you pointed out, an multiracial international crew. That was unheard of. And a black woman as Communications Officer? That was outrageous. When Nichelle Nichols had doubts about continuing her appearance there, it was MLK who urged her to stay as it gave a face to black equality. Come to think of it, she and Shatner had the first inter-racial kiss on TV which went down like a ton of bricks in some areas. Sure the Klingons represented the Russians and the Romulans represented China but this was over half a century ago but that was relevant to the times and reflected fears at the time. At least this show is still being watched 50 years later. You think that the same will be true of Law & Order or an NCIS?

        1. ewmayer

          Hey, I said nothing about the show being enjoyable to watch or not, just that amidst the progressive and laudable multicultural stuff in there, there is a profound streak of we-are-an-undisputable-force-for-good interventionism. Of course the cartoonish villains made it impossible for any reasonable person to argue against said interventions, but that is the precise role propaganda has always served, is it not? I thoroughly enjoy the show myself, but it’s interesting to note the degree to which many of the plotlines resemble modern-day real-world R2P ops, at least as presented by the Western MSM. And don’t get me started on the “high-tech weaponry will save the day!” aspect. :)

          1. The Rev Kev

            I actually agree with your comment. I think that it must be a sore spot with me in that the latest iterations of what they call Star Trek are going completely against what Roddenberry tried to slip into his shows when nobody was looking. The clips that I have seen from “Star Trek: Discovery” are unrecognizable as Star Trek as an example. If it keeps up, Star Trek will have slipped completely into the Mirror universe so that this will be the opening title for the next version of Star Trek-


      3. Geof

        Compare with classic Doctor Who. The law of the Time Lords, as of Star Fleet, is non-intervention. But whereas Star Trek captains pay lip service to the Prime Directive, the Doctor outright rejects the principle.

        I find Star Trek‘s progressive claims pretentious, especially in light of the over-the-top sexism of episodes like Turnabout Intruder, where the explicitly-stated conclusion is that women are inherently unsuited for command and need to learn to accept their limitations. In another episode, it is said that an energy-being must obviously be female and in love with a stranded man simply because it looks after him. Actually, I think the bigotry of the show is its greatest charm: from today, it is a relic from a bygone era.

        Sixties Doctor Who is more uneven. There is definite racism at times (e.g. Julius Siverstein, Toberman), but at the same time the show unselfconsciously puts women in positions of authority (Gia Kelly in “Seeds of Death”, Barbara in “The Aztecs”), and when it casts non-white actors, it is seldom to make a point (e.g. Fariah in “Enemy of the World”).

        I find Star Trek is strident and dogmatic in prejudice and progress alike. Doctor Who doesn’t make an issue of these things: as a result, I find its progressive moments organic and genuine. (Unfortunately this is not true of Nu Who, which would rather instruct the viewer how to think.)

        From a distance (I’m Canadian), these two programs seem to reflect something of the different ways that America and Britain coped with the consequences of empire.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Oh Star Trek had their moments. On a coupla episodes of ST Voyager, a couple of the characters were recreating an old 1930s scifi show on the holodeck. A female character in this program – Constance Goodheart – was doing what all good heroines did on these early shows. She screamed her head off-

          Of course the unsaid dig at these times by the show was how on the ship itself, women served in all posts including the Captain, Chief Engineer and Astrometrics Officer! People forget too but when in the 1977 film “Star Wars” the Princess Leia character grabbed a blaster to blow an escape route in a wall and started to shoot at Storm Troopers, it was a case of ‘Wow! That’s new! Haven’t seen that before.’ Being followed up by the Ellen Ripley character in the 1979 film “Alien” underlined that attitudes were changing and a Barbarella character now seemed quaint and way out of date. Times and attitudes change and you can see this reflected in popular culture like scifi shows.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Yeah, let’s compare the Benjamins. Who gets the biggest pile of money? Hillary or Nancy?

        1. Lee

          Why don’t we just rename hundred dollar bills “Franklins” and put these phony claims of antisemiticism behind us. Of course, then we might offend the Anglo-Norman-French community. :>/

            1. ambrit

              Think big. AIPACs are now $1000 dollar bills. $100s are for chumps, or useful idiots, if you will.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I have an idea! How about putting Clinton’s face on a hundred dollar bill. Either of them would do. Then you could say that “it was all about the ‘Clintons’, baby”.

      2. John k

        Hillary was selling future potus access. Nancy sells the house. The former is potentially more valuable… sadly, high potential value dropped to zero one night in 2016.

    1. notabanker

      Their slogan right below Nancy’s smile: Connected For Good

      Can’t make this stuff up.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Wow, the comments:

        Confirmed: Nancy is on the payroll of a lobbying group working on behalf of a terrorist apartheid state.


        Right wing lady of the night

  13. AAL Pilot

    re: 737 MAX issues

    I am a 737 pilot for American Airlines – the world’s largest airline and one of the primary operators of the 737 MAX. As a group, the AAL 737 community has been greatly concerned by the limited training we have received in this new model. We have basically been given bulletins to read and videos to watch that emphasize the difference in normal operations. We have been given less “training” in dealing with non-normal situations. In response to assurances by our managers and training department that the 737 MAX’s normal operation will be so similar to our current model (737 NG) as to require little additional training, I have long felt that the crucial difference will only become apparent when something goes wrong. It is simply impossible to anticipate all the possible failure modes when new systems are introduced.

