Links 3/31/19

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Tasmanian devils ‘adapting to coexist with cancer’ BBC

Second ghostly galaxy without dark matter discovered, first confirmed Astronomy

The ETF Tax Dodge Is Wall Street’s “Dirty Little Secret” Bloomberg

March U.S. Auto Sales Numbers Aren’t Looking Good As Consumer Confidence Slumps Further Jalopnik

Experimental Security Research of Tesla Autopilot (PDF) Tencent Keen Security Lab. Note the ownership; however, most AI triumphalism seems to ignore the possibility that people will game the AI’s sensors, as in this study, when in fact that’s the very first thing they will do, in the wild. Those cheeky, curious, fun-loving anthropoids!

New Yorker’s Dino Fossils Profile Features Pitfalls of ‘Science as Performance’ The Wire (The New Yorker story; more from the BBC).

Americans Are Smart About Science FiveThirtyEight


EU would delay Brexit again to let UK hold a second referendum Independent

Furious Tories turn on ERG in Brexit crisis as rival factions trade insults over Britain’s failure to leave the EU on March 29 The Sun

Brexit: Home truths – no deal and the Irish border RTE

A cross-party approach to Brexit is now required FT

Mervyn King calls for no-deal Brexit after six months of preparation The Times

Jeremy Corbyn could be poised for Downing Street if May calls an election after shock poll reveals Labour have taken a FIVE-point lead over Tories… while Boris is still favourite to succeed the PM Daily Mail


Mao Zedong’s ‘little red book’ gets modern twist with mobile app for studying ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ South China Morning Post

Getting Rongcheng Right China Law Translate. Actual operation of the social credit scoring scheme.

UK report blasts Huawei for network security incompetence TechCrunch (original).


‘The Formation of an Educated Class Must Be Averted’: How Israel Marginalized Arabs From the Start Haaretz

Vietnam to Venezuela: US Interventionism and the Failure of the Left Adolph Reed, Common Dreams. Important. Grab a cup of coffee.


Diplomats, Washington skittish on Maduro’s downfall in Venezuela McClatchy

Russia Defends Military Presence in Venezuela, Says U.S. ‘Nervous’ Because Its Plans ‘Failed’ Newsweek

Connectivity across Venezuela drops following new national power outage Net Blocks

Venezuela’s Oil Production Plummets in February Due to New US Sanctions CEPR

Trump plans to cut U.S. aid to 3 Central American countries in fight over U.S.-bound migrants WaPo. El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

New Cold War

From Global Order to Global Transition Russia in Global Affairs. “The current post-Washington world transition is analyzed here in the context of theoretical studies concerning the previous post-Vienna, post-Paris, post-Versailles and post-Yalta transitions and their historical experience. The article concludes that the current post-Washington transition is irreversible, yet it may take more time than the previous ones and extend beyond 2050.” Dense, but interesting.


Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

The 2016 campaign season brought to the surface awesome levels of political discontent. After the election, instead of wondering where that anger came from, most of the press quickly pivoted to a new tale about a Russian plot to attack our Democracy. This conveyed the impression that the election season we’d just lived through had been an aberration, thrown off the rails by an extraordinary espionage conspiracy between Trump and a cabal of evil foreigners.

This narrative contradicted everything I’d seen traveling across America in my two years of covering the campaign. The overwhelming theme of that race, long before anyone even thought about Russia, was voter rage at the entire political system.

The anger wasn’t just on the Republican side, where Trump humiliated the Republicans’ chosen $150 million contender, Jeb Bush (who got three delegates, or $50 million per delegate). It was also evident on the Democratic side, where a self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist” with little money and close to no institutional support became a surprise contender.

Chris Arnade, who coined the phrase “volatility voters,” saw the same thing in his travels.

How the Media Got it Wrong on Trump and Russia The National Interest. The headline erases the intelligence community from the story. The article does not.

To Understand Mueller’s Work, Focus on Counterintelligence LawFare

The Mueller Bait and Switch Elizabeth Drew, Project Syndicate

Now That Robert Mueller Has Finished His Investigation, Can We Stop Obsessing Over Russia? Teen Vogue

So That’s Over, and What’s Next? Garrison Keillor, Reader Supported News (Furzy Mouse).

‘Lock them up’? Trump’s attention turns to his enemies list NBC News

Trump Transition

Trump and Big Oil Want to Pull the Plug on the Electric Car Market EcoWatch

Trump’s Order to Open Arctic Waters to Oil Drilling Was Unlawful, Federal Judge Finds NYT

‘Doomsday vault’ town warming faster than any other on Earth CNN

Health Care

The Story We Are Not Talking About Enough Public Health Post. “Shouldn’t we then start paying attention to the worst American health deterioration in a 100 years?” Just when everything’s going according to plan?

Association of Air Pollution Exposure With Psychotic Experiences During Adolescence JAMA (GF).

The future of stroke patients may depend on the part-time job of a Canadian surgeon Quartz

Anti-Vaxxers: Singular in Focus, Varied in Argument MedPage Today

737 Max

Bjorn’s Corner: The Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, Part 3. Leeham New and Analysis (parts one and two). These are all very good.


Big Tech needs a Big Fix Boston Globe

Lina Khan: ‘This isn’t just about antitrust. It’s about values’ FT

Class Warfare

How “illegal” teacher strikes rescued the American labor movement Vice

GM squeezed $118 million from its workers, then shut their factory LA Times. Reparations needed…

On Flooding: Drowning the Culture in Sameness Long Reads

Appl Still Hasn’t Fixd Its MacBook Kyboad Problm WSJ. Massiv takdown. Perhaps Apple wants be a services business, and not a hardware business, like that time GM decided it was going to be a finance company with a factory attached. If that’s the goal, acing out the creatives who, despite every obstacle placed in their way, still use Apple’s increasingly crapified products seems like a dumb move, but what would I know?

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Svante Arrhenius

    Regurgitating “the MSM got it wrong” is like saying the rich get richer (the rich rob us blind, as their puppets make their crimes laudable, while criminalizing pathetic attempts at defense on our part). Those stoopit churls across the Hudson were unable to speciously delude themselves about the fix being in, long before the NY/ Acela primaries. By the DNC’s Philly massacre, everybody I respected pretty much shuffled their portfolio, renewing their passport and friending folks in Costa Rica or Ireland. Going from NYC to ‘Merika was like watching Babylon Berlin, devoid of any attempt at a plausible script.

    1. flora

      The media is still getting it wrong, doubling-down on their past incompetent reporting and going forward with more incompetent reporting; they’re sure if they keep digging the hole they’ll eventually find what they tell themselves must exist… because they want it to exist. imo.

      There an old saying: something about ‘when you’re in a hole stop digging.’

      (There are wonderful old antique maps of Florida drawn by early Spanish map makers that showed a large lake existing in the north central part. The lake didn’t exist, but was included because explorers said it existed, because natives had said something the explorers took to mean a large lake. None went exploring for the lake. None ever saw the lake. But they reported it and the map makers drew it. A bit of old map making trivia.)

          1. Svante Arrhenius

            Incompetent? Nobody pays >$10 million to anysomebody not fulfilling her role VERY well.

            “Any fool can deceive the unwary with base falsehood, while the CHAMPION liar adheres scrupulously to incontrovertible fact. ”

            Aethalides: son of Hermes, herald of the Argos

          2. wilroncanada

            Must be Lake Wobegon. It has the capacity to move from one part of the country to another. Sort of like San Serif, the island of April Fool’s fame.

    2. Sol

      Meme spotted on social media:

      The MSM is the rich paying the upper-middle class to tell the middle class it’s the poors’ fault.

      1. Svante Arrhenius

        Thank you! I wonder how many actual journalists we’ve lost, since David Brock silenced most lefty blogs, Jeff and his pals bought print & six oligarchs rule the airwaves? How many STUPENDOUS down ticket Democrats have been stomped down, voted (or primaried) out of office, professors fired, heros arrested or courageous whistleblowers silenced?

  2. Wukchumni

    So That’s Over, and What’s Next? Garrison Keillor
    Spring has sprung and its a joy to be outside, as every place has it’s time to shine and this is it for us, as the beginning of the hundred days of 100 degrees is still a few months away and temps in the 60 to 70’s are the rule.

    As opposed to the summer when most everything dies off and becomes a fire hazard in any color of tan one can imagine, you’d be hard pressed to find something that ekes a living out of the ground which isn’t in all its glory & resplendent in the many hues of an artists palate, the deep violet shade of Redbud surely near peak best paired with perfect light purple Brush Lupines, offset by expansive fields of gold in the guise of millions of Fiddlenecks, with purple Blue Dicks now coming to the forefront, magic carpets of white as the driven snow Popcorn flowers clinging close to the surface, willowy Golden Poppies make a play to draw attention away from other flora, popping up here and there in patches. My favorite Sierra flower-Mariposa Lillies, stagestruck for now, but soon to make an appearance.

