Links 7/3/19

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30 Of The Funniest Cat Jokes Vet Clinics Put Up On Their Signs Bored Panda

The Man Who Walked His Life Away Deadspin (foghorn longhorn)

Everything You Need To Know About The Future Of Pesticides And Bees Forbes (David L)

Committed emissions from existing energy infrastructure jeopardize 1.5 °C climate target Nature. Shorter: “We already have too much carbon-emitting stuff to have any hope of arresting climate change.” Even shorter: “We’re fucked.”

The latest consideration for would-be parents: Climate change Grist

Nuclear is less costly than you think Financial Times. UserFriendly: “From January, still relevant.”

Austrian parliament votes for ban on weed killer glyphosate Associated Press (David L)

Obesity is now a bigger cause of deadly bowel, kidney, liver and ovarian cancer than smoking Daily Mail

China?

China condemns violent Hong Kong protests as ‘undisguised challenge’ to its rule Reuters. Resilc: “As soon as a trade “deal” is inked the tanks roll?”

China targets Hong Kong’s divisions to undermine protests Nikkei

India staring at a water apocalypse Asia Times

Surprise finish, uncertain consequences, in race to choose new EU leaders Politico

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, was just nominated for the top job at the European Central Bank Business Insider

Brexit

No-Deal Brexit recipes you can make without food Daily Mash

Tesco faces Brexit deadline headache BBC

Syraqistan

Deadly attack hits Tripoli migrant detention centre: Official MSN. Ignacio: “First rejected from the EU, then held malnourished, finally massacred. About 3500 migrants held in detention centers in war zone. Not better than Trump records on migration.”

Air strike hits Libya migrant detention center DW

Edward Gallagher: Navy Seal chief found not guilty of killing IS teen BBC. This story stinks to high heaven.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Twitter Can Now Censor the President RealClearPolitics (UserFriendly). I don’t think Twitter has a death wish. But it will be amusing if anyone goes after them for having a double standard.

Facebook ban on white nationalism too narrow, say auditors Guardian. “Auditors”? You have to do a more work than a reader should have to do to find out who the “auditors” are.

Security Flaws In a Popular Smart Home Hub Let Hackers Unlock Front Doors TechCrunch

Facebook Doesn’t Know If You’re Psychotic Bloomberg

Imperial Collapse Watch

American Pride Hits New Low; Few Proud of Political System Gallup

Trump Transition

WATCH: Army tanks rolling through the streets of Washington, DC Raw Story

Trump intends to nominate Christopher Waller, Judy Shelton for Fed board The Hill

U.S. Drops Plans for Citizenship Question on 2020 Census Wall Street Journal

Applied Weighted Tariffs: US vs Other Countries Big Picture (resilc)

The Welcome Humiliation of John Bolton New York Times

Elizabeth Warren Accuses Advisory Panel For FCC of Corruption CNET

Court finds consumer has standing to pursue FACTA violation Public Citizen

US retail group offers to help antitrust investigators in going after Amazon and Google TechCrunch. Note the “group” includes WalMart. I love these Godzilla v. Mothra fights.

Constitutionality of $16 billion of Illinois bonds challenged – Reuters (EM)

Border Patrol Out of Control

More Than 140 Holocaust, Genocide Experts Think Ocasio-Cortez Should Be Allowed to Call Migrant Detention Centers ‘Concentration Camps’ Newsweek (UserFriendly)

Rep. Castro secretly recorded a migrant facility in Texas. Here’s what he found PBS (David L)

2020

Vice President Tucker Carlson? Spectator USA (UserFriendly)

Kamala Harris Vaults Into Second Place as Joe Biden Slips After First Debate Bloomberg

Meet Sydney Ember, the New York Times’ Senior Anti-Bernie Correspondent Jacobin

Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign? New Yorker (UserFriendly). Pro tip: When you are in a hole, stop digging. Plus Hunter is way down the list of Biden senior baggage.

Libra

Thumbs Down to Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate

We just got a clear sign that Facebook’s dodgy reputation means it has a massive struggle to persuade people to use its new cryptocurrency Libra Business Insider

The Culture War Has Finally Come For Wikipedia BuzzFeed (UserFriendly). Spare me the encomiums for Wikipedia. It may be pretty good on value-neutral topics like pure math, but it relentlessly reinforces neocon/neoliberal orthodoxy.

Are Your Ag Borrowers Weathering the Storm Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (UserFriendly)

How Amazon and the Cops Set Up an Elaborate Sting Operation That Accomplished Nothing Vice. UserFriendly: “Amazon, now actively getting you arrested.”

Tesla stock surges after setting new delivery and production records CNBC

Bob Dylan & the Culture Industry’s Destruction of Dissent Consortiumnews (furzy)

When Brokers Act Badly at Wells Fargo, Women Take the Fall Intercept

Apartment Rents Fall in Seattle, Southern California, New York, Oakland, San Jose, Chicago, Honolulu Wolf Richter

Class Warfare

There are Still Good Paying Jobs for People Without Skills, Just Read the Washington Post Opinion Page Dean Baker

Black workers are being left behind by full employment Brookings (UserFriendly). And that’s before you get to involuntary part time employment.

Antidote du jour. Aviva:

The chicken is Feisty, a 2 year old Australorp. The lizard got into the chicken run and Feisty tried to eat it. The lizard (possibly an Alligator lizard of some kind) clamped on to Feisty’s beak and would not let go. My husband had to do an emergency Feisty/lizard separation. Both chicken and lizard were unharmed.

And a bonus from Randy G:

…something a little less cuddly than your typical ‘antidote’….

This is a rattlesnake that I photographed hiking in Pacheco Pass near the San Luis Reservoir in California. The species is Crotalus o. oreganus, the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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227 comments

  1. Bill Smith

    “WATCH: Army tanks rolling through the streets of Washington, DC”

    Don’t think the video shows any “tanks”. Though that may be fitting as we are talking about Trump. :)

    Reply
    1. BobW

      Yes, it reminds me of the time long-ago that reporter Geraldo Rivera was talking about battleships while he was pointing at a frigate. For people who make a living with words they can be very loose with them.

      Reply
      1. Plenue

        They’re too busy arguing about style guide minutiae to learn proper terminology. How many stories have we read about soldiers holding ‘machine guns’ when they’re clearly holding rifles?

        Reply
        1. Greg

          To be fair, common sense says an automatic weapon is a machine gun, even though it’s not the technical definition.
          It’s a gun. Machinery makes it shoot lots. Never mind it might be a rifle, a submachine gun, etc.

          Reply
  2. Sushi

    Facebook represents hazards to non-users, too. For those who left that platform, or others who never joined, you may be part of a shadow network that fills in blanks, infers and pieces together connections. Those high school classmates who tag people in photos, that list of whatever, all becomes fair game in making valuable, monetizable connections to continue to make you a product long after you exited, or never joined.

    They aren’t the only ones in social media doing that, either. For the more circumspect, consider what is circulated to others wanting to know about you that doesn’t make the public eye. That Chinese social score has variants stateside.

    Reply
    1. Di Modica's Dumb Steer

      I usually explain the infamous ‘shadow profiles’ in terms of the phone apps:

      Say Alice is absolutely dead set against having a Facebook profile, so wisely, she doesn’t sign up. She does, however, have a smartphone, email, and the like, where she may be reached. At this point, the information known by FB about Alice is pretty limited.

      Bob, her less tech-savvy friend, DOES have a Facebook profile. He’s also pretty diligent about keeping his address book up to date, so he has all of Alice’s contact information, including email, and it’s all current.

      When Bob installs the FB app, one of the first things the app does is request permission to access your contacts (I’m not sure how granular the permissions are for Apple, but at least with Android, it used to be an all-or-nothing affair). In many cases (especially on older versions of Android, the most common mobile OS on Earth), denying this permission means you can’t use the app. Bob approves this permission.

      The contact list is then uploaded to FB under the guise of ‘Find your Friends!’, which it does. FB matches all that contact information to people already on the service, and if it finds any bits of information it didn’t already have (an errant email address here, a phone number there), it’ll slurp that up, and likely silently add it to the information it has.

      But wait! There’s a contact listing here that FB previously had no information about. Name, address, emails, phone numbers, and possibly work-related details. Since FB previously had nothing on this person, it creates a shadow profile, and attaches this information. Alice isn’t officially on FB, but it now knows about her. Then, FB waits. If Carla and Dan, both friends of Alice, do the same thing with additional details, FB will take those as well. None of that information is surfaced to the users, but it’s certainly there. This is how FB has information on people not officially on the platform.

      Let’s get slightly more advanced. While this orphan data is valuable to FB, they probably get much more out of it when they can tie it to a real life human, so they’re likely doing all they can to do so. It’s likely that FB also knows exactly what Alice looks like. FB is doing plenty of facial recognition, made easier by the fact that users will tag the photos with the names of the users. If Alice, Bob, Carla and Dan hang out a lot, with at least a few of them posting several photos to FB, FB will likely notice that in a photo of four faces, three are tagged with users who are already users. To whom does that mystery face belong? Well, if the uploaded contact information for Alice contained a picture, FB will just compare the faces. If not, no problem. If Bob, Carla, and Dan live close to Alice, FB’s backend software likely applies a probability score to the fact that this face may well be that belonging to the orphan data. It likely correlates the address of the hangout to the address of the other users. If they’re usually hanging out someplace close to Alice’s address (FB already has this because it was part of the contact data uploaded by Bob), that’s another indicator that this mystery face is probably Alice.

      Of course, if any of the photos with a mystery face is uploaded with a metadata location tag of Alice’s address, FB can be damn near certain that the mystery face IS Alice. And yet, Alice is not officially on FB. They have the information anyway.

      The rabbit-hole can go much deeper than this, probably in ways we can’t even imagine.

      Reply
    2. lordkoos

      On some browsers such as firefox you can see google analytics constantly popping up at the bottom of pages as they load.

      Reply
  3. Wukchumni

    The Man Who Walked His Life Away Deadspin
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I last ran in high school on the X-Country team, as I found walking more to my forte, for i’ve never gone fast enough that I might miss something along the way, nor have I been entranced with walking vast distances in a short time such as George Wilson. I’ve seen lots of his type on the John Muir Trail, heads pointed down towards the ground, arms pumping their hiking poles up & down like perfect pistons, the walker oblivious to their surroundings, gotta do 24 miles today if i’m going to get r’ done in 10 days, rush rush rush-a is no way to go through life, going nowhere fast. Take it as it comes and savor the experience, or better yet go off-trail and really slow things down to a crawl as you have to anticipate each step, going forward.