    With that as preamble, I must point out that any commentary regarding better pilot training in the 737 MAX needs to be informed by this troubling fact: American Airlines does not own a single 737 MAX simulator. I suspect the same is true of other 737 MAX operators. Even so, simulators are NOT the same as a real aircraft operating in the real world. A simulator is just a big fancy computer with a simulated cockpit as an interface. A simulator can only simulate something that has been coded into the software. It cannot replicate a malfunction that has not been modeled and programed.

    To be fair, the challenges of adequate training on any complex aircraft faces similar issues. That is why pilot experience (both in years and total hours operating advanced aircraft) and professionalism (a hard to quantify, but very real mindset in how one approaches the task of operating in the aviation environment) are such key factors in conducting safe airline operations. Commercial aviation (at least in developed countries with a long aviation history) has an enviable safety record. That is in part due to multiple layers of protection built into the system, and the final layer is usually the pilot.

    1. Carla

      As I member of the public who sometimes flies, I appreciate your posting here. Thank you. The greatest problems appear to me, in order of severity/importance, to be as follows, and I wonder what your thoughts on them might be:
      1. The FAA takes its orders from Boeing and not from a Boeing-independent engineering safety team.
      2. Boeing was criminally negligent in not immediately grounding the 737 Max 8 after the Ethiopian crash.
      3. Southwest and American Airlines put profitability ahead of safety by not ordering the immediate grounding the their 737 Max 8’s and scheduling other planes for all of those flights.
      4. The flying public can no longer trust the FAA, Boeing, Southwest or American Airlines.

      1. HopeLB

        Boeing itself watered down its own quality standards as revealed in this investigation of Boeing;
        And there is this;

        The amazing safety records of yore seemed to be have been the result of airline makers’ controlling all facets of manufacturing and demanding excellence. Now they’ve allowed both the profit motive to trump quality and to employ complexified software to mask the problems in crappified, costcutting engineering/construction.

      2. Max Peck

        This claim that Boeing and the FAA are in cahoots to water down aviation safety cannot be sustained. There has been a total of four passenger fatalities due to accidents on Boeing airplanes in the U.S. since 2001. How many people have been killed while driving Fords over that time period? Maybe 30,000?

        We should learn from the recent 737 crashes and not repeat any mistakes that may have been made, but the FAA must be doing something right about passenger safety.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The FAA certifies US made equipment, as in Boeing airplanes, and national regulators around the world normally defer to the regulator who certified the equipment.


          1. The FAA IS responsible for the 737 Max deaths abroad

          2. It was extraordinarily unusual for foreign regulators to bypass the FAA and ground the 737 Max without having been told to do so by the FAA. It says they had no faith in the FAA’s independence in light of the importance of that model to Boeing.

          See the FT article I highlighted above for details.

          1. Max Peck

            EASA also certified the MAX 8. It’s extraordinarily unusual for EASA to dissent from the FAA, not because EASA is beholden to the FAA, but because the FAA has an outstanding safety record. If you want to take the position that the certifying body is responsible for the deaths, then EASA is also responsible.

            Other bodies grounding the MAX 8 before the FAA does not necessarily mean they “had no faith in the FAA’s independence…” It could just mean there was a technical disagreement.

            I don’t doubt Boeing has more influence over the FAA (and probably EASA) than we would like. But air travel is almost unbelievably safe given its complex, high-energy nature. It’s a order of magnitude safer than it was fifty years ago and has continued to get safer through the last 20-30 years of corporatocracy. Even if the MAX 8 turns out to be a regulatory miss, it is hardly an indictment of the entire system, as long as the right lessons are learned and applied.

      3. AAL Pilot


        I wish the issues were really that black and white – it would make it easier to take the proper corrective action. The entire aviation industry is a hugely complex system filled with mostly well-intentioned, though still fallible, human beings responding to a myriad of competing demands while striving to deliver a safe and reliable product. We have a long and deeply engrained aviation safety culture in North America, and the fact that aircraft accidents are relatively rare occurrences is testimony to the high standards we try to uphold. (Slight digressions here – the airline travel experience in terms of comfort, consistency, and compassion is highly problematic, but that is a separate issue from safety).

        However, this safety culture does come at a cost. The expense of virtually any activity associated with the manufacture or operations of a commercial aircraft comes at a phenomenally high premium compared to non-aviation industries because of all the stringent quality controls, regulatory oversight, multiple redundancies, training, certification, etc. And while it is politically correct to say that we shouldn’t put a cost on human life, the reality is that the only way to guarantee a 100% safe airline operation would be to ground every aircraft. Sadly, that would actually lead to an increase in fatalities as travelers were forced into relatively less safe modes of ground transportation. I suspect that a talented actuarial could actually calculate the number of additional deaths we can expect from the current grounding of the 737 MAX fleet due to auto-related fatalities among those who were forced to drive to their destinations.

        All of these costs are subject to intense scrutiny, in part, because the aviation industry is also very unforgiving to those companies that don’t get it right. There is a reason that just about every major U.S. airline has passed through bankruptcy at least once and that we have only one surviving U.S. based commercial aircraft manufacturer. A series of wrong decisions or poor timing can quickly become an existential issue. (Fun fact: Costs associated with the launch of the Boeing 747, one of the most successful aircraft in history, nearly bankrupted the company)

        Determining when a sincere and well-intentioned effort to manage costs has an unacceptable impact on safety is not always a clear cut exercise – I truly wish it was. There are indications that Boeing as well as some of the 737 MAX operators should have exercised greater diligence. That being said, we still do not have all the facts regarding the chain of causation (accidents are almost always the result of multiple failures). I have a high level of confidence in the accident investigation process, and I’m sure we are going to learn quite a bit more about these accidents in the weeks and months to come.