    Oh, the greens-how could I forget the dozen different shades showing off anywhere from lime to British racing green and everything in between…

    As the show slows in the foothills, it moves into the higher climes and some of the cast stays on, but many new players emerge on the stage, and you can follow spring until around August @ 10,000 feet.

  3. jackiebass

    I bet most people don’t know what animal is in the picture at the en of the post. A hint , it is a Marsupial which is a rarity in the US. If you are old like me the animal was occasionally mentioned in the TV program The Beverly Hillbillies.

    1. John

      Not only a marsupial but the only North American Marsupial … wandered north once the Isthmus of Panama was in place.

      1. ewmayer

        Isthmusth’ve really wanted to be a Norteamericano, eh? :)

        [Coincidentally, recently finished reading John Le Carré’s The tailor of Panama.]

    2. Mark Gisleson

      I know, just as I know that baby versions of this critter fail to suggest just how homely the adult will be.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        I’ve a family of them living under the house.
        they have their place in the scheme of things…although we make certain the chickens get locked up at night(an ongoing labour dispute that I don’t know how to resolve), and the trash is secured.
        I’ve read that they’re tick vacuums.
        …and they are real cute when they’re little, like that.
        but they turn into pythonesque lepers as they age.
        Ours discourage skunks from overwintering under there, and they appear to cohabitate well with the 6 1/2 foot Texas Rat Snake(Jormungandr) that i’m pretty sure lives there, as well.
        takes a village, and all.

    3. ambrit

      Ye Gods fair interlocutor.
      We just had to chase a pair of them off of our front porch this morning. Being semi-sentient, they knew where our cat’s food bowl was and had come to partake of the fancy feast.
      Contrariwise, the beastie is increasing in population here Down South. Whether it reattains it’s status as a food item on deplorable tables is anyone’s guess.

      1. Wukchumni

        A couple years ago i’d left a bowl of dry cat food out on the other side of the sliding glass door, and a skunk found it for dinner…

        It was so hungry it didn’t mind me gawking 5 feet away from the action feeling safe from being sprayed with my see-through security blanket, for i’ve never been so close to one for say five minutes duration.

        1. KLG

          The sliding glass door is definitely the key. I have never been so still as when a skunk wandered into a campsite and sniffed around for a while…I think I held my breath for the entire time.

          1. ambrit

            A friend from High School once had a de-scented skunk as a pet, and when he had to go out of town a while for work, he persuaded my Mom to take care of it. When Jimmy returned months later, she wanted to keep the critter. “The best pet I’ve ever taken care of,” was how she described it.

        2. ambrit

          Critters who have been observed to go for kibble are, besides cats and dogs, raccoons, opossums, iguanas, (observed in Florida going for the dogs dry food,) cardinal birds, mockingbirds, various rodents, and, once, a large anole lizard.

      2. marieann

        We have had visits from them over the years I think they are cute, and I go looking for the opossum chow

    4. Susan the other`

      possum or shrew or something closely related to the tiny beast that begat all of us after the year 66 million b.c.

    5. Still Above Water

      My father told me that during the Great Depression, he would catch possums and put them in a cage, then feed him table scraps for a week or two to “clean up the dirty meat“, as their normal diet was considered too foul to allow for eating them until they’d been properly purified.

  4. JacobiteInTraining

    Our own government is as much a threat to our democracy and its values as any foreign power

    Oh my…well played, well played. When you’ve lost TeenVogue…..

    Once it has become crystal clear enough to the critical mass of younglings/youngers that ‘we *are* the baddies’…and that the majority of the older entrenched political bricks making up the ramshackle walls blocking progress refuse to dissemble themselves to allow passage…..well, I look forward to ambling along in the marching crowd as best as my old legs will manage.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i haven’t got to the teen vogue, yet.
      but i sent the Adolph Reed thing to my 17 year old son. many of his buddies have settled on joining the imperial war machine…perceiving a lack of opportunity, and some even sometimes slipping into jingoism worthy of an american legionnaire.
      but he’s been reading Herodotus, and prefers Tacitus’ Agricola to what’s in the skool books…and he’s been listening to me since he was in the womb, and i’ve encouraged sarcastic criticism of all my other foibles and idiosyncrasies, so as to hopefully preserve my sociopoliticoeconomic legitimacy.
      I’ve thought about accidentally marring the disc for combat patrol or whatever, but my hackles haven’t been raised that far, yet.
      hearts and minds, baby, because the Machine is coming for both, and we’re fouled in the morass.

      1. ambrit

        Oh yes. Do keep hammering away at his improving his thinking skills.
        All we need now is for one of the Tech Innovator Lords to set up a femnarch militia, and call it, what else, the “Amazons.” Then set up colonia of mated pairs of Marines and Amazons in the heart of Deploristan. Isn’t that how the Greeks and later Romans cemented their hegemony over ‘foreign’ climes?
        There is a major American colonia in Tampa.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Diplomats, Washington skittish on Maduro’s downfall in Venezuela”

    Anybody remember that ‘Donald Trump is Finished’ video from a few months ago? The one which was a composite of talking heads saying that Trump is finished and the walls are closing in? This was what it looked like-

    What if by the time Trump is having the 2020 election, that somebody came up with a similar video but featuring a ‘Maduro is finished’ theme instead with equivalent footage from Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, etc. That would be hilarious that.

    1. Wukchumni

      Nigh fidelity, but in an interesting switcheroo that the sobriquet union of Russia & China are playing the capitalists, while we want to foment change by appealing to the powerless proletariat, with what was thought to be a perfect puppet.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      The media and the soi disant “intelligence” community have spent years trying to oust Trump as an illegitimate president, throwing everything at him in the hopes that something will stick, and now they act shocked that Maduro is still in power and hasn’t voluntarily stepped aside because our buffoon-in-chief declared some random Guy Doe to be the president.

      I mean, how did they think this would all work out? Is Elliot Abrams actually sapient, or just some simulacrum of a venal bloodthirsty toady?

      1. Wukchumni

        Waiting for good Doe?

        Samuel Kanyon Doe (May 6, 1951 – September 9, 1990) was a Liberian politician who served as the Liberian leader from 1980 to 1990, first as a military leader and later as a politician. Then Master Sergeant Doe served as chairman of the People’s Redemption Council and de facto head of state after staging a violent coup d’etat in 1980; he killed President William R. Tolbert, Jr., and executed much of the True Whig Party leadership. Samuel Doe in turn was murdered by his conqueror, Prince Johnson, one time ally of Charles Taylor, in an internationally televised display.

        Doe disbanded the constitution and headed the country’s military junta for the next five years. In 1985 he ordered an election and officially became the 21st President of Liberia. The election was marked by controversy as there was evidence of election fraud. Doe had support from the United States; it was a strategic alliance due to his anti-Soviet stance taken during the years of the Cold War prior to the changes in 1989 that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

        1. JBird4049

          Liberia is a country founded by African Americans as place where their fellow enslaved Americans could be moved to and where they promptly recreated the racial and national caste system of the United States; for 150 years with the support of the American government they oppressed the original inhabitants until finally Liberia became essentially owned and operated by the Firestone Tire Company. I don’t think any of the Central American countries were ever quite as owned as Liberia and that’s saying something really bad.

          All the words about communism and the Cold War is just smoke as aside from the very poor inhabitants and the rubber plantations there is not much there. If there is, they have not been developed much.

      2. Darius

        I was struck by how the diplomatic and political community all seemed to be operating in their own bubble. They all buy their own BS. The reporter is right there in the bubble with them. He interviewed no dissenting voices that could have leavened the story with a dose of realistic thinking. But the mystified disappointment of the coup plotters and hangers on spoke volumes on its own.

      3. OIFVet

        They could have at least chosen a puppet with a different name. Every time I see his name in print, I think of Guido the Killer Pimp.

    3. JEHR

      I think Trump will win a second term and then after finishing that he will be ready to put in another four years with the support of his 44% base. Then what to do?

  6. Alex

    The context that is missing from the Haaretz article (probably because it’s well known to most of Haaretz readers in Israel) is that now the share of Arab students in the Israeli universities is 16% which is a just a few percentage points below their share in the population (

    This is not to say let bygones be bygones, but rather that the trend is the most important and here it is definitely positive. Also at the same time even some of the most liberal democracies still engaged in forced removal of indigenous children, compulsory sterilisation and other practices we now rightly consider abhorrent

    1. The Rev Kev

      That may be true of Israeli Arabs but it sure is not true of Palestinians. That treatment is the stuff that nightmares are made of. You might find that the Israeli authorities just turn up at your school and demolish it because they can-

      But what is far worse is when radical settlers in company with soldiers attempt to raid elementary schools and terrorize the children inside while the teachers barricade the gates and doors. Imagine if that was your children at that school-

      Then there are those kids that are woken in their bed at gunpoint in the middle of the night by Israeli soldiers and taken to appear in a Military Court. Call it about 500-700 children a year – minimum. Then there are the reports of settlers harassing Palestinian children on their way to school and it all adds up to a grim picture.
      In the 18th & 19th century the education of Irish Catholic children was almost illegal and ‘hedge schools’ arose to give Irish children secret schooling in basic education. At the rate how things are deteriorating for the Palestinians, they may have to resort to ‘olive tree schools’ down the track to give their kids at least a rudimentary education.

