Links 5/31/19

US Department of Energy is now referring to fossil fuels as “freedom gas” Ars Technica

The Church of England’s Mission to Change Investment Der Spiegel

Climate Proposals Fail at Exxon, Chevron Shareholder Meetings Climate Liability News

A Strange Blight London Review of Books. Review of Library of American edition of Silent Spring, a book I first read in either the seventh or eighth grade, on the recommendation of my science teacher.

Extreme weather is pummeling the Midwest, and farmers are in deep trouble WaPo

To save the African elephant, focus must turn to poverty and corruption The Conversation

Prisoner’s Dilemma shows how exploitation is a basic property of human society MIT Technology Review

New York City’s War on Bikes Is Dangerous for Workers and the Environment Motherboard

Indiana salmon hatchery to raise nation’s first genetically modified animal cleared for human consumption Chicago Tribune

Class Warfare

After Neoliberalism Project Syndicate. Joseph Stiglitz.

Cruel and Unusual: A Guide to California’s Broken Prisons and the Fight to Fix Them ProPublica

Newark Ticketing Drivers Who Give Money To Panhandlers CBS New York

New ban on ‘McMansions’ would dramatically change Seattle’s house-building rules Seattle Times

Making Wall Street Pay Counterpunch. Dean Baker.

In the Heart of Real-Estate Power, a Housing Movement Nears Victory The Nation


Death from overwork being studied in Hong Kong Asia Times

Mark Zuckerberg Will Be Served a Summons If He Sets Foot In Canada Motherboard


Mike Gravel Should Be on the 2020 Debate Stage Jacobin

Silver Bulletpoints: Who’s In Danger Of Missing The Third Debate? FiveThirtyEight. Nate Silver.

How Football Leaks Is Exposing Corruption in European Soccer New Yorker. Some light reading before this w/e’s Champion’s League Final –  Tottenham v. Liverpool, an all-England affair, to be played in Madrid.

Our college sports system is broken. Do we have the guts to fix it? Boston Globe. This longread is from earlier this month,  but is still well worth your time.

Heath Care

U.S. Measles Outbreaks Hit Highest Level in More Than 25 Years WSJ

Waste Watch

Malaysia orders tonnes of imported waste to be returned BBC

Here’s an incredibly simple solution to plastic packaging waste TreeHugger. The problem is going to require much more than one simple remedy, but I think this would be a start. Readers?

Skin Bleaching Is Poisoning Women — But Business Is Booming Refinery 29.

737 MAX

United CEO says he’s not sure travelers will want to fly a Boeing 737 Max — even after a fix CNBC

Julian Assange

The final punishment of Julian Assange reminds journalists their job is to uncover what the state keeps hidden. Independent. Robert Fisk.

Julian Assange Fails to Appear in London Court Citing Serious Health Problems Gizmodo


Malaysia’s Mahathir backs Huawei, snubbing US blacklist of Chinese telecoms giant SCMP


China’s saber-rattling on rare-earths trade has US officials looking for options Ars Technica

US Universities And Retirees Are Funding The Technology Behind China’s Surveillance State Buzz Feed

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

What happens on your iPhone doesn’t quite stay on your iPhone Business Insider


Theresa May was a bad PM – but her resignation will do nothing to arrest Britain’s long-term decline Independent. Patrick Cockburn.


The intelligence community needs a house-cleaning Matt Taibbi. Substack.

Jakarta riots reveal Indonesia’s deep divisions on religion and politics The Conversation


Saudi king blasts Iran for ‘naked aggression’ in the Gulf Al Jazeera

Iran’s hardliners are losing the youth Qantara


Jet Airways crisis benefits IndiGo, SpiceJet and Vistara; intensifies three-way battle between airlines First Post

Yes, India’s Economy Is Growing, but Can You Trust the Data? NYT Grey Lady finally picks up on a story that the Indian press has hammered since the beginning of the year.

Union Cabinet 2019: These men and women will run India for the next 5 years Narendra Modi was sworn in for his second term as India’s prime minister yesterday.

Trump Transition

US lawmakers introduce legislation to protect H-4 visa workers Economic Times

Criminalizing Compassion’: Trial Begins for Humanitarian Facing 20 Years in Prison for Giving Water to Migrants in Arizona Desert Common Dreams

Trump announces tariffs on Mexico over immigration The Hill

As Trump rewrites public health rules, Pence sees conservative agenda born again Reuters

Antidote du Jour (JN). Jerri-Lynn here. One of my favorite North American birds. I’ve seen it twice, once in Florida, and once perched in an evergreen tree next to a ski run in Whistler/Blackcomb, BC. The range map for this species is unusual. Thanks, JN, for sending along this photo:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. taunger

    I looked at the waterless toothpaste tabs. Really expensive comparatively. Can’t solve a worldwide packaging waste problem by selling to virtue signalling 10%.

    1. GramSci

      I’ve been brushing with baking soda and 5% sodium tetraborate (that’s Boraxo, kids) for a decade to rave reviews from my hygienist. Swallow. (You do anyway, admit it.) No more Gerd (or habit-forming, body-killing “wonder drug). There’s also a very small N theory that boron inhibits arthritis… so far so good on that one.

      1. John A

        “Another example is Bite, which is ingeniously doing away with non-recyclable toothpaste tubes. Instead, you bite down on a dry toothpaste bit’, brush with a wet toothbrush, and feel it foam up in your mouth as you scrub.”

        As a child growing up in 1960s England, toothpaste came as a hard, round cake in a small tin. You wet the toothbrush, rubbed the bristles on the cake and then brushed your teeth. It worked fine but I imagine it got outmarketed by TV advertising. I seem to recall half the TV ads were for toothpaste.

        1. Wukchumni

          Most of the tv ads back in the day were for self-improvement (what if a good looking woman noticed dandruff on your shoulder in the elevator, ye gads!, or the ‘heartbreak of psoriasis’!) and the sole financial one I can remember was HFC (not high frequency trading, Household Finance Corp) which soft-pedaled the idea of getting a loan on your home, to tide things over in a crisis.

          Nowadays, you are much more likely to come across a tv commercial where they have testimonials from people that owed $81k to the IRS and were able to get it down to $2,800, and you can too!

          1. shtove

            I can’t recall the last time I spotted someone with dandruff on their shoulders. Wot’s that all about?

        2. marieann

          I make my own toothpaste, one batch does me about 6 months.

          Most of the ingredients I have on hand…baking soda,coconut oil etc.

            1. marieann

              My toothpaste recipe( from Wellness Mama blog site)

              5 Tablespoons of Calcium Powder (I grind up calcium Carbonate tabs)
              2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
              3 Tablespoons of Xylitol (not for eating – good for oral health).
              1 Tablespoon Liquid Castile Soap
              3-5 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (I use 5 tbsps )
              10+ drops of Essential Oils of choice (optional e.g. Peppermint).
              10 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional to preserve longer)
              1-2 drops Tea Tree oil (my dentist asked me to add this)

              1. Add calcium powder, baking soda and xylitol to a medium sized bowl
              and mix well.
              2.Add coconut oil, liquid castile soap,essential oils and
              grapefruit seed extract (if using).
              3. Mix well with a spoon
              4. Store in a small jar or container ( I use a plastic spoon handle to apply paste to the toothbrush.
              5. Use as you would normal toothpaste.

              I use the tiny jam jars that come in the variety packs. This recipe makes about 3or 4 and 1 jar lasts me about 4-5 months

              I ok’d it with my dentist after I had used it for 6 months

              1. Oh

                You mean your dentist didn’t promote Colgate, Crest or Sensodyne and an electric toothbrush?/s My dentist recommended a water pick!

            2. Xihuitl

              Plain ole baking soda works just fine. I’ve been using it for years. Removes stains too.

              Also works fine as shampoo. Wet a couple of tablespoons to form a paste and rub into hair. Let sit for a minute or two. Rinse thoroughly.

          1. Eclair

            Marieann, I have been making my own ‘moisturizer’ (face and body) for three years …. coconut oil, olive oil, beeswax, aloe vera gel, etc. You have inspired me to try out a tooth cleaner recipe! Thank you.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I understand we have a sleep deprivation problem, even with high school kids.

                It seems we don’t have enough time to do what we want to do.

                Is it possible to start making

                1. candles
                2. soaps
                3. toothpastes
                4. shampoos
                5. mosturizers
                6. ceramic cups and dishes
                7. bread from scratch
                8. self-service computer repairing or software updates


                Does this argue for Universal Basic Income, and not Job Guarantee?

                1. Eclair

                  I would gladly buy many of these products if made locally from non-fossil fuel ingredients and sold with minimal or no packaging, or in bring-your-own containers. And, I have, at times, been able to find local producers. Fairly easy for soap and candles. And, a good local bakery would be a treat! (Pet peeve: why is decent bread so difficult to produce? All it takes is flour, yeast, water and salt. But even small bakeries insist on adding chemicals!)

                  1. Wukchumni

                    A good Sunbeam breadmaker is around $55, make your own.

                    Takes about 5 minutes of prep, and then let the machine do all the work for 3 hours.

                    1. marieann

                      “A good Sunbeam breadmaker is around $55”

                      In Canada breadmakers are around $100.
                      We buy them used at the thrift store. They only last about 8 years and I will not pay full price for their planned obsolescence business practice.

