Links 3/19/19

Alan Krueger, prominent Princeton economist, passes away Princeton (Scott).

‘He had a perpetual smile – even when he was correcting you’: Obama leads the tributes to his chief economist, who also advised Bill Clinton, after he takes his own life aged 58 Daily Mail. Lead story in US edition. Lots of Twitter tributes.

Child refugee becomes New York chess champ BBC. Living in a homeless shelter….

‘Lewis Hamilton of pigeons’ sold for world record €1.25m Guardian (TYJ)

She must be nuts! Brave squirrel has David and Goliath moment after squaring up to a huge bald eagle while defending her babies Daily Mail (Lawrence R)

Stomach Of Dead Whale Contained ‘Nothing But Nonstop Plastic’ -NPR (Kevin W) :-(

18 Breathtaking Pictures From California’s Stunning “Super Bloom” BuzzFeed

U.S. Students Have Achieved World Domination in Computer Science Skills — For Now IEEE

Job Search In The Age Of Artificial Intelligence – 5 Practical Tips Forbes

US cities are canceling recycling programs Vox (David L)

The world’s first genderless voice assistant is challenging gender stereotypes NextWeb (Dr. Kevin)

Fifty years of the internet Techcruch (David L)

The Weird Power of the Placebo Effect, Explained Pocket (John B). From 2017, still germane.

China?

China’s new glamour girl of the skies Asia Times (resilc)

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Is Showing the World What Real Leadership Looks Like Mother Jones (resilc)

Brexit. More in our post today.

Britain faces a TWENTY month delay to leaving the EU amid a ‘constitutional crisis’ after smirking Bercow (whose wife had a ‘B******s to Brexit’ car sticker) invokes 400-year-old law to scupper PM’s hopes of a third ‘meaningful vote’ Daily Mail.

Bank of England backtracks on its doomsday Brexit scenarios Bill Mitchell

Watch the film Labour MPs didn’t want you to see Electronic Intifada (Tom H)

France’s Great Debate – how it worked openDemocracy

France’s Message for Capitalism Is Quite Simple: Adapt or Die Bloomberg

Syraqistan

THE US IS PUSHING LEBANON INTO THE ARMS OF IRAN AND RUSSIA: US SANCTIONS AFFECT THE LOCAL ECONOMY Elijah J Magnier (guurst)

Foreign Aid, Trump Style: Getting Netanyahu Re-Elected American Prospect (resilc)

An Illegal War in Syria That Just Won’t End American Conservative (resilc)

Saudi crown prince allegedly stripped of some authority Guardian (resilc)

Saudi Crown Prince’s Brutal Drive to Crush Dissenters Began Before Khashoggi New York Times (resilc)

Saudi Arabia – an absolutist tyranny Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

New Mirai Malware Variant Targets Signage TVs and Presentation Systems ZDNet

Education and Science Giant Elsevier Left Users’ Passwords Exposed Online Vice

Misguided Spying and the New Zealand Massacre ConsortiumNews (furzy). Key section:

We know thanks to the findings of an inquiry by the State Services Commission last December that as many as a dozen government agencies, including the NZ Police, were too busy squandering their resources spying on NGOs such as Greenpeace NZ; political parties such as the New Zealand Green Party and then-Internet Party aligned Mana Movement, as well as on anti-TPP protesters and activists such as myself.

As if that weren’t egregious enough, they were even spying on Christchurch earthquake insurance claimants and historical victims of institutional state child abuse.

How the world votes: 2019 Al Jazeera (resilc)

‘Endless Trip to Hell’: Israel Jails Hundreds of Palestinian Boys a Year. These Are Their Testimonies Haaretz (guurst)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Pentagon’s Bottomless Money Pit Rolling Stone (resilc)

Trump Transition

GOP moves to rein in president’s emergency powers The Hill

Media’s Russiagate Hysteria Falling Apart! (plus Trees For the Future) Lee Camp

Ta-Nehisi Coates Is an Optimist Now A conversation about race and 2020. New York Magazine (UserFriendly)

New Wisconsin Poll Shows Increasing Strength for the Left Washington Monthly

Medicare for All

Bernie Sanders Thinks He Can Beat Insurers. He’s Wrong. Atlantic. Resilc: “So the author can create a shit obombacare system, that he doesn’t use, but anything else is junk.”

Warren Buffett says US health care must be revamped or it will be left to the government — which will probably make it worse CNBC. Kevin W: “‘Will no one rid us of these meddlesome billionaires?'”

2020

O’Rourke faces sharp backlash from left The Hill

What’s Next for Stacey Abrams? New York Magazine. Resilc: “If she runs for president she is truly delusional.”

Wastewater – private equity’s new black gold in U.S. shale Reuters (resilc)

737 Max

U.S. Grand Jury to Examine How Boeing’s 737 Max 8 Jets Are Made Daily Beast

The Financial Bailout in 2008 Was a Trillion-Dollar Mess Rolling Stone (UserFriedly)

NCAA Launches Investigation Into Why It Wasn’t Making Millions Off Recent College Admissions Scandal The Onion (Randy K)

Most Amazon Brands Are Duds, Not Disrupters, Study Finds Bloomberg

Uber Used Secret Spyware To Try To Crush Australian Startup GoCatch ABC

SEC Fires Back at Elon Musk Over Unvetted Tesla Tweets Bloomberg

That Didn’t Last Long: Cboe Bails on Bitcoin Futures Trading Wolf Richter

How the National Enquirer Got Bezos’ Texts: It Paid $200,000 to His Lover’s Brother Wall Street Journal

MySpace Loses 12 Years’ Worth of Users’ Music, Photos in ‘Server Migration’ Sputnik (Kevin W)

JPMorgan Managing Director Dies Suddenly; Has Links to Other JPM Deaths Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Guillotine Watch

‘The Inventor’: How Elizabeth Holmes Pulled Off the Scam of the Century Daily Beast (furzy)

Antidote du jour. Lee: “Bison in winter, from the Gardiner Montana Newsletter.”

And a bonus (martha r):

See yesterdays Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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268 comments

  1. Party on

    The borrowing and spending binge by Canadian households, businesses and governments (all levels) continues unabated. Growing the debt in the economy significantly faster than the economy itself grows seems to have developed into a way of life in Canada.

    At the end of December, 2018 the total debt outstanding in Canada (bottom line of the Statistics Canada credit market summary data table) was $8.089 trillion. At the end of December, 2017 the total debt outstanding was $7.645 trillion. In the 1 year period from the end of December, 2017 to the end of December, 2018 it increased by $443 billion. This is an increase of 5.8%.

    https://owecanada.blogspot.com/2019/03/canadian-total-household-business-and_14.html

    Reply
  2. voteforno6

    Re: “Bernie Sanders Thinks He Can Beat Insurers. He’s Wrong.”

    Please keep in mind that the author is Rahm Emanuel’s brother.

    Reply
      1. Lee

        That gives me only 3 years left. Phk that arbitrary numeric bullshit, I feel like I’m only just getting started. I’m a fan of Harriet Doer, whose first novel, the award winning Stones for Ibarra, was published when she was 74. Friend of mine at age 75 lead environmental field studies and could hike the legs off 20 somethings, drink them under the table of an evening, and then be up before all and waking the sleepy heads at 5 am to hit the trail. Even more remarkably, he’d had polio as a kid and as a result had lifelong residual weakness on one side of his body.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          We were in search of the Dean tree off-trail on steep terrain and I was having difficulties keeping up with a spry 74 year old leading the way. I know a number of people in their 70’s, few backpacking still, but all up for a dayhike of 2,000 feet up and then give it all back on the way down.

          http://famousredwoods.com/dean/

          Reply
          1. KB

            I remember hiking in Mt. Tamapais in my 20’s…thought then there were redwoods there, they were sure giants!…is my memory wrong? and if not, are they still there….not in the Sequoia’s on the coast…

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              The coastal ones are Sequoia Semperveris and are the tallest of the redwoods, whereas the Giant Sequoias here are the largest in mass.

              Basketball players vs Sumo wrestlers

              Reply
              1. KB

                Thanks so much. The trees kept me focused when my then boyfriend and I took a day trip up to the top and then realized it was getting dark so started running downhill. Bad idea, I had my patella (kneecap) dislocate and end up in the back of my knee. My boyfriend had to run down the hill to find the rangers in the dark. This was the 70’s so they carried a cot up to me near the top and carried me out. I screamed the entire way down and am sure all of San Francisco heard me! Meanwhile while waiting I sat their on the path imagining all kinds of creatures and things. No people around, but those trees and I had many conversations!…it was daunting to say the least…Thanks for the info and am glad those giant trees are still there.

                Reply
                1. Wukchumni

                  I try to get as lost as possible when in an out of the way grove, but always somehow find my way back from whence I started. The thrill of going to a new grove is the lure of the peculiar Sequoias, not record settlers so much, but the trees that are somehow leaning 10% @ the top, or one with twisty bark, or another extensively fire damaged in 1703, but acting as if it didn’t matter.

                  Reply
                  1. Lambert Strether

                    > The thrill of going to a new grove is the lure of the peculiar Sequoias

                    Not to assign tasks, but if you aren’t photographing those trees for the documentary record, consider it.

                    Reply
                    1. Wukchumni

                      Giant Sequoias rarely allow you to take a good photo representing them, just too big for their own good.

                      A happy situation though, as you really have to be in the moment, to appreciate them.

                      Such a rare thing these days…

          2. Oregoncharles

            Damn, the last time I tried that up-and-down thing my knee gave out, limped the last half mile. Come to think, it was down and then up. Plenty of energy, not enough ligament.

            Reply
            1. newcatty

              Yeah, the last time , about a year ago, I did a short up and down trip on a hillside in a nature preserve I just prayed to make it out. Actually it was down and up! I just thought let me get back to our car!! Also, what kept me going: not wanting to call the Calvary for rescue. So such a hassle… Also, in our smaller town did not want to be in the local noose. Ha… That’s when I decided no more “hikes” for moi. Just nice little walks will due. I did not, luckily, twist or turn any body part. But, do to stress, I guess, got the first case of hives in my long enough life. Yucky! I found out that lavender oil helped to soothe the savage beasties.

              Reply
        1. Lee

          Alas, he died a few year later. Being of Swedish descent he was very fair skinned and from years of working as a field entomologist in far flung sunny parts of the world, he developed melanoma. He was from a family noted for their longevity and rude health into old age. Both of his parents attended his funeral. He was a good friend who helped me through a very difficult period in my life. I miss him.

          Reply
      2. Anthony G Stegman

        Re-read the article. Emanuel did not suggest that everyone should die at age 75. He only said that was a target age for HIMSELF. He made very good arguments for that.

        Reply
        1. allan

          If Dr. Emanuel had truly only meant it to be about himself,
          would it have warranted an article in The Atlantic?
          He was sending a message, and if you read the coverage at the time,
          everybody knew what he meant.

          Reply
    1. amfortas the hippie

      aye. perfidious preemptive surrender.
      we cant do it because 1, people are scared of new things and would rather just stick with known evil parasites… and 2, said parasites wont like it and will say ugly things.
      let this man walk a mile in my shoes. ere he pontificates
      i loathe the dollardems even more than the gop

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Yes, Amfortas, the disappointment cuts deeper when betrayal comes from one who you once trusted to care for you. Though I certainly admire spry and hardy people in their 70’s who can hike the trails and lead the young ones on their quests. There are a lot of us, not close to 70, yet, that just can’t physically do that life style. We can’t hike, ski, surf, or cha cha cha. I guess I most admire the writer published in her mid 70’s. Many elders , though not accomplished Professionals, are vibrant people, indeed. Some comment here. So many ways to be engaged in the community and world. Quietly, sitting and watching the hungry birds eat from our feeders during a recent cold snow storm (3 inches, an almost record for our neighborhood) was our version of communing with the natural world. It was amazing, species not usually at the feeders showing up to keep their bodies fueled up. We filled the feeders 3 times that day. Just took out a humming bird feeder. The males come first in our neck of The woods. We quietly give comfort and love to our family. We support local people who run for city council by small donations or encouraging emails…The ones who support our own pov. We write letters to keep our library alive and well. We shop at our favorite thrift shop that supports animal welfare. We visit natural reserves and parks. It’s OK…don’t hike, but gentle walks are lovely. The emphasis on being physically fit, even if you’re old, gasp!!! Can be just another way of covertly shaming or one up shipping people considered “senior” or older. I am not talking to anyone in particular in our commentaries. Just wanted to point out that as more of our population gets older, and doesn’t conveniently die by age 75 or whatever, that we need to be aware of the pervasive bias against older people. Please, no lectures on the importance of physical activity for older people…that is a given. I know people for whom chair yoga is a great boon. The need to say sometimes that 60 is the new 50, blah,blah, blah…just another sly way to propagandize the cult of young is good, old is bad. I am glad I never fell for plastic surgery and still have my original boobs. Also, my beautiful silver hair. Let it fly!

        Reply
    2. Eureka Springs

      Please keep in mind that the author is Rahm Emanuel’s brother.

      That doesn’t mean he’s wrong on this point.

      Reply
      1. Pat

        He is wrong. Or close to it. If Sanders and other single supporters lose this round they will not lose the next. Because we are very close to when the majority of the people will tell the family blog insurance companies and their enablers that they have robbed the common good for too long and to get other jobs as their current ones no longer exist. Will they fight tooth and nail? Yes. But they were slowly dying when ACA was allowed to happen all to mandate insurance. Well they screwed up that chance of survival when they and the for profit medical community continued to rip people off. Now there is no mandate. Next to go will be the business requirement, which will be watered down or eliminated because most cannot afford it.

        For profit medicine, which is what Emmanuel is really protecting possibly has more time, but it has also made the Target on their backs the size of a stadium and it is growing exponentially. Once insurance companies go down there is nothing between them and the pitch forks.

        I happily await the day Zeke will have to work for government set rates or leave the US to try to work elsewhere. It is more of a choice than he has given large numbers of Americans with his preferred systems.

        Reply
    3. ChiGal in Carolina

      He was always an elitist. I went to high school with him back when he was called Jon. He and his (all male) cohort in the debate club took Great Books instead of regular English as did I junior year. As I recall, he was a big fan of Plato’s philosopher kings.

      He was very aggressive and domineering in discussions, and generally dismissive of girls, although my best friend and I gave those guys a run for their money. Most of the girls were intimidated by them.

      Reply
    4. Matt

      What’s particularly galling is that they pretend that these incremental approaches won’t also be stiffly resisted by the insurance companies. If simply giving people the choice between Medicare and private insurance is so practical and agreeable to everyone, why did Democrats kill the public option years ago?

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Liz Warren in her CNN town hall spouted some pretty ambiguous language about M4A, all about how “we have to make sure we have everyone at the table to figure out the best way forward” etc etc.

        Generally you know when they retreat to the lofty goals (“We need to make health care accessible and affordable”) that they are not talking about M4A.

        Reply
        1. Oh

          I worry about her when I hear she said that. Obomber played that game and quietly kept out people in favor of single payer in his so called discussions ($$$ planning for his future).

          It way past the time to have anyone at the table. Let’s just go ahead and implement a M4A program that will include dental. Let’s first eliminate the need for private insurance companies. After that we can limit unnecessary and exorbitant bills from hospitals.

          Reply
    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe Mr. Emanuel should be awarded for leaking their playbook.

      Now, appropriate defensive measures can be prepared.

      Reply
    6. ChrisPacific

      He might be right, but even if he is I think he is supporting the fundamental point in Sanders’ platform. If there is a policy outcome that makes obvious sense in terms of both cost and health outcomes, and is supported by a vast majority of voters, but the government refuses to deliver it for them, then the government is broken. If the government is broken, throw it out on its ear and get a new one.

      The system in America is not yet corrupt enough to prevent this if enough voters get behind it (look at Trump) and it’s precisely because Sanders offers a clear and realistic vision for how to do it that the likes of Emmanuel find him so threatening.

      Reply
  3. Livius Drusus

    Re: Job Search In The Age Of Artificial Intelligence – 5 Practical Tips

    Ask anyone who has had to search for a job in the last few years and they will tell you that it is an absolutely horrible experience especially if you have any blemishes on your resume. A bout of unemployment or an outdated degree (which can also signal being too old) may knock you out of the running even before you ever see a human.

    It is not at all surprising that so many people have simply fallen out of the labor force. I think the increasingly unforgiving, faceless and dehumanizing job application process is contributing to the trend of more people falling out of the labor market entirely.

    At least with a human interviewer there is a chance that some intangible qualities may help you. That is why so many people try to have “ins” at companies and why I believe that informal human-to-human networking is necessary to maintain some degree of humanity in the job application process. For some people, getting help from a family member or friend might be the only way they can land a job. This is why I believe that calls for more meritocracy and attacks on networking and nepotism are ultimately wrongheaded.

    A more meritocratic system, especially in the age of AI, will only benefit those who already have top-level credentials, meaning people who don’t need any more help. People with criminal records, bouts of unemployment, disabilities and age/culture fit issues will only be hurt more than they already are. Human-to-human networking gives power to individuals who would otherwise be powerless in the face of inhuman AI.

    Reply
    1. Chris Cosmos

      I had a horrible time in my last job search. The problem was that everyone is outsourcing employment to firms who specialize in staffing. You apply through your resume, they do a search for keywords and combination of keywords in your resume and then call you for a screening. They ask question that show that they did not read the resume. Usually these people are in their twenties perky (male and female) and know nothing about the job they are setting up interviews for. Very discouraging particularly if, like me, you have a quirky job background that show skills other than what is strictly called for. Employers want to hire people to fill slots with the proper credentials to cover their asses so these firms guarantee that all the paper will look good in case something goes wrong.

      Advice to people looking for work is network by expanding your social activities or start your own business/consultancy or even better try to form cooperatives. Social contacts in an age of social dysfunction may well give people an advantage in life as we move towards some version of neofeudalism.

      Reply
      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        I was thrilled when going through the application process to be voted in as part of a private practice this January that they actually called my references on the phone and spoke to them.

        The previous job I got in 2014 (through networking actually, but I still had to go through the process) required me to click on a link to enter the names of my references who would then in turn receive links to complete a brief multiple choice questionnaire that was basically a rating scale on various attributes.

        The results would then be communicated by the third-party company to the company to which I was applying. That was my first experience of the brave new world of job search and it could not have been more impersonal. Bizarre.

        Reply
      2. Summer

        “Advice to people looking for work is network by expanding your social activities or start your own business/consultancy or even better try to form cooperatives. Social contacts in an age of social dysfunction may well give people an advantage in life as we move towards some version of neofeudalism.”

        Agreed.

        And at some point, isn’t this useless economy just a couple of monolopies selling crap to each other with the same group of people passing favors back and forth to each other?

        Reply
      3. jrs

        and then more than half the recruiters aren’t even Americans much less local. Not to be too jingoistic, but that’s the reality, recruiting for U.S. jobs has been outsourced to overseas.

        And even when it’s not, it’s all keywords, people recruiting you for ridiculously unsuitable stuff because of some keyword or other (that doesn’t actually go anywhere of course because it’s unsuitable – they just throw resumes to the winds it might as well be), unable to get a glance for jobs you actually are well qualified for etc..

        Reply
    2. Bugs Bunny

      For me the money quote in the article was:

      “When the CV screening process is automated, it is much more efficient—appreciated by candidates and human resources departments alike. Additionally, since recruiters won’t get bogged down in the CV review process, they have more time to nurture relationships with candidates.”

      Really? Candidates appreciate being eliminated from consideration by an algorithm? How did they poll that exactly?

      Wait, it’s just made up BS. My mistake.

      Reply
    3. Jack Gavin

      It may be rotten, it may be nasty, it certainly differs from the old days. But does it work? Do the hiring companies using these techniques(?) actually wind up with a better employee? The hiring company has an obligation to best employee but I suspect there’s an optimization formula involving cost of the search: 5 jobs, 500 applicants – how to winnow that number to something ‘manageable’.

      So the process is partly the result of oversupply that – based on what I read – is disappearing. I realize I’m using a simple economic argument but isn’t that always a big part of the exercise? I suggest that as supply dwindles the human interaction will increase. I also suggest that as supply dwindles the quality of the employee hired will decrease or the company will exercise its option and not hire. Better to increase the workload on the current force than hire marginal people.

      It’s not called the job market for nothing.

      Reply
      1. Summer

        “I suggest that as supply dwindles the human interaction will increase. I also suggest that as supply dwindles the quality of the employee hired will decrease or the company will exercise its option and not hire. Better to increase the workload on the current force than hire marginal people.”

        “Supply” of number people available employment determines the quality of applicants?
        Is there evidence of that?

        What about keeping trained and experienced people to increase quality? Or actually training people to increase quality?

        Reply
      2. Jeremy Grimm

        Of course, “It’s not called the job market for nothing.” Call whatever you like a Market and you can monetize, quantify. Pareto-optimize, and construct a hellish system. We have an employment system where there are no ‘qualified’ candidates to fill the over and mis-described job openings. The lucky few who pass through the sieve need not be paid their full worth because they aren’t a complete fit and besides there are so many others who almost passed through. But it’s a Market and the Market assures the best possible, most efficient, most optimal results, axiomatically.

        I noticed many commenters suggested “networking” as a viable means to find a job. Try that for finding employment in a large firm. Every effort is made to close the ‘holes’ that still allow a process like networking to work. Any firm where “networking” might work has some inefficiencies which must be eradicated.

        Reply
        1. King

          “Every effort is made to close the ‘holes’ that still allow a process like networking to work. Any firm where “networking” might work has some inefficiencies which must be eradicated.”

          And yet those efforts might have the opposite effect. How much time is an applicant willing to spend completing forms/questionnaires/interviews when an impersonal system just keeps piling on more? But if the applicant has been told this isn’t a waste of time by a contact it becomes much more worthwhile to slog through it.

          Reply
      3. jrs

        And then you may be wrong. Because I suspect 2008 was a PHASE SHIFT, not a change we will easily evolve out of. Procedures get hardened, ossified, sticky in economic terms even! They don’t so easily adapt to a new situation in the job market even if one indeed exists (I am doubtful).

        Reply
      4. Yves Smith Post author

        What crap. I can pretty much guarantee you’ve never been in charge of anything bigger than your desk.

        The best hires I ever made were off spec.

        Reply
      5. rd

        We are in the middle of a management crisis. Numerous unhappy employees out there, many of whom have now had the experience of a couple poor companies or managers. Mindless edicts from upon high stupidly interpreted by lower level managers mean there are lots of good but burned-out employees. We have an entire generation of executives and managers trained to do nothing but cut costs (and prepare nifty PowerPoint presentations about the costs they cut). Every now and then, somebody starts talking about sales growth, but reality soon sets in and the cost-cutting starts again.

        If you can differentiate yourself through demonstrating that you can manage staff better, you can get better staff than your competitors at the same cost. That takes effort and mentoring though.

        I am in a highly technical field, but the two key things I look for are curiosity and the ability to learn over time. If they have that, then we can train anybody in a marginally related field to provide value. If they don’t have that, they could have a Ph.D. in the field we are working in and it would just be toilet paper on the wall because our project types are constantly changing and you have to swim or die.

        Reply
    4. JohnnyGL

      A friend of mine recently told me how he had 1-2 rounds of interviews, then had to fly out for a final interview, and give a 45 min presentation. It took him a few days of working to prepare it, naturally.

      He didn’t get the job.

      At that point, we’ve moved past the ‘interview’ and companies are just making you do work to see if they like you. It’s nearly an unpaid internship at that point.

      Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        “to see if they like you”

        Maybe. I know I’ve been on quite a few interviews where they wanted me to solve their problems during the interview. Perhaps it was a west coast engineering thing, but I wasn’t going to tell them they had driven hell bent for leather into a blind alley for free. I also wasn’t telling them there was no way I was taking yet another position doomed by some upper management hallucination. At least not until I was onboard the return flight…

        Reply
    5. jrs

      +10,000

      You speak the truth. It is an absolute nightmare! And one that one feels utterly helpless against. Of all the things we talk about on the left, we don’t talk enough about the experience of unemployment.

      And all the usual mainstream shiboleths about improving skills, gaining a reputation for being a great employee at prior jobs, etc. etc. while of course not harmful, feel UTTERLY IMPOTENT against the situation.

      “It is not at all surprising that so many people have simply fallen out of the labor force. I think the increasingly unforgiving, faceless and dehumanizing job application process is contributing to the trend of more people falling out of the labor market entirely.”

      It is unforgiving, it is dehumanizing, and without meaningful feedback at all. It makes sense that people eventually give up, live with even an elderly mom or dad at 40 years old, let a spouse support them no matter how proud of their career they once were, sleep on a friends couch. They just give up entirely, because the psych simply can’t even take it anymore, the madness of it all, there is a breaking point.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Jrs, spoken from the heart. The madness of it all can ,indeed, cause a breaking point. I think this job application processes, the mindless filling out forms, the interviews with ,usually, perky and young personel, who are paroting their rote scripts. The many landmines set up to be automatic rejection. No wonder there is a pervasive melancholy air in the country. I am going by your and other’s accounts. I am more happy then ever to be “retired “. What comes to my mind, is the similarity of what is the justification for the corruption of the University Blues story of students being admitted by hook and crooks. Everything can be bought is the message. Everything is subject to soulless and meaningless ends. Who benefits? Not deserving and honest students. Not deserving and diligent job seekers. Just read the celebrity momsy twins, Felicity and Lori, have become job creator’s! They have lawyered up with former public defenders. Oh, wait….

