Links 8/22/19

70-Year-Old Man Wins 1,000-Kilometer Horse Race in Mongolia New York Times

ComEd’s latest alternative energy: goat power Journal Standard (Chuck L)

Atlantic puffins thriving on remote nesting islands off Maine Portland Press-Herald

Fires Destroy Amazon Rainforest, Blanket Brazilian Cities in Smog Wall Street Journal. I happened to hear this reported on evening network news.

Ohio State seeks to trademark the word ‘The’ ESPN (Chuck L). First, trademarks are images. Second, they can be filed and issued only in specific categories. But you can easily imagine a big company with a big law firm trying to bully small fry into thinking it has broader application

A Mathematical Model Unlocks the Secrets of Vision Quanta (David L)

All in vein: New blood test can predict if you’ll die in next 5 to 10 yrs RT (David L)

China?

Huawei Discussed Iran Business With Citi and BNP Paribas, Court Documents Show Wall Street Journal

Are Hong Kong protesters pro-American or British when they wave the US and UK flags? The answer is complicated South China Morning Post

Hong Kong protests: China used Twitter and Facebook for disinformation campaign Vox (UserFriendly). From earlier in the week, still germane.

Kashmir

Brexit

Johnson to meet Macron as French president downplays backstop hopes BBC. No wonder the overwhelming majority of the UK public is clueless about Brexit. Headlines like this should be journalistic malpractice. They give the unrealistic impression that the EU might bend to Johnson’s demands.

More less than wonderful reporting from Politico’s morning newsletter. This is technically accurate but downplays that the Withdrawal Agreement is going nowhere, and the fact that Merkel is using diplospeak doesn’t change that:

30 DAYS TO FIND A BREXIT PLAN: Angela Merkel told Boris Johnson on Wednesday she saw “possibilities” to solve the Irish backstop problem and avoid a no-deal Brexit — but put the ball back in Britain’s court by making clear it was up to London to come up with a workable plan.

“I see possibilities, shaping the future relationship to address this point,” the German chancellor said of the contentious backstop in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. “We can maybe find it in the next 30 days,” Merkel added. But she indicated she still opposes reopening the Withdrawal Agreement. More from Joshua Posaner in Berlin

UK wages rocket as cheap foreign labour exits labour market Macrobusiness

National Grid says new-style stability software will avoid blackouts Guardian. Kevin W: “Using software to solve a hardware problem. Didn’t Boeing try that?”

Syraqistan

Iraq’s burning problem: the strange fires destroying crops and livelihoods Guardian (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

T-Mobile ‘Put My Life in Danger’ Says Woman Stalked With Black Market Location Data VICE (Chuck L)

California High School In Silicon Valley Is Locking Up Students’ Cellphones NBC

Trump Transition

“He Has Made Us a Laughing Stock”: Diplomats Stunned by Trump’s Feud With Denmark Vanity Fair (resilc)

Donald Trump calls Danish PM ‘nasty’ after Greenland bid rebuff Financial Times

U.S. and Venezuela Hold Secret Talks Wall Street Journal. I seem to recall the Administration talking to senior members of the Maduro government before and winding up getting played. Has the situation changed enough to expect a different outcome? The article claims Maduro is seeking safety guarantees. After Gaddafi, why would anyone trust them?

Trump: ‘I am the chosen one’ The Week (Dr. Kevin). Begs the question: chosen for what?

Truckers voted for Trump in droves. Now they say his trade war is ‘killing’ their ability to make a living. Business Insider

Jewish Democrats decry Trump’s ‘loyalty’ remarks The Hill

AIPAC breaks with Netanyahu over Omar-Tlaib decision The Hill (resilc)

Wyatt Detention Facility correctional officer put on leave after truck drives into protesters; 64-year-old Warren man seriously injured Providence Journal (diptherio). Lovely.

2020

Faithless elector: A court ruling just changed how we pick our president NBC

Gabbard Victimized by DNC’s Dubious Debate Criteria Real Clear Politics (Nathaniel)

Inslee drops out of 2020 presidential race The Hill

Guilt is good for corporate chief executives Financial Times (David L)

Investors Are Ditching High-Yield Shale Bonds OilPrice

Google’s rivals opt out of search engine auction, calling it ‘unethical’ and ‘anti-competitive’ VentureBeat (Chuck L). From last week, still germane.

As Americans Stick With Cards, JPMorgan Drops Its Chase Pay App Bloomberg. Hahaha. Americans like cash too!

CalPERS revamps governance model, reduces number of meetings Pensions & Investments (Kevin W). Wowsers, serious misreporting on what happened with the code of conduct. The Board Governance Committee nixed the yesterday discussion as a first reading and will try to have a first reading again, next month, presumably with a new draft.

Tesla is now facing its most dangerous adversary yet, and it could be proof that buying SolarCity was a huge blunder Business Insider

Singapore Says Musk’s Electric Cars Are About ‘Lifestyle,’ Not Climate Bloomberg

Texas shale towns grapple with growth as oil-bust fears fade Reuters

Letter to the editor of The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg Medium. Read this, if nothing else for the first sentence. You do not have to finish it. I think this helps illustrate how people who have been abused aren’t necessarily their own best advocates.

Trump Denies Mulling Payroll Tax Cut to Preempt Recession New York Magazine. UserFriendly: “God they are insane, cutting cap gains?

Trump praises Germany’s negative yields but doesn’t mention that its bond sale failed CNBC (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

The New American Homeless New Republic. Today’s must read.

‘They killed our city’: Locals feel helpless as vacation rentals overrun Sedona, Arizona azcentral. Who did AirBnB a big favor by not putting its name in the headline?

Workers in Heat Waves Face Dangerous Exposure in the US Southwest Real News

DoorDash Still Pockets Workers’ Tips Almost a Month After It Promised To Stop Vox. Grifters gotta grift.

Antidote du jour (furzy):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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252 comments

  1. John A

    Re Aaron Mate’s tweet, the ever more absurd The Guardian is now blaming Trump’s Greenland fiasco on him being Putin’s puppet! The article is replete with ‘repeat a lie often enough claims’, such as ‘Russia invaded and annexed part of Ukraine, Russia hates NATO of which Denmark is a loyal ally etc.

    Russia floated the idea of joining Nato at the end of the Cold War and only took umbrage at Nato encroachment further and further eastways towards the Russian border despite a verbal agreement not to. But then as Sam Goldwyn famously said ‘a verbal agreement is not worth the paper it’s written on’.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/21/trump-wanting-to-buy-greenland-is-yet-another-sign-of-putins-puppetry

    Reply
    1. Bill Smith

      You are saying that Russia did not invade part of the Ukraine and annex it? What is your explanation for what happened with Crimea?

      I agree with your comment on the Russian umbrage at NATO encroachment eastwards.

      Reply
      1. EricT

        The local residents voted to join Russia. And I don’t even think it was close. Remember, Crimea is a Russian naval base and one of its few warm weather ports. The only reason why it joined Russia was the fear that the color revolution happening in the Ukraine capital, sponsored and assisted by our own intelligence services, would result in a NATO friendly president who would kick out the Russian naval base, and thus remove most of its residents as they were mostly Russian military or port contractors. Would you agree that if our president tried to force you to leave the place you lived for a good part of your life for political reasons, that you would not exactly feel very supportive of that government? It was not a military invasion, like how we liberated Iraq!

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          Awkward point of fact: the referendum was held AFTER Russia had occupied the place. The remaining Crimean Tatars fled. The vote may well have been legit, and Stalin’s handing Crimea to Ukraine may not have been.

          Empires, which Russia still is, are rarely good guys.

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            Counter awkward fact. The Ukrainians would never have allowed a Referendum. They starved that region of funds for twenty years and made clear to the inhabitants that they were second class citizens. I believe that a majority of not only Crimean-Ukrainians but Crimean-Tatars also voted Yes in that Referendum too for re-unification. If it had been forced to stay at gunpoint, then we would be seeing fighting like in eastern Ukraine. Finally, remember how Texas voted for Independence in 1836 and ended up being annexed in 1845? That little chapter led to a war between the US and Mexico a few months later. Crimea was lucky here.

            Reply
      2. Monty

        Could it have been a humanitarian intervention to prevent ethnic cleansing of the dual citizen Russian population of the area.

        Reply
      3. Todde

        When Russia invaded Crimea half of the Ukrainian army surrendered.

        The other half joined the invading Russian army.

        Seems like the Ukrainians didnt want to fight for it.

        Reply
        1. Olga

          Can we please not spread false rumours about a Russian army invading. There was no invasion. The troops were there already under the Sevastopol treaty.

          Reply
          1. todde

            No thank you. I will choose the words I use and you are free to critique them.

            I will say you do make a valid point, but invasion has several meanings.

            It certainly was an unwelcome intrusion according to the gov’t of Ukraine.

            Reply
            1. Ember Brody

              Call it what it was: a liberation. The Russians liberated their fellow Russians in a historically Russian land. You have a very perverse notion of the word “invasion”.

              Reply
                1. Olga

                  If you want to talk about history than it may surprise you to know that Tatars came as occupiers to Crimea during the time of the Mongol invasion. They forcibly took over the area. Ok, that would be one thing. But in the following centuries they behaved like savages, organising endless raids into the mainland, robbing property and stealing people. Feodosia on the Crimean coast was the main city, where the slave trade took place. Most of those unlucky people (young, one can imagine) ended up in the Ottoman empire as slaves. Vast areas north of Crimea (what today is Ukraine) were close to depopulated. There was no protection from these raids – until the steel German princess, aka Catherine the Great, put a stop to it, finally annexing the peninsula in 1783.
                  This handy list from Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mongol_and_Tatar_raids_against_Rus%27
                  lists many of the raids – it is quite unbelievable. And they continued even after 1480.
                  But that is not all – when Nazi Germany attacked USSR, many Tatars collaborated with them and betrayed Russian partisans to the Germans. That is why Stalin had them deported.
                  Maybe if Tatars were peaceful, they could just live in Crimea, But they were not!
                  And this
                  And

                  Reply
              1. todde

                I don’t share your concern.

                maybe don’t give Crimea away to Ukraine then, or use armed forces when you take it back.

