Links 7/25/19

Dogs Save Owner Trapped In Knee-High Mud Near Potomac River Patch

Video: 9-year-old girl tossed violently in the air by charging bison ABC

Is Motion Smoothing Ruining Cinema? Vulture

How A ‘Perfect Storm’ Cut Off Water To This Colorado Town NPR (David L)

Climate scientists drive stake through heart of skeptics’ argument NBC

Climate crisis blamed as temperature records broken in three nations Guardian (Bob K)

The Fight for Mauna Kea Is a Fight Against Colonial Science Nation

Indian scientists use mango leaf to prevent ships from rusting Quartz


U.S. Warship Sails Through Taiwan Strait Ahead of Trade Talks Bloomberg

Revealed: US Hospital Reached $6 Million Settlement Over Neil Armstrong’s Death Sputnik (Kevin W)

Satellite images reveal scale of Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis Guardian (furzy)

Three big tasks for Abe: Women, trade, military Asia Times (Kevin W)


‘No ifs or buts’ — Johnson vows to leave EU in 99 days Financial Times

Boris Johnson’s first speech as Prime Minister: 24 July 2019

Boris Johnson takes his revenge and sacks over half the cabinet and A cabinet purged: ‘I hope Boris has thought this through properly’ Guardian

Johnson’s time as prime minister starts with a nationalist slur against his critics Politico (guurst)

UK Buckles Up for Ride with Unpredictable New PM Consortium News (UserFriendly)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Would You Give Up Your Privacy For $5000 Worth Of Amazon Crap? Gizmodo (Kevin W)

Apple Watch must not become Big Brother Financial Times (David L)

You’re very easy to track down, even when your data has been anonymized MIT Technology Review

Have you spoken at a Chicago Police Board meeting? The police know more about you than you realize. Chicago Tribune (EM)

Imperial Collapse Watch

MILFaceApp allows civilians to see how they would look had they served – Duffle Blog

Trump Transition

ACLU sues U.S. border agencies over targeting of activists, lawyers at border NBC (furzy)

Trump vetoes resolutions attempting to block Saudi arms sales The Hill

Trump speaks before presidential seal doctored with symbols of Russia and golf Guardian

Cesar Sayoc was radicalized by Trump and Fox News, his lawyers claim ThinkProgress (furzy)

Mueller Defends Investigation as ‘Thorough and Fair’ in House Testimony Wall Street Journal

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Governor’s Resignation Shakes Bankrupt Commonwealth Bloomberg

L’affaire Epstein

Deutsche Bank reportedly flagged Epstein’s suspicious transactions to US financial watchdogs Businss Insider (Kevin W)

Pledging Zero Carbon Emissions by 2030 or 2050: Does it Matter? Econospeak

The New York Fed Has a Black Swan Hunter Bloomberg (Bill B)

Facebook Posts Strong Earnings, Revenue Growth Wall Street Journal

Disgraced Equifax CEO Snags $20 Million Payday Safe Haven

Probe looms in Microsoft case: Tech giant ‘paid Thai officials’ to win deals Bangkok Post (furzy)

Amazon ‘Destroyed the Retail Industry Across the US’ Says Treasury Secretary Mnuchin The Verge

Facebook Revenue Beats Estimates; Discloses Antitrust Probe Reuters

Tesla’s whole plan for making money may have just gotten blown sky-high Business Insider (Kevin W)

I Got it, Nothing Matters. Tesla, Boeing, Other Stocks: It’s Like the Whole Market Has Gone Nuts Wolf Richter

This London Firm Helps the Wealthy Hide Assets – or Steal Them. Luckily We Have 15 Years of Their Client Communications. CounterPunch (Robert H)

Big Pro-Nuclear Victory in US Gives Momentum To Global Nuclear Expansion Forbes

Opioid makers say there’s no proof they are responsible for the epidemic’s harms Washington Post. They would say that, now wouldn’t they?

Class Warfare

Compelling evidence presented at #NBERSI today by Attila Lindner & others shows how German national minimum wage raised wages, had no real employment effect overall Arindrajit Dube

Antidote du jour (furzy):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Anonymous2


    I commented yesterday on the inexperienced, lightweight nature of the new UK cabinet. It is also, I think on further examination, the most right-wing the country has had in 80 years.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg’s appointment as Leader of the Commons suggests Johnson may well go down the route of seeking to ride roughshod over the House of Commons.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      My first thought was that it could be called the Dunning Kruger cabinet. Only the loss of Failing Grayling visibly strengthens it.

      And as you say, its packed full of high profile politicians who have never actually run anything significant.

      JRM’s appointment certainly stands out. I had a quick look at former Leaders of the House of Commons and its quite a list of genuine heavyweights with a strong emphasis (for the most part) on politicians respected across the spectrum. And then there is Rees-Mogg. That is a very strange appointment, I struggle to see what the purpose it is of having such a divisive individual in a role like that.

      1. Paul O

        If he is heavyweight on anything it is procedure. I can imagine some lively behind the scenes debates with the Speaker!

        I think many may see it as an inspired appointment. I would not use that adjective myself.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I assumed the point of giving Leadsome a job was to make everyone else look sane.

    2. vlade

      I’d say if he controlled the Speaker, the UK “dictatatoriship” part of the “elective dictatorship” I mentioned in my comments before would be prominent.

      As is, things will continue being broken. I wrote before that these are revolutionary times, but only a few Tories seems to have noticed and take the steps that tend to do well in revolutions (ignore old rules being no. 1). A lof ot other Tories, and most of Labour seems to assume that things will work as before, just wait..

      No. The mechanics of politcs will never be the same in the UK. I have no clue as what the new ones will, but I’m pretty damn certain it will be different, and that most likely it will involve Erskine becoming a paperweight and of interest mostly to scholars of history.

      1. Redlife2017

        I couldn’t agree more. These are the very times when the old models break down. The veil is lifted, the scales fall from our eyes. What horrors do we have in store from our subconscious? Because that is what you are left with to lean on when the birth of the new begins…the monsters…

        “The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters.” Antonio Gramsci

        And if I may, a longish quote from Carl Jung’s essay on Wotan (the German god of storm and frenzy) which he wrote in 1934 after the Nazis took power:

        We are always convinced that the modern world is a reasonable world, basing our opinion on economic, political, and psychological factors. […] In fact, I venture the heretical suggestion that the unfathomable depths of Wotan’s character explain more of National Socialism than all three reasonable factors put together. There is no doubt that each of these factors explains an important aspect of what is going on in Germany, but Wotan explains yet more. He is particularly enlightening in regard to a general phenomenon, which is so strange to anybody not a German that it remains incomprehensible, even after the deepest reflection.

        I note this because it is not Wotan who’s to blame here (we’re not Germans) nor that we’re going to have a murderous fascist dictatorship (BoJo is no where near that). But its that similar part of the British psyche is now poking its head above the parapet. Who is in the Shadow? We’re about to find out.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          You have reminded me of a certain painting from the symbolist artist Franz von Stuck which was completed the year Hitler was born. It features Wotan & is called ” The wild Chase ” & i do suppose that the likeness is purely coincidental.

          As for Boris who has presumably reached his goal, i wonder how he will deal with the power, whether we will see his real self or a variant on his normal persona in a situation where he will have to deal with issues, that might reveal that he has reached the level of his own incompetence – all very horribly interesting.

          1. vlade

            My suspiction is that he will try to emualate his hero Churchill (or as he sees to “emulate”), and push forward against all naysayers, and defeatists.

            Unfortunately, I doubt he really knows what it is Churchill did for the UK in WW2, as opposed to the myth of what he did.

            1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

              Agreed – perhaps trying to maintain his lovable rogue public face while letting his henchmen do the dirty work & from what I can tell, he has the right bunch for that job.

        2. mpalomar

          “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” -Machiavelli

          Nothing to worry about these guys aren’t Nazis, they’re nihilists; hasn’t that been the case at least since Maggie T’s, ‘there is no society, just individuals’ epiphany?

          “Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter?
          Walter Sobchak: No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

            1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

              This dude will abide….I hope.


              I’m sure that Boris has read the pamphlet, but I don’t know whether he visited it’s birthplace as did Tony Blair.

      2. David

        Yup, we need to keep saying this loudly and at every opportunity. I find the current level of unreality quite frightening.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          It really is an extraordinary situation. There are at least half a dozen individuals in that cabinet who you strongly suspect are not democrats by inclination and are radicals by nature and ideology. That’s not a big problem in normal times, but these are not normal times.

        2. paintedjaguar

          Don’t be silly. Neolib policy/ideology and the resultant shift toward the right have been in place for going on half a century now. Trump, Brexit, etc are just the latest product of Clintonism/Reaganism/Thatcherism. It IS the new normal.

    3. Judith

      James Meek on JRM:

      “But the true winners in a Johnson victory are the insurgents who have worked inside and outside Parliament to make their version of the ideas propelling the Brexit cause into a ruling ethos for the nation. The new prime minister will live in a nice house in the middle of London, but it won’t be his house. Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Arron Banks bought it for him. They own 10 Downing Street, and they own him.”

