Links 8/7/19

Animal friendships change with the weather in African savanna Science

The Life Factory: Synthetic Organisms From This $1.4 Billion Startup Will Revolutionize Manufacturing Forbes

Big Money Starts to Dump Stocks That Pose Climate Risks Bloomberg

New Models Point to More Global Warming Than We Expected Weather Underground

Challenges to natural and human communities from surprising ocean temperatures PNAS. Important.

17 Countries, Home to One-Quarter of the World’s Population, Face Extremely High Water Stress World Resources Institute. The United States is #71 on the list, but averages conceal. AZ, CA, CO, NM, and UT are all High or Extremely High stress.

Millions of Business Listings on Google Maps Are Fake—and Google Profits WSJ. Just like Facebook accounts. How odd.

Google’s ‘cookie’ privacy settlement that paid users nothing was just voided by a U.S. appeals court Business Insider

Brexit

History Holds Few Lessons If Brexit Means Crashing Out of EU Bloomberg

Britain’s constitutional time-bomb Economist

Syraqistan

Iran Has Hundreds of Naval Mines. U.S. Navy Minesweepers Find Old Dishwashers and Car Parts. ProPublica

A Crashed Israeli Lunar Lander Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon Wired

India

India Moves to Strip Kashmir of Autonomy, Potentially Setting Up Conflict in Disputed Territory The Intercept

Pakistan vows to fight India’s ‘illegal’ Kashmir move BBC

The story of Indian democracy written in blood and betrayal Indian Express

‘Everything Has Been Lost. Except Our Resolve to Fight Back’: Shah Faesal on Kashmir The Wire

Decades of Insular Pakistani Leadership is to Blame For The World’s Failure to Care About Kashmir Eurasia Future

Asia is the right place for a US ‘Green New Deal’ Nikkei Asian Review

The Koreas

Nuclear Weapons and Their Pride of Place in North Korea Wilson Center

Post scandal lays bare mythology of corporate Japan FT

China

China Summons Hong Kong Officials to Shenzhen to Discuss Unrest Bloomberg

Helmets, goggles sent from Taiwan to HK protesters Asia Times

Defend your home against radical protesters, Beijing urges Hongkongers amid ongoing extradition bill unrest South China Morning Post

* * *

1st China-Kyrgyzstan joint counter-terrorism exercise Xinhua

Multiply this by tens of millions:

Protest is not enough to topple a dictator: the army must also turn Aeon

Trump Transition

China just showed why Trump can’t win with tariffs The Week

The Push to Expand Gun Background Checks: What You Need to Know New York Magazine

Justice Department Backs Trump’s Suit Over Accountant Records Bloomberg

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Supreme Court to decide fate of new governor CBS

Democrats in Disarray

Elitists Roll Out “Stop Rebelling And Support Biden, You Insolent Little Sh*ts” Campaign Medium. While at the same time in a moral panic about white supremacy.

Democrats still at square one Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

Messages left for Jeffrey Epstein ‘suggested his friend might be procuring two 8-year-old girls for the pedophile to sexually abuse’ state court docs filed by victims’ lawyer Daily Mail. Again, the focus on the awfulness of the individual at the center of the network, but nothing on the network. Odd.

Florida governor orders state criminal probe into Jeffrey Epstein case McClatchy

Health Care

Why Won’t Democrats Blame Hospitals? The Atlantic

Vital Signs: Pharmacy-Based Naloxone Dispensing — United States, 2012–2018 CDC

Our Famously Free Press

Indicators of news media trust Knight Foundation

Times public editor: The readers versus the masthead CJR

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Stopped, Ticketed, Fined: The Pitfalls of Driving While Black in Ferguson NYT (UserFriendly).

Those Feral Hogs

What about the 30-50 feral hogs? Man’s defense of assault weapons goes viral Guardian

Fair use:

Imperial Collapse Watch

America’s Other Original Sin The American Conservative

Millennials are killing these 7 military traditions DuffelBlog

Class Warfare

Student Debt and Racial Wealth Inequality (PDF) Marshall Steinbaum. As it happens, a universal benefit that raises everybody to a baseline disportionately benefits those farthest beneath the baseline. Who would have thought?

Revealed: Amazon touts high wages while ignoring issues in its warehouses Guardian

* * *

Class interests:


Nuisance Ordinances: The New Frontier In Social Control Current Affairs

Masked gunmen reportedly set RVs on fire in West Oakland Oakland Reporter

Antidote du jour (via). I couldn’t help myself:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

220 comments

  1. PlutoniumKun

    America’s Other Original Sin The American Conservative

    Wow, this is a rarity – I’ve often bored people talking about the weird brainwarp even people on the left have about the Philippines, in refusing to consider it a colony or to point out the awful history of US colonialism (real, old style colonialism) on those islands:

    Yet the Philippines represented an altogether different case. By no stretch of the imagination did the archipelago fall within “our backyard.” Furthermore, the Filipinos had no desire to trade Spanish rule for American rule and violently resisted occupation by U.S. forces. The notably dirty Philippine-American War that followed from 1899 to 1902—a conflict almost entirely expunged from American memory today—resulted in something like 200,000 Filipino deaths and ended in a U.S. victory not yet memorialized on the National Mall in Washington.

    The atrocities committed were every much as serious as, for example, the British committed in the Boer War at the same time, but somehow its not the subject of books or movies or history novels. Almost every history I’ve read about the US or the Pacific just glosses over the whole topic, as if it was the most natural thing in the world that the US just happened to be there.

    Reply
    1. prodigalson

      Gen Smedley Butler had his share of the philipines campaign later to declare “war is a racket” and that during his career he’d essentially been a “gangster for capitalism”. paraphrasing a bit.

      Nothing has changed.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There is a broader picture.

        The US was late to the game being pursued by many European powers (and Japan, after Meiji Restoration) throughout the 19th century, all over the globe, Africa, the Middle East, Siberia, Central Asia, etc.

        China was the great prize, and there, America was, as mentioned above, late.

        From Concessions in China, Wikipepedia (first year – year established, the second year – year dissolved):

        United States American concession in Shanghai Shanghai 1848 1863 Merged to form Shanghai International Settlement
        United States American concession in Tianjin Tianjin 1860 1902 Merged to form British concession in Tianjin

        Compare the US concessions with, say, Russia. From the same:

        Russia Russian Dalian Dalian 1898 1905
        Soviet Union Soviet concession in Dalian Dalian 1945 1955
        Russia Russian concession in Tianjin Tianjin 1900 1924
        Russia Russian concession in Hankou Hankou 1896 1924
        Russia Chinese Eastern Railway, Harbin Harbin 1896 1952

        The territories ceded by the Qing empire to various poweres are not included above. (There was no need for concession, in that case).

        Without being specific here (other readers can contribute, if they wish), we can imagine the atrocities involved by the great powers in that game.

        Reply
      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Noooope.

        “Freedom costs a Buck O’Five.”

        – Team America*

        *Cant wait til i get a computer so i can copy n paste links!

        Reply
    2. sinbad66

      The atrocities committed were every much as serious as, for example, the British committed in the Boer War at the same time, but somehow its not the subject of books or movies or history novels.
      This is because, in the American ethos, we are “the good guys”. Good guys don’t commit atrocities. Good guys don’t wipe out native peoples, alter or flat out break treaties so to take their resources. And good guys certainly do not preach freedom and democracy, but at the same time support tyrants, thugs and dictators because they “tow the line”.
      That, my friend, is why the only ‘history’ book you may see this info in is ‘A Peoples History of the United States’ by Howard Zinn (which, if some had their druthers, would be banned).

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “…subject of books or movies or history novels…”

        I believe the 2010 American-Filipino film, Amigo (written and directed by John Sayles) is one such film. I have not been able to find that film at the local library (and I am not longer on Netflix – when I was, I looked but couldn’t find it either).

        And there are US books critical of the period in the Phillippines that anyone can find here.

        Reply
      2. Mike

        Yes, recent articles and books are important, but please go back and read Mark Twain during the period of escalating US empire building, his criticism of the Phillipine War, and our other growing interventions. His late in life writings, all condemned by the “establishment” as the rantings of a bitter man, deep in debt and bereavement by his losses of family and friends, stand as one of the best collections of writings on imperialism, and could be said to be far better than those about Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer, if you are reality-based.

        Reply
        1. prodigalson

          “The War Prayer” by Twain hits the nail precisely on the head. America’s attitude hasn’t changed a bit since then.

          Reply
        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Twain was not alone at the time.

          Tolstoy also criticized Russia’s imperialism, and he also praised the Boxers (of China). Perhaps we will hear more about him, and others like him and Twain.

          Reply
        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          Twain is great. He also published Grant’s autobiography, a great service to history as well as Grant’s family. Twain would be an interesting lens to look through at the transition from Reconstruction to the Gilded Age. One more damn book to read.

          Reply
      3. wilroncanada

        sinbad66
        Zinn is the first book on US empire to read.
        Specifically on Philippines, Alfred W McCoy’s book from 2009, Policing America’s Empire, brought out the use of The Philippines as a practice zone (a sacrifice zone?) for policies and tactics which the US would later use on its other pseudo-colonies and eventually to the US mainland itself.

        Reply
    3. Carolinian

      It was controversial at the time. From your link.

      Some Americans, notably William Jennings Bryan, Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie, Ernest Crosby, and other members of the American Anti-Imperialist League, strongly objected to the annexation of the Philippines. Anti-imperialist movements claimed that the United States had become a colonial power, by replacing Spain as the colonial power in the Philippines. […]

      Twain refers to American troops as “our uniformed assassins” and describes their killing of “six hundred helpless and weaponless savages” in the Philippines as “a long and happy picnic with nothing to do but sit in comfort and fire the Golden Rule into those people down there and imagine letters to write home to the admiring families, and pile glory upon glory.”

      Which is to say that not only have we forgotten the Philippine war but also the once thriving anti-Empire, isolationist sentiment that received lip service up through WW2 (US opposition to Churchill’s imperialism) and backward to our revolt as a colony. Of course one could say the US was busy colonizing North America and therefore no different from the British in the 19th century. But at least there was a strand of opposition among the intellectual classes (Thoreau, Emerson). We’ve caused the deaths of far more people in the Middle East in the last 20 yrs than back then in the Philippines while what opposition there is seems to mostly only care about the deaths of Americans.

      Reply
      1. pretzelattack

        and william jennings bryan is mostly remembered today for opposing evolution, and the cross of gold speech, but he made a lot of sense in many areas.

        Reply
      2. Wukchumni

        The book Flyboys was an entertaining romp, and the author juxtaposes our cruelty to the Filipinos circa 1900, versus the Japanese treating Russian POW’s from the Russo-Japanese War with respect.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          When the Japanese Imperial Army arrived in the Phillipines, they claimed to liberate the country from the American occupiers.

          Was the cure worse or as bad?

          Similarly today, we can ask, are you looking forward to China, or Russia, to be the next champion of the world? Will you be disappointed or your hope proven to be misplace, when that day comes?

          If you want to improve your own country, make it better, shouldn’t, or wouldn’t it be better, if you do the hard work yourselves?

          Reply
          1. prodigalson

            You seem to be advocating a lot of “white man’s burden” today in your posts. you seem worried that the Russians piling skulls will be somehow less humane than when we do it.

            What you’re endorsing is in tandem with Cheney and the neocons.

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              No, just it’s better we (not just Native Americans, White Americans, African Americans, etcl, but simply Americans) elect our own progressive candidates, and do the reform ourselves.

              Reply
    4. dearieme

      Which Boer War atrocities did you have in mind? The fatalities in the concentration camps were awful, but they were caused by incompetence rather than wickedness – as evidenced by British troops dying of disease at a comparable rate to the poor buggers in the camps. That doesn’t remove responsibility from the British commanders of course – if you lock people up you are responsible for their health. It’s a bit late to suggest it but it would have been wiser to place the Indian Army, rather than the British Army, in charge of the camps. They probably had more experience dealing with such disease risks. Even better, of course, would have been not fomenting the ruddy war in the first place. Shame, shame!

      The American concentration camps may have been just as bad – I don’t know; they were the model for the British camps, just as presumably the Spanish camps on Cuba had been the model for the American camps.

      But otherwise the American atrocities were (as I understand it) the genuine thing – lots of savage murders of civilians. Would Vietnam have worked out better if Americans had known more about their own history instead of clinging to foundation myths instead?

      This chap’s YouTubes are rather good: here’s his one on the invasion of the Philippines.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rg2B_z-wZXM

      Reply
      1. WheresOurTeddy

        You’re right. Why will no one think of the anguish of the British troops that had to *guard* the camps?

        “It’s a bit late to suggest it but it would have been wiser to place the Indian Army, rather than the British Army, in charge of the camps. They probably had more experience dealing with such disease risks.”

        So much ethnocentrism in these 2 sentences it’s sticking in my throat like a jagged piece of toast. Atrocious take.

        Reply
        1. dearieme

          What childish remarks. A person dead of cholera, or whatever, is just as dead whether he’s a guard or an inmate. An army used to dealing with hot climate problems would probably be more competent than one that is less experienced. Why would you think otherwise?

          Reply
      2. Grebo

        I believe the correct concentration camp chronology is American -> Spanish -> British -> German -> American.

        Reply
    5. David

      I’d assumed that this unsavoury episode was better known than it evidently is but, that said, I’m not persuaded that it helps to write about it in what are basically theological terms, as though America, or any other country, deserves punishment. It would be much better to acknowledge that the major western states, until a few generations ago, were not superior to civilisations in other parts of the world, but that they behaved, in many cases, just as badly. Genocide, slavery, invasion etc. have been the common currency of world history since approximately forever, and it would be wiser to acknowledge that, and acknowledge in turn that claims to western superiority are largely specious. I say largely because, as far as I know, it was only in the West that you got serious opposition to these practices: there was sustained opposition to Empire in 19th century Britain, for example, and the elimination of slavery was a major British priority at the time. You won’t find many, if any, books on the domestic campaign to abolish slavery in the Ottoman Empire, because there wasn’t one. We can see ourselves much more clearly and justly if we drop this attempt to pretend we were perfect, and try to obscure events that suggest we weren’t.

      Reply
      1. pretzelattack

        right now it seems most civilized countries oppose the aggressive, warlike americans brits and french. one hopes a reflective attitude by citizens in those countries may change their behavior eventually.

        Reply
        1. Paul O

          The question is how one might foster a reflective attitude. Such seems rather unlikely to appears en masse.

          I think (my opinion) that the (our) supposed British sense of fairness is a real thing but bringing awareness to the point where it comes into play on an issue – especially one not universally ‘encouraged’ – is difficult.

          (And, Brexit may be turning us a little more barbarous)

          Reply
        2. Monty

          How much of the international opposition to war is because it just isn’t a winning tactic for them. No point rattling sabres if you’re going to get smacked down. If they were able to muster enough military might, and could fill their boots with treasure, their elites might think differently about it.

          Reply
          1. pretzelattack

            might being the operative word here. russia for example,could, if it were the warmongering threat our msm portrays it as. but it isn’t,and it doesn’t.

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              It’s not unusual for a person to claim another of doing something that he or she is doing.

              Hillary has been said to practice that strategy from time to time.

              It is, then, quite possible that our MSM or its members are actually the ones who are working for Putin, by immunizing him to many deeds he may choose to commit in the future, after cyring wolf so many times.

              Reply
    6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Glossing over some entire whole topic…

      How typical is that in nations around the world?

      Is it basic human nature, and Americans are not immune to that?

      Do, say, Turkish history books gloss over a certain topic?

      Do Russian history books do something similar?

      Or Japanese, Chinese, French ones, etc?

      In America, we can read Zinn’s People’s History. In France, they can point to, say, the film, The Sorrow and the Pity.

      We can always further educate and enlighten ourselves. I’d be interested in similar, say, Russian books or films about Russia’s dark past.

      Reply
      1. Mike

        Wow, such comparisons are somewhat true in the telling. Other nations, of course, do not tout themselves as the great Democracy, Indispensable Nation, etc. etc ad nauseam, as we do. Secondly, if we do have writers and writings such as these, how effective are they? In other words, how many people do they reach, how do they stop the behavior condemned, how do they limit the duplication of such behavior in the future? If 100,000 people read Zinn, how many support the conclusions, and how many act upon those conclusions? How does this “freedom” affect the political life to prevent the US from engaging such behavior?

        Add to this your example of bad behavior (Russia?) – Not having the historical precedence of democracy, limits upon authoritarianism, free press, unfetterred education, freedom of movement that we do, isn’t it surprising that they still had one revolution, albeit failed, against their repressive government, while we had none. in spite of all our writing and complaining, all quit open and free? The writings of the hated Marxists and Anarchists made their way into Russia enough to make an effect. Turkey and France both had revolutions to effect change in the disposition of such nastiness. We did not, ever.

        And why pick that one country at this time? Yours is the second such posting from you today mentioning Russia, and brings up that particular country – not such examples as the wonderfully free Saudi Arabia, or Zambia, or Brazil? C’mon, man…

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks, and I agree.

          C’mon, readers from Saudi Arabia, Zambia, Brazil, share with us your dark past.

          On the other hand, regarding doing nothing after reading Zinn, I see it differently. Share, I say above, and hopefully with more than people (over the internet) than the 100,000 who read Zinn. And if reading and doing nothing is an issue with Zinn’s book, is that also a problem for our hosts and people who comment here?

          Why do I or you comment then?

          Reply
          1. Mike

            In all honesty, the readers of posts (including myself) are still learning something, all the better to hone their skills (and, dare I say, weaponry?) to find an answer that will motivate masses of people. that is why anybody writes about, or comments upon, reality.

            However, my point above was to point out the absolute futility of denigrating other countries (some snark included there, as it seemed like I was suggesting to to just that) in a global situation that presents itself as a global initiative by global elites to change the global political economy, we should maybe pay attention to the baddest player, the monster giant, on that playing field – the one nation where most readers of this site reside, where any change to impede our global impetus to domination will affect the “allies” that hope to live off our droppings? Comparing us to a minimal nation elsewhere does not lead us there.

            All nations are weighted with a past, all leaders of nations at present cannot be trusted beyond the beginnings of a nose, all governments have secrets they protect AGAINST their citizens, but we are the indispensable nation regarding such criminality, and subduing the garbage producers here is the prime job to eradicating garbage elsewhere.

            So I say let’s dig in and present our case with that in mind. Let’s stop Russiagate-ing the rest of the world until we can be any kind of example.

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Mike, I agree with you mostly.

              I disagree about comparing to a minimal nation elsewhere.

              If it relates to Russia and/or China we remind ouselves that the suggestion, embraced by not a few, is the coming dominace of their Heartland Alliance. It is in the light I commented about a lot about Russia today, and China whenever she is mentioned.

              And yes, many of us here are Americans. Unlike Amerians in general, we here seem to be able to look at and talk about the shortcomings, and indeed, the dark side of our nation

              But posters are other nations are as capable of examining their own countries as well.

              Otherwise, it’d be some kind of implied virtue-signalling, that only Americans can look at the America’s dark past, or orignial sin or sins.

              I hope this covers all nations, humans in general, and my own warning about the need to be skeptical of the next global champion or superpower, not because we need champions or superpowers, but some nascent power will be tempted to seize it.

              Perhaps when we realize the universal nature of the problem, or any man-made problem, if it doesn’t help us immediately, it might come in handy someday…before the end (triggered by Global Warming, or some other self-inflicted wound).

              Reply
      2. Jessica

        Most, if not all, countries gloss over their own misdeeds and emphasize those of their rivals.
        Even our claim to specialness is not special. Most powerful enough countries see themselves as special. The Russians have fantasies of being the Third Rome (after Rome and Constantinople). The Chinese call themselves the Middle or Central Kingdom. During WW2, the Japanese changed the Buddhist doctrine that everything is empty to everything is empty except the emperor of Japan. (This would be like claiming that the president of the United States is the only person born without original sin.) The French have their mission civilatrice[pardon my spelling] from Napoleon’s day. India sees itself as spiritually superior to everyone else.

        Reply
    7. Wyoming

      It is interesting that no one up to when I started writing this post had actually listed ‘some’ of the things US troops did in the Philipines.

      To give a sample so folks understand just how bad our behavior was:

      1. In response to a successful attack on US troops by the rebels (actually freedom fighters) which killed approx 40 (marines I think I remember) the US commander ordered the extermination of all the men and boys over 10 years of age on the subject island – some 100,000 people.

      Rape as a weapon of war. US troops were encouraged to rape the Philippine women by many of their commanders and news accounts of this were published in the US to no condemnation. Indeed there were quotes often by US troops about how the best looking women went to the officers and how this was useful for training the natives. I read one interview with a US Medal of Honor winner who discussed his raping of Philippine women – I kid you not.

      Torture: Water boarding of recent notoriety. Well it was the primary interrogation tactic used by the US Army in 1900 – it was not invented for the War on Terror. Some 40% of those this method was used on died during the procedure – guess they were not as skilled back then as we were recently.

      There is so much more of a similar nature but I will leave it to you to read the histories if you are so inclined.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Thanks.

        Compare that to what happened in China, in the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion, and the arrival of the International Expedition Force (assisted by, ironically, Chinese officials like Yuan Shikai and Li Hongzhong). From Wikipedia, Boxer Rebellion:

        From contemporary Western observers, German, Russian, and Japanese troops received the greatest criticism for their ruthlessness and willingness to wantonly execute Chinese of all ages and backgrounds, sometimes burning and killing entire village populations.[108]

        Ref. [108] – James L. Hevia, “Looting and Its Discontents: Moral Discourse and the Plunder of Beijing, 1900–1901”, in Bickers and Tiedemann, ed., The Boxers, China, and the World (2007): 94.

        Reparations were demanded of Qing China. Again from the same article;

        A large portion of the reparations paid to the United States was diverted to pay for the education of Chinese students in U.S. universities under the Boxer Indemnity Scholarship Program. To prepare the students chosen for this program an institute was established to teach the English language and to serve as a preparatory school. When the first of these students returned to China they undertook the teaching of subsequent students; from this institute was born Tsinghua University. Some of the reparation due to Britain was later earmarked for a similar program.

        Was it the kindness of strangers, like the Americans and the Briish, to use the money to educate? Or did it involve some ulterior motives? What does Tsinghua University say about this – its original sin?

        Presumably, Russia and others pocketed the reparation payments.

        Reply
      2. WheresOurTeddy

        the City On A Hill was never that Exceptional, even *before* we retconned history to convince ourselves we single-handedly won the Great Patriotic War….the war in which 80% of all German casualties happened at the hands of the USSR and D-Day broke through an Atlantic Wall with less than 60 divisions of teenagers and old men with hardly any tanks and no air cover. WE WERE THE REAL HEROES, I TELLS YA.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It was a joint effort.

          And the Chinese have been often overlooked.

          Without the KMT and the People’s Liberation Army bogging down the Imperial Japanese Army, the question can be asked if Stalin could have relocated their Siberia divisions.

          Reply
      3. lordkoos

        The policy was take no prisoners but to kill every single combatant. Not everyone was down with the US stance.

        Ellis G. Davis, Company A, 20th Kansas:

        “They will never surrender until their whole race is exterminated. They are fighting for a good cause, and the Americans should be the last of all nations to transgress upon such rights. Their independence is dearer to them than life, as ours was in years gone by, and is today.”

        J. E. Fetterly, a Nebraska soldier:

        “Some think the insurgents are disheartened, but I think they will make a desperate struggle for what they consider their rights. I do not approve of the course our government is pursuing with these people. If all men are created equal, they have some rights which ought to be respected.”

        Reply
    8. Skookum Red

      In the late 1970s to the mid 1980s I periodically visited, witnessed and experienced life in the Philippines under Marcos and his oligarch partners. Nearing the end of Marcos’s reign, the average Filipino had figured out the USA was keeping that dictator there. In 1982 my fiancee took me to the Archbishop’s Palace in Manduluyong, Manila, the residence of Cardinal Sin. The purpose was to meet the priest who would marry us. Cardinal Sin was outside one of the chapels walking and reading his Vespers which my fiancee politely interrupted. I knew who he was and he already had my admiration for speaking publicly against Marcos and his excesses. All the Filipinos, including the oligarchs, knew this man was about the only person of power who was standing up to evil in the entire country. Our conversation was short and my impression afterwards was of a man who was laboring under the knowledge that the entire country was expecting more from him. Four years from that day Cardinal Sin was able to inspire almost a million Filipinos to rally and shield Fidel Ramos from reprisal from Marcos. I understood why he could do it. Subsequently, when the treaties for the US bases in Philippines expired, they were not renewed. A contributory cause was the collective Filipino memory of Marcos, the memory of his escape with US help in US helicopters flying from Clark Air base to Guam laden with a million dollars in gold, jewels, stocks, bonds and cash. Later investigations concluded Marcos had accumulated at least 5 billion dollars of illegal wealth, and possibly as much as 10 billion. For the average Filipino, the main sin is that Marcos, with US political, military and financial help, arrested and imprisoned over 60,000 people after suspending writ of habeas corpus. Among those were from 1,500 to 3000 extrajudicial killings. Unending Mortal sin, not original sin, is what I observe committed by US imperialists time and time again.

      Reply
  2. Olga

    Not enough China?
    More: https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/08/china-conciders-to-protect-its-ships-from-us-piracy.html#more

    And taken from above, by China Hand:
    https://chinamatters.blogspot.com/2019/08/decoupling-us-from-china-long-term.html
    ” The decoupling strategy of the US China hawks is proceeding as planned. And economic pain is a feature, not a bug.
    Below is the script of a Newsbud China Watch episode I did on September 26, 2018, when the outlines of the US strategy were already clear.
    Some further comments.
    Failure of trade negotiations was pretty much baked in, thanks to Lightizer’s maximalist demands.
    And that was fine with the China hawks.
    Because their ultimate goal was to decouple the US & PRC economies, weaken the PRC, and make it more vulnerable to domestic destabilization and global rollback.”
    The war is on… non-traditional, but nevertheless, a war.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      That’s a great link that Moon of Alabama article, Olga. The real eye-opener was a link in there which explains Chinese motivations in this region and that was what happened with one of their ships back in the 1990s. I never heard of this incident till I read about it here but I bet that the Chinese remember this episode very well-

      https://twitter.com/CarlZha/status/1131548592810876928

      What do they say in China about this episode? “Remember the Yinhe”?

      Reply
    2. Lee

      The China-U.S. war is on. And me without a school desk to hide under.

      One irony in all of this is that, while globalized trade has been a boon to U.S. capital and China, the people of the U.S. are not that dependent on trade for the material necessities to support a reasonable standard of living. This cannot be said of China or other vital resource dependent nations. Backing a well armed, billion souls strong, trade dependent country into a corner might prove a tight fit and a perilous enterprise. OTOH, enough of crapification and deindustrialization of the U.S. America, I’m putting my Lefty shoulder to the wheel! Apologies to Mr. G.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        “…he people of the U.S. are not that dependent on trade for the material necessities to support a reasonable standard of living. ”

        how do you figure?
        what material necessities do we produce, here?
        aside from corn, soy and factory farmed meat(not anywhere near sustainably)?
        years ago, i went looking for American Made toys for my firstborn…and could find nothing besides pickup sticks and some wooden trains.
        literally everything newer than 20 years i can see from where i lay right now(too much chainsawing this am) is made in china, malaysia, mexico or somewhere else.
        only perishable consumables I can see from this spot that are maybe from here(besides what I myself grew) is some bread and the jar of weed(colorado)
        the great irony(horrible, maddening irony) of this trade war and all the anti-china mccarthyism beginning to emerge in elite approved discourse, is that it was those very elites who saw fit to export the majority of our physical plant to china and elsewhere.
        now they complain that china refuses to remain a peasant society to be exploited?

        if/when things fall apart(as in great depression style), we’ll prolly be ok out here…i’m not the only one who has attempted to preserve old knowledge and tools and such(i’m just maybe more purposeful and extreme about it,lol—for most out here, it’s a hobby/tradition)
        I shudder to think what houston or san antonio will be like when the too long and fragile supply lines break down.(and pity all the old and the sick, of whom we have more than our share)

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Limiting trade.

          One precedent – Sakoku, under Tokugawa Japan.

          For a couple hundred years, she did pretty good, judging by the Ukiyoe block prints from that period, until the Europeans showed up with their gun boats. Then, the Japanse quickly caught up and surpassed at least one power – they defeated the Russians before (or around) the end of the 19th century.

          Another precedent – Ming China, after the destruction of Admiral Zheng He’s Treasure Boats (because, according to one theory, Confucians thought, being the Middle or Central Kingdom, depending on your translation, the empire was sufficient by itself – no or little need for trade). That lasted a good couple hundreds of years too. And the Ming people were prosperous by Chinese historical standards, by and large. They always had had famines, droughts (dragon sightings preceding them), etc. But no large scale rebellions like the Taiping rebellion (under Qing dynasty), until the end of the Ming dynasty.

          Reply
          1. Jessica

            Read somewhere that the reason for the destruction of Admiral Zheng He’s Treasure Boats was in order to privatize the trade routes that his voyages had opened up. The withdrawal from much trade came later.
            Also, the Ming dynasty collapsed, so whatever they did, it didn’t really work out so well.

            Reply
        2. Lee

          Food, fiber, medicine, energy, structural materials, we got it all. As for sustainability, hardly anything we import is produced any more sustainably than we do presently here. I can make your kids wooden rocking horses and my kid can weld up a spectacular jungle gym.

          Reply
          1. Oh

            A lot of fruits and vegetables are imported. Do we grow bananas in this country? How about coffee (except for Hawaii)? Even the tools you’d use are made in China!

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              That would be one school of thought on trade – buy only those you can’t grow or make, for the duration you can’t.

              So, we find people importing tin from Britain, by various groups all over, a long time ago, or amber from the Baltic.

              The trade situation today is not like remotely that.

              Reply
            2. Lee

              I like bananas but I can survive without them. Coffee, I must have. There are a few things we might need or want from other countries. But not nearly so much as we import presently.

              Reply
              1. Amfortas the hippie

                for caffeine, it’s easier to grow tea(camelia sinensis) than coffee in more places. coffee is picky.
                i’ve been meaning to obtain some for a trial for a long while.add the caveat of climate chaos, tho.
                chicory(dandelion) contains no caffeine, however.

                Reply
                1. Oregoncharles

                  Amfortas – yes. Tea is about Zone 7; you should be able to grow it easily. Coffee is truly tropical – a freeze would kill it.

                  Another possibility: Yaupon, Ilex vomitorius. Yes, I know; apparently the species name was propaganda from the tea traders. It’s the source of the traditional “black drink”, related to the South American yerba mate, and NATIVE to Texas and the rest of the south. You may already have it growing.

                  Tea is easy to grow, laborious to pick and process. Yaupon may be similar. I’ve actually looked for a good mail order source; should try again. But you can probably get it at local nurseries.

                  Reply
                  1. Amfortas the hippie

                    no.
                    ilex vomitorius is poisonous, as are all hollies, as far as i know.
                    the “Black Drink” was used as a ceremonial purgative(hence the ‘vomitorius”part).
                    i didn’t know that yerba mate was an ilex…so i could be wrong about all of the above.
                    but “don’t consume ilex” is in my dna as much as “don’t point guns at folks”…so i’ll try camellia, instead,lol.
                    there’s lots of plants(especially native plants that the original inhabitants used) that are like that…maybe would be ok, but risk is too high.
                    like poke salad, etc.
                    we have a gourd, curcurbit foetida, that is apparently really nutritious…seeds, enormous starchy tubers, can’t get rid of the stuff…but it contains a chemical that is caustic(rubbing against the vine raises an itchy rash). one must process it in some ill defined way to avoid burning from the inside out. not worth the risk. and i worry about that caustic gene transferring to my open pollinated spaghetti squash, etc.
                    like rhubarb, without the cultural knowledge, its difficult to know how to do it safely.
                    as for coffee:
                    wife’s cousin took over the local, small town version of starbucks recently. a farm from the county to the west brought her a sack of their coffee beans. it’s not stated outright on the label, but it’s strongly implied that they grew them…she and i are attempting to get our schedules together enough to make a trip to find out(i have no other reason to go that direction, so it’s hard to fit it in).
                    I would expect that some rather high tech, climate controlled greenhouses would be in order, to grow coffee here…it gets too cold,too hot and far too dry.
                    it likes tropical mountainsides and fog.(i looked into it in my doomer days, worried about lack of coffee come teotwawki)

                    Reply
                    1. Oregoncharles

                      I should really visit that place; driven by it many times, on the back road into Salem.

                      Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in Corvallis, last time I was there, had a motherlode of good-sized tea bushes from some nursery, at a good price.

  3. Olga

    America’s Other Original Sin The American
    While it is important to remember the attack on, and a 50yr direct occupation of, the Philippines – and the propaganda campaign that preceded it, I doubt that it is the “second” original sin. What happened to the genocide of the native population? Was that not THE original sin? Followed by slavery? And only then the US land grab in the 19th cent. (I am not persuaded by the author’s division of land grabs close to home (Cuba, PR, Hawaii) as less significant vs land grabs far away (more serious) A land grab is a land grab.).

    Reply
    1. Eclair

      I agree, Olga, that one of The Original Sins (we can debate whether it was First or Second, ad infinitum), was the attempted genocide of the continents’ (both North, South and Central Americas) Indigenous Nations. It is on-going.

      Apologists insist that 1) there were never that many original inhabitants, and 2) most of them died off, obligingly, of ‘natural causes,’ and 3) they had wrested the land from other people, maybe 10,000 years before, so there! We have pretty much abandoned the ‘manifest destiny’ justification, that the ‘natives’ were uncouth, dirty, savage, and NOT Christian. Although that line of reasoning still propels us routinely into other lands and conflicts.

      But, Andrew Bacevitch does a great service by bringing up the original history of our sorry treatment of the Philippines.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Eclair, not just North, South and Central Americas.

        The game was being pursued all over the world, including Siberia, Crimea, Sakhalin, Bessarabia, etc.

        Reply
        1. Olga

          Why does someone insist on inserting completely irrelevant references to Russia/Russians, even when the subject matter is on the other side of the world and in no way connected?
          And FYI – while czarist Russia expanded east (courtesy of attacking Mongols), it did not slaughter native populations. That is why even today, Russia is home to more than 100 different languages. The native tribes were left in peace, got their own regions, and even republics (check out, for example, Buryatskaja Respublika).
          Such comments are singularly unhelpful.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Why Russians?

            Becuase being humans, it’s hard to believe that they don’t have some dark past.

            And statments like ‘it did not salught native populations’ seem absolute, and invite scrutiny.

            Reply
            1. skippy

              “we operate only on an on the record basis.” – YS

              Would add some don’t confuse the acts of some leadership/elite class with – Humans in toto … as it invites scrutiny …

              Reply
            2. skippy

              Guilt has nothing to do with it, but I noticed your ‘collective guilt’ positioning, accent on the “collective”.

              Responsibility IMO would be a more appropriate term and after watching the ‘collective’ response to the first gulf war it would seem you need a more grounded methodology to arrive at conclusions.

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Depending on the reader, I believe.

                Some have abused the idea (responsibility or guilt, whichever – did the distinction enter their minds) to attack children in New York.

                Were these kids ‘responsible?’

                Reply
                1. skippy

                  Were they a sovereign government seeking an outcome to enrich a few at the diminishment of others.

                  Again I note the issues with methodology and theory to arrive at conclusions compounded by loose conjecture.

                  My example above is not an individualistic opinion.

                  Reply
                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    If i say I agree with you that we can not (always or otheriwise) lump leadership/elite class with humans in toto, and that needs s srutiny, and bad guys (states or groups) might lump them together to hurt the innocent, would that be soemthing you can agree with?

                    Reply
                    1. skippy

                      I concur with ewmayer below.

                      That said, the case originally stated should not be comported to the extraneous, lest some are accused of muddying the waters dragging the issue off into the fog.

                      Got to run, 100 year old weather board calls ….

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      The muddying always happens.

                      No one person writes about something, political, reglious or what not, and others don’t come along and muddy it up… in this case, lumping leadership with humans in toto.

                      In any case, thanks and good luck.

            3. Oregoncharles

              Ask the Chechens or the Crimean Tatars. Empire is empire – though it’s possible Russian policies were more like Spanish policies in the New World than American.

              Muscovite Russia conquered a large portion of the continent, by force of arms.

              Reply
            4. ewmayer

              So scrutinize away, and fell free to come back here with specific historical references, rather than film-noir-title-ish vague references to “Russia’s dark past”.

              “Without being specific here (other readers can contribute, if they wish), we can imagine the atrocities involved…” — you’re asking other to do your homework for you.

              “Tolstoy also criticized Russia’s imperialism, and he also praised the Boxers (of China). Perhaps we will hear more about him, and others like him and Twain.” — Perhaps you could do some fact-finding of your own and then *tell* us “more about him” in the context of your allusion.

              “Similarly today, we can ask, are you looking forward to China, or Russia, to be the next champion of the world? Will you be disappointed or your hope proven to be misplace, when that day comes?” — You assume the world needs a champion … last time I checked, those 2 nations did not make a habit of pompously trumpeting their self-proclaimed moral superiority to the rest of the world.

              “If you want to improve your own country, make it better, shouldn’t, or wouldn’t it be better, if you do the hard work yourselves?” — If you want to improve the quality of the discussion, make it better, shouldn’t, or wouldn’t it be better, if you do the hard work yourself? Given your love of trotting out specific references to Chinese history, what’s with all the vague evil-Rooskie-ism? Did you accidentally get exposed to a Rachel Maddow broadcast at an airport lounge?

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I apologize if I dind’t work harder and post more comments here.

                Perhaps I did not write enought times about European powers in the 19th century, and what they did to the world.

                How else to explain this from prodigalson, about my posts today:

                You seem to be advocating a lot of “white man’s burden” today in your posts.

                Reply
              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Are you asking me to list out the entirety of what the European powers did in the 19th century, what atrocities they committed?

                And if I don’t, or don’t list many acts (vs the entirety), that statement would not be credible?

                My assumption is that many people here are more knowledge than me on that while not belieiving it to be less true, even if I can’t list every single act or, right at the moment, many acts.

                Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      On that topic, Joe Rogan interviewed Bernie Sanders on his podcast yesterday – I’ve only seen the first 30 minutes so far, mostly on MforA, but its excellent as you’d expect, with lots more detail than the usual Sanders interview (as Rogan always gives plenty of time to articulate guests). Its well worth searching out on utube and the other usual sources.

      Reply
      1. diptherio

        Joe had Cornell West on recently, and that was great too, if people are looking for engaging audio content.

        Reply
        1. CoryP

          I just found out on twitter, in reference to the Bernie interview, that Rogan is apparently “crypto-fash” (!!!)

          Ok I’m gonna delete the app for a while/forever.

          Reply
          1. Olga

            Or is that just a convenient way to discredit him?
            Do we now take directions from Twitter? (You know, the one that keeps deleting all who do not toe the line… yeah, that twitter.)

            Reply
            1. CoryP

              God only knows. I like the 10 or so Rogan shows I’ve heard. I’m probably just not woke enough to identify fash when I see it.
              Also appreciate the reminder of the Cornell west interview up this thread.

              Reply
          2. WheresOurTeddy

            citation needed. I’m no Rogan fan, only watch his interviews with people who are interesting to me, but he seems like a Hollywood actor type who understands he’s not much more than above average intelligence but has a natural curiosity, and actually lets the guests on his show talk and explain something in more than 30 seconds.

            Also, I would give $$$ to see Bernie go full Elon Musk and smoke a blunt with Rogan and REALLY tell us what he thinks. :)

            Reply
          3. False Solace

            Rogan earned that appellation in some eyes because he loves to host alt-right personalities. He seems quite taken with their anti-trans anti-SJW anti-feminist ideas. Much rarer does he have left-wingers on his show. He recently hosted Abbie Martin but even when he was interviewing Cornell West, out popped a gem: “What socialist countries actually work, though?” or something along those lines. He was clearly out of his depth when West started going through the intellectual history of socialism. He didn’t engage much until the conversation turned back to music.

            Reply
    2. Off The Street

      Those industries took notes during the tobacco PR campaigns of decades ago. M4A is just one of the beneficiaries of the updated Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt, or FUD, offensive.

      Along those lines, is it too much to ask Congress to restore that equal time law that went away about 30 years ago? Having some forum with at least a semblance of objective opposing views would be a material improvement on what passes for news and media these days.

      Reply
      1. Otis B Driftwood

        You’re referring to the Fairness Doctrine, repealed in 1987 by the Reagan’s FCC. It’s no coincidence that public discourse has steadily degraded ever since.

        Wikipedia for more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine

        Ironic and Orwellian that the FD was successfully attacked on free speech grounds. And I totally agree that its restoration should be a priority.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          The Fairness Doctrine only applied to broadcasters–an ever shrinking part of our media ecosystem–on the legal basis that the airwaves belong to the public and are only licensed to private companies subject to public rules.

          If brought back it would keep radio from being dominated by Limbaugh etc.

          Of course much pay tv and internet is now delivered via radio waves but I believe those companies have a different arrangement with the government and are not the same as TV stations.

          Reply
      2. Inode_buddha

        That would be the Fairness Doctrine, which Reagan abolished. In order to restore it, you would have to have parties that are interested in actual fairness. They are not. They are interested in winning, full stop. Witness the level of hypocrisy all around from both parties, as evidence of this…

        Reply
    1. WheresOurTeddy

      I’ve been assured by multiple Baby Boomers and security types who would never have conflicts of interest from investments in the security state that :::checks notes:::

      “if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.”

      Reply
  4. hemeantwell

    Re “Protest is not enough to topple a dictator: the army must also turn Aeon” the author would have served us well if he had referred to Katherine Chorley’s “Armies and the Art of Revolution” who made the same points in 1943. Described as “Lady Chorley” on the back of the book, I believe she was a Trot who, as she put it, in the early 30s “read herself in a desultory way into the subject” of the role of armies in revolutionary processes. She wrote well and comprehensively, and you get good sketches of the Russian Revolution, Garibaldi’s wonders, Ireland, Spain and much more. Highly recommended, and you can get it at Abe’s for five bucks.

    Reply
      1. Carey

        I’ve been using biblio.com for a while now, and have had good
        service from them. As far as I know they’re not part of a mega-
        Corporation, for now at least.

        Reply
        1. bibliophile

          addall.com

          is an aggregator of bookselling sites, maybe more choices, though lots are amazonian anyway.
          Still, often you find cheaper offerings. I use it only for used book, though they also list new.

          Reply
  5. Lee

    A Crashed Israeli Lunar Lander Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon Wired

    Future generations of humans, assuming there are any, will welcome their evolved tardigrade overlords and will be informed then that the moon is indeed made of green cheese.

    Reply
    1. Duck1

      Musk must shoot a barrel of tardegrades to Mars, soon giant mutant tards will roam the Martian plains and supply all the oligarchal settlers needs.

      Reply
  6. PlutoniumKun

    Re:

    Brexit

    History Holds Few Lessons If Brexit Means Crashing Out of EU Bloomberg

    Britain’s constitutional time-bomb Economist

    One more Brexit link, this time a little more amusing (in a good way) than most – Seamus O’Reilly in the Guardian.

    The hard border is not currently there because of its relaxation under the terms of the Good Friday agreement, underpinned by the fact that both the UK and Ireland are EU states. If Britain leaves with no deal, we will have an international border between two entities with disparate health regulations, tax schemes and immigration policies, meaning it will need to be fortified once more. You might say this concept is what gives both words within the term “international border” their meaning. It would be odd if we were merely having to point this out to those who, admirably enough, advocate pulling down the barriers between nations. But we are here explaining the concept of borders to the very people who have been screaming we need greater control of them for decades, and who wish to crash out of the world’s most successful trading bloc largely because of the people who come through those borders.

    But it gets better. After the Good Friday agreement, the customs hut was sold so that a large family home could be built in its place. The couple who live there are extremely nice but I’m sure they would object to having a customs outpost erected in their bedroom. They have also shown remarkably little interest in working for HMRC as checkpoint guards. My dad says they’re into walking their dog, mostly. The building immediately next door is in the Republic of Ireland, and was formerly the Irish customs post. It’s now a kickboxing gym. There has never been even a cursory inquiry into purchasing these buildings and refitting them for their former purposes.

    There’s 300 miles (482km) of border. That’s a lot of family homes, petrol stations, cow sheds and kickboxing gyms. While I will admit I quite like the thought of some pencil-necked bureaucrat having to evict a gym filled with oiled-up Derry and Donegal martial artists, doing so across Northern Ireland would be the most expensive and logistically arduous engineering, staffing and planning job in UK or Irish history. It would take a great deal more than 85 days and £2.1bn. And it would still be a bad idea even if it promised a massively improved economy and huge social improvements, rather than a harrowing wasteland of dead diabetics, bleached chicken and Dominic Raab.

    Reply
  7. ChiGal in Carolina

    I appreciate your jaundiced eye as much as the next NCer, Lambert, but there was nothing about that rock that had to do with class. More like solidarity in the face of unimaginable loss.

    Reply
      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        ah, thanks for clarifying, never occurred to me since evidently they live in the same neighborhood

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > the “class warfare” categorization was a reference to the neighbor who wrote the note.

        Exactly.

        “OUR homes,” where I took “OUR” to mean the property owners in the neighborhood collectively. I am very lucky to be surrounded by no other home-owners, or else I am sure I would hear the same thing.

        Reply
  8. Tom Stone

    We are a Country that has abandoned the Rule of Law and there is no mechanism for peaceful change.
    The “Party of the little guy” is serving up Joe Biden as the alternative to Trump…
    Sweet Jesus..
    How has the bottom 50% done during this “Economic Recovery”, you know, the 160 Million deplorables?
    Has anyone else noticed that neither party squawks when a torturer is appointed head of the CIA?
    Or that Steve Mnuchin who flat out stole 30,000 homes through fraud has not only been appointed to a cabinet position by the Prez, but that he was protected by the #2 Choice of the Dem elites?
    Epstein typifies our current system, A sweetheart deal when caught red handed, allowed out on “Work Release” when sex offenders don’t qualify for it and Chauffered to and from his Palm beach mansion by an on duty cop.

    If you are a wealthy and powerful child rapist you get a Cop for a Chauffer…
    That pretty much sums up America today.
    Change will happen, if there is no mechanism allowing peaceful and organized change you will get chaotic and violent change.

    Reply
    1. Cal2

      Tom,

      “Steve Mnuchin who flat out stole 30,000 homes through fraud has not only been appointed to a cabinet position by the Prez, but that he was protected by the #2 Choice of the Dem elites?”
      i.e.
      “Prosecutors in the state’s Justice Department wanted to file a civil enforcement action against the company for “widespread misconduct,” but the attorney general at the time, Kamala Harris, overrode the recommendation and declined to prosecute. She never gave a reason.”
      But she later got a nice campaign donation from the grateful Republican when she was running for the senate and could really do him some big favors, were she to win…
      https://newrepublic.com/article/144230/lefts-misguided-debate-kamala-harris

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        I keep wondering just how fracked up our nation is. There are some truly dysfunctional countries with poverty, violence, murder and guns everywhere, but the incidents of mass shootings especially at schools are just about zilch; in a country where 18 year olds can and has gone to prison for dating their high school girlfriend, we have the Epstein Child Sex Ring which had run almost unchecked for decades. Hello Bill, Andrew, and Alan!

        It ain’t the guns and it’s not even the poverty. It is something else. Personally, I think that the neo-Darwinist, Mammon worshipping, pseudo-meritocratic regime called Neoliberalism might be the best reason.

        Via the Brains and later Cyndi Lauper, some lyrics from Money Changes Everything.

        Ah, but everybody’s only
        Looking out for themselves
        And you say, well who can you trust
        I’ll tell you it’s just nobody else’s money
        Money changes everything

        I said money, money changes everything
        You think we know what you’re doing
        We don’t pull the strings
        It’s all in the past now
        Money changes everything

        Reply
  9. a different chris

    > “Your eyesore is affecting the resale value of OUR homes.”

    And don’t you wanna bet that the (family blogg)er that wrote this would be first in line downtown to appeal any increase in their assessment?

    Reply
  10. Ember Brody

    “If you are a wealthy and powerful child rapist you get a Cop for a Chauffer…”

    All part of the zeitgeist along with Mass shootings, white mounted police leading a black man tethered behind their horses, falling life expectancy, deaths of despair, war, war, war.

    The collapse of the US is happening in real time; how many have an escape plan?

    Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Although it’s part & parcel in the five eyes orbit, I could live in NZ pretty easily, and require no bunker, nor butler.

        Reply
      2. pretzelattack

        what do you mean by “live in easily”? and by “under us influence”? the whole world is under us influence to one extent or another; russia and china are currently throwing that off and russia, in particular is independent. but not every other country is a vassal.

        Reply
      3. Monty

        Get a list of all the countries in the world.

        Cross off those that endorsed Greedo as the president of Venezuela.

        Check your bank balance. Do you have over $10 million liquid assets?

        If you do, take your pick from the rest of the list, otherwise cross off the remaining nations where you do not have a valid claim to residency (probably all of them).

        …or just turn up anywhere you fancy (must bring kids) and say you don’t feel safe in the US. They are obliged to welcome you and provide for you and your family.

        Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “China just showed why Trump can’t win with tariffs”

    So I was watching a story on Trump’s latest attack on China and charges that it was manipulating its currency when it mentioned that the International Monetary Fund had checked them out and found that they have not and that this was only about two months ago. Saywhat? I went digging and found an article on this which states that their handling of the currency was broadly in line with it’s economy. This article also includes the following-

    “However, on currency, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) found that including its current account surplus and exchange rate, China’s external position had improved compared to previous years assessments that it was “moderately stronger” than warranted.”

    If China has devalue their currency then it would be no longer “moderately stronger” than warranted by my account.

    https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3018979/chinas-handling-yuan-backed-imf-despite-donald-trumps

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That article at the top is from the Week.

      China just showed why Trump can’t win with tariffs The Week.

      Is it possible for people in China to read something equivalent to the Week article?

      Something along the line of ‘Trump just showed why China can’t win with…” in a Chinese magazine.

      Would that be interpreted as defeatist by Xi, and not be permitted by Beijing, but denied?

      Can we then suggest that Trump will win, and Xi will lose, because of that openness of the former, and the denial by the latter?

      Reply
    2. Pookah Harvey

      Trump’s claim on how China is paying for the tariffs is by devaluing the Yuan. From a June 1 Trump tweet:

      “China is paying a heavy cost in that they will subsidize goods to keep them coming, devalue their currency”

      He repeated this in his recent Ohio rally. Then when China does devalue he screams currency manipulation. Weird that MSM doesn’t question this.

      Reply
  12. Phacops

    Re: Life factory.

    So, MaddAdddam as warning? With synthetic life the ultimate ransomware will be synthetic diseases, or better yet, a synthetic retrovirus needing only a specific chemical signal to kill the host.

    Reply
  13. Tyrannocaster

    From earlier, but still relevant, since we are living with the same, unchanged DNC:

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/dnc-lawyers-argue-primary-rigging-protected-first-amendment/238133/

    “They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory.”

    “It appears that the defendants in the DNC Fraud Lawsuit are attempting to argue that cheating a candidate in the primary process is protected under the first amendment.

    If all that weren’t enough, DNC representatives argued that the Democratic National Committee had no established fiduciary duty “to the Plaintiffs or the classes of donors and registered voters they seek to represent.”

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      Ideally, they would be required to forgo the cab…or paint the windows black or something…so the non-robot drivers can at least identify these things.
      i’ll keep my eyes peeled…although given the—ummm—talents?—of regular human truckdrivers i’ve “observed*” in the last year, it might be hard to tell.

      (*I-10 west of san antone is often wall to wall trucks, with 20+ miles of construction, plus the usual driver darwinism in play(rain?slam on brakes. car broke down on the other side of that wall? quick! cause a traffic jam!, etc)
      i wonder…is truckdriving still the #1 job in America?
      what happens if a miracle happens and they get it right?
      I’ll lay a dollar that the official unemployment remains unchanged.

      Reply
      1. foghorn longhorn

        I’ll lay a shilling that they never hit the road, ever.
        This is such pie in the sky bullsh.
        Make the trains driverless first, at least they are confined to a secure ROW, on tracks, with flashing lights and barricades, and no need to make a left turn, ever.

        Reply
        1. False Solace

          I think they will, but they’ll have humans monitoring them remotely like drone pilots. That way if anything goes wrong, they can blame somebody earning $11/hr sitting in a warehouse in Boise.

          Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “Pakistan vows to fight India’s ‘illegal’ Kashmir move”

    I suppose that if Trump complains about what India is doing in Kashmir, then India might reply that all they are doing is what he allows the Israelis do in the occupied territories, aka Palestine. I mean, taking occupied territories in dispute and declaring them your own territory, flooding an area with your own people to change the balance of people in that area, wall-to-wall troops in the place itself. Also other factors come into mind like declaring that the seized territory will not be enough but they want to occupy and take over bordering territories using military force. Seriously, if India wants to make it sweet with Trump, they should really consider setting up a American Indian Public Affairs Committee. It would even have the same initials as another such organization. How about that.

    Reply
    1. Camp Lo

      Occupied “territory”. Singular. Gaza is no longer occupied. Blockaded by two different states, but not occupied by either Egypt or Israel. Both India and Israel fought and won their indepedence from the British state in 1948. Further, the phrase “American Indian” is ambiguous. Congratulations on living somewhere completely cleansed; where people are not firing rockets at you nor asking you to do the firing. I’d point out Russia occupies 20% of Georgia and Turkey occupies Northern Cyprus, both without becoming the bete noir of college campuses nor being states allowing free speech, but NATO is probably to blame.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        OK, I’ll reply point by point. Gaza may no longer be occupied by Israel but not for nothing is it known as the “world’s largest open-air prison” but at least Israel has been able to profit from this by selling to the world all the surveillance technologies that they developed here to keep them down. The phrase “American Indian”? Beep – wrong continent so no points.
        Those parts of Georgia occupied by Russia are there at the request of the people that actually live their for their protection from Georgia who tried for a military solution back in 2008.
        Yes, people are not firing rockets where I live. But that is because I have not stolen the land, ethnically cleansed it of the people living there, stolen most of the fresh water so I can enjoy a swimming pool while the former inhabitants do not have enough drinking water, arrest children in the middle of the night, use the people there as target practice with exploding ammunition when they protest, launch military attacks on them during election seasons, etc.
        Israel do not know it yet but they are in danger of losing their souls in those occupied territories through hubris and more than one Israeli military officer has noted that they are often using the same tactics that were used against them several decades ago. And they have not worked out yet that however many battles they win against the Arabs, there is only one battle that counts – the last one. And that is all it takes.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          The Gazans can no longer do much fishing, the Israelis have illegally blocked their government from giving access to their own natural gas and maybe some oil in the recognized coastal water; all overpriced shipments of overpriced anything can go through only one company that is owned by Netanyahu’s cronies.

          The West Bank is slowly being absorbed with the Palestinians being cut into smaller and smaller communities or simply removed for “reasons.” The water and the small mineral deposits are also being acquired by the Israelis.

          Up until twenty years ago I was pro-Israelis, but seeing the slow march into a neo-colonial and neoliberal regime somewhat like America has made me a supporter of the Palestinians.

          Reply
    2. WheresOurTeddy

      what I take from your comment is that the India Lobbying Effort in the United States needs to up its game

      Reply
  15. William Hunter Duncan

    All those folks mocking that guy about protecting his kids from feral hogs should put their kids or nieces and nephews in the way of 30-50 hogs. City folk far removed from rural life – with no sense of perspective about nature generally, or the nature of swine. There is a reason my dad told me never to get in the pen with the hogs, and his uncle telling him as a young man, don’t go into the pen when you feed them.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      >nieces and nephews in the way of 30-50 hogs.

      Which, you know, also puts them between your AK-47 and said hogs. You’ll hit a lot more kids than hogs, as feral hogs are low-slung, way way quick on their feet, and functionally more intelligent especially under stress than your average child.

      Anyway they don’t seem that dangerous to people, so the mocking is well justified:

      https://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/predator-hunting/hogs/just-deadly-wild-boar

      Reply
    2. diptherio

      Shooting feral hogs has proven ineffective. It’s been no-limit, no license required, year round hunting for decades and the pigs are still there. No amount of AR-wielding homeowners is going to solve the problem. Putting a lot of money into a program to administer birth control to the sows would probably do a much better job (just a hunch, as it’s worked with urban whitetail deer populations).

      And any animal, pigs included, act very differently when they’re penned up all day and the only time they get to eat is when a human feeds them, than when they’re free to roam and munch on whatever they feel like, whenever they feel like. I work with hogs, feed them twice a day, and they are obnoxious, but not a danger. They also have access to plenty of pasture. Hogs have a reputation as dangerous because of how most people raise them, not because they are an especially inherently dangerous animal.

      Reply
      1. Inode_buddha

        I would have to see some credible studies on that. I don’t know about feral hogs (as opposed to penned in ones) but I do know about deer. they are booming regardless of anything. They are the reason I gave up trying to grow anything — they come along and eat it all. Animal Control? Hahahahahahhah you’ll have to pay a guy to sit on your property 24×7 for months because they will keep coming back to where the food is…… can’t do anything about it myself because its in city limits and upstate NY is anal about that. Can’t get a crop destruction permit in city limits. Michigan has a better program, it actually works — there are roughly 5 does for every buck, biologically, so Michigan favors hunting the does. One of the best deer management programs in the US.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          1. feral pigs are very, very dangerous…especially a momma sow with piglets.
          2. for your city deer problem.
          a. lifebuoy soap in a sock on a fencepost works for some reason. they really don’t like the smell.

          b. pee regularly on your perimeter(or pee in a jug and dump it if neighbors too close)

          c. befriend the big cat people at nearest zoo and obtain a bucket a month of tiger poop. deploy at perimeter
          d. obtain a bow and some arrows(i did this for the numerous stray dogs when we lived in town who were always killing my chickens. town has rules about “firearms”, but not bows…or blowguns(6′ section of 1/2″ copper tubing,straightened, with sharpened wire and cotton balls for darts…), or atlatls:
          2,d is not recommended,and one must be very very careful that you don’t harm your neighbor’s kids(see original response to tweet) the city refused to do anything about the dogs running amok, because of excessive doglove in a few loud people—sheriff determined that i was in the right, regardless(it’s Texas)(and yes, I’m a madman,lol…and don’t belong in town at all)
          e. i’ve experimented with a cheaper version of this for my shop:https://www.amazing1.com/products/phasor-pain-field-generator-for-home-protection.html
          makes ya $hit yer pants and run away. works for porch pirates, too(turned our oncologist on to it), and could be rigged with motion sensors from an ordinary yard light for deer

          Reply
          1. Inode_buddha

            Tried most of that. Nope.

            Only reason there is a deer problem is because they all moved into areas where they won’t be hunted. Completely screws up the balance of nature.

            My next move is to flyover country, can’t wait to get out of the godforsaken city. IMHO urban areas won’t be sustainable until they can grow all their own food anyway, but that’s just me.

            Reply
        2. EricT

          Started having issues with animals eating my garden. I purchased a sprinkler that has a motion detector connected to it( Orbit 62100 Yard Enforcer ) which protects day and/or night. Haven’t seen anymore animal damage in my garden yet.

          Reply
          1. Oregoncharles

            You just have to make sure you can turn off the water before you go in the garden. You, too, are a large animal.

            I haven’t tried them myself – quite a bit of setup. I use a mixture of blood meal and bone meal as repellent, but you wouldn’t want it on your food. And I chase them when I see them. Deer are supposed to be afraid.

            Reply
        3. upstater

          Get an electric fence controller and have a one or two wire perimeter.

          Where I live it is full of deer. A brush against the wire and Bambi finds greener pastures. It has worked well for a decade. If you brush it, there is only an uncomfortable jolt.

          I also use Liquid Fence for ornamental plants.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            with electric fence, do not…NOT….get all $hitfaced and pee on the derned thing in the dark.
            i don’t like electric fence for more practical reasons, though…one blade of grass grounds it.
            and i’ve found that deer learn quickly that the pain is minor and short term, and they can jump(we have a ten point who regularly jumps neighbor’s “deer fence”).
            a radio set to late night talk works for a few days…more if you move it around.
            the deer around here seem to only get up the gumption to try for one of the gardens early in the morning. so happens, that’s when i arise and start wandering around.
            somebody with mad chemistry skills should try to isolate the essence of big cat poop, so it could be made without enslaving big cats…the real thing works like a dream. we could get filthy rich: tiger poop deer repellent spray. wander into any garden forum and this is the conversation they’re having. it would sell itself.

            Reply
  16. Mark Gisleson

    Loved the Ragland story because it’s not a Queen for a Day story about crowdfunding an operation, or an attempt to make anyone look especially sympathetic.

    It’s a story about a community rallying around one of its own in the most altruistic of ways.

    Is it any wonder that both political parties are obsessed with identifying and scapegoating specific communities? They need us to be fighting with each other, not helping each other out.

    Reply
    1. WheresOurTeddy

      Iff people stop looking left, right, or down the street, they might start looking *UP*…

      This cannot be allowed to happen in any significant numbers.

      Reply
  17. tegnost

    More of amazon shipping to be done by the usps, maybe now would be a good time to gouge them a bit at the negotiating table, but from the larry summers this am ““You make more concessions dealing with a wealthy man than you do dealing with a poor man.”” so I guess we concede to bezos because omg what if we don’t, how do you iron out a wrinkle in life of that magnitude?

    https://www.seattletimes.com/business/fedex-severs-ties-with-amazon/

    Reply
    1. cnchal

      Ahhh. So that’s why the post office raised prices some 300+ % for certain types of packages, large, light weight packages shipped reasonably short distances, to the point where it’s cheaper to ship to Alaska than your friend across town. To further subsidize Bezos.

      By the way, wise move by FedEx. The post office refugees moved their business to UPS and FedEX. Now UPS needs to wise up and fire Bezos too.

      Reply
  18. XXYY

    A Crashed Israeli Lunar Lander Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon

    I would like this to be an entry in NC’s Best Headline Ever competition.

    Reply
    1. Synapsid

      XXYY,

      Using one of their other names gives

      A Crashed Israeli Lunar Lander Spilled Moss Piglets on the Moon.

      Reply
    2. WheresOurTeddy

      Israel: a nation with medicare for all and a space program that somehow still needs $4billion a year in aid from the United States, which has a functioning version of neither

      Reply
  19. dearieme

    Iran Has Hundreds of Naval Mines. U.S. Navy Minesweepers Find Old Dishwashers and Car Parts.

    It’s a longstanding problem. An acquaintance of mine served on a Royal Navy minesweeper in the First Gulf War. “Why have we sent minesweepers?” I asked. “Because the Yanks don’t have any that work” said he. I assume he wasn’t exaggerating much.

    Now I don’t suppose we have any that work either, though I’m open to correction.

    Reply
      1. Ptb

        Precisely.
        This article seems like something they can use to pitch for funding LCS and whatever other aluminum boat projects are out there…

        Reply
  20. Summer

    RE:Elitists Roll Out “Stop Rebelling And Support Biden, You Insolent Little Sh*ts” Campaign Medium.

    “Weirdly, Maher inadvertently explains why his brilliant Biden strategy is doomed to failure earlier on in this exact same segment. Maher praises the Trump economy, saying “It’s hard to beat an incumbent in a good economy; every incumbent since FDR has won if they avoided a recession leading up to the election year.”

    Maher has all the facts right there in front of him, but because he is a propagandist who is only famous because he knows how to spout pro-establishment lines in an authoritative tone of voice, he manages to interpret them in the dumbest way possible. Yes, on paper the US economy is doing well, but only by the standards used by neoliberal politicians and mass media outlets to determine economic success. In real terms a population that used to be able to support a family on a single income now mostly requires two incomes, and most of them would struggle to pay even a thousand dollar emergency expense…”

    But here’s the other thing about all the economy propaganda: Everyone hears Trump currently campaigning on the always “trumped” up govt economy stats, but it seems to have flown out of people’s mind that he won the last election ranting about American “carnage.” As long as anyone but the elites can be scapegoated for the problems in the economy, even an economic crash will do for him.

    Reply
    1. Montanamaven

      Here’s a link to a Status Coup interview of a Joe Biden supporter. This guy is indicative of the low information Democrats who will help lose the election for said Dems with all their gobbledygook incoherent ramblings. And it ‘s not just his age. I’ve had Dems in their 50’s go on and on about “a public option” without being able to explain what that means when asked. Status Coup interviews Joe Biden supporter

      Reply
      1. Kurtismayfield

        He makes the case for M4a with the part about his surgeries, then he sums up the entire thought process of the 55+ club of Biden supporters:

        “I have been paying into this since I was 13”

        Translation: I earned this, you didn’t.

        We are going to have a hard time changing those minds.

        Reply
        1. WheresOurTeddy

          one of the great ironies of human history is that the planet may die before enough old Americans with shitty, selfish voting patterns do

          it’s a slow motion race to the grave and i can’t look away

          Reply
    2. Monty

      Didn’t you get the memo? He made America great again already. Mission Accomplished.

      Actually… His argument will be that he had his first term hamstrung by endless lies and propaganda from sore losers. Treacherous, deep state meddlers from Obama’s administration tried to derail the MAGA train, because they want to import more Latinos and Muslims to ensure future electoral success. He has necessarily been fighting fires, where he could have been helping “regular folks”, but he will get right on those populist promises in Jan 2021. Honest!

      Reply
      1. WheresOurTeddy

        “He has necessarily been fighting fires…”

        Except when there’s actual forest fires like last year, which he could not give a shit about since they’re in California, a state that didn’t vote for him. IF WE WOULD ONLY RAKE THE FORESTS LIKE THE SWEDES

        Reply
    3. meeps

      “Stop Rebelling And Support Biden, You Insolent Little Sh*ts”

      Oh, right then. Sorry, old chap! Do you have anything other than Grey Poupon?

      Reply
  21. Another Scott

    Over the weekend, there was a post about municipally-owned utilities. Well, one of the largest in the country, Jacksonville, Florida’s is up for sale.

    https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article/jea-for-sale-city-owned-utility-looking-for-offers

    I’m not exactly sure why, the mayor claims it will make the city debt-free, but why does that matter? It sure looks like it’s a straight-up looting of a city asset. Judging by the invitation for bids, it looks like the consultants are going to get paid regardless of whether the privatization goes through.

    Here’s the WSWS’s take on it:

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/07/31/jack-j01.html

    As a reminder, another of the country’s largest government-owned utilities, Santee Cooper, is going through a similar process.

    Reply
    1. Dan

      And here’s just the opposite: PG&E–the utility that killed hundreds of people to save maintenance money– is privately profiting off a couple of potentially deadly nuclear reactors sitting atop a complex of earthquake faults a few hundred miles from the recent swarm of quakes in California.

      We the taxpayers are liable for the unlimited liability and radiological poisoning of downwind farms and cities through the Price Anderson Act.

      https://www.citizen.org/wp-content/uploads/price_anderson_factsheet.pdf

      California governor Newsom is like his predecessor, in the pocket of PG&E. He could have shut them down with his vote last year, https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article86528672.html
      instead, he allowed PG&E to let them run another seven years. He refuses to order inspections of the nukes, even though Federal Nuclear officials claim that they could collapse in the next earthquake.
      https://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-power/nuclear-power-accidents/diablo-canyon-earthquake-seismic-risk

      Reply
  22. Tomonthebeach

    The Current Affairs article criticizing Chronic Nuisance Ordinances struck me as very one-sided. While CN ordinances are tough on chronic bad neighbors, bad actor neighbors are equally tough on their good neighbors. Doubtless the author never lived in an apartment next to a chronic nuisance tenant or was paying a mortgage on a house across the street from one with grass a foot high, peeling paint, and a rotting RV permanently in the drive. I have lived through both. In the first case, while a starving grad student, frequent noise made study a challenge and I had to break a lease and move down the street at my expense. In the latter, I risked losing a $50K in resale value that I needed to enable a job relocation. After those 2 episodes, I sought homes in covenanted neighborhoods because CN ordinances are not as common as this article suggests.

    Reply
  23. Wyoming

    Re: your point about water stress in parts of the US.

    I live in Prescott, AZ.
    1880-2018 average rainfall = 18 inches
    1998-2018 average rainfall = 14 inches
    last year equal to or exceeding historical average rainfall 1998 (not a typo). Though last year was close.

    Reply
    1. Monty

      It is mind blowing to me when I see the endless development out there, and around Phoenix. One day there is going to be a big problem in AZ. Remember how ugly it got that summer when there was a problem with the gas deliveries? Imagine no gas, water rationing or a powercut that lasted a week in the summer. Stranded 300 miles from anywhere you’d want to be in 120F. Think of the Astrodome after Katrina, but with 6 million folks trying to get help.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        Phoenix seems like it’s becoming a city of transients, gig workers moving in and out. Because many companies seem to have their contract work there. And what is a contract worker with few options to do? Whine about Phoenix being unsustainable? So is their whole life.

        Why there? Cheaper and less regulated than somewhere coastal? No doubt at least cheaper. Rent can be had cheap for sure, it’s a low cost of living. Many a short term rental to be had, not the case everywhere where the rentals tend to be longer term. Live by the A/C though.

        Reply
      2. Wyoming

        As you say.

        I should have added that the population of the Prescott area has doubled approximately over that same 98-18 time span. Yup we are heading for trouble…..

        Reply
    2. Anon

      Prescott is in the mountains of northern Arizona. Tucson in the southern desert gets ~12″ of average annual rainfall. Why are they so similar? Arizona gets a substantial portion of its rainfall from Summer monsoons. (July-August are highest monthly totals.) These monsoons can be very intense. They are increasing with global warming.

      Reply
  24. Eclair

    A headline in the on-line NYT, after the two mass shootings this weekend, exclaimed that the Nation was surprised by such shootings. I was not.

    On that Friday, I had had a conversation with a neighbor who runs a fresh veggie/egg/plant stand in the spring and summer. She related that everyone who had come in recently had a ‘story;’ a tale of some woe that had occurred in their family or in their group of friends. From horrendous car and motorcycle crashes that wiped out recent high school grads, to deaths from drug overdose, to suicides, to cancer diagnoses.

    We live in Trump country, where people gather in their red baseball caps and decry ‘socialism’ and Medicare-for-All (while having their heath care paid for by Medicare, in the case of the seniors among them.) Our rural area has rapidly increasing numbers of conservative Amish, who are buying up the decaying dairy farms, and settling in to raise large families to work the land.

    My neighbor told of a recent encounter she had, at the local gathering place, a take-out that serves ice cream and hot dogs during the summer. An Amish family stopped by, in their buggy, to buy ice-cream cones. After they left, the respectable, middle and working class people began a tirade against the Amish; how their buggies ruined the roads, how their horses dropped shit all over the neighborhoods. One woman ranted that she just wanted to ‘rip those bonnets off the Amish women’ heads.

    Now, I have Amish friends. They are human and there are some less likable among them. But, on the whole they endeavor to live by their religious beliefs of pacifism and love thy neighbor. They work hard. Very hard. Their children are loved and well-behaved. They are self-reliant, or rather, reliant on their local small community. They don’t take ‘government handouts.’ They pay taxes.

    My neighbor’s tale sent a chill through me. If people here are taking against the Amish, ‘othering’ them and harboring feelings of violence against them, then we are indeed careening down the slippery slope into social unrest and violence.

    Reply
    1. Olga

      Your comment seems to confirm my long-held view that a large dose of violence resides in the subconsciousness of the US nation. It is not only that the entire entity was born within throes of violence (genocide, slavery, land conquest), but also that there has never been any reckoning with the bloody past, no acknowledgment, no restitution, no debate. It is frightening, as one thinks through all the consequences and implications.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Those of us who bothered to watch the PBS Victoria series–originally from Britain–saw it pretend that Queen Victoria really cared about all those starving Irish and wished she could do something about it. Of course there are lots of English movies lately that give a more realistic picture of the 19th cent monarch, but how reconciled is any nation to past evil deeds? All countries think they are exceptional or have “moral armies.” It’s just that the US–at this moment–has a lot more power to act.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          +

          All nations need a truth and reconciliation examination.

          It should not be ‘Look at America, but we are clean.’

          The means not just the nation that has a lot more power to act, but also those to have almost as much power, or will have more power in the future to act.

          Reply
        2. WheresOurTeddy

          The United States should be glad Great Britain exists so that there’s at least competition for “most self-serving propaganda versions of the past to try and make us seem like the good guys and not greedy, racist imperialists”

          I don’t even know who would be in a distant 3rd place

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            During WW2, the Japanese propaganda department maybe.

            And that of a few other nations at that time as well.

            Reply
    2. Dan

      “One woman ranted that she just wanted to ‘rip those bonnets off the Amish women’ heads.”

      Probably just subconscious jealousy and envy as she realizes that her life has crumbled after she followed the “Women need a man like a fish needs a bicycle” feminism of her youth and her last good egg dropped.

      Reply
      1. pretzelattack

        i don’t remember anything in that post indicating the woman was a feminist, even, or childless. just mindless prejudice on the woman’s part, and possibly on yours?

        Reply
    3. Montanamaven

      A friend said to me today ,that her son who is 28 years old, has had dozens of friends die. She said, “I could count maybe 3 of my friends die during my 20’s.” His best friend died yesterday in a fire. He went into the burning house thinking his 2 kids were in there. They weren’t. There was an explosion. She said that among the dozens of friends of his that died, many died of overdoses and cancers and other ailments.
      On the recommendation of a commenter here, I’m reading Morris Berman’s “Why America Failed”. I had bought it years ago but never read it. There was always a strain of people in the U.S. who cared for the common good; of moral progress over material progress. The lower case republicanism that strove to put family and community above profit. But the “hustler” strain always dominated. The quest to be the next JP Morgan or Bill Gates. Then the disappointment when it doesn’t happen.
      As the You Tube link I provided above about a Biden supporter, both Dems and Republicans don’t know squat about Medicare for All or Healthcare. And the Dems running for President do a terrible job of making the case for it. They should run on just 2 things, Medicare for All and end to humanitarian regime change wars. Make a strong clear case for a healthy community that minds its own business. And don’t ever use the word “free”. We don’t need free college. We need a college system that is not a scam. We need to bring back pride in work and learning thru apprenticeships.
      Having said all that, I think we are pretty much doomed. Paging Dimitry Orlov. So I am spending a great deal more time listening to George Carlin radio than I do the news.

      Reply
      1. todde

        when they hit their 30’s the suicides start, or at least that’s how it went for my friends.

        when we were in our 20s and younger, we killed each other.
        our 30s we killed ourselves.
        40s, cancer got us.

        Reply
    4. Inode_buddha

      Thats just horrible. I can’t believe anyone would diss the Amish — they maybe one of the only groups in the country that is actually doing things right. You don’t see the amish worrying about sustainability.

      Reply
  25. Eclair

    RE: Challenges to natural and human communities from surprising ocean temperatures.

    “While we have the tools to shift to forward-looking decision making, it is not clear how quickly or even whether we will make this shift. Humans are naturally resistant to change and institutions tend to be conservative (30, 31). Shifting to a forward-looking strategy is risky, and it is reasonable for managers, politicians, and CEOs to expect that they will be punished more severely for the failure of a new strategy than poor performance of a traditional one (32). Broad societal acceptance of the realities of climate change trends and the reliability of climate projections is a critical prerequisite to forward-looking adaptive action. However, experience is the most valuable teacher. It will likely take more experience with extreme events before people decide to stop being surprised by them.”

    How much ‘more experience with extreme events’ can we afford to have? By the time we have been knocked on the head enough times to wake up, the game will be over.

    This is not an encouraging study.

    Reply
  26. Wukchumni

    …in pome of thrones news:

    Sansa apples are ripening, a medium sized mid-summer variety from Japan. Pleasant taste and a little sweet but not much,. Early apples like this aren’t complex, but quite timely.

    Reply
  27. Jason Boxman

    The fraudulent business listings that litter Google’s search results and the human carnage that results is the price of those epic free meals — three, daily — that Google offers its full time employees. That kind of opulence isn’t free. (But given the food waste I saw, too many employees didn’t seem concerned with the human or environment costs of such a perk.) It’s really quite shameful.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      Or maybe the price of simply being there for 3 meals.

      I’ve observed that the people that put in mega-time pushing paper (not the ones trying to put out fires, sometimes real ones – cough, “thermal events” cough – on the manufacturing floor) do worse work than people that go home and do something else with their minds for a few hours.

      Reply
  28. Wukchumni

    Met a new friend on our backpack trip, and she plies her trade on Youtube, where almost 80,000 subscribers watch her videos, with an onus on hot springs, and here’s her 30 minute chronicle of our trip to Iva Bell hot springs, and a cameo (blushes a bit, tries to hold composure) of my hammock. (sadly not a SAG member, although it’s a sag member)

    I introduce you to Wonderhussy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nb3daEYU6M

    Reply
    1. petal

      Very cool! The snake in the beginning-do you guys come across those very often? I will finish watching the rest of it tonight. Beautiful country. Thank you!

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        There was 8 of us initially, and 4 had to go back after 3 nights out, and they ran into the rattlesnake and saw it, so we missed out…

        The most rattler prone area I know is from Mist Falls up through Paradise and a bit beyond. My wife and I saw 6 there when headed out & back to Bench Lake from Road’s End in Kings Canyon. It was lousy with snakes, yikes.

        Maybe i’ve seen a dozen in total otherwise from around 4,000 to 8,000 feet, never any higher. The last encounter was coming down from the Diamond Tree all off-trail in Mineral King, in lush lying ferns that didn’t allow you to see much on the down low say mid ankle, when I saw the first one, and then only heard the second one, and that was way creepy, but made it out of that medusa maze to the parked chariot, to once again attempt feet.

        The best way to move em’ along if they lay out on a trail, is to pick up a handful of dirt/light rocks, etc. and gently let em’ have it with an underhanded toss on their torso. They get the message.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I was halfway up a rock climb in the Sierra that followed a narrow crack and I heard a buzzing sound. I peered into the vertical crack above me and voila, a small rattler coiled vertically, preparing to greet me with a venomous smile when I wedged my fingers into his claimed territory of the rock crevice. Hilarity and hijinx ensued as I beat a hasty retreat, and we both lived to fight another day.

          I’m sure he was after the mice that live in cracks on rock faces, sometimes when you leave ropes in place to return another day they are fond of chewing through (or partly through) the nylon slings that are salty with sweat. Good times. Correction: very good, carefree, innocent, exciting, and simpler times.

          Reply
    2. Anon

      And what percentage of her YouTube income does she donate to the National Park she is filming in? Filming for profit requires a permit. Does she have one?

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        aha…

        But, we were in the Ansel Adams Wilderness, out of Red’s Meadow, near Mammoth.

        Dogs are allowed too~

        Reply
    3. Monty

      That looks like a great way to spend the summer. My spies at REI noticed a sudden rush of NC commenters coming in to get kitted out after watching the video!

      Reply
      1. Anon

        …and then they will learn that it’s an area of the Sierra that requires a permit for entry. The land managers want to maintain the Wilderness experience.

        Reply
  29. Pelham

    Re the NYT’s bad headline: I genuinely don’t get what was wrong with it. It told the story from the latest angle, which is kind of what headlines are supposed to do.

    Reply
  30. flaesq

    “Why Won’t Democrats Blame Hospitals?” takes overdue swipes at the pot o’ crabs pulling each other down as they try to escape the boiling water.

    The specific problem raised should be solved at the state level by requiring all providers at an in-network hospital to be in-network. This is practically the only thing Florida gets right. I’m stunned it made it through our famously bought legislature.

    The thing the article doesn’t go after is that generally we like our medical caregivers personally and those good feelings extend – for now – to the merging and conglomerating institutions that displaced their private practices, or grant them practice privileges in their institutions. In some ways it’s a variation on the theme, this problem we have dealing with the non-GPs fighting tooth and nail against single payer. I think GPs are on board, but the specialists resist. Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.

    Reply
  31. Oregoncharles

    “Iran Has Hundreds of Naval Mines. U.S. Navy Minesweepers Find Old Dishwashers and Car Parts.”

    Weird. The US military is drowning in money, but apparently unable to maintain or replace a critical class of naval vessels – or, for that matter the seaworthiness of the Pacific fleet.

    Where is all the money going? The secrecy tax shelters offshore?

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I recall, vaguely, a bribery scandal recently connected to people, events or entities in Singapore (or some other nation in the area), and Navy officiers.

      Reply
  32. WheresOurTeddy

    A Crashed Israeli Lunar Lander Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon Wired

    They have enough money for National Health Care and a Space Program, but somehow need US $$$ for their security. Right.

    Reply
  33. CarlH

    Masked gunmen reportedly set RVs on fire in West Oakland –

    Psychopathy has run amuck. I feel like I am living in the distillation of all the dystopian novels and movies ever created. I smell hints of A Clockwork Orange in this story. I would not be surprised to find it was a couple of wannabe Randian tech bros who are doing this.

    Reply
  34. JBird40049

    The United States is #71 on the list, but averages conceal. AZ, CA, CO, NM, and UT are all High or Extremely High stress.

    I think that we Californians should do a little political house cleaning especially with the Water Barons. Much of the current stress is due to misuse, even theft, of the water.

    Reply

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