Links 6/29/19

Cops bust man who kept ‘attack squirrel’ hopped up on meth NY Post

All-time June Heat Records Fall in 5 European Nations Weather Underground

California was warned about climate change 30 years ago. Now it’s feeling the effects Los Angeles Times

Lyme Disease Cases Are Exploding. And It’s Only Going to Get Worse. Medium

U.S. corn plantings top expectations despite floods; prices sink Reuters

With any Midwestern rainfall this summer, the Missouri River could flood the lower basin region CNN

Climate change is making hiking and climbing less fun Yale Climate Connections

New solar technology could produce clean drinking water for millions in need Science

Former Deutsche Bank exec denies he helped rig key interest rate FT. Oh.


Can Parliament Stop a No-Deal Brexit? This Is How It Will Try Bloomberg

Boris Johnson warns Tory Remainers are driving party to ‘extinction’ by blocking Brexit with rebel plot The Sun

Johnson rules out using Irish bailout loan as leverage in Brexit talks Irish Times

Brexit: lacking the killer punch EU Referendum

These Etonians LRB. “What did Cameron, Johnson and Rees-Mogg learn at Eton?”

EU and South American bloc reach trade deal to cut tariffs FT


American Missiles Found in Libyan Rebel Compound NYT. Shocked, shocked.


Trump, Xi Hit Pause on Trade War Again for Talks on Lasting Deal Bloomberg

Protesters in Hong Kong Have Changed Their Playbook. Here’s How. NYT

From Tung Chee-hwa to Carrie Lam: A string of failed leaders points to a failure of Hong Kong’s system Hong Kong Free Press

Xi is not the boss in US-China struggle. Neither’s Trump. Here’s who is SCMP

Asserting sovereignty, Indonesia renames part of South China Sea Reuters

North Korea

Trump’s offer to meet Kim Jong Un ‘very interesting suggestion,’ North Korea says USA Today

New Cold War

How Russia’s President Putin Explains The End Of The ‘Liberal’ Order Moon of Alabama

No, Mr Putin, western liberalism is not obsolete FT. Reaction to Putin’s interview with the FT yesterday.

Globalisation is dead and we need to invent a new world order The Economist. So what Putin said shouldn’t be that controversial?

Trump Transition

‘A betrayal’: Inside the bitter rift between Pelosi and Schumer over border bill WaPo

Forget the Wall Already, It’s Time for the U.S. to Have Open Borders CATO Institute. From 2018, still germane.


Thursday’s debate ratings shatter previous Dem record, NBC says Politico

Joe Biden loses support of top campaign fundraiser in Bay Area after comments on segregationists and Hyde amendment CNBC

NPR resurfaces 1975 interview with Biden supporting constitutional amendment to end court-ordered busing The Hill.

Kamala’s attack on Biden was months in the making Politico

The Second Democratic Debate Proved That Bernie Really Has Transformed the Party Robert Borosage, The Nation

#Election2020 – Bernie Sanders Sole Candidate to Address the Black Press at NNPA National Convention The Atlanta Voice

The Tulsi Effect: Forcing War Onto the Democratic Agenda The American Conservative

COVER STORY : The Power, the Glory, the Glitz : Marianne Williamson, an ex-nightclub singer, has attracted many in Hollywood with her blend of new-time religion and self-help–and alienated more than a few Los Angeles Times. From 1992, still germane.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

We are Already Late to the Great Black Reparations Debate Black Agenda Report. Also, R.I.P, BAR co-founder Bruce Dixon, among many other things an old-school blogger, and co-chair of the Howie Hawkins (GP) campaign.

Health Care

Health care costs for the typical family of four top $28,000 this year, despite slower increases Journal-Sentinel

Boeing 737 MAX

DOJ probe expands beyond Boeing 737 MAX, includes 787 Dreamliner Seattle Times. Uh oh.

Pilots Flagged Software Problems on Boeing Jets Besides Max Bloomberg

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students Pro Publica

Target Will Offer Discount to Teachers for School Supplies WHOTV

Inner Workings: How bacteria cause pain and what that reveals about the role of the nervous system PNAS

The Simple Idea Behind Einstein’s Greatest Discoveries Quanta

Antidote du Jour (via):

Cute couple.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Lupemax

    Lambert has your cat come home? Hope so…Keep us informed? Thanks for all your work! don’t know how you even have time to sleep.

    1. Plenue

      He doesn’t. He’s figured out how to convert text to energy.

      Unfortunately this also means that, similar to a shark, if he stops reading, he dies.

    2. Stephen V

      Bitter experience has shown that many cats have Plan B household / outside feeding stations. Yes, it is humbling for us who make our own raw food! I would worry about those Maine winters…

    3. anon y'mouse

      could be mistaken, but i don’t believe that this is lambert’s cat.

      the cat is instead using lambert’s garden haven as its own private biergarten/wine garden. and doing a bit of modeling on the side.

  2. Chris

    Presidential “power rankings” post debates. Offered with no hint of irony from Slate.

    Tied for #1, like two high school valedictorians who took all the AP classes they could, Liz Warren and Kamala Harris! Coming in the second loser slot, #3, we have Senator Bernie Sanders (boo! hiss!) and then some other people. Way down at #15, we have Tulsi Gabbard. I think we have the main stream story for the next cycle or two. I wonder what debate the Slate staff watched? Sounds like it must have been a wild time :/

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      Medicare For All. Green New Deal. Raising Minimum Wage. Hell, Williamson even mentioned Central America.

      None of those things were even up for discussion in the 2016 “Don’t ask me to buy you anything when we go in the store” Clinton campaign. How huge a shift to go from your nominee saying ‘Single payer is never ever gonna happen’ to it being a litmus test for your party the very next cycle! Sanders has already won in that he has started pulling the Overton Window back leftward.

      1. jrs

        I’m not that impressed if only rhetoric changes (and didn’t Obama have some good rhetoric too?).

        I have no idea who will be our next president, but beyond that I believe things are really changing when DSA members get elected locally etc. And some are. Occupy also had a role in shifting the rhetoric, it probably laid some of the groundwork for the Bernie movement. It didn’t seem to accomplish that much but it wasn’t confused about ideology. It was genuinely on the left/liberal/left-anarchist side of things (these don’t all agree but they are all left) and so I did I think push things in that direction.

      2. richard

        good point
        it also shows how far the 2016 campaign was from “reality”
        and why we got trump in the first place

    2. a different chris

      I’m trying not to hope Ms Gabbard moves way, way up based on this:

      However, with polling still based on old white people who have and actually (aren’t they busy?) answer land lines, it seems unlikely. Sigh.

      PS: aha, responding to a “Chris” post on the old Maxspeaks blog was where I came up with my moniker! I figured I would never be stupid enough to do that again, so I didn’t give it much thought. How many years ago was that, I don’t even know.

      1. Tvc15

        I was at a corporate event recently. At dinner the evening of the first debate an early 60’s female PhD physicist says she watched the first hour and was very impressed by this articulate woman she had never heard of before. She asked the table if they had heard of Tulsi Gabbard. The two other postgraduate degreed early sixties males hadn’t heard of her either. I couldn’t have been happier to let them know who she is and why they weren’t aware of her before. The propaganda is deep. She also said Bernie was too old.

        1. Carla

          A close relative of mine watched all of the first night of “debates” and most of the second night. When we talked on Friday, she said she had never heard of Tulsi Gabbard. (I filled her in.)

        2. neo-realist

          Don’t tell me that people are rejecting Sanders due to age? He comports himself like a person 10-15 years younger, unlike Biden, and has some of the best policies to offer for the common American. Don’t underestimate the superficial attitudes of the American electorate to undermine their best interests.

          But in some cases, I suspect people use age for Sanders as a disingenuous excuse to reject him for his policies, e.g., Fran Lebowitz opposes Sanders due to age, and I’ve heard her complain about his positions, but supports Warren, who’s 70 years old>

        3. Massinissa

          The thing that really gets me, is that most of the people who think Sanders is too old don’t think the same of Biden, even though Biden is a few months older.

          1. Jeff W

            …even though Biden is a few months older.

            Sanders was born on September 8,1941. Biden was born in November 20, 1942. Sanders is 1 year, 2 months, 13 days older than Biden.

      2. Chris

        We. Are. Chris :p

        I shouldn’t be shocked at the spin and propaganda anymore. I really shouldn’t. But I am. I just can’t understand why the media and the party handlers refuse to determine who’s more electable by, you know, having an election. Instead they keep putting their hands on the scale and protecting this person or that person as if THEY understand who the American people need better than the American people.

        Why not make he next “debate” perfectly fair? Everyone gets the same air time. Everyone gets the questions in advance. Each candidate gets to submit 2 question topics of their choice. League of Women voters picks which questions to ask.

        1. John k

          Fair is not, and never has been, the objective of either party.
          No 1 is pleasing donors.
          No 2 is, never forget rule 1. Hat tip Buffett.
          Are you a major donor? If so, you will find the process very fair.

      1. barefoot charley

        Wow. Great read! Brexit engineered by old Etonians (born 1965-1975) of such ‘effortless superiority’ and charm that one hardly cares that their families have been on top of yours for hundreds of years, and will stay there while yours sinks into the dust of their Empire. Delightful and grim.

        1. Summer

          As much as the author emphasizes their service to an ideal, there are also actual entities this group is in service to. The article gives some weight to the point that this group may be the delivery boys for the “Brexit program,” but it hardly gives proof that they orginated the idea by themselves like some twisted Dead Poets Society.

          1. dearieme

            The article is partly a boast that I went to Eton and I therefore know all these frightfully important people. He went to a famous and very good school: lucky him. But he’s now middle-aged: couldn’t he just get over it?

            What about this bit: Back in 2012, a bunch of proto-Brexiteers – Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore and Elizabeth Truss …?

            So this gang of alleged Imperial Nostalgics consists of a Ghanian male, an Indian female, a chap who’s half Czech Jewish (and married to a Brazilian), an Englishman, and an Englishwoman who’s married to a chap with an Irish name. Yet the writer makes virtually nothing of them except to complain that the Ghanian had gone to Eton.

            I can believe the writers’ parents were religious teetotallers.

            1. Clive

              Tempting these sorts of argument are to reach for, it’s correct to say that citing “Eton Toffs” as being to blame for something one might not like and proof of inherent reprehensibility is just as much of an ad hominem and guilt by association as calling someone, or a group of someones “Trailer Trash” and identifying them as being undesirable in some way.

              There are former Etonians who are elitist, immoral, condescending or just plain flat out dishonest. There are residents of trailer parks who are racist, bigoted, have low impulse control and a propensity to indulge in social low level violence or sit on their porch steps in their underwear.

              But not all members of each group are inherently, automatically, guaranteed to exhibit these stereotypical traits. Indulging in one type of tarring with the same brush is a licence — and implicit approval — to allow the other.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          How many of these ” old Etonian” style families are descended from the Knights Predasite who invaded Saxon England under William the Conqueror and carved up and “Feudalized” the Saxon Lands?

          Is there even one single Ruling OverClassLord family in Britain descended strictly from the Conquered Saxons?

          1. dearieme

            Is there even one single Ruling OverClassLord family in Britain descended strictly from the Conquering Normans? It would be surprising if any of them were descended “strictly” from any one group: it was India that had a caste system, not Britain.

            The family with the longest record of substantial political power in England is, I suspect, the Cecils. They started under Good Queen Bess: William Cecil became Lord Burghley, Elizabeth I’s lord treasurer. One of them was PM as recently as 1892. They had been squires of Welsh origin: neither Saxon nor Norman. In fact, you could say, they were pre-Saxon, though doubtless they carried some of the blood of those savage, heathen, German foreigners.

            In Scotland the old powerful families could have been of any old origin: Gaels, Picts, Britons, Norse, Angles, Normans … None are likely to have been “strictly” descended. If you look at the most obvious one, the Stewarts, they were of Breton origin, in the sense that the founding male was a Breton; so if you could go back far enough before that, presumably of Romano-British origin. Doubtless not “strictly”, but again pre-dating those obnoxious Krauts.

              1. dearieme

                It all depends what he meant by “strictly”. I remind you of Auberon Waugh’s prize offered to anyone who could demonstrate direct male descent from someone who “came over with the Conqueror”. It went unclaimed.

                The origin of the whingeing about the “Norman Yoke” was apparently the 17th century.

                I have lunched with a Highland family who have a family grave of the 7th century on their land.

            1. rob

              about 120 years ago the cecil family was a serious faction of the british empire….. at that time of the turn of the twentieth century, people like balfour, and lord rosebury and the viscounts of ireland,south africa, india, as well as leaders of canada and austrailia. and others … like on the american side families like the vanderbuilts married in… and built the biltmore estate in north carolina….. the cecils…. were a force…. for what became isreal, also neoliberalism, and all sorts of things that plague mankind…..
              The thing that is so hard to track is that a family can have so many “names” associated . it is hard to group them… as they ought to be followed and known to all.

  3. Ignacio

    RE: All-time June Heat Records Fall in 5 European Nations Weather Underground

    Fortunately not as hot as expected in Madrid. No record here!

    1. Clive

      Yes, we’re probably going to escape too here in southern England with a “warmest June temperature on record” rather than anything more drastic. We’ll likely stay below 100 Fahrenheit (38 Centigrade), 34-35 looks the tops. Too hot for me, though. Hope everyone (e.g. David) is alright in France, they seem to be copping the worst of it.

      1. David

        Thanks Clive! Yesterday was especially grim with temperatures of over 45 degrees reported in several parts of the south – the first time this has ever happened. School examinations planned for this week were postponed. So far (1430 CEST) today seems slightly better. Temperatures in Paris and other major cities in the high 30s but no more. Even that is causing lots of disruption though : the advice is not to travel if you can avoid it.

        1. BobW

          That’s as hot as I ever encountered when in Phoenix, Arizona – and it’s bound to be more humid in the south of France. Must be unbearable.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Heard about one town in outback Australia that it got so hot, that when a dog chased a cat down the main street, they were both walking!

                1. Wukchumni

                  One time I was in a way out of the way gold rush town in California named Allegheny*-in the mother lode, and a dog chased my car, so I stopped in the middle of the road, rolled down the window and told the cur:

                  “Ok, you’ve got me, what sort of dastardly deed to you have planned?”

                  Damned thing didn’t know what to do, as it had never caught a car before…

                  *population estimated to be 58, circa 2010

      2. Stephen V

        I was in Folkestone earlier this week. Barely slept with the lightning Monday night. And with dawn pushing 4 am…read a headline (somebody) receives month’s rain in one day. And then trains to Gatwick delayed due to flooding…What countryside you have! Sheep ! Barley was it? We toured churches from 13th C. Blew this America’s mind.

        1. Monty

          Didn’t you get a homesick yearning to see a massive parking lot with a gas station, a few drive-thrus, a Ross, a Walmart and a Hobby Lobby etc instead?

          1. Stephen V

            You called it Monty. I was also struck by seeing not one single Pick up truck in the South of England. (Ive had to beg my mechanic not to refer to my 86 Toyota as *your little truck* here in the Bible Belt).
            During the Dublin layover I saw a Toyota of similar vintage as mine but shaped like a miniature semi-tractor with a weird flatbed. That was it. American exceptionalism or simply accelerating down the crapification hole?
            ALDI seems to be huge, BTW.

        2. Clive

          It certainly has its moments. Just so long as you ignore the politics. Some of the people need to be given a wide berth too, but we’re mostly harmless. Most of the time, anyway. Well, some of the time. Well, a bit of the time.

          I just, for my part, adored Southern California. And the Gulf states. I’d move to any of these in a shot. I even found the strip malls fascinating. I spent an entire afternoon merely people watching one day. Guess that’s the novelty value you can’t help but get as an out-of-towner. But then I’d have the inequality, the healthcare and, yes, the politics. Why is it always we have a potential good thing going, then we can’t help but find various ways to mess it up for everyone?

    2. Kurt Sperry

      It was 41C in Florence a few days ago when I was there. I heard the phrase “muore della calda” (dying from the heat) several times walking around.

  4. Samuel Conner

    I will read the article, but my “gut” reaction to Robert Borosage’s title is that it should have been “The Second Democratic Debate Proved That Bernie Really Has Transformed the way the Party Postures in Public”. Very few of these people would energetically work for M4A if elected, IMO.

    1. Svante

      They’d fight for it… like any other pack of rabld jackals? The lying shills up there for Wall Street, K Street… were tasked with ending the threat of BernieBros™ (especially the uppity female, colored ones) from ever getting into any position, where their legislation might entice their deplorables with “free stuff,” like sane, W4 employment, usable medical care, education, a future & homes in places where the air and water won’t kill their children!

    2. Ptb

      Ya but in ’16, the frontrunner, who had visited dozens of countries implementing single payer, declared it a physical impossibility to American audiences.

      The line of what is believable (independent of facts) has definitely shifted. I’ll grant that the trustworthiness of the party has some catching up to do.

      1. Svante

        So much truth. So few options? Many lifelong friends have been beaten down, fucked-over and blithely ignored for so many decades, now. They’re grasping at any scraps perceived as having fallen off Massa’s table. Harris might’ve been lambasting Biden, but nobody missed the real point of them both spitting perfectly applicable smug derision, across Sanders. Democrats were never much for subtlety. Thank you for posting this!

  5. Donn

    Tony Connolly has another piece on the prospect of no-deal, and the challenges facing Dublin and Brussels in preparing for this: “In the absence of clear, comprehensive contingency plans for the Irish border right now,” says one source, “drafted by the Commission and Ireland together, then day one of express contingency planning will actually be day one of no-deal.”

    1. Oregoncharles

      I thought Varadkar had sort of overcommitted himself (and Ireland), at least rhetorically. He really wasn’t making plans on the quiet?

  6. Arizona Slim

    Looks like those shale gas pipelines are meeting with some skepticism in eastern Pennsylvania. Link:

    Key passage:

    Sunoco/Energy Transfer offered to hook up West Whiteland resident David Mano to pubic water after his drinking water was affected. He refused the offer.

    “Now show exactly where every penny and the money went, every politician, political group, charity, road repairs, bridge repairs and so on and so on,” Mano said. “We the people want to see where all this tax revenue went to the penny.

    “Show me the list … what did every county do with every penny of this $251 million. Until we all see this list it is all still BS in my eyes. My taxes have not gone down.”

      1. Svante

        I’m trying to get the heck outa NYC. I worked in the gas transmission industry for three decades. I lived happily in the Poconos for over 9yrs. Soon, NJT will enable us to commute, in a relatively sane manner. Damn nice houses, there for <1/5 of this apartment… FUCK that! With NY's "Green" new fracked gas based infrastructure here, it's going to be a science fiction horror show there (and doubtles, into NY, as these leaking wells are all abandoned). The wet-gas is coming over from west of Pittsburgh. That's going to be FAR worse under Harris, Trump… whomever?

        NONE of us would DREAM of drinking tap water in PA & five stage filters are useless, in the Marcellus.

    1. a different chris

      This is where you can get a lot of libertarians* to listen. Even if they understand the difference between “liberal” and “left” they still don’t like collective positive action.

      But fighting The Man, well that’s why so many hippies are now libertarians. They are perfectly happy paying for their own solar, their own windmill, they don’t care that Stupid Economists think that a handful of dollars a month means they should still be connected to a fossil fuel grid.

      *I can’t even guess at Mr. Mano’s base politics from that quote, at all. Which is my point.

  7. Eric Blood Axe

    everybody talks about global warming.but nobody does anything about it.
    1 reduce the amount of solar energy reaching earth.
    2 reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere
    Simple to say, but expensive and difficult, but better than onother war, which the USA seems to want

      1. Procopius

        Iran won’t be tossing any nuclear weapons — they don’t have any. Israel probably will, though, and Iran probably has enough conventional missiles they’ll do almost as much damage. I’m confident the Saudi and Emirates oil fields will be gone for several years, as well as the ports in Oman and Bahrain. I would expect the Fifth Fleet will not survive.

    1. Robert Valiant

      Radical conservation is the easiest structural first step, but the hardest political first step.

      As we live in a block universe of spacetime, the future exists (not will exist), so all you and I have to do is wait around to see what is (not will be).

    2. anon in so cal

      Yet another way the US permanent war state increases CO2 and climate change:

      Pressuring the EU to use US LNG, in an attempt to undermine Russia’s Nordstream2 gas pipeline.
      Shipping LNG from the US to the EU means more US fracking, 20% higher costs, more pollution.

      “Latest Weapon of US Imperialism: Liquified Natural Gas

      One of the most important energy battles of the future will be fought in the field of liquid natural gas (LNG). Suggested as one of the main solutions to pollution, LNG offers the possibility of still managing to meet a country’s industrial needs while ameliorating environmental concerns caused by other energy sources. At the same time, a little like the US dollar, LNG is becoming a tool Washington intends to use against Moscow at the expense of Washington’s European allies….”

    3. dk

      Don’t forget environmental contamination, resource depletion, mass extinction, burgeoning microbial resistance to antibiotics … (I’m probably leaving something out, drat).

      Global warming may be getting some attention (yay?), but it’s just one problem-vector among several. Strictly speaking it’s a consequence, not a root problem.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      Plants reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere every daylight moment via photosynthesis. It is not plants’ fault that Industrial Mankind is releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere than plants can remove and thereby reduce.

      Reducing the amount of solar energy reaching earth? That means reducing the amount of photosynthesis plants can perform. Which means reducing plants’ ability to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

      The usual go-to method for reducing the amount of solar energy reaching earth is filling the stratosphere with sulfur dioxide gas. Which I believe combines with water vapor to form micro droplets of sulfuric acid, which is very sunlight-reflective. And yes, it would reduce the amount of plant-supporting food-production-possibilizing solar energy reaching earth.

      ” As we starve and freeze and die, beneath a silver yellow sky.”

      1. JBird4049

        ” As we starve and freeze and die, beneath a silver yellow sky.”

        So in the widening gyre the world really will die in ice, instead of fire? Feels… appropriate.

  8. concerto dobeca

    Lyme Disease Cases Are Exploding. And It’s Only Going to Get Worse. Medium

    I contracted lyme last summer. It was bad, but I believe I’m over it. Since then I’ve talked to a lot of people who had it and many who claim they still do and can’t get over it. A public health crisis, without doubt. Also, I’ve had alpha gal syndrome since 1995. I don’t miss red meat.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better! I never got into red meat; I eat small amount of chicken or turkey bacon each week, but mostly dairy and eggs.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Eastern USA people will eventually learn the kind tick-vegetation control measures right around human habitations and human walkways that will hold the tickfested brushy grassy growth just out of reach of human legs and ankles. It will be like the disciplined approach developed in the Canal Zone to deprive the yellow fever mosquito of any place whatsoever to live. Super short lawns, etc.

      Amfortas the Hippie has told us that opossums love to eat the little ticks who carry lyme and other diseases. We should learn to increase and support the possum population throughout the tick zone. Plant lots of the kinds of trees etc. that give possums the fruits and nuts they need to survive the winter. Then watch the hungry possums hunt for mini-ticks when those are the only food source available.

      1. JBird4049

        Also bringing back the wolves and mountain lions will help with the abundance of grassy growth. They would help change the ratio of the different prey species as well as their behaviors. Maybe if people knew that reducing the tick population could be with those wolves and mountain lions they would allow their reintroduction?

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        ^^^”We should learn to increase and support the possum population throughout the tick zone. “^^^
        Ie: do nothing.
        they’re out there without your say=so.

  9. Summer

    RE: Globalization is dead…

    “Mr O’Sullivan: Globalisation is already behind us. We should say goodbye to it and set our minds on the emerging multipolar world. This will be dominated by at least three large regions: America, the European Union and a China-centric Asia…”

    Ha! “Will be” dominated by America, the EU, and China-centric Asia. The pretentions of the claims of “globalization” are being stripped away as China grows in influence. That is all that is happening. There was never any empowering globalization for any part of the world outside of the West in this current economic order.

    1. Susan the other`

      I agree. We westerners have basically been the descendants of European mercantilists right up until now. Now we are beginning to “invest” in more difficult places that can still be exploited for capital, but the returns aren’t very satisfying. The Eurasian project is the last frontier for development because it has been remote and hard to get to. Except for oil. Now, with China on the move, that will progress rapidly. While we watch. Russia is involved, but for other motives. They are jealous of their own borders, imo, and want all nations to practice prudent nationalism. Putin’s reference to “liberalism” was an interesting and careful choice of words. It no longer works as a means of stimulating global economics because it is tapped out – and only the hard work remains. Going back to national political basics is conservative. And Putin makes a point of emphasizing that liberalism has failed because it failed the common people.

      1. Anonymous2

        From what I hear the common people in Russia are not doing too well either, though the kleptocrats who run the country are doing OK.

        Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        This includes National Economies with no more Forcey-Free-Trade allowed or tolerated.

        Free Trade is the new Slavery. Protectionism is the new Abolition.

    1. Wukchumni

      McDonald’s in Visalia was offering $13 an hour for prospective hamburger engineers, 50% more than Boeing.

    2. JerryDenim

      Wow. Great link, thanks!

      Really explains a lot, and like most things the real situation at Boeing was much worse than I imagined. Every time I think I’m too cynical I find out I’m not cynical enough.

      Makes me think of a few different things, one being “Hey kids- STEM careers!!!! Yay!!! Study up, science, math to get ahead in life! Technology!!”

      This is why all the smart kids are pursuing careers in management philosophy and financial skullduggery instead of engineering. Expertise and “smarts” isn’t respected and doesn’t help you get ahead in corporate America anymore. Sadly it’s been this way for a while now.

      Speaking of no respect for expertise, this Atlantic article seems perfect for this site. It explains a new fad among management science hucksters which seems to have been fully embraced by Fortune 500 HR types. It’s fairly obvious why a 26-year-old Harvard Business school grad tasked with squeezing additional profits out of a highly technical and demanding enterprise would embrace a “expertise and experience doesn’t matter” business philosophy. It’s almost like some of these management science experts have a strategy of just telling executives what they want to hear and dressing it up with a few spicy anecdotes and doctored “studies”.

      “We’re starting to see a big shift,” says Guy Halfteck, a people-analytics expert. “Employers are looking less at what you know and more and more at your hidden potential” to learn new things. His advice to employers? Stop hiring people based on their work experience. Because in these environments, expertise can become an obstacle. That was the finding of a 2015 study carried out by the Yale researchers Matthew Fisher and Frank Keil, titled “The Curse of Expertise.”

      “High in fluid intelligence, low in experience, not terribly conscientious, open to potential distraction—this is not the classic profile of a winning job candidate. But what if it is the profile of the winning job candidate of the future?

      Pesky 55-year-old, highly paid, highly experienced, highly-educated engineer with more experience and education than the MBA overseeing his department says some management prerogative is “dangerous” and shouldn’t be attempted. Fire his ass and outsource his job to someone cheaper, younger, less experienced and more intellectually “nimble”. Problem solved. Collect bonus and promotion. Celebrate victory and managerial genius. (Snark)

      1. barrisj

        The entire import of the Seattle Times coverage of the MAX FUBAR, ancillary problems with the KC-46 tanker, and Dreamliner production issues at SC, is to highlight ongoing crapification of a once-proud manufacturer, where years of cost-cutting, union-busting, and conscious degrading of a talented, veteran design, engineering, and assembly staffs have brought Boeing to where it is today. Now whether various DOJ/FAA “probes” will result in criminal indictments, or – more likely – civil penalties, the corporate culture that promoted this decades-long fall from grace will be fully exposed, and perhaps a wholesale turnover amongst senior management and its BoD…one lives in hope.
        A recent article made the point that as a military contractor, Boeing shared the ethos of the MIC: the production of costly, operationally flawed, and just plain crappy military hardware. And now, that ethos had permeated the commercial divisions of Boeing as well.

      2. inode_buddha

        Pesky, 52 yr old fabricator-machinist here. On the shop floor, there is a saying: “You get what you pay for”

    3. nothing but the truth

      not all code is equal.

      no one would ever give trade secret, domain specific key code to outsourcing company.

      to understand and write such code, you dont need a software engineer – you need an aerospace engineer.

  10. Detroit Dan

    The article on Lyme Disease says, “conspiracy theorists have suggested — falsely — that Lyme disease was created in a U.S. military lab”. I believe this is wrong, based on this article.

    In July of 1975 a new or very rare disease appeared in Old Lyme, Connecticut, just north of Plum Island. And what was on Plum Island? A germ warfare lab to which the U.S. government had brought former Nazi germ warfare scientists in the 1940s to work on the same evil work for a different employer.

    By the 1990s, the eastern end of Long Island had by far the greatest concentration of Lyme disease. If you drew a circle around the area of the world heavily impacted by Lyme disease, which happened to be in the Northeast United States, the center of that circle was Plum Island.

    A new book by Kris Newby is centered on the man, Willy Burgdorfer, who first identified the bacterial pathogen, Borrelia burgdorferi, in 1982.

    Burgdorfer published a paper in 1952 about the intentional infecting of ticks (on Plum Island). In 2013, filmmaker Tim Grey asked him, on camera, whether the pathogen he had identified in 1982 as the cause of Lyme disease was the same one or similar or a generational mutation of the one he’d written about in 1952. Burgdorfer replied in the affirmative. Interviewed by Newby, Burgdorfer described his efforts to create an illness that would be difficult to test for — knowledge of which he might have shared earlier with beneficial results for those suffering.

      1. Detroit Dan

        Thanks for the response and links!

        The dark underbelly of the “Greatest Generation”.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          And remember, kids: The “Greatest Generation” taught the “Baby Boomers” everything the “Baby Boomers” know.

            1. ambrit

              Oh poor child! Graves, Tolkein, Huxley, and Russell were our grandparents!
              The “dead eyed yuppie hordes” were, by and large, the offspring of the ‘Beat Generation.’ Both groups learned to despise wealth while having a full belly. Not a mean feat.
              As for the “Boomers” being the progeny of the “Greatest Generation,” I beg to differ. The true descendants of the “Greatest Generation” are the “deplorables,” in their multifarious splendour. Indeed, the term “Boomers” is too vague and indistinct a term to carry any real meaning. Another variant of the term “Boomer” that I have seen used is that describing someone who hurries in after the ‘Pioneer’ or ‘Pathfinder’ group has made a ‘strike’ in some commercially profitable field. Following this train of thought further, one can say that groups of all sorts are filled with “Followers.” The ‘Cutting Edge’ is “where it’s at.”

      2. Yves Smith

        Harper Collins is a mass market publisher. The author is a “science writer”.

        This isn’t convincing based on credentials, which seems to be your basis for approval.

        1. Detroit Dan

          My previous response on her credentials disappeared. I’ll try again.

          She’s a science writer affiliated with Stanford University. She made a 2010 film documentary that was an Oscar semifinalist. Credentials seem sound to me.

          Plus, the person who identified the Lyme disease pathogen basically admitted on camera that it was the same pathogen that he had inserted into ticks at the germ warfare research site on Plum Island, across from Old Lyme Connecticut and at the center of the Lyme disease outbreak

          1. Yves Smith

            She is a science writer, not a scientist. She is a “communications manager” at Stanford, which does nada to bolster her cred on the science front. And the American Academy of Motion Pictures is similarly not known for its scientific acumen.

            Her description of her job skills on the Stanford website and on Linked in do not boost confidence:

            I tell stories about the amazing biomedical research going on at Stanford with words, images and video. I especially enjoy explaining complex concepts in novel and easy-to-understand ways.

            My stories enter the world through many media channels: our newspaper, websites, magazine, blog, and Twitter feeds. I also build new websites and am continually deploying new media tools as better ones come along.

            I hate to tell you, but the emphasis on story-telling screams that she hasn’t done the basics to be serious in evaluating scientific research, like take a course in statistics. She’s clear that her job is to be a cheerleader.

            This is from her LinkedIn profile, for her 19 years running her own business before she joined Stanford:

            Creates marketing programs and materials primarily in medical, biological, and technology sectors.

            Most important, she mischaracterized what the source on which her entire thesis hangs actually said:

            In detailing Newby’s search for evidence of a bioweapon-Lyme link, Bitten also over dramatizes too often: she raises more questions than answers, some that resemble conspiracy. For instance, with little evidence she speculates that Russia could have been involved in a bioweapons release while also asserting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is purposefully hiding the truth about Lyme disease’s spread.

            What is missing from Bitten is an outright admission from Burgdorfer, who was suffering from late-stage Parkinson’s when Newby interviewed him. While Newby characterizes Burgdorfer’s comments to Grey as a confession, her written account of the video reveals less an admission and more an unclear exchange….

            Despite Newby’s thorough research, her only connection to a bioweapons accident causing Lyme disease rests with one source: Burgdorfer. And that foundation rests on shaky ground.


            The article goes carefully shows how Newby repeatedly overstated her evidence.

          2. Alfred

            I hate to jump in again so soon, but her credentials also include having Lyme Disease and being a skillful story-teller. The problem is, neither those credentials, nor the those of being a science writer or an employee (not faculty member) of Stanford University, making documentary films, or having degrees in Mechanical Engineering, are the credentials wanted to back up this particular book. This book wanted authorial credentials in investigative journalism, 20th-century history, and microbiology. But only one of Yves’s points went to the author’s credentials. The other, and I think more damning point, went to the supposition that the reputation of Harper Collins was itself a credential that somehow guaranteed the reliability of this particular book. Yves was spot-on correct. Harper Collins is not a science publisher (to the extent that this is a science book). But nor is it a publisher of scholarly works on history (to the extent that this is a history book). And the book itself was not even published by Harper Collins but by one of its niche lines, whose reputation no serious player in the book trade would equate to that of its mother house. On top of all that, if I might venture to summarize the theme of Yves’s post: it is not a good practice to judge a book solely or chiefly on the reputation of its publisher. Every book should be judged instead on its own merits. This book might well turn out to be great; but if so, its greatness will depend in no way on the (irrelevant) credentials possessed by the author or the reputation of her publisher, let alone the reputation of that publisher’s parent company. That was really Yves’s complaint, wasn’t it? She debunked the idea that just because a subsidiary of Harper Collins published this book, it can’t possibly promulgate a conspiracy theory. That’s just pure non sequitur, as Yves to my mind proved with greater succinctness than I will ever be capable.

        2. Alfred

          Agreed and indeed. According to the author’s Stanford University profile, her degrees are in Mechanical Engineering. . According to the publisher’s webpage about the book, the imprint is Harper Wave. As noted, “Harper Collins” is not a science publisher; still, it is a fairly respectable trade house; but “Harper Wave” is not “Harper Collins.” It’s a subsidiary niche line whose tagline is (again according to the same webpage) “Unexpected Perspectives on Mind, Body, and Soul.” There is a lot to unpack there, all of it no doubt thoroughly tested on book-buying focus groups, but none of it pointing in the direction of science. Most of it seems to hint at New Age, religious belief, and conspiracy theory — which offers nothing if not “unexpected perspectives.” The blurb itself I’d say goes out of its way to position the book as a non-scientific offering. It characterizes the book as “a riveting thriller,” a “true story,” and “a gripping, infectious [tasteless pun intended?] page-turner.” In an access of honesty, it also positions the book as a “work of narrative journalism.” I’d call that proof positive that this is not a book on the science of either Lyme Disease or Germ Warfare. It’s harder to say whether it has anything substantial (or verifiable) to contribute to the history of the Cold War, of which it apparently alleges Lyme Disease to have been a side effect – the contention that Detroit Dan originally highlighted.

          1. Detroit Dan

            It seems pretty cut and dried to me.

            Lyme Disease was discovered in 1975 near Plum Island, where the U.S. military had been conducting germ warfare experiments injecting ticks with the Lyme disease pathogen or something similar. The scientist who discovered the pathogen in 1982, and for which it is named, had published a paper in 1952 about intentional infecting of ticks with pathogens such as Borrelia burgdorferi, and confirmed this on camera.

            Seems pretty obvious to me, but I’ll check out the article Yves referenced.


            1. Anon

              I read the article. I don’ think it does justice to the material we have. As you say, it appears also to me to be pretty clear, even if we don’t have the details of whether it was an intentional release – an experiment or attack – or a breech in the clearly rather poor attempts at containment.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “American Missiles Found in Libyan Rebel Compound”

    No real surprise there as Libya is awash with all sorts of weapons and ‘mercenaries’. Just yesterday a captured American USAF veteran was freed after being held the past few weeks after his plane was shot down. Oops. Syria is the same as there are not only US FGM-148 Javelins but also Chinese Red Arrows, Russian 9M133 Kornets, American BGM 71 TOWs and Iranian Toophans among other systems. Even ISIS had a few Javelins as found when the Iraqi military captured them two years ago. The Kurdish Self-Defence Forces (YPG) have also received and used them. The trouble with putting in high-tech weaponry like anti-tank missiles and man-pads into a region full of Jihadists such as Syria or Libya is that there is no guarantee they said Jihadists won’t acquire a few of themselves. It may be only a matter of time until an airliner is shot down with one of these weapons sourced from one of these regions.

    1. TimD

      Shoulder launched AA missiles have been used thousands of times against civilian aircraft since their introduction in the 1960’s. They can knock down light aircraft if they connect but the IR signature is too weak for reliable lock-on. The most common outcome against airliners is a miss because of inadequate range but if they do connect, the warhead is usually too small to do much more than some expensive damage.

      That being said, there are increasing numbers of these things floating around and Javelins are much better than Redeyes or Strelas. Its worth remembering that hundreds of thousands of similar missiles have been manufactured and a significant percentage have ended up in dubious hands.

      Airliner kills will become more common, especially the smaller aircraft like turboprops.

    2. ambrit

      Yes, and shot down in Europe or America to boot.
      Imagine an Airbus 300 making it’s landing approach to JFK or Heathrow suddenly exploding at 1000 foot altitude. That’s where this is all leading to.

      1. rowlf

        “That’s one nice thing about the 707. It can do everything but read.” Joe Patroni

        Modern airliners do not watch a lot of movies or tv, so they usually just get damaged instead of blowing up. The below article was an Airbus A300, which isn’t a fly-by-wire aircraft (ok, spoilers are). FBW airplanes tend to be more tolerant of damage as military airplanes that mash up their wings flying formation in training have proved.

        1. ambrit

          Ah, so you’re saying that the ‘perps’ need to up their game to a SAM system or a BUK. Indeed much harder to carry out, I agree. The modern world can ‘live’ with a few deceased airline passengers, as long as the capital investment can be repaired and returned to profitable employment.
          Modern “entertainment,” as you mention, indeed is addicted to specious spectacle. Time to have a reality check and dig out my copy of “The Battle of Algiers.”

          1. Oregoncharles

            Compare with “rowlf’s” comment, just above. I think you’re both talking about the same incident.

            I think it would depend a great deal on just where the rocket struck the plane.

  12. WheresOurTeddy

    How Russia’s President Putin Explains The End Of The ‘Liberal’ Order Moon of Alabama

    “One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future.”

    That sounds like socialism talk to me. I KNEW IT WAS TRUE:

    1. Rod

      It struck me that in Lamberts take on the PPC yesterday–one of the policy statements quoted said virtually the same thing.
      Just saying…

  13. Carey

    ‘Behind Boeing’s offer to settle with victims’ families in a 737 Max crash is a hardball legal strategy that could leave them with nothing’:

    “..Mike Danko, an aviation attorney and pilot, who is not involved in these cases, told Business Insider that if Boeing successfully pursued this strategy, the families could be left with almost nothing.

    “If Boeing can get the cases sent back to either Indonesia or Ethiopia, those cases really become worthless,” he said..”

    1. JBird4049

      Boeing for its part would say look, all of the witnesses to the crash and all of the witnesses and the family members who will testify about their loss are in the countries of origin where the crash occurred. All of the evidence, wreckage, flight data recorders and so forth, none of that is in the United States — that’s all in other countries.”

      The FAA does not have any of the evidence especially the flight data recorders because of previous questionable behaviors with the recorders of a few other crashes as well as the apparent current corruption and incompetence of FAA-Boeing. So Boeing will use the neoliberalism and corruption that killed hundreds to possibly deny the victims fair compensation and their rightful ton of flesh. How Machiavellian and elegantly evil.

      Pardon me, but between the Lyme’s Disease articles, Boeing’s outsourcing its software for the 737 Max to $9 per hour coders, and now this, I need to decide if a mere whole six pack of ale will do me tonight. (Bangs head against wall)

      1. Yves Smith

        I’m not an expert, but plaintiffs do have to argue jurisdiction and venue. However, (and I would love to have a lawyer opine), the “we’ll get this kicked out of US courts” seems like pure delusion, or an effort to BS the victims’ families into a cheap settlement. Ralph Nader is very involved in this case, and he’s no slouch. If the case is built to argue that the deaths resulted from Boeing trying to evade FAA certification requirements and/or lying, I don’t see how it does not belong in a US court.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I would like to see someone write The American Enterprise Institute Ruined Everything. There is a lot that could be written under a title like that.

      1. richard

        that does sound interesting
        I think you should write it
        i remember back in the day, back in the eighties it just wasn’t nightline
        if you didn’t see some aei square
        jawing back and forth with t.koppel about some horrible idea we all had to pretend was reasonable

    2. Big Tap

      Same theme about evil boomers hurting the millennials.

      The Theft of a Decade How the Baby Boomers Stole the Millennials’ Economic Future (Title)
      by Joseph C. Sternberg argued that the mishandling of the 2008 economic crisis by the Baby Boomers has left the a huge burden for Millennials. Works at Wall Street Journal. This guy thinks the baby boomers benefited after the recession not Wall Street.

  14. Stadist

    EU and South American bloc reach trade deal to cut tariffs FT

    I understand what EU is getting from this, but what is the benefit to South American countries, the ability to consume european industrial goods at lower prices? Rich and aflluent can buy european products cheaper while the any south american industry withers away.

    1. Lorenzo

      South American Presidents get a nice PR boost, I can confirm the victory parade is out in full force in Argentina (with elections this October and the economy in a catatonic state at best, it is a much much needed PR boost at that), and I’ve also read some self-congratulatory statements from the Brazilian side which are in the same spirit. The free-trade myth to prosperity lives on in many affluent and faux-affluent (that’d be the middle-class) sectors of the population. Local industry also has plenty of enemies, given their tendency to unionize, and they have been no friends of the current administrations in Brazil or Argentina.

      1. barrisj is must-reading for those of the anti-interventionist and anti- RtP mindset, and also led me to read more of the “conservative” media such as American Conservative, John Paul Roberts, et al. Raimondo had a sharp mind and acid tongue…never suffered fools gladly.

  15. Wukchumni

    Cops bust man who kept ‘attack squirrel’ hopped up on meth NY Post

    Douglas Squirrels-also known as Chickarees, have always seemed like they were on meth to me, they race around like dervishes rearranging stuff, while barking out orders in a octave that seems 10x too loud considering how small they are.

    Now where they get the fixins’ to cook up a batch, i’ll never know.

    1. rowlf

      When it is quiet in the woods a squirrel can sound like it is six feet tall. Camping in the Saranac Lake area of actual Upstate New York ages ago a campmate left a potato chip bag out and a squirrel got in it (like a cat in a paper bag) at night. Or a squirrel running around in dry leaves…

    2. Oregoncharles

      We have nut trees, so lots of squirrels, BOTH grays and chickarees – which are a pain in the rear if you’re gardening.

      I did have one triumph: one was sitting on a hazelnut branch scolding at me, very close; feeling territorial, I reached out with the bamboo stalk in my hand and tapped it. VERY surprised squirrel, sudden silence. And there was another time I found a chickaree’s stash, maybe half a bushel of nuts under some moss. Thank you!

      They aren’t cute any more; squirrel stew sounds better and better.

      1. polecat

        As collapse continues it’s stair-step downward, you’ll be glad you kept those ‘ chickaree frickasee’ recipes … ‘;]

      2. Yves Smith

        I’ve had squirrel only twice. I must confess it was delish. Was minimally prepared, I think just braised but definitely simple, not in a way to hide its flavor. No idea why it has such a redneck image, maybe because it’s not much sport to kill them.

  16. Judith

    I am sorry to hear of the passing of Bruce Dixon. I always read his articles first on BAR and appreciated the thoughtfulness and wisdom he demonstrated, gained from his decades of activism.

  17. Wukchumni

    Reservations for the Taco Bell hotel in Palm Springs sold out faster than Coachella. A representative for the Irvine-based fast-food chain said it took two minutes to book all the rooms at its four-day takeover of the V Palm Springs hotel this August.

    Everything from check-in to the pool floaties is being given the Taco Bell treatment; it will be the only place other than your apartment where you can get Crunchwraps in bed.

    Those who managed to book rooms can expect to eat a lot of hard-shell tacos, Crunchwraps and burritos over the weekend with room service, a poolside menu and something called a Freeze Lounge inspired by the brand’s Mountain Dew Baja Blast Freeze. There will be a salon where you can get your hair braided or your nails done. And a gift shop with swimsuits, phone chargers that look like hot sauce packets and more Taco Bell swag.

    I can’t wait for the Chick-Fil-A hotel, a Gideon bible in every nook & cranny, with compulsory church service attendance if staying the weekend…

  18. tegnost

    Two observations from today’s fare…
    1.)Interesting that when the US et al. decided globalisation would work great from their perspective once they had achieved a mono polar world, they couldn’t prevent themselves from concentrating their efforts in china, and thus created another pole, which now operates in it’s own self interest, and adding to that it’s regional trading partners, with no TPP to bind them, gravitate to their regional partner rather than being vassal to the US finance industry
    2.) Could it be that boeing knew that they didn’t have the necessary processing strength to run their sensors so they built the plane to the capacity of the processor rather than it’s capacity to fly safely. If so this will be an issue on all their recent offerings,no?

    1. hunkerdown

      That particular dual-dual ‘286 architecture is a legacy peculiar to the 737 series, which they simply pushed too far. The 777, by contrast, has a triple-triple configuration, with three dissimilar 32-bit processors (pp.14, 17), each one having more than an order of magnitude more computing power than the ‘286, in each of its three redundant digital flight control computers.

    1. dk

      “Quantum gravity” is a term for the effort to understand (or at least explain) gravity in the same context as quantum physics. Keeping in mind that Einstein’s relativity theories and quantum theory (and observations) are (currently) different tracks of observation and calculation (the article sort of fails to emphasize this imo, I guess they assume that we already know because that’s the name of the mag).

      At the quantum level, the weak gravitational force doesn’t seem to have any effect or “presence,” it just doesn’t show up at all (hence a “weak” force). So is gravity a product of the quantum phenomena, or completely unrelated and merely manifesting concurrently? The initial premise of quantum gravity is that there is some quantum-based calculation for gravitational forces, but afaik not much of significance has been produced so far. It’s more hypothesis than theory at this point.

      1. dk

        Our minds have competing tendencies to a) find patterns and b) aggregate information. So we can end up thinking we observe patterns where there are none, like seeing shapes in old TV static, or when things seem to line up but the alignment is only coincidental to one point/moment of observation (the basis for a lot of conspiracy theories). Alternately, we can fail to observe patterns where do they exist because we lost detail through aggregation, the way Newtonian theory explains so much, but becomes inadequate as the scale of observation/precision changes.

        Collecting and reproducing observations, and developing and testing theories (aka science-as-a-method), is a way to try to escape these limitations, but it takes a lot more work than subjective/direct observation and correlation.

        Also consider the snow-flake vs water droplet example in the article, it’s appealing but deceptive, because both observed symmetries are inexact. The water droplet is not exactly spherical. Neither is the snowflake on its six axes, close examination shows that each axis-branch is a little different from its neighbors. So do these symmetries really exist at all, or are we just aggregating for our own comfort/habit of thought while missing the real story? Symmetries can be generally real, and sufficient for some calculation, and yet fail to recognize or encompass all of the specifics underlying the operative factors we seek

  19. Brindle

    Hope Marianne Williamson qualifies for the next round of debates—she is not institutionally correct. She uses language in a way no other candidate comes close to, and she has a sense of humor..

    Is she making fun of “the resistance” here?

    —“For those who might think I want fairy dust to replace public policy, here is the Issues page from my campaign site. Please peruse for any signs of extra-terrestrial influence…”

        1. Carolinian

          Yes. But make it Gabbard/Williamson.

          Interesting that TPTB want a woman president but only one who can show herself just as ruthless and ambitious as her male counterparts. It could be time for those cliched feminine qualities of compassion and empathy to have a shot.

    1. Jeff W

      Quite honestly, I’d vote for Marianne Williamson—with whom I was largely unfamiliar before the debate—before I’d vote for any of the neoliberal, corporatist candidates. What’s better—policies based on love and kindness or policies based enriching the élites and making life worse for everyone else? We’ve seen how the latter turns out; I’d take my chances on the former.

  20. voteforno6

    Re: Kamala’s Attack on Biden…

    It sure seems like Harris and her campaign are (perhaps prematurely) dancing on Biden’s grave. Not a good look for her – sure makes her look like a not-nice person. Biden’s politics aside, I wouldn’t be surprised if this behavior by Harris’ campaign irked those people out there who like him.

    1. neo-realist

      So far, I suspect her attacks on Biden are confirming privately held beliefs by people leaning toward him that he isn’t up to the challenge of in terms of his energy and his checkered past. People, particularly in the corporate news media, seem to be taken by Kamala’s charisma and ability to put out some rabble rousing and emotionally manipulative sound bites. Lets see if she’s got the staying power for a long campaign….. and if her past as a prosecutor and velvet glove with big business becomes an issue.

      1. jrs

        the rudeness and manipulative sound bites come straight out of the trump playbook, meanwhile the policy was stolen from sanders. But at least biden is going down.

        1. jrs

          meanwhile although biden may be prejudiced, bussing didn’t even work. the schools were as segregated a few decades after as before. it may have been well intentioned of course, but it failed (and resentment probably contributed to the likes of prop 13 in CA, and a general defunding and war against public education).

          But whatever takes down biden …

          1. Gramsci

            I’ll say this again. Busing was not well-intentioned. In his dissent to Milliken v Bradley, Thurgood (and William O Douglas) told the Burger court that busing would sow racial division. But that is what Lewis Powell (remember him?) and Rehnquist wanted.

            1. Kurt Sperry

              Busing exposed me to our rich African-American culture up close and personal in Berkeley when I was a kid who’d never been exposed to it before. That was a very, very educational experience for me then, and taught me lessons I still use daily.

  21. drumlin woodchuckles

    The search-prevention engines can’t stop people from finding Naked Capitalism. But they can make it take several steps to discourage the low-energy seekers.

    It used to be that I could type Naked Capitalism into a search-prevention engine and the link to this blog would come up. Now all that comes up are various related and partial corners and allusions to Naked Capitalism but not the link to the blog. In tiniest possible letters at the very top of the “search” results screen are “other choices?” and one of those “other choices” is spelled out as “Naked Capitalism blog”. They hope most people will miss the tiny letters, and that most of the people who miss the tiny letters will not think to type in
    “naked capitalism blog.”

    1. pricklyone

      Search term: “naked capitalism”
      Using Google directly, all of the top links are to this site.
      Using Startpage, first link to Wikipedia, all next six are to this site and Yves’ twitter.
      Searching on laptop, no Google sign in or social media logins.
      Any chance that search problems are due to your device, and social media ties, causing search to try and “tailor” your results?
      I use none of that crap, and get what I search for. Works for me.

      1. Carolinian

        On DuckDuckGo it’s the first three hits including the Wikipedia listing and the blog itself. I think NC is too well known to get the overt cold shoulder from the main search engines.

        World Socialist Web Site has complained about this re Google but their complaint was that a search for the word “socialism” didn’t put them near or at the top of the list–about lack of traffic from non specific searches.

        That said Google and the others are apparently downrating some political speech but they aren’t particularly secretive about it. They figure “the resistance” has their backs.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        When are you going to tell me about that woodpecker spending some time on the ground lo these many threads ago?

        1. Oregoncharles

          I think he did – yes, it matched the picture. You must have missed the response; all too easy on here. My main problem with NC is that there’s so much of it. Have to be strategic.

  22. Summer

    “According to Forbes’s corporate-facing vertical, which provides companies with advice on the contemporary business landscape, human influencers are a necessary inconvenience to brands competing in the social media age…”

    “The influencer’s independence is both a benefit and a risk: While it lends endorsements a seemingly organic nature, it makes for an unpredictable spokesperson. Forbes warns of “young influencers who may lack maturity and professionalism,” implying potential liabilities from a burgeoning political consciousness to an embarrassing drunken exploit.

    Virtual influencers like Miquela, however, offer a balm to corporate boards anxious that their influencers won’t behave…”

    (sorry if this has been posted before, but it would give lie to what they are telling kiddies will be the “new economy” and how much their “authentic brand” matters….)

  23. tongorad

    Re the Cato Institute Open Borders apologia, besides the appeal of a fearful, compliant and underpaid workforce, this seems to me is the money shot:

    Expenditure on the welfare state will contract because even if immigrants vote for welfare spending, existing residents will vote for less generous benefits when they believe these accrue to recent immigrants.

    There you have it, open borders is an anti-solidarity play designed to divide the working class and to funnel government spending away from socially/politically derived material benefits.

  24. kareninca

    News you can use. Taking a common antidepressant (Prozac, Wellbutrin, Paxil) tremendously reduces the effect of the opiod pain medication Tramadol (

    “Those patients who also were taking the antidepressants Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine) or Wellbutrin (bupropion) required three times more pain medication per day to control “breakthrough” pain throughout the day, when compared with patients not taking those antidepressants.
    ‘As we looked at in secondary analysis, it ended up being four times as much over their entire hospital stay,’ said Derek Frost, a pharmacist at UH and lead author of the study.”

    That is a huge difference in amount of pain med needed. I have a relative who is on Tramadol and it doesn’t do a damn thing. Maybe because of her antidepressant?

    1. Geo

      An old friend of mine whose spent most of his life on extremely powerful antidepressants had an injury a while back and in the ambulance ride they had to pump him with enough painkillers to numb a whale for it to have any effect on him.

      Good to know there’s an explainarion for it. They were all baffled at the time. Thanks for this. Will forward it to him.

    2. Yves Smith

      Tramodol is not an opioid but it works on the same pathways as opioids.

      I had a scrip of Tramodol once, and despite not liking to use painkillers, I took it because a treatment gone bad put me in excruciating pain for 2 days, the worst in my life (and that includes dry socket). Didn’t make a dent. And I don’t take antidepressants.

  25. pjay

    Re: ‘Xi is not the boss in US-China struggle. Neither’s Trump. Here’s who is’ – SCMP

    “These days, though, it is the car owning, commuting, mortgage paying, Western-branded-clothes-wearing bourgeoisie of China that matter most….This middle class lies at the heart of all the key hopes of Xi’s government to change the structure of the Chinese economy to a higher-quality one, and to make China a global innovation leader. Its members are also, as yet, surprisingly low consumers. Napoleon, according to legend, says when China stands it will shake the world…”

    “But the Chinese middle class is likelier to be reading Warren Buffett and the story of Jack Ma than the Communist Manifesto. Most of its members might not even be aware that the latter exists!”

    “One final thing to remember is that this group is the greatest economic asset on the planet. Its ranks are likely to double in the next decade or so. These people are the ones that the US, Europe and others want access to – to sell goods, services, and to see if they are more politically open minded than their current rulers…”

    Putin may have said that the “liberal idea” is obsolete. But for pro-Western China watchers in the media, there is one hope, for China and the world, that is *always* projected in their “analyses”: *Be like us!* If only the ranks of the Chinese “middle class” swell enough, and they become massive, mindless consumers like us, perhaps they will force open this massive market from the inside, overwhelm their antiquated authoritarian political leadership, and truly “progress” — like us!

    Though I am a layman with no China “expertise,” these stories always strike me as fundamentally ethnocentric. But I may be wrong. I truly hope there is another option.

  26. 3.14e-9

    If Lyme disease has reached pandemic proportions, why haven’t we heard more about it? Because, experts say, Lyme doesn’t strike fear into people’s hearts the way some other illnesses, like Ebola or Zika, do. … “People with Lyme disease don’t look sick.” (Medium article)

    In May 2018, my first spring back in Upstate New York since the mid-1970s, I started seeing Lyme Disease pamphlets all over town. Turns out that one of my neighbors, who has suffered from L.D. for many years (no visible symptoms), is behind the campaign and actually has been quite effective in striking fear in local hearts and minds, including my own. I can’t walk through the park, spend 10 minutes in the garden, or marvel at the fireflies in the evening without worrying that a tick could be doing its thing at that very moment, and I wouldn’t feel it. And if I do get bitten, evidently it will be my fault (like unprotected sex), because I was too lazy to suit up for a stroll through the park on a muggy summer evening.

    So much for all the research about the mental health benefits of spending time in nature. Feels like regression to 17th century religious thought of Nature as inherently dangerous …

    1. kareninca

      None of my relatives in CT take Lyme seriously at all. They act as if it didn’t exist. Even though they live in the woods, or close enough. Even though my sister-in-law has had it twice including with severe Bell’s palsy once. Humans aren’t good at worrying about that sort of thing, it seems. I just visited them, and although on prior trips I was careful, this time it didn’t even occur to me!!! Last year I mailed my mom some high quality super duper non-toxic spray, to use herself as a good example for my niece. There it sat unopened in the bathroom cabinet.

  27. VietnamVet

    The world has changed in the last 40 years. Corporate media repeats the lie that this is the best of all possible worlds. Instead, the predatory exploitation by global Brahmins of everyone else and the earth’s resources has exploded. Between owners and the people are the overseers who keep the system operating. Barrack Obama and Kamala Harris are prime examples of operatives who use visual clues to identify themselves as something they are not. They are globalists and nationality Americans only to gather votes. Huffington Post throws a fit when African-Americans point out that she is not what she seems. Both are multi-cultural children of the credentialed class who went to school in the USA, Indonesia and Canada. They will earn handsome rewards keeping government secondary to global corporations (Bayer, Goldman Sachs, Volkswagen and Boeing) and America’s wars ongoing, killing and maiming people for profit.

  28. MichaelSF

    I will admit that I had no idea who Marianne Williamson is (I’ve not had a television or followed popular media much for 40+ years). After reading the linked article above I’d much rather give my vote to Marjoe Gorner

    who at least finally came clean on how his “religious” activities were nothing but hucksterism.

    Williamson seems no better than Oprah, Deepak Chokra or any of the other televangelists/new age gurus, and I’m sure not about to vote for her either.

  29. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: U.S. corn plantings top expectations despite floods; prices sink Reuters
    This short link directly contradicts my expectations for how the flooding in the Mississippi will affect food prices and the yields in the US this year and next for corn, soy, and wheat. The link makes little sense with respect to the information in Lambert’s post from June 9, 2019, “Midwest Flooding, the Corn and Soy Crops, and Knock-On Effects”.

    And the link makes little sense just thinking about it. After a major flooding event, with wet soils seemingly too wet to run machinery over, why have corn plantings increased? The news sent corn futures down limit the day of the report. Why are farmers planting more? Who are the “farmers” doing the planting? I thought a lot of the smaller farmers had some financial problems following a flooding event which I thought lowered their yields for this year. “The USDA also released its closely watch quarterly stocks report, which showed that supplies remained robust after last fall’s bumper harvest despite heavy usage.” What is going on?

  30. rd

    RE: California warned 30 years ago about climate change

    In the 80s, John McFee did a couple of pieces in the New Yorker about problems that are still in the news today.

    One was about LA and wildfires and debris flows:

    The other was on the Mississippi Old River Control Structure:

    It is important to recognize that many of the problems we are seeing tooth-gnashing about today were built into the system decades ago without a thought to sustainability. Climate change is now magnifying the weakness in these systems so that things that were barely manageable 30 years ago are now in danger of simply collapsing under the increased pressures simultaneous with increased development.

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