Links 6/17/19

Largest world stock of animal-killing virus destroyed by UK lab BBC

Why sleeptrackers could lead to the rise of insomnia – and orthosomnia Guardian

In Pablo Picasso’s Studio During the Nazi Occupation of Paris Literary Hub


Waste Watch

Where does your plastic go? Global investigation reveals America’s dirty secret Guardian. Today’s must-read – a through introduction to a depressing subject. Grab a cup of coffee – but please eschew the disposable cup.

You’re Eating, Drinking and Breathing Microplastics. Now What? Massive Science

Gilets Jaunes

French Protesters Hang Up Their Yellow Vests WSJ


Massive blackout hits tens of millions in South America AP

Ecuador gives US military permission to use Galapagos island as airfield Independent (anon in so cal). Hoisted from comments.


Iran threatens to increase enriched uranium stockpile beyond limits set by nuclear deal in 10 days WaPo

The Arab spring is still alive openDemocracy

Scepticism as Sudan moves to put Omar al-Bashir on trial Al Jazeera

For the sheer pleasure of reading Qantara

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

What Happens When a US Border Protection Contractor Gets Hacked? Motherboard

Julian Assange

Assange to Face 5-Day Extradition Hearing in February 2020 Consortium News

737 MAX

Profit over safety? Boeing under fire over 737 Max crashes as families demand answers Guardian

Boeing CEO admits ‘mistake’ with 737 Max ahead of Paris Air Show, as analysts note ‘ominous dark cloud’ hanging over the entire industry Business Insider

Trials Near for Boeing 737 MAX Fix WSJ

Guillotine Watch

If you’re crazy rich, you can pay Ferrari to be a test driver Ars Technica

Banks accused of ‘systematic’ gouging of small customers on FX FT. Quelle surprise.

Credit ratings: old risks and new challenges for financial markets The Conversation

Class Warfare

Where Have All the Young Farmers Gone? American Conservative

Pennsylvania Bill Aims to Shift Water Clean-Up Costs From Residents to Polluters

America’s dental health crisis: Modern life accelerates tooth decay — but care is increasingly out of reach AlterNet

Trump campaigned on defeating the opioid crisis. It’s hard to tell if he’s winning. Politico

Drug Cop Worth $400 Million After Bets on Brooklyn Real Estate Bloomberg


FOX News Poll: Bernie Sanders Would Beat Trump By 9 Points Common Dreams

2020 race brings free college back to the national stage AP

Trump Set to Launch a Campaign That Never Really Ended WSJ

Can Elizabeth Warren Win Back Trump Country? Vanity Fair

Health Care

California goes even bigger on Obamacare Politico

Trump says he will roll out new health care plan in next couple of months The Hill

Amgen, Merck, and Eli Lilly sue over Trump administration policy to require drug prices in TV ads Stat

Summer camp is newest front in battle with US measles outbreak Times of Israel

American Academy of Pediatrics report urges travelers get MMR vaccine in wake of “record-breaking” European measles outbreak CBS


US’s Legacy of Using Trade Act to Steer Course of International Relations The Wire

India may trade places with US to ship items to China Economic Times

In Bengal, speak Bengali: Squeezed by BJP’s Hindutva, Mamata Banerjee grasps at Bengali nationalism Scroll


US-China rivalry makes rare earths a matter of national security, rather than economics SCMP

While Lam relents, Hong Kong calls massively for her ouster Asia Times

Trump Transition

Trump says supporters might ‘demand’ he serve more than two terms as president Sydney Morning Herald (skippy). Hoisted from comments.

EXCLUSIVE: Trump cites lessons from Nixon, says he ‘was never going to fire Mueller’ ABC News

Trump claims ‘Obama had to know about’ efforts to undermine presidency Fox

US Attacks Russia’s Power Grid; Trump Kept in Dark Common Dreams For those who missed yesterday’s links on this topic…

British business travellers to US haunted by old offences FT

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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      1. Kevin Hall

        Nope. Guam.

        The introduction of an invasive species (Boiga irregularis), by way of transport on US military aircraft, wiped out much of the native fauna (and wrecked the ecosystem) within a few decades on Guam.

        Similar has occurred in Hawaii.

        This is a very careless and foolish decision by Ecuador for the Galapagos. Especially since it is foreseeable.

        Yet this is what we as a species are, what we do.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          I’m reluctant to indict humanity for the actions of the newly bought-and-paid-for Ecuadorian rulers and especially for our wonderful military. Assigning collective guilt to our species will make it too easy to proclaim that humanity is just getting what it deserves as the [family blogging] hits the environmental catastrophe fan, and in effect, that will excuse our taking urgent action to save as many of our fellow humans as possible. It also plays into our billionaires’ love affair with moving to another planet so that they don’t have to share this one with us hoi polloi.

          I prefer Maude’s approach:

          Harold: You sure have a way with people, Maude.

          Maude: Well, they’re my species!

  1. Watt4Bob

    Attacking the Russian grid…

    …people who live in glass houses.

    Short-sighted a**holes, what could go wrong?

    1. notabanktoadie

      The first Minuteman missiles had already become a great source of stress for McNamara. The control system of the original model had a design flaw: small fluctuations in the electricity entering the command center could mimic the series of pulses required by the launch switch. An entire squadron of fifty missiles might be launched accidentally without anyone turning a key.“I was scared shitless,” an engineer who worked on the system later confessed. “The technology was not to be trusted.” McNamara insisted that the control system be redesigned, at great expense. The destruction of fifty Soviet cities because of a mechanical glitch, a classified history of the Minuteman program later noted, would be “an accident for which a later apology might be inadequate.” from

      1. ambrit

        I’m waiting for something like this to happen here in America, say, on the hottest day of the year. No air conditioning for three days would be a message impossible to ignore.
        There’s more than one way to “send them back to the stone age.”
        As far as electronica goes, I can find no analogue.
        Such an exercise would also be an added impetus to re-localizing agriculture. When the ‘supply chain’ breaks down, such a result would be definitely “organic.”

        1. Jeotsu

          Or the coldest ay of the year. The furnaces won’t light, and the fans/pumps won’t run if the power is off.

          3 days under those circumstances could cause much more damage. Even if you got most people to “heating centers” to keep them warm, thinks of a million homes with burst water pipes.

          Our centralized systems are quite fragile. And few people have the capacity (or plans) to deal with long term disruption. If the calvary *doesn’t* come riding int o save the day, then what’s your plan?

        2. Musicismath

          As far as electronica goes, I can find no analogue

          A coordinated attack that takes out the EDM Summer festival circuit?

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I remember an observation about hydrogen bombs from the play “In the Case of J. Robert Oppenheimer”. As I recall, Oppenheimer had noted only two targets in the Soviet Union of that time that were large enough to warrant use of a hydrogen bomb for their total destruction … while there were over 100 targets in the US that made suitable targets.

      We are almost entirely dependent on our Electric Grid for our way of life and on the Internet for much of our business and government functions … like taxes. We are a glass house indeed and we are casting stones at people who have endured and found ways to deal with much more than we can imagine — people who live in brick houses with wooden shutters.

        1. Wukchumni

          So Cal Edison has been very Johnny on the spot here as far as identifying oak trees in need of trimming up and doing so, or bigger jobs signified by a bit of white plastic tape, in which bigger limbs too close to power lines need to be lopped off.

          I think they got fi/religion, a new kind of dogma.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        When Oppenheimer and crew lit the fuse on the very first atomic bomb the world’s best scientists said there was a chance it would set all of the oxygen in the world on fire. 3 chances in 1 million by their calcs.

        Their answer: “light ‘er up, boys!”

  2. nycTerrierist

    Ha! re: that FOX News Poll, Bernie ahead by 9 pts!

    Everyone knows about FOX’s leftwing bias…


    1. PlutoniumKun

      Ipsos seems to agree, although Biden is almost as popular. The other figures seem to ‘beat’ Trump in proportion to their national profile in the polls, its only with Sanders that there is a specific boost.

      For some strange reason I am guessing most media outlets won’t comment on this.

      1. Cal2

        Potential Trump campaign ad if the ‘democrats are dumb enough to nominate Biden:

        Joe Biden, the man that brought you student debt you can never discharge, no matter if you are unemployed, your Mom’s dying of cancer and you are disabled. Joe Biden, the banker’s puppet.

        Now if Bernie were his opposition what could his ads say?

        Bernie Sanders, the man who wants to give free healthcare and college to everyone. How can we afford that?

        1. a different chris

          And Trump has built his entire pre-Presidential image on borrowing and spending enormous sums of money, he is really not the right guy to talk fiscal austerity with any conviction at all.

          Nobody wants fiscal austerity, sorry Ms. Pelosi. Sorry Mr. Schumer. A lot of Americans do subscribe to the family budget nonsense, but even then they are now seeing plenty of wealth they wouldn’t mind being brought down a few pegs so, well Aunt Peg can get the meds she needs.

          1. Cal2

            What font face would you use for that bumper sticker?

            Translation of mine for those who don’t get inferences. IMHO

            Biden is an easy target and would lose to Trump because of 44 million student debt serfs who probably vote.

            Trump’s attack would favor most Americans voting for Bernie.

    2. Svante

      Did any of us really believe, Pièce de Résistance™ was actually aimed at Trump? Trump’s our tag-team kleptocracy’s boogie-man to scare the 10% (more easily scared than Obama’s eight years’ hate, was to ‘baggers). Since well before Truman (Henry Wallace & Huey Long) The Dixicrats’ job was to supress any populist, likely to turn the reactionary white working class LEFT. It ain’t Bernie, Jayapal or the woke freshman congresswomen, it’s US

  3. DJG

    The combination of Françoise Gilot and Picasso is / was remarkable. The piece in today’s links is from her long memoir, Life with Picasso, which I found by chance and have read more than once. Today’s excerpt is rather somber, and it is worth knowing that Endre Rozsda did survive the war and returned to France.

    Her anecdotes about Brassaï also show her wit. Her memoir has great insight into how artists work, but she also is a witty observer of life among artists. She thought that Alice B. Toklas’s sweet tooth was a tad overdeveloped, for instance.

    Gilot is a formidable painter herself, and born in 1921, is still alive. She is the widow of Jonas Salk (yes, that Jonas Salk). All in all, someone worth knowing.

    1. Craig H.

      But not all of Picasso’s visitors were welcome ones. The Germans, of course, had forbidden anyone to exhibit his painting. In their eyes, he was a “degenerate” artist

      The degeneracy of his paintings is a matter of opinion but it is kind of a no-brainer that he was a degenerate man, so the Germans were definitely right although perhaps unintentionally so.

      Rozda’s fate was what I wanted to know so thank you for the info! That was pretty weird the way she left that hanging. Safe passage to Budapest in 1943? That is definitely not something you see every day.

  4. Lukas Bauer

    Didn’t Trump’s supporters claim he was going to dismantle the Deep State?

    Thanks to him (even if more out of stupidity than actual intention), and a legislature that seems hellbent on making itself superfluous, that very Deep State has gained the ability to commit acts of war against foreign nuclear powers without having to inform the nominal commander in chief about it.


    And they won’t just give up that prerogative just because there is another occupant at the White House.

    Maybe they even wanted to secure that power grab as a preparation for a possible Sanders Presidency.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Massive blackout hits tens of millions in South America”

    My spidey-sense is tingling here. Moon of Alabama has theorized that all those attacks on those tankers are part of a campaign by Iran to pile on the pressure on Trump after all the pressure & illegal sanctions that he has been piling on Iran. It is a message that says that if you keep it up, be prepared for massive world economic consequences that will also wipe out your chances of re-election.
    And now within days, you have these massive blackouts in all those countries in South America. Could it be that a determination has been made that after all those South American countries backed Trump’s attempt to smash and take over Venezuela, that a message is being given here that there will be consequences for continuing to back Trump’s campaign and that it is not only Venezuela that can suffer from blackouts?

    1. Carla

      From the AP article:
      “Several Argentine provinces had elections for governor on Sunday, which proceeded with voters using their phone screens and built-in flashlights to illuminate their ballots.”

      Sounds as if in Argentina, they use hand-marked paper ballots. I envy that! They’re half-way to the gold standard. Wonder if those ballots are counted in public…

    2. Cal2

      Argentina and Uruguay are as close to Venezuela as Moscow is to Europe.

      Now, if one’s talking U.S. corpomilitary policy,
      backed by the talking rectum with a white mustache, that’s a different thing.

        1. Cal2

          Argentina and Uruguay are not anywhere near Venezuela, except as political targets.
          There’s mountains, The Amazon jungle, The Amazon river, The equator, four nations and approximately 30 degrees of latitude between them, the distance from Los Angeles to the Equator.

          Were there geographical barriers between Europe and Moscow, history would be a lot different.

          1. ambrit

            Just ask Napoleon or Hitler if there is a geographical barrier between Moscow and Europe. There is, miles and miles of miles.

            1. Cal2

              Mileage may vary; with the right winter uniforms, and not hanging around Greece to help Mussolini, thus the late start, the Germans might have pulled it off.

    3. RabidGandhi

      This is really irresponsible speculation. “All those countries”=most of Argentina and Uruguay, with small slices of Paraguay and Brazil. The fault seems to have been in the link between the Yacyretá and Salto Grande power stations. Much beyond that it will take time to find out what happened, which could be anything, although I will note that it’s a big Jenga-like grid that has been privatised, so if you want a go-to boogeyman that’s probably a better place to start than the CIA.

      Furthermore, the link with Venezuela policy is specious. The two main affected countries, Argentina and Uruguay, have diametrically opposite Venezuela policies.

      Oh and lastly to Carla below, voting here is electronic but the voting machine gives you a written ballot that you cast by hand.

      1. Judith

        Good to see you back, RG. I have missed your insightful reports from Argentina and related SA countries.


      2. Oregoncharles

        Thanks. I wish I’d seen your comment before I wrote mine, but I expressed doubts along the same lines.
        Your local insight is valuable.

      3. The Rev Kev

        Hardly irresponsible. What I was implying was that the failure of the electrical grids was a direct warning to the Lima Group which was formed specifically to take down Venezuela. Think about it. Of all the times that the electrical grid could fail, it just “happens” during a major election. I am not a fan of “coincidences” and you don’t need a tin foil hat to work out the implications. We are now in a world where we have moved beyond sanctions to having a countries electrical grid just fall down. The CIA unleashed this on Venezuela to make it crack and now the same has happened to some of the countries that are helping attack Venezuela. Don’t you think that such speculation is making the rounds of the other members of the Lima Group?

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The list of conspiracy theories that turned out to be false seems to shrink by the day. I’m reminded of how science advances, not the incremental stuff but the paradigm shift stuff: it advances by ideas that are universally called “wacko” at the time.

          So yes, we did land on the moon, and no, aliens do not control the Bermuda Triangle. But JFK? 9/11? Deep State meddling in Latin American power systems? I’m not so sure.

    4. Oregoncharles

      Argentina AND Uruguay, the latter of which, last I heard, still has a leftist gov’t. And maybe Paraquay, according to one report. So that complicates any political calculations.

      Evidently they’re on the same grid, so one might be collateral damage; but which? Of course, Argentina is far and away the larger and more important.

  6. Antifa

    The Guardian article on recycling plastic is horrifying, as is the linked Gaia report.

    What’s especially sobering is that, despite all the global busyness over recycling maybe 9% of our plastic, the entire recycling effort is a lie: turning plastic into some other form of plastic for a few years before eventually burying it in a landfill anyway does nothing to the inevitable destination of all plastic — to degrade into micro-plastic and spread into the entire natural biosphere like invisible goo.

    If each American were presented with all of the plastic they use in a lifetime, there would be at minimum several football fields of it, stacked 10 feet high. For some, several dozen football fields.

    And it isn’t going anywhere.

    When each of us is buried or burned at the end of a remarkably comfortable life (by global standards), it shouldn’t be noted with a granite marker in some field, but with a small mountain of plastic trash that will be omnipresent in the biosphere for a thousand years. Ozzymandias never created anything so grand, so everlasting.

    What have we done?

    1. Susan the other`

      I thought the US’s 35million tons of plastic a year was low. Much of it doesn’t make it any farther than just beyond the continental shelf and gets dumped unceremoniously on the edge of the garbage patch. And our dear friends and allies, the royal Sauds, have built a big new industrial complex to manufacture virgin plastic at a very competitive rate. It would be a fair proposal to ask them to accept all of the garbage plastic for recycling before they manufacture any more. The same for any and all plastics manufacturers. Or maybe we can just “ask Larry” the visionary neoliberal economist of such insight and integrity. He just leaves me speechless and in awe. You too?

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Reduce. In Germany when you buy a broom it has a simple paper sticker on it, in the U.S. the entire bristles part is encased in a big plastic condom, for absolutely no reason.

        1. Svante

          Used to walk or cycle to the Co-op, carrying our own containers; returned bottles, bags like Lidl & Aldi’s that fit panniers. Then to the Amish farmer’s market/ CSA, same-y-same at the produce yard. Maybe waxed paper at the Italian/ Polish meat, dairy, fish shop: backpack or panniers, depending. Community or home garden, growlers for beer or cider or deposit/ return from the brewery. Then came Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s… the end!

          Went to Alzey, above Mainz. Worked in Bochum & Herne, they’re doing, now, as we did in the 50’s & 60’s back home?

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Where does your plastic go? Global investigation reveals America’s dirty secret Guardian.

    Depressing, but excellent information there. 20 years or so BP invested quite a bit of money in trying to develop cracking plants for recycling plastic – the idea being all mixed plastics could be thrown in together and reduced to base hydrocarbons which could then be reused. But apparently they couldn’t make it viable – I’m not sure whether the issues were technical or economic. Because of the way we’ve mixed in so many different types of plastic together and failed to develop proper separation systems, its only a system like that which could viably recycle the quantity of plastic waste we now produce.

    A while back I had a conversation with the manager of a landfill – he said that its not just recycling that’s an issue, there is an increasing problem with landfills finding that there is a hugely increased amount of plastics going into the waste stream, and this can be problematic for managing the natural biodegradation and stabilisation of waste, especially if they are trying to tap landfill gas.

    It seems the only people happy with this is the incineration business – plastics add significantly to the calorific value of mixed waste. But PVC is a probable source of dioxin emissions and too high a calorific value can be a problem it its own right.

    1. Antifa

      Given the omnipresence of micro-plastics in the biosphere, something equally omnipresent is needed to find and biodegrade the stuff.

      Plastic being hydrocarbons, it is food for any enzyme or algae or microbe that can crack it open. This will likely be nature’s response to an abundant new food source.

      McKinsey is hopeful that pyrolysis cracking of waste plastic is a economically viable means of chemical recycling.

    2. vlade

      Even recycling of stuff like PET bottles, where PET recycling works pretty well, is problematic, as most bottles have non-PET sleeves. Which mess up with the whole process. And removing them manually is hard, as as often as not they are actually glued to the bottle.


      1. Terry Humphrey

        I think we’re going about this problem in a very inefficient way. To have us trundling down to the recycle center with our assorted cans, bottles, paper & plastics is obviously self-defeating. Pressure has to be put on the creators of all this crap. Corporate packaging is something that can be changed very quickly, like an outright ban of the egregious or say, putting a dollar deposit on water bottles.

        1. Peter Steckel

          Forgive the comment as I, too, have a proverbial plastic log jammed in to my eye, but the answer to America’s recycling dilemma is a personal one, not a governmental or corporate response (at least, not at first).

          The slogan goes “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, and it is in that order that WE must combat the issue of excessive plastic use. A personal, significant reduction of the purchase of plastic bottles, the acceptance plastic bags in stores (even if “reused as trash bags”), and the use of wax paper or containers to carry home-prepared food products would be a good start.

          Waiting on the “government” (isn’t that just, us, codified?) or corporate America (isn’t that just us, but less accepting?) just will not work to immediately and significantly reduce the personal consumption of plastic. The choice is, was, and forever shall be a personal one.

          1. ambrit

            The argument is a basic re-purposing of ‘Rugged Individualism,’ and so, fails the test of general deployment. The decisions involved in the origination of the plastic waste occur up near the top of the socio-economic hierarchy. Absent a near religious fervor for recycling etc. the problem will not be solved. In essence, the decisions of origination are bounded by economic considerations, absent effective regulation. To change the basic parameters of the waste stream debate, those near the top who make the decisions must be forced to take the ‘common good’ into account. If those individuals do not do so, eliminate them, in any fashion possible. Their replacements will sooner or later ‘get the message.’ That’s the sort of ‘rugged individualism’ your basic strategy will morph into.

          2. Kurt Sperry

            The burden of the externalities that an industry creates and imposes should be their responsibility, and theirs alone. If that industry cannot pay for the externalized burdens it creates, it isn’t — shouldn’t be– a viable business. The law should impose those costs, and if the industry cannot adapt, that industry needs to die.

            1. ambrit

              The problem here is that those individual companies within the industry who would inherit the clean up burden are often dissolved after the top layers of the nomenklatura have extracted their ‘rents’ and moved on. When the company ‘dies’ it might be a socially effective method to make the legacy C-suite personnel die along with it.
              Socializing the toxic aftereffects of an industry cluster—- is a form of “collective punishment.” Liquidating the legacy C-suite personnel of said industry is a concomitant “collective punishment.” Call it a “Managerial Catharsis” if you will.

        2. Cal2

          “A dollar, or five better, a bottle on Every plastic container” to be collected wherever sales taxes are collected and refundable in cash at centralized collection stations. Add a per ounce deposit to all non-containers, also refundable in same centers.
          This already exists when one buys tires or computers. A fee is collected. Make it enough and waste will be returned. There’s still the problem of degradation and ultimate landfilling.

          Think of the jobs, the landfill and litter savings, the steady stream of cash for consumer purchases that this would produce. A logistical nightmare? Sure, but it would discourage plastic use and would drive industry to replace plastic in most consumer products.

          The makers of non-recyclable plastic pellets can fund the returns of their products and can pay for their disposal or reuse. Mr. Market in action. Unrecyclable plastic would be too expensive.

        3. Antifa

          Klean Industries is up and running in Japan, turning sorted plastics into diesel fuel, and carbon black for the steel industry, while generating electricity.

          This can currently be applied to the plastic that gets recycled (9% of the stuff), so this is only useful in the long term if we get that 9% really close to 100%.

          Outlawing consumer plastic is doable. That seems to be key to cleaning up our act globally. Stop making the stuff.

          “Don’t start nuthin, won’t be nuthin.”
          ~ Will Smith

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Their system is basically incineration without oxygen, lots of companies provide variations on gasification and pyrolysis for dealing with waste streams. All are problematic for one reason or another, not least that they often produce very nasty residues and the amount of energy extracted is frequently little better than gained from just burning the waste.

            That said, when faced with the sheer quantities of low grade waste we are producing, this type of plant may be the ‘least worst’ option for some countries. However, once you put them in place in a large scale, they preclude putting in place real minimisation and recycling programs. In my view it is the expansion of incineration from the 1990’s onwards that killed off many of the most promising recycling programs around the world leading to the issues we have now.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        damn, that’s depressing.
        my little town and county were so proud of themselves for building a fancy recycling center.
        and the contracts they have for all that stuff(including the Metal Pile at the dump) are income streams that both governments have come to rely on.
        all that’s up in the air, now…and there is a fear(among the workers at these facilities, as well as the councilmen and commissioners i talk to) about having to explain a different course, given the effort involved in convincing these small-c conservative country bumpkins to get into recycling in the first place.
        i’ve taken what i can from the land fill for years…even when it was in technical breach of one contract or another…mostly metal and telephone poles for building things, but also whatever 2×4’s etc i came across.
        a re-localisation of the recycling activity…like what these folks in the article seem to be pointing at…is probably something that needs to be explored…but with whatever emissions control apparatus that’s needed pretty much given away.
        I’ve long thought about “toilet paper” as a cottage industry as a potential slogan for a local jobs program, but the economic disincentives need to be overcome.(in my case, out here, using local currency, or some other conceit, to make local TP even with imported(and using TP as an easily understandable stand-in for a wide variety of things, potentially. everybody needs TP, after all))
        the ultimate answer, of course, is to lessen dramatically what plastic is produced and used and tossed in the first damned place.
        in my household, a stackable glass version of tupperware for leftovers would do wonders for our plastic stream.

        1. ambrit

          Ha! I remember the days when I could go down and scour the dump for usable stuff. Now, you get arrested if caught in the local (privatized) dump. Another way to demonize poverty.

        2. Oregoncharles

          At least here in Oregon, Habitat for Humanity runs “ReStores”, which are thrift stores for building supplies and other household goods – they have, perforce, branched out over the years. It’s an invaluable source, from fencing to light fixtures or tiles. Cheap tools, too.

          They use the money, and some of the materials, to build low-cost housing. Which is a major issue in this town.

          You might want to contact the national organization and see if they’re interested in your town. Or set up something similar.

          In the past, rural dumps were sometimes set up as reuse centers. It’s very messy, though, basically a vast junkyard, and was mostly suppressed for, umm, appearance reasons.

          And in my thrift-store and yard sale shopping, I’ve accumulated glass containers, especially ground glass. Not for leftovers, though; for dried fruit or flour. I believe Pyrex, or a competitors, used to make glass reheatable containers like you describe – but the lids were plastic. Personally, we re-use both plastic and glass food containers for that. It means a lot of plastic in the kitchen, but keeps it out of the waste stream until it wears out. My wife worries about plastic in the dishwasher – not sure how much comes off.

          1. ambrit

            Phyllis worries about plastic components ‘migrating’ into the foods stored in the plastic containers. We try to find and keep glass containers whenever possible, mainly for food storage.
            I being the dishwasher here, for some reason, Phyl doesn’t seem too worried about plastic ‘migrating’ into me. Back in the sixties and seventies, we, as a group, used to joke about “Plastic People.” Now it’s no longer a joke, nor a strictly social comment.
            Perhaps Zappa was prescient. He did mention in 1969 about the CIA creeping around Laurel Canyon.

      3. polecat

        Yes .. Big Label + Big Adhesive is Not* one’s reuse or recycling friend !

        *and not just plastic … it’s nearly impossible to get certain types of labels off of many glass containers !!

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I like glass bottles for keeping water in the car and for when I go for a walk on a hot day. I went walking through the drink sections of several supermarkets in my area looking for a 16 oz. drink — some kind of tea — in a glass bottle I could re-use. I didn’t find any.

          I try to save many glass bottles and jars. They are much less expensive than buying specially marketed containers for spices, teas, and dry foods like millet or barley. Like you I have trouble getting the labels off and even more trouble removing the glue residues. I have noticed many bottles from foreign origins use water soluble glue for their labels which make both label and glue easier to remove. I don’t have any links — I remember digging around on the web about glass recycling and found a reference to an Austrian label removing machine one of the coops looked at for recycling wine bottles. Their interest evaporated when the US wine industry started using the gummy glues they use now in place of the water soluble glues they had used in the past. Unless the water soluble glues were mixed just right and the newly labeled bottles carefully handled some fraction of the labels would slip to an angle that caused the bottle to be rejected. The gummy glues fixed this problem. I also recall reading something about there being a European labeling law that mandated the use of water soluble glues to support glass recycling.

          So much concern about plastics … and so few laws to reduce their use or support the recycling of other materials.

          1. polecat

            I like to utilize certain sized jars to store spices in. Some labels with non-water soluble glues can be hard to remove, however, I’ve found that .. uh .. plastic packing tape (Ha!) often works to lift off the glue. And if that fails, well, into the recycle bin it goes ..
            Hard to remove labels is just one more variation of the theme of planned obsolescence !!

            1. GERMO

              I do that too. Zippo type lighter fluid removes all those glues. It’s not green, but reusing containers is!

            2. Amfortas the hippie

              I save seed in small jars(lots of babyfood jars. 15+ years on.)
              big(or lots of) seed i save in mason jars or milk/OJ jugs, depending on the seed.
              and for canning really acidic things(like my salsa, which would kick all yall’s asses), to be kept refrigerated, i save all manner of jars.
              wife thinks i’m nuts…except when, briefly, I prove her wrong.
              but i remember the Depression via my grandparents…
              rather vividly.


        2. Oregoncharles

          Look for stuff called Citra Solv. It’s derived from citrus peels and smells strongly of them. It will remove glues, ink, paint, and some rubber gloves. It’s non-toxic, the chief hazard being instant eczema because it strips the oil out of your skin. Keep lotion handy. I also use it as a spray adjuvant – wetting agent, plus ited IS toxic to insects; strips their cubicle.

          Powerful stuff.

          Of course, it comes in a plastic bottle. Sometimes you can’t win. The Co-op used to have it in bulk, to put in a reused bottle, but stopped; maybe it was dissolving stuff they didn;t want removed.

          1. ambrit

            The best hand cleaner for mechanics I’ve come across is a type of goop with citrus in it. I use it when working on the automobile. It is strong stuff, and, ultimately, organic. Indeed, the scouring agent in these hand cleaners used to be volcanic pumice. It probably still is, it being organic and cheap.
            You mentioned spraying the deadly stuff on unwanted insects. Any observed negative side effects on garden plants? Here in the Great North American Deep South creepy crawlies are always with us.

            1. Oregoncharles

              I haven’t noticed effects from CitraSolv – it’s basically a plant oil. The wrong soap will burn the leaves off, and is used for that.

              The trickiest that I use is lime sulfur, an antifungal that organic gardeners have used since forever. It’s actually quite toxic if ingested, but fugitive (stinks of sulfur). I made the mistake of using soap as a surfactant with it; that breaks it down with caustic results. Didn’t kill anything, just spots on the leaves. take care with the dilution and wash it off of yourself.

              An old insecticide that’s pretty safe for people is pyrethrum. The flowers are the active part; I just picked some. It’s a daisy (not Painted Daisy, a relative) with frilly leaves, rather pretty. Until you pick off all the flowers. It’s sold commercially,but I had a hard time finding ground flowers, so planted seeds. Have some more coming up now.

              It used to be used to kill intestinal worms; you can take too much, but it’s pretty safe applied to plants. Botanical name Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium, smells like chrysanthemums.

              Not the same as “pyrethroids,” synthetic derivatives.

              1. Amfortas the hippie

                a minor quibble(until it’s a “black swan”(heard it here, first)), after agreeing with you all the way:
                most “soap”—(dish, laundry, hand, etc) is made with sodium hydroxide(“Lye”)…which will eventually salt your field, if you’re doing graywater.
                Dr Bronner’s is all I’ve found within 70 miles that uses Potassium Hydroxide(“Lye”=from woodashes), instead…which actually feeds the trees, if the pipes are laid out and managed right.

                1. Oregoncharles

                  Sodium isn’t such a problem here because of our notorious rainfall. The insecticidal soaps are made with potassium, I believe; maybe the herbicidal ones, too. I’d have to check the labels.

                  Judging by the green line across our back field, accompanied by overgrown fruit trees , we don’t have sodium poisoning from our septic system. Might be far more of a problem in a more arid place, though.

                  Minor quibble: KOH is called “potash” – evidently a literal description of its origin. It and calcium are the reason wood ashes are a fertilizer.

                  But thanks for the tip – I’ll check the ingredients next time I get laundry soap.

      4. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, unless someone can develop a chemical cracker to turn plastics back to base chemicals (unlikely I think given the complexity and variety of modern plastics), the only solution is supply side – completely banning any plastic container that mixes types or has additives that make it hard to process.

        This would have to be combined with some kind of deposit system. And that of course doesn’t deal with things like plastic films and so on.

        1. ambrit

          As a side note; I’ve wondered at why no public interest in electricity co-generation plants associated with waste incinerators. Sounds like a ‘natural’ fit.
          All this makes me think of the late Philip Wylie’s last book, “The End of the Dream.”
          I’ve linked in the past, but this source is new:

          1. The Rev Kev

            Pretty sure I have mentioned the same book myself as I have a copy on my shelf. His other books “Generation of Vipers” and “The Disappearance” are also worth reading if you get a chance. Glad to see somebody else has head of his works.

          2. PlutoniumKun

            Almost all waste incinerators generate significant amount of electric power now – its been standard for several decades in more developed countries. In Copenhagen and Vienna they use waste hot water as well for domestic use (they’ve a separate pipe system just for the hot water). A typical incinerator rated for around 200,000 tonnes per annum would generate a fairly consistent 50MW or so.

            It should be noted however that the power generated from even the most efficient incinerator is net less than the power saved from recycling a significant proportion of waste (even the incineration industry accepts this).

          3. Svante

            Yeah, shot video of Martin Sheen at a foreign owned one, not far from Shell’s new Ethane cracker (but on the Ohio side: less restrictive EPA rules. THOSE were the days!), the first time I’d ever seen Hillary’s name, on some BS summons? No co-gen, this. Just poor minority victims to blame & fine, on ridges right at stack height. Remember, actually reading Kos?



    3. Grant

      Additionally, the geomembranes of capped landfills have a finite amount of time before they start to rupture, and the way the law is written, the owners of capped landfills are only legally responsible for a given amount of time, a few decades. Thereafter, the costs are socialized. Not just the market costs of monitoring and repairing landfill geomembranes, but costs to public health, ecosystems, etc. Many of those costs have no market values. They have monitors in landfills that try to monitor various pollutants, but they aren’t perfect and that landfill is a toxic soup that will eventually be spilled out into the biosphere. Getting back to markets and capitalism, is any of that priced into what we buy? Could it realistically be done? If not, then we necessarily have to, once again, dispense with notions that markets and capitalism will save us.

  8. Tom Stone

    The US Cyber Command unilaterally commits an act of war against Russia and a Pentagon spokesman blithely admits that the President wasn’t informed about it ahead of time because he might have vetoed it.
    No mention of Congress.
    And no coverage by the MSM.
    Nothing to see here, move along.

    1. polecat

      “Nothing to see here, move along.”

      Just HOW is one supposed to ‘move along’ .. when, at the very least, one has been subjected to the accute onset of retinal ‘flash burns’ …. ??

      just askin ..

  9. Amfortas the hippie

    I find it amazing(and indicative, again, of what new ground we’re in) that the American Conservative has a critique of Big Ag that i could have written(I’m a Lefty)
    and this particular layer of the topography of the ag system….the gap between Huge and Tiny, and that the entire system is geared to produce more of the former, to the exclusion of the latter(I cannot legally sell an egg, save “on farm”)…is often misunderstood by people who aren’t involved(the vast majority).
    people on TV say “farmer”, as if we all have agreed on what that means.
    somehow, cargill and amfortas’ tiny farm are identical…interchangeable.
    like the congressional practice of saying “small business” and meaning “raytheon” or “McDonalds”.
    barriers to entry, erected by the Giants, are easy for them to overcome and absorb…but difficult for everyone else.
    there’s no property tax exemption for vegetables or fruit, for instance….and one can’t go get help from the farm bureau for anything but “normal”…and even after overcoming that, one needs insurance and a vendor number(or the like=club membership) to sell anywhere.
    the consolidation and erection of state and non-state barriers to this degree has happened in my lifetime on really small farms.
    I’m pleased that “conservatives” are noticing these things.
    I hope that the Sanders and AOC’s of the world notice that noticing, because they could have rural america on a plate if they engaged more firmly on this.

    1. Walt

      “Get big, or get out!” — Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture

      In one of his books, Michael Pollen briefly highlights a thesis that the political power of farmers–together with that of labor–had long been an irritant to the Washington establishment. The nominal objective of Butz’ injunction–and of price supports–was to increase efficiency. But the real objective was to undercut the political power of farmers by radically reducing their numbers.

      Can anyone shed light on this thesis?

      1. ambrit

        William Jennings Bryant and his Bimetallism jihad back at the dawn of the twentieth century was strongly farmer supported. It threatened the powerful financial interests of the day. It benefited small farmers and suchlike.
        The “Cross of Gold” speech and it’s history:

      2. JohnM

        The conventional thinking is Nixon wanted to remove the politically explosive issue of high food prices but if that were to occur with the centralization of power, so much the better. Mission accomplished.

        I am irritated by the false dichotomy presented in the article that farming can either be industrial ag with $500,000 combines or yuppies/hippies living in a yurt selling overpriced arugula to the foodies. I live, and participate in, a farming community where lots of produce, dairy, fungi and meat is produced and sold locally at grocery store prices.

  10. pjay

    Re ‘The Arab spring is still alive’ – openDemocracy

    Basic message: the “Arab Spring” died because of Western apathy and our irrational fears of “political Islam”. Here is a sample of the article’s analysis. These are two consecutive paragraphs:

    “Those who claimed that counterrevolution had triumphed in Syria due to the rise of ‘Islamists’ among the Syrian rebels, could only offer silence or denial when they saw the pictures of the children gassed to death by Assad.”

    “In almost every national situation where counterrevolution has triumphed, it has been allowed to do so without any hindrance by the democratic West – in fact, in many cases it’s with direct or indirect support from it.”

    Assad might be surprised to learn that his counterrevolutionary “genocide” (from the article) was unhindered by the West.

    On Libya:

    “In Libya, eight years after the overthrowing of Gaddafi, not only does peace in that country seem to be remote, but some of the same powers who supported and participated in the NATO-led no-fly zone that aided the revolution are now directly involved in stoking war.”

    What the author means here is that, unlike the good old days of the “revolution” when we were bombing the bad guys, the West now seems to be supporting the “would-be tyrant” Haftar (a long-time CIA asset, so… surprise!) rather than the “UN recognized Government of National Accord (GNA)” — i.e. the Muslim Brotherhood faction in Tripoli.

    Gaddafi and Assad represented the remnants of a resistant Arab nationalism that has always been a threat to Western hegemony. To destroy them, the West has utilized various forms of “political Islam” since the end of WWII. The Clintonista neoliberals decided that the Brotherhood would be useful for what they wanted to accomplish in the ME. That is part of the context behind this article in openDemocracy. I am not saying the author is not sincere. But for a more complete picture, here is a different view of the type of political Islam favored by the author:

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Why sleeptrackers could lead to the rise of insomnia – and orthosomnia”

    Well, a good doctor could cure this fairly quickly. They would ask the afflicted person to lend them their sleep-tracker for close examination under a magnifying-glass. After doing so, the doctor would place the sleep-tracker in a soft-cloth bag and lay it across his desk. Then he would open up one of his desk drawers, grab his club hammer, and smash the thing to pieces. There – problem solved.
    Seriously, I thought that the Victorians were obsessed with measurements and statistics. They have nothing on these people.

  12. Carey

    ‘The Truth Versus Your Truth’:

    “..Another name for diminishing returns is blowback. The Internet is certainly the most complex assembly of human thought in human history and it is blowing back ferociously on humanity in ways that are far from obvious. It has set in motion countless recursive feedback loops of misinformation, disinformation, and ideas that are simply bad in the sense that they don’t comport with reality. Hence, the new elastic meaning of the concept known as “truth.”

    Capital T Truth used to be mankind’s conduit to reality. To even state it that way now may invite censure for sexism, since the word “man” has lately been burdened with toxic overtones; while the concept of sexism itself is tinged with the unreal notion that the hard-wired tensions between men and women should not be allowed to exist and must be abolished. That’s how hopelessly complex it’s getting. The divorce between truth and reality is nearly complete now that everybody has his/her/zhe’s own truth, and the facts are just ornaments subject to rearrangement within anyone’s own story..”

    1. a different chris

      I enjoy Kunstler but have to say – there wasn’t misinformation, disinformation, and ideas that were simply bad before the Internet?

      I would argue that there was no way to fight back before the internet. Now whether we are successful at that or humans are just going to self-exit the Earth’s history is unknown. But turning off the Internet would not be an improvement. Just to use his example:

      For instance, that most recent example of non-inclusive “truth” known as the Mueller Report. That hallowed document states unequivocally that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee’s email server in 2016.

      In reality, there is no evidence of that being true. Neither the FBI nor Robert Mueller and his own investigators made any attempt to conduct a forensic examination of the DNC’s servers. They left the job to an outfit called Crowdstrike, a DNC contractor, and Crowdstrike’s “conclusions” were conveyed to the FBI and Mr. Mueller in a half-assed memo

      Without the Internet, we would still have the Mueller report but wouldn’t have the many takedowns. I easily see myself, circa 1984 (joke intended) believing it, or more correctly what the NYT told me about it. How would I know different?

      1. jrs

        And even if they did conduct such a forensic examination, I don’t know but, are we sure it couldn’t be spoofed? Maybe what Assange is really in prison for now, vault 7 which showed u.s. intelligence agencies try to make things look like they come from foreign actors.

        1. Procpoius

          Vault 7. The tools existed and were in use by the CIA before 2016. Probably before the North Koreans were accused of hacking Sony Pictures. Some of them might have been available to knowledgeable hackers even then. I don’t believe the CIA developed them all themselves.

  13. a different chris

    I’m going to actually semi-defend a “rich” man. From the “Drug Cop” article:

    In 1967, with a loan from his parents, he bought his first property on Henry Street in Cobble Hill for $22,000. It’s now worth $2.5 million.

    That’s not exactly hedge fund growth – 8% if you assume he didn’t spend a cent on the property. Which of course is impossible it would have fallen down into a pile of rubble, instead it is more than liveable. He would have made more in index funds easy.

    OTOH, my second-generation parents, his age, wouldn’t have been able to knock 22k together in 1967 if they sold necessary body parts. So I don’t know what I really think. But people like him will have to push back a bit against Warren’s taxation if it isn’t properly constructed “Hey I have a building — it might be worth X but it’s just an expense at the moment, tax me for the rent money yeah but the building itself? Am I supposed to chip off bricks and mail them to the IRS?” and they won’t come across like hedge fund (family blog)ers to the voters.

    1. neo-realist

      It’s very possible that many black couples would not have been able to put together $22 K for their black son/daughter to buy property. If they were one of the few who could, they probably would have been steered away from Cobble Hill or any other (white) neighborhood with the potential for property value appreciation.

      That being said, congratulations to the cop for taking advantage of his financial and societal privilege.

  14. Cal2

    “California goes even bigger on Obamacare”

    Lots of my self-employed working class friends in California cannot afford health care, yet they are now expected to subsidize the health care of yet-to-sneak-across-the border Central Americans?

    Great way to generate votes for Trump and to keep people working for cash and not paying income taxes.


    “You cannot have Medicare for All, affordable housing, livable wages, a clean environment and
    have open borders at the same time.”

    1. Grant

      The problem is, of course, that the costs are already socialized in various ways. So, the conundrum is to figure out how to have a more efficient and logical socialization of costs within healthcare. Besides, the libertarian and free market types are for actual open borders. How is that a victory for the right, even if I were to accept your framing? A good portion of the right is opposed to closed borders on ideological grounds and often depends on cheap, vulnerable and compliant labor. This isn’t a clear left/right issue, regardless of the propaganda. The left largely is not in favor of open borders as it is defined. The actual left would push for structural changes in the countries the people are fleeing from, and the right offers absolutely nothing in that regard. Their damn drug war, the “free market” policies that they support have been forced on those countries and they have been disastrous, the dictatorial governments that the right has supported in places like Central America, that is what people are fleeing. So, if you have a problem with immigrants, why does the right escape critique when it is their policies that caused mass misery in the countries that people are fleeing? You want less people coming to the States? Then challenge what the right has done in places like Central America and Mexico. Us supporting right wing paramilitaries, dictatorships and the drug war set the region on fire, and we do have a moral responsibility to do something about the situation we had a huge hand in creating.

      1. Cal2

        Agree with everything you wrote. Try telling that to those voters in the upcoming primary.
        It would make a hell of a radio spot, although the they’d have to hire one of those speed talkers the financial service advertisers use at the end of the ad.

        “You want less (fewer) people coming to the United States?”
        Yup. That’s easy.
        Make E-Verify mandatory to allow employee wages to be deducted from business income.

        1. JBird4049

          This isn’t a clear left/right issue, regardless of the propaganda.

          I find that support of open borders is more of a class issue with the individual supporter’s ideology giving slightly different reasons for wanting those open borders; people below the upper middle class are more concerned about those jobs and housing costs regardless of ideology. Every level of employment down from IT is being affected with the Chattering Class, those who have the big bullhorn, being the least hurt or even being helped by the refugees.

          Please note that the Elites of Latin America benefit from the crisis as well. Much of the Latin American elites have been helped by the United States government’s jihad against communism and more recently for neoliberalism. Also whereas the larger countries have had some success at resistance, the small Central American and Caribbean countries have their elected civilian governments routinely overthrown with military juntas, death squads, torture, assassinations, and genocidal policies supported as normal policy.

          Those policies have enriched the past and current elites of almost all of the Americas. North, Central, and South. The elites of those countries keep their wealth and power albeit with the Americans getting the better part, the (surviving) poor flee all those oligarchies south of the Rio Grande both releasing the pressure for reforms and removing the most energetic leadership force those reformers. The United States gets to profitably use all that cheap, talented, and often educated refugees to suppress the American citizens.

          We really need to dethrone and defang the American 1% and their Meritocratic courtiers. They are the hub for this circle of parasitic destruction with the United States government as their very effective tool.

  15. John Zelnicker

    There was a good post at Salon yesterday that really takes apart the Democrats cowardice and incompetence in regards to whether or not to start an impeachment inquiry of Trump.

    My only objection is to the final paragraph where Rosenberg talks about patience and “…the urgency of struggle…”. We need action, not patience.

    1. flora

      If the Dems start impeachment proceedings now, at the start of the 2020 election debates, Trump will win in a walk. If the Dems look like they know they can’t win in open contest with better ideas, but only by destroying the opponent extra-electorally (welcome to Brazil and Ven.) the majority of voters will reject the Dem candidate. imo. I wonder if the Dem estab is happy with Trump’s continuation of some pretty bad policies under the GOP banner instead of the Dem banner.

      1. polecat

        With regard to many of those so-called ‘policies’, the Big Pachyderm .. and Fat-a$$ Donkey are one ! So in many ways, elections have become only as theater, a pantomime, an ‘eyes-wide-shut’ farce !

        1. flora

          yep. “…the urgency of struggle…” sounds a lot like “…the urgency of now…

          Where have I heard that before? ;)

          1. ambrit

            The phrases you use sound like sound bites from a seduction speech.
            “Don’t worry about getting pregnant. That’s way off in the future. We might never live that long! It will be so good in “the urgency of (the) now!” Etc. etc.

      2. edmondo

        I cannot, for the life of me, understand the Democrats’ desire to put The Jesus Whisperer into the Oval Office.

        1. jrs

          they can’t anyway unless R’s wanted it as they have the Senate. So unless we have any idea this is what R’s want, it’s a moot point.

          I actually can understand the desire to replace Trump with anything, he is that bad, and that far gone (and that’s even considering most of the R party is pretty far gone too – although I’d take Jeb @#$# Bush at this point, Trump is not doing this all by himself much of it is R policy).

          But desire doesn’t mean capacity, the R’s have the Senate for now.

          1. Procopius

            What are you talking about, “up to the Senate?” The 25th Amendment is clear, if Trump is removed Pence becomes President*.

        2. flora

          Pence is ‘house broken’ in terms of the neocons preferences. The neocons are deeply embedded in the Dem (and GOP) estab foreign policy and defense policy circles. See for example Robert Kagan and wife Victoria Nuland.

          From HuffPost in 2010, updated 2011:

          Professor Gary Dickerson from the all-Christian Corban College puts it this way: “I don’t look at the wars in the Middle East with the hope that things will work out. We’ve been told, Israel will experience this distress all the way to the end.”
          Thus comes the central political reality explored in
          Waiting for Armageddon
          : that Evangelicals risk creating what the Rev. Barbara Rossing calls “a self-fulfilling prophesy of death and destruction.”

          This is no small sect. Evangelicals control some 60,000 US radio
          stations. They meet in 25,000-member megachurches and sit on school boards
          and legislatures across the country. As the Rev. Mel White, former
          ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell and Billy Graham and Pat Robertson puts it,
          “They are everywhere and they are not going away.”


          From Counterpunch in 2017:

      3. Grant

        “If the Dems start impeachment proceedings now, at the start of the 2020 election debates, Trump will win in a walk.”

        We as a society have to think about the implications of not impeaching Trump. It sets a precedent and is bad for society. Us not holding Bush and those around him responsible for war crimes was the same. Us not doing anything about mass constitutional violations by the state in regards to surveillance, us not prosecuting mass criminality in the financial sector, the same. It’s a big factor in why things are in fact getting progressively worse. I agree that it would hurt politically, but at one point in time, opposing the war in Iraq was the same, right? Maybe it is not good politically, it certainly isn’t good for our political system and society to do nothing about what are clearly a long list of impeachable offenses. This all also gets back to the utter lack of leadership by Democrats. They’re led by self-serving losers. A portion of the people don’t support impeachment because they have no one with any power and a microphone giving them a good argument as far as impeachment and the damn Democrats spent a good part of the last year focusing on conspiracy theories regarding Russia. So, to those not paying too close attention, most people, it like looks like more partisan political jockeying. It probably looks similar to what the right did to Clinton. It isn’t, but the Democrats put themselves in this position.

        1. flora

          Why this guy, why now? Why not Bush or O earlier for the same offenses. Is it because he isn’t willing to start a bunch of new wars and that makes the neocons mad?

          O bombed 7 countries. The neocons liked him. Bush bombed 4 countries. The neocons liked him. You get the idea… My point is: don’t be led down the garden path lured by the supposed good and righteous intentions of the agitators. Their real aims might not be what they claim. my 2 cents.

        2. pjay

          “… the implications of not impeaching Trump.”

          Impeach him for what? Your comments imply that you think Russiagate was farcical — as I do. I agree about Bush, but Trump’s war crimes have not come close to those of the Bushies — yet. I see the “obstruction” arguments derived from the Mueller report as mainly contrived. I’m sure there is plenty of financial malfeasance that could be examined, but anything impeachable here would be applicable to half of Congress.

          The Salon article is about Russiagate and deplorables. Here are a few quotes:

          “Pratkanis [a UC Santa Cruz social psychologist] says he’s not giving political advice, just trying to focus our attention. “We just got a foreign adversary basically determining our elections. Now what are we going to do? It’s like being bombed in 9/11 or Pearl Harbor [and] just saying, well, okay, let’s ignore that,” he said. It’s the one thing we should be able to agree on and prioritize, “and the fact that is not happening is troublesome.”

          “In “The Republican Brain” … Chris Mooney argued that liberals inspired by the Enlightenment are fundamentally mistaken about the nature of human reason. Our brains are shaped more by the need to make persuasive arguments than to arrive at objective truth. Liberals tend to put fact-finding first with persuasive communication as an afterthought — as they have with their muddled messages about the Mueller report. While Trump was tweeting “No Collusion!” over and over again, the Democrats’ main message has been, “We’re fighting amongst ourselves.”

          See, the *fact* is that a foreign adversary determined our election. But “liberals,” who “tend to put fact-finding first,” are naive when it comes to persuasive propaganda in comparison to the Trumps of the world. And they argue — rationally, of course — amongst themselves. So wise up, liberals! Sharpen your rhetoric and get it together!

          Liberal academics like those cited in this article (and liberal readers of Salon) actually believe Mooney’s (and Rosenberg’s) bulls**t!

          I am no fan of Trump, to say the least. But impeachment, or even a protracted “conversation on impeachment” as recommended in the article, would help Trump immensely, especially if carried out by idiots like this.

          1. Grant

            “I’m sure there is plenty of financial malfeasance that could be examined, but anything impeachable here would be applicable to half of Congress.”

            Agreed. I put it in a wider context for a reason. I think that there are plenty of reasons to impeach him, if we took the law seriously. Can anyone deny him profiting directly from the office of the presidency? And yes, he did clearly obstruct justice. My personal opinion was that he was not concerned with the collusion with Russia, he was concerned with them looking into his financial dealings and was willing to break the law in order to stop that, if he could. Saying though that he shouldn’t be impeached because other presidents or current members of Congress are equally as guilty of those things actually supports my overall argument. We let gross violations of the law and the constitution happen in the open, and we all know that powerful people are never held responsible. It is a sign of our dying civilization.

            As I said, Bush should be in jail for war crimes (Chomsky has said that every president in the WWII era could be tried for war crimes, if we took the law seriously). Obama and Holder let financial capital get away with mass criminality. The state openly violates the constitution in regards to mass surveillance. Hell, what we are doing to Venezuela right now is collective punishment. How many people in the Trump administration are war criminals? Abrams and Bolton in particular. And yet, none of them will ever pay a price. The Democrats are just as corrupt, Pelosi goes on TV and brags about how great she is at raking in bribes. So, you are correct that few in the system are in a position to pass judgement and are equally as corrupt as Trump. How did we get here? In part by not holding those in power responsible for the horrible things they do. But, no impeaching Trump for what he has done is just taking us further down this path, where the law and the constitution no longer matter at all with those in power. Outright dictatorships are similar, right? I remember reading in one of David Cay Johnston’s books about a libertarian type reading the Soviet constitution and being surprised at how humane it was. But, it was a parchment barrier, it existed on paper and not in practice, similar to us in 2019.

          2. Procopius

            See, the *fact* is that a foreign adversary determined our election.

            Nonsense. The effect of all the “Russian interference” put together was less than one week of the NYT and WaPo “… but her emails.”

        3. anon in so cal

          Not a Trump supporter here, but why should Trump be impeached? On what grounds? What are the “impeachable offenses”? The Mueller report, joke that it was, showed what was already known: no collusion. If the grounds for impeachment are obstruction, then in what way did Trump obstruct the investigation?

          Granted, Trump is a dangerous, corrupt idiot. But shouldn’t the ire be directed at others whose actions were way worse? How many 100s of 1000s of innocents were killed as a result of Obama’s acquiescence, if not endorsement, of NeoCon regime change ops: Libya (now a terrorist hellhole with slave markets), Syria, Ukraine, drone strikes, etc.

          What did the right do to Clinton? Are you referring to the Benghazi investigation? Problem with that is the GOP focused on the wrong issue. As investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh, noted, Benghazi represented a CIA rat line to smuggle sarin gas into Syria to frame Assad.

          Back to Obama: looking as if Obama endorsed a plan hatched by his former CIA Director John Brennan (CIA Operation Timber Sycamore: $1 Billion per year US to jihadis in Syria) to weaponize US Intel agencies to depose a democratically-elected president. Is there a name for that?

          Both parties are seemingly controlled by NeoCons, particularly the Democrats, whose virulent and baseless anti Russia propaganda is, as noted Russia scholar Prof Stephen Cohen notes, taking us dangerously close to WW3.

          My money is on Tulsi, but not optimistic.

          1. Grant

            You see no issues at all with potential emoluments violations? None at all, even relative to other presidents in recent memory? You really think he didn’t do things that could at least be argued that obstructed justice? I agree entirely that Russia stuff was nonsense propaganda, but I think he obstructed justice because he was worried about people looking more into his business dealings. I, personally, think he probably has just as many nefarious business dealings with Saudi interests, and he has in fact provided lots of cover for them (even when they cut up journalists in embassies), they gave his daughter (and Chelsea before) lots of money for her “humanitarian work”. Not that either party will do anything about that. Did he not register a number of companies in Saudi Arabia during the primaries last time around? There are no instances where it could be argued that he has profited from the office while in office?

            “What did the right do to Clinton? Are you referring to the Benghazi investigation?”

            No, I was referring to the right going after Clinton with the whole Lewinsky affair, which was clearly partisan in nature. I think most people would view an impeachment against Trump as being similar.

            “Granted, Trump is a dangerous, corrupt idiot. But shouldn’t the ire be directed at others whose actions were way worse? How many 100s of 1000s of innocents were killed as a result of Obama’s acquiescence, if not endorsement, of NeoCon regime change ops: Libya (now a terrorist hellhole with slave markets), Syria, Ukraine, drone strikes, etc.”

            Why assume I have no ire towards Obama? I would add a ton more. Pointing to horrible things Obama did isn’t the same as talking about impeachable offenses. I don’t know how clearer I have to be. I mentioned some things that happened under Obama, like he and Holder not going after mass criminality on Wall Street. The massive NSA constitutional violations. I could have talked about the coup in Honduras, what they did to Libya and Syria, among other things. This is, again, the problem with this political system. When things like this arise, there is no one with any moral standing to make any moral case for impeachment, being tried for war crimes, holding people accountable for corruption. They’re all horrible in these regards. They’re all in the pocket of war profiteers, financial interests and the private healthcare system. Most support horrible foreign policy positions too. How many running have come out against what we have done to Venezuela in either party?

            I, personally, think that the talk of impeachment is a political loser and I don’t think it would be perceived well by the public. Whether or not that is a good thing for the country is another matter. I would rather just focus on the election at this point, given all that I said, and actual issues impacting us all. If we had an actual opposition party actually opposing Trump on policy and proposing actual alternatives, we would certainly be a year and a half away from ridding him as is. As it stands, the Democrats are certain to try and install another zero and to have a younger zero be their VP, and it will doom us in regards to the environmental crisis alone.

            1. Yves Smith

              Regarding impeachment, if the Dems wanted to impeach him, they had Trump easy peasy on emoluments out of the box. Foreign dignitaries on business with the Administration staying in the Trump hotel in DC. The Saudi stuff you are alleging is more on that theme. But registering a company isn’t a crime, you actually have to conduct business.

              Regarding “crimes,” I suggest reading this LawFare piece that Lambert linked to:


              For Trump’s dealing with furriners after being in office to rise to the level of bribery, there has to be a specific quid pro quo. Remember that white collar revolving door currying of favor without particular payments for particular actions is perfectly legal.

              Re obstruction of justice, there is no obstruction if there is no underlying crime. That’s per a Supreme Court ruling. Funny how the mainstream media isn’t mentioning that.

              Re Trump re “crimes”. I have to tell you, as sleazy as Trump is, no one has produced anything on him that is out of the norm for NYC developers. I’ve had business people and top tax people who despise Trump say they are appalled by the NYTimes hyperventilating about Trump’s taxes, that everything they’ve unearthed is kosher and pretty common practices for RE guys at his level. I suspect the reason Trump doesn’t want to show his tax returns it it would expose that he’s way less rich than he’d claimed. It is not a crime to sell real estate to a total dirtbag if the funds went through the banking system. The banks, not the RE owners, are responsible for the money laundering checks.

              Having said that, the most promising area to find actual crimes would be in Trump’s casino businesses. Casinos are dirtier than real estate. But I believe Trump hasn’t been in the casino business since 2011, and I would assume the statute of limitations for most bad acts had passed (plus prosecuting anything that old is very very hard due to how stale witness memories would be)

  16. Colonel Smithers

    Readers, especially those paying taxes in the UK (for the upkeep of Parliament and to fund BBC reporting) will be delighted to hear that “the most moral army in the world” presented to movers and shakers in Parliament last week, as per Readers, especially those in the UK, won’t be surprised to hear that this event was not reported in the UK MSM.

    Former Labour MP Ian Austin, well known for heckling Corbyn in the Commons and worse, was honoured for services to the apartheid state. Austin is only doing what he’s paid for. (Aside: I don’t understand why Labour does / Corbynites do not take the gloves off and throttle these charlatans.)

    Some of the reservists in attendance have UK citizenship, but would not dream of fighting for Queen and Country, the country that often sheltered their ancestors from fascism. Apparently, the event was a way of getting the message across for “the most moral army in the world”, so that British public gets the truth rather what terrorists and their sympathisers say.

    I have family and friends in Mauritius, all Catholic, who return from pilgrimages to Palestine seething at the burning injustice of, often, colonists from Brooklyn threatening Palestinian children and their mothers on the school run or fellow Catholics / Christians when out for worship.

  17. Mark

    Does anyone recall a piece linked here at NC that listed one disasterous effect of climate change after another, each followed by the words “But it’s worse than that…” or words to that effect?

    Any ideas where I might find it again?

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        This article has now been expanded into a book – “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells. First line: “It is worse, much worse, than you think.” The book is excellent and very quick reading. I assigned a couple of chapters to my freshmen this year and they were mostly taken aback by how little of this they were aware of.

        Among the main arguments: most of the modeling the public has been made aware of relates to temperature increases above pre-industrial levels of 1.5-2 degrees C but we are on track for 3.5-4.5 degC warming by 2100, which will be much, much worse. Also, of course, it is not like warming will stop in 2100 even though modelers are generally reluctant to model further into the future. W-W calls the 22nd century “the century of hell.” There is also good info on how little has been done (actually nothing) to address climate change.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I remembered that link and it left a strong impression but I have no idea how to find it using any of the search tools to scan the past posts and links. I found a reference to it I had saved that contained the date of the link. The only way I know of to find it from that information was to step backward through the archives to the date and look at each of the entries there.

      I found it — but much more slowly than temporal: — in case you were interested in the comments too. particular link:
      Found this, thought it was pretty good for people who don’t realise what’s going on r/collapse (NP). Important.
      link tied to — original post:
      from Tuesday May 7, 2019

      temporal — How did you locate this link?

  18. flora

    More cloudi-googlishness…

    From ZDNet. (My take-away: always keep a personal hard drive or dvd backup copy of important data. Clouds have a way of ‘evaporating’..)

    I’ve Lost Decades of Data and Google Won’t Lift a Finger

    Maybe I’ve been naive, but I had backed up a ton of personal information on Google Drive. This included tax returns, account passwords for my wife in case I died, personal documents and spreadsheets, and just about everything I had paper copies of at home. Since I change computers, share data with others, and wanted backups in case my house burned down, I trusted cloud services to store my data. I have to admit I am a bit freaked out at the moment and may be moving this data to external hard drives and paper once again.

    We pay for Google Drive, Google Fi, and Google Play Movies so I was hoping there would be some level of customer service for paying customers. There are no phone numbers available for customers who pay for services or those who only use free services. Google prides itself on collecting my information and using it to help with search results. Thus, it has all sorts of information on how I conduct my daily life, including tracking my every movement, tracking my business trips, seeing who I contact daily, and much more. You would think it would be smart enough to see when some stranger appears and completely changes my account information.

    According to Gmail, my Google account has now been deleted so I’m no longer trying to just reset the password, but instead I am trying to recover my account. I have countless PR folks, friends, family, and others who are in my long Gmail history and am currently unable to access any of that information. I also have thousands of photos that may be lost forever if Google won’t work with me to get my account back.

    1. shinola

      “Maybe I’ve been naive…” Now that’s an understatement.

      As for Google’s customer service – it’s not there to provide a service to the customer; it exists to “service” the customer (as in the animal husbandry sense).

      1. LarryB

        No, it is there for the customer, it’s just that you’re not a customer. Advertisers are Google’s customer, you’re Google’s _product_.

  19. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: You’re Eating, Drinking and Breathing Microplastics. Now What? Massive Science
    I took the bait but the ‘Now What’ part was — nobody knows for sure. But there was something creepy about the website Massive Science. Check some of their posters and the tarot card deck in their merch. I have no problem with women being a part of Science and getting recognition. On the other hand just how politically correct and identity conscious does Science need to be, and more specifically how politically correct and identity conscious does scientific reporting need to be? I think I’ll stick with Science Magazine’s reporting and the National Academy of Sciences, and Nature.

  20. Synoia

    Trump says supporters might ‘demand’ he serve more than two terms as president.

    Too modest. President for eternity. Then we and our children’s children and their issue can all genuflect at a stuffed Trump on display in DC. For the first few years the game will be to identify the real Trump standing beside its stuffed replica.

    Or, assuming The Koch Immortality Project, aka KIP, is successful, then the current Gerontocracy can govern the world for ever, and bring new meaning to the UK slang “having a KIP”.

  21. Savita

    David of Paris France
    Any feedback on the WSJ article ‘French protestestors hang up their yellow vest’?
    A colleague was in Bordeaux two Saturdays ago. Told me about joining the small group of yellow vests by the Victorie monument. Almost immediately the riot police turned up to disband them. They weren’t doing anything, just standing there – they hadn’t started walking or, making noise or anything. My friend (of Barcelona) expressed great surprise at this.

  22. drumlin woodchuckles

    About the bird in the antidote-photo, I gather some people know about “birds of the world” websites where they can go and look up any bird with ease.

    I don’t know what those sites are. I can only respond to an antidote if I actually remember reading about the bird in the photo from somewhere back in my past.

    So based on that, I guess the bird in the photo to be some kind of “white-eye”. Maybe its a Ceylon White Eye.;_ylt=A0geK.hCPAhduwcA51JXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyY3VucDBuBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjY4MjFfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=ceylon+white+eye&fr=sfp#id=0&

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