    Reply
    1. JEHR

      I have been walking regularly since 1980. According to Fitbit , I have walked 20,506,128 steps since May 21, 2015. If 14,000 steps equals 4.5 miles–you do the math. The biggest change has been time–it takes longer now to cover the same distance; I try to walk 7 km daily.

      Reply
    2. Brindle

      On my walks, usually 2-5 miles per walk, I enjoy looking for wildlife—that can include insects lke butterflys or bees. A hike last week I stopped and watched the honey bees on a blooming sage plant for a minute or two. I used to jog and run a lot but as I age walking is less impactful on the knees and hips.

      Reply
    3. Wyoming

      I’m one of those big time mileage hikers you diss above. Some 25,000 miles total. Even in my mid-60’s I still cover a minimum of 20 miles a day. This weird idea many have, which you articulated above, that someone going that far in a day is missing everything is just silly. If I hike 10 hours and cover 20-25 miles I am going only 2 to 2 1/2 miles an hour. That is really slow travel and enjoying nature at that speed is fully satisfied. People like me do savor the experience and have come to resent the constant lecturing from folks who like to do things differently than us. Hike your own hike partner.

      Reply
      1. Wombat

        Spot on Wyoming. I find myself scurrying through the more lackluster spots so i can do what I call “intermittent reward harvest” – or stopping and taking it in- at more scenic spots and especcially above treeline. To each their own.

        Do you have experience climbing in the Wind River range?

        Reply
    4. Oh

      If one wants to “smell the coffee” during a walk, one should take a dog with him/her. They enjoy stopping and checking out the odors along the way and that makes you enjoy the walk or hike.

      Reply
  4. Wukchumni

    Committed emissions from existing energy infrastructure jeopardize 1.5 °C climate target Nature.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Watching Mother Nature doing her thing this past week included 3 feet of hail in sunny Mexico and over 30 inches of rain in Japan, possibly a purloined monsoon-late from India.

    This will be a most vexing issue, learning to coexist with with a strange bedfellow that has quirky habits we’re not used to, people get ready.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzLd2MDAHK8

    Reply
    1. Antifa

      Committed emissions . . .

      We’ve dug a big hole in the tar sands of Alberta. Now we just walk away?

      We’ve drilled new wells for oil or gas all over. Leave it in the ground?

      We’re building 183 cracking plants around the world to supply the plastic products consumers demand. Tell them it’s all a big mistake?

      Tens of million of acres of wheat, corn, rice, sorghum, vegetables, pasture and fruit ripening. Plow it all under?

      There are customers waiting for all this stuff.

      Committed emissions = committed repercussions.

      Which one is the rock, and which one the hard place?

      Reply
    2. Lee

      Major crop failures, droughts, and/or massively destructive flooding affecting large portions of an over-populated planet: it could get real nasty real fast. Actually, it already is happening in certain regions considered “peripheral”, hence the mass migration toward the “centers” of civilization. I say we party like its 476.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Mayan-derstanding is things were pretty swell circa 476 in the Yucatan Peninsula, right in the sweet spot of what is now defined as their ‘Classic’ period.

        Reply
          1. ambrit

            It’s all Doric Greek to me??? (Attributed to Brutus of all people!)
            Disaster Capitolism: One from column D(oric) and one from column I(onic) and one from column C(orinthian.) A smorgasbord of downfalls.

            Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That sounds like we are trapped here, in this prison of a planet, or concentration camp.

          ET phones home: “Get me out!!!”

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            You have me laughing MLTPB. This is exactly the “theology” of the Scientologists! A theory made up out of whole cloth, (thus, a man of the cloth, etc.) by an amoral confidence trickster, one L. Ron Hubbard by name.
            ET for head Fallen Angel?

            Reply
    3. Procopius

      Minor quibble, and the reports I saw may not have been accurate, but they said two meters. A meter is roughly 40 inches. 80 inches is six feet, eight inches. I suspect 30 inches is likely to be the actual amount. Those fish keep growing after they get away.

      Reply
  5. Ignim Brites

    “Black workers are being left behind by full employment”. I wonder how much this is attributable to Spanish being the primary language on most construction sites?

    Reply
    1. nippersmom

      I spend a fair amount of time on construction sites. I don’t speak Spanish. I always seem to be able to understand what is going on and to make myself understood.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        That depends on what level of the site you associate with. At the lower depths, Spanish is indeed a primary language, at least here in the North American Deep South. The higher up the “value chain” you go on such sites, the more prevalent English becomes. It is indeed a class issue, not an ethnic one. This is why I fully support stopping all H1B visas and the like. If the local businesses will not spring for higher salaries to attract ‘local’ talent, then let said enterprises go out of business. Eventually, someone will pick up on the opportunities thus presented.
        We are not living in a “One World Socio-Economic Order” yet.

        Reply
        1. nippersmom

          I live and work in Georgia, which I believe qualifies as the North American Deep South. I interact with, and listen to, framers, concrete finishers, masons, electricians, hvac installers, landscapers, the guys who clean up the jobsite, and everyone in between– not just field superintendents or people high up on the “value chain “. I don’t dispute that a lot of Spanish is spoken on construction sites. I do disagree that it is a significant factor in Black workers being left behind by full employment.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            My recent experiences have been that the ‘skilled’ trades now are being outsourced to mainly Mexican and Central American unitary crews. The Electrical trades have been the only group to resist this trend with any success, from my observations.
            As for the Black workers being left behind, well, I’d frame it differently. I’d make that the class of High School grads and below being squeezed out.
            Black and White, Yellow and Red, once the Union busts, you might as well be dead. How does anyone trying to even co-raise and support a family compete against essentially migrant workers willing to work for below subsistence wages? A group of migrants can band together and make sacrifices in order to send money home. Money that would be considered high dollar if earned back at home. I’ve met some of these genuine strivers and held conversations with them. One pair were saving up to buy some farm land back on the plateau of Mexico. That done, they planned on returning. Others were working “out of town” to pay for something expensive at home.
            I also will dispute with you about the definition of “full employment.”
            That’s for another time.
            I’m still looking for bottle rockets to shoot at the delivery and surveillance drones this fall.

            Reply
            1. Ignim Brites

              Have to agree that undercutting of wages is significant but seeing the predominance of Hispanics on construction crews is evidence that something else is in play. If it is not language one would suspect racism. What else underlies the common refrain that these are jobs US citizens won’t take?

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                The majority of the ‘Mexican’ immigrants I have spoken to are either ‘migrant workers’ working ‘out of town’ for a relatively short period of time or recent immigrants who decided to stay on. So, from my experiences with these people, I gather that many of them are moving to find the “better life” for kith and kin. Something ‘back home’ is influencing them to move. This mirrors the traditional American “Immigrant Song.” Some seek better fortune while others fled persecution and death. Today’s Central American “asylum” seekers mirror the circa 1900’s Eastern European refugees from pogroms and genocides back in the “Old World.” The economic underpinnings of that older migration of peoples to the West is also similar to today’s economic dynamic: Capital exploiting cheap outside Labour.
                Just as back then, today’s migrants are a useful wedge to disable the “native” labouring class’s socio-political power. I would rephrase the old nostrum, “…jobs US citizens won’t take,” to read “…jobs US employers won’t pay a fair wage for.”
                It all depends on the point of view.
                Here’s an outre’ idea; Heisenbergian Economics.
                First Axiom: Money- Now You See It, Now You Don’t.
                Second Axiom: Everything Has ‘Strings’ Attached
                Third Axiom: All Schrodinger Cats Are Grey.
                Third Axiom First Corollary: Pay No Attention To That ‘Man In The Grey Suit’ Behind The Curtain.
                Etc. etc. etc…..

                Reply
        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Last summer I saw a work crew planting a bunch of disposa-potted plants in their proper places in the downtown urbanscape. I wondered what would happen to the emptied-out throwaway pots.

          So I asked one of the Latinxo-looking workmen . . . or tried to. He finally said ” no e’peek ingliss.” Maybe he did speak English and just didn’t want to be bothered. Or maybe he really didn’t. Was he an illegal immigrant? I don’t know and it didn’t seem the time or place to make it “my bussiness”.

          Reply
    2. Svante

      In my field, it’s still good old fashioned bigotry, greed & nepotism? Lots of immigrants, especially latinos… but peckerwoods galore. Lots of little cliques formed, due to the interplay with folks that’ve clawed their way into supervision (several levels above their competence level, whichever level entitles one to loaf about texting gifs, porn & effeminate emojis to all their kin, all turn?)

      https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/07/02/williams-pipeline-environmental-defense-fund-fracking-pseudoscience

      Reply
  6. John

    Concentration Camp is a historically and emotionally loaded term, but that does not diminish its legitimacy as a description of fenced enclosures in which people are held against their will. The camps in which the USA held citizens and legal residents of Japanese ancestry during World War II were concentration camps as were the camps set up by the British authorities in South Africa during the Boer War as were the camps in Cuba a few years earlier. We do not object to naming those as concentration camps. If you do not want to your action to be tagged with a name that evokes the World War II camps in Europe, do not pen people behind fences or walls, and it would appear, treat them badly.

    Reply
      1. Svante

        Bet’ya, early homo-sapiens were prodded unceremoniously, or tossed into some boulder strewn, snake infested gorge (or tossed) by their uni-browed “betters?”

        Reply
        1. Synoia

          The British may have invented then duringthe Boer War. Roberts lost to the Boer Insurgency, and was replaiced by Kitchener.

          Kitchener rounded up the Boer Womwn and children, depopulated the farms, placed them in camps, where many of them died in a Diptheria epedemic.

          The Africaans, the Boer, were still bitter about this treatment in the ’70s.

          I had several discussions with a future ZA finance minister about the Boer republic history, includingtheirexpansion into unoccupied High Veldt.

          Unoccupied because the Zulu removed the pre-Boer population.

          Reply
          1. dearieme

            The British may have invented then duringthe Boer War.

            They were used by the Spaniards on Cuba and the Americans in the Philippines before they were used in South Africa.

            All of which is beside the point since the Filipinos, the Cubans and the Boers were not illegal invaders.

            Reply
            1. jsn

              The whole enterprise of European colonialism around sugar and cotton in the New World can be looked at as concentration camps where human property was instantiated as ” fixed capital” with depreciation (mortality) schedules etc.

              It was only latter, to my knowledge, that such camps came to be used for pure “primitive accumulation”, where previously self supporting peoples would be sent to be trained into subservient dependency or simply warehoused until they expired.

              While an American invention, not invented by Americans.

