Links 7/19/19

Everyone Is Roasting The Completely Cooked Trailer For ‘Cats’ Junkee (Kevin W)

Painted lady butterfly influx needs people to count them BBC (David L)

2019 Audubon Photography Awards Atlantic (David L)

‘The Numbers Are Just Horrendous.’ Almost 30,000 Species Face Extinction Because of Human Activity Time (David L)

Peloton’s Level 4 connection could turn page for trucking industry TechXplore. Chuck L: “Ooh Boy! What could go wrong as Lambert would say.”

A new immersive classroom uses AI and VR to teach Mandarin Chinese MIT Technology Review

Google Glass May Have an Afterlife As a Device To Teach Autistic Children New York Times

Japan To Lead Development of SWIFT Network For Cryptocurrency Reuters

New EU Rule Means You Could Get Paid for a Connecting Flight Delay AFAR

Gluten Free Antarctica Idle Words

Common Medications Can Masquerade As Dementia In Seniors KHN


Taiwan’s president is planning another stop over in the US. China will be infuriated CNBC

U.S. Fears Cambodia Resort May Become China Naval Base Bloomberg (resilc)

Kyoto Animation fire: police search for clues as donations pass $1m mark Guardian

Japan summons South Korean ambassador over WWII labor row DW

Von der Leyen’s Green Deal isn’t just a plan for the environment Bruegel


Philip Hammond orchestrates Tory no-deal rebellion in Brexit parting shot Telegraph

Conservative leadership race: Boris Johnson’s Ministry of No‑Deal to rally UK behind October 31 exit The Times

New Cold War

Rebels without a cause Irrusianality. Chuck L: “Here’s the link to the ICG report discussed in the post:


Trump says U.S. Navy ship ‘destroyed’ Iranian drone NBC v. Trump Says U.S. Ship Downed Iran Drone; Tehran Denies Losing One Bloomberg

US preparing to send hundreds of troops to Saudi Arabia amid Iran tensions CNN

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Twitter Restores Assange Activism Account In Response To Backlash Caitlin Johnstone (Chuck L)

EFF Hits AT&T With Class-Action Lawsuit For Selling Customers’ Location To Bounty Hunters Vice

Trump Transition

This Was a Fascist Rally Down to Its Bones Charles Pierce, Esquire

Federal Law Says ‘Go Back To Where You Came From’ Counts As Discrimination Huffington Post

Trump to Barak: Inside Epstein’s little black book Asia Times

Trump taps Scalia’s son as Labor secretary pick The Hill

Susan Collins’ Approval Rating Dives as 2020 Approaches New York Magazine (resilc)

Montana, North Dakota push against Washington state rail law Tacoma News (Chuck L)

Dr. Leana Wen Out as Planned Parenthood President Rewire News (Chuck L)


Health care moves to center stage in Democratic primary fight The Hill

Biden to Face Off Against Harris in Detroit Democratic Debate Bloomberg

Mike Gravel Should Be In the Debates David Swanson

737 Max

Boeing Plans $5 Billion Charge to Compensate MAX Customers Wall Street Journal

Judge Cuts $2 Billion Verdict Against Bayer in Tentative Ruling on Weed-Killer Case Bloomberg

Judge Denies Bank of America’s Motion to Dismiss in Critical Fair Housing Lawsuit

Elizabeth Warren launched a new attack on private equity: Here’s how the downfall of Toys R Us got her there CNBC. Notice lack of any discussion of the content of her bill. I’ll be posting on it but its main feature is that PE firms would be liable if a portfolio company goes bankrupt. This article has the main points

To Media, No Democrat Can Possibly Be Right-Wing FAIR (UserFriendly)

Class Warfare

Florida city blasts Baby Shark song to drive away homeless from waterfront BBC

Democratic lawmakers accuse their own party of proposing ‘deep’ cuts to health centers for poor Washington Post

A California Bill Could Transform the Lives of Gig Workers. Silicon Valley Wants Labor’s Help To Stop It. Intercept

Antidote du jour. ChiGal: “Dunno what it is but guessing from the coloring it’s toxic! Oh the joys of living in the South with it’s poisonous spiders and snakes and gigantic cockroaches–brrr!”

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Louis Fyne

    “100% Renewable Energy” this is a long-winded nitpick….but i point it out so that a great idea doesn’t lost in the sloganeering…

    a 4am EDT today (04:00), the Mid-Atlantic (NJ to northern VA, we’re not even adding NYS/NYC) used ~60 Gigawatts! of electricity. the Mid-Atlantic will probably peak ~100 GW of juice at 5pm EDT this evening.

    You can’t get to 100% renewables without literally filling the eastern seaboard with wind/solar farms with 100%+ of generation capacity to make of for slack when Ma Nature isn’t cooperating. And it took years of litigation just to get the few extant wind farms off of New England—are we going to see pledges from environmental NGOs/the Kennedys/John Kerry/everyone in the Hamptoms to stop all NIMBY litigation against wind farms?.

    But in my opinion, AOC muddles her message by jumping from topic to topic and twitter fight to twitter fight. She has policy ADHD.

    AOC needs to go past the sloganeering and actually lead people to move toward a 100% renewable world, M4A, etc. (a lot less consumption would help more, but i’m not holding my breath). /rantend /staycool

    1. jeremyharrison

      Why ask her to be something other than what she is – an ADHD Sloganeerer?

      As she was tweeting out what a “radical extreme left agenda” is, I’m surprised she didn’t add “Be nice to kittens and puppies”.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        K-16 education is new to me (not the idea, but it’s the first time I read some politicians say it).

        If we go that route, it has to be mandatory, and everyone gets in a college where she or he lives, similar to K-12 these days, perhaps with some exceptions.

        So, if you live near, say Stanford, you get in…automatically.

        To make it work, we need to work out the details, beyond sloganeering.

        1. marym

          Most community colleges are open enrollment to students with a high school diploma or GED. Compulsory education is based on age and is set by the state.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            If we extend K-12 to K-16, then, the questions are, will all public colleges and universities like K-12, be compulsury for 4 more years, and will they be open to all who live close by.

            And other details involve questions like, do we educate students to be able to communicate, reason effectively, and how to live a healthy live, instead of certifying that they are competent to work for giant corporations? If the former is the case, we can drop public support for many technial course (students or corporations can pay for them), and more classes like what to eat to stay healthy, how to resist commercials or impulsive consumption, etc.

            And perhaps we don’t need 16 years, if we reduce education to the core, instead of letting it to become free corporate worker training places. Do we want to compel students to spend four years, until they are 22 or so?

            So, the point remains that there are lots of details to be worked out.

            1. marym

              K-12 isn’t compulsory.

              We need to make a distinction between: “If something is compulsory it needs to be available” and “If something is available it needs to be compulsory.”

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                From Wikipedia, including at the top, the starting age range, and ending age range,:

                United States

                5-8 15-18

                Ages vary between states. Beginning age varies 5-8, ending age varies 15-18.[123] In Wisconsin v. Yoder, the Supreme Court determined in 1972 that Amish children could not be placed under compulsory education laws past the 8th grade.

                So, not quite grades, but ages.

                I think here, if college education is to be available like k-12 (that is, when we speak of k-16), then we can ask if it should be available like K-12, that is, anyone living in the district gets, when he or she wants to go to that college. And if they want home schooling, or if they want to go to a private one, they can too.

                Again, in any case, there are lots of details to be worked out.

              2. todde

                it’s compulsory.

                they tried to sue my parents and charged them with a misdemeanor when I refused to go to school.

                Over 70% poverty rate for the students this school ‘served’ and they tried to sue parents for money.

                  1. todde

                    I didn’t read the whole thread.

                    You were pretty clear earlier as to what you were talking about, but I missed it.

        2. False Solace

          > So, if you live near, say Stanford, you get in…automatically.

          Stanford is a private school, try again.

          1. jrs

            you get in automatically to UC Berkley. LOL, never ever gonna happen, super exclusive. Sometimes I get fed up with funding them, they are schools of the elite.

            Is there a plan to build more public schools at least though?

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            After it’s taken over by the state, then it’s not.

            Just an idea, or one more try.

      2. zer0

        Right, slogans are worse than going pro-war full tilt and listening (only) to the billinaire class. /sarc

      3. Ember Brody

        It’s seven, SEVEN, things. My two year old can count to seven. If someone has ADHD, it is you.

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          but his taxes might go up slightly and that increase might go to help someone less fortunate than himself…the fact it’s coming from someone younger, darker, and less male just makes it worse.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


            As far as im concerned, we need to cancel ALL debts, solve Climate Change, Universal Healthcare n Education.

    2. Geo

      “AOC needs to go past the sloganeering and actually lead people to move toward a 100% renewable world, M4A, etc.”

      If she did that she’d get accused of being a “single issue” politician like the smear Sanders with. Personally, I enjoy the wide array of issues she highlights. Seems she’s helping educate the less politically knowledgeable about just how deeply and thoroughly corrupted th system really is. Far too many have been under the impression it was a few bad apples and some red tape that were the problem. She’s done a nice job of showing that it’s top to bottom, left right and center that needs to be addressed – and that each step forward will be against the full force of the entire establishment.

      Also, she’s a strong voice but still just one congressperson with few allies. There’s only so much she can actually do. Beyond all this informing and exposing of corruption she’s doing, if she’s picking some Twitter scuffles with the comfortable establishment on a regular basis and being a thorn in their side, I personally enjoy that. They’ve had an easy ride too long. It’s about time they have to answer for their corruption. The way they have gone after AOC and the other Justice Dems has exposed their true allegiance for all who like progressive policies and we’re under the impression Dems were on their side. Unlike with Sanders in ‘16, the establishment can’t blame sexist Bernie Bros for upsetting the Apple cart anymore.

      1. Brindle

        …”Seems she’s helping educate the less politically knowledgeable about just how deeply and thoroughly corrupted th system really is.”
        Yes, I think she is doing a great job for a freshman Rep. She is the best communicator on the progressive side.

        1. Dan

          If Cortez and her staff would give up air conditioning in summer and turn off the heat in their offices in the winter, she would be much more convincing. Also, only subway, bus and AMTRAK to get to Washington, for all of them.

