2:00PM Water Cooler 5/13/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I cannot do a Water Cooler today because of technical problems that you are to imagine me snarling as I describe. As you may know, my workflow has two steps: (1) a collection phase, where I ingest enormous amounts of material, mostly via the Twitter, on my iPad. (I use the iPad because I can do the work in bed, or on the bus, etc.) I then send the links from my iPad via email to my laptop, where they are sorted into the proper directories (e.g., Links or Water Cooler) via keywords in the subject line. In step (2) on my laptop, I go through my mail directories and aggregate the links into posts.

Periodically, iOS or Apple’s mailer — my account is Yahoo, but I use the iOS app — decides it doesn’t like me sending URLs to myself, and stops sending the mail, which then piles up in the mailer’s Outbox. iOS does not tell me when this happens during step (1), so I only notice during step (2), when I am least inclined to unf*ck the mailer, because I’m on deadline ffs.

Generally, I can unf*ck the mailer by resending the mail in the Outbox with a minor “qwerty” addition of random keystrokes, which generally amounts to resending 50 or so pieces — but if that doesn’t work, I have to go through the insanely laborious process of resetting my Yahoo password (which now includes words like “hate,” “[family blogging],” “worst time,” and similar). Today that didn’t work, and I couldn’t send URLs to myself even after a new password. I deleted the account, and tried again. Nope. I set up a new Yahoo account and tried again. Nope. I tried fiddling with the SMTP settings, but Apple and iOS rendered them unfiddle-able. So I made the move to the Yandex app — boy, are the alphabet dudes gonna hate that — at least for the account from which I send mail on the iPad*. So Yandex worked, but too late for today.

All of which is to say that I can’t do a Water Cooler today because iOS and Apple Mail and Yahoo together made a meal out of hours of my work collecting links, and ate up more time as I tried to straighten out a machine that I own.

I still own my laptop, in the sense that I can send mail from it, or browse on it, without worrying whether Tim Cook and his Middle Men like what I do or not. Not so with iOS. I sure gawd paid good money for the iPad, and I use it in photography workflow too, but I don’t really own it, because iOS or Apple or the mailer can suddenly decide that I can’t do any more what I’ve been doing for years and take my workflow away from me. Which is really the point of this whole rant. Silicon Valley would be very happy if we didn’t own our machines at all (and that Apple is more and more making MacOS look and work like iOS gives me the willies). I’m sure the same will go for robot cars. Maybe I should try to find a Huawei tablet; at least then I’d be giving all my personal data to a government that couldn’t do anything with it.

In any case, I hope to do better tomorrow.

UPDATE Bwa-ha-ha-ha. Now Yandex is doing the same thing. Intermittently. Guess the iOS SMTP dingus needs to be ripped out and replaced.

UPDATE Bwa-ha-ha-ha. Now the new Yandex account won’t send anything at all; everything goes to Drafts with a nastygram (“unable to send message”). I — and the tablet! — must be blacklisted somewhere. Thanks for passing the word, Apple! Or Yahoo.

* Yandex on the laptop has a great feature where you can select everything in a directory and delete it. Yahoo, as one might expect, does not. Nor does the iOS Mailer, despite Apple’s brand fumes about superior design.

* * *
Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (JU):

JU writes: “Some of our dozen different cherry varieties, Utah Giant, Van, Stella, Rainier & Lambert.” Not sure which varieties are in this photo, but what a lovely mountain scene. Also, perennials rule!

* * *
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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. CapitalismRulz

      You just sent me right down the rabbit hole watching endless amounts of Jamarl now. Thanks.

      1. Isotope_C14

        Jamarl is great. He mentions me in that video as who he met with in Berlin. Don’t let the screen trick you. He’s a giant, probably 6’4″ and athletically framed.

        His content is excellent and he covers Brexit, UFOs and other fun topics.

  1. ambrit

    That ‘antidote’ photograph instantly reminded me of a scene from Kurosawa’s film “Dreams.” The scene with the Spirits of the Peach Trees.

      1. ambrit

        The picture’s symbolism in regards to the ‘Water Cooler’ is spot on as well. Many things we nurture and protect even though they will outlive us and flower for following generations. That nascent cherry grove defines that.

    1. Wukchumni

      My attempt is to inhabit a dreamy Maxfield Parrish painting, and so far-so good.