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Perhaps the term ‘American’ is also oppressive, when used to describe 1) European descendants who live in this land today, because their ancestors came from elsewhere, and not this place (either called America, a European imposed word, or some other words used by those who lived here, though it’s possible no such words existed then), or 2) those ‘Americans’ who are native, becuase while they are native to this land, this land was not called America, except by some Europeans. The proper term would be native-something. That ‘something’ is yet to be determined (as far as I know).

                Reply
          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Relocating whole nations to a far away place, like forcing the Crimean Tatars to central Asia – how do they compare?

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              What about Norway, where 1/3rd of the country immigrated here between 1825 & 1925, while not the whole population, a sizable chunk.

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I think they say there are more Lebanonese living abroad than in that country, and perhaps the same also with Sicilians (the island, or as some claim, the country, who also, I think, claim they have had to learn the language of the dominant Florentines, bypassing their native Sicilian language).

                Reply
      2. Carolinian

        Thanks for the Mondoweiss. He’s defending AOC but of course she herself is unlikely to call Gaza a concentration camp because Dems don’t go there.

        For the record concentration camps were invented by the British during the Boer War. And while border crossers shouldn’t be mistreated, one can point out that they made the choice to enter the country that is detaining them. They were not hauled out of their homes and put in boxcars as in Europe or into Japanese detention camps as in America.

        Reply
        1. barefoot charley

          I dimly recalled Hitler crediting American genocide of Indians for his own camps, and googled up this:

          https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/archive/hitler-said-to-have-been-inspired-by-us-indian-reservation-system-V3MQ5A4QjU2GDXxTL980_w/

          “Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history,” Toland wrote in his book, Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography. “He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination—by starvation and uneven combat—of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.”

          Reply
        2. Svante

          New term? Barrio, reservation, ghetto, shtetl, sub-division? I always preferred Monty Python’s subtle, “Boncentration Bamp?”

          Reply
        3. Annieb

          But one may also acknowledge that desparate people become migrants for many awful reasons. They likely feel they have little choice. Although I suspect, from a few interviews with migrants, that smugglers are painting an easy picture of getting through the border.

          I think AOC used the loaded term concentration rather than internment for shock value.

          Reply
        4. anon in so cal

          Not too long ago, illegal immigration was referred to as a “safety valve” that allowed authoritarian regimes and their associated inequality to persist, in the sending nations. If emigration was prevented, emigres might potentially organize to demand significant land reform or greater democratization. This recent article seems to address that topic.

          http://https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science/article/restraining-the-huddled-masses-migration-policy-and-autocratic-survival/21B69A5B42F8AD2C33F8083EE97623C0” rel=”nofollow”

          Separately, AOC appears to advocate for open borders. Using incendiary terms to refer to immigrant detention centers galvanizes the public and attracts potential supporters. The conditions in the centers are surely ghastly but the people did arrive voluntarily. Releasing them typically means they are here permanently.

          Reply
          1. pasha

            “the centers are surely ghastly but the people did arrive voluntarily”

            really? the children?

            some empathy, please

            Reply
          2. Procopius

            Your definition of “advocate” seems a bit tortured. Or maybe it’s your definition of “open borders.”

            Reply
        5. Brooklin Bridge

          Many immigrant families have no choice. They can watch their children die of starvation at point of origin (the term “home” is probably euphemistic in the extreme) or risk being killed or interred in an American concentration camp in pursuit of sheer survival. In many cases, I suspect the US and it’s economic wars are directly or indirectly responsible for their plight. Watching your loved ones die of starvation is as good as any box car with German soldiers prodding you and is as strong a motivator as any detention camp for Japanese Americans.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            So AOC will be denouncing the Hillary/Obama role in the Honduran coup or Obama’s role in sinking the Venezuelan economy with sanctions? I doubt that as well. Guess what I’m saying is that one suspects a degree of partisanship and selective outrage. If you are going to speak the truth plainly then you need to speak all the truth.

            Reply
            1. jsn

              Speaking whole truths is a privilege of bystanders: to the extent one is having an impact and wants to continue to be impactful, one needs to be careful about what truths one speaks when, where and to whom.

              To early to judge AOC, but she’s been willing to soak up massive mainstream opprobrium in her brief tenure. I would certainly like to see her take on the truths you raise, but that may not be territory she feels attacking will enhance rather than diminish her power.

              If one is going to be in politics, it is to be effective. Not being too effective in politics myself, I hesitate to judge those with whom I agree on their strengths for not addressing all my interests. So yes, partisanship and selective outrage: struggle for power.

              Reply
            2. Brooklin Bridge

              I’m not quibbling with your point about AOC (though from afar, she seems pretty critical of Dems when the occasion arises). My thorn, if you can call it that – I had much the same thoughts as you, was putting responsibility on immigrants (or at least many of them) as if they had any sort of real choice in the matter.

              Reply
          2. Cal2

            Or, they can stay in Mexico, which speaks their language(s), shares many cultural aspects, needs workers, has free health care, is a lot closer and allows them to back and forth to their native villages.

            Of course, that would not serve the needs of U.S. interests who want to bust private unions, hammer wages down, sell more stuff, build more buildings etc, nor would it enable to ‘democratic Party to maintain its power base in “”migrant”” attracting polities.

            Reply
            1. Eclair

              As in North American, where English (and some French) has become the dominant languages imposed by the ‘invading’ settlers, Spanish (and some Portuguese) has become the dominant language imposed by the ‘invading’ settlers of Mexico, South and Central America.

              Hundreds of languages were, and still are, spoken by the Indigenous people. Who, are being wiped out (if you feel that ‘genocide’ is too strong a term) by the settlers as well as by corporate agriculture and resource extraction operations.

              What goes around, comes around.

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Ironically, those ‘English’ settllers’s ancestors include Celts, Romans, Picts, et al, lving in the Britain many years ago, who had to learn the dominant languages of Anglos, Saxons, Jutes, et all, and these one-time conquerors had to learn new Norman words, in turn.

                Reply
        6. dearieme

          concentration camps were invented by the British during the Boer War

          Nope: they were used by the Spaniards and the Americans before that, in Cuba and the Philippines respectively.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            I should have said the first use of the term “concentration camps.”

            https://allthatsinteresting.com/boer-war

            Of course as in the above “barefoot charley” comment some might consider the Indian reservations as qualifying and the there are prison camps like the Civil War’s Andersonville that precede.

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Do you think the Romans might have done something similar?

              “Cage them in slave camps until auction time.”

              What did the barbarians or foreigners (from Rome’s perspective) do? Drink the blood of their Roman captives?

              Reply
              1. Carolinian

                I am Spartacus?

                From what I’ve read the Roman slaves had a good deal of freedom, even gladiators, although obviously not in the Kirk Douglas version. Presumably the concentration camp concept would include walls and guards whereas in ancient times rebellious slaves had a lot fewer places to run away and hide.

                The native Americans could also leave those reservations at the risk of being hunted down. So it’s not exactly the same thing as Dachau.

                Reply
                1. jsn

                  For concentration camps proper, the inititing society had to be somewhere up the technology curve.

                  The exploitation is too expensive to impose over time without internal combustion, either in an engine or a firing chamber of some sort.

                  It also implies a logistical chain to be anything other than a death camp: those in it need to be sustained for whatever political purposes created the camp in the first place

                  Reply
                2. Procopius

                  I’ve often wondered how runaway slaves were identified before slavery was “racially” identified (i.e., identified by skin color). I was watching the old TV show, Rome, and the slaves look just like the owners. Same with “indentured servants” in seventeenth century Pennsylvania.

                  Reply
            2. Olga

              A new site for me, at least. Thanks! Perusing it, came across this little gem (file under “they’re not done with us yet”):
              https://allthatsinteresting.com/pecunia-non-olet
              On the origin of the “money does not stink” phrase:
              “But it was still not enough. So Vespasian started to introduce new — and novel, and perhaps unexpected — taxes. One peculiar item Vespasian decided to tax was human urine collected from public toilets.”

              Reply
                1. ambrit

                  Trickle down economics at it’s best! As Petronius was reputed to have remarked, “A veritable Shower of Gold!”

                  Reply
      3. Matthew Kopka

        Yes, and I have read more than once that the Nazis, Israelis, and South Africans studied our innovations and put the best to use.

        Reply
    1. Socal Rhino

      I was struck by the response of one Jewish historian (can’t recall the name or venue) along the lines of: the point of paying continued attention to the past is to prevent it from ever happening again, so comparing current events to the past is exactly what should be happening. Apparently other voices have joined her in saying this.

      Reply
        1. witters

          Trivially true – “The past is past”, or false – “Exactly as last year, the tree dropped its leaves.”

          Reply
    2. Eclair

      To stretch a point even farther, many of our criminal justice system facilities could be called ‘concentration camps.’ And some, perhaps (such as infamous ones in the southern states) even ‘gulags,’ which are defined as forced labor camps.

      Admittedly, the unfortunate inmates of such camps are ‘guilty’ of some ‘crime,’ even if the crimes are of ‘being Black or Brown.’ Or, Indigenous.

      Indigenous. This brings up the question: how many of the refugees being held in border concentration camps are Indigenous?

      What we are doing as a nation, what we have done in the past as a nation, is an abomination. “Concentration camp,” is a loaded term. But in view of what is to come as a result of Climate Chaos and the mass movements of the poorest populations that it will cause (and is currently causing,) we may need a new term that will embody the horror of entire populations of poor people being caged and left to die.

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        Seriously, you wanna see concentration camps? Just flip one of Nat Geo’s 1000 prison related shows and see the massive overcrowding and warehousing of people to such a degree that it endangers all lives involved because riots are far more difficult to control.

        Reply
      2. Matthew Kopka

        I had similar thoughts when it was revealed that the Trump lawyer who argued against toothpaste for the separated kids had argued the need for solitary confinement for some kids under Obama. Make no mistake–Trump is getting his jollies from the ugly, and as such is evil–but solitary confinement for kids IS separating them from their parents, and–to your point–the practice of confining people in small spaces by themselves, carried out in many of our prisons, is seen as torture by much of the rest of the world and regularly condemned by the likes of Amnesty International. (It can significantly harm people’s mental health, very quickly.) I drew frowns at a rally against the separations yesterday when I told some friends that treating the children better did no a policy make. In the world of the tribal duopoly no one’s interested in connecting anything to anything else. They’re interested in finding daily doses of oxygen for their anger.

        Reply
      3. lordkoos

        I thought the definition of a concentration camp was when a lot of people are detained indefinitely in a small area, without being charged with a crime. These prison camps certainly fit that description.