                      Most machines at the thrift store are brand new. I have 3 back up breadmakers and that will last us around 30 years and by then we will be close to the century age.

                      So I am not allowed to buy anymore:)

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      That will free up some time for composting, growing our own organic vegetables, and feeding the chickens.

                      UBI would really help.

                  2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

                    This recipe works; I make it often: Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread Follow the instructions. Great bread – and you know exactly what’s in it. No kneading necessary – and requires little of your time. Better, more consistent results if you weigh rather than measure the ingredients – which I do, because I’ve spent lots of time outside the US, in places where people typically weigh rather than measure ingredients, particularly when baking.

                2. Wukchumni


                  Have you considered getting rid of the red meat in your moniker, and giving yourself a cucumber instead?

    2. a different chris

      But you can start there. OTOH, in my usual near-giving-up-on-humanity way I noticed this:

      > who loves lugging heavy jugs of detergent home from the store?

      Somebody does. A lot of somebodies. Because you know, the old fashioned powder-detergent-in-boxes is still right there on the store shelf.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        By volune dry and liquid detergents are almost equal.. check how many loads you get per mL. With an HE washer I use a tiny portion of the liquid detergent. The dry stuff must have a lot of filler in it.

        1. a different chris

          I’m not sure that’s true… I don’t know who determines “how much” detergent I should use. Sometimes I don’t use any at all and really don’t see much of a difference, but then I don’t work in a garage.

          Even taking it as true, the point was “why do we send liquid all around the world” and “By volume” doesn’t address that as water is surprisingly heavy. The sub-point also is (and alas, now I have to admit that my d*mn family is all about the Tide Pods) that sometimes containers break, in your basement or when the Walmart semi rolls over, and then you have a mess when it’s a container of liquid.

          Which is made out of plastic, which is yet another issue.

          Note that a lot of this weird stuff in the article is used by hikers, Wukchumni can better comment on that but they aren’t all rich, far from it. Again it’s the “heavy” thing.

          1. Pavel

            I suspect one could use half the recommended amount of powder or liquid and not notice the difference! Of course as you note it depends on one’s profession.

            An amusing (I hope) anecdote: I have a fondness for Japanese denim and stumbled on a jeans shop in Antwerp a month or so ago that specialised in jeans from a Tokyo denim shop. The very friendly chap who was about half my age was wearing a pair himself. I asked him about laundering advice and he said he only washed his once a year! (It is all about the millenial-esque experience of picking up the assorted wear and tear and dirt, it seems.) Alas they didn’t have any in my size.

            In any case I learnt previously (from another denim expert) only to wash with cold water, so that is one small step. And I only use a few tablespoons of detergent.

            1. Carla

              Very true, you can — and should — use much less. The good guy who keeps my geriatric appliances operating has told me that using a minimal amount of detergent is much better for the equipment as well.

              One of my life goals is to keep major appliances out of the landfill by keeping them going as long as possible. My dishwasher is 24 years old; refrigerator, 26; dryer, purchased used 33 years ago–age unknown; water heater, 29; gas stove, 11.

              Last year, the clothes washer I purchased used along with the dryer finally died, and I had to replace. At that time, my repair guy said: “Never get rid of this dryer. I have the same one, and I’ll always be able to fix these. The new ones are made so I can’t repair them.”

              1. Procopius

                My refrigerator is only about 20 years old. From time to time the compressor makes a loud buzzing sound when it operates. I’ve found that for some reason if I move the refrigerator a couple of inches the noise stops, so I can stop thinking about buying a new one.

              2. Lepton1

                The refrigerator is one to consider buying new rather than fixing. New refrigerators are much more efficient. Try and vacuum the coils underneath or in back a couple times a year.

          2. Wukchumni

            We typically take 2-3 shirts to wear when walking while backpacking, 3x pairs of sockliners & 2x pairs of wool socks, and 4x pairs of underwear on a long trip lasting about 10 days, and laundry consists of having it captive in a netted bag as a rushing creek gives it the once over repeatedly. You’re still a little stinky no matter what, but it helps to jump into bodies of water you pass, never miss a chance. No detergent for us. A friend takes dry shampoo in a spray can, which is handy i’d guess if you’re worried about keeping up appearances, which i’m not.

            I was taking a shower @ Whitney Portal after a long trip, and it took 4 tries @ defeating the grease buildup on my noggin when having to reapply shampoo after 9 days adrift from soap, before I could supply a lather up there.

        2. Ted

          You can use 10% the recommended volume for laundry detergents and it works just fine. I stopped using them and now use a tiny squirt of doc bronners, which I now buy in bulk. it is concentrated so your washer adds the water.

        3. beth

          By volune dry and liquid detergents are almost equal.. check how many loads you get per mL.

          To compare dry and liquid detergent you can’t use the volume, you must use the # of washes it delivers.

          I have been puzzled at why this trend has happened. I still use the dry stuff and one box lasts over a year. My washer adds it to the wash w/o it clumping.

          Maybe it is because I don’t watch TV so I never saw the ads. I am usually the last to know about a new product. I use movies from my library and live in a large city so I am not totally handicapped.

          When the major TV changeover occurred, I was not watching more than one show a week and usually not that. Recording the tv shows to watch later did not increase my usage. To buy a new flat screen and pay $150 a month to cable seem crazy.

      2. marieann

        I make my own soap powder with Borax, Washing Soda and grated soap. Granted I have to buy those supplies in boxes but each box lasts me about a year.

        I started doing this because I couldn’t find any that were not scented.

        I don’t buy fabric softener either, we hang the clothes out in the summer and in the basement in winter. When I do have to use the dryer I have dryer balls

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          To make an impact, enough people would have to make things themselves.

          Two issues

          1. Time
          2. Lots of jobs lost.

          I think GDP will shrink, and we will say that is good.

          And we probably need UBI.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            The money saved could be spent on high-priced high-quality artisanal food and create new jobs there.

    3. juliania

      Being a groceries trekker (no car, just my trundler) I support this idea as a human carrier – liquids are HEAVY!

    4. Wukchumni

      Dumb question dept:

      Why is toothpaste sweet tasting, are we brushing with HFCS?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I once saw a documentary that said we wouldn’t need brushing if we avoided processed foods.

        No sure how that works with eating organic garlic.

        1. marieann

          I watched a BBC show a few years back about Roman Britain. The fella was showing skulls from the time period….I couldn’t believe the full set of teeth those old Britons had

  2. GramSci

    Looks like an ivory-billed woodpecker to me. We should make it the national bird of the United Fates.

    1. marcyincny

      It’s what we call a pileated woodpecker here in central NY although we can never agree on the pronunciation.

      1. tegnost

        yes lots of them here in the woods of the san juan islands. Incidentally, we are having a lot of white firs dying and so I hear those little hammerheads working quite often

        1. barefoot charley

          When you hear their call you know who pileateds really are: Woody Woodpecker!

        2. Wukchumni

          SoCal Edison has been replacing Douglas Fir poles around these parts, and our mid 70’s era one came down, replaced with a new caber untouched by 45 years of woodpeckers holes, most with an acorn protruding from them, more holes seemingly than unmarked spots on the entire span. An odd oak tree.

          I asked the workers whose job it is to take down the old one and put up a new one-in a hilly area with trees in the way, etc., how long a pole lasted generally, and they told me, that the one on our property was about par for the course in replacing it, but they’d taken one down last week that was put up in 1946.

          What an interesting ‘line’ of work…

        3. wilroncanada

          There is concern here, tegnost, for the cedars here on Vancouver Island as a result of several years of drought. Cowichan Lake, north of Victoria,has been described by the local fish biologist as in its worst state in his 25 years of experience. The Cowichan Tribes, who almost every year recently has had to capture in the Cowichan River and carry them up to the lake in August, have already started to carry fish fry downriver to the ocean. Both the Tribes and other community members are doing what they can for the small tributaries coming down from the local mountains. The creeks are already drying out in spots. Cowichan Lake supplies water to parts of the Cowichan Valley, and the Crofton paper mill. There is a real possibility the mill will have to close this summer.

      2. Lemmy Caution

        Yes, pileated woodpecker is my guess too. These are large birds about the size of a crow. They are also fairly elusive, usually only allowing a brief glimpse as they flash through the upper stories of the forest.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            The two pileated woodpeckers I once saw in Door County area woods in Wisconsin were extremely “wild” and unwilling to let themselves be seen. ( And a wild turkey which saw me see it stretched itself way up vertical . . . trying to look like a tree stump . . . as it tiptoe sidled away.)

            Whereas the pileated woodpeckers I have seen in Upper New York state have either been reasonably tame or very tame and nearly fearless. What could explain the difference?

            The Ivory Billed Woodpecker may still be riding the ragged edge between extinct and not-yet-all-the-way extinct. Hopeful reports continue to emerge from the Choctawhatchee River Valley and region of the Florida Panhandle. Is it real? Are they there? ” The truth is out there.” ” I want to believe.”




            Now, if I personally saw an “Ivory billed woodpecker”, I would suspect it to be the result of a very expertly done prank. I would suspect it to be a pileated woodpecker dressed up to look like an ivory billed woodpecker. There would be certain “can’t fake it” signs and indications that I would look for before deciding an “Ivory bill” was anything other than a “pileated woodpecker in ivory bill drag”.

            Now . . . let’s look at the Great Black Woodpecker of Europe. It is better suited to dressing up as an Ivory Bill woodpecker to look more convincing. Would someone really go to the trouble of bringing a Great Black Woodpecker all the way here from Europe just to dress it up as an Ivory Bill Woodpecker as an elaborate practical joke? In today’s world, you just don’t know. So if I saw an “Ivory bill woodpecker”, my first guess would be pileated woodpecker in Ivory bill drag. My second guess would be Great Black Woodpecker in I. B. disguise. I would scrutinize the bird in question to rule those two feelings in or out before leaping to any further conclusion.

            Here are images of the Great Black woodpecker to show how much it could be made to look like an I.B. if a master-of-disguise were to give it a makeover.

        1. ambrit

          I’ll agree about “Pileated Woodpecker.” We had a nesting pair, soon enough with a juvenile tagging along, who would do a ‘once over’ of several “Live Oaks” we have in front of and to the side of the house, or what is left of it after Katrina, in Pearlington. That soon to be but a memory town is at the east edge of the mouth of the Pearl River. These were quite large, as in sixteen or eighteen inches long. Hard to follow in flight as they would weave in and out all the time. Very shy.
          One of the local ‘hobbies,’ not just us, was looking out for any examples of the dreaded “Ivory Billed Woodpecker.” The tapping sound was the distinctive item. Ivory Billed Woodpeckers are supposed to tap just twice in a row, then stop, then tap twice, stop, etc. The Pileated Woodpeckers would tap a series. Alas, none of the locals ever heard the elusive “Double Tap” during the years we lived there.

          1. Wukchumni

            It’s a right of passage in Mineral King, when a woodpecker bores a hole into the side of your cabin, you take the lid from that can of Bush’s beans you had the other night, and 4 short nails hammered in later and any color of covering paint you’d like as long as it’s brown applied, and beaks defeated.

            Our cabin has 28 lids scattered to & fro, the most i’ve seen on a cabin is 72.

            1. Oh

              The ones that “jack hammer” my synthetic stucco are such beautiful birds. I put in bird netting on the walls to prevent this. But one day, a poor flicker got caught in the net and I released him. I took down the netting because I don’t want them to get tangled in the netting and die. I have a lot of holes in the stucco now that I have to fix in the summer. The flickers hammer my walls twice each year in May and October which is their mating season. I want to build a flicker house for them so they can nest there if they want to.

              Too bad we encroach on the territory of birds and animals and we call them out for their normal behavior!!

              1. Copeland

                Last summer we had a pair of flickers raise their family in a hemlock snag we created for that purpose. The five babies were so incredibly loud for such a long time that we regretted it.

                This season they did not return, thankfully, but chickadees did in a much smaller cavity. Nothing cuter than baby chickadees, and they only make soft, sweet sounds. They already fledged as of mid May here on the Salish Sea, WA.

          2. Susan the other`

            I’m wondering too if some woodpeckers don’t communicate that way. Every spring for a week or two we get some real rock stars on our chimney. They tap furiously on the chimney cap which is aluminum or steel (?) and it reverberates through the whole house. I’m pretty sure there aren’t any bugs burrowed into the metal, so why the racket?

            1. Wukchumni

              Wild animals like to {family blog} with you, often you see bear shit on the trail, they could’ve done their business elsewhere, but they know you’ll be coming by, and besides you don’t shit where you eat, and which dumb bruin eats on a trail?

              It’s no different with your cat and a litterbox that hasn’t been emptied in 4 days, a message must be sent.

            2. ambrit

              One of our neighbors has just that set up. A metal chimney-cap. Every spring, what looks like a sapsucker variety, (related to the woodpeckers, if not woodpeckers outright,) does that ‘machine shop’ noise just after dawn. This set up is right by Phyl’s bedroom side window. One year she demanded that I set up a ‘shooting nest’ by the window, with the old air rifle, for her. Alas, I couldn’t fix the old Gammo in time for the “Spring Concert Series.” Phyl still says that I was “an obstructionist” in the matter.
              Right now, we’re watching the Cardinals, Catbirds, et. al. feed on various berries sprouting in the hedges and “wild places” next to the house.

              1. Wukchumni

                I must say though, the new 280 character max on tweeting hasn’t effected the winged ones yet, as they tend to repeat the same 4 syllable symphony until exhausted from the effort.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Suggestion for tweeting:

                  If you can’t say it
                  In seventeen syllables
                  Better just don’t, then.

            3. Oregoncharles

              Other Susan – It’s their equivalent of song, a mating call. The louder the better.

              There’s some serious engineering in their heads to make all that hammering possible. Don’t try this yourself.

            4. The Rev Kev

              @Susan the other – What if you put a black, cut-out of a predator bird on your roof? In Germany, I saw how to stop birds flying into glass windows, that you could get stickers in the shape of black birds which would deter normal birds going anywhere near them. You’d just have to find out what birds are predators to woodpeckers for a shape. Might be worth a go.

            5. drumlin woodchuckles

              I have read that male woodpeckers find acoustically wonderful drumming trees or branches to use for the series of very fast hammertaps. They are supposed to be marking territory the same way as other birds sing to mark territory.

              If I ever find myself in a position to build log-drums and lift them into the trees . . . to see if a woodpecker would find the log-drum and love the sound it makes . . . I will go right ahead and do that.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            There are other differences too. But I am not going to say what they are, because I don’t want to make it any easier for a prankster to dress up a pileated woodpecker in I.B. disguise.

    2. Skyburn

      Probably a typo, but I like thinking of the country as the United Fates. Whatever happens, we’re in it together.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            hey, now!
            Texas is not solely populated by some monolithic archetype of sheetwearing, revanchist ur-moron.
            in fact, those are becoming increasingly hard to find…especially the farther one gets away from Deep East Texas.(Texas has changed a lot in the last 30-40 years)
            Texans are people, too…and to repeat the illiberal trope of “let them secede” is just as odious as said rarity(the ur-moron) yelling that black people should “return to africa”.
            please try to remember that the endless division of the populace benefits only the bosses…
            —and, as hard as it sometimes is to attempt,let alone succeed, as Lincoln said, “do i not destroy my enemy by making him my friend?”
            the best way to “cure” the sheetwearing, revanchist ur-moron is by sharing a beer with him over the back fence…and letting him learn what an actual Lib/Prog/POC/Lgbt is actually like, rather than the cartoon version he’s been taught to fear and hate.

            1. ambrit

              Yeah, but isn’t there a Mexican political movement to “reclaim” Texas for Mexico?
              Mexico Irredenta. Sounds kinda familiar.
              As for the dreaded ur-moron. I’m typing away in Mississippi, supposedly the most intractable “Moronopolis” in America. We have them here, but not nearly as many as years ago.
              I’ll admit that ‘base slanders’ and ‘irresponsible calumny’ are to be deplored, but, that seems to be the baseline status for the “official” public discourse of today.

              1. Wukchumni

                Mississippi excels when it comes to state names liars poker, got to go with your strengths.

                  1. wilroncanada

                    One more “A” and you would have the organization you can join if you’re being driven to drink.

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        Yes, indeed, and I would have been very lucky to have had two sightings in one lifetime – especially the one in BC, a place well outside the ivory-billed woodpecker’s range!

        1. Lee

          That range map does appear strange. Putting on my speculative thinking cap: Obviously this woodpecker is where the forests are. What is a bit strange, given that it favors year round residency, is the longitudinal scope, from the hot and humid southeastern states up into the much colder Canadian forests. The bird is highly adaptable to climate variation. I don’t know how many bird species share this capability but one does find such climate variation adaptability among mammal species in the Americas where landscape features and barriers favor longitudinal dispersion and thus regional adaptations to climate.

    3. JohnM

      the ivory-billed is extinct, or possibly, probably so?

      here i am being attacked by a pileated that doesn’t care to be filmed.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        We cherish the faint hope that a few un-dead I.B. woodpeckers live on in and along the Choctawhatchee River in the Florida panhandle.

        University of Alabama – at- Auburn ornithologists have lead the search effort and the tantalizing clue-finding.

  3. Ignacio

    RE: US Department of Energy is now referring to fossil fuels as “freedom gas” Ars Technica

    Another ring to rule them all.

    1. Jhallc

      Doesn’t surprise me a bit. With Texan Rick Perry at the helm, the US Dept. of Energy is certainly suffering culture shock. Perry features widely in “The Fifth Risk” by Michael Lewis which describes his taking over the Energy Dept. and the management ineptness that ensued.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            It’s also sabotage from within and above. Republican Administrations generally staff the agencies and head the agencies and departments with rotting fish heads to rot the whole agency or department.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Whenever I see the word “freedom” used in America these days, it never seems to be in a good way. Certainly not how Norman Rockwell envisioned it with his painting “The Four Freedoms” based on Roosevelt’s 1941 speech. Just some examples that come to mind in modern usage are these – “Freedom Fries”. Remember them? Then there is the USS Freedom which is the lead ship of a class of littoral combat ships which are total crap. Then there is the Presidential Medal of Freedom which has been awarded to such notable people like Alan Greenspan, Jeane Kirkpatrick, George Tenet, Madeleine Albright, Joe Biden and Paul Bremer. And now we have “Freedom Gas” which can only be sold to other countries by threats because of its high cost.

      1. dearieme

        There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women

        Madeleine “It was worth it” Albright: her idea of helping Iraqi women was to kill them and their children by the tens of thousands. But I suspect that by “women” she meant “women like us”.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          ” Women like them” have been referred to as Goldman-Sachs feminists. Their sole and only concern is to con millions of WalMart/Kmart women into identifying emotionally and psychologically with the Goldman-Sachs feminists in order to get all these millions of Kmart and WalMart women to help the Goldman-Sachs feminists break the Tiffany Glass ceiling.

          That’s what Hillary Clinton was referring to with her remark about “18 million cracks” in that glass ceiling. She meant in her own Tiffany Glass ceiling between her and the White House.

      2. kees_popinga

        Fortunately the Chinese tenants of the Port Authority of NY/NJ balked at renting space in a “Freedom Tower” and the name was discreetly changed to One World Trade Center.

      3. Edward

        I think the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan was originally going to be called Operation Infinite Freedom but was then changed to Enduring Freedom.

        1. Edward

          Some think tanks/organizations can also be added to the list, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, or the Peace Institute.

      4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Perhaps its like how the word ‘communism’ is used by Chinese communists, who are (because to get anywhere, the membership in CCP helps, I read recently) really for capitalism.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Capitalism with Communist characteristics.
          Capitalommunism. Or maybe Communapitalism.

          But definitely under the sole and only Greatly Helmsmanful Leadership of the One True Communist Party.

          One Party to rule them all. One Party to bind them. One Party to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

    3. Wukchumni

      “freedom gas” is just a start, i’ve heard the chief executive wants to get the motto changed to “Me Pluribus Unum”.

    4. polecat

      I could really use some freedom from gasbaggery ! I also think that the European mopes have reached the point of having quite enough ‘swampy gas’ of their own, and have no need of any of Unka Sam’s etherium …

    5. flora

      The word “freedom” seems to have a very specific neoliberal – or neoclassical meaning now. I’ll foolishly wade into some quicksand here. An attempt to define the word neoliberal is the first problem.

      From an interesting 2016 paper by Will Davies:
      “The reason ‘neoliberalism’ appears to defy easy definition (especially to those with an orthodox training in economics or policy science) is that it refers to a necessarily interdisciplinary, colonising process. It is not about the use of markets or competition to solve narrowly economic problems, but about extending them to address fundamental problems of modernity – a sociological concept if ever there was one. For the same reasons, it remains endlessly incomplete, pushing the boundaries of economic rationality into more and more new territories.

      The central feature of modernity, from a neoliberal perspective (and Hayek’s Road to Serfdom captures this as well as anything else) is that we cannot know in advance what will work, who to be, or what to invest in, but nor can we really duck such choices either. The role of the state is to rearrange society in recognition of this fact, with competition and the provision of information (such as food-labelling or the ranking of universities) as the main tools with which to do so.”

      Seen from this perspective, “freedom” means the state must get out of the way of individuals and companies and the market. Regulation is interference and the assertion that some things can be known. Neoliberalism asserts the state cannot know what will or won’t work and the state has no role to play to protect the greater good. “Freedom” is the ‘freedom to…”.

      By ‘the greater good’ I think one gets into traditional Utilitarianism developed for over 200 years by philosophers like Bentham and Mills. The guiding principle in utilitarianism, imo, is expressed as “those actions are good if they create the greatest good for the greatest number of people”. Utilitarianism recognizes society and societies’ importance in the well being of individuals. This ideology informs much of the expansion of suffrage and the voting franchise in the 19th century; the welfare state and New Deal programs of the mid-20th Century; and the push for civil rights for all citizens in the late-20th century. The government has an active role to play in protecting people from ravages of nature or the business cycle or various economic predations.
      “Freedom” is not only “freedom to”, but “freedom from”: freedom from want, freedom from fear, etc.

      Neoliberalism seems to be a combinations of ideologies, imo. One ideology is neo-classical economics whose 3 central assumptions ignore almost entirely the importance of larger society and focus on the individual. One ideology is a strain of sociology that is entirely relativistic (imo), with the exception that the government action for the good of the whole is never considered a good option.

      From the above paper:
      “But there is an important reason why ‘neoliberalism’ is now discussed today to the extent that it is: it has proved a far more able system in dealing with sociological problems than in dealing with economic ones. This might sound surprising, given the apparent dominance of economics that it involves. Yet its capacity to generate or tap into social and political consensus – especially between 1989-2008 – was actually quite remarkable. This derives from its foundational relativism, which chimes with a socially liberal worldview. Today, we inhabit a post-1960s common sense, in which self-respect and individual taste are our defining ethical commitments…..

      But economically, the system must now be deemed a failure…..”

      I wonder if neoliberalism is marketing aimed at 1960’s social liberation ideologies to sell late 19th century neo-classical economics.

      1. Summer

        “I wonder if neoliberalism is marketing aimed at 1960’s social liberation ideologies to sell late 19th century neo-classical economics.”

        Just look at the history of Apple’s marketing. The promotion of Silly Con Valley is a master class in what you are describing.

      2. Oh

        I used to like Paul McCartney until he wrote and perform “Freedom” right after 9/11. he’s a true a patriot, NOT!

      3. martell

        I’d hesitate to contrast utilitarianism with neoliberalism. The great utilitarians of 19th century were liberals, or even, in the case of James Mill and JS Mill, liberal economists. They tend to conceive of the human agent as homo economicus and view human rights as either “nonsense on stilts” (Bentham) or merely instrumental for the satisfaction of individual preferences or pleasures, whatever those happen to be (JS Mill).

        Two different concepts of freedom have been much discussed in the philosophical literature: Negative freedom (freedom from) and positive freedom (freedom to). The former is a matter of lacking external impediment. This is the freedom discussed by Hobbes and later championed by liberals like Locke and Mill. Positive freedom is the exercise of important (“distinctly human”) abilities, such as commitment to a faith community, or shaping one’s own life in accordance with the dictates of one’s conscience, or determining with those with whom one lives how all will go on living together. Relevant philosophers here include Rousseau, Kant, Marx, and, more recently, communitarians such as Charles Taylor.

        The two different concepts of freedom have much different implications for state function. For champions of negative freedom, the state should enforce private property laws (thereby preventing agents from impeding one another) and that’s it, job done. In other words, the business of the state is to secure the conditions on which there can be a market for goods and services. Advocates of positive freedom, on the other hand, hold that it is the proper business of the state to facilitate exercise of the abilities mentions above. So, the proper job of the state is to secure the conditions on which there can be democracy. Such conditions include education in the liberal arts, civil liberties, a vibrant public sphere, as well as institutions through which popular will can be both formed and put into practice.

        1. flora

          Thank you for this reply concerning the two philosophical concepts of freedom. I suppose my main argument against neoliberalism is that it seems to embrace only one of the concepts, while it consigns the other to derisive unacceptability.

          I think the concept of freedom, in both its forms, and on both an individual and on the larger social group, is an important area of inquiry, even beyond economics. “The one and the many.”

        2. Procopius

          In other words, the business of the state is to secure the conditions on which there can be a market for goods and services.

          What is left unsaid here is that in the absence of government regulation the strongest take everything. It is not in their best interest to do so, but it is in their nature to do so. “Strongest” may mean not physical strength but charisma, glibness, intelligence, and established connections with other “strong” people who agree to cooperate with each other. Market failure is common, but never recognized by libertarians or conservatives. The fact that most transactions are not conducted in what might be called markets is also never mentioned.

        3. flora

          adding: using ‘market forces’ and ‘competition’ to address fundamental problems of modernity seems like a gussied up version social darwinism: less to do with freedom and more to do with locally extant power and power relations.

    6. BenX

      Ironically, “natural gas” is already a euphemism for methane. Natural Gas > Freedom Gas > Happy Happy Joy Joy Air?

      1. dearieme

        I always assumed that “natural gas” was used so much in the US to distinguish it from (i) “gas” = gasoline, and (ii) “Town’s gas” = mixture of CO and H2 manufactured from coal.

        It seems a pretty reasonable use to me.

      2. rtah100

        Not exactly. Natural gas is in distinction to “town gas”, the latter produced from the reductive gasification of coke and containing significant amounts of carbon monoxide and thus the origin of putting your head in the gas oven to kill yourself. Whereas natural gas does indeed occur naturally, and even discharges naturally or from water / brine wells (there were places in China where it was piped from the ground in bamboo pipes).

  4. Wukchumni

    China’s saber-rattling on rare-earths trade has US officials looking for options Ars Technica

    Captain James T. Kirk : This is a new race. They offer other things of value besides lithium crystals.

    Mirror Spock : But it is clear that we cannot expect their cooperation. They refuse the Empire. Command procedure dictates that we provide the customary example of tariffs.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Huaiwei is looking to have their own replacement for Google.

      And we will look to have our own rare earths options.

      That’s multiplicity…diversity.

  5. Ignacio

    RE: Here’s an incredibly simple solution to plastic packaging waste TreeHugger. The problem is going to require much more than one simple remedy, but I think this would be a start. Readers?

    I think there are some instances where this can work but all the examples cited involve skin care products and I can’t figure out what impact migth it have in the overall use of plastics. I also don’t know how does it work with different classes of water. One question that surges is if treated tap drinkable, chlorinated or not, water should be used to do this.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Overall use of plastics.


      I think, everyday, engineers, scientists and technologists in general, are working very hard to find new uses for plastics.

      For example, polymer solar panels…promising more efficiecy, or something like that.

      And of course, another green project – wind energy here – uses glass fiber reinforced polyester in the blades.

      To get more vehicle fuel efficiency, more plastic components have replaced metal ones.

      1. lordkoos

        Yes, it seems rather than curtailing the use of plastics, manufacturers are doubling down and producing more products than ever… get it while you can. Groovy boutique tea companies now put plastic laminates on the little tea bag envelopes, which means that they can no longer be recycled as paper. I’m seeing this trend a lot — a very thin, glossy plastic layer over paper, on brochures, flyers, cards, etc. And I’m sure a lot of people still put it with their paper recycling, as I did until I realized what it was.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          They have been replacing brass keys with plastic cards in hotels, if not your home yet, for another example.

          1. The Rev Kev

            There was one major hotel in Austria that went back to brass keys after having replaced the originals with high-tech cards and the like. They had all sorts of IT issues and I think that in the end the doors would not work at all. So back came the brass keys as they can work for centuries without a reboot or even an upgrade.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Patagonia Provisions, the food branch of the outdoors clothing company, sell a lot of dried prepared foods which I’m told are excellent quality. I think most foods could be dried without harming the taste or nutrition (I think with the exception of some aromatic compounds), but dried processed foods got a bad reputation due to the use of dehydration for selling the cheapest soups, etc., that way. It would certainly make more sense to dry a lot of foods rather than refrigerate them if possible. Anyone who hikes and camps a lot will quickly learn that dry foods (or foods with dense fats) are much easier to carry around per calorie consumed.

      Its even possible to do it with beers – many non-alcoholic beers are made by filtering out the ‘solids’, then adding water back. Presumably it would be possible to add the water and alcohol back at their destination.

      1. Wukchumni

        For what it’s worth, we were not impressed with Pat’s freeze-dried beer, and would prefer taking a weighty can of something delicious instead. It used to be a challenge to find good canned beers, but no longer. It’s also a one-way carry once you’ve drank it.

        Beverages come instant form as well, but they have generally remained limited to a few categories like tea and fruit- flavored concoctions. But now, a beverage company in Alaska has invented something novel that just might catch on: Instant beer in concentrated, powdered form. Pat’s Backcountry Beverages has created the product and, pending its patent approval, it will become the first commercially available dry beer in a box.

        How does Pat’s Backcountry Beverages produce instant beer? Well, according to the company web site, it isn’t created like other instant foods or drinks. Other products start with the actual food or beverage, then remove the water. Pat’s process is different. The beer is made with almost no water using Pat’s special Hybrid Brewing Technology process. It allows the fermentation to take place while keeping the product almost completely dry. All the consumer has to do is pour the powder into one of Pat’s Backcountry Beverage carbonating cups, add water, and enjoy.

      2. lordkoos

        Some foods that are protein-rich may be fine dried, but you aren’t going to get your vitamins from dried veggies I don’t think. I’d guess there is still some nutritional value in dried fruits, but for most foods fresher is better.

        1. Ignacio

          Legumes, rice, wheat or maize are already dry. Since cooking legumes takes a lot of time those are increasingly sold pre-cooked and I think it makes sense from the point ow view of energy usage. In Spain these are bottled and sold in glass.

      3. Oregoncharles

        Most fruits are excellent dried – we make a lot in the fall and use them as a snack, along with nuts, also dried food – in that case, a meat substitute.

        So far, dried meat or veggies seem to be more in the emergency food category, other than the ones that are really fruits – tomatos, peppers.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “A Strange Blight”

    In a just world, Rachel Carlson’s bronze statue, which was unveiled at Woods Hole, Massachusetts only about six years ago, would be taking pride of place along the National Mall in Washington.

    1. newcatty

      Agree, Rev Kev. Also, in that vein of honoring women who were brilliant and contributed to their world, just heard about the fact that Harriet Tubman was to replace Andrew Jackson on 20 dollar bank notes. Surprise ! Mnuchin, our current sec of the treasury, stated that would have to be “postponed”. Seems Jackson was stated by Trump to be his favorite president. Most of us know about, among other facts, that Jackson was a slave holder and was responsible for native people’s Long Walk of Tears as they are forced from most ancestral lands and forced into “reservations”. Most have read or heard of Tubman’s remarkable life. She escaped slavery and rescued bravely and brilliantly her family still in the south. She was a spy and scout for the union military in the civil war. One complaint is that just putting a remarkable black woman on a blank note is not going to mean anything in regard to solving black women’s current rates of poverty, unjust incarceration, maternal rates of death from childbirth, homelessness and many other problems in our country. Imho, and well not being a black woman, I think it is still wonderful to honor Tubman and to bring attention to a remarkable American.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Nah, Tubman was slated under Obama to be on a new $2 bill. Its production has been delayed due to the sudden need for more Jacksons.

  7. KLG
    Still relatively common in the Southeast. Smaller “cousin” to the Ivory Bill, which was called the Lord God Bird. The pileated is the Holy Jesus bird.

    Fisk is particularly good this morning on Assange. Why do the British have nice things like newspapers of several editorial perspectives worth reading and why don’t we have just one? Rhetorical question.

    1. dearieme

      Non-rhetorical answer: it’s the last gasp of a tradition of having competing National Newspapers rather than large numbers of local monopolies. Plus we have the huge advantage that everyone laughs at the very idea of doing a degree in journalism.

      Also, until well into my lifetime, we had a much more evident tradition of free speech than Americans. That is to say, Britons (and, come to that, Ozzies and Kiwis too) spoke freely in more circumstances than Americans were inclined to.

      1. JEHR

        We have a number of local newspapers which are important for knowing what events are happening locally but, unfortunately, the papers are all owned by the local billionaire. The past week or so the front page of the newspaper (and maybe even more than that) was just an advertisement–a whole page of one ad! Gag me with a spoon! How the news has changed!

        Ads used to be sprinkled throughout the newspaper and the news was the main event. Now the main read is sprinkled throughout the newspaper which is mostly advertisements. Oh, Brave New World!

        1. wilroncanada

          My daughter is editor for one of them. They are valuable for local news, and for a little bit of education as well. Example: negative letters to the editor after a local student march for the environment–they should shut up and sit down, and other such–prompted a special editorial speaking to the rights and responsibilities of youth and adults to be able to speak about important issues in the community.

    2. whoamolly

      We have Matt Taibbi who is taking on the Intelligence services and the RussiaRussia hoax.

      He is (correct me if i’m wrong) alone in this, among mainstream US journalists.

  8. Anarcissie

    NYC war against e-cyclists, as to both complaint and enforcement, might just have something to do with the fact that the majority are working-class Latin Americans.

    1. a different chris

      Nah I bet it was just an unexpected bonus. The whole Other thing – in this case, it’s older people that can’t stand the fact that the young’uns are rejecting the infernal combustion engine and beyond that the isolation provided by a motor-car. Remember motorcyclists aren’t well regarded by most, either, and you don’t have to dress up like Hell’s Angels to get the disapproval. Who do you think you are that I am forced to actually see you?

      I think it is basically a layer cake of dislikes Cyclists->Young People->Latin Americans.

      1. newcatty

        Wow, a different chris… nothing like stereotyping and putting down a group of people. In this case “older people”. It is not any kind of just not being PC to have prejudice and biases against older people. We are not all a like. There are things most have in common…The obvious aging of our bodies. For many, worries about health care. There was just an article recently, that many older Americans are suffering hunger. Let take time to really support all peoples in this country. I don’t like the politics of many of my age cohort. I don’t like the personality traits of some. But, I am not going to paint them with the same brush. This, to state the obvious , not painting “young’uns”, or the Latin Americans with one of those brushes, either. A word of caution, FWIW, we need to not let greedy and selfish people in the country, to keep on promoting a divide and conquer propaganda in all of its guises.

  9. Wukchumni

    It started out innocently enough with a modest 5% tariff, and then 10% leading to 25%, which is when I became an abrogado avocado arbitrager, a smuggler if you will.

    At first I used a hollowed out surfboard, but you could only fit around 40 and a bunch of them got squished as I was nervously clutching my board, walking through US Customs, and the factotum of all trades there inquired: “Anything to declare!” in a ‘you must be holding’ tone that I found disquieting, if he only knew how many Millennials went to bed sans guacamole toast, he’d be singing a different tune, and i’d be a bartyr, similar to a martyr, but markets, eh?

    It got more elaborate from modest beginnings, and eventually we were chartering 737 Max’s for a pittance on clandestine rendezvous with leathery green goodness, as there were tons of them around and nobody wanted to fly them anymore, and for a price, there was always a jet jockey willing to slit their risks in bringing home the bacon avocado.

  10. Roger Smith

    RE: US lawmakers introduce legislation to protect H-4 visa workers

    “Nobody benefits from this system, least of all the American economy, when H-1B dependent spouses are prohibited from working. Many of these are accomplished and qualified individuals whose skills we’ll lose to other countries unless the Administration finds a more sensible approach to immigration,” she said.

    Corrupt government, corrupt lawmakers and lobbyists, corrupt corporations have spent decades outsourcing the United States’ economic security, from manufacturing to high and low skilled labor, all the while saddling the actual citizens of this country with compressed incomes, trillions of dollars of student loan debt (learn more to earn more! … to owe more, to work more for less), probably trillions in other credit debt, a shrinking life expectancy, and record opioid overdoses (and more). Yet here we have lawmakers whining about a small percentage of spouses of non-citizens (the H1 Bs are questionable enough) who might not get to work here.

    They are right, nobody benefits, where ‘nobody’ is defined as the constituents these clowns were “elected” to represent. Were it only that our lawmakers were concerned with the well being of our own citizens and country. How about some policies that seek to get citizens into those jobs? Oh wait, right, how could I forget the psy-ops Identity campaign waged to make the citizens of this country adopt the belief that this line of thinking is racist, sexist, bigotry; one more thing tossed on their shoulders. Meanwhile the phony “Trade War” rages on, pretending China took something from us when it was the crony parasites here that willingly gave it away to much smarter governments! This is completely shameful.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Malaysia orders tonnes of imported waste to be returned”

    I knew that the Philippines was in a serious spat with Canada about all the containers of garbage shipped there and Canada had agreed to take back 69 containers but I had not heard about Malaysia till last night. It seems that Australia has been shipping garbage there as well which was a WTF realization. Who let that deal go through? You could see that that Ms Yeo was seriously p**ed about the whole thing and she had a right to be. It was painful to see that environmentalists decried the move on the grounds that they would be shipped to other countries. How about western countries deal with their own garbage. The story I saw mentioned that Australia produces about 69 million tons of garbage a year and I think that 30 million was exported annually. But then China and India said ‘Nope!’ which left garbage exports scrambling for new destinations and this story is a result of this development.

    1. Eclair

      My spouse and I made one of our weekly trips to the Chautauqua County Transfer Center yesterday. “Transfer Center” sounds so much more benign than “dump.” Like, “We take stuff you don’t want and just transfer it to …. well, someplace where someone does want it.”

      Our town does not have a trash collection service, but we can drop off recyclables (plastic, paper, cardboard, metal) for no charge. TV sets and tires incur a small per item charge. Trash fees are per bag or truck load. Or, in our case, the guy at the gate eyeballed the rolls of 50 year old carpeting-that-smelled-like-wet-dog that we had ripped out of the two bedrooms and stuffed in the back of our Subaru (the car will never be the same!) and said …. ‘How about fifteen dollars?)”

      Then we back the car up to the trash pit .. a house-sized hole inside a metal shed … us in our small Subaru smushed between the giant municipal garbage trucks (from those lucky towns that have a curbside trash collection service), and a line of pick-up trucks belonging to guys who advertise ‘we clean your basement, garage and attic,’ and we watch tons of stuff … carpeting, couches, mattresses, artificial christmas trees, rotten fences, bulging black plastic trash bags, filthy swathes of material, moldy cardboard boxes …. what was once our GDP … now being dumped into a odiferous pit that might, for all we know, just go right down to Hell.

      1. Wukchumni

        I feel the Visalia dump is the best one i’ve ever experienced, it’s usually $15 for everything you can fit on your vehicle, but sometimes $7 for a lode depending on the whim of the cashier.

        A raised paved road takes you to a covered street with 24x spots to back your car into, with a large bin right below to take away when full. Might take a few minutes of slinging your junk in there & you are so done, Easy-peasy.

        You get an idea of what the overall landfill must look like-hidden from view, by what goes into the bins, everything really.

      2. a different chris

        It’s our GDP twice when you pay somebody to take it away! Isn’t that just brilliant?

    2. JEHR

      I am ashamed that Canada sent that garbage to the Philippines and Malaysia. God knows we have lots of space in which to dispose of it and large areas to pollute in our own landscape. It seems human beings are in the midst of losing their collective minds.

      1. Massinissa

        Thats what happenes when what should be human decision making is handed off to market forces.

    3. lordkoos

      I’m surprised that Australia bothers to export their trash, since they have many thousands of square miles of wasteland to put it in.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Same here. I guess that if they tried to do that here, the environmentalists would kick up a stink about spoiling the land. Other people’s lands not so much.

  12. DJG

    Taibbi on the national security state: Read it all. Quite a list of criminals–keep the names in mind when the scary blabbing starts (again and again and again). Taibbi is being polite: House cleaning? These people belong in prison, which is the only way to stop this behavior. But this is the U S of A where nice white people doing their nice white-color jobs are never liable for anything–see Jeri-Lynn’s post about the saturation of the Midwest with Roundup.

    1. polecat

      I will go a step farther DJG, and suggest that at least some of these ‘folk’ need to hang for their crimes. THAT might send an appropriate message to anyone considering such .. uh .. ‘work’ at the plebes expense ! I would guess that I’m not alone in that sentiment, that millions of us lowly shlubs are in agreement on that count.

      1. neighbor7

        Maybe AOC should sponsor a bill forbidding former state security honchos from opining on “news shows,” and lobbying.

    2. whoamolly

      I suspect the lower level players in the Intelligence services are genuine patriots. If so, they truly believed they were doing patriotic work. Quite likely they thought they were protecting the country from a legitimate disaster.

      The higher ups however, might have been political opportunists. Let’s not forget, before the election everyone “knew” that Hillary was 98% certain of winning.

      I keep wondering if the higher ups were thinking that the first one to deliver damaging stuff about Trump would win major political points in a new Hillary administration.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        re: patriots.
        that’s my takeaway, too.
        similar to soldiers…especially pre-1973, or so. They have to believe in what they’re doing(and sacrificing), lest they go mad.(stepdad is vietnam era paraplegic.)
        of course, the only “access” i’ve ever had to the intelligence(sic) world is one close relative who worked for dia for the last 3 years of LBJ.
        he almost never speaks of those days…maybe 3 times in my almost 50 years…says “they impressed upon me the importance of keeping my mouth shut”, delivered with a deadpan that was chilling..
        for him, it was something to do with a geography degree…for everyone he worked with, it was a mixture of patriotism and cold war fear and panic.
        we watched the film, “the Good Shepherd” when it came out, then went for a beer.
        he was quiet for a long while…said, “that’s how it was…paranoia, one hand not knowing what the other was doing…and people with few scruples getting rich off the confusion..”
        he had little good to say about the upper reaches of the intertwining hierarchy, or their MIC corporate analogs….”whores and weasels”
        due to those conversations, and the myriad FOIA and congressional hearings and such, “intelligence” is probably my least favorite part of government.
        more harm than good, with far too little oversight…or even awareness of all the shenanigans.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “China’s saber-rattling on rare-earths trade has US officials looking for options”

    So America’s solution to a rare earth shortage is – sludge? Yeah, Let’s hear it for sludge! Rather than go into a long comment, how about I quote from an article whose link I give below-

    China produces about 97% of rare earth ore, 97% of rare earth oxides, 89% of rare earth alloys, 75% of neodymium iron boron magnets (NdFeB) and 60% of samarium cobalt magnets (SmCo). The United States almost entirely lacks the refining, fabricating, metal-making, alloying and magnet manufacturing capacity to process rare earths and is nearly completely dependent on China.

    Defense applications
    Rare earth metals are used in commercial and defense applications. For example, Virginian-class nuclear-powered submarines each use 9,200 pounds of rare earth metals, while Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers require about 5,200 lbs of rare earth metals – there are 66 destroyers in service and 14 either under construction or on order. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighters each require 920 lbs of rare earth metals – 380 have been built so far and the total buy for the US alone is 2,663 aircraft with Japan now about to order an additional 105 F-35s.

    Certainly this has grabbed the Pentagon’s attention. Japan has discovered an island rich in rare earths but that would mean that Trump would have to make nice with Japan. We’ll see how that works out-

    1. a different chris

      It’s a little…disturbing that in a country full of Top Secret You Can’t Know stuff they managed to publish the material contents of our weapons of war.

      Well, consistency is the hobgoblin of small, non-imperialist minds I guess.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        A secret like the fact that rare earth metals are used in a lot of the electronic hardware on US Navy ships is about as astounding is learning that US Navy ships must float on salt water. It is a little surprising that anyone bothered to estimate the weights of all the components on a ship which contain rare earth metals and then estimate the weight of rare earth metals as a component of that weight.

        1. The Rev Kev

          It’s probably a production thing as you would have to know how much to order to complete one ship/plane/tank. Years ago I read the WW2 novel “The Winds of War” and two of the characters in it were talking about America’s wartime production. One was saying that the first year of the war was wasted as stuff was being produced willy-nilly so you would have miles of tank-tracks manufactured but with no tanks to put them on. Then a head honcho was brought in that brought order to it all. If I remember correctly, he found that the three main materials used to manufacture something were steel, aluminium and copper. So for a destroyer, the quantities needed were worked out and that is how much would be supplied. Knowing how much rare-earths are need for a plane or a ship seems to be an extension of this idea. Either way, without those rare -earths, America’s military would have to go back to being more like a Vietnam-era technology just to get stuff done.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      China’s corner on rare-earth trade and production is not news. Our DoD was “concerned” about it years ago, just as it was “concerned” about counterfeit parts and components showing up in military hardware. That “concern”, like much of the “concern” by our Elites has not proven actionable. As your quote states the rare earth metals are a critical component of numerous DoD toys. They are also critical to industries like the manufacture of flat-screen television displays and critical to the production of key components in many if not most high-tech consumer toys. Back in 2010 China threatened to cutoff exports of rare earth metals to Japan as part of a little dispute about the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.

      In spite of their name rare earth metals are not especially rare. Refining rare earth ore is very dirty. Like many other industries basic to the US economy the US let ‘free’-trade wipe out US producers. China used ‘free’-trade as a tool for establishing their corner on rare earth metals world-wide.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I remember once reminiscing to a young workplace colleague about our big square black and white Motorola TV set.

          Him: ” What!? Motorola made TVs!?”

          Me: ” Yes. At that time TVs were the thing that Motorola made. Motorola began as a TV

    3. boz

      Is there anything that China isn’t the number one source for now?

      Pharmaceuticals, rare earth, PCB (printed circuit board), fighter jet parts, manufacturing tooling, server kit, cellphones, 5G kit….?

      I guess aircraft, per recent Boeing discussions (for a while). Food and drink. Cars. Education. Energy. Textiles?

      I don’t see any kind of concerted manufacturing strategy (in the the US, or the UK) to counter this and take back what are in sum, areas of national strategic importance.

      I need to do more research, but it feels pretty scary. In most industries China has a strategy to be number 1. That gives them incredible leverage.

  14. Wukchumni

    This has nothing to do with that Bill Lee, and everything to do with the best baseball song ever of the same name, by Warren Zevon.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Silver Bulletpoints: Who’s In Danger Of Missing The Third Debate?”

    Nate Silver has a mixed record in his predictions but apart from that – is it really as good idea to take the word of a professional pollster about who is in front? There are candidates like Gabbard who are deliberately omitted from news coverage because the MSM has decided that they do not want her to be President which affects her listing. I say to hell with it. Biden is a front runner? Really? Let’s see how he goes in a rough and tumble debate. Maybe they can get SNL’s Alec Baldwin to play Trump in a debate with some of these clowns and see if he can rattle their cages. Call it a live fire-exercise. Does anybody seriously think that some of those ‘Almost certain’ front-runners are up to a Trump debate? Because that is what is waiting for the winner from this field. So look at that list again and ask yourself – who there is capable of going head-to-head with Trump? Because if they can’t, then they are just clutter.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Yes, all good points. I intended to slap a caveat lector tag on this but forgot. Labelling it as Nate Silver isn’t nearly enough warning.

      1. JohnnyGL

        I wouldn’t say I’m a FAN of Nate Silver and 538, but I think they do have some interesting stuff, at times.

        I’d read this sort of thing (not at face value) but as a wonderful illustration of Chomsky’s idea of ‘manufacturing consent’.

        TL;DR version: Women are susceptible to the message that America is too sexist to vote for a woman, and once convinced of this….they’ll vote for another man. Self-fulfilling sexism prophecy!!!

        1. JohnnyGL

          There’s some useful bits in here, too. In fact, it’s probably good to read the 538 crew once in awhile because 1) they ONLY do horserace stuff around political appeal and do almost NOTHING on policy (a word search revealed the word only popped up to talk about how Warren was using policy proposals to demonstrate gravitas) and 2) to see what the Beltway pundits think.

          It ends up making a nice contrast with this site where we do ALL policy ALL the time. :) Because, you know, that’s what matters! So, please, no apologies.

          Again, the TL;DR highlights from me:

          – They’ve got a little bit of data to show that maybe Biden’s got legs.
          – They still think he’s vulnerable (mainly because he’s old or think he might flub the debates).
          – They think he’s crowding out other contenders from getting name-recognition and traction (I agree) as evidenced by a small drop in other candidates across the board in polls.
          – Silver seems to believe to his core that Sanders 2016 was a fluke and a protest candidate and thinks he can’t win unless he draws and inside straight. He also sees him as little more than another old, white guy. But, there’s a kind of logic there if you don’t care ANYTHING about policy, except how it translates into political appeal. Without policy, Id Pol is THE framework for understanding things for them.
          – He takes Warren more seriously because she’s in better standing with the Democratic Party.

      2. The Rev Kev

        A caveat lector tag? With some of these candidates, a Hannibal Lecter tag would be more appropriate.

    2. flora

      re debates:

      Trump seems to know what he believes (at any given moment) and why he believes it, and is quick to fire off tweets and debate points.

      The current Dem MSM-anointed so called front runners all seem to believe what they’re told to believe, and have a hard time with on point spontaneous responses to questions.

      Image a debate question and responses.

      Trump: ” Yada yada, and furthermore, yada. And by the way, my Dem opponent is a loser.”

      MSM-anointed Dem front runner: “…Iet me check my notes. “

      1. polecat

        Notes! ..?? They’d be cupping their non-detectable ear bud, praying for the appropriate fact-free audio prompting !

    3. Pat

      Not for nothing, but a lot of democrats have a hard time understanding that Clinton didn’t wipe the floor with Trump, they truly think she did. Biden just won’t win any new supporters in a debate with Trump if he is a nominee. The only debates his campaign needs to worry about are the primary ones. If he makes it that far.

      (And yes I know they will do everything in their power to keep him standing without leaning on young girls for as long as they can, but he doesn’t appear to be up to campaigning, he really hasn’t gotten that outside of people who would cheer a Democrat doing the same they things they want Trump hung by his thumbs for is interested in having a doddering and meandering elderly white man as President.

    4. jrs

      Maybe who gets in the 3rd debate, might have something to do with their performance in the 1st and 2nd debates. No, no, we must not let anything like that influence us must we?

      It must all be predecided because polls (more loathsome by far than “because markets”). And polls show Trump could not possibly be president, so he must not be. Carry on.

  16. Colonel Smithers

    A big thank you to Yves for indulging me and the NC community for replying to my request for feedback on recent elections on yesterday’s piece about conservatism.

    Enjoy a splendid week-end, all, especially if at Epsom, Belmont and Chantilly :-).

  17. Tom Stone

    Here’s a suggested defense for Dr Scott Warren who committed the heinous crime of giving water to those dying of thirst.
    ” I asked myself what Jesus would do, and I’d like you to ask yourself that same question.”

    1. John k

      Seems to me the religious far right has lost all interest in either the question or the answer.

  18. Wukchumni

    Newark Ticketing Drivers Who Give Money To Panhandlers CBS New York

    What does this and the draconian parking laws in SD & SF all in regards to the homeless, say about us as a culture & our caste-aways trying to earn a median income on their island of opportunity @ the left-turn signal, where drivers are sometimes held captive for a few minutes under the cardboard curtain that has some appeal or another.

    1. polecat

      It says that people fear being at the bottom of the heap .. that it takes less and less un- bootstrapping to get there … pointing, perhaps nervously, a draconian finger at the lowly ‘other’, and grateful to still be standing somewhere a bit higher up on the unstable Pyramid of Neoliberaland !

    2. Janie

      What does our callousness toward the homeless say? It says, “Jesus? Never heard of him.”

    3. crittermom

      Albuquerque, New Mexico seems to have flip-flopped on this issue more than Hillary did on issues during her last coronation attempt.

      From 2015:
      “Albuquerque itself used to have a strict anti-panhandling ordinance, but a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico in 2004 forced the city council to relax its restrictions.”
      They then began offering them jobs, instead.

      In January 2018:

      In February 2018:

      I couldn’t find any recent news on the outcome of that lawsuit.

  19. RopeADope

    737 MAX

    It is not just the 737 MAX that has problems, the 737-NG has had unexplained crashes as well. Flydubai Flight 981 still has yet to be adequately explained. Pilots that flew out of the airport at the time of the crash said that weather was not an issue and that particular plane was maintained well.

    1. Acacia

      Isn’t NG engineering parlance for “not good” i.e. defective?

      Another sign the MBAs have taken over at Boeing.

      1. Gaianne


        Yes, the bean counters would not know what NG means!


        Wikipedia says the flight crashed at its destination after two missed approaches. The weather was bad, with low clouds, wind shear, and icing. The crash investigation seems to be inconclusive–with weather an obvious factor, but pilot error and mechanical problems not ruled out.


  20. Another Scott

    I read this article earlier today.

    The first thing that I found interesting was how engaged many of the members seem to be in the problems facing their pensions and the disconnect between them and the people managing their funds. The pension fund is only at 60%, but who’s at fault? One group places most of the blame on the managers and trustees.

    “The Musicians for Pension Security website offers a comparison between the AFM-EPF and the AFTRA pension fund, which are similar in size: Between 2009 and 2014, the musicians’ fund paid $50 million more in expenses and fees than the AFTRA fund. Per the fund, this comparison is inaccurate: “The AFM-EPF has more than twice as many employers, several times more collective bargaining agreements and several thousand more participants.”

    In fact, the pension crisis is one reason that Krauthamer, a French horn player with multiple Broadway credits, was elected following an insurgent campaign in 2018. Local 802 represents musicians at the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera and on Broadway, among other places, and its members voted by a two-to-one margin to have Krauthamer replace the incumbent, Tino Gagliardi. (Gagliardi still remains a trustee of the pension fund.)”

    This really seems like a smaller scale version of what’s happening at Calpers, which leads me to wonder how many more of these situations exist?

    1. Big River Bandido

      Unlike CALPERS, the membership of Local 802 (myself included) voted to clean house in our elections last December. Krauthamer and his entire slate were elected with about the same margin as Lori Lightfoot in Chicago. Wasn’t even close.

  21. Summer

    RE: Trump / Mexico Tarrifs

    So the administration’s tarrifs are so unpopular that they keep coming up with them?

    Not an endorsement or criticism of the policy, but the reasoning given for 5% increase is a punishment of sorts for immigration policies.
    5% is supposed to send a strong message. 5% with carefully chosen exceptions (no doubt).
    Yeah, sure…that’s the reason.

  22. Cal2

    “Prisoner’s Dilemma shows how exploitation is a basic property of human society”
    “Cruel and Unusual: A Guide to California’s Broken Prisons and the Fight to Fix Them”

    What would you think of someone who said this? (paraphrasing)
    “We need to thwart prison reform because cheap prison labor saves money.”
    “Mothers who cannot get their child across town to the assigned school will face jail time!”

    What if they were running for president? Kamala Harris is.

    Corporate bankers and Herbalife executives fear not, you are safe with Kamala in power.

    As far as defending the people? She’s not so good. As far as filling prisons? She’s great:

    “Harris is highly problematic for black voters, perhaps more so than any other candidate. She served as the district attorney of San Francisco and later as attorney general of California. In both roles she did everything in her power to support the mass incarceration system and all of its foundations. That is what prosecutors do after all, but most of them don’t try to run for president and ask for black people’s votes. When California was ordered to reduce prison overcrowding she argued against it.”

    1. Summer

      “We need to thwart prison reform because cheap prison labor saves money.”

      It’s especially chilling because she is talking about gsovetrnments saving money. They are big users of prison labor.
      A govt of the people, by the people, and for the people just can’t stop sanctioning slavery.
      Over 200 years now. That can’t be reformed…it has to be defeated.

  23. BobW

    Trump and the USS John S McCain in Japan from the Atlantic.
    “Petty officers in days gone by would have growled at their enlisted men and women to keep political statements off their shoulders, and enforced the political neutrality of the armed forces.”

    A Stain on the Honor of the Navy

    1. Plenue

      Ah, the endless prattling about ‘honor’ from institutions whose purpose is to murder on demand.

      1. Oh

        Dishonor. Not to to the late senator, nor to his father and grandfather of the same name, who rendered the same distinguished service in war and peace. Their deeds and reputations are far beyond such mean contrivances.

        Oh really? Why name a ship after that scum who sang like a canary at the Hanoi Hilton and was a traitor to his fellow prisoners?

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Plus SAVINGS AND LOAN fiasco.

          F JOHN MCCAIN.


          These are War Criminals, people!!!!!

        2. polecat

          Does it come fully equipped with ‘reverse-directional’ flame cannon .. ??
          ….. If so, then the name fits !

  24. Wukchumni

    Extreme weather is pummeling the Midwest, and farmers are in deep trouble WaPo

    Soy lent green is people’s livelihood, the only crop that pays.

  25. Oregoncharles

    FYI: I’m getting a pop-up ad (for “Ameritrade”). It’s easy to get rid of, but I think you wanted to know.

  26. Synapsid

    This morning for the first time a pop-up blocking ad (from Ameritrade) appeared after the site opened, and appeared again each time I clicked on a link.

    The computer isn’t a smartphone; it plugs into the wall.

  27. Wukchumni

    Theresa May was a bad PM – but her resignation will do nothing to arrest Britain’s long-term decline Independent. Patrick Cockburn.
    A great song by Al Stewart in regards to a trio of bad PM’s, Three Mules, sample lyrics:

    A sickle of moon left a trickle of light. While we lay under our roofs, the whole night filled up with the beating of hooves.

  28. Kurt Sperry

    New sighting: TD Ameritrade pop-up with video and the whole site grayed-out beneath when I opened this page. Worst of the worst as far as ad/spam goes. I don’t want to have to use a blocker here but I will if this is the direction we are headed.

    submitting this comment (awaiting moderation) brought it right back.

  29. JacobsFoot

    Did I just not understand the article, or does the MIT article on the prisoner’s dilemma fail to actually outline the details of the strategy that results in persistent exploitation?

  30. martell

    Regarding the prisoners dilemma and the inevitability of exploitation, it’s not entirely clear from the article how game theorists are using the term ‘exploitation’, but their use does appear to depart from ordinary uses. One ordinary use is to express moral disapproval, such that reasons for disapproving have something to do with some injustice or other. It’s tough to pin down criteria for correct use of the term in this sense partly because criteria on which something counts as unjust are themselves complex. There is also an ordinary non-moral use of the term, exemplified by talk of exploiting resources. Used this way, the word means, roughly, using.

    Game theorists, by contrast with both normal uses, seem to be talking about interaction that results in one player getting a better outcome than another. From the article, it’s clear that the purported inevitability of this kind of thing boils down to it being possible. This is hardly news.

  31. L-City layabout

    But GAME THEORY, I propose, may not be a basic property of human society.

  32. Oregoncharles

    Pileated woodpecker – a giant among woodpeckers. I’ve seen it a couple of times, both right outside our window! Once at the coast, once here in the valley. Very exciting. And we sometimes hear their call down by the river. You’re more likely to see it if there are big conifers in sight.

  33. Janie

    Tried to link to The Independent’s Robt Fisk column. Samsung phone said unsafe site and had no bypass. Same message in direct search. Picked up the ZTE, which said, “you are offline.” Clearly I was not, since I was coming from NC. Tried direct- same message. Setting show connection to house line. Anybody else?

    1. ambrit

      I get the “Unsecure Protocol” message every once in a while on my older desktop, using Windows XP. (I am not going to pay two hundred dollars to “upgrade” to a much more annoying and intrusive operating program.) And, yes, no workaround is offered.
      Is this a ‘back door’ method of website curation by the ‘Powers?’

      1. Procopius

        If you want less intrusive I recommend Linux. There are many flavors available. I prefer Ubuntu, but I’m experimenting with Fedora 30 right now. Both are similar to Windows. There’s a distribution called Deepin Linux that’s supposed to act very much like MacOS. I wouldn’t know. If you used DOS the learning curve should not be steep. The user interface has become almost entirely graphical. Red Hat Linux is supposed to be for business users and costs money. The others are free.

  34. Oregoncharles

    “Here’s an incredibly simple solution to plastic packaging waste TreeHugger.”

    Take out the water (not quite so easy if it’s oily). A lot of these products are available in bulk at the co-op, or whatever natural foods store you have. That way you can reuse your own containers – at least here you can. Solid deodorant tends to come in a plastic case, though; something I should look into. And I need to speak with management (one is a personal friend) about minimizing packaging and maximizing bulk products. They’ve been reducing them lately.

    In principal, containers are pretty easy. A much worse travesty are the bubble containers for small items at most stores. They aren’t recyclable or reusable because they’re two different materials (plastic and paper) bonded together – and usually you destroy the package to get the contents. I believe they’re intended mainly to deter shoplifting; they’re rarely actually necessary. Again, a personal contribution would be finding stores that have what you want in bulk, or even used (Habitat for Humanity runs a chain of thrift stores for hardware and household goods that are a godsend).

    The trouble is, personal contributions aren’t going to cut it. We need government interventions to make enough change to matter.

  35. drumlin woodchuckles

    Aquabounty salmon in Indiana doesn’t scare me the way Aquabounty salmon grown on the Pacific Coast would scare me. Aquabounty salmons won’t make their way to the Pacific from the aqua feedlots in Indiana. Gene contamination of the wild pacific salmon is not a problem in this case.

    Of course I will avoid Aquabounty farmed salmon the same way as I avoid any farmed salmon. Farmed salmon doesn’t taste as good as wild caught salmon.

    1. ambrit

      There’s a similar “nightmare scenario” at work with ‘farm raised’ tilapia in big aquaculture ponds situated in the lower parishes of Louisiana. One good and big hurricane to overtop those ponds and there goes a big part of the lower Mississippi River ecology. The tilapia disaster to come is simply a case of greed forcing out rationality.
      You want an up and running ‘nightmare scenario?’ Look into the spread of pythons, the slithery, constrictive kind, in the Florida Everglades. They are decimating the native wildlife.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Now that is indeed a nightmare scenario.

        Just like Asian Carp getting into the Great Lakes through the Illinois aqua-connectors.

  36. Jessica

    Prisoner’s Dilemma shows how exploitation is a basic property of human society in MIT Technology Review

    No, what it shows is how one isolated human can exploit another. The notion that isolated humans, with no communication and no relationships, are normal and indicative of anything about real humans is one of the core fallacies of our current social system.

    1. Monty

      Corporations, who never have to look you in the eye or meet your family, take the role of the isolated exploitative individual nowadays.

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