      1. Svante Arrhenius

        SEO algorithms are the perfect tool for propagating, promoting and preservation of Apartheid, Jim Crow, Indentured Servitude; them versus us (iPhones vs HTCs and Hauwais, Google/Facebook/Pro-R-Not vs reality?) Yahoo, Fox & AOL deplorables simply buy their Z-Max hollowpoints a few ailes from where they get their Mexican Oligarch’s data plan. Everything else gets disappeared down Massa’s mechanized memory hole? Just TRY talking to your kids, right?

      2. dearieme

        The stuff passed off as Irish history often consists of taking a kernel of truth, or of popular error, adding some distortions, and exaggerating wildly. My Irish grandfather used to say that all Irish history was lies; maybe his rule was a decent first approximation.

        “the education of Irish Catholic children was almost illegal” is simply pish when applied to the 19th century and the latter part of the 18th century. A “hedge school”, held in a house or barn or beside a hedgerow, was indeed subject in principle to the penal laws in effect from 1723 to 1782 but even then ‘no hedge teachers were known to be prosecuted. Indeed, official records were made of hedge schools by census makers.’

        Fernández-Suárez suggested that the hedge schools had existed as much from rural poverty and a lack of resources as from religious oppression. Marianne Eliott also mentions that they were used by the poor and not just by the Roman Catholics.

        Even before the national school system was set up in 1831 there was government funding of schools.
        The Kildare Place Society which received large grants from the government is estimated to have had about 140,000 children in its 1,621 schools in 1831. The society, also known as The Society for the Promotion of the Education of the Poor in Ireland, trained teachers and gave grants towards Kildare Place Schools and towards teachers’ salaries. It also produced school textbooks. It is estimated that by the 1830’s about 300,000-400,000 children were attending schools paid for by their parents.

        With the end of the penal laws education for Roman Catholics was opened up. For example the college at Maynooth was set up in 1795 to train Ireland’s Roman Catholic clergy. As an answer to the problem of the Roman church forbidding its members to attend university at Trinity College Dublin, the non-denominational Queen’s Colleges were set up by an Act of 1845: they were not permitted to give instruction in theology.

        Since much of this stuff was being paid for by protestant taxpayers in Britain there was some opposition to these initiatives by the government, but they went ahead all the same.

        1. Cal2

          “all Irish history was lies”

          Irish Alzheimer’s, you forget everything but the grudges.

        2. The Rev Kev

          With all regard, I think that you are mixing the education of children in general with the education of Catholic children. In the same way that Catholic religious services were forbidden and were performed secretly in homes, Catholic priests educating their children was also illegal. This changed from about the 1820s on but consider this. That list of teachers that you mentioned was not a census (mostly destroyed from the 19th century) but probably one of the endless Parliamentary inquiries that were held on the Irish in the 19th century. If you look at the original record at you will note a whole bunch of individuals listed but are they Catholic? The fact that two of them are listed as Reverend may indicate something else going on.
          And as far as ‘much of this stuff was being paid for by protestant taxpayers in Britain’, that is a misnomer as the wealth of Ireland was being funneled to the UK, especially the notorious absentee landlords. The British Empire was established all over the world but it is a matter of public record that some of the worse poverty in that empire was in Ireland and not because it was poor per se but because its resources were being constantly drained. In speaking here, I will mention that I am not Catholic but had to study the whole Ireland situation through genealogical studies. The fact of the matter is that the UK in the 18th century had a policy of trying to keep Catholics uneducated so as to be less of a threat and it was only in 1832 that Catholics were even allowed into Parliament in the UK itself.

      3. Alex

        Yes, but the article was about the Israeli policy towards its Arabs at the time when the West Bank still was controlled by Jordan. The situation is obviously different in an occupied territory during the conflict, it’s like comparing the education in Iraq during the US occupation and the US itself.

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      Ye olde “it’s okay because other people treat their indigenous people crappy, too” dodge, huh? Is that what this? How many people in the open air prison that is Gaza are going to college? Or even finish the equivalent of H.S.?

  7. allan

    “The ETF Tax Dodge ” is in no more danger of going away than is the use of “basket options” by hedge funds.
    It’s been almost 5 years since those were investigated and made public, and nada.
    And the ETF heartbeat trades at least have a plausible (if dubious) basis in the law as written,
    while the basket options are a completely transparent tax avoidance scheme.
    Even under a President Warren, I can’t imagine Majority Leader Schumer letting
    anything happen to either of these scams. “Think of the mom-and-pop retirees …. “

    On a semi-related note: As the market chugs along to an inevitable downdraft,
    how many retail buyers of ETFs know that they are complicated financial derivatives?

  8. jfleni

    RE: The ETF Tax Dodge Is Wall Street’s “Dirty Little Secret”.

    The “secret” is that the we PEASANTS get hosed again and again! Don’t you cry now pilgrim, that’s all by design.

  9. Wukchumni

    GM squeezed $118 million from its workers, then shut their factory LA Times.

    “What’s good for the country is good for General Motors, and vice versa.” ~ Charles E. Wilson

    1. marieann

      I’m about ready to consign all the car makers to hell.

      1500 people in our small town will be out of work in September when Chrysler does away with the third shift at it’s Windsor ON plant.

      There are about 600 that will be eligible for buyouts, still a lot a lot of suffering.

      And there is also the Oshawa GM plant closing!!!

  10. JEHR

    Re: The ETF Tax Dodge Is Wall Street’s “Dirty Little Secret” Bloomberg: I thought Wall Street itself was the “Dirty Little Secret”

    1. human

      It’s time to repeat something that Michael Ruppert found important to recognize: “The CIA is Wall Street. Wall Street is the CIA.”

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Bjorn’s Corner: The Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, Part 3.”

    The display in Figure 1 sucks. Is no thought taken with human–computer interaction? It could have been worse but not by much. Boeing could have taken a leaf out of Microsoft’s book and whenever something went wrong with the aircraft’s controls, there would have been a big “General Protection Fault” banner across a screen instead.

    1. Carolinian

      Blue Screen of Death in the “glass cockpit”? Just be glad that other Seattle company isn’t involved.

    2. 737 Pilot

      The new displays are actually one of the upgrades that pilots like most about the MAX. The picture in the article just doesn’t do it justice. Here’s a better one: link

      I do agree that the “AOA Disagree” warning should be more prominent. Hopefully that will be addressed.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for that link. A thought did occur to me. Suppose that the way that the glass cockpit has evolved was just junked. Some aircraft manufacturer decided to start from scratch using all that is know about human–computer interfaces to work out the most logical, efficient system in light of how humans best used such system. Think that it would be very much different to what is in general use as shown in that image? I am sure that you and your colleagues could think of a range of good ideas to implement.

        1. 737 Pilot

          If you really did start aviation all over from scratch, I suspect there would be some differences. However, it is not really feasible to introduce such changes overnight because aircraft design is not only evolutionary in nature, there are also multiple generations of aircraft currently flying. Depending on where a pilot first received their training and early experience, that person could have been exposed to anything from 1950’s technology to something that just rolled off the factory floor. If the changes between cockpit designs are too extreme, then much of your prior experience becomes negative experience.

          For similar reasons, aircraft manufactures are generally hesitant to launch a completely new aircraft design when a current model can be adapted. There is a reason that we only have one remaining commercial aircraft manufacturer left in the United States. Developing a new aircraft line is extremely high risk and can create an existential crisis if the manufacturer produces the wrong aircraft or even the right aircraft at the wrong time.

          Airbus’ now-cancelled A380 program will be a millstone around their neck for years to come. Boeing almost went bankrupt with the 747 rollout, and the 787 had its own production issues. In fact, the problems and subsequent delays with the 787 program is likely one of the reasons Boeing opted to go with the 737 MAX versus a new design.

          There is a great deal of commentary regarding whether Boeing should have even launched the MAX program. That discussion really needs to be informed by the very real costs and risks associated with a totally new aircraft.