      1. ambrit

        Let me know if you find a Nicholas Roerich monastery perched on the side of some really remote Sierra. I’d gladly live there.

  2. John k

    Lambert. Sad.
    See, I just give up, and for several reasons, not least high blood press, but also to avoid satisfying my occasional curiosity regarding which is more durable, the glass coffee table on which I rest my feet or my iPad.
    Just thinking about your troubles gets the ticker to wonder if it should palpitate in sympathy.
    Go for a walk amongst trees, avoid thinking about the disagreeable iPad/IOS. Lots of fluids, chicken soup, more rest.

    1. BobW

      The system I recommended to my (former) employer involved 3×5 cards and a shoe box.

    1. tegnost

      yes, we’re inundated with content here, lambert should go sit in the garden and watch the bugs (i suppose that is one way to view moderating comments). Tomorrow’s another day, try again then.

      1. Clive

        I always knew that the promise, which was a constant refrain in the optimistic and fantastic-futurology 1970’s of my childhood, of “newspapers delivered by telephone” would never catch on.

      1. UserFriendly

        I highly recommend trying an extension like Pocket. You can save any tweet or website to it, and optionally add a tag and then it displays a clean text format of the article on any other computer you choose. If you install the pocket app on IOS you can also add to it via the share this ___ method. It also has a built in text to speech with speed control for ADD multitaskers like me. Here is a quick review.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Apple has decided that it wants me to verify my account, which I cannot do for several days, the credit card they have on file being obsolete (since I haven’t bought anything from the Apple Store in years). So I cannot download and install either the Pocket App, or the Pocket extension.

          You’d think that if I spend a thousand bucks or so on a tablet, I’d actually own it, but n-o-o-o–o-o-o!

          1. Procopius

            I shouldn’t snark, but I’ve always disliked the Apple interface, probably because I worked with Windows 3.1 before I had a chance to try to figure out the MacIntosh. I have strenuously avoided Apple products since then. Apple has always been overpriced and Steve Jobs made the decision to exclude independent developers. People were complaining about that even back in the ’80s when all we had was the Apple II but it has color!!! Linux is free, and Ubuntu has an easy-to-learn graphical interface.

            1. fajensen

              Linux is free, and Ubuntu has an easy-to-learn graphical interface.

              Yes – But: That easy-to-learn interface has some sharp corners that can cut the unwary!

              Linux, GNU and FOSS does an incredible amount of good overall but I think the package integrators are sometimes shooting their own feet by making it very easy and seemingly safe to perform upgrades and installs when everything works, and then not handling the ‘failure paths’ in at all the same easy and convenient way.

              Yes, I also do know that Microsoft all too often ‘bricks’ windows and widows components on updates, leaving users stranded. This is what one *expects* from Microsoft. With Linux it is not on.

              —- long story —-
              Just this morning I spent about 2 hours on fixing my daughters laptop because she uses VMware (which I Like a lot), to run Windows and Word (which I don’t like, but, needs must …). Then she went and updated the Linux Kernel using the very convenient graphical interface for updates and very conveniently Ubuntu/Mint always boots the newest Linux kernel. Splat!

              The problem is that four kernel modules needed by VMware doesn’t compile on the new kernel, so WMware player automatic reinstallation then fails.

              One can find the failure in a hidden log file (but only because Linux allows copy-paste from pop-up dialogs so the poor user can get the filename right cause Ubuntu et.al. now uses ‘systemd’, which gloms all logging into a binary format, which then needs a new binary-format tool, which happens to be systemd, to locate and read system logs in a much more inconvenient way than the legacy text tools. Probably to make Linux ‘feel’ more like Windows).

              Ok, so we need to go back to the Linux kernel that worked. Easy. Hahahaha! Not!!

              We are running the most-recent Kernel that doesn’t work, so we cannot remove the running kernel (from the GUI, maybe command-line, but, feels risky and I think I have to see what happens on a Raspberry Pi first rather than on an important device), so we shall have to reboot into another kernel first and use the GUI.

              Except, Ubuntu/Mint has shat some graphical thing on top of the Linux boot process so users never see it and the ‘escape’ keys are captured too so we can’t interrupt it easily to get the old boot menu, select another kernel, and then fix it ‘from there’.