        Reply
    3. William Beyer

      I’m interested in the headline’s use of the phrase “should be allowed,” as if the Holocaust Museum has trademark rights on the plain use of the English language. The U.S. has been slaughtering people around the world since the end of WWII. The Korean War in particular stands out; when you roast 3 million civilians with napalm, you have to call it what it is.

      Reply
      1. Olga

        Let’s not forget the Spanish-American war – 1898, and the fifty-year occupation of the Philippines, during which hundreds of thousands Phil. died. (And that’s just killings outside US borders.)

        Reply
      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s been wider and longer, as a comment above about European colonization, including Russia’s conquest of Siberia.

        For example:

        According to Western historian James Forsyth, Aleut men in the Aleutians were subjects to the Russians for the first 20 years of Russian rule, as they hunted for the Russians while Aleut women and children were held as captives as a means to maintain this relationship.[19]

        And more generally, comparing to the American experience:

        The Russian colonization of Siberia and conquest of its indigenous peoples has been compared to European colonization in the United States and its natives, with similar negative impacts on the natives and the appropriation of their land.[21]

        More details can be found (and debated on) in ‘Russian conquest of Siberia,’ Wikipedia.

        It would be interesting to hear additional comments from posters here.

        Reply
    4. Judith

      Margaret Kimberley of BAR on US prisons as concentration camps:

      https://blackagendareport.com/freedom-rider-us-prisons-are-concentration-camps

      “The country that began with the attempt to exterminate the indigenous population and continued with the enslavement of millions of people was obviously the site of many concentration camps. Native Americans were held in them before being sent far from their homes. Slave markets and plantations were concentration camps as were the chain gangs which followed. The internment of Japanes Americans fits the same description.

      That sordid history culminates in the mass incarceration state which disproportionately impacts black people. The group represented by a mere 13% of the total population comprises half of those caught behind bars. It is important to speak truthfully about this country, even if tender sensibilities are hurt in the process.”

      Reply
      1. foghorn longhorn

        A search for Andersonville might be in order here, it was the southern “concentration camp” during the war of northern aggression.
        The norths had one also, but the name escapes my olden memory.

        Reply
    5. Basil Pesto

      It is worth pointing out that in the Nazi context there are two different kinds of camps which are often, in the public consciousness, conflated into one category: Concentration Camps and Extermination Camps. In the popular imagination (it seems to me anyway) the term Concentration Camp encompasses both. Actually, they were distinct. Concentration camps were for rounding up all kinds of dissenters and undesirables and forcing them into labour (and there was no small amount of murder involved in those camps by any means, either). Extermination camps, which came later, were for the execution of the Final Solution, dedicated to murdering as many Jews as possible as efficiently as possible. Thus, Auschwitz had two camps – the Auschwitz concentration camp, and Auschwitz-Birkenau, a few kilometres away, which was the extermination camp.

      Reply
  7. jefemt

    Financial Times article link paywalled re: Nuclear less costly than you think?
    I doubt it… unless the article cites full-life-cycle cost accounting with proper allocations to the ‘commons’ and society-at-large for de-commissioning, ‘safe storage’, where these processes will occur, and who is funding it all, and the drawn conclusion is, Nukes are Far Too Costly, I say BS.
    We don’t have the political will to de-commission nuke weapons, work together to reduce carbon-based fuel use, share resources, or ‘print money’ with a promise to pay the investor class their pound of flesh/humble 5%, so that everyone has clean water, air, food, and shelter, how do we suppose that nukes will be properly funded and managed?
    My life experience points toward corner-cutting, cost-savings, crapification, and human error. Nuclear Power–, living in Space— horsepucky!
    We are blessed to live on the most elegant spaceship conceivable, and we can’t screw it up fast enough.
    FT… yoikes

    Apologies for my grumpiness. Circling back to the declining mental health of folks…

    Reply
    1. Plenue

      I waffle back and forth on nuclear power. On the one hand, objectively, even the highest possible estimates for the total number of people killed by nukes, including the two bombs, doesn’t exceed a million. More than that die annually just from problems related to coal. On the other hand, we’ve been extremely lucky when it comes to nuclear accidents. If the wind had been blowing toward Kiev the night Chernobyl exploded, or if the Fukushima 50 hadn’t stabilized the reactors, we’d be talking about millions of deaths.

      And that’s not even talking about the issue of spent fuel, the ‘solutions’ to the problem basically consisting of “throw it in a giant hole and invent warning signage that will transcend human language and civilization”. And I don’t put much trust in the assurances that the latest generations of reactors will be meltdown proof or that spent fuel will no longer be a problem.

      This is all seems pretty academic at this point though. It takes at least a decade to properly and safely build a reactor. We don’t have a decade; we’re already past the point of no return on climate (2030 as the real point of no return is ridiculously optimistic).

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        We seem to have already passed the fabled “point of no return.” The feedback loops involved in the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets melting look to have become set. It’s just a matter of time.
        Realistically, all this “keep it below 1.5 degrees effort” signalling seems to be a distraction. Some serious actors are probably working on limited survival strategies as we type.
        This species will have to adapt in order to survive. The present civilization doesn’t have a chance. A new one will be needed.

        Reply
        1. Brooklin Bridge

          We are sort of functionally, but not literally at the point of no return in that the likelihood of our globally doing something significant on a sufficient scale in a sufficient time period looks bleak indeed. We have indeed passed the point of no easy fix or even easy return. But I’m splitting hairs. YOu’re right. Cooked.

          As to a new civilization being needed, it’s quite possible the evolutionary scheme of things has had quite enough of us in any and all forms possible, as in NEXT!

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            The sentimental side of me wants humans to keep on keeping on.
            I’m theorizing that some remnant of humanity will carry on. I just hope that they will be able to do so somewhere above the hunter gatherer level of existence.
            Happy Fourth, and if you can, give the rusticating among us some reporting about the new high security holiday festivities in the Big City.

            Reply
            1. Brooklin Bridge

              Happy 4th to you as well. I’m outside the big city, am quite the rusticator myself, otherwise would be happy to provide a blow by blow on the high security (of which I wasn’t even aware – though not surprised). Boston is fast becoming little more than a very expensive gated community, and a very congested one at that. I go there as little as possible.

              I was indeed a little bleak above and am ambivalent about our value to the planet. I would certainly be more enthusiastic about it with any sort of confidence we actually learn a lasting lesson from the destruction we’ve unleashed over the last 100 years and on a more positive note I don’t count that out as a possibility. Otherwise, however, we seem to be basically good for precipitating mass extinction events, particularly of innocent species that never did us any harm, and the suffering that goes with them.

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                I get progressively bleaker in my outlook as I age. Perhaps it is a function of that eternal subconscious realization that I’m going to die sooner rather than later now. When I was young, the concept of Death, both theological and Pratchettian, intruded but seldom into my world view. It could be just part of the (gasp! those cliched words!) Cycle of Life.
                I seem to have stumbled upon a “modern” theme; Rustication as a survival strategy.
                Oh well. Let’s enjoy it while we can.
                I wish you and your’s peace and happiness.

                Reply
              2. jrs

                considering it will almost certainly be the worst people that survive if most of humanity doesn’t (and we are on a collective path to not even bother to triage and save all we can), I have very little interest in those worst specimens surviving and reproducing. Bah, let the cockroaches or whatever have it.

                Reply
          2. John k

            It was probably harder to make a living before the ice sheets melted than it will be after all the ice is gone.
            But maybe not in Florida or southeast China.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              Ah. The possibilities are endless. All that prime fish feeding grounds in the new shallows!
              Also, remediation of submerged toxic sites will be a major social undertaking, assuming that any technological society remains.
              “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”

              Reply
      2. Cal2

        Take the high road man.
        Get up on the ridges of the waffle, stay out of waste pits and go for solar.

        It’s not just the waste. It’s the amount of carbon emitted by the fueling cycle, and, the centralization of energy production, which is the antithesis of energy independence.

        “Each dollar spent on a new reactor buys about 2-10 times less carbon savings, 20-40 times slower, than spending that dollar on the cheaper, faster, safer solutions that make nuclear power unnecessary and uneconomic”…Every aspect of the nuclear fuel cycle—mining, milling, shipping, processing, power generation, waste disposal and storage—releases greenhouse gases, radioactive particles and toxic materials that poison the air, water and land. Nuclear power plants routinely expel low-level radionuclides into the air in the course of daily operations. While exposure to high levels of radiation can kill within a matter of days or weeks, exposure to low levels on a prolonged basis can damage bones and tissue and result in genetic damage, crippling long-term injuries, disease and death.”
        Solar and wind turbines, or solar hot water, do not do that.

        https://washingtonsblog.com/2013/04/government-reacts-to-fukushima-radiation-crisis-by-raising-acceptable-radiation-standards-instead-of-fixing-anything.html

        https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/31/climate/nuclear-power-project-canceled-in-south-carolina.html

        Reply
        1. Oh

          We don’t need centralized generation. Much better to generate locally and use locally. Less outages and easier maintenance with solar and wind with batteries for night time use.

          Reply
      3. Steve H.

        Broadly speaking (10^4): human civilization 6,500 years, radioactive utility as poison 10,000 years. That length of time is only an abstraction for us.

        The transcendent signage assumes people will avoid it. I think it makes it a target for some future warlord to send in their slaves to mine. What Bringer of Vengeance wouldn’t want an elephant’s foot? Even low level radioactive material gives a special flavor to the salt for the enemy fields.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          One writer said the way to ensure nuke waste stays quarantined is to create a religion around it. The only form of institution with sufficient potential longevity

          Reply
  8. Brindle

    re: American Pride—Gallup

    The whole idea having a poll for “pride” relating to the USA and its institutions is typical of the general shallowness and mediocrity of the DC/Beltway media institutions. They have a category called “extreme pride”—a very dangerous sounding phrase imo —and “extreme pride” is seen as being positive. Article has an onion-esque quality about it.

    –“The latest overall declines in patriotism are largely driven by Democrats, whose self-reported pride has historically been lower and has fluctuated more than Republicans’. Democrats’ latest 22% extreme pride reading is the group’s lowest in Gallup’s 19 years of measurement, and is half of what it was several months before Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory.”–

    Reply
    1. Geo

      “Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. ‘Patriotism’ is its cult…Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one’s country which is not part of one’s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.“ – Erich Fromm

      Reply
  9. prodigalson

    That Gallup poll was juicy. There’s a lot of meat in there in a lot of different topics.

    The generational breakdown is stark, those under 29 are much less likely to yell Murka™ all the time. This makes sense given the raw deal Millennials and Gen Z are inheriting. Most of the Gen X cohort are also less enchanted with things. Those over 50, and especially boomers and the remaining “greatest” over 60 are where the core support remains. Over the next 10-20 years as the boomers start to shuffle off this world and the political support drops from their lack of votes, likewise Gen Z and millennials will be well into voting age in force, I think the neo-lib status quo is in serious trouble.

    There’s a lot of un-earned support and pride in the military among the population, that’s a giant with feet of clay. What happens if Bolton gets his wars with Russia and China and the most likely scenario occurs and we get mauled? (assuming we don’t get nuked) The whole issue of “extreme pride” as some kind of normal state is weird in and of itself and shows our unhealthy culture of exceptionality. In general those Americans with a lot of pride seem either willfully blind or in place for some rude awakenings. 91% pride in America’s scientific achievements, yeah those are mainly from 40 years or more ago with the exception of the recent dubious social/app based technologies. Sporting achievement is a source of pride apparently, another unhealthy marker in our society. Kids get debt shamed for food in schools but hey Caitlin Jenner can still throw a javelin half a mile.

    Republicans are overwhelmingly proud, proud, proud. I have no idea of what exactly though. Kids sleeping on cement floors in Texas? Cheap insulin in Canada? The forever wars? No idea what happens next, but I have to wonder at the likely political and cultural upheaval as the boomers die and if the neo-lib establishments and values die with them.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I’m proud of our National Parks, as for once we left something alone. You talk about the perfect captive audience (ever notice how a $1 beer transforms into a $9 beer @ the ballpark?) for gouging people, but no, the concessionaires aren’t allowed to do so, how refreshing.

      I mentioned the other day that a friend who had worked as a seasonal (6-7 months a year, go do something else before returning to your part-time position each annum) finally got her permanent position in the NP after a dozen years, and I gave her a big hug as it was akin to winning the lottery.

      The latter i’m not so proud about, austerity employment measures in our national treasures. Imagine if the ‘real world’ of working was along similar lines, have a passion for your work, but no full time for you!

      Reply
    2. inode_buddha

      Pride goes before the fall… It is the root of evil, in the spirit of “my will and not thine be done”

      Reply
    3. flora

      As my great aunt used to say, “If you want a bucket of milk you can’t just sit down in the field with a bucket and wait for a cow to come by.”

      Reply
    4. Chris Cosmos

      Americans are, in my experience, the most likely population to actively and enthusiastically pull the wool over their own eyes. We live for the “American Dream” because you have to be asleep to believe in it–sleep, figuratively speaking is our chief national attribute that has outdistanced hypocrisy long ago.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Our ego works in such a way that it always wants to be the ‘mostest’ in whichever activitiy it is engaged in, constructive or destructive, positive or negative, etc.

        So, it is Exceptionlists to think we are the most virtuous, or we are most prone to be self-delusional.

        It’s likely we are not worse nor better than others, in general.

        Reply
      2. lordkoos

        I think a key factor is that compared to the rest of the world, Americans have been very fortunate, and spoiled. The US has never suffered an invasion, a coup (unless maybe you count the assassination of JFK), or a bombing campaign, and most of our recent slavery and oppression has been outsourced far, far, away so that we don’t have to look at it. Most countries on other continents have experienced much worse than Americans, within living memory.

        Reply
      1. prodigalson

        Heh, I’d never seen that before.

        I attended a conference recently, the elder engineer presenting made it explicitly clear that America’s big tech leap forward was pretty much all due to re-employed Nazi scientists.

        I think as a people it’s good to know your strengths and weaknesses. Americans love a good fight, to eat, drink, and make babies. Asiding from the fighting I think that’s a commendable list.

        Things we’re not good at, anything logical, dealing with reason, anything with too much math or science. There’s a reason why we hate, hate, hate the metric system. Likewise the fastest way to lose an argument in the US is to have facts and logic on your side and attempt to use them.

        Reply
        1. Janie

          Problem adopting metric system isn’t the math – it’s so simple compared to current system. The problem is NIH, not invented here. Same problem with adopting M4A, checking how other countries do education, etc

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            We’ve adopted the metric system for those activities where it is useful and helpful. The hospital I work in is all-metric, as are many, and we don’t mind it at all. Certainly my own department of pharmacy is entirely metric.

            In living our common everyday lives in the context of our common everyday culture, metric has precisely zero value to add to the benefit of anything. Demands for universal forced-metrication of America made by spokes-clones of the bicoastal trend-setting cultural-elite were never anything but a live-action display of contempt for the rest of us. So it should not surprise them that we hate them and we hate their forced-metrification for daily-life where no metric is needed.

            Reply
    5. Henry Moon Pie

      “proud. I have no idea of what exactly though.”

      You apparently don’t watch enough sports. America has really, really, really big flags: flags that cover infields; flags that cover basketball courts; flags that cover football fields. Next year, I’m hoping to see a flag that covers the entire site of the Indy 500.

      It’s a little like the story told about a drunken night LBJ spent with selected members of the press corps. At one point, he dropped his pants and proclaimed, “Anybody with a pecker this long deserves to be President.”

      So any country with a flag as big as a football field deserves to be #1, baby!

      Reply
        1. Geo

          I have a little American flag that sits prominently displayed in my livingroom. It was given to me by a homeless disabled veteran who sold them so he could live. He gave it to me as thanks for taking him in a bus ride to DC so he could visit the Vietnam Memorial for a day. All day he talked to other visitors to the wall and would help them find their loved ones names, share stories and hugs with fellow vets, and even gave out small pieces of paper and pencils so they could scratch impressions of the names on the wall to take home with them. He ended up giving away more flags than he sold.

          Upon returning home he gave me one as well. That little flag says more about our country to me than any football field sized display of jingoistic idiocy. It symbolizes what America really is.

          Reply
    6. newcatty

      Prodigal son,
      Just want to point out,the obvious fact, that many “boomers” are not neo-lib in their political policies thinking or are not apologists or cheerleaders for exceptional American pride. There, of course, are those who fit your description of “proud” Americans, many who are Republicans. Let us be wary of the divide and conquer strategy of the duopoly parties, the PTB in those parties and those above them. The Gen Z and millenials have inherited a raw deal. Generational division is no different than encouragement of racial divides, gender divides, social and class divides . Now, let us be in unity for what is important for us all.

      Reply
  10. Wukchumni

    About a decade ago, NPS decided that the road between Sequoia NP & Grant Grove wouldn’t be plowed in the winter as it had been done over the previous 70 years, as in closed for the winter. The road was around 25 miles in length @ 6k feet, and had previously required heavy snow removing equipment and knowhow. This was one of the first steps of NPS fiscal downsizing I witnessed, not many people drive that road in the winter, we can save $xx,xxx.xx by not doing anything anymore.

    Fast forward to this year and for 2-3 day stretches the Generals Hwy was closed due to heavy snow a number of times, as in Sequoia NP was shut down in entirety. You see, they don’t have the equipment or knowledge anymore to be able to do the job adequately, a vicious circle jerk monetarily.

    And then as you’re starved for do re mi, the President wants his dog & pony show, tanks for the memories and the couple million of NPS money wasted on a parade of military might, as if we needed proof.

    Reply
  11. William Hunter Duncan

    Everything I need to know about pesticides? in 500 words? Thanks Forbes.

    As to the premise that urban pollinators are healthier than rural, I have been gardening in Minneapolis for 16 years, I have 30 fruit trees on my 1/6th acre lot, and 200 species of plants, and I have been wondering this year even more than in recent years, where are the bugs?

    Bumblebees were very common here 10 years ago. I hardly see any anymore. Bees generally, of the dozens of species that should be feeding here? Nil. The sight of a single honeybee is cause to rejoice. Monarch sightings have declined considerably again this year, after 10 years of declining sightings.

    Articles like this in Forbes, with optimistic titles and otherwise hollow, are part of the problem. It is like an extermination campaign hardly anyone will be truly honest about, because there is so much “feeding the world” pride involved, we treat technology with the same fervor as do the acolytes of Almighty God, assuming He/Tech will work it out, and of course there is no more sacred thing, nay the ONLY truly sacred manifestation in America of The Diety, is profits.

    The question is, do these profiteers succeed in their extermination campaign before humans wake up and treat them like the pathological monsters they are, or do we wake up after apocalypse when there isn’t much to be done about it? As there is not even a hint of a conversation about holding big ag accountable, I can just about guarantee the latter.

    Reply
    1. JacobiteInTraining

      My tech start up plans to be fully disruptive of the existing ossified and inefficient pollinating ecosystem, driving synergies of scale with our AI-controlled drone pollinators…to be available in a variety of hip colors, and don’t forget – 10% of your investment (and of all customer purchases) will go towards ecofriendly grants to disadvantaged third world pollinators for fair trade policies to include retraining and education in coding!

      Reply
      1. lordkoos

        I read somewhere about a techie idea that nano-tech (as in tiny drones) will be able to take over pollination after all the bees are dead… sounds like real winner…

        Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        You are too late. There are already people working on the problem.
        https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/03/03/517785082/rise-of-the-robot-bees-tiny-drones-turned-into-artificial-pollinators

        And here’s an odd mix of images of real bees and robo-bees findable under the searchwords China Robot Bees Images. One can go from image to image and click any source-of-the-image URL link to see if it was worth reading or not. Image wormhole searching.
        https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrJ6STzqh1d3OEA_ktXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEycHBtMWNzBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjY4MzNfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=china+robot+honey+bees&fr=sfp&guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9zZWFyY2gueWFob28uY29tLw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAFfK1bO85uLb1dXKkckVZSuh9RcgX9Gu04waS2vAmBhzvcWsDtb_huCSGHK12lZTKU0GzE_6Fu7fx8a0c0M14b5Ic724dr6Fg0X38VzeWvoh7QfBnEnjuIYJUJIDo0N76upnC9vT1Y1y5sTw28xOASoVdkTDGF5T5qCayvhdQ37O

        Reply
    2. KB

      Cheer up William. I live 2 blocks south of Southwest Minneapolis. Most of my yard front and back is flowering perennials….I see many many bumblebees on all of my flowers, honeybees as well…been gardening for 20 years and don’t see what even some in my city worry about: not enough songbirds or bees…
      The particular neighborhood down to street level?…I dunno. But, all is well here, but for the wasps…..

      Reply
      1. lordkoos

        It really depends where you live. I’m in an agricultural area and a lot of crap gets sprayed around this valley, and the bees and other insects have become noticeably scarce.

        Reply
    3. Judith

      Yes, I was troubled by the author’s glib assumption that pesticides are wonderful and their use is mandatory. We just need to solve that small pesky problem about killing bees. Maybe she should read Rachel Carson, to start.

      Reply
    4. Craig H.

      There seems to be an ongoing bee-centered propaganda conflict. For example this atlas obscura piece from 2016:

      The Case Against Honeybees

      I have no idea what is really going on there but the tone of the thing resembles the character in Kubrick’s Doctor Strangelove ranting about communists contaminating our precious bodily fluids. In my local park the bees are enthusiastically buzzing to beat the band and there is nothing apparently sinister.

      Reply
      1. polecat

        Sounds like a case of creepy crawly derangement syndrome to me. Many people have been propagandized to see insects, ANY insects … as harmful, to be eradicated thusly. So out comes the Insecticide with a vengence ! My two backyard hives are seething with proposeful life. I cringe and am saddened, when I come across for instance, somebody spritzing their lawn with dandelion spray, because that’s what’s expected – the nice, green, manicured carpet of DEATH ! USE THAT HERBICIDE, the chem dude on the TV/Radio said so .. Fortunately, most folks (sorry Lambert) just let their turf dry up till the rains resume in the fall, hence, no maintennance to deal with.
        Sorry for the rant.

        Reply
    5. Cal2

      We too have fewer bees. But, one can attract other kinds of highly effective pollinators with simple devices.
      “There are a number of bees, called mason bees, that are very good at pollinating fruit trees, so much so that they are also known as orchard bees…”
      https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/mason_bees.shtml

      A block of wood, an electric drill, a box of paper straws (optional), and a few minutes of your time can help them along in your yard:
      https://www.ars.usda.gov/pacific-west-area/logan-ut/pollinating-insect-biology-management-systematics-research/docs/build-a-nesting-block/

      Should no bees be present, I’m wondering if gently shop-vacking flowers with pollen in them, then reversing the shop vac and blowing the pollen at other trees, or vegetables, around the yard would help pollinate?

      Have you harassed your local hardware or garden store to stop selling pesticides? What is stopping you? Get busy.

      Reply
      1. Old Jake

        I too have a few fruit trees on a sub-acre plot in a semi-rural area. You have listed a number of good measures, I particularly like harassing the local hardware store. In my town we are blessed to have a cooperative farm & home store which is well supported. While I expect until the local ag community renounces pesticides they will have to give them what they want, it might be possible to use the store as a center and propagator of knowledge for gentler pest control methods. We also have a strong organic farming industry, so traction might be had.

        One concern we should be aware of when building those mason bee hostels is that when solitary bees (or any other creature of solitary habit) are induced to live close together there is heightened risk of communicable disease. I’m thinking more but smaller “hostels” spread around the property might be of some help there.

        Reply
  12. marym

    Park Service has diverted $2.5 million in fees –normally used to improve parks around the country — for Trump’s July Fourth extravaganza as White House hands out VIP tickets to donors and Trump’s campaign staff…

    https://twitter.com/eilperin/status/1146198771132448769

    WaPo link (paywall) https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-gives-tickets-to-trumps-july-fourth-extravaganza-to-gop-donors/2019/07/02/9109a566-9ce0-11e9-b27f-ed2942f73d70_story.html

    Reply
  13. Brindle

    2020… Sanders Gains on Biden in latest poll…ABC

    …..Sanders comes within 6% in latest poll—but that is not the lede. Biden’s “electability” is in the lede. Interesting how constant and vigilant the MSM is in propping up Biden—wonder what it will take for them to desert Biden and pump,up some other neoliberal candidate.

    –“In current preferences, 29% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents support Biden and 23% favor Sanders, with 11% apiece for Harris and Elizabeth Warren.”–

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/harris-scores-debate-performance-electability-biden-front/story?id=64092090&cid=social_twitter_abcn

    Reply
    1. Chris Cosmos

      It’s too early for polls. Democrats have been willingly fooled into wanting to get back to normalicy and Biden represents “normal” as in Obama. As the Democratic field gets a little smaller and the primary season comes around things may look a little different. The other candidates may draw some sharp distinctions, people may realize Biden’s smile empty rather than full and, ultimately, they will realize he has no chance against Trump who is comfortable, confident and “natural” before an audience–Biden is too fake-looking.

      In terms of appearance I think Harris and, if the media can cover her and allow her to speak, Gabbard are more attractive candidates in terms of their comfort and style. But, ultimately, I think Sanders and Warren must grab the stage soon. Warren, to her credit, looks like a woman on a mission this may, by the end of this year, help her grab the lead.

      Reply
      1. Brindle

        I don’t have a particularly good impression of Harris but I rate her above Buttigieg. Harris seems to be getting a lot of positive media recently–she could be the next annointed front runner if Biden continues with his “not ready for primetime” campaign. My preffered candidates Sanders and Gabbard face an uphill battle because of negative or non-existent media coverage.
        I’d settle for Warren.

        Reply
        1. anonymous

          Harris says busing should be considered, not mandated

          WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Sen. Kamala Harris said Wednesday that busing students should be considered by school districts trying to desegregate their locations — not the federal mandate she appeared to support in pointedly criticizing rival Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden last week.

          Harris had a breakthrough moment at the candidates’ first debate when she criticized Biden for his opposition to mandatory school busing when he was a senator in the 1970s. Harris said she benefited from busing as an elementary school student in Berkeley, California, in the early 1970s.

          “That’s where the federal government must step in,” Harris said, looking at Biden and winning a burst of applause from the auditorium in Miami.

          On Wednesday, though, Harris characterized busing as a choice local school districts have, not the responsibility of the federal government.

          Busing, while not central to the Democratic primary, has become a proxy issue for the debate between Biden and Harris over race as well as broader questions about whether the 76-year-old former vice president is out of step with his party.

          After a Democratic Party picnic Wednesday in West Des Moines, Harris was asked by reporters whether she supports federally mandated busing.

          “I think of busing as being in the toolbox of what is available and what can be used for the goal of desegregating America’s schools,” she responded.

          Asked to clarify whether she supports federally mandated busing, she replied, “I believe that any tool that is in the toolbox should be considered by a school district.”

          https://www.apnews.com/586b1e81cb684654b0cf689b9074c1cb

          Reply
      1. Geo

        Her latest tweet was a push for data mining by Onward Together shrouded as a call to action for Dem elections. So, as is expected, she’s thinking about the grift.

        “This is an incredibly useful new tool from @OnwardTogether partner @SwingLeft: Enter your zip code to find what you can do to help Democrats win the most important elections, no matter where you live.” -Hillary Clinton

        Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Maybe in the quieter moments she is also rubbing her James-Bond-villain hands together in gleeful hope that the Convention is so deadlocked and that the Convention Brokers are so deadlocked that they will Coronate her as Nominee 2020 in the end.

        ” Hillary! Come back to us! A lonely nation turns its eyes to you . . . “

        Reply
  14. Wukchumni

    I was re-reading The Great Depression-A Diary by Benjamin Roth, and what a critical thinker was he. The diary starts in 1931 and one by one, countries go off the Au standard, those unchained from its slavish devotion and fully fiat having a great advantage over the few still abiding by the gold rules, which can’t last and doesn’t, with France giving up the ghost in 1936.

    In an attempt to stop poaching, this came about after the last holdouts folded in favor of fiat…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tripartite_Agreement_of_1936

    Reply
    1. Adam Eran

      Mark Blyth says we can either have a gold standard, or democracy. Not both. (from Austerity, the history of a dangerous idea

      Reply
    1. polecat

      I can attest to the tenacity of alligator lizards, as I still have the scar on my middle index finger from a close encounter 40+ years ago .. recieved by a big one with jaws like living vise- grips !! That thing just wouldn’t let go – ratcheting down ever tighter while I tried to pull it off, twisting it’s entire body in the process. From then on, polecat give them a mighty wide berth.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Saw a lizard on the trail last week and it had that look of being a brand new car tire, and I instinctively yelled out:

        “Drop down and give me 20, mister!”

        Not only did it do the full compliment, but achieved it 1-legged, in cold blood.

        Reply
      2. Synapsid

        polecat,

        I know it sounds awful but press gently on the throat so the lizard can’t breathe. They’ll let go fairly quickly.

        It’s the only method I found that didn’t do the lizard any harm. I used to live around alligator lizards. Their grip really is amazingly strong.

        Reply
        1. polecat

          Unfortunately for me .. at the .. uh .. ‘tender’ age 15, nobody was around to give me such sage advice … certainly not my companions who were with me at the time, they were laughing it up big time …. so I had to endure, until that sucker finally released it’s ‘grip of comeuppance’ upon my person !

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Man oh man. We thankfully don’t have alligator lizards here. I do remember teasing my little sisters by catching anole lizards in the garden and “clamping” them on the sister’s earlobes. Living earrings! One sister freaked. The other sister loved it and still loves small critters.

            Reply
    2. KFritz

      Would a crow or a raven in the same situation have whipped the lizard against the screen of some other available fixed object to loosen the lizard? There’s one youtube video of a crow getting the better of an alligator lizard, but it’s only 22 seconds. The crow strikes at the lizard quickly several times, backing off just as quickly each time.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        This. and the lack of a Coronation Process. Cheating for some is okay to score brownie points if it helps the assured winner, but cheating while losing is still a possibility risks fallout.

        Reply
    1. Kurt Sperry

      It’s not just the DNC, it’s also 90% of the press fully involved and integrated into the rigging processes. But if you can beat the rigging, you’ve not only beat the DNC, but also the combined might of the consolidated, billionaire-owned mainstream press. Which makes a lot of previous assumptions (the ones Trump hasn’t already flicked aside) politics has operated under for ages suddenly obsolete. You’ve also broken the “electability” mind-familyblog that is a key part of the “keep the left away from the levers” toolkit.

      That’s a lot to potentially accomplish in one election cycle, the battlefield would be redrawn, almost unrecognizable. They were so afraid the last time a left-populist got in, they term-limited the position, fearing they’d never win again.

      Reply
      1. Inode_buddha

        I keep getting these straw polls from the MSM and Democrat organizations. I always respond that my vote will be for Sanders. However its an opportunity to notice how the phrase the questions etc and its simply amazing how far they will slant things… much of it reminds me of little kids on Saturday mornings, devoutly believing that the wrestling is real, and rooting for “their” team.

        Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      This time the DNC has pre-shaped the battlespace and the battlerules. Not for nothing is the First Ballot victory needed for nomination set at 50% + 1, I believe. And not for nothing have so very many nomination-chasers entered the contest. The DNC has tried to assure that super-many entrants will divide up the delegates enough that no one nomination-seeker will get that 50% on the First Ballot.

      The DNC rules-engineers have further designed the rules to release all committed delegates to free-agent status for balloting-rounds Two till Infinity, in hopes that they will coalesce away from the 4 Decent Democrats and towards one or two Catfood Democrats.

      So the Process will not be rigged this time like it was last time. People watching for a repeat of Rigathon 2016 will miss the Catfood Design Engineering quietly hidden in plain sight for this time.

      The Decent Democrats have one single only lonely chance to get a Decent Democrat nominated. And that would be for all the Decent Democrats to have a clear-eyed compact going INTO the Convention, a compact trasnparently shared with all the delegates and millions of supporters in the field.
      And that Transparent Compact would the THIS: that every delegation know precisely how many delegates each of the Decent Democrats brings to the First Ballot, and add up all those delegate numbers together, and IF the total number of Decent Democrat delegates adds up to the 50% Victory Threshhold needed for the First Ballot . . . . that ALL the Decent Delegates cast their votes for the Decent Democrat which has the highest number of delegates of the 4 Decent Democrats.

      Thats it. That’s the one single only chance the Decent Democrats have to win the nomination for one of their own on the First Ballot. If the Decent Democrats don’t elect one of their own on the First Ballot by pooling all their delegates behind one single Decent Democrat, then the DNC’s pre-shaped battlespace-killbox will function as designed and engineered to function.

      Reply
  15. Craig H.

    > Air strike hits Libya migrant detention center

    It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the strike, but the Tripoli government and the center officials blamed Haftar’s LNA.

    The United States Navy doesn’t know who is flying warplanes above Tripoli like 24/7?

    Reply
    1. prodigalson

      Perhaps they’re distracted, it seems they’re having problems not running into other boats at the moment. Both of the mobile and stationary variety.

      Reply
    2. ewmayer

      Any mention of which not-Trump administration and its “foreign policy experts” turned Libya into a war-torn hellhole to begin with? Yah, I didn’t think so. Because, like the EUrocrats who turned back these migrants, they were well-spoken about it! It’s the boorishness that rankles, you see, not the crimes against humanity.

      [On the flip side, Trump’s recent overtures to that Haftar creep should be roundly condemned.]

      Reply
      1. heresy101

        Just in case people don’t remember, it was Madam Slave auction who joyfully cheered Gadaffi’s murder.

        Reply
    3. carycat

      the dog that didn’t bark. if the MSM is not screaming about the villain du jour
      , not even flimsy evidence, the odds are good that the funding came from some 3letter agency

      Reply
  16. JohnnyGL

    https://www.langerresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/1206a12020Democrats.pdf

    Interesting bit of polling data. Bernie does better among all voters vs. already registered voters. He picks up 4 points, with each of his major competitors losing 1. It shinks Biden’s lead in this particular poll from 11, down to 6.

    This is both an opportunity and a risk. Getting new voters involved is undoubtedly good for democracy and also an explicit goal of the campaign. However, his campaign had better be working diligently on voter registration, because with new registrations, the door is open for the DNC and state level bureaucracy to squeeze out these new voters with various snafus.

    Reply
  17. JohnnyGL

    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/02/sanders-buttigieg-campaign-money-1394884

    Sanders: In the pocket of Wal-mart shelf stockers and teachers!!!

    Sanders’ average donation was $18, less than his $27 per person contribution that became a rallying cry for him in 2016. More than 99 percent of the donations were $100 or less, his campaign said. The leading profession of donors this electoral cycle is teachers, while the top employer of contributors is Walmart. Sanders has called on the corporation to raise its minimum wage $15 per hour, and confronted its executives about its “starvation wages” at the annual shareholders meeting in June.

    Reply
  18. anon in so cal

    Re: Walking:

    An Arctic Fox walked 2,176 miles in 76 days, “across sea ice and the Greenland Ice Sheet to relocate from Svalbard to Canada’s Ellesmere Island.”

    ““The short span of time spent covering such a distance highlights the exceptional movement capacity of this small-sized carnivore species,” the paper states….The fox traveled at an average speed of 46.3 kilometres per day, and peaked at a top speed of 155 kilometres per day. “This is, to our knowledge, the fastest movement rate ever recorded for this species,” the paper states.

    The fox moved the most quickly while crossing the ice sheet in north-western Greenland, where, researchers note, foraging opportunities would be few and far between.”

    https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/these-paws-are-made-for-walkin/>

    (apologies if this has already been mentioned)

    Reply
    1. Susan Mulloy

      This link does not show the fox article. Or at least I could not find it. But I appreciate learning about the website and news of this far north area.

      Reply
  19. PeakBS

    Our goal is to help inform people on the rarely reported challenges Tesla owners face in the real world. Media reports often focus on stats like 0-60 speeds, max range, and charging rates. There is more to owning a car. Reliability matters.

    THE LINK: https://teslareliability.com

    there’s ALWAYS more to the story about Tesla than just headline

    Reply
    1. John k

      Consumer reports shoe Tesla’s three models all get their highest mark for owner satisfaction. No other company can say that.

      Reply
  20. richard

    The first cat joke I liked best, but it made me wonder
    “If the earth was flat, cats would just push everything off it”
    are cats really famous for pushing things off flat surfaces?
    a cute idea, and I like the thought of that bothering them
    but does this really happen?

    Reply
    1. MichaelSF

      A little search engine work should quickly find video of cats pushing things off of tables and similar surfaces. That’s the kind of viewing for which the Internet was invented.

      Reply
    2. a different chris

      Yes, not every cat but I have had several that clearly enjoyed the attention (aka freakout) it caused. Wouldn’t touch a thing if there wasn’t an audience.

      Reply
  21. Wukchumni

    Bob Dylan & the Culture Industry’s Destruction of Dissent Consortiumnews
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Great article with more than a dose of Joseph Campbell included @ no extra charge.

    Reply
  22. katiebird

    Off topic. Facebook has gone insane. They are blocking all personal images with warnings…. “May include images of flowers” “May include images of bedrooms and indoors” “May include images of text” “image may contain plant, flower, outdoor, nature” …. Sometimes (rarely) the image is revealed my clicking on the warning. Is this going to be a new policy? Because it seems crazy to me that I would be Triggered by these images.

    And even if I was couldn’t I unlike the page, or scroll past the image.

    Sorry to bust in. But I have to rant…

    Reply
    1. katiebird

      I Think they are testing forms of recognition within photos and it is messing up their database. Maybe the messages aren’t Trigger warnings but are debugging messages, tracking success or failure of the recognition?

      Reply
  23. Cal2

    Bob Dylan & the Culture Industry’s Destruction of Dissent

    Along with Dylan’s cult of narcissim, sex, drugs and “safe rebellion,”
    there is this set of the world’s largest coincidences, that helped replace
    antiwar protests and challenging America’s economic structure with Everybody Must Get Stoned!

    “a large percentage ofthe artists [who arrived in the instantly promoted music scene of Laurel Canyon] descended from America’s most influential ruling families, came with military or intelligence backgrounds or were somehow connected to high ranking military personnel or intelligence operatives. One example, Frank Zappa, (Mothers of Invention) who spent his youth at the Edgewood Arsenal Chemical Biological Center where his father worked as a chemical warfare specialist. It also happens that the Edgewood Arsenal was connected to MK-Ultra‘s chemical mind control program…”
    “Major Floyd Crosby, father of David Crosby (Crosby, Stills and Nash) was an Annapolis graduate and WWII military intelligence officer descended from a prominent New York elite founding family, the Van Rensselaers.”
    “And then there were The Doors. According to Wikipedia, keyboardist Ray Manzarek served in “the highly selective Army Security Agency as a prospective intelligence analyst in Okinawa and then Laos” in the run up to the Vietnam War.”

    Take this site with a grain of S.A.L.T. still fun reading:

    http://www.invisiblehistory.com/were-all-cia-assets-what-can-be-done-a-personal-story/

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Fonny! Onetime partner Joan Baez thought that Dylan didn’t really care about social issues–that he was just riffing on the folk music he had studied in detail and doing his own thing.

      Reply
      1. RMO

        Wait till the creator of that site finds out that not only was Smedley Butler’s father chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee but that Smedley himself was actually a Marine Corps general! /s

        Reply
    2. LifelongLib

      I’ve seen this musicians-with-a-military-background thing before, and once ran it by a friend of mine (son of an army colonel). He had a mundane explanation: “I grew up around military brats. Every one of them was a drunk or a stoner. They all wanted to be as different from their parents as possible.”

      FWIW

      Reply
    3. lordkoos

      That’s a pretty iffy generalization. There are also tons of musicians who had no such background.

      Reply
    4. Carey

      From the provided link:

      “..As historian Christopher Lasch wrote in 1969 of the CIA’s secret co-optation of America’s non-communist left, “The modern state ” is an engine of propaganda, alternately manufacturing crises and claiming to be the only instrument that can effectively deal with them. This propaganda, in order to be successful, demands the cooperation of writers, teachers, and artists not as paid propagandists or state-censored time-servers but as ‘free’ intellectuals capable of policing their own jurisdictions and of enforcing acceptable standards of responsibility within the various intellectual professions.”..”

      Interesting.

      Reply
  24. Aron Blue

    Re: Dylan

    A couple years ago, I was in Union Square with my guitar, not busking, just practicing in the sunshine. A young man came up to me with a clipboard and asked if I was a Democrat.

    “I’m agnostic,” I replied.

    He laughed and walked away, then he came back a minute later.

    “Do you know any Dylan songs you could play at our table?”

    “No,” I said, “But I’ll play an original for you.”

    “No thanks,” he said, almost running away.

    I yelled after him, “You’re running away because you’re a Democrat.”

    He said, “Good one. You’re right.”

    Reply
  25. ambrit

    I decided to ‘chastise’ myself this morning, and so naturally took an extended ramble through the Yahoo “news” feed.
    After the first twenty or so items, the feed settled down to a relentless grind of “Lifestyle,” “Celebrity News,” “Sports,” and thinly disguised advertisements. Is it just me, but I am seeing a heavy feed of skimpy bathing suits. Welcome to the ‘Church of the LCD.’ Being that we are firmly entrenched in the “Oldsters” category, a lot of those ads were for financially oriented “services” and “products.” Phyl says that I qualify for membership in the “OMF” or ‘Order of Mental Flagellants.’
    The Internet “Main Stream News Aggregators” have obviously adopted the style and content of the print based ‘Tabloid Press.’