          1. The Rev Kev

            No, no – not aircraft design but just the cockpit layout. I do not know if it is still done but years ago, each airline company would state how they wanted the instruments and the like laid out in the cockpit of any aircraft delivered. That would mean that the cockpit of a Pan Am Boeing 747 would be different to that of the cockpit of an American Airlines Boeing 747 for example. Thus you had from time to time some hoary old pilot with thousands of hours on a 747 having to fly a 747 leased from another airline for whatever reason and having to study the controls to find out where they all were before take-off. Pilots have already made the transition form mechanical controls to the ‘glass cockpit’ so having a more human-friendly design would not be such a big leap for them, especially if they had some input to the choices made.

            1. rowlf

              As an old 747 mechanic the differences were minor, usually a few system switches would be in different locations and the circuit breaker panels were all jacked up. The outfit I worked at had at one time around 50 747-100/200s with 2/3/4 airplane blocks that were from previous operators or operator orders. Maybe being P&W JT-9 aircraft helped, but the big differences were fuel tank configurations not flight instruments. I am fortunate to come in after turbine thrust reversers, water injection and fuel vent box fire extinguishing was removed.

              If you want some fun go study Soviet aircraft flight instruments. Their artificial horizons and compasses had some different thinking going on.

            2. 737 Pilot

              While there are some differences between the same models for different airlines, they usually don’t involve the primary flight instruments and flight controls. Things like the type and locations of radios, optional systems, the positioning of certain gauges, etc. It would be akin to getting in someone else’s car – steering wheel, brakes, gas, shift lever readily identifiable, but you may have to look around for how to turn on the lights, wipers, radio, and what-not. A bit more complicated than that, but if you could fly one 747, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with one of the same vintage.

              That being said, there can be significant changes over the entire lifespan of a particular design. The differences between a 1960’s era 737-100 and the current 737-800 are not minor. Mind you, I could operate any of them in a pinch, but I wouldn’t want to carry passengers until I was properly trained.

  12. ChrisS

    The WSJ article on “Appl” was hilarious. I quit the macbook pro about two years ago and have no regrets. The time came to buy a new one, and between the butterfly keyboard, the lackluster specs, useless touchbar, declining quality differential between OSX and Windows, and way over inflated price I decided to part ways.

      1. calypso facto

        my early 2011 Macbook Pro finally gave up the (logic board) ghost last year and I ended up with two replacements: a Linux-flavored Dell XPS (there is a ‘developer edition’ with Ubuntu pre-loaded), which made me feel cool but I just couldn’t get it to work happily with my music gear.

        The second try is a late 2018 Lenovo C930 (which runs Windows, which I hate) and hardware-wise this thing is beautiful. I have a 2019 Macbook Pro for work and physically the Lenovo feels like an extremely high-end luxury item compared to the Macbook Pro. I don’t really care about the touch-screen aspects of it (but the built-in garage for the stylus is pretty cool).

        I may try to run a hackintosh build on it instead of Windows, but that may put me back in the same problem boat as the Ubuntu Dell with my music equipment. Lenovo hardware + non-crapified OSX = as good as it currently gets, imho

        1. JerryDenim

          “my early 2011 Macbook Pro finally gave up the (logic board) ghost last year”


          Ya got me seating bullets here. I’m reading this on mine, and praying it doesn’t go anytime soon. I’ve dropped it recently, currently nursing a cracked screen. Strangely it still runs better than my wife’s brand new 2019 Microsoft computer. Maxed out the RAM and upgraded the hard drive to solid state a few years back. I hope it can hold on a few more years. Apple’s latest offerings are horrid.

          1. Lepton1

            I’m not denying your experience. I find online opinions very odd. Almost anytime I look at an online review of a product it seems they cluster around 5 stars and 1 star. A bunch of people think it works great and recommend it, another bunch of people think it is absolutely awful and have tons of trouble and you wonder how the company stays in business.

            It seems to me that about 3% of people are having keyboard problems on this laptop. Not good, but not the end of the world. Mostly people like it a lot.

            I’m still using a late 2013 MacBook Pro. It works great. Having gone through a number of Apple laptops over the years I’m very impressed at how well this has held up.

            I’m thinking I’ll switch to one of the new iMacs later this year and hand this off to my wife who is using an older 17″ MBP. I tried one out at the Apple store and it was fantastic. I don’t travel much on business any more so a 27″ iMac will be great for content creation.

    1. Carolinian

      In my experience keyboards tend to go bad no matter who makes them. Perhaps the prob is attaching them to a device that simply costs too much.

        1. human

          LOL. A large desk. 4 – 5lbs! I still have a couple of these around. Serial and PS2 connectors. Snort, chuckle.

      1. Geo

        The keyboard on my 2010 MacBook Pro still works great. And that thing has been put through hell. The casing is dented, it’s dropped a few times, been in desert sand storms and humid rain forests. Yet still works great and can handle high end video decently with the few hardware upgrades I made to it over the years.

        They can be built to last. Companies just chose not to.

    2. Mike

      Whatever anyone buys as a replacement, Unix/Linux of whatever flavor is the operating system of choice by my experience. Hardware by any manufacturer is now crapified and subject to implanted spy capabilities we cannot defeat without de-lousing by disconnecting from Big Brothers networks. A shame, after all the efforts to build a neutral web, but the dollars won.

      1. ook

        If you’re leaving the Apple ecosystem, take advantage of the fact that components are not controlled as completely. Don’t let Lenovo decide everything for you.

        Three years ago I decided to use a 4K 55″ LG TV as my main monitor, and I figured the most cost-effective way would be to replace the motherboard/RAM and GPU. The people at the shop that sold these parts were helpful: all I had to do was ask, the gamer lady at the cash register even showed me how to attach the CPU to the motherboard, and I did the rest in a couple of hours. Now I have control over my components, and a great system running pure Windows without the bloatware.
        My backup machines are an old notebook with Linux Mint and a Lenovo with Windows.

  13. jfleni

    RE: Trump and Big Oil Want to Pull the Plug on the Electric Car Market.

    Great if true; We could get the conversion to PUBLIC transit we need desperately, melt down all the S###boxes for good; look for Green New Deal to supply jobs in plenty!

    1. rd

      China and Europe are going to be electrified. We can either be in the game or on the outside looking in.

      Our choice.

      1. Chris

        That’s almost a useless statement.

        Europe has significantly different transportation needs than the US or China. China won’t be able to solve the challenges with electric cars and battery recharging any better than anyone else. And you actually can’t use electric cars for regular transportation in a significant part of the US during the winter months.

        If we want to give consumers a wider range of options and if we want our citizens to support electrification of personal transportation we’re going to have to develop solutions that work for people who don’t live in San Francisco.

  14. skk

    It felt a bit offkey to click on the TeenVogue link. It felt like reading Seventeen in the dentist’s waiting room. It was a sound article though, so, intrigued, I checked the wiki on TeenVogue.
    Indeed, their social and politics content exceeds their fashion content and monthly visits has increased from 2 million to 7 million year on year.
    Ahh, but what about the demographic? The wiki doesn’t say. But if its getting traffic from links in places like naked capitalism??? ?

    1. John k

      This agrees with my priors that youth are awakening politically, maybe aware their future job opportunities are gig.
      And imo the young don’t respond favorably to pollster calls on their cell, promptly hanging up like this oldie.
      The intersection here means the young most likely to vote, and vote for a progressive, aren’t being polled.
      The growth in teen vogue mentioned above is phenomenal… is this read more by girls? Hopefully these people will vote in 2020… imagine an extra five million…

  15. The Rev Kev

    “How “illegal” teacher strikes rescued the American labor movement”

    That article did not make it clear. Was the American labor movement being rescued from the State & Big Business or was it being rescued from American labor leadership? With those teacher’s strikes I was reading how the union leadership spent more time trying to sell their members down the river than actually negotiating on their behalf.

    1. Montanamaven

      “Solidarity for Sale” by Robert Fitch. Yup, it’s the leadership. In Europe, the leaders in many countries make the same as the workers on the floor. No mansions, no managing pension funds.

  16. chuck roast

    This “...Skittish on Maduro’s Downfall...” article from McClatchy was nothing short of pathetic. This Franco Ordonez fellow was simply doing stenography for the State Department. The “piece” is everything that is wrong with so-called journalism these days. It hasn’t occurred to the guy that all of this “suffering” that these idiots are wringing their hands about has been caused by US sanctions, and the “suffering” stops if the sanctions are removed. Of course it has, but they don’t care. They are all just leading their excellent lives. “Time to go for my latte!” Embedding Elliot Abrams…a world class war criminal. Lame-ass propaganda in the extreme. Pathetic!!! OK, I’ll go self-medicate now…

    1. The Rev Kev

      It could be worse. You could be the person that wakes up each morning and realizes that OMG – I am Elliot Abrams!

