Links 5/21/19

The last mortals TLS

Author Michael Pollan on food, travel and identity BBC

Mr Trendy Sicko London Review of Books

Baltimore ransomware nightmare could last weeks more, with big consequences Ars Technica

5G networks could throw weather forecasting into chaos Grist

Waste Watch

WWF ‘activation hub’ to help companies make good on plastic pollution commitments Waste Dive

In Plastic-Bag Wars, the Industry Fights Back WSJ

Hawaii Leaders Mull Potential of Climate Liability Cases Climate Liability News

Climate change is putting even resilient and adaptable animals like baboons at risk The Conversation

Fossil Fuel Companies Push “Market-Based Solutions” to Climate Change TruthOut


Pete Buttigieg Calls for Carbon Capture and Tax—Climate Proposals Backed by the Fossil Fuel Industry Common Dreams

Despite Anti-American ‘Baiting’ by NYT, Sanders Makes ‘No Apologies’ for Opposing Reagan-Backed Death Squads Common Dreams

Joe Biden uses his campaign kickoff to argue Americans want unity Vox

Kamala Harris would toughen penalties on employers who underpay women LA Times

Steve Bullock puts Citizens United decision at center of presidential push The Hill

Trump scrambles to reverse Rust Belt slide Politico

Ghost of Hillary Clinton haunts 2020 Democratic hopefuls Boston Herald

Sen. Ron Wyden Leads on Securing Elections Before 2020 TruthOut

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Military-Industrial Virus Harper’s

New Cold War

Russia-gate as Count Dracula Consortium News. Review of Stephen Cohen’s new book.

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Amazon Faces Investor Pressure Over Facial Recognition NYT

Trump Transition

The Liberal Embrace of War/ Rolling Stone Matt Taibbi

Ongoing D.C. fight tests separations of powers Boston Globe

T-Mobile, Sprint Get Merger Backing From FCC Chairman WSJ

Tariff Tantrum

Wall Street gripped by fear that Donald Trump’s China tariff escalation will disrupt Apple’s tech supply chain SCMP

Will China play rare earths card in clash with US? Asia Times

Trump grants temporary reprieve from Huawei ban FT

737 MAX

This is not simple Leeham News

Kirkland consultant questioned for six hours in criminal probe of Boeing 737 MAX crashes  Bakersfield

What science says Uber and Lyft are doing to San Francisco San Francisco Chronicle. Once you skip past the ritual genuflection at the beginning – “that ride-hailing apps have undoubtedly benefited customers” – the rest of the article spells out a plethora of cons.

Class Warfare

Is There a Connection Between Undocumented Immigrants and Crime? Marshall Project

Billionaire Robert F. Smith pledges to pay off Morehouse College Class of 2019′s student loans WaPo

The Daily 202: The Koch network is reorganizing under a new name and with new priorities WaPo

Seeing a twisting road ahead, Ford cuts 7K white-collar jobs AP

Millennials and Gen Z Are Increasingly Pessimistic About Their Lives, Survey Finds Bloomberg

‘Playing Catch-Up in the Game of Life.’ Millennials Approach Middle Age in Crisis WSJ

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stands with Buffett in complaint that crisis CEOs were rewarded, but should pay MarketWatch

As states pass restrictive abortion laws, questions surface AP


US to roll out economic part of Mideast peace plan AP I just can’t wait!

Trump’s ‘genocidal taunts’ will not end Iran – Zarif BBC

Do Iranian ‘Threats’ Signal Organized U.S.-Israel Subterfuge? American Conservative

How Mining Companies Use Excessive Legal Powers to Gamble with Latin American Lives Foreign Policy in Focus


NBFC crisis: India’s next government has to defuse the ticking time bomb in its hands Scroll

Sensex, Nifty scale record closing highs on BJP’s likely victory Economic Times

Why the Exit Polls Could Be Badly Wrong This Time The Wire. This seems to fall in the grasping at straws category, all major polls predict the same outcome, albeit with different estimates of majorities. We’ll know for sure on 23rd May, counting day.

Antidote du Jour (via)

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. KB

    Kip Sullivan sent a link this am to an op-ed penned by himself and Steve Soumerai. They are calling for the termination of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP).
    Per Kip:” Bernie’s “single payer” bill would impose this dangerous program on the elderly and disabled currently in Medicare Advantage plans, and upon the non-elderly as well. Pramila’s single-payer bill would repeal the HRRP.”
    Lot’s of interesting facts regarding this program that was included in the ACA supporting their call for it’s termination. Unless and until Bernie changes this, I will not be voting for him.

    1. rob

      bernie sanders healthcare bill is a huge disappointment. He saw fit to replace 1000 insurance company payers with 1000 ACO’s …. another thousand payers…. WTF?
      Bernie is showing that given some power….. he would blow it.

      All those years of comfort; preaching to his choir in vermont, when he could be “radical”, and not have any hope of making a difference…. but would get to keep his job. Now with a real place at the table…. what does he try to do?……
      just re-arrange the deck chairs….
      Jayapal’s bill is so much better…. and bernie’s is a loser.
      That is why progressive causes go nowhere….. the leading voices so often, are insider plants…. wanting to actually do nothing, while pretending to be reformers..
      Now we have to wait till Ocasio-Cortez is old enough to run for president…. At least she seems to actually be progressive…. Lets hope the machine doesn’t get to her first.
      Looks like it is time to vote green party again…The democrats are pathetic…. they are vying with the republicans to be the number one cause of the US decent into the abyss.

      1. David J.

        That is why progressive causes go nowhere….. the leading voices so often, are insider plants…. wanting to actually do nothing, while pretending to be reformers..

        Are you suggesting that Sanders is an insider plant? Just because one of the bills he puts forth could be better?

        It seems to me that one of the primary reasons that “progressive causes go nowhere” is due to the willingness of way too many so-called progressives who insist upon often silly, and ineffectual, standards of purity.

        Personally, and I’ve been around for awhile, I’m tired of winning battles with moral victories and continuously losing the war. And that’s what has been happening since the end of the Great Society.

        Is Sanders perfect? Of course not. Does he have a long track record of fighting for policies that would make this a better country? You bet your sweet bippy.

        1. Cal2

          I wonder about AOC too.

          Watched the Netflix documentary about her.
          How is it that a professional camera crew followed her around and got all those great shots of her, the emotionalism of it, the careful scripting of it, all this before she had even filed to run for office?

          Controlled opposition?

          1. WheresOurTeddy

            “How is it that a professional camera crew followed her around and got all those great shots of her, the emotionalism of it, the careful scripting of it, all this before she had even filed to run for office?

            Controlled opposition?”

            Maybe if you know you’re going to run an insurgent campaign that would be historic if you even got close to unseating Crowley it’d be newsworthy, and even cynically know a close loss could catapult her to another candidacy a la Beto O’Rourke?

            Can we just enjoy having a handful of activists in Congress before we label them all controlled opposition? She’s been in office for 4 MONTHS.

          2. Brindle

            The “wonder” I have about AOC is what a remarkably intelligent and grounded legislator she is—and at 29 years old.

            1. zer0

              As long as she’s anti-establishment, in my eyes she’s 1000x smarter than everyone else in Congress, minus the 3 or 4 other anti-establishment figures that have survived.

          3. Spring Texan

            There are podcast interviews of the director of Knock Down the House. If you’ll listen to that you’ll realize your suspicions are completely off base.

          4. Yves Smith


            Remember her great Internet commercial?

            The people who did that likely had a lot of footage the left on the cutting room floor and gave that to the Netflix folks.

          5. Lambert Strether

            > Controlled opposition?

            One of the issues with CT tropes is that they over-simplify and distract. No doubt the powers that be are assuming that money, power, celebrity, and the liberal Democrat zeitgeist will do their corrosive work in good time.

            We might also remember that such tactics have been available to ruling classes since forever; divide et impera is said to have been a maxim of Philip of Macedon in 300BC; and the English “divide and conquer” originated in the 16th century. And yet, as Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast shows, revolutions have been a regular feature of our political systems in the West since Cromwell.

        2. WheresOurTeddy

          +1000 I’m literally getting the “BERNIE’S NOT PURE ENOUGH” from Warren people I know. Seriously.

          1. jrs

            Warren isn’t even on paper for M4A. Don’t get me wrong Warren is very far from the worst we could do but …

        3. jrs

          I suspect progressive causes also go nowhere because there aren’t enough progressives. There are Dem voters who pretend to want progressive things, but won’t vote for even the chance of them happening No Matter What. They always vote for someone who oftentimes seems to have the least chance of ever delivering anything progressive. (The exceptions are a few more local races).

          Yes politicians often sell us out. The purity folks have a point when they point out where they do. But they are such a tiny percentage of the electorate it would be ridiculous to blame them for almost anything. How tiny? Despite been on the ballot in perhaps every state Jill Stein couldn’t crack 2% even with the unenviable choice of: Hillary v Trump! So unless one wants to jump on the “but Nader ..” bandwagon for an election Gore won and didn’t even fight for ..

          1. Odysseus

            Despite been on the ballot in perhaps every state Jill Stein couldn’t crack 2% even with the unenviable choice of: Hillary v Trump!

            I can’t tell if you’re denying that the spoiler effect exists and affects how people vote, or if you’re fully aware that it exists and are irritated that people didn’t explicitly vote for a spoiler.

            The fact that the election was close shows that people rationally chose not to support the spoiler.

            The Green Party (and frankly all political parties – needs to focus on the fact that there are more Nonvoters than voters in any party base. What are the policies and tactics that will generate new votes, not spoilers?

        4. KB

          Not sure you read the article I posted..
          I for one am of the age that this grossly affects me and my family.

          “One in particular, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), may have caused thousands of deaths instead of preventing them, and probably hasn’t saved money during its seven years in operation.”

          Also, Kip himself has stated that if Sander’s bill were pass as is, we wouldn’t get single payer health care like forever…Pretty important and not a purity test.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Speaking of deck chairs. I’m told that for US Presidential candidates they have two sorts of chairs for the usual two sorts of candidates. One sort folds up instantly and the other goes round and round in circles. That is why FDR was such a great President who got so much done. He cheated by bringing his own chair.

          1. WheresOurTeddy

            except when it came time to fight the great evil of his time, FDR didn’t roll his eyes back in his head and say “I’m going to go now”

        1. Olga

          This is somewhat related:

          “Last month, former Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., announced the launch of the One Country Project, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, to bring rural voters back to the Democratic Party. The group has already started working with the Democratic National Committee, according to Axios. Time Magazine reported that Heitkamp is using “leftover campaign funds” for the project. Records show the One Country Project’s website is registered to an executive at Forbes Tate Partners, a lobbying and public relations firm founded by former Clinton administration officials. The lobbying firm is leading the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future (PAHCF), the health industry-backed nonprofit created to crush momentum for a comprehensive, universal health care system.”

          1. Judith

            There are some people in West Virginia who have a different idea:


            From the article:

            While Smith has his sights set on the governor’s mansion, the progressive-populist campaign he’s running isn’t just about that. Smith is setting out to build a statewide movement; his gubernatorial run is just the anchor.

            “What we’re interested in is fundamentally changing who the government works for, and you can’t do that with one candidate, no matter what the office is,” Smith said in a phone interview with The Intercept. “So the way we do that — the way we win that — is by building an unprecedented political infrastructure in our state’s history.”

          2. Phil in KC

            Why couldn’t Heitkamp and Donnelly do this during their re-election campaigns?

      3. a different chris

        >Jayapal’s bill is so much better…. and bernie’s is a loser.

        Bernie’s running for President, not Dictator. He wants to fix the healthcare system. If Jayapal’s bill is better (and I tend to agree that it seems such), she can sell it thru Congress and Bernie will sign it.

        If Kamela* becomes president or Trump wins again, there will be no fixes just excuses. So the relative merit of the two won’t really matter, will it?

        *And yeah, if that’s the offering I’m going Green again too.

        1. Spring Texan

          Yep Jayapal is an ally of Sanders and I agree some of it is better and I don’t think Sanders will oppose the improvements.

      4. Lambert Strether

        > That is why progressive causes go nowhere….. the leading voices so often, are insider plants

        Of course, if I wanted to go meta, I’d point out that this is exactly the sort of despairing and ineffectual mindset that a plant would seek to create.

        I think Sanders is assuming a level of comity from the hospitals that simply is not there. Both the insurance companies and the hospitals have to be defeated; Jayapal does this by decoupling hospital capital budgets from revenues from patient care.

        Sanders actually does listen and change (e.g., HR40). So we shall see. Personally, I regard it as a victory that we’ve got two single payer bills in the hopper with co-signers. Incidentally, I think that what isn’t being said is that the post-bill passage implementation phase is even more important than getting the bill passed in the first place; the powers that be will do everything they can to sabotage the program, and they’ll start by sabotaging service delivery, as per the neoliberal playbook.

    2. flora

      The Dem estab keeps telling me I have to vote for the Dem candidate over the GOP candidate because “lesser of two evils”.
      How come they don’t say the same about voting for Dem candidates during their primary. I think Sanders is the lesser of many evils (Harris, Biden (Bid’n) for examples) in the Dem party. my 2 cents.

      1. Cal2

        Speaking of Kamala Harris’ floundering around for relevance and running on her record, let us examine her alleged defense of the public as she shielded a killer of four people, at least, in San Francisco, where she was the district attorney:

        “The killings on June 22, 2008, gained national attention after The Chronicle reported that city juvenile-justice officials, relying on San Francisco’s sanctuary-city policy, had twice shielded Ramos, a suspected illegal immigrant from El Salvador, from possible deportation after he committed a gang-related assault and an attempted robbery as a minor….”

        Every crime committed by an illegal is an additional crime, not a comparison crime.
        If they weren’t here, the crime would not have occurred. i.e. Kate Steinle, shot in San Francisco by a five time deportee, BTW, a felony the second, third, fourth and fifth time he re-entered the U.S.

        Philosophical consistency is needed:
        If one can blame the N.R.A., attempt to remove their non profit status and sue them for all shootings in the U.S., then one can certainly do the same to the advocates of open borders, such as non-profit advocacy groups, for all crimes committed in the U.S. by illegals.

        1. a different chris

          We’ve gone over this before. People commit violent crimes because they are people, not because they are illegals. I do believe the statistics, as tough as they are to come by given people who most certainly do not want to be counted, is that illegals commit less violent crime (they come from a more sane culture, maybe?).

          >then one can certainly do the same to the advocates of open borders, ….for all crimes committed in the U.S. by illegals.

          No you sure as (family blog) can’t. Why don’t you just say that every Mom in the world, for the action of giving birth, is responsible for every crime ever committed by people who were, you know, born. Lordy.

          And I didn’t even pick on your confusion between “illegal aliens” and “open borders”, which by definition means that aliens aren’t illegal…

          1. marym

            Happened to see this today:

            5/13/2019 Marshall Project: Is There a Connection Between Undocumented Immigrants and Crime?

            It’s a widely held perception, but a new analysis finds no evidence to support it.

            A lot of research has shown that there’s no causal connection between immigration and crime in the United States. But after one such study was reported on jointly by The Marshall Project and The Upshot last year, readers had one major complaint: Many argued it was unauthorized immigrants who increase crime, not immigrants over all.

            An analysis derived from new data is now able to help address this question, suggesting that growth in illegal immigration does not lead to higher local crime rates.

        2. Grant

          It is a fact that Americans are more likely to commit all types of violent crimes than documented and undocumented people. I, personally, fear my fellow Americans more than I fear immigrants. I taught kids largely from Central America for about two years. Almost all of the kids I taught were great kids.

          I, personally, also think about what role my own government has had in making Central America and Mexico what they are today. We supported death squads, right wing dictatorships, our drug war destroyed their countries, we supported governments that killed union leaders, journalists, human rights workers, nuns and priests, and our media helped provide cover for a lot of it. We signed deals like NAFTA and supported the types of policies in NAFTA that have thrown massive amounts of Mexican farmers off the land and led them to seek work in urban areas and the US. Anyone critiquing immigration but not wanting to do anything really and having no plans on how to change conditions in Central America or Mexico is just focusing on the victims of those policies and not those that designed and benefited from them. Central American poor people and small farmers weren’t at the table when CAFTA was being negotiated, now were they?

          If you do want to critique people in favor of open borders, does it extend to the libertarians? Cause they and big business interests are very much in favor of cheap and compliant labor, workers that are vulnerable and have little to no protections. Many libertarians think the modern nation state and borders are outdated, they want capital and labor to flow freely. Right now, capital is relatively free, labor is not. Who does that benefit?

          1. Cal2

            Agree, although “immigrants” loses site of the original argument. Legal immigrants with a stake in the game, who have waited, worked and struggled to naturalize are not the same as temporary economic travelers.

            Is that why crime in South Central L.A. is going down? Demographic changes?

            See the population map of L.A. for the changes decade to decade:


            1. Grant

              As I said, we have had a huge role in the state of Central America and Mexico. Anyone that attacks “illegals” and doesn’t focus ultimately on what they are fleeing and why that region is in the shape it is focusing on the wrong things. The elites that pushed for coups and supported death squads, the drug war, deals like CAFTA and NAFTA and forced horrible policies through institutions like the IMF on those regions are also largely just left off the hook. I realize the impact things like this can sometimes have on wages, but I personally feel a common interest with poor and working people from those countries more than I do the rich Americans that created the conditions they are fleeing from. Some people coming from those regions might commit violence, but what about our state violence in those countries? What about the land grabs, and the violence against union organizers, journalists, human rights workers, and other trying to address the problems in those countries? Also, why are people fleeing El Salvador and Guatemala in much larger numbers than Nicaragua?

              I highly recommend “A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America” by Oscar Martinez. Chomsky has written a lot as well about what we did in Central America that is worth a read.

          2. jonboinAR

            I basically am against open borders to protect my wage level, secondarily to protect my culture from dilution. I’m not against immigration, but insist it be limited and controlled. I worked with Latin Americans for many years. They’re great people in every respect.

            1. marym

              Can you clarify what particular elements of culture you see as being at risk from immigrants, and the nature of the dilution? True, European colonizers and their descendants demolished the lives and culture of indigenous people and stripped enslaved people of their heritage. As far as the subsequent culture, though, it’s not typically recent immigrants or ethnic minorities who rail against what are often considered hallmarks of culture like science, the humanities, public education and public works, and the expansion of human and civil rights.

              It’s my opinion that most of the people in every group that’s arrived here, willingly or by force, seek participation and contribute to those cultural hallmarks. It’s the few who attain the power to by up the assets, neglect most of the maintenance, service, and development work that would serve the common good, and choose to pay low wages for any work that does get done, who dilute our heritage.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Here in Australia with current immigration rates and demographics (birth rates) the country will be majority Muslim in the year 2050. That is not an opinion: it’s math.

                I happen to like seeing the face of women I interact with, I love pork, do not believe in forced child marriages, believe that women should be equal participants in society, and do not want to have to kneel facing Mecca five times per day.

                On the other hand all around me I see middle-aged and elderly Chinese. They speak no English and never will. When they work it is under the table for cash. The local community center has new shows: oops they’re all in Mandarin. And there are 1.2 billion of them lining up to get in.

                So we can continue with the Kumbaya feelings and policies about the brotherhood of mankind. My son will be able to own a woman as chattel. My daughter can get a stylish burka to wear, and she can get her brother to chaperone her when she wants to go for a walk down the street. And they can both learn Mandarin so they can continue to watch TV.

                And I must be the worst kind of non-PC toxic racist because I’m not absolutely thrilled at the prospect.

                1. marym

                  Interesting. Do the children and grandchildren of the Chinese speakers speak English? I probably don’t get around enough, but in the US I don’t know of any pressure from Muslims for mandated burka-wearing or chattel status, though our right-wing christianists are tending toward the latter these days. It also seems to me that in the US Muslim women cover their hair, not their faces, but head covering here can also be interwoven with fashion in a very modern sense among different ethnic and religious groups.

                2. Aumua

                  I think you are projecting your fear onto an unknown future, assisted by white nationalist propaganda that is on the rise everywhere online, including here at NC. You don’t know that you or your children will be forced to be Muslim in any way, yet you make statements about the possibility like it’s a foregone conclusion. Images like “1.2 billion of them lining up to get in” is brainwashing. I encourage you not to let your mind be filled with poison. This isn’t a moderate path you’re on. Brenton Tarrant’s manifesto is where this leads.

                  1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                    Thanks Aumua. It’s the young families, speaking to their infant children in Chinese or Arabic, that give me pause. And no, I don’t speak Mandarin, so I can’t enjoy the show this Saturday at the community center. Or next week’s show either. And isn’t it interesting how swift we are to abandon our Judeo-Christian heritage, most assuredly the Chinese are not preparing to abandon Confucian values so quickly, nor are the Muslims so eager to drop Islam and convert to the Church of England. And I happen to believe women should have an equal role in society, but I guess that’s a value I’ll have to be content to slowly let slide, or to “soften around the edges”. Silly me, here I thought it was binary.

                3. The Rev Kev

                  Oh well. At least we’ll have great doner kebabs and curried prawns & rice to keep us happy in the meantime. Seriously, keep your eyes on their kids. That is where the change will come in. The parents will want to stick in their communities but the kids will sop up enough Aussie culture to fit in. By the time you reach the grand-kids, they will be lucky to be able to speak the grandparents language. Don’t believe me? Ever heard of the Jalal brothers from Melbourne? Combine Muslims with Aussie culture and this is the sort of pranks that they pull in their videos-


                  Wong Fu Productions do some good videos as well-


                  As I said, watch the kids.

                4. Conrad

                  So in 31 years you expect to see the Muslim population in Australia rise from 2.6 percent to more than 50 percent. When in the last 5 years it went from 2.2 to 2.6?

              2. jonboinAR

                They certainly tend not to believe that modernism has been wholly benign. You make a good point, though. I don’t know. I heard of an incident today by a relative by marriage that made me ashamed of my white, American heritage and, you know, in my normal human tendency to generalize, think, “Yeah, we probably all should be replaced, the sooner the better.” It seems inevitable that we will, but it is a little hard to just accept for me who grew up here without some nostalgia and regret. We (white Americans) probably have no rightful claim on this land except in the primitive sense. On the other hand, I also think that we have been letting go of our “supremacy” with a good deal less struggle and violence than many others might, considering that we possess all this power that’s been ascribed to us.

                I am loathe, as most are, I think, to abandon my lifestyle, another thing that I believe to be inevitable if we simply open our borders. I mean, that’s what being discussed right? Let anyone come, period? We will be overrun in virtually a snap. Like, say, a decade. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m working class and my wages are about as vulnerable as they can be. Well, not mine, exactly. I’ll be retiring soon, God willing, but my kids’ and grand kids’, certainly. The lowest wages possible have always been paid, I think, previously, currently, and most likely into the future. Opening the borders pretty much guarantees a big hit on the standard of living of the American working class.

                1. Lambert Strether

                  > Opening the borders pretty much guarantees a big hit on the standard of living of the American working class.

                  Which is why “open borders” is hardly a left position. (Yes, internationalism is great, but one must begin with things as they are. Idealism is not a virtue. A dangerous flaw, if anything.

            2. Aumua

              First of all, what difference does immigration make to your wage, when multinational companies can just take their manufacturing to wherever they can pay the lowest wages?

              You say you want to protect your “culture” from dilution. What culture are you talking about, exactly? Can you give some examples of the culture you think is being diluted by immigration?

              1. jrs

                Companies can take manufacturing wherever, but construction? It seems to me like a lot of the jobs filled by immigrants are not mobile.

                1. Aumua

                  Of course there is some impact at home. I just think that it’s overblown, and focusing on immigrants fails to take into account the bigger picture in several ways: that increasing migration is a result of global conditions deteriorating, not a cause. If global conditions improve then there will be less migration of desperate people seeking a better life. And that the cause of global conditions deteriorating is probably related to a small handful of people controlling the majority of real wealth.

                  1. jonboinAR

                    Well, that’s a fair point. How to address that? For one thing, stop making war. As far as just a few controlling all the wealth, hasn’t that more-or-less always been the case? I find myself at a loss as to how to address THAT.

                    1. Aumua

                      You have a point as well, and I don’t know how to address that in a way that does not lead to oppression in some form. But I would start by critiquing the system that allows and even encourages such economic disparity to increase beyond reasonable measure, namely the Capitalist one.

              2. jonboinAR

                I don’t know how to give an example of the American culture I grew up with. Besides, I’m not complaining about having immigration. When I watch the news, for example, I see a lot of non-whites giving the news, a lot of non-white experts being interviewed. I don’t grit my teeth in some kind of impotent racist rage when I see this. I accept it without rancor or even thinking about it. What alarms me is the idea of just opening the borders, not metering the immigrant influx any, to speak of. The country will be unrecognizable to me in a very few years, and permanently.

                As far as wages being affected, working-class wages will, certainly, and to the worse. I came up working in construction. Gradually the Latinos took over most of the positions, for worse wages. Do you know how hateful we white workers were to them? We weren’t, AT ALL. We knew they were honest people who were simply trying to make their livings, but we were conscious that they’re constantly increasing presence had destroyed the wage scale as it had been.

                Allowing the factories to be shipped over-seas accomplishes that same wage-arbitrage using a different method, probably more profoundly. As I said up-thread, perhaps we white American working-class people never had any moral claim to the American life-style, at all, and need to shut our pie-holes. I don’t know.

                1. marym

                  I don’t think any working class people should shut up. They should shout from the rooftops with the understanding that what’s slipping away – an economy and society where people can make a good living, get the kids off to a good start, retire with security, time and leisure during their lives for some fun along the way – is slipping away from all the 90%, whenever we got here, whatever larger or smaller share we thought we had or still have. What we should resent about tv talking heads, regardless of their ethnicity, is the propaganda they spew and the corporate interests they serve. I’m the last person to know what to do about it, or to evaluate the extent to which restricting immigration would be helpful in some areas of the economy, but if it’s possible to change direction toward something systemically better, it’s going to take all of us.

                2. Aumua

                  Yes well we are the immigrants, originally. We are the colonizers who have destroyed cultures left and right for the American way. We continue to export American “culture” i.e. consumerism and commercialism worldwide, blanding over everything in its path. I imagine that people who still have some genuine culture left are probably a little resentful.

                  Can you even define “white”? Latinos are “white” in part, through being conquered, raped. Their culture destroyed, their genes “diluted”. Is that what you’re afraid of? Justice?

                  You say that the Latinos came, and took over your livelihood, but you still fail to place the responsibility for that squarely where it belongs: The ones doing the hiring. The employers are the ones seeking the lowest wage they can pay, in a system that is based on having a market where people sell their labor, where there is always the threat of unemployment looming. Namely, the Capitalist system.

                  1. jonboinAR

                    Is that what you’re afraid of? Justice?

                    Yeah, probably, I guess, but expressed thusly it would mean I have no rightful claim to this territory called the United States, at all, which, you must understand, alarms me, especially as the points which argue this are repeated constantly, you might say quite pointedly.

                    White? I think I’m using it in the more popular sense, meaning northern European descended as it developed in the US. In which sense, Latino’s would not be “white”. The LA’s I grew up with would understand this.

                3. Lambert Strether

                  > we were conscious that they’re constantly increasing presence had destroyed the wage scale as it had been.

                  Same with H1B visas. So well known nobody talks about it.

    3. marym

      Over the years Sanders has introduced several M4A bills that differed from HR 676, and now from Jayapal’s HR 1384. I don’t have all the historical links, but there were always some major differences. For example Sanders at one point proposed a state-by-state implementation, not a national program.

      I recall at one point years ago when PNHP published a compare of Sanders and HR 676 they said something to the effect that it was good to have a Senate bill, and both were so far from being possible that it wasn’t the right time to get down to arguing about differences. This time around, I recall there was discussion and some reconciliation of differences that’s reflected in the most recent Sanders and Jayapal proposals.

      It’s the time now, imo, to continue comparisons and attempts at reconciliation, not the time to drop support for Sanders over those differences.

      1. marym

        Edit: I may be remembering reconciliation of a not-made-public Jayapal early draft and HR 676 supporters, not Jayapal/Sanders. Can’t find anything specific at the moment about the latter.

        1. JEHR

          Canada’s fight for its own brand of Medicare had many ups and downs and of course its acceptance had a lot to do with the tenor of the times, with the support of unions, with the influence of a third party, the NDP (formerly the CCF party) and with public opinion which was moving towards the left politically. The medical establishment was not in favour of public healthcare and it took a lot of convincing to bring them on board. If you are interested, here is a short summary of how Canada achieved its own Medicare for All.

          I do hope that your country will in the end accept healthcare for all its citizens.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > It’s the time now, imo, to continue comparisons and attempts at reconciliation, not the time to drop support for Sanders over those differences.

        Exactly. Refreshingly, Sanders is actually responsive to his supporters. (That’s why writing him off on ACOs is tactically so destructive.)

  2. human

    “As an accident investigator since 1986, one truth remains with me today. It is never simple. Airplanes today are so safe, have so many redundant systems and operate in such complex airspace that the cause of an accident cannot be simple.”

    Except that in this instance the system in question was admitedly not redundant and it’s very existence not disclosed to those tasked to operate it.

    Where are any indictments?

    1. jsn

      Brewing: see Kirkland consultant questioned for six hours in criminal probe of Boeing 737 MAX crashes link

    2. tegnost

      This is the line that set me off…
      “The FAA and engineers found it needed help the nose pitch down during these conditions. MCAS was the solution.”
      Shouldn’t it be “Boeing’s certifying engineer and other Boeing engineers.” They want the FAA out of the way for certification, but in the way when it comes to the blame.

    3. zer0

      You hit it on the head.
      What used to be redundant, is now an ‘option’ that Boeing wanted more money for.
      The case is literally that simple: Boeing made a borderline design barely work, and then to make more money, made a very important system involving two sensors, one. And the other they listed as an option, kinda like a sports package for a car.

      Except, the analogy in this case would be like selling a car with 2 front brakes and no rear brakes. And listing the rear brakes as an ‘option’.

  3. Henry Moon Pie


    A better headline for this article might be “Ain’t Science Wonderful? Won’t Our Future Be Super Great!?!” Let’s look at the core of the argument:

    Medical science has overturned common sense about what counts as a “normal” human lifespan. An average American born in 1900 could expect to live only forty-seven years. If that American did make it to 1950, they saw babies born with a life expectancy of sixty-eight years – a 45 per cent lengthening of life in only two generations. And that baby born in 1950 is probably still around today, to witness newborns who can reasonably expect to reach the age of eighty.

    It’s fun playing games with means, isn’t it? Yes, average life expectancy has climbed significantly in the past 120 years. What hasn’t happened is an increase in how long the longest living humans survive. Hear about any 150 year-olds lately? How about an increasing number of 125 year-olds? Me neither. And living until 80 is hardly a miracle brought to us by science. An Iron Age Hebrew poet wrote this more than 2,500 years ago:

    Our days may come to seventy years,
    or eighty, if our strength endures.

    And wait. Are things continuing to advance rapidly on the average lifespan front?
    Haven’t we been hearing a lot on NC about a declining life expectancy in the United States, the homeland of Wonderful Futures? What’s up with that? Well, the article unintentionally points us in the right direction:

    These ever-growing lifespans are the result of regular advances in medical science. In 1900 the three leading causes of death in the United States were pneumonia/flu, tuberculosis and diarrhoea.

    And what were the miraculous discoveries that overcame such fearsome killers as pneumonia, tuberculosis and diarrhea? The heavy lifting was done by antibiotics, those same antibiotics whose effectiveness is approaching null as we often read on NC.

    So let’s recap. This article’s author is claiming “immortality” or at least significantly increased life spans are just over the horizon because science has managed to reduce early mortality caused by bacterial infections and similar low-hanging fruit (it helped a lot when doctors started to wash their hands). Even that threatens to be a temporary phenomenon brought to a premature end by other scientific geniuses who thought it would be a great idea to force feed antibiotics to absurdly overcrowded chickens, hogs and steers. Meanwhile, really cool inventions like chemical preservatives and pesticides in our food make us sick in ways our ancestors never imagined. Other scientists labor away making their living by creating ever more fearsome diseases which is really fun when those scientists fail to keep those diseases out of circulation.

    Silly “flying cars” articles like this one sound pretty desperate these days, trying to preserve the illusion that things are already great when they’re so obviously in decline.

      1. polecat

        “Hubris and ignorance went on a date …”

        But in the end, that jilted 3rd-party, Chaos, doggedly gets its way ….

    1. PlantFox

      Indeed, it is questionable whether scientific advances will allow for pseudo-immortality in the next 100 or even 200 years. The philosophical arguments Rini posits in the latter parts are much better than the surface level science she uses to open with.

    2. Carolinian

      I’ve read that some of the techie elites think they will eventually be able to transfer the contents of their brains to computers and carry on.

      And there’s always Walt Disney, frozen somewhere in Arizona, waiting to be revived (urban myth alert).

      1. mpalomar

        Brain in a vat stuff, okay maybe we’ll have something to think with but…

        “…this is what we fear—no sight, no sound,
        No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
        Nothing to love or link with,
        The anaesthetic from which none come round.”

        P. Larkin Aubade

        Maybe it’s Pascal’s techie wager, might as well upload the brain to the cloud?

    3. Burritonomics

      I honestly can’t believe the stunning statistical ignorance that is on display when someone touts the “people’s life expectancy used to be in the forties!” line. If your analysis fails there, I shudder to think of what else you’ll believe.

        1. boz

          Thank you, JEHR, Henry and others in between.

          I found the essay pretty tedious as well.

          Thanks for sharing the snippets on life expectancy. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in this area, probably worth a whole links page of its own.

    4. ewmayer

      Indeed, lumping infant mortality into the expected lifespan and using that for some kind of longevity extrapolation is inexcusable. From the NCBI book Patterns of Childhood Death In America we glean the following key statistic: “1900, 30 percent of all deaths in the United States occurred in children less than 5 years of age compared to just 1.4 percent in 1999.” So if expected lifespan at birth in 1900 was 47 years, let’s do the math and pull out the “expected lifespan if you made it to your 5th birthday”, call it X. Assume for simplicity – and this being off by a year or so will not affect the final result much – that in 1900, 30% of newborns died at age 2.5 years, then:

      0.3*2.5 + 0.7*X = 47, giving X = (47 – 0.75)/0.7 = 66 years, which is still appreciably shorter than the current value of just under 80 years (and that is going down thanks to the stunning success of 4 decades of neoliberal economic policy), but not leaps-and-bounds shorter.

    5. Old Jake

      So what happens after you’ve lived 1000 years. Does your brain still hold memories of those first years? How about the second 100?

      The total weight of bacterial and other life forms hosted in a typical adult human is on the order of 1.5Kg. The number of cells is many times more than the number of human cells. I’ll wager we don’t have a complete census of these. This leads me to observe that it is obvious how little we know about how our abundant use of antibiotics has disrupted this community. I note that we are starting to get an inkling that a number of conditions, from mental anomalies from autism to schizophrenia may in some ways be modulated by gut fauna, as may be conditions like Crohn’s Disease and autoimmune disorders.

      We are much further from understanding our own biome than the TLS article imagines.

    6. Oregoncharles

      “fail to keep those diseases out of circulation.” – Lyme disease. Holy family blog. I hadn’t heard about that before.

      And what does that remind us of? Maybe a recent famous chemical weapons attack, right next door to Britain’s chemical weapons lab?

    7. eg

      This sort of inanity is further proof, were any necessary, that our technical capacity has long outstripped our wisdom.

      I for one have no desire to be a Struldbrug …

    1. Carla

      Thanks — that’s a great Twitter thread. I read AG’s book — somewhat repetitious and short on solutions, but he certainly makes valid points.

    2. WheresOurTeddy

      Imagine a society where being a billionaire was viewed as a character flaw, and rather than cheering on optional noblesse oblige, we just taxed the avaricious until something resembling a morally defensible society emerged

      1. JEHR

        The funny thing is that if a billionaire were only an ordinary guy, he would probably not be so avaricious. Something about gigantic amounts of money can change one’s predatory and rapacious qualities of character.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Why the Exit Polls Could Be Badly Wrong This Time The Wire.

    Exit polls are usually very accurate, but I think some of the reasons outlined – namely that in some areas people are reluctant to tell a stranger who they voted for – makes sense. In the 1970’s and 1980’s in Northern Ireland there was an assumption that the more ‘extreme’ the party was, the more likely someone was to lie about their vote for them when asked by pollsters (in normal polls and exit polls), and so pollsters built in a standard adjustment for this once they calculated the bias. But in more dynamic times, its harder to know what the impact will be.

    I’m no expert on Indian politics, but everything I read about Modi suggests that, as Lambert would say ‘gridlock is your friend’. Modi with a strong majority could do a lot of damage to India, not least precipitate a war with his nuclear armed neighbour.

  5. Krystyn Walentka

    Re: Author Michael Pollan on food, travel and identity

    First I would like to chastise him on promoting travel when we are facing a climate crisis.


    There is no one healthy diet. We have a lot of latitude. That’s the lesson from studying diet cross-culturally. You see that people have been healthy on a huge range of foods. We are omnivores.

    This is so frustratingly misleading. It makes it sound like since there is no one healthy diet we can eat whatever we want and that is biologically and genetically untrue. I can bring up the Inuit as a dramatic case, who have changes in a few genes that they know of (FADS1, CPT1A, and TBC1D4) that were caused by changes in environment and diet. We know these Inuit are more quickly prone to diabetes when they eat non-traditional diets even if they are not “western”. Culture and diet and environment are not separate things, they are all interrelated.

    We do not need to break down cultural walls, we need to leave everyone’s culture alone. There is nothing wrong with tribalism if you are not fighting with the other tribe, and instead come to a healthy negotiation. Neoliberals want to end tribalism because it is bad for capitalism.

    I want to offer this brilliant article I saw today that speaks on this globalism that Pollan and NPR are all happy about trying to create:

    Ardous Interfaces

    1. Joe Well

      As an American who lived in other countries for years, the idea that tourism (excuse me, “travel”) leads to cultural understanding is outrageous. For one thing, even for places where I lived for over a year, there’s a lot I never really understood. In a few weeks, there just isn’t time to understand much, let alone if you don’t speak the local language.

      In reality, tourism tends to make prejudice worse. In South America and Asia I talked with one backpacker after another who had been in the region for months on end doing tourism. Overwhelmingly, they simply strengthened the same misconceptions and prejudices toward (and general disregard for) the local people that they came in with. Especially shocking were the Europeans who had been in South America for months and still could not even order food in Spanish. They went from one European-staffed hostel to another.

      For me, here’s the classic example of the real effect of tourism: an affluent white American goes to Europe and comes back declaring it the beginning and end of human civilization. Really, you had to cross an ocean to become an even bigger racist? Couldn’t you just have reduced your carbon footprint by watching Fox News or something?

      1. zer0

        Depends solely on the individual. As is with everything.

        Travel is the only way to get to know a foreign culture. I dont really understand why you think this is outrageous. You must have met people that are going to these countries for vacation, which to most Americans, is booking a 4 star hotel in a touristy area. Which usually leads them to being surrounded by like minded Americans and other tourists.

        But Ive known many that go backpacking across countries, or visit native friends in those countries, or want to learn the cuisine, language, art, etc. And if you’ve lived in another country for a year, and dont have any cultural understanding….then I dont really know what to say. Most people never get an opportunity anywhere near that in their entire life. It sounds fairly arrogant, honestly, to state it in that way. Its like saying no one can learn Italian on their own, because ‘I spent an entire year learning Italian, and I STILL didnt learn even 20% of the whole language’. That’s just you buddy. That’s you, your attitude, your character, and how it meshes with whatever culture your in. Im not even saying that in a negative way. For example, I dont think I could ever learn to love Egyptian culture.

        And the American racist thing. Heh. Yeah right. Americans are almost too PC to the point where its almost offensive in the opposite way. My wife is Asian. You have no idea what I have to hear every time we visit Europe: is that your prostitute? How much did you buy her for? imitations of Chinese on a subway, etc. And China was no better. My wife is Japanese and they hate the Japanese. They wouldnt take her order from her, Id have to order for her. No problems in Africa, no problems in SA, and no problems in the US.

        Ive lived in Rome for a while, working for a US company. The Italians are out of this world racist and sexist. Just read the news. They routinely rule in rape cases that it was the fault of the woman due to the her clothing, that she had makeup on, etc. If the boss sleeps with you in Italy, as a woman, its often viewed as your fault. You were trying to get a promotion, they say. And Ive seen italians in Napoli (Naples) spit on African migrants, push migrants into the streets, and more.

        Ive never seen that in America. Ive seen maybe one verbally racist incident in the south, but nowhere near the level that I’ve seen in Europe.

        And this makes sense: Europe is much less diverse, even now, than the US was 20 years ago. They have small pockets of diversity, but nothing like the US. The less exposure one has to the other cultures, the less more likely they will stereotype it and the less likely they will understand it.

        1. Joe Well

          Travel is the only way to get to know another culture?

          Umm…books? Art? Social science? Deep relationships with someone from that culture?

          You think you can do better wandering around for two weeks or a few months with a guidebook?

          As for the rest of what you wrote, you did not read what I wrote.

      2. Oh

        Whenever I travel to other countries I try to talk to the locals. I have found people to be very friendly and warm, especially in Latin America. And they’re more laid back. I try to speak in their language as much as I can and they’re appreciate and communicate well and never try to correct you unlike the gringos in this country with a half assed knowlwdge of Spanish!

        1. GERMO

          I thought the Pollen piece was really ignorant. The fact is, international travel for leisure isn’t something the masses unthinkingly choose not to take up.

          Actually it is restricted to a fairly elite minority, and they won’t stop being responsible for plenty of problems just because they jet off to Asia once in a while.

      3. Lambert Strether

        > For one thing, even for places where I lived for over a year, there’s a lot I never really understood.

        One must be comfortable with not understanding most of what goes on around you, even if you speak the language.

    2. jrs

      thank you, I kinda can’t believe ANYONE still flies at all given the complete ecosystem collapse NOW, much less for pleasure (due to being forced to live 1000s of miles way from loved ones because of economics is easier to understand). Of course it’s only the top maybe 30% of the people in rich countries who are doing most of this flying for pleasure anyway.

      If Polans first love is plants: wake up and smell the ecosystem collapse:

      1. Joe Well

        In our amazing American economy, one month rent in an expensive metro buys you 5-7 round trip flights. People travel partly for the novel sensation of being middle class.

  6. PeakBS



    “Thanks for letting us raise a couple billion for this bankrupt pos that we able to unload on retail idiots.”
    – might be a quote in an email found in discovery from one of the coming class action lawsuits.

    The best of Naked Capitalism really wants to dig deeper into Tesla & Elon Musk – the poster children of a lot of what’s wrong with Silicon Valley, Wall Street, regulatory capture, ZIRP, QE etc etc etc

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you.

      As it happens, I often conduct surveillance related to such matters at my TBTF, part of my job, and will have a look soon.

      1. PeakBS


        When you’re going thru your due diligence . . . easiest place to start is $TSLAQ in Twitter

        1. dearieme

          I don’t see what “dig deeper” and “due diligence” have to do with Elcon Busk. Barnum knew how these things work.

          1. PeakBS


            believe it or not, many people still believe he is a “genius” and “brilliant” and tesla is a successful “business”.

            reality has been ramping up in the last 3 – 6 months so maybe in another 3 to 6 months one of the many acronyms investigating them will finally FINALLY do something.

            prolly more like a supplier throwing them into 7 or 11 though.

            1. Oh_hayou

              Conman Musk has started enterprises where he’s been able to farm government subsidies. When the subsidies dry up so do his companies. Next up for stock dive Space X.

      2. boz

        Hello Colonel

        Pleased to see you comment again. I was getting a little worried for a moment.

    2. zer0

      I h8 Musk, with a passion. I think he is a charlatan, con-man, packaged in a white, emerald-mine-owning South African daddy’s boy.

      That being said…

      IMO, all app development (Uber, Lyft, Snapchat, FB, etc) are much worse than Tesla. At least Tesla employs people, it has not disrupted an entire industry by circumventing regulation, and actually makes a physical, tangible product instead of ephemeral “data collection” and rent seeking activities.

      Tesla is not the poster-child of what is wrong with Sillycon Valley. Uber would definitely be the poster-child: more spent on legal than engineering/cs, caused taxi driver suicides across the world, caused murders & rapes across the world (through appearing legitimate), drove drivers to bankruptcy through promising higher rates on luxury vehicles, etc.

      Tesla was a great idea, because the idea didnt come from Musk. It came from two REAL engineers that loved cars. Musk destroyed/is-destroying Tesla. Big difference.

      1. PeakBS

        zer0 – its not good to h8 or hate anything or anyone. its self destructive to hate.

        i hear ya on Uber!

        and the other companies too . . .

        because of how much MSM face time Musk/Tesla gets – methinks that’s at least one reason Tesla edges out the rest for poster child champion.

        we can certainly disagree too :-)

  7. The Rev Kev

    “This is not simple”

    An interesting article this though there are two points that I might disagree with. The first is where he says ‘Airplanes today are so safe, have so many redundant systems’ but that WAS the problem with the 737 MAX. It was fed information by only one sensor and so there was no redundancy here when it should have been fed by three sensors for safety sake. The second is at the end where he says ‘The 737 MAX will soon return to flying passengers around the world.’ Of that I am not so sure. It is not only a software fix that will be needed but actual engineering changes such as hooking up more exterior sensors to the onboard computer. Even then that plane has to be okayed by countries around the world where they would be expecting those planes to overfly their territory. And nobody wants to take the risk that that MCAS system will turn yet another 737 MAX into a 737 MAD MAX.

    1. VietnamVet

      Today there were articles on an rare earth embargo by China and “Tim Apple’s” technology supply disruption and eating the 25% increase in cost on everything sourced in China. The trouble with trade wars is they go red hot like right now. China has every right to delay certification and overflight by the 737 Max for safety reasons. But with USA’s reality challenged leaders and Boeing’s prodding, this could be enough to start a red hot shooting war.

  8. PlantFox

    “The last mortals”

    Many structural changes in society are required to make pseudo-immortality sustainable. Population control is probably the largest change required. Then there is the question of who becomes immortal. Although given the current system of healthcare, the wealthy will be the only ones able to afford immortality. Ultimately, achieving pseudo-immortality will fundamentally change society. A stagnation across morality, and innovation will set in. Without the birth of new generations at a fairly recurrent rate, changes across society/human-kind will take much longer. In addition, much of the human experience is built around the idea that we exist for a finite span; I can only imagine what the changes psychologically would be when shifting from this frame of mind.

    1. polecat

      There’s a future saying that states something to the effect of “Beware of Giant Disemboidied Heads floating in the sky ..”
      … what it all means is that ‘bubble-headed people with their bubble-headed minds, in their bubble-headed cities are in serious decline’ … until Sean of the Dread lands in town … to shoot something besides ‘blanks’ … ‘;]

    2. Wukchumni

      I’m not even sure we can afford our extended version of being mortal…

      In 1963 the Japanese government gave as a gift to all citizens reaching 100, a silver sake cup. 153 were given out that year.

      In 2016, almost 32,000 citizens were eligible for said sake cup, and they stopped being made out of sterling silver, and went to cheesy silver-plate instead.

      My mom will be 94 next week, and I have no experience in what it takes to reach that big round number six years down the road, but i’d say she gets there. The oldest resident in her assisted living place was 102 before passing on, by the way.

  9. Polar Donkey

    Plastic bags – In Tennessee, the Republican state legislature passed a law earlier this year preventing municipalities from banning bags and single use plastics. No real excuse why except they were paid. Nashville and Memphis had been considering bans.

    1. polecat

      Forget plastic shopping bags .. I’m waiting to see when a discarded I-pod, or maybe one of those ‘smart’ dildos .. or even, HeyZeus forbid !, a few exfoliated plastic flakes from Nancy Pelosi’s facial surgery .. will be found listing in the mud of the Mariana Trench …

  10. MRLost

    Regarding ‘Despite Anti-American Baiting by NYT …’

    I guess I have become a Sandersnista.

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      It goes to show how out of touch the NYT and the corporate media are that they run an article about how Bernie was against Reagan’s Central American coups and assassinations and they think it will hurt him.


  11. Allan

    It would really be nice to include the name of the bird/animal in the Antidote du Jour. Not knowing what you’re looking at sucks.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I don’t identify the bird, because some readers like to work out what the bird is for themselves.

      Here’s a small hint for those who want to know what the bird is: when I supply a via, if you click on it, you see the name of the bird. That’s a win-win– those who want to work it out, can; those who want to skip to the name, can click.

      1. boz

        Thank you, JLS

        It’s a great specimen, that’s for sure!

        Great colours all round.

        I’m sure it knows what it is doing with that fruit, but i think I would find that kind of manoeuvre hard.

    2. The Rev Kev

      They are a bit of a challenge those which is the whole idea behind it. Challenges your research skills a bit. I think that I know what the bird is but it is way too early to give the game away. I think that it’s initials are O.P.H.

      1. polecat

        “I don’t recognize you” ….

        “But You, my feathered friend, I NEVER forget a beak .. er face …. Mr. …….. TouCan”

        1. polecat

          … um .. let my formerly superior intellect have another crack at it … ah … Mr. ……… Hornbill ! Yes that’s better.

          I have been drifting inside this glorified late 20-century coffin in the coldness of Space for far too long, which has affected my memory.

      2. tegnost

        It also helps as a starting point for figuring out what the bird is to know that they all are found in india…I used to love fruit loops before I quit the HFCS…

    3. Eclair

      Bit testy this morning, are we, Allan? “Not knowing what you’re looking at sucks.”

      No, reading about the US getting ready to invade yet another small nation which happens to be sitting on large oil reserves, sucks.

      Hearing that plastic corporate lobbyists are bribing state legislators to ban banning plastic bags, sucks.

      The US health care (hah!) system sucks.

      Mining companies grabbing indigenous land, polluting water, air and soil, sucks.

      Not knowing the name of today’s antidote is a challenge to those birders among us. Or , for those who don’t really care about names, but admire the breathtaking beauty of our winged relatives, it is a reminder of the daily small miracles that keep us going amidst the general suckiness of life.

      And, my apologies, Allan, if I am a bit testy this morning also.

    4. icancho

      C’mon Allan. If you really want to know what you’re looking at, you could employ the sorts of investigative tools that we all should be using in interpreting whatever we see on a screen or newspaper/magazine page. In the case of images it’s particularly easy to do— google image search will get you started. But simply being told … well, that invites “authorities” to mislead you about what you’re looking at. But in this case, it’s an MPH— taking a tip from The Rev Kev— (though it’s perhaps unwise to simply take my word for it.)

  12. The Rev Kev

    “The Liberal Embrace of War”

    Since this article mentions Venezuela, I thought that some people may be interested in a minor update to the situation there. Readers may remember when a coupla dozen Venezuelan soldiers deserted the ranks and went across the border to Colombia. There are about 60 deserters there plus about a 100 family members as well holed up in a hotel in Cúcuta in Colombia.
    I do not know what they were thinking. Perhaps they imagined that if Greedo won, they would go back and be all made captains or colonels or something. Of course this nucleus of the army revolt would be maintained by Greedo and it would take only pocket change for the CIA to pay their bills, right?
    Well, no. They and their families have been booted out of that hotel for non-payment of bills and at the moment the Colombians are wondering just what to do with them. They are now at facilities of the Colombian migration service while they try to work out what their status is. In other words, they have been wiped like a dirty rag. Suckers.

    1. Carolinian

      Could be it’s time to say that “progressives except for Palestine” are not progressives and liberals who embrace war are not liberals. Like Dany in that much vilified finale they want us to buy their rationalizations.

      1. John k

        So what do we call liberals that embrace war and resist all changes that benefit the working class?
        How about right wing conservative?
        Let’s avoid at all cost the term ‘centrist’.

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          been calling them cruise missile liberals for years but maybe we’re due for an update

          1. jsn

            That’s pretty good though, I like it!

            How about Lock and Load Liberals: praise the market and pass the ammunition!

            (As long as it’s Red State kids doing the fighting)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The Brazilian VP begging doesn’t seem funny for those without a good sense of humor.

        But if the VP has sinned against Beijing, this self-humbling act suggests that is not something anyone can get away with when it concerns the rising dragon.

    2. Whoamolly

      Taibbi seems to be willing to risk the fallout for calling the ‘official narrative’ a fraud. As he says in his article the result of doing so is:

      “stepping out of line on Venezuela or Syria will result in being removed from TV guest lists, loss of speaking income, and other problems.”

      1. Carolinian

        I like this one too

        An avid fan of the hit HBO show, Holland spent the last 8 years discussing the comings and goings of Westeros, and it is believed that following the final episode, the 28 year-old may literally have nothing else left to talk about.

        Discussions about sport, life, family, pets, work, sex, music or even other TV shows seem to be impossible for the Deise native, and attempts are being made by specialists to wean him onto non-dragon related conversations.

        Do you live in Waterford? I’ve been there–by bicycle no less.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I’ve cycled around there, the coast is beautiful, as is the new Greenway, but I live in Dublin.

  13. Carolinian

    Not that we’re complaining, because it’s a great article, but the Andrew Cockburn Harper’s column has now been linked multiple times.

    And here’s an interesting story about well known Los Angeles wall murals that are being mysteriously or not so mysteriously painted over. One artist suspects Caltrans may have simply gotten tired of cleaning off the graffiti.

    1. Wukchumni

      “A mural of that size is worth millions and millions of dollars,” said Brooke Oliver, Baca’s attorney. “It is reprehensible that Caltrans doesn’t recognize that it is a tremendously valuable and revered mural in a high-profile place in Los Angeles and doesn’t give it the respect that it deserves.”

      Now, that’s rich! a mural painted on an underpass is worth millions?

      In related subject matter, i’ve taken a new tack to tattoos, in that I mentally add up the approx cost of those visible on a younger adult, which gives me a good idea of their net worth.

      1. Carolinian

        We have a mural in our downtown–not that old–that had to be repainted because it was simply weathering and wearing out. Heck even Leonardo had the same problem with a certain famous wall painting. Perhaps these artists need to do like Banksy–take a picture of it and accept the inevitable impermanence.

        1. Wukchumni

          Exeter, Ca., the next town over 20 miles away, and the first chance at a stoplight for us, prides itself on the myriad of murals around the city. There are 31 flavors.

          It once had the most millionaires on a per capita basis after WW2, as the lions share of the population was orange trees (and still is aside from 10,000 or so human beans), and the owners made bank during the war, as frozen orange juice concentrate had just been developed, and they were in the sweet spot.

          1. jp

            Exeter too complains about the upkeep. They do their best to get the original artist and they pay them but a well painted mural with the best of pigment will start to seriously degrade. Especially in direct sunlight. CalTrans is well aware of this problem. That is why they are delighted to have a tile mosaic on their right away in Springville. Takes a lot longer to execute but if Pompeii is any indication they will last for a long time.

            1. Oregoncharles

              Mosaic FLOORS last a very long time, because gravity. Mosaic MURALS do not, also because gravity. And LA has earthquakes – the wall itself may not be there very long.

              Better than paint, though. A town east of us tried using murals to upgrade; now they’re facing restoring them. One, of a cop car apparently waiting behind the building, is very amusing.

              One in Eugene has a European street scene receding “into” a high, blank wall. I hope they maintain that one.

      2. Cal2

        How dare those local kids put their updated graffiti and political messages on her sacred political message…23 Skiddo! And then the state paints over the mess?

        There used to be a huge mural of Che on a fifty foot high wall on the Pomona Freeway in East L.A. Ourage when CALTRANS painted over it in the 1980s. Graffiti is transitory. Get used to it, even if it’s allegedly “celebrated.”

    2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Sorry, it might well have been. I missed it, so I included it today.

  14. Chris

    Submitted for the commentariat’s review, an idea piece by one Rahm Emmanuel, on what to do about middle class voters and their desire for fairness…

    Read it here.

    I’m amazed how close he comes to saying things that are accurate and true, while avoiding all responsibility and telling the reader the Sanders and AOC are not the way out of this mess that was largely reinforced by the Obama administration. I don’t even know if this is some schtick he’s playing at or if he really doesn’t see his own culpability in any of this. He even flubs the Trump reference up top, because the difference between Trump donating a lot of money to Penn State for his kids to attend and the elite wretches who bought into Varsity Blues is what Trump did is legal. What all those kind of very rich strivers did was not.

    I enjoy these articles because they reveal what’s going on in the minds of the people who created this mess.

    1. Carla

      Thanks for this. I liked that video Lambert posted in Water Cooler yesterday, with one Dan Whelan, marxist roofer, explaining that the “middle class” is just an invention of capitalism to split the working class:

      Don’t know if you can link to that if you’re not on Twitter, so there’s also this:

    2. Kurtismayfield

      I love how he points at Washington and puts the blame on “them”. when he was “them” for years.

      He also forgot to mention the ACA, which effectively passed on more health care costs to the patients. Good job Rahmy!

    3. Whoamolly

      Rahm lost me years ago when as Obamas chief of staff he famously recommended F*** the unions!

      But in this article he is not wrong. Sounds like he is making a pragmatic observation of the Dem establishment.

  15. jefemt

    Pollan and Travel: breaking ‘veggies’ internationally: the tension between travel, non-sustainable full-life-cycle impacts of (implied) carbon-based travelling (air travel outta be eeeeelegal) , versus the obvious good that comes from bridging divides.

    Could we do it by skype? Paradigm shift to virtual sharing and celebration of diverse local communities and biomes?

    Duality- its everywhere!

      1. urdsama

        I can’t speak for jefemt, but I would.

        We are near the point of no return for the planet; massive air travel needs to stop now.

      2. Aumua

        Well I’ve heard that 150 people driving 150 cars from point a to b has the same impact as 150 people flying in a single plane. So banning flying would only be part of the equation.

    1. jrs

      If one lives somewhere with several cultures they could try to bridge cultures right there. Even if one doesn’t live anywhere urban or multicultural at all, say it’s 99% WASP, ok then, but how much do the type of people who would travel the world even bridge cultures with the poor people in their town?

      Yes what about books and reading about different cultures even different times – the past is a different culture isn’t it? What about Skype. Not equivalent entirely, but oh well wanting it all is going to kill us all.

  16. Wukchumni

    Baltimore ransomware nightmare could last weeks more, with big consequences Ars Technica

    The Ransom of Red Chief, revisited…

    “Now you just listen Baltimore, if you don’t pay up and quick, the reputation of your city will plummet toot suite!”

  17. Stadist

    Fossil Fuel Companies Push “Market-Based Solutions” to Climate Change TruthOut:

    “The USE IT Act would support and encourage carbon capture projects, opening up $25 million worth of prize money for direct air capture technology and setting aside another $50 million of federal funding for carbon capture research.”

    Typical, there are many real solutions available like drastic reduction in general consumption, but instead the industry promotes utopistic still-non-existent Carbon Capture technologies as “Market-Based Solutions”. Excuse me, but this is just another way of saying do nothing now, we will have solution in 5-10 years, maybe. Put in another way, why reduce carbon emissions now if there is potential carbon capture technology in the horizon that will solve all the issues?

    Following same logic I should stop saving for retirement because when I retire everything is automated and fusion-powered and only 0.5% of population needs to engage in work to provide nice basic sustenance for everyone. That is if I and the population at large believes the most optimistic technological hubris in the news.

    1. Cal2

      Like money from California official carbon trading scheme being used to build stack and pack “transit oriented development” next to freeways so that people get asthma, lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes? All those diseases help raise GDP, house new Democratic voters and enrich the Overpopulation Development Donor Industry Complex.

    2. Oregoncharles

      There is a huge carbon capture technology ready more or less off the shelf: regenerative agriculture. The term is vague because it involves different practices in different places, but it means using plants to store carbon in the soil. Unlike the others, it’s a win-win, since it improves fertility and yields. The real hurdle is social: getting millions of farmers to adopt the practices – correctly.

      The amounts suggested, while picayune, might be about right to get a program started and do some of the remaining R&D.

      You’re right that drastic conservation is also necessary; one problem is that we’ve already released enough CO2 to crash the climate, so we can’t just stop digging; we also have to start filling in the hole.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Will China play rare earths card in clash with US?”

    I heard that this would be a bigger threat to the US than China selling off their treasuries. China was responsible for 71% of the world’s rare earths mined last year and I believe that about 80% of rare-earth imports into the US over the past few years come from that country. The US does have rare earths but it would take time to set up the mining facilities and they may not be the right sort for what is needed. If China did this the World Trade Organization would complain but China would have their own complaints to that body that they would want heard first.
    Trump seems to be under the impression that tariffs will solve all the problems that the US has with both its partners and its competitors. I am not saying that he would come out with a Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act 2.0 if push comes to shove but untangling trade ties is even more complicated than it would appear. The UK has had to learn this lesson over the past three years trying to untangle the Gordonian knot of its own trade ties with the EU. Probably Trump wants a trade deal with China this year so that the decks are clear next year for the 2020 Presidential elections. I wonder if China will cooperate if continuously pushed?

    1. eg

      Just about anything would be a bigger threat to the US than selling off their treasuries, since that constitutes zero threat.

  19. JohnnyGL

    Good takedown of Jared Diamond’s latest. It seems he’s riding on brand fumes, now.

    I liked “Guns, Germs and Steel”, but it’s got its limits. 1491 helped set the record straight about the pre-Columbian Americas. More recently, Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan helps flesh out Diamonds idea about the dynamism and interaction of cultures from across Europe, all the way through Asia.

    1. Wukchumni

      The book is riddled with errors. Diamond gets wrong the year of the Brexit vote. He claims that, under President Ronald Reagan, “government shutdowns were nonexistent.” But they occurred a number of times. He describes Australian-rules football as a sport “invented in Australia and played nowhere else.” But it is played elsewhere — in Nauru, where it is the national sport, as well as in China, Canada, France, Japan, Ireland and the United States, according to the Australian Football League.

      The last unforced error is almost grounds for divorce from me enjoying Jared’s writing and reasoned thinking. Guess i’ll just have to buy the book and then decide, hmmmm.

  20. Jason Boxman

    Ha. As GenX/Millenium myself, I’m pretty certain climate change is going to kill us all. I’d probably feel better if I just stopped reading NK; and the news generally.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “The last mortals”

    The scifi author Robert Heinlein had this idea through several of his novels. They were called the Howard families and they were financially encouraged to marry those with long-lived grandparents to marry each other and have children. By the 22nd century the Howard families had a life expectancy exceeding 150 years. But they were not envied. They were hated with a demented passion. Till they were uncovered, all people were equal in that they all died – even all those California techies trying to research immortality. They will die. Just ask Steve Jobs. But the Howard families had cheated death. They could invest and wait in things that no ordinary person could ever hope to live long enough to wait for. It nearly crashed the stock market. They were nearly slaughtered until they escaped the planet. But if a breed of immortals comes along by design, there will be no escape for them. And no government could hope to protect them. Heinlein said that the Jews have been mercilessly hounded over the centuries for merely claiming that they were God’s chosen people. Well, immortals would be the real deal. And people will want them dead.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If death is the great equalizer, immortality for very few is the great inequality for those who believe all men (and women) are created equal.

      Worse than wealth inequality.

      Worse than charisma inequality (some are born to be popular in high school, for example).

  22. Pat

    I live and work in a place where the Democratic norm and Trump derangement system are rampant. I am an outlier. Many people consider me cranky and cynical and deranged where Obama and his administration are concerned. Slowly but surely I have managed to make inroads into the idea that Trump is the problem delusions and growing acceptance that he is a symptom which Democratic failure to work for their voters and not their donors helped create. The one point we all seem to agree upon regarding Democratic failure has been that there has not been a real opposition to Trump and the Republicans, from appointees to legislation. Russia! Russia! Russia! is not enough. Schumer is not very popular among those who have watched him and Pelosi is quickly becoming almost as disliked.

    I say this to point out that most Democrats, including those who thought Clinton was just fine, are no longer blinded by the bipartisan bull. They are not seeking co-operation with Republicans. They want them and their policies crushed. I sincerely believe that Biden can talk about ‘unity’ all he wants, but unless he puts forth the idea that this Democratic ‘unity’ does not include reaching across aisles to produce wishy washy largely Republican/conservative polices and legislation but full throated and dedicated commitment to forcing populist Democrat policies through regardless of what Republicans want. As that is clearly not his comfort zone, it is not going to happen.

    Mind you, considering his past record, I think Biden will kill his campaign before this gets tested. Nostalgia for Obama, however misguided, will only mask things for so long. But the limits of Biden ‘Unity” will also show the cracks of the faux position soon.

    1. Mike Mc

      One of the greater joys of being a Berniecrat is being able – with little or no reservation – to point out just how much damage the Clinton/Obama presidencies and the HRC candidacy did to the Democratic Party and the country in general.

      Creepy Uncle Joe’s candidacy is just the latest chapter of Democratic nostalgia for the days of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; near complete ignorance of their actual policy record combined with a desire for the “good ol’ days” of the 90s and 00s. He’ll self-destruct soon enough… and probably depress Democratic voter turnout in the process, too.

      It’s no wonder voters went for Trump and many continue to at least tolerate if not outright support him. The American electorate is largely ill-informed and often downright ignorant of their own history and laws, because as long as they were straight, white, Christian and male (mostly) everything was fine, just fine.

      If you were NOT any of those things, your education in reality began at a tender age and continues to this very day. However, as Trump and the GOP continue to crapify everything in the country – with passionate assistance from every oligarch and wanna be – the number of groups feeling the actual cost of our beloved American Dream will grow and grow.

      We can only hope to garner enough votes to throw these bums out of office – and into prison – but they seem to be making it easier just by being so GD awful so GD often!

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        It genuinely baffles a republican when they throw out their whataboutism about Obama or HRC or even Bill Clinton and you say “I know! They were terrible! Let’s compare notes as to why!”

        And then they get super uncomfortable as you roll out years of policy failures sold to the gaslit working class and they realize they have a few phrases to contribute when you’ve got serveral paragraphs.

        Per issue.

      2. Cal2

        Student debt, the great unifier behind Bernie, and to help bury Biden.

        “As a senator from Delaware — a corporate tax haven where the financial industry is one of the state’slargest employers — Biden was one of the bill that effectively prevents the $150 billion worth of private student debt from being discharged, rescheduled or renegotiated as other debt can be in bankruptcy court….the Delaware lawmaker has played a consistent and pivotal role in the financial industry’s four-decade campaign to make it harder for students to shield themselves and their families from creditors, according to an IBT review of bankruptcy legislation going back to the 1970s.”

        This potentially affects 45 million student debtors. Wonder how many are going to vote?

    2. John k

      Dc is already bipartisan. Every awful trump appointment has received dem votes excepting maybe his first supreme.
      And there are more dems that woulda supported the appointment if their vote was needed because donors.
      2/3 of congress should be replaced.
      Quite amazing to see the level of support for Bernie’s policies among fox audience, shows how successful corps have been in suppressing the will of the majority. Divide and conquer.

      1. Pat

        Bipartisanship as a democratic talking point was always part of the BS smoke and mirrors act to excuse Democratic politicians voting and actions contrary to their supposed preferred policies. Republicans have rarely needed to bother with it. They do not have the.problem of having a voting base opposed to almost everything their donor base wants.

  23. s.n.

    Concerning the FPO affair in Austria: don’t know if this one has yet been discussed. I found it well worth reading:

    Why The Takedown Of Heinz-Christian Strache Will Strengthen The Right

    of particular interest are some of the concluding paragraphs:

    Establishment writers notoriously misinterpret the new right wing parties and their followers. This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache’s party demonstrates the problem:

    ” In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.”

    The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the “most complicated of issues”, is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false. The working class understands very well what the establishment parties have done to it and continue to do. The increasing vote share of the far-right is a direct consequence of the behavior of the neoliberal center and of the lack of real left alternatives.

    Last week, before the Strache video appeared, Craig Murray put his finger on the wound:

    The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions.

    The rejection of the political class manifests itself in different ways and has been diverted down a number of entirely blind alleys giving unfulfilled promise of a fresh start – Brexit, Trump, Macron. As the vote share of the established political parties – and public engagement with established political institutions – falls everywhere, the chattering classes deride the political symptoms of status quo rejection by the people as “populism”. It is not populism to make sophisticated arguments that undermine the received political wisdom and take on the entire weight of established media opinion.

  24. John k

    That is one handsome fellow… and I guess sporting a large crest. Beautiful pic. Does anybody know what kind, and where he hangs out?

  25. Oregoncharles

    “Sen. Ron Wyden Leads on Securing Elections Before 2020 TruthOut”
    Wyden is a slime who’s especially “passionate” about the Russia-Russia-Russia red herring (hmm – red. I like it.). But in this case, he’s reflecting Oregon experience in a way that would do considerable good.

    Oregon uses paper ballots, marked by the voter. It’s part of our vote-by-mail system, which I recommend. So that part of his bill would be a big step forward – actually back, to a better system that was abandoned. Oregon, at least my county, also uses scanners to count the ballots, holding hand counting in reserve for recounts. I agree that that is not ideal. One advantage of vote-by-mail is that all ballots come to county elections offices and results are then reported to the Secretary of State, so there’s little chance for errors in transmission. The paper ballots are stored for reference.

    Odd to have a constructive proposal based on a made-up panic, but politics are weird.

  26. Oregoncharles

    “The Liberal Embrace of War/a> Rolling Stone<. Matt Taibbi Ongoing D.C. fight tests separations of powers Boston Globe"

    Two links run together. Looks like they both work, but should be separated.

    The Globe is paywalled.

  27. Hepativore

    As an aging millennial here at 35, I have long since realized as of ten years ago that being stuck in dead-end retail or permatemp jobs with a degree in histology is probably as good as it is going to get for many in my generation. I make just enough to cover my rent and bills and buy groceries, but buying a house, going on vacation, having healthcare, and retiring are simply things that are not going to happen in my lifetime. This is true for many people in my age group. All things considered, I am one of the lucky ones as I am at least making ends meet if but barely. Many of us millennials are not so fortunate. The rates of homelessness among “millennials” and “generation z” are skyrocketing.

    I hope that there will be future sweeping reforms in regards to fixing income inequality and addressing economic hardship. The problem is that many of the problems that have led to our current situation are systemic in nature. The wheels of actual political change move more slowly than people realize, due to both stubborn career politicians and entrenched bureaucratic inertia. It will probably take decades before any sort of longterm progress is made and I think that the millennials will be in their senior years before we will begin to reap the benefits, if it happens in our lifetimes at all.

    In retrospect, I think all that millennials and generation z wanted was to have the same standard of living as our parents and grandparents did. However, we also know that this is probably unlikely for the vast majority of us by now. Yet, we can listen to all sorts of constructive criticism from people like Joe Biden to tell us how “entitled” we are and that he has no sympathy for us. Well, what do you expect from somebody who has a boycrush on Dick Cheney?

    1. Nakatomi Plaza

      You’re too pessimistic. You risk wasting the rest of your life being unhappy and lamenting the loss of a life you’re never going to have. As much as possible, stop playing their games. Stop consuming unnecessarily, avoid debt, live ethically, stop pursuing the long-dead goals of past generations. We’re in the middle of a political reorientation, and the left doesn’t represent what you’ve been raised to think it represents. The left is as opposed to systematic reform as the GOP has ever been, so let’s move on. Advocate for the changes you want, and stop spending your money in ways that support a system that doesn’t care about you. I had a similar awakening in my early thirties; I then wasted years feeling frustrated and following dead ends I knew damned well weren’t going to lead to peace or happiness. I really wish I had those years back.

      1. jrs

        i think even that requires the type of stability that may not exist though. A life of gentile poverty may sound quaint to some, but precarity isn’t just poverty and has features unique to it. For instance: avoid debt with gig work (thus inevitable unemployment etc.), no healthcare etc.? Not always possible, that’s not just giving up a house in the suburbs.

        Stop consuming unnecessarily, but if you are forever doing gig work with alternating unemployment, you get a kind of panicked mentality toward money and spending where you stock up on stuff when you have work, because you might not work again for who knows how long, etc.. And the fear of homeless, well if real, that’s going to do a real number on anyone.

        1. Hepativore

          My intended field in research has largely been taken over by gig work as most technicians and study directors are hired on an “as needed” basis and so your job at many biotech companies is linked with a project and you are let go as soon as it ends. You had better hope you can find another position before the end of the project as you have a huge surplus of dislocated STEM workers and new graduates and offshoring research to Asia has made the problem even worse since the late-1980s. Biotech also makes extensive use of H1-B workers like IT does so that is another large pool of surplus labor to contend with.

          I currently work in retail at a pet store to make ends meet. I do not spend money on excess stuff other than gas, rent, and electricity bills. I need a car where I live as the rent is priced way too high to live anywhere within city limits so I need to drive twenty minutes to work everyday as there is no public transportation that far out of town. I would like to buy a house someday instead of dropping money on rent every month and I would like to be able to have space to grow things but that is out of the question with what I make per hour in addition to what homes sell for even this far out of Rochester, MN due to the Mayo Clinic driving up housing costs.

          1. Copeland

            Interesting to hear you mention Rochester, MN. Wife and I lived there for 14 years (met there) left in 06. I know housing there is inflated due to Mayo, but its nothing compared to Seattle, where we live now. Everything is relative I guess.

            We’re barely making it here too. Health care insurance and raw cost are killing us both.

        2. JBird4049

          i think even that requires the type of stability that may not exist though. A life of gentile poverty may sound quaint to some, but precarity isn’t just poverty and has features unique to it. For instance: avoid debt with gig work (thus inevitable unemployment etc.), no healthcare etc.? Not always possible, that’s not just giving up a house in the suburbs.

          Stability? I am a native San Francisco Bay Arean whose poor/working class family could get almost free college and buy very nice homes afterwards living in the Bay Area, while I’m trying to keep my tiny apartment and not go into perma-debt like the rest of the succeeding generations when going to college.

          Reducing my expectations? I so do not think so. I don’t have anything. I don’t expect to ever have anything not even a shack to call my own. I worry about the next generation of the family. What will they have when they grow up?

          I rather want my expectations and those of the children to match our parents and grandparents. That is what I expect. Not a baronial mansion or a jet plane, but a life. If not for me, then for the family’s children, for I am tired of hearing the constant bleating of think less, expect less, and fear more. It is growing really annoying. And it is not unreasonable to expect otherwise.

  28. Bugs Bunny

    Not a single comment on the LRB review of Brett Easton Ellis’ White.

    I’ll just put it out here that in France White is being cited as the decisive dissection of Trump era America. The LRB review (READ IT) by James Wolcott is fantastic in its own insular way, but the book itself is better.

    And, Wolcott is right that Luna Park is BEE’s best book, but that it requires reading American Psycho.

    Thanks again to Jerri-Lynn for a great link!

    1. Carolinian

      Thanks for pointing out Jerri-Lynn’s pointing out of this review. Wolcott himself now seems a bit of an 80s character who, having sunk beneath the waves of TDS (he was a big Hillary booster), hasn’t been much heard from lately. Here’s a sample of his fancy/schmancy poison pen.

      Ellis has turned his live-in millennial boyfriend into a character in his podcasts and interviews, a cartoon proxy for Generation Wuss, that tender wad of neurotic idealists curled up into foetal balls and sucking their vape pens like pacifiers, unable to cope with the slightest scrape of adversity or opinion that hurts their foo-foos. As a member of Generation X, Ellis is offended by this bunch of baby bunnies, just as many Baby Boomers were exasperated by the grungy sofa slugs of Gen X. Such generational stereotypes are of course gross caricatures of dubious utility, but they generate a useful friction and fodder for gripe sessions about kids today. And there does seem to be a consensus, at least in the States, that millennials truly represent a distinct mutant species of crybaby.

      I used to love Wolcott but his schtick as some sort of literary top gun now seems rather last century, like his affection for Hillary. But good to see him still plugging away.

  29. JBird4049

    5G networks could throw weather forecasting into chaos Grist

    Oh Lord, my head hurts.

    The reasons why we have civilization is food production, storage, and distribution along with irrigation and flood control, which includes dams and canals, of which weather predictions are a modern addition. It’s rather important to save towns, crops, and shipping from being lost.

    It should not even be an issue as without multi-day weather reports slash warnings you can start to write off the populations of whole towns and counties from hurricanes and floods.

    Like with Boeing, the greedy idiots running things are not even trying hard. People will die and they will be shocked, just shocked that it happened. Then the toothie PR flacks, lobbyist, and lawyers will make it all go away, while the executives make their bonuses and the pols enjoy their “donations.”

  30. chuck roast

    What Science Says Uber and Lyft Are Doing To San Francisco

    Traffic Engineers are scientists now? That’s as bad as giving BS degrees to budding economists. Back in the day when I was required to work with them on a regular basis, I determined pretty quickly that they were bullshit artists. All they could do is run their nonsense traffic model with it’s vehicle trip assumptions based upon differing land uses. Implied demand – the trip generation potential of an empty traffic lane meant nothing to them. We now have triple left lanes and asthma everywhere thanks to these clowns.

    Too much traffic? You won’t solve it my friend by building more capacity. It simply makes it easier for people to get in their cars, and then you have…duh…more traffic! Wanna reduce congestion? Turn a traffic lane into a bus lane or better yet, a bike lane. Rinse and repeat. Uber and Lyft become endangered species. Humans can breath. A brighter future indeed.

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