Links 6/4/19

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Physicists can predict the jumps of Schrodinger’s cat (and finally save it) PhysOrg (Robert M)

NOAA Is Investigating 70 Gray Whale Deaths Along the West Coast Smithsonian (David L)

This animation shows all recorded earthquakes from 1901 – 2000 You Tube (furzy)

Analysis of 4 Million Pitches Shows How Many Mistakes Umpires Make Ponderwall (Chuck L)

How Does Earth’s Carbon Cycle Work? Smithsonian (David L)

Research group finds way to turn plastic waste products into jet fuel PhysOrg (Chuck L). But at what energy cost?

Nuclear Power Always Ready For Extreme Weather Forbes. UserFriendly: “From March, still relevant.”

China?

China’s Trade Strategy Is Written in Jade Earrings Bloomberg

China warns students, academics of risks of studying in U.S. Reuters. Resilc: “when i was at UNC I walked through the library floor by floor for a break, too hot outside. It was full of chinese students doing summer school term. Schools love them, they pay full rates out of state.”

Brexit

Emmanuel Macron says Britain should leave the EU with or without a deal on October 31st The Sun

Protest vote expected in Peterborough by-election ITV

Cast off EU ‘shackles’ and you’ll get a bumper trade deal, Donald Trump tells UK on first day of state visit The Sun. The link below raises the issue of what “bumper” means:

Donald Trump to land in UK amid rising anger over trade demands Guardian (UserFriendly). Subhead: “US ambassador’s suggestion that NHS should be ‘on the table’ in future negotiations sparks alarm.” From yesterday but the issue still stands.

Syraqistan

Eminent American Scientist: Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack Was STAGED George Washington

Kushner: Palestinians not yet capable of governing themselves Al Jazeera. Um, one reason that Palestine enjoys so much support in the Arab worlds is that various kingdoms hired Palestinians as official advisers. They would then plead the case of their people while doing their jobs. If they had bombed as rental bureaucrats, it’s unlikely that advice of other sorts would have been listened to.

Pompeo: Jared Kushner’s Palestine plan “unexecutable;’ Kushner: Palestinians unready for Self-Rule Juan Cole (resilc)

FDD Aligned with State Department to Attack Supporters of Iran Diplomacy Lobe Log (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Swedish court rules not to extradite Assange for rape probe Associated Press (furzy).

Facebook Can Keep Immunity and Avoid Regulation Bloomberg

Trade

Here are the Most Interesting Items in China’s Trade White Paper – Bloomberg (resilc)

Trump’s Trade War Strategy on China and Mexico Is Easy to Grasp Bloomberg (furzy)

Trump Transition

Trump Antitrust Case Against Google Should Scare Tech Industry Bloomberg

A ‘Bridge’ to China, and Her Family’s Business, in the Trump Cabinet New York Times (UserFriendly)

If Democrats Pull Their Punches, Donald Trump Will Knock Them Out Nation (resilc)

Lambert: “Larry Tribe making up the rules as he goes along”:

Republican becomes first US politician to be ‘milkshaked’ with flying drink Guardian (resilc)

Legacy Democrats: The Party Abandoned You and Itself a Long Time AgoGhion Journal (Chuck L)

2020

There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate Salon (UserFriendly)

American History and the 2020 Election Counterpunch (resilc)

The dire problem that Bernie Sanders has to fix Politico

UserFriendly:

God I hate the Human Rights Campaign, they gladly use the suffering of black trans women to further there pro top 1% agenda. They were getting murdered way before Trump and Biden sure as shit won’t stop it.

Why 2020 Is Starting to Feel Like 2004 American Prospect (resilc). The problem is the impeachment trial is held by the Senate, and McConnell has already said the Rs will shut it down fast.

Experts prepare for 100-year flood of Democratic voter turnout in 2020 Axios (furzy)

Something happened in Iowa today that will matter in 2020 CNN (furzy)

The ‘shenanigans’ behind a federal employee’s decision to blow the whistle High Country News

Ex-Governor Rick Snyder’s Phone Seized In Flint Water Probe Associated Press. UserFriendly: “About damn time.”

Tech giants are in the crosshairs of regulators. Here’s why one of America’s biggest investors thinks the worst is yet to come. Business Insider. The full version is on my RSS feed, so try that.

Amazon Offered Job to Pentagon Official Involved With $10 Billion Contract It Sought Intercept (resilc)

UAE issues formal request to buy KC-46A tanker, says Boeing Defense News. Lambert: “Ha ha, how helpful.”

Old economists can teach us new tricks Financial Times

Uber’s Path of Destruction Hubert Horan, American Affairs Journal

Class Warfare

How Neoliberalism & Privatization are Driving our Crises, from Guatemala to Moscow Juan Cole

Antidote du jour. Crittermom:

Finally, something to photograph here. (Just took these)
I’m pretty sure these are Black-chinned hummingbird eggs, the only variety to visit yet this year.
Looking forward to seeing the babies soon!

links

second links

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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201 comments

  1. Tom Doak

    5 black trans women have been killed this year. How many are there in America? Is this a significantly higher murder rate than for the rest of Americans, or (to pick one group for comparison) Americans of color in general?

    These appeals to identity politics are unfortunately very effective with small groups who feel historically marginalized, and who welcome recognition.

    Reply
    1. Eclair

      Rates along probably don’t tell the entire story here. White males, for example, are not likely to be murdered because their murderer hates or fears or otherwise despises white males. Black transgender women, OTOH ……

      Reply
      1. XXYY

        You’re saying it’s somehow better to be murdered by a robber or a kidnapper or a drunk or a cop or an angry relative or other “regular” murderers than by someone who hates your lifestyle?

        Now identity politics is privileging certain types of murderers, apparently.

        Reply
          1. Procopius

            512 days is a very long time. Anything might happen and probably will. I expect Biden to be gone before Labor Day.

            Reply
    2. Krystyn Walentka

      50,000 people died by suicide in 2017 and barely a word about it from the candidates. We are the throwaways, a genetic legacy that the farmers do not want around anymore.

      So no one wants their identity politics to be associated with mental illness.

      Reply
      1. Off The Street

        There is so much un(der)reported violence that goes unnoticed except by whatever people may be close to the victim(s) in whatever sense. As someone with more experience in suicide prevention than I would have imagined, that is heartbreaking, if unsurprising. People are hurting and the present times make that more of a private affair to be suffered in silence.

        For a different but related issue, consider male disposability.

        Reply
          1. WheresOurTeddy

            “I’m perfectly fine with accepting a higher level of violence on males, to be honest.”

            How progressive of you.

            Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          Unfortunately, Quillette’s comments are a repellent exercise in idiocy. It’s an article that deserves better.

          Here is, IMO, the key explanation: ” Another possible explanation is that both men and women evolved to be protective of women because one man can impregnate several women, while a woman will usually only bear one child at a time, so it makes sense for societies to keep women safe so they can reproduce.” That isn’t just “possible;” it’s basic biology. The birthrate depends on the number of fertile females, not the number of males, so males are biologically disposable. Females are more important. That’s why “sexual selection,” which leads to pronounced secondary sexual characteristics, is normally of males by females (even if female power is sometimes disguised). The same adaptive pressures apply to human societies, so we see a lot of cultural expression, which the article focuses on – I suspect the author isn’t very familiar with biology.

          However, there’s an important exception to the rule: top-of-the-foodchain predators, which have to restrict their birthrate and population. They’re still under pressure to preserve POTENTIAL fertility, because bad stuff happens, but they’re free to apply sexual selection to females. Wolves, where normally only the alphas of both sexes breed, are a good example. So are people, of course, and the results are pretty evident.

          In short, women are adorned like peacocks with sexual signifiers. (I admit that perceptions are important here, but even so.) It isn’t just size; it’s body contours and skin texture, hairlessness and breasts; the mammalian equivalent of breeding colors. Yes, the same applies to men; males are always subject to sexual selection. There are further implications. They run through the article: there must be an advantage to announcing femaleness, as loudly as possible. There’s a parallel: in both bonobos (our closest cousins) and hyenas, females have greatly enlarged genitals, hard to miss. Both are female-dominant. I don’t think anyone would say people are, but women are much less likely to be killed in our frequent territorial and cultural disputes. That’s a big advantage and a good reason to be instantly identifiable.

          One reason I’m interested in this is that male disposability is a driving force in our social arrangements, beyond even what’s discussed in the article, and in our wars. It’s something to overcome if we want equality – and a good reason for men to want equality!

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            And one theory is that the institution of marriage was to give males a little more certainty as to who the father is, at least legally that is. The woman always knows but the man, not so much

            Reply
            1. Procopius

              I have long suspected that the Jewish tradition that you are a Jew if your mother is a Jew — your father is irrelevant — is because you can be sure who your mother is. You may not be able to be so sure who your father really is. Aside from that, of course, is the historical reality that Jewish women were often raped in the pogroms, so they might even be confident that the man they are married to is not the father of the child they are bearing.

              Reply
          2. Wukchumni

            Ever notice how pretty much out of all of Mother Nature’s clients, female humans are the showy ones, whereas its usually the other way around and males are sporting the looks?

            I think its a defense mechanism to have the female not get noticed, keeping her safe.

            Reply
            1. Oregoncharles

              I think that’s because the chief danger to humans is other (male) humans, who usually spare women. That’s why we’re so shocked when they don’t.

              OTOH, there’ve been periods, and not so long ago, when men dressed like peacocks. Business drab came in with the Victorians, I believe.

              Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        I think it’s a result of how alienating and anti-human our society and economy are. In fact, sociologists use it as an indicator of social dysfunction. Unfortunately, some are hit harder than others, for many reasons – often just bad luck in their circumstances. So you were right to work on changing yours, and also in trying to change our immiserating politics.

        Reply
        1. Brian (another one they call)

          It also seems a rebuke of the basic science. There are many phyical and mental components to sexuality, but sex is XX/XY. The hormones drive simplified physical actions, and very complex emotional responses. We (society ish) feared homosexuality for a long time, one hopes we will get over these new prejudices quickly.

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            We (society ish) feared homosexuality for a long time, …

            I’m not so sure about that. The Thai attitude is complicated. Lots of Thais hold homosexual males in contempt, while trans-genders are regarded neutrally or even with respect. Many entertainment stars are openly sexually ambiguous and a certain campiness is a common role in soap operas. I have read that in many “primitive” societies shamans are ambiguous and clearly trans-gendered people are revered. The fear and loathing of homosexuals in Western society is, I think, the aberration.

            Reply
    3. Lark

      Per Colorlines, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs says that “if all Americans had the same risk of murder as young black trans women, there would have been 120,087 murders [in 2015] instead of 15,696”.

      75% of trans and non-binary people murdered for their gender are Black trans women. Black trans women have been attacked in my part of town in past years, although fortunately no one has been killed.

      GLBTQ people in general are targeted for harassment and violence. I’ve experienced both myself and I am a very boring-looking middle-aged white person I narrowly escaped being beaten on a train platform a couple of years ago, for instance, and I know that it was specifically about being GLBTQ because of the slurs that were shouted at me. (Fortunately, the guy’s girlfriend held him back, but it was a very, very narrow thing and I had zero interaction with the guy before he decided to harass and threaten me. He was sober, too – it was just a near hate-crime.)

      Another friend of mine who is not trans was attacked and beaten up by drunk men who were harassing her and thought she was trans. She had to go to the ER because she was beaten so badly.

      Black trans women are targeted because they’re Black and it is popularly (accurately!) believed that the police will do even less to protect or avenge them than they would for anyone else. Black trans women also tend to face even more dramatic levels of job discrimination than other Black or trans people, so are at greater risk of homelessness. Trans women in general and Black trans women in particular often can’t get into shelters or city programs – programs try to put them in the men’s shelter and that’s ridiculously unsafe, even unsafer than shelter situations generally. Black trans women can get pushed into doing survival sex work because they can’t keep a roof over their heads any other way, and because they are seen as extremely vulnerable, they can end up with the most violent and dangerous clients.

      Basically, Black trans women face both compounded and specific discriminations that put them at huge risk of violence. It’s similar to how Native women get treated, or poor Mexican women who get murdered in Ciudad Juarez – they are targeted by violent people precisely because they are seen as vulnerable, because they don’t get even the minimal amount of state assistance that other people get AND they’re seen by society as unimportant/disposable. People target populations (like homeless men, refugees, the vulnerable elderly) because they are seen as helpless and “good targets”. This is extremely, extremely true of Black trans women because of their particular circumstances.

      The life expectancy for trans women of color is 31. Obviously, this is a life expectancy calculation and does not mean that literally no trans women of color live to retirement, but it is dramatically worse than other groups and reflects the intersection (if you will) of multiple forms of discrimination and violence.

      Unless you know a reasonable number of trans people (which it happens that I do – an old family friend transitioned later in life, I’ve met a couple of people through work, book groups, etc) it is really not intuitively obvious how much discrimination and violence they face, especially trans women.

      If you are someone who is not the type to harass or attack people, yell slurs or repeat ugly gossip, the people who do those things won’t do them around you and you won’t realize how often those things happen.

      Reply
      1. UserFriendly

        +1
        And it’s an issue electing Biden won’t solve. So it’s just another case of the HRC cynically using the suffering of LGBTQIA to further their political interests.

        Reply
      2. Lee

        Living in a geographical and social bubble of the relatively accepting and well behaved, I sometimes forget how much rougher it is out in the elsewhere. Thanks for the reminder.

        Reply
      3. John Beech

        Extremely valuable contribution, well done. My question, however, is this one; how can Mr. Biden, or President Trump do anything about it? A big fat zero is my suspicion and thus, with respect to Mr. Biden since he at least mentions it is, this is just virtue signaling whilst grubbily pandering.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Neither of these two men can do anything or certainly won’t do anything.

          As Lark notes:

          Black trans women can get pushed into doing survival sex work because they can’t keep a roof over their heads any other way, and because they are seen as extremely vulnerable, they can end up with the most violent and dangerous clients.

          Its similar to how Medicare for All can’t end racism but that doesn’t mean the problem is to be dismissed or can’t be alleviated. Racist employers would have less power over employees with medicare for all. Better housing, employment, maybe UBI (more so for the ability to allow people to withdraw from bad situations than anything else), etc, should reduce the potential problems faced by the victims of racism, sexism, etc. No, it won’t protect people from Bill Clinton for example who Ted Kennedy claimed once said Obama was the kind of guy who use to get guys like Bill and Ted coffee. A man with the last name Clinton didn’t impress the Irish descended Catholic Senator with that line.

          Biden is deploying this number cynically without any kind of context, and ignoring his running mate’s record based on the standards Biden is setting.

          Reply
        2. marym

          Here are some tweets and screen shots listing federal protections, rights, and monitoring under control of the executive branch which the Trump administration has rescinded for LGBT people.

          Here’s a potential Trump administration plan regarding changes to the international human rights role of the US.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Evangs despise trans people, which is virtually his entire constituency.

            Much of what he does revolves around their hatred.

            Reply
      4. NotTimothyGeithner

        The article I linked to in another comment had an interesting point and made another point if not explicitly.

        One, numbers don’t reflect those who have gone “missing” or remain unreported.

        The other number that isn’t reflective is determined by what the police identify the victim’s gender. In the official 27th trans murder victim of 2016 during the Obama/Biden era of peace and tranquility, the police identified the victim as male. Activism by friends and family forced the recognition.

        Reply
      5. Joe Well

        >>If you are someone who is not the type to harass or attack people, yell slurs or repeat ugly gossip, the people who do those things won’t do them around you and you won’t realize how often those things happen.

        This! And for xenophobia, racism, misogyny, and everything else.

        Reply
    4. Pan Go Lin

      “And experts say these numbers almost certainly understate the problem. Local officials are not required to report such killings to any central database, and because the police sometimes release incorrect names or genders, it can be difficult to know that a homicide victim was transgender. So advocacy groups are left to comb news reports and talk to victims’ friends or family.

      ….

      According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the annual murder rate for Americans ages 15 to 34 is about one in 12,000. But an investigation by the news organization Mic found that for black transgender women in the same age group, the rate was one in 2,600.”

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/us/transgender-women-killed.html

      Our sisters’ lives are not identity politics. Google it before you start dismissing people’s deaths as statistically insignificant. As a white trans man, I’m relatively more privileged here, but I’ve been assaulted and had my life threatened because of being trans. I don’t think I know one trans person who hasn’t endured assault, at least, although no doubt there’s someone. And not one of us should die by violence because of our gender. Not one.

      Reply
      1. Tom Doak

        Thank you for your response, and for those of other commenters, for both statistics and your personal story. My reaction was to a number that did not begin to tell the story.

        I was raised to believe in the general good will of fellow humans, and reality continues to be difficult to accept. Everyone has a right to live their life in peace and it saddens me to know for how many people that is a broken promise.

        Reply
      2. Pat

        Your sisters deaths shouldn’t be identity politics, but if you think it is anything more than virtue signalling and identity politics by Biden …

        Well let me put this in my context for you. I am still waiting for Obama to put on his comfortable shoes. Your sisters’ deaths are being used as surely as the despair over lost jobs and lost employee rights and lost communities were used by Obama.

        Reply
    5. Roger Smith

      This is more worthless Identity Politics regurgitation that means absolutely nothing. Hundreds of POWs were left to rot in Vietnam, thousands and thousands murdered in the Middle East, etc… etc… These people are absolute demons and their words are self-serving poison for the masses. Thousands or more have died from Opioid overdoses, infinite amounts of people are homeless or working poor, etc… etc… These people DO NOT care. It truly blows my mind to see that the endless Trump fever campaign on the public has worked and has people wrapped even deeper in psychosis than in 2016. Not a good sign at all.

      Moment of Silence – George Carlin

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The only thing That*Will*Work is to cast the division as a *Class* division. The 10,000 or so globalist billionaires versus the 6,999,990,000 rest of us.

        Driving wedges based on gender, age, Rep vs Dem, pro- or anti-Trump, pro- or anti-abortion, pro- or anti-global warming is exactly what the 10,000 want us to keep doing

        Reply
    6. zer0

      This is why I hate statistics in general. It tells you nothing, only in controlled (very controlled) environments does it work.
      The #1 most hateful disgusting statistic is India’s rape statistic, which shows for a billion + people, only 25,000 get raped per year. Actual estimate based on IJM and ICP is about 2.5 MILLION per year. Big difference. Because the ‘official’ # is 25,000, India is known as one of the least sexually violent countries on earth, when the reality is the EXACT OPPOSITE (Why? Because when rapes are underreported it shows a distinct lack of law/interest in the legal system, which then is a cascading effect where NO one reports rape, because they know it is useless and also highly dangerous as reporting could lead to revenge).

      And then there are the statistical conclusions ive seen drawn from absolutely unidentical groupings. The #1 today are the generational ones. No one ever thought that 20-30 yo might have different habits than 50-60 yos? Irregardless of generation?
      The classic is the “Millenials spend their money on bars and coffee while baby boomers spend their money on groceries and mortgage”. Yeah Id hope 50-60 yo’s arent spending money on bars ffs.
      Then there is the statistical non-sequitors: Millenials by majority have a pet before a house, therefore, it must mean that Millenials would rather buy a pet than a house.
      I could go on and on. Its insanely egregious these days.

      Reply
  2. LaRuse

    We have a humming bird nest in a tree in our yard for the first time (it would have to be a red throated hummer, being east of the Mississippi). It is 20′ in the air so we cannot get a good look (not even positive there are eggs in the nest), but I could not be more thrilled to play host to the tiny little family.

    Reply
    1. crittermom

      I was shocked to find this one not more than 30 inches off the ground!
      I’ve read they build their nests 6-12′ up in a tree.

      Very happy she did so, which afforded me these photos.
      I remain worried, however, that a stray dog or cat will find them so I warned my neighbor against letting her dog loose in that area.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        When I was pruning in a vineyard in the winter, we used to find hummer nests in the vines, maybe two feet off the ground. Winter, so disturbing the nests didn’t affect the birds. There was a vineyard cat and probably other predators passing through, but the nests would have been well hidden in the summer.

        Reply
        1. crittermom

          I had no idea they would build their nests so low.
          Now I’ll be keeping an eye out both high & low for more nests.

          There has been another female hummingbird ‘dive bombing’ around one side of a cherry tree here so I suspect she has a nest up there, but I have yet to spot it.
          They’re so tiny I probably never will see it, in addition to the fact I suspect it’s at least 8′ or higher in the tree, judging by the way the female is defending it.

          Thanks for that info!

          Reply
    2. MichaelSF

      We’ve spotted a few humming bird nests in GG Park. One was near the polo field about 12″ off the ground on a weed in a small clearing. Another was about 4′ off the ground in a bush next to a paved path — we could have easily reached in and touch it without moving off the path. Based on what we’ve seen, humming birds don’t seem too concerned about security.

      Reply
  3. Wukchumni

    The donkey show has accepted all things trans as kind of their civil rights platform, even though it’s a meaningless blip in terms of voters or those in sympathy with them. It’d be like going all out for Djibouti-Americans, sorry there is hardly any there, there.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is why Team Blue especially the ilk of Biden make this their moral hill. Few people have these experiences and so it’s much harder to determine if Biden and gang are full of it which Team Blue is. Advancements on LGBT rights and so forth came after embarrassing Team Blue.

      Based on his record, Biden can’t talk about much, so he brings up these incidents. He doesn’t bring up his efforts to work and legitimize Republicans who love the NRA. This is designed to appeal to bourgeois dimwits who want to feel good about themselves and probably don’t know any Transgender people.

      Reply
    2. Nancy Boyd

      Except that changing “sex” in-law to mean”gender identity” means any man who says he is a woman can now access every set-aside, scholarship, sports slot, and private space designated for women, including shared hospital rooms, nursing home rooms, and prison cells.

      These policies are already causing harm to women: homeless women and federal prisoners have filed separate class action suits for sexual harassment when being made to shower with males in a shelter and in a federal prison. The majority of men who identify as women are straight (sexually attracted to women) and retain intact genitalia.

      And now we have CeCe Telfer, new NCAA Women’s Track & Field champion, who spent the last three years as a mediocre male athlete.

      So it doesn’t just affect a handful of people. It affects 50% of the population.

      There must be a way to protect transwomen without a negatively impacting the rights, spaces, set-asides, and sports women fought for and won, but the activists’ insistence that transwomen are literally the same as women in all aspects precludes that.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Yeah, I saw that story about Telfer on RT. One guy tweeted the following facts-

        2016: Craig Telfer is ranked 200th
        2017: Craig Telfer is ranked 390th
        2018: Craig Telfer ‘transitions to female’
        2019: CeCe Telfer is national championhttps://world.wng.org/2019

        It must suck to be a woman sports player these days.

        Reply
      2. Pan Go Lin

        Let me tell you the story of when cops burst into the women’s room with guns drawn to drag my friend out by her hair because she had to pee and they were told by someone without any evidence that she was a man. This is the result of bathroom laws. It doesn’t make non-trans women safer. Trans women are at a statistically higher risk of gender based violence than non-trans women, and are not statistically more likely to harm other women than are non-trans women. I think the sports thing is silly because I think sports are silly in general, but it’s part and parcel of how society demonizes and dehumanizes trans people, particularly trans women. Taking estrogen for transition for about six months, on average, places you squarely in the bell curve for the population of women in terms of muscle tone and endurance. But no, if a trans woman is doing well, it must be because she’s trans. Not, maybe, because the constant low-level distraction of gender dysphoria has been finally resolved.

        Also who would go through the hell of gender transition just to win a game. They wouldn’t be able to keep that up for a minute. If you think it’s easy, you try it.

        Reply
        1. todde

          Also who would go through the hell of gender transition just to win a game. They wouldn’t be able to keep that up for a minute. If you think it’s easy, you try it.

          That’s fine, but don’t compete in women’s sports then.

          Reply
        2. martell

          Your claim about the effects of estrogen on muscle tone and endurance is almost certainly baseless. In exercise physiology, the relevant science, there is no one measure of endurance. VO2max, an important factor in performance in endurance sports, can be measured, and males tend to have higher numbers than females. Since VO2max is itself contingent on capillarity, mitochondrial density, stroke volume, max heart rate, and the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, it stands to reason that males as such have some advantages where the latter are concerned. Now, where are the studies showing that these advantages disappear after six months of estrogen treatment? My guess is that there are no such studies. As for “muscle tone”, the term has no meaning in exercise physiology. There are measures of body composition, and these show that women as such tend to have a higher percentage of body fat. There are also measures of strength. While strength test performance is partly dependent on technique, muscle mass clearly plays an extremely important role. Men tend to have more muscle mass, as men tend to be larger than women and men have significant advantages when it comes to forming new contractile proteins.

          As for the suggestion that trans “women” suddenly do better as athletes because their gender issues have finally been resolved, the relevant comparison would be with the athletes with whom they were formerly competing, including themselves. Are they suddenly much faster than male athletes to whom they were formerly losing? Are they suddenly setting PRs? I’d wager there’s either very little or no change in the PRs of trans “women” or there’s decline in performance.

          We separate males and females in athletic competition for much the same reason that we separate adults from children, pros from amateurs, and elite amateurs from novices: If we didn’t do this, there’d be no contest, thus defeating one of the purposes of the activity.

          One last point: I have written ‘trans “women”‘ rather than ‘trans women’ because I regard the latter as a linguistic innovation rather than a reflection of the facts. Perhaps this innovation has much to recommend it, but it clearly also has widespread ramifications which simply have not been thought through, one of which is the negative impact on female athletes (the real ones, relative to my own linguistic preference, as opposed to the imitations).

          Reply
          1. Savedbyirony

            Indeed and not just for female athletes but all females. What now is the precise word for an adult female, and how is the law (or anyone/thing) to recognize a person or group of people who have no unique designation in the language. We disagree,though, on one point you make. I think the ramifications have been closely thought through in some quarters; especially some of those who have been funding the trans movement for quite some time.

            (I think I would call the situation more of a linguistic capture.)

            Reply
      3. flora

        And to think female Soviet athletes used to be disqualified from the Olympics for taking male steroids to bulk up their muscle mass. It was called cheating.

        https://womenarehuman.com/man-beats-women-wins-world-championship-in-womens-cycling/

        yeah, totally fair competition
        https://womenarehuman.com/wp-content/uploads/Rachel-McKinnon.jpg

        “However, the sciences have found that men have a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers than women, allowing men to cycle with more power and at a faster cadence. Men also have larger internal organs than do women, including hearts and lungs. Men’s larger lung size in combination with the greater mass of hemoglobin in men’s blood together mean that men have greater capacity for oxygen. Men have bones that are more dense, and greater muscle mass. Men’s difference in hip structure provides an additional advantage in cycling.

        “None of these qualities – which grant male cyclists a significant advantage over female cyclists – simply vanish due to a man’s inner identity, feelings, consumption of hormones, or even gender-affirming cosmetic surgeries.”

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          In the 1976 Montreal Olympics, all the talk was of the East German women looking so manly, but they really didn’t mention Jill Sterkel who looked a bit on the masculine side, to be honest.

          She was a grade ahead of me in our high school, it was a little weird having a gold medal winner you’d see all the time.

          Reply
      4. Plenue

        Getting transactivists to actually engage with the idea that there’s a difference between ‘woman’ and ‘female’ is in my experience like bashing your head against a brick wall. And they’re the ones who came up with the distinction! It genuinely is like they refuse to except basic biology.

        Reply
        1. Savedbyirony

          Many do and I have personally seen and experienced organized violence (both physical and destruction of property/livelihoods) by some of these trans activists against females who disagree with them and/or attempt to hold female only healthcare groups, social/dating events and political organizations. The very idea of a “lesbian” is anathema to many and/or that they should be unwanted as sexual partners by any in the lesbian community. What all too often goes unsaid and explored is that there is a great deal of misogyny with the trans movement . I am all for breaking down the stereotypes which comprise gender, but the transgender movement too often ignores and/or obfuscates away the biological realities (especial the reproductive ones) females face, all too often to the detriment of females whether they are trans or not.

          Reply
    3. Pan Go Lin

      I deeply hope you speak out of ignorance rather than malice, friendo.

      Our lives are not strategy.

      Reply
      1. Darius

        Except that for Biden this is about signaling more than anything. Because, given his politics, he can’t go full-on Black Lives Matter or link that with neoliberal working class exploitation. So he uses trans issues to signal to the liberals he’s one of them. In a just world, trans people would suffer no oppression, African American males wouldn’t have to fear the police, and West Virginia teachers wouldn’t have to wear fit bits or lose health insurance.

        Reply
    4. John k

      Biden managed to find a small enough group of maybe working class people that the donors don’t mind him talking about them.
      But not the suicides in flyover, fixing that means first going after the wealthy drug makers, and doctors pushing, er, prescribing them, and maybe even the loss of factories and jobs that drove the despair.
      And fixing that might lead to redirecting money from foreign wars to fixing our crappy infra… no wouldn’t want to go down that road, joes donors are spending to make sure he stays up on the high road with the rich and famous, where he has always been.
      Joe is Hillary redux. But he’s got that permanent smile, and likely will visit the rust belt… and we might be in recession next year, trumps doing what he can. 2016 was close, joe could win. Or he could collapse in the debates. Long time to go.

      Reply
  4. dearieme

    Our small birds here (Cambridgeshire) are being hammered by magpies. Unfortunately the pigeons seem immune.

    There must also still be woodpeckers, judging by the holes in our lawn.

    Reply
    1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

      Within my local area it appears to be the first year here in Northern Ireland with no returning swallows, swifts or martins – however, a couple of friends in the Republic have seen a few. It is pretty cold for the time of year & there does not appear to be much in the way of flying insects.

      Reply
  5. Aaron

    “You rarely run into true Legacy Dems on the Internet.” LOL! If only that were true. Cute piece ‘The Party Abandoned You’ but completely naive/misinformed on this front.

    Reply
  6. ChiGal in Carolina

    Gorgeous photos, Crittermom. If you aren’t already a professional photographer, you should be.

    Thanks again for giving it away here at NC. Totally made my day.

    Reply
  7. Merf56

    If the UK buys the tale Trump is spinning that they will get a ‘great trade deL’ If they leave the EU they deserve what they get…..

    Reply
      1. BobW

        Reading the comments and checking the links, I have to agree the pic is a fake. It seems to be doctored up from Putin’s motorcade in 2012. Also, the lane markings are for driving on the right side of the road, not the UK at all.

        Reply
      1. Svante

        I’d reply, but it’d just disappear. How about that Sky “Chernobyl” series? We TRIED to build ’em robots! Now, watch the media jump on all the “hysteria?”

        Reply
          1. Svante

            Wow, I grew up by Shippingport (a U235/ U238 seed and blanket PWR). Maybe taxpayers, rate payers… all of us could just rebuild Chernobyl, yonder, without any of the nanny-state “safety” junk? Don’t think they’d ever fracked with the steam previously? Everything in moderation?

            First reviews looked like nobody had a clue as to what they were watching? Just more evil RussiaRussiaRussia, frying Ukrainians… DOH!

            Reply
          2. Oregoncharles

            So why did a planeload of American doctors go to Ukraine to administer bone marrow transplants to the radiation victims? Marrow transplants are the most heroic of heroic medicine; they kill you and bring you back to life. Not everyone makes it – maybe 50%? My family’s been through this. There were deaths all around us.

            You might make a case that it’s worth it, but you aren’t going to make a case that it’s safe. Murphy’s law applies in spades; the complexity and energy levels are so high that humans can’t really manage the entropy. In the end, entropy always wins. To say nothing of the waste.

            Reply
            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Yes by all means let’s use the most toxic substances in the universe and the most highly complex machines imaginable at incredibly high cost to boil water

              Instead of using the energy of the massive nuclear fusion machine operating at the center of our solar system. For free.

              Sure, sure, “not practical”. But I wonder how practical this would become if the direct and indirect costs across society were honestly accounted for

              Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    Reading that made-up stuff by that Laurence Tribe, I have a horrible feeling what is coming. The past two years or more has been all about the Meuller report and Russia!Russia!Russia! in American politics which has sucked a lot of the air out of criticism of what Trump has been actually doing. Could it be that from now until the elections next November, it is all going to be about Impeachment!Impeachment!Impeachment! I mean, it will go nowhere as from what I understand, it would have to be in the end agreed to by a Republican-dominated Senate which means never. It will be a massive distraction with a lot of virtue-signalling but will end in nothing but a Trump 2020 victory party. Tribe is supposed to be a constitutional law scholar but if this is typical of his work, then he has the same understanding of the US Constitution that Obama had.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Tribe

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Apparently a lot of Dems think Trump is going to be reelected unless they do something like an impeachment investigation. They have low confidence that Biden, Sanders or one of the others will win.

      Of course dragging the country through impeachment as a political tactic would not make the Dems any more popular, but populist measures like Medicare for all are off the table for party poobahs like Pelosi so the scorched earth tactic looks appealing. Their strategy is always to be the lesser of two evils, not to actually be good.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        For the MSDNC crowd, if it’s not on TV it’s not a strategy, and impeachment would be televised which would make them feel like participating but without any risk of encountering a poor person.

        Reply
      2. Cal2

        The “problem” with older Americans voting for Bernie is that they have now heard wave after wave of blather about identity politics as they’ve seen their Middle Class fortunes erode into poverty and have seen promise after promise broken by the Democrats, starting with LBJ’s escalation of Vietnam.

        If you want older (white) people’s votes, stop insulting their ancestors and blaming them for the nation’s problems. Every time Sanders talks about “racism”, the most overused, and basically meaningless, word since “groovy”, he is lessening his chances of being elected, in spite of being the best hope for Medicare For All, student debt relief and maybe fewer Middle Eastern interventions.

        There are far more voters offput by that verbiage than are attracted. Trump’s waiting in the West wing for the litany of social grievances to be uttered.

        Reply
        1. Hepativore

          To be fair, Sanders has not gone down the route of identitarianism nearly as much as his Democratic establishment cohorts.

          I think that the main reason the reluctance of older voters to support somebody like Sanders is the fact that they see him as being a “newcomer” to the Democratic Party ticket. There is probably a lot of hesitation with people who are older and are more used to conventional Democrats over the years because they might be afraid that an “idealist” like Sanders might blow it.

          Older voters might simply be going for people like Clinton and Biden out of a misguided “the devil you know” mentality rather than this outlandish Sanders guy.

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Hillary mattered to an older cohort of women for good reasons. With Biden there are a few options:

            -one, for the average cable news viewer, there are just “generic” Democrats, and Biden isn’t knocked on a nightly basis. So in effect, he is just a “generic” Democrat a person is proud to recognize the name of.
            -two, there are people who really think Hillary lost because of sexism. Not that Republicans aren’t sexist, its just those same Republicans wouldn’t have voted for a male Democrat, probably raising questions about a Democrat’s sexuality along the way. Biden seems like an easy answer to win those moderate suburban Republicans who live in all white enclaves and mock Team Blue types while golfing.
            -three, older Americans don’t see the world as younger Americans especially due to class, but because Biden has been ignored for so long, he seems like a way to avoid the acrimony of the Clintons, not recognizing the problem with HRC wasn’t her personality as what Team Clinton and the DLC represent. Since Biden was largely sidelined in the Obama Administration (after all Biden is a dope, even by Washington standards) he wasn’t seen as the cause of problems. Along with the narrative that “Democrats are the SMRT” party, I think Team Blue fanatics are reluctant to learn about candidates because it might undermine their view of themselves as “informed voters.” Biden should appease the people who know the names and back grounds of the Clinton campaign team.

            Reply
            1. Yves Smith Post author

              One cohort not likely to have voted for Hillary is Hispanic men, but you’d never hear Team Dem acknowledge that. A Puerto Rican friend said most of his Hispanic friends (mainly Puerto Rican but also some Dominicans and Cubans) would in the privacy of the voting booth not be able to vote for a woman as President. And his circle was mainly medical professionals.

              Reply
              1. Cal2

                Many Legal male and female Mexican immigrants we know quietly told us that they voted for Trump, “but please don’t mention it in front of their friends.”

                “Why?” I asked.

                “We’re tired of our neighborhood being ruined by those people that bring crime etc.”

                Politics breeds strange bedfellows.

                Reply
        2. BobW

          I never heard the word “groovy” in real life, that is, outside of the media, unless it was being used sarcastically. Maybe it just was not a Midwestern thing.

          Reply
      3. polecat

        They are as petulent children, yelling “! Fire !” in a crowded theater, all the while eyeing the emegency exits as they inch toward a quick excape, hoping to jam the locks after they leave .. but forgetting that those sitting in the red seats have the extinguishers !

        Reply
    2. Amfortas the hippie

      i think the Machine was shocked when trump caught the car(and trump, himself, too). he was meant as a stalking horse for Herself…to make her look sane and reasonable, if not “progressive”….and to gin up a Big Center Party, excluding the fringes, especially that of the Left.(look at the neocons and other assorted gop-ers who supported Herself, even before trump)…so the Machine could continue it’s harvest without all the messy politics.(politics as final four sporting event is no longer tenable, Machine wants to move on)
      everything since has been ad hoc shoveling mud and bs into the water to obscure the reality of things even further…and to try to make the Neoliberal Order look like the good old days.
      when i sit down at mom’s for a few minutes in my rambling workaday, and the swine emperor is on(and he’s always on), mom is seething…about how evil and terrible and whatnot he is.
      i counter that trump (and republicans, for that matter) has been a known entity for decades. the truly shocking thing is not that he won, but that the “best qualified candidate in history” lost…to him…it’s a failure on par with the cia, et alia missing the collapse of the ussr.
      I see him moronning it up with the Queen, and see a perfect avatar for a failing empire.
      we deserve him, for ignoring the numerous shitty things that have been festering for decades, while those now complaining continued their sport shopping and pretense and smug condemnation of the lumpen-orders…black, white, and brown.
      the cracks in the facade have been obvious for most of my life…but, apparently, only from below.
      and , just like the only path forward for gop electability(ha!) is keeping most people from voting, the only path for the vichy dems is propping up an alternate reality where bernie is stalin, and someone like biden is the hero of the resistance.
      they’ve been smoking their stash, apparently…and seem to really believe their own bs…
      I’ll be very interested to see what the turnout is in the general, if the dems manage to steal another primary.
      the legitimacy crisis isn’t over, by any means…and simply pretending it’s not there won’t do anything to fix it.
      the current furor regarding impeachment is a shiny ball rolled through the romper room, meant to distract us from the hollowness of the demparty agenda…which is, as it’s been since at least clinton1, a kinder, gentler, more pleasing to look at empire of capital.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        In fairness to the CIA, Soviet citizens favored the union by large numbers. They missed that Soviet citizens weren’t bound to the union in sufficient numbers to stop Yeltsin. Given the Team Clinton track record and the recently lost 1,000 seats, 2016 was far more embarrassing. There are parallels with the leadership crisis in the USA and the old USSR. Team Blue is so repulsive major players are backing a mayor from Indiana. There is no Obama Era person available who isn’t an obvious clown? Buttigieg’s wiki describes the time he Caroline Kennedy, nothing of note happened.

        Not that I thought Trump would win, but I couldn’t see an outcome where HRC wasn’t dragged over the finish line except against Ted Cruz. She probably wouldn’t have thrashed him.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          in my county, population +- 4500, 600 or so folks vote R, and 300 or so vote D.
          2-10 vote Libertarian or Green.
          the rest don’t vote.
          the R’s were all for Cruz…and some went for Hillary instead of trump.
          from my observation/janegoodallism, most of the R’s…save for a handful of relatively rich old folks, are embarrassed by trump, and are reluctantly politically homeless.
          bernie had a shot out here…which was remarkable, considering the political history of the last 20 years.
          all is in flux…ontological, epistemic, teleological and existential crisis.

          as for parallels with past imperial collapse…the experience of Athens in the Peloponnesian War has a lot of congruence, as does, sadly, the buildup to the French Rev.
          The western roman empire, under Honorius is also uncomfortably apt, but with events accelerated.
          I just ran across a Dmitri Orlov interview, mostly about Ukraine, that about sums up what my prophet beard has been twitching about for some time, which I’ll quote at length:

          “It will be interesting to see how public and government workers, as a group, react to the realization that the retirements they have been promised no longer exist; perhaps that will tip the entire system into a defunct state. And once the fracking bubble is over and another third of the population finds that it can no longer afford to drive, that might force through some sort of reset as well. But then the entire system of militarized police is designed to crush any sort of rebellion, and most people know that. Given the choice between certain death and just sitting on the sidewalk doing drugs, most people will choose the latter.

          And so, Trump or no Trump, we are going to have more of the same: shiny young IT specialists skipping and whistling on the way to work past piles of human near-corpses and their excrement; Botoxed housewives shopping for fake organic produce while hungry people in the back of the store are digging around in dumpsters; concerned citizens demanding that migrants be allowed in, then calling the cops as soon as these migrants set up tents on their front lawn or ring their doorbell and ask to use the bathroom; well-to-do older couples dreaming of bugging out to some tropical gringo compound in a mangrove swamp where they would be chopped up with machetes and fed to the fish; and all of them believing that things are great because the stock market is doing so well.
          At this rate, when the end of the USA finally arrives, most of the people won’t be in a position to notice while the rest won’t be capable of absorbing that sort of upsetting information and will choose to ignore it.”(http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51449.htm)

          Reply
          1. dearieme

            Oh do cheer up! The Dark Ages never happened, you know. It’s just that the Western Roman Empire underwent a recalibration, a reimagining, a repurposing.

            Reply
          2. Hepativore

            I think that the dystopian visions of the movie Brazil and the Canadian science fiction series were spot on of what we can expect the US to unravel to if it does not reverse course somehow in the next few decades. We will continue mutating into a corporate-run police state that is at once both grossly incompetent disgustingly oppressive. Public governments will become a thing of the past as corporate oligarchs eventually drop the pretense that the serfs have any say in what the overlords do.

            Reply
          3. BlueMoose

            It is hard to find anyone better at calling out the US BS going on than Dmitri Orlov. He does occasionally get a bit carried away with how great Russia is, but I think overall his impressions of the US state of affairs is accurate.

            Reply
            1. Hepativore

              Sorry, I meant Brazil, and the Canadian science-fiction series called Continuum which ran from 2012-2015 and it was alarmingly accurate in many of its predictions.

              Reply
              1. Amfortas the hippie

                i concur, re “continuum”. corporate congress, and all.
                too close for comfort.
                and i only even started it because of lexa doig.

                Reply
    3. Trent

      Have you ever watched WWF, now known as WWE? Trump was once on WWE, anything to make money. In my view he’s the perfect president for fake politics, fake news, just fake everything. Anyways American politics is about as truthful as professional wrestling. Most “paid mainstream” commentators are like the “journalists” that would write articles in WWF magazine my friends would buy in grade school, dissecting the upcoming matches and potential trajectories of who could end up with the world heavy weight championship belt for the upcoming year. The saddest part is that people refuse to admit that to themselves.

      Reply
      1. Eureka Springs

        At the ripe old age of six I moved from the south (AR and TX) to Nebraska where I first saw WWE on television. I was shocked that this might be taken seriously. I quickly learned to keep my yap shut for both many young and old had never considered it was all fake.

        Reply
    4. JEHR

      I have been pleasantly surprised at the attempts made by the CBC to understand leaders like Trump by using Shakespeare’s work, Julius Caesar.

      What is our common ground — and common benefit — when everyone in society has their own strong set of opinions? How do leaders lead or represent us? This episode takes a philosophical look at the interaction between morality and the public good, with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar as a lens into how private and public values can both unite and divide us. Recorded on stage at Ontario’s Stratford Festival, Paul Kennedy hosts a discussion featuring philosopher Mark Kingwell, political theorist Emma Planinc and actor Jonathan Goad.

      It is well worth listening to as it gives us more to think about than just describing the actions of the man himself.

      Reply
  9. Wukchumni

    Talkative potential Trump Fed nominee Judy Shelton tells FT that Fed shouldn’t be setting rates, wants a new Bretton Woods to be held at Mar-a-Lago to fix exchange rates to ‘a convertible gold-backed bond.’
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    One thing that came out of the Bretton Woods was a fixed price on all that glitters, which held sway for a little over 25 years until eventually the almighty Dollar lost over 95% of it’s value post 1971, when measured against it.

    Sounds as if Judy wants to willingly give up the mantle of being the world’s reserve currency, now why would you want to do that?

    Knowing nothing in regards to her, I found that she wrote a very prescient book in 1988, “The Coming Soviet Crash: Gorbachev’s Desperate Pursuit of Credit in Western Financial Markets”.

    Nobody whatsoever was talking of such things happening, back then.

    Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Loved her quotes. Most people conflate “the gold standard” with the Bretton Woods “gold exchange standard” when they spew about how bad it was and why it won’t work. I wish those people would do a little more homework and engage mouth only after engaging brain.

            The “everything floats against everything else” is really a silly way to run things. Especially with the butcher’s thumb on the scales.

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              It worked like a charm when Europe was broke & broken, not as if central banks had $’s to exchange into the barbarous relic all that much, that is until the beginning of the end in 1965…

              In February 1965 President Charles de Gaulle announced his intention to exchange its U.S. dollar reserves for gold at the official exchange rate. He sent the French Navy across the Atlantic to pick up the French reserve of gold and was followed by several countries. As it resulted in considerably reducing U.S. gold stock and U.S. economic influence, it led U.S. President Richard Nixon to end unilaterally the convertibility of the dollar to gold on August 15, 1971

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exorbitant_privilege

              Reply
                  1. pretzelattack

                    i’m just reading superimperialism by hudson, and wonder how gold is being used in the current system. the u.s. used it to dominate the world up to bretton woods, anyway.

                    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Pursuit of credit in Western financial markets????

      With the resources of the USSR and their own currency? Why?

      They were not a small country that had to borrow in foreign money to buy an MRI machine, a submarine or an Airbus plane.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Soviet commodity traders in Switzerland were thought of as pretty good at what they did, for everybody knew they were net sellers in order to get western currency (The Ruble was in theory worth about $1.50, but maybe 30 or 40 Cents in the west) and they would occasionally throw a spanner in the works by being buyers-not sellers.

        Reply
  10. Baby Gerald

    Great links as usual! While not a surprise to regular NCers, Hubert Horan’s take-down of Uber is probably the best written yet. If this doesn’t convince the Uber customer that their business model is built on sand, nothing will. I’m not an investor, but watching their IPO tank out on opening day was one of the best schadenfreude moments of the year.

    Reply
    1. Robert Valiant

      Without the endorsement, I would have skipped the article – thanks!

      Long read and really, really good.

      Reply
  11. HistoryBuff

    > Why 2020 Is Starting to Feel Like 2004 American Prospect (resilc).
    > What made Watergate so dramatic and devastating to Nixon was the trial, not the House vote.

    Do you perhaps mean ‘… was the _fear of_ a trial …’? Because, of course, there was neither trial nor House vote, since he resigned before the Committee’s recommendations were even brought to the floor,

    Reply
    1. Scoaliera

      Thank you, and yes, this. It was the House investigative proceedings leading to the drawing up of articles of impeachment that was so dramatic and compulsively watchable — and that fact is what makes Pelosi’s resistance to taking that route now so baffling.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Two things:

        -Impeachment would require work on the part of Team Blue
        -I’m not sure Team Blue has the organization apparatus in place to take advantage of impeachment proceedings. Nixon wasn’t being accused of treason out of the gate. Would Republicans really care if Trump was a crook? No. One fear of Republicans open to Hillary in 2016 was that Trump might move defense spending out of certain urban corridors to out of the way red states where they would have to settle for the touring show of Hamilton.

        What kind of Republican who voted for Trump in 2016, soured on him over “OMG Russia”, approved of his nastiness again without the treason charges is going to be won over by impeachment proceedings about criminality?

        It should be done because its the right thing to do, but the Team Blue strategy of winning GOP votes isn’t going to work after the Mueller farce, Mueller even being a person who should be easy to pin as a GOP plant except Team Blue went all in on the canonization of Mueller.

        How does impeachment with Biden as the nominee get people off the tv and knocking on doors and registering voters? It doesn’t. This is where Pelosi is. My guess is she thought partisans would simply obey her lead.

        Reply
      2. pretzelattack

        john dean for one made it watchable. there was a lot more evidence that nixon was involved in the crimes charged than trump is. plus, pelosi is more interested in keeping insider control of the atm than in actually beating trump.

        Reply
        1. Todde

          They had Nixon on tape telling people to bribe other people to stay quiet.

          Thats hard to overlook.

          Reply
          1. pretzelattack

            well they’ve gotten better at overlooking stuff. what, no of course we don’t have to look at the servers, mrs. clinton!

            Reply
  12. jefemt

    Plastic into jet fuel. Travel by air is a really really really wasteful, carbon-effluent rich activity.
    Extracting oil to produce plastic, then burn it in the end, demanding lots of energy to re-configure the carbon chains.
    Oil industry wet dream.

    Not all science is good or beneficial. Follow the money….

    Reply
    1. John k

      The question is, what should we do with plastic? Bury it, toss it in the ocean, or burn it?
      Certainly we should use less, but that does not eliminate the wuestion.

      Reply
      1. jefemt

        Lubricants?

        I dunno— stop producing it in the first place…

        any re-processing re-purposing will demand more energy, and burning it will produce more atmospheric carbon. Not sure about burying…. seems like it would break down into some deleterious toxic something that would get into groundwater.

        Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      At the end, the article says that it makes diesel, from which jet fuel can be extracted. Farmers, for instance, would just use it as diesel.

      It’s directed at WASTE plastic, which is oil that’s already been pumped out of the ground. If it’s burned as fuel, that at least substitutes for new oil, hopefully leaving that in the ground. Would it be better to re-use the plastic? Of course, but that’s proving oddly difficult. In future, ours will probably be considered the “Plastic Age,” as there will be a distinctive layer almost everywhere.

      Yes, it takes energy to process; all recycling does. The article doesn’t say, but presumably it produces more than it uses – while disposing of a major pollutant. Considering our problems with plastic pollution, that alone is a significant contribution.

      Which reminds me: what became of the system for removing plastic from the ocean that was much reported a while back? Unmitigated failure?

      Reply
  13. Mikerw0

    Big turnout, maybe. We all have to caveat that predicting events 17 months out is a fool’s errand. That said, if the Ds run a candidate like Biden I suspect they will lose as younger voters will sit it out. The notion that you can put the anti Neoliberal genie back in the bottle by running someone who is kinder and nicer is a farce. The younger generation needs a reason to vote and at this point the traditional, “centrist” Dems don’t provide that. They are too proficient at just tuning the Trump reality tv show off.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The pollsters predicted a 2008 style turnout in 2016 ignoring the positive nature of Obama’s campaign and two cycles worth of organizing, but much of this has to do with worrying about DC elite opinions more than the general population.

      HRC saw the lowest minority turnout in 20 years (hmm who was on the ballot in 1996?), and I believe I saw record low minority turnout in the Midwest.

      Then of course, urban areas have higher rates of of renters which means less solid voting registration and plolling place location knowledge (people do often not realize they crossed lines or are in new precincts; this is a former of suppression because we know it’s a problem). Energetic volunteers are required to make this work and to register the disaffected and suppressed. The Democrat responsible for Clarence Thomas will crush enthusiasm the way HRC did but won’t have any token appeal to drive up numbers in safe states.

      A Biden nomination leads to a Time magazine cover story asking if conservatism is on the rise.

      Reply
      1. pretzelattack

        that time story has probably already been written. followed by one on how leftists stabbed biden in the back.

        Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        ‘ less solid voting registration and plolling place location knowledge (people do often not realize they crossed lines or are in new precincts; this is a former of suppression because we know it’s a problem)” Oregon’s vote-by-mail and motor voter registration take care of those problems. There is some increase in turnout, but not huge.

        Reply
    2. tegnost

      The notion that you can put the anti Neoliberal genie back in the bottle by running someone who is kinder and nicer is a farce

      especially when there’s so much clear evidence that he’s neither kind, nor nice…

      Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “Old economists can teach us new tricks”: ‘Americans still fundamentally accept the idea that the private sector always allocates resources more efficiently than the public sector.’

    Do they? I wonder about that. One wonders how it would have gone down if it had been the private sector that had been responsible for allocating resources to fight both the Great Depression as well as World War 2 last century.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      In fairness to Americans, there is a good deal of direct experience with PPPs and completely private enterprises. Besides the ideological free market responses, many are going to have awful experiences with government allocation. After all, the Pentagon’s lost trillions went somewhere.

      Soldiers see they have to pull guard duty for the CIAs heroin and order why they had to buy better gear.

      Reply
    2. Summer

      The public and private are intertwined in this type of economy. What explains the blame of it all on government?
      I’d say it is the politicians. They get paid well to fall on their swords for any failings of “public-private partnerships.”
      Toss that in with the great myth of the “free market” and….there it is.

      Reply
      1. flora

        I wonder how much of the current private funding of PPP is from the shadow banking system making subprime loans to the ‘private’ part of the deal, and if those sp loans go ‘poof’ the public will be on the hook for the whole amount. Subprime II: Teh destruction continues. /s

        Reply
    3. jrs

      I don’t think it’s about allocating resources for most people, if they have issues with government due to bureaucracy, they may be real, but that’s not really about resource allocation per se at all (a UBI that’s pure resource allocation – bureaucracy is it’s own thing).

      And yes bureaucracy exists in every large corporation but not in the realm most people encounter outside of work maybe, but they encounter government.

      Reply
      1. eg

        Private enterprises that fail disappear and are soon forgotten — governments wear their errors forever (or until revolution, civil war or conquest sweep them away)

        Human organizations of every stripe are failures waiting to happen — it’s the permanence/impermanence divide and the survivorship bias afforded to private enterprise that, I believe, feeds the “business is competent; government is incompetent” narrative

        Of course there is epic silence over the degree to which many, many businesses rely upon government largesse in one form or other. Which is to say, mendacity.

        Reply
  15. Ed

    “The problem is the impeachment trial is held by the Senate, and McConnell has already said the Rs will shut it down fast. What made Watergate so dramatic and devastating to Nixon was the trial, not the House vote. I came home after school and watched it every day while doing my geometry homework. ”

    I didn’t click on the link, I am on the run to an appointment, I just read this, and my reaction was wtf?

    There was no impeachment trial in the Senate of Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon resigned after the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted to have the full House of Representatives deliberate impeachment proceedings. There was no vote by the House of Representatives. There have been two impeachment trials in the Senate in American history, of Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. So no, American Prospect writer, you could not watch an impeachment trial in the Senate of Richard Nixon while doing your geometry homework nor would an event that never happened be affect Richard Nixon.

    The point is the American Prospect is supposed to be a serious minded publication for serious minded people interested in public policy, and whether there was an impeachment trial in the Senate of Richard Nixon is a easily checked fact about an important politics related matter, and they can’t get that right.

    Reply
    1. Watt4Bob

      The guy was evidently mis-remembering the dramatic Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities hearings. (otherwise known as the “Watergate hearings”)

      Republicans eventually heard enough damning testimony to convince them Nixon had to go, so they talked him into resigning, yup, no trial.

      I was working on the road that summer and the whole crew would watch as much of the hearings as possible, it was great entertainment.

      Reply
    2. Bugs Bunny

      Exactly. I was wondering what in the name of Pete that was about! Nixon resigned after Barry Goldwater led a group of Republicans to the White House to tell him that the game was over because he didn’t have the votes in the Senate to survive if the House voted to impeach. The articles were drafted but never executed.

      Do reporters have to take history anymore or do they just make stuff up now? Orwellien is too mild an adjective.

      Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “Nuclear Power Always Ready For Extreme Weather”

    The author, James Conca, may think that it is a good idea to have a few nuke plants operating for interruptions due to extreme weather but he has also written an article on the severe problems with storing the wastes and how to warn future generations of the dangers due to how languages change over the centuries.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2015/04/17/talking-to-the-future-hey-theres-nuclear-waste-buried-here/#6794fcf22fef

    Reply
    1. Darius

      Bloomberg News has reported that US nuclear plants in coastal areas have refused to armor themselves against higher predicted storm surges. Just like Fukushima. Nuclear power in theory is vital technology. But we can’t trust capital to administer it safely.

      Reply
      1. UserFriendly

        Hurricanes give you much more warning, with 24hrs notice you can shut down the reactor which requires significantly less cooling.

        Turkey Point survived Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm that in 1992 passed directly over the nuclear plant. Andrew remains the most destructive hurricane to hit the state.

        In March 2012, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ordered plant owners to provide portable equipment that could provide power for an indefinite period.

        Lochbaum also said that the NRC previously required accident response plans for the outage of a single reactor at a multiunit site such as Turkey Point. “Fukushima dispelled that notion,” Lochbaum said in an email. “Now, owners must stage sufficient equipment resources and associated staff to cope with challenges to all on-site reactors and spent fuel pools.”

        Yeah, that sure sounds like refusal.

        Reply
    2. Jef

      I was not able to read the story but I believe drought is considered “Extreme Weather” and that has already shut down multiple nuke plants several times.

      Reply
      1. UserFriendly

        Temporarily, the article never said nuclear was immune from all environmental considerations. There are several methods of cooling available, the ones that require water can use more or less depending on availability (and no, none of the water released has any radioactivity, see heat exchangers).
        https://www.iaea.org/topics/non-electric-applications/efficient-water-management-in-nuclear-power-plants

        Again, I would go to the broader point; it is insane to rely on just 2 intermittent energy sources to power the entire planet. I’ve seen it snow 2 feet with no wind in Minnesota over the course of a few days. There is no chance we build enough battery storage to heat all those buildings with electricity.

        What about wildfires that block out the sun for days at a time on the west coast without enough wind to clear it?

        We need ALL non fossil fuel ASAP.

        Reply
        1. Pookah Harvey

          Batteries are far from the only storage system. You should research pumped-storage hydroelectricity for example. These systems are much easier and faster to build than new nuclear fission plants.

          Reply
          1. UserFriendly

            Minnesota is darn flat and the hydro they have in the Mississippi is about enough to cover a few blocks of Minneapolis. You know what isn’t a very effective way to store energy in winter? Water. Plenty of lakes in MN freeze so deep you can drive on them. It just isn’t gonna happen. Not if you need to heat everyone’s home with electricity.

            And even if it was an option, that isn’t just pumped hydro you need to build, you need to build a ton of wind and PV, enough to generate a few days worth of energy to spare.

            Reply
  17. aj

    I always find it entertaining how much journalists like bringing up Schrodinger’s Cat whenever quantum physics is discussed considering the “thought experiment” was originally conceived by Schrodinger to point out the apparent absurdity of the Copenhagen interpretation. It was never meant to be taken seriously, and the original intent was to prove superposition couldn’t possibly be a real phenomenon. The simplified version of the “thought experiment” that is used in the media is even more ridiculous. A cat, not being a quantum object, does not exhibit quantum properties and is therefore alive or dead not both.

    Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      Thank you for pointing that out about Schroedinger’s thought experiment. I was surprised the article didn’t mention it, especially as it came from phys.org which is among the better science websites. They also just throw in the term ‘artificial atom’ without explaining what that can possibly be, which led me to not really understanding what the article was getting at or if it was legit, but hey it’s quantum mechanics so I suppose that’s not all that surprising!

      I’m with Schroedinger – the cat is dead or alive and not both. There are a couple (at least) new books out taking issue with the Copenhagen interpretation if anyone’s interested – I’ve finished one and half way through the other and both are pretty good.

      https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/316818/einsteins-unfinished-revolution-by-lee-smolin/9781594206191/

      https://www.basicbooks.com/titles/adam-becker/what-is-real/9780465096053/

      Reply
    2. Lepton1

      The point of the thought experiment was not to claim any absurdity for any interpretation of quantum mechanics, but to provide a puzzle that would help them figure out the transition between the micro and the macro worlds by linking the cat and an atom.

      If you only stay in the micro world then quantum mechanics works well. If you restrict yourself to the macro world then Newtonian mechanics works fine. It is the transition between the two that is troublesome and this is where probabilities come to play.

      We can deal with a photon taking multiple paths as it passes through half-silvered mirrors, or an electron interfering with itself as it passes through multiple pairs of slits. The problem is that eventually those particles cause some effect that is evident in the macro world and we don’t know why nature chooses one outcome out of all possible outcomes.

      I liked the Adam Becker book. He covered a lot of material I never heard about at school. I went to see him speak at the Commonwealth Club last month. You can catch the interview on their website. Nothing much new to report. More results of the test of Bell’s theorem.

      Reply
  18. Wukchumni

    The speech that he could’ve given, but must not alienate hand cannon owners…

    Joe Biden speaks in Columbus, OH: “We’ve had innocents murdered in cold blood just this past week and it hardly made the news, we’ve already had the Glock strike 12 killed violently in another mass murder. It’s outrageous. It must, it must, it must end.

    Reply
  19. tegnost

    clearly woody johnson is trying to frighten the hoi polloi to vote remain if they get another chance. “You think think you have it bad now just wait til we get our greedy hands on your basic institutions”
    I mean, it’s been scaring me for my entire adult life. They’ve gotten pretty good at it.

    Reply
    1. ObjectiveFunction

      Ambassador Woody Johnson? Really?

      Will UK Ambassador to Washington, Sir John Thomas, stand forth and deliver a turgid rebuttal on behalf of all upright members of British society?

      Reply
  20. marym

    Yesterday was Jefferson Davis’ birthday, a state holiday in Alabama.
    Montgomery Advertiser

    The voices of five men and four women, once held in human bondage, interviewed in Alabama in 1937.

    From 1936 to 1938, the Works Progress Administration, a New Deal agency, sent workers throughout the South to collect oral histories from survivors of slavery, eventually conducting more than 2,000 interviews, including at least 129 in Alabama…the testimonies preserve the voices of those who experienced a hell that Davis and other white southerners were willing to destroy the country to protect.

    Below, the testimonies of nine African Americans held in human bondage, all interviewed in Alabama in 1937.

    Reply
  21. Wukchumni

    Dudleya do wrong…

    Three men were charged after they attempted to export more than $600,000 worth of wild succulents, described by one expert as “tiny and cute” plants, that they poached from state parks in Northern California, the United States Justice Department said.

    The men — all South Korean nationals — arrived in Los Angeles in October 2018 with plans to harvest the plants in Northern California and ship them to South Korea, the department said in a statement on Friday. They were charged with conspiracy to knowingly export plants from the United States that had been taken in violation of California law, and attempting to export plants taken in violation of state law.

    The plants, which are known as Dudleyas and have sage colored leaves that slowly unfurl in a rose pattern, were transported to a nursery run by Byungsu Kim in San Diego, according to court documents. Byungsu Kim and Mr. Back have fled the country and Bong Jun Kim was in federal custody.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/us/succulent-smugglers.html

    Reply
  22. Brindle

    2020 …Iowa

    In the 2016 election Hillary’s vote totals in Iowa were 166,000 or so less than Obama’s in 2012—that is a huge number in a small state like Iowa. In 2016 the two-time Obama voters who voted for Trump basically swung the election. The Dem elites have never owned putting up such a weak candidate in Hillary (Russia! Russia!) and it looks like with Biden they are making the same “mistake” (maybe they want to lose).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_elections_in_Iowa

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      HRC had 400,000 less votes than John Kerry in Ohio. In Iowa, she had over 85,000 less votes than John Kerry. Yes, she ran up the score with token voting in safe states, but the comparison is John Kerry, not Obama, even in 2012 (given the minority turnout in 2012, this comparison is particularly bad).

      If Democrats moved to organizing and good candidates as a means to victory, much of the Democratic courtier class in DC would simply be out of a job.

      Reply
      1. Brindle

        The money flowing from big contributors to consultants does not stop or even slow down much after a Dem defeat—makes one wonder what the purpose of elections really are for the the DC/Dem party.
        Matt Stoller often says “the Dems do not want to govern” —but they do want campaign cash.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It might not affect the class, but it affects plenty of individuals. With the Kerry loss in 2004 opening the way for HRC, the Clinton loyalists all expected to be returned to the White House and power. Obama hurt them for a bit, but bringing on Biden reopened 2016 for Hillary.

          Access to Hillary and Chelsea’s production company doesn’t have quite the same draw.

          https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/virginia/articles/2019-04-16/scandals-lead-to-fundraising-woes-for-top-virginia-democrats

          https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/trump-campaign-raises-30-million-first-quarter-n993581

          Money that went to the inevitable party might just go to the Southern rump party without an inevitable coronation on the horizon. Democrats had plenty of fundraising woes in 2017.

          Reply
  23. Rod

    This animation shows all recorded earthquakes from 1901 – 2000

    great animated light show, if you just don’t ponder any consequences or causes.

    same with getting jet fuel from plastic waste

    Reply
  24. Wyoming

    You know that this cat thingy would have been worked out long ago if Schrodinger had had a dog instead. Just saying….

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Pavlov’s dog used to hang out with Schrödinger’s cat, but they’re not seeing each other anymore.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        The dog was often heard to complain that he was suspicious of the cat.
        “She has this secret passion for ‘Boxers.’ I just know it. One minute she’s with you all the way. The next, she’s nowhere to be found.”

        Reply
  25. The Rev Kev

    “Kushner: Palestinians not yet capable of governing themselves”

    You wonder what the reaction that would have been if he had said that Israelis are not yet capable of governing themselves. Not good I imagine. He could have backed up this statement by pointed out how the present lot imploded when it tried to form a working government making it necessary to repeat the general elections.
    If Kushner is saying this, does this mean that there would be foreign administrators to run the Palestinian territories under this plan? If Trump thinks that he can put a deal together like a real estate operation with Arab money used to finance it, then he is in for a surprise. Even Pompeo is backing away from it so that when this plan goes down in flames, that he is not aboard it.
    Israel may want to be careful too. What if all that Arab money came with the condition that they will have the right to build Wahhabi mosques and schools throughout those territories? That won’t end well that idea. Not such an outlandish idea that. When Germany accepted over a million Muslim emigrants, Saudi Arabia offered billions in aid so long as they could build 200 Wahhabi mosques. The Germans wisely said no.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      My guess is he heard this straight from the House of Saud. I know its popular in Likud too, but I swear I’ve heard Saudis say this before. It plays to Western egos and gets the West to tolerate the Saudi plantation. doubt these were positions of Fahd era and before, but this is how the Saudis roll now.

      As bad as Kushner is, usually, these people know enough to not say the quiet parts loud without the sense of permission, so I suspect he’s repeating what he heard from a Saudi source.

      Reply
  26. Wukchumni

    the 75th anniversary of D-Day is just around the corner, here’s a similar commemoration…

    The 1938 Gettysburg reunion was an encampment of American Civil War veterans on the Gettysburg Battlefield for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The gathering included approximately 25 veterans of the battle:72 with a further 1,359 Federal and 486 Confederate attendees out of the 8,000 living veterans of the war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1938_Gettysburg_reunion

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      @Wukchumni. Now that is a coincidence. Just a coupla days ago I was watching a long film clip about the 1938 reunion over on YouTube. Went to find it again and found that there a coupla of them on there-

      https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=1938+Gettysburg+reunion

      In a way, they are like a sort of time-travelers from the 1860s and I read that the very last one of them died in 1956 which is within living memory when you think about it.

      Reply
  27. Matthew G. Saroff

    It just hit me: One of the problems with Brexit is the Tories running it.

    I do not mean that the problem is that these Tories are running, but rather that ANY tories are running it.

    Labour (or for that matter, the Monster Raving Loony Party, but probably not the Lib-Dems) could always manage Brexit with something like, “No deal is hard, but there will be benefits down the road, because we can end austerity budgeting”.

    The Tories cannot do this because austerity, or mose specifically killing the welfare state through austerity, is a core philosophical value of the party.

    So the Tories (Ironically the more Euroskeptic and pro-Brexit party) have only a Hobson’s choice to offer.

    Reply
  28. Wukchumni

    Analysis of 4 Million Pitches Shows How Many Mistakes Umpires Make Ponderwall (Chuck L)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Just when you thought baseball couldn’t get any more boring…

    Reply
    1. wilroncanada

      What I immediately wondered, upon reading the baseball analysis, was did the mistakes favour certain teams, and/or, did they disfavour particular teams?

      Reply
  29. Jim A.

    What made Watergate so dramatic and devastating to Nixon was the trial, not the House vote.

    But Nixon was never tried in the Senate. Indeed, my recollection is that he was never actually impeached. Rather the committee had voted to send the articles of impeachment to the full House and he resigned because he knew that he didn’t have the votes in either the House OR the Senate to remain in office. I remember Barbara Jordan’s speech in the runup to the committee vote.

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      Back when the Republicans hadn’t been driven so far into the crazy corner. Oregon’s best governor in my memory, Tom McCall, about that time, was a Republican. So was Sen. Hatfield, also pretty good except for being owned by the timber industry.

      Reply
      1. VietnamVet

        I was there when Tom McCall instituted odd even gas rationing in 1973. I voted Dan Evans a year before. Those were different Republicans than today’s GOP. This was the year when wage growth stalled and increased wealth from the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) started going solely to the rich. This led directly to current sorry state with Gov. Larry Hogan in Maryland calling protesters of a private public partnership to double deck the Capital Beltway “Roadkill”.

        Reply
  30. Jim A.

    Re :post Brexit trade deals. One of the main reasons for the EU was to create a trading block big enough to deal with the US on something closer to equal terms. It’s looking like some in the UK are just now realizing what making trade deals is going to be like when a much smaller economy and no Empire to lord it over.

    Reply
  31. Vince D

    “The problem is the impeachment trial is held by the Senate, and McConnell has already said the Rs will shut it down fast. What made Watergate so dramatic and devastating to Nixon was the trial, not the House vote. I came home after school and watched it every day while doing my geometry homework…”

    In your dreams you watched it – there was no trial – he resigned beforehand.

    Reply
  32. NotTimothyGeithner

    Are all Blue Dogs just complete (family blog)holes?

    Yes. Fun fact! Gary Condit was the first chair of the Blue Dog caucus. Any group dedicated to reforming the Democratic Party around some claim of electability or appealing to conservatives is almost certainly composed of disgraces.

    Reply
  33. crittermom

    Today’s video antidote is great. Sooo cute. I love frogs.

    Thanks, Yves. That’s a good one!

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      We have treefrogs like that one. I find them in the pumphouse, and once saw once sitting on the screen, catching bugs attracted by the lights. (Technically, they’re toads.) I think frogs drink through their skin, so its reaction made sense. Remarkably trusting – must have been really thirsty.

      Reply
      1. crittermom

        ” Remarkably trusting…”

        That’s what surprised me most.

        I used to catch leopard frogs at our pond behind our house as a kid. Loved ’em.
        But they’re not as calm so required some skill to catch. (I’d release them later, as I would the snakes, toads, turtles I caught)

        I haven’t even seen a leopard frog in decades now.
        The last one having been in a pet store!

        Reply
  34. Oregoncharles

    “Nuclear Power Always Ready For Extreme Weather ”

    Note the picture of the plant: bright, clear blue skies. Yes, that’s normal in the PNW with unusual cold. It’s also perfect conditions for solar. (I don’t know why it was bad for windpower – no wind?)

    Notice something else: the plant is surrounded by wasteland, and a good thing, too. We’ve been through the Tri-Cities many times (my wife is from Spokane, so a Hanford downwinder – and she’d rather not be reminded, thank you). It’s pretty empty, except for Hanford. Which recently had a bad release of radioactive waste, so no one wants to be too close.

    And what is the main threat to electric supplies in bad weather? Downed power lines – and power lines from nukes are especially long. There are real advantages to close-in sources, which nukes better not be.

    I was going to be glib and start with, in response to the title, “but not earthquakes or tsunamis,” just to remind everyone. We are down-current and down-wind of Fukushima. But I decided to be less snide.

    Reply
  35. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Jade earrings and trade strategy.

    The meaning of the jewelry, apparent to millions of Chinese who watched the face-off on social media, but hidden from the American audience: China would rather have no trade deal and uphold its dignity than be humiliated.

    Why would she do something that does not communicate anything at all to non-Chinese viewers?

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      It could be a ‘message’ aimed at her home constituency. “See how clueless these ’round eyes’ are? That’s what we are up against, barbarians.”
      On the other side, those who count will be ‘advised’ about this. That’s what ‘specialists’ and ‘advisers’ are paid for. If their masters ignore the warnings, well, they tried.

      Reply
  36. flora

    Thanks for the Salon and the Counterpunch links.
    As the Counterpunch article says: “Certain aspects of US history do matter deeply to the upcoming election.”

    Reply
  37. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China warns students, academics of risks of studying in U.S. Reuters. Resilc: “when i was at UNC I walked through the library floor by floor for a break, too hot outside. It was full of chinese students doing summer school term. Schools love them, they pay full rates out of state.”

    Are Japanese universities or Russian colleges similarly full of studious Chinese students?

    Why not Chinese universities, when China is said by many, here as well, to be the leader in many important areas critical to global leadership?

    Reply
  38. ChrisPacific

    Re: the Pelosi quote: “The Mueller report revealed that President’s campaign welcomed Russian interference in the election!”

    …um, we knew that as soon as he invited the Russians to hack Hillary’s e-mails. The Mueller report had nothing to do with it. Is that really all she’s got?

    Reply
    1. Big River Bandido

      The Clinton campaign’s emails were leaked, not hacked. Forensic analyses were linked here at NC.

      Reply
      1. ChrisPacific

        Yes, I know, but I’m referring to Trump’s invitation to the Russians during the campaign to ‘find’ the missing e-mails. He did later claim that was a joke, and it might well have been in context, but he does skirt the line on his jokes quite a bit.

        In any case, it was widely interpreted by Democrats in the way I described, dating from before the Mueller investigation – so trying to frame it as retroactive justification for the investigation is disingenuous on Pelosi’s part.

        Reply
  39. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Analysis of 4 Million Pitches Shows How Many Mistakes Umpires Make

    I call BS on this report. How can a computer measure the strike zone more accurately than a human being when the strike zone isn’t even absolutely defined in the first place?!? Here’s how MLB has defined its strike zone over the years, and here are the most recent definitions:

    1996 – The Strike Zone is expanded on the lower end, moving from the top of the knees to the bottom of the knees.

    1988 – “The Strike Zone is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the top of the knees. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.”

    Not only is the strike zone different for every player, it can be different for the same player if they change their stance between at bats! The article makes no mention as to how the computer doing the analysis defines the strike zone, which makes the claims rather worthless. Do they adjust the cameras for each player, each at bat, at each pitch? Who knows?

    And the article states the machine is accurate to about one inch, but being off by an inch can be the difference between a ball and a called strike!

    Just more lies, damned lies, and statistics.

    Umpires forever, get rid of instant replay, never use the self checkout line or take an Uber. And get off my lawn.

    Reply
    1. John k

      Quite a few calls were obviously off by more than 1”.
      Seems the height of zone for each player is an easy input. No reason to change based on the stance… and doubt the ump takes much notice of how the batter changes his stance between pitches.
      Tennis has mostly moved to electronic review of line calls. This change has obviously cooled player temper regarding what they used to think are bad calls, seems players are satisfied the e verdict is accurate.

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        Tennis was a lot more entertaining when McEnroe and Connors were around.

        Baseball has lost something with Billy Martin and Lou Piniella no longer there to toss a base or kick some sand from time to time.

        We need more character and less homogenization, more dirt, less sterilization.

        Reply
  40. anarcheopteryx

    Someone on my twitter feed posted that “Uber’s Path of Destruction” article and before I clicked on the link I was going to be like “Hubert Horan has been saying that forever on naked capitalism!! read their articles!!” and then was pleasantly surprised the article was by them. Hopefully means the message is spreading to masses that Uber is not magic.

    Reply

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