        Sorry if this was not exactly a direct response to your points above. I do share your overall concerns regarding issues of regulatory capture, the skewed priorities of corporate managers, and the declining level of trust in those who we feel should be guarding the public interest. However, these are not problems unique to the aviation industry – they are a larger cultural issue. While I believe the exacting standards of the aviation industry makes it more resilient to these pressures, it is not immune either.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Thank you for your comments here as they are very informative. If you ever have an idle moment, you may want to order a copy of Ernest K. Gann’s 1961 memoir “fate is the Hunter” in which he talks about his early career in aviation from the 1930s to the 1950s. Aviation has come a very long way and you might enjoy it-

    2. Arizona Slim

      Thanks for posting. Yves, would it be possible to hoist this one from comments and make it a post?

    3. Lamont Cranston

      Juan Brfown’s Blancolirio Youtube channel episode provides a dramatic illustration of the physical mechanism that caused the crash:

      1. Arizona Slim

        Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone! I am another fan of Juan Browne and his blancolirio channel.

        1. KB

          Yes, that….I have been watching Juan Brown for quite awhile now….his videos and diagrams really make things easier to understand….he’s the best..

    4. rowlf

      In what way is the 737 MAX MCAS system different from the stab trim due to stall warning that was on 737-800 and 777 aircraft? Is AA adding the AOA indication on the PFDs?

      1. AAL Pilot

        The MCAS system is unique to the 737 MAX. Due to the positioning of the new and larger engines, at high Angle of Attack (AOA) Boeing discovered during test flights that the nose-up pitch forces are higher than the 737 NG (previous model). That is a unwelcome event when approaching a stall.

        MCAS was designed to help counteract this additional pitch up moment by moving the stabilizer (big horizontal flight control on the tail) toward the nose down position. So far so good. The problems with the current MCAS system is that 1) apparently it is subject to activation by the failure of a single AOA sensor, and 2) until the Lion Air crash, pilots were not informed that MCAS even existed.

        I’m not an aeronautical engineer, but a single-point failure that can actually move a primary flight control in an unwanted manner is probably not a robust design. The 737’s come with two independent AOA sensors, so I have no idea why both of them weren’t used.

        On the second point, it is challenging for pilots to counteract a system failure when they don’t even know the system exists. It has been correctly pointed out that we have procedures to counter uncommanded stabilizer movement (sometimes called runaway stab trim). However, in the case of an AOA failure which falsely indicates that the aircraft is approaching a stall, the pilot can be presented with a number of erroneous displays and warnings plus the activation of the “stick-shaker” – a very loud vibrating device on the control column which acts as a tactile warning of an impending stall. I cannot overemphasize how distracting this can be.

        While the pilot is trying to sort out this problem (very close to the ground), the MCAS is now working in the background to force the aircraft nose down. Absent the multiple distractions generated by the false AOA signal, an uncommanded stab movement would be fairly easy to detect and counter. With all the distraction, a well-trained crew should eventually be able to identify and stop the stabilizer movement. That being said, knowing that you should look for this problem with AOA failure would make a big difference in your reaction time.

        In answer to your last question, all AA aircraft have the output of the AOA’s displayed on the Primary Flight Display (PFD). The inclusion of this information on the PFD is an option selected by the particular airline. I have no idea whether Lion Air or Ethiopian used this optional display. To be clear, all 737’s have dual AOA sensors. Not all 737’s provide the AOA information to the pilots.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Facebook, Axios And NBC Paid This Guy To Whitewash Wikipedia Pages”

    Should come as no real surprise that. Seeing how you had someone game the college system to have some rich kids get into the ‘right’ establishments, it should not be wondered at that some corporations want their images white-washed too. Sometimes I go to a page that I know that is controversial like that for the 2008 Russo-Georgian War and after reading it, I wonder if it has been edited by the American Enterprise Institute.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      Nothing on the internet is real.

      click farm in action

      This is a link showing the inner workings of a click farm. All of the likes are paid for.

      68% of adults edit their selfies before posting

      This is from a survey at a photography school, so it’s probably higher than the normal population.

      Most people like on the internet

      She said people reported lying about all kinds of things — their age, their gender, their appearance, activities and interests.
      Of the different types of sites they measured, people were most likely to be honest on social media sites like Facebook. Nearly 32 per cent of people said they were “always honest” on social media.

      So math states that 68% probably are not honest. Oh and the authors photo was edited.

      Of course 97% of statistics on the internet are made up.

    2. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Kev.

      It’s not just Wikipedia that is whitewashed. An increasing number of firms will monitor and clean your online profile for you. Dominique Strauss-Kahn employed such a firm.

      I will write soon about what Google does.

      Back to the races at Auteuil.

          1. Jonhooos

            I thought so too :-)
            I was originally going to put up the amazon link but the first search gave me the Wikipedia article and I thought it would be an ironic touch to use that instead.

    3. Chris Cosmos

      Wikipedia is excellent about non-controversial topics but other than that, it’s largely useless unless you want to know what the CIA thinks about stuff. Like human society you go with trusted sources to find out what’s what. I have mine.

      1. polecat

        So, instead of Calpers, I guess one could say that EVERYTHING is like the C I A then .. do I have that right ??

      2. Geof

        But what’s a “controversial” topic? Which topics does no-one have an interest in?

        I know an expert in a field (online education) who contributed to the history of the field on Wikipedia. Years later, big chunks of history were just gone. Certain contributions were erased from history. Why? Cliquish possessiveness? Revenge against a competitor? Self-promotion? An aesthetic preference for short articles?