              To ‘get back’, one has to manually edit the Grub2 boot-loader configuration files to reenable the Kernel boot menu, then edit the boot command line to get the right Linux Kernel version, boot, then uninstall the latest kernel, then re-update the Grub2 config so that Everything is finally back to what it was.

              Finally, VMware works again.

              A daughter without a dad who is pretty good with Linux would have been stuck for quite a long time with a broken WMware because there is no visible way for her to find out what is wrong and restore her system.

              … And she is not *that* useless with a computer either, she has already managed to use Ghostscript from the command-line to combine several pdf’s into one pdf-file for her exams.

      2. NotReallyHere

        Nice rant …. and you have all of my sympathy. Circling in tech hell is enough to make anyone give up on ever getting anything done.

        Some un-needed advice. Ditch Yahoo, it’s old, unsafe and getting worse as the gap between investment needed vs applied grows. The day will come when you lose it all.

        Yandex will never work well in the US.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Yandex has an app.

          But now Yandex is refusing to send my mail too — even though it has its own outgoing SMTP server. I am hoping/assuming that’s because I am now not “verified” on my own [family blogging] machine.

  3. Robert Hahl

    Nahre Sol – How to Sound Like Rachmaninoff

    Adam Neely – Intro to East Asian Music Notation

    Santana – Full Concert – 08/18/70 – Tanglewood
    My guitar teacher is rocking in that crowd somewhere, and said this is the best concert he ever saw.

    Aimee Nolte – How To Play By Ear With Chords

    Know your memes.

    And then I said….The purpose of government is to advance the common good.

    1. Rory

      Thank you for these great links. Particularly (showing my age) Santana and Aimee Nolte.

  4. Mark Gisleson

    Internet aside, the Mac experience peaked with OS9.
    Word processing was never better than Word 5.1.a for Mac.
    They only gave us more bandwidth so they could set videos on autoplay.
    Robot Wisdom was the best link aggregator ever.

    Sorry. Doris Day died and I’m feeling kinda depressed.

    1. Clive

      I will then join you in a commemorative “Whip-crack-away, whip-crack-away, whip-crack-away…” in her honour in the hope that we both will then feel a little bit better.

        1. Clive

          Thank-you Jerry, I’d not seen that and I end up seeing most things sooner or later but this, strangely enough, hasn’t been picked up by domestic news coverage.

          It is an emerging, if depressing, social change. Two of the houses in my street (there’s only 12) have changed hands in the past couple of years. They were originally built with nuclear families in mind (four or five bedrooms), but they weren’t bought by young couples or people with children. They were, rather, purchased by retirees. I asked, as subtly as I could, why a retired couple might want a 2-2,500 sq ft. house when you’d have thought they’d be downsizing — and why they had, as they’d done, moved from villages and hamlets noted for their quaint and sought-after ambiance to what is pretty much the centre of a not especially attractive town.

          The answer was the same. The community spirit which they’d known in the rural areas was gone. Coincidentally (or maybe not) any kind of public service had been eviscerated. Primary care doctor, dentist, “the corner shop”, post office, even an ATM, all gone. And yes, the bus service too was either withdrawn or so cut back as to be useless. They feared being car-dependent and feared even more what would happen if, say for reasons of ill health, they could no longer drive. They didn’t want to end their days in an increasingly isolated backwater slowly succumbing to social poverty if not materially in a downward spiral.

          1. Jerry B

            Thanks Clive.

            My wife and I are selling our townhouse in Crystal Lake, IL, a far northwest suburb of Chicago, and moving to Appleton Wi. The main reason we are moving is cheaper housing. Even though I was born in Chicago and it has been my home for the majority of my life, the Chicago area is way to expensive.

            However, alluding to your comment above, while Appleton, WI seems to have a decent bus transit system, I have the same issues as the couple you talked with. At 60 years old I am no where near not being able to drive a car but I do not like being car dependent even though I am more car dependent where I currently live in Crystal Lake, IL. then I will be in Appleton, WI.

            If we were in a better financial position I would move closer to Chicago to take advantage of the mass transit in Chicago and minimize being car dependent. But my wife is not as much of a “city” person as I am (she was born in the suburbs of Chicago) although I think she would adjust. Another issue is while it has many decent areas, IMO Chicago is not a completely safe place in the evening no matter where you live. It is not the Chicago where my family lived until 1970 when we moved to the suburbs.

