Links 4/22/19

Bears hungrier than normal this spring, officials warn VTDigger

Are we really too busy to eat well? FT

Robert Caro: ‘The more facts you collect, the closer you come to the truth’ Guardian

New Colorado Law Requires State to Consider Health Impacts of Oil Drilling Climate Liability News

Poaching interrupts study of migratory birds in Kashmir Mongabay

Plans to expand Iceland’s fish farms risk decimating wild salmon populations Guardian

Scooter Critics Rage Against the Machines WSJ

Ukraine election: Comedian Volodymr Zelensky elected president in landslide win, humiliating incumbent Petro Poroshenko Independent

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka death toll expected to rise as leaders condemn killings Guardian

Amid the tragic attacks in Sri Lanka, the region’s growing economy offers much needed hope Independent. Hamish McRae.

Waste Watch

How the plastics industry is hijacking the circular economy TreeHugger

The Monetization of Garbage Project Syndicate

STARBUCKS PROMISED A RECYCLABLE DRINK LID. DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE. Intercept

TVA’s own tests revealed radium, heavy metals in coal ash before 2008 spill Knox News (martha r)

PRESERVING YOUR RIGHT TO REPAIR YOUR GADGETS Wired

Sweet corn out, sweet potatoes in: Data shows fundamental shifts in American farming WaPo

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Facebook fights to “shield Zuckerberg” from punishment in US privacy probe Ars Technica

That mental health app might share your data without telling you The Verge

Think You’re Discreet Online? Think Again NYT

Agent Orange: US to clean up toxic Vietnam War air base BBC

Health Care

A pivotal test of malaria vaccine is set to begin. Can it live up to its promise? Stat

Could antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” become a bigger killer than cancer? CBS News

What my polio-stricken mother would tell parents today about the importance of immunization Stat

Class Warfare

Capitalism in crisis: U.S. billionaires worry about the survival of the system that made them rich WaPo

Small-Time Crimes a Dealbreaker for Banking Jobs WSJ

Srećko Horvat: ‘The current system is more violent than any revolution’ Guardian (martha r)

Silicon Valley Came to Kansas Schools. That Started a Rebellion. NYT

Why American CEOs are worried about capitalism FT

‘I suffered the whole year’: Thousands of San Antonio public housing units lack air conditioning San Antonio Express-News (martha r)

Smart Supply Chains: Rethinking The Food Recall Process International Business Times. Rather than a technofix, how about improving food inspection? Coupled with increasing penalties for producing or distributing tainted food?

2020

Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple employees donating to Elizabeth Warren, even though she wants to break up big tech Mercury News

Hope, neoliberalism and the future: Pete Buttigieg has displaced Beto O’Rourke as Democrats’ latest hopey-changey messiah — Is that actually a good thing? AlterNet

Hillary 2.0: Biden’s 2020 Trump Challenge Will Be a Disaster CCN

The World Needs Fewer Cersei Lannisters New york magazine. I’ve never watched Game of Thrones, so have no idea whether this is any good or not. I’m posting it b/c of its byline: Elizabeth Warren.

Primo Nutmeg (martha r)

Assange

The Prosecution Of Julian Assange Is Infinitely Bigger Than Assange Caitlin Johnstone

Our Famously Free Press

None of the President’s Men Longreads (martha r)

Thinking outside the Western box Qantara.de

India

India’s Shadow Lobbies: How Business Captured the Government The Wire

India elections: Will farm crisis be PM Narendra Modi’s undoing? Al Jazeera

China?

China’s road to a win-win ahead of BRI forum Asia Times. Pepe Escobar

Syraqistan

Who Are the Real Terrorists in the Mideast? Truthdig. Maj. Danny Sjursen.

Trump Transition

Interior’s Bernhardt worked closely on matters he promised to avoid Politico

Trump Appointed Fossil Fuel Insiders to Federal Agencies. It’s Backfiring. TruthOut

U.S. to announce end to Iran sanctions waivers, oil prices spike Reuters

Trump’s Call to Libyan National Army Leader Increases Risk of ‘Protracted Urban Conflict,’ Experts Say Common Dreams

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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165 comments

  1. Louis Fyne

    Remember this statement in 2020 if an acquaintance is in disbelief at a Trump reelection (or 2024 in Pence wins).

    Apparently to Hillary’s PR staff acknowledging “Christians” is toxic. Team DNC is tone deaf and driving the Democrats/those left-of-center into the ground with their weird PC bubble.

    this statement is stilted, committee-generated, needlessly legalistic, cold and pedantic. just saying.

    >> Hillary Clinton
    @HillaryClinton
    19h
    On this holy weekend for many faiths, we must stand united against hatred and violence. I’m praying for everyone affected by today’s horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka.

    https://www.twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/1120013694073810944

    Reply
    1. integer

      Obama got the memo too:

      The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.

      Reply
      1. Louis Fyne

        Probably using the same (or like-minded) PR firm. Just feeds into the right-wing paranoia that there is a DC/media-sanctioned war on Christianity.

        shaking my head.

        the state religion of Sri Lanka is Buddhism. And apparently Sri Lanka finally was living out the “Coexist” bumper sticker after decades of sectarian-driven civil war. Media should dwell on that too….instead of trying to sweep any mention of any religion under the “newspeak” rug.

        Reply
        1. marym

          Maybe they just interpreted Trump’s making it legal to say Merry Christmas again as a mandate to name the holiday.

          Trump’s Sri Lanka tweet called it an attack on “churches and hotels” (and the first version had the number of killed wrong by 6 orders of magnitude). His Easter greeting tweet was a celebration of the economy.

          Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The impersonal nature is just so bizarre. Though it’s obviously a loyalist intern trying not to get yelled at.

      https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/09/hillarys-prayer-hillary-clintons-religion-and-politics/

      She did join a cult, so it’s possible this is the best she can do. It’s overlooked with Evangelical obsession with Israel and gearing up for the “rapture”, but this C Street club might not consider St. Anthony/Sebastian attendees to be “Christians.”

      Reply
      1. Mark Gisleson

        Jeff Sharlet’s “The Family” deserves more shout outs. Instead of ignoring religion, media should press politicians to share their faith more fully. Push them to give more than 25 words or less, and most would falter.

        Reply
      2. DJG

        NotTim: Agreed. That is what I am thinking. They can’t acknowledge that the churches of Saint Anthony and Saint Sebastian are Roman Catholic and that Catholics are the largest Christian denomination in Sri Lanka. So it all gets blurred into some vague American “Christianity.”

        What is especially odd is Obama placing tourists first, as if the Sri Lankans aren’t taking the brunt of the attacks.

        Yet many of the comments on the Clinton thread are the usual Christian-nation types, and we’re back to good ole American religion, Methodism Lite, and its many, many demons.

        Reply
    3. Joe Well

      I don’t know if this is relevant, but as someone who has been brought up Catholic, I have been amazed to see that the word “Christian” has been somewhat taken over by evangelicals. Many evangelicals don’t like the term “evangelical” and prefer the term “Christian” not as an ecumenical gesture, but because they see themselves as the only true Christians. I have heard the phrase “Catholics and Christians” a number of times. I totally support the right of any group to decide how it is named, but usurping the name of a bigger group is not cool. I Googled “Catholic vs. Christian” and got a page of results like this from Catholic websites, so you get an idea of the scale of the issue.

