Links 8/31/19

How Hollywood star Jean Seberg was destroyed by the FBI Independent

WWII: A memory battleground on the 80th anniversary AP

Chandrayaan-2 enters new lunar orbit, one step away from sending lander to Moon India Today

Why are products for older people so ugly? MIT Technology Review

Court: Girl broke child porn law by texting explicit video of herself Ars Technica

Our Guide To The Exuberant Nonsense Of College Fight Songs FiveThirtyEight

Fliers can sue over airport screener abuses -U.S. appeals court Reuters

International Airlines Join the FAA Ban on MacBook Pro Laptops Conde Nast Traveler

Hurricane Alley

How Might Cat 4 Dorian Compare to the Great Florida Keys Labor Day Hurricane of 1935? Weather Underground

Iran

As Trump flip-flops on Iran talks, the reality is that the ‘crazed’ rogue leader now sits in Washington not Tehran Independent. Robert Fisk.

Syraqistan

Russia declares ‘ceasefire’ as Syrians try to storm border post Al Jazeera

Imperial Collapse Watch

Bankrupt and Irrelevant: the Presidential Debates and Four Recent Studies on Pentagon Spending Counterpunch

Google Says Malicious Websites Have Been Quietly Hacking iPhones for Years Motherboard

How Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Account Was Hacked Wired

Our Famously Free Press

The Washington Post’s War on Bernie Continues Jacobin

Covering Climate Now signs on over 170 news outlets Columbia Journalism Review

Burning issue: how fashion’s love of leather is fuelling the fires in the Amazon Guardian

Major shoe company says it won’t buy Brazilian leather TreeHugger

Waste Watch

What does it take to go compostable? Seattle grocer PCC is finding out Waste Dive

DoD bans single-use plastic explosives Duffelblog. Ha ha ha.

Health Care

Measles epidemic: parents reluctant to vaccinate their children need to hear of the horrors of forgotten diseases The Conversation

Doctors are more likely to prescribe opioids later in the day — or if appointments run late Stat

Global vaccine coalition unveils ambitious plan to immunize 300 million children Stat

Varsity Blues

African-American, Top-Ranked Tennis Star Applied To Be First In Family To Go To College — Except Her Dad Runs A Law Firm, She Doesn’t Play Tennis, And She’s White Above the Law

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Brain-reading tech is coming. The law is not ready to protect us. Vox

India

India’s GDP Growth Drops to 5% for First Quarter of FY20, Slowest in Six Years The Wire

Government unveils mega bank mergers The Hindu

Imran Khan: The World Can’t Ignore Kashmir. We Are All in Danger. NY Times

Hong Kong

Hong Kong airport officials prepared to ground flights during planned protest SCMP

Why Poland’s Solidarity Movement Should Be a Warning to Hong Kong Politico

Police fire water cannon, tear gas to clear HK protesters from parliament area AFP

2020

Is Tulsi Gabbard Right About Syria? She’s Not Wrong. The National Interest

Wall Street’s Worst Nightmare for 2020 Is Coming True TruthDig

‘If Environment Were a Bank,’ Says Bernie Sanders, ‘It Would Have Been Saved Already’ Common Dreams

The Clinton Ghost Still Haunting the Democrats American Conservative

Class Warfare

Wendy’s Billionaire Owner Spurns Farmworkers While Profiting Off Pension Funds TruthOut

The camp that makes future millionaires BBC

The Unsustainability Of Inequality Nepal 24 Hours James Galbraith

The Trump NLRB’s Anti-Labor Day Capital & Main

Investigators seize enough fentanyl to kill 14 million people in massive drug bust CBS

REVEALED – The colleges with the best return on your investment: MIT graduates earn an average of $1MILLION over 20 years while military academies are for students who don’t want huge loan debts Daily Mail

From pecan pralines to ‘dots’ as currency: how the prison economy works Guardian

Trump Transition

Is It Time to Remove Immigration Courts From Presidential Control? Marshall Project

How the Trump administration limited the scope of the USDA’s 2020 dietary guidelines WaPo

Film ‘Official Secrets’ is the Tip of a Mammoth Iceberg Consortium News

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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99 comments

  1. Steve H.

    > Our Guide To The Exuberant Nonsense Of College Fight Songs FiveThirtyEight

    538 hits its analytic sweet-spot!