        Reply
    6. Tomonthebeach

      It strikes me that the labor force has just discovered that Meritocracy is more complicated than just working hard. It is not enough to work hard, you have to work better than your peers. That means demonstrating to management that you have leadership skills, are devoted to the organization’s mission, are innovative and willing to take career risks to demonstrate that your ideas work. You also have to constantly build a network of colleagues and influencers who can help pull you up the career ladder one rung after another. Otherwise, you waste energy climbing on your own when you could be making noteworthy contributions to the organization, and that is working harder; not smarter.

      During my career I held 15 different positions, most requiring relocation. Only one of those jobs required an application – graduate school. I was invited to take on every other job including my 1st post-college job – I was drafted. I always had a Rolodex, even in college, then later a Palm Pilot until PCs and smartphones provided contact databases like Outlook. I participated in at least 3 professional conferences each year, where I chatted up new colleagues and engineered research collaborations. Although I always had a supervisor, I always worked as if my boss was to runs up from them. The boss’s boss’s boss was who I wanted to impress. That required boundary spanning which merely meant joining committees peers worked to avoid. My fellow committee members worked all over the place, and that enabled turning small projects into high-vis ones by collaborating with other divisions/departments/whatevers.

      Doubtless, my colleagues-left-behind (CLBs) considered my upward mobility as being due ass-kissing. Yet I suspect they would gladly have smooched an executive keester if they could get their lips close enough. However, they were too busy working harder down in the trenches; not noticing that in a meritocracy, promotion hinges on your achievements standing out – your competencies too. It is notable that my CLBs rarely attended professional conferences, rarely took time to publish in professional journals, and actively avoided taking on collateral assignments that could expand their network. While they were bemoaning the myth of meritocracy, I and others were using it to advance our careers.

      Reply
        1. Tomonthebeach

          Well, it’s much easier to mock meritocracy than to make it work for you. Doubtless all the people who read NakCap got their lofty positions by patronage; not merit?

          Reply
  4. Evan

    Snopes website says the teal pygmy owl is fake. The real color is a more natural looking ruddy brown, with yellowish eyes.

    Reply
  5. Koldmilk

    From the IEEE article “U.S. Students Have Achieved World Domination in Computer Science Skills”:

    […] an exam that was developed by the U.S. Educational Testing Service […]

    So an exam developed in the US and that is no doubt based on US syllabi and which US colleges use when devising their syllabi was given to non-US students and the result was the US students did best?

    Reply
    1. CBBB

      I thought exactly the same thing too…but taking a look at the sample exam at least, the questions are pretty general and basic. Not sure what kind of computer science program wouldn’t cover this material.

      Reply
    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Even if U.S. students have the best computer skills it doesn’t matter since ‘good-enough’ skills are available elsewhere for less. I didn’t notice whether U.S. citizenship was a requirement for being counted as a U.S. student. If we include the many foreign students who come to the U.S. to take their degrees among U.S. students — that might explain why we need more H1-B Visas for foreigners receiving computer science degrees from U.S. schools.

      “The study is good news for programs in the U.S.,” those programs in the U.S. may be the real ‘winner’ in this contest. But female computer science students might fare better in the schools in other countries.

      Reply
      1. Jeremy Grimm

        But wait a minute! This is a PNAS study, “That’s the conclusion of a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The study was put together by a global team of researchers led by Prashant Loyalka…” Does this mean U.S. education is finally “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” — the ‘Gathering Storm’ of too few STEM graduates and the grievous skills shortages that PNAS warned of in the middle of the last decade? Is there a bright shining sky for other areas of STEM or have the clouds parted for computer science alone?

        Reply
    3. Oh

      They can achieve “world domination” once they get hired but their changes of finding a job may be slim to none with slim out of town!

      Reply
  6. Foomarks

    “So it’s hard to have a left-wing candidate who is pushing the boundaries on almost everything else, but when it comes to race, whose policies I have a hard time distinguishing from Obama.”

    Huh. Coates now draws similarities between St. Sanders and St. Obama on race-based policies.

    Reply
    1. Plenue

      “But the case for reparations is not a case against universal programs — it’s a case against universal programs as the sole, total solution to this matter of white supremacy. It’s not a case against the social safety net. That should exist no matter what, right? Race aside, that stuff should exist.”

      There’s a lot to say about this, like how Coates doesn’t understand the difference between universal programs that form a bedrock and a ‘safety net’.

      “It’s not enough for me to see an America where the wealth gap is reduced from 20-to-1 to 10-to-1. That’s not enough to me. Five-to-one. It’s still not enough to me. Two-to-one is bad. That’s not as bad as 20-to-1, but it’s still a species of bad. And so, as a writer — I’m not a politician; I’m not trying to denigrate politicians — but I’m really talking to writers right now.”

      Says the guy who bought a $2.1 million townhouse.

      “If we circumscribe ourselves, and write as though we are Senate aides, or House aides — if the way we write about policy’s completely circumscribed by this notion of what we can see as possible right now, we’re in a bad place. We’ll always be fighting between these lines. And one of the things I thought that was so exciting about 2016, when Bernie ran, was like, ‘Yo, okay, the imagination’s expanded now. There’s shit on the table that I never thought was going to be on the table. We’ll fight for it.'”

      Okay, no. Your entire schtick, you parasite, is a version of Afropessimism. Your entire stupid book was about shrugging, admitting defeat, and losing yourself in some sort of imagined black gestalt at university parties. You don’t get to come along and suddenly go ‘oh hey, championing material benefits can actually accomplish things’. And then you immediately attempt to derail the quest for material benefits by throwing in a grenade for something that is politically unpopular (even among black people), intellectually incoherent, and morally unjust.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Reparations for all?

        That is, universal reparations, to including Native Americans, and others who had suffered.

        Those universal reparations are, then, universal programs.

        And a monetary sovereign can be generous to its own victim-citizens, whom along with all citizens who are not victims (it’s possible all citizens are victims), public servants in the government, as well as the government itself, serve.

        Reply
      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        Totally agree, and where does all that hagiography of Obama fit into his incoherent shape shifting?

        Reply
      3. jrs

        There’s stuff on the table, we just don’t get to actually eat it and starve to death in the meantime!

        Yes sure overton window may be expanded, HOWEVER until it’s law, it’s nothing. It’s just a bunch of counting chickens in every pot before they are hatched. First things first, get this stuff actually passed. Then let’s talk about what else to do.

        Reply
      4. jrs

        I don’t think reparations are morally unjust. Not at all. They are owed in so many ways.

        However, they may indeed be unpopular and a pointless distraction from real policy by the left. It’s assuming we will get ANY of the things “on the table” and moving on when it is really just in the beginning yet.

        Reply
        1. marym

          It’s not clear to me that it’s “the left” trying to put this on the table specifically as far as the 2020 election. In recent days supposedly serious establishment Dem candidates have been claiming they support reparations, abolishing the electoral college, and stacking the SC – big, bold, politically divisive, foundational changes – as if they are or have ever been courageous champions of systemic change.

          But M4A – widely popular, reasonable bills already written, based on an already existing system….well, for these same profiles in courage, that’s a bridge too far.

          Reply
          1. todde

            They always seem to have the boldest ideas when they are powerless to implement them.

            I suppose they are trying to motivate ‘the base’ or something besides just lose elections.

            Reply
        2. Plenue

          They are morally unjust. Just because your ancestor was a victim (and everyone’s ancestors were victims at some point or other) does not entitle you to special rewards. And I especially resent the idea of me, being white but whose Anglo-Dutch ancestors arrived here well after slavery was ended, being required to pay for ‘my peoples’ ‘original sin’ (a concept that is asinine enough inside a church, no need to extend it into the wider world).

          No one deserves aid or a check because of their ancestry. They deserve it because they have a pulse, full stop.

          Also it mostly isn’t being pushed by the left. It’s being pushed by liberals, some of whom are at best useful idiots. It’s a cynical spoiler tactic meant to derail more universal benefits.

          Reply
      5. Lambert Strether

        > you immediately attempt to derail the quest for material benefits by throwing in a grenade for something that is politically unpopular (even among black people), intellectually incoherent, and morally unjust.

        Adolph Reed:

        There’s a more insidious dynamic at work in this politics as well, which helps us understand why the reparations idea suddenly has spread so widely through mainstream political discourse. We are in one of those rare moments in American history—like the 1880s and 1890s and the Great Depression—when common circumstances of economic and social insecurity have strengthened the potential for building broad solidarity across race, gender, and other identities around shared concerns of daily life. These are concerns that only the minority of comfortable and well-off can dismiss in favor of monuments and apologies and a politics of psychobabble, concerns like access to quality health care, the right to a decent and dignified livelihood, affordable housing, quality education for all. They can be pursued effectively only by struggling to unite a wide section of the American population that is denied those essential social benefits or lives in fear of losing them. Isn’t it interesting that at such a moment the corporate-dominated, opinion-shaping media discover and project a demand for racially defined reparations that cuts precisely against building such solidarity?

        More from Reed:

        Coates and other race-firsters diminish the significance of the legislative and other institutional victories won since Emancipation, leaving us with only exhortations to individual conversion and repentance as a program.

        This is why, for example, Coates and other proponents of reparations seem unconcerned with the strategic problem of piecing together the kind of interracial popular support necessary to actually prevail on the issue. Such problems do not exist for them because the role of the representative black leader or voice is precisely to function as an alternative to political action. Instead, the order of the day is typically to perform racial authenticity in a way that doubles as an appeal for moral recognition from those with the power to bestow it. Winning anything politically—policies or changes in power relations—is not the point. That is why the jeremiads offered by contemporary racial voices so commonly boil down to calls for “conversations about race” or equally vapid abstractions like “racial reckoning” or “coming to terms with” a history defined by racism.

        That’s why I think HR40 is a very good idea. For one thing, there really has been injustice done; let’s get it out there on the record, as another. For another, smoke out the ADOS people; not just what their demands are, but by what route they attempt to get there. Movement, or the blessing of the elite.

        Not that I’m paranoid, but the timing is odd. We could certainly end up with no reparations and no reparations, but the whole effort would net out positive, personally, for the media figures pushing the concept (“voices,” as Reed calls them).

        Reply
    2. Adam Eran

      Obama tripled the deportations of his predecessor. I’ve read Trump’s deportations have just recently exceeded Obama’s, but either one qualifies as racist, IMHO.

      Reply
  7. The Rev Kev

    “The Pentagon’s Bottomless Money Pit”

    Well there might be one way to find out where all that money is going. Stop it. That’s right – stop it all. Then as each part of the services turn up to get the money flowing again, find out exactly who they are, how much they want, and where it is all going to. That means for payrolls, equipment, fuel – whatever. You don’t have to hold them up re-authorizing payments so long as they answer those three questions. Then after, you can start to go after all those files with a fine tooth comb.
    In any case, the Pentagon does not want accountability of all that money. That would put in danger a lot of slush funds. Heard about how one worked. I read that the Pentagon buys the fuel for all the Services. Then they sell it on to each Service but marking up the price a bit. The difference in fuel prices allows for a multi-billion dollar slush fund for the Pentagon to play around with. You could save billions just having each Service buy their own fuel but I doubt that the Pentagon will go for that one.

    Reply
    1. MK

      Saving Poppies would make a great title for a documentary of how the war on drugs includes facilitating the drug trade internationally.

      Reply
      1. human

        Even Fred Thompson, as Arthur Branch, in a Law and Order episode remarks how with all the money spent on the War on Drugs we could have bought out every Afghan poppy farmer several times over.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          I wouldn’t know what heroin or meth even looks like. We’re a 1 sheriff town ala Mayberry, and our Barney Fife told me he did a traffic stop last week, and the driver had 16 grams of meth on him, and I inquired how he knew, and he gave me one of those Jack Webb knowing looks from Dragnet, and told me, you can just tell tweakers.

          Reply
        2. LifelongLib

          We could have saved a lot of money by offering Saddam and friends $1 billion each to go live on the Riviera or something. War is the most expensive thing of all…

          Reply
          1. Oh

            And Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld would be on the beach with him while the fools in the US who believed in Saddam being evil looked on.

            Reply
    2. Chris Cosmos

      The Pentagon is mainly an institutions of scams, hustles and cons. Russia has one eleventh of our budget and achieves strategic parity. Anyway, you can’t stop this–remember the military has a 74% approval ratings despite losing wars. I will tell you something that is obvious if you actually study the balance of power in the world–there is almost no need for a large military budget there are zero countries who want to march armies into Washington even if they could–we are not in the same world that created institutions like the Pentagon. We could easily negotiate, over time, through conflict resolution techniques most conflicts and revive the vision of those who created the UN.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        >Russia has one eleventh of our budget and achieves strategic parity.

        Even that is arguably a scam along the RussiaRussiaRussia! lines. Head to head we will win.

        But arguably because, when not head-to-head, every theatre is different, so who know what will work where. And at this point,seems pretty much nothing works offensively, unless driving innocents into poverty is your goal.

        Reply
        1. prodigalson

          “head to head we will win.”

          Highly unlikely. Russia has been doing weapon design specifically to counter US lynchpin weapon systems. Hypervelocity missiles counter carrier battle groups hard. The S-400 and pantsir already provide a dangerous integrated air defense screen to counter US air superiority. Likewise they’ve worked hard on combined arms training for electronic warfare on the battlefield with artillery support to counter US land doctrine. Etc, etc. A US/Russia war is most likely with US/NATO as aggressor trying to go east, not the old doctrine of the defunct USSR driving west. Playing defense highly accentuates Russia’s advantages with their military doctrine, the counter-US systems listed above, etc. Likewise General Winter is always in the Russian’s favor if they turtle up.

          This doesn’t count that the F-35 is junk, there’s less than 190 F-22’s in total (assuming they work in wartime at all), the Navy can no longer practice basic seamanship, the army’s been punching down on guys in technicals and losing (a la the Taliban in Afghanistan), the air force is lost in dreams of AI/ML and other tech miracle cures, the DoD overall is moving to corporate owned and protected cloud services for basic comms in spite of the fact that Russia/China really do have skilled Cyber capabilities (aside from the russiarussiarussia election hysteria), and we’re expecting the Lena Dunham/Justin Beiber generation to go fight the Russians on their own turf (Stalingrad anyone).

          The most likely outcome is we’re going to get mauled hard, with casualties in WWII ranges for a populace doped up on marvel comic movie power fantasies and completely unused to very large casualty figures. Supposedly RAND wargaming efforts already came to this conclusion, unfortunately our neocon/r2p elites are blinded by hubris and may sleep walk us into a fight we’re not prepared for, and even assuming the nukes stay home, the best outcome we have is a phyric victory.

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            with casualties in WWII ranges

            Overlooked in Iraq and Afghanistan is the ability to quickly rescue the injured and fly them hundreds of miles to top flight medical care. Even minor injuries can be treated at a base, but If you have to hunker down…

            Reply
            1. prodigalson

              Russia puts the “mass” in mass casualty though. Item one is we may or may not have air superiority, so those rescue helicopters may not make it to the wounded in the first place. Likewise, airvac for ten guys in one truck hit by an IED is one thing, trying to move hundreds, or thousands, of seriously injured *simultaneously* is another story, esecially if that same scenario is happening in multiple spots on a moving front at the same time. (The Russians are fond of mass volley fire of artillery systems, there’s going to be a lot of chunky salsa) Likewise you need a safe supply/transit system to move seriously injured back to safety, the Russians aren’t going to let that happen seamlessly, as Germany and other “safe rear” areas aren’t going to go unmolested if they go hot alongside the US.

              The term used is fighting in a contested environment, meaning against an opponent with peer capabilities who can fight back like we do with the same, or higher tech levels. We’ve been fighting uncontested in Iraq, etc. so a lot of the assumptions we’ve used for two decades will go out the window fast. Likewise the Russians aren’t going to let us stage and build up forces, or let supply areas go unhit, or let domestic US infrastructure or high vis targets like the pentagon not get hit. It’s going to be very bloody.

              Reply
          2. Summer

            Casualties in the WWII range only seem “acceptable” for the USA if you don’t count the casualties in American territories during WWII as “American.”

            Reply
          3. Darthbobber

            I’m assuming that all these who wins at what cost scenarios tacitly assume that escalation stops at a point short of just launching everything?

            Reply
            1. prodigalson

              Yup. The nukes come out to play then that’s that.

              Check out Caitlyn Johnstone’s latest. There’s CIA/NSA pukes who drank the russiarussiarussia kool-aid and seem very interested into sleep walking us into a Russia fight with some kind of mis-guided idea that McCain was right and Russia’s just a gas station.

              That contempt is pretty much the same thought process Hitler and Napoleon had going into Russia for their respective bloodlettings.

              The rot runs deep though, Mike Morrel the former CIA deputy (?) and Clinton crony was doing a lot of talk about “making the russians bleed” in Syria well before the election loss happened and russiarussiarussia went to the stratosphere. So there’s a lot of truly deluded deep-state cronies who don’t seem to take the nuke threat seriously.

              Reply
    3. Felix_47

      Thanks Rev Kev. There are not a lot of comments on this subject. I guess people have just given up. After decades in the military pre and post draft I remain convinced the draft never should have been given up. We should have a draft and significant pay cuts. We need to make it less than pleasant to be in the military and people have to be able to make a better living outside the military. Because of our dreadful economy the average kid is better off joining the military than almost anything else. That includes my kid. And we need to cut the miltiary budget without consideration of anything. The military can figure out what it needs to cut better than anyone else. I am certain that if we cut it in half the military would do just fine. All those high paid generals would figure out how to do what they think they need to do without any difficulty. They would weigh the cost of another base in Sub Saharan Africa with what they might have to pay to keep a base open in the US or feed military families and they will make the right decision. If congress simply cut the money the military would remain just as useless as it is for less. Let congress cut the money and then just let the generals fight it out. It was often said that the conflict over funding in Washington between the Navy and the Army was more bitter than the cold war. At least the Russians were not going to impact funding. The notion of congress cutting the budget rationally is irrational. No one would know what and how to cut without unintended consequences. I suspect the defense budget will ultimately take the US down if it already hasn`t. Kind of like Rome. As Toynbee pointed out societies collapse normally by suicide. It is the root cause of a lot of the world`s problems….our military.

      Reply
      1. nippersmom

        I love this line: If congress simply cut the money the military would remain just as useless as it is for less.

        Reply
      2. Pookah Harvey

        A quote from one of those generals:

        “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

        This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”
        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

        Reply
        1. JCC

          The costs have skyrocketed since April of 1953 when Eisenhower made his Cross Of Iron Speech. The full production cost today of one loaded F-35 is estimated (low, I’m sure) to be $85M. A bushel of wheat today costs about $9.23, so the equivalent today is over 9.2 million bushels of wheat.

          Frightening.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Somalia today is the most appalling expression of the state of USPWOEAE (U.S. Permanent War On Everything And Everybody).

            There is no plan. There is no strategy. There are no tactics. They’re not even bothering to come up with fanciful imagined threats to the U.S. or even to the widest possible definition of our “interests”.

            The bombs and missiles are flying the length and breadth of the Somali desert wasteland with absolutely no rhyme or reason. It’s purely a business exercise: a high-tech factory in the U.S. builds extremely complicated multi-million dollar robots (drones) that are destroyed the first time they are used. So it’s about the flow of taxpayer (your) hard-earned dollars to a faraway land where they are simply smashed to bits.

            The result (apart from incinerating impoverished children and grandmothers) is to make the country hated, less safe, less free, and broke.

            Reply
            1. Lambert Strether

              > The bombs and missiles are flying the length and breadth of the Somali desert wasteland with absolutely no rhyme or reason

              We can’t build and bill for new ones if we don’t destroy the old ones; M-C-M’, dude!

              It would simpler if we just did the same thing within the confines of a drone base in, say, upstate New York, but little creative thinking seems to have been done.

              Reply
      3. just_kate

        this is so true. when i was a kid the px had the bare necessities including a pretty awful selection of non-denim/tee shirt clothing. now the one near me has name brand apparel, coach purses and a fully merchandised section for apple products when there are all major retailers and outlet malls in the area. total waste of money.

        Reply
      4. JCC

        I work with a young guy who just left the Navy. He was stationed in San Diego when he got out and, coincidentally, yesterday he told me he was making a little over $70K/yr (with Basic Housing Allowance) as an E-4 sailor, single with no college.

        A far cry from my wage as an E-5 US Army sergeant, with college, back in the mid-eighties with no BAH allowed for singles ($14K). I thought $14K was pretty good compared to 1970 E-5 pay of $4800.00/mnth.

        But $70K! I was pretty surprised. Why get out :-)

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          A mid-level procurement sergeant sitting at a desk in sunny, tropical Guam moving papers from one pile to another can easily reach $100K and then retire at 52.

          Meantime the country has the highest infant mortality rates in the developed world and 25% of her children living below the poverty line.

          ? = Bernie/Tulsi

          Reply
    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I’m too lazy to chase links so I’ll rely on my faulty memory. As I recall the law that mandated the requirement for all government spending to be ‘auditable’ included wording threatening to cut funding for spending which was not ‘auditable’ by 2017. I’m not certain the wording was in the bill but the threat was definitely stated by the sponsors of this bill. Multiple billions were spent by each of the services in efforts to update their accounting and logistics systems. I don’t know the approach other services used — the Army went big for SAP consolidation of their many many ‘stovepipe’ logistics databases and support tools. I don’t know the outcome of the Army’s efforts but the Air Force succeeded at a colossal failure as of 2012, “The U.S. Air Force Explains its $1 Billion ECSS Bonfire
      It’s a rerun of previous USAF logistics modernization project debacles, just massively more expensive”, https://spectrum.ieee.org/riskfactor/aerospace/military/the-us-air-force-explains-its-billion-ecss-bonfire
      I have faith the Army and Navy succeeded at even grander failures and I don’t know what the Air Force attempted following the ECSS “Bonfire”.

      Funny thing about the Army’s efforts. Orders went out to all the many employees of the many database centers and commands directing them to support outside contractors in dismantling their systems and employment. Although there was nominal cooperation in executing these orders none of the database centers or commends enthusiastically leaped on their swords. Issues and difficulties slowed the program — “Surprise! Surprise!” as Gomer Pyle might say.

      Reply
      1. todde

        no, the gov’t was supposed to be audit-able in 1997. That occured but the Pentagon got another 20 years to make that happen, and didn’t

        Reply
        1. Jeremy Grimm

          But several billions of money were spent making it not happen. Empires were collapsed, empires built, jobs lost and jobs gained and the game goes on. I suspect there were at least one other deadline between 1997 and 2017.

          I’m not sure how many times databases have been migrated and consolidated and moved from one computing center to another. Keeps contractors busy and civil servants on their toes always ready to move to a new town after the next BRAC..

          Reply
  8. Henry Moon Pie

    Uber’s Australian gambit–

    Neoliberals have picked up conservatives’ deep concern about “moral hazard.” Here’s an example of a moral hazard they studiously avoid. You can get so ridiculously rich if you can start a company and shepherd it to a successful IPO that ethical and even legal standards are secondary to securing the winning lottery ticket. Radically raising income and wealth taxes is one way to deal with this, but a more fundamental change in the way business ownership is structured is what is really necessary.

    Reply
      1. Yikes

        Sounds like Hong Kong; Maria Tam, China People Consultative Committee, and ex Transport Department Chief (in charge of issuing(or rather not issuing) taxi licenses), is the largest taxi license holder in Hong Kong. Uber was been either promoted or punished depending on how hard Tam supported the Chief Executive of HK SAR up in Beijing.

        Uber finally hired finally one of Tam’s UK based firms as a consultant, to make good any of her losses, so she’s back to being a loose cannon promoting her own interest.

        Reply
  9. DJG

    Washington Monthly finds leftists in Wisconsin. Some people don’t get out enough. The article then notes that Michigan may have leftists, too.

    Given the tradition of vigorous leftist politics in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota, the article doesn’t surprise in stating the Bernie Sanders has immense appeal. What is not so surprising is the race-horse journalism and the lack of historical training.

    Making a finding of “increasing strength for the left” in the Great Lakes States is like finding that there is a lot of pizza served in Chicago.

    Maybe I’m being hasty here, but the cluelessness of the Democratic Party elites and of the Democratic Party’s mainstream, which is now Eisenhower liberals, makes me think that they are preparing to lose the 2020 elections. Beto/Biden = Trump + Pence, second term

    Reply
    1. Kevin

      What can Trump supporters point to as his successes?
      It seems to me coal miners and farmers specifically have been left out in the cold…what about others?

      Reply
      1. Shonde

        They don’t need to point to any successes. Think about the old saying, “Hope lies eternal…” and then remember how Hilary managed to get more votes than Trump while running as Obama 2.0. What Obama successes were Hilary voters pointing to?

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The main problem with Team Blue recent messaging is the divergent interests between Team Clintons’ coveted white flight republicans and the base of the Democratic Party and the cognitive dissonance around the Obama Administration.

          Bear in mind, a corpse, an actual corpse, would get 55 million votes. Elections are won on the margins. Ultimately, the Clinton campaign instead of repeating the efforts (the dismantling of the organization used to win in 2006 and 2008 was a problem for Team Clinton) of squeezing likely Democratic votes out of Democratic localities in an effort to win swing districts and states chose to embrace the Third Way style of embracing White Flight Republicans (“moderate suburban types” who loves rural Republicans who worked to preserve Apartheid).

          Besides the obvious problems with the Obama Administration, the potential of “the Emerging Democratic Majority” can’t coexist with a strategy of winning the support of the ilk of Alan Simpson and John McCain supporters. The corpse voters will still vote, but it won’t be enough.

          Team Blue especially Ed Rendell pushed the idea for ever white, blue collar worker they lost they would win two white flight Republican votes, but he ignored the black or Hispanic votes lost due to pandering to Joe Biden’s friend Dick Cheney.

          Reply
      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/09/white-voters-victory-donald-trump-exit-polls

        I know Team Blue elites coveted those white flight Republicans and did okay with them in safe states, but Trump’s promise to annoy “liberals” has been kept. Ticking off liberals is the GOP voter’s Id.

        HRC crushed it with low income voters, traditional Democratic backers and a growing portion of the electorate. I would say upper middle class types are useful idiots of the rich, but Trump is supporting his class for the most part.

        Until the Democratic Party is taken back and Republicans who can’t stomach Country Pop and Christian “Music” are purged, the Democratic Party will meander aimlessly, huffing about GOP hypocrisy and await the next scandal to blow up the GOP with the anticipation of a small child who has worked out how Santa will get a pony down the chimney.

        If the Democrats were worried, they would focus on their own broken promises and work to remove the same faces who made broken promises and were architects of bad policies and bad politics.

        Reply
    2. Chris Cosmos

      I think this time, at last, the notion that a leftist candidate will lose the general is obsolete. Trump has been a disaster for the right and will not be re-elected if the Democrats present a candidate who exudes confidence and addresses people’s need to believe in a better world rather than business as usual. The Democratic Party will not steal the primaries this time but will let them play out from what little info I have acquired that seems to be the case.

      However, if Democratic candidates get back into an overheated identity politics agenda then all bets are off.

      Reply
    3. amfortas the hippie

      i can report with confidence that there are at least 3 Leftists in texas….5 if you count my kids.
      i dont expect the texdems to discover us anytime soon– ive been yelling at them for 30 years and im still quite unsure of Their existence
      team blue=washington generals. paid to lose and be a pressure relif valve

      Reply
    4. Hepativore

      How do you think that the Democratic Party elites are going to sand-bag Sanders if they are intent on losing to Trump? Sanders is just as strong as ever now that he has name recognition and he has already picked up a lot of momentum.

      Reply
  10. notabanktoadie

    At 49, Le Maire is the youngest finance minister among his G-7 counterparts. His grand ambitions also involve combating income-inequality, empowering governments to intervene in the economy, and forcing companies to be socially responsible and share more of their profits with workers. from France’s Message for Capitalism Is Quite Simple: Adapt or Die Bloomberg [bold added]

    If we truly had capitalism, shouldn’t capital (Equity) be the primary means of finance? With no government privileges for private credit creation whereby the need to share equity with workers and others is subverted?

    And do we even have equal protection under the law when citizens may not use their Nation’s fiat in account form but must instead use private bank deposits, liabilities for fiat, which the banks themselves also create when they “lend” (“Bank loans create bank deposits”)? But which are not created for the general welfare but for the private welfare of the banks? And for the welfare of the most so-called “credit worthy”, including business and industry, as a means to avoid sharing equity (capital) with workers and others?

    So it appears that government-privileged “bank-ism” is what we truly have and is what should be abolished in a responsible manner.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One alternative is for the people to spend money into existence, replacing the government doing it currently.

      Reply
    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Until 1982 share buybacks were against the law. They were rightly viewed as just another form of share price manipulation.

      So you’re a CEO. You can A). spend on R&D to create innovative new products; B.) spend to hire more people, service customers better, expand to new markets; or C.) spend to buy back shares and make yourself richer.

      Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “Fifty years of the internet”: ‘When I walk into a room, the room should know I’m there and it should provide to me the services and applications that match my profile, privileges and preferences.’

    No, no, no. That is not what you want. That is a recipe for enclosing yourself into an information bubble. You do not want an algorithm to make your life choices for you and restricting your ‘preferences’ to what you chose once upon a time. You always want to look at stuff off the beaten track and out of your comfort zone. Imagine if you at first dated a blond girl so from then on your algorithm would only show you other blondes and no brunettes or redheads. That is what it amounts to. One of the reasons that I love NC is that there are so many people here contributing from such a wide variety of life experiences that you learn new stuff all the time here. At times I have even been threatened with a feeling off, dare I say it – humility?

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      Bingo.

      What I want is, when I walk into a room, say at work, I can walk out of it again in like 4hrs. I want the technological world to simply give me more free time. I may “work” in the “do things that produce stuff” sense in that other time, but that would be by choice. Or maybe I would just join Wukuchimi in the mountains.

      But I don’t have that choice. Instead we have less free time than ever. When I compare my parents available hours (my dad had more vacation than I have ever had, my mom was mostly a homemaker) to mine, it makes me sick.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Too many have been taught that you can never have enough. I know a number of fellows (my business was 99% male) who are earnestly attempting to put huge pile of money #7 on top of gigantic piles of money numbers 1 through 6, it’s what they do.

        Saw something extraordinary yesterday, the very first Sierra Newt on the all cats and no cattle ranch i’ve ever seen. Usually you’ll spot them 2,000 to 3,000 feet higher in altitude, where i’ve seen hundreds, and they come in flat red and what I term ‘gummy bear red’ as that’s what they look like, but don’t bite, they’re way toxic, which is mother nature’s way of saying stay away to all other denizens of the forest, red em’ the riot act she did.

        Reply
      2. Chris Cosmos

        Yes, yes, and yes. We could have 15 hour work weeks or less if the bosses did not enjoy lording it over us so much. Though that idea is simplistic it explains a lot–it’s not just money that motivates people, I’ve found, it’s status and power even more. When there was a big push in management circles in the 90s for “flat” organizations bosses pushed back and traded efficiency for power and showed me they wanted control. How else to explain things like drug tests for almost any kind of job–remember these tests are mainly to ferret out people who use marijuana.

        Reply
        1. Summer

          And it’s not having “enough” money that is motivating the greed being faced…it’s having more than everyone around them.
          $5 a year would be fine for them as long as everone else was making 50 cents a year.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            In many ways, we are conditioned to look at the world that way (relatively, like $5 and 50 cents, vs absolutely).

            So, it’s not the absolute time you run the 100 yard dash, but the time relative to other runners in the race, especially in a high altitude place, that makes you an Olympic gold medal winner.

            And not your SAT scores, by themselves, but relative to those of your class, that will determine your admission to the presitigious school of your desire.

            So, in many, many small areas, we are encouraged to act like the petite bourgeoisie Marx spoke of, where, instead of paying a lot of money to get into prestigious universities (for haute bourgeoisie), the game could be about sneaking into an elite elementary or high school not in one’s home district (spots limited).

            Reply
        2. Tomonthebeach

          What you assert might make sense if bosses actually worked only 15 hours a week. In my experience 50 or more hours is the norm for bosses. Thus, I think it has more to do with cultural values and board-of-directors greed.

          Hard work brings one closer to God. Making people work long hours means paying fewer salaries. But, profit-oriented boards do not want to take less profit and hire more staff in order to reduce working hours.

          Reply
    2. notabanker

      I was using duck duck go for well over a year and got mad because it was serving up spam ads, so I switched back to gurgle. That lasted less than a week. The final straw was doing some China research and having gurgle ONLY serve up links to a DC thinktank. I tried changing countries, anon browsing, multiple word changes and kept getting the same paper over and over. And only the same paper. Two pages of results, no more, and all article that referenced the exact same thinktank paper. Switched to ddg and mountains of stuff. It was quite disturbing. Their algos are most definitely censoring the interwebs. It was a blatant example of force feeding political ideology. I was limited to only one single interpretation of a Xi speech using the world’s dominant search engine.

      Reply
        1. Tyrannocaster

          I too like Startpage, although I think it’s only a matter of time before Google figures out how to disable it.

          Reply
          1. pricklyone

            I feel I must say again…Startpage IS Google. They buy searches from Google. It is on their about page. Not a secret.
            Their claim to fame is not using your ID to track you, not to provide differing results.

            Reply
            1. ChiGal in Carolina

              If they buy their stuff from Google, even if they don’t track you, bet somehow someway Google can

              Reply
      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        If you set ddg to block ads they don’t serve up any. Sometimes that also blocks content (like graphics or inserted vids) but it’s worth it to me.

        One question: is ddg only a search engine? It calls itself a privacy browser. And I disabled Chrome on my Android phone and ddg still works and has my bookmarks.

        Also, anyone know of a good email client that isn’t actually Google or MS based?

        Reply
        1. Oh

          tutanota.com
          It’s encrypted end to end and they don’t keep your encryption keys. Besides, their server is in Switzerland which has the best privacy laws.

          Reply
      2. Hepativore

        There is also Qwant, but the trouble with Qwant is how it displays images during an image search as well as automatically opening up search results in a new tab when you open them. I am sure that there is a way to change this in the settings, but I am not sure how.

        Reply
      3. Oh

        I was served up with ads on Opera even with VPN browsing when I used DDG to search for stuff. I thne found out that I had allowed an option where I had allowed search engines to bypass search engines. I changed that option to not allow it and there have not been any ads.

        Gurgle tries to get your ip address and identity in more than one way. If you use any of their services or their partners’ They’ll keep track of you. I’m at a point where I’m going to get rid of any of Gurgle’s services and any web pages that report info to google and always use VPN. My next step is to a proxy server.

        Reply
    3. Hepativore

      This reminds me of the movie, Majority Report where you had digital and holographic billboards and projectors everywhere you went and they automatically scanned your retinas which were stored in a national database and the ad would automatically address you by name and target its product to you. The movie did a good job at portraying bioinformatic data mining gone amok in terms of marketing.

      I am not a luddite by any means, and I am not even against self-driving vehicles as most people are horrible at driving an automobile. I just do not trust any of the mega-monopolies that came out of Silicon Valley in terms of it not being a thinly-veiled attempt at more data-mining and spying. While I welcome the automation of jobs and robots liberating people from bullsh1t jobs like retail and fast-food, I do not like the way that technology has been largely applied by the new robber barons to recreate the feudal states of old. My problem is not robots and technology but its human owners and humans are indeed quite fallible, especially the capital class.

      Reply
      1. Oh

        Does your Target have a camera on the self check out kiosk? Mine does and it sickens me. I have to remember to wear an Anon mask the next time.

        Reply
    4. Partyless Poster

      I think those sort of recommendation algo’s are very dangerous to the art and music world.
      There is already so much conformity in music thanks to major label domination, especially since Clinton’s radio deregulation.
      People need to be exposed to art and music that is unfamiliar to them otherwise its impossible to grow artistically. I couldn’t tell you how many bands and genres I currently love that I thought a bit difficult and challenging at first.

      Reply
  12. Wukchumni

    New Zealand’s Prime Minister Is Showing the World What Real Leadership Looks Like Mother Jones
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I always found that NZ & Australia were similar to our Canada-USA relationship, with roughly a 1-10 population basis in both instances.

    The Kiwis are classic overachievers, with women getting the vote there for the first time in any country in 1893, and the countries physically couldn’t be any different, with a good chunk of Australia being utterly useless, whereas NZ is a paradise of Polynesia running into Ireland en route to Switzerland, with Norwegian-like fjords rounding out the bottom.

    Add in that every last NZ’er came of their own free will, and even though we’re talking about events of the late 18th century, it still is very much part of the Australian psyche, having a bit of convict blood as a badge of honor.

    The Maori couldn’t be beat, so they became equals with the English settlers, something you could never claim about the Lucky Country with it’s Aboriginals, and it’s greatly influenced their inclusiveness as an accepting country, the evidence of you can see in the NZ PM’s words & actions.

    Reply
    1. Lee

      Fine description of the place.

      Everything I know about New Zealand I’ve learned from watching the Brokenwood Mysteries series. Now that Sauron has been vanquished, except for its lack of placental carnivorous terrestrial megavertebrates, it seems perfect.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        We were taking the ferry from Wellington to Picton on the South Island and playing cards with some Kiwis, and were talking about our countries, and NZ was a bird world country for almost 20 million years, so you don’t see much in the way of 4 legs* aside from more recent arrivals, and I mentioned skunks, and our gin rummy companion who’d never smelt one before, asked to describe the odor, and everybody who’s drove near the scene of the pining to get away from the smell knows sense-wise, but in word form a tougher read.

        *In one visit, my total take for about 200 km’s walked was a lonely rabbit.

        Reply
    2. Tom Doak

      I am impressed with her stand that she won’t give the killer the publicity he wants, and so far it seems to be working . . . there is much less use of his name in the news than with other recent mass murderers.

      Reply
  13. Shonde

    Thanks for the Vox link regarding placebo effect. I was thinking about yesterday’s discussion of electronic health records as I was reading this line, “For instance, we could start with reminding doctors that they can relieve pain simply by being warm and caring to their patients.” How can a doctor be “warm and caring” while tapping away on a computer which is something I am sure we have all observed?

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, its a fascinating article – the placebo effect is endlessly fascinating. Its a pity though that mainstream medicine doesn’t use it more – there is no doubt I think that it could be used much more in pain relief (especially in tailing off meds for people after initial treatment). It is used in a somewhat more indirect way by many doctors. I know several doctors who will give prescriptions for fairly low doses of over the counter drugs – they say people just feel better if they get a painkiller on prescription, they feel its more powerful.

      Its also the likeliest reason why so many people get relief from alternative medicine. There may be no scientific backing whatever for some forms (especially homeopathy), but just having a sympathetic person listen and dole out some mysterious products can give real benefits. As you say, if only regular doctors could do the same.

      Reply
      1. Lee

        OTOH, there’s this:

        Médecins Sans Medicine? “Homeopaths without borders” giving sugar pills for infectious diseases in Honduras

        Canadian homeopaths are in Honduras, and claim their magic water remedies can prevent diseases such as Chagas, dengue, and chikungunya.

        https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/medecins-sans-medicine-homeopaths-without-borders-giving-sugar-pills-for-infectious-diseases-in-honduras/

        Sometimes people need real medicine without which they will die or experience avoidable suffering. But I completely agree that when I talk to a medical care provider who is staring at a screen and tapping a keyboard as I speak, my heart withers inside me. I’ve started mentioning this during appointments with mixed results.

        Reply
        1. balkan identity

          All I can say is that science as presented in the linked website just shows arrogance to the extreme. Did anyone ask the patients who were cared for on whether they feel they benefited from the homeopathic care?
          Science has no explanation for the placebo effect – absolutely none – and yet it exists.
          Natural environment and the human body are extremely complex self-organizing systems in constant interaction and with emergent consciousness to boot.
          What if homeopathy somehow harnesses the (unknown) mechanisms of the placebo effect healing delivering it more consistently?
          Proper homeopathic medication is personalized, it cannot be run as an experiment for the medication but for the medication/patient/doctor system.

          As a disclosure I have a 20+ year interaction with my homeopath medical doctor and have personally experienced its potential. Nevertheless, I am not arguing nor recommending anything aside from a little more humility and the ability to keep an open mind as the mysteries and complexities of the world vastly exceed the ability of science to help us unravel them.

          Reply
          1. Lee

            If something works for you, well and good. However, in the face of serious physical injury or illness caused by a virulent pathogen or cancer, I doubt that homeopathy or other alternatives to science based medicine have much to offer. Not that science based medicine, infected as it is by its own perverse incentives and bent out of shape by neoliberal ideology, is all that it could or should be.

            Reply
            1. Oregoncharles

              That publication, “Skeptical Inquirer,” does not allow comments, so it should be edited more carefully. This, at the very beginning, is an outrageous strawman: “The authors compared acupuncture to placebo acupuncture (creating the sensation of acupuncture with toothpicks that do not penetrate the skin) and found no difference. ” It deliberately or ignorantly misrepresents acupuncture, which includes a number of modes that do not penetrate the skin, including massage or focused heat treatments. Poking people with toothpicks, the stated “placebo,” is acupuncture. His entire premise is false.

              Reply
          2. Plenue

            “homeopath medical doctor”

            Oxymoron.

            “Proper homeopathic medication is personalized”

            Riiiight. What, they personalize the amount of dilution do they? I’m sure the difference between a single molecule of the original substance and no molecules whatsoever has a massive impact on the water.

            “Science has no explanation for the placebo effect – absolutely none – and yet it exists.”

            1. a lie. 2. god of the gaps. “Science can’t explain thi-oh wait, it just explained it…uh…well it can’t explain THIS!”.

            ‘Alternative’ bunk like homeopathy literally kills people. The people who push it for profit are vultures.

            Reply
            1. Yves Smith Post author

              They actually do personalize the dose. Each remedy comes in different strengths, as in dilution. And the doses in homeopathy are so dilute they can’t hurt, much the less kill people.

              The sort of people who use homeopathy clearly don’t like/trust Western medicine, so they’d be seeking out some other alternative treatment.

              I don’t use homeopathy, but a friend’s dog had an advanced case of cancer (would be Stage 4 if human, had lots of nodules), and was completely cured by a homeopathic vet.

              Reply
              1. Plenue

                “The sort of people who use homeopathy clearly don’t like/trust Western medicine, so they’d be seeking out some other alternative treatment.”

                And that’s where the killing comes in. It’s one thing to use nonsense as a supplement, it’s another to use it by itself as an alternative.

                Reply
      2. Carla

        Along this vein, I highly recommend “Healing Back Pain” by the late John Sarno, which has helped me (and millions of others) immeasurably over the years.

        Reply
        1. Arizona Slim

          Count me as another NC-er who was helped by this and other books by John Sarno. Matter of fact, I am sitting down while I write this comment.

          Well, big deal. Slim is parked on the slender keister. Let me explain:

          As some of you may know, I came home from my 2017-18 Christmas-New Year’s visit with my mother, and I found that my place had been ransacked. Torn apart. And that’s how my life felt too.

          Well, the police investigated, turned up nothing conclusive, and on September 25, 2018, I got word that my case had been closed.

          I. Was. Furious.

          And it wasn’t the sort of fury where, shall we say, it would have been socially acceptable to stand on a street corner and holler “Eff the police!” Uh-uh. That would have gotten me arrested.

          Within a week, I couldn’t walk. I was in excruciating pain. Thus began a five-month journey of frustration through mainstream and alternative health care. This included visits to an urgent care center, a medical clinic, countless sessions with massage therapists, acupuncture, and four months of physical therapy.

          Over time, I regained my ability to walk. But the pain persisted.

          In early January, one of the massage therapists recommended Sarno’s book, Healing Back Pain. When I got back to Tucson, I put myself on the reserve list at the local library. I was finally able to check that book out on February 11.

          Sarno in a nutshell: A lot of physical pain is actually caused by the brain. It’s trying to keep those angry, evil thoughts from escaping from the subconscious. And this problem is especially prevalent among those who are hardworking, conscientious, and perfectionistic.

          Boom. Fits me to a tee. Thank you, Dr. Sarno.

          He also was a big proponent of giving up the “special” treatments and other things that are keeping you from fully participating in life. So, I started going cold turkey on things like using a heating pad, taking Advil, and going to physical therapy. How did this make me feel? Better!

          As for the anger, oh, it’s still there. But now I recognize it. I write down all the things that are making me mad, and guess what. That makes me feel better too.

          For many months, I was afraid to sit down because I thought it would hurt too much. Then I decided that no chair would defeat me. And I started sitting again.

          What about my bike? I’m back on it, baby! Having the time of my life while pedaling around Tucson.

          Reply
          1. JEHR

            Yes, the mind is a wonderful thing and can be your best friend when you combine it with the abilities of your body.

            Reply
          2. Lee

            This sounds interesting and I will definitely check out the book.

            However, my back pain is the result of spondylolisthesis and stenosis. That is, structural defects whereby bone is contacting the spinal cord and nerves where it should not do so, which can be exacerbated by any number of normal daily activities. Does the trick then lie in not minding that it hurts?
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvQViPBAvPk

            Reply
            1. Arizona Slim

              Dr. Sarno covered those two conditions in his books. In his experience, a a lot of structural defects weren’t causing the pain that brought patients to his office. The pain was the result of emotional issues that were not being dealt with.

              Now, let me say this: I am not a doctor and don’t play one on teevee. So, Lee, I am not qualified to diagnose or treat your health conditions.

              As mentioned previously in this thread, Dr. Sarno is deceased. However, other practitioners are continuing his work. Here’s a website that can explain more:

              https://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Howard_Schubiner,_MD

              It also includes a practitioner directory:

              https://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Find_a_TMS_Doctor_or_Therapist

              All the best to you, Lee!

              Reply
            2. Yves Smith Post author

              To add to what Arizona Slim is saying, there are tons of spinal conditions like slipped and fused disks where many people have that condition and are asymptomatic. Someone starts having pain, Dr. does X-ray, sees spinal abnormalities and attributes pain to that. But there is actually very little evidence that the abnormalities actually cause the pain.

              As one of my buddies who started out at the NIH said, “Medicine is a medieval art.”

              Reply
              1. Lee

                The sciatic jolts I get are like bolts of lightning in the butt that shoot down my leg. I’m not sure what unresolved emotional issues or that my own suggestibility accounts for this.

                I’m a bit chary of phsychologizing illness and pain. I don’t deny the psychological factors, but they are not in all cases applicable. IIRC, Susan Sontag addressed this issue convincingly in Illness as Metaphor.

                Reply
                1. Arizona Slim

                  Forgot to mention that I also experienced sciatica last fall. Bolts of lightning down the leg? Lee, I knew those well.

                  Then came Thanksgiving weekend. I was fed up with this sciatica stuff, so I decided to do something about it. I turned to my trusty friend, YouTube, and found this video:

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clfpWjqVP6U

                  Summary: It demonstrates the press-up exercise that was made popular by a New Zealander named Robin McKenzie. He was the physical therapist who developed the McKenzie Method for treating patients.

                  Any-hoo, starting on Monday, November 26, I went nuts with press-ups. Did at least 100 a head. By Saturday, December 1, I noticed something very interesting. No more sciatic pain! It was gone!

                  In short, press-ups worked to get rid of that problem.

                  They didn’t help with my other pains in my hip and lower abdominal area. Matter of fact, they aggravated the ab pain, so I stopped doing them last month. For those other pains, identifying and processing emotions has been the ticket.

                  Reply
                  1. Wukchumni

                    A friend had sciatica really bad, and found that acupuncture greatly relieved his pain. It’s been over 20 years ago, and he went for a little over a year of sessions.

                    Reply
              2. Susan the other`

                That was one of my experiences too – I threw my back out just mopping the kitchen, went to the ER, couldn’t stand up straight, etc. X-rays showed a slightly slipped (bulging) disk. The doctor said “take these steroids for 5 days and relax as much as possible… people live with crooked backs and most don’t even know it.” Haven’t had any trouble since. It’s pretty amazing how your body repairs itself and compensates.

                Reply
  14. PlutoniumKun

    China’s new glamour girl of the skies Asia Times (resilc)

    This is very relevant for the article earlier today on technology. China is investing a lot in aerospace and wants to compete with Boeing and Airbus.

    But it also shows that its harder than China might think. The Comac C919 looks the part, but is more than a decade behind the 737 and A320 in technology and seems to be very thirsty for a modern aircraft (probably due to excess weight and aerodynamics). Its noticeable that almost all its orders are from China – even low cost African/South American airlines seem dubious about it. It may be that Boeings travails might help them out, but its far more likely that Airbus will be the big winner.

    Reply
  15. allan

    Fox Corporation Emerges as Standalone Entity, Paul Ryan Joins Board [Variety]

    Because nothing says serious policy wonk like a state propaganda organ fair and balanced media empire.
    The good news is that Ryan, long thwarted in his dream to reform Social Security and Medicare, can now inflict
    on the little people of Fox his vision of real American families tightening their belts around the kitchen table.

    …On Thursday, Lachlan Murdoch will hold a town hall session for employees. The company is expected to face some growing pains early on as it downsizes its workforce as the assets change hands and Fox Corp. is re-engineered to focus on TV, live events, news and sports.

    Fox Corp. will be extremely reliant on the Fox News cable channel for the bulk of its earnings. Wall Street analyst Michael Nathanson estimates that some 86% of Fox’s earnings will come from cable programming, and 90% of those earnings will come from Fox News. …

    But rest assured that the Granny Starver’s board member compensation will be safe and sound.

    Reply
  16. PlutoniumKun

    Saudi crown prince allegedly stripped of some authority Guardian (resilc)

    This story seems to have dropped a bit – I can’t find much about it today – but if its true its a big deal.

    The House of Saud didn’t get to where they are by doing things by half. Either MbS will win back his power, or there will be a nasty plane crash and a big funeral. Since Al Saud Snr is apparently partially senile (if occasionally lucid), I can only assume he is doing this with the aid of other factions within the family. It could be the start of a civil war if true.

    Reply
    1. pjay

      I was thinking the same thing. It’s hard to get reliable information, of course. But it certainly appears that another faction has been able to gain some degree of power, and/or influence over Al Saud. This could have ramifications for competing elite factions in the U.S. as well.

      Reply
  17. Yikes

    Alan Kruger – Suicide – time in Obama’s admin

    That he, as a seasoned adult decided neo-liberalism wasn’t gonna work, could only stand working for Obbie the Wan for 2 years says a lot about the quality (vs. quantity) of heat in that kitchen.

    Reply
      1. Yikes

        Check his recent papers, and title/synopsis of his soon to be published book for his change of heart. As to Obbie the Wan’s impact on the Force, do I really have say much to anyone on this blog?

        Reply
  18. WJ

    Yesterday nippersmom claimed that she (I assume) had read a blog post stating that $4.5mil of Beto’s $6.1mil came from the recirculation of already donated funds to his Senate campaign. This is important if true, but I have not been able to confirm the claim. Can nippersmom (or anybody else) supply a link to the post that is the basis of her claim? Has anybody been able independently to confirm this claim? Thx!

    Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Beto Austin, Aspiranaut

        “Fright com, I can’t hold her! She’s breaking up! Self-inflicted wounds She’s break—”).

        We can rebuild him from the loss to Cruz and make him seem better than second fiddle to Ted, we can make him the first $6 Million Buyonic Man!

        nnnnnnnnhhhhh, nnnnnnnnhhhhhhhh, nnnnnnnnnnnhhhhh

        Reply
      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Dean dropped in Iowa before the Dean Scream. The conservative nature of Dean’s politics sans the war were getting around. “Dated Dean, married Kerry” was fairly accurate on the shift as Dean was examined. Kerry always held a significant lead over Dean in New Hampshire. This is anecdotal, but I know lefty types there who were aware of Dean’s conservatism and rivalry with Sanders. Iowa, New Hampshire, and a hometown candidate who was addressing income inequality caused Dean to fall flat.

        Kerry has issues, but primary Kerry would easily have been President. Allowing Team Clinton and especially Donna Brazile near his campaign was a mistake. Not that he’s as good as Sanders, but with the exception of Warren, Kerry was/is head and shoulders (not only stature) above the others with his policy views and the role of government in people’s lives. Its a small confession, but the best political speech I’ve seen in years was an event for Obama in 2008 featuring surrogates where Kerry was the headliner. Kerry put out good ideas on his own without having to face constant drum beats of pressure.

        Besides the basic problems of organizing, Kerry’s campaign of “reporting for duty” and a “stronger America” instead of addressing the positive role of government hurt him in the general. He got too much into reassuring white flight republicans outside of a few high income corridors wouldn’t be the targets of a tax increase.

        Then there are issues with Trippi’s campaign style. It can be a bit much.

        Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Nah. No one cared except elite Team Blue types who believe the country is as dumb as they are about the windsurfing. Its actually an activity he did. Kerry’s efforts to appear like an “everyday person” instead of communicating why he should be President were always his problem.

            https://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/22/politics/campaign/kerry-on-hunting-photoop-to-help-image.html

            His aides said the speeches — on health care, fiscal discipline and Iraq, with one on women’s rights and another on faith

            This is down the article, but this was Kerry’s real problem. His “substance” was healthcare policies that didn’t address the crisis, fiscal discipline (an issue absolutely no one cares about), something about Iraq (not leaving or investigating the lies in the lead up; he was going to be better at Iraq), women’s rights which was probably big on theory but not practical application (if you zone out the abortion clinics, there isn’t a right to choose), and one on faith because religious freedoms are crushed everyday in this country…

            Swiftboat, Manny Ortiz, his hunting outfit, none of it mattered. He made a pitch to a country that didn’t exist.

            I don’t believe we need a good conservative judge and I don’t believe we need a good liberal judge. I don’t believe we need a good judge of that kind of definition on either side. The mark of a good judge, is when you’re reading their decision, their opinion, you can’t tell if it’s written by a man or a woman, a liberal or a conservative, a Muslim, a Jew, or a Christian. You just know you’re reading a good judicial decision.

            I found this quote from Kerry. Its dumb. He’s for good things, not bad things. Yes, he’s “for” a woman’s right to choose, and it gets its own speech. But he’s not making the case why this matters and what steps need to be taken to get it done. This might not be the particular hill to die on, but its the same problem Gore and HRC had. They were pointless. The disaffected or harder to register were never going to come out for these people.

            Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          It was still the Republicans’ turn when Kerry ran. Plus, he managed to lose the debates to…wait for it…Bush the Younger. Quite an achievement.

          I should be more grateful to John Kerry: he proved that 2000 wasn’t Nader’s fault, that the Dems could lose without any help from the Green Party. As was the plan.

          Reply
    1. nippersmom

      I’m sorry, but it was on a friend’s page and I can’t link to the source material and can’t find it via a quick Duck Duck Go search. I personally plan on following the recommendation in the post I read and checking the FEC data when it is released; that I will be able to link to. I do find it interesting that other campaigns were willing and able to release information pretty much immediately on numbers of unique donors and average donations, but O’Rourke’s campaign has not done so.

      Reply
      1. nippersdad

        I saw that yesterday as well, and with the revelations of the Hillary Victory Fund didn’t think that such a thing could be unpossible. Today the Bay Area For Bernie page is reporting that this is likely a conspiracy theory that we should not be encouraging. They think that his haul is the result of wealthy donors/bundlers and that everyone should await the official numbers.

        Their statement:

        “Bay Area For Bernie

        Hey friends. So…no. No, Beto O’Rourke did not get $4.5m “back” from the Texas State Democratic Party after donating those funds to the Party after his Senatorial race concluded. It would be a serious violation of federal campaign finance law if he did that (state parties can only give $5,000 directly to a candidate and there is no take-backsies once a candidate gives that money to a party). And there is NO EVIDENCE–including this screenshot from the FEC website–that he has done any such thing.

        Just remember, Beto HAS YET TO RELEASE HIS NUMBER OF DONORS. It is very likely he raised yesterday’s bloated haul from wealthy donors via bundlers, and that already undermines his fundraising numbers……”

        My only question about this was the generosity of O’Rourke in giving away what was left of his Senate campaign funds. That just doesn’t sound like something establishment pols do these days, but then I never thought that I would see anyone laundering funds through state parties either.

        So, there is that.

        Reply
        1. Geo

          O’Rourke giving away what was left of his Senate campaign funds.

          Probably more of a “You scratch my back, I scratch yours” arrangement with the party than a selfless donation.

          Reply
      2. Lambert Strether

        And Beto’s also trundling about the country in a van with no staff and tweeting for gas money. Assuming that’s not some Machiavellian ploy (and I do not make that assumption), he’s acting like he’s got cash flow problems. Which tend to support the idea of a sudden influx of funds, rather than a slow build from small donors.

        Reply
    2. voteforno6

      Funny how the woke Dems aren’t screaming about cultural appropriation, with his use of the nickname “Beto.”

      From what I’ve seen so far of him, I wonder if “Poochie” would be a more appropriate nickname for him (for you fans of The Simpsons.)

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Beto’s whole schtick screams “90’s”. He skateboards to events because he can stay upright and skateboards exploded in the early 90’s if not earlier. I’m ready for Beto to break out a hacky sack.

        Beto’s refusal to take the no-fossil fuel pledge is a good update on Poochie being half “Joe Camel.”

        Leaked video from the DNC strategy to create Beto.

        Reply
        1. nippersdad

          That was great. Update it with “intersectional” and “disruptive” and I think you may be on to something.

          Reply
        2. jrs

          half Joe Camel, but if that’s not enough we can have full Joe Camel with Gillibrand, literally defending tobacco companies (you’ve come a long way baby!).

          But seriously the fossil fuel companies are worse in the scheme of things.

          Reply
      2. jrs

        He was given it at birth or soon after as far as I understand it, but let’s blame everyone for names their parents give them, shall we? Wait is woke really another word for @hole?

        Now his policies, the dude is actually arguing people want their healthcare tied to employment …

        Reply
        1. Geo

          Did your see the rant on “wokeness” on The Daily Show last night regarding Beto and the string of apologies he’s been making the last few days?

          While the show has lost its political edge after Stewart’s departure I’m a fan of Noah (loved his standup before he took over the show) and every so often he has a good bit. His rant last night was great. Especially considering his audience demo since they’re most likely the types to call themselves “woke”.

          That said, Beto and his nonstop apologies are pathetic. This is the guy who apoplogized for saying something mean about Ted Cruz! It’s not even possible to say anything about Ted Cruz without sounding mean. Why apologize for it?

          Reply
  19. The Rev Kev

    “The world’s first genderless voice assistant is challenging gender stereotypes”

    Oh hell no! That is not want I want. Look, the whole promise of computer technology was that there would be such a massive variety of choices for each and every person. This is going the opposite direction where all choices for a voice assistant get narrowed down to one. And why exactly? If I ever had to get a voice assistant, I might chose a throaty female voice – maybe even Majel Barrett’s voice – whereas a woman might choose to listen to a Chris Hemsworth voice instead. See? Individual choice. Are they saying that computers cannot handle users having choices? Female voices are better anyway. I remember reading how decades ago the US Air Force used female voices to communicate with their pilots on the tarmac as it was found that female voices penetrated the jet engine noises better. One should be aware, however, that this could backfire as shown by Oz’s Black Comedy group (but beware of the extreme language!!)-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QLg5pRzyrM

    Reply
    1. Roger Smith

      This should have been filed under “Kill Me Now”. Cultural psychosis jumps the shark again. Is it sexist to talk to someone triggered by a male voice now? Maybe this company can make us all face mask, voice changers so we can be “inclusive”. Why is this nonsense being shown so much deference? Why do people keep peddling it? To do anything other than accept this as the new reality is tantamount to cardinal sin. You need to accept that this stuff is going to be forced into your daily life.

      Reply
      1. Plenue

        “Cultural psychosis”

        I genuinely think this is in large part what so much of this stuff is. I think places like tumblr and the ease of blocking on Twitter make it incredibly easy for people to set up highly insular communities where they just circle-jerk and reinforce each other endlessly. There’s no one to come in and say “stop it; you’re being ridiculous”. There’s no splash of cold water moment.

        Sex and gender are different, I’ll agree wholeheartedly with that. But an actual logical way to think about it would be, for instance: “I’m female, but I don’t feel like presenting and expressing in stereotypically feminine ways”. What isn’t logical is what we so often actually see, which is: “I’m non-binary, neither female nor male.” Which is how we get to absurdities like articles about how we shouldn’t exclude trans-women from discussions of abortion. The hell we shouldn’t. Take all the hormones you want, if you don’t have two X chromosomes you have no business being part of a discussion of women’s health issues, or at least no more than any other XY person.

        Reply
        1. Roger Smith

          I think the general advertising algorithms of the internet fuel it as well as the tools or haven’s you mentioned. People are shown more of what they click on (because these companies are spying on you) and it reinforces that topic/movement “x” is bigger than it is. What doesn’t make sense to me is why the larger reality outside of the internet continues to pass along this junk as if it is normal. Even if this insularity allows for louder messages of misguided discontent over something, is this internet broken so much that it is really stronger than normal life? CNN was marketing BS about how the internet radicalizes white males. Rhetorical nonsense. The internet* radicalizes anyone not equipped to wade in it’s toxic waters. (*Internet in contemporary, controlled form, not generally.) Obama said a few years back that we needed to reign in the wild west of the internet, and I think these scheming forces are winning.

          I’d take a step further and say it isn’t logical either for people to start mutilating their own bodies in response to their views of gender presentation. Maybe, maybe if that is the final treatment option for someone and they just go about their own life like anyone else, sure fine. But this attempt to create mass cultural acceptance and celebration of this psychotic mutilation completely sickens me (even more so when the subject of adulation is a child). It all reminds me of ancient Mayan/Aztec (or at least the stereotypes we know) ritual sacrifice or a guillotine square. These people have serious problems, and instead of being helped are being used so others can white knight and feel good about themselves. In turn, this cultural acceptance weakens the minds of others making them think they might need to do the same thing, especially when this justice garbage is marketing towards young kids.

          Reply
    2. amfortas the hippie

      this,like the above referenced dowsides in 50 yrs of internet, is merely more of the homogenisation weve been subject to for 80+ years. mcdonalds and walmrt in evry little town, same toilet paper same soda 15 brands of the identicle suv all over and the anthill suburban mcmanse…
      the illusion of prosperous choice
      im quite bored with current usa society

      Reply
    3. campbeln

      “People would not assume gender based on voices anymore in the future” and “things move into a genderless world”

      Whaa…?

      Our brains are pattern recognition machines; it’s simply how we’re built so we can survive! Grass. Grass. Grass. TIGER! (I mean, that’s WHY the tiger’s coat is the way it is!). Shall we require the tiger to loose it’s stripes, too, in this effort of “inclusivity”?

      To quote the Beastie Boys – “If your world was all black, and your would was all white, then you wouldn’t get much color out of life now, right?”. The gray world that this drivel pushes sounds even worse.

      Finally… If you ask me, Q sounds like a male voice with strong effeminate inflections, certainly not “neutral”.

      (Seems this went to the wrong spot the first time!?)

      Reply
  20. The Rev Kev

    “Misguided Spying and the New Zealand Massacre”

    I kinda figured before even reading that article that they would have been checking out all sorts of harmless groups for political reasons or whatever. And now fifty people are dead because of it and even though New Zealand is one of the Five Eyes, they apparently did a Sergeant Schultz here. I have a suggestion. All they have to focus on is extremists of any group. Here is how it works. Muslims? They’re OK. Extreme Muslims? Put ’em on a watchlist. Nationalist? Everybody has a hobby. Extreme nationalists? keep a close watch on them. Political parties. Forget it. Extremist political parties? Watch them like a hawk. Christians? Just like your neighbours. Extremist Christians. Watch them too. My suggestion may not be full-proof but it would have picked up on that shooter as an extremist.

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      Now define “extremist.”

      Incidentally, they were spying on the Greens, who are part of Ardern’s government.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Define “extremist”? I give you the same answer that the American judge gave when asked to define pornography – you know it when you see it. As an example, you have Christians against gays because of something in the bible. You get a lot of that. You have some of them protest soldier’s funerals, telling the families of the dead that it is because America supports gays? That is extremist right there. So extremist in fact that in the past you have had cordon lines of bikies – bikies! – keep these people away from the funerals.

        Reply
    1. RopeADope

      During the 90s you can really see the flood of money out of the former Soviet Union into London and the Baltics on that graphic.

      It is a shame that data for the rest of the world is not that detailed as we could then construct all of the the inter-regional financial flows. With more detail we could start to sequester one-off looting actions from the economic data the West uses to design macroeconomic policy.

      Thanks for that fascinating find bwilli.

      Reply
  21. Craig H.

    > Warren Buffett says US health care must be revamped or it will be left to the government — which will probably make it worse

    I forget the name of the billionaire but it was one everybody knows. Maybe Jobs. He said the way to solve the American Health Care systemic problems is: survey the other western countries like France and Japan (sic) and Germany and Canada; figure out which system is the best; hire their top twenty health care system bureaucrats and empower them to throw ours out and institute theirs.

    It was the best proposal I have seen. Maybe it was that whacko Perot.

    Reply
    1. Chris Cosmos

      This is what I and others recommended would be the best approach when the whole Obamacare disaster unfolded. All Obama would have to do is to use a scientific approach, publicize international health statistics, look at the most successful systems based on outcome, costs, satisfaction and so on and then recommend a viable program. Instead, as usual, Washington needed to re-invent yet another wheel as square rather than round and it refused to even consider the round variety.

      Here the mainstream media is mainly at fault and give yet another reason for being public enemy number 1 as Trump rightly suggests.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        That’s a pretty benign view of what Big O did and why, he didn’t just fail by trying to reinvent the wheel, he failed by attempting to reinvent the wheel while telling everyone at the start “build something that rolls but first make sure it’s not round”.

        Day One he took single payer off the table: oops. Why did he do that? Oh, look, *insurance company big money*. Check the stock prices of insurers since ObamaCare started. Ka-Ching. Par for the course for the melanoderm Bush.

        Reply
    2. Susan the other`

      It’s the same old song and dance of the panicked establishment. Pretending capitalism can be made to actually work for free. Provide good M4A and other services. That is profitless business – and profitless to a capitalist is thankless. This shtick is older that uncle Warren. 30 years ago the medical “industry” was strutting around claiming it was going to make medicine lean and mean. What a joke. All it did was subcontract anything that was not profitable. And those subcontractors then subcontracted or dropped out. And in the dropping out for lack of revenue millions of people found they could no longer afford medical care. This is a travesty. Warren Buffett is a greedy old buffoon to think he can stir this crap up all over again. Note to uncle Warren: capitalism has its limits and medical care is one of them. OK?

      Reply
  22. anon in so cal

    David Sirota will be Bernie Sanders’ speechwriter and advisor

    “I wanted to let you know that I have accepted a job serving as Senator Bernie Sanders’ senior adviser and speechwriter on his campaign for president.”

    Reply
    1. Geo

      Would have preferred Sirota stay on the beat doing exposes on the Dem candidates. Bernie’s speeches don’t need scripting but we need journalists like Sirota who actually dig into the details on politicians.

      Reply
  23. Louis Fyne

    Given the American news cycle, I didn’t know that a cyclone/hurricane killed hundreds last week until I saw a French report about it today

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

    Intense Tropical Cyclone Idai was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike Mozambique since Jokwe in 2008 and the deadliest tropical cyclone worldwide in 2019 as of March. ….

    Reply
      1. Wyatt

        Emanuel Rahm…Emonmali Rahmon

        I think he ruined Chicago for a few years, no? Hows Tajikistan fairing?

        /sarcasm

        Reply
  24. Summer

    Re: JPM Deaths
    “It’s time for the public to learn what happened to Doug Carucci and where it happened, for mainstream media to do its job and report on these deaths, and for the FBI to open an investigation. JPMorgan’s peer Wall Street banks have not experienced anything near this level of sudden deaths.”

    You’re going to need bigger graveyards if hopes are pinned on the MSM and the FBI.

    Reply
    1. Geo

      Maybe I’ve had my tinfoil hat in too tight for too long but seems to be a lot of this going on lately. I know suicides are up and it’s not something that always “makes sense” but for these cases where there seemed to be no warning signs, triggers, and suspicious reporting are just too common lately to all be passed off as nothing to see.

      Similar to the recent death of Daniel Best who was leasing the U.S. Department of Health’s efforts to lower prescription drug prices and was found dead outside his DC apartment.

      Family man, new job he was passionate about with good pay, everyone said he was a positive and nice guy.

      Reminds me of reading about all the journalists covering the Iran Contras that committed suicide or had accidents in the 80’s. Time to upgrade my tinfoil hat.

      Reply
      1. wilroncanada

        Geo
        A lot of those involved either in the JFK assassination and the subsequent investigations also seemed to have been suicided.

        Reply
  25. Watt4Bob

    IIRC, one of the reasons that none of the banksters went to jail was that it was deemed too hard to prove ‘intent.

    I’d like to point out that there is no better witness to the purpose of HFT, (high-frequency trading) systems than the people tasked with building and maintaining them.

    JPMorgan Chase has been losing high-level IT people left and right.

    So my observation would be this fictional, and highly improbable questioning before congress;

    Honorable Sherrod Brown;

    Mr. Carucci, you are the Global Head of Currencies, Emerging Markets, and Commodities Technology and Global Head of FICC Electronic Trading Technology at JPMorgan Chase are you not?

    Mr. Carucci;

    yes sir.

    Mr. Sharrod Brown;

    You would know the purposes of JPMorgan’s IT infrastructure, the way this technology works, what it does, and I presume the reason for its developement?

    Mr. Carucci;

    Yes sir.

    Mr. Sharrod Brown;

    Mr. Carucci, you don’t personally decide what IT infrastructure to build and then sell those ideas to your superiors do you?

    Mr. Carucci;

    No sir.

    Mr. Sharrod Brown;

    Well then, Mr. Carucci, can you tell me, tell me in your estimation, who is the person most responsible for communicating to you, the intended purpose of the systems you are responsible for developing and maintaining?

    W4B;

    My further observation is that it’s dangerous to be the only one in a criminal organization who understands the actual operation, and intent of it’s ‘business‘, as practiced.

    Reply
  26. Pogonip

    “Q” is not new. About 25 years ago, the voices of a countertenor and a soprano were electronically blended for a movie about the 18th-century castrato, Farinelli. The movie did a much better job. It was close to recordings of castrato Allessandro Moreschi, who survived into the recording age. (By that time he was elderly and sounded like it, but he did let us know, in general, what a castrato sounded like.)

    Rapacious pharma company du jour: Avanir Pharmaceuticals is advertising Nuedexta, for treatment of episodes of involuntary laughing and crying. The ingredients are dextromethorphan, also available in your bottle of over-the-counter cough syrup, and quinidine sulfate, used to treat atrial fibrillation. Around here, a bottle of OTC cough syrup costs around $10, and a 30-day prescription of 100-mg quinidine sulfate costs $30 and change. Nuedexta costs between $800 and $1,000 for a 30-day prescription—and, oh yes, the powerful cardiac drug it contains might kill you. The print ad I saw, in Reader’s Digest, makes no mention that the interaction of dextromethorphan and SSRIs might also kill you.

    I’m sending my Congressman this information and encourage everyone else to do the same. I think we should demand laws allowing your doctor and pharmacist to tell you what I just told you, and demand the outlawing of direct-to-patient prescription drug advertising.

    Reply
  27. Plenue

    >‘Endless Trip to Hell’: Israel Jails Hundreds of Palestinian Boys a Year. These Are Their Testimonies Haaretz

    Just looking at that picture, I get the distinct impression that the IDF would get absolutely shredded if it were forced to engage in a full scale, stand-up fight against a remotely comparable opponent.

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      You mean Hezbollah?
      You’re right; the IDF has not done well lately. Decadence, I suppose. Might be one reason Israel’s been acting so nutty: they know their dominance is slipping.

      Reply
      1. Plenue

        Yes, Hezbollah will probably eat them alive if past confrontations are any indication.

        But I was thinking more a regular combined arms battle between the IDF and a foe like Egypt or Syria. Israel hasn’t fought a real war in nearly half a century. They’ve grown use to occupation policing.

        Reply
  28. Big River Bandido

    I didn’t even realize MySpace was still running. I had an account there, decades ago, and stopped using it (decades ago) when it just stopped working. I suppose that explains a few things…

    Reply
  29. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Stomach Of Dead Whale Contained ‘Nothing But Nonstop Plastic’ -NPR (Kevin W) :-(

    —-

    We often are drawn to what is more visual, though, many animals and plants, including whales are dying from the oceans just getting warmer – but the cause is not as visual.

    Perhaps, maybe a picture of a London-to-New-York jet flying overhead with some dead fish.

    It’s still hard to draw a direct, immediate connection in that case, though.

    Reply
  30. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    NCAA Launches Investigation Into Why It Wasn’t Making Millions Off Recent College Admissions Scandal The Onion (Randy K)

    More serious than the Onion article, let’s not forget the race to get into presitigious schools starts early for an aspiring student and family.

    For example, some parents may want to enroll their kids in a different, but elite, school not in their home district (for the homes there are too expensive), perhaps using a friend or a relative’s address.

    Will the government look into that?

    Reply
  31. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Warren Buffett says US health care must be revamped or it will be left to the government — which will probably make it worse CNBC. Kevin W: “‘Will no one rid us of these meddlesome billionaires?’”

    Sometimes, you don’t want to leave it to the government.

    For example, if you find a great website, with great (private) hosts, and you can engage in stimulating discussions. do you want the government to take over?

    Other times, you do want the government to be involved.

    So, yes and no as far as public or private options go.

    Reply
  32. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Child refugee becomes New York chess champ BBC. Living in a homeless shelter….

    The article mentions that the kid practices a lot (playing the game), though chess, like music, is one of a few areas we see child prodigies.

    Presumably, other kids in the same age group also practice hard, and there is a bit of prodigy with the champ in the BBC article.

    This brings us to the issue of inequality inherited…wealth inequality inherited, math wizardry inequality inherited, pulchritude inequality inherited, accumulated-karma inequality inherited (though, here, Buddhists assert it is due to hard work on your own in previous incarnations…some are just born to begreat lamas), etc.

    Reply
  33. Oregoncharles

    “France’s Great Debate – how it worked openDemocracy”
    Unfortunately, this left me even more confused. I certainly don’t have a clear idea of how the “Great Debate” works or is supposed to. But I can’t tell whether that’s because the article is none too clear, or because the Debate itself is. Both, maybe? I assume Macron threw considerable obfuscation into the mix; he isn’t stupid.

    I think what I want is an expose.

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      Meta comment: thanks for restoring the “awaiting moderation” status. Now I know I’m in queue, and have a chance to edit.

      Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          the moderation crew is doing quite well for being shorthanded. good on you. Hope your missing member is doing OK.

          Reply
            1. Oregoncharles

              LOL
              I did mean the hospitalized member of the moderation crew.

              A missing, umm, member would not be doing OK.

              Reply
  34. ewmayer

    These 2 stories should be considered together:

    o U.S. Students Have Achieved World Domination in Computer Science Skills — For Now IEEE

    o Misguided Spying and the New Zealand Massacre ConsortiumNews

    Perhaps we should be asking not whether our or their students have achieved “World Domination in Computer Science Skills”, but rather what our and their CS students are using their skills *for*. Domestic surveillance and privacy-violation monetization … methinks we could use rather less World Domination in those.

    Reply
  35. campbeln

    “People would not assume gender based on voices anymore in the future” and “things move into a genderless world”

    Whaa…?

    Our brains are pattern recognition machines; it’s simply how we’re built so we can survive! Grass. Grass. Grass. TIGER! (I mean, that’s WHY the tiger’s coat is the way it is!). Shall we require the tiger to loose it’s stripes, too, in this effort of “inclusivity”?

    To quote the Beastie Boys – “If your world was all black, and your would was all white, then you wouldn’t get much color out of life now, right?”. The gray world that this drivel pushes sounds even worse.

    Finally… If you ask me, Q sounds like a male voice with strong effeminate inflections, certainly not “neutral”.

    Reply
  36. Susan the other`

    Thank you for Lee Camp and John Leary of Trees for the Future. Johnny Appleseed. IIRC it was little George who advised us to “plant trees” to mitigate climate change. I swear he was a closet environmentalist. John Leary is a treasure. Advocating forest gardens. Much like Lambert’s push for edible forests. And once again there was a reference to nitrogen fixing trees. There is so much more we can do that makes sense. And also too, thanks for the follow-up U-Tube bonus – John Oliver from Feb. 17 on Brexit – fun-nee. He resurrected the defiant voice of good ol’ Winston. What a chuckle.

    Reply

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