                So when someone says the ‘invasion of Normady’ in regards to Operation Overlord, do you consider that ‘a very perverse notion of the word invasion’

                the Invasion of Normady

                I think Olga and Russia and anybody else will be just fine regardless of the words i use to describe what happened in Crimea.

                Reply
                  1. todde

                    all true.

                    and I’ve already said Olga has a valid point.

                    if American troops left Guantanamo Bay and captured Havana, I would call that an invasion of Cuba.

                    Just as I call the invasion of Normandy and invasion, along with many others.

                    Reply
                    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                      I’d say it’s more than “a valid point”. The U.S. has massive financial and economic sanctions against Russia in place precisely because they say they “seized” Crimea. (You can read the language of the sanctions for yourself at the OFAC website). That is a particularly large and malodorously hypocritical joke, 90+% of Crimean residents voted to rejoin Russia in an election the U.N. declared was “free and fair”. Not a single person was killed in the transition.

                      (Remember “voting”? You know, that activity where the citizens of a country get a voice in the governance of their own country? Given the track record of the last 40-50 years perhaps Americans need a refresher course in that concept).

                      Everybody gets their own opinions but they don’t get to make up their own facts. Russia did not “seize” Crimea, the citizens of Crimea voted to rejoin Russia and were allowed to do so. So go back to your Boris and Natasha cartoons.

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      It’s of note that with UN General Assembly resolution 68/262, on Ukraine’s territorial integrity, that

                      1. Russia voted against it (understanably)
                      2. Turkey voted for (lingering Ottoman sentiment or resentment?)
                      3. China abstained.

                      The last one is (to me) curious, that China did not show strong(er) support for Russia. Concerned over a similar referendum in Taiwan to join Japan or the US?

                    3. Yves Smith Post author

                      That is absolutely false. Russians did not invade.

                      The procedure for the Crimea joining Russia was identical to the one the US used in Kosovo.

                    4. rkka

                      Yves, there was never a referendum in Kosovo. Putin did cite Kosovo as precedent for Crimea however.

            2. Skip Intro

              The illegal, post-coup Nazi government bent on ethnic cleansing of Russian speakers? That Ukraine gov’t? Maybe you aren’t choosing your words, but sourcing them from a NATO propaganda feed?

              Reply
              1. todde

                I am pretty sure the word ‘invasion’ came from the comment I was replying too.

                O look, there it is.

                And you can also see the context I used the word in. You know where I said half the Ukrainian army joined the invaders.

                None of that seems like something you would hear in a NATO propaganda feed.

                Reply
          2. barefoot charley

            And it’s worth remembering, as Russians do, that the Crimea was won by Catherine the Great from the Ottomans 250 years ago. It was as Russian as the Volga until Kruschev, a Ukrainian, transferred the Crimea to Ukraine in 1954. Catherine’s war created Russia’s warm-water ports. Russia wouldn’t dream of giving Crimea up.

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Not mentioned (so far) are the Crimean Tatars.

              It seems neither Kiev nor Moscow has treated them decently.

              While Tatarstan (around Kazan) continues to work towards indepedence from Russia, the Crimean Tatars have their own National Liberation Movement as well.

              Reply
              1. Chris Smith

                Not quite.

                “The U.S. made a big deal about the rights of ethnic minorities there known as the Tatars, which account for around 10% of the population. Of the 4% total that said they did not endorse Russia’s annexation, the vast majority — 55% — said that they feel that way because they believe it should have been allowed by Kiev in accordance with international law. Another 24% said the referendum vote was “held under pressure”, which means political or military threats to vote and vote in favor.”

                Reply
                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    The link is still no showing.

                    In the mean time, from Crimean Tatars, Wikpedia:

                    During occupation of Crimea by Russian Federation, Crimean Tatars are reportedly persecuted and driscriminated by Russian authorities, including cases of torture, arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances by Russian security forces and courts.[75][76][77]

                    On 12 June 2018, Ukraine lodged a memorandum consisting of 17,500 pages of text in 29 volumes to the UN’s International Court of Justice about racial discrimination against Crimean Tatars by Russian authorities in occupied Crimea and state financing of terrorism by Russian Federation in Donbass.[78][79]

                    With current events, Wikipedia is not always reliable or objective. Below are the references 75-78:

                    75 “Crimea: Persecution of Crimean Tatars Intensifies | Human Rights Watch”.
                    76 “UN documents torture and arrests of Crimean Tatars by Russia – 12.12.2017 14:44 — Ukrinform News”.
                    77 “UN accuses Russia of multiple human rights abuses”. The Independent. 16 November 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
                    78 “UAWire – Ukraine files memorandum with UN Court of Justice containing evidence of Russia’s involvement in ‘financing of terrorism'”.

                    Reply
                    1. Olga

                      Mr. MLTPB, you’re all wet on Crimea. If one’s knowledge extends just to Wiki – then it is very limited. Try speaking to people who lived there all or part of their lives and/or those who’ve actually been there.
                      Tatars throughout centuries were savage raiders and slave procurers for the Sultan.
                      You may want to read Peter Turchin’s War and Peace and War – defending against Tatars to a large extent contributed to the creation of the Russian civilization.
                      Nothing good can come of strong opinions based on ignorance.

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      Remember the other day, in responding to Marshall Auerback’s comment about ‘western thinking,’ you said his was ad hominem?

                      I don’t know if it was or was not, but for me, personally, when I post, I try to follow the Zen mentality of ‘becoming the arrow’ in archery. That is, I don’t thinking about ignorance or being all wet. I try to leave my person out of my attempt to comment. I focus on what I want to get across. And so, this response here is already not something that I hope to do.

                      An example – I try to say something (Bruce Lee’s paraphasing in this cas) is an oriental way of looking at the world, and try to avoid saying another person is not doing that (not looking at the world as an Oriental would). And in that sense, I avoid saying someone is ignorant, but try to show things that are informing. That’s how I hope to always comment or write. And if I have not always been successful, it’s because I have tried hard enough.

                      Is anyone’s knowledge only limited to Wikipedia? How do we know that that person’s is ‘only limited’ to that? Did anyone quote from Wikipedia today? And are all those who did so have knowledge ‘only limited’ to WIkipedia? Did you quote from Wiki today?

                      You have characterized the Tatars only one way. Can we say the same about Mongols of today about their ancestors? And what does that entitle us to take away from them now? And if we do that to the Tatars, the Mongolians, who else can add to them?

                      That’s separate from deportation for collaborating in WW2. There, it was collective punishment vs. the acts of a subgroup of individuals.

                  2. deplorado

                    I had a friend in college, ~20 yrs ago, who came from Crimea. He was Russian speaking, and said that he now had a Ukrainian passport (after the dissolution of the USSR) and said it felt weird to him that he was now a “Ukrainian”. He went on vacation with his parents to Russia (like a boat trip on the Volga, I don’t remember him saying he ever even visited Ukraine, even as a child) and felt not the slightest affiliation with Ukraine, as far as I can remember.

                    And he didn’t like Putin at all either. I’m sure he still doesn’t.

                    Just an anecdote for sure, and I don’t keep in touch so I don’t know his view on the Crimea events of the last 5-6 years. But this is worth noting in my view as I suspect there are many like him.

                    Reply
          3. Harold

            In 2015 saw a clip of a press conference with a smirking young woman representing the U.S. State Department. A member of the press asked her if Russia had really invaded Crimea, and she answered, “We are choosing to call it that.” The reporters all laughed.

            This was the second or third referendum to leave Ukraine held in Crimea. The first was in 1992 — also over 90 % in favor. I don’t remember when the second was.

            Reply
          4. Susan the other`

            The troops were there for good reason, agreed upon by treaty. Crimea is Russia’s only warm water port. It has one in Syria (Latakia?) but it belongs to Syria. And the “coup” in Ukraine wasn’t a domestic coup at all – it was a US operation from start to finish.

            Reply
            1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

              65% of Crimean are ethnic Russian as opposed to 15.1 % ethnic Ukrainians & 10.8 % Tatars.

              About 1.5 million ethnic Russians from the Donetsk region have become refugees from Ukraine into Russia. Now what would have likely happened to the 65% in Crimea under the UKrainian rule ? & isn’t it likely that with 65% of the vote that they would have won it without any need for persuasion ?

              IMO whatever the political wrangling & attendant BS, it appears to me that the Crimeans on the whole got the best deal, especially when you look at the state of Ukraine. It is basically bankrupt but for a massive IMF loan that the misery fund broke their own rules to give & if the West lost interest in it’s usefulness as an annoyance to Russia the present funding could possibly disappear. Most of the industry that powered their economy is in the East & no longer available & the unfortunate hard pressed citizens soon lost the hope of being allowed to work legally in the EU.

              There have been reports of Islamic fundamentalism among the Tatars which Putin might well crackdown on, but would that not also likely to be the case if the Ukes were in charge ? dealing with them could have perhaps become a job to keep those troublesome Neo -Nazi Svboda followers busy & out of the way.

              Reply
            2. ChrisPacific

              There was also a view in Russia that the US meddling in Ukraine was aimed at least partly at weakening Russia’s strategic position by denying them access to said port (whether this view was accurate is left as an exercise for the reader). Russia signaled well in advance that they were not willing to tolerate this and would take action to prevent it. The US ignored them and went ahead anyway.

              I’ll leave it to others who are better informed to debate whether Russia was taking advantage for an opportunistic land grab or freeing the people of Crimea from Ukrainian oppression (or both, or something else entirely). But I think there are enough unique features to this particular situation that I wouldn’t worry about Russia going on a territorial acquisition spree or anything of the kind.

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                With global warming, can Russia not expect to acquire (by natural means) more useable waterways or dry territories (formerly frozen)?

                Reply
      4. The Rev Kev

        Kosovo was “given” its freedom by NATO and the locals never had a vote on the matter. Crimea did have a vote and decided to go back with Russia as allowed by the principles of the United Nations. I don’t think that the Crimeans have any illusions about what would happen to them under a Kiev government. Five years ago the water canal to Crimea was cut, the electricity was cut and western sanctions against anybody living in Crimea still continue till today. If I was living in Crimea, that would not exactly encourage me to consider joining the Ukraine. In any case, Crimea has been a part of Russia since before the Constitution of the United States was even written. It is embedded in their culture.

