Links 8/3/19

California: Bees drop dead around 5G towers Express (furzy)

A Single Male Cat’s Reign of Terror Atlantic (guurst). 2 million feral cats??? And for the record, all my cats have been indoor only cats.

Satellites Reveal ‘Hot Lightning’ Strikes Are Most Likely To Start Wildfires IEEE

3 killed as cliff collapses on popular California beach Associated Press (David L). The headline was “1” when I first put the link up :-(

‘Forever chemicals’ have been found in bottled water brands sold at Whole Foods and CVS, and it’s part of a larger contamination problem Business Insider (David L)

How Mosquitoes Changed Everything New Yorker (resilc)

World’s first human-monkey hybrid created in China, scientists reveal Independent

Colorectal Cancer Rises Among Younger Adults New York Times (UserFriendly)

Study Finds Living Near Trees, Not Just Green Space, Improves Wellbeing CityLab

China?

A battle for supremacy between China and the US Asia Times (Kevin W)

Good for Google, Bad for America – New York Times. UserFriendly: “Peter Thiel explains how trade works and why China and Google are evil….” Even if Thiel as a Facebook board member thinks calling out Google somehow helps Facebook, this seems awfully naive. In the minds of a lot of the public and increasing numbers of regulators, Big Tech is evil. Amplifying that message can’t be helpful to Facebook. But these squillionaires aren’t big on getting advice.

EU looks past ASEAN for deals and pacts Asia Times (Kevin W)

Brexit

Mark Carney warns of instant shock from no-deal Brexit BBC

Tory rebels threaten Boris Johnson after majority cut to one Guardian (Kevin W)

Tax on tech giants will rule out trade deal, US warns Britain Telegraph

New Cold War

US pulls out of decades-long nuclear missile pact with Russia claiming they violated treaty abc.net.au (Kevin W)

U.S. Imposes More Sanctions on Russia for Chemical Agent Use Bloomberg

Blockading Venezuela Would Be Illegal and Wrong American Conservative (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The ‘Special Relationship’ Is Collapsing… and That’s a Good Thing Strategic Culture Watch. Chuck L: “Hard to categorize. How about Revisionist History of the UK/USA “Special Relationship?” Also a Must Read candidate.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Pentagon testing mass surveillance balloons across the US Guardian (Kevin W)

US Cities Are Helping People Buy Amazon Surveillance Cameras Using Taxpayer Money Vice

Trump Transition

Federal judge rules against Trump asylum policy The Hill

Trump scuttles plan to nominate Ratcliffe as top intelligence official NBC (furzy)

Hacked Emails Show GOP Demands on Border Security Were Crafted by Industry Lobbyists Intercept (Chuck L, resilc)

Saikat Chakrabarti to leave Ocasio-Cortez’s office Washington Post. UserFriendly: “Pissed she folded to Pelosi.”

TSA seizes rocket launcher in Baltimore — for second time this week New York Post. Resilc: “They have big rats, you need firepower.”

Solitary Confinement Caused “Complete Mental and Physical Collapse” of Man in Virginia Prison, Lawsuit Contends Solitary Watch (Chuck L). Horrible.

Health Care

Congressional Moves on Drug-Pricing and Competition National Conference of State Legislatures (UserFriendly)

Glad this is getting traction:

2020

Biden holds two-to-one lead over Sanders in post-debate poll The Hill

Biden, Inc.: How ‘Middle Class’ Joe’s family cashed in on the family name Politico. UserFriendly: “Biden’s family; horribly corrupt! Must read.

Obama Looms over the Primary in Invisible Ways Talking Points Memo and ‘Stay away from Barack’: Dems seethe over criticism of Obama Politico. UserFriendly: “Dems morphing into the Catholic Church, Obama = infalible, now where are all the raped kids?”

UserFriendly: “I don’t know how well sharing ‘moments’ on Twitter works [neither does your humble blogger]… but dear God, literally no one understands what nuclear first use is. Shoot me.” This is the “moment”; here’s a comment:

Bernie Sanders Dominates as Analyses of Fundraising Data Show Vermont Senator With Widespread Support Across Nation Common Dreams (furzy). More on that heat map….

Gabbard reaches donor threshold for September debate The Hill

Tulsi Gabbard Thinks We’re Doomed New York Times (resilc)

The 2019 DSA Convention: Showdown at the Caucus Corral Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

Our Famously Free Press

CNN’s Industry Spin Shows Need for Independent Debates Common Dreams (furzy)

Police State Watch

Eric Garner: Chokehold cop ‘should be fired’, says US judge BBC

Woman, 65, tasered by police after fleeing then kicking officer who stopped her over broken light: ‘You’re not placing me under no arrest’ Independent. Resilc: “If she was black she would have been gunned down.” Moi: Yes, but if she had been black, she would have presumably figured out long ago not to carry on like that with cops, particularly over a ticket they were entitled to issue.

Puerto Rico

Newly stringent FAA tests spur a fundamental software redesign of Boeing’s 737 MAX flight controls Seattle Times (barrisj)

Local pension costs grew in California at nearly six times national rate, new data show Sacramento Bee. Loath to sound like I am defending CalPERS, but CalPERS didn’t set the benefit levels. However, CalPERS can be criticized for keeping its return assumptions too high for too long, forcing plan sponsors to play catchup now that it is using better assumptions.

How Trump’s Political Appointees Overruled Tougher Settlements With Big Banks — ProPublica. UserFriendly: “For Fuck Sake!!!! I never would have thought it was possible to go easier on the banks that caused the recession than Obama did, but…. ” Moi: But the stakes and the total $ involved were way higher post crisis than now

How the Fed Should Fight Climate Change Atlantic (resilc)

Mr. Market Has a Sad

US-China trade tensions hit global markets Financial Times

Here’s the real reason U.S. stocks are losing so much ground after their long bullish run MarketWatch

It Was the Week Trade Wars Went From Uncomfortable to Scary Bloomberg

Class Warfare

One Opioid Patient Worth $200,000 a Year to Purdue, State Says Bloomberg

Antidote du jour. MGL: “A hummingbird makes the rounds at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum on June 30, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Janice Gorle)”

And a bonus from guurst:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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353 comments

  1. Krystyn Walentka

    RE: “California: Bees drop dead around 5G towers”

    Incorrect and assumptive.

    First, those are 4G towers, not 5G towers.

    Also, bees like those fake tree towers. Technicians that work on those fake tree towers do not like to work around bees nests, so they kill the bees. Thus you have a ton of dead bees around a tower.

    I believe there are health affects from 5G and 4G, but this is not helping because it makes the movement look stupid.

    Reply
    1. philnc

      California Bees (Krystyn). My immediate reaction. Critical thinking shouldn’t be reserved for right wing talking points. Objective truth is important. My own doubts about 5g are more technical, specifically on its claims of improved bandwidth, and economic: who is going to pay for the dramatically increased tower density required by those higher frequencies (not to mention the forced obsolescence of all existing handsets).

      Reply
      1. Stadist

        I don’t even understand the huge push for 5G, who really needs this? I’m achieving completely satisfactory mobile performance with current networks, does this mean I’m the weird outlier?

        Reply
  2. KLG

    Thanks for the link to Josh Marshall. Now I remember why I let my TPM subscription lapse after two years. The only thing to remember about Barack Obama: When he took office the Dems had 60 Senators and a majority in the House IIRC. He got nothing done. No-thing. Name another politician in that position who would have the same record. Name a Republican in that position who would not have achieved every GOP heart’s desire. And then some.

    Reply
    1. katiebird

      He could have done anything those first 6 months. He could of done everything. And he probably did. It just wasn’t any of the stuff voters wanted or needed.

      (I will always remember my aged mother with 4 or 5 Obama Peace Buttons on the table next to where she sat. They were there for years before one day, they weren’t)

      Reply
      1. Phacops

        Why stop with Obama? The rot started with the sanctimonious Jimmy Carter who started the deregulation, anti-union, and privatization balls rolling that led to the rust belt.

        BTW and germane to the wreckage left by Carter, Clinton, and Obama, is one pushback about M4A I get is about what do we do with all the out of work insurance corporation employees and parasitic administrators. It’s pretty damned simple because we already have the model and experience. We treat them just like we treated the laborers in heavy industry and productive manufacturing when our lack of industrial policy allowed the wealthy and powerful to move industry out of the US in an orgy of labor arbitrage.

        Reply
        1. foghorn longhorn

          Tell em to learn to effin code.
          Give em their six weeks of unemployment and tell em to go to hell when they whinge.
          That book has been written already.

          Reply
        2. katiebird

          The only reason I stopped with Obama is because that was the Pres. who was mentioned.

          I remember Carter’s first campaign and my astonishment that so many of my McGovern supporting friends were supporting him. I heard him speak at 4 events from early 1974-1976. And all I got out of it was that he wanted a line item veto and a balanced budget. Not exactly an inspiration.

          He was elected with huge Dem majorities and in spite of all that exposure I expected we would get something like Medicare for the rest of us ( he was after all the first Dem Pres. since Johnson and Medicare was fairly new, it seemed possible)

          But in 1978 I was at the Democratic Mid Term Convention. I think the last one. The idea was the Platform would be developed Mid Term and that would streamline the Presidential Conventions. I went to a debate between Ted Kennedy and Joseph Califano, Sec of Health Education and Welfare.

          Califano was totally against Universal Healthcare. It would totally break the budget and it would be a disaster. Kennedy was for it and spoke pretty clearly about the impact of Not having universal healthcare.

          Anyway, I never thought much of Carter as a President. I think he’s pretty great as a former President. And I do appreciate that he pardoned the draft dodgers.

          So I didn’t mean that I focus on the failures of the Obama Presidency. His just happened to be the one I was talking about above. Also, I am sorry for my lack of quotes and citations about that debate. I lost my notes long ago and there is not much available online about the Mid Term Conventions.

          Reply
    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      I beg to differ. He got an important less-than-nothing done. He furthered entrenchment of the TBTF financial sector by refusing to seriously investigate, let alone prosecute, any of the persons who were ultimately responsible for the millions of criminal acts that led to the GFC of 2008.

      Reply
      1. WheresOurTeddy

        his role was to prevent the perpetrators from the pitchforks, which he stated openly, and that’s what he did.

        60 Senators , the House, and the Presidency. And that’s what he did with it,

        And FDR rolls over in his grave.

        Reply
    3. Olga

      Not a fan of OHB, but still want to credit him with few things. The main one is CFPB:
      “The CFPB’s creation was authorized by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, whose passage in 2010 was a legislative response to the financial crisis of 2007–08 and the subsequent Great Recession.[2] The CFPB’s status as an independent agency has been challenged in court but was upheld by United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sitting en banc.”
      I know it was E. Warren’s baby, but still … a repub could have vetoed it.
      He also did not start a military conflict with Iran.
      But yes, he was MIA on much of the health care reform debate, and let plenty of disasters happen in foreign policy. In addition to deflecting pitchforks…

      Reply
      1. richard

        yes you are right, but with this entrenched, super-obstructive hagiographical response every time sometime tries to demonstrate the obvious: Obama brought us Trump
        many are in no mood to credit him anything
        especially considering the post-term of office behavior
        the blatant cashing in with the financials
        enclosing the commons for his Royal Chicago Library
        and when he deigns to chip in
        it’s repping 3rd way intentional losers
        he’s fully on the wrong side, and whether the dem muckity-mucks like it or not, we will be obliged to point that out as we fix things

        Reply
        1. Christopher Fay

          Please don’t call it a library. A foundation stone on our chests maybe. There will be no Obama administration papers there to study.

          Reply
          1. Olga

            W shrub was Clinton’s legacy… for all the hysteria around DT, I firmly believe that shrub was – long-term – far worse. On the other hand, when one lives in a fundamentally corrupted and corruptible system, it becomes impossible to produce decent leaders. Ancient Rome is a good guide in this.

            Reply
            1. Pat

              If George W Bush was worse than Donald J Trump it is because Barack H Obama did not use the tools at his disposal to reverse most of Bush’s worst actions. He expanded the War on Terror and our military influence on other nations. He did not either restrict or reverse the atrocious Patriot Act, he expanded it to the point of eliminating Habeous Corpus. The Bush tax cuts weren’t allowed to expire they were made permanent. He advanced further faux trade agreements. And unlike Bush he didn’t prosecute financial executives who robbed people systematically using their institutions.

              Nope. Can’t really blame it all on Bush.

              Reply
              1. Olga

                By this time into shrub’s presidency, the country was engaged in two active wars of aggression against countries that did not threaten the US, and planning five more. (Did you ever see Wesley Clark discuss “seven countries in five years” plan? If not, you may want to view it on youT.)

                I dunno… maybe one really must live through a war to understand fully to what extent a war of aggression (or any war, for that matter) is truly “not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole aggressive,” as certain eye witnesses decided at Potsdam, long time ago.
                Sorry, but nothing DT has done so far – and he’s done mostly stupid things – compares to the crimes of shrub’s admin. But who knows, DT may yet be pushed into a war with Iran …

                Reply
                1. foghorn longhorn

                  And the plan was to install jeb! to start the last two wars, ven. and iran.
                  Don’t forget that trump pretty much vanquished the bushes and clintons in one election cycle.
                  He’s a buffoon, but that is still pretty impressive. Perot wilted under the pressure trying to do the exact same thing.

