Links 6/30/19

Heatwave cooks mussels in their shells on California shore Guardian

Cool reprieve for parts of Europe as Germany roasts AFP

San Francisco Will Spend $600,000 to Erase History NYT

11-foot-tall bird discovered in Crimea TreeHugger. That’s a big bird.

DARPA develops ‘smart grass’ that yells at you for walking on it Duffelblog

Renewable electricity beat out coal for the first time in April Ars Technica

The Pentagon’s Outsized Part in the Climate Fight NYRB. Bill McKibben.

NASA just made a stunning discovery about how fracking fuels global warming Think Progress (David L)

Vancouver, Richmond Push to Hold Big Oil Accountable for Climate Damages Climate Liability News

California Burning

PG&E Update: Utility Blamed For More Fires International Business Times


Apple, Amazon, and the rest of Big Tech all have a lot to learn from the Green New Deal Fast Company


More Than a Fifth of All European Flights Delayed in May BNN Bloomberg

Sudan braces for ‘millions march’ as defiant protesters regroup Al Jazeera


The biggest loser in the presidential debates: Planet Earth MIT Technology Review

Sidney Ember’s Secret Sources FAIR

Elizabeth Warren Thinks We Need More Diplomats New York magazine. In her own words:  Revitalizing Diplomacy: A 21st Century Foreign Service Medium

The Forever War Is So Normalized That Opposing It Is “Isolationism” Caitlin Johnstone (The Rev Kev)

Biden sees support from Democrats slip 10 points after debate The Hill UserFriendly:
“best news i’ve seen in months.”

Medical Care

‘Rising Enthusiasm for Medicare for All’ Has Provoked Dramatic Surge in Industry-Backed Lobbying: Report Common Dreams

American caravan arrives in Canadian ‘birthplace of insulin’ for cheaper medicine Reuters

Class Warfare

Deadly day for workers refocuses spotlight on industry safety progress Waste Dive

Financial worries keep most Americans up at night Bloomberg

Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes to Face Trial Next Year on Fraud Charges WSJ

Mayor, doctors and social workers arrested in scheme to brainwash children into believing they had been abused and sell them Independent

Tariff Tantrum

Apple moves Mac Pro production from Texas to China Ars Technica

Xi-Trump summit in Osaka brings trade truce, more talks and hope for Huawei SCMP

Trump ‘allows’ Huawei to buy some ‘non-national security’ tech… if China buys more US farm produce RT (The Rev Kev)


G20 summit: World leaders agree on climate deal Deutsche Welle

Russia-India-China share a room with a view Asia Times (The Rev Kev). Pepe Escobar.

North Korea

Trump meets North Korea’s Kim on DMZ between the two Koreas Reuters

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

The Pentagon has a laser that can identify people from a distance—by their heartbeat MIT Technology Review

Face-Reading AI Will Tell Police When Suspects Are Hiding Truth Bloomberg

Julian Assange

Power Versus the Press: The Extradition Cases of Pinochet & Assange Consortium News


The people of the Middle East should be reassured by one thing – their autocrats are no longer a global anomaly Independent, Robert Fisk.

Migrant Watch

Horrific pictures of drowned migrants should not distract us from the fact that far more people die on EU borders Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

Italy migrants: Rescue ship captain arrested at Lampedusa port BBC

737 MAX

Boeing Loses Another 737 MAX Customer Forbes

Boeing’s 737 Max Software Outsourced to $9-an-Hour Engineers Bloomberg (Craig H.)
Hosted from comments.


Decisions on US-India Issues Will Not Be Taken by the Pompeos and the Jaishankars The Wire

Indian central bank wants scrutiny of shadow bankers Asia Times

During the Indian election, news audiences consumed a wide and diverse range of sources Nieman Lab

Trump Transition

America’s Economic Blockades and International Law Project Syndicate

“I’m Not Willing to Do That”: Trump Says He Won’t Take Climate Action Because It Would Threaten Corporate Profits Common Dreams

What Russia Rightfully Remembers, America Forgets Truthdig Scott Ritter

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. Pavel

    I just watched the video of Trump walking across the Korean DMZ… it was oddly moving. I detest Trump and 95% of his policies but IMO this has to be seen as progress. No doubt MSNBC, Maddow et al will be SHOCKED but let’s keep in mind this will also drive John Bolton and the neocons crazy. Moreover, I imagine the South Koreans will be thrilled.

    1. The Rev Kev

      What was not seen in that video was a brief incident when North Korean Border Police arrested him as an illegal emigrant as he crossed the border without a proper visa.

    2. anon in so cal

      Re: North Korea

      Tim Shorrock is an expert on the Koreas and has been supporting negotiations with North Korea.

      Here is is excoriating Marcy Wheeler (Empty Wheel):

      “The utter banality and stupidity of the fake American left in one tweet. 80 million Koreans and the war and division they’ve suffered through simply don’t exist. It’s the essence of “America First” and it’s ugly.”

      1. Pavel

        Whatever happened to Marcy? She used to be one of the good ones. Now she is all #RussiaRussiaRussia and MSNBC style warmongering.

      2. Chris Smith

        Marcy Wheeler, Russian Conspiracy Theorist. Are her 15 minutes up yet?

        If Donald Trump using his own great brain discovered the cure for cancer singlehandedly (anything is possible, LOL), the entire Democratic establishment and their wanna-be hanger-ons like Wheeler would howl in indignation and somehow find a way to defend cancer.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          I met Marcy in the mid 2000s when she and Jim Hightower did an internet show in Mpls. We’re all on the same side, but at some point she drank the koolaid and now I’m pretty sure her livelihood depends on pushing the ‘news’ her friends like, even if that leaves a lot of her former readers behind.

          I cringe when people talk about her or other converts to stealth Clintonism. We’ve let the Clintons divide our party because they want it divided and we let them.

          We won’t beat Trump until everyone’s on the same page. Marcy has a lot to atone for, but when it comes right down to it, she’ll vote for Bernie if he’s the nominee. I can’t say the same if the nominee is Joe Biden or Kamala Harris so I’ll admit she’s a better Democrat than I am.

      3. Plenue

        The “Trump is uniquely bad because he talks with dictators” cliche is one of the more pathetic liberal TDS tactics. It just shows how utterly clueless and/or disingenuous the speaker is.

        1. Pavel

          Anyone else old enough to remember when Saint Barack Obama broke off a state visit to India to attend the Saudi king’s funeral? You know, human rights, feminism, anti-genocide, gay rights etc etc?

    3. Oh

      If you see this flim flam artist’s moves as progress I have some ocean front land in the DMZ to sell ya.

      1. Pavel

        I’ll take even some bullsh!t PR stunt which gives a smidgen of hope for peace talks over a pre-emptive nuclear strike any day of the week.

        Go ask John Bolton what he thinks. That’s the litmus test.

        1. wilroncanada

          Sorry Pavel, but it seems to me that your response is all too typical of the US in general, including many responders her on NC. Sure, take some bullshit PR stunt and let it give you a glimmer of something, hopey changey maybe? A bullshit PR stunt is a bullshit PR stunt. Now think of the bullshit PR stunts that US Presidents have been throwing at the citizens for the past 75 years, while the realy foreign policy activists, US Big Business and the alphagetti of the serious people in the various secret services make REAL policy, and carry it out.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Yes, but “a bullsh*t PR stunt” in favor of what? In this case it was in favor of dialogue. Perish the thought! Talking to our adversaries instead of flinging bombs at them!

            I just wish we would key on actions instead of agitprop. Obama deported more illegals. Obama gave banks a free pass from prosecution. Obama made sure Big Insurance and Big Pharma got business as usual with ObamaCare. Obama expanded drone war from 2 countries to 7. Obama put the worst of Bush’s attacks on civil liberties into law.

            So I’ll take bullsh*t PR in favor of peaciness any day of the week. Even if it comes from our Insane Clown Posse president.

          2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Its important if you see it from the angle of young marxists, libertarians, and non identity politics coming together as allies.

            This was a stunt to troll the DNC and their MSM cohorts directly following the Debate.

            No glimmers. Big Business has always been in charge. Peace must ALWAYS be highlighted.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        You mean the one with no witnesses, no police report, where the “victim” said “people think rape is sexy”?

        At least with Monica we got a blue dress. And I don’t care if he has two heads if he de-escalates NK

        1. Pavel

          Thanks HAL old friend!

          I can’t comment on the latest alleged rape accusations but I definitely agree with your final sentence. Peace!

  2. dearieme

    Heatwave cooks mussels in their shells on California shore

    Fantastic: Moules Marinière.

    1. Svante

      NASA Just Made STUNNING Discovery. We’re basically ALL mussels, cooking in our shells and it’s hardly news. A link (below) from this article further links to a NYT article from Ingraffea, citing Cornell’s own studies on leaking during completion, processimg and transit of fracked gas, long predating the “bridge fuel” fantasy. They’d certainly known this, plus (government/ Wall Street & consumer funded) gas infrastructure stifling renewables, along with the chain reaction as AGW increased “natural” methane migration… we knew it made things far worse, that it’d be a money pit… BUT

  3. Antifa

    The European Union has finally launched their sanctions workaround for letting EU companies do business with Iran without facing US sanctions.

    It is likely to be too little, and too late, to prevent Iran from leaving the JCPOA treaty, but the first import/export deals between the EU and Iran have already begun. Iran has said it will decide as of July 8 whether this EU workaround is enough to keep them in compliance with the nuclear treaty.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The law fare blog has a much more detailed article on INSTEX. Its good to see the EU is finally doing something, but it remains to be seen if its enough. Ultimately, I think many countries and individual companies are deciding that Iran may not be worth the effort if it means bringing on the wrath of the US, SA and the Gulf States. But politically, its vital I think that the EU leads the way in holding the line on the agreement to encourage the Iranians not to step up the heat.

      1. Smoke and mirrors

        There is zero way-leading here from the EU. UK, France and Germany are US-poodles. It even looks like it was designed to be 100% symbolic with zero impact. It is such a sham that Iran hasn’t even bothered to set up “a mirror system” according to article.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    NASA just made a stunning discovery about how fracking fuels global warming Think Progress (David L)

    I recall talking a few years ago to a specialist in oil and gas drilling who was asked what the greatest environmental impact would be of fracking – he said the greatest impact of fracking would not be in gas production – it would be the long term impact of thousands of poorly capped wells leaking methane for many decades or even centuries to come. A single gas frack well does not necessarily produce more leaking methane than a conventional well – the problem is that a frack operation requires many more drills and wells for every unit of gas produced. Capping wells properly is difficult and expensive and almost impossible to regulate, as it involves deep underground sealing at each geological level penetrated by the well. A well may seem well capped at the surface, but the problem is underground as the methane pushes its way through natural and artificial fractures and voids, eventually leaking into the environment.

    It may be that repairing leaking wells will have to be one of the primary tasks of any GND – it will be very expensive and of course the industry will not be interested in paying for it.

    1. human

      Fracking, by definition, creates new routes of escape. If a company can not guarantee that this is confined to the bore hole, they should not receive permission to drill at all and, of course, be held responsible for their cap sealing.

    2. polecat

      So, in effect, everything fracking is like Macondo Well/ Deep Water Horizon ! .. minus a few thousand feet of seawater ..

      How swell.

    3. Ignim Brites

      ‘…a shocking study that found the methane emissions escaping from just New Mexico’s gas and oil industry are “equivalent to the climate impact of approximately 12 coal-fired power plants.””

      Does this put NM in play in 2020?

  5. PlutoniumKun

    The Pentagon’s Outsized Part in the Climate Fight NYRB Bill McKibben.

    I think this is a useful corrective to the comment I’ve frequently seen here about the impact of the US military (and others) on CO2 emissions. In reality, its pretty minor in global terms – most emissions are produced by regular consumers, i.e. ‘us’, not some ‘other’. We have to face that reality.

    Its also true that the military is behind a lot of research both on climate change impacts, and on renewable energy, both directly and indirectly. However, I think McKibben overstates this – the reality is that military investments in non-fossil fuel sources haven’t been all that useful – for example, 70 years of investment in nuclear energy by various militaries still hasn’t produced anything much better than the light water PWRs that came out of the original submarine power research in the 1950’s (most reactor designs used today are essentially massively scaled up versions of the reactors used in the early generation of nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers). None of the alternative module based reactors developed by the US/UK/France/China and USSR/Russia have proved viable. He also doesn’t mention that the Republicans have stopped a lot of military research on bioenergy, no doubt under the influence of the fossil fuel industry. Its probable that research on more robust chip designs have helped the solar industry, but that’s about the extent of it.

    1. pretzelattack

      yeah, but the pentagon’s role in maintaining the international neoliberal order and protecting the interests of fossil fuel companies and defense contractors in the middle east should be considered a contribution to climate change, imo. hard to quantify, maybe.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel


      We need to come up with Infinite Non Polluting Energy Systems. We literally need to invent another source of energy. Idk how to but we better come up with something quick!

  6. jeremyharrison

    Re: San Francisco School Board voting to spend $600,000 to erase a mural which depicts things like genocide of Native Americans and George Washington owning slaves, etc.

    Of course, it’s typical of San Francisco to be so insanely “progressive” that their rationale is their belief that the mural advocates genocide and White Supremacy, rather than simply expressing that both are part of America’s history.

    But as a San Franciscan, what’s more typical is that they will spend $600,000 to paint over a “1,600 square foot mural”.

    That’s 4 gallons of paint and about 5 hours of labor.

    You have to live here to get it….

    1. katiebird

      And if they are halfway decent about it, some plywood to put over the paintings before they do the painting. ….. Why do they actually have to be destroyed?

      1. Carolinian

        In the article board members say that some future school board might decide differently and therefore the painting must be destroyed. Meanwhile almost none of the actual students want it painted over.

        It’s funny how some “progressives” obsess over Russia while trying to turn the US into the Soviet Union.

      2. Alfred

        They don’t have to be destroyed; the school Board has chosen to destroy them. The motivation behind that choice is essentially religious. It stems from the idea that it is not enough merely to ignore or ‘paper over’ a sin; the requirement imposed by religious duty upon the righteous is that they expunge it. As usual, the zealots are ‘protecting the children’ because children epitomize “the innocent” but one should not discount the possibility that they also hope to save the not-so-innocent, indeed very wicked adult art lovers from the seduction of truth. For the most famous historical parallels, see and . But closely related was the aftermath of the infmaous exhibition of Entartete Kunst in the 1930s; There are several books on the destruction of artworks as a cultural phenomenon in and of itself, of which the one that I think has the most provocative title is Fear of Art by Moshe Carmilly-Weinberger (1986).

        1. Carolinian

          Thanks. And the story here is not the $600,000 but rather the destruction of culture for political reasons. Perhaps they’d like to burn some books as well.

          If the board in their wisdom or lack thereof thinks the mural is harmful to students they could simply cover it up. A future board that disagrees could make their own judgment. But of course intolerance toward disagreement is the essence of the totalitarian mindset.

          1. Wukchumni

            The idea that the murals didn’t bother anybody heretofore for 4 score and 7 years, makes you wonder about their emancipation, er expulsion, all of the sudden like?

            1. lordkoos

              San Francisco as “safe space”, where you don’t have to see or hear anything that might possibly trouble you.

                1. flora

                  Maybe they could just repaint the mountain men’ going west as bankster forclosers and repaint the native people as the current homeless. That would make the mural right up-to-date. bah…

                  1. Wombat

                    And Andrew Jackson’s ignoring the Supreme Court and sending the Cherokee on a Trail of Tears as Kamala Harris’ ignoring her staff and not prosecuting Mnuchin, rendering families homeless?

          2. Ignim Brites

            Didn’t the Taliban recently come into some criticism for the sort of thing with respect to some Buddha statues?

            1. Wukchumni

              Getting rid of pesky history used to be left in capable hands of the Taliban & ISIS, can’t stomach ancient Roman ruins, ruin them!

            2. Alfred

              Yes, the Buddhas of Bamyan, some of the most remarkable works of sculpture ever created anywhere. See This case engages the notion of ‘cultural property’. A case can be made that those Buddhas, like the mural in San Francisco, were the cultural property of humanity (dead, living, and future). But those who would destroy such things prefer an argument from property rights, or from sheer power. In San Francisco it is the latter argument that seems to prevail against the cultural argument. The destruction of the mural is attractive to the School Board because it demonstrates its political power. They intend to teach the public a lesson about who holds the local power and what they can do with it; we might call it a ‘teaching moment’. Hence exactly the same situation as in Afghanistan. The Taliban could destroy the Buddhas not because they could claim property rights to them, but because the Taliban simply had the power to do so. By doing so they not only sent a clear message to the locals about who had the power. The destruction also demonstrated to the whole world their contempt for the notion that anything could be the ‘cultural property’ of humanity. In point of fact , as anyone who has encountered cultural resource management knows, they are millions of Americans who reject the idea that anything can be the ‘cultural property’ of humanity, or even of a country or community.

              1. rowlf

                There some articles in the Thai press of Buddhist monks at the time of the US invasion of Afghanistan having to explain to the lay people that the invasion wasn’t because of the destruction of the statues.

                An easy and simplistic connection to make if you aren’t full in on kamma. Maybe Dhammakaya was getting ready to send forces.

    2. rob

      I’ll fly over there and do it for them for $300,000….. you know…. for the children…

    3. Geo

      When I was a teen I did a mural for a local elementary school – for free (they covered paint costs). Who knew I could have made a half mill for that labor!??

    4. Stephen V

      Call in the consultants! Hire Banksy to paint over it ! Have an auction ! Something…things I don’t miss about CA-an ever growing list.

    5. lyman alpha blob

      My guess is it’s $1,000 for the paint job and a $599,000.00 campaign contribution to Kamala the Cop. As one school board member/idiot noted, “This is reparations”.

      And just noticed the op-ed was from Bari Weiss(!). From what I know of her I would have expected she would be first in line sporting a painting smock . Broken clock and all I suppose.

      1. Dan

        That’s silly, it’s $500 for the paint, and $599,500 for the public employees of the school district who are categorically employed and have sinecures for life on the public dime.

        Weiss is the one that was crucified for smearing Tulsi Gabbard on Joe Rogan’s show, talking about “Russiagate” and not knowing the meaning of the words she was using.

        A scandal is still a scandal, even if a fool like her points it out.

        Reparations? How about for Jamaicans?

        1. pretzelattack

          how do you know it’s not outsourced? being san francisco, i would expect that it is. then they can blame the schools for failing due to lack of resources, and outsource even more to charter schools. win win!

          1. Dan

            Living there, watching school district trucks with logos, observing workers, hearing them complain, talking to teachers, reading about demands for more guaranteed city jobs and ongoing grievances.

        2. WheresOurTeddy

          “public employees of the school district who are categorically employed and have sinecures for life on the public dime”

          That’s some pretty blatant hostility to public sector workers there, and education workers at that. I’m sure you have the same fire for Amazon which is gentrifying the Bay Area and pays no taxes.

          1. Dan

            Damn straight! I love private sector unions, belonged to one, went out on strike, punched out scabs and see the need for that kind of union. Private employer unions defend against abusive employers.

            Public employee unions? No way. They set up an adversarial relationship between the people that pay their salary, our tax dollars and ourselves through public institutions. If you don’t like the public employers, you can vote them out. We can’t do that with corporations.

            Look at what the Prison Guard’s Union has got us, the prison industrial complex. You are complaining about police misconduct? And at the same breath, you are defending their union that protects them no matter what? Doesn’t make sense, and, is hypocritical.

            How exactly do unfireable, incompetent, slackers that drive around in taxpayer funded vehicles benefit us? Most public employees in America are fine. In San Francisco, most are category check off coddlings that end up picking up human feces at $75,000 a year, plus benes, or servicing their own parent’s low income housing. That’s my observations.

            1. rowlf

              Wasn’t public unions FDR’s dilemma? As a former member of several unions a union that can vote for who they have to negotiate with is troubling.

              1. Wukchumni

                The only union members I really ever came into contact with while living in L.A., were supermarket checkers doing the same job as the checkers in every other retail business that weren’t union members. pick up merchandise on the conveyor belt as it comes towards you-scan-drop it back on the conveyor belt. If the customer isn’t using cash, they’ll do all the work in completing the transaction for the cashier, save the latter giving the customer a receipt.

            2. pretzelattack

              the prison guards’ union got us the prison industrial complex? private corporations didn’t have anything to do with it? this is not convincing.

    6. Otis B Driftwood

      To be clear, this isn’t the act of genuine progressives. San Francisco is Nancy Pelosi’s town.

      1. pretzelattack

        our lady of the privatized post offices; they should erect statues to her at each. i’m sure some defense contractors would be willing to chip in a few bucks, and deduct it on taxes.

        1. Wukchumni

          The only chance Pelosi would get a post office named after her, is if my Congressman-Kevin McCarthy does it, and see that’s all he’s capable of doing, there’s a possibility.

          The Merle Haggard & Buck Owens post offices in Bakersfield are his legacy (and missing out on being speaker of the house on account of an affair with another polyamoroustician)

    7. John

      What is “progressive” about denying your history? This sounds more like the Ministry of Truth than the school board.

      History is not confined to that with which you agree, nor is it composed of your misinterpretations and your low opinion of the intelligence of the people.

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          Gowin’s Law makes an appearance in record time.

          Yeah…because the billboards of Hitler were put up as a cautionary tale to remind people of the sins of their past…oh wait no they weren’t; and his image, name, and any imagery referring to 1933-1945 is banned.

          By your logic there should be no Holocaust memorial.

        2. Alfred

          As I understand that situation, it was not Germany’s choice to make. It was the choice of the occupying powers. And I do believe that those powers proceeded to remove as many images of Hitler as possible, though I am not sure which fraction of those images was subjected to out and out destruction. Some were, I suspect, merely removed from public display. The powers also removed from view or even the country many things merely associated with Hitler, including his library, which was carted off to the Library of Congress – but for preservation, not destruction. Therefore I would hesitate to call what happened in post-war Germany an iconoclasm; it was more of a ‘defacement’ (the ancient practice of removing just the faces from offending statues). But later one of the powers involved in the ‘defacement’ of Hitlerian Germany, the USSR, itself orchestrated another of the world’s better known campaigns of iconoclasm, the one called de-Stalinization. It was international in scope, and perhaps affected more territory than all the previous iconoclasms in history combined. The unfolding American iconoclasm, of which the San Francisco mural case is only one among a great many episodes, will also rank among the world’s largest such cultural manifestations on the basis of size of territory affected – potentially the entire extent of the USA.

      1. Alfred

        Were the mural in San Francisco to receive the same sort of treatment the Sistine altarpiece did, where genitals and certain other details were painted out but the rest of the painting left largely untouched, the School Board would merely order the enslaved cotton pickers to be painted over. But their goal, unlike that of the Papacy, is not to ‘correct’ or ‘improve’ a mural. Their goal, clearly stated in published quotations, is the outright destruction of the whole mural. The Board wishes to place it beyond any hope of restoration or repair, hence eventual rediscovery. It wants no part of it to survive, apparently on the (magical) theory that only total physical destruction can neutralize its immoral influence. The analogy to the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyan is more apt; indeed, it is exact (even though studies have shown that the Bamyan Buddhas could to some extent be restored).

    8. chuck roast

      The EPA has a beautiful building in the Federal Triangle in DC. The WPA designed and built all of the light fixtures, elevators, doors, etc. for the structure. It’s very beautiful on the inside and has winding staircases on either end.

      As I recall it’s around eight stories, and at each staircase landing there is a very large WPA mural. They are all by different WPA artists and depict postal themes. Originally, it must have been USPS offices.

      One of the murals depicts the pony express on the way to deliver mail. However, most of the mural shows huge indian massacre of a wagon train complete with scalpings and multiple murders of women and children. It’s very graphic. In my day the mural was screened, but you could walk around the screen and check it out in all it’s crazed artistic glory. Why they never destroyed it beyond me.

  7. DanW

    $600.000 to paint over a historical mural with at most, $500 worth of white paint?
    Public employee unions to blame there.

    Remember this when they come begging for more bond money to fund schools, which in California, is a fraud.

    The cultural Taliban school board in San Francisco are not only vandals and wasters of tax dollars but are furthering the death of the city’s institutions. School board members have in their cultural wisdom made schools so bad that there are now more dogs in the city than school age children as people flee the city when their children reach school age for the suburbs, or, try to find spaces in the overcrowded private schools.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    Apple moves Mac Pro production from Texas to China Ars Technica

    I think the key part of this story is that this decision seems primarily driven by supply chain considerations, not cost. Or put simply, Apple can’t source the right parts at the right price in the US. If anything demonstrates the damage caused by off-shoring, this story does.

    Apple “struggled to find enough screws” when it began making the 2013 Mac Pro, a New York Times article explained. “Tests of new versions of the computer were hamstrung because a 20-employee machine shop that Apple’s manufacturing contractor was relying on could produce at most 1,000 screws a day.” The screw shortage and other problems caused a months-long delay in Mac Pro sales.

    1. Dan

      “I’m signing an executive order that the U.S. Government will only buy computers made in the United States, starting in one year…”

      Gee, wonder if that would boost onshoring?

      1. wilroncanada

        The alternative, Dan, would have to be bringing Apple II’s and Univacs out of mothballs, because there would not be any computers to use otherwise. “Made in USA has been a fake tag for generations.

    2. Trent

      My basic understanding of economics would suggest that the 20 person machine shop would invest in expansion to increase production to meet apples demand. What am I missing here?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        A 20 person machine shop has how many owners?

        -Can the machine shop go offline for the expansion? What kind of debt is being carried?
        -If the price of screws are going up, is it better to meet demand or is it better to meet enough demand to deter competition?
        -Is the business reliant on Apple or does it have more long term customers? Do you want to be the part supplier for a gadget company? Or the part supplier for a local government customer? Screws for sewers, vehicles, schools, etc?

        There are two Chick Fil A franchisees in my neck of the woods. The rumor is one of the Chick Fil As near me does about $8 million in revenue (the average store is $2.85) and when they opened the guy probably had a great deal, or relatively great deal. They shut down for an expansion last year where they were supposedly going to raise the roof and add a second floor. Eventually, they reopened without obviously the second floor and after a much shorter time then announced. What I learned was that there are two Chick Fil A franchisees. They hate each other, but the one with two smaller and after thought Chick Fil As had the rights to run Chick Fil A food trucks at locations that might pick up the business from the renovating Chick Fil A because much of the flow of traffic. My suspicion is the big Chick Fil A didn’t want to create the sense there was demand for a competing Chick Fil A owned by his competitor because people were going to the food truck which apparently offered a limited menu. (Disclaimer I boycott Chick Fil A)

      2. Jim

        A lack of qualified candidates, probably.

        I know a early-30s something mechanical engineer who despairs finding people his age with sufficient qualifications.

        1. flora

          High school students are encouraged to go to college. How many HS guidance counselors even know about , say for instance, tool and die making as a career, and the steps needed? These are good jobs that don’t require a college degree.

          1. Kurtismayfield

            We do professional development at engineering and technical skills companies in the area every year. They are begging for people with a two year degree in applied science or engineer techs. The community college here has a decent program as well. The problem is convincing the parents and students.. some of my Intro Physics and Engineering students would be perfect fits for it, but they all see 4 year uni or nothing.

            1. flora

              Thanks for this. We are losing a generation of brilliant physical world (for lack of a better term) talent to the idea that everyone needs a 4 year degree in ‘something’ to succeed.

          2. eg

            The problem hereabouts on this front are the parents — school guidance departments promote 4 pathways (work, apprenticeship, community college and university) but the pressure from parents is all on the university end

        2. JBird4049

          who despairs finding people his age with sufficient qualifications.

          or is it

          who despairs finding of not hiring people of his age with sufficient qualifications?

          The complaint reminds me of all those smallish businesses, including niche manufacturers, who refuse to raise their wages and then say that they cannot get any good workers!

          American deindustrialization started in the 1960s with the deliberate? shipping of the electronics industry to places like Japan to prevent them from going Communist, or some such reason. The American tool & die industry destruction only really started in the 1990s IIRC, which is less than thirty years tops.

          There are probably any number of engineers of all types who are in their 50s-80s who would love to go back to their chosen careers. Undoubtedly there is a real shortage of trained, never mind experienced workers in all shorts of fields, but undoubtedly there are millions of Americans trained, often experienced, even talented in much, maybe even most of the requisite fields. But only if the American management would deign to find and hire them.

        3. Inode_buddha

          Dunno, CNC skills are pretty common. I bet maybe the supplier couldn’t get the funding to expand properly.

          For a 20-man screw machine shop I would expect more recent Swiss-style CNC centers with live tooling and bar feeders. That’s at least $150K *per machine* and probably a lot more. Factor in also the need for 480V 3-phase and a good screw compressor. You’re looking at a 7-figure investment. Such a setup would be able to make *thousands* of screws per day, regardless of how oddball they may be.

          Chances are very good that Apple wouldn’t quote enough to cover the investment in machinery alone. And a small supplier sure isn’t gonna eat that cost just for bragging rights.

    3. Olga

      If the cost were a consideration, wouldn’t it have been cheaper for Apple to set up another screw-producing shop? Or buy the existing one and expand it? Methinks there’s more to this move than just a humble screw.

      1. John k

        Screws are the excuse.
        Always good to have an excuse… though my wife thinks I have too many.

    4. flora

      Thanks. You’re right.

      Two asides:
      1. If Apple didn’t insist on using tri-lobe screws (think 3-arm mercedes logo) and pentalobe screws (think 5-arm star) and other special screws that also require special screw drivers – that no one else uses – they wouldn’t have this problem, imo.

      2. They’ve include 2 regular USB-A ports on this box. (lots of people complained about only USB-C ports)

    5. Eureka Springs

      More than a few screwy things about that story. Super poor planning on Apple and suppliers part to name the biggie. And shipping some screws from China while keeping an existing facility in place doesn’t seem to be reason enough to move an entire operation around the world.

    6. ewmayer

      “Tests of new versions of the computer were hamstrung because a 20-employee machine shop that Apple’s manufacturing contractor was relying on could produce at most 1,000 screws a day.” — I call bullshit on that number, at least in terms of planned high-volume production. I sounds to me like Apple had offshored screw production, and then since there was no longer any US-side manufacturing facility with the scecialized equipment needed for automated high-volume production of the needed specialty screws, was forced to use a custom shop with basically hand-manufacture of the screws in question, at a rate orders of magnitude lower than the automated version. Leading to a self-fulfilling “look, we tried but simply couldn’t find the needed expertise domestically” offshoring prophecy. To put the ridiculousness of the 50-screws-per-machinist-per-day figure in perspective:

      We make a wide range of custom parts in our shop, such as bushings, nuts, inserts, fittings, spacers, rivets, and more in high volume. For orders requiring quantities of over 10,000 pieces, JC Gibbons Manufacturing relies on our multi-spindle screw machine (Davenport Screw Machine) Department. With 20 screw machines running over two full shifts, JCG can produce quantities well into the millions.

      As in, millions per day. Apple simply needed to provide enough lead time for a domestic manufacturing shop to install the specialized screwmaking equipment for their custom teeny-tiny screws, and train the workers to use it. It a variant of the “if you’re unwilling to invest even minimal time into worker training, of course you will be unable to find workers with the required skills, because said required skills are specialized and require on the job training to develop” ploy.

      1. flora

        Did China muscle Apple?

        “I sounds to me like Apple had offshored screw production, and then since there was no longer any US-side manufacturing facility with the scecialized equipment needed ….”

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple offshored production for most of its fittings to China and then China said, “so sorry, tariffs, if you don’t move your primary production here then we can’t help”.
        Too skeptical?

        1. flora

          Or, has Apple realized their premium pricing, once acceptable because their hardware/OS was once – but no longer – so much more reliable than the competition, isn’t worth the premium pricing any more to users in the US?

          Are they moving to China because their brand name still has a premium draw there?

    7. carycat

      supply chain is ALL about cost as “make vs buy” is the question (although who bears the cost is always determined by executive compensation and shareholder value). you can bring just about everything in house if you don’t have to worry about ROI or next quarter’s numbers.

  9. PlutoniumKun

    What Russia Rightfully Remembers, America Forgets Truthdig Scott Ritter

    Operation Bagration

    Operation Bagration saved D-Day, but you won’t hear any American presidents acknowledging that fact. Nor will any Americans pause and give thanks for the sacrifice of so many Soviet lives in the cause of defeating Nazi Germany. Let there be no doubt that the United States played an instrumental role in the defeat of Hitler—we were the arsenal of democracy, and our lend-lease support to the Soviet Union was critical in the success of the Soviet army.

    But the simple fact is that we never faced the German A-team—those men had perished long ago on the Eastern front, fighting the Soviets. The German army we faced was an amalgam of old men, young boys, unmotivated foreigners (including thousands of captured Russian and Poles), and worn-out, wounded survivors of the fighting in the east. We beat the Germans, but because of the pressure brought to bear on Germany by the Soviet Union, the outcome in Western Europe was never in doubt.

    It is shocking how people can’t even face up rationally to the historical facts of a war that ended 74 years ago. It is not any insult to the men who died liberating France to point out the reality that this was a minor fracas compared to what was going on 1000 miles to the east. But I really wonder how many people in the English speaking world would even know what Operation Bagration was.

    1. Dita

      WW2 history as taught in US public school and on tv is shallow and biased. I learned about the Soviet role in defeating Nazi Germany out of my own interest as an adult. One shudders to think about the massive destruction the Soviets could have wrought in western Europe had Hitler kept his part of the bargain in the non-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin.

      1. Dan

        That was just a ploy to give him time to avoid this:

        “For several years now, a former Soviet military intelligence officer named Vladimir Rezun has provoked heated discussion in Russia for his startling view that Hitler attacked Soviet Russia in June 1941 just as Stalin was preparing to overwhelm Germany and western Europe as part of a well-planned operation to “liberate” all of Europe by bringing it under Communist rule.”

        1. georgieboy

          Heh, a Russian fellow, who got out in the Jewish emigration of the 1980s under Gorbachev, told me that story was well known in the military.

          He used to manually compute and program the paths of Soviet ICBMs that targeted some lovely European cities, like Brussels. First strike, he said, btw.

          History is what happened to happen first.

        2. voteforno6

          I read his book Icebreaker many years ago. It’s an intriguing hypothesis, but I’m not sure if Suvorov’s scholarship would stand up to close scrutiny. The USSR may not have been capable of undertaking such a large-scale invasion, considering that Stalin had pretty much wiped out the leadership of the military through his purges.

          1. Olga

            This debate is laughable. To not know that USSR was the main reason Hitler was defeated is one thing, but then to suggest that the USSR was planning an attack on W Europe is just daft and a part of malicious propaganda. This would have been at a time, when the country was barely feeding its own people!
            The ex-spy is better known as Suvorov:
            “Viktor Suvorov is a somewhat famous ex-GRU spy who defected and wrote a series of books.
            The most (in)famous and sensational were a series of books on World War II, starting with “Icebreaker,” which alleged – with supporting historical facts and documents – that Stalin was planning to attack Nazi Germany in 1941, with the end goal of rolling over entire Europe. Having read the book in Russian, the logic seemed fairly sound, and the cited facts sounded legit – at least to a teenager who had a decent knowledge of history for an average person but not more.
            However, in study-of-history context, it seems that Suvorov’s books and theories are viewed between “disputed” and “outright scientific fraud”. A lot of discussions are summarized on the Wiki: Soviet Offensive Plans Controversy, but the point of view was even expressed right here on History SE in Wladimir Palant’s answer to Why did Hitler attack the Soviet Union when he was still busy fighting the United Kingdom?: “I’m not aware of any serious historians favoring this theory, and Suvorov unfortunately isn’t one – he seems to be willingly omit or even falsificate facts in his books by misquoting and quoting out of context.”
            One disgruntled ex-spy vs pretty much all serious historians, including the western ones? Unproven conspiracy theories on NC – isn’t that against the comment rules?
            The funny thing is that the question of whether USSR should “export” revolution was the main battle between Trotsky ans Stalin, with the former advocating world-wide revolution. If you recall, Trotsky lost.
            And as for ICBMs pointed at western E under Gorbachev – surely, at least some here know that Churchill proposed obliterating USSR with nuclear weapons right after WWII, an idea that continued to live until Kennedy’s time, later to be replaced with the MAD doctrine. The ICBMs were a part of the defensive posture, not offensive. Unfortunately, too many westerners like to project their own intentions onto others.

            1. WheresOurTeddy

              Thank you, Olga. The fact that they couldn’t even defeat Finland in the Winter War is a pretty damning indictment of post-Purge Soviet military capability.

              The first 6 months of Operation Barbarossa underscore this.

            2. Antifa

              There is also Stalin’s nearly catatonic reaction to news of the German invasion — he refused to believe the reports at first, and then retreated to his dacha for ten days. He was not available in person or by telephone while Russia’s defenses collapsed on all fronts.

              When Beria and other top Party members came to find him at last, Stalin thought they had come to arrest and shoot him.

            3. richard

              “too many westerners like to project their own intentions onto others”
              this should be on our gravestone, if we get one for our civ:
              “The people we savagely wiped out we decided were savages.”
              “The people we stole from their homes and forced to do our work turned out to be lazy, thieves”
              “The people we surrounded with military bases ended up being real hostile to us.”

        3. PlutoniumKun

          There has always been something of a mystery about the Soviet strategy just before Barbarossa – they had no strength in depth whatever, with most of their units far too close to the border with Poland, making it all too easy for the Germans to destroy a huge proportion of their forces in the early attack. Some historians believe that Stalin was under the impression that Hitler would allow him to take half of Poland (i.e they were in an offensive, not defensive position), but I’m not sure if there is anything solid to back this up.

          There is no way that the Soviets could have threatened Germany or Europe at this time – the army was in a complete mess due to the purges, and they had just suffered a chastening campaign against the Finns. While they had beaten the Japanese in skirmishes earlier, they hadn’t particularly impressed in the East either. Most Western and Japanese contemporary observers considered the Soviet military to be second rate and thought they had little chance against Germany. In many respects they were right, it was only through grit and a complete industrial/military transformation following Barbarossa that they were able to prevail.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Don’t most Western European and former colonial countries teach about the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century and make occasional references to a place called the Byzantine Empire? It’s the same problem just more relevant and obvious.

        I don’t know. Lebensraum like attitudes requires a certain amount of propaganda. I’m not certain the Weirmarcht rank and file would have been so keen on staying where the locals weren’t despised as subhuman. The British brought in Hessians to terrorize American colonists in the 1770s because they knew the British Army of the Era was too similar to the locals to do what needed to be done, the kind of stuff they would pull on the Irish.

        1. pretzelattack

          nominally, and i learned that both hitler and stalin were planning on the best time to break it.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            My first high school term paper (~1968?) was contrasting the uses of terror by Hitler with Stalin. Very easy to research: almost every book I could read on WWII trashed Russia while lionizing our role. And I seem to remember some historians who thought Hitler was misunderstood, just like Robert E Lee.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          If this alarms you, wait until you hear about Americans such as Prescott Bush and Joseph Kennedy.

          1. WheresOurTeddy

            the name Smedley Butler is an express elevator down the rabbit hole and every American should know it, along with the two you mentioned.

          2. rowlf


            But I will give you a Bellamy salute for mentioning true Patriotic Americans of Milo Minderbinder character. I’ve always wondered how many US industrial agents were embedded in the European Theater bombing planning teams.

            “No, don’t bomb THAT factory. Target that one over there. We don’t own part of it.”


      3. Ford Prefect

        This can be generalized as “History as taught in US public school and on TV is shallow and biased.”

        I was taught history and political in high school school outside of the United States and it is always apparent to me how little of it is taught in the US. We were able to do interesting things like compare the Soviet Constitution with the US Constitution side by side. Ultimately, the only significant differences between the two was the Soviet clause stating the Communist Party is the only political party allowed and some of the Bill of Rights. Pretty much everything else was very similar.

        D-Day was really the start of the Cold War. Without D-Day, the Russians would have likely controlled all of Europe by the end of 1945 as they were marching effectively on Germany.

        I don’t think Americans understand that all of Eastern Europe and Russia west of Moscow effectively went through “Sherman’s March to the Sea” across the entire area twice in four years, instead of just a single quick 20 mile wide swath. It would be like that level of destruction (or higher) from the Canadian border to Florida from the Atlantic Coast to the Mississippi. Unimaginable to us (unless you are Native American).

        Also, the Allies fought using different rules. They could have broken through the hedge rows in Normandy faster if they used Soviet techniques of simply launching thousands of people at killing points like field entrances through the hedgerows to swarm the Germans at those locations. The casualty rates would have been much, much higher. The Soviets had some very good strategists and tacticians but ultimately, they knew it was a war of attrition and they could trade soldiers with the Germans at a casualty rates of higher than 1:1 and still beat them. So the soldiers were expendable.

        1. JBird4049

          The casualty rates would have been much, much higher. The Soviets had some very good strategists and tacticians but ultimately, they knew it was a war of attrition and they could trade soldiers with the Germans at a casualty rates of higher than 1:1 and still beat them. So the soldiers were expendable.

          Not quite, the ratio of causalities was very much greater than 1:1 and both sides did not have the living bodies left at the war’s end to keep fighting. It was like two knife fighters who were bleeding out, but the Soviets had just enough blood remaining to finally succeed in stabbing the Germans to death.

          I think after Operation Barbarossa, certainly Operation Citadel, failed Germany simply could not win, but without the Allies helping the Soviets, the Soviets could not have won either.

      4. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        I cannot help but wonder on the amount if the Russians produced a bill for reparations.

      5. wilroncanada

        US history education: halftime at football games and televised holiday specials. WWII was won by John Wayne; all Americans know that.
        Now as to Geography, on 9/11 many planes bound for New York landed in Gander Newfoundland. Most of those passengers, of US extraction, had no idea where Newfoundland was. President Bush thanked Mexico for its hospitality in US’ns time of need.

  10. punky

    San Francisco Will Spend $600,000 to Erase History

    Proof of how sick and screwed up this country has become. When will the classics be banned? For surely that’s coming.

      1. Cal2

        How does “systemic racism” cause homelessness there? Please explain that mechanism. It’s the most liberal, tolerant, wonderfully diverse city in the world.

        Over $1.5 billion has been spent on “homeless” people in S.F.
        Most of the 5,000 housing projects units are and have been occupied by minorities for half a century or more.
        60 percent of the population is covered by rent control.
        The best paying blue collar jobs in the Bay Area, ILWU, Longshoreman jobs, have been
        almost exclusively reserved for members of the minority community, per the union’s founder and organizer Harry Bridges, starting in the 1970s.

        Here’s some low income housing available to anyone: Lots of pictures.

    1. scoaliera

      Remember when the Taliban destroyed those 4th Century Bamyan Buddha statues, and we in the U.S. were all outraged about the destruction of heritage art just because the regime had some ideological or theological objection to it?

      I mean, I bet everyone reading here remembers it. But I have to wonder whether the school board in San Francisco does, or how they’d handle the cognitive dissonance if anyone reminded them.

      1. Lepton1

        It wasn’t the unilateral decision of the board to do this. I’ve lightly followed this in the SF Chronicle. My impression is that this has been heavily hashed in public meetings in the area. I’m glad I don’t live in the area.

        We have a mural in our local post office that looks like it was part of the depression era financing of artists. It depicts an old scene of California in which a grizzly bear and a bull are penned in a corral and made to fight. It is really gross and I hate looking at it. I would support removing it. I get it that these things happened, but I don’t want to see it all the time.

        I’m OK with that community doing whatever they want with that mural in SF.

  11. PlutoniumKun

    Biden sees support from Democrats slip 10 points after debate The Hill UserFriendly:
    “best news i’ve seen in months.”

    It is good news, but the slightly less good news if you look at the original FiveThirty Eight article is that Gabbard got only a minor lift – it looks like Warren and Harris were by far the biggest winners of the debates. I suspect a reason is that it would have been mostly core older Dem voters who watched the main debate, so perhaps weren’t as impressed by Gabbard as a more representative group of potential voters might have been.

    But it does seem that Harris has broken from the centrist pack to challenge Biden and Warren is a genuine contender. Progressives may have to make a big decision on whether the Sanders or the Warren horses are the best ones to bet on – there is a danger of vote splitting if both end up level pegging, allowing the centrists to get behind Biden or Harris or similar.

    1. Geo

      As is said here often, it’s so early in the race who knows what will happen, but the severely uninformed (or misinformed) voters is amazing. This Humanist Report piece on it was illuminating.

      Hard for a Gabbard, or even Sanders, candidacy to break through the blob but hopefully they can.

      1. Lee

        The Dem establishment has whipped up so much fear and loathing of Trump as an individual, thus distracting them from larger systemic issues, that picking a perceived potential winner is probably the first impulse of voters at this point. Biden’s name recognition and the Obama connection is serving him well in these early days and Harris evokes notions of Obama 2.0, which if nothing else will get her lots of primary votes in states that cannot be won in the general election or would be won by Democrats no matter who they nominate.

        1. Oh

          As Cal2 pointed out yesterday, Kamala is not a black-american but a Jamaican-American with an Indian mother just like Obama who had a Kenyan father and a white mother. SHe has already shown how she would use unfair laws against citizens as evidenced by her jail parents whose children couldn’t attend school for valid reasons.

          She’s another phony.

    2. sleepy

      During the debate Harris and Sanders were the only ones to state that private insurance should be banned in support of single payer. The very next day she walked back that position saying she misunderstood the question.

      So, for perhaps 12 hours I could see myself supporting her. But her craven lie lost her my support forever. She is not a progressive. She’s a younger and darker version of Biden only far more schooled than him in the sort of BS it takes for a centrist to lie their way to a win in 2020. Though I think she’ll end up losing to Trump in the end.

      1. Spring Texan

        That’s the SECOND time Harris has done that exact same flip-flop on private insurance companies . . . she’s the biggest phony.

        1. pretzelattack

          jesus. just this morning, i was waiting for my morning caffeine at the coffee shop, and glanced at a front page article in the nyt–the gist of the headline was something like “even as liberals are excited by kamala harris, moderates are concerned that she will cost them the election”. i hadn’t had my caffeine yet, so i can’t be 100% sure.

      1. Ignim Brites

        The Honorable Gabbard’s candidacy will be like Clean Gene’s in 68. Improbable until all of sudden it isn’t.

      2. GF

        We thought she did well on Bill Maher Fri night. She did quite well. She didn’t take his Russia, Russia, Russia bait. I think Bill got frustrated and ended the interview sooner than he had with other candidates. The show is available as a rerun on HBO and on HBO Go and HBO Now.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Thx for the tip. Mahers a West Coast Liberal Hack.

          Him, John Oliver, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon.

          MSM is #Cancelled

    3. Brian (another one they call)

      Thanks PK. I would like to stress that polls are about ‘believing” (TM) There is no reality associated regardless of how much and whom wants it to be so. Many people make many fiat currency units for the construction of a poll, but it is always subject to the weather rather than the climate. Beliefs are strong until forgotten. As long as any form of truth is subject to objection, polls will be tainted by reality.

  12. PlutoniumKun

    Boeing Loses Another 737 MAX Customer Forbes

    Boeing’s 737 Max Software Outsourced to $9-an-Hour Engineers Bloomberg (Craig H.)

    If MoA’s recent posting is correct, I’ve a feeling this is going to get worse and worse for Boeing. If they can’t get the Max back in the air by the end of the year the big purchasers are going to get very nervous.

    That said, they haven’t lost any really ‘big’ purchasers yet – the ones to really look out for are the aircraft leasing companies – they in particular look closely at long term residual values for their aircraft, they will not want to have a lot of unsaleable aircraft on their hands. And they can afford to be more patient if it means waiting for Airbus or Mitsubishi to step up to the plate.

    Airbus seem very bullish about this – which contradicts some reports I’ve read that have said they don’t really want to knock Boeing out over this – the duopoly suits them very well, they wouldn’t necessarily want the focus being a monopoly would bring upon them. But they may not be able to succumb to temptation if they can work out how to ramp up production more than planned in the next 5 years.

    I wonder too if they’ll regret cancelling the giant A360. This died due to the failure of the hub and spoke model in favour of smaller, long distance jets. But if airlines can’t buy enough long distance narrow bodies, this may give a new lease of life to those airlines who want to focus on the big hubs for long distance connections.

  13. Krystyn Walentka

    Re: “Financial worries keep most Americans up at night”

    I know someone who is opening a medical practice and they are concerned over their personal expenses. Everyone is concerned over expenses but never concerned over getting paid or getting a cheap deal on Amazon. Sorry, but a lot of this concern in people making over 80K is unjustified fear and a product of their own behavior.

    I am permanently disabled, do not even own a car, and will be homeless next month. Seriously, I am going into homelessness. I get $1500 from disability and cannot afford rent in a town I lived in for 20 years. But all my friends who are complaining have houses that have appreciated me right out of my rental housing. Will it be hard to be homeless? Yup. Am I afraid? Nope. Why? Because I have a spiritual understanding of life, not a financial one.

    Do my friends help me? Nope. Why? Because they are concerned about their finances. I will never hate them for that, this is the way it is right now. I will go on like St Francis or an old broken Daoist, accepting all, judging no one, living simply.

    1. sd

      Why does your link go to an ad for new apartments? An article, yes, but an ad for a new apartment complex seems weird.

      1. divadab

        The ad shows rent on a one-bedroom apartment at $1,350 – a bit hard for someone on a $1,500 a month income to afford, no?

        1. Krystyn Walentka

          Yes, thank you, that was my point of the link. That is not even a one bedroom, it is a studio.

          1. sd

            Shelton Station sits on North Greensboro Street in Carrboro. It is a mixed-use development, with 22,716 square feet of commercial space and 94 one- and two-bedroom apartments. Of those 94 residences, 19 are allotted as affordable housing units.

            Do you qualify for one of the affordable housing units? Fixed income – which is a guarantee of payment of rent – typically get some preference over other applicants.

            1. Mark Gisleson

              Section 8 anecdote. Before buying the house I’m in, I was planning on renting in La Crosse. Wisconsin’s laws are so loose, developers no longer sell properties but rent them out directly and are big into using Section 8 (I would imagine there are tax benefits). Here’s how a Section 8 developer tried to rent to me:

              1. All website pictures were of units not available.
              2. After a 4 hour drive to see the unit I wanted to rent, I was told I could only see a different unit.
              3. I learned that every unit was unique, all laid out different (converted brewery).
              4. I would not see my actual unit until I took possession of it (but s’ok cuz company very cool with letting people cancel leases!).
              5. The person I would deal with as a tenant was a minimum wage secretary who had no clue about anything.

              This is the future of renting. Why use rental outfits when the developer can hire a temp to rent the units and still have a waiting list?

              1. Krystyn Walentka

                ” I would not see my actual unit until I took possession of it (but s’ok cuz company very cool with letting people cancel leases!).”

                That I have run into before. It’s insane. They do it in some of the lower income apartment complexes here.

                By the way, none of the photographs of Shelton Station are located in Carrboro and anywhere near it as far as I can tell. Advertising…

            2. Krystyn Walentka

              No, I do not qualify. You see, they say the median income in the area is $53k. But that is BS since most people here are students who use loans, not counted as income, to get housing. So the 20 and 40% of income is much lower than it should be.

              I make more than the average person on disability so I fall into an affordability hole; too much for aid, to little to rent.

          2. pretzelattack

            i was thinking that 1300 sounded more like a studio, these days. it’s freaking ridiculous.

    2. The Rev Kev

      You will be homeless next month? I am so sorry to hear that. I do not know if moving to somewhere more rural so that it may be more affordable is an option for you where you are. By the sounds of your comment, some of your friends may be in the same boat down the track. I really hope that you find some safe harbour for yourself.

      1. Krystyn Walentka

        I am moving out of state so rural options will change.

        Safe harbor is in my heart, no where else, but thank you.

    3. joe renter

      Krystyn Walentka:

      The best investment in life is the relationship with your soul. It sounds like you are on the right path. Peace be with you.

    4. Aumua

      Forgive me, but I have a hard time believing you can’t find a place you can afford in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area. I mean maybe you can’t live right next to UNC Chapel Hill, but come on now…

        1. Krystyn Walentka

          Yes, it is. There is a Google headquarters in downtown Chapel Hill and every third person in the coffee shop is coding.

          And Aumua thinks they know what it is like to be a 50+ year old guy on disability that cannot afford a car. I live in this area because I cannot afford a car and this is where my doctors are. So I should move because I am sick and poor so all these rich people can virtue signal about how proud they are that they live in a gay friendly town while they walk their dogs to the farmer’s market?

          “Forgive me but can you just move away so the rest of us can live here?”

          Do you think I want to be homeless?

          1. Carla

            Krystyn — so very sorry about what is being done to you.
            In Cleveland, Ohio, where we have been beaten down for a very, VERY long time, we’ve got a public hospital, now known as MetroHealth. It’s located in a poor, inner-city neighborhood with hispanics, blacks, whites, and middle eastern immigrants as the predominant ethnic groups at this time. Metro’s CEO, Dr. Akram Boutros, has decided that he and his hospital will not be able to make people healthy until they improve the health of the neighborhood, and by extension, the city at large. And he has deduced that that means affordable housing, food, decent jobs, and education. (What a concept!)

            I’m so jaded at this point that I’m afraid to drink Dr. Boutros’ Koolaid. But if he’s the real deal, he’s on the right track. Here’s a recent article about his plans:

            Again Krystyn, wishing you a safe and comfortable place to land. Your equanimity is truly remarkable. Thank you for reminding all of us what is really important.

            1. Krystyn Walentka

              That is awesome and what is needed. I keep telling my doctors to write me a prescription for lower housing costs as a joke since they keep telling me I need to manage my stress.

              And thanks for the good wishes.

      1. Massinissa

        Was this comment really even necessary? In what position are you to decide what another person can or cannot afford? You know nothing about their situation.

      2. Yves Smith

        This was nasty and uncalled for.

        You are really out of touch. The Raleigh-Durham area has been a preferred place for moneyed retirees for at least fifteen years. Housing has been bid up there for a very long time. In general, university towns have similar rentier dynamics to blue coastal cities, just at a somewhat lower price point.

        1. Aumua

          I certainly may be out of touch in some respects. I’m just saying that $1500 / month is more than I have ever earned in my entire 48 years, and somehow I have always managed to get by living in all kinds of different areas. I hope that you find the right possible situation Krystyn. No malice is intended.

          1. Krystyn Walentka

            Most times misunderstanding is seen as malice. I try not to make that assumption.

            Sucks you made so little all your life. I was making 120K with stock options as a network engineer before I got sick. I can’t believe you can only make $1500 a month in the Triangle! I mean with all the high paying jobs here? c’mon.. :)

            I am happy you were able to manage, but maybe you were not sick and needed to pay for medicine out of pocket. Maybe you did not need still need to pay part of the trips to the hospital even though you were on medicare and permanently disabled. Maybe it was easy for you to find roommates because you were not sick and maybe you did not have to deal with landlords discriminating against you.

            Maybe I used to be able to live on $1500 fine until I got older and people started looking at me funny and the rent went up and Obama never gave me a cost of living increase because I had no inflation and AirBnB, etc…

            I guess all I am saying is don’t make assumptions. And I am glad your life is so blessed.

    5. anarcheopteryx

      I was very close to this a year ago. Been bouncing between couches up until two months ago, and my things are all still in storage with a family member (a privilege I am aware of). Finally got a full time job and can afford rent just as I was about to be politely evicted from my previous place as guest (they were selling the house to move somewhere cheaper…). Even now I’ve found a short-term contract full-time job that will accommodate my disabilities, rent+utilities is 60-70% of income ($1200 CAD for a 1BR! Cheap!) and I might once again be SOL after this contract is over.

      Listening to friends who have bought houses, cars, having kids complain about money can be frustrating, but as you say, nowadays everyone feels precarious even when they maybe aren’t.

      All to say, best of luck.

  14. Geo

    Interesting little look at how the #resistence is going:

    To sum up the week for House Democrats: no oversight of the rape allegation against the president, no protections for abused immigrant children, a hearing on tax cuts for millionaires and a request that Trump officials deregulate big banks.

    Democrats did pass a bill trying to guard voting systems from foreign intrusion.

    Been interesting to see the idolatry of Pelosi as a brilliant strategist and resistance leader that was so prevalent last year turn into sour grapes lately. Not long ago there were adoring memes of her in red coat and sunglasses, or doing that sarcastic clap at the SOTU, littering the Internet with cheers as if the past decade of her leadership failures hadn’t happened. I swear, it’s like the populous has no memory beyond the most recent election.

  15. divadab

    Re: NY Times smear job on Sanders by Sydney Ember:

    I am shocked, shocked, that the NY Times, cheerleader for war profiteering, is blatantly smearing Bernie Sanders. It’s almost like they are some kind of propaganda outlet or something.

    Anyway, they are filthy lying scum and won’t ever see a nickel from me.

  16. Marc Andelman

    Chennai, one of India’s largest cities, just ran out of water and there is no mention on your blog, nor does it seem prominent in the news. Why?

    1. The Rev Kev

      I believe that there was an article in Links on this city about a week or two ago. And reading up about it at the time, there are more cities facing the same situation in India.

      1. barefoot charley

        Yes, all I know of it I’ve read here, at least 2 articles, plus stories on India’s global-weirded monsoon season.

    2. Steve H.

      Hi Marc, there is a search bar at the top of the page. It’s not perfect but it brings up the articles which have been presented on NC about Chennai.

      I want to welcome you, it doesn’t look like you’ve posted before. This is from the Policies section:

      Our Goal is to Promote Critical Thinking

      The Policies section is a really well-thought out document, and gets cited here on a regular basis.

    3. Massinissa

      “just ran out of water”

      It ran out of water like a few weeks ago. It was already in the links awhile back.

  17. George Phillies

    Biden polling slips by ten points?

    That’s from 41 to 31. Assuming that was actually the standard preference question, the first number was an extreme outlier, and the second number is about the RealClearPolitics average. It may sound good or bad, depending on point of view, but more polling is needed

    1. Brindle

      Biden getting the “leave the old suffering white guy alone” vote–but seriously, Biden is a lousy candidate who has the weight of DNC and big corporate donors behind him and that may be enough to push him over the finsh line to get the Dem nomination.

      1. lordkoos

        Biden won’t make it. I’m betting he’s out of the running by December if not sooner.

    2. Oh

      I noticed that during the debate “Hands” Biden was vicariously taking credit for Obama’s accomplishments (not that Obama did much to help most people)

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Italy migrants: Rescue ship captain arrested at Lampedusa port”

    Maybe the Italians should say “Hey, we just got ourselves a new boat. Cool!” That captain had two weeks to sail to any other port in Europe but in her righteousness said that her Uber taxi service for refugees had to go to Italy. Why couldn’t she take it back to her native Germany or the Netherlands?

    1. Monty

      Don’t let common sense get in the way of how you have been instructed to feel on this one.

    2. DJG

      The Rev Kev: Try calculating the distance from Lampedusa to Rotterdam. Also, Sea Watch isn’t a taxi service.

      Italy’s position as pretty much the exact center east-west in the Mediterranean, plus its long history as a seafaring nation, mean that ships are allowed to port. There are many many Italian sources refuting your statement, including articles in La Stampa and elsewhere this morning that an important judge is already arguing that she broke no law. A group of lawyers in Milan have taken on her case pro bono.

      This is moral issue in Italy–not to leave people stranded at sea. The Italian gravamen is that the others talk a good game and don’t accept refugees, including some reports I read that the Netherlands was signaling to her not to show up. All you have to do this morning is scan the home pages of La Stampa or La Repubblica to see what a controversy this has stirred up, including demonstrations by the citizenry against the government’s handling of “la capitana.”

  19. Cal2

    PG&E Update: Utility Blamed For More Fires

    PG&E seeks $10.9M in executive bonuses amid wildfire woes, bankruptcy
    A dozen PG&E execs deemed to be “key employees” are in line for bonuses even though company is broke.

    Protest this by paying your bills as late as you can. Wait for the pink envelope,
    “This is your final notice before we cut you off,” then immediately pay the bill. Think of how this affects their cash flow? Killers and corporate bastards. Their field employees, the linemen and gas techs, are however great and in some cases heroic, versus the high level parasites running the company. How about some claw backs of previous bonuses?

    1. pretzelattack

      “if you don’t pay us our bonuses, there might be more fires, that would be a shame”

      1. polecat

        “Nice little paycheck you got there, rate-payer .. be a shame if something happened that caused it NOT to go poof !”

  20. Wukchumni

    SF reminds me of the Bible Belt, albeit in a backwards fashion.

    They tend to whitewash thinking in the latter with dogma biased schoolbooks or better yet, no mention of bothersome things we did in the past, while the far left has decided that a spendy designer paint job (who’d they get for $600k, Peter Max?) would assuage students visual contretemps.

    There’s a few chronic complainers about Frisco on here, show the courage of your convictions, and GTFO of there.

    1. pretzelattack

      i don’t see the far left as driving this. i wouldn’t think picturing washington as a slave owner would offend the ideological sensibilities of a leftist.

      1. Wukchumni

        I wonder if this will give free rein to paint over Diego Rivera’s murals in SF, Detroit & NYC?

        And lets get rid of Thomas Hart Benton’s murals while we’re at it!

        1. Cal2

          Well, some conservative neighbors…yes, there are still quite a few, might consider painting over the “immigrant’s” rights, Si Se Puede, pro revolution, propaganda murals in public places all over the city.

          Don’t forget forced perspective ads on and in tax payer funded buses. They are run for free, so it’s not a financial issue.

          Paint and rollers are cheap.
          What’s good for taxpayer funded school board goose, is good for the forced public gander. :-)

    2. Massinissa

      “far left”

      San Francisco is Pelosi-land. I don’t think you can really say the schoolboard is ‘far-left’. They’re centrist Identitarians.

    3. lordkoos

      And here I thought one of the points of good art was to make people uncomfortable. It’s unbelievable to me that covering the work is not acceptable and that it must be abolished. The phrase “The American Taliban”, it’s not just for evangelicals any more.

    4. JerryDenim

      “There’s a few chronic complainers about Frisco on here, show the courage of your convictions, and GTFO of there.”

      Not sure ‘getting TF outta there’ is going to help much. Just seems like the bad guys win and the good guys lose. Perhaps showing courage by showing up at school board meetings, speaking your mind and enduring the experience of being called a “white supremacist” for defending art, liberty and humanism instead of allowing alarmist, totalitarian grifters to destroy art critical of Capitalism and European-American history is the better course of action. Totalitarian bullies only win when the majority of people who disagree with them are cowed into submission. To the chronic Frisco complainers I say if you really love it, stay and fight -OR- if not: STFU and GTFO. I must admit fighting City Hall, Silicon Valley money, cultural changes, and hordes of dispossessed homeless does sound pretty daunting.

      1. Cal2

        Jerry, Physical presence in the city, living in a family home, or working there, does not mean one is “acquiescing” to anything.
        Still have the vote, yeah, lot of good that does, but nevertheless.

        Because of car burglaries, 36,000 in one year–SIX arrests—TWO convictions, plus car owners treated like ATM code dispensing prisoner$, we, and most of the people in our cohort, don’t shop or rarely park anywhere in the central city. Some bus lines, North of California Street, are OK to get downtown. But except for occasional convenience items, on foot, all our sales taxable money is spent in high quality stores in Marin, like Costco, or the hundreds of other nice places over there in which one can pass the day in pleasant, safe, stress free circumstances and make a pleasant day of it. Thus, we boycott the city economically and culturally, except for a few things. Always paid for with cash.

        Besides, most of my childhood neighbors live in Marin, or Sonoma County, where it seems 3/4 of the cops and S.F. firemen live, or in San Mateo County. These places were and still are the only logical places after children leave kindergarten. This started half a century ago when S.F. public schools imploded into to a series of busing misadventures, riots, court ordered nonsense, a lottery and whatever,that makes public schools like Washington High a default for parents WDGAS, who want their children SJW brainwashed, or who more likely cannot afford hideously expensive parochial schools in the city, and are trapped in rent controlled apartments, thus stay put.

        Keep up the fight, wherever you are.

        1. Wukchumni

          It all seems like worth fighting for as long as you go to Costco far away from the maddened crowd (and the likelihood there’ll be few homeless with membership cards that have made camping arrangements near the display of 496 oz soy sauce containers that were such a good deal there was no way you weren’t going to do without) and hang out in nice places where you aren’t likely to be burgled/harangued/spindled by those disturbing types you mention oh so often in the City.

          1. Cal2

            Wuk, Soysauce???
            You got it wrong. The “homeless” make a nest behind the lower level of hard liquor bottles. Drink all they want and cover them self with cardboard sheets. Could probably stay there for a long bender.

            I actually saw that. Guy was caught because he was snoring loudly.

            I forgot to mention, better recreation and restaurants up there as well.

  21. Ignacio

    Ins’t the bird a kestrel? Resembles very much Falco tinnunculus, amongst the most elegant fliying styles I`ve seen.

    1. Ignacio

      In fact better ressembles Falco naumanni (lesser kestrel) which is common in rural areas near Madrid.

  22. Wukchumni

    11-foot-tall bird discovered in Crimea TreeHugger. That’s a big bird.
    Reminds me of the Moa in the NZ national museum in Wellington. The Maori extincted them within a fairly short period of time way back when, wonder if they used the Colonel’s original recipe or extra crunchy?

    1. pretzelattack

      hmm, sounds bigger than the usual velociraptor (as portrayed in jurassic park movies, an even more valuable scientific resource than harpercollins imprints).

  23. Wukchumni

    The snow is finally melting off in the higher climes of the Sierra Nevada, and its a breathtaking time to go for a walk, with areas around peaks still having a patchwork quilt of snow here and there, giving it an unusual look for July when usually there is nothing to speak of left over in the frozen water department. The wildflower show in Mineral King is just getting going with oodles of low lying Phlox & Blue Lips along the walk to White Chief Canyon yesterday, and if this summer plays out like 2017’s late arrival on account of oh so much snowfall, it could be a monumental floral display once again.

    1. Olga

      Interesting (although calling Soros a leftist seems a bit of a stretch). I guess they figure making $$ off endless wars has run its course? Forgive skepticism… but who knows?

    2. Steve H.

      The access popped my eyebrows. Reporter Stephen Kinzer:

      “Kinzer’s reporting on Central America was criticized by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky in their 1988 book Manufacturing Consent, which cited Edgar Chamorro (“selected by the CIA as press spokesman for the contras”) in his interview by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting describing Kinzer as:

      like an errand boy, building up those stories that fit in with Reagan’s agenda—one day it’s the church, the next day it’s the Miskitos, then the private sector. In the last two weeks I’ve seen eight articles by Kinzer that say exactly what the White House wants. Kinzer always raises questions about Sandinista intentions, whether they’re truly democratic, and so on. When you analyse his articles you see he’s just responding what the White House is saying.”

  24. Jason Boxman

    The most interesting book I read about WW II was about resource allocation and logistics: Brute Force: Allied Strategy and Tactics in the Second World War. The author looks at historical production records of the various belligerents and the materiel available for different campaigns in both theaters. The simple conclusion is neither Germany nor Japan had any chance in a prolonged conflict.

    I’d bought it used at a bookstore in Winter Garden, FL of all places. Wish I kept it now, but I gave it away some years ago.

    We also ignore the Chinese contribution to the war in the Pacific. “Forgotten Ally” is another read that covers that topic.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m in the middle of The Origins of The Second World War by AJP Taylor, from 1961.

      I read it donkeys years ago, nothing like a refresher course!

    2. Olga

      Yes, thanks for mentioning China. Their losses were were only over-shadowed by USSR’s, and numbered between 14-20 million. In the west, one rarely hears about this.

      1. Wukchumni

        Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911–45 by Barbara Tuchman, is a heck of a read.

        Stilwell was an old China hand, who liked to walk vast distances there, in figuring out what made the country tick.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          Tuchman, IIRC, also edited the published version of Stilwell’s private wartime diary. The acerbity of the general’s use of the language makes it a hoot to read. He was NOT impressed with Chiang’s military capabilities; he referred to him as “The Peanut” in the diary.

          1. rowlf

            A lot of people forget about the China Lobby in the US at the time. Stilwell was probably less popular than a USS Liberty survivor now.

    3. ewmayer

      “We also ignore the Chinese contribution to the war in the Pacific.” — Indeed we do. Recently read Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbreakable, and one of the many interesting nuggets therein – in addition to e.g. the early-50s U.S.-brokered mass pardon of even the worst remaining Japanese war criminals, including those in the notorious germ warfare unit, as an incentive to the Japanese government to help in the fight against the Red Menace – was that the famous bombing of Tokyo by Doolittle’s raiders, a mission lionized in the US for taking the fight to the enemy, had some rather unpleasant consequences for our Chinese allies, in form of a wave of Japanese reprisals against the part of China where the raiders landed which killed upwards of a quarter-million Chinese civilians. Yep, you read that number right.

  25. ChrisAtRU

    “Boeing’s 737 Max Software Outsourced to $9-an-Hour Engineers”

    … gotta love that vaunted “private sector efficiency”, huh?

    1. Cal2

      Xenophobic nonsense! $9 an hour goes a long way in India!

      If it’s Boeing, I ain’t going.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      So much for more education so you can get a good job as a programmer/software engineer. Something the article didn’t mention is the push toward software design from a detailed software architecture. Several software architecture tools and techniques came out promising to turn programming into coding and software engineering into diagram reading and interpretation. This was built on the strongly promoted belief that some all-wise team of software architects could build the framework for a massive piece of software into this tool using a graphical architecture language to create a software document, a means to split the software into thousands of coding tasks requiring no understanding of the design, and automatically assemble the code as it was completed to obtain a massive piece of working software at the end. Boeing even had its own in-house tailoring of the architecture tools which it used and refined on the Future Combat Systems program for the Army. At one point there were efforts to make such exact requirements specification that those specifications might in their turn be reduced to a requirements specification language which could be mapped into an architecture. I’m not sure where that effort went.

      At one point there was a contrary movement to this grand approach called “Agile” programming but the details of the technique were quickly ignored and obscured by the simple meaning of the word agile. Agile programming morphed into faster programming and eventually lead to the development of a new form of micro-management which contributed exactly what might be expected to the speed and efficiency of program development. I suppose some of what I described could be quite dated by now. Someone currently engaged in the software trades might correct my errors and fill-in more recent ‘improvements’.

      But after all this is given its due regard — the most important question regarding the Boeing software is how it was tested. Bad software should never pass test and never be approved as flight-worthy for even the test pilot. I am not sure what conclusion to draw from:
      “That design violated basic principles of redundancy for generations of Boeing engineers, and the company apparently never tested to see how the software would respond, Lemme said. ‘It was a stunning fail,’ he said. ‘A lot of people should have thought of this problem – not one person – and asked about it’.”
      How many people thought of this problem but knew better than to ask about it? How many people were unaware of the problem because their piece of the design was so fragmented from the whole they couldn’t see the lack of redundancy?

      1. a different chris

        Lemme see, there were probably “binders” full of programmers horizontally to this project that would have seen the problems and raised concerns.

        Of course they are “horizontal” because people like that aren’t “manager material”. And thus don’t get any opportunity to see the whole because of that whole annoying “but if you do that…” integrity bit.

        Now the people above them didn’t talk along their plane because that’s just not what they do. They do “agile”, which is simply pestering a small list of people daily to do tiny fragments of work. Servant leadership is hard!

        Stepping up again, to the next level, well they might at least have enough info for suspicions but their eyes are cast upward, and whistle blowing is not how they got to where they are and will not help them get to where they want to go.

  26. Brindle

    2020…Marianne Williamson

    She does have some momentum after her debate performance–in Iowa even low level people from other campaigns were interested. She is not my choice in primaries but I hope she makes it to the next round

    –“She also drew some curiosity from the other presidential campaign staffers at the Boone event. Nearly all came over from their booths to listen in to Williamson speak for a while. Williamson later went to talk with them.”–

  27. Jeremy Grimm

    Tied to the Boeing $7 programmers and “you get what you pay for”:
    In all fairness to Indian programmers the root problem is the management efforts to save money. I saw the demonstration of an excellent software tool for Internet traffic analysis and network simulation. I learned enough of its internal structure to marvel at how well the software was designed. Of course this tool wasn’t developed by $9/hour code monkeys. I gathered that most of the developers were postdocs. The man selling this tool was a professor of particle physics with numerous papers to his name who had grown tired of being poor.

    The group I worked for was a poor fit for the application of this tool … but the stake in its heart came from another group that had just laid hands on a substantial funding line to develop … a tool which did much the same thing as the tool this Indian team was selling. A further disadvantage was the efficiency of this Indian tool which could run on a single workstation. The other group had obtained a large amount of funds for purchasing a parallel processing center they most coveted on which to run the software they planned to build. Our group was strongly advised to shun the Indian tool and speak no more of it.

  28. JerryDenim

    NYT – SF Schoolboard Mural

    That a WPA era commie-leftist critique of European American slavery and genocide in pursuit of capitalist gain could be slandered as “glorifying white supremacy” by a bunch of supposedly “left” ID-pol ‘protect-the-snowflakes’ school board nutters is baffling, but equally scandalous is spending $600,000 of tax payer money to paint over a mural that looks to be maybe 5 foot tall and 10 foot long!? Not even the Pentagon is that brazen with their expenditures. $600K for painting over a small area of a wall makes a $500 hammer look like an absolute steal. The school board Vice President defended spending $600,000 to destroy the mural as a form of “reparations”. Sounds like it will be for one lucky guy with a bucket of white paint. That’s a veritable family fortune. The average retiree in the US has $84,000 saved and the median inheritance is $69,000. Someone should be asking just who the lucky recipient of that ungodly sum of money is going to be. A relative of the school board President perhaps? Something about this story is very rotten beyond the bizzare Orwellian censorship.

  29. ChrisPacific

    I agree with most of the Warren article on the foreign service except for the concept that crony appointments are a uniquely Trump phenomenon. Obama gave us David Huebner, who was very good, but then replaced him with Mark Gilbert, a former baseball player with no diplomatic or government experience whose contribution was limited to an endless stream of “that reminds me of a time when Barack and I…” anecdotes.

    If we end up with a President Warren then I look forward to her backing up her words and sending us an actual diplomat.

    1. Oregoncharles

      ” crony appointments are a uniquely Trump phenomenon. Obama …”

      Huh? Crony appointments to ambassadorships were and I assume ARE the norm, at least for certain cushy posts (including London). It’s always been one of the ways supporters get rewarded. Pretending otherwise would be alarming, either ignorant or disingenuous.

  30. anon in so cal

    “In an astonishing turn, George Soros and Charles Koch team up to end US ‘forever war’ policy”

    By Stephen Kinzer

    June 30, 2019,

    “In one of the most remarkable partnerships in modern American political history, Soros and Charles Koch, the more active of the two brothers, are joining to finance a new foreign-policy think tank in Washington. It will promote an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing. This is a radical notion in Washington, where every major think tank promotes some variant of neocon militarism or liberal interventionism. Soros and Koch are uniting to revive the fading vision of a peaceable United States. The street cred they bring from both ends of the political spectrum — along with the money they are providing — will make this new think tank an off-pitch voice for statesmanship amid a Washington chorus that promotes brinksmanship.”

    1. Yves Smith

      This is crap science. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries that use pesticides are not showing similar trends. UK agriculture and food products are under EU regs, so query why we are seeing these results in the UK and not in Europe?

      The UK has high levels of overweight and obesity, close to on par with the US.

      Income inequality has a negative impact on longevity, even of the wealthy. That is a far more logical culprit in the case of the UK

      Please refrain from posting articles that verge on or are conspiracy theory. The facts on Roundup are bad enough. Overegging the pudding allows Big Ag defenders to correctly charge critics of engaging in hysterical exaggerations.

      I won’t let future links of this low caliber through.

  31. Wukchumni

    101 011 111 01010’1 10011!

    DARPA develops ‘smart grass’ that yells at you for walking on it Duffelblog

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