      I can’t support the Catholic Church as such for all its crimes, but the evangelical movement as a whole consistently manages to have an even worse impact on the body politic in the countries where it is strong (US, Brazil, Uganda, Korea).

      Some evangelical politicians like to play a kind of rhetorical double game where they reference reports of attacks by Christians abroad and then strong imply the victims were evangelicals, when they almost never are. If I’m not mistaken, at least one of the churches bombed in Sri Lanka was Catholic, and I would want to avoid these attacks being used as grist for the evangelical propaganda mill.

      Also, many of the victims were not Christian at all and were not even inside the churches at the time of the blasts, if I understand correctly.

      Reply
      1. justsayknow

        In terms of Catholic “or” Christian; I grew up in a part of the south where I actually heard, “Is he Christian? No he’s Catholic.” That was over sixty years ago.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          I have heard exactly that only last year here in South Mississippi. As I mentioned once before, I dated a woman from McComb Mississippi who related to me about having a cross burned on their front yard by the Klan once because they were Catholics. This back in the late 1960’s.
          This sort of bigotry is eternal and well nigh ubiquitous.

          Reply
          1. JCC

            Reminds me of Patrick Buchanan’s speech at the 1992 Republican Convention where he chastised Bill Clinton on his “school choice” proposal.

            He made it a point to say,

            “Parents who send their children to Christian schools, or Catholic schools, need not apply. “

            Raised Catholic, that statement, which I’ve never forgotten, stuck out like a sore thumb and told me all I needed to know about Buchanan.

            Reply
          2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            I grew up in Metairie, Jefferson Parish, surrounded by what i thought were Italians. Nope, theyre Sicilian! Food and Family 24/7. My great grandma had walls covered in Vatican Calenders and Pope Memorabilia.

            Bucktown, REPRESENT

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              I hear ya. My mother in law was a Gallo from Da Parish. Her nephew, a Gennaro, lived in Bucktown, on the lakefront. Peter Gennaro the choreographer was her cousin.
              Her family came from Ustica, that tiny island next to Sicily. Blond eyed, blue haired Sicilian Lombards.
              Metairie is bad enough. Let’s not get the readers here all confused by bringing up the Islenos from down the river.

              Reply
      2. Duke of Prunes

        It’s not just the evangelicals and southern baptists. I also know Catholics that use the same terminology. Are you Christian? No, I’m Catholic.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          I don’t really get it, same Sky Daddy calling the shots upstairs, right?

          Atheists typically nab first place in most loathed dogmas, and evangs are 2nd most despised, but why are the former even included in the survey, i’m not aware of any atheist houses of worship or even any regular get togethers, it’s pretty much your own thoughts and feelings about the ether and/or.

          Guess who would nab first place, otherwise?

          Reply
          1. Plenue

            Having been raised protestant and now on the outside looking in, they’re all ridiculous.

            That said, I can definitely understand not viewing Catholicism as Christian. It’s a huge apparatus of cruft, rebranded paganism, and general blatant absurdity and hypocrisy layered on top of the gospels. I can understand how people, both historically and now, viewed the nobility of men in progressively stupider hats living in golden palaces with at best suspicion.

            Reply
            1. Joe Well

              So many atheists and agnostists maintain the prejudices and worldviews of the religions they grew up with and this comment is Exhibit A. If you think Notre Dame is cruft, I dont want to live in a world you will help build.A lot of atheists/”skeptics” are like that, anti-culture.

              And if you think that there isnt a major faith on earth without its proviliged class, you are mistaken. The smaller Protestant denominations may have pulled it off, but sadly it doesnt scale up.

              Reply
              1. Joe Well

                Correction: “if you think there IS a major faith…”

                That’s what I get for using a cookieless browser, no edit option.

                Reply
              2. Plenue

                My family wasnt anti-catholic. And I didn’t say everything Catholic was worthless.

                Though for the record, I don’t particularly care about Notre Dam. Seen it, not much impressed. Happy no one died, vaguely disappointed the obviously fake crown of thorns survived.

                Reply
                1. Harold

                  Notre Dame is the geographic and cultural center of the City of Paris. It is as important as a secular symbol — almost even more so — than as a religious one. Perhaps you could also go to Stonehenge or the Pyramids of Egypt and the Taj Mahal and say “I wasn’t impressed”. But it this arguably could be more a reflection on you than on these monuments and their significance.

                  Reply
                  1. Joe Well

                    Stonehenge, the Pyramids, and Taj Mahal all also had religious overtones. Most major constructions from before the Enlightenment and many since have some strong religious component since they didn’t separate out the functions. Which is one reason why organized atheism tends to be so anti-cultural and anti-intellectual.

                    Reply
                    1. Yikes

                      Which is one reason why organized atheism tends to be so anti-cultural and anti-intellectual.

                      Really, I’m surprised. I’ve seen the subway stations in Russia, beat the Vatican for class, and still have far more utility.

                    2. Procopius

                      Taj Mahal is a mausoleum, a tomb. I think most Hindus believe cremation is the only proper treatment of the dead. Not clear what its “religious component is supposed to be.

                  2. Plenue

                    Yes, I know all that. I also still don’t care. It’s a big, ugly church. I’d be more bothered it something not hideous like the Hagia Sophia were damaged.

                    The Pyramids aren’t particularly impressive in their current state, other than for their sheer size. Would much rather have seen them when they still had the limestone casing. The Taj Mahal actually is impressive.

                    Reply
                    1. Plenue

                      Actually, in this context it was about me and what I thought of Notre Dame, since I was accused of dismissing it because it was Catholic. No, I don’t think much of it because I find it to be a quite ugly building.

        2. dearieme

          To be fair, I class Roman Catholics as quasi-Christians – like Mormons, for example.

          Christians worship the Trinity (whatever that may be). But the Roman Catholics add on a neolithic fertility goddess and an infallible priest: too many gods or godlings.

          Reply
          1. Joe Well

            I am astounded that in 2019 there is still such a level of anti-Catholicism, by which I mean this garbage as opposed to criticisms based on fact (and you could make a lot of fact-based criticisms of a lot of religions, starting with the sex abuse scandals at Protestant boarding schools that are now coming to light). John F. Kennedy did not slay that particular beast, apparently.

            This evangelical chauvinism is an ugly proof that so much of the United States is an isolated cultural backwater. They apparently don’t know that of the 2.4 billion or so “Christians” in the world, almost 1.28 billion are Roman Catholic, and a large part of the remainder are in one of the Eastern Rite churches, which are theologically and culturally extremely close to Roman Catholicism. Then the traditional “mainstream” Protestant sects like the Lutherans make up another big group. The evangelicals are only a small though significant part of Christianity.

            Reply
            1. Plenue

              Pretty sure there’s a difference between singular institutions like boarding schools, and an international mega-organization that, as you say, claims to represent over a billion people, conspiring up to its very highest level to cover up the rampant rape of children.

              Though as bad as the priest sex abuse is, I would say things like the asinine anti-condom doctrine has had a far more widespread negative impact.

              Again, I wasn’t raised anti-Catholic. If anything my family was slightly anti-Lutheran, my mother once saying she disapproved of how they allowed female ordination because Paul said women shouldn’t have command over men (internalized sexism, gotta love it).

              Maybe I don’t much like Catholicism because looking at it from the outside it’s just not a very pretty sight.