                  Reply
                  1. Olga

                    Pappa bush cried when he talked about jeb not being the prez. And that is a good point – in all his orange chaos, DT was still able to do away with bushes and clintons, We have to give him that – not a small feat. (And I guess it was Nuremberg, not Potsdam.)

                    Reply
                    1. Paul Jurczak

                      Agree! Doing away with Clinton and Bush dynasties is definitely a service to this nation DT deserves credit for. This was the main reason he got elected.

            2. richard

              I definitely agree that bush the younger was far more destructive than trump
              he was with the neo-cons from day 1, and trump needed some discipline to get there
              I’d further propose that internationally and in dealing with the national security state, obama was worse than trump has been so far.
              He helped lay waste to africa’s most stable and prosperous state, normalized (and even added the imprimatur of techy coolness to) drone warfare, normalized the u.s. as a torture state, normalized and even intensified official hostility towards whistleblowers…

              Reply
                1. anon in so cal

                  One hopes Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Honduras haunt Obama in an afterlife. How many innocent people were killed because of Obama’s regime change interventionist wars?

                  Reply
          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            The Bush Tax Cuts were made permanent. That’s another Obama legacy.

            The FIRE Sector perpetrators were entrenched in power and further enriched. That’s another Obama legacy.

            Aggressive War and Official Torture by US Government has been immunized and impunified. That’s another Obama legacy.

            The Health Care Debate has been poisoned for decades to come, thanks to Obamacare. There will be no improvement to Obamacare for decades to come. That’s another Obama legacy.

            I believe that Black America is on-average poorer now than at the start of the Obama Administration. That’s another Obama legacy.

            And yes . . . Trump is now President. But that is part of the Clinton legacy as well as the Obama legacy. Economic Forcey-Free-Trade treason was fully entrenched under Clinton and Mrs. Clinton ran on that legacy as much as any Obama legacy. So in that sense, Trump is equally Clinton’s and Obama’s gift to the nation . . . . the gift which will keep on giving.

            And of course the pro-Forcey-Free-Trade Clintonite Sh*tobamacrat Scum want to protect Obama from criticism. To criticize Obama is to criticize the whole filthy DLC Third-Way Hamilton-Project Forcey-Free-Trade legacy and the Catfood Democrat conspiracy against Social Security.

            So no wonder they say “don’t touch Obama”.

            Reply
      2. none

        And to think that before Obama became the Dem party infallible, Bill Clinton had that post. The raped kids? On Epstein Island.

        Reply
      3. edmondo

        Not a fan of OHB, but still want to credit him with few things. The main one is CFPB:

        Which is currently headed by Mick Mulvaney who doesn’t even need to check in with the Koch Brothers to find out what they want because he’s usually in the same room. Some accomplishment. Kinda like calling Obama a great architect because he built a twenty room castle in the sand.

        Reply
        1. Olga

          Have you ever used them? I have, several times, and they are very helpful and effective. I’ve watched since the late 1970s the dismantling of most consumer protections in the US (e.g., the gutting of tort laws), and this was the first time something was done that actually benefits consumers. (Though, most credit probably should got to E. Warren.)

          Reply
      4. Jeff W

        …a repub could have vetoed it.…He also did not start a military conflict with Iran.

        That’s downward factualism—”it could have been worse” (e.g., with a Republican)—something that has long been the predominant frame of establishment Democrats.

        I think, when evaluating a (putatively progressive) President with a super-majority in the Senate and a majority in the House, it’s better to employ upward counterfactualism—”it could have been better”—after all, the majorities in the Congress remove a major constraint on legislation, that’s the point here—and, in that case, the few good things that President Obama did, as compared to what could have been done, count, for me, as next to nothing.

        Reply
        1. Olga

          In all fairness to history, if OHB were the type to do ‘more or better,’ he likely would not have been allowed to win.
          There seems to be a lot of naiveté about what exactly a US prez is allowed to accomplish. You want to start a war? No, problem. We’ll help you bamboozle the populace into supporting it. You want to do something to check corporate or WS power … better watch out!
          In the final analysis, the problems are deep and systemic/structural, not centered on this or that prez.

          Reply
    4. Lost in OR

      The Deepwater Horizon disaster was an opportunity to redirect US energy and climate policy. The big O was a big zero.

      The financial crisis he inherited was an opportunity to reshape the US (world???) culture and economy. If ever there was a tipping point that was it. His failure was epic.

      Reply
      1. Olga

        Actually, I disagree, Horizon was horrible and very poorly handled; however, EPA under Obama did a huge amount of work to redirect energy/climate policies. Back then, I wrote several papers on its work – it was truly extensive. But you should have seen the opposition from the industry and many states, some of which immediately sued (before the rule was even finalized). You may want to research the Clean Power Plan:
        “The Clean Power Plan was an Obama administration policy aimed at combating anthropogenic climate change (global warming) that was first proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in June 2014.[1] The final version of the plan was unveiled by President Obama on August 3, 2015.[2] The 460-page rule (RIN 2060–AR33) titled “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units” was published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2015.[3] The Obama administration designed the plan to lower the carbon dioxide emitted by power generators.[4] The plan was widely expected to be eliminated under President Donald Trump,[5][6][7] who signed an executive order on March 28, 2017 mandating the EPA to review the plan. On June 1, 2017, the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement.[8][9][10].”
        This description from the Wiki is too short to explain the complexity of the proposed rule – which would have applied to all states, and so had to account for many differences. The rule was very ambitious, and it would have given us a head start in combating climate change (ironically, today is four yrs since its announcement). I remember thinking back then – being annoyed w OHB along the same lines as everybody here – that perhaps – unable to effect meaningful change elsewhere – he picked environmental policies to make his mark. (Unfortunately, it did not work out.)

        But I also just had a light bulb go off – I had very low expectations of OHB when voting, being keenly aware of just how constrained a US prez can be. So when he did not do much, my disappointment was not overwhelming. He could have picked up a pitchfork or two and turned it in the proper direction, but I think that his goal was to survive the presidency physically intact. (I am not really defending him, just trying realistically to account for the larger context.)

        Reply
        1. witters

          But I also just had a light bulb go off – I had very low expectations of OHB when voting, being keenly aware of just how constrained a US prez can be. So when he did not do much, my disappointment was not overwhelming. He could have picked up a pitchfork or two and turned it in the proper direction, but I think that his goal was to survive the presidency physically intact. (I am not really defending him, just trying realistically to account for the larger context.)

          And the larger context is any claim to be a democracy is BS. And then people talk about the power of the vote… The Age of Cognitive Dissonance? The Dunning-Era Era? I mean, consider the “debates” and the attention given them.

          Reply
      2. Montanamaven

        Someone here at NC ??? Wrote that “during the transition between Bush and Obama, Bush’s Treasure Secretary Hank Paulson offered a deal to Barney Frank, to force banks to write down mortgages and stem foreclosures if Barney would speed up the release of TARP money. Paulson demanded, as a condition of the deal, that Obama sign off on it. Barney saId fine, but to his surprise, the incoming president vetoed the deal. Yup, you heard that right….Obama wanted the foreclosure crisis… In Neil Barofsky’s book “Bailout,” we see why”. Tim Geithner said, in private meetings, that the foreclosure mitigation programs were not meant to mitigate foreclosures, but to spread out pain for the banks, the famous “foam the runway” comment.”
        Obama was a friend of the banks not the middle class who lost their homes, jobs, pensions.
        And then when little Occupy scared the banks, he again sided with the financial sector and brutally put the movement down. We could have put the banks back in the box they should be in i.e. a small part of our economy. In the 1950s, the financial sector profits were about 8% of the economy and now it’s more like 20 to 40%. Financialization of our economy
        And here we are.

        Reply
    5. Oh

      Don’t forget he rode on Air Force One with Michelle and the kids and they were all starry eyed on their first few flights. Oh, BTW, he kicked the Blacks and progressives in the teeth and used Rahm to do it.

      The article dares to mention Eric “I won’t prosecute” Holder who wants noone to criticize Lord Obama.

      Reply
    6. Swamp Yankee

      Marshall is a particularly clueless and pathetic example of the Democrat 10%er overclass nomenklatura.

      His class position became completely obvious in the mid 2010s, when he was snarking about the rape-seed crop in Canada, i.e., canola. I guess he found the name funny, which in and of itself says a lot. It became clear, and letters to him (or emails) noted, which he published, that the fact that he did not know canola oil existed, and the way in which he dismissed it followed by total mystification, gave pretty good indication he had never cooked anything for himself (which is of course the cheapest way to eat good stuff).

      It was like in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, when the king is in disguise as a common peasant but gives himself away by talking about “onion trees” and digging for apples.

      He would have been an unbearably self-absorbed and overbearing and pretentious professor, so I guess it’s good he went journalismo’s way.

      Reply
    7. The Rev Kev

      I was just now wondering what the course of American history would have been like if when Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected back in 1933, that he had remained true to his class sided completely with Wall Street, ruthlessly enforced the Old Deal, stopped any attempt at a Bank Act or the Glass–Steagall Act, never implemented things like the Civilian Conservation Corps and Work Projects Administration, put down any attempt at creating the US Social System, and all the rest of it. Can you imagine what America would be like today? Probably like that depicted in the movie “Blade Runner”.
      Well that is what Obama did for America and we are seeing how the consequences are playing out. The Presidency of Donald Trump may end up being the least of his failures to act.

      Reply
      1. Olga

        The problem is that the last prez who decidedly went against the system ended up with a part of his head missing. Agonising too much over BHO or DT is pointless… it’s the system, man!

        Reply
    8. Procopius

      No, he did not have 60 Senators. Can’t you remember? Al Franken was not certified until the end of June 2009, so was not sworn in until after the 4th of July break. That gave the Democrats 58 Senators until Ted Kennedy died on August 25, which took them back down to 57. You must be counting the two Independent Senators as Democrats. One was Bernie Sanders, so that’s pretty close to correct — he voted reliably with the Democratic Caucus. The other was Weepin’ Joe Lieberman, an ex-Democrat, who did everything he could to obstruct the Democratic agenda. So despite the revisionist history, Obama had 60 Senators (if you count the two Independents) for only a little over a month, and one of them was unreliable. Of course, he frittered away the next nine months trying to get just one Republican vote, and never did. That was unprecedented! The Republicans filibustered everything — that had never happened before. They used more filibusters in one year than all previous Congresses put together. At the time nobody knew how to deal with it. I have a lot of criticisms of Obama, but the claim that he had 60 Senators for the first six months is at best mistaken, and at worst a lie that many people accept without examining it.

      Reply
  3. foghorn longhorn

    “The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll of 585 registered Democratic voters was conducted between July 31 and Aug. 1. The first night of this week’s Democratic debates took place on July 30 and the second night was July 31, so some of the respondents may not have viewed the second night of debate, when Biden appeared.”

    Garbage in, garbage out.
    They’re going to drag creepy joe across the finish line, just like they did hill.
    With similar results.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Creepy Joe is the ‘Designated Hitter’ for Hillary. Watch. I’m standing by my Tin Foil Hat Prediction. Dems engineer a brokered convention and nominate Hillary Clinton as a “Unity Candidate” in 2020.

      Reply
        1. sleepy

          Never hear anything about Bubba either. I’m sure the dems want to keep him hidden away given his past behavior.

          Wish he’d slip loose and do something like endorse Biden or Harris. There would epic dem infighting with the #metoo people.

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            The #metoo people are okay with underage sex trafficking if it is their beloved Clinton benefiting from it at Epstein Island.

            If Clinton endorses Biden, the #metoo people will all support Biden.

            Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i’m sadly with Ambrit on the tinfoil regarding Herself swooping in to save the day for the Big Center….however, I perused the “Corey’s Digs” site linked yesterday(?) early this morning…no smoking guns(yet) but damn! a whole lot of patterns that connect, going back to the Franklin Affair and other never-proved/dropped insanity involving the Elite.

          all of it also gels uncomfortably with my own scary interactions with local and regional elite-dom…the sex and drug parties, especially(i was either the Band, or the Cook)…I saw things then that I didn’t want to know about.
          I say we fire the whole of the aristocracy, just to be on the safe side.

          Reply
            1. ambrit

              Don’t forget that the Republicans ran Reagan, a serious dementia patient, as President for at least his second administration. Hillary with her exoskeleton suit would be easier to manage, in all senses of the word.

              Reply
            2. Procopius

              I can’t give any credibility to a site that includes 146 pages “compiled by Dr. Orly [Taitz left unsaid].”

              Reply
          1. tinfoil hogleg

            Just a warning for the susceptible (like me)–Corey’s Digs is a place one might not emerge from for weeks. Some highly foily stuff therein, also many deep and fascinating dives, and connections (though “connections” are not necessarily proof of anything).

            Would appreciate specific reports on findings from other divers…

            Reply
          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            Some of this upper class behavior is also discussed at Rigorous Intuition 2.0, a long-inactive but still up-and-available blog by Jeff Wells.

            Reply
        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Epstein will be killed before any trial happens and most of this stuff will never come out.

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            We can hope he left a “fail-safe” or “dead man’s switch,” so the material will be widely publicized upon his death, natural or otherwise.