            I think many people, like the couple you talked to, that can afford it will stay close to the cities (small, mid size, or large) but what about everyone else?? Outside of the major cities, mass transit in the US is non-existent.

            Like I mentioned to Lambert recently, in the future the small to large cities in the US will resemble Copenhagen with a mix of bicycle, mass transit, walking, and Ubers/Taxis. The suburbs and the rural areas will look like a dystopian Mad Max/I am Legend movie, especially in the near future (10 – 50 years) when the gas/oil is gone or stays in the ground.

            1. Bugs Bunny

              I wish you luck in Appleton. My old boss was from there and he’s a pretty decent fellow. I imagine you’re going to be in the central part of town, which is a lovely area. There are also good restaurants and Milwaukee isn’t far away – as Yves can attest, Milwaukee has become a much more beautiful city than ever over the past 20 years (not that it doesn’t have its problems, especially in regards to mistreatment of its people of color).

              1. Jerry B

                Thanks Bugs. Actually we are going to be living in Neenah, Wi. which is just southeast of Appleton. Neenah is a very nice area with a nice “downtown” area with mom and pop stores, parks, etc.

                We’ll see how it goes. As I mentioned, while spending most of my life in the suburbs of Chicago, I was born in the city and consider myself a city person. Central Appleton has a decent downtown area so that may suffice if I get the city itch. Otherwise as Lee Marvin said in the movie Paint Your Wagon; “I was born a wandering star”.

            2. Randy

              Move to Wausau, WI, better and more hilly than Appleton (more pleasing to the eye).

            3. Mark Gisleson

              I was living in Wilmot recently. Your part of Illinois always baffled me. Highways lined with strip malls over and over again. I never knew which city I was in unless I spotted the water tower. But to your credit, at least Crystal Lake isn’t in Lake County!

        2. Synoia

          It looks cold and miserable, and it is cold and miserable.

          Cold is a NE wind, gale force 7, with rain in a Temperature of 38 def F.

    2. Cal2

      “They only gave us more bandwidth so they could set videos on autoplay”
      Many articles look like they were written by Google Translate and are just
      excuses to create filler between ads.

      This was driven home when Firefox hiccuped for a day and ad blocker didn’t work.
      “You have to be kidding! People put up with that?”

      Let them take your system down,
      ’cause their going to Advertising Fields
      Nothing is real and systems to get hung about
      Advertising Fields forever

      Living is easy with iVices closed
      Misunderstanding all you see
      It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out
      It doesn’t matter much to me…

    3. neo-realist

      Congratulations to Doris for being able to live much longer than most humans, and being in relatively good shape for most of those 97 years. Plus, she made it out before the worst of climate change hit.

    4. Zzzz Andrew

      Oh man. You mean Jorn Barger’s Weblog (blog zero!); Robot Wisdom was his, I guess it’s fair to say data-driven (?), analysis of James Joyce et al. Epiphanies on green oval leaves, deeply deep. So much promise in the internet of those days … I miss it too.

    5. Yves Smith

      Word processing peaked in 1994 with WordPerfect for the NeXT

      Among other things, you could tell WordPerfect you envelope size (important if sending Christmas or other cards, they come in non-standard sizes) AND set up exactly where the send and return address would be place (as in specify distance from top and left margins).

      1. Procopius

        I can do that with Libre Office, although it’s not very intuitive and I think is printer dependent. I don’t think I used WordPerfect, but I can’t remember which one I was using back then. At the time I didn’t do a lot of correspondence. My first was Electric Pencil.


    Yandex? Gotta be careful there, Lambert, donut twitter will use that as more proof that you’re a Russian bot.

  6. David

    Lambert, please give up Yahoo. It’s no longer serious and I have had many problems over recent years sending large files or large numbers of files to Yahoo users, and about ten days ago I was trying to help someone with a Yahoo account with exactly the same problem from a Samsung tablet. It doesn’t work well with mail applications in general. On the other hand for years I have regularly sent myself documents via Gmail from iPhone iPad and Mac without a problem. If you have objections to Gmail use something like ProtonMail instead which is very secure.

    1. Summer

      Yes, I’ve got to migrate from one email account set up through yahoo as well. They have an issue with access through mobile phones. Too crapified from top to bottom to address or fix.