        Reply
        1. Pelham

          If Kosovo had had a vote, given its ethnic make-up, the vote may well have been in favor of independence. But we should note that the US has historically mouthed support for popular sovereignty, an argument that would favor Russian affiliation not only for Crimea but probably also eastern Ukraine.

          Reply
          1. Olga

            Yes, maybe – but only because many of the Serbs were driven out. Talk about ethnic cleansing – and it continues.

            Reply
      5. Mo's Bike Shop

        It was 1783, time has moved on.

        Though if the Ruskies did decide to give Crimea to Ukraine, they could always use our gracious repatriation of Guantanamo Bay as a model. /s

        Reply
      6. fdr-fan

        Crimea was always part of Russia. Khrushchev handed it to Ukraine in 1954, at a time when Ukraine was simply a province of the USSR. Like handing Long Island to Connecticut. No big deal, no real change of sovereignty. In 1991 Ukraine seceded and took Crimea with it. So Crimea was accidentally and unintentionally joined to Ukraine.

        Reply
      7. Olga

        Yes, I would absolutely say that Russia did not invade Ukraine. Remember… there was a referendum. And yes, Russia did use troops to secure the peninsula from an Ukr. army attack – but these were troops legally already in Crimea under the treaty related to Sevastopol.
        The status of Crimea was an unresolved issue from the time, when the USSR was dissolved, and since its 1954 administrative transfer, which was based on a whim of one man.
        If the west can separate Kosovo from Serbia, Russia can certainly take Crimea back.

        Reply
        1. Montanamaven

          83% of the population of Crimea voted . Well over 90 percent of them voted to rejoin Russia. The majority of Crimeans were Russian speakers. The coup that ousted the president Yanucovich ?? Talked of outlawing the Russian language in Ukraine. There was no invasion as Olga points out.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That is different from the USA.

            Secession in America, per the Constitution, and recent SC ruling:

            Current Supreme Court precedent, in Texas v. White, holds that the states cannot secede from the union by an act of the state. More recently, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia stated, “If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede.”

            Not sure about what the Ukrainian constitution says.

            Reply
            1. dearieme

              So Scalia said effectively that Might is right.

              It seems to me that the southern states had every legal right to secede – pity that it was in such a vile cause.

              Reply
          2. Katniss Everdeen

            So what you’re really saying is that, having spent decades feverishly supporting, “promoting,” and defending “democracy” around the globe, even when citizens of other countries have gotten it handled all on their own, americans wouldn’t know it if it slapped them in the face.

            Pretty much just like we thought.

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Over here in the US, some people in California are probably wondering if Calexit could become reality with just a simple referendum?

              Reply
      8. Jack Parsons

        Oh, Crimea river!

        If you look at Crimea in a topo map, you’ll see a ton of awesome smuggler’s coves. Considering the amount of opium that moves from Afpak to Europe, I’m guessing an interesting amount transits said Crimea. Given this, it made a lot of sense for Putin grab Crimea for the mob that owns Russia.

        Reply
    2. s.n.

      is Trump’s Greenland fiasco really such a fiasco?
      My take on it is Trump is trolling an EU lilliput for no reason other than because he can, as preamble to his performance at the coming G-7. He did the same-but-different a few weeks back with Sweden. Even with his allegedly limited grasp of foreign affairs I think he understood perfectly that the newly-elected Social Democrat ruling Denmark was going to use his visit to her country as an opportunity to deliver pious sermons on global warming – which is largely what won her the election after 8 years of Blue (bourgeois) bloc rule. That teenage girl in Sweden, etc was what brought out the vote.. Such Green posturing could only enhance the EU-wide status of a novice PM, and deliver absolutely nothing of value to Trump. Trump turned that upside-down and tossed it directly into the trash. Much as I agree with Green sentiments, I can only say, “well played sir” to Mr. Trump. Had Denmark’s PM been a little more self-confident she should have told him Greenland was not for sale, but we can possibly trade it for California + Texas, if you agree to an exchange of populations….

      Reply
          1. todde

            I think petty is a better word to describe it.

            But we are dealing with Trump. His pettiness seems to overwhelm whatever strategic thinking he maybe doing

            Reply
      1. Synoia

        The Arctic is rich in resources.
        Russia has a lenghty artic coastline.

        Look at a map and the value of the Greenland coast and waters, including confronting Russia.

        Allaskan coastline dose not confront Russian coastline as fully as Greenland’s coastline.

        Reply
      2. Ignacio

        Well played sir? Not under LSD effect when writing? In the very same paragraph where you write about “pious sermons on climate change” or “green posturing” then declare yourself “sympathetic to green sentiments” but your conclusion is “well done Mr. Trump”. You are a troll.

        Reply
        1. Fiery Hunt

          Sorry Ignocio, but i gotta agree with s.n.
          I don’t support Trump and I am in favor of Green sentiments…but I can recognize Trump’s ju jitsu in controlling the narrative and avoiding being embarrassed.

          Think of it as Bond’s grudgingly approving of Oddjob’s abilities with the bowler.

          Reply
        2. s.n.

          hi ignacio. i’m often struck by how many well meaning folks driven to tears by the latest Trumpian outrage have yet to absorb the basic lessons of the master’s Art of the Deal’ etc.. It’s the same mo each and every time, be it korea, iran, or the coming g7. the surface bluster is all kayfabe and is just the start – not the finish- of protracted warfare ie ‘negotiations’. Sorry if this interpretation triggers an emotional response, but that’s politics…

          Reply
      3. Ignacio

        Denmark doesn’t even deserve to be named by its name, but just a “lilliput” why doesn’t surprise me after this lack of respect you endorse Trumps actions?

        This reminds me all that chatter about PIGS that became fashionable during the crisis.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I saw this as simply a business offer by Trump. Denmark should consider it, given the parlous state of their finances: their currency is in such a shambles that today their banks must pay people to borrow money. And politically, I do like the preferred response by the Danes to simply say “Greenland’s not for sale but we would consider a swap for California”. That would have rebuffed Trump and silenced the issue.

          But maybe the Danes were taking a longer view, given that their country will disappear entirely in a generation or two. Greenland is much higher ground:

          http://www.ecoclimax.com/2017/06/political-map-of-europe-2100.html

          Reply
        1. wilroncanada

          Merf56
          Balderdash– just the definition of rapid hair loss.
          Trump simply and ever engages in bullshit.

          Reply
    3. divadab

      The Guardian is only useful as a window into neo-liberal approved views. Otherwise not a useful source of information, corrupted by the same Blairite scum who corrupted the Labor party into the party of war and inequality and screwing the British working class.

      They cheat (consider their treatment of Julian Assange), they lie (Luke Harding’s fake news), they insult their Manchester Guardian heritage every day.

      These people say it much better than I can: https://off-guardian.org/

      Reply
      1. WJ

        I wonder. Are there people under 50 who actually *read* the Guardian in earnest and not for the reasons stated above? I have an increasingly hard time believing that anybody who is not him/herself a corporate journalist can take it seriously. Perhaps it’s an experiment designed to test how stupid and corrupt elite society has become by seeing how readily it swallows even the most ridiculous propaganda.

        Reply
        1. Divadab

          Not sure how many people under fifty watch msnbc or cnn or faux either. Also not sure Guardian readership represents « elite society »

          But the oldsters do vote and pay attention so that what once was a people’ voice is now a propaganda outlet for neoliberals. And this is the problem.

          Reply
        2. dearieme

          I’ve never rated the Guardian highly even in its Manchester Guardian days. By contrast The Observer was a decent newspaper when I was young but has been spoiled by becoming effectively the Sunday edition of the Guardian.

          The point about Blair polluting everything he touched is fair but the Guardian was rubbish pre-Blair.

          Reply
    4. XXYY

      With the US, written agreements are also not worth the paper they are printed on. Witness the recent slew of abrogated arms treaties (including the INF treaty a few weeks ago) and the Iran fuel enrichment deal, laboriously negotiated then immediately repudiated.

      The Russians correctly perceive this, calling American leaders недоговороспособны or “non-agreement capable”.

      Hard to argue with this.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        All American leaders?

        Including Sanders or Tulsi? Would it have been better to be more specific or does such a generalization serve some purpose?

        Reply
        1. wilroncanada

          Perhaps the writer was assuming they are not among American leaders, especially in foreign policy–yet. It’s much more helpful to think a little more about what point a poster is trying to make, than to assume some kind of intellectual impurity. Perhaps XXYY might have said “leadership” instead of “the leaders”. Maybe, instead I should question why you use his surname and her given name. Fair or foul?

          Reply
        2. MichaelSF

          I’m not sure I’d classify Sanders or Gabbard as leaders of the country. They don’t hold high-enough positions to have control over much of anything. They may be “thought” leaders or movement leaders, but not leaders of the USA government which is I how interpret XXYY’s comment.

          Reply
  2. Steve H.

    > A Mathematical Model Unlocks the Secrets of Vision Quanta

    In reference to comments from yesterday, the research in this article builds from lateral inhibition, a form of visual sharpening which can be seen in many optical illusions. It is not Hoffman’s interface theory of perception, which builds from the evolutionary equation, changes the variable names and *voila* we live in a simulation, and is the best example of intelligent idiocy I have personally seen. (The evolutionary equation may be complete in itself but ignores the real world, i.e. resources. Think Chicago School Economics.)

    Reply
    1. Susan the other`

      Think also Sheldrake’s morphogenic fields, gravitational waves, gravity-space, cosmic interactions across the entire universe, and an infinity of spooky things. We understand nothing. My dog made images out of scent. He was blind as a bat and on all our hikes he’d stop and point affirmatively – I’d follow his gaze and there was always an animal exactly where he was looking. The optic nerve never stops firing away. And it even process input from olfactory senses. It’s a composer. And just how is it we can see someone’s emotions; read their intentions? There is something we have no awareness of whatsoever out there, surrounding us, that confines all this rationalization of sensory input and keeps it pointed in the right direction. It definitely has a indecipherable language all its own.

      Reply
      1. pretzelattack

        presumably we look at their face, their gestures, draw on our experience with them. some of this seems to be inborn.

        Reply
    1. Brindle

      Yes, the Epstein episode is one of those that it is an obvious intel operation of some kind–and that any half way intelligent person would see that fairly quickly. Nothing more will ever come of this.

      Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    “Ohio State seeks to trademark the word ‘The’ ”

    Well until this is sorted out, I think that we should play it safe. Thus as an example the first three sentences should read as following-

    “Ohio State is seeking a trademark on one of (Patent pending) most common words in (Patent pending) English language.

    (Patent pending) school, formally known as (Patent pending) Ohio State University, is seeking a trademark on (Patent pending) word “(Patent pending)” for use on clothing and hats. According to (Patent pending) U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, (Patent pending) filing was made Thursday.

    University spokesman Chris Davey confirmed (Patent pending) school had made a trademark submission, saying it was necessary to protect (Patent pending) brand.”

    In passing, I think that that dog in the bonus antidote du jour had the right idea. Anybody that had a maniacal laugh like that carrying a meat cleaver you really want to steer clear of.

    Reply
    1. vlade

      Well, English is a developing language, and some dialects (Aussie) are known for droping the articles already. So this may just accelerate it.

      Reply
    2. Ignim Brites

      It is difficult to know what OSU is trying to accomplish. Maybe they just want to appear less intelligent than they really are.

      Reply
      1. Carla

        They want the acronym TOSU, instead of OSU — now, why Ohio State University would choose to be called by the name of a city in Japan, I cannot imagine.

        Reply
            1. Dan

              No, it’s all about helping brainwashing potentially militant gun owning whites in the Rust Belt into thinking that football is more important than their economic plight.

              Reply
              1. todde

                I’m pretty sure OSU lawyers are doing it for money, the same as OSU.

                I certainly don’t have it take it farther than that.

                Reply
      2. bsg

        Ohio State sells an awful lot of officially licensed merchandise. To get around the licensing issue, “bootleggers” sell unofficial merchandise in the correct color scheme but without any official names or logos. “THE” has become something of an inside joke among Ohio State fans and the newest trend is selling T-shirts and other merch with the simple word “THE” in block lettering. This lawsuit is Ohio State trying to offcialize an unofficial trademark. It’ll be fun to see what next absurdity will become the new unofficial Ohio State logo.

        Reply
      3. wilroncanada

        Ah, Ignim Brites, you must have talked to one of the school’s elite graduating athletes, and he (almost certainly a he) told you all about their 110% effort to market themselves. Duh Ohio State!

        Reply
    3. Katy

      Intellectual property lawyer here. My response to every comment about The Ohio State: “No, that isn’t how trademark law works.”

      The real significance of the story is that it is a further attempt by rentiers to propertize the public domain for private profit.

      Reply
    4. BillF

      As a long time Columbus resident, I can assure everyone that (T)OSU is indeed a big corporate bully when it comes to asserting alleged trademark rights. They usually issue several well-publicized trademark warning letters every year. One example: they went after a small restaurant named Hai Poke that had the audacity to give away t-shirts with the phrase O-HAI-O.

      Reply
    5. carycat

      Microsoft did this with the word “windows” years ago despite it being in common usage for centuries. Pure power grab by an organization with deep pockets for lawyers. OSU is just late to the party. Nothing to see here.

      Reply
  4. vlade

    On the “UK wages rocket” – I’d really like to see more detailed data, as I suspect the writer has a bias. For example, he puts in the significant drop in the EU migration as “migration is down”. Well, the net migration is actually holding.

    Because the EU migration is now about a third of the non-EU migration. And, the non-EU migration was higher than the EU migration for the last three decades.

    Also, while a lot of the (relative) increase went to the lowest paid, it was mostly in the richest regions (+Scotland).

    But, most importantly, the real wages are now still below the 2008 levels [RW growth from 2008 to 2018:
    -0.3, -0.6, -3.3, -1.2, 0, -1.5, 1.4, 1.5, -0.5, 1.2 = -3.3 ). Yes, there’s a wages growth. Because between 2008 and 2015 there was a 7% real wage drop. IIRC, only two EU countries had a larger real-wage drop over that period of time (CZ and Greece).

    So, put into perspective:
    – yes, there’s a wage growth. But the real wage growth is still low (will probably come at around 1.5%, similar to two years ago), as inflation is well over 2%
    – but real wages got hammered for the last 10 years, and are not even at the 10-years-ago level, never mind where they should be looking at GDP growth (ex inflation). So some growth now and then is not surprising (Greece had massive drops, often followed by large spikes – which didn’t cover the drop though).
    – the article implies correlation with lower EU immigration, ignoring that overall net migration is same, and not really showing any causation.

    Reply
    1. dearieme

      the net migration is actually holding

      I have no idea whether that’s true, you have no idea, and the government has no idea either. Statistics on such things are largely balderdash, or should be assumed to be so. The Office of National Statistics has just admitted to discovering two large howlers in its immigration data for the last decade or so, and I doubt there’s any convincing reason to trust its new data much more than its old. In matters social facts are hard to come by.

      Reply
      1. Ember Brody

        “Statistics on such things are largely balderdash”

        Would you have a link to a reference concerning that statement? Genuinely interested, thank you.

        Reply
        1. dearieme

          Probably a good guide is the frequency with which government data is promoted as proving the justification for policy X, only for the government to quietly release “corrections” some months or years later. I don’t suppose that the UK and US governments are the only ones prone to this behaviour.

          Even if all you looked at were economic data you’d find a trail of post hoc corrections. Perhaps start with the US labour (labor) market data including unemployment data.

          Here’s the ONS admitting that its immigration data have been materially wrong.
          https://news.sky.com/story/eu-net-migration-consistently-higher-than-first-thought-admits-office-for-national-statistics-11790678

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            government data is promoted as proving the justification for policy X

            Like during the Cold War, when the CIA convinced the rubes that the USSR was an economic colossus so that maximum war prep could continue.

            Turned out that the USSR economy was about as big, as one economist noted, as “Belgium plus vodka”.

            What a silly, petty, and fearful nation we are. Our Dear Leaders say “eek, a mouse!” and we all scurry under our beds.

            Reply
    2. skippy

      Its quite popular at MB to equate all of Australia’s problems on immigration, followed by Ultras being the David vs. E.U. Goliath, and rounded out with Trump saving freedom, liberty, and liberal democracy from the totalitarian CCP.

      Which I can only equate too – everyone is trying to steal our stuff ….

      Which is morbidly humorous when informing such that is was sold during the 80s to anglophone investors, which now are just selling it to Chinese investors on the open market for a profit. Strong libertarian contingent with assorted bolt ons and reheated rhetorical sales pitchs.

      Reply
    3. Anonymous 2

      It is also relevant that there has recently been a large (4.8%?) increase in the legally required minimum wage in the UK.

      Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I suppose that after all the Jihadists have been mopped up, sooner or later some Syrian soldier will go up to the door of the Turkish Observation Post there, knock on it, and ask to borrow a cup of sugar just to make a point.

      Reply
    2. Camp Lo

      Erdogan think’s he’s calling Putin’s bluff. On Tuesday, Turkish F-16’s were flying over the battle supporting Turkish officers who have rebels under their command. It was only after being engaged by Russian Su-35’s, were the Turkish aircraft forced to break contact. The Turkish aircraft were up to what? Over-watching 50 armored Turkish vehicles, including tanks, reinforcing the town of Murak, allowing the rebels to fall back into the hills. The stones on Erdogan [or more precisely, the guys carrying out his orders by driving up to the wrong-end of Spetnaz rockets]. What does Erdogan know that everyone else doesn’t? Or is there really no deterrence left? In which case, the dogs really have been let slip. Perhaps, Putin is in the business of collecting favors from everyone, but Assad at this point, whose capital is spent.

      Reply
        1. todde

          we get your point.

          I think the issue is the volume of sales now relative to the past.

          but yes, they are investors.

          context people!

          it matters

          Reply
  5. timbers

    UK wages rocket as cheap foreign labour exits labour market Macrobusiness

    I think this is the reason the U.K. voted to leave the Euro and the reason Trump won the election – a lot of people want to stop the importation of labor – immigrants – because it suppresses their wages.

    I have not followed Brexit but as was express here at NC – that if Trump raises wages and the economy performs well – voters will be forgiving of his faults.

    In the same way, if UK wages rise due to Brexit and immigrant labor leaving, the Brits might be forgiving of Brexit problems.

    Adding to support for Trump and Brexit, is that in both instances many seemed fed up with the entire establishment telling them they can’t have it. In the case of Brexit, that might be especially affronting since the voters approved it.

    If I were a Brit, I’d be willing to sacrifice economically if I saw the issue as freeing England from the neo-liberal Euro-crats that would ultimately impose a TPP style corporate hegemony upon me.

    Of course that’s no guarantee England won’t have it’s own English noe-liberal corporate hegemony. But it’s easier to think the English might be able to change that, than change it on the European mainland from afar if they remained in the Euro.

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      Britain isn’t in the Euro, one reason it’s conceivable for them to Leave. That, and the English Channel. Course, it’s the Irish Channel that’s giving them fits.

      You’ve expressed the reason Corbyn was historically pro-Leave, and more recently conflicted.

      Of course, with the Tories in charge, Britain will probably get the worst-case scenario.

      Reply
  6. zagonostra

    >Cat scratch fever

    What I learned, besides fascinating facts about rabies, its transmission and the horrible ways one can die from it, was that any one of us is a mere cat scratch away from financial peril if we aren’t lucky enough to have good health insurance

    Yes, a “cat scratch away” from not only financial ruin but having one’s child die because of lack of insurance. Yet, the immoral healthcare system that punishes the poor persist year-after- year.

    Fear, it’s the first weapon of the ruling elite to keep the population in perpetual servitude; as long as fear of financial ruin, immigrants getting access to “free stuff”, Russians stealing your sacred elections, socialism, etc…grips the mind, rational thought is short-circuited – “Fear is the Mind-killer.” Along with distractions, redirection, false equivalencies and narratives, and almost complete control of the Media, in their tool-bag, it’s hard to see positive change in the near horizon.

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/08/a-brush-with-a-notorious-cat-my-rabies-education-and-the-big-bill-that-followed.html

    Reply
  7. The Rev Kev

    “Trump: ‘I am the chosen one’ ”

    I saw his film clip earlier today at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzlxrPC_E_U and I only got halfway through it before I shut it off – it was just too moronic to listen too. It was bad enough when America was run by a frat boy but to be run by a two-bit hustler with a thousand word vocabuary is just too much. Don’t get me wrong. America is still a great nation. It is just that the political system has absolutely broken down and the choice of leaders offered the American people would embarrass Mos Eisley City Council. I am not sure why he turned around when he talked about “The Chosen One”. Who was he trying to talk to? A six-foot invisible rabbit named Harvey perhaps?

    Reply
    1. cnchal

      I suspect that everyone is getting tired and pissed off at the gross display of naked narcissism.

      Jabba the Hut would be a better president.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The video above is pure comedy gold.

        “We’re the piggybank! We’re the one everybody wants to rob!”

        The man’s world view is so unbelievably simple and tiny. It comes straight from the WWF, complete with fake staged fights and guys throwing chairs.

        I for one am going to miss him when he’s gone.

        But let’s also acknowledge: it’s incredibly effective. Another politician (Warren for example) might say “We will carefully weigh the GDP deflator implications of cross-border flows and tariff levels and determine the implications for our treaty commitments”.

        But Trump boils it down in a way “Murkins can understand while munching down a Caramel Popcorn Surprise Krispy Kreme donut: “We’re the piggy bank!”

        Reply
    2. nycTerrierist

      Maybe someone from ‘The Family’ got to him.

      Just started watching Jeff Sharlet’s Netflix doc re: the ‘invisible’ wingnut power sect infesting our so-called elites, sponsors of the National Prayer Breakfast, etc.:

      https://www.democracynow.org/2009/8/12/sharlet

      JEFF SHARLET: “But what links (The Family with affairs of state is) the common sort of theological view of this organization. Unlike other Christian right groups, they don’t really believe that you’re in power because you’re a good person. They have no illusions about these guys. They believe that they are, as you said in the beginning, the “new chosen,” that you’re chosen for power by God. You’re not so much elected by the people as selected from above. And when you’re in that position, it doesn’t matter what you do. You shouldn’t do these things. They don’t want you to do these things. But it doesn’t matter what you do. Ensign is a powerful man, not because he’s of good character, but because he’s been chosen by God. In a similar vein, the foreign leaders with whom they work, the dictators, about whom they have no illusions, are chosen by God for their countries, regardless of how brutal they are.”

      Reply
      1. nycTerrierist

        “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

        attributed to Sinclair Lewis

        Reply
        1. lordkoos

          I like this quote from a different Sinclair, which was posted on Jesse’s Cafe blog yesterday:

          “Day by day the money-masters of America become more aware of their danger, they draw together, they grow more class-conscious, more aggressive. The [first world] war has taught them the possibilities of propaganda; it has accustomed them to the idea of enormous campaigns which sway the minds of millions and make them pliable to any purpose.

          American political corruption was the buying up of legislatures and assemblies to keep them from doing the people’s will and protecting the people’s interests; it was the exploiter entrenching himself in power, it was financial autocracy undermining and destroying political democracy. By the blindness and greed of ruling classes the people have been plunged into infinite misery.”

          Upton Sinclair, The Brass Check

          Reply
      2. urblintz

        Here’s what the doc leaves out, even though Sharlet had a lot to say on the matter…from 2007: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/09/hillarys-prayer-hillary-clintons-religion-and-politics/

        “Through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship. Her collaborations with right-wingers such as Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) grow in part from that connection…

        Clinton’s prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or “the Family”), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to “spiritual war” on behalf of Christ, many of them recruited at the Fellowship’s only public event, the annual National Prayer Breakfast. (Aside from the breakfast, the group has “made a fetish of being invisible,” former Republican Senator William Armstrong has said.) The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God’s plan.

        Clinton declined our requests for an interview about her faith, but in Living History, she describes her first encounter with Fellowship leader Doug Coe at a 1993 lunch with her prayer cell at the Cedars, the Fellowship’s majestic estate on the Potomac. Coe, she writes, “is a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God.””

        The documentary is not Sharlet’s book. Sharlet wrote his (2) “Family” books well before the Russiagate hysteria currently infecting the minds of too many and yet in episode 4, the film’s director, Jesse Moss, heads straight into conspiracy theory re: Marina Butina.

        Here’s another article, by Barbara Ehrenreich: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/hillarys-nasty-pastorate_b_92361

        “Clinton fell in with the Family in 1993, when she joined a Bible study group composed of wives of conservative leaders like Jack Kemp and James Baker. When she ascended to the senate, she was promoted to what Sharlet calls the Family’s “most elite cell,” the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast, which included, until his downfall, Virginia’s notoriously racist Senator George Allen.”

        Reply
      3. Krystyn Walentka

        Ha! That was my thought as well! But did he make that link it on purpose to get us all talking about that and not the economy or tax cuts? Or does he really believe The Family when they told him that? Or did he watch the documentary as well and just said “hey, that is why I am president, I am chosen!”

        I think the Hindus know what is going on; we are in Kali Yuga, and there is nothing left to to but watch. Read the whole discourse, it is fascinatingly predictive.

        http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03187.htm

        “Hindus believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali Yuga. Common attributes and consequences are spiritual bankruptcy, mindless hedonism, breakdown of all social structure, greed and materialism, unrestricted egotism, afflictions and maladies of mind and body.”

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is Global Warming included in the Kali Yuga, and can we agree with the Hindus that ‘there is nothing left to do but watch?’

          Reply
          1. Krystyn Walentka

            Yes, climate change is spoken of, droughts and floods, etc.

            The Kali Yuga is an era of time, and time passes. The most you can do is prepare yourself spiritually.

            Reply
    3. Keith Howard

      In my youth I was subjected to a great deal of quite learned and intellectual Calvinist preaching. With that background, I expect that many in the Evangelical community (for lack of a better term) will find Trump’s claim to be “the chosen one” blasphemous. Just try capitalizing the “O”.

      Reply
      1. KevinD

        I am surrounded by Evangelicals – for the vast majority I would consider wealthy, their bible is their wallet.

        Nothing Drump does will dissuade their allegiance to him as long as the money keeps rolling in and babies cannot be aborted.

        Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        Only time will tell, but I have a feeling this Denmark issue is a key rubicon moment. A lot of European countries seemed to think they could just keep their head down while Trump serves his time and then things will come back to normal after the next election. This will have persuaded a whole lot of countries that they will have to fundamentally shift themselves away from a dependence (militarily and otherwise) on the US. I think many Asian countries, especially Japan and S. Korea, have already made that decision.

        Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Crossing the Rubicon means you can never go back, whereas glorious leader can fib about something not worth lying over in the morning and cover it up with a bigger tall tale in the afternoon as if nothing ever happened.

            It takes a certain skill…

            Reply
      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I’m reminded of court jesters.

        From Wikipedia:

        In literature, the jester is symbolic of common sense and of honesty, notably in King Lear, where the court jester is a character used for insight and advice on the part of the monarch, taking advantage of his license to mock and speak freely to dispense frank observations and highlight the folly of his monarch. This presents a clashing irony as a greater man could dispense the same advice and find himself being detained in the dungeons or even executed. Only as the lowliest member of the court can the jester be the monarch’s most useful adviser.

        Author Alan Gordon also writes about jesters as advisers to the king, who actually make up a super-secret spy ring that try to keep peace and control the leaders of different countries. The Fool’s Guild of these novels is portrayed as a mockery to the church, and they refer to Jesus Christ as “Their Savior, The First Fool”.

        Real or not (including Claudius’ play dumb in order to avoid being a target), this idea has been around that to survive, one has to play the fool.

        Reply
  8. dearieme

    It took another seven years, and I dated him twice afterwards, but I did successfully divorce him.

    I never know quite what to infer from American use of the verb “date”. Sometimes it refers, I think, to sexual congress; sometimes, I suppose, to “going out together”. At other times its meaning is, to me, entirely obscure.

    Reply
    1. CoryP

      I tend to interpret it as “in a sexual/romantic relationship over a period of time which may or may not be exclusive”. In this particular case it sounds like it probably wasn’t exclusive even if one party may have thought so.

      But as someone who is still in the “dating” scene, I can’t say I really know what the hell it means either.

      Reply
      1. Robert McGregor

        “Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy”

        In the movie, “On Golden Pond,” the teenage delinquent calls it, “Sucking Face.” That is probably more accurate.

        Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        That means “ABOVE the neck.” BELOW the neck, it’s “petting.” Below that, “3rd Base,” but this is a family blog.

        Apparently that vocabulary is now deservedly archaic.

        Reply
    2. T

      “Friends’ Facebook and Instagram can prove we were together during this time?”

      She’s not the most reliable narrator. Maybe she wrote this while high?

      Not a great advocate for herself, or anyone else. As Trump would say, “Sad.”

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        I read more of it than I should have, too. The striking thing is that it’s such poor reporting, confusing and TMI. Maybe being married to Williamson was damaging. Or just thinking about him makes her incoherent.

        Reply
        1. Moe

          I felt that way the first time I read it but then I read it again and found it lucid and extremely compelling. It was an interesting read. She could have been more damning, but it seems like it was pretty painful to relive it enough to write it down, though her life seems to have been plenty painful since.

          Reply
  9. Clive

    Re: U.K. National Grid Sez It Can Fix a Hardware Problem With a Bit of Coding

    The recent widespread outage here has had National Grid’s (the Electrical System Operator or ESO) initial report published and it is by reading this section where both the historical and would-be future grift is exposed:

    To ensure that, in the event of a loss, the rate of change of frequency does not result in the disconnection of users the ESO can decide to increase the total system inertia (which would slow down changes in frequency) or reduce the size of potential generation and demand losses that could credibly occur. A smaller sized loss will result in a correspondingly smaller RoCoF in low inertia conditions. The optimal approach is to reduce the size of credible system infeed losses on generation, demand or interconnectors. This approach is more cost effective than increasing the level of inertia.

    (emphasis mine)

    What’s that word “credible” doing there — and what purpose is it serving in a supposedly engineering-led report? Credible by who’s standards? Decided on what basis?

    National Grid’s, of course. They then just need to get the regulatory regime to buy into it. Which is potentially a hurdle, but since when has “new, improved, ‘smart’ software” solutions failed to impress the, well, easily impressed?