    2. rod

      Franco Ordonez – White House Correspondent – The McClatchy …
      Franco Ordonez shared NEW: Jared Kushner & team on Phase 2 of effort to reshape… As debate in public rages about illegal immigration and a border wall, Jared Kushner has been…
      Title: Journalist at McClatchy …
      500+ connections
      Industry: Newspapers
      Location: Washington, District Of Columbia

    3. Dr. Robert

      Those were my thoughts as well. Why not get a response from the Venezuelan Government’s perspective on the record for the sake of even-handed journalism. The recent refusal of the German government to recognize Guaido’s shadow embassador, wasn’t mentioned either. A few of the statements of US officials quoted in the article are outright lies, yet go unchallenged. Not the most impressive piece of journalism fro, Mr. Ordonez.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Trump plans to cut U.S. aid to 3 Central American countries in fight over U.S.-bound migrants”

    Wait, wait, I can see Trump’s plan now-

    Step 1 – Cut aid to three Central American countries
    Step 2 – See those very same Central American countries experience severe economic difficulties.
    Step 3 – Watch desperate people from those countries head north to try to get a better life & survive.
    Step 4 – Have these people show up at the US-Mexican border trying to cross.
    Step 5 – Profit?

    1. Bugs Bunny

      Kev – wait – should we really believe U.S. Aid is helping desperate people today in those countries?

      In my version of 11 dimensional chess, maybe cutting “aid” will give the desperate people a chance to seize power and stop running north to get away from oppression, poverty and mayhem? Maybe.

        1. zerosome

          Wow. Thank you. Adolph Reed.
          The whole thing, right here.
          I’m overwhelmed.
          What more is there to say.

      1. newcatty

        Bugs, see your logic in the game. Wish it to be true. Though the “aid”is now going to the oppressors, I am highly sceptical that turning off the faucet that is now euphemistically called “U.S. Aid” to those countries will stop the gangsters in power from their mayhem. Tragically, it will just result in more desperate people, many with children, or more kids on their own going to el Norte.

      2. Sol

        That was my take. Trump isn’t cutting aid to those in need in those three countries. He’s cutting payments to the people in charge since their desperate citizens have given up and come here anyway for reprieve. Good. Less monies for cronies is a fine effort. Now if we could work our way around to real sanctuary from oppression, that’d be swell.

        That money would be put to better use as loans and microloans to those on the economic bottom.

          1. Cal2

            “Then Chelsea Clinton, who announced herself “completely awed” by the “incredible swell of people and partners” who had participated in some event the previous day, invited us to hearken to the “inspiring voices of leaders, of communities, of companies, of countries.’”


            “Holmes was also scheduled to host a $2,700-a-head fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in March 2016 at the Theranos Palo Alto, California headquarters, an event Chelsea Clinton was scheduled to attend. However, the fundraiser changed locations after her campaign was criticized for holding an event at the offices of a company under federal investigation. Holmes remained a host for the fundraiser, and Chelsea Clinton still attended the event.”


            A thousand words:

          2. Sol

            Not microloans? Say it isn’t so, Lambert, I love bottom-up access to capital.

            *reads article*

            Ah. I think I’m following you. It gives the ‘holy mothers’ the chance to climb up on their cross and do their best savior impersonation while avoiding their object failures and interest-by-convenience. This is definitely a thing. (Can we convince them to stop?)

    2. Chris Cosmos

      On the contrary, the possibility is that those countries may have enough force to actually overthrow the US imposed governments they have. I see Trump’s action as, possibly, good. Immigration was always the way these authoritarian regimes had of staying in power. Will it spawn more migration? Can Trump stop it? Maybe he will stumble on the solution of Edward Abbey (I think) had for illegal immigration is to meet immigrants at the border and hand them AK-47 and send them home.

    3. jsn

      It’s another link in Trump’s diabolical plan to end the American Empire:

      Step 1- Quit paying the toadies we’ve been bribing to sell us their countries
      Step 2- Watch the toadies, when they can no longer afford security, flee the righteous ire of the dispossessed
      Step 3- Watch the dispossessed take back political power as popular solidarity is bolstered by the blundering incompetence of US policy.

      I mean really, who has US “aid” been aiding?

      1. Monty

        USAID must be spent on goods and services from the USA. So a lot of the money has been aiding executives and shareholders at “connected” companies in the US.

        1. AstoriaBlowin

          I work for a humanitarian relief agency with funding from USAID, among other sources. That is simply not true. Certain types of assistance, mostly commodity food aid, have to be sourced from the US, but there is no requirement to use US companies for procurement or services. The emphasis is actually on sourcing from the “cooperating country”, as in the place where the program is taking place. In the case of emergency assistance, then geographic preferences for procurement are waived entirely, and the quickest, best value source is used.

  18. Mike

    Russiagate, part 3: The Continuing Saga

    In summary, two large eggs have been laid upon the floor, and they radiate their message quite well.

    First, the triumph of Trump being semi-exonerated is not a celebration in which Left should, or even could, take part.

    Second, the unsupported accusation of Russian interference has not been addressed fully by the Left, and must take front place if it is to be muzzled.

    Third, THAT is the bomb, for the most part unexploded, for the Left, even after all the censorship that has befallen web journalism due to it. More is on the way, and it will shut down the Left’s ability to fight back against any foreign policy prerogative unless the point of my “second” above is directly confronted.

    What is amazing is the conflation of the Left with the Russian government, a rather conservative, even semi-religious excretion of particular problems faced by Russia as a nation state after its demise as a form of empire. The illogic could tear our media/intelligence/propaganda network apart, if addressed.

    Is there a Left able to do this?

    1. a different chris

      >Is there a Left able to do this?

      There was a nice, short post on DKos about AOC’s good sense in defending the Republican ex-Congressman , who is by R standards anyway an environmentalist, in some public forum from an audience member who called the Repub a “moron”.

      And seemingly half the thread was taken over with a fight about “moron” being an “anti-ableist” term.

      So, I would say no.

    2. Geo

      Even trying to point out how current foreign policy with regard to Syria (Golan Heights), Venezuela, Yemen, Iran and more are against the interests of Russia will get one accused of being a Putin Puppet as I am still finding out when wading into the turbulent waters of comment boards on other “progressive” sites like TruthDig, RawStory, and Slate. And that’s just a small taste of the vehement distain they give to the few voices of sanity in the press like Taibbi or Gabbard.

      The Dem loyalists have taken that “bomb” you allude to, strapped it to their chests and are holding the Left hostage with it. They will blow it all up in their quest for ideological triump.

      1. Svante Arrhenius

        By midsummer of 2016 we’d started to notice that many of the more obviously cranked-up Correct The Record trolls on MoJo, C&L, Alternet, Wonkette weren’t even bothering to use their “lefty blog agreggator CTR troll” names or avatar; they were pretty consintly using their K Street social networking advocacy solutions “normal sounding” names from Energy In Depth, H+K, SKDKnickerbocker or Rick Berman. By then, of course the paid KOS troll story was “being debunked” everywhere (or moderated away?)

    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Youre confusing ‘Left’ with ‘Liberal.’

      Im hard Left, brah, and i feel totally exonerated. Reingovated if you will.

      We all need to trash the f out of the Liberal Dems so we can unite the Hard Left and Right and elect sum sweet righteous pols ya heard.

      P.S. I hate identity politics so much i hate even identifying as ‘hard left.’ im poor like 90% of us.

      1. rowlf

        Left, right, how binary. How about up, down, forward and back wings too? Silly press people have no imagination.

  19. Ignim Brites

    “How the Media Got it Wrong on Trump and Russia”. Much of the NY/DC video media will face a reckoning because they are not just allies of the Democratic Party, they are the leadership of the party. The Mueller report means definitively and irretrievably that they lost the election. They are primarily accountable to the whole party for the loss of the 2016 election and the consequence is they must depart from the scene. Frankly, it is hard to see how MSNBC survives at all. It is not Trump or Fox News that will execute this judgement on the Acela video media, it will be factions within the DP who, thanks to the Acela video media, now face a much harder row to hoe to retake the White House.

    It will be interesting to see what the angle of successful attack will be. The greatest vulnerability is though the always implausible assumption that Russia is an enemy and that the US citizenry regards Russia as an enemy.

    The print media of course will face the same judgement but they are less visible and their culpability less memorable.

  20. Patrick Donnelly

    Blood clots kill! Most strokes are clot caused. Heart attacks also. DVTs become lung blockers.

    Enzymes like serrapeptase and nattokinase dissolve clots even in vitro. They cost 20 cents per pill, enteric coated. Some hospitals injected streptokinase to dissolve clots. Humans make many proteolytic enzymes. But amounts decrease after 30 years.