      1. Carey

        FWIW, I’ve been using Hushmail, based in Canada, for the last few years,
        and have been happy enough that I subscribed to their paid service.

        Not too hard to see where this is all heading, though…

        1. Oh

          FYI: Hushmail is subject to threts by the US and Canadian Govt. to produce the content of their servers. Protonmail and Tutanota are not since they’re subject to Swis laws that don’t cowtie to US Govt.

  7. dcrane

    Can you mail yourself the links minus the “http://” and paste it back on later? I guess autoformatting might interfere.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Selecting text on the iPad is a PITA, another reason it’s no substitute for a laptop, no matter what that idiot Tim Cook says. So I can, but no. And then I have to put them back on the other end.

      1. scoff

        You could try making a text or RTF file of the all URL’s and email that to yourself. Copy and paste them from the file when you’re on your laptop. An RTF file will recognize the “http://” part and make it a live link inside the file.

        1. Briny

          If you use the right text editor, that isn’t a problem either. Notepad++ is what I keep links i which I either consider sensitive or should be grouped in a file. Double-click, off ya go.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          I’ve thought of this solution, and I suppose — since mail is trapped in the machine for now, as are messages — I could use file transfer of some kind to get the file of links onto the Mac.

          But really, for a permanent solution, this presupposes that the iPad is suitable for productive business computing, i.e. that selecting is easy, copy/paste is reliable, there’s a simple and non-flaky windowing system, etc. Also, adding the category to the subject line and then having the mailer sort everything — and give me a count! — is massively useful; that’s not easy with the text file solution. Yes, I could make a template with the categories, but that’s work…

          1. Procopius

            Another reason to sneer at the youngs and continue to use my “grandpa box” (reference to Asoke, the young Indian intern in Dilbert). I have been able to submit comments on my Android pad, but it’s a one-finger-typing process, which is unacceptable. I can see why Twitter is popular with the kids.

      1. fajensen

        Hah – Just you wait until they reach the mature age of about 4. You spend time talking with them and explaining things, showing things, and then, The Fix for Too Low Blood-pressure is in:

        They will begin to make some pretty well-thought out arguments for why they totally should be allowed something they want like many extra bedtime stories. They also gain “knowledge of mind” which will be tested by manipulating their 2-year old siblings into committing mischief that the 4-year old want done seemingly ‘to see what mum will do’ (but they don’t wanna take the rap over).

  8. JohnnySacks

    Nice job with the fruit trees JU. From my admittedly limited amateur masochist experience it’s best to do multiple varieties and types because without a doubt, you’ll get wiped out on some differently each year by fungus, bugs, ravenous tree rat squirrels, late frosts, etc. At least I get something from some of them yearly for incentive to keep me beating my head against the wall.

    1. Wukchumni

      Thanks, so far so good with the cherries, they’re doing great.

      There’s 75+ different varieties altogether of apples/stone fruit/citrus in the orchard, with a few duplicates of ones that have done well. My dad was really into it and could only muster about 20 trees way back when and he liked odd ones such as Cherimoya & Loquats, and one thing that’s easy peasy now compared to back then, is how simple it is to set up a drip system, nothing to it.

      From past experience, 20% of the fruit trees I plant, end up being very expensive firewood a year or two later, thanks mostly to 2, 4, 6 & 8 legs bad, yours truly included when he forgot to change the batteries on the drip system timer, whoops.

      1. polecat

        Today, polecat made another attempt at canning some medlar jelly. We have 2 trees growing on the suburban plant-ation, both of which fruited biggly last year . Hopefully the batch really DID jell this time. Tried making some last year, but all I got for my efforts was a rather thin syrup. As an aside, you all should look up the various historical references re. the much maligned Medlar .. even the Bard himself made reference with cheap shots insinuated into his plays … as well as Chaucer and others .. in times past. Definately not a fruit one sees much of here in the States.

  9. Duck1

    Curious situation out near the Strait of Hormuz where the Saudi’s now say that 2 of their tankers were damaged by “sabotage” while yesterday reports surfaced of 4 or 5 tankers damaged and burning near a UAE oil port, which UAE denied. Haven’t heard that Pompous or Bolton are rattling the missIles yet at Iran over this.

    1. petal

      All in good time, friend. All in good time. Can’t be wasteful with opportunities.