              Reply
          2. wilroncanada

            Not quite. The Pauline Protestant churches eliminated women from church practice and authority entirely.
            I also wish one wouldn’t use the word “evangelism” as a replacement for “fundamentalism,” the shared ethos of the right conservative protestant churches. Evangelism, the practice of trying to recruit new members is common to all branches of all religions.

            Reply
            1. Procopius

              I think there’s supposed to be a difference between “evangelism” and “evangelicalism.” There’s even a movement within the Roman Catholic Church called “evangelical.”

              Reply
              1. Buckeye

                Maybe we should call conservative so-called “Christians” what they really are: Extremists. I agree that “evangelism” is spreading the word. “Evangelicalisim”, on the other hand, is an extremist social ideology justified by twisting religious belief.

                Reply
      3. Plenue

        I’m not disputing your point, but I feel like pointing out that Catholicism was Christianity for over 1500 years. Deviation from the Church resulted in punishmemt, frequently death. This monopoly had to be broken with revolt and war. So, hey, what goes around comes around.

        Reply
        1. skk

          1000 years seems more accurate. The Great Schism aka the East-West Schism not to be confused with the OTHER Great Schism aka Western Schism, occurred in 1054, and hence the 2nd largest Christian grouping – the Orthodox Churches.
          The wiki says the schism was over bread – unleavened or not..

          Reply
          1. Plenue

            Ah yes, what should the bread that totally turns into a guys flesh when you put it in your mouth, for real dude be made of. That’s something worth fighting over.

            Reply
          1. ambrit

            What about the Gnostics, the Arians, the Copts, and a whole lot more. Christianity did not begin to look like what we call Christianity till about 300 AD. A lot of syncretism was going on up until that time. Not just accommodations with Pagan beliefs, but also Mithraism, Manicheism, the Orphic cults, the Isis cults, etc. etc.
            After Constantine, Catholic Christianity was the State Religion of Rome. Secular power harnessed the energy of the growing religion for political ends. The religion harnessed the might and authority of the State to make the religion exclusive, thus powerful in it’s own right, (or rite, take your pick.)
            When the capitol of the Roman state was split between Rome and Constantinople, the religious split was not too far behind.

            Reply
        2. Harold

          “Catholic” means “universal”. The Roman part came into being in the eighth century, during the era of Charlemagne’s defeat of the Muslim invaders of Italy, when the Roman church was split off from Byzantium. Charlemagne’s father Pepin the Great, in exchange for giving armed protection to the city of Rome from the attacking Muslims, concocted the supposed Donation of Constantine, a forged grant of land from the 4th Century Emperor, Constantine purporting to establish a separate church in the West, headed by the Pope of Rome. There were supposed to be some differences in theology between Rome and Byzantium, but it was mostly a political pretext. The fact is that Byzantium was incapable of offering military or any other kind of protection to its western domain.

          Reply
      4. Harold

        When I lived in North Carolina, decades ago, the question “Are you a Christian,” did not refer to denomination or background or anything like that, but translated as: “Are you born again?”

        Reply
        1. Plenue

          This was also my experience. No one particularly cared which specific flavor of Christianity you were (of which there are apparently something like 30,000 now), unless it was Mormon or something, which basically isn’t Christianity at all (I recall being warned about Jehovah’s Witnesses specifically though). In fact I don’t even remember anyone having a problem with Jews. Mileage may vary on that last one, but in my experience American protestants as a rule get along with each other just fine (the ‘elders’ all seem to go to the same seminaries, given how every pastor seemed to have the same obnoxious TED Talk speaking style).

          Reply
    4. The Rev Kev

      Just what is an Easter worshipper? Is that anything like a Hanukkah worshipper? It was not only Hillary that came out with this but Obama as well-

      Barack Obama

      @BarackObama

      The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.
      476K
      12:02 AM – Apr 22, 2019

      Punch in that term into Google and you find a whole lot of other people asking just what the hell they are talking about.

      Reply
        1. kgw

          My neighbor wished me a happy easter the other day…I guess I should have punched him in the nose! /s

          乁( ͡ಠ ʖ̯ ͡ಠ)ㄏ

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            A festive scene from Bethlehem on your front yard, manger et al, makes for a good ersatz hunting blind, in the eventuality of a war on Christmas.

            Reply
      1. Outagamie Observer

        Notice how Obama qualifies the moral character of the attack on “Easter worshippers” in terms of whether or not it was an attack on “humanity”. Humanism is an outgrowth of the liberal protest memeplex, something I’m currently reading about in Moldbug’s series (quite long, but good) “How Dawkins got pwned”:

        https://www.unqualified-reservations.org/2007/09/how-dawkins-got-pwned-part-1/

        “Universalism is a generally pietist strain of Protestant Christianity. Pietism deemphasizes ritual, authority, and God, in favor of devotion, equality, and Man. Universalism could be summarized easily as the worship of humanity, and indeed the New Testament is positively strewn with fraternist doxology.”

        Of course, I doubt that Obama would qualify his drone strikes on wedding parties as an “attack on humanity”, but oh well, I guess some are more equal than others…

        Reply
            1. Plenue

              I’m not seeing how that comparison makes any sense.

              Anyway, there’s actually more than an inkling of a point in the idea that humanism emerged from Christianity; much of the Enlightenment did, something that people like Steven Pinker seem unable to grasp.

              But if you want to learn about that, a neoreactionary like Moldbug is not a reputable source. I wouldn’t trust a member of the “women should go back to the kitchen, also kings are great” (actually Moldbug specifically prefers some sort of corporate structure for society) crowd to tell me where the nearest gas station is.

              Reply
          1. Harold

            It comes from (or was most cogently expressed in) Stoicism the predominant secular outlook of the educated Roman elite (gross simplification). Stocism was imported to Rome in the second century BC when a bunch of Greek philosophers of near Eastern origin were brought to Rome to hold public debates which created a sensation among Roman audiences. Stoicism’s explicit universalism greatly influenced Christianity. Though I think it also expressed the zeitgeist of the era, since it is present is other religions as well.

            Reply
            1. skippy

              Hoppe’s ideological mix of cultural paleoconservatism and libertarianism produces some curious ideas. Hoppe draws out what he sees to be the logical implications of anarcho-capitalist theory and Austrian economics, which lead to some decidedly un-libertarian ideas. For this reason, he has drawn ire from some other libertarians, despite his status at the Von Mises Institute. Critics of anarcho-capitalism might be amused to see that Hoppe’s outline of the ideal society resembles the dystopic consequences of an anarcho-capitalist system that the critics point out. The main difference between them is that the critics find these consequences horrifying, while Hoppe gleefully endorses them. The closest he comes to outright denialism is his rebuttal to Beneges Lynch, a professor of economics, who provided him with hard numbers showing that modern monarchies are far poorer than democracies. Nuh uh! Au contraire, says Hoppe, monarchy is superior to democracy because your prax fails to factor in the problem of black people:
              “”… since Caucasians have, on the average, a significantly lower degree of time differenceWikipedia’s W.svg than Negroids, any comparison would amount to a systemic distortion of the evidence.[6]

              Basically, he’s asserting that black people aren’t good at investing; they like spinning rims more than owning land, etc. This is pretty much his reasoning as to why Somalia isn’t a libertarian utopia. But worry not; he’s sure that limited government will work out differently with white people!

              Now resides in Turkey … chortle …

              Cough …. libertarian version of presuppositionalism and the transcendental argument for God.

              Whats the diff ….