    “We should stick to
    in-terp-o-lation…”

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Like debts of old, Let’s fight to hold
      The glory of a graduation we were sold
      Let’s carry through, pay until you die
      To win the game for usurious Unabankers
      Keep paying for that high score;
      Come on and fight,
      They want some more, some more.
      Come on you debtors, Fight! Fight! Fight!
      for dear old Wall*Street

      RAH!

      Reply
    2. ChrisPacific

      My favorite is ‘Fight Fiercely, Harvard’ by Tom Lehrer. It’s a parody, but the songs themselves are so ridiculous that it’s easy to mistake it for the real thing.

      Reply
  2. David Carl Grimes

    Colleges with the best ROI is based on Payscale data, which is self-reported and tends to skew high. People exaggerate their earnings or those who don’t earn much don’t report their earnings. A better measure is the College Scorecard data put out by the Department of Education which uses data from people with actual student loans. And these days, most students have loans. The income data is derived from actual tax returns from the IRS

    https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/

    Reply
  3. cnchal

    > Investigators seize enough fentanyl to kill 14 million people in massive drug bust CBS

    Terwilliger said the bust spanned three states and that one of the 39 people charged ordered fentanyl from Shanghai and had it delivered to Virginia through the mail.

    “The last thing we want is for the U.S. Postal Service to become the nation’s largest drug dealer,” he added.

    The Postal Service is not the dealer. It’s the mule. So is FraudEx, UPS and Air Amazon.

    I wonder when CBP will hit on the idea of physically inspecting every package coming off a few of those cargo jets, even if its just to get a more accurate picture of how much is coming over on them?

    Reply
    1. Krystyn Walentka

      What disturbs me more is that we are no longer measuring these drug busts by “street worth” of the drugs, but rather, by how many people the drugs could have killed.

      Reply
          1. Krystyn Walentka

            Rather, the Reverse Opium Wars, since all the opiates are coming from China this time. Payback is a btch…

            Reply
              1. ambrit

                America is the bastard offspring of the British Empire, so, there it is.
                Numbers 14:18 – “…He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon their children unto the third and fourth generation.”
                All Biblical and authoritative dear hearts.

                Reply
              2. dearieme

                The Delanos did terribly well out of the opium trade in China. Should someone dig up the grave of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and demand reparations?

                Reply
      1. Geo

        That’s because the deaths are mostly from white communities so it’s measured in human lives. If it was black/brown people dying we’d get dollar numbers.

        Disgusting but I don’t see any other explanation for the change it metric.

        Reply
  4. John

    The Defense Budget rises year by year. The Army and Navy shrink. The Air Force is stuck with the F-35, an insult to the quite functional Swiss Army Knife. There are 800-plus bases in some number of countries that is ever changing as far as I can see. The Contractor Corps, the condotterie, the mercenaries are immovably attached to the money teat and are I am sure as self-protective as mercenaries have always been.

    The parasitic “Military-Defense Complex” spreads its largess across the Congress infesting each state and district like guinea worm. The reasons for this sad situation are plain. “Defense” is where the money is. It is the one part of what passes for an annual budget that is increased with enthusiasm each year.

    There is no moderate polite way that this is going to change. Too many iron rice bowls depend upon it. The “haves” are elbow deep in it. Try to remove them at your peril. Sadly, change is only going to come in some revolutionary manner, peaceful or otherwise.

    Reply
      1. Cal2

        A living breathing example:

        “According to the Center for Public Integrity, Senator Diane Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum has racked in millions of dollars from Perini, a civil infrastructure construction company, of which the billionaire investor wields a 75 percent voting share.”
        [California is a community property state. Half his profits belong to her]

        “In April 2003, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave $500 million to Perini to provide services for Iraq’s Central Command. A month earlier in March 2003, Perini was awarded $25 million to design and construct a facility to support the Afghan National Army near Kabul. And in March 2004, Perini was awarded a hefty contract worth up to $500 million for “electrical power distribution and transmission” in southern Iraq.”

        “Feinstein, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence, is reaping the benefits of her husband’s investments. The Democratic royal family recently purchased a $16.5 million mansion in the flush Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. It’s a disgusting display of war profiteering, and just like Cheney, the leading Democrat should be called out for her offense.”

        https://original.antiwar.com/joshua-frank/2006/02/28/senator-feinsteins-war-profiteering/

        Reply
    1. Zagonostra

      Remember Rumsfeld’s Pentagon audit on 9-10-2001? No? Neither does anyone else, the person leading investigation died and documents were destroyed on 9-11…you won’t get much coverage during debates, people want to
      live…

      Reply
    2. dearieme

      the mercenaries are immovably attached to the money teat and are I am sure as self-protective as mercenaries have always been.

      The art with mercenaries was to pay them after the battle and then you need pay only those who survive.

      Reply
      1. BillS

        “I say, therefore, that the arms with which a prince defends his state are either his own, or they are mercenaries, auxiliaries, or mixed. Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand neither firm nor safe; for they are disunited, ambitious and without discipline, unfaithful, valiant before friends, cowardly before enemies; they have neither the fear of God nor fidelity to men, and destruction is deferred only so long as the attack is; for in peace one is robbed by them, and in war by the enemy. The fact is, they have no other attraction or reason for keeping the field than a trifle of stipend, which is not sufficient to make them willing to die for you. They are ready enough to be your soldiers whilst you do not make war, but if war comes they take themselves off or run from the foe; which I should have little trouble to prove, for the ruin of Italy has been caused by nothing else than by resting all her hopes for many years on mercenaries, and although they formerly made some display and appeared valiant amongst themselves, yet when the foreigners came they showed what they were.”

        Niccolo’ Macchiavelli, _The Prince_, Chapter XII, “How Many Kinds Of Soldiery There Are, And Concerning Mercenaries”

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          As luck would have it, there was about the same amount of Hessian mercenaries toiling for King George III in the Revolutionary War, as there were Blackwater mercenaries in the employ of President George II, in the ‘stanbox.

          Reply
          1. Fritzi

            A lot of these “Hessians” weren’t real mercenaries at all though, and far from voluntarily there.

            The german princes made a lot of money literally selling men, as de facto slaves, to the British.

            Be it civilians grabbed from the streets, or their own soldiers THEY “volunteered”, the men themselves often just having the choice between going to America and fight, or being put up against a wall and shot.

            German rulers sold “mercenaries” for all kinds of conflicts that wa.

            Reply
    1. Craig H.

      There is a difference.

      Gun broke the law and Assange didn’t. For some reason I am guessing that wasn’t the NPR shillbot’s point.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Using that logic, Gun is more courageous.
        Some laws are made to be broken.
        As the famous question and answer quip puts it:
        Q: “When is treason not treason?”
        A: “When the ‘traitors’ win.”

        Reply
        1. David

          Well, the law that’s ‘made to be broken ‘ is the law which all countries have against unauthorized release of sensitive information. Not everyone would be happy with a situation where anyone who wanted to leak information of any sensitivity was free to do so. Your tax details for example.

          Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    “Russia declares ‘ceasefire’ as Syrians try to storm border post”

    I think that I am beginning to see a pattern here. Instead of one grinding campaign to clear out Idleb at the cost of massive casualties to Syrians, they are going to do it piecemeal – one chunk at a time. For those surrounded Jihadists, it must fray the nerves when they go into cease-fire mode what with never knowing when it may end or if your sector may be the next to be hit. I suppose too that if the Jihadists start moving equipment around to adjust the battle lines, that they are being observed by drones and recon flights as well as satellites so that the Russians and Syrians know where to hit them when the next phase of the campaign starts. And all those Turkish Observation Pots will not help those Jihadists either no matter what Erdogan promised them. That one in southern Idlib has now been left behind and is now sitting in the middle of nowhere. As the Syrians bypassed it, the younger Syrian soldiers were filmed taking selfies of themselves with that OP in the background.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRHUSub6ZBI

    Reply
    1. Chris Smith

      I occasionally hear on NPR “All Things Considered” about how Syrian and Russian actions in Idlib will cause civilian casualties. My reply is that the rebel “cause” is finished with no hope of success by any definition, it’s time for them to surrender. That would prevent civilian casualties.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        The ‘jihadis’ fighting against the Damascus government are religious fanatics for the most part. They will only give up when they die, or lose their faith.
        Given the size of the ‘foreign’ contingent in the ‘jihadi’ ranks, this cannot even be classified as a classic civil war. It is a plain old war for conquest from outside the ‘target’ country. These kinds of conflict do not usually end quietly.

        Reply
        1. Mirdif

          Fanatics funded, trained and armed by the US and the UK. Doubt it? Look no further than the Bherlin Gildo case. The US even has men on the ground and has had from pretty much the earliest days of the conflict. It seems as if it’s not the job of the media to focus on such trivialities.

          The entire venture only took off because of US involvement with the UK tagging along so as not to miss out on playing Globocops.

          Reply
        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Hopefully not one jihadi will be permitted to escape Idlib alive to take their jihad-skills to some other country to make future trouble.

          In other words, hopefully every single jihadi is exterminated one by one and in total detail, down to the last one.

          Hopefully Syria ( with Russian help) can drain the Idlib sump.

          Reply
    2. ObjectiveFunction

      I’m not a particular fan of House Assad or the Baath Alawite oligarchy. But I really began reexamining my views on the insurrection in 2014 when my prediction of a huge wave of roadside bombs cutting the supply lines of the roadbound, tank heavy and infantry poor regime forces and thwarting their attempts to retake lost provinces totally failed to materialize. This was in spite of plenty of raw material and highly experienced Sunni bombmakers available from Anbar, Iraq. I concluded that this could only mean the insurrection did not in fact enjoy wide popular support, which is essential for successfully mining public roads.

      All that said, Syria’s primary problem is really demographics: poor rural Sunnis outbreeding the wealthier ruling sects, pouring into the cities in search of opportunity which the crumbling Baath welfare state cannot provide. I suspect but don’t know that there are also some climate-caused droughts immiserating rural areas.

      The regime may have crushed the extremists (who had killed off any actual moderate rebels, and in so doing likely alienated the populace), but the root causes of unrest remain.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Is Syria a ‘canary in the coal mine’ for the rest of the world?
        The conditions you describe are showing up more and more frequently world wide.

        Reply
      2. JBird4049

        The regime may have crushed the extremists (who had killed off any actual moderate rebels, and in so doing likely alienated the populace), but the root causes of unrest remain.

        Both the regime and the jihadists cooperated in killing anyone that could be considered a moderate, especially competent and popular ones, because people would prefer them to either the murdering, corrupt Baathists or the murdering fanatical extremist jihadists. Killing the center forced the population to the surviving extremes.

        Reply
        1. pjay

          Before I offer a knee-jerk reply, may I ask what “moderates” the regime “cooperated in killing”? Also, the “murdering, corrupt Baathists” were actually pretty popular, as demonstrated by both polling and an election after the original uprising, I believe. But I’m not quite sure what you are referring to here, so this is a legitimate question.

          Reply
          1. JBird4049

            Polling and elections results in Syria as determined by the Syrian government??? They are honest just like the elections in Chicago, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, New York, the Carolinas, or my state of California are “honest.”

            Still some good good questions. One in which I should do some re-research to answer especially as I am mostly going off my memory from reading during the first years of the war.

            I can say that I am referring to Syria’s version of moderate and not any American ideal, and from what I recall every time that there was a nucleus of a non-extremist leadership the government would kill them first before anyone else. And if the Ba’ath Party was so popular was Assad down to his last few thousand soldiers, with the majority having deserted, before the mass using of barrel bombs dropped from helicopters prevented his then probable defeat. The Syrian government ultimately won by using mass destruction and murder and it took the alliance with Russia to break the stalemate.

            Between the corruption and violence of the Syrian government, the evil of ISIS, and the incompetent “help” of the American military, the Syrians themselves have has a bad time of it.

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              I’m not sure that it was so simple for Syrians. The majority of the Syrian Army held true to their country and did not desert to the rebels who fairly soon in the game came to be dominated by extremists. Lots of those deserters ended up in returning to the fold. Even by the time of the last elections in 2014 it became obvious that it was a choice between sticking with the government or going with religious extremists. Here is some more info on those last elections-

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Syrian_presidential_election

              Syria is a multi-ethnic/religious country and you would expect that one of these ethnic or religious groupings would become a base for the rebels but so far as I know, all of them have stayed loyal to their country in their fight against the Jihadists. The Syrian government did not ultimately win by using mass destruction and murder. They won in spite of it. It was the Syrian people that did this by staying true to their country.

              Reply
            2. pjay

              “And if the Ba’ath Party was so popular was Assad down to his last few thousand soldiers, with the majority having deserted, before the mass using of barrel bombs dropped from helicopters prevented his then probable defeat. The Syrian government ultimately won by using mass destruction and murder and it took the alliance with Russia to break the stalemate.”

              I don’t know where you got this information, but I can tell you that the “barrel bombs” and “mass desertion” of the army indicates you must be remembering the wildly exaggerated propaganda in the Western press; it certainly does not correspond to reality (“barrel bombs” is a tell). It is correct that Russian intervention probably saved Syria from destruction. But what do you mean by “mass destruction and murder” by the Syrian government? Do you mean defending itself against attack? If you are talking about “mass destruction” of its own civilian population then you are simply repeating propaganda.

              There are a number of good sources on Syria that provide a more accurate perspective. Stephen Gowans is a good starting point. I recommend reading all of his posts on Syria (or his book, which is also good). But here is a relevant article:

              https://gowans.blog/2016/10/22/the-revolutionary-distemper-in-syria-that-wasnt/

              (I just accidentally saw your reply to my comment from yesterday. I didn’t know comments were still working here. We’ll see if mine appears.)

              Reply
      3. lordkoos

        You left out that the reason so many from the country have flooded into Syrian cities — drought, ie climate change.

        Reply
    3. kgw

      Whole different take on this at Moon of Alabama:

      “After much resistance Erdogan has finally given up on Idleb. While Russia had agreed to a ceasefire in Idleb, Erdogan failed to deliver his part of the deal. The Jihadis in Idleb, supplied by Erdogan, continued to attack Russian forces and Syrian civilians. The Syrian and Russian forces responded with an intense and well targeted bombing campaign and by taking back more and more land. Eleven days ago Turkey made a last attempt to stop the Syrian army by sending a convoy of troops to prevent the recapture of Khan Shaykhun. The convoy was bombed and Khan Shaykhun fell.

      That was the moment Erdogan gave up. Five of his generals, two responsible for the Turkish observation posts in Idleb, asked for their retirement. Erdogan traveled to Moscow and made some deal. Syria will regain Idleb and Erdogan got an ice cream.

      The pressure of people who want leave Idleb after their years of fighting against the Syrian state will not end. Turkey’s economy is in a downturn. The people have become wary of refugees. There is nothing to win for Erdogan by letting more people in.

      The Syrian army campaign continues. The next bigger target will be Maarrat al-Numan with a pre-war population of 80,000 people. Most of them have no reason to fear the Syrian government. But many will want to flee the fighting. Each assault will push more people to leave.

      There will be more incidents at the border and within Turkey. The ‘rebels’ and Jihadis will want to take revenge on the Turkish traitors who pushed them to fight the Syrian government only to leave them behind when they failed to win. The soldiers in the Turkish observation posts in Idleb are now hostages of the Jihadis. They may need the help of Russian bombers to fight their way out or will have to sit still until the Syrian army liberates the region around them.

      Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I heard on the radio today that 16 tons of cocaine was found hidden on a ship, with the authorities were happily counting coup, and i’m not sure how many people that drug has killed, but it pales in comparison to opioids that the merchants of death delivered legally across the country.

      Reply
  6. Wukchumni

    WWII: A memory battleground on the 80th anniversary AP
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    WW2 really started a bit earlier when the goose steppers came into Prague without knocking in March of 1939, after the border defenses in the Sudetenland had been given to the Nazis by the English & the French late in 1938.

    My grandfather thought he’d be a smarty and out think the swastika party by putting all his assets in an English bank in Prague in 1938, but the frogs & limeys didn’t put up a fight when Adolf & co, showed up, and let his minions plunder the money.

    Best laid plans, and all.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE8kGMfXaFU

    Reply
  7. QuarterBack

    Re the MD Appeals Court decision on self-inflicted child exploitation, this is evidence that the legal system is starting to lose its grip on reality. By this logic, should all children who do something stupid and dangerous be charged with their own “child endangerment”? Or maybe anorexic teens should be charged with “child abuse” or assault?

    Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    “Is Tulsi Gabbard Right About Syria? She’s Not Wrong.”: ‘Washington should not bother to claim to want Assad gone if it is unwilling to do anything to make it happen.’

    Umm – beg pardon? What about the billions and perhaps the tens of billions that has been spent recruiting, training, arming and supplying all those Jihadists? What about the transport of Libya’s weapons stocks to Syria – which ended up getting that US Ambassador killed. What about shifting all of those weapons stocks held by NATO countries to Syria? What about the transport of US weapons, including advanced Ant-Tank Guided Missiles to those Jihadists? The bombing of Syria several times and shooting down a Syrian Air Force plane? How about stationing and occupying Syria’s oil fields and farming districts to break Syria and how about threatening any government that gives money to aid Syria in reconstruction of its towns and cities?
    I would call that pretty damned willing.

    Reply
    1. WJ

      The author of the piece happily buys all the official propaganda. He notices only that it isn’t a matching set. I can’t tell whether he’s really that stupid of an anti-interventionist or is actually a very clever war-monger.

      Reply
  9. Dr. John Carpenter

    That TruthDig article is amusing. Apparently “two feared candidates are rising”, which would be Sanders and Warren. The writer gives a few examples of why Wall Street is so uptight about the possibility of Sanders winning. Yet, aside from putting “and Warren” in every sentence mentioning they are afraid of Sanders, no examples are given of why Warren has them worked up. Heck, Biden is mentioned more and in more detail. Other than being tagged along by name with Bernie, there really isn’t anything about her, certainly nothing that would make me believe she’s a threat to Wall Street.

    As someone mentioned here the other day, at what point is Sanders going to point out the differences between them, or is he just going to let her free ride his coattails to the nomination? It really is starting to feel like they’re trying to position Warren as a substitute Sanders and based on the financial support she’s starting to get, I just don’t believe TPTB are as concerned about her.

    Reply
  10. Barbara

    I couldn’t get into the Technology Review site (Why are products for old people so ugly?) but, being 80, it’s a phenomenon with which I’m well acquainted.

    How about this – why do they call us “Senior Citizens” or Seniors, for short? (and if you call me the above, you’re likely to get my energizer drink* . . .) I’d rather be called an old broad.

    I was really interested in finding out what the techies thought the answer was. Tsk!

    * coffee

    Reply
    1. Brooklin Bridge

      try this link https://www-technologyreview-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.technologyreview.com/s/614167/why-are-products-for-older-people-so-ugly/amp/

      The premise being,

      After he’d [Richard Caro, the meeting leader of the ” Longevity Explorers”, a group looking to improve the way technology is developed for older adults ] conducted about 100 interviews with people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, one thing stood out: many of the people he met missed feeling useful. “There’s this huge demographic of people who have sort of been put aside and told to go off and play bridge and bingo and not contribute to society,” he says. Zumba and lectures were fun, but not fulfilling.

      Reply
    2. Brooklin Bridge

      I provided a working link but it’s in moderation and so I don’t dare repeat it.

      The article is a little disappointing in terms of the “techies’ answer” which in this case is basically, better ideas, design and marketing via geazer groups participation (I’ve always wondered what “older adults” means; older than what adults?).

      Not a bad idea if you go along with the premise of sell, sell, sell and buy, buy, buy – makes the world go round and round. Enlistment of a few focus groups of over 70’s people back into the fringes (they meet together as a group, not even integrated into the general work force) of the frantic market place (always looking for new angles to sell) as the criteria for being useful. Not, perhaps, the most original or earth shattering way to make this group feel useful and visible again.

      Reply
      1. Barbara

        The truth is the providers of goods and services for “old people” don’t care. I know this because I belong to another subgroup of the human species for whom well-designed clothing is almost non existent. I met a designer of that category of clothing once, and asked about an unnecessarily ill-fitting feature of their designs and she answered with her prejudices and absolutely assured me that customers simply loved that feature. She showed absolutely no interest in why I would even question her design decision.

        It’s like writing to your senator. The letter that comes back doesn’t even acknowledge the point of view you expressed, but responds with what they’ve decided to do in a manner that suggests you should be absolutely thrilled.

        In other words, get with the program.

        Reply
        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Points well made. I’m being too critical. The article, and more importantly, Richard Caro, the guy behind the focus groups, is addressing that issue specifically.

          Reply
      1. msmolly

        I got in just fine earlier today (I’m 76). It is a pretty interesting article and you can sign up for groups around the country that discuss technology for us old folks, get on a mailing list, and perhaps be invited to be a reviewer.

        Reply
      1. Brooklin Bridge

        And here is a link to the actual site where some of the ideas generated in the focus groups are presented. techenhancedlife.com

        If this turns out to be more (or more nuanced) than just another gimmic to sell more “stuff”, I’ll be happy to be wrong.

        Reply
        1. Barbara

          tech enhanced life

          Somehow your link got tangled up with NC’s url.

          Thanks for the link. I’m skeptical as well.

          As a person who spent 7 years on a church commission advocating for accessibility for people with disabilities, I know that it’s hard to really change people’s minds on issues that don’t affect them directly. You can provide training, as we did, and it can be very effecting while the audience is “in the moment”. But, long term, there was very little change in the welcoming of churches through accessibility.

          But the Parkland students and Greta Thunberg and the world’s youth may have something to teach us. We’ll see.

          Reply
    3. neighbor7

      I remember seeing a sign on public transportation in Portland OR that used the term “honored elders.” Nice!

      Reply
  11. petal

    Got my first canvasser of the season, guys. For Warren. Was just about to put the first forkful of my lunch in my mouth when the doorbell rang. Wasn’t ready for it. Need to come up with a spiel so I am prepared next time. Plus I’m not a happy camper with this lot so it’s like flame to gasoline. I may have actually smirked and licked my lips when they asked what issues are important to me and who I might vote for. Cheers, y’all.

    Reply
    1. petal

      Terrible that the thought and fear crosses your mind that maybe your answers could somehow get back to your employer and you could get sacked. Not a good environment we are in these days, friends. Best and safest to stay quiet, I guess.

      Reply
    2. dcblogger

      canvassing is one of the hardest jobs in politics and in the best tradition of grassroots politics. As someone who has done this work I would encourage everyone to treat canvassers with kindness.

      Reply
      1. WJ

        Shouldn’t we treat Klobuchar canvassers not with kindness but with merciful incredulity? When I see them I can’t help thinking they are either horribly uninformed or totally corrupt. I am of course civil to them. But when they ask me to support Klobuchar it is hard not to laugh. I try to remember that they are sick–like people with tuberculosis–and need to be treated gently.

        Reply
        1. Spring Texan

          If anybody campaigns for Klobuchar they will get a (kind) spiel from me about how she treats her employees. But yes I’m rather appreciative of ANYone who takes the trouble to come to my door and actually discuss something, even if for a candidate I wouldn’t consider ever.

          Reply
            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              I wonder if an even more brutal way to say that is . . ” sorry, I need to go watch some ads on TV”. or . . . “sorry, I’m missing some ads on TV, got to go.”

              Reply
  12. Dan

    “Court: Girl broke child porn law by texting explicit video of herself”,
    “Young children in Camp Millionaire.”

    These are abuses of the rights of children and robbing them of their childhood.

    However, educating all kindergartners, as part of state educational curricula, about their potential gender dysphoria, ability to choose their correct gender and adult sexual practices, “whether you like it or not”, is wholesome.

    Welcome to the insane asylum that public education has become. Is it any wonder that private and charter schools are flourishing?
    https://www.kappanonline.org/mangin-transgender-gender-identity-school-policies-gender-expansive/

    Examples:
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-sex-ed-curriculum-overhaul-sexual-education-guidelines-today-2019-05-08/

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Aren’t many prosecutors know for this sort of evil and immoral exploitation of “the law” against helpless and defenseless minors in order to fake their own ” tough on crime” credentials in order to campaign for higher office?

      What kind of legal warfare can be waged against prosecutors like this in order to give them a lifelong case of “career extermicide”?

      Reply
  13. john ashley

    canvassers will not be needed by the NEXT election cycle.

    All the fools I see using these home monitoring systems so you can look at your yard on your phone during whatever will be used to build a RING around you.

    They will scan you and yours coming and going and KNOW how you will vote and how your kids.others will act.
    Good luck comrades.

    Foward Googlers and AMazonians.

    I have never in my 65 years on this earth seen such sheep.
    Cynical, that would need to be given via a pill or something to these people.

    Reply
  14. drumlin woodchuckles

    I only have a few minutes till work. So I will offer a train of thought set off by two juxtaposed article titles.

    Fashion’s love for leather drives Amazon arson . . .and major shoemaker won’t buy Brazilian leather.

    Love for leather need not automatically mean love for Dead Amazon leather. Leather came from many places before the Bonfire of the Amazon. And it still does. The key to putting out the Bonfire of the Amazon is to extermicott every product which “could” come from the Amazon until the Bonfire of the Amazon is put all the way out. Put so all the way out that it can never catch fire again.

    And I say extermicott every product which “could” come from the Amazon because leather is fungible. Leather from anywhere can go anywhere. And as long as people buy any leather at all, no matter where it comes from; Bad Black-Hat Actors will buy Amazon Jungle Leather and cleverly launder it through various leather-laundering havens so it comes back out with a false and lying “not from the Amazon” label on it. The only way to shut down the Dirty Leather Laundries in advance is to buy zero leather from any source whatsoever until Big Leather sees its markets go to Absolute Zero and stay there long enough that Big Leather foresees its own imminent no-resurrection-possible roach-motel death unless Big Leather can torture Brazil into exterminating Amazon Leather.

    This shoe company is making a good start. Since any leather from Brazil “could” be from the Amazon, no leather from Brazil can be trusted. And no leather of any kind should be purchased from Brazil until the Brazilian Leather Lobby can torture Bolsonario into exterminating his own plans for Amazon Development.

    Reply
  15. Susan the other`

    About the Washington state grocery chain that is going full compostable. Compostable vegetable plastic containers and trays, etc. What took em so long? It’s the future. The reason this piece is so satisfying is that it’s just a baby step from here to compostable trash from clinics and hospitals who are the biggest polluters of all.

    Reply
    1. Cal2

      “Compostable” does not mean they become useful compost, but rather slowly breakdown in the presence of water and air into non-toxic byproducts. Put these containers in your compost pile and see what happens. You’ll get a blobby chunky mess that you wouldn’t want to put on your vegetables. Normal biological material will break down in a few weeks.

      In landfills, there is no air, therefore they will never breakdown into anything but eventual sedimentary rock inclusions, millions of years from now.

      At least they aren’t made from oil or gas and if incinerated, will produce less toxins. This is progress, but not the ultimate ideal.

      Reply
  16. Susan the other`

    Also Galbraith on the Unsustainability of Inequality. Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Western finance seems to have been thrown into international service with good intentions but bad policies. So why is it so difficult to admit things need to be properly regulated? Seems like a no brainer that our ad hoc interest rate tweaking and god knows what else in order to keep the dollar “strong” etc. was done without proper guidance. As there was none at all except some neocolonial financial instincts at work, which included a pogrom on all socialists and communists. Nor was there any on the exploitation and pollution of the planet. There are a myriad of inequalities that finance promoted for the sake of profits. And power. And profits. And profits. And the most beautiful ending possible to this era is that they, the financiers, managed to create so damn much money that they themselves destroyed hard capitalism. I’ll drink to that. Give me social capitalism please.

    Reply
  17. JBird4049

    “Court: Girl broke child porn law by texting explicit video of herself”,

    This, like civil asset forfeiture without out even being charged with a crime, has been going only for decades. Teens being charged with child rape for having sex or of making child porn for taking pictures of themselves is not at all unknown.

    Reply
  18. Wukchumni

    ‘If Environment Were a Bank,’ Says Bernie Sanders, ‘It Would Have Been Saved Already’ Common Dreams
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    If banks were like the environmental movement, in lieu of banning plastic straws, they’d ban pennies.

    Reply
  19. Jeff W

    Brain-reading tech is coming. The law is not ready to protect us. Vox
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This piece conflates several different advances in brain-computer interfaces, none of which are that close to the scary specter of “mind-reading” in the “You-can’t-hide-your-thoughts-from-me—I-know-what-you’re-really-thinking” sense.

    One is having someone control some external device with brain activity (like when a paralyzed man uses “thoughts” to control a cursor). Over time (a few days) that person becomes more adept at shaping his or her brain activity to move the cursor (or control whatever device) more and more skillfully. That’s “mind-reading” in the very limited sense of having something in the environment respond to a very specific configuration of brain activity—and, really, the person is responding to the cursor in learning how to move it.

    Two are similar in an important sense: in one, brain activity is used to derive intelligible sentences from what were originally spoken sentences; in the other, a “mind-reading algorithm” can reconstruct observed images—they’re similar in the sense that the brain activity is based on some very stable, discrete behavior: spoken sentences or observed images. That’s a very far cry from the usual covert behavior that we usually characterize as “thought”—and that’s deliberately part of the study design. (In fact, the study author of the “sentence” study says exactly that: “Other researchers have tried to look at whether or not it’s actually possible to decode essentially just thoughts alone. It turns out it’s a very difficult and challenging problem. That’s only one reason of many that we focus on what people are trying to say.”)

    I’m all for some new “jurisprudence of the mind” but I’m really skeptical that what ordinary people would call “mind-reading” is even possible, much less decades away. It’s not a technology issue but a human behavioral one: covert behavior (“thoughts”) simply isn’t that stable or discrete enough in most cases to be “read” clearly—imagining an elephant is very different than observing a picture of one—although it may be in some instances when, say, you’re memorizing a speech or repeating some words in a foreign language to yourself to learn them. Since the behavior is covert, there’s very little need to shape the behavior to make it “clearer” for someone else (the person is behaving for him- or herself after all) and it’s difficult to shape that behavior, anyway (e.g., that person who moves the cursor with his “thoughts” needs the feedback that the cursor provides).

    Reply

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