    4. David

      As with most things, I suspect that it’s All About Boris. He must be genuinely worried about having people more competent than him in the Cabinet, in case they start getting ideas. By contrast, a group of hopeless idiots who owe their jobs to him and can be knifed at any time makes his position more secure. What was that about the national interest again ?

      1. Redlife2017

        Although Javid is weirdly competent. In the sense that he will go along to get along to get to the table. He was an investment banker in structured EM products at Deutsche Bank. And on their board from 2007 to 2009. I’d love to know how much of the crap from his structured desk blew up. And what decisions he happily signed-off on at the board. He was 37 when he got on that board. He is the ultimate assassin and ass-kisser rolled into one.

    5. bwilli123

      from twitter

      Boris Johnson will have MPs in his cabinet who:

      – did backdoor deals with Israel as a cabinet minister
      – want the death penalty
      – threatened Ireland with food shortages over Brexit
      – oppose gay marriage
      – lobby for the tobacco & alcohol industry

      …and that’s just Priti Patel.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        It seems Johnsons government will mirror Trumps in that there is almost nothing you can say and do that will disqualify you from office if you are useful to the leader.

        Even by Tory right wing standards, she is a thoroughly nasty piece of work.

        1. Tom

          That’s been true for a while. Cameron biffed a pig and his family laundered money through Panema–it didn’t disqualify. At this point only pedophilia would do it.

    6. Summer

      They are liars too…
      I laughed when one wss talking about all the “social spending” they plan to do.
      They’ll put the thousands of extra cops on the street as promised.

  2. russell1200

    That is a very cool Antidote picture.

    “Would You Give Up Your Privacy For $5000 Worth Of Amazon Crap?”

    LOL – if it was in books, I probably go for it. How much privacy do I have now anyway?

    1. Savedbyirony

      That is a striking antidote picture. I am going to use it for a scene saver for awhile. Now, the picture for the two heroic dogs; common media, give the dogs a better snap than that!

      1. Wukchumni

        One of the cabin owners in our community has a battery powered game cam, and another one had a friend who has an abominable snowman outfit, and rode his snowmobile up one day in February and walked like we’ve all seen them do on film in front of said camera.

        It took about 3 more months to take, as the cabin owner didn’t show up until May, which is about par for the course in opening your cabin for the summer, and what a shock he got, as it looked pretty realistic, I must say.

  3. John

    Careful what you wish for; Amazon has lots of really crappy books … and lots of good ones too.

    1. Keith Howard

      I can’t add any information about today’s antidote picture, but a very experienced hunting/photography guide once told me that if you want to see mountain lions, the best plan is to take good binocs, climb up to a very high, inaccessible crag, and spy around at other such places. That’s where the lions lurk, watching for game in locations where conditions/wind/etc. make a successful approach more likely.

      1. Wukchumni

        A friend worked on trail crew in Sequoia NP for 21 years before seeing his first mountain lion.

        That’s 5 months a year of living & working in the back of beyond, or close to a decade w/o ever having a glimpse.

        Your best shot really, is a chance encounter when driving on the road.

        1. Wukchumni

          And on the flipside, a friend whose hobby is hunting down Giant Sequoias of size, had the perfect minute long encounter on the Paradise trail which winds through the Atwell grove on his first visit to Mineral King, lucky bastard.

          The mountain lion was just laying on the trail about 100 feet in front of him, and luckily he was able to shoot it before fleeing the scene on foot in a looking back often manner for awhile. Got around a dozen photos.

          1. HotFlash

            My dear Wuk, re “luckily he was able to shoot it before fleeing the scene on foot”, I sincerely hope that was with a camera?

            1. Wukchumni

              I heard there was a double entendre buck in the vicinity, as well.

              And I forgot to mention, it was a leisurely flee, no sudden moves.

        2. Oregoncharles

          This is strictly second hand, from someone who worked in Forestry at OSU, but amusing, I think:
          They had fenced off a section of forest to exclude deer and find out what impact browsing had. However, they didn’t get it quite right; there was a place on a slope where the deer could jump in – but not out. Pretty soon, they were finding deer skeletons near the fence. One day, one of the workers happened to look back after passing a tree with low-hanging branches; there was the fat, happy cougar that had discovered their deer trap, just watching him go by. It wasn’t going anywhere.

          They’re frequently spotted near people’s houses, here, though not by me. One was watching the children in a playground, but it didn’t stick around.

    2. diptherio

      Yeah, did Furzy take that her/himself? Pretty dang cool. We had one of these critters prowling the ‘hood a couple weeks ago. Didn’t see her myself, though, unfortunately…

      1. pretzelattack

        i saw two outside denver a couple of months ago, pretty rare to see them as normally they keep out of sight.

    3. bruce

      “Fire department”

      “We have a cat that’s been stuck up in a tree for awhile. Can you come over here and help get it down?”

    4. KevinD

      Photo is by Jenny Hibbert, take in 2015. ( I believe it has been posted on this site previously)

    5. Kevin Hall

      It is a stunning image. The question is, do you really want to know how the sausage is made?

      An image like that requires an incredible amount of circumstance to align, even after much hard work and careful planning. And you still may not get the shot.

      That is not to say that it isn’t a photograph of a found scene, but the chances are that this was made in an “easier” way. One that can be a bit disappointing for many people once discovered.

      This is one of the rare subjects in life where I recommend the blue pill – enjoy it as the art that it is.

  4. zagonostra

    >Glen Ford from Black Agenda Report

    His article today touches on my puzzlement on Biden’s high polls I expressed yesterday.

    Joe Biden’s corpse-like performance at the Miami debate should have caused the immediate interment of his campaign to the graveyard of presidential history. Biden’s longstanding lead in the polls, dating from before he’d even announced his candidacy, was largely due to outsized support among Blacks, who make up between a quarter and fifth of Democratic voters – and 60 percent of the Democratic electorate in South Carolina, the critical “Black” primary state. Kamala Harris masterfully gutted Biden for his opposition to school desegregation, but the stake missed his shriveled white supremacist heart, leaving Biden gasping but un-dead.

    …Although the corporate media polls are effectively rigged against Bernie Sanders, Biden’s appeal among Black voters is real and has survived well-publicized reminders that the Delaware politician has spoken affectionately of arch-racists like the late Mississippi senator James Eastland

    1. JohnnyGL

      The black vote down south showed it can act as a ‘swing’ vote within the democratic party electorate in 2008. It appeared quite skeptical until Obama showed he could put up a convincing win among whites in Iowa. After that, plus, rising polls overall, the black vote swung decisively for Obama and was solid enough to put him over the top in the tightest primary in history, finishing roughly 52-48.

      If, say, Sanders or Warren puts up a win in both Iowa and NH….SC might swing much more in his/her direction….especially if they look strong in the Super Tuesday states like CA.

      Most of Glen Ford’s write up is very good. He’s usually very incisive in his critiques. I’d only object to his characterization of the quality of Harris’ attack. She only scratched him, she didn’t wound. Then, immediately afterwards, she took the sting out of the sincerity of the critique by saying she basically agreed with him on the policy and that her debate moment wasn’t really heartfelt about policy, but just a performance.

      A mortal blow to Biden’s candidacy would be one that laid out his abjectly awful 40 year career of being wrong ON EVERYTHING….crime, civil asset forfeiture, financial deregulation, foreign policy, etc.

      1. richard

        “a mortal blow to biden’s candidacy would be one that laid out his abjectly awful 40 year career of being wrong ON EVERYTHING ….. crime, civil asset forfeiture, financial deregulation, foreign policy, etc”
        it needs to be done: and who will do it properly among the other candidates, who could do it properly
        that is the real problem, isn’t it
        i guess williamson might, or maybe gabbard (that bds vote has me really pissed at her)
        but really we can count on just one guy to do it right, when he gets the chance
        same as always

      2. Carolinian

        Perhaps African Americans respond to Biden’s laid back persona in a way they don’t to Sanders. Elections are not necessarily about issues, after all, and if they are there has to be some faith that promises can be kept.

      3. neo-realist

        Williamson strikes me more as a candidate who would recommend that Biden opens his chakras to find his life energy.

        I suspect the blacks that are polling in favor of Biden are inhaling the fumes of 8 years of the Obama palliative when he comes to mind.

        Sanders should start campaigning in the churches to enhance his outreach to the mainstream black community. Church campaigning may not be his thing, but in democratic primary where each group requires different strokes, you do what you have to do.

    2. Lee

      I posted the bit you did above on a pro-Biden Daily Kos article and boy did I get smacked with flags and and outraged hair on fire responses for posting Mr. Ford’s views on Biden. I keep being accused of using right wing memes when I post quotes from here or BAR and other lefty sites. The other day I got rather scurrilously reprimanded by the DK word usage vigilantes for using the right wing meme “virtue signaling.” Who knew? The irony is that I don’t go to right wing sites or listen to right wing news so I have no idea as to what the right wing memes of the day are. I must admit to a certain pleasure in riling the centrists and snowflakes over there.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Youre doing the Lords Work, Lee, KEEP IT UP.

