Links 3/24/19

Many sharks closer to extinction than feared: Red List Phys.org

Short Cuts London Review of Books

Like This or Die Harper’s

Big Banks Can Block Shareholder Climate Proposals, SEC Rules Climate Liability News

The Seasons of Other Planets, Baseball in the Age of Austen, and the Latest Jeeves Novel American Conservative

From Dresden on the 50th Anniversary of ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ NYT

The case against lawns Curbed. Kate Wagner.

‘A punch in the gut’: Farmers hit by tariffs see crops swept away by flood WaPo

Aid agencies in race against time after Cyclone Idai Deutsche Well

Health Care

The inventors of insulin sold their patent for a buck. Why is it so expensive? TreeHugger

American anti-vaxxers quarantined after children contract measles in Costa Rica’s first case for 13 years Independent

“Medicare for All” Is Missing a Vital Group: The Incarcerated Marshall Project

Don’t Let Beto O’Rourke Kill Medicare for All Jacobin

Boeing

Boeing takes $5 billion hit as Indonesian airline cancels 737 MAX order Ars Technica

Here’s how airplane crash investigations work, according to an aviation safety expert The Conversation

Boeing Plans Fixes to Make 737 MAX Stall-Prevention Feature Easier for Pilots to Control WSJ

JPMorgan warns Boeing’s 737 Max crisis could drag down the entire US economy Business Insider

New York Times CEO warns publishers ahead of Apple news launch Reuters

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Facial recognition can speed you through airport security, but there’s a cost CNET

2020

Let’s Not Restore or Mythologize Obama Counterpunch

Progressives Refuse to Back Down as DCCC Moves to Kneecap Primary Challengers Common Dreams

Class Warfare

Who Pays When Polluting Companies Shut Down? Capital & Main

‘I’m really struggling’ — Facing pay cuts, some ride-hailing drivers prepare to strike LA Times

HOW PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS ARE KILLING US Who What Why

Brexit

Calls grow for public inquiry into Brexit Guardian

Brexit: hope dies last EUReferendum.com

One million join march against Brexit as Tories plan to oust May Guardian

Cabinet coup to ditch Theresa May for emergency PM The Times

Brexit march protest signs: The best punny placards on display Metro.co.uk

India

India’s engineers are better than China’s—but so much worse than America’s Quartz

Jet Airways: The riches to rags story of India’s oldest private airline BBC

For First Time Since 1993-94, India’s Male Workforce Is Getting Smaller: Report The Wire

China?

Italy becomes first Western European nation to sign up for China’s belt and road plan SCMP

Russia

Russia wants to cut itself off from the global internet. Here’s what that really means. MIT Technology Review

Gilets Jaunes

Sporadic clashes as Yellow Vests march to Montmartre for ‘Act 19’ of protests Agence France Presse

Algeria

Algerians rally fifth consecutive Friday against ailing leader Al Jazeera

Syraqistan

Isis caliphate defeated: How the Islamic State’s brutal project was finally overthrown, and what might come next Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

Don’t believe the hype, Isis has not yet been defeated – here’s why Independent. Robert Fisk.

5 Democratic presidential hopefuls say they would rejoin Iran deal Times of Israel

Wisconsin GOP’s Lame-Duck Power Grab Ruled Unconstitutional TruthOut

Trump Transition

Recording Reveals Oil Industry Execs Laughing at Trump Access Politico (martha r)

Russiagate Is Really Finished Moon of Alabama

Russiagate Skeptics Rightly Boast About Being Proven 100% Correct Caitlin Johnstone

As Mueller Report Lands, Prosecutorial Focus Moves to New York NYT

1,000 Locals Reportedly Seek Treatment After Multi-Day Fire at Houston Chemical Facility Gizmodo

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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263 comments

  1. pretzelattack

    god i hope russiagate is finished, but i suspect zombie russiagate is just too useful still. it’s like republicans pretending to want to get abortion declared unconstitutional to fire up their base and get donations. the base of the centrist dems is largely all in on the russia hacked the election narrative, and those campaign contributions will keep flowing.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The beautification of so many vile members of the #resistance is why the “liberals” are rushing to distance themselves. People who should be investigated such as John Brennan, James Clapper, David Frum, and Bob Mueller were hailed as the embodiment of America. People like Maddow became so unhinged or played the part so well they are reminiscent of apocalyptic cults who set a specific end date for their gift. Their membership usually drops sharply.

      Reply
      1. barrisj

        Quite true, in fact the amount of calumny and villification stimulated by an anti-Russiagate stance on many lib/prog blogs was rather stunning…akin to a Spanish Collusion Inquisition, with stake-burning on offer to heretics and unbelievers.

        Reply
      2. Geo

        The Branch Davidians has two “end of the world” prophesies – in in the 1950’s and one in the 70’s. Both times their membership dwindled afterward only to build back up again larger than before. It took David Koresh to truly cripple their reputation. But, even now they still have a following.

        Myth is a strong motivating force.

        Reply
      3. WheresOurTeddy

        I give it 72 hours. By Monday everyone will be like “you’re still talking about THAT?”

        Never forget this was a mainstream NARRATIVE FAILURE in broad daylight after 2 years of gaslighting.

        Sanders 2020

        Reply
        1. Geo

          I wish you were right but I just made the mistake of checking out RawStory and looks like the denial has moved into full on tinfoil hat territory. Every other article there is about how Trunp is a Russian asset and the truth is still out there.

          The Dems have gone full X-Files in this one. Taibbi said this is the new WMD fiasco for the media. For the diehard Dems this will be the Kennedy assassination mixed with Watergate and 9/11 trutherism but as unhinged and delusional as anything dreamed up by Q-Anon and birtherism.

          It’s madness on a mass scale. They’re currently talking about how if Trump doesn’t invade Venezuela he’s an obvious Putin patsy.

          Reply
        2. Chauncey Gardiner

          While the first amendment is paramount, I think it’s important to differentiate between those members of media who were played, perhaps in part due to their ideological biases; and those who knowingly and willingly participated in a domestic psy-ops initiative that violated previously prohibited domestic propaganda restrictions under the Smith-Mundt Act. That legislation was essentially repealed under the 2013 NDAA. IMO the Smith-Mundt Act should be reinstated.

          Reply
          1. Chad boudreau

            Excuse you. The report clearly said there was a conspiracy by the Russians to undermine our elections. Trump chose to run his mouth in such a way that it genuinely looked like he was in on that. That he wasn’t involved in a direct quid pro quo is, because of Trumps actions, a genuine and welcome surprise.

            Put down the koolaid man

            Reply
            1. Donald

              Yes, well, it’s a lot easier to make accusations against Russians who aren’t going to be brought to trial.

              When our intelligence “ community” or some fraction of it tells us it is certain that X happened, you don’t really know if X happened.

              Reply
        3. NotTimothyGeithner

          My gut is the upper middle class, especially between the ages of 45 and 65 drive the narrative anywhere, and its likely limited to a few regions. Whether its the Oscars or HBO Tv, what they care about is repeated ad nauseum.

          One of their traits is shallowness and despising that they are shallow. I don’t think this will go away especially for the likes of Adam Schiff.

          Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          they’ll only go up in value! i hope calpers gets wind of this virtually risk free profitable investment.

          Reply
        2. The Rev Kev

          Saw on the Moon of Alabama site two tweets from Cenk Uygur-

          Cenk Uygur @cenkuygur – 22:48 utc- 22 Mar 2019
          Let me be clear before we find out what’s in #MuellerReport, my contention has been that the collusion was after the election. I’ve said countless times that I don’t care about tweets sent during election. Hope Mueller investigated connections to Russia before & after election.

          Cenk Uygur @cenkuygur – 12:03 utc – 23 Mar 2019
          It means @realDonaldTrump has very likely been helping the Russians get money out of Russia for decades. And after the election they call in their favors. That doesn’t mean they rigged the election but it does mean Trump is doing favors for them. I’ve said this countless times.

          Just adjust the time-frame and collusion is back into play. Everything old is new again.

          Reply
      4. NotTimothyGeithner

        The other side is the reforms that the Democratic Party so desperately needed to make were not done. Robbie Mook is a Harvard fellow, and of course, the DCCC is using thug tactics to prevent primary challenges.

        Reply
    2. ptb

      Yeah, the worst part of it was watching/listening/reading the so-called resistance insist that we treat the FBI/CIA etc as if they are a third branch of government.

      Whether ‘Russiagate’ is dead or not remains to be seen. But I totally agree with Johnstone, Taibbi etc- that when it does eventually go down for good, WAPO and CNN will end up having to drop a weight class, from “news” category, into “partisan news-entertainment” like Fox. I.e., they will still have the trust of 25% or so of the population, plenty enough to sell ads for cars and beer and medical devices, but much reduced political influence, which would involve the attention of swing voters. Serves them right.

      Reply
    3. Procopius

      One or two of the blogs I read frequently have a large number of commenters who absolutely believe Russiagate is so obviously true that only enemies of the state could deny it. No critical thinking, it’s just plain obvious; no evidence examined, anybody with eyes and ears could see the truth.They are not going to let it go. All of them are rabid Hillary supporters and hate Bernie supporters with the heat of a thousand suns, because we not only did not vote for Hillary (actually, most of us did) but we actively sabotaged her, at least by staying home and not voting.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Is Riverdaughter’s ” The Confluence” one of those blogs? ( It seems so to me).

        If it is, what is another or so of those blogs? What should we be reading to “take the temperature” of the Branch Clintovidians?

        Reply
  2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

    I’m sick of it too. We’re seeing 24/7 saturation coverage of a report that’s yet to be released and no one’s read yet. Sheesh!

    Reply
      1. Morgan Everett

        Was just about to post that article. I’m guessing that the soul searching that Taibbi wants from the press isn’t going to happen. Just a guess.

        Reply
      2. Carey

        Thanks very much for the Taibbi link on RussiaGate.
        It really is a post-truth era, isn’t it.?

        Corporatist State Propaganda 24/7/365, and the thing is: *it works*, as we can see all
        around us.

        Reply
        1. barrisj

          Posted this on a couple of “Collusionist” websites yesterday, and got totally hammered…few bothered to read in its entirety Taibbi’s rich and masterful unpacking of all the shabby “evidence” proffered by the conspiracy theorists, but instead poured scorn on the author, much in the manner of the Church attacking an apostate…really sad to see neo-McCarthyism in action amongst the lib/prog set.

