Links 3/25/19

Hunt for Gatwick drone saw police blow £400,000 on bungled investigation Metro.co.uk

Shipwreck on Nile vindicates Greek historian’s account after 2500 years Ars Technica

Catch them while you can: Messi and Ronaldo will not be around for ever Guardian

A journey to the Disappointment islands BBC

Exclusive: Aztec war sacrifices found in Mexico may point to elusive royal tomb Reuters

Watch: Snake-removal company pulls out 45 rattlesnakes from underneath a Texas house Scroll

Fuck The Vessel The Baffler. Kate Wagner on Hudson Yards.

Israel rocket attack: Seven wounded north of Tel Aviv Al Jazeera

Waste Watch

Tesco begins plastic-free trial for selection of fruit and veg Guardian

Starbucks Increasing Its Environmental Commitment International Business Times

India’s Ban on Imports of Recyclables Generates A Global Crisis Asia Sentinel

More Than 90 Percent of Americans Have Pesticides or Their Byproducts in Their Bodies Nation

OK, I’ll bite. What the hell is my carbon footprint? Grist

Whales in the bay: Great for sightseers, but biologists are concerned San Francisco Chronicle

It’s been 30 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Here’s what we’re still learning from that environmental debacle. Seattle Times

Protected areas matter to bumphead parrotfish The Hindu

2020

Once the site of Bernie Sanders’ last stand, California now is pivotal to his 2020 prospects LA Times

Shunning Corporate PACs Won’t End Corporate Influence in Elections TruthOut

Class Warfare

Human Contact Is Now a Luxury Good NYT (UserFriendly)

AOC Has Some Advice For Parents Jacobin

New York City’s Bail Success Story Marshall Project

Gilets Jaunes

Macron hopes older protester gains “wisdom” after injuries AP

Health Care

As Political Scrutiny Mounts, Eli Lilly Divulges New Insulin Pricing Data WSJ

Ending tuberculosis: we can get there with a new roadmap Stat

Volvo chief warns against ‘irresponsible’ self-driving roll-out FT

Cars are regulated for safety – why not information technology The Conversation

Boeing

Boeing’s Grounded 737 Max Fiasco Leads American Airlines to Cancel 90 Flights Per Day Through April Gizmodo

Boeing sets briefing on 737 MAX as Ethiopian carrier expresses confidence in planemaker Reuters

Algeria

Algerians take to streets in protest against cuts and ailing, ‘out of touch’ president Independent

India

View: India’s crony capitalist edifice is creaking Economic Times

Why a Bank Bailout of Jet Airways Seems Inevitable The Wire

They couldn’t get any of the real culprits of the financial crisis: Rajat Gupta Economic Times. Yes, this is certainly self-serving. But it highlights the lack of any serious prosecution of anything other than insider trading. This is getting lots of play in the Indian press, as a local boy makes scapegoat story.

A constitution should help a country govern, not hobble it Aeon

China

Italy’s move to join New Silk Road may see European Union tighten coordination on China SCMP

In Sri Lanka, the new Chinese Silk Road is a disappointment France24.com

Momentum for Fixing Marijuana’s Banking Problem Is Higher Than Ever Governing

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Legalized Marijuana Gives Hiring Managers a Headache WSJ

Charles Beard: Punished for Seeking Peace American Conservative

The U.S. Deserves Its Own Nuremberg Trials TruthDig

Trump Transition

Jerri-Lynn here: I’m not linking to much of the saturation coverage on the Mueller report, but instead refer readers to the Matt Taibbi piece Yves posted separately. Today’s must-read.

Trump Is Going To Repeat This Until November 2020. Thanks, MSNBC. Caitlin Johnstone

Conclusion of Mueller probe raises anew criticisms of coverage WaPo

Trump begins post-Mueller ‘reset’ by strafing Democrats, media Politico

Ocasio-Cortez: Removing Trump from office won’t fix country’s problems The Hill. She’s right – and her reaction contrasts with that of so many Democrats, who are reacting to the Mueller report by throwing their toys out of the pram b/c he didn’t deliver what they wanted.

PEPE ESCOBAR: Empire of Chaos in Hybrid War Overdrive Consortium News

The Crux of the Accusations Against David Sirota From the Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere is False Glenn Greenwald. Missed this yesterday.

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

213 comments

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thanks – fixed it.

      Writing about this topic for NC has made me change lots of my practices. I’m still far from perfect, but I waste much less than I used to do. I’ve drastically curtailed my use of single use plastics, and think carefully before I buy anything made out of plastic. And I’ve cut way, way down on the food I waste.

      Reply
      1. dearieme

        I’m mystified by the expression “single use”. There’s not much that comes into our house that is single use. Even the tissues on which I blow my nose are used in the compost bin.

        (Our compost bin is wonderful at the moment: we don’t have to keep turning the compost because there is a creature in there, or maybe more than one, that does the job for us. Mole? Hedgehog? Rat? We don’t know, we never see it. But yesterday it even did us the service of turning up a long lost tea spoon. Thank you, God. It reminds us of the winter when the squirrels that had stolen all our hazelnuts buried lots of walnuts in our flower pots. Fair exchange is no robbery.)

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          I’d say that what Jerri-Lynn is talking about when mentioning “single use” is, for example, when you go into a supermarket and see a single avocado inside a plastic tube of sorts that when you get it home, you have to throw it out.

          Reply
          1. dearieme

            Plastic tube? You mean mini-greenhouse?

            When we started gardening our cloches were all herring-boxes gathered from the beach, with their bottoms knocked out and bits of polythene pinned across. There’s a grand tradition of improvisation in gardening.

            Reply
            1. a different chris

              And you walked 10 miles to school, uphill both ways and it was always winter. Impressive. However, I am curious: It would take acres of gardens to suck up the packaging people wind up with each year, and then what do you do with next year’s plastic?

              Back to taking the subject seriously, I have been mystified at the explosion in packaging of the last decade or so. You can still rummage at the more local supermarkets for unpacked food, but the global chains – Aldi’s being the worst in my experience – seem incapable of just putting stuff out next to a weigh-scale.

              Reply
          2. Shonde

            I tried buying some vegetables encased in plastic. People tell me I am fussy but gotta say to me the taste was awful. But then I try whenever possible to only buy items in glass containers rather than plastic since once again I feel the plastic downgrades the taste. The best of course is right from the garden but unfortunately most people have no idea how good really fresh vegetables are.

            Reply
            1. polecat

              Broccoli Rabb, Walla Walla onions, Carrots, red and white scallions, Leeks (for the blooms, because bees!! ..well, and other flying insects) Lettuce .. plus cherries, blueberries, raspberries ready to pop into bloom.. yay !! Oh, and lets not forget very very local honey. ..
              No plastic in the living polecat home grocery …

              Reply
              1. Synapsid

                polecat,

                Leeks for the bees and others, yes of course, and for the leek and potato soup and for the braised leeks that I’m sure were served on Olympus when the gods wanted a really scrumptious feed.

                Reply
                1. polecat

                  I did plant enough to leave some leeks for humon consumption, and the rest for the other lifeforms. So, it’s All good !
                  ‘:]

                  Reply
              1. Shonde

                Thank you. I was thinking the problem of plastic packaging was out gassing from product starting to rot and the plastic holding that inside. Don’t others note the difference in taste on items not packaged and those in packaging gas? Can’t believe I am the only one.

                Reply
            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The other debate is glass or metal, when it comes to beer.

              For wine lovers, andI haven’t seen it in metal cans, the qestion is, since we age wines in oak barrles, is it better to drink from wooden bottles or vessels?

              Reply
                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    They were either gold or sliver, then, I think.

                    Indiana Jones picked the right one…the carpenter worked with wood (not sure if it was oak).

                    Reply
                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      Thanks.

                      I saw that film, again, last year (I think) on a DVD from the local library, thinking, at the time, how lovely and young Landsbury was.

                      Maybe I will re-watch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade again.