            Reply
        1. ambrit

          The Epstein ‘stuff’ has faded pretty quickly, don’t you think? I must endorse Amfortas’ observation about the inbred sense of entitlement and superiority that the American Aristocracy, indeed, that group is but a sub-unit of the worldwide Aristocrat Class, displays. I had some interactions with that ‘class’ of person back when I was younger. The degeneracy and sociopathy is a core element of their self identity. To them, anything can be ‘managed.’
          “It’s Chinatown Jake.”
          Remember Trump saying that; “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay, and I wouldn’t lose voters, okay?” Then remember that the audience before whom he had made this claim burst out laughing. (Iowa campaign rally, 2016.) Many considered this statement to be typical political hyperbole. I can see it as a simple statement of fact.

          Reply
          1. jsn

            Yes, the Mint Press links are mind bending in the connections they draw.

            Barr and Comey (two generations of both IIRC) are implicated.

            If the whole affair doesn’t slide down the carefully crafted Bernaysian memory hole, it could dynamite most of our secret government.

            I expect it to fade away but if it doesn’t it’s equally likely to launch some bloody deep state Cromwell.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              I get your point, but must aver that equating the present Aristocrat Class with Charles 1 ans his group is a disservice to Charles 1. For debauchery and license, the Charles II period, which followed Cromwell, was, if I read aright, much more corrupt than the Charles 1 period. Today is much more like the Charles II period.

              Reply
              1. jsn

                I accept your constructive criticism on the casual analogy, but the moral rhetoric for violence against this depraved crowd writes itself.

                It will be interesting to see if any self styled saviors in the deep state choose to get out in front of it.

                Reply
          2. Yves Smith Post author

            Huh? Leon Black is so worried his flack called me about the little post I wrote. I never have flacks contact me. And it wasn’t for a good reason, as in to say I’d gotten something wrong, but to give the impression that I really should have gotten input from Apollo. As if analysts and opinion writers go begging for a head pat.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              Ah, but I must observe that the “flack” might have been operating on his own, as in ‘standard operating procedure?’ How much leeway does a ‘flack’ have in managing his or her client’s public perception? I can’t see someone as ‘high and mighty’ as Black micromanaging something like public relations. I’m genuinely confused here.
              Secondly, your observation about “analysts and opinion writers” being “captured” as a basic assumption of public relations people demonstrates an aspect of the “Masters of the Universe” class’s world view that supports my contention. This demonstrates an aspect of the “everything can be managed” dynamic. By contacting you, not to contend a point of fact, but to demand a fealty from you to the Power involved, that flack demonstrated that, indeed, the Power did expect final approval over anything written about him, and, more importantly, his business.
              Perhaps that is the lesson to be learned here, that blog posts by NC affect business valuations.

              Reply
        2. ewmayer

          You haven’t been keeping up – the MSM have been busily scrubbing Bill’s name from the story and making sure to instead link Trump to Epstein in every headline.

          Reply
          1. foghorn longhorn

            The old, ‘who you going to believe, me, or your lying eyes?’
            It always works, until it doesn’t…
            See; Jones, Paula

            Reply
      1. Cal2

        Abrit, re Hillaretch,

        AOC and Warren both supported Hillary.
        They are controlled opposition to thwart and weaken Sanders.

        AOC has not endorsed Bernie.

        My prediction, if Bernie isn’t smart enough to promise a deal to make Gabbard his vice president, Biden will.

        That would defeat Trump, as would Bernie/Tulsi.

        Anything having to do with Kamillary is toxic.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          If Trump is really as cunning as his opponents say, he will offer Gabbard the Veep slot, or, failing that, via some workaround, the Secretary of Defense spot. Perhaps, Head of the VA?

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Would Gabbard be such a fool as to accept such an offer from Trump? Does she not know of Trump’s habit of using and discarding people?

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              As Vice Presidents over the decades have found out, one can be used and discarded and still be in office.

              Reply
        2. Big River Bandido

          IIRC, AOC was a Sanders volunteer in 2016.

          Gabbard won’t be able to help Biden. No one will be able to help Biden. A presidential nominee who cannot drive their own campaign is useless. Biden will never make it far enough for any VP spectulation to be worthwhile.

          And if Gabbard were to accept a deal as Vice-President under somebody like Biden, that would simply indicate more dedication to her own interests than the nation’s, wouldn’t it?

          Reply
      2. richard

        re ambrit’s recurring hillary 2020 prediction
        who do you have on her ticket this time?
        I tease you a little bit about this, but I will say this for your prediction:
        it is fully horrible enough to pass muster as a plausible, potential future
        so it checks off that box!
        plus, to be fair, none of the dem elite ever have anything but nice things to say about hillary publically, despite her train wreck
        okay, so you got 2 boxes, no big deal, stop bragging
        well, she has also been pretty quiet in the last year or so
        which makes some people hate her a tiny bit less
        which could be part of a satanic (literally: Epstein and Bohemian Grove ;))plan for comeback
        okay, f*&^ it, three boxes
        you get to check three boxes
        but that’s like, out of 20 or something, I’m pretty sure
        :)

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          I lay my 10 cents on Hillary’s VP on Jeb Bush, for the Unity Party…that Big Centrist thing they’ve been toying with for years, and that almost happened in ’16(just think of all the unthinkable neocons and assorted right wingers who not only endorsed her, but who have been mainstays at Msdnc ever since).
          The two wings of One Party theater is failing to keep us little people enthralled any more.
          the mental virions are already out there in the wild to paint “extreme left and right” as the same bunch of whackos…”Bernie is just like Trump!”, “altright=altleft”, etc
          they have the language down, too….”reaching across the aisle”, “coming together””adults in the room”,lol.
          and, don’t forget, in 2016 it was Jeb’s turn, too…
          you heard it here, first.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            That ideation is so cynical that it probably maps well with phenominal future reality.
            One sign that a ruling elite is reaching, or past, it’s use by date is when it begins to break societal norms without any pretense to public morality.

            Reply
        2. Briny

          Given Hillary met Harris in the Hamptons and hooked her up with the right donors and support people, that shot has already been called, methinks.

          Reply
    2. Arizona Slim

      Are these polls over-sampling people with landlines that lack caller ID? If so, they just excluded a good part of this country.

      And how were the questions worded? Can we see them? If not, why not?

      Reply
      1. JohnnySacks

        Bingo, exactly who is answering these so called polls? Because it certainly isn’t anyone I know. Geriatrics would be one reason for the alleged popularity of Biden.
        And 2016 – case closed.

        Reply
        1. polecat

          I wouldn’t think it would be exclusively the ‘geriatric’ quotient .. I suspect that many of the polled are credentialed ‘backrow’ howlers, who like to fling partisan poo, and see upon whom it sticks ….

          Reply
        2. Irving Washington

          I get a lot of poll calls (land-line with lying caller, ID.), and living in Iowa, I’ll get more and more as the caucuses near. I always start by asking, “Which candidate is sponsoring this poll? They are “unable to divulge that information.” I tell them I don’t answer unless I know. There are a few variations, but that’s basically it. They never tell me, and I never answer. Short calls. (And that’s only if I answer the call, which I seldom do.

          Reply
      2. marym

        From the Hill link:

        Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.

        Also from the link:

        Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll

        538 has a pollster rating including how they conduct the survey.

        Reply
      3. jrs

        I think they HAVE TO be, because most people don’t answer their cell for an unknown number it seems.

        right at least if the polls are the one used to determine the entire democratic process like who gets in the next debates etc., we should have a right to them.

        Reply
        1. BobW

          “Hello, we’ve been trying to reach you because your car warranty is about to expire.” At least a dozen of these; for various reasons I have to answer unknown caller IDs from time to time. Phone spam is fairly recent and has reached an untolerable level.

          Reply
          1. Susan the other`

            I’m now getting called (acc’d to my caller ID) by myself, my name and number, and it’s a computer telling me about some problem with my microsoft stuff – but I don’t have any microsoft stuff. But, clearly my phone account is paying for the call. I’ve had three so far this morning.

            Reply
            1. Cal2

              If, and when you answer the phone, only say “Hello” ONE time.

              If silence after that, hang up.

              The computer at the other time starts playing the message after the second “Hello.”

              Reply
          2. pretzelattack

            i got about 10 calls in a hour from molly from apple. i don’t have any apple products. it even left messages.

            Reply
    3. jhallc

      Re: “Biden Holds 2 to 1 Lead over Sanders”
      “The new survey finds Biden with 34 percent support among Democrats, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at 17 percent.”
      Several paragraphs down they finally mention…
      “Biden’s lead is down some from the previous survey conducted in late May, before the Democratic debates. At the time, the poll showed Biden holding a 30-point lead over Sanders and registering 44 percent support among Democrats.”
      So his lead over Sanders has dropped by nearly half, from 30% to 17% and his support dropped from 44% to 34% since the end of May and they spin it as a positive. If the numbers had been reversed the headline would have read “Sanders Loses Nearly half of his Lead since May”.

      Reply
      1. Brian (another one they call)

        I submit that the polls are famously rigged. It isn’t hope that is going to get the companies paid to bring you what is supposed to be a poll. It is the results demanded by the party with the money. Are we supposed to believe what they say now after the last time? A poll by a news agency we know lied for the last 20 years about war and peace? Most Americans just aren’t that stupid. The support for Sanders is so strong it can’t be mentioned. Senator Voldemort would provide what most people appear to want. People have watched as the one thing they require has been ridiculed and roundtabled by the idiots in suits on tv. Now nearly everyone wants health care in hopes of surviving unemployment. With inflation rising beyond their ability to pay for 20 years, what do you imagine that they see as their future?
        1/2 the time hope is mistaken for fear.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I wish I could find comfort in your “most Americans are not that stupid” comment. I think the big fat middle of the bell curve is very timepoor, easily frightened, and still subject to the idea that “if the man on TV says so then it must be true”.

          The drumbeat of the Panopticon box in the line at the grocery store or the corner of the sports bar can drip feed The Narrative. That’s then bolstered by the WaPo and NYT et al parroting the Permanent War imperative. They will do *everything* to maintain Empire. Think about it: they’ve already gutted the entire industrial base and the standard of living. You think they’re going to let a steady and telegenic antiwar Congresswoman from Hawai’i change some hearts and minds? Unlikely.

          Reply
        2. Procopius

          This makes me wonder what the big deal was about Cohen, or whoever it was, sharing “polling data” with some Russian, who, incidentally, is a CIA asset.

          Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        I think that you will find that when they say that “Biden Holds 2 to 1 Lead over Sanders”, what they mean is that this was a poll taken of the Democratic National Committee.

        Reply
        1. jhallc

          Polls are like statistics as far as I’m concerned. They can be made to say whatever you want. In fact the two are intricately linked.

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            To quote the BOFH: “Did you know that 37 per cent of statistics are false and the other 84 per cent are just random numbers?”

            Reply
      3. Kurt Sperry

        Could Sanders hire a polling outfit to do polling with better methodology and publish the results? Or is polling simply too expensive for a campaign, or perhaps something that is done, but is held as private data for tactical reasons. I’m getting a strong bovine smell off the D candidate polling numbers being published in the press, it’d be nice if we had data that wasn’t paid for by people with every reason to cook the books. Landline-only polling data cannot possibly be taken seriously any more.

        Reply
        1. Anon

          Bernie doesn’t need to do polling. He get’s millions of unique donations to his campaign. Few candidates can match it. He knows that millions of California donations will help him with the California primary, but not the with the Democrat Party convention. His campaign will need to focus on specific states with intense canvassing of voters.

          Reply
        2. Big River Bandido

          It’s not just that “good polling is expensive”. It’s that the only places where it might be insightful to poll right now are 4 small states, each of which presents a unique challenge to accurate polling. Two of these are caucus states, for which polling is notoriously unreliable as a predictor of results. Each state has about one polling outfit that really knows how to poll in its own territory — but even these outfits won’t be able to start getting a meaningful read of the electorate until this fall. And only then if they can correctly identify who will actually turn out to vote or caucus, ask the right questions, and discern the right answers.

          National polls, with tiny samples, done by outsiders who don’t know the territory and are clueless on all these points…this simply has no cred. “Polls” like this are trying to shape voters’ perceptions of candidates, not “report” on them.

          Reply
    4. Carey

      Biden polling at twice Sanders’s numbers? Bunkum.

      You are right. Dem Primary 2019-2010: rigged from start to finish.

      Reply
        1. ambrit

          2020 or 2010, what’s the difference? The Dems are living on Dem Time, out of touch with reality.
          To shamelessly steal from a Master: “There’s something rotten in the state of Demmark.”

          Reply
    5. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      So anyone else notice that Bidens DOWN 10 points in that poll from a high of 44%? Based off of the color coded NYT donor map, WHERE ARE ALL THESE REGISTERED DEMORATS??? Deleware?

      Reply
    6. ewmayer

      Yeah, I’d say this poll is about as credible as this bit from yesterday’s NC Families Drowning in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class article, right after it notes that housing and college costs have risen 300% over the past 3 decades in inflation-adjusted terms while incomes have only risen 14% over the same span:

      “average per capita personal health-care expenditures rose about 51% in real terms over a slightly shorter period, 1990 to 2017.”

      Reply
    7. Big River Bandido

      Wow. 585 registered Democrats. One from each Congressional district?

      Did they all answer their land lines?

      Reply
  4. grayslady

    Yesterday early evening we watched a mother hummingbird teach her new offspring how to use the feeder. Totally adorable. Hummingbirds and fireflies are the best part of summer.

    Reply
    1. meeps

      What a phenomenal shot; his little tongue out at the ready. Sweet nectar! I think it’s an immature male Allen’s Hummingbird.