          Reply
          1. Summer

            Lots of progressives thought the Democratic Party and their apparatchiks were complaining about the conservative firewall against any debate to the narratives they present. In reality, it was anger that they hadn’t managed a more sturdy firewall themselves to impress the plutocrats.
            This is a test of their new improved firewall around their alt realities.

            Reply
          2. pjay

            Here’s CJ Hopkins on this phenomenon:

            “If you want a glimpse of the dystopian future … it isn’t an Orwellian boot in your face. It’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Study the Russiagate believers’ reactions to the Mueller report when it is finally delivered. Observe the bizarre intellectual contortions their minds perform to rationalize their behavior over the last three years. Trust me, it will not be pretty. Cognitive dissonance never is.”

            https://consentfactory.org/2019/03/21/mueller-dammerung/

            I was reminded of the classic Leon Festinger study, ‘When Prophecy Fails’, about an apocalyptic UFO cult in the 1950s. I’m sure a number of elite liberal pundits read about this study in school and had no trouble laughing at such rubes who could rationalize why the End did not occur when predicted.

            Reply
      3. Geo

        Was talking to my parents last night and they’re of the centrist Dem mind. Between the college scandal and the Mueller report they were both baffled by how “the system” isn’t working. How the rich and powerful seem to just get their way.

        I brought up the Nixon era, Vietnam, Iran-Contras, WMD, and we talked about how it’s always been this way. About how Trump is just blatant and crass about his corruption and that’s why there’s so much hostility toward him from the media and politics.

        Sent them this Taibbi article afterward in the hopes they will stop believing what CNN tells them.

        It’s amazing to me that anyone who came of age in the 60’s and 70’s would be so trusting of “the system” that created the horrror of Vietnam, Watergate, Central American death squads, etc. Personally, coming of age in the 90’s during the DotCom delirium and Iraq bombings/sanctions was enough to sway me that the “experts” in the news were no more than paid spokespersons for empire. And those were relatively tame compared to their era. I guess it just comes down to what media we had accesss to. I had indie newspapers (Portland Free Press) then the internet (onegoodmove, allhatnocattle, crooksandliars). Now NC is the place for reason and thoughtful debate.

        Reply
            1. RMO

              I was born in the early 70s so I guess you would say I “came of age” in the early 90s… and I think anybody of my age also has no reason to be trusting of “the system” either. The big shock to the mind for me was finding out how the USSR’s actions in Afghanistan really started – something I found out thanks to a boasting, retired Brzezinski of all people. When it happened I bought the western mass media line about how it was a simple case of aggressive, senseless, unprovoked war on the part of those evil commies hook line and sinker. I had already had my cynicism and skepticism brought to a saner level by my interest in history leading to me to find out about such things as the events behind the Cuban missile crisis, multiple Central American horrors, the overthrow of Iran’s government to install the Shah, the Tonkin Gulf incident that wasn’t etc. but Afghanistan was what led me to realize that I was being lied to and manipulated by the people I had been told were the good guys my whole life. The 2016 election season was at least as much of a clarifying shock to me as the Afghanistan revelations were. So many journalists, writers and politicians who I had thought of as being worthy of respect and based in reality turned out to be as crazy as the birthers and those who still believe Iraq had WMD’s.

              As far as I can tell Trump is a wretched president and a wretched human being in general but I’m not willing to believe ludicrous stories like the Russiagate narrative just because I abhor him.

              Reply
      4. Aumua

        It’s all true, but anyone who says this is a death blow to the credibility of big media is underestimating the power of that media to make people forget and move on to the next thing, which is just as great if not greater than its power to make people focus on a thing. It’s all gone too far.

        Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Noticed the SBS TV station in Oz more or less doubling down on the Trump accusations. They mentioned that Mueller came up with zip but immediately followed that up by saying organizations like the FBI, CIA, etc had found Russian collusion in an investigation. No mentioned that it was a hand-picked group that came up with this without any real official backing at all.

      Reply
      1. Mike

        It could be said that the Russiagate supporters are grabbing at straws, but look at their alignment. Major newspapers, media outlets (both TV & radio), all the big-money bigwigs from our largest internet firms (Google, FaceBook, Amazon), AND, most importantly, a muddled investigation that , so far, has covered up the real bi-partisan crimes and left a few dangling apples for the true believers to use. The role of the governments of May, Poroshenko and Netinyahu neatly sidestepped.

        As long as the true goal is to shut up the left, it is far from over, and will drag on until this entire nexus of authoritarian sycophants is removed. Declaring victory before the war is over…. sounds sadly familiar.

        Reply
    2. Carolinian

      Caitlin Johnstone says we now have a media environment where everything is narrative, and Russiagate is like so many movies and shows these days that effectively build to a climax that never happens or that doesn’t make sense. Some of us tuned out of this bad movie many months ago.

      Reply
      1. pjay

        Today’s movies can’t have a real climax. There has to be a sequel; gotta keep the franchise going. Repeating the same themes (and mistakes) over and over — which I believe is Taibbi’s key point.

        Reply
      2. JohnnyGL

        Wait a sec, Russiagate is like that TV show “Lost” from awhile back? LOL!!!

        I was never really into it, but recall friends/acquaintances having epic arguments about it. One camp was disillusioned and tired of it never getting anywhere, but another groups still remained loyal and even defended it after it was over. Eventually, all made their peace with having invested so much time and mental energy into a show that was pointlessly dramatic and had no actual plot…just lots of plot twists…

        Reply
        1. richard

          To piggyback on the analogy with “Lost”
          I do remember the deep cries of of anguish and rage at the end of that series
          “You mean it was this stupid thing all along?”
          “You mean there was no STORY?”
          Oh, that the narrative betrayal at the end of russigate generates such disgust!

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            Ouch that comment! And a must read that book. Read it when I was staying in Germany and just ordered a copy of it last year.

            Reply
        2. TimR

          I’m currently watching Lost for the first time.. Despite knowing the ending was reviled by everyone.

          So far the “journey” has been worth it though… If the ending sucks as everyone says, will that invalidate the enjoyment I had in getting there?

          I guess it would mean the mystery of not-knowing was better than whatever the writers came up with. I can live with that.

          Kafkas The Castle was unfinished, but still a great book. Maybe disappointed Lost viewers should scrap the ending and keep the rest.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            The Good Soldier Švejk is also unfinished, and suffers little from no ending.

            I’ve never seen Lost, but a friend & his daughter told me I greatly reminded them of John Locke in the series.

            Reply
            1. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

              re: The Good Soldier …

              I recently read that Stalin was a fan and quoted it frequently*. I wonder whether the world’s military reads it.

              Pip-Pip!

              * “Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar” by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

              Reply
          2. JohnnyGL

            So far the “journey” has been worth it though… If the ending sucks as everyone says, will that invalidate the enjoyment I had in getting there?

            You sound like the kind of person that would enjoy Russiagate because you’re enjoying watching people fall all over themselves shoveling horse manure, and seeing story after story arrive with a bang and then fall apart completely under more scrutiny. :)

            If you know the ending is a flop, you can manage expectations along the way. :)

            Reply
      3. TimR

        I agree the media is all phony narrative, but what’s the fiendish plan behind anti-climatic endings? In your or Johnstone’s view?

        If it’s all being scripted as bread and circuses, plus propaganda and misinformation, why not have exciting finales? Is the goal to depress people by always having letdown endings?

        Reply
        1. djrichard

          The narratives serve campaigns. And quite often some of those campaigns are “successful” and reach their climax. Just look at the campaigns for regime change in Iraq, Libya, etc.

          And for others we’re still in suspense. How goes Venezuela? The frustration is palpable that we haven’t achieved climax on that plot line yet.

          Just imagine the level of frustration that there will be no climax vis-a-vis Trump. Or will there?

          Because what will fill the void for the dems now? More critically, if the whole construct of a campaign is to wage war on something that you want to change, then what do the dems want to wage war on? Wars galvanize attention. Simply improving the empire does not.

          And does the empire even need to be improved when so many of the dems believe “America is already great!”? So really for them the question becomes, “After Trump, what’s the next greatest threat to America?”. They’ll have to fill the void to mask the sound of crickets chirping, because they’re not about to say: insurance companies or private debt bondage or “gasp” capitalism. Well sure Bernie and some of the alt-left are, but they’re off the reservation, still not to be taken seriously.

          So they’re going to default back to the next best thing: Trump as the super villain. Maybe Putin/Russia too? Who knows. Well one thing can be said to going back to riding the horse that brought you, it’s comforting. Who knows, with a little luck we can regime change Trump in 2020. And then we can thank our lucky stars that we’re back in power. “yay!” Or if not then, the worse case is that he’ll be gone by 2024. Even if we’re not in power then, at least he’ll be regime changed. “yay!”.

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            ” What’s the next greatest threat to America? ” Well . . . the Clintonites will try calling Sanders the next greatest threat to America. The better Sanders does in the primaries, the more the Clintonites will say that Sanders is the next greatest threat to America.

            Get ready for it.

            Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      You know that it is never going to end. And you know why? It’s because we are all dead and still on the island!

      Reply
        1. JohnnyGL

          Nah, you’re being unfair to ‘The Sopranos’ to put them into the same bucket as Lost.

          Sopranos was an excellent show than declined and frustrated increasingly, especially the last season, which was ridiculous.

          Lost never went anywhere. I watched for a few episodes, found it directionless, and gave up.

          Reply
            1. Oregoncharles

              But Gilligan’s Island was a comedy, and actually funny sometimes. The endlessness was part of the joke. If they got rescued, end of joke.

              Dramas are expected to have a shape.

              Reply
            2. urblintz

              Don’t be ragging on “Gilligan’s Island.” Watch the doc “The Gilligan Manifesto” and discover that its producers and writers were actually presenting a clever critique of the Cold War and in the movie argue that they deliberately created a “communist paradise” in the situation of its stranded cross-cultural/class characters… yeah, yeah I know it sounds ridiculous but you might change your mind if you indulge its premise. Alas, the only place I found it is on “Amazon Prime” (which I am ashamed to admit having) although I hope it’s available elsewhere too. It’s entertaining and eye-opening.

              http://gilliganmovie.com/

              Reply
              1. Wukchumni

                I knew that the SS Minnow was a take on Newton Minow (“TV is a vast wasteland…”) but hadn’t realized how indoctrinated & complicated Lovey et al were.

                For the record, I always figured Ginger for a commie.

                Reply
              2. Craig H.

                They are taking the piss. Defoe invented Robinson Crusoe in the long ago far away. Then we got the Swiss Family Robinson (no blood relation.) Gilligan was another episode in the formula, like Batman four.

                Reply
          1. Carolinian

            There are elaborate explanations of what the final episode of The Sopranos was really all about using subtle clues. Doubtless the Russiagaters will also be inventing theories about what their own final episode means. Some of us have other ways to pass the time.

            Of course in the entertainment world this can all be dismissed as “it’s only a movie.” In our new Cold War things are a bit more serious.

            Reply
            1. bruce wilder

              some kind of prize should go to Jonathan Chait for this one:

              “It’s strange, though, given how many crimes have been clearly hinted at to date.”

              Reply
              1. richard

                “clearly hinted at”
                well, if you can’t base a treason investigation on what’s “clearly been hinted at”, what can you base it on?
                I think that you are right
                chait qualifies for the a.m. rosenthal award for embarrassing writing

                Reply
                1. barrisj

                  It’s strange, though, given how many crimes have been clearly hinted at believed to have occurred to date.”

                  Reply
              2. Earl Erland

                “No,” said the priest, “you don’t need to accept everything as true, you only have to accept it as necessary.” “Depressing view,” said K. “The lie made into the rule of the world.”
                ― Franz Kafka, The Trial

                Reply
            2. ambrit

              Taking the “…it’s only a movie.” theme to it’s logical conclusion, we end up with Hillary waking up in bed with Bill in the White House saying: “Bill. You’ll never believe it. I had the most awful dream…”

              Reply
    4. John Zelnicker

      @Jerri-Lynn Scofield
      March 24, 2019 at 7:27 am
      ——-

      Matt Taibbi’s article is, indeed, a must read.

      However, I must object to his willingness to accept that the Russians hacked the DNC:

      “I didn’t really address the case that Russia hacked the DNC, content to stipulate it for now.”

      Earlier in the article he said that the lack of any independent examination of the DNC server was a question that should bother any journalist. I think it should bother him enough either to dig deeper or to be more skeptical than he is.

      There is some forensic evidence that is, IMNSHO, dispositive against the Russia hack story. See these posts by VIPS, a group of former intelligence professionals:

      https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/

      https://consortiumnews.com/2019/03/13/vips-muellers-forensics-free-findings/

      Reply
      1. Hopelb

        Agree! I found it disconcerting and alarming that Taibbi did not mention the VIP’s forensic evidence of a leak not a hack.
        Nevertheless, we need a timeline graphic of the date of Russiagate storie, the date of new facts which refute them and the date of their later retraction/correction or nonretraction.This would usefully illustrate the propagation of propaganda narrative.

        Reply
    5. remmer

      Back in 2016, when Russiagate first became a news item, some NPR news reports would refer to “Russian meddling” in the election, but others would say “alleged Russian meddling.” I thought then that this was a hopeful sign that not everyone there had drunk the Kool-Aid. But it’s been a long time since I heard the word “alleged” used in NPR reports on Russiagate.

      Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    “Short Cuts'”

    Well if they were going to have four writers gather together to discuss religious beliefs, perhaps they should have also invited the author Oolon Colluphid to attend. He is the author of the trilogy of philosophical blockbusters entitled “Where God Went Wrong”, “Some More of God’s Greatest Mistakes” and “Who is this God Person Anyway?”. He later used the Babel Fish argument as the basis for a fourth book, entitled “Well, That About Wraps It Up For God”.

    I won’t give away the name of the bird in the Antidote du Jour so early, but would you find it in a bar?

    Reply
    1. Brucie A.

      There’s a real-life Oolon Colluphid: Katharina Günther

      It is the aim of this thesis to analyse appearances of religious motives, ideas or traditions in the five novels that belong to the HG-trilogy and to interpret their function in the works.

      Probably no need to keep a towel handy for this one, though.

      Reply
  4. Livius Drusus

    Re: Facial recognition can speed you through airport security, but there’s a cost.

    For once I would like to see people choose privacy over convenience and security when it comes to Big Brother tech. When I argue with people on this topic they usually say “but it is so convenient” or they give the usual anti-crime, anti-terrorism arguments and that “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”

    I am afraid that authoritarianism will come to America not because of stereotypical jackbooted fascists but because of well-meaning technocrats who think they are making life easier and safer for people and sadly most people will go along with it because few people seem to value privacy or freedom these days.

    Reply
    1. allan

      “would like to see people choose privacy over convenience and security”

      So would I, but the citizenry is being bludgeoned into it. Because markets.
      Check out the for-profit biometric hellscape of security theater that is CLEAR.
      The last time I took a Delta flight out of Laguardia, the regular TSA line took 35 minutes,
      while the heavily staffed CLEAR lane claimed 0-5 minutes.

      Reply
      1. notabanker

        And if 35 minutes isn’t long enough, we’ll make it an hour and 35 minutes. Missed your flight? So sad, look at that booth over there! No queue!

        Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        We’re in the quick-passage category (forget what it’s called); very disappointing, since both of us have done our small best to annoy the PTB. We actually went to th eoffice and asked how we got on that list; she said it’s random. Seemed surprised that we asked – looking a gift horse in the mouth, we were.

        We did nothing to get in the category; must actually be random. Age, maybe? But our son is, too. We fly very seldom, so it isn’t a frequent-flier thing.

        Reply
      3. a different chris

        Hmm, subtle ways they have developed of separating us into the “haves” and “have-nots”.

        Reply
    2. Mel

      “Can” is one of those words. Facial recognition can speed you through airport security, if it decides you’re you, but if it decides otherwise, you might be going nowhere for a long time.
      Like the no-fly list, if your name were to match.

      Reply
    3. Brooklin Bridge

      I’m amazed by the number of otherwise perfectly intelligent people who say, “I don’t care because I’ve nothing to hide.” Even people who at least seem aware how messed up our system is. I ask them if they are serious and they look puzzled. Light starts to dawn with an example such as a boss realizing how opposed one’s political view is to their own might have a negative impact on that person’s career, but it clearly isn’t enough.

      Convenience is like TV; you can just sit back and let it take over and anyway horror stories only happen to other people. Until.

      As to well meaning technocrats, I don’t think they are “well meaning” so much as interested in keeping their jobs and not particularly concerned about how they do it. That and the fact that even the most odious projects frequently present a technical or intellectual challenge that is seductive to a generation that has grown up in a largely ethical vacuum except in the most Disneyfied nuclear family context.

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        I’m amazed by the number of otherwise perfectly intelligent people who say, “I don’t care because I’ve nothing to hide.”

        I think that translates into, “I haven’t really thought about this. Or, I haven’t really heard the argument about why this is bad.”

        I also think saying it’s about ‘political views’ undersells the danger and kind of misses the point. Thus far, as we’ve seen, it’s a tool to attack whistleblowers (who can be of any political persuasion, they just need to believe in honesty, transparency and accountability).

        If you want to sell people on the idea that surveillance of everyone is bad, tell them “It’s not about your boring browser history. It’s about enabling retaliation against whistleblowers who expose corruption and malfeasance among the powerful.”

        If you listen to the story of someone like Bill Binney, it becomes very clear that this was the plan. He was sharp enough to anticipate and counter what they were planning to do against him.

        Reply
        1. Brooklin Bridge

          You take “an example” explicitly stated as such that uses jobs to make a point as though “politics” were the message: as if I were saying that all intrusion is about politics. When one says, ” the green grass in my yard was scorched brown by the sun” doesn’t mean they are asserting that all grass is green. By the same token, I don;’t believe all intrusion is exclusively against, or even about, whistle blowers any more than it is only about politics.

          I do think the war on privacy is about a myriad of different forms of control, such as blackmail, and more recently that profitable form of control known as data gathering, but I wasn’t trying to explain what I think about the phenomenon; rather, as I thought the comment made clear, I was trying to use an example that often hits home that intrusion of privacy can have consequences that have nothing to do with whether the individual victimized by such intrusion is guilty of anything (has anything to hide) or not.

          As to, “because I’ve nothing to hide,” meaning “I havn’t thought about it,” I don’t agree. Most people I’ve gotten this reaction from have heard a lot about invasion of privacy from many different directions and have come to use the phrase, nothing to hide, as the lazy man’s catch all, for, “I like my convenience more than I care about abstract things like privacy.” Indeed, I suspect in some instances there is even (if somewhat unwittingly) the hope to avoid further discussion on the subject by the implication that anyone who is overly concerned about privacy may well have something to hide.

          Reply
    4. marieann

      We don’t travel often. In 2017 my husband had to fly to Scotland twice for funerals, he was so angry at the state of airport security that he said he would never fly again.

      This year our son is getting married in Jamaica…guess who will not be attending.

      Reply
      1. Milton

        Your husband can take a train to New Orleans or Ft Lauderdale and cruise in. No reason to miss your son’s wedding. By not traveling he is letting the evil-doers win. /s

        Reply
        1. marieann

          We live in Canada, my husband hates to even visit the US I don’t think he would take a train through it.

          Reply
      2. urblintz

        I have to fly to my god-daughter’s wedding in May because I will be singing for her nuptials… I intend never to fly again after that trip and whereas I can imagine family emergencies which might compel air travel I will always be looking for alternatives, including driving long distances, which I loathe. But it’s better than subjecting myself to the authoritarian, invasive and soul killing process of being scrutinized by the militarized morons who work for TSA.

        Reply
        1. James Graham

          Reading these comments I’m reminded of a guy I saw being searched by a wand-holding security man in the early days of airport security checks.

          He must have been raised as Mommy’s favorite as his expression while the non-invasive wanding went on (he was not touched by security) was “Why is this person examining Precious Me?”

          Here’s an idea: Let’s have alternative flights: one with current security in force and a second with zero inspection of individuals and their luggage. I know which one I’d choose as would all the up-thread complainers.

          Reply
          1. ChristopherJ

            I first flew in the 70s James. Most people can’t remember what it was like. I’d be getting on the zero inspection queue.

            Reply
            1. a different chris

              Make that two of us.

              But beyond that, I would *love* a two-tiered :”safe” vs. “just get on the plane” system. Because which way do you think that would skew? Blowing up a group of people who said “oh the hell with it go ahead if you must” or the ones that did everything to avoid it?

              I’m thinking I get like no publicity for the first group. And now the pub is double with the second group because those people thought they were safe.

              Reply
              1. Wukchumni

                the first person to place a bomb on an airliner.

                My mom worked @ United Airlines in the same capacity with the lady who sold the bomber the ticket in Denver, where my mom lived in the 50’s. She told me it greatly traumatized her.

                Reply
    5. Oh

      “I am afraid that authoritarianism will come to America ……..”
      Sorry it’s already here. I suggest you read the book entitled “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” by Shoshana Rubhoff”. Americans believe the propaganda so much that they don’t realize how much they’ve lost their privacy. Now, when they give away their biometrics, they’ll have no recourse when they lose it after their precious data is hacked. It has already happened in India.

      Reply
      1. barrisj

        In fact one would argue that that creeping but inexorable surrender of privacy is conditioning these “freedom-loving” people of America to tacitly accept in time the Chinese “social credit” Panopticon model, with a solid dose of “ Minority Report” predicted deviance tossed into the mix…all this, after all, is for “your security and protection”, right?

        Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    “Progressives Refuse to Back Down as DCCC Moves to Kneecap Primary Challengers”

    The DCCC are doing this by threatening to add all firms and strategists to a blacklist never to be hired again by democrats if they help progressives with primary challengers. Would these be the same firms and strategists that did such sterling service for the democrats back in 2016 for such extravagant salaries? Maybe it might be wiser for progressives to build their own in-house capacity for such efforts.

    Reply
    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      The DCCC has just done the progressive movement a huge favor. We now have a litmus test that will indicate which primary candidates are likely to be faux progressive. If the consultant a candidate is working with is on the approved list, find another candidate.

      Reply
      1. Geo

        Agreed. Any DCCC approved candidate is now an automatic “no” vote in primaries, no matter what soaring rhetoric they spout.

        Reply
    2. Chris Cosmos

      The whole reason for being of the DCCC is to make money for consultants and PR/lobby firms with a bit left for the actual Congress-people. Honestly–they exist largely to feed themselves as is the case of nearly all US public and private institutions.

      Reply
  6. bwilli123

    Tabbibi thoroughly roasts the Press and the usual suspects on Russiagate.

    “This ultimately will be the endgame of the Russia charade. They will almost certainly never find anything like the wild charges and Manchurian Candidate theories elucidated in the Steele report. But the years of panic over the events of 2016 will lead to radical changes in everything from press regulation to foreign policy, just as the WMD canard led to torture, warrantless surveillance, rendition, drone assassination, secret budgets and open-ended, undeclared wars from Somalia to Niger to Syria. The screw-ups will be forgotten, but accelerated vigilance will remain.”
    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-is-wmd-times-a-million

    Reply
    1. Chris Cosmos

      The tragedy of this sorry event is that millions of, in my view, fake leftists fell for it including some smart people I know. They believe and, I’m guessing, still believe in the world according to the NYT and NPR. Will they divorce from the Narrative promoted by the media? I say the answer is “yes” because the media and the PR firms associated with it are very cagey and will find a way to save face. In the Iraq debacle they simply “apologized” and blamed Bush/Cheney in this case there’s no one to blame but themselves so they won’t. My guess is that they’ll string this out and say that the investigations aren’t complete or Trump is manipulating the situat,ion or whatever collection of bullshit they can manage. People will “forget” all about it and turn to some other scandal, disaster, mass killing, “threat”, or whatever. The game has been gamed thoroughly and nobody ever suffers for being dramatically wrong in gov’t or in media. Maddow and all the other creatures of the night will still be there–another day another massive dose of dollars for those presstitutes.

      Reply
    2. Geo

      Great piece by Taibbi. One of his best in a while.

      Mods: I missed this one before posting the same link below if you want to delete it. Don’t want to clutter the thread with duplicate links.

      Reply
  7. ex-PFC Chuck

    re “Here’s how airplane crash investigations work, according to an aviation safety expert” The Conversation
    It’s ironic that the illustration in the piece used to show how debris is reconstructed after the crash is that of TWA800, which went down in 1996 shortly after take off from JFK on its way to Paris. Jack Cashill’s eponymously named book could have been named How Not to Investigate an Airplane Crash: That Is Unless It May Be an Obstacle to your Reelection..

    Reply
    1. Geo

      From an article about the airline crash that killed Dorothy Hunt – E. Howard Hunt’s wife just a few weeks before he plead guilty to the Watergate charges:

      One day after the crash, the Whitehouse head of Nixon’s “plumber’s” outfit–Egil Krogh, Jr.– was made undersecretary of transportation, a position that put him in a direct position to oversee the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Agency which are both authorized by law to investigate airline crashes.

      Krogh would later be convicted of complicity in the break-in of Daniel Ellsberg’s Psychiatrist’s office along with Hunt, Liddy and a small cast of CIA-trained and retained Cuban black-bag specialists.

      About a month after Krogh’s new assignment, Nixon’s appointments secretary, Dwight Chapin, was made an executive in the Chicago office of United Airlines [op. cit.; p429], where he threatened the media to steer clear of speculation about sabotage in the crash.

      Reply
        1. Geo

          That’s a fascinating one too, isn’t it? Totally different stories depending on whether it’s being told by western media or not.

          These are the stories that make me happy I have a well made tinfoil hat. :)

          Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    “Here’s how airplane crash investigations work, according to an aviation safety expert”

    As ex-PFC Chuck above indicates – aircraft investigations tend to be a bit of a moveable feast in how they are done. This article says that an international agreement called Annex 13 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation indicates that “The government of the country where the crash occurred takes the lead in the investigation. Also involved are investigators from the countries where the aircraft is registered, where the airline’s headquarters is, where the aircraft designer is based and where the aircraft was assembled.”
    I find that very interesting. Anybody remember when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was destroyed over the Ukraine? I seem to remember that the Malaysians were deliberately blocked from taking part in the investigations being run by the Dutch and it took them about a year before they were allowed to take part. Since it was a Malaysian plane from a Malaysian airline and 44 Malaysians died in that crash which also includes the actual Malaysian crew of that ship – all 15 of them, I find their omission from the official investigations very suspect and in contravention of Annex 13.

    Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Last I heard, the Ukrainian air traffic control recordings are still MIA. Ukrainian security confiscated them just after the crash and they have not been seen since, not even during the official investigations. This would have recorded the plane being diverted south to over the war zone as well as other conversations. The disappearance of these tapes has been called the turd that will not flush.

        Reply
  9. carycat

    The DCCC’s incumbency protection rule is no different than old uncle Joe’s blacklist. Plus it will be subject to selective enforcement. I’d like to see the DCCC put their money where their mouth is and ban any of the usual suspects from working for challengers to AOC or other progressives. Can you imagine AIPAC Letting somebody like Omar go unopposed for as many terms as she is willing to serve?

    Reply
    1. WheresOurTeddy

      one does enjoy the irony that as an incumbent, this law now protects AOC from primary challengers LOL

      Reply
  10. Wukchumni

    Watched the documentary on Elizabeth Holmes, and was struck by her penchant for lying about everything, in a manner different from the President, but similar. And the laundry list of those .0001%’ers that should’ve known better, but got sucked into the ruse.

    There was no there, there @ Theranos, and it feels similar to the overall scheme of things, say in the midwest, where farmers have been completely wiped out by both Mother Nature, and a President that led them down the primrose path of tariff disaster, the same person they helped voted into office, and yet in the WaPo article, there’s still farmers that think it’s China’s fault, that they were sitting on their stored harvests destined to be flooded out and ruined.

    Reply
    1. justsayknow

      Fascinating documentary. And she did lie about almost everything just like the orange one. She even repeatedly told people her dog was a wolf.
      One thing the HBO show omitted (or I missed it) was her privileged childhood.
      Recommended show. The Inventor

      Reply
      1. nycTerrierist

        I agree, wanted to know more about her privileged childhood, since that was
        clearly significant. Big omission.

        Reply
    2. Geo

      I used to think of myself as somewhat savvy about charlatans. Used to “join” cults to see how they worked, voted 3rd party in ‘08 because I saw through Obama’s rhetoric, etc… but, three years ago I started working for a tech start up as a freelancer. My background is film/video and with them I was creating some really innovative videos for big companies and shows like Empire, Netflix, Hulu, etc. But, there were numerous projects that the CEO bungled and we’d lose money on. It got to the point where they were so cash strapped we weren’t getting paid but promised equity. Because it always seemed that “big breakthrough” was always right around the corner we kept pushing forward while personal debts built up. Some employees invested their own money to keep the company afloat. The CEO fancied himself as the next Zuckerberg or Jobs. And big investor deals were happening…

      Then, even the contracts we did have started getting cancelled. Lost the Empire gig, Netflix stopped hiring us, lost PopSugar. All of them. Found out the CEO had been lying to them about the “numbers”. Then I found out the company had to take out a loan just to pay us for that month (we’d said if we didn’t get paid we were leaving). I stayed just long enough to land the Uber contract then left saying, “now that you have a good client again it’ll be easier to replace me” (replacing me with no clients on hand would have been impossible).

      So, I spent nearly two years on that windmill hunt falling for the hype and big talk and working with impressive companies on exciting projects… while making less than $20K a year and working obscene hours putting myself in a debt situation that is daunting and neglecting my old freelance work that had been my livelihood for almost 20 years.

      So, even a cynical and somewhat savvy person like myself can become a gullible idiot when sucked into the hype vortex. Looking back there were so many red flags I ignored (noticed but didn’t address) that I truly feel like an idiot for it.

      Reply
        1. Geo

          Thanks. I hope, as a filmmaker, to at least be able to channel my own experience into some kind of cautionary tale to help protect others from falling for this type of stuff. Still to fresh to know how best to do that, but hopefully will be able to do so. Until then, just sharing my experience so others don’t brush it off as merely a trap for the naive and gullible.

          Reply
  11. carycat

    The Quartz article “Indian engineers are ….” does not even link to the report(s) from Aspiring Minds, which claims to be the largest peddler of pre-employment tests in India. I suspect their China and US numbers come from data mining the results of their testing that various body shops use to screen applicants. Note the apples to oranges comparison of Indian engineering students vs Chinese and US job seekers. The have samples of the test questions on their web site and it seems totally unrelated to how software development is being done, even for rank beginners. They can’t even label their charts correctly. “compatible” code is nothing like “compilable” code. this is not even good click bait.

    Reply
    1. Skk

      Yeah, not even good click bait. Since when did ‘engineer’ start meaning computer programmer. What about all those electrical , electronic, civil, mechanical engineers ?

      Good catch on who Aspiring Minds is !

      Reply
    2. Oh

      Thanks for the info. I refused to accept Quartz’s privacy terms and therefore closed the page. I suspected that it would be BS article! I wonder how one can generalize about one set of engineers being better than another?

      Reply
    3. Harry

      From my work experience though I can say that indian software engineers are not upto the mark when considering them on their own. I think it’s because of many factors –

      1. Most people go into software engineering simply because they want a job. After reaching college many realise it’s not for them. Either they are not passionate enough about it to put in the effort or realise that they aren’t made for it
      2. The culture in India Is that I’d you aren’t in some sort of engineering then you won’t have future.

      3. Many shitty private colleges have proliferated that take in students and focus on theory because focusing on practice would mean failing more of them and subsequently less money.

      4.many companies domestic and international don’t really see India as a talent hub to invest in. They are just cheap labour who are innocent and don’t know the practices of the business world. Hence they don’t invest in their skills or creativity.

      5. Many of these companies are managed by older people who again couldn’t give a toss about the younger workforce or themselves know much about the business. They play politics to keep themselves from being fired and hence keep blocking young ones from decent opportunities.

      Reply
  12. tegnost

    bar headed goose….
    from the wiki…”The bar-headed goose is one of the world’s highest-flying birds,[3] having been heard flying across Mount Makalu – the fifth highest mountain on earth at 8,481 m (27,825 ft) – and apparently seen over Mount Everest – 8,848 m (29,029 ft) – although this is a second-hand report with no verification.[4] This demanding migration has long puzzled physiologists and naturalists: “there must be a good explanation for why the birds fly to the extreme altitudes… particularly since there are passes through the Himalaya at lower altitudes, and which are used by other migrating bird species.”[5] In fact, bar-headed geese had for a long time not been directly tracked (using GPS or satellite logging technology) flying higher than 6,540 metres (21,460 ft), and it is now believed that they do take the high passes through the mountains. The challenging northward migration from lowland India to breed in the summer on the Tibetan Plateau is undertaken in stages, with the flight across the Himalaya (from sea-level) being undertaken non-stop in as little as seven hours. Surprisingly, despite predictable tail winds that blow up the Himalayas (in the same direction of travel as the geese), bar-headed geese spurn these winds, waiting for them to die down overnight, when they then undertake the greatest rates of climbing flight ever recorded for a bird, and sustain these climbs rates for hours on end, according to research published in 2011.”

    Reply
    1. Lee

      They are flying over Everest because it’s there and they can. Is there no place on earth a person can go without getting pooped on from above?

      Reply
      1. wilroncanada

        Lee,
        In a harbour near here there was a small island.
        The man who finally bought it stepped out of his rowboat shouting gleefully, “This is my island!”
        So the seagulls let him have it.

        Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      They mate on the Tibetan plateau? The passage over might be serving as a screen and mating ritual: if you can’t make it, you don’t get to breed.

      Mating rituals are tests for some sort of fitness; that would be a good one.

      Another thought: the Himalayas are new mountains, rising quite rapidly. The geese might be still in the process of adapting.

      Reply
    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Here is a funny story about bar-headed geese. Decades ago, in the mid-late 1970s when I was living in upper state New York, we used to go birdwatching sometimes at Montezuma Wildlife Refuge at the northern end of Cayuga Lake.

      And I forget exactly when, but sometime in those mid-late 70s there was a micro-flock of 3 bar-headed geese seen around that area every now and then for quite a while. Including by me one time . . . . flying off in the distance.

      But a rich eccentric was known to live in the area and he was known to have a private waterfowl collection, and people suspected those bar-headed geese could have escaped from his private collection. I never heard of anyone asking him . . . either from the Refuge or the birdwatcher community or from anywhere else. Probably everyone assumed they had to be his geese because wild bar-headed geese would never come here from Tibet. So I never counted them on my Life List and if anyone ever did, I would like to know what proof they had that these were definitely NOT Mr. Eccentric’s escaped bar-headed geese.

      Reply
  13. jfleni

    RE: Big Banks Can Block Shareholder Climate Proposals, SEC Rules.

    Wells-f###off should have been DRIVEN out of buiness long ago; why is it
    taking so long ??

    Reply
  14. Wukchumni

    From Dresden on the 50th Anniversary of ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ NYT
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Also in Dresden @ the same time as Vonnegut, was Eva & Victor Klemperer, A married Aryan-Jewish German couple, he a WW1 veteran and a professor @ the University of Dresden.

    The bombing turned out to be Victor’s lottery ticket out of the oven, as he was near the end of his rope with the 3rd Reich and 1-way train ride to a concentration camp loomed large, but in the confusion after the widespread destruction he ripped the yellow star off his clothes and turned into yet another refugee.

    There, i’ve told you the end of his story, carefully and clandestinely written in a diary he kept from 1933 onward till the end of the war. He was a critical thinker and we all know how things were in Nazi Germany now, but you’ll get it fresh as it happened in real time, as everything is taken away from him slowly but surely (including his cat) as the vise tightens.

    The couple isn’t really all that likable, both being world-class hypochondriacs always bitching about something in a health vein, but it’s the richness of detail that shines, as Victor has to read between the lines over a dozen years, to discern what’s really happening, dear diary.

    “I Will Bear Witness”

    Reply
    1. Randy

      Interesting books yet also boring as mostly they consist of Klemperer’s struggle to find food amid general shortages and the ever tightening restrictions put on Jews by the Nazis.

      The interesting parts were the descriptions of dental care (awful) and his car. One trip required something like 10 gallons of gas and three quarts of oil to complete. It was consistently unreliable and a money pit but he loved it.

      Another interesting thing was he had no use for Zionists.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Another interesting thing was he had no use for Zionists.

        All along the way until German Jews could no longer leave the Fatherland in 1939, he’s always commenting about people he knows, who have left Germany for Argentina, the USA, Uruguay, Australia, Palestine, etc., often with a bit of contempt.

        Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “Italy becomes first Western European nation to sign up for China’s belt and road plan”

    This must have been a really tough choice for Italy to make. Really hard. On one hand they could sign up with China to be the anchor point for untold hundreds of billions of dollars of trade as it goes along China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” as well as secure their markets in China where Italian products are appreciated. On the other hand they could have thrown their future on the tender mercies of the EU which demands that Italy follows their neoliberal prescriptions, even if it means austerity and a Greek-like fate as well as impoverishment of the Italian people. They must have sweated on deciding that one.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      They probably did. The austerity/Greek-like fate happens to the little people, not the deciders. So they were weighing getting thrown out of their little comfortable jet setting club against the chances of getting thrown bodily out of Italy. Which would cause them to lose their club membership anyway.

      They picked moving to the rear table in the club as a compromise.

      Reply
    2. Chris Cosmos

      I hope this spreads. Remember that Italian politics may have been the most manipulated (by the CIA) politics of any European country. In recent years this has, fortunately, changed and Italy may be a force to weaken the EU/NATO stranglehold on Euro-elites. We’ll have to see. Now that Russia seems less of a “threat” by the failure of Russiagate the martinets in Washington will turn to China and Iran.

      Reply
    3. Mel

      Also remember that this move is good for the EU. The EU needs a way for southern nations to earn money that they can spend in Germany.

      Reply
    4. notabanker

      Huge story. American media is preoccupied with rationalizing Clinton’s loss from 4 years ago while the Chinese just established a port in the Med with a NATO ally.

      Isn’t this rich:
      initiative that the US and EU have characterised as a “debt trap” or neocolonial project.

      Reply
      1. Summer

        Yep, China was on the Western empires’ dissection table, just like Africa, before WWI.
        They aren’t trying to lay on it again and people say “they don’t play fair.”

        Reply
        1. Lee

          It’s good to be reminded of the conditions out of which modern China arose. Certain books on this topic that I read back in the day come to mind: Fanshen by William Hinton and Han Suyin’s autobiographical trilogy:

          The Crippled Tree (1965) – covers China and her and her family’s life from 1885 to 1928
          A Mortal Flower (1966) – covers the years 1928–38
          Birdless Summer (1968) – covers the years 1938–48

          Reply
  16. jfleni

    RE: The inventors of insulin sold their patent for a buck. Why is it so expensive?

    Simple answer: G R E E D, G I M M E !!

    Reply
  17. a different chris

    In today’s “I read DKos so you don’t have to” this is, well sad. Here is a quote pulled by the DKos diarist from Milbank:

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) started the latest distraction at a CNN town hall on Monday. “Get rid of the electoral college,” she said, neglecting to mention that this has zero chance of occurring in the foreseeable future.

    The media took it from there.

    And here is the outrage of the diarist:

    Apparently Milbank didn’t notice that Democrats are also talking about education, healthcare, and the economy. In fact, talking far more about those things that the electoral college.

    Dude, maybe Warren should have not said anything about the Electoral College? That’s her bad, not Milbank’s (and I don’t like Milbank). This is like Comm 101. It’s her responsibility to stay on subject, not her listeners.

    They are all so noticeably edgy after the Mueller non-report.

    Reply
    1. human

      Yeah, they need to accelerate a new story line immediately, after all tomorrow is Monday and the Friday news dump needs to disappear.

      Reply
  18. jfleni

    RE: Georgia Poised to Pick Vulnerable Barcode Voting Technology.

    This is just the opener for the same old HILLBILLY heaven tech as always;
    swindle the PEASANTS, but hide your cards at the same time!

    Reply
  19. Wukchumni

    In Mammoth, the snow is so deep residents must tunnel out. There’s a history to that

    By February, the snow made many neighborhoods here feel subterranean.

    Twenty-foot walls of white, corniced by the wind, leaned over the plowed roads. Residents worked feverishly to keep the snow from swallowing their homes. They dug tunnels and narrow passageways to the street, opened portals to get light through second-story windows, shoveled dangerous weight off their roofs.

    https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-mammoth-snow-20190322-story.html
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Its amazing how much snow there is in Mammoth, underneath the ski lifts in a number of locations on the upper mountain, long rectangles have been roped off with poles & tape as a no go zone for skiers or boarders, as they would hit the feet of those in the chair above them coming up as they were going down.

    We were eating lunch and a ski patrol fellow told us they had winds as high as 172 mph with sustained 100 mph winds for hours near the summit, and saw evidence of that in that we glimpsed about a dozen wood signs about 15 feet up on posts that designated the names of ski runs, that had half of the sign missing.

    The push with the resorts has been to get people to buy season passes, as its pretty spendy @ $169 to $189 per day if you walk up and get a lift ticket, vs $599 for a season pass.

    I’ve got 11 days under my skis so far, and should be able to squeeze 9 more in, making it $30 a day on the year.

    They’re open till July 4th and that’d be fun to go just to say you did it. The snow would be horribly sticky mashed potatoes in texture no doubt.

    Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        The main fork of the Kaweah River here is a really fun raft trip, with one local company and typically 4 outsider rafting companies who tend to be gypsies going from river to river in the state during the season, wherever the flow is best.

        You start out near the entrance to Sequoia NP and it’s class 3-4 for the next 8 miles until put out, and what makes it different from other raft trips, is you’re going past people’s backyards (don’t miss the Flintstone House!) and it’s a bit tighter of a river than say the American up north.

        The local guide died a business death during the drought, as in years where the season might’ve lasted a week if that. But that was then and this is now, and it’ll be a May to August venture for him, all smiles.

        Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      That is an amazing article that Mammoth snow link. Thanks for giving it. If that was too regular an occurrence that of people having their homes buried, then perhaps they could build solid, chimney-like structures next to their homes fitted out with ladders inside and a steep-sided roof atop. That way, if the home got buried, you could open the door inside your home to access this structure and climb out after climbing the ladder. The steep-sided roof would stop it being buried too heavily in snow so you could still open it. I don’t know if that would work in reality but it sounds reasonable to me. Might lower property values though.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        We were watching teams of roof snow clearers above us working on 3 story buildings, roped in on climbing harness, schluffing off snow down below, where there is really scant place to put it. There were a number of roof cave-ins in 2017, the last big snow year, and a local construction guy I was sharing a chair lift up related that there was a ton of wet-rot around the sides of houses, as the snow was up against it for many months.

        Reply
  20. lakecabs

    Uber and Lyft drivers should only operate on one app till the other company raises rates for drivers.

    Then switch companies when their demands are met.

    Keep doing that until they can make a decent living.

    Also they can keep working while on strike.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      If you would’ve told me when I was a young adult, that in the distant future people would want to be do it yourself taxi drivers eking out 1/2 of the minimum wage per hour, while wearing out their cars as an added bonus, who would’ve believed it possible, or more importantly, desirable?

      Reply
      1. Lee

        And yet both companies are hemorrhaging money. This has been described in the press as the Uber and Lyft “subsidizing” rides. It would be more properly characterized as their drivers subsidizing these firms’ monopolistic aspirations by putting competing companies and their drivers out of business. I assume Uber and Lyft prices will then rise, their drivers might make a bit more money and all that will have really happened is that one set of money-sucking parasites will have been replaced by another. I ‘m getting a sinking feeling that our apparent modernity has deceived us and that we might still be living in the Middle Ages.

        Reply
        1. barrisj

          And upon completion of their respective IPOs, their huge valuations will result in mammoth returns to the VCs, and minting of yet more gazillionaires from the ranks of founders and early employees, with the investing public footing the bills. Wall Street will keep share prices elevated until the lock-up period expires, then comes the downgrades. Insiders walk away with all the loot, and the investing public left wondering when the operating losses turn into profits.

          Reply
          1. Lee

            Recently saw an IPO index fund manager on Nightly Business Report speak quite skeptically about Uber and Lyft. Her language was more moderate than her facial expression, which I interpreted as contempt for the two companies.

            Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        Hmm – I had a rural newspaper delivery route when much younger – our kid was a toddler, so 40 years ago. Stop and start, many miles, hard on the car, but they were paying mileage.

        It was about a half-day job, pretty good for a soi-disant artist family. I think my wife was waitressing, the typical job in that tourist area – Cannon Beach, on the Oregon coast. Eventually the paper killed the route in an incompetent effort to save money. If they’d asked me, I could have told them how to do it – the route would have ended at my house, with half the mileage taken off.

        Reply
    2. lyman alpha blob

      I absolutely abhor Uber/Lyft etc but this notion of a strike seems ridiculous.

      These are not jobs, they’re not even “jawbz” – the entire thing is one long con designed to enrich the likes of Kalanick at the expense of the rubes who fell for the hype.

      The authorities should have shut these companies down and severely fined or jailed the execs years ago. Since that hasn’t happened, potential drivers really need to start paying attention – it’s not like the info on how awful these scam operations are isn’t readily available. Just stop working for them. Full stop. After that, no more Uber.

      I don’t want to hear the argument that people need some sort of job to get by and they have no choice. Like I said, this is a scam. I once moved to a new city and had some background in the radio/audio equipment field. I answered an ad from a company that claimed to be selling audio equipment. When I showed up, they loaded us into the back of a white van filled with cheap speakers and we trolled parking lots all day, looking for easy marks to sell the speakers to for as much as we could get out of them. Since this was clearly a scam operation, there was no day 2 for me. Shortly after 60 Minutes did an expose on this outfit and I’d like to think these shysters are no longer in operation.

      But here’s the thing – I didn’t actually lose money working for this scam operation. I didn’t have to put up thousands of dollars of capital first in the form of a vehicle before I’d even be considered for the job. If you’re desperate, and I was when I answered the job ad, any crappy job is still better than working for a scam artist who is ripping you off. Work for a real cab company, a convenience store, deliver pizzas, whatever – it’s still better than putting yourself in debt first to work for a scam artist where you lose even more money.

      Reply
  21. tegnost

    and here I was thinking disruption is good…
    https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/medicare-for-all-predicament-no-precedent-for-abolishing-private-insurers/
    here’s the punch line…
    “The concept, in broad strokes, appeals to many Democratic voters. But overall support diminishes by a third or more when people are told that the plan would involve eliminating private insurance, raising taxes, or requiring waits to obtain medical care, according to surveys from the Kaiser Family Foundation.”
    but in the body of the article it states…
    “The effective takeover of the health insurance industry in the United States would mean a huge hit to the companies’ stocks, although the companies, which have additional lines of business, would most likely survive.”
    oh, there’s more, and it’s sourced from the nyt so…

    Reply
      1. Shonde

        ““There’s no precedent in American history that compares to this,”

        Geez, this article makes it seem like never before have industries in our country disappeared with masses of workers displaced but yes there are many, many precedents. Maybe we need to point out to the New York Times that something called the Rust Belt exists with whole cities impoverished by economic displacement. Surely the New York Times knows the history of our country with the disappearance of the textile industry, the shoe making industry, the buggy making industry and so many more. Maybe the workers in these industries don’t count since they wore blue collars instead of white collars.
        Frankly would the private insurance industry even be profitable without the multitude of taxpayer paid government sponsored subsidies provided to them. Maybe the New York Times needs to look at whether any so called private industry should continue to exist if taxpayer paid welfare is necessary to keep the industry from going bankrupt. Socialize them all including the TBTF banks!

        Reply
    1. MJ

      I’m all for single-payer. We should have had it years ago. But . . .

      I fear that the implementation will be hopelessly complex and it will certainly be screwed up.

      Remember the rollout of ObamaCare?

      Also, it could be a political disaster if a substantial portion of the public feels they have been made worse off.

      Tread carefully.

      I would prefer focusing on a transition that might take as much as a decade to accomplish.

      Reply
      1. marym

        19 million people were enrolled and original Medicare was implemented one year after the bill was passed.

        Today the bureaucratic structure for Medicare for All is in place. The process of expansion of benefits and eligible beneficiaries has occurred several times. 60 million people are already enrolled.

        The Obamacare rollout was complicated and flawed because the design was complicated and flawed. It was the “transition” that didn’t transition, with multiple points of failure and vulnerability.

        We don’t need ten minutes of continuing complexity, high costs with poor outcomes, and medical bankruptcies.

        Can you clarify which portion of the public would be worse off with comprehensive care free at the point of service?

        Reply
    1. Chris Cosmos

      I don’t understand how intelligent people take the NYT seriously. It’s like being in the Soviet Union and believing everything in Pravda. Anyway, there is a list of stuff the mainstream repeats about health-care ignoring (always, always, always) that our system is twice as expensive as the OECD average and the details of why that is. Has any media outlet ever looked into the fact that government already spends nearly as much right now as Canada spends for universal coverage (as percentage of GDP)? To be blunt, it’s like complaining that breaking up organized crime operations would put men out of work.

      Reply
      1. whoamolly

        Until recently–maybe about the time they began hyping RussiaRussiaRussia–I actually believed that “the new york times is a miracle produced every day.”

        No more. Their nonstop, evidence-free promotion of the RussiaRussiaRussia scam blew their credibility. Now, I see them as little more than a classy, modern-day Pravda.

        Reply
        1. Chris Cosmos

          The Times has been moving to the right steadily since the 80s as has most of the media. It started in earnest when the media, spurred on by the National Security State stopped covering, the death squads in El Salvador. All the media editors ordered everyone out all within a few days of each other. I knew one of the reporters who quit from a major mainstream outlet in protest and changed careers.

          Reply
    2. Summer

      “Most Americans would have a new insurer — the federal government — and many would find the health insurance stocks in their retirement portfolios much less valuable.”

      There is no precedent for the type of “financial products” that have appeared in relation to healthcare.

      Reply
      1. bob

        This is the TBTF argument-

        “and many would find the health insurance stocks in their retirement portfolios much less valuable.””

        Hurting them would hurt you!

        Reply
      2. WheresOurTeddy

        will no one think of the 15% of America that owns all the stock, and especially the 1% that owns 2/3 of it?

        Reply
      3. Kurtismayfield

        If the last arguments about keeping private health insurance companies is “Think of the jobs and the stockholders”, then they are out right admitting that the public is getting fleeced to subsidize them

        Reply
  22. Chris Cosmos

    Russiagate is not over, in my view. The celebrations are premature. Many journalists imagine that fact, evidence, reason, truth, science have a strong effect on public opinion in the US. They have some minimal effect to be sure but all evidence points to the domination of myth over reason. The idea that Russia wants to take over the USA will endure, the image of Russians as villains is just too sweet to avoid.

    If I see a “mea-culpa” from the NYT and other presstitute media I will know that the Earthly Paradise is at hand. It’s one thing to “apologize” for being misled by the Bush/Cheney gang (they knew there were no WMDs but believed for political expediency that Iraq was a threat) and another to apologize for their own clear political bias in destroying the Trump Presidency by whatever means necessary fair or foul. By now it is obvious that the mainstream media cannot, in any way, be trusted to be anything but political tools for various factions in the oligarchy. The sooner we all realize that the better our lives and we’ll get to the Earthly Paradise through the back door.

    Reply
    1. Randy

      The dead horse named Russiagate will require many more beatings before he finally cries Uncle just like Benghazi. These politicians need something to do with their time besides their ostensible job of running the “Greatest” democracy the world has ever seen. /s

      Reply
    2. Cuibono

      This had precious little to do with ” destroying the Trump presidency”.
      Making sure that the Trump presidency did not interfere with the neocon neoliberal agenda certainly.

      Reply
      1. Chris Cosmos

        The National Security State did not and does not want Trump as POTUS because the President is, above all, a Head of State whose powers are limited by what the NSS allows him to wield. He’s been bad for the image of the US particularly in Europe which has been getting a bit nervous about what the population feels about their “leaders” following dictats from Washington. With Obama everything was cool, the guy was excellent at PR–second to muscle and money, image is the most important thing in national and international politics

        Reply
    3. Joe Well

      How has the NC comments section managed to stay uninfected by Russiagate? I’ve really been amazed and relived every time I open this site and there is absolutely none of the hysteria.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Part of it may be reflexive. We know Russiagate is part of the Clintonite Narrative, and we tend to despise and revile the Clintonites and their Narratives. So we are provided with a little immunity on that score.

        Reply
  23. The Rev Kev

    “Syraqistan”

    I believe that there are mistakes in both Patrick Cockburn and Robert Fisk’s articles. Cockburn says: “Instead of focusing all their forces on seizing Baghdad, they moved north and attacked the autonomous and near independent Iraqi Kurdish enclave. The US and its allies started using their devastating air power.” Well no, I don’t think that it was that simple. By going after the Kurdish enclave, they were also able to snap up the major oil-producing regions of Syria which they then proceeded to sell off to both Turkey and Israel. And as far as that devastating air-power was concerned, it was the Russian aerospace forces that did a Godzilla on ISIS, not the Coalition. It is a matter of record that in half the sorties that the Coalition flew, that they returned to base with their bombs still attached. And they could never quite see that horizon-to-horizon convoy of ISIS oil trucks on their way to Turkey. And as far as those tens of thousands of al-Qaeda fighters in Idlib are concerned, the reason that they are there is that the west threatened to attack Syria if they dared attack those al-Qaeda formations. So here we had the west acting as the al-Qaeda Air Force.
    Frisk talks about the “Syrian Democratic Forces” aka the Kurds doing the final battles in Baghouz but he does not mention that this is not Kurdish territory but Syrian Arab territory. The Kurd homelands are way to the north. He also suggests that the Russians could help Isis, Nusra/al-Qaeda leave unharmed but to where exactly? All the western countries that looked the other way when their citizens went to fight in Syria are now slamming down the gates and enacting laws to make sure that those citizens can never come back again. So where exactly does Frisk think that they can be shipped to? As far as throwing the Kurds to the mercies of the Syrians (their fellow citizens by the way), the US had no real opposition when the Iraqis made the Kurds return to the fold and made them give up on all the Iraqi territory that the Kurds had seized. Final word is that Turkey can never, ever tolerate Kurdish military formations on their borders helping their Kurdish brethren in Turkey itself. Unless the US plans to stick around for the next coupla decades, the only force capable of deterring the Turks are the Syrian Army but the Kurds still want their cake and to eat it as well. Idjuts.

    Reply
    1. Chris Cosmos

      Thank you. I was going to say something like that but thought better because I would have to go into the clear facts of the case and beg the question of where did ISIS come from? How did they suddenly rise out of the desert like Jason’s warriors rising from the teeth he threw? According to the mainstream reports that is what happened. Spy satellites can view the ground to a square inch or better (this info from a retired CIA officer) and they were “surprised” at ISIS? Give me a f*cking break. ISIS was a more muscular version of Al-qaeda with more professional soldiers who were promised booty and the right to rape to their heart’s content. Only professional soldiers could have achieved what ISIS achieved and they would only fight if paid out front. Like AQ they were funded by the Saudis, gathered in Turkey and Jordan and coordinated by Western intel agencies. This is why the US pretended to “fight” ISIS but only went in more seriously when the Russians actually showed up to fight them for which Putin earned the eternal hatred of the CIA and its circle of intel agencies, contractors and paid “journalists.” ISIS became the perfect bogeyman for the chumps in Europe and the US to keep the larger project of Empire going after the scare of 9/11 wore off.

      Reply
    2. ambrit

      Memories are long in the East comrade.
      The Kurds were sold out by the West to Saddam Hussein’s Irak back in the 1990’s after the first Irak War. They still managed to carve out an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in the north of Irak.
      Roughly, the Kurds have had to do everything that was for themselves, by themselves. Most other projects that the Kurds were instrumental in effecting were promoting the interests of whoever supplied the resources. Trusting Damascus will be an uphill struggle for the Kurds in general. However, Syria could use Kurdish ‘cooperation’ to ease the recovery from the civil war, which is actually a proxy foreign intervention. A “modus vivendi” between the Kurds and Damascus is doable in the region.
      As for Russia doing anything at all to help ISIS Nusra/al-Qaeda, that idea is delusional. The Islamic fanatics want to grab a large chunk of southern Russia and make a theocratic state out of it. No sane governing elite can tolerate that.
      Finally, the Turkish history of it’s relations with it’s own minorities is at best bad. I’ll guess that Turkey is like most other governing groups in it’s penchant to run roughshod over minorities. The Kurds can always look back to the fate of the Armenians during WW1 for guidance as to how far to trust the Turks.

      Reply
    3. Bill Smith

      “it was the Russian aerospace forces that did a Godzilla on ISIS”

      The West started bombing ISIS in Syria in September 2014. The Russians would start in October 2015.

      What was the high water point of ISIS in Syria? Kobanai in October 2014?

      How many sorties did the Russians fly in Iraq? What was the status of ISIS in Iraq when the Russians started flying sorties?

      The Russians claim they flew 39,000 sorties in Syria. The West flew 19,500 in Syria. Plus another 14,500 in Iraq.

      Yes, the Russian air power did a lot. By the Russian own admission they used a much lower percentage of ‘smart’ weapons than the West. So half of the West’s sorties coming back with (all or some) bombs isn’t an apples to apples comparison.

      But I will say it was the Russians who turned the war around for Assad. The Russian’s also claim that 63,000 troops have seen combat in Syria in the 3+ years.

      Reply
    4. VietnamVet

      The Kurds’ travails will never be over but UK, France and USA participation will decrease as the military and its spending is needed at home. Radical Sunnis along with Neo-Nazis are the West’s proxy forces to bring chaos to Eurasia. This is so profitable it will continue until Climate Change ends it all or Peace breaks out. The basic contradiction of the neo-lib-con ideology is love of war and hatred of regulation and taxes. But they need a nation state to safely store their loot. Yet, they continue to dismember nations. It’s their nature like a Scorpion’s. After Brexit there will be Scotland, England, Ireland and No man’s land. If history is a guide, one or the other country or Oliver Cromwell’s offspring and a New Model Army will decide they need the treasures of the City of London for themselves.

      Reply
  24. ChrisS

    The line from the Moon of Alabama piece, “Russiagate conspiracy theorist Marcy Wheeler […]” had me laughing out loud. She had a decent blog before she beclowned herself.

    Reply
    1. human

      I had some dialogue with her back at Firedoglake. She held some quirky notions, was unmoveable, and resistant to even considering some alternative opinions.

      Reply
      1. Watt4Bob

        …and she attracted like-minded allies/followers.

        I mean, “unmoveable, and resistant” self-assured and often condescending toward anyone questioning their ‘analysis’.

        Reply
        1. human

          Heh, heh. I always considered “emptywheel” a very apt name for her writing. Did no one consider the optics?

          Reply
    2. pjay

      There are a lot of Judith Millers out there today. But as several NC commentators have already suggested above, I’m not sure anyone will have to pay any consequences. Perhaps there will be a Milleresque scapegoat or two, but I’m pretty pessimistic about anything changing.

      Reply
  25. scarn

    I saw Bernie at a rally in downtown LA yesterday. The crowd filled Grand Park and the porticoes and stairs that surround it. I’m no good at estimating crowd sizes, but it was surely many thousands of people. Bernie himself seemed energetic. He had a bandage on his head and bruising on his face, which made me think he either had a small accident or something on his skin removed. The fact that he did the rally looking like he got punched in the eye is pretty cool. To me that shows that he knows that people want to help him enact his policies and that they aren’t just looking for another pretty face.

    Ro Khanna and Nina Turner spoke before him. Rep Khanna hit some good points on ending foreign wars and interventions that I appreciated, because I don’t think that Sanders is particularly great on anti-war policy in his own speeches and interviews and statements. Turner is always a spectacular speaker and delivered her “everyone or no-one” speech.

    Bernie spoke for about 1.25 hours. The crowd did not tire or seem to grow bored. The overwhelming feeling was joyfulness, excitement, and friendliness. Bernie’s main policy points were medicare for all and a jobs guarantee. He tied the jobs guarantee to increased wages and a better worker bargaining position. He also mentioned that this state-employed army of labor could be put to work building homes for the homeless and working class people in California. That got big cheers from people here who pay absurdly high housing costs. I liked how he spoke about rural America even though he was in urban LA. Importantly, one of his main themes was that everyone was going to have to keep fighting even after he wins. The people are going to need to force Washington to enact his policies. This is not just true, it got a great response from the crowd, and it makes me believe he is very serious about winning and changing the USA.

    The crowd was youngish, but not exclusively young by any means. I’m forty, and many people near me were older than that. The crowd was not particularly male and not particularly white. It looked, as they say, like America (or at least like southern California). While in line to get in, there were a few leftist groups proselytizing. Some Trotskyist kids tried to sell me a magazine for $2, there were some people in DSA shirts wandering around and passing out literature, and Uber/Lyft drivers who want to unionize were talking to the people in line. Nobody that I saw got confrontational about anything, not even when being told by a small group that lizard aliens are using direct energy weapons to start forest fires. That’s somewhat unlike my other experiences where disparate leftist groups come in contact, and I appreciated and enjoyed the experience of friendly interaction.

    My takeaway is that Bernie is going to kick some serious butt. If he can command a crowd of that size in California at this early date, Harris and others need to be very afraid.

    Reply
    1. Brindle

      I have read estimates of the attendance at Bernie’s rally in the 15,000+ range, quite impressive.
      In polls Bernie has high approval ratings from African-Americans so I don’t think that the perceived number of African-Americans at his rallies is a reliable indicator of support.

      Reply
    2. Carey

      Thanks so much for this thorough report! This kind of rally, this early, really bodes well.
      Sanders and the People make a formidable combination.

      Reply
    3. Eclair

      Thank you for your report, scarn. Talking for and hour and a quarter, and holding the attention of a crowd, is quite a feat, especially in these days of sound bytes and short attention spans.

      Reply
    4. Mark Gisleson

      He slipped and cut his head on a shower door recently. Got stitched up at a public clinic and made his first appearance of the day on time.

      It was quite the thing on Twitter, but increasingly it seems like Twitter exists just to share all the things the establishment media choose to ignore.

      Reply
  26. heresy101

    Not many stories about animals today. Unfortunately, there is one about police and dogs:
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/22/the-growing-epidemic-of-cops-shooting-family-dogs/

    Chihuahuas!?? The cop needs a five year commitment to a psych ward for being a psychopath!

    The Puppycide Database Project estimates the number of dogs being killed by police to be closer to 500 dogs a day (which translates to 182,000 dogs a year). https://puppycidedb.com/

    According to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, all it takes for dogs to pose a sufficient threat to police to justify them opening fire is for the dog to move or bark.

    Balko has documented countless “dog shootings in which a police officer said he felt ‘threatened’ and had no choice but to use lethal force, including the killing of a Dalmatian (more than once), a yellow Lab , a springer spaniel, a chocolate Lab, a boxer, an Australian cattle dog, a Wheaten terrier, an Akita… a Jack Russell terrier… a 12-pound miniature dachshund… [and] a five-pound chihuahua.”

    Chihuahuas, among the smallest breed of dog (known as “purse” dogs), seem to really push cops over the edge.

    In Arkansas, for example, a sheriff’s deputy shot an “aggressive” chihuahua for barking repeatedly. The dog, Reese’s, required surgery for a shattered jaw and a feeding tube to eat.

    Same thing happened in Texas, except Trixie—who was on the other side of a fence from the officer—didn’t survive the shooting.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Chihuahuas, among the smallest breed of dog (known as “purse” dogs), seem to really push cops over the edge.

      They tend to bark & back up @ the same time, giving the coppers mixed signals?

      Reply
      1. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

        I’ve come up with a descriptor of those minute, outwardly nasty, yappy dogs: Rats Gone Wrong. No wonder the police off them, I mean how, can you tell?

        Pip-Pip!

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Those dogs were trying to warn their owners. Just like dogs were used to detect Terminators in the future. Come to think of it, dogs were used to detect those people infected in the book “World War Z”. They really are man’s best friend, aren’t they?

          Reply
          1. Harold

            Many years ago, I had a dog who used to bite anyone in a uniform. One day he disappeared and after a day or two I went to the dog pound. This was in North Carolina . He was there. The dogcatcher said, “That dog bites. but leave him with me a few more days and I’d’ve cured him.” I suppose today he wouldn’t have been alive — though I don’t know. He was pretty cagey. Some one gave — or should I say — foisted him on me. He lived to be quite old.

            Reply
    2. Carla

      Gee, the Nextdoor site in our neighborhood got a message from the Chief of Police today: a puppy got hit by a car, the police took the puppy to a vet, and were looking for the little tyke’s owner. The Chief followed up with a message that the owner had been found and was at the vet conferring about the puppy’s treatment.

      Reply
    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      It appears that the police are the most violent home invaders in America now. How can one protect oneself from Violent Home Invasion Police?

      Perhaps people who can afford it should up-armor their houses. Foundations should be strengthened to support a total wall-height surrounding of bomb-proof and police proof outer layer of concrete or cinder-blocks filled with concrete and rebar or whatever is needed to render the home battering-ram-proof. Door jams should be made of heavy steel and doors should be steel too heavy for police to batter down. The
      house should contain a Panic Safe Room into which the family and their dog can retreat from Police Attack.

      It would be illegal to suggest that the family from within the safe room should have a way to activate microwave-oven-type microwave elements placed to soak down every home invader in the house with a delayed-action lethal dose of microwaves . . . . so I won’t suggest it.

      Reply
    1. wilroncanada

      When they recommended iron supplements, that isn’t what they meant. If the factory can’t understand that, how do they expect to make ends meat?

      Reply
  27. Summer

    Mueller Report Key Finding:

    Foreign influence in elections is so widespread that we don’t have the will or resources to begin to clean it up – too much of it has already been made legal.
    And if the USA cleans it up then other countries may do the same and where would the USA be?

    Reply
    1. Hepativore

      All of this focus on Russia ignores the very real collusion and foreign meddling that our elected officials have been involved with from such countries such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. However, they would have to charge half of Washington D.C. for being guilty of that considering AIPAC’s reach and the influence of Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth.

      Reply
      1. barrisj

        Not to mention back in the ‘90s when US neatly steered Boris Yeltsin to the Russian Presidency…wholesale interference, under the guise of “aiding democracy”.

        Reply
    1. Carey

      Thanks for the NBC™ link. After reading it, it looks to me like the Plan is to keep the
      theater going indefinitely.

      Reply
      1. Carey

        From the apparently gotten-to St. Clair:

        “… If the Democratic race boils down to Biden and Sanders, you’ll have two candidates in their late 70s who voted three times to overthrow Saddam, approved the murderous sanctions on Iraq, supported the illegal war on Serbia, backed the racist and punitive Clinton Crime Bill and fronted a scheme to dump radioactive waste from New England near a small Hispanic town in West Texas…”

        https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/22/roaming-charges-darn-that-american-dream/

        yeesh

        Reply
    2. voteforno6

      Hah! Not likely.

      On the other hand, it might be sort of entertaining to see how an existential crisis plays out for Rachel Maddow live on the air. You know, if I actually watched her show.

      Reply
      1. barrisj

        Huge body of collusionists on Political Wire as well…most swear by Maddow and have suffered a mass infection of Group-Think as well. Lots of commiserating and “grief-sharing” going on.

        Reply
  28. richard

    I don’t know if anyone’s posted this yet, but my latest email from tulsi2020 said she has 42,000 donors so far, has until May something to get the last 23,000.
    Just passing it along if anyone was wondering where that number was.

    Reply
    1. Justsayknow

      Don’t know enough of her positions for an informed opinion but I’ve seen enough to think she deserves to be heard. Guess I’ll have to pony up.

      Am I the only one who views a requirement for money donations as a form of poll tax?

      Reply
      1. richard

        It’s hard not to; there’s no reason it couldn’t be 65,000 non-financial supporters as a measure of debate worthiness.
        That said, thanks for helping get her in the debate!

        Reply
  29. flora

    Interesting that this year’s ad for Acura luxury autos features the Rolling Stones’ song ‘Sympathy for the Devil’.

    “Please allow me to introduce myself
    I’m a man of wealth and taste…”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoYcH4o9fYM

    “… hope you guessed my name….”

    Great old rock and roll song. However, wonder if there’s an editorial comment in the choice of this song. When even the ad men think the prevailing economic ethos has jumped the shark…. Yeah, I’m probably overthinking things again.

    Reply
  30. dcblogger

    Russian air force planes land in Venezuela carrying troops
    Reporter Javier Mayorca wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the first plane carried Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of staff of the ground forces, adding the second was a cargo plane carrying 35 tonnes of material.

    An Ilyushin IL-62 passenger jet and an Antonov AN-124 military cargo plane left for Caracas on Friday from Russian military airport Chkalovsky, stopping along the way in Syria, according to flight-tracking website Flightradar24.
    https://japantoday.com/category/world/update-1-russian-air-force-planes-land-in-venezuela-carrying-troops-reports?

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      No truth to the rumour, however, that they have green uniforms packed into the luggage. Size small of course.

      Reply
    2. flora

      There was an old joke (1960’s era) in the old soviet: “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.”

      A matching old joke (also 1960’s era) in the US was : soviet agent says, “working people, why do you not overthrow the capitalist system and create a workers’ paradise?” To which the US working class people answer: “this IS a worker’s paradise.”

      That was half a century ago, 50 years, ago, before the outsourcing and downsizing mania to jack up stock prices, and before neoliberalism’s ‘greed is good’ ethos arrived and drove out common sense from the West’s comprehension of both requirements for social cohesion and of world affairs. imo.

      Reply
      1. Shonde

        Your two donations only count as one toward her 65,000 individual donations. She needs donations from 65,000 different people per the rules so best to work on getting other potential supporters you know who have not donated to send Tulsi even $1 or more of course is good.

        Reply
  31. Kael

    re: “Medicare for All” Is Missing a Vital Group: The Incarcerated.

    The linked piece is interesting but the headline is wrong. Let’s consider HR 1384, the Jayapal 2019 bill (https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1384/text). The incarcerated are covered in the bill unless they traveled to the US for the “sole purpose” of obtaining covered services. The section of interest in its entirety:

    SEC. 102. Universal coverage.

    (a) In general.—Every individual who is a resident of the United States is entitled to benefits for health care services under this Act. The Secretary shall promulgate a rule that provides criteria for determining residency for eligibility purposes under this Act.

    (b) Treatment of other individuals.—The Secretary may make eligible for benefits for health care services under this Act other individuals not described in subsection (a), and regulate the eligibility of such individuals, to ensure that every person in the United States has access to health care. In regulating such eligibility, the Secretary shall ensure that individuals are not allowed to travel to the United States for the sole purpose of obtaining health care items and services provided under the program established under this Act.

    The author of the article also misses the point when they whine: “None of the current Medicare for All proposals under discussion explicitly addresses or eliminates the inmate exclusion policy.” A universal program (see quote from the bill) that covers everyone does not have to “explicitly address” most deficiencies of this kind. In fact specifically addressing each one sets up the system for gaming by legislators that want to exclude sub-populations they use to gin up controversies, and industries that are looking for arbitrage of various kinds.

    A simple universal service policy is the most robust.

    Reply
  32. Joe Well

    Is anyone making a list of the journalists and commentators who tried to debunk Russiagate?

    Off the top of my head:

    The entire NC universe including the comments section, plus:

    1. Glenn Greenwald
    2. Aaron Maté (kicked off The Real News over this)
    3. Matt Taibbi
    4. Michael Tracey
    5. David Sirota
    6. Jeremy Scahill
    7. Julian Assange + Wikileaks
    8. Jimmy Dore
    9. Katrina Vandenheuvel

    Who else?

    Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        A list of the journalists and commentators who signed up for Russiagate would actually end up being a shorter list. It would read as follows-

        All the MSM

        Reply
    1. Hepativore

      Kyle Kulinski (Secular Talk Youtube channel)

      Mike Figueredo (Humanist Report Youtube channel)

      Sam Seder (Majority Report podcast)

      Reply

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