        I once looked up a social justice type, because he was saying crazy things. The Wikipedia article mentioned that he made vile statements about white people, and linked to a news story for evidence. I followed the link, because though I really, really disagreed with him, this seemed a bit much. He made no such statement. It was pure fabrication. I checked back on the article months later: no change.

        I have noticed bias in apparently straightforward articles. A skewed American world-view, for instance, not clear errors of fact. I noticed because I know what to look for for that kind of bias. What if it was Malaysian bias? Would I notice?

        Of course every source has bias. A point of view is often necessary to tell a coherent story. I generally prefer sources with known bias. With a single authority governing authorship, bias is knowable. On Wikipedia, bias is all over the place.

        The point of propaganda isn’t what’s controversial: it’s what’s taken for granted. It is questions not asked. There may well be less danger with controversial topics because at least you have your guard up. The real deceptions will be with the non-controversial topics, or seemingly innocuous claims, where you don’t.

        Never mind that the writing has gotten steadily worse over the years. (Crappification!) Technical articles are now so jargon-filled that they’re incomprehensible to anyone who doesn’t already know most of what they have to say. I don’t think that’s bias per se, it’s the cliquishness of busybodies who have nothing of substance to add, so they suck the life out of it instead. Removing point of view is also a kind of bias, one that turns facts and ideas into mush.

        1. skk

          re: “Years later, big chunks of history were just gone.”

          Could you give the links ? I ask because AFAIK all changes in a wiki article are trackeable. For example, my claim to fame – the correction to the “reverse video” article has gone through umpteen changes since I corrected it in 2013. The entire change log is there ( and reconstructible ! ) in all its gory details in :

          1. Acacia

            Sure, but come on: how many people are going to bother to look through umpteen changes of edit history for a page and try to interpolate everything that’s been deleted?

            The only time I ever looked at the edit history of a Wikipedia page was when I was trying to figure out how it came to include plagiarized content, and whether that might have been simply a mistake (the edit history didn’t clear this up, btw).

            What I found was that all the “editors” (seems a generous word here, really) were anonymous handles. One could have been a multi-PhD-equipped expert while the next one could have been a highly-opinionated high school dropout. Who knows?

      3. Acacia

        Sorry, I beg to differ. Wikipedia is not “excellent”. It’s an introductory source, only, full of errors. It contains a fair amount of plagiarized content. You can’t cite it in an academic paper or even an undergraduate college essay.

        I know a number of people who have knowledge in different fields, none of whom would bother to waste their time adding to Wikipedia let alone correcting its errors.

        Why bother, when your effort to set the record straight could be deleted by some fifteen year old (just as Geof describes, above)?

    4. skk

      Over the last 10 years I’ve made edits to a few wikipedia pages, one that comes to mind is correcting the article on reverse video . {Don’t ask ! }. I mention that to illustrate that I know of the meta information associated with a wiki entry – the “edit history” and the “talk about the edits” pages.

      That huffpost article is good ! I urge people to read past the headline. It discusses how wiki article governance works, and how this Sussman guy is paid to manipulate the process and how he does it. It illustrates who wins, sometimes, when volunteerism, the unpaid wiki editors are confronted by argumentative people paid to argue.
      And exposure is the biggest disinfectant – I’ll be looking to see if the wiki’s talk page on wiki’s rules has a debate going on now and if there isn’t one in 2 weeks or so, I’ll contact them.

      Separately, Mark Ames comment that headlines the huffpost article “Wikipedia is the most perfectly corrupt neoliberal encyclopedia imaginable” has little supporting it in the article He’d do better using the wiki entries on alternative 911 theories and the censorship there as illustrations. Because a central principle of the wikipedia is :
      “Wikipedia articles must not contain original research. The phrase “original research” (OR) is used on Wikipedia to refer to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published sources exist.”

      And of course for “reliable published” on, say, 911, they will weigh the 911 Commission report against books by Prof David Ray Griffin with the Commission report getting heavy weighting.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Reverse video? Gasp! But that is how I view all my text files – as blue on a black background. Makes stuff easier to read I find.

    5. Alex

      Do people try to influence the #1 source of information on the Internet? Of course they do. But this “expose” actually shows how transparent the process is – you can literally go over all the contributions this guy made, check them and remove false information or add context to what he wrote.

      Surely there are also a lot of people who do the same thing without declaring their conflict of interest. From my own experience of dealing with them on wiki, usually the harm they do is rather limited. First, most of the time it’s pretty clear if someone has such agenda and it ends in a block more often than not. Second, most of Wiki’s articles are watched by multiple people and an attempt to delete negative information or add something without proper context doesn’t escape unnoticed.

    6. Matt

      This is something I’ve noticed for a while; nearly all the pages dealing with modern Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union read like they were written by right wing nationalists. For these topics, you can sometimes get useful information by reading the Russian-language page.

  15. PlutoniumKun

    Grounding a global fleet: Boeing faces its greatest challenge Financial Times. Important. Try Googling the headline if you are not a subscriber.

    Its possible of course that this is a once-off, but the conclusion seems optimistic:-

    John Cox, chief executive of Safety Operating Systems, an aviation safety consultancy who also served as the top safety official for the Air Line Pilots Association, believes Boeing will recover from this crisis.

    “Boeing will be impacted in the near term, but overall the aeroplane will re-enter service fly millions and millions of passengers safely,” he says. “There are important differences between the two accidents [in Indonesia and Ethiopia]. Pressure is very high to determine the likely cause. Once that is understood the solutions can be found,” he adds.