              Reply
      1. polecat

        Just think of All those PLASTIC Easter Eggs … containing nuggets of chewy psudo-food like goodness … (and all the other attendent petro-chemically derived dreck) being pushed onto little tikes throughout the (mostly) western world … to boomer ang back atcha down the grinding road as future micro/nano particulates and endocrine disrupters, to name but a few minor negatives .. × EVERY • MAJOR • HOLIDAY .. secular or otherwise, as practiced by apes punching qwerty boards !!

        The Planet needs Way Moarr PAGANS … and with them a New stable of Earth-centric Gods !

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          hey man, don’t be harshing on marshmallows fancied up to look like rabbits and pushed as Peeps, Easter was akin to hitting the candy lottery, the cavities of spring.

          Reply
        2. zer0

          Actually the 1st world is already decidedly un-religious.
          Holidays are here to stay due to obvious reasons of vacation/day’s off work and economics (we sell a lot of shit during the holidays).

          Reply
    5. Summer

      The outlier in this incident has my curiousity aroused.
      What was that explosion at someone’s “guest house” all about? Churches, hotels, and….a guest house?

      Reply
      1. Expat2uruguay

        When the officials tried to apprehend the people responsible, there were some more explosions that occurred in a housing block. Could that be what you’re referring to?
        From the Guardian article: “Two smaller explosions occurred three hours after the wave of bombings as security forces closed in on suspected attackers. Three police officers were reported to have died in one of the blasts.”

        Reply
        1. Summer

          I got the impreasion from a map of the blasts in The Gaurdian that it was paft of the inititial series of explosions.

          Reply
    6. Cal2

      Louis Fyne
      7:54 am

      It’s sort of like PCRetail.

      We’ll make sure and come back to your store when we need a ” happy holiday gift.”

      But for now, we’ll take our ample cash to the establishment down the street with the Christmas tree, Christmas spirit and decorations, and we will spend it there.

      “Thoughts and prayers” for your PCRetail store when it folds after a couple of years…

      Reply
    7. dearieme

      On this holy weekend for many faiths: that woman just makes me want to spit. No bloody wonder Trump won.

      Ms Gabbard, however, got the point that the attacks were aimed at Christians.

      Reply
    8. djrichard

      I thought Obama and Clinton were doing the right thing. Basically try to use whatever language is needed to defuse the situation including defusing identities. It’s not like Christianity needs to rally their troops.

      Reply
    9. WheresOurTeddy

      with any luck, in about 17 months none of those people will have jobs and it won’t matter what they email to each other

      Reply
  2. Chris Cosmos

    There is nothing on foreign policy on Sanders’ campaign website but he has said a few general things that sound, rhetorically, like the best side of American foreign policy, i.e., to support the people against oppressive governments and corporations. He seems to be mildly anti-imperialist but his problem is that he tends to accept the mainstream Narrative and tries to give it a leftish slant. What else can he do? He can’t start saying that MSNBC/NYT/NPR and all the other media outlets progressive voters listen to are imperialist scum spouting propaganda from the Blob, Deep State, or whatever you want to call it.

    To be elected Sanders cannot alienate the media or the 74% of the American people who love the military and support a “strong defense” meaning a lot of money being shoveled into the maw of the military industry. You always have to mollify guys with guns if you want a chance at having a major voice in ruling a complex society like ours.

    From what little I see of Sanders’ foreign policy interests they are a enormous improvement on the traditional pro-war Democratic Party agenda and I see no reason not to support him. No he’s not Tulsi, but Tulsi’s role is to open up some new possibilities. As far as I see Sanders is still the main champion of the left. No one is going to go full out against the media Narrative not even Tulsi who has been universally attacked by the media for her views. We are a warlike nation with a warlike culture and we have to be slowly encouraged to appreciate the virtues of peace and cooperation in our own culture first and then, finally, in our foreign policy.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith

      While I generally agree, Sanders has consistently been anti-US intervention. And I think this position is way more popular in America than you suggest. Anyone who knows people in the military or is in a community where a lot of people serve knows the armed services are badly overextended. It’s the media, barking behalf of all the top 10% types whose rice bowls would get broken if the US were to cut down on its foreign adventurism, who are the sources of the rah rah far more than the public at large.

      Reply
      1. voteforno6

        Also worth mentioning is that Sanders has done a lot of work on veterans issues. Members of the military (both active duty and retired) are very aware of legislation that affects their well-being (such as pay, health care, etc.).

        Reply
      2. rd

        Everything I have seen about Sanders indicates that he is for having a relatively strong military (but not break the bank) that doesn’t get used very often and whose members are looked after during and after their service periods. I don’t get the sense that he is a peacenik who wants to go back to a 1930s level military that left the US weak and exposed. But I do think he wants the military-industrial complex controlled to provide effective weapons programs.

        I think that would be a pretty popluar poistion in the country right about now.

        Reply
      3. Joe Well

        Beyond the media and the 10%, isn’t there a real risk of Sanders being assassinated if he actually calls for seriously scaling back US interventionism, and with it, military and intelligence spending? An unbelievable amount of money just goes missing from that half of US discretionary spending. Someone must be soaking it up and I don’t think they’d give it all up without a fight. (I’ve always imagined a “Diamond as Big as the Ritz” scenario where some incredibly wealthy people are staying off the radar.)

        Reply
        1. Hepativore

          Considering the enemies Sanders has already made among the 1% and the neoliberal political establishment for his economic and social policies, I think that this would already be enough motivation for potential assassination attempts. Dialing down the military would not be the tipping point as it has already been passed as far as the financial elite is concerned.

          I hope that nobody would try and assassinate Sanders should he become president, but who knows?

          Reply
    2. Brindle

      The Chomsky interview on Sander’s foreign policy was interesting in that the interviewer came across as the ideological purist and Chomsky as having a more sophisticated and rational view of Sander’s current position.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Compared with Trump, will Sanders create more room for himself to do what we assume* he wants to do?

        That is the question, I believe.

        *Allowing ourselves room, as well, that we could be wrong assuming that.

        Reply
  3. cnchal

    > Think You’re Discreet Online? Think Again NYT

    Again and again and again, we come up to the AI black box and can’t look inside while it decides our fate based on the greed of the AI chip owner.

    Such tools are already being marketed for use in hiring employees, for detecting shoppers’ moods and predicting criminal behavior. Unless they are properly regulated, in the near future we could be hired, fired, granted or denied insurance, accepted to or rejected from college, rented housing and extended or denied credit based on facts that are inferred about us.

    This is worrisome enough when it involves correct inferences. But because computational inference is a statistical technique, it also often gets things wrong — and it is hard, and perhaps impossible, to pinpoint the source of the error, for these algorithms offer little to no insights into how they operate. What happens when someone is denied a job on the basis of an inference that we aren’t even sure is correct?

    The chance of these chips being properly regulated is zero. How does one regulate what is not possible to know. AI chips will inevitably cause a mass disaster that no one could have seen coming.

    Reply
    1. Ignacio

      If any recruiter says that the algorithm accepted my application I will politely reject the acceptance hoping that the company goes to hell with the algorithms. Does anybody else see the smartupidity of it?

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        The Dpt. of Robotic Resources says that this particular human resource is fired. All human resources are fired!! Affirmative!

        Reply
      2. Off The Street

        That algorithm’s cousin has been churning out credit card application mail, and then email, for quite a long time. The whole family needs counseling.

        Reply
      3. cnchal

        > . . . hoping that the company goes to hell with the algorithms.

