Links 3/27/19

Today’s Chernobyl Current Affairs (UserFriendly). From late 2018. A great piece.

Vintage photographs of Indochina War on display Asia Times (J-LS)

“We Are in Deep Trouble”: Carbon Emissions Break Record in Devastating Global Setback Washington Post (David L)

Nearly all Bitcoin trades are fake, apparently MIT Technology Review (David L)

Bill That Would Restore Net Neutrality Moves Forward Despite Telecom’s Best Efforts To Kill It Vice

Report: European Parliament Screwed Up Their Chance to Amend Copyright Directive By Voting Wrong Gizmodo (J-LS)

How Google warped the hyperlink Wired

Maybe NC should add a Style feature?

Are we close to solving the puzzle of consciousness? BBC (David L)

EBOLA CRISIS: Outbreaks hit 1,000 cases as 600 killed – medical centres ATTACKED Express (J-LS)

The amateur sleuth who searched for a body – and found one BBC. Get a cup of coffee. This is quite the story.

North Korea

Trump Tries To Undo North Korea Sanctions – Gets Sabotaged By His Own Staff Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)


What Britain looks like after Brexit Reaction (guurst). Grit your teeth.

Brexit: Petition to revoke Article 50 to be debated next week BBC

The $16m New York penthouse fit for a UK civil servant Guardian (Summer). Seven bedrooms? How will the Government bury the prostitutes in its budget? Entertainment? Negotiation support?

Chagos and the Dark Soul of the British Labour Party Craig Murray (boz). This is a meaty and important piece, and I confess to having only skimmed it due to coming across it well after midnight. I imagine Colonel Smithers will have a lot to say.


Pathological Deceit: The NYT Inverts Reality on Venezuela’s Cuban Doctors FAIR (UserFriendly)


How the Israel Lobby Got its Start Consortiumnews

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

EXCLUSIVE: Ecuador Imprisons US Journalist In Room As Ambassador Tells Assange to ‘Shut up’ and Accept Spying Gateway Pundit (Chuck L)

Microsoft: Windows 10 devices open to ‘full compromise’ from Huawei PC driver ZDNet

FTC Tells ISPs To Disclose Exactly What Information They Collect On Users and What It’s For TechCrunch

Trump Transition

House fails to override Trump veto on border wall The Hill

Trump signs executive order to protect the US from a ‘debilitating’ EMP attack Business Insider

Trump Administration Dims Rule On Energy Efficient Lightbulbs NPR

Betsy DeVos grilled in Congress over proposed elimination of Special Olympics funding NBC (Kevin W). Mean but why is that surprising?

SCOTUS Hears Oral Argument in Partisan Gerrymandering Cases National Conference of State Legislatures (UserFriendly)


Russiagate implodes: Aaron Maté buries the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory Greyzone Project, YouTube (pjay)

There’s no such country as Russia Sam Kriss (JMM)

Rachel Maddow, the left’s powerhouse on cable, won’t let the Mueller probe go. Washington Post (J-LS)

Predictable, but worth noting:

Green New Deal

Green New Deal backed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fizzles out in the Senate as Dems accuse GOP of putting on a ‘stunt’ vote CNBC (Kevin W)

Green New Deal Voted Down by Senate, but Activists Aren’t Deterred Real News

Omar requests ‘accountability’ for GOP lawmaker who quoted Hitler on House floor The Hill (UserFriendly)


2020 has its candidate for people who hate politicians Washington Post (UserFriendly)

Mike Gravel rates Democratic Party opponents YouTube. UserFriendly: “Brilliant from 2008!!!!!”

Obama Warns Democrats About Costs of Left-Wing Policies: Report SplinterNews (UserFriendly)

Rockland County Declares Measles State of Emergency, Bans Unvaccinated Minors From Public Spaces NBC (furzy, J-LS)

Top Chicago prosecutor taking heat for dropping charges against ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett NBC (J-LS)

Puerto Rico faces food-stamp crisis as Trump privately vents about federal aid to Hurricane Maria-battered island Washington Post (Kevin W)

British Airways accidentally sent a plane to Scotland instead of Germany — and it turns out flights getting lost is more common than you think The Insider (Kevin W)

BA flight lands in Edinburgh instead of Düsseldorf by mistake BBC (guurst)

Southwest Boeing 737 Max makes emergency landing at Orlando airport Associated Press

Boeing 737 Simulator Tests Show Pilots Had Just Seconds to Override Sensor Error Sputnik. Kevin W: “Still reminds me of this:”

UPS Is Using Drones To Transport Medical Supplies Between Hospitals CNBC

Class Warfare

The Homeless 8-Year-Old Chess Champion and Other Horrific ‘Uplifting’ Stories FAIR (UserFriendly). Today’s must read.

The eviction crisis is starting to look a lot like the subprime mortgage crisis MarketWatch. Ugly.

The Southern Poverty Law Center Is Everything That’s Wrong With Liberalism Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

McDonald’s will reportedly no longer lobby against minimum wage hikes CNBC

Hatuey’s Ashes: Lenin was not a ‘Leninist’: Critical Comments on Democratic Centralism Huatuey’s Ashes (UserFriendly)

Companies cannot afford to ignore older workers Financial Times (David L)

How the Church Left Depoliticizes DSA Branches Benjamin Studebaker (UserFriendly). Depressing. They don’t want to get what the first women partner in M&A on Wall Street said at a Radcliffe meeting on work/life balance, where the panelists were discussing things like maternity leave: “Nothing will change until women own the means of production.”

Antidote du jour. Eddie M: “My dad amongst the Razorbacks in Cabela’s Arkiefornia store.”

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ignacio

    RE:Report: European Parliament Screwed Up Their Chance to Amend Copyright Directive By Voting Wrong Gizmodo (J-LS)

    Crapified democracy. This is just incredible

    1. chuck roast

      I think “bourgeois democracy” would be the more appropriate appellation.

      I love to name names, so here is some cut-and-paste on Axel Voss who co-ordinated this give-away to the international corporate monopolists. He is a member of the German CDU and the right-wing European People’s Party. He reminds me of “Slippin’ Jimmy” in Breaking Bad.

      Under the leadership of German Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Axel Voss, acted as “rapporteur” (a sort of legislative custodian) for the Copyright Directive. We can thank him for slipping Articles 11 and 13 back into what appeared to be an otherwise settled bill.

      In 2014, when Edward Snowden testified before the European Parliament, Voss implied that Snowden had endangered innocents’ lives and potentially collaborated with terrorists as well as the Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies.

      Slippin’ Axel. A corporate shoe-shine boy of the first order. Unfortunately, we have not seen the last of him.

  2. Livius Drusus

    Re: “We Are in Deep Trouble”: Carbon Emissions Break Record in Devastating Global Setback

    As the article points out, energy demand keeps rising and fossil fuels are still being used to satisfy the majority of the demand. The real problem is our devotion to endless economic growth and technological development. It is unlikely that we can transition to a green economy in time to avoid disastrous climate change and even if we could there is the problem that building green infrastructure requires environmentally devastating processes such as the mining and the transportation of raw materials needed to build green infrastructure.

    The answer to catastrophic climate change is radical conservation, which would require a huge reduction in consumerism. But this is probably not politically feasible under current conditions. People in the developed world are now used to having a cornucopia of relatively cheap consumer goods and services and won’t be willing to give up their Amazon deliveries, their gadgets, frequent flying, etc. Consumerism is what legitimates the current system, along with brute force. Even worse, millions of people in the developing world now want the same irresponsible, materialistic lifestyle that many people live in the developed world.

    I doubt anything serious will be done about climate change until there is a massive disaster that shocks people into action. It will have to be on the order of the Great Depression or World War II which produced the major changes of the post-war world. Even if more people now recognize that climate change is a real problem, most do not take it very seriously because it still seems remote to the everyday concerns of most people.

    1. Quentin

      Didn’t Barbara Ward say way back in 1961 in ‘The Rich Nations and the Poor Nations’ that the earth couldn’t support the Western level of consumption for all its inhabitants. The observation startled this then 16-year-old reader. By the way, the book was featured, upon publication, by the Book of the Month Club. Yes, you read that right. How things have changed in an exclusively downward spiral since then. And now the world population has increased by billions and every one of those billions salivates watching western television and movies and its clones all over the world as the consumer goods are trotted out on preview—buy, buy, buy if you can.

    2. Louis Fyne

      Of course the world is in deep doo.

      Nuke fission is dogmatically verboten, most large environmental NGOs look the other way re. LNG (so much it brings out the inner conspiracy nut) and MSM makes the science behind future magic batteries sound cheap/easy.

      AOC’s. staff spending says it all, all GND talk, then lots of money spent on Uber rides (none onmass transport) even though their office is literally next to the subway. (Go look it up) Modifying behavior is for the other guy.

      Me, i like the thought of milder vermont or UP michigan winters. Sorry Micronesia

      1. Yikes

        Unless you mean fusion, which is promised as being right around the corner every year for the last 50+.

        I’d like to know which PhD doing real research was putting out those claims?

      2. John

        A cyclone bomb hanging out over Vermont or the UP might help change your mind. Throw in a few tornados on any summer day to help make the point. A drought induced forest fire burning through those woods. Yeah, sorry about Micronesia.

      3. CanCyn

        This comment completely baffles me – unless perhaps Louis Fyne is very old and will not have to face the climate devastation coming our way?
        It isn’t nice and fuzzy global warming, mild winters and growing citrus trees in the north type changes that we are facing. It is weather extremes that will affect the environment in ways that we cannot even imagine yet. Although, after facing several winters of cold spells due to the broken polar vortex, experiencing such high winds that we regularly need to batten down the hatches and seeing insects in my garden in March, I am beginning to get the drift of what climate change actually means.
        Temperature fluctuations, wreaking havoc on winter road maintenance due to a new freeze, melt, freeze cycle and the summer growing season hurt by cycling hot and cool temperatures, drought followed by too much rain are happening now. No one is talking about this. Climate change is here. The weather extremes are not what I experienced as a youngster, we can no longer comfort ourselves with, “oh we had a winter like this back when I was youngster.” No we didn’t.
        I used to think that being in my fifties meant that I would miss the worst of it, even if I lived a few more decades. I no longer feel that safe. I dunno what it will take to wake people up and I am equally sure that riding my bike more often and eating less meat isn’t going to help a darn thing. At least I still have sympathy for Micronesia and elsewhere.

      4. Dave Anders

        Ah, the old “They gotta wear hairshirts or else they’re hypocrites!” gem.

        Somehow that little cliche never gets mentioned about the billionaires whose companies are the beneficiaries of “socialism” (AKA government spending [in the zillions]) and who all scream bloody murder about “government handouts” while they invoice the taxpayer for a $500 hammer.

      5. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Best friend lives up in Escanaba!

        He says he saw a classified ad for a house with a small river running on it for 59K$.

        Plus they just legalized weed!!!!

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Population of Escanaba has really dropped and the town has gotten seedy. But IMHO even as few as a few hundred people targeting a neighborhood, and buying and rehabbing fixer-uppers could do wonders.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > a small river running on it

          Be sure to factor in what happens if the river rises (Mr. Counter-suggestible, I know, but I do think it’s a sensible precaution).

          1. Sol

            You’re being very sensible, Lambert. There’s a saying where i live. If you can see water from your property, assume at some point that water will come knock at your door.

            Water is a valuable resource, and yet it is also capricious AF.

    3. Shonde

      The one thing that won’t reduce current lifestyles is to stop the introduction of new energy guzzlers that will require not only new resource production but also manufacturing. That should be a no brainer. 5G is my favorite boogyman.

      1. jrs

        +1 yes just stop with the stupid stuff that doesn’t need to happen, that’s like step 1, stop digging.

        1. polecat

          Telling a hairless Ape not to fiddle, is like telling a Raccoon not to use its paws to pry open the cat door ..

    4. Chris Cosmos

      Technology is not the problem metaphysics is the problem. The conceptual framework o American culture is a militant and radical materialism in which virtue is equated with the ability to consume mass quantities of whatever strikes our fancy. Everything else is secondary even among people who consider themselves religious and/or spiritual. Few people, of course will admit it.