      Reply
  5. Samuel Conner

    re: “US pulls out of decades-long nuclear missile pact with Russia claiming they violated treaty ”

    Coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, so maybe I’m just groggy, but this headline has the feel of the DJT administration reprising the Iran “play-book” with Russia. Somehow I don’t expect that to turn out well.

    Reply
    1. David

      I think it reflects a decades-long antipathy to arms control treaties in the USian political system: Bush the little withdrew from the ABM Treaty in 2002, for example. There’s a respectable argument that no arms control treaty can ever be 100% verifiable, and thus when such treaties are necessary they aren’t possible, and when possible they aren’t necessary. But the INF Treaty was a useful political symbol at a certain time and place long ago and far away, and it now has almost exactly zero practical significance. That said, denouncing any arms control treaty is a very significant political act, and not a very intelligent move to make just now.

      Reply
      1. Ignim Brites

        It was interesting that Warren introduced the “no first use” policy into the debates. Where did that come from, I expect most people wondered. Part of the danger of the present situation is that few believe, despite the labors of Rachel and the rest of the MSNBC crowd, that there is any danger of a major nuclear war because there is just no reason for such a war. From which some conclude that tactical use of nuclear is acceptable and containable.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Here is a link to a very good article by Scott Ritter who worked on the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty and is very proud of the work that they did-

          https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/when-we-were-nuclear-inspectors-inf-treaty-russians/

          He is obviously bitter at how all that work has been thrown away when he finishes that article with the following-

          “On August 2, a handful of middle-aged men and women in the U.S., Russia, and elsewhere will raise their glasses and offer a toast in honor of the memory of the treaty they helped make a reality. That the world ultimately proved unworthy of their labor is besides the point. Those who drink revel in the knowledge that they were inspectors once, and young.”

          Reply
      2. AC

        This appears to be a treaty ratified by the Senate. So, it is law. Unlike the Iran deal made by the executive only, how can a president without the Senate unilaterally withdraw??

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          we seemed to unilaterally withdraw from the un rules against aggressive war, didn’t have senate approval for a war, either.

          Reply
        2. David

          Signing and withdrawing from treaties are prerogatives of the government in every country I know of. The role of parliaments is limited to ratification (see our long discussions on Brexit). Treaties themselves are not domestic law, but governments are often obliged to introduce laws to give them practical effect in their country. (I’m not sure if that was the case here). Such laws automatically become redundant when the state concerned withdraws from a treaty.

          Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Some of the real reasons why Trump pulled out of that treaty are already coming to light. There is already talk about developing missiles that would have breached that treaty if it was still in effect. In addition, the US Defense Secretary has hinted at deploying medium-range missiles to the Indo-Pacific region and “sooner rather than later”. Just what this region needs-

      https://www.rt.com/news/465733-pentagon-midrange-missiles-asia/

      Reply
      1. Summer

        BTW…Guardians of the Galaxy clip was funny….
        But, oh boy, that story is going to have bloody consequences.

        Reply
  6. Arizona Slim

    Thank you, Yves, for posting the Atlantic article about that destructive Australian cat. Additional kudos, to you personally, for being a responsible cat owner. Indoor cats for the win!

    Reply
    1. urblintz

      Indoor cats yay! I have 4, all rescue.

      So Slim, forgive the change of subject and intrusion into your past commentary but yesterday someone thanked you for curing their sciatica. I’d love for you to do a reprise on that if indeed you have helpful tips. Mine isn’t horrible but tends to pop up on long drives. I call it driveatica.

      Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        Long story short, I found these two guys on YouTube, and I did dozens of McKenzie method press-ups for six days. They worked like a charm. No more sciatica for this camper.

        Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2a0SdpR8VE

        I also recommend Dr. John Sarno’s book, Healing Back Pain. It’s especially useful when the back pain is psychological in origin. I was experiencing sacroilial pain that radiated into my leg. Even after the sciatica was gone, the SI pain remained.

        A massage therapist recommended the Sarno book, and it helped me eradicate that SI and leg pain. When it reappears, I know I’m under heavy stress, and I’m not injured. With that recognition, I can move on with my day and not be incapacitated by pain.

        For exploring the psychological issues in depth, I like Dr. Howard Schubiner’s book, Unlearn Your Pain. Worked for me. Perhaps it will work for you.

        Reply
        1. Ptb

          I found the Sarno book super helpful too for breaking the cycle of self reinforcing back pain,
          if that is the pattern. It reads like cheesy self help but he is onto something quite real w/ the stress.

          Also swimming, if that is an option, was fantastic for me.

          Once out of acute phase (i.e. no pain/cramping/tension) then stretch hamstrings quads hip flexors and groin. (Not when it hurts. Do very slowly, relaxed, and MUST be warmed up first)! My biomechanical principle is add flexibility wherever possible, even if not the problem area. This helps buy time for stuff to recover from daily loads, instead of little things causing the whole chain to run out of slack).

          I had symptoms in glutes with occasional sciatica. def. Was worse on long drives. I think driving causes bending of torso left/right for steering, and is a stressor in a subtle way. I found it helped to take breaks & walk a minute or two and get blood flowing in legs (a few body weight squats to get heart rate up, then shake em out). Some car seats are awful, experimented with padding when it was going on, w/ mixed results.

          Apologies if you’re overloaded on unsolicited advice

          Reply
      2. kramer

        Look on youtube for “McGill big 3”. This is 3 simple exercises that when performed daily, eliminated my lower back pain (unless it was coincidence, but I doubt that.) It takes about 3 minutes a day.

        Reply
      3. Lee

        That was moi. The effect of forward arching of the lumbar several times a day and paying attention so as not to letting the lumbar slump was fast, effective and persistent

        Reply
    2. richard

      I once visited Heybeladi Island, a ferry ride away from Istanbul. It’s a lovely, ramshackle kind of place, no auto traffic allowed, and overrun by thousands of feral cats. The waiters in restaurants with patios all carried water bootles for squirting at underfoot cats.
      I hold no brief for feral cats (I tried, they weren’t interested in hiring me), but Heybeladi rocks and hey, they are a part of it!

      Reply
      1. barefoot charley

        The packed city of Rhodes on that island has made a lovely peace with their ferals–businesses feed them, and busybodies spay them, so tourists adore them without being overwhelmed. Locals say they’ve pulled off a pretty good balance, and the city kitties are mellow.

        The spayers (who are city-sanctioned) nick an ear of their patients so breeders are easy to spot.

        Reply
    3. marieann

      I’m a coward, I couldn’t read the story. I know how outdoor cats can be. I have 2 indoor cats now but their predecessors were indoor/outdoor mostly because the were all strays with their outdoor habits hard to break.

      I donate to an avian rescue group because I was forever taking half dead birds out of my cats mouths. I became very good about stabilizing them and getting them to the 24 hours drop off centre.

      I know not all cats are bird catchers but I had 2 that were really good at it. I think we need to licence cats the way we do dogs and then perhaps people would see them as valuable and not just throwaway animals.

      Reply
    4. polecat

      Whenever a feline, whether feral or not, finds its way into the gated polecat neodinosaur sanctuary, I immediately chase them out .. with much vigor and flack ! I much prefer the joy, and trust, that the winged ones shower upon us lowly humons. Some years ago, the nextdoor neighbors had as many as 5 cats .. not including the seasonal litters .. who would dig and sh!t EVERYWHERE there was a patch of bare earth … which at that time, was most of our surrounds. Could’ve fill a Dumptruck to brimming with cat feces – That’s how bad it got ! Not so much these days. The neighbors move away, and what hood cats that DO prowl have apparently gotten the drift, and are rarely in my sights.

      Reply
    5. lyman alpha blob

      Our last few cats have been indoor cats. Our old guy in recent years has developed spring fever when the weather warms up and he’ll yowl and scratch at the back door. I feel a little bad that for most of his life he’s missed out on being outdoors so we’ve started letting him out into the back yard for supervised walks. He’s old enough that he seems to have no interest in chasing birds or squirrels – he mostly makes the rounds of the yard, chews the greenery on each patch of day lilies, and then heads back in after 15-20 minutes or so.

      Seems like a nice compromise that keeps him and the birds happy. I wouldn’t let our younger cat out now though as she’s still very rambunctious but luckily she shows no interest in it, even when she sees the old guy head out. Maybe when she’s older and mellowed we’ll try it out with her too.

      Reply
    6. newcatty

      We have only indoor cats, two females from two different humane societies. Both are lovely cats. Both healthy. Indoor cats live, usually, long cat lives. Unlike outdoor cats, they do not suffer from any aggression from other outdoor cats. They are not snacks for coyotes ( found in many American cities, not just in the countryside). We know someone who loves their cat. They insist that cat has to be let outside or it would go crazy. I joke that they are a favorite client of their veterinarian. Besides cat vaccinations, lost count of how many times they have taken cat to be patched up and get treated with antibiotics, etc, after a “run-in ” with some other cat or animal. It is cleaver enough, to not be a coyote snack, so far… Cat also is great hunter…brings caught birds, lizards, small rabbits and who knows what else “home”. Indoor cats are the cat’s MEOW.

      Reply
      1. marieann

        ” I joke that they are a favorite client of their veterinarian”
        This exactly….I must have paid for my Vet’s home with all the times I visited. I had a guy who was run over, luckily only a broken leg, I had abscesses at least once a month from the fighting, I had to put flea protection on them, our house had to be de-flea’d a couple of times..it was never ending.
        These 2 lads I have now go to the vet once a year for their shots and that’s it.

        Polecat…your story is exactly why we need to licence cats like we do dogs…people treat them like throwaway’s….that is why I ended up with so many strays, I am a sucker for a sweet kitty face.

        Reply
    7. ewmayer

      Handsome fellow that killer Tom was, too. But methinks the Atlantic writer goes a bit overboard (pardon the pun) here:

      Elsewhere in the world, people have also reported a single cat having a huge and disproportionate impact on a group of birds. And cats certainly do sometimes kill more prey than they eat. A study of stray cats on Jekyll Island, off the coast of Georgia, found that they ate just 83 percent of what they killed.

      Ooh, “just 83 percent” – so they leave the head and the claws? Because leaving 1/6th of the bird is less food-wasteful than most humans are in the Western world.

      Reply
  7. Carolinian

    Interesting story about mosquitoes. As the article points out, not only did mosquitoes play a role in the birth of Great Britain (after disease shattered a Scottish expedition to the New World) but also the Confederacy since Africans were brought to the American South to replace malaria plagued Europeans. We who live in that malarial region know that they are devilishly hard to eliminate. Only cold winters do the job.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Your comment gave rise to a joke question that even I will ‘self censor,’ out of both self preservation concerns and empathy.

      Reply
  8. Vic

    Biden, Inc.: How ‘Middle Class’ Joe’s family cashed in on the family name

    Biden must say a little prayer of thanks every night that his family of grifters is so incompetent they can’t make any real money off his name despite endless attempts. “747’s filled with money” — perhaps, but you’re at the wrong airport guys!

    Reply
    1. ObjectiveFunction

      Yes, this was the most depressing Links section I’ve seen in some time (keep up the good work), between the human-monkey eugenics and Biden & Biden….

      In the Bidens’ first months at the helm, Paradigm reached an arrangement with Longship Capital Management, a New York investment firm

      Bonus barbarians at the gate marks for retaining a fund named for the preferred ride of the Vikings (doesn’t quite beat the fund named for the 3 headed demon dog at the gates of Hell). If the Ukraine deal was Longship’s find, that would be a delicious irony.

      Reply
  9. ambrit

    Jeff Stein says, in relation to Puerto Rico, that the ‘Great Recession’ in the United States lasted for eighteen months. What America was that? It doesn’t describe the one I live in.
    From what I have read, Puerto Rico is an island outpost of ‘North American Deploristan.’

    Reply
    1. sleepy

      The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) which established the austerity loving, social services cutting Fiscal Control Board responsible for much of Puerto Rico’s misery was signed into law by President Obama.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        So, saving Wall Street from the pitchforks after 2008 wasn’t just a “one off” for the ‘Big Empty Circle.’

        Reply
  10. Olga

    There is an alternative to a war against Iran:
    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/08/article/attack-on-iran-would-be-an-attack-on-russia/
    “Moscow stresses that “practical work on launching the process of creating a security system in the Persian Gulf” should start with “bilateral and multilateral consultations between interested parties, including countries both within the region and outside of it,” as well as organizations such as the UN Security Council, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Gulf Cooperation Council.”
    Sign me up for a bit of jaw-jaw.

    Reply
      1. Olga

        If one thinks that avoiding war is getting “our assess handed to us,” then one deserves Trump and Bolton. Somehow, I thought that being endlessly aggressive, seeking conflicts with other countries, and continually losing is a fate far worse than a bit of whatever in one’s hand.
        Plus, the article discusses a series of international talks to resolve regional issues.

        Reply
      2. rowlf

        Don’t forget the Russians having Sergey Lavrov, who should be awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work unscrewing US Super Genius plans.

        The poor guy probably has nightmares every time he sleeps that he is a summer camp counselor at Camp Neocon and all the campers have big boxes of matches to play with.

        Reply
    1. Susan the other`

      This is interesting because getting control of the production and use of oil will be like controlling an illicit substance – it will be a new international monopoly. And the logic is that because oil must now be a controlled substance it is time to come together to cooperate in its use. The other alternative at this point is a good old fashioned imperialist war for resources, which would be too self defeating because the resource in question is going to be much less of an opportunity to exploit for outrageous profits and much more of a management obligation. To use Maggie’s happy phrase, there is no alternative.

      Reply
  11. ex-PFC Chuck

    Amazing! A relatively nuanced piece in the NY Times about Tulsi. However not without inclusion of the “Assad apologist ” trope et al.

    Reply
    1. barefoot charley

      Call this nuance?

      On the far left, her supporters appreciate how she talks about respecting Native cultures. On the right, as liberal democracies see authoritarian strongmen rise, Ms. Gabbard’s allies like that she would not meddle with dictators.

      It’s far-left to support Native cultures? It’s far-right to stop bombing other countries? I took it for an amateurish hack attack. But I admit I didn’t persist.

      Reply
    2. GF

      She just qualified – donor wise – for the third debate. Now if she can just raise her poll numbers a little, she’s in.
      I gather that the third debate will also have 10 candidates?? If so, it will still be a sideshow like the last two.

      Reply
  12. DanP

    Personally,

    I am all for Tulsi Gabbard.

    Of ALL the candidates from either party she is the one that makes the most damn sense.

    Do I agree with her on everything? No. Then again I am never going to 100% agree with anyone with a mind of their own.

    That said, she strikes me as a good leader, smart, young, good sense. Presidential.

    I’m a life long republican and a war vet but I gave $100 to her campaign because I think she is the ONE candidate that could actually beat Trump and even more importantly govern.

    Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          Trying to make up her mistake. Credit where it’s due, her explanation was not as idiotic as DeFazio’s.

          Reply
    1. dearieme

      The best two candidates are Trump and Gabbard. He should offer her his VP slot. After all, he’s an ex-Dem.

      I know I’ve sung this song before but I’ll go on singing it until Donald LH Trump pays attention.

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        BERNIE IS THE BEST CANDIDATE.

        Trumps murdering poor workers. AND HES FILLING THE SWAMP.

        A Rich Coastal Elite should be in chains not the Oval Office.

        Reply
    2. Plenue

      Really? She’s the only candidate who could beat Trump and govern? I like her anti-war stance, but that’s really her biggest plus point.

      Reply
  13. Samuel Conner

    I like Adam Tooze (his “Wages of Destruction” was a fascinating read), but his Atlantic piece on Central Bankers and greening of the economy was a disappointment. He didn’t get to the obvious point of his title (CB purchases of green infrastructure bonds) until the final paragraphs, and even then it was only a “purchaser of last resort” proposal, essentially a kind of backstop so that primary purchasers will know they can unload their assets to someone at need.

    How about CB direct funding of green infrastructure? Employment and price stability are going to the devil under likely future climate scenarios. Given the extreme measures taken to preserve the financial system in the GFC, there’s no lack of precedent for unconventional policy in the future.

    Reply
  14. Joey

    My jaw dropped when I saw the human-simian hybrid fetus experiment was run by scientists from a catholic university in Spain. How did that get by their ethics board? Or did they sneak off to China without approval?

    Reply
        1. dearieme

          That’s persuasive I must admit. On the other hand they could use lizards and see if they create a creature that looks like Bezos.

          Reply
      1. Phacops

        Because the grandstanding twerps who accomplish such things lack a foundation in basic biological and evolutionary science. Sorta like the incredibly doltish MD who transplanted a baboon heart into a human baby.

        Reply
  15. Watt4Bob

    That article on the Special Relationship is certainly a deep and challenging dive, but if you follow the trail further, there is another link, Bretton Woods is Dead, which provides much more food for thought;

    As long as FDR was in office, this British-run hive was kept at bay, but as soon as he died, the infestation took over America and immediately began undermining everything good FDR and his allies had created.

    Harry Dexter White was ousted from his position as director of the IMF and labelled a communist agent. Henry Wallace was ousted for similar reasons and worked with White on a 1948 presidential bid as third party presidential candidate. William Wilkie (who had discussed creating a new party with FDR) died in October 1944, and FDR’s right hand man Harry Hopkins who did the most to initiate a close bond of friendship with Stalin, died in 1946. Elliot Roosevelt interviewed Stalin a few years later, and recorded that Stalin always believed that Elliot’s father was poisoned “by Churchill’s gang.” By 1946, Churchill ushered in the Cold War setting former allies at each other’s’ throats for the remaining 70 years while dropping nuclear bombs on a defeated Japan. Stalin bemoaned Roosevelt’s death saying “the great dream has died”.

    It took the oligarchy another 25 years to dismantle the fixed exchange rate system of the Bretton Woods leading to Nixon’s 1971 floating of the US dollar onto the speculative markets, converting the world ever more into a militarized casino system. Rather than used as instruments for long term growth as they were intended, the IMF and World Bank were used as tools of debt slavery and re-colonialization as outlined in John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

    This pair of articles makes a strong case that it was/is the City of London that hatched, and to this day maintains the scheme that has turned the world’s economies into a giant casino run for the profit of a very few english speakers by systematically dismantling the promising vision of FDR’s New Deal, and starving the ‘physical economies’ of the whole world with austerity, while building a financial empire devoted to extraction and the dominance of finance.

    We here in the USA are just now, in the aftermath of 2008, considering the fact that the ‘main street economy’ has been systematically looted by Wall $treet, we’ve yet to consider the root of the problem lies far deeper than the Powell memorandum.

    Reply
      1. Olga

        For some reason, I detect sarcasm in your comment, but believe it is misdirected. Oliver Stone’s and Peter Kuznick’s history of the US confirms some of the above history, although they do not get into Churchill’s role as deeply. But the fact that the venerable Copperknob played an out-sized role in the start of the cold war has been discussed by many historians. Roosevelt had a vision for the post-war world that was very different from what we ended up with; there is no doubt about it. It did not happen and we are all the losers. Thanks, copperknob.

        Reply
        1. Susan the other`

          When FDR died, Eleanor was reported to have said in response to someone offering her sympathy that it was the American people she grieved for. She herself was a strong influence for progressives up until the JFK assassination. Then she either died, or quit talking. And another non-sequitur point, Gorbachev’s Glasnost was a much more confessional movement for international peace than it was portrayed here in the US. He wanted all WW2 parties to come clean about their motives.

          Reply
          1. Watt4Bob

            Also from the link I provided above;

            FDR’s battle with Churchill on this matter was well documented in his son/assistant Elliot Roosevelt’s book As He Saw It (1946): “I’ve tried to make it clear … that while we’re [Britain’s] allies and in it to victory by their side, they must never get the idea that we’re in it just to help them hang on to their archaic, medieval empire ideas … I hope they realize they’re not senior partner; that we are not going to sit by and watch their system stultify the growth of every country in Asia and half the countries in Europe to boot.”

            FDR continued: “The colonial system means war. Exploit the resources of an India, a Burma, a Java; take all the wealth out of these countries, but never put anything back into them, things like education, decent standards of living, minimum health requirements–all you’re doing is storing up the kind of trouble that leads to war. All you’re doing is negating the value of any kind of organizational structure for peace before it begins.”

            Writing from Washington in a hysteria to Churchill, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden said that Roosevelt ”contemplates the dismantling of the British and Dutch empires.”

            Emphasis mine.

            It would appear to me that contrary to the myth the democratic party has sold us about being the party of FDR, it could be argued that they stood by as the New Deal was strangled in its infancy.

            Reply
          2. Olga

            On you non-sequitur point, can you suggest some reading material about it? I’d be very interested; have not heard it before.

            Reply
            1. Susan the other`

              sorry Olga, I only remember a quick blurb on TV, ages ago, probably as the USSR itself was coming apart, but I can’t cite anything for you. At the time I thought it was very interesting and kinda cryptic for G. to suggest it. And it went absolutely nowhere.

              Reply
          3. ewmayer

            “She herself was a strong influence for progressives up until the JFK assassination.”

            Clarification – Eleanor died in 1962, the year prior to JFK’s killing. Interesting … I had not realized that she was Teddy R’s niece and born a Roosevelt, later married FDR, who it seems was her 5th cousin, so all part of the old NYC Dutch Roosevelt clan, about which a history site says:

            “Eleanor and Franklin were fifth cousins, once removed. They are both descended from Claes Martenszen van Rosenvelt who arrived in New Amsterdam (Manhattan) from Holland in the 1640s.”

            Reply
            1. Susan the other`

              Yes, I do remember the news story (TV again) about JFK getting her blessing to run for president. Then no more stuff about her.

              Reply
              1. ewmayer

                I think you have the wrong election cycle:

                “Stevenson, Adlai Ewing (1900–1965), U.S. statesman and politician. A popular supporter of social reform and internationalism, he was governor of Illinois 1949–53 and was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the presidency 1952 and 1956. He later served as U.S. ambassador to the UN 1960–65.”

                Reply
                1. richard

                  Stevenson was (sort of) a candidate in 1960. He said he wasn’t running, but there was a “draft Stevenson” movement and he did end up getting some votes at the convention (Eugene McCarthy put his name in for nomination, useless little tidbit I just found out)

                  Reply
    1. Alfred

      The man’s name was Wendell Willkie. Not even his middle name was “William,” and his last name had two ells. Meanwhile, the given name of Elliot [sic] Roosevelt had two tees….

      Reply
          1. jsn

            Sometimes.

            It’s hard to see what accuracy is adding here.

            In the context of a comments section where people are sharing thoughts casually, it comes off like dearieme, trying to distract or detract by addressing the form rather than the content of an argument.

            Reply
            1. Alfred

              My view is quite the opposite. I find that carelessness with people’s names is disrespectful, and suggests the possibility of carelessness with more important factors. Therefore such mistakes, particularly when they are not self-evidently typos, weaken an argument precisely because they distract from its content. But I won’t argue the point further .

              Reply
            2. Big River Bandido

              It’s easy to me to see what *lack* of accuracy form may suggest about the lack of accuracy in the details. Which, in the case of the original comment, is a pretty direct relationship.

              Reply
    2. Jeff W

      This pair of articles makes a strong case that it was/is the City of London that hatched, and to this day maintains the scheme that has turned the world’s economies into a giant casino run for the profit of a very few english speakers…

      Jason Hickel of the LSE makes a related point, framed in terms of money flows between richer and poorer companies: “the flow of money from rich countries to poor countries [as development aid] pales in comparison to the flow that runs in the other direction.”

      Hickel says that, while some of the outflows from poorer countries to richer ones are, as might be assumed, interest payments on debt, “by far the biggest chunk of outflows has to do with unrecorded – and usually illicit – capital flight” to tax havens around the globe. How? Through the reporting of false prices on trade invoices between companies (“trade misinvoicing”) and within subsidiaries (“same-invoice faking”).

      This illicit capital flight would not be possible without the global network of tax havens, “more than 60 in the world, and the vast majority of them are controlled by a handful of western countries,” and Hickel notes

      But by far the biggest network of tax havens is centered around the City of London, which controls secrecy jurisdictions throughout the British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories.

      Hickel cites Global Financial Integrity as calculating the loss to developing countries as “a total of $13.4tn through unrecorded [and usually ilicit, Hickel notes] capital flight since 1980.”

      Reply
      1. Watt4Bob

        I read somewhere that India at one time represented almost one third of the global economy.

        The same article said the brits extracted nearly $50 trillion before they left.

        And their ill planned departure resulted in massive displacement and violence, 14 million displaced, possibly 2 million deaths.

        All this disruption was contrary to the promises of Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India;

        At least on this question I shall give you complete assurance. I shall see to it that there is no bloodshed and riot. I am a soldier and not a civilian. Once the partition is accepted in principle, I shall issue orders to see that there are no communal disturbances anywhere in the country. If there should be the slightest agitation, I shall adopt the sternest measures to nip the trouble in the bud.

        IMO, what was done to India is now being done to the whole world, including the USA.

        Reply
        1. Jeff W

          “…the brits extracted nearly $50 trillion before they left.”

          Yes, in fact, the very same Jason Hickel gives the figure as $45 trillion.

          Certainly Hickel views the current flow of money in the form of ilicit capital flight from the developing countries to the developed ones, especially that falling under the purview of the City of London (“the very center of the British tax haven network”), as having “this kind of residue of colonial extraction to it.” It’s as if the Global North, having ended extraction from the Global South via actual Imperialism, managed to perpetuate it through these other, more covert means.

          Reply
    3. Hopelb

      Yes, I agree these two articles are fascinating, and they make me wonder if austerity is a form of eugenics, if a motive for de-industrialization is to deny self sufficiency to the deindustrialized,to force reliance on the banking sector.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        yup. i’ve thought the same thing. austerity/deindustrialisation is the kinder, gentler way to thin the herd of useless eaters….a method that keeps their hands somewhat clean, and offers plausible deniability in the form of the capricious Market God(“they broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven…”).
        when i first heard about the Club of Rome/Limits to Growth, circa 2001…i was shocked. first, that i had never even heard of it before, then that the PTB took that information and did “morning in America”, Big Cars and Pedal to the Metal, instead of some fairly managed ramp down to a steady state.
        all the bad stuff since the 70’s, at least, has been a choice…made by “our betters”….and to hell with all of us’n’s.
        is a fifty+ year Culling preferable to a global nuke party?
        of course, now the tech is there to engineer a pandemic that could, conceivably, “go around” the gated enclaves…
        sigh.
        I have very little use for “our betters”.
        fertiliser, perhaps…or that thermal depolymerisation process i’ve read about…i mean, since i don’t keep pigs, and all…

        Reply
        1. Hopelb

          I will look into this thermal depolymerisation process forthwith!(Sounds hot!) Your highlighting the fact that everything has been a choice made by our betters should be widely disseminated to the US population which has been told at every nefarious turn, “Who could have predicted?” e.g. 9/11, the financial crash of 08’, the rapid de- industrialization after nafta/CAFTA/ China in the WTO, The Boeing crashes and so on. That doc on the Dreamliner predicts the max crash. It’s all quite elementary, and obviously, meticulously planned.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            “Moloch did it”=”inshallah”=”Deus Volt!”=”it’s out of our hands….our God is not appeased…we need additional sacrifices”
            Marx called this “Reification”(one of my very favorite words)
            it enables such passive aggressive behaviour, erasing the human agency that enabled the mess in the first place.
            If it’s the work of god, us’n’s should rightly accept it, right?
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch
            ….and Part 2 of Howl has seemed particularly apropos since i became politically aware.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howl#Part_II

            Reply
    4. Dictynna

      Use both articles with caution…they are LaRouche linked.

      Article sidebar: The author Matthew J.L. Ehret is a journalist, lecturer and founder of the Canadian Patriot Review (quote from web site: The views expressed in the Canadian Patriot Review are inspired by the philosophy and strategic outlook of Lyndon LaRouche and the International Schiller Institute, the specific policy propositions for Canada contained in this report are those of the authors of the Canadian Patriot Review alone.) He is also the co-founder of the Rising Tide Foundation.”

      Reply
      1. Watt4Bob

        Yes, I also get my caution light flashing when LaRouche is mentioned.

        However, the main historical point remains, ‘they‘ have been fighting the New Deal since inception, and that makes the neoliberal consensus not something new, but the perennial enemy once again changing uniforms.

        Reply
      2. Amfortas the hippie

        aye. i saw that, too.
        my intro to economics was larouchites handing out wet ink mags on the corner of Montrose and Westheimer in Houston in the 80’s.
        total cult members, all…even down to the weird gleam in the eye.
        but some of larouche’s prescriptions regarding political economy are sound, and have been almost entirely absent from “real” economic thought for decades.
        like capital controls,currency controls and a restoration of glass-steagal. FDR 2.0….with a touch of madness
        he was crazy, sure(his beliefs about aids, for instance)…but even the unabomber made some good points.
        and a look at his enemies makes one wonder.
        the Machine certainly had its way with him.

        Reply
    1. Kurt Sperry

      I get a whiff of of vaxxer-type hysteria off the 5G scare stories too, but am willing to look at hard data put forward. The problem is that a story that says that vaccines are overwhelmingly safe and effective or that there is no compelling evidence that 5G is likely to be real-world dangerous to human or animal life just won’t get people clicking on them. People want to click on the scary, lurid headlines, not on measured, cautious analysis of a situation. The scare story always has news legs; the calm factual refutation will have almost none.

      Reply
        1. beth

          I finally read George Orwell after I retired since for some reason I had missed 1984 in my schooling. As an high school student I felt 1984 was science fiction. Unfortunately I grew up in a ra-ra culture.

          As I read several books by Orwell back in 2012 I felt we had already gone far beyond what 984 had described. George Orwell would have already rolled over in his grave years ago.

          Reply
          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            It really is becoming the plot to Ready Player One where all the poors live in VR fantasy land and Big Tech controls everything.

            Reply
  16. Craig H.

    > World’s first human-monkey hybrid created in China, scientists reveal

    1. Aye aye aye aye aye aye aye

    2. If you are too squeamish to read the article it might still interest you to scan this tidbit:

    But the scientists – who were Spanish but held the trial in China to get round a ban on such procedures at home – said a human-monkey hybrid could have potentially been born.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Unstated here is the question, to what use would such hybrids be put? Arthur C Clarke has “Super Chimps” or ‘Simps’ as workers in a future society. Sterling, in his “Courts of the Crimson Kings” has a ‘lower order’ human, known as a Deming, (inside joke,) do all the ‘grunt’ labour on an alternate Mars.
      A fully pliant sub-human worker species would allow the Elites to jettison the ‘deplorable’ class without compunction.

      Reply
      1. Craig H.

        They said organ transplants.

        There was a fellow on usenet whose handle was Tommy the Terrorist who had a lengthy theory that pre-neolithic slavemasters created us as a slave race by genetic manipulation.

        Ted Kazcynski writes a number of similar well-reasoned themes mixed in with his utter batshit insanity.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          The Quatermass program, done by the BBC as “Quatermass and the Pit,” and later redone by Hammer Films has a similar plot line in it. Humans as genetic ‘experiments’ done by the Martians thousands of years ago. Written by the curiously preternatural talent Nigel Kneale. Almost all Kneale’s stuff is very good, especially for Science Fiction fans. Things such as “The Stone Tape” and “Ringstone Round” aka plain “Quatermass IV.”

          Reply
        2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Was on reddit.com/r/stupidpol last night and lo and behold someone posted a Ted Kazcynski story called something like Ship of Fools. Pretty spot on in regards to Identity Politics. Weird how im sympathetic with this ‘Terrorists’ political beliefs. Without the violence of course!

          #ELE

          Everybody Love Everybody.

          Reply
    2. dearieme

      The chaps who did the work are Spanish so it’s reasonable to assume it’s a plot to kill all the Barbary Apes on Gibraltar.

      Reply
  17. Anonymous Coward

    Commenters on slashdot.org have pointed out that Peter Thiel was more talking his book on Palantir than Facebook in that op-ed.

    Reply
    1. Susan the other`

      I was surprised to see Strategic Culture stuff linked. I think this “diplomatic” situation evolved from both sides. So I don’t like to read stuff that makes us seem too innocent. When you think about it WW2 almost seems to have made Germany the mark, to use Germany to achieve our ends.

      Reply
  18. Carey

    ‘KamalaCare [sic] leaves health insurers running the show’:

    “..Other wealthy countries manage to guarantee health care to everyone at half the cost we pay, and they rely on private insurers. But, for the most part, their insurers are non-profit. And, the insurers are regulated like utilities. It feels like a fantasy to believe that our for-profit, shareholder-accountable, health insurers are going to behave any differently than they behave today. They have money and power, which they will continue to wield to make sure they can operate without accountability..”

    https://justcareusa.org/kamalacare-leaves-health-insurers-running-the-show/

    Reply
    1. paintedjaguar

      Yes, some developed countries use private insurers and have (near) universal care. However, you will also find that those are the countries that have the highest per capita costs, even if they are still attractive compared to the USA. And more complex schemes leave more room for corruption and political sabotage, which is always going to be a BIG problem in a country which is saturated by “free market” propaganda.

      Reply
  19. gf

    “”21.6 million Americans would die in a Russian counterattack””

    Isn’t nuclear winter a thing?
    Or has that been debunked?

    Reply
    1. Plenue

      Not only has it not been debunked, it’s been shown that even just a first strike, with no response, would likely be suicidal as vast amounts of forest and farmland are set on fire.

      Reply
    2. RubyDog

      I’m always amazed by the need to report very specific numbers with decimal places for estimates of things that are purely speculative with hundreds of unknowns and variables. It’s nonsense, totally false precision for something that is a guess with a wide range of possible outcomes. I guess it’s done to make it sound more credible somehow, but it’s dishonest. It happens all the time and it drives me nuts.

      Reply
    3. Donald

      Almost nobody does research on nuclear winter anymore. There is one group,I think, which claims it is real, and basically nobody else doing research, unlike in the 80’s and 90’s. The uncertainties involve things like how much soot would actually be released by burning cities. What we mostly have our computer models. This isn’t like climate change research, which is more straightforward in part because we can see and measure it actually happening. Sagan made a fool of himself during the First Gulf War claiming the burning oil fields would cause a local climate catastrophe. It didn’t.

      I don’t think it makes much practical difference. Do you really need nuclear winter to know that detonating hundreds or thousands of nuclear weapons is a catastrophically bad idea if you want to preserve civilization?

      Reply
        1. Donald

          I hadn’t seen that, but you aren’t contradicting me. Notice they start off with an assumed 150 Tg of soot. That was my point— last I read, that is an unresolved part of the problem. We don’t really know how much soot would be produced. Nobody is going to nuke various cities of different architectural styles and se what comes out.

          Again, this isn’t like the science of global warming, where we know how much carbon dioxide we are adding and where computer models can be checked against reality. With nuclear winter you are doing computer models of a massive process which has never happened. You should also look at some of the literature on the effects of a large asteroid impact. They vary greatly, again because they are doing computer models of something we haven’t observed first hand and where the geologists still argue about what precisely happened 66 million years ago.

          And while this is scientifically interesting, only idiots think a large scale nuclear war would be anything other than catastrophic. Though actually, given how few do research on this, maybe it isn’t a high priority for scientists.

          Reply
      1. VietnamVet

        I am so old I remember Duck and Cover drills as a school kid and Civil Defense signs for the stocked shelters in downtown building basements. What is never mentioned is that when the Soviet Union exploded a deliverable hydrogen bomb in 1954 civil defense became pointless. One hydrogen bomb will destroy everyone and everything within a diameter of around 17 miles (roughly the area inside the Washington, DC, beltway). China has over a 100 deployed ICBMs and Russia has around 1,800. There is no effective defense against ICBMs. The 600th thermonuclear warhead aimed at an American city by size of the population would destroy Bowie, MD just outside the beltway and the 601st Renton, WA. Civilization would end. The Northern Hemisphere would be an exclusion zone. With nuclear winter and radioactive fall out, it is unknowable if the Southern Hemisphere would remain survivable.

        Last month President Trump said “We could win Afghanistan in two days or three days or four days if we wanted, but I’m not looking to kill 10 million people”. This indicates how insane this world is. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is all that has kept us alive so far.

        Reply
    4. TroyIA

      If anyone wants to know what a nuclear war would look like I recommend The Fate Of The Earth by Jonathan Scheel. I didn’t bother remembering any facts because halfway through you realize how insane and suicidal nuclear war would be.

      Reply
      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        I am reminded of the advice we received in Army basic training in 1964 when Platoon Sergeant George Rowan finished walking us through the CBN training unit: “OK! Now I’ve given you what the Army tells you what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. But all you can really do is stand with your feet apart, bend over, put your head between your legs, and kiss your a** goodbye.”

        Reply
  20. bruce

    All my cats up till now have been indoor-outdoor, but my current girl Margie is all indoor because I never got around to letting her out, and it’s been six years now.

    Human-monkey hybrids don’t interest me. I think we should go in the direction of human-eagle hybrids.I WANT TO FLY LIKE AN EAGLE, TO THE SEA! Ladies and germs, I just flew in here from San Francisco, and boy are my wings tired!

    Nuclear insanity is delicious. (Best Peter Sellers accent): Frau Cheney, I’m not suggesting we won’t get our hair mussed! 30 to 40 million casualties would be unpleasant, but by no means terminally catastrophic, and you know we have to make significant sacrifices in order to achieve noble and worthwhile ends! Besides, you’ll be safe in the bunker and I’ll be safe aboard Looking Glass, and I’ll call you on my cell when it’s over so we can meet for tapas and mojitos!

    The ocelot. I am very loosely affiliated with a clan whose motto is “Touch not the cat but the glove.” This is frequently misunderstood; the glove part refers to the cat’s paw and whether its claws are out. No, I don’t own a kilt, sporran, claymore or anything like that. If I walked around the Oregon countryside wearing a kilt, people would talk about me afterward even more than they do now.

    Reply
    1. anon in so cal

      Re: the Cat’s reign of terror:

      Great that you keep your cat indoors. It’s also safer and healthier for the cat to be an indoor cat.

      Cats are the #1 menace to wild birds (whose numbers are in steep decline)

      “Now numbering well over 100 million in the United States, cats kill approximately 2.4 billion birds every year in the U.S. alone, making cat predation by far the largest human-caused mortality threat to birds.”

      https://abcbirds.org/program/cats-indoors/

      Reply
  21. Tom

    “No-deal Brexit: What is direct rule in Northern Ireland?” https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-49163906

    Not an especially interesting article but it has this curious ending

    A lot depends on what happens in the months ahead, but a no-deal Brexit makes the return of direct rule for Northern Ireland more likely.

    Isn’t direct rule necessary to prepare NI for no-deal? Without government ministers, isn’t the civil service too limited in its administrative powers to make the necessary preparations?

    Reply
  22. bassmule

    I’m not a fan of the Senator from New York, but this is good:

    The moderator asked her what she would “do for Baltimore and other cities that need help” after the president wrote racist tweets attacking both the city and one of its congressional representatives, Elijah E. Cummings.

    She said: “I can talk to those white women in the suburbs that voted for Trump and explain to them what white privilege actually is.”

    “When their son is walking down the street with a bag of M&Ms in his pocket, wearing a hoodie, his whiteness is what protects him” from being shot, she said, invoking Trayvon Martin. “When their child has a car that breaks down and he knocks on someone’s door for help and the door opens and the help is given, it’s his whiteness that protects him from being shot.”

    Kirsten Gillibrand Is Right: Racism Is About White People

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Thats all well and good, but isnt the heart of the problem Poverty and the 1% hiring the 10% to pit poor workers against each other?

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        It is interconnected.

        All things being equal a white person has privilege over a black person; being so poor that being unable to pay the rent or having your children go to bed hungry makes a mockery of any privilege. The more poor whites there are, and the more poor Americans in general, the more talk there is about racism as if to say poverty, misery and despair don’t matter because whiteness. Just like how poverty is used by some to excuse racism.

        This allows the very, very privileged 1% and their minions in government, nonprofits, and government to say “look at all the racist Deplorables who hate the oppressed blacks and refuse to acknowledge their privilege”; this splits the American population into groups of useful idiots for both the Republican and Democratic Parties; the increasingly poor whites, and honestly many, but not all, are racists, into the Republicans’ loving arms or into the actual racists white supremacists groups and everyone one else into the loving arms of the Democrats.

        Drilling down more.

        We have two groups of people talking past each other. Whites refusing to see that just being black might get a person unfairly shot, while blacks, and the privileged American 10%, refusing to see that being white does not prevent being unfairly oppressed, mired in poverty, want, and despair.

        So the conversation goes like this:

        He’s being beaten, you racist!
        What? I’m unemployed, you ass!
        But he’s shot, you racist!
        What? My kids are hungry, you jerk!
        Well, he’s dead!
        We’re homeless, you assholes!
        Vote Democratic!
        Vote Republican!

        All the while, the wealthy, the powerful and power hungry, the greedy and the corrupt, all keep using their oppression and exploitation of the masses camouflaged by using such things like Identity Politics and words like Communists, Big Government, Racism, Trans-phobia.

        Reply
        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          I agree. I just wish there was a quick fix/movement to cut past all the exploitative rhetoric.

          Reply
      2. foghorn longhorn

        Might have seen this here, but here you go.
        The problem is the people making 700 per hour are convincing the people making 25 per hour, that the people making 7.25 per hour are the problem.

        Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            I read a variant on this theme here last year. A Plantation owner, a white dude and a black dude are sitting at a table with a dozen cookies on a plate in the middle. The plantation owner reaches across and takes eleven of the cookies for himself, then turns to the white dude and says “That n* is trying to steal your cookie!”

            Reply
    2. Charlie

      This is what is known in logic as a red herring. In other words, she will do absolutely nothing to help the people in communities such as Baltimore.

      Reply
  23. Wendys

    Off topic, but I think the group should know. I work for the State of Washington, and our Governor is running for president as the liberal environmental guru. Well I work on one of the state’s mainframe computers in the system group. Our mainframe is getting old and needs replacing.

    There are several options available. One is to outsource the hardware, and we would continue as usual. Two is to combine us with a newer computer at DOT. We could also combine our scarce personnel, because they haven’t let us fill positions in years and we have had retirements and a death. The third option is to outsource everything. Guess which option the Governor is pushing.

    Our group is made up of older people like me, who are within 3 to 5 years of retirement for the most part. We have been told that the vendor might take us on for the transition, but we would not be in state service anymore and lose our retirement options. And of course if the vendor turns out to be IBM..

    Governor Inslee is just a neo-liberal monster like most of the rest of them.

    Reply
    1. urblintz

      The inside take is always appreciated. I consider myself informed but admit that Inslee had me fooled… thought he was a decent guy.

      Reply
    2. 3.14e-9

      Wendys, this is awful, but it fits with what I know of Inslee, having lived in the Seattle area for more than 12 years before escaping to Upstate New York, near where I grew up. I have been trying since the first debate to get the word out on Inslee’s sham environmental record. Unfortunately, I’m getting slow as I age, and it takes me so long to write comments that almost everyone is gone by the time I leave my two cents. However, I did manage to post some info on Wednesday’s live debate blog, after reading a couple of comments about how well he was doing — the first of them from urblinz, who responded to your comment. Yves left a comment about his hiring of Marcie Frost, and now your comment further attests to his craven subservience to corporate Dem “values.”

      Despite the despicably corrupt Cuomo administration, I don’t miss “liberal” Washington state or its shifty, arrogant governor. A friend who works for the state (DOT) — a staunch union guy, politically astute, active for many years in local and state Dem party — refused to vote for Inslee. He saw right through the pro-union act for what it was — cultivating union management and selling out the rank and file.

      I left a longer comment on the Water Cooler the day after his performance in Miami, with more links [June 27, 2019 at 7:54 pm]:
      https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/06/200pm-water-cooler-6-27-2019.html#comment-3171950

      Best of luck to you, I hope you and your group are able to find a way to fight back — if not against the outsourcing, maybe in a lawsuit, with a settlement that will compensation you for foregone wages, benefits, and anything you stand to lose.

      Reply
      1. Lee

        Have you tried writing or copying some of your comments on Word and then, when the opportunity arises, cut, paste, and edit them online as needs be. Save links to material you want to quote too.

        I’ve started keeping an archive on various public figures and topics. Works a treat.

        Reply
        1. 3.14e-9

          Thanks, Lee. I loathe typing in little boxes, whether on Twitter, FB, or various comment forms on blogs and news sites. I work on a laptop, and since much of what I do involves writing, it’s easy to create a doc, write and edit on my computer, and then cut/paste it into the loathesome teensy box — and of course I save it, always a good idea in case a comment inexplicably gets zapped when you hit “post.” Which is a long way of saying yes, I’ve thought of that. The first comment I left on Wednesday night was copied from my file, which is why I managed to post before the debate ended. It doesn’t happen very often, though, that past material is relevant to a current ddiscussion.

          Reply
      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Because of your comments re Inslee, Ive been able to warn a couple voters that hes a Neolib Snake in the Grass!

        You n Cal2 (proGabbarb/antiKamala) are much appreciated!!!!

        Reply
        1. 3.14e-9

          Thanks, JHB. The truly maddening thing is that exposing his duplicity won’t hinder him at all, because his purpose isn’t to get votes, it’s to prevent Sanders from getting votes. Apparently, according to the donation map, he also may be siphoning donations from Sanders. Washington went overwhelming for Bernie in the 2018 caucuses, and climate change is a big issue there, so Inslee is serving his ClintonDem masters to perfection. Note, too, that the few times he spoke during the debates, he bragged about being the only candidate to have created a public option in healthcare, and about how pro-union he is. Healthcare and unions are signature issues for Sanders.

          Lastly, in the first debate, when asked to name the single biggest threat to national security, his answer wasn’t climate change, but “Donald Trump.”

          Reply
          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Inslee – Washington/PNW
            Klobuchar – Minnesota
            Biden – Gulf Coast/SE
            Beto – Texas
            Booker – New Jersey
            Warren – Massachusetts
            Gillibrand/De Blasio – New York
            Hickenlooper/Bennett – Colorado
            Harris/Warren/Yang – California

            DNC doing Death by a Thousand Cuts to Bernies campaign. Gonna see the Knives come out next summer at the Convention…

            Reply
      3. Oregoncharles

        This is helpful, in a negative way. I was trying to find out more about Inslee. Between you and Wendys, I think I’ve got it.

        Thanks.

        Reply
  24. Summer

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/italy-declares-war-on-mcdonalds/
    “Then, as the building site started to buzz with activity a few weeks ago, Romans started to notice, holding vigils and protests to try to block the work. The local press had a veritable feast, with headlines shouting American imperialism in what is one of the most important cultural capitals of the world.”

    Somewhere there is a connection to this:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/06/chris-arnade-book-dignity-back-row-america/
    “The book is larger than average and doesn’t comfortably fit the hand. The cover features a photo of a white couple, evoking American Gothic in its artistic regionalism. It was taken by Arnade in a McDonald’s, the setting for many other photos throughout his book, and a community center in many of the towns he visited across the country.
    Arnade achieves something similar to what Riis did when his light entered the dark, uncharted territory of the slums. Dignity reinvents contemporary poverty tourism….”

    But whatever happens, I expect McDonalds will unleash a massive marketing campaign…getting hot out there…

    Reply
    1. Alfred

      Chris Arnade, Dignity. Published at $30.00 by Sentinel. That relatively low price for an art book suggests either a very large print run, or a substantial subsidy; perhaps both. It would be interesting to know where the book was printed (China?). It would also be interesting to know whether, and if so how, Arnade remunerated the subjects of his photos. I have not found it easy to discover whether Arnade is represented by any gallery, or whether his career as a photographer is entirely self-financed, or even whether he sells prints. He is represented as a speaker by All American Speakers but I cannot easily discover whether he is represented by any literary agent. It seems unlikely, though, that he could sell his pictures (as he does) to a wide variety of publishers without an agent. He appears to self-identify as a photojournalist, which is a slippery and contested category. I cannot easily discover whether he is a member of the National Press Photographers Association or the American Society of Media Photographers.” On the other hand, I can discover no reason to doubt the sincerity of Arnade’s empathy for the subjects of his pictures. And they are very gutsy pictures, by no means easily made; I’d even say they are important pictures. Even though Arnaud seems not to want to be identified as an artist, there can be no doubt that through his Dignity pictures Arnade aestheticizes his subjects’ plights, much in the rigorously composed, ‘objective’ manner of Marchand & Meffre’s Ruins of Detroit (published in 2010 – the year before Arnade reportedly began to document poor people – and a high-water mark of so-called ‘ruin porn’). Aestheticization indeed transmutes them into a commodity form (viz., that of the commercial art book) from which it seems unlikely that the subjects themselves can profit. As a result, his work is just as legitimately subject to the critique of art history (which has already incorporated the conceptually similar yet much uglier photography by Larry Clark) as it is to the critique of journalism. And, to the extent that (well-to-do) people will buy his thirty-dollar book from Sentinel, or place it on their coffee-tables as markers of their own compassion, it also becomes subject to the general critiques of postmodern consumption and enjoyment. So Arnade’s pictures cannot be merely socialism today made visible, as if by the light of a flash attachment or the magic of digital printing.

      Reply
        1. Alfred

          I’m sorry that you feel you need to beg my pardon. Honestly, you do not, because I am in debt to you for the time you devoted to reading what I wrote. However, I’m not interested enough in Arnade’s work to recast my remarks into other terms. Obviously I think he has produced an interesting (though not by any stretch a very original) body of work, and I hope that someone less myopic than i am will give it the attention it deserves.

          Reply
      1. ambrit

        I’ll note that the “he’s not a member of” this or that “official” photojournalist organization smacks somewhat of elitism and “meritocracy.”
        If your stuff is good, it’ll sell or make the impact you desire. If it is not very good, no number of ‘official’ credentials can force the public to embrace it.

        Reply
  25. Roxan

    I worked at a sort of super max state hospital in VA. We had a lot of patients brought straight from prison who were completely crazy, disoriented, talking in ‘word salad’. It took a few months for them to calm down and start making sense. They brought them in wearing big heavy chains (like the kind used on heavy equipment) from neck, to manacles to ankles. It was part of admission for nurses to replace the chains with leather restraints, which were removed once on the unit. There was no solitary at the hospital. All the nurses wondered what happened to these patients. None of us had ever seen anything like them. We dared not ask–nurses also got arrested regularly. We were wanded, had to empty our pockets and carry see through back packs upon entering and leaving. Also, our car keys were taken until we left the building. There was an assumption that we were all smuggling in drugs and weapons.

    Reply
  26. rowlf

    The Seattle Times 737 MAX article covered the problem of neutron single event upset and the safety practice of using different computer system architecture for command and monitoring functions in flight control computers. When the A320s came out we were told command was Intel and monitoring was Motorola, so we had fun with the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads that came later on for consumers. If implemented correctly flight control computers are very quick to fault themselves and go offline, which has frustrated our dream of trend monitoring of systems beyond fault message monitoring. There is a hierarchy of control and if a computer drops out the next computer that has been in monitoring mode takes over. On some aircraft this can be a series of five computers.

    Reply
  27. Charlie

    I find it truly odd in the amount of stories blaming feral cats for the loss of bird populations and no stories on the loss of bees through Monsanto GMO/Roundup and the effects throughout the ecosystem. Including birds.

    Are we heading for another plague brought on by cat hysteria? A question that needs asking.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      we have one cat…no balls…who is inside/outside. while outside, he just lays around, and occasionally eats a grasshopper.
      mom, next door, has a variable number of all outside cats…between 10 and 30…wild, uncatchable, too smart for live traps(and “fixing” them is expensive out here, but we do our best). they also are lazy…I observe them often watching birds right in front of them.
      I thin them out periodically(on the rare occasion that she goes to Houston for a week), but more eventually come out of the woods to fill their place.(people drop them off on the highway, 1 mile distant)
      I’ve noticed that the swallows have disappeared in the last 3 years…coincident with the biblical grasshopper plague, no less.
      but i don’t think it’s cats…I think it’s the switch to hay farming that began in earnest about 5 years ago.
      specifically, the herbicides they use to keep the fields weed-free, and the pesticides they spray…poisoned, but resistant bugs=poisoned bug eating birds.
      my reasoning has to do with the reappearance, after a decade, of quail(fireants did them in), and whipporwills and nightjars…all ground nesters, and thus easy pickings for felines.
      too, our place(not near any big haymakers) has a good population of lizards and frogs..also easy targets for cats.
      it’s worrisome, because I could use the help of a few hundred cliff swallows about now.(south side of my house, and several other structures, are engineered explicitly to be welcoming to them)

      Reply
  28. Monty

    Speaking of corrupt families. Kamala Harris’s niece, Meena Harris, is “Head of Strategy and Leadership” at Uber.

    Reply
    1. Alfred

      The abstract actually says: “Our findings suggest that England’s shift [away from a from a free college system] has resulted in increased funding per head and rising enrollments, with no apparent widening of the participation gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students.” It goes on to identify student loans as a major source of the increased funding. It concludes: “Still, the English experience provides an instructive case for other countries considering implementing or abolishing tuition fees.” I notice the subtle slippage in the abstract’s diction from free “college” to “tuition fees” — which are not synonyms. I interpret the abstract to imply that abolishing “free college” created (or enlarged) a market for student loans, and that prospective students accessed the available loans at a rate sufficient to keep institutional incomes from “tuition” steady (or even increased them).

      Reply
  29. MichaelSF

    The article on the surveillance balloons mentions they are using a video capture system called “Gorgon Stare”. That immediately brought to my mind the “Laundry Files” books by Charles Stross, in which England’s surveillance camera network can be used turn living objects to a stone-like substance. In the books that system is called “Scorpion Stare.”

    https://thelaundryfiles.fandom.com/wiki/SCORPION_STARE

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      In Afghanistan/FOB Shindand, there was this white mini blimp hovering about 1000 ft in the air. They used it to spot locals taking pot shots at us with improvised mortars who would then run away. One time it got so windy that the Blimp snapped the cable and blew away. “Balloons” is def brand management…

      Reply
      1. GF

        Before the wall, the AZ border with Mexico (and parts of CA and NM) were watched by tethered blimps that flew higher than 1000 feet. Mostly looking for airplane smuggling operations and not so much border crossers at that time around 1980 or so.

        Reply
  30. Tomonthebeach

    “CNN’s Industry Spin Shows Need for Independent Debates”

    Duh! Too bad we do not have a public television alternative for such things as political debates.

    Reply
    1. polecat

      Publicly financed elections, including equal-time candidate exposure on a neutral venue, allowing said candidates to fully state their case, so voters can make real, informed decisions. That’s the ONLY way to level the playing field, imnsho. Not this farce we have now.

      Take the campaign power out of the hands of any and all political parties, and give it back to the plebs !

      Reply
    2. ambrit

      Too bad we no longer have a “public” television network. It now works for the Donor Class. (This program bought to you by ‘M&M Enterprises.’)

      Reply
      1. polecat

        Yes ambrit, I know …. it would have to be remade from whole cloth, but something has to be done, and soon … or we’re done, to be resigned to forming city-states and warbands in what was a former republic ! .. after a bout of Caesarism, of course …

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          What’s fun to contemplate is that PBS was set up during the Nixon Administration. I’m appreciating that wily old Republican Socialist more and more as time goes by.
          As for the lessons to be drawn from the collapse of the Roman Empire, well, the Plagues of Julian, which accompanied the initial collapse were attributed to climactic stresses associated with a mini-nuclear like weather phenomenon around 535 AD. The crops failed, and a large part of the population dies off, leading to fatal weakness in the polity of Rome. Climate ‘change’ today is beginning to exhibit similar traits. History rhymes and all that.

          Reply
  31. CarlH

    Re: Biden holds two-to-one lead over Sanders in post-debate poll The Hill-

    It is official. I do not trust any of the polling regarding Biden. There is no way that this universe, operating under it’s specific fundamental laws, could produce that result, especially after the debates.

    Reply
  32. polecat

    I personally, would not want to sail into a vacuum filled to the gills with gamma, X-ray, and other forms of life terminating radiation ..
    Oh, and did I mention particulates of various sizes, hurtling through the blackness of Space, at fatal velocities … sight unseen ??

    Guess that makes me a progress-killing luddite.

    Reply
  33. XXYY

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/newly-stringent-faa-tests-spur-a-fundamental-software-redesign-of-737-max-flight-controls/

    Boeing could have just rewritten the software governing what functions are monitored within the flight-control computer to eliminate this failure scenario. Instead, it’s [now] decided to make a much more radical software redesign, one that will not only fix this problem but make the MAX’s entire flight-control system — including MCAS — more reliable, according to three sources. This change means the flight-control system will take input from both of the airplane’s flight computers and compare their outputs. This goes beyond what Boeing had previously decided to do, which is to adjust the MCAS software so that it took input from two angle of attack sensors instead of one.

    The announcement that “a much more radical software redesign” is being instituted on the MAX is supposed to make everyone feel better, but any experienced SW engineer will feel much worse. This will introduce a million more unknowns into the final product and set whatever safety record the MAX had compiled back to zero. It’s especially scary to think about this being done under what must be intense time pressure and urgency to get everything signed off and the plane back into the air (and presumably the work is being done by the same people who screwed it up the first time). Not a good time to do anything “radical”. Again, Boeing seems to be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and demonstrating badly flawed engineering instincts.

    “This is a really good solution,” said Lemme, adding that “it should have been designed this way” from the beginning of the flight control system in the 1980s.”

    True, and now the design would have 30 years of testing and real world experience behind it.

    This raises the separate question of why the potential microprocessor fault discovered in June wasn’t caught in the original System Safety Analysis when the MAX was certified. That original System Safety Analysis, as The Seattle Times reported in March, was performed by Boeing, and FAA technical staff felt pressure from managers to sign off on it. And as reported in May, there was also pressure from Boeing managers on the engineers conducting the work to limit safety testing during the analysis.

    Interesting that there seem to be zero consequences for this anywhere, even though this flawed process is now the official explanation for the MAX crashes. No one has even lost their job AFAIK, let alone gone to jail or paid out any monetary settlements despite 600 people losing their lives.

    Elite immunity to consequences appears to be alive and well!

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Seems to me this may be good news for Boeing rather than bad. The key takeaway is that the conclusions jumped to from reports of the failed test earlier this summer were incorrect. The article says an extreme “cosmic ray bit flipping” scenario caused the single computer in that test to slow down, not the older Intel 80286 processor that was used. The article says they are adding another computer for redundancy (the airplane has two).

      So this may be less of a massive redesign than reprogramming that single 80286 to be faster. As for

      30 years of testing and real world experience

      aren’t you making a case for the 737 rather than against it? If Boeing had designed an entirely new plane–as some have suggested–rather than a revamp then that indeed may have been setting the clock back to zero.

      Boeing certainly does need to face the music and there are court cases to come not to mention the billions of dollars already lost. So it’s way premature to say they are getting off scott free.

      Reply
    2. VietnamVet

      I’ve got the feeling that everything has been so outsourced, privatized, and cost cut that Boeing is incapable of coming up with a solution that won’t cost a lot of money. The Trump Administration likewise. They together must go with what is onboard the Max. That means training on simulators and washing out any pilot who cannot recover in seconds from an aerodynamic pitch-up or a computer directed dive. Anything less, warrants a passenger boycott to avoid the third crash.

      Reply
    1. cuibono

      “If the Sabin vaccine was protective, we should see a greater rate of colon cancer in patients vaccinated with the Salk killed virus vaccine. In order to determine whether Sabin oral polio vaccine might reduce the chance of colorectal cancer in persons at high risk, further investigation is warranted.”

      Exactly what we are seeing imo

      Reply
            1. polecat

              Please ! .. can someone, anyone ??, pass me the mind bleach .. STAT !! This is too much, even for my craven sensibilities.

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                Your ‘craven sensibilities?’ You don’t strike me as a “craver.” As in: “Yeah. It was a real shame when he craved.”
                When you need monstrous memes, just call!

                Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          I blame High Fructose Corn Syrup in everydamnedthing.
          Type 2 diabetes often precedes colon cancer, and metformin(the goto drug to control type2) seems to help keep the colon cancer from moving as fast as it would otherwise.(those kinds of cancer cells prefer glycolysis, and don’t do as well on a ketogenic diet—not enough to matter at this point, but still:caveman diet)
          we pretty much cut out sugar( i never really had a sweet tooth any way) after wife got type 2…and had all but reversed it soon after diagnosis….but it’s likely that the colon cancer was already in there bubbling away(it was on the outside of the colon, so grew very large(10# basketball) before we had an inkling(they finally were forced to remove the damned thing, and she’s doing well, so far…all that “5 year” talk ceased))

          Reply
  34. Oregoncharles

    “The ‘Special Relationship’ Is Collapsing… and That’s a Good Thing ”

    The conclusion strikes me as fantasy; what about the rest? While probably a useful corrective, it all but ascribes super powers to the British Foreign Office, and I see no evidence of that. Remember, the US stepped on Britain’s attempt to take back the Suez Canal. That was quite a humiliation, not the sort of thing a puppet master allows.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      The Suez Crisis also included France and Israel. Reading between the lines, it appears that Russia called America and told America to put it’s dogs back on the leash pronto before things spun out of control.

      Reply
  35. Olivier

    I found myself irritated by the swipe at Peter Thiel. Not to be Thiel’s champion (he doesn’t need any) but what business of UserFriendly is it whether Thiel speaks against his own interest? How is that relevant to the point being made? If anything he should be lauded for his willingness to do that. A reminder that China is ruthless and that western corporations opening research centers in China are, as usual, selling their own countries down the river, is both timely and necessary. So what if it comes from Peter Thiel?

    Moreover as a mere board member Thiel doesn’t have that much skin in FB and even if you buy into in the fiduciary duties of board members the line of argumentation that he shouldn’t speak ill of any big tech lest it redound on FB is awfully far-fetched.

    Less gratuitous negativity, please!

    Reply
    1. anon in so cal

      Re: Chakrabarti resigned b/c pissed that Ocasio-Cortez folded to Pelosi. AOC also folded to Adam Schiff when AOC, along with Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, signed H.R. 3494, which enables the CIA to hide its torture programs and impairs press freedom.

      Reply
  36. nippersdad

    Funny tweet that I just saw a link to.

    Justin O’Donnell says….

    “I hear that Kamala Harris has already locked the black vote up…..”

    Brutal. Just brutal.

    Reply
      1. freedomny

        :) Ambrit –

        Speaking of cats….

        I have loved many but probably bond better with dogs. Cats are serious predators. I’ve always have had indoor cats but….

        One of my cats 10 years ago – I rescued him from the Asian deli on the corner. Only 3 wks old and I had to bottle feed him, with the help of neighbors, to keep him alive. He thrived and was a very loving companion. But he was a complete predator. One morning I woke up, walked into the living room and saw pigeon claws on the rug. I had left the window open, without a screen, and the damn cat chewed the claws off trying to get the pigeon.

        My last cat died in March. And it’s the first time in my life that I won’t have a cat.

        Not sure if I will get another. I’m a bit tired of predators these days :)

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Felicitations freedomny;
          I’m with you on that. Windowsill, our rescue tortoise shell cat loves to stalk the birdies around the front porch. We’ve found as many birdies as rats lying stiff and cold on the front steps some mornings. After this one shuffles off the mortal coil, that’s it for me.
          Phyl never was a pet enthusiast. “You and the other kids are more than enough for me to take care of bud,” was her rationale for no pets of her own.
          You had me laughing out loud with your line; “I rescued him from the Asian deli on the corner.”

          Reply
  37. BoyDownTheLane

    I read with interest the debate about “no first use of nukes”. The Democratic process underway has been likened to a circular firing squad but let’s take the idea further. I’m not picking on the Democrats; let’s include Republicans and “others”. Indeed, the finals of the propopsed “tournament” could be held the night before the election.

    Have a formal firearms officer in the US military bring the requisite number of 9-mm. Glock automatic sidearms with a 9-round magazine for each, duly loaded and certified, safety on, and hand them out to candidates. He can show a short explanatory training video. Line up the candidates in circular fashion or one vs. one and have them declare their position on “no first use”. Hand out the weapons; have each candidate hold the weapon out against the exposed temple or forehead of the other candidate. Proceed with the debate about nuclear first use policy.

    The candidate who espouses “no first use” (and who leaves his or her safety on) invites his opponent to shoot first. It’s a noble thought.

    Reply
    1. richard

      Yeah, how about I take your analogy and fix it for you. Instead of your gun porn version, how about the candidates are all armed with super nukes that destroy themselves and everyone’s civilizations for all time. There, fixed it.

      Reply
    2. KIlgore Trout

      If you’re suggesting that “no first use” would invite a nuclear strike, I believe you’re wrong, and that your analogy is faulty. It’s my understanding that a “surprise” nuclear attack (based on “first use” doctrine) would not decapitate the Russians, since they have some variation, IIRC, of the doomsday machine as depicted in Dr Strangelove. And I suspect even the missiles we launched in a first strike would be sufficient to irradiate many of us here as well. And that’s assuming nuclear winter doesn’t kick in. Nikita K. was right when he said that in a nuclear war, the living would envy the dead.

      Reply
  38. drumlin woodchuckles

    About that ocelot in the anecdotes . . . are we sure that’s an ocelot? Its eyes are really huge. Also, its spots are actual small spots.

    I don’t think this is an ocelot. I think this is a margay . . . which is a smaller and much more nocturnal jungle cat also from the Americas. I will offer a link to images of ocelots and a link to images of margays so people can see what they think . . .if they are interested.

    Link to ocelots:
    https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0geKLngckZd3XwAyeRXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–?p=ocelot&fr=sfp

    Link to margays:
    https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrJ61V9c0ZdvA8Asy1XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–?p=margay&fr=sfp

    Reply

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