        Its already too late for that. Big corporations are getting on the AI bandwagon with the attitude of ride on top instead of get run over. They all have to get involved to some degree and AI may not in the end help either, but every AI chip put into a system is like a spark of genius and we don’t know how the spark works. When there are lots of sparks, usually a fire is next.

        Most likely, hell is reserved for those that will be victimized by AI

        Reply
        1. Ignacio

          AI migth take to hell a single person, a corporation, a country, or the whole world given the power. I wonder if the will to give AI the power is, somehow, a way to say “the hell with all!”

          Reply
        2. Procopius

          I suspect AI is very much like the “automation has taken all the jobs,” which Dean Baker at Beat the Press points out hasn’t happened. It’s hard to understant why this zombie trope won’t die. If workers were being replaced by machines, then productivity would be rising, because production per remaining worker would be greater. I don’t notice many economists saying this is happening. They are also saying that it is a terrible thing that in the future there won’t be enough workers to fill all the jobs. Do you really believe self-driving cars will be available cheaply in two more years?

          Reply
    2. Joe Well

      Has the NC community ever come up with a definitive best practice for online hygiene?

      I am thinking about getting a tablet for my personal browsing and possibly resurrecting an old laptop for online banking and a few other sensitive things, and use my current laptop for work (I work for myself). I was going to install Ubuntu on the old laptop for financial stuff. What about the tablet for web browsing/PDF reading?

      I’m also wondering about the commentariat’s opinions on Tor, other than that it’s painfully slow.

      Reply
      1. BobW

        I’ve run across references saying that Tor flags the user as someone worthy of notice, tall flowers syndrome.

        Reply
      2. Robert Valiant

        Use a VPN (ideally your own home-brew in a foreign country with strong privacy laws), and make sure your DNS queries aren’t leaking – probably best to run a DNS server on your VPN, or inside your house.

        All pretty easy, very inexpensive, but not a magic bullet. I’m sure all traffic from your house going to a VPN can raise flags just like Tor.

        This is what I do; can’t speak for anyone else.

        Reply
        1. Rhondda

          I was recently pleased to discover that the Opera browser has a built-in VPN, all you have to do is turn it on.

          Reply
        2. Duke of Prunes

          I’d be wary of “free” VPNs. “Free” means the vendor is monetizing the data somehow (otherwise, they’d have to charge). If you’re selling VPN services, what data is it that you have to sell? Exactly the data the end user is probably trying to keep private. Kind of defeats the purpose. Of course, paying for something is no guarantee that your data isn’t being monetized, either.

          Do I have a solution, not really.

          Reply
      3. skk

        I too found Tor really slow so I don’t use it. I’d still use it though if I was going to the “DarkWeb” – but with additional configuration parameter changes.

        For everyday I use the commercial service Torguard. Its cheap, fast, unlimited use ( pay by bandwidth use immediately would involved logging your use which one does NOT want ), no logging, clean reputation. I pay extra for a dedicated exit point into the UK – so I can avoid the geo-blocking of BBC IPlayer, ITVPlayer, Channel 4’s All4 service. I’ve embedded it into a secondary router ( open DDWRT firmware on Buffalo ). Which implies that Torguard provides good support for even this level of esoteric use. They of course provide clients for Ubuntu, Windows, Android. It all works very very well with lots of options.

        Given the idiotic law on porn site mandatory age verification in the UK ( July 15) – I’m wondering how to monetize my expertise here for people to use geo-sidestepping.. wait I’m exiting INTO the UK, I need to bundle something together for them to exit OUT of the UK. Another sort of BREXIT then ?

        In one of those utterly hilarious implementations the govt has allowed local news agents to verify age and hand out some sort of secureID for use online at a pornsite. For a fee. A porn-pass as it were. Man imagine doing that ! Its worse than trying to buy durex in Boots at the age of 15 ! Truly, they’ve gone mad.

        Reply
        1. Joe Well

          Thank you for the torguard recommendation. I see it was recommended by NYTimes/WireCutter. Were there any other endorsements that made you trust it?

          I’m just afraid that any VPN service is a honeypot.

          Reply
    3. Cal2

      On the other hand, maybe Facesbook will create Social Darwinism, a race of mentally aggressive, privacy loving, independent thinkers who don’t have accounts with them.
      Facebook is low class, that’s the meta idea.

      Sort of like not associating with smokers, sure you can talk to them, but you don’t want to stand with them as they commit suicide in your airspace. People with Facebook accounts, sure, you can talk to them, but no electronic communications with them ever. If you have a private number you can call people and not give them your phone number for them to log into their smartphone.

      I refuse to send pictures or any important information to Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook or other data scrapping e-mail address. You should too if you value your own privacy.

      After explaining data-mining, I gently suggest to friends and acquaintances,
      “I will only share my data with you after you start a private email account. Here’s a list:”

      11 Private Email Services To Keep Your Emails Confidential
      February 26, 2019

      https://choosetoencrypt.com/privacy/11-private-email-services-to-keep-your-emails-confidential/

      Reply
      1. ewmayer

        “People with Facebook accounts, sure, you can talk to them, but no electronic communications with them ever. If you have a private number you can call people and not give them your phone number for them to log into their smartphone.”

        All this is easier said than done. The data-mining algos are relentless and aggressive – all it takes is *one* person who has your allegedly-private phone number stored in their contacts on some device with Internet access. What happens next is well-documented – Facebook or some other data-broker hoovers up your friend’s entire contacts list. And an ever-increasing number of tech companies use your phone number to authenticate you – you want to get that new cable TV and internet gear working? Give us your phone number so we can text you an activation code. To see who they are sharing your info with you typically have to slog through a tl;dr-by-design User Agreement, and take their word for it that will abide by said agreement, and that they will never change it in future. Facebook just a few years ago used to tout their respect for their users’ privacy, then as soon as they got sufficiently big and ubiquitous they ditched all that.

        I also believe that the “moar tech will save the day!” crowd – the VPNers and such – may be deluding themselves. More layers of tech means more “you have to take some 3rd party’s word for it that they do what they say, and that they are not working with the government spooks, and that their tech has not been compromised by bad actors”. And as with e.g. Tor, using such privacy tech may in fact make one a target – I just pretty much assume that if you’re doing it on the web, someone or something is watching it. And even if the content is somehow encrypted, the metadata combined with all the other info one has leaked into cyberspace during one’s online life typically provides a lot of inferrable content info.

        As the agents for the Samaritan AI on Person of Interest like to say, “It’s all about relationships”.

        Reply
  4. notabanker

    FT article on capitalism

    “I believe it can be [reformed from within], but I think it’s going to be a lot bumpier than we thought,” Mr Barton says, predicting that the process could take another 10-15 years. There may be more populist “rise-ups” he adds: “There are going to be disruptions because people are pissed off.”

    I think he has the timeframe right, but the clock started ticking in 2008. And not so sure about bumpy. I think a few cliff edges are unavoidable. This guy called for self reform in 2011. There are consequences to kicking the can down the road. Every single person and entity quoted / referenced in this piece are incapable of the change required.

    Reply
    1. Summer

      RE: Capitalism in crisis /US Billionaires

      “What happens if you can actually automate all human intellectual labor?” said Greg Brockman, chairman of OpenAI, a company backed by several Silicon Valley billionaires.”

      And there is that dumfounding worry about what would happen if “all labor” could be automated. As if there would be no worries if half of all jobs were automated or that at even the 30 to 40 percent mark the country could carry on with the same brain dead belief systems.