    But no mention of these in that QZ advertorial for tpa. No mention of PE, pulmonary emboli, either! Seel more info on facebook “blood clotting and enzymes”

  21. Mirdif

    Re:Mervyn King calls for no-deal Brexit after six months of preparation

    Once again we’re faced with the useless pontifications of this moron and it becomes clear again as it was a decade ago that he should have been locked away and replaced with Mervyn King the darts player. The result would likely have been no worse.

    As for this current nonsense, there is no such thing as preparing for no deal. This is because it relies as much on EU27 preparation as it does UK government and business preparations. EU27 preparations include some unilateral measures and that is it. Why won’t these fools inform themselves and understand that preparations that rely on an opponent, because that is what the EU27 become under no deal, are worthless.

  22. Summer

    Re: Apple / Mac Keyboard

    “Perhaps Apple wants be a services business, and not a hardware business, like that time GM decided it was going to be a finance company with a factory attached. If that’s the goal, acing out the creatives who, despite every obstacle placed in their way, still use Apple’s increasingly crapified products seems like a dumb move, but what would I know?”

    Creatives are going to create despite the obstacles.
    Tech companies are more interested in a future that eliminates human creativity for algorithms that they control and produce.
    It’s not lack of adaptive skills on the part of older creatives that cause the complaints, it’s features that take away control or ease of control.

  23. Chris Cosmos

    Yes, but it is on the edges. The left is actually very small but it can act, potentially, as a vanguard. It has failed in that position because it has focused too much on lesser-evilism and supported center-right politicians like Obama who are more anti-leftist than most Republicans. Acting as a vanguard movement the left should have, for example, rigorously opposed Obamacare and called it what it was–a Republican “solution” that could never work to bring down health care costs that are twice the OECD average.

    I get FB posts from my conservative friend that call the mainstream Democrats “the left” which means there’s no where to go for people who oppose the status-quo other than further to the right. True leftists have more in common with parts of the libertarian right (anti-imperialist, anti-corporate, pro-Constitution/Bill of Rights and so on. Which important magazine is the most anti-war and anti-imperialist? The American Conservative Magazine and not Mother Jones, HuffPost, or Salon who are solidly now in some other dimension. Today, for example, if we are actually on the left and not just part of what Thomas Frank considers as “liberals” then we have to see that we fulfill our role by witnessing and not being part of the power. The left only has influence when it sticks to its guns and causes centrists to bend in our direction only then do we bend in their direction. Obama did nothing to bend in our direction yet many on the left supported him no matter how much he acted like Lucy when Charlie Brown tried kicking the ball.

    1. Sol

      True leftists have more in common with parts of the libertarian right (anti-imperialist, anti-corporate, pro-Constitution/Bill of Rights…

      Truth. If only we could stop shrieking “progtard” and “sociopath” at each other long enough to make some use of the common ground.

      Humans are unique individuals. We will only rarely come across others who feel and think exactly as we do on all subjects. We start off as unique, and exacerbate the situation by going on to live individual lives with widely varying experiences and skills.

      We cannot make ourselves into ants. With a great deal of effort and politeness, I suspect we can just about make ourselves into eusocial apes, though.

      We are not all alike, and while it would be a comfortable thing to build a better echo chamber and lock the whole species in it forever, I suspect we thrive when allowed to be ourselves without hate. Since we have individual lives, experiences, and talents, we can use that massive perspective diversity to literally solve anything.

      There’s nothing out there that some human, somewhere, won’t try or taste or tinker with.

      If we could only get over ourselves long enough to properly harness that. The things we could do, Chris, the places we would go.

      I like your comments. They’re very thinky.

  24. DJG

    The indispensable Adolph Reed. Yes, it takes a while to get through the accumulation of facts that Reed compiles, and the reason he has to compile them is that Americans consign everything to the memory hole, except the typical U.S. resentments, of course.

    The stress throughout the article about American messing-around in Brazil matters: It isn’t just little banana republics where the U.S. unleashes murder and repression. Because Americans know so little about Brazil, it has been easy for the U.S. government to make messes in Brazil as part of a history of deforming all of the politics of the Western Hemisphere. If gigantic Brazil cannot withstand U.S. pressure, which nation can?

    And this is especially important now that so many identify as “artist /activist” and other such impossible combos:

    Liza Featherstone, Doug Henwood, and Christian Parenti—in their essay titled “Action Will Be Taken: Left Anti-Intellectualism and Its Discontents”—sounded the alarm more than a decade ago about the rise of that tendency in the cultural space that would be occupied by a serious left.

    The young troublemakers of today do have an ideology and it is as deeply felt and intellectually totalizing as any of the great belief systems of yore. The cadres who populate those endless meetings, who bang the drum, who lead the “trainings” and paint the puppets, do indeed have a creed. They are Activismists. That’s right, Activismists. This brave new ideology combines the political illiteracy of hyper-mediated American culture with all the moral zeal of a nineteenth century temperance crusade. In this worldview, all roads lead to more activism and more activists. And the one who acts is righteous.

    And activism now means panic and puritanism–just share the unsubstantiated Excel spreadsheet of one’s un-deserving enemies. So we have more activists than ever, even as we reach stagnation. A frozen civil war, to borrow and adapt an idea from the Italian satirist Daniele Luttazzi.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      RE: “Vietnam to Venezuela: US Interventionism and the Failure of the Left” —
      The Adolph Reed essay reads like two essays jammed together somewhere around the first appearance of the name ‘Marcie Smith’. I rhink this is unfortunate in the way it diminishes the potential impact of the second essay. I can’t claim to understand this second essay well. The ideas presented are novel and conform with a disquiet I feel about the peculiar fetish for nonviolence permeating so much analysis of what would enable effective social change. Hidden in the text was a reference to an essay by Marcie Smith I intend to watch for: “A False Peace: Gene Sharp, Nonviolence, and Class Struggle,” (, April 2019).

      One of the statementd that stays with my first reading of this essay:
      “These [color revolutions, the Arab Spring] have generally followed similar scripts – large, mediagenic, and militant street demonstrations, generic charges of corruption and authoritarianism, calls for equally generic democracy, and, instructively, many protest signs written in English for consumption by international media.”
      This along with the discussion of Gene Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institution (AEI) and “Social Movement, Inc.,”:
      “Sharp’s symbolic warfare did not offer opposition activists strategies for organizing toward, winning, and using state power to transform social relations or even invigorate democracy. Rather, it was designed to collapse governments by dissolving the common will that buttresses them. Sharp’s nonviolent “ju-jitsu” was effective, distinguishing itself as a powerful weapon of entropy in the U.S. “regime change” arsenal.”
      has me adding more layers to my tinfoil hat.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Maybe the US Left should hire some of the mercenary troublemakers the CIA has been training.

        We could use a “color revolution” here. Occupy was a first step; the Gilets Jaunes probably represent the next.

      2. cuibono

        Reading the second half left me feeling awe in the face of the incredible creativity of reactionary forces…awe and fear. It seems to me the limited critical thinking skills of our populous will be severely tested…

  25. allan

    One of those “no-go” zones that FOX has long been warning us about has finally been found:

    Houston Chemical Disaster Zone Remains No-Go Two Weeks After Blaze [Bloomberg]

    Two weeks after a chemical storage complex near Houston erupted in flames and menaced tens of thousands of people with dangerous fumes, the site remains too hazardous for investigators to approach.

    Intercontinental Terminal Co. is still trying to drain millions of gallons of volatile oil byproducts from tanks damaged in the four-day blaze that began on March 17. The ground around the tanks is also saturated in dangerous fluids, severely restricting access to the facility 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of downtown Houston. On Friday, the company said they may be able to allow some access early this week. …

    Almost 20 miles of rubber barriers have been deployed to halt the spread of the oily sheen and protect oyster beds. Ferry service in the area remains shut down and the annual re-enactment of the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto that won Texas independence from Mexico has been canceled. …

    Nice pics.

    1. a different chris

      Also at some point they will engage in a “clean up”, which means scooping up all the crap and restoring it to pristine… oh wait, they just dump it somewhere else.

  26. Oregoncharles

    Cute, yes – but I can tell you that a baby possum in your kitchen at night looks an awfully lot like a rat, right down to the tail.

    1. human

      Full grown, they stand their ground and hiss ferociously. It _can_ be amusing in some cirumstances. At one time I used to leave a back door ajar for my cats …

      1. Oregoncharles

        What I got when I did that was raccoons (the possum was in someone else’s house). They figured out how to get the flour open – which wasn’t easy – and I could see everywhere they’d been, which was pretty much everywhere.

  27. Summer

    The security chief for Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos says the Saudi government had access to Bezos’s phone and gained private information from it.

    “Gavin de Becker, a longtime security consultant, said he had concluded his investigation into the publication in January of leaked text messages between Bezos and Lauren Sánchez, a former television anchor who the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper said Bezos was dating.”