    If the problem in Boeing is systematic, and the company really has rotted from the head down as many believe, then it will take more than a software fix to bring back faith in the system. The fact that Asian, European and African countries were so quick to reject the FAA’s initial assurances means that neither Boeing nor the FAA have the reputation they once had. There are more competitors coming along (China’s Comac and Canada’s Bombadier as examples, although the latter is now controlled by Airbus). This won’t be fatal for Boeing, its too big to fail, but it could set off long term decline.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Great idea, a “Home” button like every drone has, the pilot presses it and it overrides everything else.
        “Every landing you can walk away from is a great landing”

  16. Lunker Walleye

    To our moderator, via Jack Kornfield, via the Buddha.

    “May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be well.
    May you be peaceful and at ease. May you be happy.”

      1. Wukchumni

        Rose are red
        Violets are blue
        Thanks for letting
        An occasional
        Get through.

        We miss you.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Yeah, moderator, we miss you and want you back right away! Slim says down with illness! And hospitals too!

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Seconded! NC has moved from being just a great website to being a public good

            1. The Rev Kev

              Here’s hoping for a quick recovery. Hope that it was nothing too serious but you are missed. Where would NC be without its moderators?

  17. Watt4Bob

    From the Galbraith MMT article;

    And MMT is not about Congress ordering the Fed to use its “balance sheet as a cash cow.” Rather, it is about understanding how monetary operations actually work, how interest rates are set, and what economic powers the US government has.

    I’d say MMT is about Congress ordering the Fed to stop operating exclusively as a cash cow for the MIC and Wall $treet, and start providing some sort of tangible material benefits for the people.

    This is obviously a totally reasonable request, and excuses for why this isn’t possible require insane levels of dishonesty.

  18. Wukchumni

    India follows China’s lead, bans plastic waste imports TreeHugger (resilc)
    We’re quickly getting to the bury it or burn it stage of The Graduate, and being oil based, plastics must burn furiously, but what are the aftereffects like, post incineration, on a large scale?

  19. Chris Cosmos

    I’ve often defended Trump from the wild Russia accusation and endless tempests in teapots, gossip and so on by the mainstream media. But I felt that, this time, Trump has gone too far with his physical threats to whatever he views as his opposition. It’s one thing to do it as a candidate quite another to do it as the POTUS–this is truly dangerous.

    I remember working a Top Secret (they would never have allowed me to do that after 9/11) mainly bullshit job in the government during the aftermath of the 2000 election. One of the guys, ex-AF officer, I worked with was ranting that if “they” gave the election to Gore he knew that there would be steps taken by people he knew in the military to right that wrong. He was not just adamant, he was furious and presumably his friends were as well. I’ve always thought, since then, that one of the reasons the Supremes gave the election to Bush was that they feared some kind of coup attempt if they didn’t.

    1. Hepativore

      I wonder if this would be a legitimate fear if Sanders wins the election?

      While I think most conspiracy theories are nonsense, many established government policies or programs are hard to change or stop due to the sheer amount of mission creep and bureaucratic inertia behind them no matter how idiotic or pointless they might be. Since we have been involved in wars in the middle-east and elsewhere for decades with no clear reason or exit strategy, various unelected officials might indeed try to stir up trouble for anyone who tries to end them.

      I am not sure what form of rebellion from the security state you might see hypothetically speaking, but the excuse of “Because we’ve always done it this way!” is a powerful motivator. Look at how stubbornly the US clings to the customary system of measurement instead of switching to the metric system. This is a distinction which we only share with Burma/Myanmar, I think.

      To be fair to the US, being resistant to needed change is hardly a unique trait of my government.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        So let me think, what precedent do we have of a candidate losing the election and refusing to accept the result? Maybe even using the FBI, CIA, DOJ, and the press to undermine the winner? And attempting to show that an evil foreign power corrupted and controlled the result?

        Yes, that would be a very dangerous precedent indeed

    2. polecat

      I’m thinking that an opposition candidate could use that Trump quote as political mortar fire to great effect during the upcoming debates ..

    3. AC

      Sup. Court:. My take on the election of Bush by the Supreme Court-according to state/federal law the Florida legislature would direct how electors should vote regardless of the actual vote count. People think we are a democracy; the S.Ct. did not want this election to be resolved by a conflicted Florida legislature. The S.Ct. therefore took the case away from the Florida S.Ct. and the Florida legislature in a decision that should not be used as binding (per S.Ct.) in later cases.

    4. voteforno6

      I’m sorry, but your acquaintance was talking out of his a**. My interactions with people in the military at the time gave me no indication that such thing could even happen – it wasn’t even contemplated, except maybe by the real crazies. Sure, people in the military by and large skew conservative, but that in no way could be taken to mean that they would actually attempt a coup. People who fantasize about military coups in the U.S. have a very superficial understanding of what people in the military are actually like.

      1. Biph

        The loudest complaints I ever heard was in 95 when the Republican Congress tried to pull porn mags from the PX, based on the number and volume of complaints I heard if they had went through with it that might have caused a coup.

      2. Biph

        The loudest complaints I ever heard was in 95 when the Republican Congress tried to pull porn mags from the PX, based on the number and volume of complaints I heard if they had went through with it that might have caused a coup.

      3. Oh

        I tend to agree with you. Just because one crazy AF guy was adamant about something does not make it true that things like that would happen. It’s quite a reach. The straight forward answer is that the SC favored Bush.