      Reply
      1. ewmayer

        I would ask “does ‘automate all human intellectual labor’ include replacing the pompous blatherings of tech-disrupto-thought-leader twits like Greg Brockman with machine-generated ones?” Because if it did, I might just be able to get behind the idea.

        Reply
    2. Chris Cosmos

      The reason why I believe the current version of corporate capitalism cannot be reformed from within is that corporations are run by systems not people and these systems are largely immune to change at this point in history. We are facing not just the tyranny of the oligarchs but, increasingly, the tyranny of algorithms.

      Reply
      1. Summer

        And the algorithms won’t have to be accountable, concerned, or do what they claim.
        They just have to convince enough desparate and/or dumb people to believe in the algorithms or robots ability (or scare them into acceptance).
        That’s where the dystopia comes in…

        Reply
        1. polecat

          All one has to do, is observe how many devolving hominids are traipsing a crosswalk (Any crosswalk !!) .. heads firmly down, as they anxiously punch their teensy-weensy qwert boards .. to get an answer !

          Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    “Sweltering in place”

    I understand that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in reaction to the extreme heat faced by people in those housing units without air-conditioners, has put online an educational video to help people in their time of need-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUKY-RVDSIc

    Looking at today’s Antidote du Jour, I am sometimes tempted to wonder if Jerri-Lyn is photo-shopping images of regular birds.

    Reply
    1. Brian (another one the call)

      A bird with its own fez and cigar. This bird looks like something Jonathan Winters and Dali would paint. +

      Reply
  6. John Beech

    Why American CEOs are worried about capitalism FT

    And they should be worried because they have ticked people off. Me? I’m a Republican voter and never, whether speaking to Democrat-leaning friends or Republican-voting friends, have I ever encountered one who believes the CEO is worth 300X the average wage of an employee. Nor that it’s right they have the ability to pick the board and thereby pack it with cronies who approve the pay package. In a nutshell, the universal opinion is this is wrong. So yes, they should be afraid!

    Note; this isn’t an indictment of Capitalism, which by-and-by works just fine. Instead it’s this aspect of human nature that needs to be reigned in. I hope they hang them high and make a public spectacle of it to serve as a warning. Oh, and with respect to private companies? I don’t give a damn what they pay themselves. Not my business.

    My 2¢

    Reply
    1. rd

      I think that fast and loose American capitalism works great during development periods (e.g. tech) but the trouble starts when it form cartels, oligolpolies, and monoplies. that is when they build up the political capital to protect themselves from break-up and the law. That is where most of the obscene pay is.

      Glass-Steagal protected against mixing insured deposits form speculative trading, but more importantly it forced the financial firms to stay smaller with more firms in the system. Once Glass-Steagal was repealed, there was no limit on how big they could grow other than their own ability to destroy themselves (and the rest of us).

      Reply
    2. tegnost

      yeah I’d opine that we don’t really practice capitalism, more like socialism for the rich, and as you point out there’s a lot of common ground in the ostensibly divided US of A

      Reply
      1. polecat

        Ahem ! … it’s more like ‘ferengiism’ …… as in ‘nashing in bloody tooth and clawbacks !!’

        Reply
    3. Robert Valiant

      I think capitalism worked splendidly for a couple of centuries, provided one accepts the sacrifices made: genocide, slavery, environmental disaster, etc. Clearly it was the fastest way to get to an iPhone.

      Whether capitalism can continue to work in a world with actual, hard, physical limits is another question, although that question can be dismissed easily by denying limits, or placing them in a far-off future.

      Reply
      1. Summer

        “Whether capitalism can continue to work in a world with actual, hard, physical limits is another question, although that question can be dismissed easily by denying limits, or placing them in a far-off future.”

        See the “Thinking Outside the Western Box” (article in today’s links above)
        It actually points out where capitalism and the Enlightenment intersect. This relates to the comment of yours that I highlighted:

        “Weidner: One could describe Western thought as self-sufficient, but I would prefer to describe it as arrogant and conceited, as a school of thought that is not only convinced of its own superiority (Muslims and Buddhists are, after all, also convinced of the superiority of their thinking) but that, unlike other traditional world views, suffers from the compulsion of repeatedly having to confirm its own superiority.

        In order to succeed in this endeavour, Western thought has no choice but to re-invent itself over and over again. This means that it is willing, if needs be, to throw its own principles overboard. That is what the Enlightenment did, and later Nietzsche and Heidegger. That is why there are no taboos in Western thought, no red lines, nothing sacred. All that matters is to be cleverer, better, smarter, more advanced, more ruthless than the others, whatever the cost.

        With this mentality, you naturally win every dispute. But the others are not stupid. These days, everyone knows how the West works and they are copying it. Some are even beating it at its own game even, becoming more ruthless and more successful than the West. Take China, for example.

        The big problem with this world view, which logically gives birth to neo-liberalism, however, is that it gives people nothing to hold on to; it repeatedly pulls the rug from under their feet or tears down the roof over their heads. This is why a neo-conservative revolution has risen up against this world view all over the globe. People want security, identity, home … everything that Western thinking has abolished in order to maintain its superiority.”

        Reply
        1. willf

          This is why a neo-conservative revolution has risen up against this world view all over the globe. People want security, identity, home … everything that Western thinking has abolished in order to maintain its superiority.”

          Strange, thinking back to the Bush administration, it seemed like neoconservatives were the ones doing the abolishing. Perhaps the revolution you see forming would be more rightly called populist than neoconservative.

          Reply
          1. Summer

            You’re thinking of definitions as they apply only in the USA by the media on any given day. Bush was just as much neoliberal for that matter.

            Weidner is still on point no matter how politicians label themselves.

            Reply
      2. JEHR

        Apparently, when debts are written off or forgiven in Canada, it is the debts of corporations or wealthy individuals that receive the largess. When capitalism only enriches the already wealthy, then it is no longer a capitalism that we should support.

        It seems to me that if the wealthy can have their debts forgiven, then anyone that is not considered wealthy should also receive debt relief and should also receive an annual income that allows them to live a reasonable life with adequate food, shelter, clothing and education.

        It does not bother me to see billionaires painfully quiver over their wealth being taken away!

        Reply
  7. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Silicon Valley Came to Kansas Schools. That Started a Rebellion” article at-

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/21/technology/silicon-valley-kansas-schools.html

    This sort of story give me hope. The program was sold to schools and parents who did not want their kids left behind in education and they have now woken up to the fact that this program does precisely that and I am willing to bet has been monetizing those kids as well. Hi-tech in schools merely drains school budgets of things like textbooks and teacher time with kids. Junk it.

    Reply
    1. rd

      My spouse’s school has closets piled high with old tech. The tech person in the school is the school librarian and some people in central administration who can take a month or more to respond to a help desk ticket.

      Most tech things are perfect germ storage devices as they get passed from kid to kid, so a constant stream of alcohol wipes is needed.

      She seems to have some good tech in her classroom now with a smartboard hooked up to a computer and a cart with some functioning devices. It took several years before it would all work properly and have the necessary software. But most of her key work is still done on pieces of paper and with books in Grade 4.

      In engineering, I have to sit down and teach the new grad engineers how to do much of our technical work and the best way to teach them much of it is with 1950s-1990s books, many of which are free government publications available as pdfs now.