          That’s one thing in Biden’s favor, he rides the train to D.C., although “Working Class Joe” didn’t support the AMTRAK workers when they went on strike.

          1. False Solace

            Oh look, a progressive lives in the modern world. I bet she drives around in a car sometimes too. Someone call the fainting couch for Dan!

            You do realize that none of this works unless we all do it, right?

            1. False Solace

              “Hypocrisy is the gap between your aspirations and your actions,” George Monbiot wrote in the Guardian in 2008. But the alternative is cynicism, he explained, not moral purity, because removing oneself from industrialized society would mean disengaging from the fight for planetary survival.” (Laura Bliss, CityLab, after people b*tched about AOC sometimes taking Ubers instead of the subway)

            2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              Exactly. As a poor worker in an Urban environment, its dam hard to buycott Walmart aka Wally World!

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            Had Cortez and her staff called for the abolition of air conditioning in summer, and the abolition of heat in everybody’s offices in the winter, then it would be fair to ask if Cortez and her staff have turned off their own air conditioning in summer and their own indoor heating in their own offices in the winter.

            But if Cortez and her staff never called for that from anyone else, then the implication that she and her staff are being “hypocritical” by not doing so themselves is not actually the spotting of any genuine hypocrisy. It is the stumbling failure to do so on the part of a clumsy troll.

            So the crucial question is . . . did Cortez and her staff call on everyone to do without air conditioning in the summer and without heating their offices in winter? Because if Cortez and her staff really did recommend that . . . then there should be a written record of such recommendations.

            So . . . is there?

          3. Lambert Strether

            Mr. Gotcha:

            * * *

            >If Cortez and her staff would give up air conditioning in summer and turn off the heat in their offices in the winter, she would be much more convincing.

            Yes, it would be a good PR gesture. Not sure I want AOC to be spending a whole lot of time straightening out the HVAC systems on Capitol Hill, though. On travel, maybe so.

      2. WheresOurTeddy

        “Also, she’s a strong voice but still just one congressperson with few allies. There’s only so much she can actually do.”

        Maybe she should have Nancy’s job.

    3. a different chris

      ?AOC needs to go past the sloganeering and actually lead people

      Mmph. What is she supposed to do, commandeer a ship and tow a windmill out to by the Statue of Liberty? Wire it up? Then do it again?

      Sloganeering *is* a big, big part of a politicians job. I would gently suggest your attitude is basically Nancy Pelosi’s, and I’m not even saying that in a bad way.

      But Nancy wants to do the sausage making, and has little interest in anything else. She was so happy to grind out a border bill that Republicans would pass. She somehow thought that deserved a cookie or something. This is simply the wrong time for that. No bills you, I, or AOC would like are going to even get to Trump’s desk let alone pass.

      So sloganeer. And keep moving the target, when they go on MTP to complain about the GND they will find themselves having to answer questions about K-16. About Wall Street. We would have won easy in Vietnam if their leadership had followed the West Point playbook. But they didn’t.

      AOC may not win, but she is taking the only path that has a chance.

    4. Oh

      She’s using the social media to wake up people. Her message is not muddled. We need more like her to raise awareness.

      1. barefoot charley

        AOC illustrates just how old Pelosi et al are. The demand that she act like wheezing geezers is off-my-lawnism. AOC actually communicates what can’t be said in the mainstream media–of course the geezers are furious. It’s a great trick. What’ll she be like when she matures!

      2. Carolinian

        But the problem is that politics is far more about competing interests than competing ideas. We all know what the issues are, even those supposedly dumb bunny Trump voters. You have to convince people you can actually do something about them. This is where the Dems are so very weak. Talking is not fighting.

        1. barefoot charley

          The Overton window didn’t drift left–it was pushed there, especially by Bernie and AOC. (Emphatically not by our responsible news outlets or corpo-political overlords.) M4A is talked about because the outliers kept whooping about it.

          Pelosi would be correct to call out those two as bad Democrats, because fundamentally they don’t bow to party consensus. But of course Blue Dogs, Liebermans and long shots don’t either. They are actual Big Tent Democrats, which was a thing before the tent was privatized. It’s true the Democrats won’t do anything, but I don’t blame Democratic Socialists for that.

        2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Trump Voters would gladly vote for any of these issues. Its IDENTITY POLITICS THATS POISONING THE WELL.

    5. polecat

      The problem I see .. and it’s nothing original on my part, regarding the 100% renewable energy change-over, is that it means a much reduced energy footprint for all concerned – it will be mean a reduced access to energy usage, by necessity, not the energy-extravagant one we still-1st worlders currently hold dear. AOC, I’m afraid, is giving the impression that we all can just switch-over to ‘renewables’ .. and continue as if physics and the laws of thermodynamics doesn’t matter ! Renewables will never scale, and hold parity with, hydrocarbon energy sources. That’s a pipe dream she, and others need to jettison. I can’t tell if she’s being disingenuous, or lacking in some scientific advisory capacity, or both ! That one item alone on her bullet-point list raises my ‘ponies-for-all’ klaxons way too much for my comfort.

        1. jrs

          The thing about many of these calculations is the U.S. military use is factored into it, and well it tends to increase the per capita use … it’s telling but it leads to a different set of solutions than people usually ponder when thinking about these issues.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          What that chart says to me is that the US could halve its per capita energy use and still be more profligate than Italy or the UK. If you did in a careful, planned way, it wouldn’t even necessarily entail an enormous sacrifice in terms of quality of life. And maybe none at all if the metrics are different.

          I know the sheer size of the US and its climate both mitigate against energy efficiency, but based on that chart I’m not buying that it isn’t a feasible goal even assuming no significant technical progress and using only existing, already developed technology.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Anthropogeoneering – I don’t know if that word is correct, for engineering movements of humans so as to minimize energy use.

        For example, we move people from New York, where summers are often humid and hot, and requiring fans/AC, and the winters cold, requiring heating, to some year-round mild climate places like coastal California (but at safe enough elevations, accounting for the coming sea leval rises).

        We pack them densely, of course (in order to accomodate the increases in population).

        That’s one way of reducing energy consumption. Needless to say, we need other actions as well, to go along with this one.

        1. bruce

          I’m a native of coastal California, lived there the first 46 years of my life, practiced law there, etc., and you can not imagine the level of local resistance there would be to, say, moving the borough of Brooklyn to San Luis Obispo. Now that I’m retired in S. coastal Oregon, if you tried to move it here, I would pledge my life, fortune and sacred honor to prevent that from happening.

          Here’s a better idea. NYC has the new Hudson Yards and a zillion more square feet of millionaire/billionaire space. We reconfigure the interiors into small efficiency units, urban tiny houses, Hong Kong style.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Why cant we have keep our standard of living? We still haven’t discovered IMO our future energy source yet, but we will if we try!!!!

        Cutting off our Militaries and corporations is a great first step.

      3. Zlm

        100% renewables isn’t as simple (and unattainable) as you say, putting wind and solar in every corner of the world and defying the laws of thermodynamics. It’s a large challenge but not beyond our ability and energy generates so much wealth there will be plenty of capacity for the change if good policy is enacted – a big “if.” It’s a combination of greater energy efficiency to shrink how much energy we use, and a grid system that can send energy from windy and sunny parts of the country to places where the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. I’m convinced its eminently doable based on what I’ve read. What Louis Fyne above and others missed is you can overhaul the system and meet energy needs. California is a great test case about flattening total energy use in a growing economy at a large scale.

        1. Procopius

          Wind and solar don’t defy the laws of thermodynamics. The energy comes from the Sun, and capturing some part of it mechanically is not some form of perpetual motion. It’s just making use of potential energy that would otherwise be random heat loss.

      4. bruce

        Twaddle. How much do you really know about the laws of thermodynamics? They generally deal with closed systems, and the Earth is an open system, continually receiving energy from the Sun. There’s nothing whatsoever in physics or thermo that says we can’t go 100% renewable with a combination of solar, hydro, wind and lifestyle modification. Consider the possibility that AOC might know a little more than you about this.

    6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      An alternative to jumping from topic to topic, this link above is a reminder:

      Health care moves to center stage in Democratic primary fight The Hill

      Like the Blitzkrieg idea, and many other situations in life as well, we are always faced with whether to go for all, or to concentrate our limited resources to achieve lmited objectives.

      1. Louis Fyne

        (imo) Democrats aren’t going to win with a laundry list of progressive policies as it dilutes their message to casual voters. Trump’s MAGA was simple and vague enough to make his voters read into that whatever they wanted.

        Democrats can’t use a MAGA-type slogan cuz they don’t wrap the party around patriotism/nationalism anymore. So make a Maslow’s hierarchy of voter needs from the progressive agenda—-pick one issue to rally casual voters to Team Dem.

        And ya, that issue is either health care or income inequality. Everything else can be addressed if/after Dems. assume more power.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Why not? The problem Democrats have (from the perspective of voters) is Team Blue types never run on a list of progressive policies or goals and stick to “it could be worse” or “its your fault if Hillary isn’t coronated.”

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Dems not only “don’t wrap the party around patriotism/nationalism”, they are increasingly seen as “hostile to” those things.

          Yeah, that’ll work in the heartland: run *against* America.

          So let’s see where we are:

          Pussy Hat
          Immigrants in cages that Obama built
          LGBT bathrooms
          We’re Not Him
          No-change centrism (Biden, Warren, Harris, ButtGig)

          It’s embarrassing.

    7. lordkoos

      Conservation could be a thing – people often use a lot more energy than they need… and in her defense, AOC is helping to keep these kinds of issues front and center, where they should be. What have you done lately?

    8. Stratos

      “You can’t get to 100% renewables without literally filling the eastern seaboard with wind/solar farms with 100%+ of generation capacity to make of for slack when Ma Nature isn’t cooperating.”

      Think again.

      If the town of Feldheim, Germany can become a 100% renewable energy self-sufficient, climate neutral village, the Eastern Seaboard of the USA can too.

      The USA has plenty of sun, wind, wave and geothermal power. The USA also has a wealth of waste material for biogas production, from both humans and animals (think pig farm waste lagoons).

      Feldheim also uses a “battery system [to save] surplus energy, enough to supply electricity to the village for two days.” The USA has access to the same batteries.

      What the USA does not have is a leadership class with a sense of urgency or the will to prioritize renewables.

    9. Oregoncharles

      Your point about what “100% renewable” would require is good; obviously the first step is conservation, and some strategic doing without. But your critique of AOC’s tweet I think is wrong: she’s stating, very briefly, a comprehensive platform. You actually have to do that to be taken seriously – single-issue pols or activists are subject to essentially the same criticism.

      In practice, you, and she, emphasize different elements at different times. But her point here is what “left” means, and that requires comprehensiveness. I know Lambert sometimes describes it in terms of a single, broad issue, essentially labor; but even that invokes essentially the same list of policies.

      A caveat about conservation: you only get that gain once. Once a system is as efficient as possible, any improvements will have to come from supply or from doing without. So it’s the biggest gain up front, but just maintenance after that.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        How can conservation only be gained “once”? If someone’s energy use is permanently re-engineered downward so that it stays at its new lower level, isn’t that a permanent reduction in the amount of energy needed every year after the application of conservation than before it? ( Unless of course cynical neighbors raise their energy consumption by the same amount as the conserver just lowered his/hers by.)

        It will take at least a hundred million Americans strangling their resource use severely downward to reduce energy revenues to the merchants of energy enough to politically weaken them to the point where they can no longer obstruct society-wide waste-reduction engineering the way they do now.

  2. toshiro_mifune

    RE: The trailer for Cats

    Ok, what am I missing here? I watched the trailer and it looked to be about what I expected; A bunch of fully grown adults, dressed as cats jumping around and singing. Isn’t this what the theatrical musical was too?

    Disclosure – not a Broadway person (my wife is), I have 4 cats so unless the musical heavily features them coughing up hairballs, shredding the furniture and shedding on laundry as soon as it comes from the dryer it will really be missing the fully spectrum of feline majesty.

    1. Louis Fyne

      to take a stab—my guess is that the “uncanny valley effect” is viscerally affecting some people. It’s easy for the human imagination to immerse themselves in a story with humans in cat costumes.

      (arguably creepy looking) CGI cat-human? …it prevents people from focusing on the story as their brain can’t process the CGI feline-Frankenstein

      And/or people are just tired of Hollywood reboots of extant stories.

      1. toshiro_mifune

        Ok, so I’ve read around a bit and the general feeling appears to be; “People dressed as Cats running around and singing is so much a cocaine fueled product of the 1980’s and make no sense now. The basic premise is dumb.” Which I am basically sympathetic to.

        1. Paul O

          I will likely give the film wide berth. I did happen to see the original stage production a little less than a year after it opened (as it happens, on the day Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands). I remember enjoying it at the time, though not really quite understanding what might be going on.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I think its more just a show about songs and dance numbers, but with dance productions, what is the point of a movie if the plot is bad? Have you seen any of the Spiderman movies? He has the powers of a spider! Obviously, the powers of a spider don’t translate to Broadway productions, but Cats isn’t that good a story or plot. It has bizarre catchy tunes and Memory, but I feel the trailer was dropped after Trump’s most recent tirade in an attempt to not be declared the worst thing happened during the year.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              “Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” -Ian Malcolm

              Let us redefine progress to mean that just because we can do a thing, it does not necessarily mean we must do that thing. -President of the UFP, Red Foreman

              These quotes from movies sum up the problem with “Cats: The Movie”. At some point, someone should have said, “why?”

              1. Carolinian

                Musicals have been making a bit of a comeback with LaLaLand and The Greatest Showman. Art musicals???…

                Cats ran forever on Broadway so perhaps there’s an audience.

                1. Wukchumni

                  Why a remake of West Side Story is needed, is an enigma that will have to be re-solved?

                  1. Carolinian

                    Perhaps you are referring to Spielberg, who is doing that very thing. I believe he’s going to use unknowns in the cast.

                2. toshiro_mifune

                  Art musicals???
                  See, pure Art House musicals I could go for.
                  Like a musical adaptation of Blood Meridian…. maybe directed by Terry Malick

          2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Cats was my first broadway show… Something about Jellical Cats dancing around in alley garbage?

        2. EricT

          In the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, they had an episode where the male actor wannabe Titus, was trying to get work, and someone told him that if he walked up on stage during the play, that was very similar to Cats, and started singing and pretending to be part of the show, they would give him a job if they were impressed. It was quite funny.

        3. Aumua

          It’s just another cynical cash grab. What do people know? What can we turn into a product to exploit nostalgia. ‘Member ‘Cats’? Oooh I do!

        4. jsn

          I managed to avoid Cat’s in it’s 18 year run in New York despite being married to a woman named Cat and having two cats the whole time. I’ll definitely avoid this one, not even going to look at the trailer!

          Have, like and occasionally revisit Eliot’s, “Old Possums Book of Practical Cats.”

    2. a different chris

      OMG. Isn’t it funny when you read a comment that’s pretty much word-for-word what you would write yourself. The only diff is my wife isn’t into that stuff, either.

      I will say that, being uninterested, maybe I don’t have anything to really say on the subject.

    3. Blowncue

      I’m mystified at the so-called widespread discomfort with the preview, to the point where I wonder if said discomfort is just clickbait.

      I will say that having worked in the theater professionally, I’m predisposed to experimentation and slaughtering sacred cows 95% of the time.

      So whereas most people are probably sick of hearing Memories as it’s been played to death, I enjoy not having to be subjected to the same visual elements.

      If the expressed distaste is genuine, I’m curious as to whether there’s a correlation between that distaste and a low-interest in science fiction.

      The visuals on on offer in the preview don’t strike me as anything too different from what I’ve seen in Doctor Who or Babylon 5.

      The larger set pieces and overall visual strategy reminds me of a cross between Moulin Rouge, the Third Man and maybe Francis Ford Coppola is One from the Heart.

      There’s likely a generation that’s never actually seen Cats so you know it’s like Disney, a renewable resource. I’ve never really been a a big consumer of musical theater and definitely not a fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber

      Even if the visuals qualify as surrealism I still don’t understand why so many people are seemingly losing their shit.

  3. milesc

    RE Japan To Lead Development of SWIFT Network For Cryptocurrency Reuters

    Scant on details, unfortunately. What is an “international network for cryptocurrency payments”? Cryptocurrencies are already international networks for payments. The article references SWIFT — is this a messaging system for VASPs that would run in parallel?

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Japan summons South Korean ambassador over WWII labor row”

    South Korea may have been a little too quick rejected Japan’s call for third-party arbitration over that court ruling. I’m sure that another country could have been found to arbitrate over that decision. I wonder if North Korea is busy?

    1. David

      Korea has no interest in resolving this, or any other historical problem up to 1945. Much better to keep them as running sores to enable endless political points to be scored. This is characteristic, unfortunately, of the way in most of Japan’s neighbours have behaved for several generations. Japan is a big ATM from whom financial and political concessions can endlessly be extracted by manipulating a sense of guilt. This story tends to confirm that the Japanese may actually be developing a bit of a backbone in recent years, which would be good news, if true.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I understand that viewpoint but then again, countries like the UK, the US and Australia never had any of their lands occupied by the Japanese like Korea was. If that had happened, what would our feelings be like on the Japanese? Their treatment of our POWs certainly speak volumes on what it would have been like if western countries had been occupied by them. And it is not only Korea – North and South – that feel like this but all these other countries occupied by them as well. Japan’s whitewashing of their past certainly hasn’t been an encouraging factor in their favour.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think in Taiwan, Japan is viewed fairly positively, by those who or whose ancenstors lived through the colonial experience, if not those who came after the Chinese civil war.

          The one exception would be the tiny island just north of Taibei, I think. And that is not directly linked to WW2 or the colonial period, but dates to at the least the middle Qing dynasty years.

          1. Louis Fyne

            That would be a negative. Tojo japan viewed the aboriginal Taiwanese just as subhuman as the mainland Han Chinese.

            Just saying.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Not the subhuman as the European counterpart, as Taiwanese were able to attend universities in Japan, even marraiges between them were allowed.

              If I recall correctly, one ex-president of ROC, Lee, few years ago, mentioned the possiblity of Taiwan becoming a part of Japan (anything to avoid China).

              As for the aborigines, I only know a little from the movie, the Rainbow Warriors, Seediq Bale, about the Musha Incident. I can’t say the indigenous people today view Japanese worse or better than Taiwanese or Mainlanders who came after WWII.

          2. LuRenJia

            Japan is viewed positively by those that benefited from Japanese occupation. From Chinese point of view, those people are traitors. When Japanese arrived to took over Taiwan after getting it from Qing Dynasty, there were Chinese to resist Japanese take-over and bloodbath followed. After 50-year occupation with systematic brainwashing (or education), there must have been some results that later generations would likely to have a more positive view to Japan.

            In Taiwan today, the decedents of those benefiting from Japanese occupation control the narratives. Adding change in grade education curriculum since 1990s, people younger than 35 in Taiwan in general no longer have much sense about China even though the majority of people in Taiwan came from China at different times.

            Japan occupied Korea for 35 years too. However, Koreans don’t treat Japan as Taiwanese in this regard.

          3. Jessica

            I had the same experience in Taiwan, that Taiwanese did not see Japan in a negative light.
            Perhaps that it is because they were not invaded during WW2 (being already part of the Japanese Empire since 1895) and because they were ruled with a fairly light hand by Japan. Also, when the mainland Chinese (KMT) arrived with Chiang Kai Shek in 1948, they slaughtered tens of thousands of Taiwanese and that is the more recent memory. The day in February commemorating this White Terror is a major national holiday in Japan.
            My experience in Japan was that Japan as a whole feels about as much contrition over killing something like 10 million civilians in China, Vietnam, and elsewhere during WW2 as America as a whole feels about the millions it killed in Vietnam. This is quite different from Germany.
            Yes, Japan’s neighbors find it politically useful to continue to bring up Japan’s WW2 crimes, but part of why it works is that everyone gets that Japan didn’t really mean any of its apologies.

            1. LuRenJia

              It is true that people in Taiwan in general have a favorable view toward Japan. And that has been enhanced since 1990s after Lee regime. Lee himself is de facto a Japanese who somehow rose to the top in Taiwan. He was president for 13 years.

              As for how Japan and Chiang’s KMT treated people in Taiwan, I believe the reality is the opposite to what you stated. You can find the information about Japan occupation of Taiwan at the link. I would not call that light-handed.


              As for what happened when Chiang’s KMT arrived in Taiwan to take it back from Japan, it is not as propagandized by the Japan-servant Taiwanese regimes (Lee, Chen, and the current Tsai). There was indeed a conflict, called 228 incident. at the time after chaotic WW2. However, there were other elements involved, including the invisible American hands. Most Taiainese own publications don’t mention the number of people from mainland got slaughtered by Taiwanese, including women.

              Since 1990s, the regimes in Taiwan started to systematically change its grade school curriculum to remove traditional Chinese elements and whitewash Japanese occupation. Do you know the father of the current Taiwan president Tsai did plane maintenance work for Japanese during WW2.

              Can you provide additional citations regarding Japanese contrition toward what they did in Asia in WW2 in addition to your personal experience? It seems to me that Germany behave quite differently than Japan in this regard. If Japan really feel contrition about what it did in WW2, why don’t its neighbors generally think so? I don’t think it’s mere political convenience.

        2. Oregoncharles

          @ The Rev – What would our feelings be? Well, you could ask the Aborigines, or we could ask Native Americans, but the response might be unpleasant.

          Certainly the Natives are still doing their best to guilt-trip us, and more power to ’em, I say.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Some pretty bad things happened to the aborigines in Australia but at least we never had a Unit 731 in our history. In any case a continent like Australia was always going to be occupied whether it was going to be the British, the French or the Dutch. But as you say, it is well past the time that past injustices be redressed so yes, I agree – more power to them.

        3. Spoofs desu

          “…How would you feel if…” —-We are talking about almost 100 years ago that this happened. I suspect 99% of anybody involved is either dead or near dead.

          I always wondered how many people would be calling out japan for its past atrocities if it were an island of 100 million dirt poor, corrupt, low life expectancy, etc., country. (This is obviously riffing the previous post on the japan atm)

          In this experiment, the virtue-signaling value would fall off the cliff.

          BTW, aren’t your tax dollars funding the torture of people? TODAY!? At gitmou or some other dark site in the global network? How about a little relevance? Otherwise we’ll eventually, find ourselves like kosovo where they rekindling stuff from 500 years ago.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        You are quite right about this – while obviously nobody should forget what was done to those women and all the other civilians tortured and murdered by Japanese imperialists, there is a lot of bad faith on the side of other Asian nations – the subject has become weaponised, used whenever they want to squeeze something out of Japan (the Korean government in the 1960’s actually kept the compensation given by Japan for its own use, the women got little to nothing).

        Similarly with the Nanjing Massacre – the Chinese government suppressed all mention of it for decades when they wanted to keep the Japanese ‘on side’, but then made a big fuss over it when it became convenient.

        The big problem of course is that politically the beneficiaries of this are the hard nationalist right in Japan. Abe may well benefit from being seen to get tough on the South Koreans over this. I think Moon has overplayed his hand and may come to regret it.

        1. Darius

          Abe in power shows Asia still has cause to fear an unchecked Japan. Expect the worst. It saves time.

          1. David

            Sorry, no. public opinion in Japan was and remains overwhelmingly pacifist, as a result of a historical memory of the terrible consequences of a war that ordinary Japanese did not want and suffered massively from. There are people in Asia who genuinely fear a renascent Japan, but there are far more who cynically exploit the idea.

            1. Darius

              Japanese politics are pretty unrepresentative and the public is apathetic. The LDP’s postwar lock on power looked like it was cracking about 15 years ago, but the LDP came roaring back.

              1. PlutoniumKun

                Your first line is unquestionably true. However, the issue of pacifism is very deeply embedded into Japanese politics right across the spectrum, despite Abes best efforts he can’t get past opposition even within the Liberal Party.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  In general, the people of any nation are never eager for war. By nature, they are pacifists.

                  It’s different when it comes to their leaders. And here, I believe, for any nation, things can change fairly quickly. A new party. Patriotism. State or state friendly media. And people, as some one was quoted, can be easily led to support war.

                  1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

                    But do they do they tho? I was under the impression that 98% of the poors dont want or care about War.

          2. Oh

            Yup! Japan’s reparations probably took the form of Japanese products rather than out and out money payments, like our aid to other countries which is always a giveaway to our corporations.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              Immediately after the war Japans reparations consisted almost entirely of privately owned Japanese property outside Japan – it was valued in todays money in the hundreds of billions of dollars worth and mostly went to China. The owners of the property were (theoretically) compensated by the Japanese government in the then mostly worthless yen.

              Under later agreements Japan gave cash to the South Korean government as compensation to the comfort women, which the South Koreans mostly used for investing in the economy, the actual victims got very little of it. This is one reason the Japanese are beginning to tire of South Koreas repeated raising of the issue.

      3. Wyoming

        Wow.. an apologist for Japanese war crimes. Unlike Germany, Japan has never accounted for its actions in any meaningful way. This is the primary cause of continuing conflict. Backbone is it? lol

          1. Wyoming

            Oh please. That is so far from an excuse to be ridiculous.

            Japan’s actions in Asia were, by any definition, horrendous. Beyond the pale. Easily on par with Nazi atrocities (the rape of Nanking for instance – if you want to be advising someone read their history that is one for you).

            Japanese attitudes and refusal to even acknowledge their actions in many cases are paramount here. The world is full of ugliness, but to take the Japanese in a dispute with the Koreans about their history is like listening to someone justify slavery in the US or the extermination of our natives.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              You stated

              Unlike Germany, Japan has never accounted for its actions in any meaningful way.

              I pointed out that this is simply historically untrue. You can argue they weren’t sincere, and that they didn’t do enough, but you can’t say they didn’t acknowledge and attempt compensation, because they did so, it was the South Korean Junta at the time that refused to allow direct compensation. This is a simple fact. Its nothing to do with justifying what the Japanese did, because nothing can justify that.

              As for the Rape of Nanjing, probably my closest friend has family from Nanjing so I’m very well aware of the horrors that happened there, I’ve read Iris Changs book and it gave me nightmares for a long time after.

      4. Plenue

        The Japanese have no sense of guilt to exploit. Their standard reactions to atrocities in ‘the Pacific War’ ranges from an uncomprehending Homer Simpson blink to outright denial.

    2. Moocao

      That deep seated hatred is inbred within all previously Japanese occupied people. Even someone who is 3 generations removed still feel this hate. Moon has no choice but to refuse arbitration, or else politically his tenure will be very short.

      Do not underestimate this hate, it may go on for another 3 generations. If Japan apologized, then they would have been treated like Germany. Instead, Japan acted as if nothing happened, and so it will remain what it is: a pariah in East Asia. If USA wasn’t in the way, Japan would have been doomed already.

      1. Darius

        Can you blame them? Japan has yet to live down its arrogance and brutality. Serves as a warning to us all.

        One example of the difference with Germany is a museum in Kyushu celebrating the kamikazes. Nothing to celebrate. At the end of the war they were pushing reluctant kids into those piloted bombs.

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          One still vividly recalls visiting Pearl Harbor in the 1980s as a child yet inherently understanding the gravity and seriousness of going to a war memorial where some people were still entombed in the sunken ships below.

          Only one group of people was talking and laughing and snapping pictures; everyone else was very put off by this. The group in question seemed either completely oblivious or indifferent; it hardly matters which it was.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I wonder if this is related to the Manga phenomenon, where real life is too much, and it is easier to deal with either, on one hand, cartoon violence, tragedies, or on the other, cartoon idealized worlds.

  5. dearieme

    Common Medications Can Masquerade As Dementia In Seniors

    The problems with polypharmacy in codgers seem to be real. But what to do? When I’ve raised with my GP the number of drugs I take I get a look which I suspect means (i) we expected you to die long ago so don’t push your luck, and (ii) you seem to be tolerating this bucketload of pills so I’m loth to change anything.

    And who’s to say she’s wrong?

    At least I have won my tussle with her colleague who wanted me to take statins. Not on your Nelly.

    A relevant book: Too Many Pills: How Too Much Medicine is Endangering Our Health and What We Can Do About It Paperback – 24 May 2018 by Dr James Le Fanu

    1. Off The Street

      Pharmacists can help people through reviews of all medications to identify interactions, side-effects and questions about dosages. They know more about the meds than doctors do, including impacts of those broad spectrum over the counter products.

      1. Off The Street

        btw, people can be sensitive to choline and experience sleeplessness. Seniors have enough trouble getting a good night’s sleep.

    2. BobW

      A local pharmacy has a very long history and a good reputation. The then current pharmacist looked at my mother’s many medications and interactions. He did a great job in rationalizing dosages and recommending which should be dropped. The difference was amazing. This was about twenty years ago, and to this day that pharmacy is my go-to choice. Fortunately, it is in-network for my Medicare Advantage plan. Right now I only have two medications, so not yet in the danger zone.

    3. Whoamolly

      I too get the “we expected you to die long ago “ look these days. Along with the “could you please hurry it up and quit inconveniencing me” look

  6. Krystyn Walentka

    RE: “Common Medications Can Masquerade As Dementia In Seniors”

    I feel bad for most people, seniors specifically because they blindly trust their doctors and assume they know everything. I cannot understand what idiot of a doctor would not even thing that Seroquel alone could cause cognitive impairment. And this is how the medication chain begins; Doctor says take this>side effect appears>Doctor says take this for this new unknown problem>new side effect appears>Doctor says….

    By the way, in that elderly woman, all her symptoms…

    The patient was taking Benadryl for seasonal allergies, another antihistamine for itching, Seroquel (an antipsychotic medication) for mood fluctuations, as well as medications for urinary incontinence and gastrointestinal upset.

    …point to high serotonin, which none of those medications addressed. If anyone cares for me to elaborate with the science I will. All she probably needed was high dose Riboflavin.

    1. Annieb

      they (seniors) “blindly trust their doctors.” Here’s one who doesn’t. I don’t take any medications unless absolutely necessary for a condition that cannot be ameliorated or reduced by nutrition/ exercise. I know some seniors don’t have that choice. But I have a doctor who goes along with me, and agrees with my choices ideally.

      Btw, some people get high blood pressure from drinking a glass of wine, or coffee. Did you know that what you eat in the few days before getting a blood test can raise your cholesterol and blood sugar? You all prob know that but some don’t and immediately go on a boatload of prescription meds. When my dad died I could not believe the number and variety of meds in his bathroom cabinet!

      No meds for me. Last time I took an antibiotic it was for a cat bite on my hand that swelled and went stiff within two hours of the bite, Emergency trip to urgent care!

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      Had a supervisor who had to go through this a few years ago. His mother was losing functionality from the daisy chain of meds her doctors were handing out like candy. And of course the doctors don’t like the pushback and get antagonistic. Apparently you’re nothing at all like like Walter White when the drugs are legal and your insurance will cover it.

    3. lordkoos

      As an allergy sufferer I occasionally took Benadryl, and also at times used it as a sleep aid. Now it’s classed with some other antihistamines as being a contributor to Altzheimers, so I’m off it for good. When it comes to drugs, we’re all guinea pigs in a gigantic experiment. The long-term effects of many drugs is unknown, and our modern FDA, being a tool of of big pharma, seems to approve them more quickly than ever.

      “New research has come to light clearly linking over the counter hay fever pills like Benadryl (as well as a couple of antidepressants and bladder meds) to an up to 60% increase in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s [1].”

      1. polecat

        CBD works pretty well for insomnia … as well as for topical use. I refuse to use much of any over the counter ‘meds’ pushed by the big pharmas. I even avoid Advil, Tylenol, and such, except on very rare occasions.

  7. Alex

    Thanks for the ICG report on the Donbass conflict. The reports they publish are in general pretty good, they have neither anti-Russian nor pro-Russian bias and have been monitoring all the conflicts on the periphery of Russia (Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria, etc) since early 90s

    1. Wyoming

      My first response was a verbal ‘What!’ And then I said to my self this is like one of those fake ratings one finds on Amazon trying to pump a mediocre product.

      In the subject article there are a host of biased assumptions and a clear anti-Russian interpretation of what has transpired in Ukraine. Anyone who has followed this issue and does not really have a dog in the fight could point them out. Not to mention that the author’s history of employment would lead one to be very suspicious of his intent before they even started reading.

      There is no point in re-arguing the Ukraine situation or its meaning here as that has been done endlessly, but this article was far from impartial and objective, or even very accurate.

  8. VK

    re: Antidote du jour
    maybe you shouldn’t eat that millipede, but else it should be harmless. Unlike to it’s more agressive and poisonous cousin scolopendra, which can get you into the emergency room, if you are sensitive to it’s poison and have put your fingers where you shouldn’t….

    1. gsinbe

      Those millipedes are pretty common around here. If you pick one up and smell your fingers, you’ll notice a nice, almond-extract smell – cyanide, though probably not enough to harm you.

  9. s.n.

    where there’s smoke….:: Dershowitz’s bizarre attack on the New Yorker in advance of a coming story.:
    J’accuse — The New Yorker Is Trying to Silence Me

    “…Remnick has arranged for a like-minded attack journalist named Connie Bruck to target me in a mendacious hit piece designed to still my voice on Israel, Netanyahu, and Trump….The New Yorker apparently got the idea of using false allegations of sexual misconduct to silence me from another like-minded web attacker of pro-Israel advocates named Phillip Weiss,…”

    1. Geo

      I really hope this whole Epstein thing flushes just about every person in his orbit down the drain. I won’t say I’m expecting that – this ain’t my make-believe utopia where the powerful actually are accountable for anything – but if there’s one thing that can do it, it’s a sensational sex scandal. It seems like the only thing left that can get a rich person to take a fall anymore.

    2. Whoamolly

      Read the Dershowitz article. Doesn’t come across as bizarre to me.

      He Sounds a lot like a person who is telling the truth.

      1. GF

        “He Sounds a lot like a person who is telling the truth.”
        Yes, that is the sign of a good lawyer.

  10. cnchal

    A headline not likely to be seen: “The Post Office goes nuts and imposes 300 -> 400% price increases, depending on what you ship”

    If one ships large lightweight packages, the Post Office has increased rates for relatively close customers by triple or quadruple, where it is now cheaper to ship the same item to Alaska than to your neighbor down the street, thanks to the biggest con in the shipping business, dimensional weight.

    Dimensional weight is where a 4 pound package is redefined as weighing 30 pounds, and charged for shipping 30 pounds.

    Here is a link to a conversation about the new USPS rates on Etsy.

    On page 4 is this example.

    Hi, I noticed earlier you mentioned that you changed your larger wreaths to a fixed price and are using in most instances retail ground. I also ship wreaths, in a 24x24x6 box with weights between 3-4 pounds and this DIM change has had an immediate impact on my sales, with several potential customers mentioning how high the shipping is. Have you been able to use the retail ground on zones 1-4 (without a hazardous material?) and how do you change to a fixed pricing? May I ask in which instances you found FedEx to be cheaper? Since this DIM rate, my sales have come to a halt. Any help you can offer is appreciated. I also did send an email to the etsy support email from USPS, as there hasn’t been any corrections to the post June 23rd rate calculations–so no change if there was a programming error.. Thanks!

    Hmmm. To all the people shipping light weight big boxes, particularly the wreath makers, there is room in your package for a bag of kitty litter or a decorative rock weighing 20 or so pounds that would ship at no additional charge.

    The Post Office has played the long con, and it seems to be on a similar level to Boeing’s MCAS disaster.

    Half a dozen years ago, for zone 4 or less, there was a choice to ship either ground or priority mail, with ground being a bit less. At that time, for zone 4 and less, ground and priority were combined, prices raised a little and ground was only for hazardous materials. Now “dim weight” applies to Priority Mail and simultaneously the option to ship by ground into zone 4 or less, is prohibited. The Post Office rigs it’s market and ends up hanging and dangling now ex customers.

    This is a guaranteed money loser for the Post Office as everyone that has seen a 300 to 400% rate increase either takes all that business to UPS, FraudEx, or closes shop.

    1. Oh

      Neo-liberals at work. The whole idea is to make the USPS a money loser so that they can sell it off to private corps. In the meantime this strategy diverts business to Fedex and UPS.

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        it’s not working! it’s inefficient! we should just let the private sector do it (and everything else we can get away with)

    2. ShamanicFallout

      I own a specialty food business and we ship fairly heavy, dense items (salts, etc.). One of my first memories in the business (20 years ago) was when I was talking to a freight broker and I was asking him about costs and why some things were so much more expensive to ship. He said think of it this way: ‘You are paying for space in a truck or trailer. It’s a density relationship and most commodities are rated on a standard classification on their respective densities. Salt and sugar and and bricks etc are very dense and compact. Feathers (and wreaths) are not. Their footprint as it were is much bigger. They take up a lot more space and truck or trailer or plane. Also, UPS has been charging on dim weights for a while now. Not sure about FedEx because we don’t really use them.

      1. cnchal

        > He said think of it this way: ‘You are paying for space in a truck or trailer.

        At the end of the day, when the broker gets together with the gang, Mr Piston, Mr Wristpin, Mr Connecting Rod and Mr Crankshaft for a beer, they can chortle about pulling the wool over the “dim” customer’s eyes.

        They claim they are getting paid to move space when what they are moving is weight. Payment to move 30 pounds when only 4 are moved means that someone is getting a 26 pound free ride paid for by the dim victim.

        I have looked at a lot of trailers when the doors open and there is always so much space occupied by nothing, that industry talking points are pure rubbish.

        What is particularly nasty with the Post Office is that they give Amazon and Walmart tongue baths at no margin and try to make up for it by screwing the general public and their own employees. It won’t take long until people figure out if you are mailing a package which isn’t going far, to avoid the Post Office, which is a shame because the front line employees deserve better management than this.

        1. ShamanicFallout

          This is not correct. For instance, say it costs $1,000 to move a trailer from point A to point B. Because your wreaths are big, lightweight and take up a lot of space, you can only fit 10 boxes of them. Each box then costs $100 to ship. If however, you are shipping ceramic tiles, because they are very dense and heavy, you can fit 100 boxes of them in the trailer. Each box here costs $10 to ship. You pay for space.

    3. Wukchumni

      When USPS came up with flat rate packages when we went to war after 9/11, it was a gimmee to the troops, as their loved ones & friends could send them a care package really cheap to a stateside APO, etc.

      It was a bit of a boom for anybody sending something really dense & heavy, like say a $1000 face value bag of 90% silver coins weighing around 60 pounds anywhere in the USA for just $10. (plus insurance coverage)

      I haven’t used USPS in 15 years for business, but utilized it extensively for many years prior, and every package I sent was insured or registered, and out of say 25,000 packages sent, I lost maybe 6 or 7 and only 1 registered, and was paid for my loss promptly. In my case, they did one heck of a job, pushing metal for me.

      I wonder how it would compare to the ‘new & improved’ USPS?

    1. Geo

      The fact that Biden’s poll numbers are going back up is truly disheartening. I don’t know what’s worse: that voters are potentially so clueless they like him just because he was Obama’s sidekick, or that they actually like his policies?

      Maybe Biden will challenge Bernie to a push-up competition to prove to voters who is most virile? Then he’ll challenge Warren to an arm-wrestling match and Harris to a staring contest… then he’ll take Beto’s lunch money and give Buttigieg a wedgie. That’s what voters want. They don’t want someone who is interested in making the system work for us, they want “a fighter” who will act out like a vapid reality TV personality sparring over whose the least evolved primate in the cage.

      1. JohnnyGL

        “he fact that Biden’s poll numbers are going back up is truly disheartening.” — His poll numbers aren’t going back up. Based on the above, his recent rise of 2 points, on average, from 26 to 28 is mostly about the changing mix of polls used in the calculation. You can’t look at the rolling average on a really short term basis and discern anything other than noise in the data.

        If you look at each of the polls, individually, and look at current-vs-prior, he’s still falling in most of them.

        Also, there’s more churn and volatility than usual in the polls, lately, especially in the state-by-state ones.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Keep in mind that these polls are based on the responses of people who are willing to answer the phone. And, show of hands, how many here screen their calls?

          I’m willing to guess that almost everyone does.

          So, picture this: Your phone is ringing, you have caller ID, and you don’t recognize the number. Are you going to answer and take that poll? I doubt it.

          Take these poll results with a grain of salt, people!

          1. lordkoos

            CNN’s poll following the first debate, which put Biden in the lead, was later revealed to have surveyed no one under the age of 39. I view all polls publicized by the corporate media with great suspicion.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The key is, I think, the first primary.

              I’d be interesting to see if Sanders gets more votes, the total number, not percentage, than he received 4 years prior.

              It will reveal how effectively the D party’s strategy of diverting his supporters is working out, and how the rest of the election will unfold.

              If voters are fickle, or if some of his votes were simply ‘he is not Hillary,’ then, they might not be there this time for Sanders.

    2. dcblogger

      no chance of that happening. Both Sanders and Warren will be at the Kiddies table on July 30. Clearly The Powers That Be hope they take each other out. Harris will have another clear shot at Biden.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Biden to Face Off Against Harris in Detroit Democratic Debate”

    How about we re-word that heading so that it is a bit more accurate?

    “Old, White, Male Corporatist to Face Off Against Young, Black Female Corporatist in Detroit Democratic Debate”

    Does that work better?

    1. Oh

      “Old, White, Male Corporatist to Face Off Against Young, Black Female Corporatist in Detroit Democratic Debate”
      Old, White, Male Corporatist to Face Off Against Young, Faux Black Female Corporatist in Detroit Democratic Debate
      There, fixed for ya!

      1. Dan


        8/8ths white multimillionaire
        1/8 black multimillionairess.

        Guess whose ancestors owned black slaves?

    1. Geo

      Amazing photos. Saw them years ago and a few times since but every time I see them it still sends a cold chill down my spine. The one time I was in MSG I thought of those photos and imagined what that must have been like – that it was right where I was standing only a short walk from my apartment at the time and not some far off place. Chilling.

      If you’ve never read Erich Fromm’s “The Anatomy if Human Destructiveness”, I highly recommend it. It was one of his last books and the culmination of his life’s work in trying to understand how a society he thought he knew could turn into one that he had to flee. How a society can so thoroughly and rapidly turn evil and what the underlying personal and social psychological factors that lead to it. Pulls inspiration from Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search For Meaning” (another essential read on Nazism) and really offers a fascinating, and in my opinion, and brilliant insight into how any one of us could find ourselves swept up in a movement of such destructive nature.

      He also offers in it my favorite simple definition of evil: “Evil is life turning against itself.”

      1. DorothyT

        Erich Fromm and Viktor Frankl: Yes.
        Also, Rick Wilson’s piece in Daily Beast begins with this:

        Hannah’s Arendt’s Origins of Totalitarianism has been on my mind recently, for obvious reasons, but Donald Trump’s shout-fest in Greenville, North Carolina, Wednesday night brought one passage back into sharp focus. Considering the intent of the Nazi regime as it consolidated power, Arendt wrote, “To know the ultimate aims of Hitler’s rule in Germany, it was much wiser to rely on his propaganda speeches and Mein Kampf than on the oratory of the Chancellor of the Third Reich.”

        I note that Greenville, NC, is present day home to Rev. William Barber’s church from which emanates the Poor People’s Campaign and, formerly, the NC Moral Mondays campaign. Rev. Barber is a voice for all – religious or not – who care about morality in our government’s actions. No coincidence that the rally was held there this week.

        1. Geo

          “it was much wiser to rely on his propaganda speeches and Mein Kampf than on the oratory of the Chancellor of the Third Reich.”

          With Trump it’s always hard to know what his true intentions may be but the type of adoring and riled up base he has is a strong enough force of devoted hostility to worry about what they’d be willing to do should he ask.

          Barber is a strong voice for compassion. Too bad there are so few like him. Hope he can help counter that Trump rally with one of his own to help calm the tide there a bit and let people know there are better ways to come together. As it’s going, it won’t be long before Trump starts placing a giant golden cross behind him on stage and claiming the thrown of a messianic prophet. With his crowd, his lack of scripture knowledge won’t matter, it’s just the craven brimstone and hellfire retribution of Revelations they crave.

          Will have to give “Origins of Totalitarianism” a read. Thanks!

    2. Antifa

      It’s a big mistake to think of fascists as racist, nativist, conservative, supremacist, or bigoted. They’re typically all the above, but that entirely misses the point.

      Fascists have granted themselves standing somewhere above the rest of us. They alone are the pure, true, real, deserving, the genuine human beings — and the rest of us aren’t. We’re somewhere below human.

      Fascism is an existential definition of an in-group, which necessarily finds itself fighting against the out-group hordes irrationally striving to dethrone the rightful rulers of this world. All of us who aren’t special may be called traitors, rats, vermin, insects, scum, filth and worse, and yet all of that misses the point as well. The point is that our non-humanity precludes our having any standing or role in how the world is run. That privilege is reserved for the high born, the heroes who stand against the barbarians.

      America’s history and heritage of indigenous genocide, of black enslavement, of Jim Crow, and of today’s GOP utterly denying the right of the other party to govern at all are all direct expressions of the core fascist idea — that only a few of us are fit to rule.

      That’s a problem, and it isn’t going away.

      1. Carolinian

        Fascists have granted themselves standing somewhere above the rest of us. They alone are the pure, true, real, deserving, the genuine human beings — and the rest of us aren’t. We’re somewhere below human.

        Your definition of fascism would apply to just about every ruling class throughout history. Fascism–a term that didn’t even exist until the 20th century–has a dictionary definition. Check it out.

        A moral theory of history guarantees that you, once the “fascists” are expelled, will be seeing those onetime overlords as morally unworthy, deserving of their low status and lack of power etc. Rinse and repeat.

        1. Wukchumni

          Prominently on display in the House of Congress are a couple of fasces behind the speaker’s podium, and from 1916 to 1945 there’s one on the reverse of the Mercury Dime.

        2. Antifa

          It is the mark of the C student to suggest that the dictionary has the last word, or can be the last word. Were this so, then Arendt, Umberti, Fromm , Stanley, Lewis need never have penned their many volumes exploring and explaining the phenomenon.

          You appear to grasp that fascism is inherent to human nature, so you can also grasp that before it is ever a political movement it is a weltanschauung, an inner revelation that some human beings are not as human as you are; they are creatures without your God-given rights.

          That existential difference exists only in the mind of a fascist, not in reality. Acting on that world view creates the political movement defined — but neither explored nor explained — in the dictionary.

          Stopping a fascist from acting out their ideology doesn’t make one a fascist. That would require a belief that fascists are sub-human. They’re not. They’re frightened and vicious people.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Why doesn’t Antifa try to solve Poverty as opposed to fighting identity politics with identity politics? Why are Antifa based in Urban Centers? Why dont they organize the rural poor?

            Antifa are a bunch of cowards who see trump supporters as sub human.

            1. todde

              Antifa are street brawlers who want to brawl.

              There are plenty of people who will give them what they want.

              they need to be more intimidating and learn how to actually fight, for it to actually work, but they’re trying.

              1. Lambert Strether

                > Antifa are street brawlers who want to brawl.

                Some of whom are cops. It seems to me that a lot of the antifa stuff is very particular to the Pacific Northwest area (which has a history, and a history I’m not well-versed in). Particular to the Pacific Northwest, but generalized and projected onto the whole country. I don’t think that works.

          2. Carolinian

            Arendt was writing about actual fascism, not trying to redefine a word. Of course language is flexible and you are free to call people anything you want. But it isn’t very enlightening.

            And here’s a tip: the world doesn’t really run on ideology. That’s just the excuse that is used for what they were going to do anyway. History didn’t start in the 1920s even if some like to pretend that’s the only time period that matters.

    3. WheresOurTeddy

      to those who say “it can’t happen here” – watch “A Night At The Garden” and you will be horrified to learn that it almost already did

      1. Plenue

        Except it didn’t almost happen. The German American Bund disintegrated not long after. Just because you can get a bunch of people in one place doesn’t mean you have real political power (that gathering was almost the entirety of the groups membership as well).

        1. Pookah Harvey

          Father Coughlin had similar ideas to the Bund (although he distanced himself from them) and in the 1930’s had 30 million weekly listeners to his radio program (in a total population of 120 million). So yes it can happen here.
          From wikipedia

          On December 18, 1938 thousands of Coughlin’s followers picketed the studios of station WMCA in New York City to protest the station’s refusal to carry the priest’s broadcasts. A number of protesters yelled anti-semitic statements, such as “Send Jews back where they came from in leaky boats!” and “Wait until Hitler comes over here!” The protests continued for several months.[48] Historian Donald Warren, using information from the FBI and German government archives, has documented that Coughlin received indirect funding from Nazi Germany during this period.

              1. Plenue

                My point isn’t that ‘it can’t happen here’; it can happen anywhere given the right circumstances. I’m saying I see no evidence that there was any large scale, politically viable American fascist movement leading up to WW2. If FDR hadn’t come along the country would have certainly gone to one extreme or other. But the New Deal sucked energy out of more extreme movements.

                1. todde

                  would need a major military loss as the catalyst IMO.

                  and there was a decade of street fighting between the right wing militias and communists that led to the Nazis. Now that is divisive, we’re calling each other names.

                  and the people willing to commit violence are few, disorganized and lack a sense of solidarity.

                  You will see an uptick in lone wolves and small cell violence,I think.

                2. dearieme

                  How would you class FDR’s treatment of the Japanese? Lock ’em up and steal their property sounds pretty fascist.

                  1. Plenue

                    Oh, spare me. Fascist would have been working them to death as slave labor.

                    It was wrong and shouldn’t have been done, but it was based on genuine, if ultimately incorrect, concerns.

                    There is no equivalency between Japanese-American internment and Nazi concentration camps.

                3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

                  No i agree with you. Sorry my attempt at Irony and quoting Big Lebowski failed lol.

                4. Lambert Strether

                  > My point isn’t that ‘it can’t happen here’; it can happen anywhere given the right circumstances. I’m saying I see no evidence that there was any large scale, politically viable American fascist movement leading up to WW2. If FDR hadn’t come along the country would have certainly gone to one extreme or other. But the New Deal sucked energy out of more extreme movements.

                  Thank you for this comment. I agree. Fast forwarding to the present: I think way too many people are confusing signaling — Look! Fascist insignia! Jutting chins! — with material reality (swivel-eyed militias who split like protestant sects and are half FBI anyhow). Of course, that’s what a professional class of symbol manipulators would do; it’s a déformation professionnelle. The “extreme movements” on the right are bad, for sure. But on the scale of the Nazi Party? No. Of course, liberal Democrats seem hell bent on giving them all the ammo they need to grow into a truly militant tendency, starting with falling life expectancy in flyover. So, optimism!

                  NOTE If you want to see real fascism in action, we [family bloggging] invented it right here in the good ol’ USA: Look at the what the slaveowners did to recapture class power after the Civil War: night riders, “Redemption,” the “Lost Cause,” Jim Crow, and all the rest of it. Yes, the supreme leader never evolved, so that’s a missing piece, but that happened because the Confederacy was decapitated. I’d argue that nostalgia for Confederate leaders like Lee — the statues! — occupied that mental space.

                  1. Heraclitus

                    My view of Reconstruction is that the Republicans were intent on Grant’s election in 1868, and on his re-election in 1872, so they employed proxy forces like the Union League, black regiments organized and armed by the state, and later Federal troops to ensure those results through intimidation. The Ku Klux Klan rose to resist them.

                    Eventually, in my county, twenty percent of the white population fled overnight, mostly for Texas. Grant suspended habeas corpus and four hundred local men were imprisoned in upstate New York without trial.

                    The Feds really pressed the voting issue in the lead up to the election of 1872, and that’s why most of the Klan related violence was in years immediately prior to it. The Klan killed eleven people in our county during all of Reconstruction. The black regiments killed one twelve year old boy, but burned a lot of houses. Eventually they were disbanded by the governor at the request of their officers, and replaced by federal troops.

                    The Klan dissolved shortly after the election of ’72 for the same reason the black regiments were dissolved; the higher ups could not control the foot soldiers. They were replaced with other white supremacist groups, ‘rifle clubs’, et al, who had occasional fights with black rifle clubs (note the Hamburg Massacre). But it is unfair to characterize the period before the turn of the century as all white supremacists trying to take over the government. In many places in our state, this was the time of ‘fusion’ governments. The mostly black Republicans and mostly white Democrats got together and divided the offices between them. There was little voting, however. Georgetown County had a black postmaster, a much more important job then, until 1903.

                    Much of this is documented in the archives of ‘The Yorkville Enquirer’, ‘Ku Klux Conspiracy’ the record of Congressional hearings from 1871, and the diaries of the Reconstruction Governor in SC state archives. Also see the circa 1970 book published by the Georgetown County Historical Society.


                    1. Plenue

                      ‘KKK as defensive action’ is…cute. Not in a good way.

                      Also your link doesn’t seem to support what you’re claiming:

                      “In the years following the war’s end, York County became ground zero in an undeclared war of racial terror on African Americans. In 1871, the members of the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan were deemed responsible for having committed at least ten murders and approximately 600 assaults on Black residents, provoking President Ulysses S. Grant to place Yorkville under martial law.”

                      So KKK started the murders, and martial law was a response.

                  2. ObjectiveFunction

                    Great comment in your note, Lambert, re fascism in the postwar South!

                    The “What Is Trump?” New Left essay previously linked to on NC patiently and comprehensively explains that the Donald is far more feudal than fascist.

                    their analogies are rarely placed in a properly comparative and historical perspective. Instead they treat the past as a storehouse of disconnected examples to be pulled out for weaving morality tales or constructing yardsticks against which they measure the contemporary moment.

                    The political logic of pinning the ‘fascist’ label on Trump is plain enough. It means uniting behind the programme of the present Democratic leadership—Pelosi, Schumer, the Clintons, the Obamas and other superintendents of the oligarchic order; the very project that gave Trump the White House in 2016.

  12. a different chris

    Here’s an example of how ridiculous American (F Yeah!) is:

    “Yesterday I saw on TV that there was another death of a child being left in a vehicle in Richmond, Va. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen here,” said Wendell Hissrich, Pittsburgh Public Safety director. “Same with animals being left in vehicles. We will aggressively prosecute.”

    Person does something stupid that will haunt them for life, as a child – probably theirs- died due to being distracted by a society whose whole goal is to distract you, but no that’s not enough! We are going to really punish them. Hopefully they can clog up our jails even more.

  13. JohnnyGL

    Was wandering through Matt Stoller’s twitter feed this morning.

    What’s with the obsession among a sub-set of liberals with frantically searching for, and claiming to find, anti-Semitic dog whistles in speeches by Republicans?

    This kind of reminds me of Russia-gate where we run into a situation where the evidence isn’t there, but this particular strain of liberals swears that it must be there, so they get a microscope and claim that they’ve found it and the rest of us are too ignorant to see/understand it.

    If people are going to insist terms like “globalist” and “cosmopolitan” are dog-whistles for anti-Semitism, then I don’t know how we can have an honest discourse.

    Before you reach for the knee-jerk, “No one who thinks this actually matters. It’s just a weird little group of people on twitter (because that was my knee-jerk reaction).” Here’s Paul Krugman swearing he’s found a dog-whistle in ‘cosmopolitan’.

    1. flora

      What’ with the obsession among a sub-set of liberals….

      Anything to avoid talking about the real economy and economic class, imo. (whispers russiarussiarussia. )

      1. flora

        adding re Krugman, et al.: They apparently still don’t see how NAFTA has decimated US manufacturing jobs along the Ohio and Mississippi and Great Lakes centers. They still cannot believe Hill’s loss was due (imo) to economic reasons she refused to address – ‘America is already great’, pro TPP aka Nafta on Steroids , pro TPIP, etc.

        It’s more comfortable to spend time nitpicking words than to admit the free trade deals have hollowed out US manufacturing and manufacturing jobs (the Main Street economy), and that a big part of the country still hasn’t recovered from the great resession, imo.

    2. Plenue

      I’ve encountered this type of claim before. There are people who think ‘Hollywood values’ is just code for ‘Jews’. I grew up around people who often complain about Hollywood. It isn’t anti-semitism; they are genuinely upset by violence/sex/’bad language’ in movies and TV. Sad, childish people unable to deal with the real world, perhaps. But not Jew haters.

    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Been seeing rumblings from the bowels of liberal reddit about the ‘Ok’ hand gesture as a Nazi symbol.

      1. Plenue

        I maintain that over the last couple years liberals have shown themselves as dumb and easily manipulated as any of the Republican ‘low information voters’ they love to insult.

    4. Lambert Strether

      > If people are going to insist terms like “globalist” and “cosmopolitan” are dog-whistles for anti-Semitism, then I don’t know how we can have an honest discourse.

      What makes you think that honest discourse is the goal? The goal is to rule out any discussion of the effects of transnational capital.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Trump says U.S. Navy ship ‘destroyed’ Iranian drone”

    I don’t know if those marines actually brought down a drone or not but they certainly missed out on an opportunity if they had. When Iran shot down that US drone that was over their country, they were able to send boats out to collect the debris and put it on display. The fact that they could do so shows that the US drone must have fallen in Iranian territorial waters.
    If the USS Boxer did bring down a drone within a kilometer of their ship, then why did they not lower a boat to collect up pieces of that crashed drone or even sent off a helicopter to do the same so that they could put them on display to the world in the same way that the Iranians did with the US done? Or is this whole thing a face-saving exercise for the US loss of their drone?

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Rebels without a cause”

    From my own reading, this seems to be a fairly accusrate report of the situation in eastern Ukraine. Only one or two minor quibbles. Russia did have an ace with dealing with the two Republics in that the supply lines came from Russia as did training and technical expertise. It was the Novorussians that did the fighting but it was Russian training, supplies and doctrine that turned two ragged militias into actual military forces. They have done well in holding off a NATO trained force.
    The author is correct when he says that ‘at a minimum a peace settlement will require autonomy for Donbass, an amnesty, and a change in various Ukrainian policies such as those connected with language’ but that last point is very important and just not for the Donbass. Using the same laws that discriminate against the Donbass on their local laws and culture, the Ukrainians are also going after the Hungarian and Polish populations in the country’s west as well. Relations have deteriorated sharply with Hungary recently due to the Ukraine’s treatment of that Hungarian population in that country-

  16. Wukchumni

    Gluten Free Antarctica Idle Words
    What a fun romp that was, The essence of a cabal of fellow travelers in regards to tucker…

    …just when I thought I was out of the woods and would never have to endure another cruise, my mom told me yesterday that she’d like to go on one for her 95th birthday, so once again i’ll be captive on a floating mall. Maybe i’ll graffiti on a Thomas Kinkade limited edition lithograph ‘up for auction’ when nobody is looking, which would be almost all the time

  17. flora

    Good for Elizabeth Warren taking on the current financial rules letting PE loot Main Street companies. This is her area of expertise – bankruptcy and Wall St. finance.

  18. rd

    The NIMBYs are a big issue – that is why Texas is the nation’s leader in renewable wind power energy:

    The Northeast states burble about it but as soon as it is proposed somewhere, the lawsuits start. so it gets put in places like upstate NY where you still need long transmission lines through forests to get it to major centers. Offshore windpower could bring undersea cables directly into Boston, NYC etc. who are the main power consumers.

    1. Synoia

      upstate NY where you still need long transmission lines through forests to get it to major centers

      Just like the existing lines from Quebec, bringing Hydro Power to NY.

  19. rd

    MERS and housing crisis foreclosures in Florida are back in the news!

    Woman getting slammed for $100k fines for overgrown grass and unmaintained pool at house she got foreclosed on. Apparently, she is still the legal owner of the property according to county records even though the bank foreclosure was completed. The municipality is trying to have a lien on her instead of the property though. Basically, trying to do a tax/fine foreclosure on a person instead of a property that is now owned by somebody else even though the official records show it is still owned by her. Judge Rakoff would have come out with both six-guns blazing if he was in Florida instead of NY.

    It looks like there are so many systemic issues here, even the Supremes’ heads might explode. John Paul Stevens would have had a field day with this one. It will be interesting to see how Clarence Thomas spins “the original framers believed the government and big business can do anything they want in the name of freedom” on this one.

    1. a different chris

      Jesus. And look at the crap way these crooks and bullies work. The main subject of the story, somebody whose house is now in possession of the mortgage company, is treated this way:

      >The city argued that Allen should pay, even as it acknowledged that her mortgage lender had taken control of the house.

      I have no doubt said lender has a raft of white-shoe lawyers in its Rolodex as well as contacts in City Hall. Because of this:

      >City officials, who described the homeowner as a chronic violator, also sought to foreclose on his house.

      In one case they won’t simply foreclose, in the other they will. And we all know what the difference is. It’s funny that while we were complaining that “they treat corporations like people” they actually now treat corporations above people.

    1. Geo

      For a more comedic, yet very sincere, look at the American Exceptionalism, here’s a good read from a few weeks ago:
      A Brief History of Clumsy American Patriotism
      (Crass and NSFW language)

      “It would take a real idiot to try to deconstruct 40 years of American spirit using only ten-ish examples from pop culture. But I’m so goddamn American that I lack the self-awareness to know when I’m talking about me, and that’s the first thing you need to know: We’re incoherent, contradictory, and frustrating, and we have been this way ever since a guy who owned 600 people helped start the country by writing ‘all Men are created equal.’”

  20. Wukchumni

    You’d never think the F-35 was a pile of merde, by watching this trailer of a fake Baby Boomer pilot role playing, with very generous assistance from the MIC.

    Preliminary production on the film officially started on May 30, 2018, in San Diego, California. During late August a 15-person film crew from Paramount and Bruckheimer Films were aboard the Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to shoot flight deck operations. In mid-February 2019, Cruise and the production crew were sighted on board USS Theodore Roosevelt at NAS North Island. In March, filming was completed at NAS Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Washington.

    1. Carolinian

      Hey Jennifer Connelly’s in it. Lighten up. Perhaps she won’t tower over that midget Cruise the way Kelly McGillis did.

      I like Tom Cruise though and while this and the first Top Gun may be military apple polishers, he did one for our side in the film American Made about Contra drug smuggling out of Arkansas. He is apparently a very proficient real life pilot.

      1. Wukchumni

        The USN was in the lobby of the movie theater I saw the first TG in 1986, looking for porthole fodder…

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Saw Top Gun on an 80 inch 3d TV at the USO FOB Shindand in Afghanistan.


          Tom Cruise is one of my favorite actors – Magnolia, Tropic Thunder, Edge of Tomm – and Top Gun is a masterpiece.


          1. RMO

            I thought Top Gun was one of the most wretched movies I had ever seen… and that was before I found out Art Scholl lost his life in the process of filming it.

            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              Yeah i saw it during my formative teen years when i thought i was invincible and didnt know it was CIA propaganda.

      2. Oregoncharles

        Cruise was great in “Magnolia,” where he got to overact to his heart’s content, and the dead spot at the center of the movie in “Eyes Wide Shut” – which wasn’t even erotic. Poor casting, in the latter.

        Jennifer Connelly is definitely a recommendation, but I don’t think I want to see that one.

        “Waking the Dead” was mind-blowing, though, and very political. The car bombing that motivates the plot was real; only the names have been changed. (It’s right at the beginning, so no spoilers. Stay to the end; heart-breaking.)

    2. Geo

      Hahaha! That was amazing. Thank you! Needed a good laugh. Maybe they’ll go with a John Henry “man vs. machine” narrative where Tom goes head-to-head against a drone to prove a man can still bomb more weddings and funerals in a day than a machine can?

      Disappointing Cruise would go from the CIA asset drug and weapons smuggler film “American Made” back to a MIC war-porn infomercial gig. Not that he’s ever been known for integrity…

      1. Plenue

        ‘Human pilot vs drone’ is a retread of the plots of both Macross Plus and the recent Ace Combat 7 as well.

  21. Dan

    US preparing to send hundreds of troops to Saudi Arabia amid Iran tensions CNN

    Please Mister President, send the troops in and talk over their failed government.

    If William Walker, one American, could take over Central America, just think what a couple hundred Marines could do in KSA.

    “It’s to protect the girls…”

    R2P, “Right to Petroleum…”

    1. Dalepues

      Interesting that you should mention William Walker, the filibustero who attempted to take over Nicaragua. Walker, from Nashville, Tennessee, was executed by firing squad in 1860 in Trujillo, Honduras by the British. Someone tends his grave still. Trujillo has a rich history: Christopher Columbus landed there on his fourth voyage to the Americas, and O. Henry wrote Cabbages and Kings there while on the lam for embezzlement in Texas.

  22. WheresOurTeddy

    The Daily Beast: Hit piece headline, no ammo in the gun though:

    Tulsi Gabbard Raised Negative $20 for Her House Campaign

    “…campaign finance laws allow her to transfer money from her presidential campaign to her House campaign should the former come to an end, provided that no individual donor exceeds federal donation limits in the course of that transfer. ”

    The Blob used to be so much better at smearing the non-compliant. They’ve really fallen off.

  23. Louis Fyne

    Trump rallies are fascist, Obama rallies are cultish. Meh, ca plus change

    Democrats are going to win by calling trump/his voters names

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We are a better nation or a better people than that.

      When anyone says, send a person back, it’s implied that there is another country to send to. Likely the country of another citizenship (the first or second).

      This gets to something recently (and we should be better than that as well) – dual citizenship.

      It should be enough that you are an American.

  24. Wukchumni

    Mister Fahrenheit is gonna bake the 72 degree people within his realm who know nothing but air conditioning as a way to beat the heat…

    More than 13,000 customers are without electricity in Madison, Wisconsin, during a dangerous heat wave, after a fire at a downtown substation, a utility spokesman says.

    The fire was out Friday morning, said Madison Gas and Electric spokesman Steve Schultz. But the utility does not yet have an “estimated time of restoration.”

    The outage affects residents from the west side of downtown’s Capitol Square to areas around the Yahara River, he said.

  25. Anon

    RE: Black & Yellow bug

    Millipede – Apheloria virginiensis
    Size: Body 1-3/4in.
    Habitat:Eastern Woodlands/Yard at edge of woods/Flower patch

    Not poisonous. Pretty low in the food web; a decomposer.

  26. ewmayer

    “Google Glass May Have an Afterlife As a Device To Teach Autistic Children | New York Times” — Well, it seems to have been invented by a bunch of high-functioning autistic children, so that seems fitting.

    Less snarkily, I always thought GG might make a great *niche* product for specialized fields, such as for surgeons, pilots, hero-warriors of the Empire of Democracy, anyone who has a legitimate need for a compact heads-up display. It was the whole everyone-will-be-wearing-this-within-a-few-years stupid hype – much like that we saw a few years ago with crypto/blockchain and we’re seeing now with Level 5 autonomous cars – that was intensely annoying.

  27. ewmayer

    “Federal Law Says ‘Go Back To Where You Came From’ Counts As Discrimination Huffington Post” — I dunno, this sounds a bit like trying to criminalize boorishness. Let’s consider the EEOC verbiage cited by HuffPo:

    “Ethnic slurs and other verbal or physical conduct because of nationality are illegal if they are severe or pervasive and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, interfere with work performance, or negatively affect job opportunities.”

    One nasty tweet, “severe or pervasive” … hmm. Also, Trump is not the Gang of 4’s boss. If anything, Pelosi and her enforcers’ various intimidation tactics, e.g. the AIPAC-bullying of Omar, would seem much closer to fitting the above description. Oh, but hey, that was bullying by Team Blue, so it’s OK!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s a good point, about EEOC, and what we have here is not a violation of that, but insentive/offensive statements.

      And from Pookah Harvey’s quote above:

      On December 18, 1938 thousands of Coughlin’s followers picketed the studios of station WMCA in New York City to protest the station’s refusal to carry the priest’s broadcasts. A number of protesters yelled anti-semitic statements, such as “Send Jews back where they came from in leaky boats!” and “Wait until Hitler comes over here!” The protests continued for several months.[48] Historian Donald Warren, using information from the FBI and German government archives, has documented that Coughlin received indirect funding from Nazi Germany during this period.

      Those leaking boats…

      More than one ethnic or religious group reacted to Omar’s dual citizenship comment similarly alarmed, wishing it could be replaced with something else.

      A person’s act is on that individual, and not the country origin, presumably.

    2. marym

      “Go back to where you came from” has long history in the US and should be seen as danger warning when voiced by the president even if he’s not “their boss.”

      Trump continues to accuse Omar and the others of anti-Semitism and “spewing racist hatred” in additional tweets and public statements.

      There has been criticism by Democrats of Pelosi’s treatment of Omar on the AIPAC issue, and of the 4 progressives in general .

      The position of the Trump and his advisors on illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, naturalized citizens, and birthright citizens should be a factor in considering how seriously to take his tweets.

      The chant at the rally was “Send her back” directed to Trump, not “Go back” directed to Omar. The chanters were demanding the use of the power of the state to deport a citizen.

  28. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    David Sirota

    Today’s reminder that @BernieSanders is seen as the single biggest and most serious threat to Wall Street’s power over millions of Americans’ lives


    As strategies go, this is only at best the second most effective (“Look at my enemy list.”)

    The extreme argument against it would be something like, “Look, the rich landowners hate him, that guy Pol Pot.”

    You can always find some bad guys, Shah, Pinochet, Stalin, et al, and then find some equally, similarly equally, or even worse people who hate them.

    So, as a reasoning tool, it’s not always reliable.

    More effective would be to discard this particular distraction, and focus on policy ideas.

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