    5. RMO

      Members of the Supreme Court pretty much said that one of the reasons for their ruling was that they thought there would be civil unrest if they were to allow the recount to proceed.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “New Zealand Massacre”

    I am willing to bet that the intelligence services are burning the midnight oil right now since it was learned that Tarrant spent time overseas, including Europe, North Korea, India and Japan. In Europe he went to countries like Portugal, Spain and France but he seems to have spent a lot of time in eastern Europe in places like Turkey, Bulgaria and maybe even the Ukraine. It may be that he was visiting places famous from when Muslims invaded Europe centuries ago but the real concern, which has not been really mentioned, is that he may have been contacting other right-wing extremists in those countries. This could have been enabled via internet contacts. You can bet that the security services will be tracing his movements on a day by day basis. I do wonder if he actually visited the Ukraine as I found mentioned. The eastern borders and the fighting there has become a magnet for white nationalists. Time will tell as the full story comes out on just who this loser was and who he was talking to.

    1. jo6pac

      Sadly no midnight oil is being burned and I have no doubt they followed him around the world. The intell world needs these people to increase their budgets.

      Hopefully NZ can ban these types of weapons.

      1. kgw

        Difficult to ban these type of “weapons.” They walk around, talking, like other hominids.

        1. newcatty

          Cogent statement, kgw. It’s really beyond the “people, kill people, not guns” b.s. Are these hominids just products of their socities’ insanity? Are they products of purposeful creation? Are they weaponized by something? With this latest “mass shooting” in now a country that many are shocked that it happened in, New Zealand, are more people finally starting to wonder?

    2. Chris Cosmos

      I don’t think that violence against Muslims is a priority for the intel services. From what little I’ve learned from retired intel officers, for the most part, they buy into the clash of civilization bullshit–I got into a heated conversation with a couple of those characters who were adamant that Muslims were little more than savages and echoed several conversations I’ve had with Israelis on the matter.

    3. integer

      There’s a lot of info in his manifesto, including a description of the events that led to him deciding to do what he did. His inspiration was Anders Breivik. Regarding Ukraine, he mentions he has been there to but gives no details. He also mentions that he has interacted with, and donated to, many nationalist groups but is not a member of any.

    4. David

      Intelligence agencies have their priorities set by politicians. That means prioritising the limited effort, and given the hundreds of deaths from Islamic terrorism in Europe since 2015, and the existence of undisrupted networks, as well as returnees from Syria, putting their efforts into those who have already carried out attacks and threaten more, is obviously logical. Now, there’s a huge new problem to worry about. That said, whilst there are very good anti-terrorist links among European countries, I’d be surprised if they were as good with New Zealand, or Australia for that matter. Something will probably need to be done about that.

      1. witters

        “Intelligence agencies have their priorities set by politicians.” Well, that’s good to know. No worries about getting back at you six ways, then.

    5. integer

      Looks like you are correct about the intel agencies:

      New Zealand shooting suspect’s worldwide trips investigated RT

      MI5 is now looking into Tarrant’s possible links to far-right radicals in Britain that he might have established during his European visits…

      Bulgarian security and intelligence chiefs held an emergency meeting following the Christchurch shooting, as the Eastern European country was one of Tarrant’s most recent destinations…

      Turkish law enforcers are looking into Tarrant’s activities in the country as they believe he arrived “to carry out a terror attack and/ or an assassination,” the source said.

      1. The Rev Kev

        What really has me wondering is his trip to the Ukraine. The Azov formation there was caught a few months ago giving military training to white supremacists from America. I would not be surprised if they were giving training to people from other countries as well so I wondered if this cretin was one of them. More on this story at-

        This was also covered by Bellingcat-

  21. georgieboy

    Boeing management may not know it yet, but they will be giving away the store in coming years.

    FAA lost credibility and can’t protect them now. China and Europe will understandably make it very expensive — via regulation, inspection, and government-mandated seizure of “trade secrets” — to fly their planes.

    The planes will fly again, sure, but ROE will not. In this case (truly dangerous) crapification may finally not pay.

  22. Wukchumni

    A Mass Murder of, and for, the Internet New York Times (furzy)
    I decided not to play the assassin’s 17 minute video game, but I foolishly learned his name, so there’s nothing I can do about it. As usual, 15 minutes of fame is assured in these episodes of mayhem.

  23. lyman alpha blob

    RE: CIA Blames Its Proxy For Its Raid On North Korea’s Embassy In Spain

    Taking this with the recent links to armed US “security” personnel getting caught in Haiti last month, it sure sounds like former CIA-man Miles Copeland was right about the quality of espionage not being what it used to be in that 30 year old Rolling Stone article posted yesterday.

    The spooks are getting sloppy and everything is crapified. What’s the world coming to when the US can’t even get an assassination in Haiti done right?

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      News flash: they were just as inept in Copeland’s heyday. Perhaps the name Fidel Castro brings a bell.

  24. cripes

    If needing to get to an FT article or elsewhere, googling headlines not working, go to outline-dot-com. It just works.

  25. David

    If you can stand anything more on Brexit, and if you are interested in whether Theresa May can somehow scramble together the votes for MV3 next week, have a look at this House of Commons Library Briefing Paper on the apparently arcane subject of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The VCLT will be the basis of any assurances that the government gives the ultras or the DUP on the question of withdrawal from the withdrawal agreement, as it were, is actually possible, and when. The Library conclusion, (set out in a downloadable PDF) like that of several other experts, is that it’s more of a theoretical possibility than anything else, and one with consequences, but for those MPs who are in search of a face-saving excuse to change their vote, it might just be enough.

    1. susan the other`

      I blame it on the EU’s inability to see past their own entrenched neoliberal policies. It’s tragic. Everybody wants out; nobody wants to leave.

  26. Susan the other`

    Jamie Galbraith. Project Syndicate. Questions Rogoff’s MMT Questions. Making Rogoff look like a twerp. But what else is new? Well – it was amazing to learn that Jamie himself drafted the 1978 legislation giving the Fed its dual mandate of price control and full employment. (Which I thought was just a ruse to keep unemployment at 6%… but I’m a cynic.) And he is saying it’s Congress’s bad because they haven’t enforced those mandates. Lost in their brainwashed infatuation with free-market-solutions, they have done a great big nothing to govern and guide our fiscal situation. No wonder there is an idiotic feedback loop between all the Rogoffs and Congress. By now they are protecting their own vested interests. But to ask Congress to finally, after all these wasted decades, enforce their own legislation would be a good thing. Galbraith understates it. And he quietly points out that MMT does just this. MMT is stepping in where everyone else has dropped the ball.

    1. Adam Eran

      Worth remembering: MMT reintroduces money into economics–the neoclassicals say the economy is basic barter, so credit / debt aren’t really worth paying much attention. For reals. Economics ignores money.

      Neoclassicals also fold land into capital, so classical economics’ inputs for production are now just capital and labor…no land. Why land is just like machinery, isn’t it.

      So…no bit surprise when the neoclassicals missed a crisis that occurred at the confluence of land an money — the subprime mortgage / derivatives meltdown.

  27. ewmayer

    o “Are Eggs Good Or Bad? How You Should Interpret This Latest Study | Forbes” — I am so done following this ridiculous “latest study shows food X is good/bad/neutral for you, contradicting previous studies!!” scaremongering industry. Just keep it simple: If humankind has been consuming it for thousands of years without obvious harm, and it contains lots of nutrients you need, and it’s from a natural source, and it’s not heavily processed on its way to you, and you like the taste of it, and you have no documented allergy to it, then eat it! Just as with everything else in life, do so in moderation.

    o “Christchurch terror attacks: What you need to know | DW” — What I know from watching the MSM coverage of the story is “killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims via sanctions, drone strikes and illegal wars of aggression is perfectly fine, but when one random wackjob kills a bunch of them and mentions the name ‘Trump’ probably by way of sheer PR-whoring, then it’s all Trump’s fault!”

    o “CIA Blames Its Proxy For Its Raid On North Korea’s Embassy In Spain Moon of Alabama” — I do so love the smell of plausible deniability in the morning … Wall Street has its “rogue traders”, the CIA has its “rogue proxies”.

    o “This is what a politics based on lies looks like Chris Grey” — It looks pretty much like politics as usual, I expect. The only issue is whether the estalishment/MSM is the purveyor of the lies, or whether someone they dislike is.

    o “Trump’s border agency admits he has built ZERO new walls Daily Mail” — Kinda funny how in terms of actual-walls-and-fences built, Obama is the reincarnation of Hadrian himself compared to Trump. But those walls were built to the accompaniment of Soaring Rhetoric™!

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Lone nut job kills 49 Muslims and it’s a global outrage, Obama incinerates 49 Muslim patients in their hospital beds or 39 at a wedding party on the beach and it’s a “potential unconfirmed collateral damage incident” relegated to page 21.

      And of course we cannot touch the third rail #NotPC subject of the guy’s underlying complaint: that under current policies and given current birth rates America, Europe, Australia will be Muslim majority countries by the year 2060. Kumbaya, I guess everybody’s cool with that

      1. Oh

        I agree with what you said in your first paragraph. The DHS is probably cheering this latest incident so that htey get to increase the budget, because…terror

      2. cnchal

        . . . I guess everybody’s cool with that

        Well, non muslims could go forth and multiply, beat em at their own game or try and convince muslims to slow down or stop their population growth. I’m batting 0 for 2 in that I didn’t multiply nor try and convince a muslim to not have children. 2060 is a bit abstract for me. A lot will happen between now and then, a lot of it unpredictable. What’s the fear of a muslim majority? Is it that muslims will force all other non muslims to become muslims against their will? That doesn’t sound very realistic. A couple of generations of muslims from now, this type of paranoia will be looked on as absurd.

      3. Grebo

        Islam is not genetic. If there ever is a 2060 the children of Muslims will all be atheists like the rest of us.

      4. CarlH

        You had me till the second paragraph. Do you have any evidence at all to back up these assertions? A muslim might read that comment and justifiably take some offense (substitute mexican, or jew for muslim and see how that sounds).

  28. moss

    Christchurch shooting
    NZer here. One immediate result of the events Friday has been internet censorship. On Saturday, access to ZeroHedge, 4chan and 8chan has mysteriously become blocked. It’s not 404 but just “server not found”.

    Duckduckgoing it around the place, the single reference to this occurrence is on our fellow propornot listed RT which states in a throwaway remark at the bottom of a long story about Friday that
    New Zealand’s three largest internet providers, Spark, Vodafone and Vocus, have announced they are blocking customers’ access to three websites located outside the country that are still hosting the livestream of one shooter’s rampage, an unprecedented restrictive measure Spark spokesman Andrew Pirie called “the responsible thing for the industry to do.”
    Mine is not one of the three ISPs listed but it all begs the questions with respect to censorship, what’s going on and why is it not being reported?

  29. John Beech

    I’m disappointed in the look of the Tesla Model Y.

    I expected an SUV looking kind of thing, make like one of the recent Kia offerings. Instead, it’s a slightly taller version of the car. For me it’s Model Yuk! Or blah. I’m sad Mr. Musk doesn’t grok stylin’ is important. The cars without a grill, yes I know they’re electric, remind me of a barbie doll when you raise the dress. Gross, I know but there you have it.