      Reply
    2. nycTerrierist

      Glad kids and parents are pushing back on this lousy substitute for education.

      Let the tech geniuses test their ‘innovations’ on their own kids first.

      Reply
      1. ArcadiaMommy

        My understanding is a lot of these SV parents know good and darn well these devices are not helpful in education. They don’t want their kids using them (anecdotal experience and NYT article below). Kids learn very quickly how to use technology. A quote in the article refers to making the devices “brain-dead easy to use”. I think the slack-jawed, blank looks when kids are using them are really creepy.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.html

        Reply
  8. Summer

    Re: Ukraine comedian President

    A bit like Michel Martelly, a popular singer in Haiti, winning the Presidency. (2011 – 2016)
    The results did nothing to improve Haiti’s situation…as entertaining as it may have been.
    A former Fugee produced a movie about that campaign “Sweet Micky For President.” It was also the Haitian presidential election that his former bandmate Wyclef Jean attempted to run in.

    Reply
  9. allan

    Anti-antidote, and on Earth Day no less;

    ‘Devastated’: huge area of Yorkshire moorland destroyed by fire [Guardian]

    The National Trust has said it is “devastated” after more than 700 acres of moorland, home to an endangered species of bird, were destroyed in a fire started by a barbecue.

    An area above the village of Marsden, West Yorkshire, was engulfed in flames as temperatures soared on Easter Sunday.

    Several crews of firefighters and a helicopter tackled the blaze in unseasonably warm weather and swirling winds on Monday as the extent of the damage was revealed.

    The National Trust, which owns the moorland, said the area was a “special place” for wildlife and it was likely that mountain hares and nesting birds, such as merlins and curlews, died in the flames.

    Curlews have been in dramatic decline in Britain and are considered one of the country’s most important bird conservation priorities, according to the British Trust for Ornithology. …

    Moorland fires in April.

    Reply
    1. dearieme

      There’s a good chance that the NT hasn’t been doing the partial burns that you need to do every year if you are to protect the moor from big fires. As for “huge”, it’s only 700 acres for heaven’s sake.

      As for April – moors will burn at any time of year if they’ve been suffering a drought.

      Reply
    2. Grebo

      I did a garbage burn yesterday. It got a bit away from me and maybe a quarter of an acre of grass got burned. No biggy, it recovers quickly. I did see a six foot rat snake leave the danger zone, cross a burnt out area, and zip straight up my drainpipe.
      On the Yorkshire Moors ground nesting birds will have a problem with fire but I guess most other vertebrates will get away, unless they get surrounded.

      Reply
  10. tokyodamage

    re: the Intercept’s article EXPOSING starbucks’ COFFEE CUP LIDS.
    intercept was created to publicize Snowden’s leaked stuff.
    Intercept published 5% of it, and sat on the other 95% for years. . . and now their boss got rid of the remaining 95% altogether, as it was ‘too expensive to maintain.’
    And now instead of Snowden docs, they’re devoting their muck-raking resources to coffee cup lids.
    How is the shuttering of the Snowden archives not a scandal on the Left? How is the sad, ongoing withering of the Intercept not a scandal?
    Leftists will tear each other up for so much as using the wrong pronoun, but not a peep about this.

    Reply
    1. pretzelattack

      meanwhile risen, mackey et al continue playing the mighty wurlitzer full blast, and greenwald doesn’t write much.

      Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “What my polio-stricken mother would tell parents today about the importance of immunization Stat”

    Heard about how in the bad old good old days some kids would go missing from the school and would not be seen by their classmates for a very long time. Kids would wait to see which of their number would fall to polio each year. When some did drift back to school, they would often be wearing leg braces. Sounds more like Russian roulette for those kids back then and to hell with that if a needle would save those kids.

    Reply
    1. flora

      I was a kid before the MMR and the polio vaccines. The March of Dimes was an effort to collect dimes to raise money to find a polio vaccine. I remember our youth group went door-to-door collecting for the national campaign. (And it’s one of the reasons why the face on the dime was changed from the image of Mercury(1916-1945) to FDR(1946-forward), who was crippled by polio.) Every summer you could feel a tension in adults. Would their kids get polio? Should they let the kids go swimming ?

      Posters like these were in post offices across the country:
      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/61643088624483062/

      Then came the Salk vaccine and the sugar cube vaccine given to kids in schools. Kids lines up in the gym, by grade, to get the shot or the sugar cube. It’s hard to explain, hard to put into words, the change that came over all the adults; all the adults – the teaches, nurses, parents – had a new spring in their step and confidence in their face. These kids would not get polio. These kids were safe from that scourge.

      Thanks for the immunization links today and yesterday. And about measles… parents having measles parties makes about as much sense as parents having russian roulette parties for there kids.

      Reply
      1. flora

        adding: the polio immunizations at the schools were offered free of charge to families. That’s part of what all those dimes paid for.

        Reply
  12. Wukchumni

    There’s a number of locally named fruit trees, and part of the fun of having an orchard, is you get to pick the players, so I have a Kaweah peach tree, a Tulare cherry tree, a couple of Sierra Beauty apple trees*, and a Sierra plum tree, which is really more of a Sierra plum bush, and the one here is 6 years old, and I spied the very first plum on it ever this morning, a small feast for the orbits.

    http://www.kuffelcreek.com/Sierra%20Plum.htm

    …in the 6 year old section of Cherry Valley, the Lambert cherry tree must have 200 little green ones dangling on it, and a week behind in bloom time is the Stella, with a like amount, the other players are far in arrears producing, the Rainier, Utah Giant and Van with maybe a few dozen cherries

    * a 6 year old Sierra Beauty is my fastest growing apple tree, it’s 3 inches wide @ the base, and longs to be 30 feet tall, but we have a prune-up agreement.

    Reply
    1. Cal2

      Wukchumni,
      Learn how to graft. Not just “fun” but insane, Doctor Frankenstein like cackling, as years later you have different colored flowers and fruit on the same tree.

      Reply
    1. Cal2

      That’ll be an interesting on-stage performative debate point. Will Warren rub Biden’s nose in his servitude to the banks in the state he represents as she offers some debt relief?

      Or, will his role in all that simply be overlooked for “party loyalty”?

      Furthermore, what can Biden say about rectifying his own disaster?

      Warren’s late to the party, and frankly does not represent the majority of students because of her age.

      Tulsi Gabbard
      [38, athlete, Army Major, combat veteran–NOT from an Ivy League school,]
      does, and has already addressed this:

      “Feb 9, 2019 … This is the rate of student loan debt over the last 10+ years. Trump admin has made it worse by rolling back regulations and oversight…”

      https://twitter.com/tulsigabbard/status/1094213580310884352?lang=en

      “Since I’ve been in Congress, I’ve supported legislation to help alleviate the burden of student loans on our students and begin to find a solution to this crisis. I helped to launch the Congressional Future Caucus
      my first year in Congress
      which is focused on bringing millennial leaders from both sides of the aisle together, to address the challenges of our generation. We introduced the Pathways to Affordable Education Act in my first term, aimed at safeguarding Pell Grants through increased funding and expanding eligibility to increase access for low-income students.

      I’ve also supported bills like the HELP for Students and Parents Act which would give tax credits to businesses that assist in paying off the student loans of their employees, taking much off of their monthly payment burden off of their backs of these working graduates.

      Now, this year I’ve supported legislation like the College for All Act, which would eliminate tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities for families that make up to $125,000 a year, and it would make community college tuition fee-free for everyone-– something

      Tulsi Gabbard endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ College for All Act in 2017.