    1. ewmayer

      I find the idea of Saudi Intel getting hold of a invaluable trove of JeffB’s dick selfies and raunchy texts with the mistress rather amusing. Recalls the (alleged) details of Khashoggi’s demise, just with an entirely different, Yoda-reverse-word-ordering-esque meaning of the “bone saw” bit: “Pictures downloaded and bone saw you did, hmmmm.”

  28. Oregoncharles

    “Jeremy Corbyn could be poised for Downing Street”
    A great example of lemon socialism: Let the OTHER side preside over the disaster you’ve made. Let’s hope the Brits remember for a long, long time how this actually happened.

    1. ambrit

      Corbyn would be a fool to take up residence at 10 Downing Street now.
      The first year after a no-deal Brexit will destroy whatever political party is seen to be in charge of the country, whether they caused the disaster or not. Best to let the Tories preside over the upcoming ‘Humbling of Britain.’
      Fantasizing freely here, but ‘things’ look as if neither major British political party is up to the task of easing the country through the impending ‘Running of the Gauntlet.’ Time soon for a ‘Lord Protector?’

      1. Oregoncharles

        The Rev Kev yesterday posted a link to an image of “the Queen’s solution to Brexit” – involving OO7 and his special dispensation. Hilarious, worth looking for if you missed it.

        In all seriousness, this is a cluster-familyblog that just might completely remodel British politics. If there is justice in the world. Will be interesting to see who picks up the pieces. But then, there is the famous British muddling through, so who knows.

      2. Monty

        I read a interesting link posted on here yesterday.
        The thrust of it was that, if a no deal results in a massive amount of government spending (mmt) to fill and surpass the void left by the lost trade with the EU, the UK might actually get ahead. Finally ridding itself of the stagnant growth caused by austerity across the continent.

        If that is the case, I’d rather have Corbyn’ s party controlling the helicopter money than the Tories. As their party slogan goes, “The Tories. Putting the N in CUTS since 1979”.

        1. Steve H.

          MALVOLIO By my life, this is my lady’s hand! These be her very c’s, her u’s, and her
          t’s, and thus she makes her great P’s. It is in contempt of question her hand.

          ANDREW Her c’s, her u’s, and her t’s. Why that?

    1. ambrit

      Good God. This is plain old venality on display.
      Somehow, I find it difficult to imagine a crowd of seniors waving placards saying “Keep Government’s Hands Of Of My Medicare Advantage.” Still, give ’em a free Senior Happy Meal and maybe they’ll turn their consciences off.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    The two articles today about Huawei (UK report blasts Huawei for network security incompetence) and Tesla (Experimental Security Research of Tesla Autopilot) are of a type. Software is insecure and the factors working against security are nearly intractable.

    Not to let Huawei off the hook, but these problems are endemic to the software industry in general and not particular to any one company. Two particular examples in the report get to the heart of the matter (emphasis mine):


    3.33 The report analysed the use of the commonly used and well maintained open source component OpenSSL. OpenSSL is often security critical and processes untrusted data from the network and so it is important that the component is kept up to date. In the first version of the software, there were 70 full copies of 4 different OpenSSL versions, ranging from 0.9.8 to 1.0.2k (including one from a vendor SDK) with partial copies of 14 versions, ranging from 0.9.7d to 1.0.2k, those partial copies numbering 304. Fragments of 10 versions, ranging from 0.9.6 to 1.0.2k, were also found across the codebase, with these normally being small sets of files that had been copied to import some particular functionality. There were also a large number of files, again spread across the codebase, that had started life in the OpenSSL library and had been modified by Huawei.

    3.34 In the later version, there were only 6 copies of 2 different OpenSSL versions, with 5 being 1.0.2k and one fork from a vendor SDK. There remained 17 partial copies of 3 versions, ranging from 0.9.7d to 1.0.2k. The fragments from the 10 different versions of OpenSSL remained across the codebase as do the OpenSSL derived files that have been modified by Huawei. More worryingly, the later version appears to contain code that is vulnerable to 10 publicly disclosed OpenSSL vulnerabilities, some dating back to 2006. This shows the lack of maintainability and security resulting from the poor configuration management, product architecture and component lifecycle management.


    3.38 Analysis of relevant source code worryingly identified a number pre-processor directives of the form “#define SAFE_LIBRARY_memcpy(dest, destMax, src, count) memcpy(dest, src, count)”, which redefine a safe function to an unsafe one, effectively removing any benefit of the work done to remove the unsafe functions in the source code. There are also directives which force unsafe use of potentially safe functions, for example of the form “#define ANOTHER_MEMCPY(dest,src,size) memcpy_s((dest),(size),(src),(size))”.

    3.39 This sort of redefinition makes it harder for developers to make good security choices and the job of any code auditor exceptionally hard. These are only examples, but show that Huawei’s own internal secure coding guidelines are not routinely followed in this product and, in some cases, developers may be actively working to hide bad coding practice rather than fix it.

    You don’t need to be an information security expert to take away (1) software development is extraordinarily complex and difficult to manage across the lifecycle. (2) Developers seek the easy way out.

    If you add in the Tesla document, (3) Machine learning is ill equipped to handle adversarial inputs.

    1. newcatty

      Teens having psychotic episodes being associated with exposure to air pollution. Quelle surprise! It doesn’t take a biochemist to suspect that filthy, toxic air that children breathe would be detrimental to their bodies, including still developing brains. It’s already been thoroughly discussed about children suffering breathing difficulties from air pollution exposure, including fact that many parents live in places with high traffic . Then there is air pollution from toxic chemical pesticide use in rural areas. Or , omg, in beautiful wine country. Also, noise interference from that traffic. How about the toxic “chemical disasters” like what just happened in the Houston debacle? Not only do we need to be concerned with climate change…

  30. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “Second ghostly galaxy without dark matter discovered, first confirmed” — This link contained a link to a sister article which contained a quote I like very much:
    “After all, to paraphrase Isaac Asimov, the most exciting phrase to hear in science is not ‘Eureka, but rather, hmm… that’s odd.'”
    I also like the challenge to modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND) which sounds to me like a fudge-factor ‘theory’.

    1. Oregoncharles

      And “dark matter” isn’t? Or maybe I misunderstand you.

      At this point, the root problem is that the observations and the theory don’t match up. One or the other is wrong. Covering the gap with an imaginary invisible substance doesn’t really solve the problem.

        1. ambrit

          Curses! That should be Niels Bohr. The physicist. Not “Nils” Bohr, the protege of Heidegger. (See “Tin Tin at the End of Days.”)
          The philosophic Bohr is famous for telling Camus once to “Stop telling mankind how to suffer.”
          Sorry for the epistemological elision.

          1. Sol

            The philosophic Bohr is famous for telling Camus once to “Stop telling mankind how to suffer.”


            Okay. That was funny. I’ll give him that.

          1. ambrit

            Actually, I got it wrong. It was Max Planck who said, “Science advances one funeral at a time.” and not to Einstein.
            The famous Bohr retort to Einstein was during a conversation where Einstein trotted out his famous quip, “God doesn’t play dice with the Universe.” Bohr is said to have replied, “Einstein. Stop telling God what to do.”
            So, back to the drawing board!

  31. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “New Yorker’s Dino Fossils Profile Features Pitfalls of ‘Science as Performance'” — I was doing fine with this link’s discussion of Science as Performance until I reached this paragraph near the end:
    “For example, Katherine Crocker, a postdoc at the Mailman School of Public Health, New York, described the paper’s coverage in the Western press as “intellectually sloppy”, “obfuscatory and Eurocentric”. Crocker believes that most people telling these stories – of a white man journeying into an apparent wasteland to make groundbreaking discoveries – are simply feeding this misguided image. She calls instead for more attempts to understand the land and its secrets using the languages and cultures of the indigenous people who have been living there for millennia.”

    1. ewmayer

      “She calls instead for more attempts to understand the land and its secrets using the languages and cultures of the indigenous people who have been living there for millennia.”

      You know, we should listen to the people whose ancestors actually *walked* with the dinosaurs, just as the native American plains tribes really understood the buffalo. /s

  32. richard

    Hey, recently I’m getting a pop-up google ad, everytime I click on or refresh on a page here at nc. I mention it because there never were pop-ups before, and maybe there is a way to stop this intrusion, either on the site’s end, or something I can do with my ipad.
    Thanks for being a website like no other! I sent the WC my snail mail $ appreciation, and would like to do the same for NC if there is another address?

    1. Yves Smith

      We told our ad service no popup ads. They are not allowed to serve them per our contract. I haven’t been getting any but no one should be getting any.

      I will tell our ad service ASAP. This should stop hopefully on Monday.