    2. anon in so cal

      Agree, though there is this:

      Gareth Porter


      “Why is nobody claiming that the “sabotage” of oil tankers near a UAE port is Iran-related? Maybe because In 2010 a Japanese tanker was hit by a suicide bomber very close to that same spot, and Al Qaeda’s Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility.”



      “These concerns over the safety of oil exports from the Middle East add to existing worries over supplies from the Shaky Six group of countries, which includes Iran, Venezuela and Libya. The failure of Juan Guaido’s attempt to spark a military uprising against President Nicolas Maduro means that Venezuela’s oil production is likely to continue its seemingly inexorable slide. In Libya, the continuing conflict between General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army and the internationally recognized government in Tripoli is jeopardizing the country’s efforts to restore output to levels seen before the revolution earlier this decade.”

      So, the attempt to oust Maduro and install Guaido was preliminary to war on Iran? To ensure a supply of oil when the Strait of Hormuz is shut down?

      I’m sure this has been discussed and this comment is “duh.” Perhaps too far-fetched.

      1. Phenix

        No. They are connecting the dots.

        Trump’s team are not master tacticians. They need Venezuela to topple Iran or at least destroy the country for disobedience.

        Iran is why we will never leave Afghanistan.

        1. Yves Smith

          IMHO, you have this in reverse.

          The US had tons of egg on its face with its failed coup attempt in Venezuela, so Iran was ginned up or greatly accelerated for “wag the dog” purposes. With Iraq, the US started mobilizing 9 months in advance. Moving hospital ships was the first visible sign. There was no mobilization before the war drum beating, which says to me this was improvised.

  10. MichaelSF

    FYI, the right sidebar/cubs image has dropped off the home page, and the Hawley story is fully displayed, so something may have gone awry. The side stuff does show up on lower level pages.

  11. ewmayer

    Bunch of tech darlings got hammered today on latest Trade War Fears news. I LOL’ed when I saw the latest numbers for recent-IPO LYFT, now approaching a 50% drop from its post-IPO high, which was $88. But the LOL part was this entry in the company summary:

    EPS (TTM) -82.40

    Earnings per share negative and nearly double the share price … that’s gotta be on the short list for some kind of record. Curiously, fellow rideshare scam-unicorn UBER shows a positive EPS, wonder how they managed that little trick. Maybe by issuing a negative number of shares?

    1. Procopius

      GAAPs have been a joke for fifty years. Even in the ’60s when I took accounting classes they were guides to creative writing. Now I don’t mean to say that applies to all companies. That, basically, was what happened to the Soviet command economy — getting falsified progress reports — so it hasn’t happened to all companies, yet. But I think back to when Brunswick was reporting the total price of their long term leases on bowling equipment as current revenue. That was a Generally Accepted Accounting Principle at the time, too. Yves pointed out some more recent examples with derivatives in ECONned.

  12. Roy G

    Lambert, I think your workflow could use an overhaul. My advice would be to quit using email as your aggregator and instead use Simplenote, which is a minimal text only notetaking app, to aggregate your links. Simplenote is similar to Evernote, but, well, simpler; You can literally get up to speed with it in 2 minutes. It is available as an app or in the browser, and content changes in one client are reflected everywhere. You can have as many text notes as you want, and it has a global search function, so it’s minimal but highly effective.

      1. Roy G

        While generally you have a point, specifically Simplenote is made by Automattic, the company who develop WordPress and its ecosystem. Practically speaking, Simplenote is a side app project who’s feature set hasn’t changed in the 5 years that i’ve used it. Automattic has bigger and better revenue plays than what you are suggesting.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      That’s possible, and after [genuflects] Apple verifies my iPad account I may be able to download and install it. (I tried a similar tool, Pocket, but no dice on the installation.)

      What is unfortunately missing is (a) categorization via the subject line and (b) while reading I am also sending links to other people that I might not want to use myself, so now I have to work in two environments, not one.

      I really did put a lot of thought into this system…

  13. Steve

    I like Protonmail’s service. Not that I need it, but your email is encrypted on your hardware before sending. Protonmail can’t read it, they don’t have your password; Apple or Yahoo certainly can’t read it. Other options with local encryption come to mind, such as using a VPN.

    It is possible that encrypted emails will fall into the same bucket you are having problems with, IDK.

    1. Carey

      I’ve had a number of problems with Protonmail, like recurringly disappearing
      emails, and settings changes from the ones I chose. I like Hushmail a lot
      better, but who knows for how long until it’s TINA’d too.

      1. polecat

        Considering the trend toward total digital crapification, and with the idiots we’ve sent to Congress doing their damnedest to drown the U.S. Postal Service in the scuzzy private sector bathtub, I predict that smoke signals will become popular once more ..

        1. Briny

          I’m holding out for microSD cards by pigeon delivery. Certainly the capacity advantage, well short of a station wagon full of backup tapes.

  14. roxan

    Actually, iPADS are almost indestructible. My friend, who does programming, pounded his fist on it so many times, the glass is all cracked but it still works! One time I saw him get so mad he took his keyboard and smashed it to bits on the edge of his desk. Satisfied, he calmly reached under the desk, pulled out a new keyboard and continued working….

    1. Craig H.

      McEnroe used to do that with tennis rackets.

      But he only acted out when he was losing. Never when he was winning. According to Confucius we should be grateful to people who make us angry because they teach us to be patient. It isn’t analect number one but it is very close to the top.

      1. Carey

        Actually he did, sometimes, like at the French in ’84 when he was leading by two sets and a break against Lendl in the final. Mac ended up losing 7-5 in the fifth, Lendl getting his first, belated Major there; a good job.

        1. Craig H.

          I forgot about that. My gosh he flamed out fast. He did not win a major after ’84.

          Lendl was a more sporting number one.

  15. sporble

    Oh, Lambert! So sorry for the technical obstacles – unlike some of the other commenters, I sadly have no potential solutions for you; I can only offer you my sympathy & empathy.

    Hope you are soon once again able to deliver the stellar links I’ve been reading here for years – without you having to suffer any frustration (or worse) for your efforts.

    PS: If you could use a smile, have a look at this technologically-savvy waterfowl:

  16. dearieme

    Talking of gardens, last year we visited a supplier of garden goods and discovered he’d sell us a Stonehenge of our own. Also a waterfall feature. And a ruined monastery.

    It reminded me of a remark attributed to one of the Lords Rothschild: every garden, however small, should contain a few acres of rough woodland.

    1. Cal2

      Every English country estate you might happen to have lying around…sniff

      Easy for him to say.

      Funny how they never make it onto the wealthiest family lists.

  17. Big River Bandido

    How about pasting your collected links into a Word document (or other word processing file) and emailing *that* to yourself once you’re done with Step 1? At least that way an email provider cannot (in theory) read the content of the email.

    1. junkelly

      I was going to suggest this as well.
      I use textedit or itextexpress on the desktop. Save file as .rtf so it can be opened by any program.
      Also look into Notes. Notes should be available on both desktop and ipad. I don’t use it but it might be the type of app where what you type on the ipad is or can be immediately updated on the desktop.
      Good luck

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      As above, I don’t get the automatic sorting (and counting) via the mailer putting things into directories. And iOS is just not a suitable business machine. I don’t want to be scrolling in it, typing in it, manipulating windows in it or anything else. Also as above, as I browse, I’m also sending links to other people. If I stay in the mailer, I don’t every have to switch modes.

      I also have to manage the files.

  18. JohnnyGL


    I’m uncomfortable posting a clip of MSDNC, but this was interesting. Buttigieg polls horribly with black voters, apparently. Biden picks up ALL that block of voters.

    Also interesting, but unstated….Bernie and Warren both do almost equally well with both black and white voters, with only a slightly lower number among black voters.

    Expect more volatility around ‘electability’ judgments.

    1. Carey

      Claims that Mister Biden does well with black voters seem…questionable, to me.

      “vote for me, ‘cuz I put your kids in jail!”

      1. Carey

        Adding: I do not see an outright and *blatant* theft of the nomination as at all unlikely for “2020” (quotes, because it’s ever thus.)

        “Power yields nothing without a demand”
        -Frederick Douglass

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well . . . it worked for Clinton. Some other things didn’t work for her, but that thing did.

        1. Procopius

          I dunno. Bernie started out with 3% name recognition. As the season progressed his numbers went up, but it was always clear to me he was unlikely to be the candidate. Sure, the DNC and DCCC ratfcked him, but that’s what they do. He’s to the left of Rockefeller. No, I take that back. Rockefeller would be too left for them. Heck, Nixon would be, too. Oh, I hoped he would be, He would have been the first candidate since Humphrey I could clearly see as the better candidate instead of the lesser of two evils (LOTE).

      3. Phenix

        Now it is brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins. The kids he put in jail can vote now. The children who grew up with this grotesque system are able to vote their displeasure and our options are a former Republican, Obama’s valet, a old leftist and one millennial that is actually antiwar and progressive. The rest are corporate whores.

  19. flora

    Goodbye, walled garden: Apple gets bitten right in the app store.

    In a landmark decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that a group of iPhone owners can proceed with a lawsuit against Apple on the grounds that the company is engaging in monopolistic practices in its use of a “walled garden.” Applications for the iOS platform can only be bought from Apple’s app store.

    Additionally, in the past, EU has taken cues from the US whether to move with antitrust proceedings of its own and has also levied severe fines and penalties when it believes its own citizens and corporations are threatened by monopolistic practices of US technology companies.


    A chink in Apple’s armor .

  20. The Rev Kev

    Late too comments today. My commiserations Lambert on what you are dealing with. I am sure that if you had asked a younger version of yourself back in 2000 what computer technology would be like by 2020, you would have said that it would be fast, seamless and intuitive. Sigh! In some ways we are going backwards with our technology which is perhaps why I am still using Windows 7 on an old computer. There are too few benefits to upgrading and you have talked about that with the evolution of Apple gear.

  21. charles 2

    All my sympathy on this Lambert. Sometimes, when I encounter similar problems, I also have these bout of rage against the vendor who obviously – such an idiot !- builds things that I own in ways that I don’t expect. When I calm down, I often come to realise that fulfilling everybody’s contradictory expectation is hard…

    Anyway, I will first give you a solution to your problem while minimising changes to your workflow, and second, if you are keen to read it, put a bit more of context of why your problem happened.

    A) the quick fix
    once you have prepared your mail on iOS, don’t send it but delete it (!). You will be then prompted if you want to save it to the drafts folder, to which you answer yes. I know it looks that you have an extra step in a very optimised workflow, but it may be better than you think because you don’t even have to input a recipient to save a mail in the draft folder, so you save the time typing lambert-email@yahoo.com in the “to” field.
    On your laptop, create smart mailboxes on your mail client, filtering on the Drafts folder and the keywords that you use in the subject line, which mirrors your folders “Water Cooler” and “Links” or whatever subdivision you encounter, and carry on your work from there .

    B) The context
    Sending email to oneself is a big can of worms from an IT security standpoint. It is a privileged tool for phishing purpose because people instinctively let their guard down when the email is from themselves. It is even worse when it contains files or hyperlinks, because this is exactly what a phishing payload look like. Because of this, mail providers and mail client developers will put protecting steps in place, not all of them being documented, so I am not really surprised by your misadventures. I understand you are frustrated because things that were working don’t work anymore, but, on this one, it is fairer to attribute it to the ever increasing sophistications of hackers one should defend against rather than to a crapification (deliberate or not) by vendors like Apple.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Synching the drafts folder is a very clever idea. I’ll try it when Apple gives me back control of the thousand dollar machine I paid them to own.

      I think, however, I have to ditch Yahoo, at least for this purposes. So I will have to see whether Proton Mail has an app, and whether it will synch with the browser version… Or perhaps I could open the Proton Mail browser version on the iPad…

      I am also not clear when the filters kick in. I *think* they kick in on Send, in which case I’m not sure your helpful scheme might work (i.e., the filters really are not functions that you can run on mail you select.(

      1. charles 2

        The easiest way to create a mail with the link of the current page in Safari is to use the iOS contextual menu and choose mail.

        You can use an iCloud account for that purpose, it is free and you are sure it works with Apple. My personal domain email is iCloud underneath, it works well.

        Smart Mailboxes (defined at the Mac OS client level through Mailbox/New Smart Mailbox menu item) are not the same thing than incoming email rules (defined at the Mac OS client level through Preferences/Rules/Add Rules button). It is probably the latter that you use right now, and they kick in through the receiving process of your mail client (if you set them up at this level) or your Yahoo account (if you set the rules at the server level).

        Smart Mailboxes are updated dynamically every time there is a change in your IMAP storage. It should be quasi immediate.

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