    All (as I’m sure National Grid said to themselves) we need to do is get someone with a fancy name (like, for example, GE) to supply us with modelling software that will produce a next-day look-ahead prediction for the amount of inertial generating capacity we’ll “need” and then we don’t need to make ourselves liable for any mess ups, if the software said it was all okay, that’s good enough for us. Best of all, we won’t need any of the scarce and expensive high inertia, reactive load capable, spinning reserve. And if it all goes horribly wrong, well, we’re simply going to blame a “software glitch”. I’d be willing to bet my wind up torch GE’s product mentions “AI” somewhere in the blurb.

    Of course, it’s all more marketing than science, but isn’t that how the game is played, these days?

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      They are not willing to make a “policy” staement on the amount of spinning reserve (generation equipment at synchronous speed, possibly in sync, but not generating).

      I believe the French, EDF, owns the British Grid. Various snide phrases come to mind.

      Reply
  10. cripes

    Yes, the Amazon/Rondinia/Mato Grosso fires in Brazil are catastrophic and underreported. The blackout of Sao Paulo is reminiscent of the 1952 killer smog in London which finally has been attributed to “sulfuric acid particles…formed from sulfur dioxide released by coal burning.”

    In other news, I thought school shootings were confined to the USA.
    Not so!

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/13/brazil-shooting-school-sao-paulo-deaths-latest-news-updates

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I shouldn’t mention it, lest Prometheus be on alert that someone has made off with our wildfires, but they aren’t happening this summer.

      Reply
    2. jrs

      yea especially as it’s not just climate change, but in this case being actively provoked by Bolsinaro’s slash and burn policies. What can we ever do to be done with these evil strongmen.

      Reply
    3. Summer

      That Brazil school shooting story from earlier this year….
      Two attackers and they also had a crossbow which surprised authoritities.
      Couldn’t help but remember that was the weapon of choice by a school attacker in the film “We Need To Talk About Kevin.”

      Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “Gabbard Victimized by DNC’s Dubious Debate Criteria”

    This outright cheating should surprise nobody. Remember back in 2017 when a lawsuit was brought by Bernie Sanders against the Democratic National Committee over their actions in 2016? And “DNC lawyers argue that they don’t owe anyone a fair process, and that the rules in their charter are basically not binding in court. In fact, if they wanted, DNC attorney Bruce Spiva argued, they could choose their nominee in a smoke-filled back room and it still wouldn’t be legally actionable.” Wonderfully clarifying. The Democratic party is a big one – and apparently democrat voters aren’t in it-

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/dnc-argues-in-court-we-dont-owe-anyone-a-fair-primary-process

    Reply
    1. jrs

      the criteria they suggest seems EQUALLY dubious if less opaque.

      If state level polls are allowed to count (I thought it had to be national level polls?), isn’t it really unfair and messed up that early voting states get polled more than those that aren’t early voting states, which may not be polled at all? So all we need is a politician from new hampshire running and they’ll automatically do well on at least one poll?

      Reply
  12. Ignim Brites

    “Gabbard Victimized by DNC’s Dubious Debate Criteria”. Gabbard and her supporters can leverage this to some advantage. She could live stream commentary on the debate. And much can be made of the vanity of the legacy media in believing her views on foreign policy can be ignored. Or to but it another way; Gabbard’s absence from the debate will be visible to the entire nation.

    Reply
    1. Carla

      “Gabbard’s absence from the debate will be visible to the entire nation.” I certainly hope so, but I doubt it.

      Reply
  13. Wukchumni

    ‘They killed our city’: Locals feel helpless as vacation rentals overrun Sedona, Arizona azcentral.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The numbers are similar here, 1 out of 5 homes are short-term vacation rentals, with no long term rentals, unless the abode is not vacation rent ready, i.e. a dump.

    There are no ‘cheap’ homes for sale, and anything over $300k seems to be too much for the market to bear in terms of making them pencil out.

    Was hiking with a friend on the weekend, and they rent out a detached 2 bedroom bungalow for $140 a night, and he told me they’re booked up in entirety for the next month, and more importantly, he told me it was their only income coming in.

    Lotsa would-be Hiltons, counting on it continuing.

    A recession along the lines of 2008 could put the kibosh to this, you could get a motel room for just $15 @ Whiskey Pete’s casino @ the stateline when people stopped vacationing, with similar low-down rates elsewhere. We scored a $10 room @ the Hacienda casino near Hoover Dam.

    Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Three* Rivers, right next to Sequoia NP @ the southern entrance.

        * there’s actually 4, but we’re modest.

        Reply
  14. petal

    Oh joy of joys! Biden will be in my town tomorrow. Doors open at 3p. I will try to go and witness his…erm..issues as they seem to pop up later in the day, right, and then I’ll report back to you guys on Saturday. Cheers.

    Reply
  15. divadab

    Re: Democrat Party Excluding Tulsi Gabbard from Debates.

    No more proof needed that the Democrat Party, corrupt exemplar of money control of our political process, will lose to Trump again in 2020. And they deserve it, the filthy corrupt scum.

    Why pay attention to the fake democracy show they are putting on? They can go to h-ll. Tulsi should run as an Independent and I will vote for her. Never again will I vote Dem.

    Reply
      1. flora

        Adding: the Dem estab’s cry “think of the Supreme Court!” would have more sway with me if they didn’t keep nominating corporate lawyers to the bench; lawyers whose major practice and experience is in defending huge corporations from increased taxes, or anti-trust or torts suits, etc. Not hard to see why Pharma can continue to price gouge and monopolies continue to grow, and why Citizens United (corporations are people) was passed, imo. I’m not against corporations having expert legal defense and representation. However, there needs to be a wider range of representation on the Court, imo. Otherwise, most of the law passed if challenged in court will be run through a prism of “is it good for the corporations”, and little more.

        https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/08/no-more-corporate-judges/596383/

        Reply
      2. Kevin Hall

        Among others in her article, there is Jill Biden’s now notorious quote tweeted with commentary by Aaron Mate.

        I’ve been thinking about it and to me Biden is the 2019 version of Clayton Williams. Now what she said wasn’t as shocking and vulgar, much more pc. But the attitude, the viewpoint behind it I recognize from that long ago run for Texas governor.

        Maybe I’m wrong?

        Reply
      3. Mike Mc

        Caitlin managed to skip one of Nina Turner’s best lines: “I only had one mother and she’s dead.”

        No translation required!

        Reply
    1. Whoamolly

      Re: Never again will I vote Dem.

      50 years straight line D here:

      Never again automatic D.
      From now on I start with automatic assumption D is my enemy.

      Reply
  16. s.n.

    surprisingly, the Guardian coverage of the West Papua uprising is not half-bad:

    West Papua protests: Indonesia deploys 1,000 soldiers to quell unrest, cuts internet

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/22/west-papua-protests-indonesia-deploys-1000-soldiers-to-quell-unrest

    Indonesia has deployed more than 1,000 security personnel to West Papua and cut internet access, amid days of violent demonstrations in what activists say are the largest protests to occur in the region in years…

    The exiled West Papuan leader, Benny Wenda, said the subsequent arrests of the Papuan students in Surabaya had “lit the bonfire of nearly 60 years of racism, discrimination and torture of the people of West Papua by Indonesia”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/22/why-are-there-violent-clashes-in-papua-and-west-papua-explainer

    Reply
  17. s.n.

    an analysis well worth scanning:
    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/french-colonial-designs-mali-190820111338087.html

    The French colonial designs in Mali
    France stands to benefit if Mali’s territorial integrity is pulled apart.

    Mali is breaking apart. After the devolved northeastern region of Kidal, where the presence of the French army failed to prevent mafia-like groups interested in exploiting the region’s immense gold reserves from taking control, the Malian government now appears to be losing its grip on the equally resource-rich neighbouring region of Timbuktu….

    what is behind the looming collapse of the Malian state? Is it the natural outcome of deep-rooted local problems, or is there something more sinister at play? Could it be that a former colonial power, which is rapidly losing its influence on the African continent and facing major economic and financial problems as a result, is deliberately creating the conditions for the country’s disintegration?…

    Now, with CMA preparing to take over Timbuktu, the second phase of France’s neo-colonial plan to secure its access to Mali’s vast natural resources by dividing the country and weakening the central government has started. It will likely bring more violence and bloodshed to the country, but it appears this does not concern Paris which historically has shown little care for the wellbeing of Africans.

    Reply
    1. Jesper

      The article says ‘France’ benefits, I’d hazard a guess that whoever is benefitting isn’t the average French person nor is the common good getting any benefits and probably not even the French government. Someone close to the powers that be in France might benefit, possibly even elected individuals in France might personally benefit but France is surely not benefitting.
      It would be interesting to know who is enjoying the fruits of the war…

      Reply
    2. David

      It’s the standard by-the-numbers Afro-pessimist conspiracy theory that you can hear on any street corner in the region. The French didn’t want to get into Mali in the first place and have been trying to get out, and hand over to the EU/UN. Why critics like this don’t understand is that in the last couple of decades the centre of French foreign policy has moved from Africa to Europe. Africa simply isn’t anywhere near as important as it used to be. There are valid criticisms to be made of French policy in Africa but this isn’t one of them.

      Reply
    3. Winston Smith

      Was just in Senegal (since Mali is out of bounds for westerners) with my wife to meet up with the Malian family who hosted and essentially adopted her during her time in the Peace Corp. It seems that the general sentiment expressed by most Malians is that French involvement is nefarious.

      Reply
  18. Carolinian

    Re Gabbard’s potential debate exclusion–the election is over a year away and it’s likely most voters couldn’t name most of the candidates. Therefore making polls a key criterion this early on practically guarantees name recognition and media favoritism as the route to moving up.

    In other words mission accomplished by the DNC.

    It’s a pity Gabbard can’t run as a third party candidate. Given her popularity (except, seemingly, in those “approved” polls) that might really put the scare in them.

    Reply
    1. urblintz

      Well it’s certainly not because any US politicians (like Marco Rubio) who support the protesters have political motives. Their “humanitarian interventionist” motives are pure and must not be conflated with anything nefarious. (snark)

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Marco Rubio.

        It’s not unlike what the USSR did during WW2 – they could all the help they could get, including Lend-Lease from the, well, USA.