  30. Tomonthebeach

    Card-Skimming malware story…

    Yesterday, contrary to advertising, my PayPal account appears to have fallen victim to this scam. Using the financial cashout from an online gaming software company, somebody from E Europe tried to use my VISA card via PayPal to get gambling cash. I rarely use PayPal – mainly to send money to NakCap every month. It took hours to kill the card, and move all monthly billpays from that card to a new one. I still have a few to go. To its credit, PayPal messaged me and I declined the purchase. An hour later it happened again for more money. That is when I froze the card. I did a deep Kaspersky scan on my machine – negative outcome, so the malware must be someplace else.

    1. ambrit

      “…so the malware must be someplace else.”
      That is the scary part of this. No matter how you defend your personal tech, some outside actor can harm you. A big reason in favour of using cash as much as possible.
      Alas, some billers now actively discourage cash.
      For Pay Pal, we finally ended up using it with a dedicated bank account. Firewalled that account as much as possible. The other online sources that do not use Pay Pal? Another low balance account. The bank, ever vigilant for profit, charges a small amount per account per month. So, netting it out, there is no benefit for the consumer from using electronic bill pay, when the bank grift is added into the mix.
      Some time ago, I laughingly bought up the subject of a Post Office Bank while waiting in the line at the Post Office. When another line lingerer replied with the ‘Socialism’ argument, I countered with the observation that, yes, exactly like the socialism that big corporations in America get. Then the ad hominems began.
      #Fieldwork can be so,,,,,,stimulating!

      1. Tomonthebeach

        As I use Paypal via Kasperky Safe Money, I am rather certain the malware was outside my system. the dilemma is whether PayPal is not as safe as it advertises.

        As for ad hominems, FoxNews and Trump glorify binary thinking (i.e., black v white) which is not thinking at all. Thus, their posse/choir bever consider nuanced facts, and they are left with PeeWee Hermanisms as the only rejoinder when arguing points.

        I attribute this to the fact that binary thinking depends on values for bin assignment (good v bad) and thus, nuance is irrelevant. You recall it is bad because Sean Hannity associated say socialism with communism with bad with unAmerican. Thus if you mention socialism, you are a commy, bad, unAmerican persons – period. Since MAGA-hads never in their own minds challeng Hannity’s logic much less use other validation heuristics, nuanced facts are no longer associated with the bin – they become factoids – a neurological metaphor for mental hemorrhoids.

        1. ambrit

          Ever since PayPal was spun off from E-bay, I’m wondering if the “race to the bottom” in quality and safety took off into high gear. You know, the modern business mantra: “All corners must be cut. Shareholder equity demands it.”

  31. VietnamVet

    The 737 Max 8 crashes are neoliberal’s chickens coming home to roost. I am shocked. WP’s Dana Milbank faces reality:

    There is corruption that should jail the participants. No pilot training. Hiding a new fly-by-wire hybrid control system. I thought this would be silenced and blamed on the pilots rather than the fly-by-wire interface that caused at least three Airbus crashes since the A320 went down in France in a demonstration flight in 1988. Instead TDS struck. The close tie with the President puts the Boeing CEO in the same position as Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn except he is one of the ruling global elite who are no longer imprisoned. With $500 billion at stake, this will be “yuge”. Beware of short-term fixes. With the tail stabilizer in full up position pointing the nose at the ground in both crashes, the only way the pilots could have saved themselves was turn off the electric power to the stabilizer jackscrew motor. Pull out the handle out of the Stabilizer Trim Wheel and manually rotate it to return the stabilizer to neutral. Two crashes show that this is impossible to do while the airplane is trying to kill you. Training in a flight simulator will help. They cannot move the engines. The only way to save the $500 billion is a new triple sensor flight control system. Testing, installation and certification in the EU and China will be required. That will take months if not years and an end to the trade wars.

    1. notabanker

      US Govt has ignored moral hazard and here we are. Be interesting to see if international pressure makes them sacrifice Boeing or if they continue to double down. Doubling your bet at blackjack only works when you walk away before the house calls you out on it.

  32. Synoia

    Boeing ‘Promised’ Pilots a 737 Max Software Fix Last Year—It Never Came Daily Beast

    Hmm, I have some grim thoughts:
    1. The 737 MAX has a dangerous flight characteristic, in that on engine fails it stalls. Most aircraft dive and regain airspeed.
    2 Once stalled, the aircraft will drop. As I understand it, never to drop its’ nose to regain airspeed.
    3. If it were possible fix that very undesirable characteristic, MCAS would not have been created. MCAS is a band aid on a bad design, a bad design driven by money, time-to-market and the Airbus competition.
    4. Fixing this is very difficult, because of the behaviors of the underlying characteristic.
    5. If it were easy to fix, the Lion Air plane would never have crashed.

    Caveat: This is all speculation, based on a lot of reading.

  33. ewmayer

    Re. Current Affairs’ “How to Write a Political Puff Piece” — I confess that my favorite part of this absolute gem of an article was the portrayal of ‘celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz’ as a kind of Leni Riefenstahl of the goodthinking American liberal class. May we look forward to hollow-vessel O’Rourke leading dramatic bilingual torchlight “rallies for mellowness, y’all”?

    1. ambrit

      Surely it shall come to pass. We are already seeing the electronic version of book burnings with the “disappearance” of ‘fake news sources’ from off the internet.
      Alex Jones is banned for your sins??!!

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