      And thanks so much for the offer to contribute. Our address is at the Tip Jar (the snow leopards on the upper right) but for your convenience, please make a check out to Aurora Advisors Incorporated and send it to:

      Aurora Advisors Incorporated
      903 Park Avenue, 8th Floor
      New York, NY 10075


      1. Bernalkid

        Using a tablet and getting a bottom pop up to confirm. The x button moves from side to side or the middle and sometimes sort of spaced away from the ad. Usually close easy enough, but occasionally one will be determined to be opened.

        1. Joe Well

          Are you sure it’s a popup (new window) not just an overlay (appears over the existing window, not a new window)?

          I have gotten the footer overlay ads on NC on mobile but not often.

  33. JerryDenim

    This from today- Did you put a bug in somebody’s ear over at NY Mag Yves? It’s shocking to see something this level-headed come out of a mainstream publication. Kudos to NY Mag for getting the bigger story behind the story right. Perhaps the idea was skimmed from this site, but bravo. We need more of this. We’re thirty years overdue for mainstream reportage on the consequences of “Starve the beast” and Norquist’s bathtub. Thanks to Yves for not only being ahead of the curve but dragging it kicking and screaming towards daylight.

    1. a different chris

      The sad thing, though, is that they *will* enlarge governments footprint if it involves the safety of mid-to-upper class and beyond, which is mostly white people. AKA the people who you are likely to find boarding a jetliner. And I don’t know how to get them to not stop there, how to get them to bring clean water to Flint.

  34. Synapsid

    Jeremy Grimm,

    I believe Katherine Crocker is telling us that we should consult the peoples who lived in SW North Dakota before the European intrusion about the details of the KT impact and extinctions, and we should do that in the languages of those peoples.

    “Postdoc” means one has obtained one’s PhD.

    1. Oregoncharles

      There were no people living there 66 million years ago. Or anywhere. Should we encourage Native American paleontologists? Yes, but there is no reason to think the results will be any different.

      This does matter when we’re talking about human history – for instance, the natives of Easter Island did know how the statues were moved.

      1. Synapsid


        Members of some Native American nations have gone into archaeology and anthropology, generally with positive results as regards the tribe’s relations with outsiders. There’s a less immediate connection with palaeontology but archaeology of the late Pleistocene deals with extinct animals and their connection with earlier peoples. I don’t know myself but there may be interest growing among some nations particularly in the Southeast and the Plains states; I’d like to see that.

        Local question: Do you live anywhere near Goodpasture Road, down the southern end of the Valley?

        1. Oregoncharles

          Native Americans going into anthropology is good news; weren’t many when I studied the field, 50 years ago.

          I’ve seen Goodpasture Road – Eugene? (Found it.)

          I’m in Corvallis, about 40 miles from there. I gather we’re neighbors of a sort. If you want to arrange a meetup, it’s up to us; Yves doesn’t get here very often, and was just in Portland. Eugene probably better than Corvallis, as it’s bigger. April is pretty frantic for me, but after that I’d be happy to get together.

    2. ambrit

      Uh, Synapsid. A quibble if I may.
      I obtained a copy of “Out of Eden” and have enjoyed it much, plus learned things new to me. However, that tome is based on information collected using technically based methods. Gene sampling and statistical analysis are ‘gold standard’ Modern endeavours. Asking the elders and wise ones of any group about events that transpired before sapient humans ever walked the earth is, er, counter-intuitive.
      Ethnography, Mythography, and “deep history” are perfectly sensible uses for the suggested methods. Paleontology is not.

      1. Synapsid


        I guess the problem with typing with tongue in cheek is that it doesn’t show in the text. My post should have had a very mild /s, but I didn’t think of it. My goof.

        1. ambrit

          I’m sorry about being persnickety. I misjudged you. My problem reveals itself: Hastiness.
          I often tell myself to slow down. This seems to be a perpetual problem with me, since I have to do it just about every day.
          Now that I re-read your comment I do indeed see some truly deep irony in your statement.
          Again, apologies for my denseness.

  35. Oregoncharles

    From the Adolph Reed article – sorry I need a longish quote to establish where we are:
    “Brazil offers a concrete example of how the left in form, right in essence regime change game plan can work. What became the Potemkin demonstrations against Dilma began as an insignificant student protest against a small increase in bus and train fares, which the right joined and overwhelmed to transform it into an anti-Workers Party/anti-Dilma mobilization. The knee-jerk anti-statist, anti-political party stances embraced at least rhetorically by some social movement activists provided easy portals for the right’s entry and takeover. The fantasy of politically pure, spontaneous popular uprising gave cover to the right’s systematic efforts to undermine the genuinely popular Workers Party government.”

    So “genuinely popular” that they had forfeited control of Congress to the right, thus making impeachment possible. The same thing happened in Venezuela. Reed is leaving out critical information. Polls said Lula would have won if he hadn’t been sent to prison but polls are not that reliable.

    The bigger problem is that Reed is ignoring failures of the Left in those countries. Those failures mean that the criticisms he objects to were legitimate. I’m not sure how important this is, but it’s a weakness in Reed’s analysis. At the least, it means there has to be fertile ground for the kind of non-violent intervention he’s discussing.

    I didn’t post this on Commondreams because their commenting system wouldn’t let me in – conceivably because I have a history there. Or maybe just because it’s hard to use and I messed up.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Admittedly the sample size is small but over the last few years any Brazilian or Venezuelan I have spoken with sounds just like a USAsian.

      “They are all corrupt”. It, left vs right, rich vs poor, any ism vs ism, matters little when there is so much truth in this statement.

      I’ve had quite a few laughs over the last few weeks as two old friends have planned a trip involving air travel for the first time in over twenty years recently. It’s clear, everything from computers to security to breaking down the menu of individual charges for every possible increment of movement/usage has made things much worse, more bewildering. I mean every single American should simply not do business with any company who does not have instant direct connection with humans beings and equal ability to access the top people in the company in person. And we should all practice loud sounding snorts of contempt and deep guttural retching as the only response when someone calls us “a service economy” or “democracy”.

    2. Eureka Springs

      Admittedly the sample size is small but over the last few years any Brazilian or Venezuelan I have spoken with sounds just like a USAsian.

      “They are all corrupt”.

      It, left vs right, rich vs poor, any ism vs ism, matters little when there is so much truth in this statement.

      I’ve had quite a few laughs over the last few weeks as two old friends have planned a trip involving air travel for the first time in over twenty years recently. It’s clear, everything from computers to security to breaking down the menu of individual charges for every possible increment of movement/usage has made things much worse, more bewildering. I mean every single American should simply not do business with any company who does not have instant direct connection with humans beings and equal ability to access the top people in the company in person. And we should all practice loud sounding snorts of contempt and deep guttural retching as the only response when someone calls us “a service economy” or “democracy”.

  36. Summer

    “Trump humiliated the Republicans’ chosen $150 million contender, Jeb Bush (who got three delegates, or $50 million per delegate). It was also evident on the Democratic side, where a self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist” with little money and close to no institutional support became a surprise contender.”

    It’s like the gangsta movies with the big donor politicians and crew. The mobster says, “If you don’t take the money, I’ll have to worry about you.”

  37. Summer

    Re: Drowning the Culture In Sameness

    Yes, Virginia…repetition is key im brainwashing.
    I was jusy saying to co-workers that they would be surprised how slim the pickings are for narrative if they go a month and exclude shows with cops as a protaganist, the supernatural, and superheros.
    Just changing the color or gender of the characters isn’t really doing it for me either.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


      Theres a whole band of the political spectrum and screenplay writes are exploring only a small, narrow segment.

      Frank Herbert moved with ease throughout this band like Shai-Halud, monster of Dune.

      Instead we get The Handmaids Tale, NCiS New Orleans, and Survivor. I like Survivor and all but when it starts resembling our Neoliberal society i hastily lose interest.

  38. VietnamVet

    Donald Trump is a lot of things; old, vindictive and a bully but what corporate media ignores is his single minded world view. The one thing he knows is money. “It’s the Benjamins, baby”. When conditions in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala force thousands of families to migrate north, he cuts off aid. He berates European nations for not paying more to NATO. The tragedy is that this is the defining trait of an oligarch, the West’s ruling elite. It is no coincidence that Boeing executives forced a jury-rigged fly-by-wire system on the 737 Max. It would have cost money to add the minimum redundant three input flight control system, test and train pilots. What is even more immoral of our ruling elite is that after the first crash when the stabilizer jack-screw was found in the full nose down position that forced the plane to dive into the Java Sea, they didn’t ground the fleet, but instead, killed 157 people in Ethiopia.

    The only cure is imprisoning amoral criminals no matter what their status.

  39. anon in so cal

    8:28 PST Tulsi just needs a few more donations to meet the FEC filing deadline at midnight

    “At one hour to midnight, the donations are still rolling in and we’re less than 500 new donations away from meeting our goal!

    The deadline is in one hour.”

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