    Reply
  26. Wukchumni

    We moved into a new home in 1968 in the hills of SoCal, but somebody forgot to tell the original residents to split, and the rattlesnakes were resolute in regards to not relenting their real estate holdings, so we foreclosed on them, usually with a shovel.

    The biggest one I ever saw was 18 feet in my mind, but realistically more like 6, and we got one of my chum’s dads to do the deed and he done did it, and buried the head about a foot under, as we counted coup with a nearly foot-long rattle also no longer part of the overall scheme, when about 5 minutes post burial, the head made it’s way up to the surface and was quite pissed off, and I can still see pretty much a ‘V’ trying to coil, but there was no there, there.

    Reply
    1. zer0

      I remembered a story from a family friend of mine, Clint, who visited his uncle as a kid.
      The uncle lived in Barstow California, and was a miner. A real miner. The ones who spit and slam their beers on the table when drunk.
      Anyways, one day, he and his cousin walked down the stairs to get some breakfast in the kitchen. Lo and behold, the cousin found a large copperhead right after the entry way, curled up. They didnt know what to do and couldnt get to the kitchen. So they had to wake up the old miner.
      The cousin didnt want to wake his dad, because he knew he’d get a beating. So he pleaded for Clint to go in his stead. Clint walked back up the stairs, and knocked on the door to the bedroom in trepidation.
      “Whaddya want, boy?” Came a gruff response.
      “Mister, we found a snake downstairs and dont know what to do with it” Clint replied.
      So the miner woke up, and having slept in his overalls, went straight downstairs to kill the snake. He took a heavy tin bucket filled with coal and brought it down like a hammer on the head of the snake. He then proceeded to jump on the bucket a few times.
      Once satisfied, he took the snake and threw it up on the rail tracks and told Clint “Dont go near it”.
      When asked why, he replied “Itll take a few days for the sucker to give out. They usually come back alive at night”

      Ive looked this up, and apparently, even if you cut off the head, it is possible to get bitten up to 24 hours later. Something to do with nevous system and cold temperatures.

      Reply
      1. lordkoos

        I have been around rattlers in this area before, and you are correct. Even if the head is crushed they will still try to strike out of instinct, I’ve seen it.

        Reply
  27. Wukchumni

    A query for the grade school teachers out there…

    If memory retention isn’t all that anymore thanks to this contraption doing it for us, what are you teaching them in lieu of learning the old fashioned way where remembering was the foundation for oh so many things?

    Reply
    1. GramSci

      You can’t use a computer to take standardized tests, so teachers are still needed to fill students ‘ heads with anesthetizing propaganda.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Well, if the tests are ‘standardized,’ one doesn’t need a computer. Pure chance will pull you through. We used to call these, “Multiple Guess Tests.”
        The present day run of “educators” are already half way to being cyborgs.
        “Total Recall” had ‘Johnny Cab.’ Expect Charter Schools everywhere to have ‘Johnny School’ in the near future.
        A very quick drive down Memory Hole Lane to how the technophiles viewed Uber back in 2013. A somber lesson in counting chickens before eggs hatch. Read: https://talkingpointz.com/johnny-cab/

        Reply
    2. Kilgore Trout

      5th graders at the school I taught at were challenged to memorize the Gettysburg Address, and have been for going on 20 years. I would tell the students the final lines contained the best short definition of democracy. extant

      Reply
  28. polecat

    Yikes! .. like straight out of a scene from some cheap horror flick .. ‘Day of the Dead, Part 5 – Poison Glands’ ..

    Reply
  29. MichaelSF

    From the BBC/SEAL trial article:

    “Overall, the verdict reflects an understanding that people can be transformed by combat and act in ways that are out of character.

    This will reassure those who are concerned about being unfairly punished for their actions during wartime.”

    Unfairly punished for murder/war crimes? I thought there were laws about how soldiers aren’t supposed to do things like that.

    Reply
    1. Olga

      Yeah, I wonder how this would have played at the Nuremberg trials. “Hitler was so traumatised by the war that he sent all opposition to concentration camps.” A good excuse.
      But BBC’s article leaves the more terrible stuff; for that one has to look elsewhere. This RT piece
      https://www.rt.com/usa/463245-seal-not-guilty-murder/ reveals that part of the evidence against the seal was the following: “Former SEAL platoon members that claimed to have witnessed the killing told the court that they saw Gallagher knifing the captive, who was reportedly 15 years old. Gallagher was also accused of conducting a re-enlistment ceremony next to the remains and flying a drone over them. Before eventually reporting their commander in March 2018, Gallagher’s platoon members said they had gone to great lengths to stop his alleged carnage of civilians, reportedly tampering with Gallagher’s rifle so he could not shoot them at will. The defense rejected the allegations, dismissing the witnesses’ accounts as those of disgruntled employees.”

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Since when have SEAL troopers been considered “employees?” This raises the spectre of military members becoming ‘condottiere.’ For hire to the highest bidder.
        The ‘ideal’ fighting force envisioned by some of the more ‘revolutionary’ Founding Fathers was a Citizens Militia. They rightly feared a professional military.
        And now the word ‘military’ covers such a plenitude of sins.

        Reply
  30. Wukchumni

    A good many of the newlydeads of the drought that were on tour with the bark beetles five years ago in the Sierra went horizontal this harsh winter with snow of high water content forcing the issue in their former upright standing in the community from around 4,000 to 8,000 feet. They call em’ ‘deadfalls’ and you think somebody would think up a less lethal moniker, but there you have it, and tons of them, most don’t matter though for if a tree falls in the forest where there is no road or trail, did it really happen?

    It’s gonna be an interesting weekend in Mineral King, as the main car campground-Cold Springs, is closed until July 10th on account of way too many dead trees in the environs and the NPS cutting crew needed all over the NP and in particular in the more visited main parts, as the calamity was widespread. That leaves one campground with 24 spots @ Atwell Mill for July 4th.

    Everybody complains about too many people in our NP’s, it’ll be just the opposite this weekend.

    Was hiking with a friend who is on a quest to visit the 50 largest living things-which all happen to be Giant Sequoias, and he really gets around to the nearly 70 different groves scattered on the western slopes, and I asked him if he saw any distress in Giant Sequoias caused by the drought, as they typically are at around 6,000 feet, right in the sweet spot of mortality ridge, and he said he’d seen not one tree that looked to be dying, all healthy as far as he was concerned.

    They’d be perfect canaries in a coal mine, if they started up and dying on us.

    Reply
  31. Olga

    Some good news:
    https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/45-Trillion-The-Price-Tag-of-A-Fossil-Fuel-Free-US.html#
    Much cheaper than the forever wars… (it’s actually 4.5 trillion, not 45 as the link shows).
    (And somewhat related – this shows how the media work now: the author of the OilPrice piece simply copied/pasted the press release from WM (https://www.woodmac.com/press-releases/decarbonising-us-power-grid-may-cost-us$4.5-trillion/) and put her name to it. Modern journalism!

    Reply
    1. GramSci

      That’s Irina Slav’s quota at work : 3-5 articles per day. Pretty standard for web sites that rely on ads and click through to keep the site running.

      Reply
    2. Oh

      I’ve seen many tech articles that were copied from the original author’s web page and there was no attribution to the original author.

      Reply
  32. ewmayer

    “The Welcome Humiliation of John Bolton New York Times” — This is really a paean for the glorious days of unbridled US hegemony by op-ed author Michelle Goldberg. I almost spat my coffee when I got to “But the uber-hawk Bolton, who still refuses to admit that the Iraq war was a mistake…” — to say this unironically on the op-ed page of the paper which the MSM charge into that dsiastrous war, that takes some chutzpah.

    Reply
  33. Savita

    Australian here. The Bob Dylan article. WTF? I opened it expecting some revelation into – well, I was about to describe what I was expecting but I’d be happy for anything good to have come from that article – instead what a long winded pretentious waste of time! ‘Bob Dylan is a poser’, is all it really amounted to. And I’m not even a fan, not at all. It could have been a useful commentary on the contrast and schiscm between what Dylan represents, and who he is vs the audience, vs the zeitgeist. But no.

    Reply
  34. Susan the other`

    Project Syndicate. Stiglitz. FB’s Libra. Stiglitz’s critique of Libra was so bland I couldn’t believe it. He basically said, yes anybody can offer you a currency to use, but they should be trustworthy, and we all know FB isn’t trustworthy. I would expect Stiglitz to point out that just anybody’s “currency” has a strong resemblance to counterfeiting when it is fungible, exchangeable with national currencies, backed by them even, and all the issuer has to do is say he’s honest. What exactly does it mean that Libra is “backed” by a basket of national currencies and securities”? How does this “backing” happen? Can I go out and print up a bunch of Susans and get the same backing? And then just go spend them all myself? Up until now “currencies” have been authorized by local, state and national authorities who can back it all up with their taxing authority. And real crypto really isn’t a good medium of exchange – it’s too cryptic. And also, local currencies all have to be spent in house (store coupons), in state, in town. You can’t buy an airline ticket with them or some patio furniture from Amazon. Right? Libra is just plain nonsense. It’s counterfeiting at its boldest.

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  35. Wukchumni

    My foray in Visalia seemed to produce as many fireworks stands as usual, and a new locked glass case @ Wal*Mart for batteries (AA AAA etc), the trust in their customers to not steal them, gone.

    I say just have everything locked up, slit your risks.

    Reply
  36. Wukchumni

    India staring at a water apocalypse Asia Times
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    And on the other side of the world, our swimming hole on the river is still a no-go, way too much current. The ne plus ultra spot is what we call the jacuzzi.

    On one side, a granite boulder the size of a car blocks the river, while a smaller one blocks the other side and the entire current pretty much comes through one spot, where Mother Nature has supplied a perfect rock seat, and if you can get to said throne and sit down right smack dab in the current, it feels as if 5,000 tiny fingers are pulsating against your back, wondrous really.

    I think we’ll be able to access it in say 10 days-maybe a fortnight. Peak time to be there will last about a week and then peter out from there.

    Reply
    1. newcatty

      Wow, good to have another one of your fantastic diary entries of enjoying the wonders of living the natural good life. Please educate us how this relates to the fact that the East Indian people are facing a “water apocalypse”.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        It’s a push me pull world of way too much and way too little.

        We weren’t far from our own water apocalypse in the lengthy drought, just a few more years chock full of empty reservoirs and people would’ve been leaving en masse, for over 30 million Californians depend on intrastate imported water from far away.

        Reply

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