      Bernie+Tulsi win ~ Any other Democrat loses to Trump.

      Reply
      1. Cal2

        Addendum: Warren’s been active in this issue for a while. But
        “Refinancing” versus Forgiveness? Which gets the most student debt slave votes?

        “United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) and 136 of their congressional colleagues today reintroduced the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act in the Senate and House. The legislation would allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the interest rates offered to new federal borrowers in the 2016-2017 school year.”

        Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have read that medical debt is the number one cause for bankruptcy for years.

      Perhaps student debt could overtake that, but for the fact that it can’t be discharged in such a a filing.

      Still, Is she calling for the cancellation of that? And why not?

      Reply
    1. Unna

      Great video. I have in-laws who live in “small-town” Indiana. Same thing. Industry left. No good jobs. And then Mike Pence. I know what their lives are like and what direction things have gone in the last 20 years. I still believe that a key to winning against Trump in 2020 to to undermine and disgrace him as a liar in the eyes of the people who voted for him in 2016. And I don’t blame them for voting for Trump. At least he was offering something. She was offering only more of the same which was the same as nothing.

      Bernie seems to have figured this out. And why not? After all, he comes from Vermont which is blue collar, small farm, artisan, small town, mom and pop business, skilled trades, local control, kind of place. Bernie can talk to these people because he’s been doing that for most of his political career in Vermont.

      Russiagate and now Obstructiongate and a pointless Impeachment process does not speak to the problems these people are facing nor tells them why Trump will never solve their problems. But it all sure does make the top 10% feel righteous and superior and allows the establishment Dems to avoid talking about things that really will help solve their problems.

      Reply
  13. Tinky

    “Ukraine election: Comedian Volodymr Zelensky elected president in landslide win, humiliating incumbent Petro Poroshenko”

    Wait – isn’t it a far greater humiliation to the U.S.?

    Reply
  14. Cal2

    “Farmers are abandoning one-time basics such as sweet corn, green beans, peas and potatoes. In their place, they’re planting sweet potatoes and leafy greens such as spinach, kale…”

    Warning:
    Kale is now one of the most pesticide-contaminated vegetables

    “More than 92 percent of kale had residue from at least two pesticides after washing and peeling the appropriate vegetables, according to the report. Some had up to 18. Almost 60 percent of the kale samples showed residual Dacthal, a pesticide that is known as a possible human carcinogen.”

    The Environmental Working Group, a watchdog group, publishes its “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” list annually.

    https://www.ewg.org/news-and-analysis/2019/03/ewg-news-roundup-322-kale-vaults-dirty-dozen-california-takes-chemicals

    Go organic,
    you will spend less on health “care,” live longer, food from rich organic soils tastes better and has more nutrients, so you’ll eat less of it and lose weight.

    Reply
  15. Plenue

    >The World Needs Fewer Cersei Lannisters New york magazine

    Cersei is essentially a truly terrible person, and she herself is aware of this, who thinks she’s justified in her harshness because the world is harsh. She’s also a woman who longs for power in a male dominated world, but interestingly when she finally does claw and conspire her way to command, she’s just kind of inept at it.

    Reply
  16. barrisj

    Knock-on effects of Trump’ washing-machine tariffs:

    Trump’s Washing Machine Tariffs Stung Consumers While Lifting Corporate Profits
    New research shows how a move meant to aid domestic manufacturers instead padded profits and raised prices on a wide variety of laundry items.

    President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imported washing machines has had an odd effect: It raised prices on washing machines, as expected, but also drove up the cost of clothes dryers, which rose by $92 last year.

    What appears to have happened, according to new research from economists at the University of Chicago and the Federal Reserve, is a case study in how a measure meant to help domestic factory workers can rebound on American consumers, creating unexpected costs and leaving shoppers with a sky-high bill for every factory job created.

    Research to be released on Monday by the economists Aaron Flaaen, of the Fed, and Ali Hortacsu and Felix Tintelnot, of Chicago, estimates that consumers bore between 125 percent and 225 percent of the costs of the washing machine tariffs. The authors calculate that the tariffs brought in $82 million to the United States Treasury, while raising consumer prices by $1.5 billion.
    […]
    Companies that largely sell imported washers, like Samsung and LG, raised prices to compensate for the tariff costs they had to pay. But domestic manufacturers, like Whirlpool, increased prices, too, largely because they could. There aren’t a lot of upstart domestic producers of laundry equipment that could undercut Whirlpool on price if the company decided to capture more profits by raising prices at the same time its competitors were forced to do so.
    […]

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/21/business/trump-tariffs-washing-machines.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

    Est. cost to create ONE domestic jawb: $817,000, borne by the consumers. And right on cue, Whirlpool had a nice ca. 10% “pop” in the markets today after reporting “stronger than expected” earnings…well, duh!

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  17. newcatty

    Go organic. Well ,yes we do. BTW, until all people in this country can afford to pay basic bills, housing, basic clothing and some means of transportation, not to mention medical “health” bills then please feel free to send monthly checks to all food pantrys in the country. Make sure you insist that your money can only be spent on “clean” or organic foods. Same goes for senior meals on wheels programs. Until all agriculture is organic and sustainable, and the elimination of factory farms then let’s be a little more cognizant that preaching the organic mantra can come off as unsympathetic, unrealistic or, worse, patronizing and elitist.

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  18. djrichard

    The Prosecution Of Julian Assange Is Infinitely Bigger Than Assange Caitlin Johnstone

    For all intents and purposes, Assange has been cast into the evil-doer bucket. The thing about evil doers … it’s never about the evil-doers in and of themselves. Evil doers are fodder for a larger campaign. Mostly regime change. E.g. the evil doers in Iraq (or wherever in the ME) were fodder for regime change of Saddam. And the evil doers of white supremacy, racists, misogynists what have you were fodder for attempted regime change of Trump. One could almost say to the evil doers, “nothing personal (that you’re being thrown under the bus), it’s just business”.

    But there’s also a flip side to this as well. Who stands up for the evil doers? Who stood up for the terrorists that were presumably running around in the middle east, ready to inflict the next 911? Nobody, not really. Who stands up for the white supremacists, racists and misogynists? Hardly anybody. At least nobody who doesn’t want to be proverbially tarred and feathered.

    But it seems like the political value of those evil doers have kind of run their course. Sure we can still go back to that well, but we need some new blood to create some new business opportunities. Enter Julian Assange. Message to Assange, “Nothing personal, it’s just business.” A “small ball” dem business model is to wait to see if Trump will stick his neck out on behalf of Assange. Because if so, then that puts regime change of Trump back into play, this time with the Assange evil doer as the vector. But I think Trump is smart enough to avoid that.

    The next bigger play is to simply use Assange as a shot across the bow of any wikileaks wanna-bes. The point Caitlin is making.

    But I think there’s an even bigger game here. Which is to use Assange against those who are carrying the same propaganda flag as Assange, the flag which says the US itself deserves regime change. Assange is being portrayed as a traitor to the US, somebody who led our sheep astray on behalf of anti-US interests. The fact that he published things willy nilly, lol who cares, that’s a pretext. Because the point is, who else can be portrayed as a traitor to the US, leading our sheep astray? Basically anybody who is supporting propaganda campaigns that are for regime change of the US system. Assange is a way to help the public understand “who is with us, and who is against us”.

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