      Technology today offers various ways to live sustainably but this tech is repressed by the capitalists and ignored by the mainstream media. The only way out of the coming and already unfolding disasters is a radical change in the underlying philosophy of or culture. And the only way for that to happen is through a combination of radical resistance and new spiritual vision that rejects our culture of narcissism.

      1. BlueMoose

        I agree with what you say, but doubt it will happen. Hopefully a few make it thru the bottleneck and the survivors decide they aren’t going down that road again (not that it will even be possible). Any attempt at reviving the consumer mind-set must be dealt with harshly.

          1. Joe Renter

            Don’t under sell miracles. The information I have come across (dubious to most) is that there is a technology coming down the pike when the time is right. No doubt we need it ASAP to save the planet. What (perhaps water fusion) and when this will happen is out of my esoteric pay grade.
            Bottom line keep the faith. Not easy to do.

            1. Chris Cosmos

              Lots of technology is already here–it just isn’t used for political reasons. The chief feature of this time is that we are in an age of oligarchy–and they don’t want any major changes.

      2. Lost in OR

        The problem is our eternal faith in progress, that science and technology inevitably lead to a better future. This blind faith in progress is as valid as blind faith in free markets. The turmoil we are living through is the manifestation of our realization that those concepts no longer serve to better our lives. No alternate ideology has emerged. Nihilism reigns supreme.

        The problem is metaphysical. Alas, God is dead.

    5. Jeremy Grimm

      Yes, “We Are in Deep Trouble”. We were in deep trouble before and little or nothing is being or has been done about it. That carbon emissions increased is hardly surprising. The article talked about energy from renewables — without noting the problems intermittent power sources like the sun and wind pose for maintaining a stable power level on the Grid. “Mehling questioned whether the Paris climate agreement – the 2015 global accord in which countries vowed to slash their carbon emissions – has the capacity to compel nations to live up to their promises and ramp up climate action over time.” — I suppose Mehling can join the crowd. The article went on with a quick swipe at China and India and some ‘balance’: “In the United States, by contrast, coal is declining – but most of the increase in demand for energy in this country was nonetheless fueled by the burning of natural gas.”

      We are and have been in deep trouble. Nothing substantive has been done to address Climate Chaos. The increase in CO2 is not a surprise since little there’s been little action beyond some paper handshakes. I think it’s touching that the article is still discussing “holding the planet’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

      As for “I doubt anything serious will be done about climate change until there is a massive disaster that shocks people into action.” — I am beginning to worry about what serious thing might be done about climate change following a massive disaster. A massive disaster would make a fine setup for some insane geoengineering project which would be really scary.

    6. JB

      Radical conservation is certainly a possibility if we had the political decision makers to move it forward. Sad to say, humans are currently waiting for things to get worse before dealing with a long-term problem that doesn’t have silver bullets. There are so many energy efficient technologies sitting on the sidelines as it relates to market share.

    7. Procopius

      People are not going to change. We must plan for building an underground world, such as Isaac Asimov described. I’m pretty sure only a small portion of the population will be saved this way, but I simply do not see any alternative. Of course that’s just a failure of my imagination.

  3. Yikes

    DSA – Politics is not a church

    Story reminds me of tea party, but without the money of the Koch brothers to manipulate the process. Grass root movements and (semi-)ivy league university students are of two worlds when it comes to ideology.

    1. jrs

      That writer is the problem. What he is talking about is NOT the state of left-wing organizing today. And the reason it’s not is the DSA. And Bernie Sanders, AOC, etc.. Sure much left wing organizing is that way, the DSA is the complete opposite, the DSA is the only thing that isn’t that way almost.

      And he’s going to trash it based on generalizing with some tiny college sample at that (newsflash – college kids have almost nothing to do with the real world – get your ass to a non-college chapter PLEASE), to make what he thinks is an oh so original point, a point which many DSA chapters already seem to get at the deepest level possible. But good for the clicks and the ego, when plenty of DSA chapters endorse imperfect but good local politicians all the time?

      I may sound overly partisan, look I wish 100 left wing organizations would bloom and challenge the system, I don’t agree with the DSA on everything, and oh man does the DSA push people to get involved with things, it’s all a hard sell of activism all the time, it’s really no place to just have a conversation or even spend a moment to decide which issue speaks to you to get involved in. But while I might find this exhausting, but maybe that’s my problem as maybe those are it’s virtues and what makes it effective, and the DSA is the only truly active thing out there now mostly, and it’s being smeared on the basis of what he heard about some college chapter.

      1. Benjamin Studebaker

        I have received many, many messages from people who are in or were in DSA, some of whom are in significant positions, agreeing with my narrative. Their identities cannot be disclosed for obvious reasons.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Im one of them.

          Back in a general meeting for DSA New Orleans in 2017 i brought up how we should run and support candidates but i was told by Leadership ‘that the Chapter isnt ready yet.’ There was like 50 people in the room!!!!

          The future is Identity Politics free EVERYTHING.

          Stop trying to fight for individual issues and tribes when we can fight for everyone simultaneously.

          A poor person who is a racist, sexist, supremacist can be convinced through policy and concrete, material benefits. BUT DONT BRING UP GENDER and RACE.

          This isnt rocket science.

          Great post, Studebaker!!!!
          We need electoral power like yesterday!

          1. Lambert Strether

            The New Orleans chapter, if I have the origin story right, got the brakelight clinics started (which among other things helps remove an excuse for police stops, an extra bonus for black people because they don’t get whacked by cops, in a neat demonstration that providing universal concrete material benefits can indeed have differentially positive results for the marginalized). Do you have experience and/or views on that?

      2. nick

        Yeah the default for a YDSA chapter is to be campus based. Actually is amazing if it is broader than that, but the disconnect between college students (even political ones) and local municipal politics is not new, not inherent to the left, and not a common problem.

        Plus even if they are active in the community they can set their own goals and campaigns. This guy apparently decided to run without the input of the college students, why should they feel compelled to spending time on his campaign? And if it’s not backed up by time and effort, what’s the point of an endorsement?

        1. Yikes

          Particularly when some of those students have a huge guilt issue with coming from race/class traitors, and it’s the noisiest, defensively most self righteous, who tend to rule the roost.

      3. Darthbobber

        I certainly wouldn’t call the piece a smear. You may feel he overgeneralises from a largely student chapter in which the tendency is the dominant one, but having a significant faction that’s some combo of antielectoral and straight idpol is pretty widespread.

        Where ever you are, this is one source of centrifugal force that has to be dealt with.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > having a significant faction that’s some combo of antielectoral and straight idpol is pretty widespread.

          Very true. I think, however, that electoral vs. idpol is a false dichotomy. If I had to pick one, I’d pick electoral — even if the idpol people have done their best to destroy any possibility of success with their open borders crapola — but I don’t think the choice is binary.

      4. Lambert Strether

        > James’ situation mirrors the situation Bernie Sanders is in, with large numbers of DSA regional branches resisting the national organization’s efforts to build an effective, nationwide campaign for him

        The United States is of continental scale and class interacts with geography. I admit my knowledge of DSA is confined to having systematically followed every DSA/YDSA chapter with a Twitter account. That said, I find it very easy to believe that a DSA chapter in a college town has created a vampire’s castle, exactly as described; idpol is the only language available to them, and of course there are class issues as well.

        However, here I am not sure I agree with Studebaker:

        James’ situation [at Purdue] mirrors the situation Bernie Sanders is in, with large numbers of DSA regional branches resisting the national organization’s efforts to build an effective, nationwide campaign for him

        Now, if Studebaker has in essence an email archive not available to me that is a representative sample of ALL DSA chapters, then I could well be wrong. That said, I don’t see DSA national v. DSA local conflicts as intrinsically Sanders canvassing supporters vs. idpol vampires; it’s non-binary, not a “mirror.” Tweets I’ve seen from non-college town locals grouse about resources, not ideology; stuff like national taking a long time to authorize chapters, get bank accounts, publish budgets, and so on. They would have preferred — especially given that they’re paying dues — that a Sanders endorsement take place at the national convention by a vote of the members (if I have the terms right) as opposed to by an online survey (!), and I don’t think they’re wrong.

        It’s also not clear to me that going the Sanders endorsement route is a no-brainer. For one thing, the DSA is too small to be of use to the Sanders campaign; remember that Sanders raised $6 million on his first day! I understand that money isn’t a totally adequate proxy for resources, but DSA is about the size of, well, a small college down. The scale of what a Sanders campaign can do vs. what DSA can contribute is utterly disproportionate. As to resources, national spent IIRC $250,000 on canvassing software (before the vote to endorse Sanders, mind you), and even putting aside the resources national will devote to the Sanders campaign over the next two years, $5000 to 50 chapters, or $1000 to 250 chapters might make all the difference in the world to those chapters (especially if, as I think it does, DSA has membership retention problems). Why not just do like the New Orleans chapter did, and go help out the working class directly? Which grew their membership?

    2. Oregoncharles

      Purdue is hardly Ivy League; it’s Indiana’s land-grant college, previously focused on engineering and agriculture. (Full disclosure: I was born in Lafayette, my grandmother went to Purdue – very unusual in her day.)

      And the DSA there do sound like typical college students. I do remember being one.

      1. Yikes

        Semi-Ivy league, and is commented upon by much of the get into the right school to advance your standings interwebz. Not unlike some branches of UC system, where it’s the final initial that tells all.

  4. Henry Moon Pie

    Re: Sam Kriss takedown of Russiagate–

    “It’s not hard to catch the world’s absolute pigshit dumbest head of state out – but somehow, the Russiagaters have shown themselves to be even stupider than he is. They challenged a bloated foetus with a combover to a game of wits, and they can’t stop losing. For three years, they’ve been trying to get some dirt on a scummy Mafia associate – and they thought they could do it by collectively pretending to live in a spy novel.”


    Meanwhile, the top story today on the Kos-controlled Front Page of DailyKos is:

    5 free resources for mental health support and suicide prevention you can access right now

    Now suicide is not the least bit funny, but is it possible that Markos is feeling a little guilty for gaslighting his readership for the last 3 years? Not likely, I know. Maybe his lawyers advised him it was a good prophylactic measure.

    1. Lee

      On my occasional visits to the site recently, the only cheerful people seem to be the Sanders supporters. What I would recommend to sufferers of TDS is some shut the phk up quiet time.

    2. chuck roast

      Sorry, man, but the I did have a schadenfreude moment when I saw your headline.

      There is something to be said for having the right people lining up for the Darwin Prize.

        1. woof

          To me, the best part of NC — the most helpful part — is its emphasis on critical thinking. I’ve learned much from it.

          Everywhere people act like that if they can laugh at something, that passes as understanding it.

  5. Ben Wolf

    In Ukraine you have an uncontrolled radiation experiment. That’s problematic.

    In the United States we have the dubious benefit of hundreds of controlled experiments, because, over a fifty year period, we deliberately exposed hundreds of thousands of people in many different ways. The conclusion of that research: there is no safe level of exposure.

    1. Louis Fyne

      then one should not eat bananas as they are literally radioactive. nor fly. nor use/be exposed to wireless comms. which pretty much rules out every inhabited area in the western/developing world.

      on the hierarchy of mortality risk, one should be more worried about slipping in the bathroom or soda pop.

      just saying

      1. ambrit

        The problem is that the ubiquitous presence of ‘enhanced’ microwave radiations in the ‘homosphere’ is a new and ongoing experiment. It will take generations of human reproductions for the ultimate costs to manifest themselves. As it is, the evidence is just now being compiled. True analysis, the ‘long form,’ not the politically driven ‘short form’ variety, has just begun.
        There is a reason why carbon based lifeforms evolved under a radiation absorbing atmosphere and radiation blocking ozone layer. (We’ll give the primitive ocean dwelling micro-organisms of the early days a pass. All that water they swam about in is a pretty good radiation barrier.) Do note that microwaves, as in cell phone carrier waves, are just a spectrum of radiation.
        So, yes, I can see the next iteration of “Eco-terrorist” as being a bunch of zealots who go around blowing up cell towers. Or putting a .22 round through a 5G repeater box up on it’s light pole. This is a case where ‘non-violent resistance’ is of no utility. The corporations are going to ‘roll out’ their planned money making “innovations” no matter what the public states.
        Interesting times ahead.