        Many in Russia said, “Welcome GI Joe,’ or more likely, ‘We love your transport vehicles.” It wasn’t time to criticize those capitalist Yankees.

        Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the SCMP article:

      “What has characterised this movement and been its greatest success is that everyone has been able to contribute in the manner that best suits them, whether it is strategy, skills or finances. What is ‘be water’?” she questions, referring to the famous saying of late martial arts star Bruce Lee, which has become the clarion call of young protesters.
      “Water is fluid, can take many shapes, and it’s not easy to grasp or capture – those are its unique attributes. The various forms that Pepe is able to take is also quite representative of this.”
      While she wasn’t aware of his association with the alt-right movement in America, she applauds his “reincarnation” as a local hero. “I congratulate him on becoming a Hongkonger,” she says.

      Interesting (I’m pleasantly surprised) that Bruce Lee was paraphrasing from Dao De Jing.

      It is, in fact, very ‘Oriental’ way of looking at the world, and not much ‘Western thinking’ with that.

      And a good reminder for Xi as well, to be more patient, instead of rushing, for exmaple, into the Middle East for fossil fuels in partnership with Russia, when Sweden, Costa Rica are claiming to be fossil fuel free now or soon, along with Beijing itself eyeing to ban fossile fuel vehicles (though without a firm date).

      Reply
  19. CoryP

    Wow that letter to the editor is incredible. It’s all over the place and I’m not even sure what my overall reaction is to it. But I was captivated.

    Reply
  20. The Rev Kev

    “AIPAC breaks with Netanyahu over Omar-Tlaib decision”

    Israel’s decision to ban those women was remarkably ham-fisted. Right now there is a whole platoon of Democratic representatives over in Israel and staying silent about it on social media. Most media does not even mention them being there. Those women could have gone over to Israel, had their protest, and then come back home. Israel would just make sure that their friends in the New York Times, Washington Post along with other media would just bury that story or not even cover it. Problem solved. But by now denying the Omar-Tlaib visit, the publicity over it has gone like wildfire. Sometimes it is better to let sleeping dogs bury their own dead.

    Reply
  21. Skip in DC

    Re: AIPAC breaks with Netanyahu over Omar-Tlaib decision / The Hill

    If one parses many of the reflexively pro-Israel groups’ statements and interviews expressing distress with Netanyahu’s reciprocal genuflection to Trump, one realizes most of these groups are primarily expressing distress over a bad public relations move.

    The whole sad affair results from chickens coming home to roost for these same groups immediately crying anti-semitism at Omar for speaking a well-documented truth about it being all about the Benjamins. She might have added it’s also all about fear of free-floating Benjamins shifting to challengers in primaries or opponents in general elections.

    Reply
        1. Duck1

          Bless your heart:
          This is a term used by the people of the southern United States particularly near the Gulf of Mexico to express to someone that they are an idiot without saying such harsh words. (Urban Dictionary)

          Reply
  22. Scylla

    I’ve been busy with a home improvement project, and have not been reading NC as much as usual, so sorry if this has already been posted. The Trump administration is reportedly considering a big-tech solution to gun violence that would look for mental instability using data from sources like Fitbits, Apple Watch, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. Many us have been concerned about these devices for some time. Of course it probably won’t work, but I’m sure they’d get all kinds of juicy stuff on people they could use for other things. I think we all knew this was coming, if indeed it is not already being done.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      HALexa: Look Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over. Maybe I know somebody that can get you a gun with the serial numbers filed off.

      Reply
      1. Scylla

        I wouldn’t be too sure. I live in rural BFE, where tech adoption tends to lag, and I am absolutely shocked at how many people, including older people, have these devices. The younger set has the wearable type-Fitbits and associated knockoffs, and the older folks just love their Alexa’s. I personally had no idea that Fitbits could be used in such a capacity, but we regularly caution people regarding their Alexa’s and people think we are nuts.
        I’ll add that the story was in the WaPo, and that I tried to add a link in my previous post, but it did not appear. My fault I’m sure, but if anyone is interested in reading it, the title is: White House Considers New Project Seeking Links Between Mental Health And Violent Behavior

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Scenes from a family backpack trip…

          I noticed my sisters were wearing Fitbit bracelets, and my 14 yr old nephew bragged about how he was going to buy an Apple watch for $500+ with the proceeds from being a paid linesman for soccer games, and smartphones came out to take pictures & videos, and telling what time it was, but otherwise useless, except in giving away our position to a big box big brother operation in Utah.

          A few got the jitters of realizing that maybe a few hundred e-mails awaited them when they got back, the teenagers all did nicely without electric tether pacifiers, although they were clearly going through the D.T.*’s when we were approaching the device laden car in the trailhead parking lot.

          *Down Time

          Reply
  23. William Hunter Duncan

    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Wall Street Journal supported Jair Bolsonaro precipitated the burning of the Amazon….

    Oh wait…

    Reply
  24. Craig H.

    > Atlantic puffins thriving on remote nesting islands off Maine

    No pictures of the puffins. They must be pretty elusive. According to wikipedia they fly over the water, spot their food swimming in the water, then fly into the water and “fly” through the water to catch it. Must make for spectacular video if you are a clever enough cameraman to catch it.

    I can’t find any good images or videos though. :(

    Reply
    1. Mel

      Not as spectacular as you would hope. The water compresses the feathers and shows you how scrawny birds really are. The Vancouver Aquarium used to have some. Looks aside, you have to own that puffins are very good at what they do.

      Reply
      1. Craig H.

        you and kurtismayfield have way better links than I was able to find with google.

        For some applications the NC userbase search tool is vastly superior!

        Reply
  25. The Rev Kev

    “He Has Made Us a Laughing Stock”: Diplomats Stunned by Trump’s Feud With Denmark

    I understand that the Queen of Denmark was quite upset. They had cleaned up the spare room, turned down the bed linen, and even put a hamburger next to the chocolate on the pillow. She is not amused. I have already heard about Greenland and its desperation. There is the Popular People’s Front of Greenland fighting for their freedom already. They have already complained to the UN about the inhumane treatment of their members in prison. They are forced to eat regular bread instead of Gluten-free bread and they cannot get access to avocados in prison at all. Meanwhile in Washington DC the government is writing up the Greenland Liberation Act of 2019 and the Greenland Liberation Council has been set up to provide a government-in-a-box for after any intervention. Pompeo is going to go to the United Nations and charged Greenland with hiding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Support is bipartisan. The people of Greenland have already been promised the best of American healthcare, education and jobs.
    Seriously, I doubt that this was originally Trump’s idea. Some Pentagon or policy wonks showed him a map of the place, pointed out all the rich mineral resources which include rare earth elements, uranium, iron ore, gold, diamonds, lead and zinc, told him about the new shipping routes opening up, told him how the Chinese are already actively mining there (without mentioning that the US couldn’t be bothered), told him about all the oil and gas there, mentioned all the rich fishing grounds off the coast, told him how they could put nuclear missiles there to go after Russia, and best of all – he would get all the credit and go down in the history books as the most famous President in history evuh! They could even ship America’s prison population over there as a labour force to make things great there. Trump probably believed it when he said that it was just a real estate deal as that is all he knows. Trouble is that Denmark is fully aware of Trump’s history of stiffing people that he owes money too.

    Reply
    1. Cuibono

      “After rebuffing Donald J. Trump’s hypothetical proposal to purchase Greenland, the government of Denmark has announced that it would be interested in buying the United States instead.

      “As we have stated, Greenland is not for sale,” a spokesperson for the Danish government said on Friday. “We have noted, however, that during the Trump regime pretty much everything in the United States, including its government, has most definitely been for sale.”

      https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/denmark-offers-to-buy-usc

      Reply
      1. jrs

        Please, please buy the U.S.. I will welcome our Danish liberators. We will greet them with roses in the streets. We live in barbaric conditions in a repressive anti-democratic oligarchical state, conditions that horrify outside observers from the U.N.. Only a civilized country like Denmark can liberate us with mandatory vacation time, paid family leave etc..

        #AmeriansForOurDanishLiberation

        Reply
        1. newcatty

          Be careful what we wish for…Trump and company are mulling over if they can call Denmark’s bluff by offering up California and parts of Oregon as a trade for Greenland. It’s the art of a deal that would be a glorious successful real estate coup for Trump. And what a twofer, at least, that pesky “liberal and progressive” area of America would be Denmark’s problem. I am sure the PTB can figure out how to make all legal, see, to confiscate the state, and part of the other state, for national security and to create a very good neighbor relationship with the New Greenland on our west coast. All current citizens in New Greenland will be given the opportunity to legally migrate to a USA state of their choice. Current Californian and Western Oregon residents may also choose to become Danish citizens, with the caveat that they rescind their USA citizenship. Though, some exceptions may be granted for dual citizenship. The queen of Denmark will be welcomed with roses and avacados on her first visit to New Greenland. She will be flabbergasted by the requests for immigration to the new state of Denmark , New Greenland. Many of the requests will be from Americans.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I am curious how the people of Solvang, the Danish village north of Santa Barbara, would vote, about joining Denmark.

            Reply
          2. wilroncanada

            “Sorry, newcatty,” says the current US establishment. “We don’t trade anything away, unless we can steal it back. We’re not reduction mode, we’re still in expansion mode. Look what we have done just in the last 50 years. We’ve added Vietnam, North Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq. That’s just in Asia. In Africa we’ve added Egypt, Libya, Sudan and Somalia, and others. In Europe we’ve added Ukraine, Kosovo, Macedonia, and a whole bunch of other countries in the Baltics–the Balkans, whatever… In the Americas: Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela.. And don’t forget Granada. Greenland will be a snap after Granada.”

            Reply
    1. Skip Intro

      ‘Hate-crime’ is just a phrase invented to avoid calling white American males terrorists. The reason hate crimes have added penalties, despite GOP efforts to neuter them, is that they are an attack against an entire community, intended to intimidate and terrorize a wide audience, as well as harming some individuals directly.

      Reply
  26. Phacops

    I read with interest “The New American Homeless” and “They Killed Our City; . . .”

    I live in an agricultural area within a region frequented by tourists and cottagers with a significant number of seasonal residents and second-house owners. The economy is truly distorted by this with many of the greedy property owners making more in summer rentals than can reasonably be charged for in long term yearly rental. So, the quote that struck close to home from the former article is “When someone loses their home because it was treated as a commodity to be exploited for profit,” Natalie McLaughlin, an organizer with the group, told me, “what’s needed is not charity but justice.” 


    Yet, here in NW Michigan the discussion is always about affordable housing rather than the justice of living wages. Looking at the ALICE Project (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) a full 31% of households in my county do not make the minimums to afford the necessities of life. Meanwhile the people who profit serving the tourist hordes are looking to H1b visas for cheap labor and wonder why they can’t find domestic workers. The profit goes to very few people and for us permanent residents we live with a declining quality of life dealing with abusive tourists that use services and infrastructure without directly paying for them. Privatizing profit while socializing harm, in spades. When one attempts to discuss raising wages the pushback from the Chamber of Commerce and the tourist businesses is so extreme that one wonders if they were slaveholders in another existence.

    So, then we come to house rentals. Sedona is not alone. House rentals in NW Michigan are surging, even to the point where private equity is buying up multiple units in neighborhoods to rent out seasonally. And, as usual up here, communities are caught flat-footed. It does not help that institutions like Networks Northwest are propagandizing local planning commissions that we need to consider that “markets” will sort things out and must entertain input from the real estate industry when we consider measures to protect our communities from exploitation. Thus we are asked to become powerless in our own communities. Even imposing an occupancy tax is a joke because, by Michigan law, such funds must be used to promote tourism, a positive feedback loop to a declining quality of life.

    It has gotten to the point where I detest tourists and wish that they would crash and burn on our increasingly poor roads that they pay nothing to maintain.

    Reply
    1. Anon

      So, then we come to house rentals. Sedona is not alone.

      Yes, of course. AirBnB has facilitated “disruption” all across the world (especially tourist attractive locations). Hell, this proliferates in Los Angeles to Barcelona, San Francisco to Seattle.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        We live in Northern AZ. All of the “attractive ” towns and cities are being hit with the state’s power to usurp town councils’ regulations to protect the town’s homeowners and year round renters from exploitation of AirBnB or vacation rental industries . Our governor was a major supporter of home owners being given their all American right to use their property as they wanted and to make income by being motels next door to residents . This is exactly what is being allowed. It is abetted by the “conservative” local and state politicians who are always about more money going into their or their “constituents'” pockets. My town is building more apartments all around us. The traffic is awful on major streets. Water availability seems to be magically available for “sustainable ” growth. A major city, Flagstaff, close by Sedona was just slammed with migrants from, California mostly, who swooped in and bought existing housing at as some locals call it :”CA prices”. Talk about traffic! What was a cool, small college town with a nice relationship with the rest of the residents, now is just being killed with love of the escapees from CA ,or elsewhere, who are now in “God’s” country. Every time we venture to Flagstaff there are more brew pubs popping up. The scourge of AirBnB disruption is a part of the packaging of tourism. Tourism has always been a big source of income for Sedona and Flagstaff…Now it’s out of control. Even our once upon a time sleepy, pretty small town in the hills and forests is morphing into the vision of the exploiting classes. I have no sympathy for people who say they are only “doing it” until their mortgage is paid off, or until spouse gets a credential, or whatever. No one in a neighborhood should have to have their quality of life sacrificed for selfish ends. We just learned, only by sheer accident of meeting a “guest” that the couple, with two young kids, bought the nice, custom built older home next to our property for its ability to be an AirBnB. I did not relish a single family home, whose long driveway, goes by my back deck, having strangers come and go with no regard fo this being a quiet and secluded neighborhood. We found their profile and they are described as experienced hosts. OK. I have a feeling that they realize that their experience is not going to be welcomed. Maybe that is why when we welcomed them to The neighborhood it was a quick hello…then nothing. So far, quiet on their front.

        Reply
      2. MichaelSF

        A reply to recent comment I made on FB about our experiences with AirBnB “neighbors” here in SF was that SF was woefully “underserved” on hotel rooms for the tourists. I’d be surprised if a poll of most SF residents would show a groundswell of enthusiasm for building even more hotels in the city.

        Reply
    2. Anthony G Stegman

      Read The 1619 Project and learn how slavery was (and is in a slightly altered form) a central part of capitalism. The never ending quest for ever lower labor costs is proof positive.

      Reply
      1. Phacops

        I have no doubt about that. Growing up poor in the inner city I felt more comfortable with blacks than with privileged whites from the suburbs. But then, I also observed that among my lower working class white neighbors, and even in most of my family, there was an easy racism that let them believe that as mean as their lives were there was some group worse off than they were. I still need to fight such an upbringing, even now.

        Sad. That s**t has been rolling downhill forever in America.

        Reply
  27. Jason Boxman

    After reading the article yesterday about the “winners” of our meritocracy spending all their time working, I can finally understand the prevalence of these delivery apps like DoorDash. I rarely eat out, it’s too expensive, and I prefer cooking anyway, so I never understood the appeal. But if you’re making a good six figure income and working 15 hour days, I can see having no time to cook, go out, or go pick up food.

    Reply
    1. newcatty

      Indeed, Jason, it’s understandable. Now, let us consider the many ,many people working, if not 15 hour days, but from 8 to 12 hour days not having no time to cook, go out or pick up food. They can’t afford apps, as a source of meals. If they go out, or pick up, it is often fast food, not close to healthy or upscale restaurant food. Lots of these people work 6 days a week, or more than one job. Pizza delivery is such a luxury. Oh, guess with 6 figure incomes that is acceptable… They don’t have to order Dominoes or any of that low life cardboard crap.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        But people are thinking about it all wrong. As time to cook. No eat oatmeal for dinner if need be maybe accompanied by a piece of fruit, bake a plain potato and a plain chicken breast or a piece of fish. Don’t mind what the usual definition is of cooking or meals as it’s a mind screw. Just eat, real food, plain food, dull food, but real food. I mean sure if you like and have time to cook, then cook, cook to your hearts content, but otherwise it doesn’t have to be so complex. It’s fueling the body, that is all, it’s not always entertainment, but with food the body recognizes as food, that satisfy hunger and aren’t killing you and making you obese. Now cooking for kids can be more tricky as they can be tricky eaters.

        Reply
        1. @pe

          If you’re working -on- all the time, and then you eat porridge for dinner, why not just pull the trigger? Especially if you’re making six figures with 10 days of vacation that you can’t take without getting beaten at the game?

          There’s got to be something that makes it all less obviously insane, where even the top skills lead to a functionally slave situation.

          Reply
  28. Wukchumni

    When Wal*Mart is putting mens* underwear & batteries under locked glass in Visalia, or Target is doing the same with camping tents in SF, it must be on account of ‘untouchables’ i.e. the homeless.

    Law enforcement wants nothing to do with them, and losses from basic items being pilfered must be mounting.

    On a recent trip to a Target in San Francisco, financial crimes analyst Jane Natoli noticed a new item locked inside the glass cases typically reserved for popular video games and pricey electronics — camping tents.

    Napoli tweeted a photo of the surprising security measure along with the caption, “Just sit with that thought for a minute.”

    Thousands of people liked, retweeted, and commented on her tweet, noting that Target had likely secured the tents to stop homeless people from stealing them.

    https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/target-tents-homeless-crisis-san-francisco-locked/

    * not womens underwear though, relatively few homeless women compared to men

    Reply
    1. MichaelSF

      The local Safeway now has the Peet’s coffee behind locked glass doors. I got to listen to one jerk berate the store employee about it (I was waiting my turn at the coffee), while he seemed to also be in the middle of a very important cell phone call during the tirade. He was outraged, Outraged!

      Reply
  29. Matthew G. Saroff

    “UK wages rocket as cheap foreign labour exits labour market”?

    That is literally one of the promises of the Brexiteers.

    If GDP falls by 5%, and the workforce falls by 7%, that would imply rising wages.

    Will the Brexit be like the Black Death?

    You know, unbearable awfulness followed by a period of mass prosperity.

    The first part, probably, the second part, not so much.

    Reply
  30. Pelham

    Re the failure to close the wealth gap over the past 30 years, especially for African Americans and Hispanics:

    This may have something to do with the exploding Hispanic immigrant population since LBJ opened the doors in 1965, as the NYT on Sunday graphically illustrated. Far from adding diversity, the disproportionately huge influx of Hispanics has made them the clearly dominant immigrant group, expanding in particular the labor pool for jobs that many aspiring African Americans might typically like to have — and we’re talking construction, factory jobs and meatpacking (which used to be heavily unionized, safe and clean work before the industry consolidated and drove out the unions with fill-in workers from Mexico and Central America in the 1980s).

    So there might be fixes here that no one wants to talk about. How about starting with universal e-verify and mandatory jail time for employers who hire illegal immigrants? Not bloody likely, I know.

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Wow. You must not be from around here. We do not do logic in the good ole u. s. of a. We do politics. It pays better.

      Reply
    2. Jack Parsons

      The economy shifted from industrial jobs in the cities to “post-industrial” jobs in the ‘burbs. The jobs opening up were taken by white women, not black men. This was our class war in the 70s. Then, a bipartisan consensus was reached in the 90s to lock up all black men.

      Then we used the Internet to ship white women’s jobs to India.

      Reply
  31. Oregoncharles

    “Elections
    Faithless elector: A court ruling just changed how we pick our president
    The decision could give a single elector the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election — if the popular vote results in an apparent Electoral College tie.”

    That’s what the Electoral College was INTENDED to do. It’s a rump parliament. The state laws that limit Electors might be unconstitutional.

    Reply
  32. viscaelpaviscaelvi

    https://www.elmundotoday.com/2019/08/dinamarca-no-sabe-como-seguir-ocultandole-a-trump-que-su-esposa-ya-le-ha-comprado-groenlandia-pero-quiere-que-sea-una-sorpresa/

    Denmark is struggling to hide from Trump that his wife has already bought him Greenland but that it is meant to be a surprise present

    The idea was that Trump would visit Denmark and on its return to the White House he would find Greenland gift-wrapped.

    More detail in the Spanish linked.
    :-)

    Reply
  33. kr

    Long time lurker, but first time trying to post with a link (none of my few earlier posts had an embedded link).
    The link in the above post did not post — so let me try again.
    (If it still does not post, try a google search for “republicworld nazir fake video”

    Reply

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