        I may go back t o Balloon-Juice and troll them too…Nahhhhh

      2. Milton

        I have two close friends that have turned far-right over the past 30-odd years. I can’t imagine either of them using the term virtue signaling. That’s a term I hear on my left sites. I think DK, and sites like them, are intentionally trying to muddy the divergent views away from the corporate “center”.

  5. Watt4Bob

    I’m left wondering why Jeffery Epstein has a cellmate, let alone a cop, convicted of murdering his fellow cocaine distribution conspirators?

    IIRC, accused pedophiles are routinely held in isolation initially because they are held in absolute contempt by other inmates.

    There is no rational explanation for this story other than what it looks like, an obvious effort to convince Mr. Epstein to remain silent.

    If history has taught us anything, it’s that you can kill anyone.”

    OTOH, the message may be intended to ‘encourage’ the rest of us.

      1. Tvc15

        Agreed. The Epstein web is very deep and would expose too many important people. I always naively think that we may finally see justice, but I doubt that will ever happen when they control the system.

    1. Victoria

      Can you imagine what would happen if he starts dishing about his friends? I don’t expect him to make it to trial.

      1. urblintz

        It has been suggested by some that Ms. Maxwell will be the one who talks and spills the beans in exchange for her freedom… seems a reasonable speculation. Indeed, how is it possible that she hasn’t been arrested yet, given the accusations against her as well.

        1. Stephen V.

          My thoughts exactly urblintz. Unless victims’ testimony is not evidence. …wtf? I just searched on *Ghilsaine Maxwell extradite* and got nothing. I say as she goes, so goes the lot of them. She’s apparently in London “getting her affairs in order”–my words.

        2. ambrit

          If she really is a Mossad asset, she might well end in retirement in some far off clime before word one is wrung out of her.
          E could be set out as a fall guy in this genuinely sordid affair.
          I wonder where the actual Lolita Exress airframe is now. Watch as the evidence slowly goes missing.

          1. polecat

            Maybe it’s being set up with that new-fangled MACS configuration …. so that all the perps can take one last ride … into that space/time vortex, otherwise known as the Bermuda Triangle … never to be seen, nor heard from, again.

          2. shtove

            They will all be buried on the Mount of Olives and ascend into heaven.

            ps. just noted that Maxwell’s infamous yacht was designed by a Khashoggi and named after Maxwell’s daughter.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Can’t believe that all those big-wigs allowed Epstein to come back to the US and walk into a trap like that. That was sloppy that. There were alternate solutions that were possible about what to do about Epstein. In the words of the BOFH, “Obviously this is the sort of problem that is usually sorted out when there’s a big concrete pour scheduled at a nearby building site with shockingly lax after-hours security.”
      I suspect that Epstein will not live long enough to give full testimony. Either that or what is allowed to be heard in a court of law during his trial will be one or two “incidents” with all the rest being unheard through a “deal” being made between the prosecutors and Epstein’s lawyers. They will make him an offer that he cannot refuse and it will all go away.

      1. Brindle

        Yes, the murky organized crime / mossad world is more likely the powers behind the curtain than the Clintons. Was interesting looking at the thread of tweets—there is a group of people absolutely obsessed with Hillary—she is the root of all evil apparently.

        1. Watt4Bob

          “Yes, the murky organized crime / mossad world is more likely the powers behind the curtain than the Clintons.”

          It goes without saying that politicians are not ‘the powers behind the curtain’.

          Bill’s boss was W’s, boss, was Obama’s boss, and is Trumps boss.

          (if HRC had won, her boss too)

          It looks to me as if the boss can do anything, including picking Epstein’s cellmate.

          But it makes me wonder, like someone else on this thread wondered; if the boss can do anything, why would the boss allow/order Epstein’s arrest?

          1. Geo

            There’s a fun story in a book about the history of Butte, MT that tells of a young police officer who hears word about an illegal gambling den in the back of a local bar. He goes there and forces his way in announcing they’re “All under arrest!” Then he sees seated at the table the town mayor, chief of police, local mob boss, and the city prosecutor. The chief of police addresses his newbie officer and tells him “good work son” and sends him back to the streets to deal with the street criminals and lowlifes.

            My guess is everyone thought the Epstein stuff was taken care of, went about their usual business, and some pesky investigators that think their job is about equal justice got by them. They’ll give the prosecutor a sacrificial lamb and make deals to protect the important people.

            That’s my lil’ conspiracy theory.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        If you think about it, maybe the big-wigs have epstein right where they want him.

        Who’s going to question it if a fat cat child molester is served up some of that good old-fashioned prison justice?

        Shit happens.

        1. Watt4Bob

          Yes, there is always that possibility.

          His get out of jail card expired?

          Just because someone is a VIP for decades doesn’t mean they can’t become expendable almost instantly.

    3. Acacia

      I’m left wondering why Jeffery Epstein has a cellmate, let alone a cop, convicted of murdering his fellow cocaine distribution conspirators?

      Because a patsy is needed to pin the blame on when Epstein is found dead in his jail cell? He’s already “attempted suicide”, and even before a decision on the appeal of his bail, no less.

  6. Wukchumni

    I Got it, Nothing Matters. Tesla, Boeing, Other Stocks: It’s Like the Whole Market Has Gone Nuts Wolf Richter
    It’s very much ‘the Seinfeld Market’ a show about nothing mattering in terms of valuations, true Bizarro World stuff.

    ‘Guaranteed to lose money, but be profitable’

    1. Redlife2017

      It’s Kramerica Industries…

      Oil tanker bladder
      “You see the idea is for a rubber ball inside the tanker so if it crashes, the oil won’t spill out.”

      Roll out ties dispenser
      “I can’t believe you put your money in that Sendrax. You could’ve invested in my roll-out tie dispenser.”

      It’s GOLD!

        1. richard

          or his dream to start a chain of make your own pizza pie restaurants! although that one may not count for the purposes of this discussion, as the other characters seemed to agree for once that he had a money making idea
          only ruined by poppy’s disgusting habits (or jerry’s germ phobia, take your pick)

      1. bruce

        I’m pleased to announce to the NC readership the formation of the world’s first Y10K consulting firm. Y2K was a false alarm, because there were still four spaces there to hold the numbers, but that’s going to change in a mere 8000 years, and farsighted execs can get ahead of it by subscribing to our service, which costs no more per month than a latte at Starbucks.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Dont forget about the ‘Manzier!’

        That Oil Bladder episode…when they drop it out the Apt Window to test it…CLASSIC LMAO

    2. The Rev Kev

      Can you imagine what would happen if a law came out that if your company cannot make a profit after two years, that you have to shut it down. So good-by Tesla. So good-by Uber. So good-by Fracking. From my narrow perch, some of the biggest problem companies out there are ones that never make a profit but are kept alive by “magical” investors. Others may differ but this is what I am seeing.

      1. LifelongLib

        Don’t have any links at hand, but anecdotally I’ve heard of successful companies that took much longer than 2 years to be profitable. The real issue is whether they’re doing something worth doing. If so and the people running them are willing to keep going, let them.

        1. anonymous

          IIRC, a m a zon, for years, during the dotcon bubble and beyond, not only did not show a profit, the co. did not show revenue. Capitalism is a spooky bidness sometimes.

          Please correct if wrong.

    3. Summer

      But it’s not entirely accurate that nothing matters.
      Nothing matters for specific companies run by specific people.

      There are plenty of companies that get taken out for lack of performance on fundamentals. Have to be honest and say this is a protection racket for certain players.

    4. JEHR

      Actually, it makes perfect sense that the biggest companies run on debt, not profit. Who is going to know the difference when credit is the same as debt?

    1. Keith Howard

      I certainly agree. When the latest Blade Runner was set to appear, I watched the director’s cut of the 1982 classic. R. Hauer’s last scene was the best thing in either movie. It strikes a chord, after all. In Earth’s history many species have gone extinct, but H. sapiens may be the first to be aware of that fact in advance.

    2. Redlife2017

      NOOOOO. As a young girl I fell in love with him in the slightly odd, but very fun Ladyhawke. There has always been something about his presence in any film.

      I wish him the gods’ speed to the other side.

      1. urblintz

        Absolutely! He and Michelle Pfeiffer won many hearts in that “odd but very fun” flick. And the chemistry between he and M. Broderick was equally engaging.

        As for Bladerunner, repeating my comment from yesterday, R.H. apparently ad-libbed the “tears in rain” line from that final haunting monologue.

      2. Briny

        I don’t do romances as a general rule. Ladyhawke is part of my permanent collection here.

      3. HotFlash

        Ah, Rutger, you will be missed. For me it was ‘Blind Fury‘. As a great admirer of Zatoichi, I was delighted by homage to the Japanese original, although it was, uh, terrible in many, possibly most, respects. But hey, Stars Wars Empire was just Hidden Fortress, can’t blame them for trying.

    3. shtove

      I met him once. “Hauer’ya?”, I said. He started talking about galaxies exploding through the gorge of Uranus or something, so I unplugged his Intel Chip Inside, and we sat in peaceful harmony until the next bus stop. RIP.

  7. Eclair

    RE: Amazon ‘Destroyed the Retail Industry across the US …’

    The destruction varies by area. I am familiar with the large metropolitan areas around NYC, Denver and Seattle, and there the smaller retail businesses are thriving. Well, staying afloat. You can buy stuff at a bricks and mortar hardware store, shoe store, clothing store, kitchen appliance places.

    Travel through most of the plains states and the business areas in the towns are dead. Other than a Dollar Store. Traffic and people congregate at the Walmart Superstores. Which may be a forty mile drive from where you live.

    Here in western NY and Warren County, PA, the last bastions of non-Amazon/Walmart retail, JC Penny, Sears and BonTon, are closed and vacant. Small locally owned shoe, clothing stores are long gone. One has the choice of Walmart …. or Walmart. At least the ‘locally owned’ hardware chains like TruValue are still booming, so one can avoid Home Depot, and kitchen appliance stores seem to be hanging on, mostly due to the good follow-up service they provide. And, locally owned pharmacies are all gone. Here, people are so poor that they can’t even afford a computer so they can order from Amazon.

    When Amazon starts selling and shipping kits to build your own house, as did Sears back in the early 20th century, we will have reached the zenith, or nadir.

    1. sleepy

      Well put. I could go on about my small town in Iowa and what’s closed and what’s open but you’ve already said it.

      I will add though that this area of northern and northeast Iowa is full of counties of 20,000 or so that went democratic in presidential elections for decades, until 2016 when they overwhelmingly voted for Trump. Bernie carried these counties in the caucuses.

    2. Wukchumni

      In the nearest Big Smoke (pop: 136k) we have Wal*Mart & Target and they’re really the same store, only the people that shop @ the latter wouldn’t be caught seen in the former, and shoppers @ the former know the latter is out of their league.

      1. Eclair

        I have noticed this class distinction, Wukchumni, in areas lucky enough to have both outlets. And then there’s the Dollar Store. They have carved a niche in dying or zombie towns, as the only store within easy driving distance in which to buy everything from toothpaste to canned tuna. And party supplies!!

        1. Oregoncharles

          There are about 3 Dollar Stores in my very prosperous university town. They’re The Place to get reading glasses, cheaper than Goodwill, which is more if a surplus store these days.

          In fact, it’s odd how well the thrift/surplus places are doing here. Maybe because housing is so expensive?

          Home Depot squeezed out my favorite building supply place, though; it specialized in electric and plumbing and was extremely helpful. The former manager works at a surviving lumber yard/hardware store now.

      2. Brindle

        You enter a Target store and your eyes are immediately bathed in a riot of slightly purplish / pink red—it’s everywhere. Get the feeling the particular shade was the result of some testing to identify color that both soothes and energizes at the same time.

      1. Wukchumni

        Yes, I heard Amazon is now selling tiny homes, but when it gets delivered, it’s in a giant cardboard box.

        1. ambrit

          Then that makes it a double. (I was going to tye dulex, but my key is nonfunctional.] Will zoning allow for a tiny home and cardboard box delorable shack on one lot. (So is the question mark.]

    3. Alex morfesis

      Not to defend the shiny topped gremlin at skam iz on…but the chinese banking industry is at 40 trillion ? And the aussie banking industry is how big per capita ?

      There has been a capital strike in these here disjointed fates of omerika since the powell memo…with maybe 25 megacities surviving by circus and bread…the finishing of the national highway system disrupted family life while…ah never mind…

      Change is a part of life and sooner or later most things end…the urban institute and the urban land institute have been allowed to fail and flail this mess into existence with hardly anyone noticing or saying hold on there….

    4. EricT

      They may blame Amazon, but the retailers wouldn’t have been in such a crappy situation if it wasn’t for the vulture funds skimming their rainy day funds. In our area in western MA, the strip stores are doing well, very low vacancy rates, going north towards Vermont, you see more carnage, but that can be blamed on industry evaporating leaving few well paying jobs. The local mall closed due to failure to pay taxes, but mostly brought on to itself by investors looking for more return. Rents kept on going up, then the anchor stores started disappearing and that was it. I laughed at the comparison I saw the other day regarding Sears vs. Wal Mart, where one was subjected to an Ayn Randian internal competition and the other a planned economic structure.

    5. rd

      In Central NY, what I see is that the well run mall developments and main streets are full with good stores (some national chains but some local). In some cases, the vacant malls are that way apparently by deliberate actions by the mall owners to drive down their assessed value to reduce taxes:

      The nearly vacant Shoppingtown Mall debacle is happening in the middle of a general retail area that has few vacancies and there is even new construciton of retail space.

      We seem to have two corporate cultures where one culture is trying to do interesting things and run real companies while another culture just tries to do financial and legal games to maximize financial value while eschewing anything of general corporate and social benefit. We can argue about Walmart pay policies etc. but they are at least trying to run a real company instead of just strip-mining assets like what happened to Sears.

  8. John Beech

    Mueller Defends Investigation as ‘Thorough and Fair’ in House Testimony Wall Street Journal

    Seriously folks, if the MSM hadn’t gone overboard with the crap dishing on the President, if the investigators had investigated ‘everything’, then maybe we wouldn’t have this result. Frankly, I cheered the packing of anti-Trumpers on Mueller’s team. My thinking is if a biased set of investigator couldn’t find the goods, then it would mean an end to the whole thing.

    Instead, what it really meant is they turned a blind eye to a lot of distasteful things. Like how it started with Clinton and her team in the first place. whether it was to actually delegitimize the election winner, or just cast shade, I don’t know and don’t care because it was wrong.

    Yet this was ignored – and – I’ll go to my grave believing it should have been within their remit. But no, they weren’t impartial so now it falls to AG Barr’s report, and it’s coming, to present the other side. Thing is, it won’t persuade anybody on the left any more than the Mueller report has persuaded anybody on the right. The whole thing has been nothing but an exercise in sturm und drang. Kind of like the stupid birther thing with President Obama.

    So now we have sides. Like in football. Me? I don’t think there should be a side and I am greatly saddened by the whole thing. In fact, I eagerly await the day there’s a headline about President Trump caught in the act of wiping his butt on a hidden camera. The headline will shout, in all caps of course . . . TRUMP WIPES WRONG! because you know, he can’t do anything right in the eyes of the media.

    1. Off The Street

      There are many aspects of the Mueller investigation that need further review. Fusion GPS is one of those as that firm played a role worth investigating. For Mueller to be unaware of them leads viewers to ask what else may be missing, and why.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        One thing he also appears to have missed is that there’s this guy named Julian Assange who knows exactly where the global criminal conspiracy organization known as Wikileaks got those emails and was willing to shed some light on the source, if somebody just would have asked him.

        Good thing he didn’t know about that guy, because Assange could blow this whole damn thing to hell.

        PS. What does the frequent Mueller response, “I take your question” even mean?

        1. Monty

          It is short for, “I decline to take your question. What are you going to do about it?”.

        2. richard

          “I take your question, quietly turn it around in my hands once or twice, and return it to you unharmed!”

    2. The Rev Kev

      When Donald J. Trump eventually passes away, the inscription on his tombstone will say-

      “Donald J. Trump. He said all the quiet bits out loud.”

    3. anon in so cal

      The role of Victoria Nuland and Brennan needs further investigation. Nuland apparently introduced Steele to various individuals, including Mifsud, Halper, Gaeta, etc.

    4. urblintz

      Bingo… Russiagate is the Democrats version of birtherism and just as preposterous. Sadly, so many who rightfully scorn Donald Trump have allowed that disdain to cripple their powers of reason. They actually posit the absurd belief that Trump is a Manchurian candidate working for Putin.

      1. pretzelattack

        lawrence tribe is a notable example. maybe not getting that supreme ct nomination unhinged him.

      2. Mikemac

        Really, I don’t recall the DOJ, FBI, CIA being weaponized in the birther scenario. The Russiagate hoax was much more nefarious. You don’t have to be a fan of Trump to see that the outgoing Obama administration along with the Clinton Campaign and DNC engaged in very questionable (to say the least) behavior in order to swing the election their way and then to hamstring Trumps presidency. It was a big middle finger to the half of the country that voted for Trump

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          “It was a big middle finger to the half of the country that voted for Trump

          Fixed it for you

    5. Briny

      Sturm und drang with the fundamental motive to distract, entertain and otherwise misdirect the populace from what is actually in their interest? ‘Twas ever thus.

    6. Mike

      Ahhh, was it ever more than a game? After all, the mantra of US elections has always been “May the best man win”! Note, “man”, not “platform” or “policy”, heaven forfend “woman”. Never principle, always personality.

      TBH, since the passage of the National Security Act of 1947, this government and its (s)elected officials have been boiling frogs. Some of us are finally recognizing frogs legs when presented with such.

    7. zagonostra

      Intercept> James Risen “Congress and the Press Should Pick Up Where Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller Left Off”

      I have to scratch my head in puzzlement on James Risen, doesn’t he read analysis by Aaron Mate or Ray McGovern, or William Binney…I read through the reader’s comments and they are not complementary, to by kind, to his perspective.

      1. pretzelattack

        i think he’s a shill for some faction of the intel community. he doesn’t acknowledge reader comments or evidence that contradicts his points. sad, i used to respect his journalism.

    8. Leftcoastindie

      If I’m not mistaken Steele was first used by Marco Rubio and then when he dropped out Clinton got involved and had the dossier finished.

  9. a different chris

    Ah great another “what world does he live in?” Michael Shellenberger column.

    I hope he didn’t write that headline, it’s ridiculous even for him. But his best one is in another column:

    All of which raises a question: if renewables can’t cheaply power Germany, one of the richest and most technologically advanced countries in the world, how could a developing nation like Kenya ever expect them to allow it to “leapfrog” fossil fuels?

    Uh…. because Kenya doesn’t have all the embedded practices of the “richest and most technologically advanced”…. oh Jesus I give up. The stupidity it burns.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      There are arguments that can be made in favour of nuclear power, but Shellenberger isn’t making them – its a nonsense article, full of dubious statistics, irrelevant ‘facts’ and industry talking points. If he’s the best shill the industry can put forward they aren’t proving very competent.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Kenya is also tropical, so solar supply is quite even and there is no need for heating – no winter. Might be a big demand for AC, but they’re used to getting by without it. Germany is pretty far north north of the US, so a hard place to do renewables, and no volcanic sources.

  10. The Rev Kev

    That is a magnificent image in today’s Antidote du jour. Absolutely brilliant.
    So I was thinking about that 9-year-old girl which was tossed in the air by that charging bison. People may have heard of the Darwin Awards which are awarded to people who have contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilization by their own actions – usually actions involving absolute stupidity. I think that the Darwin Awards may have to set up a new sub-category – to parents who, in order to escape harm themselves, put their children in inherently dangerous situations so that they may escape harm and thereby ensuring that they never propagate. That could work that.

      1. BoyDownTheLane

        Ditto the parent who takes their infant to the baseball game, sits in the front row (the one without screens or nets), and holds them up and out so they can get on national television and take in the view of that big fellow on steroids hitting the supposedly-normally-wound baseball at an exit velocity that is routinely measured on radar to see who can get the highest number.

      1. newcatty

        Last time we were at the Grand Canyon National Park to take our granddaughter to see and experience it for the first time, it was an eye opener. We had never been to the absolutely slammed with visitors south rim in the summer. Seriously, like a Disneyland on steroids. Our granddaughter enjoyed the scene, especially as she was just getting into photography. But, the rudeness and arrogance of some of the adults was shocking. She a couple times was obviously standing with her camera in place to shoot a picture and blabbering adults would just walk right in front of her, or edge so close that she would be nudged to the side. Adults would let their kids chase after any birds or squirrels brave enough to try to get a snack at the food outlets. The adults laughed and encouraged the kids, and hey, it was a photo op! There were signs warning to not feed the wildlife. Of course, kids are throwing bread to the birds. The signage also warned, squirrels can bite the hand that feeds it. I was rooting for the squirrels when I saw parents letting their kids reach out with bread crust and laugh as it snatched it away. It is really amazing the schizophrenic attitudes and behaviors of some parents in the priviledged world. People write about the helicopter parents with disdain and how the poor kids are so over protected the they don’t learn resilience and self- autonomy. Well, I rode my bike everywhere in my small town. My friends and I hiked all over the world countryside around our town. I did walk back and forth to school. Unfortunately, that was another time of more civil behavior by adults in the public realm. Kids were neglected or abused, just like now. But, there was a general consensus that kids were not to be kidnapped or molested in plain sight of the community. The reality of the fact that not allowing child to walk any distance without crossing guards, etc, is the only way to guarantee a child’s safety. The Epsteins of the world are not just horrible outliers. Children are victims of child trafficking. The reality is that children “disappear ” in this country daily. Especially The vulnerable who are often left on their own to make their way in the world. Of course, like for Epstein and his cohorts, the poor and run away girls are easy targets. If there is any thing that is “good” that comes out of this sordid and evil story ,it could be that people become more awakened to the reality of children, and young women, being used as commodities to be used up and sold by ruthless dealers. It is allowed and abetted by whom? Guess this counts a rant, but it is something that really infuriates and saddens me.

    1. Alex morfesis

      The bison and 9 year old girl…there appears to have been no adults near enough to her to defend her or protect her ?? Two adults ahead of her run away and no image of any adults near her…and what of the genius who was standing in the way of the bison off the trail in its grazing field filming it all ?

      We regularly hear of single moms trying to do a job interview or run in to get groceries being charged with negligence for leaving their children in a car…and this 9 year olds parents are seemingly getting a free ride ? How was there no adult near her in the image except the two apparently older ones just running forward without looking back at the child which hopefully they are not related to nor were her guardians that day…haroompfff

    2. mpalomar

      That little girl flipped and landed like a professional rodeo clown.
      Oddly, I find myself rooting for the bison.

  11. Carolinian

    Re Is Motion Smoothing Ruining Cinema?–is clickbait ruining journalism? Here are the gruesome details for those unable to find them in the article.

    Since the process apparently only applies to high end televisions and can be turned off it’s hard to see how it is ruining cinema. And since actors mostly stand still while saying their lines it’s hard to see how it has much to do with acting either. As for Tom Cruise warning it may ruin his new Top Gun movie–it is to laugh.

  12. Wukchumni

    Our once a month town hall meetings are often ho hum affairs attracting the same 24 people that always go, but when we’re talking about vacation rentals-as it were last night, by my count 238 people or a bit over 10% of the population here, was in attendance.

    Tulare Co gets a 10% TOT (transient occupancy tax) on the take of home moaners plying the trade, and now wants a ‘1-time $500’ fee from said would be aspiring Hiltons, which ran into consternation among the haves, vastly outnumbered by the have nots, who’d wish the short term rental wrangle would just go away, including a barrage against business as unusual by the Superintendent of Sequoia NP, who argued that it was really hard to find employees as there are no longer term rental homes available here, a great dissuader.

    Lotsa banter back and forth, those with vacation rentals claiming they never had a problem guest/guests. as a chorus of boos erupted from those living cheek by jowl next to a ‘Motel 8’ with that many crammed in a 2 bedroom/1 bath house.

    1. Wukchumni


      Everything dies back here with their roots on, the topside being an ad hoc fuse, a tan floral flambe if you will.

      A conflagration spreads out in a 360 arc, after a big enough spark.

      One resident told of the vacation rental home next to her having a campfire and how little she slept that night on account of the danger, and one of those ‘haves’ related that you could have campfires in the National Park (6,000 feet higher) why not here?

      The fire chief smoldered further talk by stating that it is illegal to have a campfire in our town once summer sets in, every local knows, but for the people on vacation, our itty bitty city seems like camping to them, let’s do s’mores, kids!

      1. newcatty

        My husband was coming home from his daily walk(hike) and noticed in our neighbor’s driveway a truck meandering down with young driver who really looked like our neighbor. My husband waved and gave the sign that he wanted to talk with him. We are only on first name basis. We introduced ourselves to the couple and congratulated them on buying the big, cool custom built house. It is pretty hidden in the forest for the trees, but we can glimpse their driveway and a deck. We were happy that it seemed to be a “nice” young couple with courteous kids who bought the place. After that brief intro just a wave if they see us on our deck. So, my husband was shocked, I tell you, when the driver leaned out of his window and said , Oh I am not ( name of owner). I am staying at the Air bnb. Husband said , Oh. Then he asked you mean at that house…pointing to the neighbor’s? Guy said, yeah. Husband said ,Oh,didn’t mean to bother you. Guy looked a little disconcerted and nodded and drove on. Irony: we had talked how glad we were that their was no air bnbs or vacation rentals in our quiet , wooded neighborhood. The couple never let us know that they were opening up their motel. We went online and there it is in all its hyped up glory. They say house rules include: no parties or events. No kids or pets. They include then pertinent info that they have a German Shepard and, well, family life upstairs. But the visitor’s suite is all quiet when their door is closed ,lol. They are helpful in letting “guests ” know that there are cameras and audio listening devices on property, but , of course, not in the suite itself. Ugh. Their profile says they are “experienced hosts”, so hmmm. AZ has no restrictions in any town or city…Our wonderful governor said that would restrict freedom of people’s entrepreneurship, or some such b.s.. Guess local ordinance on disturbing the peace, or such , still will apply. Our neighbors “travel” for their work, so often the house will be left unattended. It is just disappointing and I don’t like it. The idea the perfectly unknown strangers can come come and go like it’s a motel next door is just creepy. Also, think it’s down right negligent to have their little kids, though I am sure not left alone, with strangers underneath their rooms. Guess will need to be glad that there is some tree screening and space between our houses.

  13. The Rev Kev

    Boris Johnson-

    So Boris has finally managed to climb the greasy pole. Coming from a privileged background does help after all. At this critical time, the British political system did a Trump and threw up Boris as the man with all the answers. Sigh! I was trying to put this into context and came up with the following.
    I suppose a lot of people are familiar with crossover stories. A crossover is “the placement of two or more otherwise discrete fictional characters, settings, or universes into the context of a single story”. So one example is where the Alien and Predator franchises came together in a few films and another example is where you might have Sherlock Holmes appear in a story set aboard a space station. You get the idea. So I was thinking of a crossover story myself set in 1940.
    Britain has its back against a wall and calls up 2,000,000 men for the military. Food rationing is introduced. The first civilian casualties of bombing are experienced. Norway falls and the British pull out. The French and British armies are defeated in France and the remains of the British Expeditionary Force are evacuated at Dunkirk minus their equipment. The Channel Islands are occupied. Finally Neville Chamberlain resigns as Prime Minister. He is replaced by Boris Johnson with a select Cabinet.
    Nah, doesn’t really work as it sounds so unbelievable. Fiction has its limits.

    1. Wukchumni

      Three Mules by Al Stewart

      Ramsey and Stanley and Neville
      Were the names of the mules
      Each wore a bridle encrusted with jewels
      And though a murmur of voices
      Was rising behind
      Each laboured on
      And they paid it no mind
      They pulled on with never a doubt
      Past boulders and holes
      Till the road petered out
      And giving a snort they sat down
      Waiting for somebody else to come round
      And from this are our lives writ large
      From the beach at Dunkirk
      To Pickett’s Charge
      And it’s hard to go back
      after coming this far
      Down the road

    2. ambrit

      That scenario has legs if you think of Boris as a stand in for Mosley. Being more charitable, it would work if after a year, Churchill had to resign and Chamberlain returned to office.

  14. EoH

    Regarding the latest culling of the UK Cabinet, the laugh of the day, from the Guardian: “I hope Boris Johnson has thought this through properly.”

    It would be a first. Oh, he’s marked those he wants nobbled. Beyond that, his career displays a preference for the extemporaneous rather than the prepared act, and an everything for me, nothing for thee attitude, which he shares with the incumbent in the White House.

    1. JohnnySacks

      I’m not claiming to know if it’s any better or worse than mining uranium, but environmental damage from scaling up production of our ubiquitous Li-ion everready energizer future is going to be significant. And China is (as expected) way ahead of us on capturing that entire vertical market.

      1. Dan

        Battery production waste, and the batteries themselves, don’t cause cancer downwind nor kill living things for the next 500,000 years.

        Still paying off your student debts for that nuclear engineering degree?

        1. Wukchumni

          A friend has a nuclear engineering degree, and graduated in the early 80’s right into a business that had atomized.

          Now works for a company that sells industrial strength hydraulic lifting equipment, a bunch of it utilized by Hollywood.

        2. Oregoncharles

          That’s an unfair accusation, since you can’t know, but it raises a real issue for me:

          Long story short, I was testifying to the Leg. in Salem against a bill to revive nuclear here in Oregon, killed by an initiative back in the 80’s. (The bill expired right there.) There I discovered the real source of the bill: the nuclear engineering dept. at Oregon State. The head of the department and (sadly) several students were there to testify for a dead-in-the-water bill.

          I concluded the U is scamming students with that department – training them for an industry that doesn’t exist and won’t. They can work for the military, or they can join the perpetual priesthood tending the waste sites, the nearest of which (Hanford) had conveniently just experienced a collapse and release of radioactivity.

          The zombie bill came back, of course, and received even shorter shrift in the Legislature. Time to end that department; it’s a source of evil. though I guess somebody has to train that perpetual priesthood.

  15. Carla

    “Disgraced Equifax CEO Snags $20 Million Payday” — this could have been under the “Class Warfare” heading as far as I’m concerned. Or maybe a “True Crime” category…

  16. Carolinian

    Re Mauna Kea–the story says they chained themselves to the cattle guard on top. So not only is the “sacred” mountain already home to 13 telescopes but also it seems cattle ranchers and, according to Wikipedia, a onetime would be hunting preserve until struck down by the endangered species act. It would appear the native Hawaiians don’t have much “sovereignty” here at all and the courts have approved the telescope.

    People are entitled to their beliefs and to view the mountain as sacred but they are not entitled to insist that their beliefs should be sacred to the rest of us. If that were true then we might as well embrace our new theocracy, outlaw abortion and put Christian Zionists in charge of our foreign policy (oh wait we did do that last part). I don’t see much of a “left” argument here at all unless there’s a genuine claim that the telescope would do environmental damage that would outweigh its scientific benefit.

    1. EricT

      Not like they’re building a fossil fuel pipeline or a set of fracking wells. Didn’t the Trump administration okay a copper mine in the Southwest sacred to American Indians. Where’s the Rock on that one?

      1. Wukchumni

        We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.

        Teddy Roosevelt

      2. Carolinian

        There was an argument between a copper mine in AZ and the San Carlos Apache but there was already a copper mine there (Arizona is into copper). I don’t think the Indians got very far but haven’t been following it.

        There was also an argument about an astronomy installation on Mt. Lemmon near Tuscon. Seems every mountain top is sacred to someone. The observatory was built and exists.

        1. Wukchumni

          From a climatic zone change perspective, that drive from the valley floor to Mt Lemmon is utterly spectacular, you go from cactus to pine trees and lots of different life zones within.

    2. Alex morfesis

      Scientific benefit of another telescope in hawaii ? And why might one imagine these telescopes are sitting in a nice warm climate instead of the top of a mountain in some ice cold part of the world ?

      Grants to get drunk in never never land while playing with dials and taking up space burning money looking for places in deep space that have been looked at a thousnd times and for which we will never be able to directly visit…

      Archaeologists have been pulling a similar game for decades, even more so marine archaeologists/explorers…

      Should we uncork this one or wait until next week ? said a to b…

      1. Carolinian

        It’s hardly warm at 13,000 ft. ASL. And the site has become valuable as others have fallen victim to pollution or light pollution.

        Sorry you don’t like science.

        1. Alex morfesis

          Science moi loves…wasting resources looking at some cute little reflection of what actually happened oh so long ago…will deliver what exactly ? Astronomical observations are not a science…they are a fetish…it provides what value today ? It can provide nothing of value any time in the next 500 years…there might be a few humans who could use the resources wasted looking at far off images of zero consequence to carbon based life forms…wasting money wanting to know things of zero value to humans is not science…

          1. Carolinian

            Science is knowledge. What you just described is applied science.

            And whether the money is wasted is not my decision to make or those native Hawaiians either unless they have some legal claim to assert. It’s the argument against it I find lacking.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Would have been more impressed if those native Hawaiians had blocked Washington Place where the Governor of Hawaii lives. This was the place, after all, where Queen Liliʻuokalani was arrested during the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom back in 1893. Attacking an observatory does get you not many points on the board but going after a center of gravity gets your name right up in front. Does that paint a target on you? Yes. But it can pay off. Just ask the people of Puerto Rico.

      2. Math is Your Friend

        “Battery production waste, and the batteries themselves, don’t cause cancer downwind nor kill living things for the next 500,000 years.”


        You know, and can prove this how?

        Do you have any idea how insidious and damaging environmental lead is*? The stuff that was vapourized into the atmosphere in multi-ton quantities by a fire in an ‘green’ energy grid storage battery, as discussed here a few weeks ago?

        And unlike nuclear waste, lead and other contaminants are not (1) self-eliminating and (2) self-announcing to facilitate detection and tracking.

        * One clue – a lot of people now think that the long decline in violent crime and the reduction of environmental lead since it was removed from vehicle fuel are causally linked… and it is not that violent crime causes lead in motor fuel.

      3. Math is Your Friend

        “Scientific benefit of another telescope in hawaii ? And why might one imagine these telescopes are sitting in a nice warm climate instead of the top of a mountain in some ice cold part of the world ?”


        1. A telescope near the equator sees a much greater part of the sky than a telescope near the poles.

        2. The light pollution is relatively low.

        3. The sky is relatively clear.

        4. The site is fairly accessible to all the astronomers and scientists from dozens of countries associated with the observatories, unlike more remote parts of the world.

        5. Materials, equipment, and labour for construction, plus various types of supplies and supports are available nearby, rather than hundreds or thousands of kilometers away.

        6. This telescope will be capable of observations that none of the other scopes at that location can perform… it is an order of magnitude more powerful, perhaps two, depending on how you measure it.

        7. The other two telescopes in this capability group (GMT and ELT) are both located in Chile, so a similarly capable telescope in the northern hemisphere is a very valuable scientific asset.

    3. ChrisPacific

      It would appear the native Hawaiians don’t have much “sovereignty” here at all and the courts have approved the telescope.

      That is the heart of the problem. I suggest reading the article in full if you haven’t already – the authors have both a native Hawaiian and an astrophysics background and it’s written to take both viewpoints into account.

      Indeed, far from some replay of an ancient clash between tradition and modernity, this is a battle between the old ways of doing science, which rely on forceful extraction (whether of natural resources or data), and a new scientific method, which privileges the dignity and humanity of Indigenous peoples, including Hawaiians and the black diaspora. It is a clash between colonial science—the one which, under the guise of progress, has all too often helped justify conquest and human rights violations—and a science that respects indigenous autonomy…

      …We believe that if Kūpuna were properly included as stakeholders throughout the development of the TMT plan, fair compromises might have been reached that would not only have resulted in Hawaiʻi’s remaining a world-class destination for observational astronomy but also truly supported Hawaiian culture in the process.

      1. Carolinian

        a science that respects indigenous autonomy

        What does that even mean?

        And one of the authors is

        Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego and visiting professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi, Manoa, both of which are institutional members of the TMT consortium

        and the other is

        Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy and Core Faculty in Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire

        There is no suggestion that they represent any other viewpoint than their own.

        From what I can tell there is no plan that native Hawaiians will be banned from the mountain or prevented from practicing their “indigenous astronomy.” In my view unless they have some legal claim to the property there is simply no argument here. Hawaii has for some time been a state, not a colony, and the state of Hawaii favors the telescope. Claims of sacredness are just a way of trying to win an argument that has already been lost, and it’s not with the astronomers.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Trump speaks before presidential seal doctored with symbols of Russia and golf”

    Why do I get the feeling that Trump himself was responsible for that Seal to get a rise out of his opponents? Maybe using tweets for the same purpose has gotten so easy – like shooting fish in a barrel – that he is expanding his repertoire.

    1. KevinD

      did you see Ivanka’s congratulatory tweet out to Boris on becoming new “PM of Kingston”
      being stupid is in now I guess.

    2. voteforno6

      Maybe Trump really has surrounded himself with just that many idiots. I think one of the lessons that can be drawn from the past 10+ years is that the so-called elites really aren’t all that smart.

      1. Mike

        Aye – since we’ve patterned ourselves after Britain, it is only fitting that British elitism, its class snobbery, and its genetic shortcomings “cum ’round”. Pity the poor wankers what’s left (pardon the pun).

      2. polecat

        Well, look on the bright .. ur .. more positive side. Wait long enough, and we’ll eventully get our version of Pres. Not Sure. That reminds me .. I need to head out to Costco, and rustle up a live goat or three .. along with a unit of ‘electrolites’ to go with my comfy red sofa.
        I’ll try to avoid indulging in some StarBucks though ..

        There’s sure to be Carl’s Jr. near by .. I’ll do that instead !

  18. Wukchumni

    Supposed to be 108 in Hades-adjacent on Sunday, and that would be hereabouts. In the foothills everybody’s remarking about how humid it’s been, and it’s all relative, as in 81% yesterday, which is stifling to our delicate constitutions.

    Phoenicians are the broiled standard among our citizenry in terms of being able to handle the high heater, when i’m there in the summer, each breath of 111 taken in, seems as if a blast furnace in my mouth.

    1. anon in so cal

      Chubasco weather from Baja, Mexico typically moves into southern California in late August and September. This year and last, it’s way ahead of schedule. Los Angeles has had tropical skies the past several days and it rained where we are, yesterday morning.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It looks like this hot weather will last well into next week, and maybe beyond that.

      2. Dan

        That’s good. All Southern California needs is a little summer rain to become a better place, with less fire danger, irrespective of population overcrowding and political corruption.

        1. pretzelattack

          the fire danger is severe all over the west, and how is that water situation in california

          1. Wukchumni

            I’ve never seen as many heretofore unseen creeklets which continue to flow into August, all over the place. Most of the snow in the Sierra is melted off, and withdraws from the First National Snowbank of the Sierra quite orderly this summer, no flooding.

        2. Fiery Hunt

          Summer rain just means more fuel/worse fires during the real fire season- September /October.

    2. Monty

      Temperatures in Merrie Olde were said to reach an unheard of, all time record 102.2 today. Sunny Scottsdale AZ a rather milquetoast 101.

  19. JohnnySacks

    Thanks to progress being made building a new nuclear plant at Hinkley, Britain may opt to build more French reactors, known as the EPR. Experts anticipate the cost will be significantly less, thanks to standardization and learning.

    Well of course they’d use a French design, they’re not completely insane stupid. Every American nuclear power plant construction project of recent has been an unmitigated cost and schedule overrun disaster. A chain of corruption and incompetence from the design and planning all the way down to the hourly labor force. Just another leading edge technology USA! USA! will be buying turnkey prepackaged from Europe and eventually China.
    Transatomic Power, working on molten salt, closing up shop in Cambridge MA:

    Transatomic is also releasing its patents in the European Union, Russia and China for its particular version of liquid-fueled reactor designs, she said. “We’re going to be putting up all of our white papers, all of our technical reports we’ve done in conjunction with the national labs, all the patents that have been granted, and those that are still in process,” she said.

    Terrapower’s project in China to build a prototype (now crushed by policy):
    Experimental Nuclear Power Plant Halts Construction in China

  20. jfleni

    RE: Puerto Rico Governor’s Resignation Shakes Bankrupt Commonwealth Bloomberg

    Now is the time for Puerto-Ricans to think seriously about INDEPENDENCE!!!,
    NOT continued “bum-kissing” of their century-old Colonial overlord, but the real deal.
    Your donated American citizenship was not a boon but only more chains forged by
    a contemptuos US president. Small countries like Dominican Rep, Cuba, and others
    (? maybe PR)make their way in the world, and PR can do it too. Think very hard about
    your status,now that you have dumped the Plutocrat offal that oppressed you.

    1. ambrit

      Im yearning for a United States of the Caribbean. All those little island states banded together. No more Granada invasions. Coordinated regional assistance for when the sea level rises.

      1. Wukchumni

        No more Granada invasions.

        If it explains in Spain, does the threat remain?

        Once upon a time I did physical retail forex, and a fellow says, ‘give me $1000 worth of Austrian currency please’, and I dole out the Schillings, thanks for your business, etc.

        Guy comes back a few weeks later more mad at himself than anything else, as nobody really wanted them when he arrived in Sydney.

        1. ambrit

          We could use something by de Falla as an anthem. Oh, Nights in the Gardens of Eden sounds good.
          de Falla understood Granada in all its moods.
          Ill bet San Juan still insists on being the caitol, or head city.
          Runner u in anthem contest, Carribe Me Back to Old Atlantis. Quite good when done in a Submerged Beach Rock style. Best such version is done by the Offshore Bimini Orchestra.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think the US-born AOC would make a great first PR president, with or without dual citizenship.

  21. XXYY

    Big Pro-Nuclear Victory in US Gives Momentum To Global Nuclear Expansion (Forbes)

    Looks like another prediction of a “nuclear Renaissance”, which turned out to be really accurate last time, which was in the early 2000s as I recall.

    I assume this is prompted by recent reports of extremely cheap, unsubsidized power from wind and solar making nuclear power laughably expensive aside from all its other serious drawbacks.

    Weather forecast: A blizzard of articles in the mainstream and business press extolling the wonders of this dying technology, followed by a hail of new legislation bailing out existing nuclear operators with ratepayers and taxpayer dollars.

  22. Wukchumni

    I’ll be homeless with a bunch of other folks next week, and I can’t blame capitalism for my plight for where i’m headed money pays no heed, living rough in small tent cities by choice far from polite society, that’s what it has come down to.

      1. Wukchumni

        Sometimes i’m too tricky for my own good…

        Well, homeless by choice, and the tent city has a few hammocks as well, and we bring all our food with us and as much proof as one can fit into an alcoholic beverage, and i’ll be bringing a liter of box wine, and hope to convince others to imbibe my plonk the first night out, so as to lessen my load in the next week of walking, and everybody else has single malt scotch or the like in less amounts of fluid, only an idiot like me brings wine along, but somebody has to do it.

        Rainbow Falls is in the first couple miles from the trailhead.

        Our primary destination in a 45 mile loop is Iva Bell hot springs, the best ever backcountry one i’m aware of.

        The view from the upper hot springs on the right in the link is shaded and holds 6 comfortably with a temp of around 106, and a sweeping view down canyon, wow, nirvana.

        One night we’ll camp right across from this cascade waterfall on Fish Creek, the mossies ought to be voracious and coming at us in V-Pak formation on high.

        Then we’ll hightail it up to Purple Lake on the JMT/PCT, a large climb to it, and we’ll go dayhiking the next day to a chain of granitic lakes above treeline, a bit off-trail.

        Last year on the same backpack trip, we caught 3x footlong or better trout, and found a small field of wild onions, combined with a little lemon pepper and wrapped in aluminum foil and set in the coals of a fire to be cooked, was a meal fit for a king, or so everybody said.

        The rest is along the JMT/PCT trail for around 20 miles until we get back from where we started in a big loop.

        1. Roy G

          Can you please be sure to bring your phone so you can live blog everything you see to NC?

          Just kidding ; ) Enjoy your time in paradise!

      2. newcatty

        Yes, I am so worried about Wukchumni too. Imagine no more awe inspiring and delightful tales from the diary of his adventurous and wonderful life. Somehow, we will all have to manage with a more mundane comment section.

  23. dcblogger

    Voter suppression is how Trump won in 2016 and his only possible path to victory in 2020.

    1. ambrit

      Voter suression is built into the system. Trums version of the Reublican Arty just did it better than the Democrat Arty last time.
      Turn this on its head. The Democrat Artys refusal to run a strong get out the vote ground game hobbled them unnecessarily. A ground game focused on the highest ten % leaves the other %age ready to be wooed and won.

      1. richard

        ambrit i am enjoying reading your comments (as always)
        but especially now with your “p” problem
        it reminds me of the bfg in the roald dahl book

        1. ambrit

          Oh yes! Me as a character reference in a Roald Dahl book. Sublime! Thanks!
          (Hoefully, the new old keyboard will arrive sometime next week]

      2. EricT

        The refusal to support a large get out the vote operation is most likely a targeted advertisement campaign. If your party has a bunch of individuals who feel that business should be more regulated, and individuals more empowered, the big donors won’t give you any money. Donors could also be considered news networks as well, in deciding who they give their airtime to and what amounts. So, the leadership of the party is not concerned about what policies it supports, just that the policies that are supported ensure that the payola keeps coming in. So, the Democratic party, rather than move left with its constituents, would rather push into the Republican pool of voters. That way, the money keeps coming in. The policies to reverse this sad state of affairs are shunned by our party leaders and ignored such monopoly enforcement, political donations or money in government, secure honest elections, steeper progressive tax rates, banking enforcement.

        1. ambrit

          Sadly, it took a crisis like the Great Deression to bring a reformer like FDR to Ower. What will be our crisis (question mark.]

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hillary would want another chance, having been cheated that way.

      “I was robbed.”

      Can you blame her? Blaming the victim?

    3. Monty

      I thought it was because he called out decades of betrayal by the nation’s elites, “left” and right. He claimed to have a way to fix it for everyone and, faced with an alternative of HRC, millions decided to ‘roll the dice’.

      Those that were called out have been kind enough to try and hobble his first term by foul means. That will be the perfect excuse for why he was unable to deliver on his promises. Chances are there are many who will give him a little longer come 2020 as a result.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I wonder if Trump will run on needing 4 more years in his Long March against Xi and the Red Merchantile Army.

      2. marym

        Granted there’s been a lot of screaming about RussiaPutin but in practical terms what promises to non-elites has he tried, particularly in legislation the first 2 years, and continuing executive branch action, to deliver and been hobbled?

      3. jrs

        blah blah blah the same for obama, he couldn’t deliver because reasons, blah blah blah. Trump had an R congress and he DID deliver on that which actually mattered to him: the tax cuts. So don’t give this can’t deliver garbage. He delivers when he wants to he just doesn’t give a @#$#, even less than Obama did.

        1. Monty

          Yes, anyone who is able to engage in some rudimentary critical thought, and who is not wearing ideological blinkers, can see the fraud from a mile away. If “the wall” were being built to further pen in some Palestinians, it would have been funded and built by now.

    4. Mikemac

      Keep telling yourself that. Independent voters were/are tired of the PC police claiming racism,sexism, xenophobia any time there is disagreement and/or competing ideas. Trump’s raw, non-pc rhetoric came across as authentic . Independents are also very skeptical of globalism (which has cost the middle class plenty while benefiting the overlords) which he attacked. And lastly he ran a much more energetic and busy campaign visirting swing states repeatedly. Clinton was lazy and tired with lazy tired old ideas .

  24. Dan

    Is Motion Smoothing Ruining Cinema?

    Hot news flash. Except for some select art houses,
    no theaters project actual motion picture film anymore.

    It’s all coming off a giant hard drive and being intermediated through a computer that runs on 60 cycle current. That’s why the images look washed out and there’s little depth of field.

    Now that they play commercials in theaters, you might as well stay home and save the ten bucks a head and 20 dollars for .50 cents worth of GMO popcorn, butterfat, water, carbon dioxide gas, high fructose corn syrup and patented concentrated syrup.

    Theaters will not exist in ten years.

    1. Wukchumni

      We threatened to take my 94 year old mom to the movies, and I asked our family how often they go, and like us, it’s been a long time between visits. Our 10:55 am attempt @ some chi-chi new age cinema in San Diego that serves tucker & snappy cocktails @ your seat, thwarted by other cheapies wanting to see Yesterday on $6 tix, and it was sold out.

      So we went to the horse races @ Del Mar, another dying pastime.

        1. Wukchumni

          There were 30 protesters & a like number of counter-protesters as we approached the entrance to the race track.

          The protesters all very WASP’y, and the counter-protesters all Hispanic backstretch employees of racing stables-who do all the work, aside from a 108 pound man who dresses up for the occasion, once a month to put a horse through its paces.

          Horse racing is a strange passion, all right, followed by some exceedingly strange folks. Strange folks like me, I suppose, for I’ve followed it for four decades, seen it fade, seen it triumphand now, perhaps more than ever before, seen it challenged.

          When you think about it, all our passions are a little flawed. In some important ways, passion compromises us, as is evidenced this Saturday afternoon by the protesters at Del Mar’s front door.

          1. newcatty

            Thank you nippersmom for that link. Horse racing is ,indeed, a dying pastime. Really what more proof do we need that a so called “sport” or pastime is justified, acceptable to civil society, in any way humane or rationalized by just flawed “passion” that is brutal to animals for people’s pleasure and gambling thrill? It’s an old and tired pastime . It’s using defenseless, amazing animals in another version of gladiator bread and circuses. At least humans in the NFLhave some kind of decision making ability. Please, yes, there are other escapes beside the all American “sport”.

      1. Dan

        Emulsion based color film, at least in new prints, is richer and more varied than digital.

        A side by side comparison shows that.

        OTH, I watched Bullit at a theater in Portugal years ago. The film had been shown so many times that there were no colors but reds, pinks and whites, the last to go. Figure if a film has been projected 24 times, that’s a full second for each frame in front of a powerful projector beam. At 2400 showings, it’s gone, as above.

        1. RMO

          A good film to actually watch – as opposed to just cut to the (justly renowned) car chase. A few years back when I was dating the lady who I am now married to we made a dinner and movie night of Bullit as she had never seen it before and I hadn’t watched it in years. One thing that struck both of us was how adult the characters were and how little forced drama there was. I would be willing to bet the plot would be considered too complex for an action movie these days as well. My Mum’s favorite memory of seeing it when it was first released was the scene where Frank is grocery shopping and he just grabs a bunch of TV dinners out of the cabinet and drops them in the basket without even looking at them as it reminded her so much of how my Dad ate when he was on his own.

          1. Tinky

            It was an outstanding film, and the superb musical score by Lalo Schifrin is an integral part.

        2. Carolinian

          It has nothing to do with runs through the projector. The organic dyes in color print film deteriorate over time. The same thing can happen to your home snapshots. Refrigeration can help slow this. Poor storage does the opposite.

          Long ago Technicolor printed movies with a three strip process that used inorganic dyes and lasted forever, more or less. Kodachrome also used inorganic dyes. But the chemical process that produced most other color film required those organic dyes.

          And yes film projection is dead except at certain special venues.

    2. Off The Street

      Motion smoothing variants are on some televisions, too. Try an A/B test, or an A/V test if you prefer.

      1. ShamanicFallout

        I don’t see a lot of movies and certainly don’t get to the theater anymore. But I have a question about the sound in movies these days. I will let my young daughter watch a movie (usually one of those Pixar cartoons i.e. but sometimes non-animated) every once in a while and the difference in sound volume between the dialogue and the music is off the charts. One has to lean in to barely make out the dialogue and then the Hollywood ‘scene’ music kicks in and knocks you back in your chair it’s so loud. It’s borderline assaultive. And it drives me nuts. What is going on here? Have they studied this in focus groups and found it to be good for something? Hypnosis? Pleasurable? Maybe I’m just getting old…

        1. Monty

          I hate that. It is related to the way the surround sound mix is decoded on your device. Check your tv to see if it has some surround sound modes to try out, or invest in a sound bar that can understand the surround signal better than your tv. That’s how I fixed it.

    3. Harrold

      You forget that film makers now a days no longer shoot on film, so there is no film for theaters to show.

      Tarrantino is one of the last to shoot on film. Tarantino’s ‘Once upon a time in Hollywood’ will be shown on 70mm in some theaters.

  25. richard

    Hey, I haven’t seen any discussion on gabbard’s bds vote. Has anyone heard an explanation from her campaign on this?
    Even if her foreign policy critique of the u.s. cannot include critiquing massive support for an open air prison camp, apartheid and settler appropriation and violence, even if that goes too far for her (and if it does, may i politely reply wtf!!), how can she not defend the CLEAR 1st amendment principle. I don’t get it. Want to hear what she has to say.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Are AIPAC actually threatening pols’ lives?

      Her campaign wasn’t exactly taking off, so maybe she’s protecting future fundraising.

      1. richard

        thanks for that link
        surprised there were that many?
        is it an improvement or something? I found it horribly depressing

  26. ewmayer

    “The New York Fed Has a Black Swan Hunter Bloomberg (Bill B)” — I’m picturing Elmer Fudd in his great white hunter role: “I’ww bwast that pesky wabbit … be vewwy, vewwy quiet…”

  27. richard

    Thanks for the link, this was interesting. Counterpunch always did manage to find its share good writers, and the tradition of savagely mocking Thomas Friedman goes back to Alex C. himself.

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