        1. Yikes

          All that water they swam about in is a pretty good radiation barrier.

          No. Water acts as lens/catalyst for most harmful radiation effects, PWR reactors depend on that factor in their design. It’s why you might have been warned about swimming during moments of strong radiation. You need to pile up a lot of water to start to reverse this effect and get a reduction in harm.

          Now this part is speculation, but it’s most likely that life evolved from organics in no small part due to effect of radiation on organic chemistry.

          1. ambrit

            Ah, a counterintuitive situation. I wonder then why so many science fiction writers wrote in water shielding tanks as part of their “slow boat” space ships. As in water shielded radiation ‘bunkers’ for solar flares, etc. Are we talking two different types of radiation threat? I’m a bit puzzled. (Some will say that I am generally “confused,” but that’s another day’s argument.)

            1. Lepton1

              There are vastly different types of radiation and vastly different kinds of shielding and vastly different kinds of effects on living organisms.

              Even changes in intensity can have odd effects. After thyroid surgery you get a high dose of radioactive iodine to kill any remaining cells. This doesn’t seem to cause much cancer, yet, apparently, a low dose of the same isotope is more likely to cause cancer.

              Some kinds of shielding can be dangerous. Lead is commonly thought to be a good radiation shield, yet we usually cover lead or tungsten with a layer of aluminum to shield it from high energy electrons. Electrons striking a heavy element can fluoresce it generating very high energy x-rays. Electrons striking aluminum only create very low energy x-rays which are easily absorbed.

              Bluetooth devices or WiFi devices shower us with a constant bath of very low intensity radio waves. If you are anywhere near a thunderstorm you are exposed to brief, but very high intensity pulses of radio waves.

              It’s a complicated world.

            2. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

              I am confused in an organized manner. I live under the banner of “It ain’t necessarily so*”. The history of science (and seemingly everything else) shows this to be about the only truth there is.


              *As a small child I asked my mother where clouds came from. Her explanation was very much at odds with the Met Office. Learning elsewhere about clouds put paid to my acceptance of any parental wisdom.

              Although the dew point was not my mother’s strong point, she was spot on about the agents of organized religion, but she expressed that knowledge in the most visceral manner which she did not care explain.

      1. Hepativore

        Of course. The output of non-ionizing radiation from the sun such as microwaves, radio waves, infrared, etc. dwarfs the amount of non-ionizing radiation from manmade sources. While exposure to high-intensity non-ionizing radiation can result in horrific burns from direct tissue destruction, the heating of tissue to reach this point will be felt in the form of severe pain before it gets to this point.

        I really do think that fears of non-ionizing radiation from cellular towers and devices should be taken with a grain of salt.

        1. ambrit

          The ozone layer and atmosphere tend to ‘buffer’ the ecosphere from most solar radiations. Where is the protective layer to protect us human guinea pigs from nearby sources of radiation?

    2. Lee

      Mutagenic radiation is a driving force of evolution. This is a good thing/bad thing. We would not exist without it and we will be replaced.

      OTOH, since human sex cells have a reparative mechanism that makes them more resistant to mutagenic radiation than are somatic cells, we cannot reliably count on radiation to improve our descendants, should we last so long.

      1. Procopius

        Well, mutation cannot be relied on to improve our descendants. Almost all mutations are either unnoticed or fatal. I can’t remember if I got the image from Dawkins or Stephen Jay Gould, but imagine making random changes to the parts of a transistor radio (this was before the age of the computer, so it must have been Stephen Jay Gould). How often are those going to produce a better radio? What guarantees improvement is survival of the fittest, which can be accidental if the initial mutation is restricted to only a few individuals.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “BA flight lands in Edinburgh instead of Düsseldorf by mistake”

    It does happen. One time a British plane landed his passenger jet at Changi airport instead of the Singaporean airport where he was supposed to land. Contacting ground control, the other airport said that they could not see him whereupon Changi ground control said they had him in sight. Changi ground control then asked the British pilot his intentions. Realized the price that he would have to pay for his mistake, he replied “Oh, I think that I might go live on a nice cottage on the Sussex Downs”.

    1. Wukchumni

      Here’s my guess how it happened…

      Edinburgh is right next to Düsseldorf* alphabetically in the European city scheme of things, and the pilot entered the latter as a destination upon disembarking, by mistake.

      * flew there in the late 90’s after a fire had destroyed the terminal building, and they had temporary ‘tent’ buildings near the tarmac, it was an odd setup.

      1. 737 Pilot

        Uh…. no.

        Modern airline operations involves multiple parties (schedulers, dispatchers, pilots, ATC) concurring on where a particular aircraft is heading. At a minimum the dispatcher provides a flight plan to both the pilot (who will review and concur) and local Air Traffic Control. Once airborne, if the aircraft starts proceeding anywhere not on the pre-approved flight plan, one of the above parties will take notice. A pilot cannot simply insert a wrong destination airport without tripping some wires along the way.

        My guess is that the mix-up happened on the terminal side of the operations. That is, passengers (and possibly bags) were loaded onto the wrong aircraft. This is particularly a risk when a single gate is the departure point for multiple flights (i.e. passengers proceed to the actual aircraft by bus or by walking across the ramp). For whatever reason, the crew didn’t make (or the passengers tuned out) the typical boarding announcement welcoming them on the flight to Edinburgh.

        I’ve actually had something like this happen due to a last minute aircraft swap, but we caught it about halfway through the boarding process. It is a bit embarrassing, but trust me, it does happen.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That was worse than those soldiers landing in Grenana.

      At least, the military got them to the intended island…maybe most of them, or enough of them (perhaps a few got to other islands).

  7. zagonostra

    > Maddow’s monologue suggests she is unmoved by the many attacks on her for promoting a Russia conspiracy… Her nightly deconstructions of the case against Trump have made her the signal figure of the anti-Trump left and have abetted her rise to the most popular figure in cable news.

    Of course not. If you’re making $10 million on this gig, you’ll ride it as far as it will take you and damn the consequences, even if it means nuclear war.

    In a sense this whole sordid fiasco is a striking success for the corporate Dems and the ruling class. They have been able to deflect the populace from the true crimes that happened in the 2016 election. Narry a story in the past 2.5 years on the true corruption that took place (see Greg Palast for documentation).

    Those of us who have seen the falsity of the Russiagate narrative from the get-go have really nothing to celebrate, the chance to hold those who perpetuated the biggest election fraud in the history of this country (at least in my life time) has come and gone…and the lies continue to pour out of the NYT, WaPo, and all the other MSM that set the topic of public discourse.

      1. pjay

        Thanks for this link to yet another excellent take-down (there have been a lot of them lately). This one is from Rob Urie, who provides a useful class-based analysis of the Russiagate phenomenon. This passage directly relates to my own experience:

        “Most damaging to the burgeoning left in the U.S. is the deeply ugly character assassination of poor and working-class voters carried out by the urban bourgeois, many from the self-described radical left. People I know and like, but with whom I disagree politically but am working hard to convert, have spent the last three years being derided as traitorous, marginally literate hicks too stupid to know they are pawns of the Kremlin. The irony, if you care to call it that, is that they knew the Russian interference story was cynical bullshit all along while the graduate degree crowd was following every twist and turn as if it were true knowledge.”

        1. Chris Cosmos

          Good points. When I look at the wreckage of Anerican political culture I see that aside from the general culture of narcissism we live in, the failure of the intellectual class in this country to address our collective problems stand out. This has been critiqued in the writing of Chris Hedges and Thomas Frank. I would go a little further and assign blame to the US educational system, particularly the universities.

          1. Robert McGregor

            failure of the intellectual class to address our collective problems

            They’ve been too busy pursuing their own “militant and radical materialism” (Your apt description–Chris Cosmos). That and what they see as their job to referee between opposing factions, like good “middle managers.” Think Obama: 1) First, get himself and his family set up for their post-presidential $millions, and then 2) While president, referee between opposing groups like banks vs. mortgage holders–“Hey the banks need the money in order to save the economy. The foreclosed upon can go live with their parents.”

          2. Lambert Strether

            > Thomas Frank

            I wish Frank would emerge from seclusion, having finished his new book. We need him.

            On another note, William Gibson’s Agency, whose premise is an alternate world where Hillary Clinton won in 2016, was delayed in 2018 to April 2, 2019, has been delayed again, to September 2019. Perhaps, after the effects of RussiaGate began to become visible, the “Hillary World” stub turned out to be more problematic than Gibson thought it would be?

        2. barrisj

          Lib/prog RussiaGate sites would use Maddow’s daily rants as an opiate drug, feeding an unquenchable addiction to collusion/conspiracy…and whenever Aaron Maté, Caitlin Johnstone, Raúl Ilargi, Greenwald, et al would offer up some metaphorical methadone therapy, the inevitable result would be upping the collusion dosage. Really, really sad to see how groupthink so compromised critical thought.

          1. integer

            And just like addicts, they lash out at anyone who tells them they have a problem. I’ve noticed that every time Greenwald, Maté, or Tracey tweet about Russiagate, a horde of addicts are quick to reply with vapid smears and innuendo. Marcy Wheeler has even taken to retweeting Greenwald, in what appears to be an effort to sick her followers onto him. I’ve also noticed that Russiagate dead enders simply cannot conceive of the possibility that someone could think Russiagate is bs and not be a fully-fledged Trump supporter. Propaganda is a hell of a drug.

            1. Procopius

              I can remember back near the beginning, Marcy Wheeler was still admitting she had no evidence, but based on what she heard from sources in the government (presumably NSA, but possibly CIA) she believed the claim. Then she became a full fledged believer, but as far as I can tell still has no evidence.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        Urie quotes an earlier article he wrote:

        Prior to the 2016 presidential election, if one were to ask what single act could seal a new Cold War with Russia, align liberals and progressives with the operational core of the American military-industrial-surveillance complex, expose the preponderance of left-activism as an offshoot of Democratic Party operations and consign most of what remained to personal invective against an empirically dangerous leader, consensus would likely have it that doing so wouldn’t be easy.

        I will use this criterion from this point forward. Organizations and journalist that supported Russiagate have one and only one way back onto my “trusted” list, and that is to come clean about either their gullibility or their bias combined with an apology and promise never to jump on such a dangerous bandwagon again.

        1. polecat

          An apology by these folk = a pinky swear ..

          You’ll be sorely disappointed, as most will be future recidivists .. it’s in their nature to lie for personal gain !

    1. Yikes

      Maddow is just following the neo-liberal model, just like New Knowledge on Russia Fecesbook memes. Invent a problem, then pretend to offer a solution which actually aggravates the problem. Self-licking ice cream cone.

    2. Sol

      They also managed to sneak wide censorship in there. Russiagate and the “threat” posed to our national security (*snortgiggle*) was the impetus behind GoogleFacebookTwitter cracking down on all those dangerous alternative news sites and anyone who wasn’t towing the party lion. For saaaaaafety.

      Russiagate may be gone, and yet i still will not create content for GoogFaceTwit to monetize, as I know exactly what will happen the moment i fail to confirm someone’s bias.

    3. Darthbobber

      Though she’s already down a good half million viewers from pre-report levels, and now out of the top spots. Her emphasis WILL change, there just won’t be any public acknowledgement of that.

    4. Procopius

      I can’t believe that there are people who think Maddow is a leftist. I think she’s a New Democrat, at best. On the other hand I hardly ever check her out any more, so maybe I’m misled by small sample size. I was overjoyed at first, but then she became just another entertainer. Also, MSNBC just moved too far right.

    1. TheMog

      One could get the impression the author may have indulged in some “pharmaceutical research” himself before writing the article.

      It does really confirm the suspicion that one of the reasons for the leave campaing was to be able to go on a deregulation spree that wouldn’t have been possible within the confines of EU legislation, aka making the country safe for the disruptive set. And Rees-Mogg’s hedge fund, of course. Maggie would be proud of them. The suspicion was always there, but at least I had not read something this blatant before. Probably because I try to avoid certain “newspapers”.

      It’s also interesting how he’s painting the EU as the oppressive superstate that they need to escape (presumably so they can handle the oppression themselves – a friend of mine is just dealing with a disability assessment at the DWP) while at the same time not quite mentioning that they’re the same mob that thinks human rights are a) a bore and b) only for people they like.

      One could argue that April 12th was a fitting date.

    2. BlueMoose

      I couldn’t make it past the first couple of paragraphs and it is too early to start drinking. Maybe the tone changes as in: ok, that is how people in a bubble-world think. Now for what is really going to happen.

      1. TheMog

        That part is sadly missing. I did read the whole thing and was hoping for it to show up sooner or later.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Hilarious video that. Can see how they are distantly related to dogs as I can see a dog doing the same thing.

      1. BlueMoose

        I have never been able to build a snowman here in Poland. The dogs always attack and destroy the base before I can get the 2nd level completed. Maybe next year I will build it at night when they are inside. I would love to see their reaction the next morning.

  8. Brindle

    re: AOC
    Will be very interesting to see who and when she endorses as Dem candidate for 2020. Sanders is obviously the most likely. Timing is key. She has the ability to energize the progressive base like no one else—including Bernie. I do not see her endorsing Gabbard. Perhaps Warren but Bernie would have to stumble.

    1. a different chris

      Maybe she can break yet another mold – “I will support the Democratic nominee that the people* have chosen”. I never saw the point of wasting political capital on this, either you win just about nothing or you lose big. Just sit in the audience and applaud at the end. What did Gabbard really get except enemies?

      *ok whatever mismash of primary voters, caucus-goers, and etc.

      1. Brindle

        I kind see your “heads they win, tails you lose ” dynamic but her endorsement will have net plus for whoever.

    2. Robert McGregor

      re: AOC: “who will she endorse?”
      She got your political start working for Bernie in New York. She will endorse Bernie, campaign for him, and be devastatingly effective. But hey, Trump will have Sean Hannity so . . .

  9. Ignim Brites

    “Hatuey’s Ashes: Lenin was not a ‘Leninist’: Critical Comments on Democratic Centralism” Do you really want to drag Bernie and AOC into the mess of Marxist-Leninist theory?

    1. Lambert Strether

      Depends on who “we” is, I suppose. This passage struck me:

      The “principle” of “Democratic Centralism” is easy enough to define: democracy in decision making, unity in action. The difficulty lies in defining just what “unity in action” consists of for microscopic propaganda groups that are not really organically rooted in the working class, i.e. are not composed of the leaders or advanced elements that have emerged out of the actual class and social movements.

      Typically, an attempt to “apply” democratic centralism to propaganda groups leads to everyone being forced to defend the common line “in public,” because in reality propaganda is the “action” that such groups engage in, mostly. Even the “actions” of their members inside unions and so on have mostly a propagandist’s significance at this stage. They seek to model a different approach to union leadership and activism….

      For a mass workers party such as the RSDLP and later the Bolsheviks, democratic centralism means something quite different. For one thing, it has real feedback from its organic relationship to its class. A propaganda league and a mass party are qualitatively different kinds of organizations.

      …We don’t have an advanced layer of working class fighters because we have no conscious class movement from which such a layer would arise. We are not a party, we are at best partly a propaganda league partly, partly an association of circles of activists, and the idea that we can obviate the distinction and function as if we were a party is wrong. Scale does matter, quantity does change into quality, an embryo of a few hundred cells looks nothing like a fully grown human being. And if it did look like a human at that stage, what would emerge in nine months would be a monster, not anything recognizably human at all.

      Relevant to the discussion taking place round Studebaker’s article.

  10. John Beech

    The article suggesting evictions should be made more difficult was depressing because I know an old woman who rents four modest homes (rents <$1000/mo) to supplement her pension and she has to fight for months to evict people. She's fighting one couple right now who is known for taking a sledgehammer to bathroom fixtures, the AC unit, walls, tile floors, and windows when they're finally at the end of their tether. And the law can seemingly do nothing because these people are basically destitute to begin with. E.g. they have nothing which can be taken from them and these are property crimes so not even their freedom is at risk. The whole system stinks but instead of advocating for more leniency, I would argue it should be made easier to evict deadbeats. You wouldn't believe what some people do, like excrement and urine throughout the home, and not by pets but by the very tenants angry at being evicted as if the landlord is somehow at fault for their circumstance. Some people are scum. Articles like this are poorly researched and worse, offered up without a critical eye by an editor. For shame.

    1. Carla

      I recommend the book “Evicted” by Matthew Desmond for a meticulously researched perspective on the issue of housing for low-income people in the United States.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Agreed. I’ve known many an older person who rents homes and has been forced to deal with dysfunctional tenants. In one case, the house had to be gutted from the inside before it could be repaired and re-rented.

    3. Shonde

      I used to pay tenants to leave rather than go through the eviction process. Cheaper and way more effective since it avoids just what you described. Also, one bad tenant in a multi-housing unit can cause good tenants to give notice. My stomach revolted every time I did it.

      1. Another Scott

        But doesn’t this point to a problem with the eviction process? If there’s a tenant who breaks fixtures or appliances to annoy the landlord, it should be easier to evict them than to pay them to leave. I’ve also heard stories like these and that doesn’t even count the elder abuse and scams done by tenants. The system is broken in most places and abusive landlords and tenants have found ways to manipulate it in their favor.

    4. Romancing The Loan

      Politely – The very foreseeable risk you take by attempting to skim a profit off of people who are “basically destitute to begin with” is that they have nothing to lose. Maybe she should sell her extra four houses and rely on the investment income, plus her pension, plus social security. That’s a lifestyle most older folk would still find pretty amenable, and it doesn’t involve constantly making people homeless when they’re “at the end of their tether.”

      Not so politely – Maybe slumlord is too demanding a profession for an old lady.

      1. divadab

        Maybe you are right but not for the reason you seem to believe – that being a landlord is somehow a morally-dubious occupation. How do you propose she replace the income with interest rates on savings in the 1% range?

        By all means be a communist or however you describe your financial ideology but to blame an old woman for the bad behaviors of her tenants is just plain wrong.

        1. Kurtismayfield

          How do you propose she replace the income with interest rates on savings in the 1% range?

          Stop being intellectually dishonest. No one suggested that.

          Maybe she should sell her extra four houses and rely on the investment income, plus her pension, plus social security.

          All of which will earn her more than 1%

          And if she cannot afford maintaining the places to attract better clients, then maybe she is in the wrong business..

          1. Lambert Strether

            > And if she cannot afford maintaining the places to attract better clients, then maybe she is in the wrong business..

            You’re assuming that all the tenants fall into the category of “basically destitute to begin with,” when the post only says that one set of tenants is. As OregonCharles says elsewhere on this thread, “You do, however, have to be a decent judge of character, which isn’t easy.”

        2. Todde

          Its just a varient of the phrase, ‘if you don’t like your working conditions, find another job’.

          In other words, ‘make better choices’.

      2. Robert McGregor

        @Romancing The Loan, Great point! Grandma shouldn’t complain about tenants; she shouldn’t be a slumlord. She probably figures she is financially ahead if she plays the “slumlord game” as long as the tenants are not too destructive. The property owner/low income renter relationship is one of the scummiest parts of capitalism. Not sure how that would improve, but it would have something to do with the Henry George approach of taxing off real estate appreciation so homes are more than a giant “financial manipulation play.”

      3. Henry Moon Pie

        That’s a pretty complex situation where I live. Here in a poor, racially diverse neighborhood on the “bad side” of a Rust Belt city, about half the houses, most of which are 100 year-old, two-family structures, are rentals. The ownership of those rentals fall into 3 categories:

        1) slumlords

        Their preference is for Section 8 tenants because they don’t have to worry about the money. They do as little as possible for short term maintenance and nothing for long term. If the property deteriorates to the point where it’s not acceptable for Section 8, they’ll end up abandoning the houses entirely, leaving them to rot.

        The city’s Building Department and Housing Court are completely incapable of dealing with the issue. It took us five years to get a derelict house next door to ours demolished, and then it was only because the county foreclosed on $30,000 in property taxes and deeded it to our Obama era “land bank,” who then tore it down.

        We had two of these houses next door to us when we began rehabbing our place. One has been rarely occupied, but when it was, the tenant left a dog inside unbeknownst to us neighbors. I don’t know why we didn’t hear the poor thing barking. In any case, that dog starved or died of dehydration in that house. Someone, the tenant or the landlord, dumped its body in a closed trash can in the back yard. It was found by city workers mowing the yard since the landlord never mows the yard.

        2) Decent, but absentee landlords

        We do have a couple of absentee landlords who do a decent job of maintaining houses. They have long term tenants.

        3) Resident landlords

        Our neighbors across the back fence are an older couple like my spouse and myself. They’ve lived here for years, and when their neighbors succumbed to the white flight syndrome, they stayed and bought the houses on either side of them for a very reasonable price. They keep everything in top-top condition, and they look out for their tenants. One old fellow lived in his apartment for 20 years until he died there. A woman and her daughter have lived in their apartment for 10 years. A third woman bought the house she had rented from them, but when she was diagnosed with cancer, she didn’t want to live by herself. Our neighbors rented out the spare apartment to her and look after her while she rents out her house to her kids and grandkids.

        I’ve had good and bad landlords in my 65+ years. While I definitely prefer not to rent, decent landlords do fulfill an important function, and it can be something that one does in a humane, face-to-face way.

        Absentee corporate landlords on the other hand…

      4. Oregoncharles

        1) Rental property is the only small scale investment with a decent rate of return, at least that I know of. Something less demanding would be nice to learn about. Remember, retired people are supposed to be rentiers – living on savings. The “investment income” would be far less than the rent she gets now – that is one problem with a ZIRP.

        2) It’s a “socially responsible investment”, if managed with a conscience; at least you’re providing housing, not tobacco or weapons. You do, however, have to be a decent judge of character, which isn’t easy.

        So far, we’ve been fairly lucky: only one tweaker, and it didn’t look like she’d been cooking in the house; and one person who stopped paying rent and had to be evicted. We dropped the proceeding as soon as he handed over the keys, fortunately without wrecking the house. It needed renovating, an expensive process, but that wasn’t the tenant’s fault. It’s another reason being a good landlord isn’t easy.

        And at the moment, we’re drastically undercharging because we don’t have the heart to drive people out. Granted, responsible tenants are worth hanging onto.

      5. Lambert Strether

        > Maybe she should sell her extra four houses and rely on the investment income, plus her pension, plus social security.

        Selling her houses [slaps forehead]! That’s brilliant! I can’t imagine why she didn’t think of it! And hand the cash over to the financial sector! Even more brilliant!

        > Not so politely – Maybe slumlord is too demanding a profession for an old lady.

        No evidence for being a “slumlord”; that’s question-begging. In plenty of places, $1000 a month is enough to maintain the buildings. In any case, she might also be able to get a building manager, assuming the margin is there to pay them.

    5. Laughingsong

      At the same time, my best friend and her housemate have been “no-fault-evicted” twice in the past two years, both times ostensibly because the landpeople wanted to sell. One was being truthful, the other lied and put other tenants in. My friend doesn’t miss rent or wield sledgehammers. Both are in their 60s, don’t party or otherwise cause nuisance.

      Both scenarios are happening is my point.

      If there are any good lessons from the constant diversity trainings I am put through at work, for me the best is to retire the broad brush.

      1. Wukchumni

        Add in vacation rentals into the long term rental mix and what a mess you have…

        When we moved here, there’d be 6 homes for rent from $800-1500 a month, certainly no burden for a NPS employee with a family of four who has the most hallowed of jobs, a permanent position.

        Now there are none for rent on a long term lease, as you can get $4-6k a month being a hometel-move em’ in-move em’ out, rawhide!

        For some reason, none of the families renting homes in our foothill town while here on vacay, have their children going to our school, so nobody’s picking up the ‘admissions’ slack, and enrollment has declined.

        Was it worth it turning the place into an increasingly anonymous transient community for the usual profit, 30 pieces of silver?

    6. ChrisS

      I’ve worked for legal aid for the past thirteen years. I’ve had the opportunity to practice elder law, in which I assisted several mom-n-pop landlords with troublesome tenants. I’ve also had the opportunity to do tenant side law. I assure you the greatest problem by far is a combination of two distinct characters. The first is the slumlord who is going to rent his properties out until they literally fall over while never making a single repair (and if you figure out how to call code, they are going to try to kick you out in retaliation). The second is the con man who sells you on a rent to own scheme, collects a large down payment, and then does everything possible to force you out of the place so that he can collect another large down payment from the next sucker.

      Bad tenants wielding sledgehammers out of spite are exceedingly rare.

      1. Robert McGregor

        Re: Legal Aid for elderly landlords

        @ChrisS, Let me see if I get this straight: Is this the kind of “Legal Aid” the government pays for? So are these elderly Multiple-Property owners, who own one residence while they rent out one or more additional owned properties? And are these same elderly owners getting government-paid legal advice to help them evict tenants.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > Bad tenants wielding sledgehammers out of spite are exceedingly rare.

        Is your sample accurate, though? I would think the sledgehammer types would simply move on, rather than consult you. (Yet another downside of the opioid epidemic, at least where I live, is that you get users for tenants, with all the accompanying problems. Users are, I would think, quite reluctant to engage with the legal system at all.)

    7. Jeremy Grimm

      I talked to an old guy in Fort Worth, Texas who owned and managed a large number of properties in very poor mixed and African American areas. He rented each place for a ‘reasonable’ rent, a little less than the going rate, didn’t engage in constant rent increases, provided each property in in good condition to the tenant, and made timely repairs to the property when things broke. He said he had very little trouble with his tenants or with going into and out of areas which old white guys were well advised to avoid. He said he made excellent returns on his investments.

      I’m not suggesting your old lady gouged her renters or skipped on repairs. There are some truly horrendous tenants in growing numbers in the rental markets. There was more to the formula the old man in my story used for managing his rentals. He also selected and approved his tenants. Many of them were friends of previous tenants. I was impressed that this man had a deep understanding of people and judging them.

      When I tried investing in rentals in my youth I experienced the kind of tenants you described in your comment. They were provided by the rental management service I had to engage — I lived several states away from my properties. Later I had to rent a place I couldn’t afford to sell into the down-market when I had to move. By good luck I found a management company that found good tenants and provided good maintenance services for keeping my property. But when they retired and sold their management business I had to sell my property as the new management went about finding all sorts of difficult to believe ‘needed’ repairs.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > I was impressed that this man had a deep understanding of people and judging them.

        Besides not being undercapitalized, that’s the key to being a successful landlord. It’s also extremely difficult, as OregonCharles points out.

  11. 737 Pilot

    re 737 MAX

    Very good commentary by former American Airlines CEO Bob Crandall here.

    IMHO, Bob Crandall was one of the truly great airline CEO’s. He had an excellent grasp of both the financial and operational aspects of the airline. He also had a reputation for being very tough and direct. A common refrain from AA employees at the time, “Yeah, Crandall may be a bastard, but he’s OUR bastard.”

    1. Robert McGregor

      Re: Bob Crandall

      I remember him saying, “The best thing about business is new plans and programs.” As a very small business owner myself, one is not usually curing cancer or ending world hunger. But the small, modest, new business programs one implements (operations, admin, marketing) do provide some form of amusement and self-fulfillment.

    2. notabanker

      Crandall is telling me I am not qualified to make safety decisions. That I need to be told, his words, by the airlines, pilots, manufacturers and FAA that they are safe.

      FAA is being run by a lobbyist. Crandall himself comments on the slash of funding by Congress.
      Boeing made conscious decisions to rush this design to market and hide the safety systems from pilots.
      The airlines in the US have been nickel and diming me for every cent they can extract, while treating me like an expensive piece of luggage to cram in their human cargo hold. It’s not like this flying overseas. I’ve flown extensively in Asia, Europe and Africa.
      They have no issue leaning on the pilots to lobby the public on safety, and have no issue trying to throw Sullenberger under the bus. Who believes someone actually wants to fly a plane into a river?

      This is no longer the 1980’s. Why should I believe anything they tell me?

  12. Carolinian

    That’s quite the blast at the SPLC. Tying it all in should one suggest that playing on the fears of wealthy listeners has been a thriving business for a long time? Rachel Maddow meet Morris Dees.

    Of course there are plenty of real threats out there but perhaps one’s first response should be curiosity and skepticism rather than hysteria. It’s possible that even racists are, on some level, human beings and that we all have prejudices we need to fight. Painting broad swaths of people you don’t know as bigots could be one of them. Too often the outrage seems to depend on whose ox is being gored.

    1. Oregoncharles

      They did make themselves useful by getting the Aryan Nations out of Hayden Lake (the town, not the lake). They did it by suing them for their back teeth and winning. The town heaved a sigh of relief (I have family there), and that’s northern Idaho.

      All that was years ago. Haven’t seen anything recent from them.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “There’s no such country as Russia”

    After reading this I had a revelation that I should have had a long time ago. You wonder how someone like Trump ever became the President of the United States but I saw it in that article and it is so simple. Trump is fantastically lucky in his enemies. Any other candidate than Clinton, he would have lost to. Literally anyone. Look at his enemies now – Schumer, Pelosi, Mueller – incompetents all. Even his allies are so flawed that nobody would reckon that any of them could replace him and improve things. Think here of Pence, Pompeo, Bolton – fanatics all. Who would want any of them to be the President. How lucky can a person be?

    1. prodigalson

      Yurp pretty much all this. Team D managed to find the one candidate in america who could lose to Trump.


      1. pretzelattack

        but she beat bernie, and that’s the important thing; allowed them to get back to fundraising when he got shafted.

        1. Dave Anders

          With the mountains of evidence of numerous “dirty tricks” played against Bernie, plus the incessant drumbeat of the MSM against him, please put the two words beat bernie in double quotes, as in:

          but she “beat bernie”, and that’s the important thing

      2. Lambert Strether

        > Team D managed to find the one candidate in america who could lose to Trump.

        Even better, according to the “Pied Piper” email, Team D (the Clinton campaign) thought Trump would be the easiest candidate to beat, and got their media assets to “elevate” him, thereby gifting him with billions in “earned media coverage.”

        On the other hand, you look at RussiaGate, and it’s been so effective in creating an, as it were, asset class of crazed individuals who will vote D no matter what — unless the candidate is a Russian stooge, like Sanders — and you wonder if they’re really so stupid after all. When their own interests are at stake, they seem to be fully functional. ‘Tis a puzzlement!

    2. Paul O

      Pretty much exactly what came to mind the moment I heard he was standing. I said so frequently at the time – everyone thought I was nuts.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Any other candidate than Clinton, he would have lost to. Literally anyone

      I disagree on this. The obstacles to voting are sufficient to have cost HRC the election. Obama claimed motivated voters can’t be blocked from voting. I agree with this. The issue is unmotivated voters.

      Between the destruction (at the hands of Team Blue) of ACORN and the dismantling of efforts of the 50 state strategy, the Democratic Party’s turnout operation was seriously undermanned, a complaint noted by Hillary. Without motivation, too many people won’t pay attention until after voter registration dead lines past, and the people who go out and volunteer at these operations simply won’t. Given the perceptions of Obama breaking promises simply repeating similar promises wouldn’t work. Yes, Trump is President, so head to head polling will look different.

      I really don’t see any of the losers who keep returning the ilk of Pelosi and Schumer to the leadership being able to do better than HRC. They would have less name ID, less emotional attachment, and simply wouldn’t have had a united elite front arrayed behind them. There would be more open criticism especially from the “nominal left” in the msm.

      Sanders credibility as a candidate comes from a track record. He’s not some guy. Biden’s “credibility” comes from him largely not being criticized all these years because he was in a seat he controlled and was not seen as a credible candidate for President. Going back to the unmotivated voters, I don’t see any of these “other” candidates (as the exception Warren has the talent and enough of a track record if not the drive) as addressing the lack of positive motivation for voting and GOTV volunteering.

      A person who lists “electability” as a chief concern is more or less announcing they have no interest in turnout operations. They want someone else to solve the problem. Even with Obama promising to take it personally if African Americans didn’t vote for Democrats in 2014, turnout was a disaster for Team Blue. How does Tim Kaine fix this? Will his repeal of the estate tax in Virginia really get people to the polls? Evan Bayh? Andy Cuomo? Klobuchar? Unlike HRC, none of these people have a narrative of a secret liberal inner spirit.

      1. Pat

        I can think of a few Democrats who might have lost especially since so much of the field was pretty much eviscerated by the Democrats over the years. But, and this is a big but, many would have won against Trump, if they had the wherewithal to win the usual Blue states. Reason – most of them would not have ignored the Rust Belt and could have made the case that despite feeling their pain Trump could not make it better as a Real Estate mogul from NY. Yuppers actually campaigning to the deplorables and giving them a reasonable argument about Trump rather than self righteous personal vitreol had a good chance of convincing a few non voters to show up where that would make a difference.
        Unfortunately we seem to have a National Party determined to double down on the stupidity of the Clinton campaign.

          1. Shonde

            Somewhere, maybe here at NC, I recently read she tripled her net worth since 2007 or was it 2008. Yes, I would say she is definitely “98 million more competent than most give her credit for.” Sickening.

      1. Dave Anders

        I don’t even know if she is misguided; a better adjective is “well-connected”, as in “well-connected to wealthy donors”

        Which begs the question: Does being well-connected to wealth make you misguided? or maybe vice-versa? ….

    4. fajensen

      Mexican Standoff, I guess: Gunfighters in a circle, Someone shoots, It kicks off and everyone gets capped.

      One can reasonably suspect that there are enough juicy skeletons sitting in enough congress-critters closets to keep “everyone” busy with hearings and basically out-of-service to donors, until around 2030 (or death). Donald Trump was elected president, that means he can declassify things, he wasn’t in the system long enough to have a lot of case-files, which just makes him the guy with the dual-wield UZI’s with extended mags in the Mexican Standoff smear-feast about to kick off.

      Thus, the opposition picked something safe-ish to bash Donald Trump with. Said opposition also had a deep desire to make enemies of Russia whatever the costs and that way they could at least do that work without having a government mandate for it.

      Now they have to beat him on Policy and man, that will be fun to watch!

  14. jfleni

    RE: Microsoft: Windows 10 devices open to ‘full compromise’ from Huawei PC.

    MICROSWIFT (i.e. Billy Boy) will do whatever it takes to allow the other
    offal to spy on you nonstop!

      1. BlueMoose

        Upgrade to your favorite flavor of Linux. My main PC for work is still Win 7. I have several Win XP boxes for testing/development. At the office it is all Linux. Most of my work is remote so I am essentially doing SSH. At any moment, I might have 4-10 terminal sessions into servers all over the world. You can also try running Linux in a VM/Docker environment if you want to get a feel for it.

        1. BlueMoose

          And forget to add – you can boot up Linux off your pen-drive for a first drive if you are curious but cautious.

    1. Svante Arrhenius

      Not to mention:

      I’m seriously wondering, just what excuse this leaves us, to avoid our speciously oblivious, toxoplasmosis infected acquaintences or Birther/ RussiaRussiaRussia fulminating, dead-eyed crank addled coworkers? OK, aside from Ilhan Omar, Rashida, Tulsi, AOC and evile socialism; now that truth andreality have been outlawed?

      1. Chris Cosmos

        My advice is to do what you can to work for enterprises and causes you believe in and then relax–when we relax and stop thinking about the unsolvabikity if our collective problems then we leave room for muracled–i have een miracles happen. The fact is we do live in a post-rational historical moment and once admit that other paths will open up.

        1. Svante Arrhenius

          Easy for you to say? Some of us have issues, since the “gullible” yuppies R & D who play this game, are of course our BOSSES, politicians, “law enforcement,” media hyenas… basically, dead eyed craven sociopaths who prize their obdurate delusions above all else. Kinda like religious bigots, devoid of good food, music, silk & incest. They feed on the weakest, most vulnerable & powerless… because, shuckens, why not!

        2. Geo

          I might be too pessimistic here but, in my experience, being open to miracles is akin to playing the lottery. Opportunities tend to only arise when one is in a position to receive them – and being in that position isn’t something many are able to achieve without a realignment of their life – which isn’t an easy feat. It can require uprooting themselves, financial hardship, new social circles, and other radical changes to their social and economic environment which is a huge risk and psychological burden for many to take on what is, in the end, merely a gamble.

          Not saying it’s impossible. I’ve been through two such shifts on my life and both have opened me up to opportunities I’d not have had otherwise. But my whole life has been built around being untethered – both physically and emotionally (no kids, no spouse, freelancer, introvert) so making radical changes to my life both in location and social circle has been easier than it would be for most. Even financially I’ve been able to take risks most wouldn’t due to the only consequence being my own wellbeing.

          That said, to receive a miracle – even in a spiritual sense – takes a realignment of one’s core beliefs. For that miracle to be social, psychological, or practical means one has to realign their entire lives as well.

          Shorter: Miracles don’t just happen, they are created and require letting go of certainty and placing faith in chance.

          1. newcatty

            How does one define a miracle or an opportunity? Is one person’s miracle another one’s golden opportunity ? Are not both of them contingent on being in conscious willingness to change? One creates the dynamics by affecting one’s faith in that change. One can also, create by actions, such as physically moving to a new place. I think miracles happen all of the time. Just like change. Miracles are perceived as a good. They can be big or small. I am hoping for miracles for our planet.

  15. Geo

    The Dem leadership is still too busy tearing down Omar to be burdened with some GOP guy quoting Hitler.

    Chuck Schumer Equates Ilhan Omar with Trump in Godawful “Both Sides!” Rant at AIPAC


    Pelosi said “we must also be vigilant against bigoted or dangerous ideologies masquerading as policy, and that includes BDS.”

  16. Krystyn Walentka

    On “Rockland County Declares Measles State of Emergency, Bans Unvaccinated Minors From Public Spaces”

    I grew up in Rockland County and the source of this antivax movement is not what you find on the west coast. There is a large Hasidic community in the cities they mention in the article and they are, for some reason, going against their Rebbes and Rabbis proclomations on vaccinations.

    This is interesting to me because these liberal pockets in Oregon can be considered insular communities as well.

    1. milesc

      We should stop calling them anti-vaxers.

      They are plague enthusiasts.

      (I would love to give credit to the tweet I read that in, but I lost track of it.)

      I am all in favour of segregating them. They are literally a danger to others’ health.

  17. Wukchumni

    Trump signs executive order to protect the US from a ‘debilitating’ EMP attack Business Insider
    We’ve already seen a simulated EMP (extraordinarily mean precedent) attack on Puerto Rico post hurricane that kept the power off there for months, how long would we last being a fractured society w/o gas?

    Talked to my neighbors who aren’t talking to each other on account of political differences, one was crestfallen-the other jubilant, over Mueller.

    Has it come to this, in a similarity to our stupid wars always fought far away, that little battles fought between neighbors over stupid politicians that have proven that they could care less for their constituents far away, and i’m the neutral country in the middle.

    1. Brian (another one the call)

      Lamentations and outrages are the norm now. Our parasites have done their level best to fracture, delay, divert and destroy a reality where we can all just get along. They are doing their level best to remove all choices from the populace so we have to select one of their pre wrapped conditions for existence. There is little difference in the politics, it is just a show to divert attention.
      We, the people are deadbeats to our rulers. We don’t provide them with enough, and never could. So what did they do? They created more money to enable their feel good about the way things are. Go into congress with nothing, come out with millions. MMT isn’t a future condition, it is now and everyone knows it, but can’t bring themselves to believe it due to the harsh collision with our own self delusion.
      The financial nightmare is not going to get any traction because it is the most dangerous dialog possible. They have to distract from the upcoming collapse. Notice they don’t mention any problems regarding the ultimate collapse of a system built on crony worship and payment. It is the one way they believe they can still shout out; “Who coulda knode?” when it all collapses. The beatings will continue until morale improves or they no longer need to string us along and the beatings become the norm. Like now?

    2. Cal2

      “The problems of Puerto Rico have a root-cause problem attached to it: We don’t have political power and are not treated as equal citizens,” said Ricardo Rosselló, Puerto Rico’s governor, noting the island does not elect voting members of Congress (though it does elect a non-sitting member) or have a general-election vote in U.S. presidential races.”

      Puerto Ricans pay no federal income tax. Might that be part of their powerlessness?

      1. marym

        Puerto Rico pays billions of federal taxes each year

        Puerto Rico is a US territory and not a state, so its residents don’t pay federal income tax unless they work for the US government. Even so, workers there pay the majority of federal taxes that Americans on the mainland pay — payroll taxes, social security taxes, business taxes, gift taxes, estate taxes and so on.

        The Stafford Act, which governs federal response to major disasters, says the government must provide help to Puerto Rico like it would to any other state. It doesn’t say that help should be based on the state’s financial health…

        Nor does it say disaster relief depends on how much it puts the budget “out of whack,” in Trump’s words. After all, the majority of states get more back from the federal government than they pay in taxes.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Our Grid could use a little attention. If it is the result of hardening against EMP, does it matter? I doubt a foreign power would lauch an EMP attack against the U.S. but another Carrington Event would play havoc with our communications and Grid, Carrington-class CME narrowly misses Earth []. A search on Carrington Events and EMP quickly gets into tin-foil hat territory … but all the same … our lives are constructed around a working Grid. After a few days without electric power during Sandy I’m not too sure about the state of the Grid and after Puerto Rico I am not so sure about our government. Some efforts to protect against EMP might help me feel very slightly less uncomfortable.

  18. integer

    Re: How the Israel Lobby Got its Start

    Excellent article. Well, it’s actually a transcript of a speech, but it reads like an article. Israel and pro-Israel groups simply have too much control over U.S. politics. There was an Al Jazeera article in yesterday’s links that asserted the US invaded Iraq in order to demonstrate its power to the world – I don’t think that’s correct. From Mearsheimer and Walt’s The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (2006):

    Within the United States, the main driving force behind the Iraq War was a small band of neoconservatives, many with close ties to Israel’s Likud party. In addition, key leaders of the lobby’s major organizations lent their voices to the cam- paign for war. According to Forward:

    “As President Bush attempted to sell the . . . war in Iraq, America’s most important Jewish organizations rallied as one to his defense. In statement after statement community leaders stressed the need to rid the world of Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction.”

    The editorial goes on to say that “concern for Israel’s safety rightfully factored into the deliberations of the main Jewish groups.”

    1. integer

      More from Mearsheimer and Walt:

      Pressure from Israel and the lobby was not the only factor behind the U.S. decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was a critical element. Some Americans believe that this was a “war for oil,” but there is hardly any direct evidence to support this claim. Instead, the war was motivated in good part by a desire to make Israel more secure. According to Philip Zelikow, a member of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (2001- 03), executive director of the 9/11 Commission, and now counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the “real threat” from Iraq was not a threat to the United States. The “unstated threat” was the “threat against Israel,” Zelikow told a University of Virginia audience in September 2002, noting further that “the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell.”

      On August 16, 2002, eleven days before Vice President Cheney kicked off the campaign for war with a hard-line speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Washington Post reported that “Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.” By this point, according to Sharon, strategic coordination between Israel and the United States had reached “unprecedented dimensions,” and Israeli intelligence officials had given Washington a variety of alarming reports about Iraq’s WMD programs. As one retired Israeli general later put it,”Israeli intelligence was a full partner to the picture presented by American and British intelligence regarding Iraq’s non-conventional capabilities.”

    2. Geo

      Any efforts to understand the invasion of Iraq (and subsequent interventions) that don’t focus on The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) are missing a key element.

      Their goals:
      1. Destabilize the region in favor of Israel & U.S. interests to make regime change across the region easier
      2. Control oil markets
      3. Strategic military dominance of the region

      It’s not like any of this was a well kept secret. They wrote it all out. Seems too many have forgotten. Heck, they even stated the need for a “Space Force” (their words). The plan still drives our foreign policy.

      1. integer

        FWIW the people behind PNAC are the above-referenced “small band of neoconservatives, many with close ties to Israel’s Likud party.”

        1. Geo

          Figured so. Was referring to that Al Jazeera piece and so much of the reporting done on the subject. Just wanted to add my two cents. :)

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Vintage photographs of Indochina War on display”

    The most memorable foto to come out of that war, in my opinion, is the one below-

    There are a lot of memorable fotos that came out of that war and I have a book or two than has quite a few of them. But here is a thought. When I think of the past twenty years of war in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, I am hard pressed to think of more than a few that you could one day be said to be emblematic of the Forever Wars. And that is sad that.

    1. Wukchumni

      The average American if asked to name a hero in our forever wars since 9/11, might say Pat Tillman (shot by his own troops) but i’d guess 99% of us couldn’t come up with anything.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Drill Sgt Duran and Summers for me.

        Other than that, too many company kids.

        Oh and Sgt 1st Class (E-7) Thunderhawk, a (full blooded) Lakota Dakota Sioux tribe Airborne Ranger.

        F ok now im starting to remember some real life heros. Get this, in Ranger Training (RASP 2012), our 1st Sgt (E-9) was a guy named Phipps, a Purple Heart, Combat Infrantry Badge decorated survivor of Black Hawk Down. I shit you not, dudes in the book i read a decade ago. And our company CO is a Major Stone.


        Its all a stage. No one really believes in the fight save da few diehards.

        Military be ripe for some radicalism!

        Oh. And #FreeChelsea

  20. Frank Little

    Re: The eviction crisis is starting to look a lot like the subprime mortgage crisis

    Where I live in Wisconsin the city passed an ordinance mandating that every rental property in the city has to be inspected at least once in five years. This was sorely needed, since many of the rentals are old houses which have been converted by would-be DIYers long ago with little or not maintenance since then. Landlords in town hated the law (of course) and actually got the state legislature to pass a law specifically neutering the city ordinance and making it more difficult to inspect every property. One even bragged about it when we were looking for a new place.

    That’s by way of background to the eviction issue. Our old upstairs neighbors have two small children working for low wages and he would constantly threaten to evict them and demand late fees even if they had already paid back rent. Whenever I mentioned this guy’s name, nearly everyone in town had not only heard of him but knew that he was a classic slumlord. Now my old neighbors are specifically refusing the city inspection because they are worried they are retaliating against them for going along with the inspection even though I am certain there are many issues in their unit, since that’s what the inspector found when I requested an inspection in my downstairs unit after he ignored repeated maintenance requests.

    Tenants rights is another issue that is as massive as it is ignored. The government won’t even do anything to military landlords, which tells you how much of a shot the rest of us have.

    1. pretzelattack

      broke, usa by gary rivlin is another good book on the subject of industries that exist by exploiting the poor and middle class.

  21. todde

    Cops will play physiological mind games to get a confession.

    Glad the people who go to Law School finally figured that out.

    I had to chant in my head ‘ he didn’t have a mark on him when I left him” because I was starting to wonder whether I blacked out and did what they said I did.

    then they made shit up anyway

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      And leave you in a cell for 8 hrs to see if youve changed ur mind. And call you a cancer that needs to be ripped out.

  22. upstater

    re. “Trump Administration Dims Rule On Energy Efficient Lightbulbs”

    An authoritative TVA manager once told me if each residential customer in TVA’s service territory installed a single LED lightbulb to replace an incandescent bulb, it would cost TVA $75 million in lost revenue. There are 30-50 lightbulbs in a typical home.

    Not requiring more efficient decorative lighting is all about burning more electricity and keeping inefficient producers alive.

    This is the same mentality to burn every drop of fossil fuels and keep nuclear plants alive, and it is not unique to Trump and the republicans.

    In New York State, Andrew Cuomo saddled electric ratepayers with a $7B bailout of Exelon Corporation’s 4 nuclear plants on Lake Ontario. Sending each homeowner in the state 30 LED bulb would have been cheaper and likely been enough energy savings to shutter the 3 Fukushima-type plants and one newer plant.

    Corporate welfare — bipartisanship at its best.

    1. Geo

      In terms of carbon footprint and ecological impact I’ve read that LED bulbs and other energy efficient bulbs are at least as wasteful due to all the complex parts required to create them. I could be wrong because it’s hard to tell good reporting from industry propaganda on the subject but curious if anyone here has insights on this.

      1. Upstater

        There were some DOE and university studies that factored in total life cycle energy costs (links not posted here).

        LEDs have 1/10 the energy life cycle costs of incandescent lights.

        There may be hazardous waste considerations, too.

        Let it suffice to say that the Trump administration is not killing the LED requirement because of environmental concern.

    1. Sol

      That was a good read. We’ve fashioned our economy into an ouroboros. I suspect much of our current social discord is a reflection of this. People would strive to solve problems, except they don’t have a permit and the right credentials so they can do little except get mad at whatever Other seems handy.

      Oversimplified, and yet hopefully the gist is clear.

  23. eyelladog

    I’m not sure that hiring Tchen to review the SPLC will age well after what has happened up here in Chicago involving Jussie Smollett. It was so bad that even Rahm had to feign disapproval in order not to lose the CPD in light of the current mayoral race (Periwinkle said some ‘unflattering’ things about the CPD, which is fine until you basically become their boss).

    The link of Tchen to Smollett:

    1. Geo

      Playing devil’s advocate here since Smollett is a difficult one to advocate for, but it seems the outrage about his case is more about a black guy “getting away with it” then anything else.

      How many police officers, bankers, politicians, and others of privilege and power gotten away with so much worse with barely any concern from those outraged by this apparent injustice?

      It could be the celebrity angle mixed with the sensitivity over alleged hate crimes and how idiotic it is to fake one for self promotion – but again – how is that any worse then the countless examples of other worse crimes that never go punished?

      1. todde

        I could care less what happens to Smollett either way.

        not on my radar as it doesn’t have any effect on me whatsoever

  24. Craig H.

    > Antidote data.

    The Rogers AR Cabela’s is off a major interchange and shares a parking lot with a Target. It looks on the satellite view that the Cabela’s has more square footage than Target. It also looks to my amateur real estate dealer’s eye like the Cabela’s is the prime tenant on the parcel, i.e. they are on the corner and the Target is off to the side. Do they sell grenade launchers at the Rogers AR Cabela’s?

    Arkiefornia seems to be an NC distinction. On google search from my ISP every result on the first page is to NC. I presume the person who coined that term is one of those rare folks who has been to the north of CA and not to south CA because Rogers AR looks like a very nice place. The lat-lon if you want to have a look: 36.301991, -94.175567

    1. Eureka Springs

      Grenadine launchers? Not to my knowledge. What I find interesting in that location is among all their ammo the calibers which are not available or extremely difficult to catch in stock. 22 mag, 380, 270 to name a few.

        1. ambrit

          Launched as a combined unit: Grenadines.
          Then there were the old British military “officer support troops,” the Grenadineier Guards. They gave an appropriately olde fashioned meaning to the German term, “Keil und Kessel.” The ‘wedge’ is that driven between the classes. The ‘pot’ is, of course, the container for the potables upon which the officer corps relied.

    2. Carolinian

      Grenade launchers inappropriate ware against the stuffed animals that litter the typical Cabela’s (and they are real). Take away the corpses and the guns however and it’s a pretty cool store.

    3. Wukchumni

      Arkiefornia is certainly in the Central Valley Bible Belt, as that’s where evangs hightailing it out of the dust bowl ended up and took up residence here, but where exactly?

      It has to be a larger town to be able to justify a Cabela’s being there, so that rules out Pixley & Yettem.

      1. Lee

        My mom was from Weedpatch, ran off to L.A. with a guy from Arkansas during WW2, and the rest is family history.

    1. Pat

      There was a whole lot of virtue signalling in that press conference. Pretty sure this was too good an opportunity to get national exposure AND be supportive of police and the minority community for him to miss it. Pretty sure Rahm doesn’t really care one way or another about the actual crime.

  25. Livius Drusus

    Re: homelessness and the eviction crisis.

    This is a good article on the growth of the elderly homeless population. Here is an excerpt:

    Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) interviewed 350 homeless adults aged 50 and older through population-based sampling in Oakland, California, over five years (the project has been renewed, ending in 2022). UCSF researchers estimate that half of the single homeless adults are age 50 or older, compared to 11 percent in the early 1990s — a 354 percent uptick.

    This is important information to know when people want to play the generation blame game and say our troubles are the fault of Baby Boomers. I see the “Baby Boomers are all rich and selfish” meme come up way too much on the left. It is just as bad as the “lazy Millennials” stereotype that you see on right-wing websites. The issue here is class!

    1. Robert McGregor

      Re: Whether Boomers “all all rich and selfish”

      There ARE stats showing the superior financial condition of the early boomers–people in their 70s now. Since stats can be tricky, try the empirical anecdote method: Look around at your friends and family: How do the finances of people in their seventies compare to those in their sixties, fifties, and say, twenties? What I see are friends and family in their seventies who rode the best times in economic history. They started their careers in the 1960s when everything was up and up, and also bought their first homes, and maybe first started investing in the stock market. Now, they are retired, living in two-level homes, traveling around the world on planes and RVs while their grandchildren are living in their children’s basements.

        1. ambrit

          “Tell Dougie I need my sister’s Wii console back ASAP! She needs to put it up for sale on Craig’s List to make bail money for someone.”
          “Say hi to Janice and say I ain’t forgot that I owe her money.”

        2. ambrit

          Oh, and we really had distant cousins in Posnan. Relatives of Great Grandmother. She was said to be four foot six, long black hair, and had the Second Sight. (We lost touch with them after the War. Who knows where they ended up. The Twentieth Century will be a real headache for future population geneticists.)

          1. BlueMoose

            Yes, things were a bit more fluid. I have come full circle. My great-grandfather came to the states in 1890. They were part of the great migration from Poland, especially Galicia. As late as 1939 I can still find family names in that area (now Ukraine).

            At least now, I still have the luxury to investigate this. I doubt in 100 years anyone will even know that I existed.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Look at the bright side. There will be all those intelligence files on you from the CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, etc. as well as all those commercial files from Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, etc. that there will be a treasure trove of information on you for your descendants to read over. Far more than the information that you could put together from your ancestors from 1919.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Work at Amazon, say “Hello” and “Goodbye” at Walmart, clean tables at Mickie D’s, …

        You betcha.

      2. marieann

        “Now, they are retired, living in two-level homes, traveling around the world on planes and RVs while their grandchildren are living in their children’s basements”

        We are those boomers, started out in 1967 when we came to Canada with nothing and did very well.

        Except we don’t travel the world or even anywhere ,we have never owned an RV, we stay at home in the house we bought in ’78 where we raised our sons.Excitement for me is when all my geranium seeds germinate or the days my cat doesn’t throw up.
        We have no grandchildren (thank goodness) and we help our sons financially.

        I’m not sure why I feel the need to explain all this, perhaps I should apologize for being born in the 40’s. This was the way it was and we worked hard.

  26. Eclair

    RE: The Amateur Sleuth Who Searched for a Body …

    Hundreds of Native American women have gone missing … and law enforcement just shrugs. One of the reasons, as the article points out, is that a crime committed by a non-Native against a Native on a reservation cannot be dealt with by the local tribal police but falls under Federal jurisdiction.

    Murder, rape, substance abuse (alcohol and the latest, meth) are the fate of so many of the young people growing up on the reservations in North and South Dakota. Lissa Yellow Bear-Chase, in spite of the deck being stacked against her from birth, has managed to become an effective force for good among her people.

    Another woman, an Oglala Lakota from the South Dakota Pine Ridge Reservation, is trying to protect the young people there from meth dealers. Julie Richards, with little money and a ‘war pony’ that is always breaking down, drives hundreds of miles through the reservation to rescue kids whose lives are being ruined by meth. She is known as “Mama Julz,” after the name of her crusade (Mothers Against Meth Alliance) to save just one more kid from addiction and early death.

    1. Geo

      Thanks for this. Not nearly enough attention is given to the issues faced by Native Americans and the epidemics of “disappeared” women, drugs/alcohol, and the historical and systemic causes of these problems.

      I’ve been researching it for years and, as a filmmaker, as currently working on a new project that delves into these issues in the hopes of helping bring them into the social conversation at least. Will add your info to my notes.

  27. tokyodamage

    This was the best ‘links’ in a long time, thanks so much for doing this.

    NC is the only site I give money to.

    Also, it’s nice to see Current Affairs can still write good stuff when it wants to (for example, the SPLC article!)

    Then again, the other Current Affairs article linked to here (about Chernobyl) feels like the nuclear power lobby hired a New Yorker writer to rehabilitate their industry, so IDK. (“Of course we socialists are anti-nuke, but you know what’s worse than meltdowns? Anti-communist bigotry, that’s the real killer!”)

    The whole unspoken premise of the article is that meltdowns never get any worse than Chernobyl.

    It’s bizarre!

    But i guess that’s a trend among people terrified of global warming but too young to remember the nuclear fears of the 80s: recently i see a lot of comments like, “Well actually nuclear power is good”. . .

    After all, if the world relied on actually safe, sustainable energy, (no nukes OR fossil fuels), we’d probably have to give up iphones and apps! And what’s a few Chernobyls, if it means keeping your emojis and memes flowing?

    Sorry I can’t stop dunking on Current Affairs – the SPLC thing was brilliant.

    1. Robert McGregor

      @ tokyodamage, Great line–“And what’s a few Chernobyls, if it means keeping your emojis and memes flowing?. I like your screen name too–hey 100,000 people died in one night from the US firebombing Tokyo.

  28. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you Yves for the link about the burning injustice that is the plight of the Chagossiens.

    Firstly, it’s rare to see such good article about the tragedy and shout-out for Corbyn and Salmond. One can see why the powers that be, on both sides of the pond, are gunning after the pair. The same can be said, too, for the late Robin Cook.

    The shameful behaviour of the British and US governments is rightly highlighted. The equally shameful behaviour of the Mauritian government, current and former, should be called out.

    Most Mauritians could not care less about the Chagossiens. One should be frank about that. Most Chagossiens are of African origin, Creole and French speaking, and Roman Catholic, so the same as me. A small majority of Mauritians are not. Even the kith and kin on the mainland, the island of Mauritius, have other concerns. As the island benefits from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act and some residual colonial era preferences, many do not want to antagonise the UK and US and, with regard to Tromelin, France.

    The issue has become a political football in Mauritius. The issue was dormant for years, but the unscrupulous dynasties / kleptocrats who hijacked Mauritius after independence in 1968 resurrect the issue from time to time, probably hoping for a pay-out from the UK and US.

    Every party leader in 1960s Mauritius got a knighthood and other “douceurs” to allow the excision of the Chagos archipelago and the independence of Mauritius. They were complicit in that betrayal.

    The UK and US exploited and encouraged communal differences over independence. Most islanders of mixed race (Creoles), European and Chinese origin and of Muslim faith opposed independence. Most islanders of Hindu faith, so the same as the PM mentioned in the Murray article, supported independence.

    Independence was agreed in 1965. Communal violence, between Creoles and Indians (Hindus and Muslims), erupted in 1966. Troops from the UK had to be brought in to act, just like in Northern Ireland a few years later. Tension had been building up throughout the 1960s. It was against this background that Denis Healey did the dirty work for imperialists.

    I don’t think the archipelago should be returned to Mauritius. Most Mauritians don’t care about the Chagossiens. The Chagossiens should either go for independence or autonomy within the UK, especially a UK that has had a Corbyn government.

    It’s no secret that the powers that be from DC to London to Jerusalem are gunning for Corbyn. Does a Corbyn government need to antagonise the US by doing the right thing for the Chagossiens? It would be, perhaps, an unnecessary distraction? Perhaps, Bernie Sanders would understand and enable a just solution. A compromise could be to allow the US to retain the base and the Chagossiens to be kept away from Diego Garcia. This was recommended by consultants to the then Foreign Secretary William Hague, but this was rejected by David Cameron. The Chagossiens recognise the reality and are up for that.

    The duplicity of the Mauritian government continues to this day. The crooks in charge, sons of the crooks and racists in charge in the 1960s, want to sell or lease Agalega and perhaps Saint-Brandon, both inhabited by Creoles, to India as India has ambitions in the Indian Ocean. It beggars belief that Mauritius wants to get involved in big power plays, especially as the islands have different origins (India, Africa, Europe and China), but the crooks in charge only care about money.

    The great grandfather of Cameron’s wife, Bede Clifford, was governor of Mauritius and the Bahamas, one of the most corrupt and venal colonial officials ever to serve in the British government. Lyford Cay in the Bahamas was one of his ventures. In Mauritius, in order to disrupt a trade union movement that had united Creole and Indian workers, Clifford played the divide and rule tactic, a strategy that led to violence.

    1. Eclair

      I read Craig Murray’s post, alternating among outrage, tears and resigned cynicism. It recounts a nasty little piece of history, with all the usual actors, including: USA needing a secluded place to blow up nuclear weapons. Just when I think I have heard the worst, Murray comes out with this sordid tale. The losers: a couple hundred rag-tailed, brown-skinned Chagossiens who were treated with less compassion than a rat infestation. Christ almighty, some days I am so ashamed of being human.

      Thanks, mon Colonel (sorry, I’ve always wanted to say that!) for shedding additional light on the background political machinations.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you.

        In case you are wondering, the pseudonym is from Goldfinger. A Bank of England official goes by the name.

        1. Eclair

          Thank you for the background on your nom de plume. Or, nom de guerre?

          Since I go back a lot further than you do, your name conjured up from the depths of my sub-conscious, an archetypical Brit, retired from the Colonial Service, corpulent, red-faced, white walrus mustache, sitting in his dining room at breakfast with the morning Times, harrumphing loudly over those ‘darkies’ having the unmitigated gall to leave Oxford with honors.

    2. ambrit

      Thanks Colonel.
      You mentioned the Bahamas and I concur. As a lad, I lived in Nassau for two years, pre-independence. A similar class/race dynamic held sway. (Most of this I gleaned from commentary by my parents and outre reading over the years.) The dominant White clique were called the ‘Bay Street Boys.’ The Poor Whites, generally descendants of American Tories who moved to the Bahamas after losing America, are still called Conchy Joes, or Conchs for short. Most of the rest are descendants of Black slaves, with a few Chinese.
      After Independence, the Pindling clan, the main Black politicians of the time, managed to take control of the new government. They control New Providence Island, where Nassau and the various tourist vice dens are. Most of the rest of the islands, the Out Islands, are populated by and run by the Conchs. This schizophrenic condition allows a lot of nefarious dealing to go on at secluded venues.
      Speaking of venal and corrupt, HRH The Duke of Windsor and his inamorata ‘governed’ the islands from 1940 to 1945. A certain (in)famous murder they have been suspect of involvement in happened then. Money seems to have been the motive, or sex, or status, or all three.
      The stuff that Empire is made of:
      Plus, to describe someone as “…one of the most corrupt and venal colonial officials ever to serve in the British government…” is tantamount to nominating that person for anti-sainthood. The Colonial Office over it’s long and storied career has set the bar for that dubious honour infernally low.
      A Title for Imperials inhabiting the Infernal Region: Imperator d’ L’Enfer.

    3. ChristopherJ

      Thank you, Colonel. Agree, keep Mauritius out it now. Reparations should be made to the Chagossians and it will be a Corbyn govt that does it, notwithstanding the huge fight that would provoke with the Americans. Whether JC ever gets to number 10 is hugely problematic for him as the forces both without and within uk labour are immense and extremely cunning as their very fortunes rest upon maintaining the status quo. Hey, leaving the USA would make the brexit negotiations seem like a discussion about morning tea.

      I leave you this from a Mr Ward in comments:

      I have posted before that I worked (hardly lived – there only to make money) on Diego Gsrcia for 2 years fom 81 -82. We were building the US base.. So I didn’t meet any locals who were already long gone. On Sundays, we would pack the barbeque and coolers and head off to the pristine beaches on the other side of the atoll. Mostly Americans, a few Brits and Filipinos, where we would explore, eat, swim and get drunk. Most of us shit faced in fact. The eastern side of the atoll is where the main town had been before they we’re all forcebly removed. There was a beautiful church, the walls built entirely of coral. There was a giant clam shell baptism front inside.. maybe a meter wide. There was a square, houses and a police station. The Brits said there were no “permanent residents,” Why wouldn’t you believe this unless you had seen it for yourself? We would poke around the deserted houses and see tools sitting on benches. That’s when I knew they had been forcibly removed.
      Whilst there, the HMS Sheffield popped in. We all got drunk at the Brit club, and then she was urgently ordered to the Falklands, where she was hit by an Exocer and sank with the loss of most of the crew..
      This was the irony Britain forcibly removed some 1500 islanders, and then went to war to defend the rights of 1200 British settlers. Different color of course.

  29. barrisj

    Re: Boeing, 737Max, and the MCAS development…the Seattle Times continues its must-read coverage of how an appalling lack of redundancy in the angle-of attack (AOA) sensor increased the risk of catastrophic cockpit failure. The article points out that Airbus aircraft have 3 AOA sensors, with software designed to average the reading for the system. Apparently, including 3 sensors on the airframe of the base 737 would have required a “physical retrofit” of the MAX. Also, it was made clear to Boeing engineers that the MCAS install would be such as to avoid pilot simulator training, which would add cost and time to the certification process. As previous coverage of the MAX development pointed out, rather than a new, ground-up airframe to support the MAX engines and other major changes needed, Boeing opted for a simpler, faster, and less costly redo of the base 737, which entrained a whole lot of – as engineeres remarked – “kludgy add-ons”.

    Lack of redundancies on Boeing 737 MAX system baffles some involved in developing the jet
    Boeing has long embraced the power of redundancy to protect its jets and their passengers from a range of potential disruptions, from electrical faults to lightning strikes.

    The company typically uses two or even three separate components as fail-safes for crucial tasks to reduce the possibility of a disastrous failure. Its most advanced planes, for instance, have three flight computers that function independently, with each computer containing three different processors manufactured by different companies.

    So even some of the people who have worked on Boeing’s new 737 MAX airplane were baffled to learn that the company had designed an automated safety system that abandoned the principles of component redundancy, ultimately entrusting the automated decision-making to just one sensor — a type of sensor that was known to fail. Boeing’s rival, Airbus, has typically depended on three such sensors.

    “A single point of failure is an absolute no-no,” said one former Boeing engineer who worked on the MAX, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the program in an interview with The Seattle Times. “That is just a huge system engineering oversight. To just have missed it, I can’t imagine how.”

    1. ChristopherJ

      Replacing three AOA sensors with one to save money looks a lot like negligence to me, when the industry standard is to never rely on one component, like one engine for example.

      Be an improvement on past if some execs go to jail. But a suppose a fine is probably on the cards. I hope they have deep pockets as I think the compensation payouts could be quite large this time.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘never rely on one component, like one engine for example’

        You mean like the F-35 for example?

  30. Glen

    Obama Warns Democrats About Costs of Left-Wing Policies: Report

    Can this guy just go away? He’s done more than enough harm for one President.

    1. Another Scott

      As opposed to the 13 senate seats, 69 house seats, 12 governor’s mansions and 900 state legislative seats lost under his corporatist term. Does anyone think that a president who implemented single-payer healthcare, an expansive jobs program (stimulus), increased union protections and strong bank regulations would have done worse?

      Maybe, but then we’d actual have programs that help Americans.

      1. JBird4049

        But the average American can’t give any bribes worthy of the description so we don’t deserve any help. I think that helping the helpless, pestering the powerful, democracy, and the rule of law is all rot nowadays; it is afflicting the helpless, uplifting the powerful, “Meritocracy”,and rule by the strong.

  31. JBird4049

    Puerto Rico faces food-stamp crisis as Trump privately vents about federal aid to Hurricane Maria-battered island

    Puerto Rico will again need the federal government’s help to stave off drastic cuts to Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor and disabled, as well as for the disbursement of billions in hurricane relief aid that has not yet been turned over to the island.

    The island would not need Congress to step in to fund its food-stamp and Medicaid programs if it were a state. For states, the federal government has committed to funding those programs’ needs, whatever the cost and without needing to take a vote. But Puerto Rico instead funds its programs through a block grant from the federal government, which needs to be regularly renewed, and also gives food-stamp benefits about 40 percent smaller than those of states.

    If you can get past the ad blockers, I really do recommend that you read the article as it is not just a Trump attack article.

    Puerto Rico is small example what the United States has been doing throughout the Americas, including effectively seizures of profitable businesses and farms by American businesses, military invasions, coups, assassinations of government officials, and usually at the direct requests either by big businesses and financial companies as well as Congress.

    All while it is an American territory with much of the time the people also being American citizens. If it was an American state, it could just declare bankruptcy and if anyone tried to use armed force, all states can have their own military. Since Puerto Rico is our property, it cannot.

    Read up on its history. It might be our future. Just be prepare to start shouting at whatever object you are reading.

    1. ChristopherJ

      Thank you J Bird. Yes American foreign policy. Any decent country would have made PC and Haiti independent strong countries years ago.

      Decency has been in short supply at the top of our food chain.

  32. Cal2

    “Andrew Yang’s” proposals are, I believe, an entree to a cashless society and a national I.D. card.
    I think he’s a frontman or a cutout for others and is just the delivery vehicle.

    The guaranteed minimum income; you think they’ll send you a check that you can deposit in your bank account? Nope, it’ll be in a special new federal account based on an I.D. number, or a social security number. Probably used to offset tax liabilities, or, shunted over to another electronic system like food stamps.

    “Oh, but there will be resistance to that.”
    How many people will give up their free money?

    Why else is Silicon Valley so behind this guy? His proposals mean a whole new layer of feeding off our society and economy for them.

    Viz, J.P. Morgan’s cut of every welfare payment sent out through special accounts.


    Oh, and yet another distraction and siphoning off of votes in the primary from Bernie or Tulsi.

    1. jrs

      shrug who cares. I mean I’m not strongly defending Yang here, but worrying about whether it’s a paper check at this point is silly.

      Unemployment isn’t a literal check at this point, it’s a B of A debit card (corrupt but hey), and people rely on that money to live while they look for work. So an attack on “but it’s not a paper check” quickly slides into another attack on any benefits per se, and well we already have Trump for that.

      1. JBird4049

        If it was a direct deposit, where you could take hard cash out that might be okay. I do not want something like a SNAP (food stamps) debit card where the state, including your benefits counselor, can see exactly where, when, and what you bought with your card. That is a bit Orwellian.

    2. Carey

      Responding to your first two sentences, I’m getting a similar feeling about Mr. Yang
      as I’ve read and watched more, including the new WaPo (!) piece.

  33. Savita

    In case you missed it yesterday. Here is the Australian invention for cleaning up garbage including microplastics from the ocean. This is the direct link (I gave a news article yesterday)
    not affiliated in any way shape or form just impressed

  34. Savita

    ‘What Britain Looks LIke After Brexit’
    WTF? I was reading, waiting, waiting, reading, okay where’s the turnaround, where’s the punchline, where’s the JG Ballard surrealist doorway – and then Johnny awoke to the sound of Mam boiling the kettle – and I get to the end and just choke! The dude is playing it straight!

    1. Savita

      I’m so lucky I wasn’t crunching my corn chips that are next to computer, right as I got to the end, it would seriously have required an emergency intervention – true story

      1. JBird4049

        The couple’s first foray into education was in 1968, when they opened a collection of day-care centers in South L.A. under the name Golden Day Schools. As director, Clark Parker won lucrative state contracts to enroll children from low-income families — until 2011, when state officials cut him off, citing “serious, chronic, and systemic program violations.”

        The Parkers have been grifting a living from the poor, the credulous, and desperate for more than two generations when it looks like they should be in prison or flipping burgers for a living. It would be interesting to see if they have used campaign donations to stay open.

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