      2. Carla

        Jerri-Lynn — I really appreciate your coverage of the plastic waste issue. It has made me more conscious of what I’m doing, and that’s the first step in changing behavior.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          I’ve switched from buying Topo Chico in plastic bottles, to glass bottles.

          I feel i’ll leave better relics in the dump, when somebody is digging it out in 2087, and says to themselves:

          “Wow, somebody was paying money for Mexican water way back when!”

          Reply
        2. The Rev Kev

          I second that thanks to Jerri-Lynn. Until a year or so ago, I regarded plastic as just extravagant wastage – sort of like the tubes that Pringles comes in. But because of the articles on plastic being run here, I now recognize it as the serious threat that it is to life on this planet. People would object, but if they had to wind part of our technological suite back to the 1950s to basically eliminate most plastic from everyday use, that would be cool with yours truly. Going back to paper straws, paper bags, string-bags for shopping as well as cotton & canvas bags. Would that be such a sacrifice to make to get rid of plastic?

          Reply
          1. Annieb

            Thanks Jerri Lynn and others for the reminder! Just bought organic cotton mesh bags. Been meaning to do this for a while now

            Reply
            1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

              Thanks for all the kind comments. I didn’t grasp how big a threat plastic waste poses until I started writing about it here. I’ve certainly changed my habits and am pleased to hear others have too. But as we know, it’ll take more than our individual efforts to solve this crisis.

              Reply
              1. Shonde

                I’ve researched a special composting bin for all the dog droppings in my backyard from my two big dogs but still am “recycling” plastic grocery bags to put it in the garbage. You are nagging my conscience so time to actually get that composting bin.

                Reply
                1. polecat

                  If you were running a tannery, they would’ve come in handy, as dog droppings (and pig sh!t as well) helped to soften the hides. Seemed to work for our ancestors ….

                  Reply
      3. Samuel Conner

        This isn’t for everyone, but I recycle all my non-color-printed cardboard into worm (eisenia foetida) compost for improving the soil in decorative beds; a separate worm bin (my “grass-fed” worms) gets veggie scraps and weeds to make “soil” for my food plantings. The bins smell “earthy”, not foul; the only annoyance is that the worms like to “congregate” at the lip at top, so when opening a bin to feed the “herd”, one may need to return to the bin worms that fall out.

        Plastic food tubs get reused as plant container pots for give-aways from my starts.

        I’m just one person; a family would have more to deal with, but I have a bin of throw-aways to set out only about once a month.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          It sounds like something is wrong with the conditions of your worm bin. They don’t try to climb out if there’s enough ventilation (a few dozen 3/16″ holes in the sides a couple inches from the bottom, plus a few dozen more in the lid, should be enough to let them breathe without allowing them to escape) and they have some bedding at the proper moisture level (I used strip-shredded brown paper bags and newsprint, heavily moistened) in which to hang out above the castings, which are mildly toxic to the worms.

          Reply
          1. Samuel Conner

            What I think is happening is that when I neglect to feed them regularly, they go into “generate offspring” mode. When there is plenty of edibles in the bin, the worms are generally in the midst of that.

            That said, I don’t empty the castings frequently enough; thanks for the guidance.

            Reply
      4. tokyodamage

        Serious question: why bother? If companies are dumping so much pollution that any individual person’s lifestyle decisions are nothing more than a drop in the bucket? Is it so you can hold the moral high ground, not be a hypocrite, etc? Or something else?

        I’m not trying to be a troll – I also recycle and use cloth shopping bags etc . . . but I’ve come to regard it as more of a liberal virtue-signal than anything meaningful. Or a desperate superstitious gesture, like some primitive liberal all sacrificing a goat and praying to Malgor that there won’t be a flood this spring.

        What am I missing here?

        Reply
        1. Tyrannocaster

          I have had the same thought. I guess we feel we have to do *something*, even if it’s not enough. But the idea that we can stop this behavior one shopper at a time, while letting the big interests slide, is just so wrong.

          Reply
        2. a different chris

          Maybe “virtue-signalling” is a judgmental label that attempts to force the answer? Because I am not accepting living clean as “virtue-signalling”.

          First, it make me feel better, stronger. Proof of my own that things can be different. Important for such an uphill battle.

          Second, and vastly more important: I may not be making any individual difference to the planet, but I can look people in the eye and say “I have shown that we don’t have to do this, this way, and what I’ve learned leads me to strongly suspect that they don’t have to do that, that way.”

          In other words don’t accept the BS. We can’t do it “one shopper at a time” for sure, but we can show that things don’t have to be the way they are.

          Reply
          1. wilroncanada

            Thanks, a different chris.
            People are converted to more responsible living one at a time. Being earlier at the game is not virtue signalling.
            A couple of cities here in southwestern BC have banned single use plastic bags. The store I mostly shop voluntarily ended its plastic bag giveaway, or 3 pennies charge, several years ago. It supplies paper bags for those who do not bring in their own reusable bag. Those who bring their own bags get 3 cents per bag credit.
            I don’t think the people who compiled and presented the petitions that led to the bans carried them into the council chambers in plastic bags.

            Reply
        3. Cuibono

          Perhaps what you were missing is that all change has to start somewhere.
          If a person does these things in their own home are they not perhaps more likely to vote someone into office will enact policies that are supportive?

          Reply
          1. polecat

            To loosely paraphrase Gandi :

            “First they laugh at you, then they ridicule you, they fight for their property values, then they too start composting.”

            That’s the hope anyway …

            Reply
        4. PlutoniumKun

          The simple answer is that at the retail end companies are sensitive to what customers demand. If enough customers are saying ‘I don’t want my fruit and veg wrapped in plastic’ they will eventually respond. A spate of companies (including Starbucks) have recently announced initiatives to reduce the amount of plastics they use.

          They aren’t doing this because they care, they are doing it because it has become unacceptable to be seen as not doing their bit. Consumer pressure is not a cure-all, but it does have a significant impact.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            From individual consumers to something bigger and wider.

            The other way of looking at it is this – why not just make your own instant coffee, in your office or home, and drink it from a ceramic cup?

            In the same way, make your own sandwiches at home, instead of wondering what they do with those plastic gloves they wear when making them for you at some places I remember (I think they still do that…to be sanitary, I believe).

            And for you flyers, do they still use plastic cutlery (wrapped in mroe plastic) with inflight meals? Stop flying is one option, or minimize it.

            Reply
        5. Alex V

          I’m mainly practicing for the inevitable. A change is gonna come. Question is how violent and rapid it will be.

          Ain’t no plastic bags to carry your soul in the Apocalypse.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            For elders or people on medication, a lot of times, the pills are in plastic bottles.

            A plastic bag can keep many essential items dry, in case of flood or rain.

            Reply
            1. Rod

              Eventually the world will need to have good tarps only to discover all the good material went to those plastic bags…

              A lot is to be said about the transformative power of appreciation

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                A good painting, with acrylic* on canvas, should hopefully be appreciated and can last for a long, long time.

                Is the painting ‘single use?’

                *minute particles of acrylic plastic resins suspended in water.

                Or Gunter von Hagen’s art of plastic human bodies. I think it’s called plastination.

                Reply
        6. Oregoncharles

          It’s called modeling. If everyone did it, we’d all be a lot better off. Of course not making the stuff in the first place is better; that’s going to depend on individual initiative to start with, too.

          Of course, the next question is how to get to “everyone.” That will probably depend on (horrors!) regulation.

          Reply
        7. JL

          I am an obsessive refuse, reduce, reuse, recycleite. Obsessive. At the very far end of the norm in my daily life actions of conscientious ‘walking lightly on the earth.” Enuf so to be annoying to my very forbearing and tolerant family. I have always, and by this I mean for nearly 40 years, realized that recycling (or more often down-cycling if the material sorted and placed diligently in the proper recycling bin were not actually dumped into the general waste stream by the janitorial staff or collection company [which was the most likely way for them to manage it] or end up in some irrigation ditch in the Chinese countryside after the diversion subsidies had been harvested) very likely caused more harm then good since it had to pass through the whole chain of capitalist market effects. That is, one would imagine that all those scrapes of paper one tossed in the bin directly replaced a tree in the forest being cut down or those tin cans left ore in the earth. Possibly so. But, just as possibly by subsidizing a raw material it ended up expanding the market for an item say and thereby ending up creating a situation where even more trees were cut down as a possibility among many possible pernicious outcomes. Or, say in the case of tin cans, which more often then not did not go back into a steel product but were used as a sacrifice material for the processing of very low grade copper ore, perhaps ended up as a subsidy that made mining said low grade ore possible at all; ore which otherwise might have stayed in the ground. And all of the efforts I make in using the smallest amounts of resources (from the water tap, from the electric and gas appliances…) as an individual are more then annulled by my next door neighbor’s willful wastage; and even so, the 10 gallons of water (I’m in the west where the electricity used to move and process said water accounts for about a quarter of this states consumption) is absolutely meaningless. If every household in the country used 10 gallons less then they typically do–around 2 billion gallons a day say–it would amount to quite a significant lot (things add up quickly in mass society) and still be so small an amelioration as to be nearly worthless even. So why do I still do what I do in this regard? Well, I think small and am penny wise and pound foolish by personality, perhaps and also. But also, and I think this is essential, because it is the right way to live. Each little gesture in this regard is a building block of a what we hope to come in a post-capitalist regime of reciprocity, mutuality and expanded solidarity. The world will not become re-enchanted, but the lessons that we on the radical-left are now trying to glean from the indigenous (but also always and ever present within ourselves everywhere all along) practices in the metabolic processes of the gift (deveiled of spiritualist theraputics if you please) will traverse this rational, thought through, relation to the things that enter our lives and pass through our hands once decommodified and stripped of their fetishized disembodied appearance as pure product rather then a specific material thing with origin, with a chain of concrete actions having gone into it and with a destination of use and aftermath. We live on a world at the edge, we should use it and its things (and others, others that includes the larger bio-sphere) thoughtfully, as an ethic.
          And while even if every household using and disposing of less means next to nothing on the order of necessity in and of itself. Such acts will also be necessary if a global reformation of the systems of despoilment is ever to occur. My existential two-cents.

          So why do I still do so? I

          Reply
    2. L

      Interesting that they are doing a trial in not having it. In Japan I know the individually-wrapped fruit thing has been true for a number of years but I have yet to see a supermarket try it in the states. I guess my safeway is really “farm to table”.

      Reply
      1. Shonde

        When I lived in California, I did not see the individually wrapped either. Once I moved to Minnesota, Aldi’s seems to be everywhere and people kept telling me how cheap the produce was at Aldi’s. So I tried some. Oh boy, was it awful. Aldi’s should be ashamed. I would not even feed that junk to my dogs who love veggies. Love my local Hy-Vee which even features locally grown in season and of course the farmers market.

        Reply
    3. marieann

      Where I am I do not find that much produce wrapped in plastic unless it is a bag of apples bag of apples/potatoes etc. They do have those salads in bags but I never buy those as they are the ones always implicated in the safety recalls.
      Usually the produce we buy is not in plastic….that is why I sew and knit produce bags so I don’t have to use the plastic ones at the store

      Reply
    4. Oregoncharles

      We shop mostly at a co-op that is quite good about plastics, especially on produce. There is one type of cucumber that comes wrapped – think I’ll ask them to find another source, though they’ve probably tried. They’re the kind I like best, of course.

      I have a stash of used plastic bags, which I carry to the store with me to put produce or bulk items in. Some things travel much better that way. Also plastic “tubs” (yogurt containers mostly) for bulk items.

      And to repeat a previous complaint: the store had a great program of sterilizing donated used containers for re-use in the the bulk department. The state shut it down, on the pretext (and yes, I think it’s a pretext) of the health code. Some lobbyist got to them (deduction). Plus, they refused to answer questions when I asked about it. The arrogance wa palpable – and doubly offensive. Still plan to make some trouble about that – collecting signatures on a petition. The governor is ultimately responsible, so it goes to her as well as to the department heads.

      And now, of course, some types of containers can’t be recycled. Makes me mad every time I put one in the garbage. Depending on foreign countries for such an essential function was archetypally stupid.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Oregoncharles, you are making me miss one of the great things about our former city…it’s co-op. It was really well operated and supported by customers. We counted among those buyers. It was also a nice group to have some social events, like a co-op fest once a year. My spouse was the volunteer newsletter photographer. We got to go on some fun shoots, like the ones to local organic farms in the area that sold to the store. When we moved it was expanding …added an organic cafe. Miss it. Here we have to make do with stores like Sprouts and Trader’s. And a limited farmer’s market. Have been on campaign to criticize all the plastic wrapping at Trader’s stores. Told them we don’t buy hardly any fresh produce cause that.

        Reply
  1. Otis B Driftwood

    Regarding the Mueller report, one politician who is clearly vindicated is Tulsi Gabbard. I’ve been donating in $1 increments to help get her to qualify for the upcoming debates. Her perspective is essential.

    Reply
    1. human

      As noted elsewhere here, the count is of unique _donors_. Please reach out to friends and family to help reach her requirement.

      Reply
      1. Otis B Driftwood

        Thanks for the clarification. I stand corrected: it’s individual donors, not number of donations.

        Reply
    2. dearieme

      The best by far. I keep saying that Trump should recruit her to his ticket.

      Then he could boast that the Republican ticket featured two Democrats and the Democrat ticket two Socialists. That would be fun.

      Reply
  2. timbers

    I don’t watch TV nor do I watch any of the large corporate media news stations like MSNBC, CNN, FOX, etc.

    I just work in my cube all day and sometimes pop my head out and volunteer a fact or 2 when I overhear colleagues talking about a topical subject that catches my interest.

    But reading about the reactions of the reporters/hosts on these outlets to Mueller’s report almost makes me want to check it out…

    Reply
      1. polecat

        When will the Seth Rich murder get a fair skeleton exposure ?? … because that whole wicked affair apparently has been airbrushed out of existence ! I believe that there is more to the ‘incident’ that just a simple ‘robbery gone bad’ ..

        Reply
  3. Brick

    Reading about Pesticides in the food chain makes me wonder about the effects of fungicides.
    We know that fungicides contain a lot of copper and this can have an effect of fish stocks. By limiting a fishes ability to smell and so locate food and avoid predators this may have contributed to the 50 percent decline in fish stocks since the 1970’s.Fish eat zooplankton which in turn eat phytoplankton and phytoplankton is the main way that carbon dioxide is absorbed in oceans.
    Blaming the 30 percent drop in world phytoplankton on fungicides would probably be a bit of a stretch. Mixing layer depth, oxygen levels and ocean over turning probably play a bigger part.It does however make me wonder if whole aspects of climate change are being over looked.

    Reply
    1. human

      Yes. Those with the knowledge of wisdom (wisdom of knowledge?) recognize that we have only scratched the surface of understanding this physical reality that is spaceship Earth. Rumsfields’ “known unknowns” to recount a current observation. One problem is having to research the past while it changes in front of our eyes (Roves’ observation.)

      Reply
    2. Cal2

      Lots of copper in car and truck brake shoes, now that asbestos is banned.
      No, this is not an apology for pesticide use. All of them should be banned, just like asbestos.

      Detail, the picture in the article shows pesticides being sprayed on strawberries. That’s bad enough. What’s worse is the Methyl Iodide, used to be Methyl Bromide, pumped into the soil, and then covered with black plastic. Gets into the water table so you can drink it, shower in it and make ice cubes with it as well.
      https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/toxic-rise-california-strawberry-180967934/

      Its purpose, kill everything in the soil, including worms, beneficial fungi and bacteria. Result, every single cell of the strawberry contains the new and improved poison. The little pits on the strawberry harbor the topically applied spray. Nice parfait to feed to your children.
      Go organic. Or, eat conventional, get cancer and other pesticide caused illnesses and die early.

      https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-11-16/new-study-strongly-suggests-eating-diet-organic-foods-can-lower-cancer-rates

      Reply
      1. , newcatty

        Cal2, absolutely agree with you. All pesticides and herbicides should be banned. But, the harsh and from my pov, your statement : “Nice parfait to feed your children” comes across as judgemental and arrogant. The reality is that much organic produce costs more than conventional produce. People, like my spouse and I can afford to buy organic produce. We also, have the literal time to spend on scouting the adds at five different grocery stores to find the best prices for each shopping trip.We can get to farmer’s market, too. In the big picture of economics in this country, there are many parents , or other primary caregivers of children, whom would find it of great hardship to buy organics. They are just getting by as it is and the ole saw: every little penny counts is true for them. Until there is a sea change in how food is grown and marketed to people then the majority of the people will be captive to big ag and grocery corporation… I know one single mom who’s struggles monthly to house, feed, clothe, provide transportation and quality of life, such as sport participation, a summer camp experience for her kids. She, like many moms, have non negotiable reasons for not moving to cheaper towns. Then the truly poor, have often dealt with hunger, here in our USA. My friend would love to buy organic strawberries, but at her available to store close to six bucks a container is out of reach. She only buys some fruit that is on sale. She can find organic lettuce at reasonable prices. Let’s save our harsh observations and judgements on those who deserve it. It’s sometimes easy to fall in victim blaming.

        Reply
        1. Cal2

          Agree as to cost. However, organic food has more nutrient density as its grown in soil richer in minerals and nutrients etc., therefore less of it by weight has higher levels of nutrition and tastes better, thus one eats less of it, than conventional, so it’s not that expensive as it might appear.

          Sick children caused by allergies from GMOs and illnesses by pesticides cost a lot in co pays, medicine and bills. Subtract that from a family budget and organic is probably cheaper than conventional.

          Reply
          1. newcatty

            Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Sure, organic food is all that. Pointing out illness bought on by a child eating poisonous and GMO food, as costing more in medical bills is not going to be an answer to families whom have to deal with immediate cost of living expenses. This may appear short sighted to some, but I’m thinking it is hard to understand the cold reality of choosing between high rents (Even when one has, relatively speaking a cheap and crummy place), expensive gas for the car, insurance for the car, high utility bills… could go on about basic costs of living for many Americans. Reminds me of the old saw ( not it’s changed) about low income elderly. Now, they don’t have to choose to pay co-pays for their prescribed medication and paying for food. If they can’t afford food then why aren’t they all on meals for wheels. Oh, wait…some live where there are not any programs, or, they may not financially qualify. Let them eat cat food and have their meds too.

            Reply
    3. Oregoncharles

      Hmm. Phytoplankton = plants. Every herbicide used ultimately washes into the ocean. Maybe a connection?

      And zooplankton are going the same way as the insects. Insecticides wash into the ocean, too.

      Reply
  4. Wukchumni

    A journey to the Disappointment islands BBC
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    That was a fine read from about as far away from the populated world as you can get, and did I tell you about the 4 headed palm tree there?

    The place to get away from it all in the USA is also in the South Pacific, far from shipping lanes, and Palmyra Atoll is it’s name. Less than 5 sq miles in size, it suffers from being only 30 feet above sea level, which could be curtains for paradise as the ocean rises, oh well-enjoy while you can’t anyway, as there are only a few dozen in residence and you need permission to come, plus getting there somehow. Friends worked for the Nature Conservancy for a few years, around the turn of the century.

    It’s so far from the world, that in the late 70’s, it was considered by the USA as a place to store nuclear waste, but never happened.

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

    What’s in a name…

    There’s Murderers Bay in NZ-named by Tasman, as 4 of his men were killed there by Maori in 1642. Kind of a bummer of a title for a place, later renamed Golden Bay.

    Reply
    1. Shonde

      I love that link. Maybe we should make it required reading for all who feel they need all the symbols of progress we currently live with (including the internet) to show what a great life is possible without all this “progress”. I hope these islands survive climate change ocean rising. They deserve survival since they have done next to nothing to contribute to climate change.

      Reply
  5. Livius Drusus

    Re: the Mueller report.

    While a defeat for the Democrats who now look rather silly, I don’t think this is a big win for Trump either. I doubt he will be able to make hay out of it because a lot of voters never cared in the first place. The only people who seemed to really care about the Mueller report were partisan Democrats who were going to vote against Trump anyway. I doubt the report was that big of an issue with independent voters, the people who will likely decide the election.

    Barring some big new issue like a new war, the 2020 election will probably come down to the state of the economy at the time and whoever wins the Democratic primary. If the Democrats put up another weak candidate like they did in 2016 and the economy is still goodish I think Trump will probably win.

    Reply
    1. toshiro_mifune

      I don’t think this is a big win for Trump either.

      Perhaps not for Trump but this certainly does give the conservative talking point about a ‘liberal biased media’ some actual evidence they can use to back it up.

      Reply
      1. toshiro_mifune

        I’m stealing this from a poster over on Slashdot;

        “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him

        “While the ball did not go through the goal posts, it clearly would have if the goal posts had been somewhere else instead.”

        Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            On the other hand, American censors have nothing on their former Soviet counterparts (when they existed).

            For that reason, many USians can freely criticize America (here, for example, surveillance or not) but not too many could with the USSR…not for too long.

            Reply
      2. jrs

        biased maybe, but where did anyone get the liberal idea from? Perhaps you misspoke and meant to type neo-liberal.

        Reply
    2. cnchal

      I caught a bit of a show called “Meet the Presstitutes” and on it was Donna Brazille and she helpfully reminded everyone that Trump called the Mueller investigation a witch hunt one hundred and eighty three times.

      Trump wins big, because it’s true. Might as well change his handle to Teflon Don.

      Bernie or bust! (bust = four more years of Trump)

      Reply
      1. Carla

        Bernie has worn me out with daily begging for more donations. Not smart to piss off your supporters this early in the campaign.

        Reply
        1. Shonde

          Just got another email asking for another donation. This one was better since it spelled out the upcoming FEC fundraising deadline coming to a close. I felt it was more honest. Maybe someone in Bernie’s campaign is reading NC and heard us.

          Reply
        2. Mark Gisleson

          Just tell them to cut back on the emails. I did this and they hardly bother me now despite my having been on multiple lists. Bottom of each email has links to change your filter.

          Reply
      2. Grant

        Not hard to fight off things when your opposition offers next to nothing on policy, no alternatives, is thoroughly corrupt itself and doesn’t focus their critiques on policy as a result. If there was a party in this system with power and a party also worth a damn, his budget calling for massive cuts to popular and effective programs would doom him. A good party wouldn’t struggle to point out the ways in which this economy is not doing well at all for working people and the poor, despite some superficial macroeconomic numbers that were improving years before he ever took office. I have no doubt that Trump has business dealings with interests around the world, that he is involved (among other things) in money laundering. But, those in power are just as corrupt, they have benefited from many of those same interests (broadly at least) and so they don’t focus on his actual corruption. That corruption has also made Hoyer, Pelosi and Schumer rich and powerful. So, if it isn’t policy, and it isn’t those things, what do you have left? Russia, Russia, Russia! The never Trump folks on the right, they agree with him on core policy questions, so what is their beef? His personal conduct, the fact that he is an ignorant buffoon. They would prefer horribly destructive right wing policies with a smile and some class. Is this what the USSR looked like in the late 80’s?

        Reply
        1. jrs

          Yea Trump is also apparently now going to run on cutting Social Security and Medicare as that’s the budget he wants. You would think this might make him unpopular … You would think …

          Reply
          1. Grant

            Yeah, but then again, who is in charge of the other party? Hoyer, Pelosi, Schumer, Perez, organizations like the DNC and the DCCC. What does he have to fear if that is his opposition? If those people get who they want nominated, he will almost certainly win by lots of people just not voting. Happened in 2016. Those people didn’t learn a thing either, or at least don’t feel the need to change anything or to step down.

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              Well, Obama tried to bring in the Grand Bargain to gut Social Security and Medicare Benefits but failed – fortunately. Trump is exactly the sort to try again and the Democrats strike me as exactly the sort to roll over for him for nothing in return. Well, except for contributions from their donors that is. You would think that with the worse of Russiagate gone that people like Pelosi could gear up and go to war against such a measure. You would think.

              Reply
    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s a win for Trump. Like running against Hillary and by extension Bill, Trump is inured from all kinds of criticism, and now he can make promises about being hamstrung by “elites.”

      Except for Sanders etc, it’s also another clear narrative about how Team Blue is the party of nothing.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        party of nothing

        For a long time. And as the saying goes you can’t beat something with nothing although it may be true, as in Obama’s case, that you can beat nothing with nothing. We need some more parties–a third, maybe a fourth or fifth.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          In regards to 2008, the Presidency was inevitable. There were campaign operations in each state. Except for HRC, the personality of the Presidential nominee was inconsequential. Narratively, there was a promise of “change” along with vague promises of raising taxes on the wealthy, universal healthcare, etc even if voters didn’t follow the specifics. With HRC in 2016, it was more “shut up and obey.”

          2012 happened after a Summer of Republicans being more brazen (openly) than usual about preventing minorities from voting. As a result, there was considerable moral imperative to vote combined with Obama’s promise of how he simply needed to be reelected to morph into a good President.

          Reply
      2. Darius

        Seinfeld was the show about nothing. The Democrats are the party about nothing. Worked wonders in 2002, 2004, 2010, 2014, and 2016. “No! We’re not scary liberals. It’s OK! We don’t believe in anything! So don’t worry!”

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The Atlantic Council…you mean the people who are deciding what news is allowed to be shown to Facebook’s 1.2 billion users?
          Left, right, and center: should rage, rage against the dying of the light

          Reply
          1. Svante Arrhenius

            Maybe some would, if there were any way for them to access the truth, if Google, FaceBook, Twitter sends them to frolicking kitten land or RussiaRussiaRussia? I wonder what difference it would make; given PropRNot killing all the blogs David Brock ignored as too small to…

            OOPS, back to the drawing board!
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kgBxfHdb4OU

            Reply
  6. zagonostra

    >Gilets Jaunes. “French President Emmanuel Macron has told a newspaper he hopes a 73-year old yellow vest protester who suffered serious head injuries after being charged by police in Nice, gains “wisdom” over the incident.”

    Wisdom!? What a sniveling coward this Macron. He knows nothing of wisdom, he is a self-aggrandizing sycophant to power. I salute this 73 year old courageous protester, if only more people in this country could demonstrate such wisdom.

    Reply
    1. prodigalson

      I’m a little surprised Macron’s continued stance of “let them eat cake” is still flying in France. I don’t get why he has ANY support in the country.

      Reply
      1. Bugs Bunny

        From my point of view here, a lot of his support is pure class hatred and Parisian navel-gazing and then there’s a current of police state worship that is a knee-jerk reaction from most people in Center Right to Far Right. So that accounts for 40% or so of voters.

        Reply
      2. Kurt Sperry

        I have a friend in Paris. Single, retired, liberal, owns his own flat in the 18th, loves immigration, thinks the GJs are malcontents who blame others for their poor decisions.

        Reply
    2. David

      What Macron actually said in his interview, taken as a whole, was less clumsy and insensitive than this short extract makes it appear, although it still makes him look arrogant and condescending.
      The demonstration was an illegal one, which was taking place in an area where demonstrations had been banned under measures introduced after the violence of the Saturday before. The woman concerned had come specifically to protest against this ban, and remained there after three warnings to the crowd to disperse. When the police charged the crowd fled, and she tripped over some tram lines and hurt herself badly. Whether you think that a frail 73-year old should have gone anywhere near that crowd or not is a matter of personal opinion. I wouldn’t have done so out of common prudence, and, as a long-time activist, she must have known what French demonstrations can easily turn into.
      This is Macron all over, really. Arrogant little git that he is, he can’t resist lecturing others in a condescending manner, and usually ruining what might otherwise be an acceptable comment.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        A leader would have gone to visit that injured lady or at least have sent a high-ranking deputy do so on his behalf – with a train of media in their wake at least. Instead France has got a technocrat and the arrogance that goes along with it.

        Reply
      2. Annieb

        “frail 73 year old”. Not necessarily. Macron sounds kinda ageist. Anyone can trip and fall. Serious protestors would of course have ignored the ban and the warnings. They will continue to do so. That doesn’t give Macron any political cover, nor does it justify violent police actions. My crystal ball from across the Atlantic says that Macron is gone after the next election.

        Reply
          1. newcatty

            Yeah, but that proves nothing when it comes to his opinions or bias towards people considered to be elderly. I have a feeling his older wife brought more to the match than her “wisdom”.

            Reply
  7. remmer

    “Ocasio-Cortez: Removing Trump from office won’t fix country’s problems”

    So glad to see this. Was very disappointed yesterday — after seeing NYT and WaPo headlines admitting that Mueller found there was no Russiagate collusion — to get a fundraising email from Ilhan Omar saying “There is overwhelming evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to help his presidential campaign win in 2016,” and demanding that Barr release the entire Mueller report. Then I got one from Bernie Sanders that skirted Russiagate and also wanted me to add my signature to a demand that the entire report be released. Tulsi Gabbard says it should be released, too, but she played it down in a one-line tweet. She and AOC just got themselves another donor.

    Reply
      1. trainreq

        Not sure how you think she changed her position. She essentially said two separate things. She would vote to impeach trump because that is what her constituents wanted. She said that impeachment wouldn’t fix what’s wrong with the country.

        Not a position change in my view.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          She won’t try educating her constituents?

          It is a question that comes up often – does a leader, a representative always do what the polls say?

          Reply
        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          And if her constituents wanted war with Iran or Roundup in their Cheerios? Please. A leader’s job is to lead. Their job is to use their head and ask questions: is impeachment A.) even possible? or B.) incredibly stupid, distracting, divisive, and highly likely to fail?

          Reply
  8. integer

    https://twitter.com/AIPAC/status/1109948025840037889

    @LeaderHoyer “I stand with Israel, proudly and unapologetically. So when someone accuses American supporters of dual loyalty, I say: accuse me.” #AIPAC2019

    Pro-Israel: Top 20 Recipients in 2018 (Members of the House)

    12. Hoyer, Steny H (D-MD) – $106,246

    Urge Your Members of Congress to Support the U.S.-Israel Relationship AIPAC

    Join thousands of pro-Israel activists from across the country by adding your voice and urging your members of Congress to support the U.S.-Israel relationship and stand with Israel—America’s closest ally in the region—by supporting these bipartisan pro-Israel issues.

    These efforts include: supporting $3.3 billion in security assistance to Israel and $500 million in joint U.S.-Israel missile defense funding in fiscal year 2020, supporting efforts to bolster the U.S.-Israel strategic partnership and opposing the boycotts of Israel.

    Reply
    1. WJ

      But I thought the notion of “dual loyalty” was an “anti Semitic trope”?!

      Also, is Hoyer saying that he is *not* “loyal” to Israel but rather so courageous in his support of Israel that he is willing to brave the accusation?

      Or is he saying that he really is “loyal” to Israel? Wouldn’t that be, like, kind of a problem?

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        @LeaderHoyer “I stand with Israel, proudly and unapologetically. So when someone accuses American supporters of dual loyalty, I say: accuse me.” #AIPAC2019

        —-

        What he says here does not seem to say he is ‘loyal’ to Israel. It’s just a bland, formulaic ‘I stand with xxx, proudly and unapoletically.’

        For example, “I stand with Britain, in her darkest hour, after Dunkirk, proudly, etc.” or something like that.

        And he sets up a trap for his critics (who have justifiable criticism, perhaps elsewhere, with other statements, or actual deeds…but not here, not with this particular statement), for them to say he has dual loyalty, based on this particular entrapping statement.

        Reply
    2. witters

      “Join thousands of pro-Israel activists from across the country by adding your voice and urging your members of Congress to support the U.S.-Israel relationship and stand with Israel—America’s closest ally in the region”

      So the US is in the Middle East?

      Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    “Hunt for Gatwick drone saw police blow £400,000 on bungled investigation”

    Maybe not such a waste of money if they learned how to go after drones properly. Remember that drones have been used several times to attack that Russian airbase in Syria which the Russians quickly learned to deal with. Those drones were actually sent by a nation state but were disguised to make it look like they were from a bunch of rag-tag Jihadists. Now image a bunch of real jihadists launching several explosive laden drones into the path of a jetliner as it was taking off and was fully laden with fuel. Using man-pads to do that job are expensive, bulky and difficult to smuggle into a country but a bunch of drones could, after one attack (even if not successful) create absolute chaos for airports around the world.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      The potential mating of some sort of gun & drone gives me the willies being in the hands of a ‘video game’ voyeur shooting from far afield, more than some schmoe with an ‘assault weapon’.

      Reply
            1. WobblyTelomeres

              Wonder how they do behavioral reinforcement, what with all the spinning propellers macerating talons…

              Experimenter: “Well, that didn’t work.”

              Reply
      1. newcatty

        I know. Thought my willies were raised when those Boeing planes went down. Drones in the hands of someone other than our former smart president is just scary.

        Reply
      2. WobblyTelomeres

        Handgun + Drone – It is actually fairly straightforward. Many high school students could put one together. Probably quite a few junior high school students. Give 4 of them a year, and they could create and integrate a ballistics computer into the mix. Be afraid.

        Have you seen what is being accomplished in high school robotics programs? Ten years ago, I took 20 robotics students on a field trip to a manufacturer that built IED inspection robots used in a sandy overseas theater. After the VP-Eng gave a demonstration, I asked the students how many of them could build one. They *all* raised their hands.

        Reply
  10. Wukchumni

    Sure, there has to be disappointment for those invested in the donkey show’s coming & goings, as Russia Russia Russia was backwards, Aissur you.

    Reply
  11. Brindle

    re: Bernie in California

    The Sanders vs Harris in the CA primary is likely going to get brutal. Harris has the full CA Dem machine behind her but Sanders is developing a good ground game there, Should be entertaining.

    –John Nichols
    @NicholsUprising

    The @BernieSanders
    crowds keep getting bigger. This is a significant political development. He is generating the sort of enthusiasm—in a key state: California—that is usually seen on the eve of a major primary. If Sanders sustains this energy, it changes every 2020 calculation.—

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Bernie had better be on top of his game here or else California might screw him over like they did in 2016. I think that a Jimmy Dore video mentioned a figure of 900,000 uncounted votes which would have included a lot of votes for Bernie. If push came to shove again, I think that Bernie would do an Al Gore and step aside for the “winner” instead of fighting it out. Here is what it was like voting in California back in 2016-

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/09/where-are-the-missing-california-primary-votes/

      Reply
    2. PlutoniumKun

      One thing I hope is that Bernie learns a lesson from Obama – he devoted a significant amount of resources to the blanket use of lawyers in strategic areas to ensure the Republicans couldn’t get up to their usual games in key states.

      Bernie needs trained operatives in every single voting facility to ensure an adequate record is kept and to react far more aggressively immediately than he did in his last run. It would also be useful if he could fund proper on-the-day polling to identify any electronic tampering of voting boxes, although this would probably be beyond his budget.

      Reply
      1. nycTerrierist

        x1000

        and RevKev, too. Indeed we must remember those uncounted CA votes in 2016.
        This should not go down the memory hole!

        Reply
      2. Cal2

        Someone needs to bird dog the corrupt California secretary of state, Alex Padilla.
        He worked for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
        https://www.pe.com/2016/05/16/decision-2016-alex-padilla-headlining-hillary-clinton-fundraiser-in-riverside/

        His ?deliberate? or just incompetent instructions to the 58 different county registrars of voters caused hundreds of thousands of Independent, Decline to State and party switching voters, most likely to vote for Bernie, to get provisional, wrong, uncounted or shredded ballots. After Trump’s election, Padilla, part of the California Hispanic Democratic Machine got to run again and surprise! Got “elected.” Don’t let him pull another fraud.
        Here’s a video about it:
        “Uncounted”
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB3SWBDYung

        or
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5ugmNoanx8

        Reply
        1. Shonde

          Definitely true if you read the Intercept link regarding Sirota. Use to love the Atlantic many years ago but boy have they sunk to subterranean levels. Looks like if Bernie can no longer be ignored as in 2016, then it is time for “fake news”.

          Reply
  12. PlutoniumKun

    Fuck The Vessel The Baffler. Kate Wagner on Hudson Yards.

    Its great that Kate Wagner (of McManson fame) is getting a lot more writing gigs, I love her no-nonsense approach (and she is also very knowledgable).

    The Vessel has invited nearly universal vitriol, even amongst the politest architecture critics. It is an object lesson teaching us that, in our neoliberal age of surveillance capitalism—an era where the human spirit is subjected to a regime of means testing and digital disruption, and a cynical view of the city as an engine of real estate prevails—architecture, quite frankly, sucks.

    In Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment, Henri Lefebvre conceived of architecture as a specific level of social practice, on which the reality of everyday life emerges to suggest new, better possibilities. He writes:

    There is no thought without a project, no project without exploration—through the imagination—of a possible, a future. . . . There is no social space without an unequally distributed stock of possibles. Not only is the real not separated from the possible but, in a sense, it is defined by it and, therefore, by a part of utopia.

    In short, the Vessel is a vessel of its time, and its sheer shittiness as architecture and urbanism, itself a small part of the bigger tyranny of capitalism, at least invites us to dream of something, anything, better than this.

    Its seems a bit pointless arguing about urbanism in New York, a city always shaped by the ruthless use of capital, but the Hudson Yards seems a step too far even for that city – its probably more influenced by the truly awful mega projects in Asia than the richness of much older NY urbanism. But the history of architecture/urban design is that sometimes you need something truly terrible to wake people up and swing the pendulum back to more human scale developments, and maybe this is it.

    Reply
    1. Svante Arrhenius

      We’d kinda hoped it was the YOOJ nuclear powered bug zapper/ blender, Howard Roark had designed, before Gen Smedley Butler foiled his prescient plans to cull out the wriggling maggots suppurating up from the NJT commuter lines polluting Penn Station?

      Moderation? What, you can’t say “Smedley,” now?

      Reply
    2. James Graham

      At the time, the elite of Paris hated Eiffel’s new tower.

      The Vessel, too, will be judged by future generations.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        One critic of the newly-built Eiffel Tower said that he spent every day atop of it. The reason was that it was the only place in Paris where you were not forced to look at it wherever you went. But the Vessel is still crap. If they wanted it to be cool, they could have had the top level built out of hardened glass so that you would be walking on what looks like nothing and with a clear view to the ground.

        Reply
    3. Jeremy Grimm

      The buildings on going up in Hudson Yards are most remarkably ugly. Every time I walk there I’m reminded of the cityscape in Futurama. The Vessel makes a fitting decoration and monument.

      I am disappointed the Vessel doesn’t include a channel with giant ball-bearing-like heavy balls that visitors might push to the top. And from the top the balls would roll down to the bottom of the Vessel to await someone to roll them up again. It could make a nice toy for adult play after a long long day working in their cubicles.

      Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “Shipwreck on Nile vindicates Greek historian’s account after 2,500 years”

    Great article this. I read Herodotus some time ago and it sounds like the memoir of a tourist going to far away places. When there is a lot of doubt expressed about what he saw on his travels, the same was true of the travels of Marco Polo as it sounded so incredible. In fact, on his deathbed, Marco was encouraged to say that his book was just fiction whereupon he declared: “I did not tell half of what I saw.” I expect that it was the same with Herodotus. The 23 lines that he uses to describe this ship are so specific, it sounds like that he actually traveled in one and described what he saw while examining the ship on his travels. There are whole classes of ships from the ancient to the medieval world that we only know about from a small picture or a mention of them in some records but this description was pretty damn specific.

    Reply
    1. Another Scott

      It’s not just ships, I was reading something a few months ago about the hoplites. Although we know a great deal about them, there are many details about their equipment and fighting methods that are still unknown. What stands out was the rope inside the hoplites’ shields; we don’t know why it’s there. And this is for one of the better documented parts of Greek history. Once you get to descriptions of other objects, people or places outside of the literary sources (mainly Greek and Latin) it becomes even more problematic.

      Reply
    2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Glad to see you’re a fellow fan of Herodotus; ditto Marco Polo. I’ve also enjoyed Ibn Battuta.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Still got my copy of Herodotus in my bookcase alongside Pliny, Plutarch, Livy, Juvenal and the rest of the gang but never heard of Ibn Battuta. Haven’t even caught up with Ahmad ibn Fadlan yet either. Just downloaded Battuta’s book so will have to read it soon. Thanks for the recommendation. It must have been an amazing, if dangerous world to travel through and which you never get to hear about except for the pilgrimage to Mecca.
        Heard a great story about the pilgrimage to Mecca in this era. A group would come together to make the trip which might take months or even years. So the first night they would camp only a few miles away. That way, if anybody forgot to pack something important, there was a last chance to quickly run back to the village to pick it up before they were too far away. Loved that little bit of useful history there.

        Reply
    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Speaking of Marco Polo, the SIlk Road he travelled on was made possible with the hegemony of the Mongols.

      And still now, there are debates about the exaggerations and errors in his book (see Wikipedia, for example).

      I am curious if the Italian leaders think Italy is the new Marco Polo of One Belt One Road.

      Reply
    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There is a similar story with Chinese archaeology.

      Books in the Han dynasty (my recollection…could be years shortly before or after that) mentioned who ancient Chinese used to hunt with bows and arrows, where they attached a string to each arrow.

      By that time, no one had seen anything like that, and since then, the account had been discounted, until, i believe, the 1970’s, or thereabout (after the founding of the PRC, for sure), when gilt bronze piece was discovered in Szechuan depicting hunting scenes where archers shot with string-attached arrows at birds overhead.

      Those arrows would be deemed ‘reusable,’ whether the target was hit or missed.

      Reply
    1. a different chris

      We’ll see, but it’s unlikely and will be short-lived. Where are the “fence sitters” this change would come from?

      It’s not like this is going to make people who were against him change their minds – “Well I liked his taxes and domestic policy but could not countenance the Russia puppetry”, or those supporting him to now say “Ok I needed to devote all my attention to Russia!Russia!Russia!, I never found any truth in it, but now that’s over my research on other issues is showing that I can not support him.”

      Welcome to a hopelessly polarized society.

      Reply
      1. Geo

        Welcome to a hopelessly polarized society.

        Was talking with my neighbor yesterday. She’s an LA county public school teacher and avid Trumo supporter. She was complaining about the increase in her taxes this year. The, in the next breath, warmed me about the socialists that are running for president and how they’ll take all our money.

        Yeah, you are so right. Political polarization makes the citizenry completely unable to see beyond their own bias.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          People believe what they’re told to believe, here in Australia we have a news/comedy show and they have a segment: This Is What You Think!

          The fifth column is the most important pillar of a civil society IMO

          Reply
  14. Shonde

    I hope the snake removal company who did the work in the Scroll.In link does catch and release. When I was living in California the local fire department was in charge of rattlesnake removal from your property and would come out at no charge, catch the snake and place it in a container with a top and then release it in a wild area.

    Reply
    1. Craig H.

      It’s off the I-20 east of Abilene TX. If they released them it was into one of the areas that has rattlesnake hunt festivals in the spring.

      The Cruelty Of Rattlesnake Roundups BY TODD AUTRY

      Rattlesnakes are gorgeous and there is no such thing as a man-eating rattlesnake but you probably want to avoid rattlesnakes and rattlesnake roundups. If you google on rattlesnake hunt there are pages of the things. Also very popular in Oklahoma.

      I once attended a presentation by this guy which was about an hour and fascinating and he brought a live rattlesnake in a glass box as one of his displays. He said the majority of rattlesnake bite victims in the United States in the last ten years (this was in the 00’s) were pet rattlesnake owners who goofed up.

      I kept scrolling on the scrollin link and there was an article/promotion about new MG’s. They are still making MG’s? So I googled and they sold a couple hundred thousand MG’s in China last year. I wonder what the newest MG registered in my state is. I bet it is not from this millennium. Jay Leno surely has one of these.

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        The MG marque is effectively extinct. The name and badge was bought up by a Chinese company. Anyone foolish enough to buy one of them will get a cheap and nasty Lingang made car with a nice looking badge (they are nominally designed in Longbridge but I don’t think anyone really believes that).

        Reply
        1. Duck1

          Don’t know if MG was Lucas, but wasn’t Lucas the Prince of Darkness, electrics.
          Popups interfering with comments

          Reply
  15. Summer

    RE: Human Contact Is A Luxury Good

    “Nomad Health co-founder and CEO Dr. Alexi Nazem says he wants to bring the gig economy to health care. His company’s set out to do so by allowing doctors and nurses (in certain regions) to team up with hospitals that need medical professionals on a short-term, freelance basis. And now, Nomad is taking the digital health-gig economy hybrid philosophy a step further by expanding into the world of telemedicine and virtual doctor visits.”

    It is so obviously going to be for the poorly insured and uninsured.

    To get human care will cost more. Of course that is the plan.

    For financial advice on retirement funds, after the initial reeling in, any human advice calls for a having a six figure minimum…just having an account is no longer enough.

    And the government’s enthrallment with big tech as a cost cutter should put something else in minds…

    They should talk about how the wealthy are having their online privacy maintained.
    (Though getting the hell off social media is the first step that is free).

    Reply
    1. WJ

      Bernie has always been unwilling to openly confront propaganda regarding US military, foreign policy, intelligence agency interests. He will advocate for the minimally just position in such cases–no to Iraq war, no to US military coup in Venezuela, etc.–without directly calling out the lies on which the contrary position is based. Whether this is due to his relative ignorance about /attention to US foreign policy (as some argue) or is the unspoken agreement he must abide by in order to forward his redistributive domestic policy (as others argue) remains to be seen.

      I am beginning to think it’s the latter, partly because the abusive treatment that has been reserved for Tulsi Gabbard tells you a lot about which issues you are *not* allowed to touch in 2020. And those issues are *not* domestic ones, but pertain to the MIC and US imperialism.

      Reply
      1. Geo

        Agreed. I feel too that he is trying to play smart knowing he’s already rocking the boat a lot and to go after finance and war would banish him into the bin where Kucinich was tossed.

        My hope is he’s “choosing his battles wisely” as much as I’d personally prefer more pushback on foreign policy.

        Reply
      2. Gary O.

        Yesterday at his rally in San Francisco, Bernie got interrupted by the 17,000 when he stated, “We are not going to invest in never-ending wars.” The crowd began to chant, “No More Wars.” Bernie tipped his hat and let them go on for over ten seconds (one of the longest of the afternoon) until continuing with his speech. (at 48:08: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8EM1Uarzvc)

        Reply
      3. CraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazyChris

        I think it’s the latter … it would be total gaffe-city for Bernie to say it like this but our universal warfare-for-all system is the most socialistic sector of our economy. It operates on MMT (skip paygo and print the $$$ as necessary), has socialized medicine (VA, such as it is), and two job guarantees – the one where you enlist and the one that farms construction of war materiel to all the congressional districts.

        Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “F**k The Vessel”

    So if you take a foto on that staircase to where exactly, the owners get to use it for free? That there is neoliberalism for you. I took a look at lots of fotos of this thing at Google images but somehow the whole thing seems so…pointless. The only way that I can describe it is as vanity architecture. It’s not even beautiful nor does it seem functional. That’s $200 million down the tubes in order to massage a few egos. It wasn’t even made in America. It was constructed in Italy and was shipped over in 16 different shipments to be assembled in New York. That is one reason why it was so expensive. When I think about it, it is kinda sad as well. All our technological prowess and the best that they can come up is a hollowed out bee-hive? Seriously? More on this ugly piece of architecture at-

    https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/mar/19/hudson-yards-vessel-thomas-heatherwick

    Reply
    1. ChristopherJ

      That is just so British. Have to see the video of the architect, he even has a cravat. ‘Just want to be the best’.

      thanks Kev – stairs to nowhere. The Joke’s on NY, I reckon

      Reply
        1. Duck1

          Can we fit an escher comment in here some how? Not to praise teh shwarmah.
          (Getting intrusive popups from the bottom while posting)

          Reply
  17. Summer

    RE: Russiagate

    It hinged on lingering Cold War fears of an entity that no longer exists: U.S.S.R.
    And set the stage for more debate about the scourges of “socialism” or “communism” while the overall macro econ environment is ramping up into full blown fascist economy.

    This article has parts that describe a fascist economy without ever using the word. The overall outcomes, no matter how you slice interest rates or believe how they work, all add up to government as a corporate service.

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/25/the-capitulation-of-jerome-powell-and-the-fed/

    “What’s becoming increasingly clear is that in the 21st century capitalist economies—the US and others—are having increasing difficulty generating profits and real investment from normal business activity. Consequently, they are turning to their Capitalist States to subsidize their ‘bottom line’. Central banks have become a major engine of such subsidization of profits and capital incomes…”

    Reply
  18. Wukchumni

    Exclusive: Aztec war sacrifices found in Mexico may point to elusive royal tomb Reuters
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A neat story…

    Our war sacrifices will be found in the guise of a post-dated check in the tomb of the unknown war, in 2894.

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Not so sure about that. If HRC were President, it wouldn’t have surprised me if the U. S. had sent troops to Ukraine and filled up the Black Sea with warships. And let’s not forget no-fly zones in Syria.

      Reply
      1. Geo

        Not to mention her bragging about the rightwing coup in Honduras and telling us we had to deport those refugee children back to the violence and strife there to “send a message”.

        She’s the one who fanned the flames of this new Cold War (do flames start a “cold” war?) as this old article reminds us: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/30/russia-ukraine-war-kiev-conflict

        Just because Trump has embraced neocons like Bolton doesn’t erase the fact that Clinton was cut from the same cloth and encouraged the worst foreign policy decisions of the past few decades.

        Reply
    2. Pat

      I don’t think you can make that assumption, considering Clinton’s stated foreign policy position and her obviously war based incompetence as Secretary of State. Might even have happened sooner.

      Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      I read that the commander of that Russian detachment is Colonel General Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of the Main Staff of the Ground Forces – First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Land Forces of Russia which sounds pretty high up the tree. I am guessing that they there as a trip wire so I wonder what the Russian heard about Trump’s intentions that made them send a detachment there.

      Reply
  19. Summer

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47688711/

    “Two Russian military planes landed in Venezuela’s main airport on Saturday, reportedly carrying dozens of troops and large amounts of equipment.

    The planes were sent to “fulfil technical military contracts”, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported.

    Javier Mayorca, a Venezuelan journalist, wrote on Twitter that he saw about 100 troops and 35 tonnes of equipment offloaded from the planes…”

    We’ll see how this report pans out, but “Russia!Russia!Russia!” is going to be blasted louder than ever in old and new ways.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      There seem to be some confused reports out there. Some are jumping to the conclusion that the cargo planes are carrying S-300’s, but Venezuela already has two S-300VM batteries in one battalion and the ones seen at the airport are probably the existing ones intended on protecting whatever is been flown in. They are specifically designed to protect against ballistic and cruise missile threats – in other words, from a US attack.

      But its pretty clear that the Russian arrival is timed to send a message. The manner of the deployment is more significant than whatever is in those boxes.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        This seems to be a significant moment in history.

        My guess is, underneath the surface, a lot of people are reacting.

        Reply
        1. PlutoniumKun

          The only bright spot is that Trump now doesn’t have to prove that he isn’t Putins puppet. Lets hope he remembers that.

          And lets hope that it dawns on him that Bolton and whoever it is persuaded him to go hard on Maduro has led to him looking stupid and handing yet another strategic victory for Russia.

          Reply
  20. kgw

    While out walking just before dawn a few days ago, I noticed a large bird kiting above the water of Bolsa Chica Lagoon in SoCal. After a few more circles, it floated down gently, dove into the water, and popped up with a large fish in its talons. Ospreys are so cool!

    Reply
  21. Daryl

    > Legalized Marijuana Gives Hiring Managers a Headache WSJ

    Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but it seems like the problem here is not legalized marijuana but rather that they’ve added a hiring requirement that is both onerous and unrelated to fitness for the job.

    Reply
    1. prodigalson

      Back in solitary confinement…again. That’s the same schtick they tried on Manning the first time during the initial prison sentence. Them doing it again is obviously both payback to Manning for daring to speak out and another attempt at intimidation to break before elite will and help scuttle Assange.

      A nation of gangsters posing as a country.

      Reply
  22. Iapetus

    “Trump Is Going To Repeat This Until November 2020. Thanks, MSNBC.”

    Ugh. Hopefully the Democrats can get over this Russia silliness, and maybe focus on more verifiable instances of corruption.

    The Kushner family has a venture capital firm called Thrive Capital which is run by Jared’s 33 year old brother Joshua Kushner, and Jared Weinstein who for three years served as President George W. Bush’s body man. These two young men currently run billions in venture capital money at Thrive, but have no prior experience in this industry. Just last October, Thrive raised an additional $1 billion from investors and there are questions about the source of these new funds. On the investments side, Thrive Capital holds a number of significant stakes in startup companies that Saudi backed Softbank has coincidentally provided with billions in early-stage private equity funding over the past two years. Things are apparently so good at Thrive that Josh recently bought a private jet, and a stake in an NBA basketball team.

    My guess is the Trump family’s share of this enterprise flows through Ivanka, who is legally entitled to at least half of her husbands share of Thrive Capital.

    Reply
    1. nippersmom

      If the Democrats try to press the corruption by Trump and his associates, they open the door on the corruption by the Clintons and their associates, including that money-laundering operation known as the Clinton Foundation.

      Reply
      1. Geo

        My favorite theory of the whole Russiagate thing is that Trump has been groomed by Putin for years to be an asset. Given the Clinton/media “pied piper” strategy of boosting Trump in the GOP primaries does that mean they were working for Putin or were they just “useful idiots”?

        Reply
  23. Susan the other`

    AOC has some advice for parents. Jacobin. My first daughter is my heart and I love her through eternity. My second daughter is the daughter of my regret. I know her. My third daughter is Alexandria. She is the daughter of my hope. She lucked out and has the sweep of history behind her… Alexandria is never to be ignored.

    Reply
  24. Geo

    I out of words after reading this one…

    Robert Johnston, the former Marine captain and cybersecurity expert who investigated the Russian hack into the Democratic National Committee’s emails, told MSNBC on Monday that nothing short of “armed conflict” would stop future attacks.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/03/nothing-short-armed-conflict-will-stop-russian-attacks-us-elections-new-normal-dnc-hack-investigator/

    They just won’t back down from this charade.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *