Links 5/6/19

Landmark UN Report to Show ‘Transformational Change’ Urgently Needed to Save Humanity and Natural World From Nightmarish Future Common Dreams

Bike lanes need physical protection from car traffic, study shows Ars Technica

A drone has been used to deliver a donor kidney for the first time MIT Technology Review

The very surprising way common insomnia drugs can be fatal TreeHugger

Britax sent defective fix to customers in deal to avoid safety recall of its BOB strollers WaPo. Oops. File under crapification.

An American Lab Test Abroad The Baffler

The Race to Develop the Moon New Yorker

Waste Watch

Petition wants all disposable menstrual products to be plastic-free Treehugger

The world’s most degraded marine ecosystem could be about to make a comeback The Conversation

Meet the fish leather pioneers BBC

A Mystery Frequency Disrupted Car Fobs in an Ohio City, and Now Residents Know Why NYT (The Rev Kev)


Bernie Sanders Calls for a National Right-to-Repair Law for Farmers Motherboard

How ‘I got a plan’ became a thing: Warren nerds out and the crowds go crazy Politico

Why Joe Biden Might Be the Best Bet to Beat Trump New York magazine. Andrew Sullivan. Offered up to start discussion…

On campaign trail, Biden keeps his hands to himself Politico

Biden Supporters Launch $60 Million Dark Money Group TruthOut


Brexit: retreat to the bunker

Brexit: Theresa May warned more than 100 Tories could block compromise deal with Labour Independent

Rory Stewart declares he would like to be prime minister Guardian

Class Warfare

Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle’s Investment Tips, 12 Years Later Bloomberg

The teacher weekly wage penalty hit 21.4 percent in 2018, a record high Economic Policy Institute

The Ruthless, Secretive, and Sometimes Seedy World of Hedge Fund Private Investigators Institutional Investor (PR)

Bosses must dare to leave their bubble FT (david l)

Rory Stewart may have got out of jail free, but prisoners are still suffering excruciating conditions Independent

Inside the tower block refurbished for luxury living FT

‘Either They Kill Us or We Kill Them’ NYT (re Silc)

How Fear Contributes to Cops’ Use of Deadly Force Marshall Project

Boeing 737 Max

Boeing Knew About Safety-Alert Problem for a Year Before Telling FAA, Airlines WSJ

Long before first 737 MAX crash, Boeing knew a key sensor warning light wasn’t working, but told no one Seattle Times

Forty-one reported killed after Russian passenger plane crash-lands in Moscow Reuters


Israel Again Bombs Gaza – But Is It “In Response”? Moon of Alabama

Palestinians and Israelis reach truce in Gaza as Ramadan begins France 24

Bolton: US deploying bombers to Middle East in warning to Iran Al Jazeera

Imperial Collapse Watch

Turkey says it will not bow to U.S. sanctions over S-400 deal Reuters

The Left Needs to Stop Crushing on the Generals American Conversation


In abrupt move, Donald Trump says 10 per cent China tariffs will rise to 25 per cent on Friday SCMP

China is considering canceling this week’s trade talks after Trump’s tariffs threat, sources say CNBC


India’s rural pain goes beyond farmers, and it may be a problem for Modi Reuters

The Readers’ Editor writes: India is in the midst of a water crisis. Why isn’t it an election issue? Scroll

Extreme Events in the Himalayan Region: Are We Prepared for the Big One? The Wire

Meet the advisors who helped make the BJP a social media powerhouse of data and propaganda Scroll


Despite International Law Which Would Make It Illegal, Pompeo Claims US Attack on Venezuela “Would Be Lawful” Common Dreams

Trump Transition

Trump picks former Border Patrol chief to lead ICE Vox

Trump: ‘Mueller should not testify’ Politico

Judicial-Nominations Update National Review. 102nd nomineee confirmed – and counting.

Antidote du Jour. From reader MGL, pyrrhuloxia @ feeder at Bosque del Apache, NM, DEC 2018. Jerri-Lynn here. Happens to be one of my favourite places to bird in the US:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. PlutoniumKun

    Forty-one reported killed after Russian passenger plane crash-lands in Moscow Reuters

    Apart from the obvious human tragedy, this looks very bad news for Russias attempt to expand its civilian aerospace. The plane was a Sukhoi Superjet, a little smaller than a 737, but a major potential competitor, and far more advanced than anything Russia has produced before. This is the second fatal accident with one, along with ‘issues’ with the tailplane in the past. The first accident was attributed to pilot error, but this looks like an engine fire that set off fuel in the wings which in turn ignited the rear of the aircraft – this simply should not happen in a modern design. The engine is a joint Russian/French design, based on the engine used in the Dassault Rafale, so its not an entirely ‘new’ design. This could be fatal for the Superjet.

    1. bwilli123

      Noticed also that the early evacuees were carrying hand luggage, even though this is prohibited in all emergencies.
      One would hope it didn’t slow down those behind who didn’t escape in time.
      Of course they may also have been 1st Class passengers for which the rules did not apply.

      1. JBird4049

        Sometimes passengers are too obedient and calm. Rather than leaving everything behind and just going, they act like it just a normal departure. I have seen in a few accounts of survivors complaining about how everyone was not acting like it was life and death.

    2. Olga

      The plane was struck by lightning, according to witnesses. Before jumping to opinions about how this may look, I think it is important to wait for analyses, technical evaluations, and expert conclusions.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Agreed (sorry for jumping the gun with this), but even a lightning strike should not be fatal to a modern aircraft, its quite a common occurrence – something like once or twice a year for a typical commercial aircraft.

        But the reality is that this is a huge blow to Sukhoi, two losses so early in an aircrafts operational life is not a good look.

        1. Bill Smith

          Yes, the aircraft should have survived a lighting strike.

          Experienced it once at cruise altitude so there was plenty of time for everyone to recover from the “Holy Crap, what was that!”.

          On a gusting crosswindy short final that may not be the case. (I don’t know when the aircraft might have been hit.)

        2. el_tel

          Yeah I looked at in an attempt to get some views from the professionals on lightning strikes generally. Several apparently independent sources pretty much say what you say, but with caveats. On the one hand lightning strikes shouldn’t cause problems (Faraday cage effects, rebooting of key electronic systems in a minimum time period etc). Indeed we see from empirical evidence that lightning is rarely any sort of problem (as you note).

          Here’s the theoretical potential fly in the ointment some noted. A lightning strike in the wrong place might be so strong as to melt things like the insulation around a fly-by-wire wire. I got no sense that they were “Russia bashing” – merely that of the major manufacturers (Airbus, Boeing, Russia, China etc), Airbus have the longest experience of fly-by-wire and hence if this phenomenon was a real flaw in their planes we’d know it by now. Unfortunately, since other manufacturers don’t have the same decades of experience, it is *possible* that placing of certain wires etc which seem innocuous in practice, might prove very vulnerable in reality.

          Of course one should NOT draw any *direct* parallels with the 737 MAX issues, but one can’t help but wonder if “adding fly-by-wire” to planes designed to be old-school hydraulics etc (rather than designing the software and hardware in tandem) might be an indirect parallel. Like you say, let’s wait for more evidence, but if nothing else, I learnt a bit more about the physics of lightning!

          1. PlutoniumKun

            One issue with modern planes is that composites behave differently when struck by lightning – composites unlike aluminium are non-conductive (this is a huge issue for stealth aircraft, in fact the F-35 can’t fly into thunderstorms for precisely this reason – kind of ironic, given that they’ve named it the ‘Lighning’.). There is an interesting article on the problems with making aircraft composites conductive here.

            If – and of course this is a huge ‘if’ – it turns out that Sukhoi didn’t incorporate sufficient conductive material into their composites and this has resulted in a more vulnerable aircraft, then thats a very serious issue for them.

    3. Wukchumni

      Battle of Jutland 1916:

      “There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today.”

      Battle of Jet Land 2019:

      “There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today.”

      1. LifelongLib

        Apparently there was a coverup after Jutland. The initial investigation blamed dangerous ordnance handling practices for the ship losses. But the officer who’d been in command at Jutland had been promoted to first sea lord and said blaming the crews would be bad for morale, so a supposed design flaw in the ships was cited instead. The officer in charge of the original investigation was sent to China.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I’d like a link on that. My recollection is that it was a combination of human and machine.

          Crew training optimized for speed of fire, hence they stored ammo near the guns, in the turret. When one of those shells exploded, as they do, poor design caused the explosion to “flash” down the elevator arrangement that carried shells up to the turret from the main magazine, which blew up, sinking the ship.

    4. Jeff

      There is CCTV footage showing that the plane was landing with no fire, but the tail bouncing off the ground lighted it up. Way too early to jump to conclusions.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Terrible landing. Why was that? Looks like something very wrong BEFORE the tail struck the ground, or severe pilot error. it took quite a hop before the tail hit and caught fire.

        glad I’ve never been on that bad a landing – people would have been very shaken up, complicating evacuation.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I believe the electronics were entirely gone because of the lightning strike, challenging on a fly-by-wire plane. And the plane was extra heavy because it was loaded with fuel.

    5. Olivier

      The Rafale is a military fighter jet. What is its engine — or even a derivative thereof — doing in a civilian airliner? They are completely different beasts.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          The SaM146 engines are based on the ‘hot core’ of the Snecma M88 engine for the Rafale. Essentially, its the core of an M88 with a very large fan attached.

  2. Darius

    Bike lanes can make excellent spare parking spaces for cars, or waiting zones. “I’m picking up someone in 20 minutes. It’s just a bike lane.” Just a bike lanes can also be useful for bikes when not wanted by cars.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      In Paris it seems mostly white vans and delivery trucks use the bike/bus anes off the main boulevards. I think parking enforcement is run by a private firm now as well. With the 1000s of street closures due to construction, electric scooters, etc., the traffic situation is insane and for cyclists, very dangerous.

      1. rd

        NYC – the delivery trucks just park in the middle of the road since there aren’t bike lanes to block. Rush hour seems to be peak delivery time for double-parking.

      2. curlydan

        I’ve often told friends that “when I retire”, I’m going to buy a FedEx van, so I can park where ever the hell I want!

    2. Joe Well

      In Boston, the worst was after a snow storm. The bike lanes were handled very well otherwise. The culpability lies with the police for not having all those cars towed and making a ton of money for the city while they’re at it.

      1. Joe Well

        I wanted to add that using the public bikeshare in Boston in January was a great experience except for the behavior of irresponsible car drivers. Before the infrastructure was in place, I would have thought it was not a realistic dominant transportation mode for a place with frequently inclement weather, but the visionaries were right this time. US urban transportation is totally messed up and bicycles really are the salvation, especially for people who are able to use them.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          How did you deal with the cold and the salty wet areas of the roads? Any ideas for how to handle rain, and heavy rain and wind on a bicycle?

          1. Oregoncharles

            Plastic trash bag with holes for head and arms (my wife actually did this as a bike commuter; worked OK).

            Seriously, good rain gear makes a big difference, but it isn’t easy to get in and out of, and you’re liable to be very sweaty.

          2. Joe Well

            They plowed the bike lanes with a Zamboni-type thing so they were perfectly safe to ride on, helped by the fact that they separated from traffic. Also, it seemed like they weren’t using sand on these city streets because I didn’t see any of the dangerous sand patches that you see out in the suburbs sometimes.

            As for dealing with the cold, wind, rain, etc., I don’t think I spent much more time out in the cold than I would have waiting for a bus, and less than I would have walking. And all trips would have taken a lot less time if I didn’t have to watch out for cars and stop at traffic lights which were designed for cars. Rain is a challenge on a bicycle but I could have prepared for that by dressing better.

            The danger to cyclists is always cars. Slippery roads aren’t that big of a deal except that you might slide into a car. I am a big fan of getting the cars off most urban streets and creating more park-and-ride/walk lots.

            At least in Boston, car travel is a nightmare, public transportation is falling apart and will continue to fall apart for years after any revolutionary new investment in infrastructure. We could roll out massive new bike infrastructure in a matter of months if we wanted to.

          3. Gary

            I ride almost every day all year in Wisconsin. Layers help, shell garments with underarm zippers and hoods help. The greatest gift is to not have to use a bike at a set time each day {to arrive and leave work, etc for example} but rather to watch the weather and slip out when there is an hour or two of better weather. A great benefit of getting older after children have grown and retirement is close. :)

          4. Jeremy Grimm

            Thank you all. I hope to move to a small town area where I might get around by bicycle but it’s in snow country. You make biking sound doable. [I’m too old to take a fall so I might try to come up with some kind of three or four wheel bicycle-based vehicle. It would be nice set it up to carry a small load of groceries too.]

        2. Jeff W

          …I would have thought it was not a realistic dominant transportation mode for a place with frequently inclement weather, but the visionaries were right this time.

          Montreal is consistently the top-ranked bike-friendly city in North America and its weather is more inclement than that of Boston. Wired says

          It’s no secret Montreal has led the continent for decades, building cycle tracks long before any other city had even thought about it.

  3. PlutoniumKun

    Bike lanes need physical protection from car traffic, study shows Ars Technica

    I’m glad this is getting some coverage – for decades road engineers have been refusing to accept that there are subtle behavioural changes involved in laying out bike lanes (or even other ‘safety’ issues, such as insisting on helmets or high viz jackets). Anyone who has cycled in urban areas will be acutely aware than in ‘marked’ cycle lanes cars simply whiz past without making any attempt at a proper overtaking manoeuvre. The white line makes them think its simply a parallel lane, which is fine if its wide enough and there are no drains or other obstructions, but that’s rarely the case.

    I hate advocating entirely separate lanes, because bikes belong on the road the same as any other vehicles, but far too often its the only way to safely allow less experienced cyclists (and increasingly, scooter users) get out on the streets.

    1. marieann

      I have often wondered if sidewalks should also be bike lanes. Where I live we have wide sidewalk that rarely get used. If the sidewalk was widened a bit it could also be a bike lane.
      I am not a confident biker so I use the sidewalk whenever I can.

      In saying this I still think the best way is separate bike lanes

      1. Carolinian

        Living in a town with lots of sidewalks and not many pedestrians I’ve used them too even if it’s theoretically illegal. For an urban cyclist job one is always to avoid cars.

        1. Charger01

          My little berg has decided back in ’05 that sidewalks are fair game for cyclists. I definitely approve, most drivers are distracted anyways.

        2. Joe Well

          I agree 100%. You can always enforce laws on the small number of cyclists who are reckless on sidewalks.

        3. JohnnySacks

          I get scolds now and then for riding on the sidewalk. If you can see your children riding in that thoroughfare on their bikes, fine, scold away. Otherwise, put your children’s lives where your month is or STFU. Just because some agency decided to spray paint “BIKES USE FULL LANE” in the outer lane of a thoroughfare in committee, then pat themselves on the back for a job well done and put a PR piece out claiming “We’re green and bike friendly” doesn’t mean people are stupid enough to take for face value.

          1. Medbh

            Even though it feels safer, I’ve read that riding on sidewalks is more likely to result in accidents.

            I’ve only been hit by a car once while biking, and I was on the sidewalk. I too feel safer on the sidewalk compared to a busy road (even if it has a marked bike lane), but I don’t see how or why the statistics would be manipulated for this issue. If anything, you’d think cities would prefer bikes to be on sidewalks since it wouldn’t require any additional planning or expense.

            I’m lucky to live in a city with quite a few separated, designated bike lanes, and they’re fabulous. If we want biking to become a meaningful transportation choice, separate bike paths would be very helpful.

      2. voislav

        This is how my home town built the bike lanes. They are a part of the sidewalk, not the road. The sidewalk is extra wide with a marked bike lane. Much better solution and at least anecdotally, seems safer than the road bike lanes.

        1. Jason Boxman

          There’s a short section of the MIT campus where the design is similar. The sidewalk area has a bike lane. The curb serves as the barrier. It looks far safer than being on the road.

      3. PlutoniumKun

        Cycling on the pavement is quite normal in Japan, but in Japan most cyclists are elderly ladies generally not going much faster than pedestrians.

        In some circumstances it works to use sidewalks, but in the vast majority all it does is create conflicts with pedestrians, plus a particular problem with private driveways. It also (as with dedicated lanes), results in a proliferation of additional junctions, and the more junctions you have on a system, the more accidents you generally have (there are exceptions, but this is a fairly good rule of thumb).

        Ultimately, the way to have safe cycling in urban areas is to have safe, traffic calmed roads, with dedicated cycle lanes only for the major trunk routes. Few cities have sufficient room for completely segregated pedestrian, cycling, public transport and car/truck use, something always has to give, and that’s a political decision.

        But road engineers don’t help matters by treating cycling as an ‘add-on’ rather than an intrinsic part of design for the public realm.

        1. Carolinian

          My city has a master plan for a network of walking/biking trails that would get you almost anywhere and they are implementing it, albeit slowly. We already have the striped off bike lanes but these are fairly useless except to supply extra ammo for your lawsuit after being hit. The only real protection for cyclists on roads is maximum vigilance.

        2. Joe Well

          On my one very brief trip to Osaka, I was amazed at the number of cyclists on the sidewalk in the city center. They rode quite slowly and moved around pedestrians in a very orderly way. In general, I’ve noticed that people in East Asia just behave themselves better in public than people in the US, if not the whole Western world. So many times in the US we’re designing systems around how the most obnoxious 3% of the users will behave.

          1. Oregoncharles

            We had this experience in Amsterdam – in the 60’s! Total domination by bikes. It was the Netherlands that banned rigid hood ornaments, because they tear people up in an accident.

        3. Spring Texan

          “traffic calmed” roads make me completely crazy when I’m driving – they are ugly (stupid orange sticks sticking up, ugly obstacles put in the road), uncomfortable (especially some bumps for the disabled) and miserable. I’m always thankful when driving in central Austin that we don’t yet have them in my neighborhood – though some have recently appeared there. :-(

        4. Cal2

          concrete barriers are the only safe alternate for road side bike paths. The usual safety barrier in California is a 3′ wide white painted line.

          The least they could do is epoxy down some reflectorized bumps along the painted line margin of the bike lane. People drive over that line on curves and cresting hills all the time. The bumps would rattle them awake hopefully.

          In California one is obliged to give bicycles 36″ of clearance at all times. Bikers often ride two or three abreast, chatting with each other, in or out of marked bike lanes, and then get offended when cars get near them instead of swerving into oncoming traffic to give them that clearance.

          If they are going to get dedicated roadside bike lanes, some serious fines for adult riders who do not ride single file are called for. Cars have to remain single file in their lanes, why not bikes?

      4. Chris Smith

        Having been nearly run down by bicyclists on the sidewalks of New York and DC, I disagree. Each time the bicyclist acted like he or she owned the damn sidewalk and as though pedestrians belonged somewhere else. (It is called a sideWALK but I digress.) I found it galling that these bicyclists treat pedestrians the way they claim drives treat them on the road.

        1. Carolinian

          No, of course one shouldn’t do it in NYC, but in much of America sidewalks are often empty of pedestrians since everyone travels by car.

          The bicycle/pedestrian issue is a problem on the increasingly common rail trails because the bikes can attain considerable speed on the flat, paved surfaces. I agree that cyclists can be just like motorists in these situations.

        2. Joe Well

          Did the cyclist run you over and kill you? Because that’s the risk that cyclists on the street face. I know that there is a real risk of injury to pedestrians, but the potential injury is just so much smaller.

          There are really bad cyclists just like there are really bad drivers, and I’m tempted to say the quick and easy solution to both is the same: arrest and fine. But we can’t really trust our police forces or municipal governments to do that fairly, so I’m not sure what the solution is. But one solution is not having cyclists getting killed on the roads. And another non-solution is having everyone in cars destroying the earth.

          1. Chris Smith

            The vast majority of bicyclists don’t get killed on the road either, so if that’s your baseline you have no reason for complaint. Nonetheless, drivers endangering cyclists in the street does not justify cyclists endangering pedestrians on the sidewalk. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

            1. Irrational

              Hear, hear!
              Where I live in Europe, bike lanes are not consistently separated from the sidewalk and I fear for my life when walking. At the same time, I do understand why you would not want to cycle on the road, so the answer is dedicated road, dedicated bike lane and dedicated side walk. And those bloody scooters belong in the bike lane!

            2. Joe Well

              What you are proposing is banning cyclists from the sidewalks and forcing them out onto the streets (which may be necessary in places with narrow sidewalks, but not everywhere) which is a worse solution than just letting them onto sidewalks which are wide enough (and enforcing proper behavior), not because there is no cost to pedestrians in doing so, but because it’s a lower cost than having bicycles in the street.

              And no, a bicycle does not pose the same risk to an unguarded human body as a car, I can’t believe that isn’t obvious.

              Living in a society means that everyone has to share costs and benefits. If you are going to benefit (at least in terms of pollution) from having people cycling instead of driving, there is a cost as well at least until we can ban cars from cities. For the forseeable future, bicycles and similar things like scooters are the only realistic way to pull people out of their cars since we can’t magically wish public transit infrastructure into existence, especially as the Western world spirals down into late capitalist social collapse.

        3. Another Scott

          This has happened to me in suburbs as well, and I often find myself feeling unsafe around cyclists. I’ve been forced onto roads so that cyclists can pass me, including when there is a dedicated bike lane. And it’s not just sidewalks, they tend not to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, even when cars in both directions are stopped.

          When I drive, I try to be respectful of people who I can harm (such as motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians) and dislike it when those people don’t treat me the same.

        4. marieann

          “Having been nearly run down by bicyclists on the sidewalks”

          I do agree, my husband complains about this often….but at the moment where I live I have no other option.

          I have a bell on my bike and use it often and I go on to the road at times when I see a a lot of walkers on the trail.

          Just because some idiot folk ride bikes the way they probably drive cars does not mean I have to put myself in mortal danger

        5. captain obvious

          Walking: good for your health, good for the planet.
          Biking: good for your health, good for the planet.
          Problem: infrastructure is car centric, and special interest want to keep it that way.
          Solution: pit the walkers against the bikers, the old divide and conquer. Works every time.

          1. Joe Well

            Thank you, C.O. You captured it beautifully.

            Also, I’m a sometimes-biker, sometimes-walker, sometimes-car person. I don’t see why people who aren’t disabled feel the need to implant themselves in their cars as if they were extensions of their persons.

        6. Roy G

          The solution is to go ‘old school New Yorker’ on them with a Ratso Rizzo-esque rant:

          ‘HEY! I’M WALKING HERE!’

      5. Craig H.

        > sidewalks should also be bike lanes

        Pedestrians don’t feel any more secure being passed by cyclists at 15 mph than cyclists feel being passed by cars at 30 mph. Do you walk on sidewalks? I don’t want cyclists on the sidewalks any more than I want those stupid scooters.

        They are not as bad as armed robbers is the best that can be said for this idea.

      6. lyman alpha blob

        I do the same thing – bike on the rarely used sidewalks until I see a pedestrian. I mainly bike for running small errands around town. Quite a few friends who do bike more regularly and for longer distances have been hit by cars at least once so I avoid biking on any streets with high car traffic whenever I can.

    2. Carolinian

      Supposedly Denmark has bicycle only roads. Around here bicyclists are fatally hit by cars all the time. Typically it happens at night but even in the daytime cyclists put themselves greatly at risk in order to assert their “rights.”

      1. voteforno6

        I’m generally sympathetic to cyclists, but some of them can make some rather puzzling decisions. For example, on more than one occasion I’ve seen bicyclists pedaling along on a major road near home, seemingly ignoring the bike trail that’s maybe twenty feet away, running along the side of that same road.

        1. Wukchumni

          I had a run in with a bikers group, Heck’s Angels.

          Wearing black leather jackets & colors showing gang affiliation, they were astride an assortment of vintage Schwinn Sting-Rays, most with banana seats and sissy bars, all with slick back tires.

          They were as menacing as one can possibly be, when peddling a push bike.

    3. Mrs Smith

      I’ve lived in the Netherlands for almost four years now. We have no car and use bikes and public transport almost every day. The Dutch consider bikes the preferred mode of travel (it is a very flat country after all), so there are almost always dedicated lanes for cars, bikes and pedestrians. If a car hits someone on a bike, they are liable—the bike has the right of way in every case.

      This article from Vox gets a few things wrong about Dutch attitudes about cycling, but it’s a really good primer:

      My son moved back to the US for college, and I’m terrified for him to ride his bike to and from his university. I know several people who have been hit by cars when riding on US streets. It’s a miracle they are alive, yet none of the people who hit them were charged with any crime or liability. This is never going to change in any meaningful way as long as cars are considered the rulers of the roads.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Ive been in a head on collision with a cyclist while riding a cheap mountain bike. Dude ran into a brick wall aka me, who sustained nary a scratch. Second time, i was at a stop waiting to cross Wes Esplanade and a SUV turning right didnt see me and literally ran over my front tire. One second my butts on the seat and hands on the handlebars and the next second POOF the bike disappears. Needless to say, i escaped injury again.

        I dont have good luck with bikes. My current bike is on the front patio with a flat tire.

        1. scoff

          Flat tires can sometimes be a good thing.

          Many years ago I came out of the house where I had been visiting a friend only to find my rear tire flat. I didn’t have a patch kit or any tools with me, so I started walking the bike home. About halfway there I just happened to glance off to the side of the road and there, at the bottom of the ditch along the side of the road, was a $20 bill. Very fortuitous because I didn’t have the money to fix the flat at that time. I got a new tube for the tire with plenty of change left over.

      2. aletheia33

        thank you for the link mrs. smith. and thank you to everyone for weighing in on the bicycling discussion. the photos are helpful: food for thinking about how to make bike lanes work. also it says that in holland there are large numbers of urbanites who insist on being able to ride their bikes safely and with their children on them.
        and children get training in school and have to pass an exam in safe riding. the whole article is useful for thinking about what is possible, what is working, and some of the issues raised in the comments below.

    4. Frenchguy

      The worst being an unprotected bike lane with parking spaces on the side. Not only are cars overtaking you way too closely but you’re at the mercy of a careless door opening. In this case, I just go a bit outside the bike lane, it get the attention of drivers and I’m outside the reach of doors. I do risk getting some road rage but it’s overall less dangerous…

      1. Joe Well

        In Boston they are putting the bike lanes on the other side of the parked cars so the cars form the barrier with traffic.

        The challenge with separate lanes is always how do you cross over to a street on the other side?

        1. Darius

          This is the solution. A few bike lanes are like this in DC. Most though are between parking and the road. It’s like the traffic engineers couldn’t quite commit to the notion of roadway dedicated solely to bikes. Bike lanes, after all, are just a necessary PR stunt. They don’t actually have to provide effective transportation. Cars, transportation for grownups, always have to be given precedence.

        2. Tom Bradford

          Plus you have the problem of passenger-side doors opening into the cycle lane, or passengers waiting in the cycle lane for the door to be unlocked.

        3. ChrisPacific

          We have a few like this here that were recently added, but they have not been well received initially. The issue is cross streets – because the parked cars screen cyclists from traffic, it’s harder for cars to see them before making a turn. That means the ‘hook’ (already a leading cause of cycling related accidents) becomes even more of a threat. It’s possible that this is a transitional problem and will get better once drivers are more aware of the presence of cycle lanes, but I don’t think it would ever go away entirely (you’d still have drivers who were unfamiliar with the area).

    5. Chris Smith

      Given that bikes go too slow to share the road with cars and too fast to share the sidewalk with pedestrians, I don’t think there is any choice but to provide appropriate infrastructure for bikes to use in the form of separate lanes.

      1. Joe Well

        We’re still assuming that most streets have to be open to all car traffic. Has any place every just banned cars on most streets? If we don’t ban cars now, the planet will ban them for us, I think.

        1. Chris Smith

          Other than Boston, Manhattan, and (maybe) San Francisco, I can’t think of too many places in the US where not having a car is viable (either in the sense of just can’t do it, or its a huge tax on time not to have one). IMO the key is building to pedestrian scale with reliable and frequent mass transit. Then everyone can put their personal vehicle of choice away and walk.

          Then again, if you can convince enough people to bike instead of drive to the point where cyclists outnumber drivers, maybe you can reallocate roads from cars to bikes using the political process.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              I lived in Seattle for a decade with no car and found the bus system there to be excellent.

              I would also argue that the bus got you where you wanted to go quicker than driving. A car might get you from point A to B a little quicker than public transport, but once you get to point B in the car, the time spent trying to find parking was often longer than the initial trip. The bus would generally let you off within a block or so of your destination.

            1. Chris Smith

              I lived in uptown New Orleans pre-Katrina. That was not my experience, particularly if you wanted to get groceries. Back then the only viable options were Winn Dixie at the river end of Jefferson and the now defunct Uptown Superstore (can’t remember where it was exactly). I understand the streetcar lines have expanded since then. Has bus service become reliable in the interim?

          1. Joe Well

            Chris, the solution is limiting cars to main roads with dedicated bicycle lanes and banning cars (except residents’) from smaller streets that can’t accommodate dedicated bicycle lanes, and putting in park-and-ride lots so people can get out of their cars and into public transit, bicycle, scooter, or whatever. We don’t have to ban car ownership until of course the planet does it for us.

            There are so many hard solutions to climate and transportation problems, but this one is simple. Get people out of cars by making the alternatives to cars more attractive.

      2. Carolinian

        Then you’ll still have the racing bike owners bombing past granny on her rental bike. The only real solution to rude cyclists will be some kind of law enforcement. Bike lanes may need speed limits, bizarre as that sounds. The story up in links talks about safe passing distances for cars–3 ft or so from the bike being standard–but I’ve been on walking trails where speeding bikes may pass with six inches to spare. Sometimes they may yell “on your left” which is just as likely to make you turn around directly into their path.

        No form of traffic design can substitute for common sense and courtesy.

        1. Joe Well

          I have seen sections of bike lanes with speed limits, it’s not strange at all, you can go quite fast on a bicycle.

          As for enforcement…sigh…we need serious policing reform for that to work but you probably didn’t need me to tell you that.

    6. coboarts

      For years the bike lanes in California have been painted white, the same color as can mark the edge of the usable roadway. I saw many times that I was being encouraged to ride on my side of the white line, regardless of the crumbling pavement at the edge. Finally, they seem to be painting the bike lanes green. However, I haven’t even begun to share my stories about the civil engineering of what are supposed to be bike lanes. Maybe it’s better now, but I won’t ever ride a bike where I have to “share” the road again.

    7. lordkoos

      My personal experience definitely paralells the article on bicycles, I’ve noticed that cars get much closer to me when there is a bike lane, whereas with no bike lane they generally give me a lot more room. I agree that riding on sidewalks is not a solution. Riding in Seattle in car traffic was pretty scary at times, fortunately I now live in a small town where there is much less traffic, and motorists are more polite as well. However last year someone did a hit and run which killed a cyclist here. I ride that same country road occasionally and now think of that incident every time I’m on it.

    8. rd

      DC has started putting the car parking away from the curb on major roads leaving a bike lane separated from traffic between the parked cars and curb. It seems to be working pretty well.

      1. newcatty

        I can testify that my closest friend in CO almost got into a awful accident due to arrogant cyclists riding on a two lane road with car traffic. My friend was well aware that the road was popular with racing cyclists, especially. She was a careful and courteous driver in her car. The road has a bike lane that is only suitable for single line cycling. Most of the time cyclists will cycle two abreast on the road. Sometimes three for brief periods. This means one cyclist is usually on the road with car traffic. One day, the area is well known for deer crossing the road, my friend had to choose between hitting a deer head on or a cyclist on the road next to her. She put peddle to metal and just missed deer or cyclist. She slowed down and came to a spot to pullover off road. The cyclists had slowed down and watched the show. They continued on their merry way, still two abreast, and ignored my friend. Unfortunately, cyclists are treated like special people in the area. Rude and dangerous behavior is rationalized or laughed off. There are other cyclists’ oriented cities, such as in AZ, that are the same. I have lived in both states and have heard many stories of cyclists riding together with the attitude of their “rights” to the road. I have never heard of one consequence, like a citation, being done.

        1. herman_sampson

          I take John Forester’s ” Effective Cycling” as a reliable guide and ride my bike like a slow car – stopping at stop lights, staying to the right except when turning left in a left turn lane but not too far to the right so as to avoid debris. At times I move conspicuously to middle of the lane when that I’d the safest course for me. The problem with separate bike lanes is when you cross a street – cars expect traffic on street, pedestrians at sidewalks but bike lanes are a surprise. You have to ride assertively, not aggressively, and always give pedestrians the right of way.

    9. Polar Socialist

      Where I live we have bike lanes at places marked on the sidewalk, at places marked on the road. I slightly prefer the ones on the road, because they are usually one way lines, and there’s no parking allowed, so I don’t have to watch out for other bicyclists, pedestrians or suddenly opening car doors. The one way thing sucks, though, since it usually takes longer to cross the road (twice) that to actually travel it.

      The ones on the sidewalk are wider, which is good because you usually have parked cars on the other side and pedestrians on the other. And a lot of those pedestrians don’t really seem to understand the concept of bike lane, even if they are clearly marked and filled with bicycles. People getting on and off their cars rarely watch out for cyclist either. And for some reason wide bike lane makes some cyclists think it’s ok to block it if they stop for any reason…

      When riding in traffic I at least know that the other drivers pay more attention to what’s happening around them than your normal pedestrian.

  4. Krystyn Walentka

    RE: “Landmark UN Report to Show ‘Transformational Change’ Urgently Needed to Save Humanity and Natural World From Nightmarish Future”

    So what are other commenters doing in their personal life and local area to uphold their obligation to the natural world?

    1. Wukchumni

      So what are other commenters doing in their personal life and local area to uphold their obligation to the natural world?

      I’m not doing deft defying cliff hanger see me-dig me selfies, no Kodak momentary slip…YAARRGHHJLLLL>:!

      1. The Rev Kev

        Don’t mean to steal your thunder but should that YAARRGHHJLLLL>:! be a YOLOOOOO instead?

        1. Wukchumni

          I guess it depends on whether you had time to post it on social media in the meantime mid-fall?

        2. Oregoncharles

          I think a quiet “Oh, family blog!” would be appropriate.

          (This is a very old joke – what were the last words of the guy who fell out of the airplane? Cleaned up for the setting, of course.)

    2. ambrit

      I’m slowly preparing to “shuffle off the mortal coil.”
      The way American society is presently configured, the only really effective counter measures to the elites blithely squandering the world’s ecological heritage seem to involve “kinetic solutions” and “extreme prejudice.”
      Let us make the ‘Jackpot’ be a fully “equal opportunity” affair.

      1. jrs

        hey I kind of like that as a suggestion, the be prepared to die, but in a way that does some good ;). I don’t know if it’s the only suggestion but …

    3. Chris Cosmos

      Look, it’s clear that personal changes are, to be blunt, totally inadequate to address the situation. This issue has to be dealt with society-wide. Doing something personally may help create some underlying support for collective actions but that’s as far as it goes in the view of many experts.

      In the US the environment as a whole is rarely talked about either in intellectual circles or anywhere else this is why, as far as US is concerned, there is likely never to be any action on climate change–this is something other societies will have to deal with.

      1. marieann

        I don’t shop except in thrift stores, I garden and I grow and can vegetables and fruit.I compost. I reduce waste and seldom fly.

        I’m not totally doing this for the plant, it’s the way I’ve always lived…thrifty and frugal.

        I agree that we as individuals cannot change things but while I’m waiting for our “leaders” get on board I live quietly and happy.

        I do contact politicians for the planet

    4. Phacops

      Not having children and managing 40 acres of formerly degraded grazing land to maximize diversity. Part of that is managing invasives and expanding a watering hole which now supports three species of dragonflies and four species of frogs. It takes a bit of work and sometimes having to face setbacks, like losing Ash to the emerald ash borer.

      But, not having children compared to those who spew them out means that I have a carbon and ecological footprint far smaller. I can be a carbon spendthrift yet do far less damage to this world.

      Growth is the logic of a cancer cell.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Having fewer children than needed for replacement – about 2.3 per couple last I checked – is the absolute best thing anyone who cares about the future of this planet can do.

        That being said, while other individual lifestyle changes may not solve the larger environmental problems by themselves, they certainly do set a good example.

    5. diptherio

      When I moved in to my new digs this last December, I convinced the property owner to not have propane hooked up. This means I heat my home and any hot water I need on the wood stove. I did this specifically to avoid using fossil fuels in my housing to the greatest extent possible (all our elec. here is from hydro).

      When my chainsaw for bucking up fire wood broke, I opted to start using the handsaw. Once I got a new blade on it, it worked great, wasn’t nearly as obnoxious, and does not require the drilling/refining/shipping of petroleum products.

      My personal vehicle broke down after a 1/4 million pretty rough miles. Instead of dropping money into fixing or replacing it, I’m in talks with friends about setting up a car share. I know from experience that there’s no better encouragement for me to walk or bike than to have to schedule the use of a vehicle in advance.

    6. Light a Candle

      That is the most important question and answer in the world.

      I am realizing my moral obligation to take action now on the climate super crisis (it is not merely climate change).

      Among other things, reorganizing my life to focus my volunteer time on addressing the climate crisis, no more plane travel and consciously flagging in conversation that tourism (and capitalism) are dead ends.

      As Caitlin Johnstone notes we must change the narrative. And as the Swedish girl notes we must act.

      Business as usual will kill the planet.

    7. Jeremy Grimm

      I am making plans for introducing alien plant species which will be better suited to the future climate which will soon grace the area I will move to. I believe Climate Chaos will very soon accelerate to rates of change few of the native plant species will be able to adapt to. Many native species are already challenged by the present rates of change. I am also attempting to learn what I can about ways to temporarily ‘adjust’ climate in a small area to avoid conditions that would kill even the alien species I might plant. For the long term I am watching for GMO and classic plant breeding adaptations of food plants and other plants I might use. In other words I expect little or no change to Humankind’s actions promoting the destruction of habitat and climate. That seems a wise basis for crafting such adaptations as I might make given our past history and the likely prospects for the future. As for animal species, I would like to promote plants to help bees and keep some bees if possible. I might buy a gun and learn to shot so that I might deal with some of the larger animal species also making their adaptations to Climate Chaos and habitat degradation — bears, wild boars, wild dogs, and their like. I will also lay-in as much mosquito netting and bug repellent as I can and see if there is some way to make the stuff when it becomes unavailable. I also believe it could be crucial to learn as much as I can about growing mushrooms, and selecting wild mushrooms and other fungi. The fungi will be presented with a windfall of dead plant life. They are also able to rapidly adapt to new conditions.

    8. lordkoos

      We try to use everything to death… we don’t buy new stuff until really needed, and repair what we can. We garden, and my wife grows a lot of pollinator-friendly plants. What’s been on my mind more lately is plastic — it seems nearly impossible to avoid using it. I’m old enough to remember when things were made of metal and wood. The thing that really gets me though, are the millions of products that are made to be “disposable” instead of being built to last, especially in the case of plastics. Humanity is committing slow suicide, without a doubt.

    9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There is another possiblity that lends itself to denial – it’s too late.

      If it’s too late, will people want to get it over with sooner? That will worsen the situation (thus, the end quicker).

      And it’s understandable, in that case, that that possiblity should be denied. Those who do so can also be called Climate Change Deniers.

      Is it too late? I don’t know.

      Can we handle that truth? I don’t know.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Different people behave differently.

          For some, knowing they have only so many days, months, years to go, they will act differently.

          Why save? Just spend – that’s one possibility, for some individuals, in this personal case (vs. Climate Change, which is universal, not merely personal).

          Some, like marieann above, might simply continue their simple, frugal lives, because that’s what they are or that’s what they believe in.

    10. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      100 companies cause 70% of Climate Change.

      Protesting and Activism in Da Dirty South, Ya Heard!!!

      1. jrs

        Considering what movements have been bloody, that did good, like the labor movement (of course they weren’t usually the one’s imitating violence, but violence they saw nonetheless, in spades.).

        We can be meek and cultivate our garden on the theory that the meek will inherit the earth (but what good is a used up earth and how can it be worth having?) or we can see courage and not humility as the path (not every act of courage must be over the top).

        Wonder and awe and HUMILITY in the face of nature herself. But courage in regards to the malefactors. Yes voting is much more pleasant than activism, that people will throw even that away pining over the likes of Biden .. I don’t know what to say.

  5. PlutoniumKun


    Brexit: retreat to the bunker

    Brexit: Theresa May warned more than 100 Tories could block compromise deal with Labour Independent

    Its all gone blessedly quiet for a while, but its entirely clear that nobody in Parliament has their act together and the additional time is being squandered. I can’t see what Corbyn is playing at dealing with May – he will only succeed in splitting Labour and tying the remains of Labour to the sinking ship.

    The problem with the local elections and the upcoming Euro elections is that everyone is already discounting any result – the Tories managed to shrug off an historic hiding in the local elections, and will do the same at the Euro’s. Corbyn will find it harder to do so, his failure to take electoral advantage of the Tories ineptness is becoming all too apparent. Everyone will go off on the summer holidays, and the nonsense will begin again for the September Party Conferences. And once again, the EU will have to decide in October whether to cut the cords or give yet another time extension.

    1. David

      I’m sympathetic to Richard North’s comment that there really is nothing to say about Brexit that hasn’t been said already. Certainly, I have nothing stunningly original to contribute at this stage. I don’t know whether anyone else has.
      But in turn, I think that’s because the British political system, as now constituted, has run up against a problem that it cannot solve, and indeed is essentially incapable of solving. Given the way the system works, the nature of Brexit as an issue and the personalities involved, then whilst there will inevitably be and ending of some sort, it’s hard to see how there can actually be a solution. This implies two things. First, that the ending will be just the outcome that is forced on the system, rather than an outcome that anyone really wants. Secondly, that, whilst we can design all sorts of interesting scenarios for a solution, on practice none of them is likely to come about, because the obstacles in the system are simply too powerful. For the first time, I have begun to entertain the possibility that Brexit won’t happen, simply because there is no agreement on what it means, and there never will be. Yes, I know it’s the default option, but I can see the whole project just collapsing in the direction of a withdrawal of Art 50, not because most people want that, but because it’s just the way the pieces eventually fall. If that happens, though, I think the end of Brexit will also be the end of the British political system in its current incarnation.

      1. a different chris

        >simply because there is no agreement on what it means, and there never will be.

        That was the entire – as I am not well versed in the particulars of British politics for sure – basis of my “na ganna happen” assertion. The personalities involved, and the laughable lack of competence. I didn’t see how they could ever get their s(family blog) together enough to do it right, and they are (mostly and barely) smart enough to see how mad doing it wrong would sooner or later make the good citizens, no matter which side said citizens started on. Which would be costly to the only thing these useless creatures care about, their careers.

        So the only solution than can possibly “work” given that is to punt and point fingers.

        Again, I admit to surrendering on this awhile ago so won’t be able to take any credit for the courage of my convictions if Brexit does go toes up. Ah well, got no skin in this game.

      2. Brian (another one they call)

        The great commonewealth nation chooses to vote. All post voting energy from Tory, Labour, and LibDems is to ignore or circumvent the outcome of the election. At what point do you admit you don’t live in a representative democracy? The UK system of government broke itself some time back, but the collapse is now evident. I am not sure how any other conclusion can be considered.
        Goodbye UK and hello new nations. and Good luck to you!

      3. Lambert Strether

        > because the British political system, as now constituted, has run up against a problem that it cannot solve, and indeed is essentially incapable of solving.

        I’m starting to think that way about the United States.

  6. Carl

    Re: An American Lab Test Abroad
    Seems to me that the US has become the exporter of bad ideas, in almost every way. It’s quite the experience observing as the empire slowly collapses.

    1. polecat

      With a U.S. naval carrier group now steaming towards the PERSIAN Gulf .. not the Jihadi Gulf mind you !! … and the unknown unkowns that may result from a possible blockheadedcade, and depending on who holds (and uses) the bigger stick .. the empire might collapse a tad more ‘un’slowly … missing the tread for the riser, only to trip and break that-shoot-from-the-hip !

  7. PlutoniumKun

    An American Lab Test Abroad The Baffler

    Thanks for this excellent article, a very good overview of a (Made in the USA) scandal thats been enveloping the Irish Health Service for a few years. Unfortunately in Ireland there has been such blanket coverage of the human tragedies (young women dying of entirely treatable cancers), that the core fault has been obscured.

    In short – the Irish government decided to contract out its Cervical Screening program along with other associated cancer screening to US companies and the result was… a disaster. The precise reasons are complicated, but the result wasn’t – hundreds of women getting false negatives.

    The underlying issues are really complicated – the article talks about ongoing privatisation of health in Ireland, which strictly speaking is not really true – in certain areas it has, in others, the government has taken far more control. The original problem (lessons here for the US), is that an attempt to rationalise the administration of the Irish public health service (HSE) was disastrously mishandled (by the politician mentioned in the article – Mary Harney). The result was an administrative mess, resulting in huge pressure for the HSE to contract out as much of its work as it could, in the name both of efficiency and (not spoken so much out loud), undermining various pressure groups and Unions within the health service. There is little doubt that the choice of a US company to do the testing was deliberately done to undermine Irish labs which were seen as ‘obstructive’ for one reason or another.

    Unfortunately the message promulgated by the Irish media isn’t very clear – instead of ‘we need to develop a proper health system’, the message has been ‘the HSE is incompetent’ (which is true), and this will probably lead to even more privatisation.

    1. larry

      PK, there is no lesson here, I think, that the US elite are able to learn. I am not surprised by this. In the 1950s, the US government wanted to assist medical schools in terms of textbooks and lab equipment. The government said outright that this help was a one-off and meant to assist medical students and that the government had no interest in interfering with what was taught. The AMA testifed before Congress that this was an unacceptable intervention because it reeked of creeping communism, even though McCarthy has already been disgraced. While cultural lag is real, this was ridiculous.

      The public is for a national medical care system but the medical system, with a few exceptions, is not. The medical power elite will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into a non-private system. A number of general practitioners are for such a non-private system because they no longer think the system currently in place works. One such medic is Robin Cook, the thriller writer and Mass General trained physician. In Marker, a thriller based on genetics, he appended an epilog that argued that, while he had been an enthusiastic supporter of the US private health care system in the past, he felt he could no longer support it and that it was time that a national system was introduced. Marker came out in 2005. He wasn’t early, but he was clear and emphatic.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        In terms of a lesson, I meant that its vital to get the public health services properly structured and organised before you drop responsibilities on them. An obvious example is Medicare for All. In the Irish case, the politicians thought they were doing a good thing by amalgamating a number of agencies into one and giving it more responsibility. In theory they were – but they handled the process so badly they made things worse, not better. Essentially, they passed a law one November that on the first of January there would be a new combined agency, and then went off on their Christmas holidays congratulating themselves on a job well done.

        1. a different chris

          “Medicare For All” backers, I believe, started with exactly that idea: we already had “public health services properly structured”, as least as well as human beings could ever get a larger project right, as Medicare was quite popular and it works on the sickest set of patients.

          Of course this was way too simple for the Third Way-ers thus the ACA just had to be written from scratch.

  8. Peak BS

    For those looking to learn more about what many consider THE POSTER CHILD for regulatory capture, ZIRP, fraud, Silicon Valley hubris and more . . .

    TSLAQ is a hive-like collective of financiers, accountants, Ph.D.’s, lawyers, pilots, and members of just about any other occupational discipline you can imagine. What unites them all is Tesla, or more specifically, their outrage at a CEO who they believe to be a carnival barker running the biggest fraud in corporate America. In the words of TSLAQ’s most prominent member Mark Spiegel, Elon Musk is responsible for “the biggest single stock bubble in this whole bubble market.”

    A thorough, fast moving, accurate podcast:

  9. Charger01

    The medical power elite will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into a non-private system.

    This. The folks over at Chapo Trap House had an interview with the excellent Tim Faust about this very topic, I think it was called “better ingredients, better health” where he broke down how much worse the us system was compared to every country except Slovenia. I love the Mercatus study and the glass Amherst study that illustrates that we will save trillions over the next ten years with M4A.

    1. Robert McGregor

      @Charger01, We have a senior physician in our family, and he wants Universal Health Care. I haven’t seen polls on it, but many physicians want a radical change, and would even trade a significant portion of their income for a much better system. They know that many US physicians make too much compared to world’s standards. It’s usually not their fault, but the system is just too broke and full of disincentives. It’s an interesting economic paradox: Health Care providers make more more money as the their productivity (outcomes) go down. Check the US life expectancy for middle age people–going down not up!

  10. Wukchumni

    In abrupt move, Donald Trump says 10 per cent China tariffs will rise to 25 per cent on Friday SCMP

    In a brazen tariffist attack-the jackal of all tirades, called for a 150% increase.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      China was making concessions to Wall Street, resort/casino/hotel operators, etc, or maybe not.

      We dont’t seem to get too many leaks.

      If so, that seems to be good (as far as running a tightship on trade negoations goes).

      You keep the other side, the press, stock speculators, and everyone else guessing.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Why Joe Biden Might Be the Best Bet to Beat Trump”

    Yep. Sounds like a totally legit idea. I can just see the meeting at the Democratic National Committee now. They would be sitting around in some backroom discussing who to select to run against Trump. They would, for election purposes, discuss all of Trump’s flaws. The fact that he is very old, white, male, privileged, tone-deaf to criticism, arrogant, can’t keep his paws off of women, racist, a misogynist, unwoke, compromised by his past actions and all the rest of it.
    So of course as an alternate to people choosing Trump, they select Biden to run against him.

    1. Cal2

      Iran, Venezuela, Iraq,; “What difference does it make?”, to quote an infamous secretary of state.

      Ocasio Cortez: “I will go with the house leadership on Venezuela”
      In other words,
      We will use sanctions to starve children and deny them medicine and food to punish their government that charges us full market price for their oil. That is our Democratic program and we must do everything to prevent Trump from using the military…”

      Oppo Controlled from Queens is doing her job already.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “The Race to Develop the Moon”

    At the moment, the US is leaning towards having the private sector undertake space travel instead of having NASA do it so that a few billionaires can get themselves more power and yet more billions. Trouble is that space is a very unforgiving environment. You try to build your spacecraft like a 737 MAX and you are going to lose a few crews and ships. You want to know what the worse result could be? That Americans get to be known as the Vikings of the Space Age. What I mean by that is this. Several centuries ago the Vikings were undertaking fantastic voyages of exploration and even set up at least one colony in America but which did not last. In the centuries to follow, it was the English and the French that developed America’s wealth and built up a nation in that continent while the Vikings went into a retreat. So what could happen is that it was America that really made their name in space and were the first to the Moon but in the decades to come, it will be the Chinese and Europeans that will truly develop and exploit space and the Moon.

    1. Joe Well

      IIRC, the other lesson of the story of Vinland is that the Vikings were just not ruthless enough to mass-murder the native people they encountered, who by the way apparently were ruthless, and so the Vikings left in the fact of constant attacks. And also for some reason the Europeans didn’t set off an epidemic of introduced diseases.

      Five hundred years later, Spain landed a ship of criminals on an island of relatively peaceful people in the Caribbean and fortunately for Spain, an epidemic promptly ensued.

      1. Robert McGregor

        the Europeans didn’t set off an epidemic of introduced diseases,” because in the Viking times, the cities of Europe were not yet large, dense, and dirty enough to incubate the nasty diseases which Spain carried over five hundred years later.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Cenk has really gone off the deep end, especially since that night in November 2016. It may be one reason that Jimmy Dore left TYT a few weeks ago as Dore hasn’t drunk the Kool Aid.

      1. Joe Well

        Is the possible solution just that Cenk and the other Russiagaters aren’t very bright when it comes to logical reasoning and examining facts? For me, the Occam’s Razor to understanding Russiagate has been that the people promoting it (at least the ones who aren’t making the big bucks) are not just deranged but idiots, and they assume that everyone else is at least as much of an idiot as they are. And since literacy is not positively correlated with getting your news from TV or Youtube, their audiences will tend to support their assumptions of intellectual superiority.

        Seriously, have a good long read of any Russiagate writing. They’re shot through with obvious logical errors and assumptions of facts never in evidence, drenched in a lot of malicious innuendo.

        If you’re accustomed to reading the ravings of the elites of “middle income countries” like in South America, it’s all very familiar. People who were never qualified for anything getting appointed to prominent positions in the media because they can’t be trusted in a real business but can be trusted not to get any ideas of their own and to be deeply committed to the status quo. That’s the only there that’s there.

        1. Carey

          To your first sentence: no, I do not think that’s a satisfactory explanation.

  13. Antifa

    War on Iran, eh?

    The Marine Corps Hymn Revisited

    Although Persia is an ancient land
    They are parked upon our crude
    Yes we know that war’s a racket
    And that bombing folks is rude
    But might makes right, and freedom
    Needs the blood of shavetail teens
    So we’ll be John Bolton’s bully boys
    The United States Marines

    Though the Persians mind their own affairs
    While it’s we who raise a fuss
    Though John Bolton calls them terrorists
    When Terrorists-R-Us®
    We will kill them all quite happily
    Blow them all to smithereens
    Hey — “we only followed orders”
    The United States Marines

    Here’s death to all who harbor oil
    And to all who foil our greed
    Because black oil is the blood of life
    And murder is our creed
    John Bolton will not go to war
    He will keep his soft hands clean
    You can blame the whole fiasco
    On the United States Marines

    1. Lambert Strether

      Those are really good lyrics; they make me think of Phil Ochs.

      Not to assign work, but I wonder if we have anyone in the NC readership who could set them to music and make a YouTube? Who knows, it might go viral!

  14. elissa3

    Sweet birdie. We go every other year to the Bosque for the cranes. A great antidote to life in the big city.

  15. John k

    LA times headline:
    Biden, sanders differ on a key issue.
    The key is whether America will be great again once trump is defeated.
    And apparently a plurality of dems prefer Biden… and if the vote were binary just now it seems clear Beto, butt and Kamala votes would mostly go to biden…
    if the polls are right maybe the dem party is hopeless, and no matter how hard and long the road, a third party is the only way. Unless enough indie voters can will get into the dem primaries.

    Granted, Biden is, like Hillary, running for Obama’s third term on the basis America is already great plus Biden is more like able with less baggage than she. Not clear to me those arguments will prevail against a sitting pres.

  16. Anthony K Wikrent

    Link above: Why Joe Biden Might Be the Best Bet to Beat Trump New York magazine. Andrew Sullivan. Offered up to start discussion…

    Two links later:

    Biden Supporters Launch $60 Million Dark Money Group TruthOut

    So, no. ‘Nuff said.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Biden Supporters Launch $60 Million Dark Money Group TruthOut

      Wonderfully clarifying. The message from the DNC et al. is “Not only did we do nothing wrong, we’re intensifying what we did.”

  17. Cal2

    Only $9.72 cents for an opportunity to heckle The Clintons?
    That sounds like more fun than going to a movie that costs at least ten bucks.

    Practice your shouted message ahead of time. Keep it short.
    Reinstate Glass Steagal” is about as long as can be understood. No vulgarity.

    Thanks for Trump! should be clearly articulated, otherwise the audience will hear “Thanks Trump!”

    Elect Bernie” might be appropriate for the faint of heart.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Only $9.72 cents for an opportunity to heckle The Clintons? That sounds like more fun than going to a movie that costs at least ten bucks

      I’ve seen that movie…

  18. ewmayer

    o A drone has been used to deliver a donor kidney for the first time MIT Technology Review — lending new meaning to “whizzing above the treetops”.

    1. wilroncanada

      They were all so amazed, high-fiving over this new marvellous advance in med-care; all five doctors, seven nurses, plus the whole executive suite of the hospital. While they were busy congratulating themselves, a cleaning lady finished the operation so she could do her job before her shift end. Otherwise those same administrators would have made her do the cleaning with no overtime pay, in order to save money.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thank you for posting those links on the glyphosate thread.

  19. Lambert Strether

    Well, I just spent a minute with Google Captcha training robots that traffic lights are a little farther up in the air than they really are. Some robot truck is going to get a little taken off the top….

  20. jackiebass

    In the small city I live in in upstate NY people drive their battery operated scooters intended for household use by old people, in the public streets. Often their clothing is such that they are hard to see. It’s a miracle that no one has ever been hit by a motor vehicle. Some drive with the traffic and some drive against the traffic. You have to be alert when driving because you never know when one of these scooters is going to be in the road way.

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