Links 5/30/19

Posted on by

Animals will ‘downsize’ over the next century, new study says. Here’s why. NBC

From guurst:

College Students Aren’t Checking Out Books Atlantic (resilc)

Nuke Retirements Could Lead To 4 Billion Metric Tons of Extra CO2 Emissions, Says IEA ars technica

Long-term anticholinergic use and the aging brain Alzheimers & Dementia. I have doubts about this study, particularly since correlation is not causation and the sample size was not great (285 which fell into three buckets). Even though the article claims the researchers screened for co-mordidity, at least as far as I got (past the abstract), they don’t say what precisely they looked for. Could underlying sleep problems be a contributor? Or difficult behavior (which could have been part of the Alzheimers process) which lead caregivers to med the patient up so they slept well and didn’t need minding at night? Having said that, it’s not hard to see that medications like this are problematic.

Banned bread: why does the US allow additives that Europe says are unsafe? Guardian

China?

Trump’s feud with Huawei and China could lead to the balkanization of tech MIT Technology Review (resilc)

Food Delivery Apps Are Drowning China In Plastic New York Times

U.S.-EU Trade Talks Stumble, Threatening New Trade War Front Bloomberg

Brexit

Michel Barnier tells the next British Prime Minister that May’s deal is the ‘only option’ for an orderly Brexit Politico. Confirming Juncker’s remarks.

Tory leadership candidates say they’ll refuse to talk to Nigel Farage on Brexit despite his massive Euro-election win The Sun

Syraqistan

Israel Heads for New Elections in Setback for Netanyahu Wall Street Journal. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Why War With Iran is Not a Rational Strategy for Saudi Arabia Counterpunch (resilc)

Arms Makers Tell Investors That Iran Tension Fuels Business Intercept (resilc)

UN envoy: ‘Libya a textbook example of foreign intervention’ Al Jazeera

That Time the U.S. Military Played a War Game Against “Iran” — and Lost DownWithTyranny! We’ve covered this before, but worth a reminder.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Women’s Fertility App Is Secretly Funded by Anti-Abortion Activists, Says Report Daily Beast (resilc)

Is China’s social credit system coming to Australia? PhysOrg (Robert M)

Matthew C points out with the next two links that social credit scores are already here. But as William Gibson would say, not equally distributed:

Meet the Security Company Building an International Database of Banned Bar Patrons OneZero

The Platform Challenge: Balancing Safety, Privacy and Freedom Alex Stamos, DataEDGE 2019 (David L)

VR and AR Eye-Tracking Technology Will Usher in a Privacy Dystopia Vice (resilc)

Assange Is Reportedly Gravely Ill, And Hardly Anyone’s Talking About It Medium (furzy)

Trump Transition

Mueller says charging Trump was ‘not an option’ Financial Times

Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump’s impeachment The Hill (resilc)

Trump reportedly seeks Adelson’s advice amid differences with Bolton Times of Israel

U.S. Veteran, Trump Supporters Launch Construction on Privately Funded Border Wall Daily Beast

Trump Takes Credit for Vet Healthcare Program That Started Under Obama Rolling Stone (resilc)

How the War Party Broke Trump American Conservative

McConnell: I’ll Fill a Potential Supreme Court Vacancy During 2020 DailyBeast

Justice Thomas: Supreme Court Needs to Confront Abortion Being Used as a ‘Tool of Eugenic Manipulation’ Epoch Times (David L). Hoo boy.

What was President Obama’s worst High Crime? Fabius Maximus (resilc). Screechy but the substance is grist for thought.

Shocking video captures the moment a man sets himself on fire and calmly strolls around a lawn outside the White House – while police frantically try to douse the flames engulfing his body Daily Mail

2020

Are Blowout Presidential Elections A Thing Of The Past? FiveThirtyEight

Democrats worry Bernie Sanders could play spoiler The Hill (UserFriendly)

Can Warren Overtake Sanders? American Prospect

Bernie Sanders is not that rich for someone his age. Slate

Green New Deal

Stop Underestimating the Green New Deal American Conservative

As planting window closes, Minn. farmers face tough choices MPR. Chuck L: “Probably applicable to states throughout the Upper Midwest.”

Flooding continues on Edgemere Drive Rochester First. Martha r:

From upstate NY, drone footage, with scary sound, of current flooding of Lake Ontario. Higher level than the bad flooding there in 2017.

This phenomenon is not life-threatening and may not get much attention, but represents an important early manifestation of climate change now having serious, heavy impact in a large region of the USA, the Great Lakes region. From 3/21: Great Lakes are rapidly warming, likely to trigger more flooding and extreme weather CBC

Louisiana Sends ‘Heartbeat Bill’ to Governor’s Desk Wall Street Journal

Fake News

Pelosi: Facebook were ‘willing enablers of the Russian interference’ CNBC

Amazon Is Poised to Unleash Long-Feared Purge of Small Suppliers Bloomberg

Short Sellers Are Ripping Uber Apart SafeHaven. While this story has interesting detail, the framing is frustrating. The act of shorting a stock does not lower it; in fact, some analysts regard a large short position as a bullish sign, since the short sellers will at some point have to buy shares to close out their positions.

The way short sellers hurt a stock price (in the eyes of those who think stock prices should always go up, regardless of whether the company is a garbage barge) is by presenting negative information about a company’s prospects.

Note this is bad but not even close to crisis level losses. There were ~40% losses on subprime and Alt-A deals (market size hard to estimate but say $2 trillion), so $800 billion. Then you had CDS creating synthetic losses on the BBB tranches that were 4-6X real economy exposures (note the $800 billion was not all BBB tranches). Then you also had CLO losses back then too (they went to about 80 cents on the dollar, but the losses were not well reported at all). Plus the US economy is bigger now too.

Class Warfare

In shock news, rich people lie and cheat more than the poor. The Journal (PlutoniumKun)

Gig economy workers are struggling financially Vox (resilc)

The real (surprisingly comforting) reason rural America is doomed to decline Washington Post

The preachers getting rich from poor Americans BBC (resilc)

Antidote du jour. Frank:

These two [readers get one] pictures were taken just outside my door in Windham, VT on April 3, 2019. I believe that the bird is a Black-capped Chickadee with a condition called Leucism. The bird is not an albino, but does not produce melanin properly.

At our feeder just now we are having lots of Black caps, some Junco’s, an occasional Nuthatch, and one Tufted Tit-mouse. The other birds do not seem to ostracize White-Cap as we call him/her. Do we have bird experts that can weigh in on this.

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

220 comments

  1. Winston Smith

    “war with Iran is not a rational strategy for the Saudis”. Of course not, that is why they want the US to do it for them

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The Saudi goal of war with Iran is precisely because they know what the Shiite population will do. There are only around 5,000 male Saudis who are of fighting age who aren’t candidates to bug out if there is ever a crisis. My general view is Saudi foreign policy is dedicated to destroying Muslim majority countries in the region with reasonable alternative governments compared to the Saudi plantation. The apartheid regime in Israel becomes a natural ally.

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, the Saudis aren’t quite so stupid they think they could win a war against Iran. The Saudi military is entirely constructed to give big toy playthings to Princes (things like F-15’s), with foreign mercenaries doing the hard work – and yet they can’t even hire good mercenaries anymore, as Yemen has proven. The ground military is small and weak despite appearances because the House of Saud rightly fears the military as an alternative power base. And of course they are terrified of their own Shia population.

        So the Saudi strategy is not to go to war with Iran, but to start a war with Iran and hope that someone else does the fighting – that someone else of course being the US and Israel (Israel, of course, hopes it will be the US). Amazingly, the US might actually be stupid enough to fall for the trick.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          I suppose that any large scale war would be the same as a nuclear attack for Saudi Arabia. Consider then. The US attacks Iran. Iran fights back by blocking the Persian Gulf, turning Saudi Arabia’s and the other Gulf States oil facilities to ash along with all water filtration installations. This is just on Day One. No shipping can go through the Gulf and no insurer is willing to insure any ship in that region anyway. The US Stock Market closes till further notice.
          With Saudi oil production dialed back to zero, that country ceases to have an economy anymore. With the removal of Saudi oil from the international market, countries decide it no longer makes sense to price the oil there in US Dollars as there is nothing to price anymore. All 15,000 members of the Saudi Arabian Royal family go on the run.
          Saudi Arabia may be willing to fight to the last American but there is no way that the country would ever survive a war with Iran. And yet they are still delusional enough to push the US into a fight with Iran. Kerry testified a few years ago that Saudi Arabia, along with others, offered to pay all the expenses of an American attack on Iran. They must have mistaken the US with Mercs ‘R’ US.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Still kind of looking at it through the old lenses: nations, territories, interests. From the point of view of the real driver, i.e. The Benjamins, it could still be a total bonanza. A national emergency, Rosie The Riveter is told to put her dreams of solvency and affordable health care on hold because The Fatherland urgently needs her tax dollars instead for the Pentagon. Ending the life of two avians with one lump of geology

            Reply
        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          A minor quibble, but mercs are good at guard duty and bashing heads of civilians. They aren’t soldiers, even if they had been. They aren’t fit to fight in the country against partisans or soldier like outfits.

          I’m not sure MBS is that bright, but there is the possibility the Sauds want to grease the wheels for a crack down on the Shiite population, to stifle the “Iranian influence” but really crack down on any kind of secessionist movement, autocratic or democratic (this is irrelevant to the Saud calculation with the Shiites being on top of the oil.).

          My suspicion is Yemen is largely meant to keep the less Saudi aligned elements of the military away from Riyadh or the oil fields. After all, I don’t think anyone would mind the House of Saud simply disappearing except Likud.

          Reply
          1. JBird4049

            The Israeli Lukid? What kind of alliance does it have with the House of Saud? I haven’t read much about the two together.

            Reply
            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Err…Syria, Iraq, Iran, etc, they’ve been behind them all.

              They are always on the wrong side or suspiciously silent these days. Rationally, Israel doesn’t want functioning Arab or Muslim democracies because that would undermine their selling point and point to the obvious flaws of their apartheid structure with voting for the ethnically privileged. If Israel has no enemies, they don’t need U.S. largess.

              Since Fahd was sidelined, we haven’t seen much support for Palestinians, but we have seen Saudi Arabia and Israel collect the same enemies. The Saudis don’t want any reasonable alternative to take place in the Arab or local Muslim world. It might inspire uprisings. Israel isn’t going to inspire the movement that topples the Saudi tribe and isn’t going to capture Mecca or Medina.

              Where do the Al Qaeda esque terrorists get their training? Shiite Iran? Nope. Do the Israelis know this? Yes, they do. Why don’t they strike? Because they don’t want Iran style government or better to catch on in that part of the world. Iran is a threat to the Israeli regime because Iran has a non-monarchy based government and non-colonial power backed government. Terrorists feed the narrative of poor little Israel dwelling in perpetual danger among the brown hoards.

              Its not lost on the Saudis how backwards monarchy is. Its not lost on Bibi that “recognizing Israel” was twisted to “recognizing the Jewish state.”

              Reply
              1. JBird4049

                Thanks. I knew about the twisted internal politics of Israel and the Palestinians with greed, corruption, murder, and genocidal tactics being used, and with it all being hidden behind “national security,” but I did not make the Israeli-Saudi connections.

                The more I study politics and economics the more repulsed I become. It’s almost as if I need a vomit bag to go with my lecture notes and textbooks. Maybe I should change my major to basket weaving?

                Reply
                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  It wasn’t always like this. I suspect other right wingers in Israel won’t be able to stay as on the ball as Bibi, and Fahd was tolerable as despots go.

                  Some is the license George W. Bush gave Israel. Once upon a time the GOP was the relatively pro-Palestinian party. Shrub and his evangelical pals went full bore. Dreams of winning Florida Jews factor into this. There isn’t a check on Israel anymore.

                  Not that Sharon was a good guy, but he was a rationale actor who could be worked with. But when he stroked out, he was the last check on Bibi and his ilk, lesser sons of the guys who did all the hard work. The people who immigrated to Israel after the conflicts don’t really share the political views of say American Jews who tend to be very liberal/lefty versus the general population. The nuts all moved to Israel. Maybe I was being optimistic about Sharon, the Israel right went full blown nuts after he left the scene.

                  Reply
                2. NotTimothyGeithner

                  To me, its seem to gone down the memory hole, but the Second Palestinian Infitada was encouraged when Arafat went to the Sauds to discuss Bill’s (Clinton) dopey “I can’t do anything” routine and Barak scuttling the deal they had made.

                  What was the role of Bandar Bush in this crisis? We shouldn’t forget the views members of the House of Saud had towards the Bush family.

                  Florida was so close that year. My suspicion was Fahd was not in charge or not in control of his facilities. People who wanted to make sure Shrub was President worked to make it so. Bill Clinton (I know global warming) was working to redevelop U.S. fossil fuels. Energy dependence on Saudi Arabia was a concern of his administration, hence Obama’s touting of his success on the matter. The Saudis pay their subjects enough to keep them silent, but in some ways, its all dependent on oil prices.

                  Reply
  2. Ignacio

    I believe that the best way to counter the campaign against Sanders because of his wealth is to repeatedly show the wealth of the other candidates. Biden mainly, and compare.

    Reply
    1. Chris

      I almost wonder why you’d want to counter it at this point?

      That is such a simple and stupid attack. I’d rather they keep trying to use it than switch to something more effective. The MSM and TPB aren’t quite losing their family blogging minds yet that they can’t control the narrative with respect to Sanders. But in a few months they will.

      I don’t have any sense of whether or not any of the Democrat attacks on Sanders are working or not. I think he has a resilient enough base to weather what they’re throwing at his campaign. But I do think hat could change quickly. I’m much more concerned about DNC funded “factiness” where a pundit or a twittermob state lies about Bernie’s record (or Gabbard’s, or Warren’s) in order to prop up Biden and then those lies stick. The “Bernie the Bomber” claim that people are trying to make happen is one of those.

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        On the contrary, although I think, like you do, that this is a stupid attack, it migth have a big impact amongst potential voters in the lowest percentiles of wealth that feel abandoned and will see the “hypocresy of a millionaire” pretending to be defending my interests. You don’t convince them with progressive ideas but with storytelling and they can dismiss any candidate that is “just another millionaire” with skepticism. This type of campaigns are very effective and probably result in lower turnout that hurts mainly the progressives.

        Reply
      2. Brindle

        …”in order to prop up Biden”….I’ve seen enough of a few recent Biden appearances to wonder about his age and brain funtioning—kind of a fraying around the edges.

        –“The Biden of today doesn’t make much sense. While previously he talked endlessly about the details of policy, now he doesn’t seem to have any specifics in his repertoire. He has a vacant, muddled look around the eyes. His speech, once self-confident nearly to the point of bravado, is now hesitant and stumbling.
        In other words, he displays many of the warning signs of senility.”–

        https://markspivakbooks.com/is-joe-biden-senile/

        Reply
          1. ambrit

            That’ll mean a resurgence of “Rule by Cabinet.” Unless Biden were to ‘pick’ a really strong willed Veep. Than we will see a repeat of the “Cheney Effect.”
            Re. the ‘Cheney Effect,’ I wonder if Bush the Younger had to ‘channel’ Blanche DuBois for his time in the Administration?

            Reply
        1. ambrit

          Well, Reagan was full on senile for his second term and that didn’t stop him from being a very convenient “Spokespresident” for the reactionary elements of the American political class.
          If Biden survives to the convention, my money’s on it being so ‘candidate heavy’ that no one gets a majority and we go to a ‘brokered convention.’ Many would say that that state of affairs will lead to a Biden campaign in the general election, but, curmudgeonly geezer that I am, I’m still expecting a Hillary Clinton candidacy for 2020.

          Reply
          1. neo-realist

            I think there would be an uproar of opposition from way too many democrats for Hillary to be handed the nomination, not just from left democrats, but from many who supported her candidacy only to see what a crappy campaigner she was; Many anti and pro Hillary dems will not want to risk 2016 2.0 due to not being able to shift Trump voters who voted for Obama to Hillary and angry left voters deciding to sit on their hands after getting screwed by Hillary a second time.

            A potential World War III of conventions if there is an attempt to broker Hillary into the nomination.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              I expect a “…World War III of conventions.”
              Never underestimate the raw ambition of politicians, especially the ones who were “cheated” of their due in a previous round. Expect to see a slew of “Hitler in the Bunker” videos with Hillary’s head photoshopped in place of “der Feurher’s” face.
              This is going to be a phenomenally nasty campaign. Indeed, with the ‘Jewish’ Bernie propaganda campaign starting, I’ll opine that it has already begun to ‘go South.’ (In reference to the aforementioned ‘anti-Bernie’ ploy, I wonder who is behind it. Former staffers to Hillary in ’15 and ’16?
              Who does hold the pursestrings of the DNC today? “Follow the money.”

              Reply
            1. ambrit

              Also like Wilson, his wife ended up with considerable personal power inside the Administration. I don’t know if Wilson’s wife consulted astrologers though.

              Reply
                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  With her astrologer on staff to guide her. I remember one press conference when The Gipper was off his meds, Nancy gazing up at him adoringly as always. A reporter asked a question, The Gip was addled and couldn’t process it. The mic caught Nancy leaning in and whispering to him “we’re looking into it and we’re doing all we can” and the Gip-Bot instantly repeated “we’re looking into it and we’re doing all we can”.

                  But today such antics seem so quaint and harmless compared to the woke and focused fascists we’re up against today

                  Reply
              1. wilroncanada

                Not only astrologers, but the most ambitious, the most connected both in the political, but also in the oil billionaires, and the spy communities, one George H W Bush.

                Reply
          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            Really? Literally Hillary again?

            I hope not.

            If its some other Catfood Democrat, then I will just vote Minor Party.
            But if it is the Real Literal Hillary her Own Self, then I will vote for Trump all over again.

            Reply
    2. PlutoniumKun

      Much as I hate to say it, I think focusing on the anti-Semitic nature of the attack is a good strategy – if the Democrat establishment wants to weaponise identity politics, then I think its good to neutralise this by throwing it back. The Republicans have long perfected the art of using opponents strengths to attack them, Sanders can do likewise.

      Reply
      1. CoryP

        My thoughts exactly. I’ve seen enough of the bogus arguments that get traction, so why not use one at least as plausible as those?

        Reply
      2. JohnnyGL

        – It’s an easy viral hit back that’s quite clear and visual when viewed at a glance.
        – It’s something the dem base has already been primed to recognize.
        – Perhaps, most importantly, it’s another hit at the credibility of the media. And they did it to themselves. Bernie and his team need to continue to hurt their credibility because as he gets closer to the nomination (and picks up those Biden voters that wander elsewhere) the attacks will get more shrill and vapid and use more smears. By then, you want voters primed to recognize that “the media really hates us and can’t be trusted to act in good faith”.

        If you can accomplish that, you’ve disarmed the media attacks and perhaps even laid the groundwork to win over more voters in the general election who don’t bother with the dem primary that already distrust the media. I suspect there’s a block of people that might think, “hey, if the media hates his guy so much, maybe he’s worth taking a closer look at and even supporting”.

        Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    “The Books of College Libraries Are Turning Into Wallpaper”

    An unsaid function of libraries is them being a form of an insurance policy. Let me illustrate-

    2009-2019 – Bass Library experiences a 64 percent decline in the number of books checked out by undergraduates.
    2020 – The Year of the Great Carrington Event
    2021 – Bass Library experiences a 64 percent increase in the number of books checked out by undergraduates.

    Reply
    1. SufferinSuccotash

      2022: 95 percent of the books burned by angry mobs who blame “coastal elitists” and “Chablis & Brie academic types” for the Carrington Event.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        2024: Constitution is suspended “indefinitely” to smooth the way for “Draconian decisions needed to preserve resources for the continuance of Civilization.”

        Reply
        1. polecat

          2030: State governments have collapsed world-wide, leading to impromptu monasteries forming to salvage what’s left of man’s printed works, as well as the saner bits and pieces of industrial civilization/technology …
          and widespread agrarian practices become ‘popular’ again.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            2034:

            Interest in Atlas Shrugged remains constant along with any of the numerous Robert Caro LBJ tomes, for with judicious use, each book having so many vowel movements allows for many other uses on a page-by-page basis.

            Reply
          2. JEHR

            2036: wildfires burn down the repositories of the last of the printed word; hot temperatures cause billions of seeds in the seed bank to die; technology no longer works in 60 degree Celsius weather; human beings have to rely on their own devices to live; (see Margaret Atwood’s novels for the description of the dystopian future).

            Reply
            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              The Earth’s population crashes from a crowded 7 billion to a sustainable 1 billion, plant and animal life thrives, bees and other insects surge, and the oceans refill with fish

              Reply
              1. ObjectiveFunction

                2038: Rollerball champion Jonathan E visits the liquid computer Zero in Geneva and is regretfully informed by Ralph Richardson that the entire 13th century has been lost

                Negative. Negative. N-n-negative.

                Reply
    2. Amfortas the hippie

      carrington event(or peak phosphate, global nuke party or a tree limb falling in a strategically unfortunate place)…. is one of the reasons i keep a library…i mean, aside from being a hopeless bibliophile.
      i like sitting among them as much as reading them or lending them to the sundry paduans who wander through occasionally.
      and my library is smoke friendly(both kinds!) as well as beer friendly…and clothing optional, to boot!
      even has an attached Think Tank(cowboy pool: 2′ x 8′ water trough, with fire pit underneath)

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Two or three generations ago, that “Cowboy Think Tank” would have been instantly recognizable as the family bath tub. Sit it in front of the parlour fireplace on a cold day and keep the menfolks out when the women perform their ablutions.
        There’s a lot of Victorian and Edwardian period technology we will be relearning about and using in the future.

        Reply
    1. Synoia

      No Uber won’t ban passengers.

      They will have hierarchy of cars and drivers, and will accept any passenger, but you will be assigned a car and driver based on your class.

      Reply
      1. Svante Arrhenius

        Expect delays, detours and disinterested deputies, as your driver’s 18yr old Kia’s repossesed in transit? I’m guessing our betters will be in Mil-Spec autonomous vehicles, programmed to ignore carjackers & inebriate, distracted or aggressive drivers? Weaponized Lidar?

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=brjLTCAutaE

        Reply
  4. zagonostra

    >Fake News

    In America today here is a complete symbiosis between the organs of information- the MSM- and the political parties and their apparatchiks, and it is used solely for the control of the populations and the promotion of The Narrative rather than as a means of explaining the events of the day. Much in the same way that the Soviet Union new organizations Pravda (Truth) and Izvestia (News) were able to control information to such a degree that the people of the USSR joked that “there is no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia”, the current state of media in America is summed up in the equally derogatory slur. “Fake News”.

    https://www.theburningplatform.com/2019/05/30/american-chernobyl/#more-197465

    Reply
  5. dearieme

    Now do you get why people thought it was antisemitic?

    When I was young antisemitism was a serious matter. The most cultured nation on earth had recently mass-murdered Jews simply for being Jews.

    Now we find the word applied to somebody who had mentioned the wealth of a Jew who is conspicuous in public life by virtue, largely, of campaigning against the rich.

    To cheapen the charge of antisemitism to include a case like this seems to me to be a dangerous game. Does Sirota want to provoke genuine antisemitism?

    Reply
      1. WheresOurTeddy

        Chris – rather than the ascerbic, unhelpful comment I had ready to go for the absurd statement by dearieme above, I will simply put a +1 next to your more dignified comment.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          No, dearieme put precisely the reason moral terms of judgement like “anti-semitism” should not be cheapened, but often are.

          The Politico piece was certainly intended as a hypocrisy gotcha (however wrong-headed); the collision with Bernie’s ethnicity undermines it badly, so was probably careless rather than intentional.

          Anyone who supports Palestinian rights or critiques Israel becomes extremely sensitive to misuse of the “anti-semitic” label. In this case, not proved.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            In politics, ‘Labels’ were made to be “misused.” In politics, a label is de novo, weaponized, for it tries to define a group, class, individual in a particular manner from the beginning.

            Reply
          2. Procopius

            It’s unfortunate, but the indiscriminate accusation of “anti-semitic” was championed by the Anti-Defamation League starting in 1948. Any comment that Israel might not work as well as claimed or might force indigenous Arabs to flee, or might have unintended consequences was “anti-semitism.” Any remark that any person who might be Jewish had moral failings was “anti-semitism.” Things have not gotten better since then.

            Reply
    1. EricT

      Sirota is just mirroring the attacks that the press used against Corbyn when he mentioned the bankers controlling government policy.

      Reply
    2. Partyless Poster

      When Ilhan Omar gets attacked for just stating the obvious about AIPAC (All about the Benjamins)
      But this is given a pass, its pretty clear Antisemitism charges are already fully weaponized.
      Frankly I think its so overused I’m hoping it loses credibility completely.

      Reply
    3. ObjectiveFunction

      Yes, a very dangerous game indeed, echoing the Stalinist ‘homeless cosmopolitan’ line which denounced apatrid Others who, while preaching equality and sacrifice for the polity, cash out via loopholes and ‘set themselves up as masters.’

      Hard to see how this kind of dog whistling ends well for the (coastal donor establishment) of the Democratic Party, the (New York Times readership), etc.

      …. More broadly, I find myself wondering if the master game isn’t:

      (a) to keep Left voters corralled with Sanders,
      (b) checkmate him with Gropy Joe and the 7 dwarfs, and then
      (c ) head to a brokered convention where Hillary ‘reluctantly’ accepts the mantle of savior for
      (d) a do-over against a Donald weakened by global recession?

      Not saying this will work, just wouldn’t put it past them to dream of it. After all, no sane person could have predicted the Russia! gambit….

      Reply
  6. russell1200

    I thought the Guardian piece on Warren was well reasoned; Though she isn’t the only Democrat I like. Sanders unwillingness to join the Democratic party makes me suspicious of his portrayal as some sort of New-Deal style leftist.

    Reply
    1. pretzelattack

      his unwillingness to join the democratic party bolsters his credibility as a new deal style democrat, don’t know about leftist–for the u.s. he is leftist, but our frame for judging this is skewed right.

      Reply
      1. TimD

        In Canadian terms, Sanders would approximate a leftish member of the ruling Liberal party. Most of his platform is already a fact on the ground in Canada, notable exceptions being free university tuition and a vigorous response to climate change.

        Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      His refusal to join Team Blue makes you suspicious? You mean the party of the ilk of Bill Clinton who basically an old time Southern politician?

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Well, the ‘New” Team Blue is a Hillary Clinton ‘creature.’ Bill might be an “old time Southern politician,” but Hillary is quite definitely a Neo-Carpetbagger.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          HRC ran the same campaign as BIll’s Arkansas and national campaigns. She had changing demographics and tokenism to pad her totals, but it really was rely on partisan voters, sellout to the funding sources of the other side (theoretically weakening the other side; it doesn’t work in Presidential elections), and promising enough positions to hold elites while running a full time campaign (the CGI) when not running. She had no core values rather speaking to audiences and assuring she held different views than what she said when she was forced to. Its no different than the good ole’ boys, just not as cartoony.

          Lining up celebrities to browbeat voters into “voting or dying” is a similar style to making sure the local big wig puts out the word to his voters.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Ah, thanks for that. If I read you aright, she was competent at the State level, and did not translate well enough to the National stage.

            Reply
            1. Phenix

              She never faced a legit challenge. The GOTV problems cost her the election in close purple states. Her campaign contacted hard no voters on Election Day making the vote for Trump or Stein.

              Reply
    3. aletheia33

      i thought he did “join” (?) the dem party.
      didn’t he sign a loyalty pledge to them?
      he’ll honor that, though many might not in a crunch.

      …what other dems do you “like”?
      are there any others besides sanders that you don’t “like”?
      your language “makes me suspicious” of your portrayals of sanders,
      the guardian, the dem party, and of others’ (?) “portrayal” itself.
      doesn’t make me want to read the piece you think is “well reasoned”.
      sorry! i hope i’m wrong.

      Reply
    4. Eureka Springs

      I recall a few years back reading something which said Sanders had a history of voting with/for Democrats (bills) more than most Democrats did themselves.

      I’ve noticed Tulsi is now receiving the same type of criticism – and she’s voted with the party around 90 percent of the time.

      All of this is just another version of – “not a real Democrat” an issue free meaningless hazing style that looked silly in middle school.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Sanders isn’t a real Democrat like Andy Cuomo or Diane “shut up kids and burn in global hell fire” Feinstein. How many charter school openings has Bernie Sanders been responsible for? 0. That doesn’t look a Corey Booker Democrat!

        Reply
      2. Darius

        Real Democrats are bipartisan and centrist and serious, anything to preserve the status quo.

        Warren is still an AIPAC parrot.

        Reply
    5. Chris Smith

      No. Just no. Sanders is running in the Democratic primary for the Democratic nomination. For the purposes of the presidential election he is a Democrat. To say otherwise is to indulge in picayune distinctions that distract from the substantial issues that should be at the forefront of the election.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Precisely. That’s why the “Party of the Status Quo” is pushing a ‘Picayune Strategy.’
        Most of the “Substantial Issues” will demand a seismic shifting of the power arrangements in America to be worked on, much less solved. So, focus on minutiae.

        Reply
    6. Grant

      We have a two party system that forces people to work within one of the two parties. So what if someone doesn’t join either of the parties but uses one of them to possibly become the president? What choice do they have? In China, if you want to operate in the political system, you join the Communist Party. In modern China, a good portion of the people in the party aren’t ideological communists. They join the party because the system requires them to if they want to operate within the political system. A party isn’t a team you root for or whatever, and it isn’t as if the Democratic Party has any policy coherence or vision what so ever. It’s a blank state, and if someone wants to use it to run in a race, knowing that joining a third party all but dooms them, again, so what? It would be one thing if that party had policy coherence and it was expected that people that joined it agreed with those policies, but the Democrats don’t have that what so ever. So, what exactly is it anyway but a vehicle for corrupt people to gain more access to power and wealth at this point? Look at those that run that party, the DNC, the DCCC.

      Besides, would you prefer that Bernie ran as a third party candidate? Personally, I would like us to take back our system, elections, debates and the rest from the two parties entirely. Why should those two rotten parties control the whole thing? We have (largely unenforced) anti-trust laws in the economic realm, why not have something similar in the political realm? I am sick of both of the parties, a large percentage of Americans are too, and good luck winning the election too with no support from independents.

      Reply
    7. Svante Arrhenius

      “New Deal style leftists” were called Democrats. What we’ve got now, were called Dixiecrats. That happened after Russia crushed all the other, competing Fascists… with our reticent and belated assistance. The closest Democrat to an actual “leftist” was replaced by Truman.

      Reply
          1. ambrit

            Ah, you fooled me there. I had not considered the replacement of Wallace for the 1944 Democrat Party campaign.
            That’s up there with the killing of Huey Long and the Establishment Propaganda War against Upton Sinclair’s “EPIC” campaign.
            As we see today, the ‘Forces of Reaction’ are ever vigilant, always corrosive.

            Reply
    8. drumlin woodchuckles

      Sanders’ unwillingness to join the anti-New Deal Corporate Fascist Pig Democratic Party of today raises Sanders’ credibility as a New-Deal style leftist.

      If he can beat the Caftood Democrats into accepting him as the nominee, he will be in a position to begin purging and burning and exterminating the Catfood Clintonites from out of the Party. Perhaps he can disinfect the Democratic Party into a clean and decent Party which he could then be proud to be a member of.

      Reply
  7. Krystyn Walentka

    Re: Long-term anticholinergic use and the aging brain

    There are other studies that show long term harm so just pile this one on. But knowing the science, IMHO, reveals why. It blocks the receptor, which is fine for a while, but to get around this neuron just creates more receptors which means you eventually need more of the drug. (sound familiar?) So at best you delay the problem without fundamentally fixing it.

    How do I know that is true? Stopping these drugs can cause anticholinergic discontinuation syndrome, which in layman’s terms is addictive withdrawal.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20506969/

    Reply
    1. flaesq

      The underlying study https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2091745 shows a similar correlation between dementia and benzodiazapene use. What I find troubling is the inability to determine whether there’s medical causation or, again as the researchers and Yves state, plain old correlation between the use of anticholergenics/benzos to treat “prodromal” symptoms of dementia. The jama paper I find very troubling (but I’m an engineer/attorney & not a doctor, damnit)
      EDIT: The jama paper doesn’t seem to to be the one discussing the benzo/dementia link. It’s in the bmj here https://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g5205

      Reply
      1. Krystyn Walentka

        I would agree if there were looking at a certain set of people, but they looked at people taking a wide variety of drugs for different treatments like tricyclic antidepressants, first-generation antihistamines, and bladder antimuscarinics. So one would have to think that all of these different groups are more prone to MCI.

        Reply
        1. flaesq

          IIRC there was an atypical tetracyclic in there too (Remeron) with stunningly powerful anticholinergic properties. I confess to being waaaaay beyond my area of expertise here but personally affected by the change in meds away from the two classes as a direct result of discussing the studies with the psych who brought them to my attention. I’m not quite sure how to proceed. My sister says it’s time to book a session with a physician at a teaching hospital. It’s not clear to me anyone knows what the hell they’re doing (least of all myself). Please forgive in advance my frustrated tone.

          Reply
          1. Krystyn Walentka

            Your tone sounded pleasant, maybe because it is familiar.

            They have no idea when it comes to neurological issues. I have been on countless psych meds and most work no better than alcohol. When I tell them what works they laugh at me.

            Psychiatry is the only MD you can get drugs from with no diagnostic tests yet there are many disorders that cause psychiatric symptoms.

            I have mostly given up on them. I am sure I will be unable to walk in 10 years like what happened to my mother.

            Reply
            1. Oregoncharles

              Yikes. You should say what your problem is – I, at least, can’t deduce it from what you say. Someone here might have constructive suggestions.

              Mine would be to see a naturopath (or several) and see if they have anything worth trying, simple because the MDs seem to have struck out.

              Reply
            2. flaesq

              You’re a kind person. I hope we can both find things that’ll work. (What does work for you if you’re in a position to share? It’s cool if it’s you’re not comfortable doing so, really, it’s none of my business) Ten years from now I’d wish for us to be here chatting and commiserating on Yves’ system from better state than our mothers were in.

              Reply
        2. UserFriendly

          from the original paper:

          Fifth, our electronic medical record data did not capture other potentially important patient covariates that may confound the effect of ACs on cognitive impairment, such as patients’ socioeconomic status, education level, depressive symptoms, APOE genotyping, and alcohol and tobacco use.

          That is a hole wide enough to drive a truck through. But I’d still recommend caution.

          In fact several times in the paper they mention that the study participants were all popor enough to be on medicaid…

          Reply
          1. flaesq

            Excellent points – drive a whole fleet of trucks through, side-by-side. As a simple aside as I’m too depressed (!Risk factor?) to go back through the paper again but that thing about Medicaid is that it’s the only stop on the care train for folks lacking strong family support or >=$250K in liquid assets to get into the 24 hour care door, and if they don’t qualify maybe they’re not showing up and the correlation’s even stronger.

            Reply
    2. Roger Bigod

      Most of the drugs to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s are cholinergic agonists. They produce mild improvement for a few years. Based on that, you’d expect that anticholinergics would be mildly detrimental, again reversibly. In individuals at the threshold of MCI (mild cognitive impairment), anticholinergics might hasten the onset, but stopping the drug would improve memory performance.

      The whole process takes 20-30 years to play out, and the subject of the paper is a small but crucial stage in the progression.

      Check the first illustrations on this paper for a idea of the time scale.

      Reply
        1. rtah100

          Acetylcholinesterase, as well as being involved in neurotransmitter regulation, is also a signalling molecule in neurogenesis and the neuronal cell cycle. The mechanism of action of Aricept (AChE inhibitor) is suspected to be a secondary effect where the body produces more AChE to compensate for inhibition and thereby prevents neuronal entry into the cell cycle (which is a cause / consequence of AD, depending on your politics) because of the action of AChE on the mTor pathway.

          Acetylcholinergic drugs inhibit acetylcholine directly and will likely lead to AChE production being downregulated to compensate, removing its neuroprotective effect in AD-susceptible patients. Hence their increased risk factors of AD.

          The variable efficacy of Aricept in trials is likely due to the dependence of this AChE signalling effect on p21, one of the G1/S checkpoint proteins in the mTor pathway, which is defective in many AD patients (the others have p27 or p53 defects or defects elsewhere in the mTor pathway).

          Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    “Robert Mueller says charging Trump was ‘not an option’ ”

    Seriously. They really need to get this guy in a court of law, put under oath and subject to an intense question & answer session. And brother, does he have a lot to answer for. For the past two years he has been treated as an icon if not a demi-god. Here is an example of how-

    https://www.newyorker.com/culture/on-and-off-the-avenue/robert-mueller-style-icon

    But the fact of the matter is that he has not done a professional job, his report was skewed to keep some sort of investigation going even though he found zip on Trump and the Russians. And now he is trying to trigger impeachment proceedings based on his report which showed nothing in the first place. Nope. That guy has a lot to answer for.

    Reply
    1. Charger01

      It reminds me of another hot shot Republican prosecutor named Fitzgerald that every liberal pinned their hopes to regarding Scooter Libby and Karl Rove. In the end, a bunch of hand waving and nothing much else. Kind of like history repeating.

      Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          There may be other reasons why Meuller was not so forthcoming-

          Mark Ames

          @MarkAmesExiled
          Replying to @flugennock

          If Maddow doesn’t air a segment tonight claiming Putin has a Mueller pee tape, it can only mean one thing—Putin has a Maddow pee tape.
          30
          1:58 AM – May 30, 2019

          Reply
    2. Chris Cosmos

      Like most made men in the permanent government he has a lot more than that to answer for and will never have to answer for any of it. The whole Russigate fiasco will be paved over and forgotten except for the “Russia stole the election” meme to keep the MIC in clover.

      Reply
    3. JohnnyGL

      Stoller described Mueller on twitter as being ‘passive-aggressive’. I think Stoller’s being too nice. It looks clear to me that Mueller is just a weasel.

      I find it amazing that Mueller didn’t get that his real assignment was to: GET TRUMP BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. Team Dem was clearly outsourcing its dirty work to Mueller. Pelosi, who is also clearly a weasel, doesn’t want to impeach because that requires real work and political risk and might be ‘divisive’ on the fundraising circuit. Little did she know, that a fellow weasel was tasked to do the job and passed the buck. Just like she did!

      Mueller’s managed the incredible task of making basically EVERYONE mad at him. That was a trick that I thought only James Comey was able to pull off so skillfully. But, perhaps being a weasel is endemic to FBI culture?

      I really hope he gets subpoenaed and asked why he didn’t interview Assange.

      If the repubs are good for anything, it’s vengeance. They’ve got a strong survival instinct and might just get rough with all the major players in this episode….Strozk, Comey, McCabe, Clapper, Brennan, the whole bunch.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I find it amazing that Mueller didn’t get that his real assignment was to: GET TRUMP BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

        Mueller understood his assignment, but Trump isn’t a disaffected, teenage Muslim. Its really outside of Mueller’s experience.

        Reply
      2. RWood

        I wonder who’s been ministering to Mr. Assange, that he cannot have a sensible conversation and is quite ill. Prison hospitals are the last resort.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Not to be too literal, but should we suspect that Assange is being slow-motion Kevorkicided in that hospital?

          Reply
    4. Pat

      He is succeeding. Had a discussion with someone yesterday. The fact that after millions and overturning every rock possible meant that Mueller did not have anything on collusion with the Russians was not good enough to clear Trump on that charge. And the fact that no actions were taken to obstruct the investigation is not enough. No, he is still guilty of collusion, and even if he isn’t he actually talked about things to try to stop the investigation is a high crime. Mind you this same person was nonplussed when I said if Bush wasn’t impeached for lying to get us into an endless war where hundreds of thousands of people died or Obama for removing Habeas Corpus to be able to kill Americans without trial, I sure as hell didn’t care about Trump ranting about an investigation of a made up charge. And that impeachment was meaningless without possibility of conviction especially since it might guarantee Trump a second term, especially since the Democrats were incapable of being an opposition party and that Trump was managing to do lots with and without their help. (They denied the last, boy will they be surprised…)

      He has done a good job of sticking it back on the House. Lots and lots of people cannot read between the lines of Mueller’s report to recognize that in an average court of law he would exit with egg on his face, that he had been given wide ranging powers by Congress and yes, could have done many things. No, no he was hamstrung, it must be Congress to finish his good work.

      If Pelosi and Nadler can walk this fine line without it entirely blowing up in their face they need to get on their knees and thank whatever beneficial gods that have protected them. Nothing good is going to come of it whatever. And in small losses, Nadler finally managed to make it onto my will not vote him ever again list.

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith Post author

        *Sigh*

        Mueller said in the report collusion is not a crime. And Trump didn’t do anything with “Russia”. And there is also no evidence (this from political scientists who have analyzed the 2016 election in depth) that “Russia,” let alone the Russian government, influenced the election outcome. This is a Big Lie with no underpinnings. Making shit up is against our site Policies.

        Pelosi knows impeaching Trump would guarantee him a win in 2020. A recent article (Politico?) even discussed how Trump looks to be goading the Dems into impeaching him for that reason.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          Yves, sigh at the people I have talked with in the last few days. They bought the Mueller double talk about his report. And the position of the report itself regarding the criminality of non obstructive obstruction. I didn’t say I did. Their belief in the bull means Mueller has succeeded in tossing the hot potato back to the House.

          I also agree impeachment is a mistake, and not just because of possible election influence. But Pelosi and Nadler are trying to continue to inflame the Trump outrage with their rhetoric and investigation without actually getting forced to go all the way. They are, IMO, far closer to the point where their “audience “ turns on them for not following through than they realize.

          Reply
  9. Nikki

    Regarding drugs for Alzheimers, the French government stopped reimbursing for
    Aricept because it does nothing. My source is a friend who practices medicine in the
    New York but was trained in France.

    Reply
  10. Wukchumni

    Pushing the stereotypes of anti-semitism on a Jew such as Bernie, is right out of the playbook of swiftboating Kerry, which worked like a charm. You can expect to see somebody Sanders knew when he was 22, that will vouch for him being pushy, and another he knew in his early 30’s, who actually saw large sacks of money in his basement, so many that you could hardly find your way to a beanbag-and cheap? With Bernie it was always BYOB.

    Reply
  11. a different chris

    The otters are hilarious. Not so funny is that if you showed the skyline at the very end to most Americans they would be sure it’s from a sci fi movie.

    I know that everything is far from copacetic in the East, but stuff like that is just… jarring. And the fact that we don’t get it shoved into our faces nearly enough in the US is going to really hurt at some point.

    Reply
  12. a different chris

    >Every single one of the people driving a banger stopped at the pedestrian crossing.

    And the funny thing is us banger/beater/fill-in-your-local-name vehicle drivers aren’t really sure that when we stop we are gonna get going again! We’re just nice that way.

    Reply
  13. mpalomar

    Barnier: Brexit should be used as a cautionary lesson for the entire EU, the veteran French statesman said.

    Indeed, but the lesson is not so much what Barnier professes regarding some fuzzy UK nostalgia for empire but that the Union has assumed the austerity driven rationale of the corporate rentier class that has captured much of the civic institutional landscape everywhere. And more importantly, once in the EU briar patch, finding a way out will be quite nearly impossible. Perhaps the lesson of Grexit and Brexit is that resistance is futile.

    Surprisingly he does concede that the, “City of London rule-breakers and austerity also fueled the Brexit vote.” “And most importantly, there are many people who feel abandoned. They feel that the quality of public services, health care, transport, is worsening. We must listen to these fears and address them.”

    Reply
    1. vlade

      There never was Grexit. The closest there was an EUR-exit, which would have to be turned into Grexit – but, that was NOT what Greeks wanted. There was no poll, ever, that would show Greeks wanting to exit the EU (as opposed the EUR).

      UK could have exited the EU already, if it really wished to, with all the consequences. The EU would owe the UK nothing (especially if the UK failed to honour its legal obligations).

      That said, it is correct to say that disentangling the UK from the EU is a hard task. Which would be pretty hard for most EU countries, more so the longer you’re in the EU. But that’s just a fact of life – the longer you work with some legal structure over your own, the harder it’s to get out. If CA wanted to go independent, do you really thing it would be easy for them?

      Reply
      1. mpalomar

        There was Greek resistance to the EU troika regimen of austerity that ultimately crushed Greece and there was the bailout referendum that suggested defiance to the point of Graccident by taking a step that could have led to being shown the door, albeit and to the point, most likely disastrously.

        I would not disagree with your contention that the difficulty of ‘disentangling…is a fact of life,’ as is war and the MIC, trade agreements that lock up intellectual property rights, global corporate looting by an arbitraged race to the bottom pitting state against state. I think that is the point and I suppose not a new or particularly insightful one.

        It does speak to the philosophical differences regarding national and supra-national organizations and about the intentions of Maastricht, i.e it is now becoming clear, there is no feasible exit. It raises the wisdom of surrendering in perpetuity without recourse, a nation states’ sovereign control over a range of socioeconomic decisions the once operative and primary polity was responsible for.

        The fight by the plebes to be heard against the power of the ruling corporate class is fought on an intentionally ever shifting groundwork of laws, easier to keep the masses in disarray, off balance and always a step or two behind. That I imagine is the ultimate fact of life.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          We wrote about the Greek negotiations with the Troika in real time at great length. I’m not sympathetic at all with the Troika, but your position is false and this sort of naive thinking is why Greece was bulldozed by the Troika.

          Greece is not self sufficient. It imports about 20% of its food, as well as petrol and pharmaceuticals.

          The Greek banking system was and is dependent on the ECB for support. When the ECB cut that off (in early July), Greece capitulated in about 20 days as the economy ground to a halt and business failures spiked. Fish were rotting on the docks due to petrol shortages, they couldn’t be ferried to the mainland, and not enough from there was being trucked inland. Food shortages has started at the wholesale level. Tourism also collapsed during this period. Importers were doing things like flying cash to London or trucking it across the boarder to keep some level of supplies coming in.

          And please don’t discuss introducing a new currency. It would take Greece a bare minimum of three years, and in reality, that means more like five of six, to make the IT changes necessary to introduce a new currency. That is because this is not just an issue within Greece but tons of other players around the world would have to code their systems to handle the new currency. Even introducing a new physical currency would take a year due to the time required to design, print, and distribute it (you’d need to outfit ATMs to handle two currencies, a non-trivial task).

          Moreover, introducing a new currency would make Greece’s broke-ness worse, since nearly all its debt is English law debt and cannot be redenominated into a new currency by a Greek government edict. So when the new currency tanks, the amount Greece owes goes up. This is also true for Greek banks (see what happened above).

          Finally, regarding the “Greek resistance” I have no idea what you are talking about. Demonstrations at home accomplish nothing, and I was frankly stunned at the time of the inability of Greece to mobilize the left in other EU countries.

          Reply
          1. mpalomar

            Thanks for responding but you misrepresent my position as I agree Greece was in a hopeless position. By Greek resistance I’m talking about what was clearly an upheaval in the polity represented by 60% of voters who rejected the bailout terms, setting up the final confrontation with the EU before capitulation by Syriza and the crushing of Greek democracy along with the economy, the sell off of assets, pension cuts and the exodus of the young etc.

            Traditional left and right positions are less relevant now, I was also stunned by the failure of the left in Europe to show solidarity yet here we are with Brexit and Gilet Jaunes, symptomatic of the same failure of democracy in the EU. The fact that demonstrations at home accomplish nothing is the point. Whatever the EU was supposed to be it was not promoted as the sinister democracy destroying trap it has clearly become. Barnier’s concession about austerity and the abandoned of Europe speaks to this problem.

            Corbyn’s problem too, as he clearly doesn’t have a good answer to the question on what front to advance what are Labour’s recently reclaimed leftist policies, that is from inside or outside the EU. Either way democracy is frustrated which was my rather simple point. Whatever political level, local, national or supranational, policy formulated by democratic means must cope with powerful interests that manipulate the layered structures of power to frustrate popular will. Not an original thought just reflecting on Barnier’s statement.

            Reply
  14. Roger Smith

    I stumbled across an interesting read publish by The Cut yesterday: Measels for the One Percent

    The article details one part of the social degeneracy and mass psychosis inflicted from having a directionless, corrupt government. It is amazing to see those who are classified as liberal adopt puritanical zeal. It is one thing to question food additives (I also saw that Guardian article earlier), pollution/exposure, etc… it is another thing to take it further and ritualize it.

    I had not heard of Waldorf schools (“Me either, and he’s been sitting next to me for years, aaha hah hah hah”) before this. There are many sincere reasons, concerns, and ideas, but this is another level…

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The nutty preachers and so forth we associate in popular culture with “deplorables” (per HRC) aren’t funded by grassroots style pass the hat around operations. Those churches never get off the ground. They find sugar daddies within the 1% who are almost certainly celebrated outside of politics by the “liberal elites” who are more accurately described as libertine than politically liberal.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Though these kinds of schools might speak to why “liberals” expect to win White Flight Republicans. They are just as nutty.

        Reply
    2. Janie

      In the late fifties movie Auntie Mame, the unconventional aunt sends the nephew to a Waldorf-type school; the estate conservator tries to force a prep school. I remember it as a great movie starring Rosalind Russell.

      Reply
      1. JacobiteInTraining

        As a history major I would undoubtedly find a great many target destinations for my time machine (still in the development phases, mind you) but when it came time for relaxation, I think I could find no better place to go then to Broadway, c.1956, to watch it live on stage…followed closely by a slight jump forward to ’58 to see the movie on its opening night.

        I might need to stop briefly in the mid-20’s for some authentic gin….for medicinal purposes only, of course.

        Reply
      2. Harold

        Steiner’s methods were similar to those of Dewey, Montessori and other founders of progressive schools who advocated hand-on learning (in the early) years and the development of the whole child. The problem with Steiner is that he did not give credit.

        Like many other reformist schools (and also ironically the Great English public schools at their inception) Steiner schools were founded for children of workers, but in many cases their educational methods got co-opted by the rich because they were effective.

        The Steiner schools are founded on a mixture of Goethe (whose philosophy of freedom was rooted ultimately in Kant) and theosophy. Sure you can find elements of racism in Kant and Goethe, and also in theosophy if you look, but Kant and Goethe were universalist humanists who believed all human beings, regardless of race or gender, should be given an opportunity to develop their potential to think for themselves. Theosophists, like Conan Doyle, who helped expose the atrocities committed by King Leopold in the Congo, were also in the forefront of the human rights and peace movements and in the preservation of artistic monuments world wide.

        Reply
    3. Lee

      Another parent and I got our kids expelled from a Waldorf school when they were in the first grade. The other parent, an activist for Native American causes, and I started wondering how it was that the school, situated in a predominantly African American residential neighborhood, hadn’t recruited any of the local kids but was providing scholarships to white kids from other neighborhoods. We also started delving into Rudolph Steiner’s writings and other foundation literature of the movement and found that there were some disturbingly racist views therein. Upon raising these issues we were in short order shown the door.

      Reply
    4. Harold

      As someone who sent a child to a Waldorf School from K to High School (then U of Chicago), Waldorf schools are are all loosely aligned independent schools and they vary tremendously in the populations they serve. There are a lot of people associated with some of them that are anti-vaccine (or at least some), but it was not the case in our school. I see it as more of a Hippy/ health-nut thing. I met a lot of anti-vaccine people who were not associated with Waldorf who were anti-vaccine and couldn’t be convinced otherwise. It’s just crazy.

      My feeling is we need to have continuous public health campaigns, explaining why bacteria are not the same as viruses and how our only recourse for viruses is vaccines. It’s not enough to remind people once or twice, it’s something that has to be repeated continuously — pretty much like other things. It’s just human nature – or rather it is how culture really works.

      A big problem is that by being for profit, and therefore adversarial the medical and public health establishment have forfeited the trust of the public and along with it their authority. Plus the defunding of government agencies that might do something.

      Reply
      1. Harold

        Just gossip — this was some years ago but my child told me that Green Meadow was particularly “druggy”- she didn’t use those words. I can also say that at that time some of the “conventional private schools”, including the prestigious, very competitive ones were “druggy”- though different kinds of drug.

        Reply
      2. Harold

        Also, after the kindergarten years, few parents followed the dictum of “no electronic media” . This was something I practiced even before I knew there was such a thing as Waldorf and it was much easier to do when I had the support of a school and other parents (even partially). I don’t know why this should be such a big obstacle. Commercial media for kids is a travesty.

        As far as the knitting and everything. They did learn it, but in many of the crafts it was rather perfunctory. It’s all very well to say that kids should learn something — like gardening, but there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip. Still, it’s better than commercial worksheets, which was the curriculum at most conventional preschools.

        Reply
      3. Medbh

        “A big problem is that by being for profit, and therefore adversarial the medical and public health establishment have forfeited the trust of the public and along with it their authority. Plus the defunding of government agencies that might do something.”

        This is key. Too many people have lived through changed health recommendations (ex. cholesterol), or found out that a treatment that was supposed to help was harmful instead, or experienced/witnessed a medical mistake. The entire medical system is tainted with questions regarding costs, underhanded billing, and conflicts of interest/profit.

        In the case of vaccinations, what seems more likely in today’s world…the pharmaceutical companies buy the backing of politicians to guarantee profits, or they just altruistically want to save American lives? I’m fully vaccinated and so are my kids, but I do not trust the pharmaceutical companies. They exist to make money, and there have been too many headlines about them behaving in a deceitful and unethical manner. There are unknown risks with any new medication or procedure, and the kids are the ones testing it.

        Again, I personally accept those risks and support vaccination, but I don’t think that parents are just stupid or scientifically illiterate to be suspicious and wary. People are less trustful of politicians, medical professionals, government agencies, and pharmaceutical companies, and some of that is for valid reasons.

        Reply
        1. Harold

          The Spiritualist movement at the turn of the 20th century rejected vaccination, believing that the fall in disease was due to better sanitation and nursing. One of them was Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer of evolution with Darwin, who was also a believer in land reform and other socialist causes. They didn’t like the idea of putting foreign substances in the body. There was a degree of truth to their observations. Sanitation, fresh air, sunlight, & cotton underwear, had tremendously improved people’s lifespans. Well, no one can be right about everything and we know they were wrong about vaccines and among the parents of my classmates, some of whom had polio and either died or been crippled. I saw the result of smallpox, polio and other preventable diseases when I traveled as a child (my stepfather had had smallpox). So I too am willing to accept the risks. People have gotten a false sense of security, mostly from the development of antibiotics — though that advantage may now be backfiring.

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            I think that’s a good observation — that antibiotics have given people a false sense of security. I blame the medical profession for prescribing antibiotics for everything, including virus induced illnesses which antibiotics won’t help at all.

            Reply
      4. wilroncanada

        The major measles outbreak in BC (major in a minor way) this year, was centred originally in the Fraser Valley in fundamentalist Christian schools, I believe. The other contributor was children who had traveled on planes from mostly east Asia.

        Reply
  15. a different chris

    The AOC freakouts are so much fun:

    The economic impact would be the redesigning and rebuilding of every structure in the United States, the result of nearly four centuries of capital accumulation, in 1/40th the timeframe. The legal and philosophical impact would be the complete subversion of private property in America. When the government can dictate to a citizen that his home or business must be repurposed so it adheres to a national mobilization program, who really owns the structure?

    Quick, somebody get this guy a fainting couch. Ok, our population has doubled in my lifetime. Our GDP, if I’m reading it right (and who can, economics is voodoo and the most important part of voodoo is confusing people) has grown by a factor of nearly 6 in that period. So “four centuries of capital accumulation” is pretty, um, rich. Comically the same conservatives, small and large-C, have sessions of heavy panting when it comes to tearing down nice usable structures and replacing them with ugly monstrosities, from your local unlucky enough to become “upscale” neighborhood to Trump Tower.

    https://www.thebalance.com/us-gdp-by-year-3305543

    Furthermore, has this guy ever heard of the coal business? They can dig the earth out from right under your bedroom and yeah, if the hole swallows up your bed you can supposedly be “recompensed”. What kind of “ownership” is it when I have something, but you get to tell me what it’s worth, take it, and “pay” me something the gummint has printed for it? Especially given eminent domain, where the government is the whole entity on the other side of the deal. But AOC is “threatening” — what, exactly? To make it obvious?

    Shorter me: give me a break.

    Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      Funny how that same logic is just AOK when it comes to tech companies though.

      If we need to build an entire new infrastructure for “self driving” vehicles so some clown can make a squillion dollars, well so be it. And if one were to purchase such a vehicle and then not be allowed to repair it, while it spies on its owner and sends the data back to the manufacturer, there will be no questions asked about what (or who) is really being “owned” here, because someone got rich and it’s self driving! Even though it’s really a surveillance device with glorified cruise control.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Self-driving cars.

        We also have self-servicing or self-serving customers.

        Wil we soon see self-serving robot-waiters? What is a self-serving robot-waiter?

        And what is a self-serving robot-politician (or self-serving genuine-human politician)?

        Reply
        1. Procopius

          As some rural oriented comedian put it, “I know what it means when I hire a bull to service my cows. I don’t think I want politicians servicing me.”

          Reply
    2. lordkoos

      When the government can dictate to a citizen that his home or business must be repurposed so it adheres to a national mobilization program, who really owns the structure?

      Um, isn’t this exactly what happened during WWII?

      Reply
    3. todde

      Man, I hope this guy doesn’t find out the government can take your body and put it in a cell that they control. You will piss on their schedule, sleep on their schedule, and eat on their schedule.

      And we have the largest population out of all the counties in the world that are subjected to this intrusion.

      Reply
    4. Amfortas the hippie

      re: “Especially given eminent domain, where the government is the whole entity on the other side of the deal.”
      in Texas, the power of eminent domain has been willfully farmed out to pipeline companies, and the like…they just barely require the gooberment’s OK.
      and the issue of “standing” is downright insulting…as in who has standing to be recompensed, or notified, or to sue(“tort reform”,lol)
      my “back yard” is a hundred plus acre field with some woods, belonging to my neighbor the rancher.
      2 summers ago, i was alarmed when 20+ big trucks hauling men and equipment came roaring down my dead end dirt road.
      they set to work building a natgas pipeline through the neighbor’s place.
      I can lob an arrow and hit the thing…but it ain’t on my place..so i have no right to even know about it before the trucks and machinery arrives.
      neighbor forgot to inform us(he’s usually good about such things) due to his own health crisis at the time…and, like he said, “there was nothing anybody could do to stop it”.
      similarly, the sand plant they wanted to put in a mile and a half to the north of me would have been mightily deleterious to our lives, here…but TCEQ(Texas’ shitty version of an EPA) decided that we were outside their arbitrary limit of 1 mile…so no “standing”. I sent a bunch of long fiery letters anyway…and taught the neighbors with “standing” what “direct action” means,lol.
      in the case of the sand mine, tceq only got involved , beyond a rubber stamp, when the close neighbors found out about the plans and raised hell.
      .

      Reply
  16. Wukchumni

    How the War Party Broke Trump American Conservative
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Its a perfect corporation, there are no quarterly earnings reports to worry about, money rolls in constantly despite truly awful performances in the field, and there’s no opposition, in fact if anything the MIC has been built up even more, advertisers are keen to tell you little snippets such as “Geico has been serving America’s Military for over 75 years”, or those up close parking spots @ Lowe’s for veterans, or an actual veteran working @ Lowe’s, who can be identified, as they are clad in a camo vest. (I kid you not)

    https://newsroom.lowes.com/inspiring-people/wwii-veteran-lowes-associate-wally-inspiries-customers-employees/

    Reply
    1. sglover

      Bacevich really embarrassed himself with that piece, and it’s sad to see.

      I started following The American Con years ago, mostly because they publish Bacevich and Daniel Larison. I’ve watched it devolve into a sewer of Trump apologetics and Blut und Volk white hysteria. Nowadays, if you’re an author who values good will, fairmindedness, basic intellectual integrity — you don’t look to get published there.

      That NC often cites The American Con doesn’t say much for NC. Cue the howls of outrage….

      Reply
      1. tegnost

        wait, you’ve been following american conservative for years but nc shouldn’t cite it. What’s the point of being outraged when being amused is so much more appropriate?

        Reply
        1. sglover

          There’s this thing in language called the “past tense”. It’s useful for describing things that happened at an earlier time, as opposed to things that are happening now. E.g., phrases like “I started” and “I’ve watched” are past tense.

          Got it now?

          Reply
          1. False Solace

            > E.g., phrases like “I started” and “I’ve watched” are past tense.

            LOL, your comment used neither of those phrases. What you actually wrote was “I started following”, where “following” is continuous/progressive tense, not past tense, and therefore indicates an action that hasn’t necessarily ended. tegnost was perfectly reasonable to ask about it. Now please tell us more about intellectual integrity. /s

            Reply
            1. tegnost

              and therefore indicates an action that hasn’t necessarily ended

              yes, thank you for parsing that out

              Reply
  17. Chris Cosmos

    Re: Additives in bread etc.

    At this point in the cultural history of the USA most people have stopped caring about government regulation of industries. We try to select our food and let the people who are stupid get more stupid and sick to continue to buy toxic products and live toxic lifestyles. Why? Because we are losing a sense of common purpose and common destiny so we don’t care–we’ll take care of ourselves, play the system the best we can and endure and, if we can, thrive by whatever means necessary.

    Most of us suspect that the FDA and other regulatory bodies are corrupt because, obviously, they are. So what is the point? Vote for Trump? Vote for Sanders? Vote for Biden? We suspect that it won’t matter much. Besides there is the next series on HBO or Netflix, or the evenings of edibles, or whatever rings our (your) bell with a hit of dopamine or whatever. We are mired in nihilism and lower-brain occupations encouraged and, even, engineered by the media and social media apps.

    As the world burns and we have a POTUS that has broken through the bullshit dignity of our prior con artist POTUS who will promise so much winning that we’ll get tired of it and then what?

    Reply
    1. zagonostra

      Gives “Breaking Bread” a whole new meaning…I’ve stop buying sliced bread years ago, don’t have enough time to bake it myself, but I can still find pita without two paragraphs of ingredients at TJ’s…

      Reply
      1. jrs

        It’s precisely breaking bread that it precludes, sharing food with others. Because if food collectively is poisoned ….

        you personally might religiously read the ingredients when at the supermarket (farmers market, wherever),but can you trust anyone who offers to “break bread” with you? Either to meet up at a restaurant or inviting you into their own homes? (and if so are you scouring the kitchen and giving them lectures on buying pure food?).

        Oh but why are Americans so lonely and isolated? (as we try to avoid getting cancer, diabetes, and weighing 400 pounds from sharing the poisoned commons). And if not that it’s: why are Americans so fat and sick? As if we weren’t being poisoned.

        Reply
        1. Chris Cosmos

          Why? Because we are human beings in a kind of low-grade despair that has been building up for decades and why is that? The news, entertainment, and internet media and nearly a century of massive and continual commercials and propaganda that have conditioned the unconscious to seek myth to cure alienation.

          Reply
    2. eg

      Why are crap additives allowed in the US that aren’t in Europe?

      Because profits over people is the American way.

      Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “Assange Is Reportedly Gravely Ill, And Hardly Anyone’s Talking About It”

    Several years living in a cramped room in the Ecuadorian Embassy and he comes out looking like he needs a barber but otherwise looking pretty feisty. A few short weeks in Her Majesty’s Prison Service and he is as sick as a dog. Strange – and convenient that. Belmarsh Prison has been called the “British version of Guantanamo Bay” so I am wondering how exactly someone managed to slip a bottle of Novichok inside the place.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Yes. I noticed that too. Also, the lack of MSM coverage of Assange now put up a red flag in my mind.
      When Assange is transferred to the prison hospital, if not already a done deal, will he be held incommunicado? Say, quarantined due to a ‘New Improved Resistant Tuberculosis’ infection?
      And where are the Skripals anyway? Witness protection somewhere in Oregon?

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        No, they aren’t here. We read the news, too.

        Probably London. The best place to hide i in a really large city.

        Reply
      2. jrkrideau

        There have been reports of Assange’s deteriorating health for at least the last year or two. Getting manhandled out of the embassy and tossed in Britian’s most maximum security prison probably did not improve things. Somehow it is difficult to see Julian Assange as a desperate murderous person.

        There also have been reports that he was not getting adequate medical attention in the prison.

        I’d say that it not particularly suspicious but HM Prison Service has not covered itself with glory.

        Reply
      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Please be more careful. It’s the same story.

        And Assange was reported as being in poor health while he was in the embassy. Years of confinement, etc.

        Reply
    2. Stormcrow

      Excellent summary of the crimes against Assange by Jonathan Cook.
      https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/05/29/endless-procedural-abuses-show-julian-assange-case-was-never-about-law

      Even now, as the US prepares its case to lock Assange away for the rest of his life, most are still refusing to join the dots. Chelsea Manning has been repeatedly jailed, and is now facing ruinous fines for every day she refuses to testify against Assange as the US desperately seeks to prop up its bogus espionage claims. In Medieval times, the authorities were more honest: they simply put people on the rack.

      Reply
  19. s.n.

    “controlled spontaneity”: somehow this doesn’t seem very surprising

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exclusive-uk-experts-working-post-terror-planning-gulf-states

    British government officials who prepare for terrorist attacks by pre-planning social media campaigns that are designed to appear to be spontaneous public responses have established similar programmes for a string of countries across the Middle East and North Africa….

    In operations that some contingency planners term “controlled spontaneity”, politicians’ statements, vigils and inter-faith events are also carefully planned in readiness for any terrorist attack.

    The purpose of the operations, according to a number of people involved in their creation, is to shape and direct public responses, encouraging individuals to focus on a sense of unity and empathy for the victims, rather than reacting with violence or anger….

    Reply
  20. Wukchumni

    Amazing that a 65 year old glass bottle is still in one piece, as this weekend will be a semi-annual anthropology trip to the side of Hwy 198, where one occasionally sees the results of a thrown glass bottle, turned into 198 pieces of the former whole.

    It’s always beer/alcohol bottles, getting rid of the DUI evidence in one fell swoop of an arm from a passing vehicle and then making a clean getaway, as it takes me a few minutes to gather up the corpus derelicti @ the scene of the in theory $1000 crime for littering.

    We run a dragnet of the main drag for our piece of mile, and it stays really clean for awhile, as there isn’t any trash visible whatsoever, to tempt those drivers that see some and think it’d be ok to throw theirs out the window too.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Digging in Victorian spoil heaps for bottles is (or was anyway) a popular hobby in parts of the UK. Old railway embankments are often pitted with the diggings (most early canal/railway embankments were primarily made of waste, which in those days was mostly ash with glass and slag, nowadays known as hazardous material).

      A colleague showed me his collection – datable from the construction of the railway (mostly 1840-1860) or half a century older for most canals. Many were in very fine condition.

      Reply
      1. crittermom

        >”nowadays known as hazardous material”

        I met a delightful older woman at the cancer center who already had a voice box as a result of her first round with cancer.
        When I met her she was then fighting small cell lung cancer.

        Never having smoked, she attributed the cancer to her penchant for digging through old sites over a period of decades. Until meeting her I’d never thought about that aspect of ‘digging for buried treasure’.

        Sadly, she lost her battle not long after we met.

        The tweet was informative, however.
        I hadn’t known the birds used anvils!

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          I am very reliably informed that the following is a true story. Decades ago people were allowed to smoke in hospitals and the staff smoked as well. This person I knew went to visit a friend there who had undergone an operation and came across a section of a ward where they had people who had undergone a tracheotomy, often for throat cancer. That is where they cut open your throat so that you can breathe through it. He swears blind that he saw a nurse go to each person, put a cigarette in each person’s trache hole and then light it so that the patients could enjoy their smoke.

          Reply
      2. Amfortas the hippie

        that sort of lay archaeology is one of the best unforeseen benefits of living on a settler place: mom’s house is 120 years old, and the foundations of an older house are 100 feet to the north, along with remnants of a barn,hand dug well, etc.
        we’ve unearthed all manner of artifacts, from mystery metal parts of rube goldberg farm implements, to “bluing” bottles to patent medicines, ivory hair pieces and weird kitchen tools.
        original non-native occupants were German Idealists(adelsverein), and they apparently made their own beer. I’ve found stein handles and parts, and a strange, homemade pressure release valve(for fermenting) and a whole pile of bung stoppers under a buried windmill vane.
        heavy rains unearth more of the top of this apparent midden every year.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Don’t forget to note where each find is made. Any pattern may show you where certain activities were carried out in that complex of buildings and telling you even more about how your family lived back then. It’s all about the context.

          Reply
  21. scott

    Re: Lake Ontario Flooding. Since the completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway project and associated power generating dams in the late 1950’s, the water level of Lake Ontario has been subject to regulation/control currently managed by an entity called the International Joint Commission. This dream come true for unaccountable patronage mill bureaucrats(OF TWO NATIONS!) recently fabricated(Plan 2014, implemented Jan. 2017), new “protocols” or rules they use to decide how much water release through the main dam near Massena NY., over the loud objections of those living and working along the lake and river front who predicted that water levels would fluctuate wildly as a result.

    So the cover story that the record high water level in two of the last three years, previously seen only once (45 years ago) since the dam was built, is magically explained by “climate change” and is not a direct result of the new bureaucratic scheme belongs squarely under the FAKE NEWS heading.

    Reply
    1. Tom Doak

      I have lived near Lake Michigan for 32 years. When I first moved here the lake level was high and waterfront property owners had all just completed shoreline stabilization work to protect their homes. Soon after the water levels started to recede, three or four feet lower at the bottom. And in the past three years the lake level has quickly come almost all the way back up! We have been told there is a natural cycle to it (so it may be due to global warming in part, but the cycle is also having its impact). But, fundamentally, all the water eventually goes over Niagara Falls and out the St Lawrence, so maybe the reason for the cycles is just manipulation at the outfall?

      Reply
    2. aletheia33

      i sniff the magical explanation of climate change denialism.
      a friend who lives on the lake ontario NY shore reports to me that virtually all of her neighbors are republicans who do not accept the science of global warming and are convinced that the flooding has been caused by the IJC.

      that said, real scientists are reported (a precis, not actual quotes) in the linked article as saying, in the recent study that is the article’s subject:

      ”While annual U.S. precipitation increased four per cent between 1901 and 2015, it jumped nearly 10 per cent in the Great Lakes region. Much of that increase was due to unusually large storms, the report says.
      Future precipitation is likely to happen less evenly, decreasing five to 15 per cent in the summer by 2100.
      Heat waves should become more common, posing risks for elderly people and children with asthma. By the end of the century, the region should have up to 40 additional days with temperatures exceeding 32.2 C (90 F).
      While winter snowfall should decrease in most places, areas accustomed to lake-effect squalls can expect them to dump even more snow — particularly along the Lake Ontario snowbelt in New York.
      The study did not include a cost-benefit analysis of a warming climate’s likely results. Several of the scientists said in a phone news conference there may be some bright spots, but that the economic impact would mostly be negative.”

      while it is surely not hard to screw up the perhaps more wishful than effective operations of a hubristically built dam on a lake that size, can it be possible that the fact of increasing precipitation and rising temperatures will not also play a role in its flooding? perhaps one’s attention might be usefully directed to that fact. calling it FAKE NEWS is a useless weapon in the wrong fight.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        pity, stuff like this should prompt people to demand changes from their government (as some have hoped would happen) to deal with climate change, instead maybe they retreat deeper into denial.

        Reply
      2. scott

        Precipitation “jumped” 10 percent in the great lakes region over 114 yrs. An increase of less than one tenth of 1 percent per year is a jump? This would be a fine explanation if the water level had been slowly increasing during that period. It has not. It actually jumped four or five feet feet the year the “plan ” went into effect.

        As for predictions, bogus environmental AlGorerythms can be tweaked to produce any result desired by the programmer.

        Lake effect snow is actually a mechanism to remove water and lower the lakes since some of it falls into other watersheds and flows out of the Great lakes basin.

        The “hubristically” built dam named for Robert Moses flooded a relatively small area and a couple small villages and in return allows ocean going ships to reach all the way to Duluth, MN and generates enormous amounts of carbon free power. It also, as proved during the 60yrs before the new “plan” was implemented, could provide flood control.

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          uh, al gore didn’t have anything to do with producing the science behind climate change studies. why do you bring him up? and what is your specific rebuttal to the conclusion of the scientists about the role of global warming in increased flooding.

          Reply
          1. scott

            Are we referring to the same Al Gore who claimed credit for inventing the internet?

            His tireless promotion of the “science” of Global Warming, advocating policies to lower carbon emissions that would cause people to freeze to death or die in heatwaves, while globetrotting in a private jet, was instrumental in mutating a fringe theory incapable of producing a testable hypothesis into “accepted fact”.

            Global warming has long since passed from being any sort of actual science, weak as it may have been, and is now firmly in the realm of faith, promulgated by useful idiots, zealots, and fanatics and abused by those like Al Gore to advance poorly hidden agendas which are truly horrifying to contemplate if taken to their logical conclusion. By definition religious faith cannot be rebutted

            Note that I do not say that it is incorrect, and in fact agree that the earth may well be warming,(since the climate of this planet has never been entirely stable the odds are 50-50 after all) but the idea that human CO2 admissions are responsible for every blip of extreme weather or even long term change simply cannot ever be proved using anything like a reasonable scientific standard. Correlation alone does not prove causation, and any serious scientist should be ashamed to claim that valid prediction of temperatures to fractions of a degree over centuries, based on a few decades of suspect actual data, when all of the variables involved, many of which may well be non-linear, are not even known, is anything more than a fools errand.

            Reply
            1. pretzelattack

              apparently you are referring to a mythical al gore that claimed he invented the internet. that didn’t happen, and you obviously know nothing about the science; it is not a “fringe theory” and al gore had nothing to do with it being accepted by scientists. why do you think you know more than every major science organization about science? for that matter, why do you think the fossil fuel companies didn’t listen to their own scientists, who told the same thing about global warming back in the 1970’s? note, this was well before gore was prominent for much of anything.

              Reply
              1. scott

                Al Gore in a March 9, 1999 interview on CNN: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”

                Congress “creates” nothing but taxes and regulations, mostly in dark back rooms in “service” of their largest campaign “donors”. Parse it all you want, this shameless, Orwellian boast deserves even more scorn than it got..

                The fossil fuel companies did not listen to those scientists because they were quacks then, just as they are now, and everyone else would have continued to ignore them if Al Gore and his ilk had not applied the power of the of the Big Lie of Bernays and Goebbels to use those scientists unprovable theories as tools for political gain or to advance agendas of their own..

                As for acceptance by scientists, you disregard the power of Lysenkoism, group think, vicious, petty cronyism, bureaucratic infighting, and most of all the public purse to influence and control small, cloistered academic fields, factors that have nothing to do with the validity of any particular theory.

                And to repeat, much of what now passes for climate science belongs in the Theology Department and is only marginally more rational than debating the number of angels that can fit on the head of a pin.

                Reply
  22. JCC

    This is just a side note to the article posted in The Journal, “Opinion: Why do rich people lie, cheat and steal more than those on low incomes?”

    My first thought was the classic Balzac quote, “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.”, so I looked it up on the ‘net and came across this.

    Not that the article itself surprised me in the least, particularly the last part describing the Monopoly Game experiment.

    Reply
    1. BobW

      In the least fun Monopoly game I ever played, I got Boardwalk and Park Place, the two most expensive properties, right away. The game ended very quickly when I bankrupted all the other players.

      Reply
      1. lordkoos

        At least with Monopoly, there is an element of chance, whereas in the real world there is a lot of inherited wealth.

        Reply
    2. Tom Doak

      It’s because when you are hungry and take a $10 loaf of bread, it’s called stealing and you are arrested, but when you steal $10000 from society by fudging your taxes, that’s only called cheating, and it’s only prosecuted on rare occasions.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        There should be a book or play about it. Call it, say, “Les Deplorables.”
        (With apologies to the Hugos, Pere et Fils.)

        Reply
  23. JohnnyGL

    Re CLO losses in Bloomberg article.

    Thanks for posting this. I wonder if there’s too many cov-lite loans for the recovery rates to be so good. If recovery rates are more like 30%, instead of 50-60%, then the damage is greater, but, as Yves correctly points out, it’s probably not systemically dangerous.

    There’s probably a short-term risk of hung bridge loans for deals in the pipeline at any given point in time because lots of players are never ready when the music finally stops. That was a comparatively minor story in 2007-8, that got lost in the liquidity seizures throughout all the capital markets. In isolation, it would have been a much bigger story.

    Reply
  24. Doggrotter

    What was President Obama’s worst High Crime?
    Ok it was a smigg screechy, but when giant beasts are running amok it’s pretty darn hard not to be. (sorry channeling James Stewart)

    Reply
    1. Larry Kummer

      Doggrotter,

      That’s a great point, one which I expect we will need to remember in the coming years.

      Question: what was “screechy” about this post (per Webster’s: “strident, intemperate, harsh”)? My literary style tends to run to dull and academic. I try to buff up to strong conclusions, but often don’t manage even that.

      Lots of posts listed in the NC links are in fact “strident, intemperate, harsh” – because that’s what gets clicks in today’s media. Hence the success of Buzzfeed, Slate, Fox and their countless imitators (Left and Right).

      Reply
    2. Hepativore

      I think that Obama’s worst impeachable offenses are actually his continual gutting of the Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments of the Constitution; such as FISA, the Patriot Act and the NDAA. There were also his failures to shut down the indefinite detention programs and not charging or prosecuting a single person for the whole torture fiasco during the Bush years.

      While many of these programs were put into place, Obama either expanded upon many Bush policies or let them continue. They were just as unconstitutional and impeachable under Bush as they were with Obama and would have been more than enough legal grounds for him to remove him from office.

      However, Obama was and still is the Golden Boy in the eyes of the neoliberal Democrats so there was no chance of that happening.

      Reply
      1. Larry Kummer

        Hepoativore,

        Now that’s a powerful observation, which I didn’t think of! Obama was, in effect, an accessory in Bush’s violations of the Constitution.

        Trump too, of course. And probably the next president as well. The precedent was created, and everybody follows – leading us down a slippery slope.

        Note: it was not a conspiracy, and “collusion” is not a crime.

        Reply
        1. Hepativore

          Part of my second paragraph got cut out by accident as I was in a hurry to type it.

          The thing is, Obama expanded upon programs that were already unconstitutional in the first place. While he was not originally responsible for creating them he certainly let the abuses continue and made them worse when he had the ability to shut them down.

          Finally, I am not exactly sure what the legal limits are in regards to presidents launching military campaigns by executive order in other countries without the approval of congress but this seems like a gigantic legal loophole in regards to the Constitution.

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            Obama did announce that he ordered an end to the torture program. Of course we don’t know what classified executive orders he may have issued. Something he came up with new, on his own (I’m sure at the prompting of John Brennan) was the reinstitution of Star Chamber proceedings. I’m surprised Trump hasn’t taken advantage of the Awlaki precedent to take out some of his political enemies. There was nothing in Obama’s program to restrict it to outside the U.S., and Awlaki was a citizen, as was his son, killed by another drone a week later (oopsie! accident). Well, if Trump doesn’t take advantage of it I’m sure another future president, probably a Democrat, will.

            Reply
  25. Doggrotter

    The otter tree and it’s otters are Mine! I’m having them returned at the earliest opportunity!
    They are seriously fab. Where, why, and how? Can one of them be declared President of Venezuela, I’ll give her or him an 8? year pass.

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      My son’s informed guess about why the otters are doing that: fish emulsion fertilizer. Or even fish solids used as fertilizer. They were staying right on the bare patch under the tree. My amazement was that they showed no fear of the passing people.

      Reply
  26. Doggrotter

    ” Why do rich people lie, cheat…… Because their worth it.”
    If you have little, it is valued and shared by good people. If you travel to work in a G-5 while ostensibly introducing a greener future, well..
    ” a president— [chuckles] I mean, why not shoot a president?” English Bob. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Unforgiven
    No, I’m not advocating shooting anyone, well maybe a couple but you have never heard of them and they are not American.

    Reply
  27. Louis Fyne

    both heartening and infuriating…Home Depot employees jury-rig a walker for a child w/inadequate insurance coverage.

    https://www.foxnews.com/health/for-free-home-depot-employees-in-georgia-build-walker-for-boy-2-with-hypotonia

    Two-year-old Logan Moore ….. has hypotonia, a condition in which a person has low muscle tone resulting in reduced muscle strength and which affects motor skills like walking.

    According to Fox 26, Logan’s parents were worried their insurance wouldn’t cover their son’s walker. But when they went to their local Home Depot last week to get the parts to build Logan’s walker themselves, they got a gift from the staff instead……

    apologies if this is a re-post

    Reply
    1. Cal2

      I pulled dozens of walkers, hundreds of crutches and other disability usable things out of the dumpster at a local retirement home. Found a place that accepts donated things like this.

      There may be one near you. Grab things before the garbage truck gets there and donate them.

      https://www.homecares.org/

      We still demad M4A

      Reply
  28. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Trump’s feud with Huawei and China could lead to the balkanization of tech

    Could lead to ?!?!?!?

    I spend half my day fighting with tech platforms that aren’t compatible with each other despite the promises of the salespeople who pushed it, all because some app monkey somewhere decided that software didn’t actually have to work before it could be sold en masse to the general public.

    But that’s all Trump’s fault now?

    Want to get rid of Trump? Then try impeaching him for something actually illegal he did like attempting a coup in another sovereign nation. But nobody in the beltway seems to think that’s a problem at all.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The big AI test will be, can a Made-In-China AI robot learn to be compatible with a Made-in-America AI robot, by themselves.

      That will overcome the balkanization.

      And if they are genuinely human, here is another Turing test, they will find something to dislike each other.

      “Hey, you two guys passed the test. And go fight somewhere else though.”

      Reply
  29. Antifa

    Clarence Thomas dissented for many pages on the Indiana law forbidding an abortion provider from acting on the mother’s wishes to terminate if the sole reason for aborting is the gender, race, or disability status of the fetus. His entire dissent, though, immediately launches into a discussion of eugenics as the inspiration and true aim of all family planning.

    What??

    How high, how high is the ivory tower he lives in above planet earth? His job is to see that the laws of the land, as he finds them, comport with our Constitution. It is not his job to legislate from the bench his uber-Catholic notion that every insemination is an Act of God. That’s Opus Dei talk, not Constitutional scholarship.

    Here in America, down here on Earth, you won’t find any black women saying, “I don’t want this white baby.” Nor any woman saying, “A Down child just isn’t for me.” Knowing the law in Indiana, a Hoosier woman will say, “My husband and I can’t afford another child.” or “We plan to travel, instead of raising a kid.” That does an end run around this silly, unenforceable law.

    In his dissent, Clarence Thomas immediately jumps to eugenics, running his train of thought right off the rails, and down a dusty road toward some utopia only he can see. It’s really embarrassing.

    The Constitution mentions neither abortion nor eugenics. It discusses the protection of inalienable rights inborn to citizens. Inborn, Clarence. As in born.

    Reply
  30. philnc

    As for the American Conservative’s take on the Green New Deal. Their premise that the GND will require massive government intervention is sound, but their dire warnings about its result are the same scare mongering that shadowed the original New Deal. For example, in assessing the impact of the New Deal on unemployment, they conveniently quote a source that excluded WPA workers (who were separately accounted for as persons receiving relief). If you include WPA employees in the general labor force, it becomes obvious why my grandparents (on both sides, Napolitan and Sicilian agreeing!) thought things got way better. See the received vs “corrected” stats in the table on the last page of this NBER paper: Darby, Michael R., “Three-And-A-Half Million U.S. Employees Have Been Mislaid: Or, An Explanation of Unemployment, 1934-1941”. NBER Working Paper No. 88, May 1975. https://www.nber.org/papers/w0088.pdf. If my math is correct, the difference is that instead of the American Conservative’s 18% average unemployment over 1933 to 1940, including WPA employees makes it around 13%. Of course, comparing averages is misleading, since in 4 of those 8 years WPA employment meant that unemployment dipped below double-digits — something my grandparents weren’t likely to forget.

    Reply
  31. boz

    Birth control app Catholic panic

    Here’s the original Guardian story.

    Apart from the usual bigotry (I didn’t realise being “pro-Catholic” was a thing now), there’s not actually a lot to get excited about.

    There are in fact no accusations of data misuse, grudgingly notes the Guardian.

    The scientific claims of an unconnected research paper are subject to rigorous review:

    “A physician who reviewed the paper at the Guardian’s request said it “doesn’t really align with any standard of care we practice in the US”.

    Quite the takedown. There are no complaints about the app contents itself.

    I asked a practising GP (UK doctor) I know with a background in fertility to briefly review the app.

    They said the contents were kosher.

    Incidentally, (n=1), they remarked that many of their young female patients don’t want the hormones (or their side effects) and love the natural fertility options.

    Could this just be good old fashioned alarm at seeing a market shrinking?

    Reply
    1. Procopius

      If they want to use the “natural” fertility options, fine. However I was in college when the Pill became available. The Pill was touted as 98% reliable provided the user did not forget to take it (the cause of some unwanted pregnancies). I believe the Rythm Method was something like 5% reliable, condoms were about 10% reliable. In other words, there weren’t any “natural” options that worked.

      Reply
  32. Kurt Sperry

    Meet the Security Company Building an International Database of Banned Bar Patrons

    There are few better judges of character than a good barkeep! I would accept getting “86”ed by a good barkeep as a platinum-standard datapoint for any social credit scoring system. The problem is, of course, the subjectivity and the fact that there are no uniform standards. In vino veritas, people tend to reveal their true character quite transparently after a few.

    Reply
  33. UserFriendly

    Though politicians have said that nuclear power will be replaced by renewable energy, in practice that may be less likely to come to fruition. When New York state announced the closure of the Indian Point nuclear plant in 2017, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he believed its power could be easily replaced by low-carbon sources of power by its closing date in 2021. But Platts Analytics says that most of Indian Point’s 2GW will be “replaced with output from the newly constructed 1,100MW Cricket Valley and 680MW CPV Valley gas-fired power plants.”

    I for one am shocked!
    Never, not once, has anything but nat gas replaced nuclear and Wind and PV haven’t even been able to cover new demand.

    Reply
    1. roadrider

      Arnie Gunderson a nuclear power engineer and former plant operator explains why the contention that retiring old nuclear plants that have reached the end of their licenses will NOT result in dramatic increase in CO2 and why the nuclear industry’s plan for replacing fossil fuel plants with nuclear plants is pure fantasy.

      I think he knows a lot more about it than you do – certainly enough not to be taken in by a blatant promotional appeal for a dying industry based on unnecessarily dangerous and obsolete technology.

      Reply
      1. UserFriendly

        There is a ZERO percent chance that we can build as much wind, PV and storage to power the entire world’s power demand before we go WELL past 2 degrees if we can even do it at all. The rare earth metals needed, recycling of rare earths is hypothetical at best, the high capacity power lines, the very low EROI, the what happens when you have a week with no wind while it’s overcast problem has not been anywhere close to solved. Fact: Nuclear power kills far less people per kW than ANY other type of energy. Anyone that argues against building out EVERY form of non fossil fuel energy as fast as possible is literally arguing to murder poor people in a few decades. And the sanctimonious tone you go about it with is nauseating.

        Reply
        1. ObjectiveFunction

          Interesting. What causes of (human) death are directly attributable to wind and solar?

          Or are you extrapolating to deaths in heat waves or cold spells caused by grid outages, precipitated in turn by a failure of intermittent renewables to deliver peak power when needed? What incidents are you aware of where this has been the confirmed or contributory cause? Thanks in advance.

          Reply
          1. UserFriendly

            Sorry, was busy yesterday.

            Nope just in producing the kW. Mining and falls installing, it is partially a factor of how many solar panels / wind pylons you need (a hell of a lot) to generate as much as one nuclear plant. Here are multiple sources that each have lots of references.

            Reply
      2. charles 2

        The funny thing is that when reading the title, I thought that the point was saying that the process of dismantling nuclear plants was generating unexpected CO2 emissions ! A better title would have been “retiring nuclear plants early could lead to 4 Billion metric tons of extra CO2 missions”.

        As for trying to infer the respective quantity and quality of NC readers about a subject and comparing it to other persons, I am not sure that it is a constructive exercise. Barely more constructive is appeal to authority. I am not sure you are going to change people’s opinion with this (Isn’t it the point of comments ?).

        I would prefer that we focus on the veracity of facts. That is more than enough to have discussions on.
        To the point, I think the argument made by UserFriendly is backed by data, even if the rhetorical device “any but natural gas” is a bit extreme. A small part of it, much smaller than wind and solar fans tout, is picked up by non hydro renewables, a big chunk by natural gas, and even worse from a CO2 perspective, a not insignificant chunk by coal.

        Reply
  34. The Rev Kev

    “Israel Heads for New Elections in Setback for Netanyahu”

    Last time to help get Netanyahu elected, Trump moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem and said that it was OK for Israel to keep the Golan Heights. This next election, Trump will have to offer Israel the Sinai, Lebanon south of the Litani River, southern Syria, western Iraq and probably Jordan as well.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Ah, so. Now America, or some small, deranged part thereof, wishes to take upon itself the mantle of the ‘Great God Almighty’ and offer up to the Tribes of Israel all the Lands of the Canaanites.
      All involved had better think twice about this. At a later time, another Power and Principality took a Reform Rabbi up upon a great height and made a similar offer. All in all, things did not work out as planned that time.
      America may think that it is doing the former while it actually emulates the latter.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *