Links 9/10/19

NYC Subway Banned Dogs Unless They Fit In a Bag, Dog Owners Did Not Disappoint EatLiver (furzy)

Isle Royale wolf relocation project resumes; 15 now roaming the island MPR News (Chuck L)

Rare ‘Micromoon’ Is Gracing Us With Its Presence On Friday The 13th HuffPost (furzy)

California Lawmakers Vote to Undo N.C.A.A. Amateurism New York Times. Paul R: “Woo hoo, CA legislature may kill the NCAA. The NCAA itself is a huge exploitive grift/scam. There was a big lawsuit against it a couple years ago saying as much. I don’t know what happened with it. But this is great. Colleges are already running de facto pro sports teams, with everyone making millions except for the players themselves.”

World ‘gravely’ unprepared for effects of climate crisis – report Guardian (David L)

Amazon Employees Are Walking Out Over the Company’s Huge Carbon Footprint Vice

Bill Gates Is Funding a Chemical Cloud That Could Put an End to Global Warming Interesting Engineering. Chuck L: “What could go wrong?”


Trump Bombs New Silk Road with Tariffs Black Agenda Report (resilc)

The World Expected a Chinese Tech Takeover. Alibaba Can’t Even Conquer Vietnam. Wall Street Journal

South Korea and Japan: A Mutual Loathing the U.S. Can’t Fix American Conservative (Kevin W)


MPs stop Johnson from calling October election The Times

Johnson tells Leo Varadkar that a no-deal Brexit ‘would be a failure’ BBC

Could Johnson take the initiative and solve the Irish backstop today? Richard Murphy (UserFriendly)

B******S TO BERCOW John Bercow quits as Tories brand him ‘nauseating w****r’ amid fury which will see him become first Speaker in 230 years to be denied peerage Sun

John Bercow accused of ‘gaming the system’ to ensure successor is chosen by an anti-Brexit Parliament Telegraph


Trump declares US-Taliban talks ‘dead’ after cancelling Camp David meeting Guardian (resilc)

Trump-Taliban Talks like those with N. Korea– a Photo Op on the Deck of the Titanic Juan Cole (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Web scraping doesn’t violate anti-hacking law, appeals court rules ars technica (Chuck L)

Critics have slammed plans to drug test those on Newstart. But what does the scheme involve? And what does the evidence say? Guardian. Kevin W: “The really interesting bit is the quoted statistics.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

USS Gerald Ford – A $13 Billion Boondoggle (resilc)

Trump Transition

Hundreds of Bahamians told to leave evacuation ship headed to US: report The Hill (UserFriendly)

House Judiciary Tees Up For Impeachment, But Democrats Divided On Moving Ahead NPR (David L)

Commerce Chief Threatened Firings at NOAA After Trump’s Dorian Tweets, Sources Say New York Times (Kevin W)


A Joe Biden presidency would be a climate catastrophe The Week (UserFriendly)

Bernie Sanders Went to Canada, and a Dream of ‘Medicare for All’ Flourished New York Times (resilc)

The Trump campaign is launching its own social networking app to mobilize ‘the army of Trump’ for 2020 Business Insider (Kevin W)

Trump 2020: President Privately Tells Confidants That ‘Socialism’ Won’t Be ‘So Easy’ to Beat Daily Beast (UserFriendly)

Fox News and conservative media are now warning of bloodshed if Democrats win in 2020 Alternet (furzy). And how would that be any different?

The great break-up of big tech is finally beginning Matt Stoller, Guardian (resilc)

California and Alabama are the only two states that aren’t participating in the giant antitrust investigation of Google, and neither is really saying why Business Insider (Kevin W)

Senator Chuck Grassley Is Applying For A Federal Farm Bailout Again The Intellectualist. Chuck L: “Socialist Republican.” See also: Chuck Grassley will apply for Trump’s federal farm bailout cash for the second time via Dan K.

The Epstein scandal at MIT shows the moral bankruptcy of techno-elites Guardian

SoftBank urges WeWork to shelve IPO Financial Times

Data Touted by OxyContin Maker to Fight Lawsuits Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story ProPublica, UserFriendly: “Not to mention higher dose = more addictive.”

FDA Warns Juul About Marketing Products as Safer Than Cigarettes Wall Street Journal

Uber announces $2bn expansion of Freight unit in Chicago Financial Times

Recession Already Grips Corners of U.S., Menacing Trump’s 2020 Bid Bloomberg

Class Warfare

I Support Unions, Just Not This One Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

NYC Mayor and Presidential Hopeful Bill De Blasio Wants a Tax On Robots CNET

The Capitalists Are Afraid Truthdig (RR)

Antidote du jour (Vanessa):

And a bonus (Chuck L):

And a pix from my vacation. From Boothbay Harbor. I go there every year for the ice cream, but find something else to do too, usually the Botanical Gardens or a boat ride. There is also a cute small aquarium where you can pet a baby shark and look at weird lobsters.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. WheresOurTeddy

    I Support Unions, Just Not This One Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

    Liberals Against Unionization of Graduate-level Harvard Students…the acronym is LAUGHS…

    1. Procopius

      A couple of months ago I saw an article (sorry, I don’t have a link) that described the situation. It made the interesting point that the faculty were absolutely aghast that their graduate students (i.e. serfs) were so disloyal. Disloyal to them, personally, that is. Somehow the fact that the grad students didn’t trust them to stand up for their rights and decent hours and working conditions was terribly offensive, and shattered their beliefs in a patronage system. They had never before realized that the grad students might not like the way things were being run.

  2. RabidGandhi

    Re: Weisbrot on Argentina.

    Click through to the Bloomberg interview with Greylock Managing CEO Hans Humes to get a good beat on this October’s presidential election:

    Hans Humes: The market initially was very concerned about Cristina Fernández de Kirchner coming back in, the signalling that we’ve gotten from the team around [Presidential candidate] Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has been pretty market friendly.

    This is my take too. Personnel is policy, and in selecting his economic team Alberto Fernández studiously excluded all of the main Keynsians responsible for the economic recovery under the Kirchners. If he is elected, I would not expect him to push for a restructuring of Macri’s vertiginous debt or for sorely needed deficit spending. And the IMF need not pack their bags.

      1. Larry Taylor

        In the BBC Online story about this, there is a turn of phrase that caught my eye:

        ‘A White House official told the BBC’s US partner, CBS News. “Bolton has … [blah blah blah]”.’

        In many, many years of following the news fairly carefully, I never had any idea that the Beeb and CBS were in any way any kind of ‘partners’.

        I’ve got a screen capture, in case it goes down the memory hole . :-)

        1. Tom

          Nancy Pelosi twittered

          John Bolton’s sudden departure is a symbol of the disarray that has unnerved our allies since day one of the Trump Administration. Steady leadership & strategic foreign policy is key to ensuring America’s national security.

          Is Pelosi saying it would have been better to keep Bolton in the interest of steady leadership & strategic foreign policy and to not unnerve allies?

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            Pelosi is an imperialist war monger in the same vein as John Bolton. Very little to distinguish the two.

          2. wilroncanada

            No. She’s just blah, blah, blah-ing, doing her BBC on Bolton imitation. She doesn’t have her own thoughts, except for self-aggrandizement..

          3. Lambert Strether

            > Steady leadership & strategic foreign policy is key to ensuring America’s national security.

            Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria… “Steady” isn’t the first adjective I’d choose.

  3. PlutoniumKun

    Could Johnson take the initiative and solve the Irish backstop today? Richard Murphy

    There seems to be growing signs that the Irish government strategy is to slowly persuade Johnson that his only real exit is to agree to amend the deal with an Irish Sea backstop. The irony is that the loss of Tory MP’s actually weakens the DUP’s hands, they are no long the swing vote, they are just another group of disenchanted MP’s. There have certainly been discussions behind the scenes on the mechanics, and I think Varadkar was trying to persuade Johnson that this could be his magic Plan B – the EU would certainly agree it, and Johnson could declare it to be a major victory, freeing Britain from EU rules while protecting Northern Ireland.

    The big question is whether he could get it past the commons. I think if the Irish government and Northern Ireland nationalists pressed Corbyn on it, he may find it difficult to whip all of Labour to vote against. I suspect the Tory Rebels would go for it – maybe even the SNP might see an advantage for them.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Had a thought earlier on that pulled me up short and that was what flag will the UK be using in a few decades time. As you are no doubt fully aware of, the Union Jack “flag combines aspects of three older national flags: the red cross of St George for the Kingdom of England, the white saltire of St Andrew for Scotland (which two were united in the first Union Flag), and the red saltire of St Patrick to represent Ireland.”
      If Ireland eventually reunites and Scotland seeks to go its own way, could it be that once more there will only be the flag of England flying over the realm – the St George’s Cross? A sobering thought that. As a kid in school, we were taught how these flags came together using paper representations of the three flags. Being aware that we might very well see the devolution of this flag in our lifetime is not one that I would have ever expected to see-

      1. Pavel

        DISCLAIMER: I fully support Scottish independence and would love to see Ireland reunified. And if the Welsh want to go their own way, godspeed!

        What’s ironic about your suggestion that the Union Jack would be deprecated, as it were, and the St George’s Cross be the English flag is that currently those who fly the flag of St George are often deemed “racists” along the lines of the National Front, Tommy Robinson or the English Defence League. And people complain about being “offended” by it.

        Personally I think this is a shame; I am not a great nationalist at all but think it’s rather nice when people take pride in their culture. I visit a friend in Copenhagen regularly and see dozens of Danish pennants over houses… it’s charming!

        On a side note, thanks as ever to Yves and the NC commentariat for the expert Brexit reporting… you will know I have been following it avidly since the referendum and every day things just get more and more insane.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


          As a political junkie, im ashamed to admit i didn’t truly understand Brexit and the battle in Parliament until the Ascension of BeauxJeaux.

          John Oliver did a segment on Sunday. I relished being more informed on the subject than Big Baby Oliver.

      2. Procopius

        I see the St. George’s Cross frequently on the internet to indicate an English version is available. When I first noticed it I didn’t know what it meant, because the Union Jack is used for the same message. I have no idea why this seems to be more and more widely used.

      3. Ignacio

        Flags, parades… charades. The problem with symbols like these is that they are supposed to aggregate some of the best and the worst of human emotions. These days nationalism is hardly amongst the best. I have always find strange how people fall in love with their flags. They do it for a variety of reasons: sports, agressivity, pride, love, hate, inclusion, exclusion, ying & yang.

    2. ChrisPacific

      I think it would be a strong move on his part, if he can bring himself to stomach the wet border concept that was so roundly denounced by the Tories because it compared so unfavorably to their pet unicorns. It comes pre-approved by the EU, so that objection is out. It makes the backstop go away, for all of the UK except NI. It would allow the UK to achieve all their red lines with the exception of one (no internal ‘borders’). And it would free the UK to conduct future trade negotiations in the manner it prefers.

      All of that would make it considerably harder to oppose politically than the current ‘No Deal by stealth and subterfuge’ approach that has people marching in the streets. The DUP wouldn’t like it, but as noted they are less relevant these days, and they have been making conciliatory noises recently:

      We’re in the business of solving problems.

      Translation: we have belatedly noticed that Brexit is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions for which no small part of the blame is ours, and we need to start working on our cover story.

  4. Alex morfesis

    Ooorrrdahhh….order….odah !!! Dom and dommyr have truly found their calling as a great slapstick comedy troupe….

    The PM is “all cat no hattle”

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


      Gotta give it to the Brits. No one scolds lawmakers like that person.

      Reminds me of my use of the word ‘Sergeant.’ Eventually, I pronounced it ‘Sahrrrnnnnt’ after a 1000Xs.

      1. IowanX

        Reminds me of Catholic school, where after a few years, one shortens it to Yes, Stir; No Stir. Father…that you had to drawl out.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Once weve captured Bezos and Gates, our Special Forces Clairvoyant needs to do the exact same thing.

      “Its afraid!”

      Can someone deep fake their faces onto this Klendathu Kapitalist?

  5. TiPs

    Regarding Gates and his chemical cloud, sounds like the plot of the dystopian flick Snowpiercer:
    “In 2014, an attempt to counteract global warming through climate engineering backfires catastrophically, causing another ice age and extinguishing all life. The only survivors are the passengers of the Snowpiercer, a massive train traveling on a circumnavigational track created by the transportation magnate and inventor, Wilford.”

      1. Susan the other`

        I feel that seeding the atmosphere, the upper atmosphere, is a very dangerous undertaking because, just like CO2, the stuff they add to reflect the sun will take many years to dissipate. And I also suspect the DOD of having already experimented with this idea. Last winter I was convinced that the enormous snowfall and late spring storms were not a natural occurrence. But it was clear that the jet stream was carrying much more moisture than years before – in fact it backed up like a solid bank of clouds across the whole country periodically. That bottleneck alone caused storms to linger for days dumping much more rain and snow than usual. I’m wondering if trying to reflect the sun is the opposite of what we should do at this point. The sun dries us out. Keeps air currents moving. And it is weaker than it has been. And the sun’s magnetic field surrounds us and blocks cosmic rays which cause clouds to form in our atmosphere. So what is the underlying logic? To create a hazy mirror to reflect the sun back out into space? So we can all drown in precipitation? I think we’d certainly be better off just leaving it alone for now.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          I don’t know but I would assume that it would be wise to have a very precise knowledge of how weather systems work, before pumping a a huge volume of gas into the mix. The weather forecast from the BBC which I consult often proves to have been totally incorrect & at best appears to be only useful in order to get a rough idea. Storms now get names with accompanying dire warnings, but sometimes we have had worse from supposedly inconsequential nameless events, whereas Harry or whatever it’s name turns out to be a damp squib – but this is after all Northern Ireland.

          It just strikes me as just another example of that laughable man’s mastery over nature thing & another preferred neoliberal quick fix.

    1. Winston Smith

      I think Snowpiercer (climate engineering warning) and Terminator 2 (AI warning) should be mandatory viewing for presidential candidates (tongue in cheek).

      “World ‘gravely’ unprepared for effects of climate crisis – report”. No biggie for the US as it is blithely drifting towards an “armed lifeboat” scenario. Hence building up the “build that wall” frenzy which might eventually become an east-west Germany type border as the climate change crisis worsens.

      1. The Rev Kev

        There was a Pentagon plan a coupla years ago that envisioned this “armed lifeboat” scenario. One important feature of it was that the billionaires and elites from places like Europe would be allowed to flee to the US so long as they brought their wealth with them. Otherwise any refugees would find the drawbridge up.

        1. Winston Smith

          I’ve always been struck by the fact that the US DoD openly declares that climate change is the major security challenge facing the country whilst the WH denies its existence.

        2. Lee

          The armed lifeboat is hardly a new idea. The notion is inherent to the nation state and all territorial entities with hard borders that favor settled populations for the production of necessities. Most of us have at least one personal hard border; it’s called the front door.

          As for catering to rich refugees for their wealth, what a dumb idea. A group of more useless people I cannot imagine, unless we adopt policies such as those promoted here:

          1. Wukchumni

            We’ve lived here nearly a generation and have learned the way of the river in its ebbs and sometimes enormous flows, and are rich in clean oxygenated water that coursed down from the headwaters 11,000 above us in Sequoia NP reaping a whirlwind of whitewater, for which we are fortunate, but don’t kid ourselves that those in harms way of climate change won’t figure out what those blue highways you can’t drive on mean on their gps readouts, and soon when the shift hits the fan, so mess up something in a fashion only we humans can do.

            And of course strife will be rife as water is life, and thems that got it, have it made in the new normal of less.

            I’ll be on the front line of the back of beyond, could get messy.

            1. Lee

              Here in the SF Bay Area decades if groaf have us much more densely populated with attendant stop and go traffic at pretty much any hour. In my town there are, both in progress and planned, thousands of residential units being added to low-lying shoreline landfill. There are available online two maps showing scientific forecasts of inundation and liquefaction zones in the event of a significant and expected twitch of the Hayward Fault or modest sea level rise. All this new stuff and some of the old, comprising over half the town will be sucked into the muck and be literally underwater. It does seem ironically odd that such a town proudly declares itself a sanctuary city.



          2. Dan

            How many Bahamians will return to everything destroyed once they are admitted to the U.S.? My guess is less than 10%.

            The boat is full, at least until we house all our veterans, as well as our homeless and provide free healthcare for taxpaying American citizens–then we can become a chartible dumping ground for the world’s poor.

            1. marym

              The entire population of the Bahamas was 395K in 2017.

              Perhaps you should direct your ire not at those who [pay taxes and] may want to extend a bit of charity toward a few hundred of them, but at those with no plans to provide housing or healthcare [for taxpayers].

        3. a different chris

          “Brought their wealth”. What does “wealth” even mean in this scenario? Can’t bring their physical estate (mansion, rental houses, etc) with them. So just some numbers on an (maybe, depending on the descent level) electronic page. Won’t feed, house, or warm anybody.

          1. eg

            You are so right — the neoliberal framing of what actually constitutes “wealth” has eaten our collective brains such that this sort of nonsense goes unchallenged.

        4. Procopius

          How are they supposed to bring their wealth? Wealth is factories and farmland. The paper that certifies ownership of those things is worthless, and that’s all they could bring. When everything goes pear-shaped, other countries aren’t going to honor those pieces of paper. And, by the way, gold is not going to be very valuable. Ammunition and water will be.

      2. Krystyn Walentka

        Snowpiercer, what a beautiful movie. The very end tells you how to live life in one simple scene laid against all the violence and struggle of the scenes that precede it. It is a deeply Daoist film and I have heard this from the horses mouth.

        It is not a warning about climate engineering, it is a warning about how we live our lives. It is a warning about artificial social structure and capitalism and god worship. It is a movie the reveals the truth of anarchism.

        1. shtove

          That’s with the polar bear, right? Only saw it once, but the compartmentalisation of the train bore an obvious message. I had no idea about the Daoist element.

          1. Titus

            Hmmm, as someone who spent several years in a Taoist Monistic setting, I didn’t sense the tao. I’ll re-watch it. Thanks.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > climate engineering

          It’s not clear to me that the climate can be “engineered.” The only effects we understand well enough to engineer are local. As I keep pointing out tediously with links to Nature and so forth, we don’t know enough. We don’t even understand soil!

          The whole idea of “climate engineering” strikes me as hubristic, not least because whatever solution this mindset comes up with will be “paid for” with rents going to the usual suspects.

          Gregory Benford’s Timescape is good on this mentality.

          1. skippy

            All you need to know Lambert is some private organization will receive Gov funding and its proprietors will make squillions saving us all ….

            I see large statues being commissioned for the public ….

      3. Oregoncharles

        There’s a movie – forget the name – that involves Canada building a wall to keep heat-stressed Americans out.

        The Southwest is already edging up on unlivable temperatures.

      4. Plenue

        Snowpiercer is a gloriously unsubtle class story. I can’t even call it an allegory, it’s literally just class warfare on a train. The poor live in the back and are exploited, and when they rebel against the rich who live in the front of the train, they have to fight through a middle class of enforcers. It’s not about climate at all, other than as an excuse for why the world outside is dead and everyone lives on a train.

        The setting of a train is pretty brilliant. Because it isn’t a train; it’s society. It’s run by the people on board and can be stopped at any point if the people on board choose to stop it.

    2. Carolinian

      That movie perhaps less about climate change and more about class warfare (although some might say they are the same thing). It is entertaining.

      Sounds like Gates’ weather modification scheme would require ongoing seeding flights and not be a permanent alteration. The Chinese are already experimenting with local weather modification in Tibet.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Fox News and conservative media are now warning of bloodshed if Democrats win in 2020”

    Where’s the Laughing Green Shirt Guy when you need him for stories like this?

    Why did I think of him? Because the foto of that MAGA girl in that article is the same one that the Green Shirt guy was laughing at.

  7. toshiro_mifune

    I Support Unions, Just Not This One
    I have to admit that I an not unsympathetic to this view. I support collective bargaining and the power of unions but my actual experience with unions (as a member) hasn’t been that great and make me very leery of ever being in one again.
    There’s been a lot of talk about increasing union membership in recent years. But not a lot of talk about how to deal with some of the issues that lead to the decline in unions in the first place. Yes, Reagan/Carter and union busting had a lot to do with that decrease, but it wasn’t the whole story. The conception of unions as corrupt wasn’t invented out of whole cloth.
    My first union experience was a job I had over night stocking shelves. It was a union shop, so if I got hired I would become a union member. Most of the positions were only part time, and so was mine. Of course I got a bump in hourly pay for being part of the union, however that bump didn’t cover the costs of my monthly union dues. It didn’t take much math on my part (even as a Lit major) to understand I was subsidizing the full time employees all of whom were older, got the choicest work rotas and almost always did the least amount of work.
    My second experience was working with the ILA for 3 years. That was the living breathing image of union corruption. Kickbacks to the shop foreman to pick up extra hours, kickbacks to get on the schedule, kickbacks to have someone punched and and never show up, you get the idea.
    I support unions, but I don’t think I ever want to be in one again based on what I’ve experienced. And if unions are to survive going forward I don’t think the have much future in their current incarnation.
    The idea is sound the implementation needs to change.

    1. Carolinian

      I too have been a member of a union and the leaders of our local were all right wingers. One problem with unions in America may be that the union movement has become divorced from socialism itself and so the unions are more like mini fiefdoms with the business agents taking on the role of boss (see Kazan’s On the Waterfront). To be sure it’s a boss that you elect, but the politics involved can encourage shady dealings (not so much in my instance).

      1. Wukchumni

        Aside from occupations I seldom come into contact with (teachers-police/fire) the only union members I would ever see in SoCal were the unionized supermarkets (WinCo here is employee owned, as are most in the smaller CV market) and the only point of sale ever with a member, was consummated with a checker.

        They had mad skills in the 60’s-70’s, had to work those fingers and eyes furiously item by item.

        Now, all they do is the same as a Wal*Mart checker.

    2. Lost in OR

      Unions seem to be a bit like my US representatives. Fighting for gains already gotten. Maintaining the status quo. Change, not so much.

      It was refreshing to see the brief uprising by some teachers unions recently.
      And the nurses union seems to have no fear.
      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe coal workers strike is a workers strike and not a union action.

      Beyond that unions seem fully ensconced in the 10%.

    3. pasha

      having taught in a private school, a publicly-funded charter school, and finally a unionized public school, i cannot over-emphasize the benefits of union membership. our union not only insured a living wage and enhanced medical and retirement benefits, they also insured due process in hiring and discipline, academic freedom, and protection from arbitrary administrative actions. joining the union restored the dignity of teaching

  8. Wukchumni

    A friend i’ve backpacked around 3,000 miles with, worked for a film archive in L.A. and was a union member and i’m astounded at his benefits in retirement, old school Hollywood unions really paid off.

    Turns out he’s in Union #700, so I kid him that he’s in the ‘700 Club’.

      1. Wukchumni

        Interesting how it spread like jam on a piece of toast across a wide swath from the west to far east, and nowhere else really.

        Oh the rest of the world had their forms of money, here it was all about shells. I suppose gold being as plentiful as it was before Sutters Mill, you’d think oh shiny is good, but i’ve never heard of any artifacts made out all that glitters from Californian native tribes.

        Shells were worth more the further away from the source they came. They made for a good go between in a trading commerce here in that you might not want my blue oak acorns, but will trade them for some bitchin’ shells that were sort of fungible in a fashion.

      2. eg

        That was fun, thanks — too bad there isn’t something similar for debt (as opposed to coinage/money) since it is the older story

    1. rmpeditor

      I, too, was a member of a Hollywood Union, the Editors’ Guild, and have a relatively comfortable retirement and health care coverage from them. Granted we all had/have very specific skills not found in general (requires highly focused training not normally available) but the union was very successful in protecting our rights as employees.

      1. Titus

        Got to say, back in the day (1970 or so) as a union carpenter I made $25.00 an hour or so with benefits. These days it’s $59.00. Decent pay to raise a family on. Trust me requires skill. Sometimes I stop at sites and I’ll ask union or no? If no, ‘then how much you making?” “10.00 an hour”. My god, how can anyone live on that? Ya, the building trades here and there have some hanky panky going on, mostly with benefits that can drive one crazy but still. The worst union job was heaven compared to any non union job I ever had. I’m a lawyer/engineer now so, I guess I’m a lackey for the man. But, it doesn’t feel that way. Anyway, I’m a union guy.

  9. Henry Moon Pie

    Yummy looking ice cream! Do they still have duck pin bowling (or was it candle pin) in Boothbay? Our family had a lot of fun there back in ’01.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I LOVED that candlepin alley, which was just a few step from the ice cream place (the ice cream is great plus many flavors). It was antique but properly maintained. But the owner died at IIRC the impressive old age of 96. It sat vacant for a couple of years and then the building was torn down :-(

      There is a candlepin alley in Brunswick and another in Saco at the end of a regular bowling alley.

  10. The Rev Kev

    Sarah Abdallah: ‘Imagine Obama giving billions in US taxpayer dollars to arm ISIS and Al-Qaeda jihadists in #Syria for an illegal regime change war that further destabilized the Middle East and forced millions to flee their homes. Oh, wait. He actually did that.’

    And if you want to know the mechanics of how a lot of these weapons were transferred to Syria, here is a highly detailed investigation that is based on leaked documents which showed a secret US Special Operations Command unit code named Task Force Smoking Gun that was doing their part for the Jihadists. Should we thank them for their service?

    1. Pavel

      Thanks, Rev Kev. IMO this is one of the great political scandals of this (admittedly young) century. It should rank with Iran/Contra but of course the MSM was determined to give Obama and Hillary et al a complete pass on this.

      Peace Prize President. Bah bloody humbug.

    2. Lambert Strether

      I never could make head or tail of Benghazi, the RussiaRussiaRussia of its day, but my impression is that the moral of the story is that our empire is so sclerotic it can’t even run a proper arms smuggling operation (out of our consulate’s basement in Libya to Syria). Readers who have better recollection please correct me.

  11. Wukchumni

    Loved the bear video, they’re pretty smart. Talking about taking a smarting, our neighborhood bruin laid waste to a 4-in-1 apple tree with maybe a dozen apples on it. It broke the main leader probably with a an overeager swipe of the paw, it was hungry.

    Said tree resembles Venus de Milo now.

    I’ve got a Sundowner apple tree with around 30 apples on it, a good 3 weeks away from being ripe, and a Sierra Beauty with well over 100 on it a month from ripening, and those are the only fruit possibilities left aside from citrus, which has the look of green billiard balls, not too appealing.

    In lieu of the trees being scalped, i’m torn between taking away the food now & slitting the trees risk, or letting nature take its course, er main course. The bear is no different than I, patiently waiting it out, learning the ripening cycle.

    Does a 200 pound black bear cross the road?

    Last week it did when we met briefly on Mineral King road about 16 miles up, only my 3rd sighting this year. A classic perfect brown shade a few years old.

    Deer have been quite numerous, i’ve seen in excess of 200 this summer, and there’ve been a few mountain lion sightings, one on a game cam on a neighbor’s back porch of his cabin, smile you’re on animal candid camera!

  12. Ignim Brites

    “House Judiciary Tees Up For Impeachment, But Democrats Divided On Moving Ahead”. The real target of the impeachment inquiry isn’t Trump. Is is Pelosi.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Perhaps for a few, but my suspicion is this is the result of “OMG Russia” after 2016 more than anything. Pelosi assumed she could shut off impeachment when it suited her. After all, her clap was a meme, but Team Blue types, even the most ardent Kremlinologists, did seem astonished voters took claims of treason seriously. Team Blue needs to look like its doing something, and they can’t come out and say “OMG Russia” was about avoiding accountability for 2016.

      1. Pat

        As ashamed as I am of Nadler, I am surrounded by people who honestly believe Trump should be impeached outcome be damned. I am sure I am among the minority of his constituents when it comes to impeachment. It also wouldn’t surprise me if Jerry is surrounded by the righteously angry beyond mail and phone calls from the voters. I really don’t want to think about the hysteria if Trump wins a second term.

        That possible delusion aside, Team Dem and Pelosi have not managed to put one foot right for most of the last decade. Trump has only put a spotlight on that

    1. KLG

      As a totally badass relative put it back when Ossoff collected all those millions for his campaign against the (now former) Representative Karen Handel: The Unelectable running against the Unspeakable. The entire financial sham was hilarious, not to mention pathetic, particularly given the unthinking support my “liberal” friends in Atlanta threw at Jon Ossoff (neo-carpetbagger that he is).

  13. mnm

    About 10 yrs ago law students or economists wrote an article about Yale New Haven Hospital attaching paychecks of people or putting liens on assets that owed them money. Funny thing was a few of the patients mentioned in the paper were employees of the medical center with their insurance plan.

    We had to write a paper class about different types of health programs, I chose a Canada style plan and used that as an example why our present system is failing. Everyone else disagreed and had the pull yourself up by your boot straps/you ain’t getting none of whats mine argument.

    Thank you for the bear video. Still good people out there in these angry days.

    1. Summer

      “Everyone else disagreed and had the pull yourself up by your boot straps/you ain’t getting none of whats mine argument.”

      Did you ask them that if they thought people should die for lack of ability to afford healthcare when prices keep increasing? And what big job did they have locked down for the next 50 years of their lives (if they’re lucky)?

    2. eg

      “the pull yourself up by your boot straps/you ain’t getting none of whats mine argument”

      requires a profound misunderstanding where the notion of public health is concerned. Even the most basic understanding of the germ theory of disease and in particular communicable disease makes a mockery of this sort of thinking.

    3. Jeff W

      “…had the pull yourself up by your boot straps/you ain’t getting none of whats mine argument.”

      It’s also just so lacking in compassion. I was going to say that such sentiments set back human civilization 5,000 years but it’s really more like 1.5 million [PDF] years! At least a few of these early archaics acted more like human beings, in the humane sense of the word, than some of your classmates.

  14. DJG

    I Support Unions, by Nathan J. Robinson. Hmmm. Comments upthread indicate to me some non-reading of the article.

    The article is about a fundamental difference, often discussed here: What distinguishes liberals from leftists? As opposed to the generally liberal argument that that the left no longer exists. (Convenient argument, that.)

    Robinson focuses on several differences in rhetorical style and doesn’t want to be lectured by liberals about their “realism.”

    The article is worth reading in full: Liberals are people who constantly claim to want to support things, so long as there is no inconvenience. Environmentalism is okay, till José, the gardener with dodgy papers, has to give up the leafblower. And José is perfect for giving that Multicultural Feeling, so long as he makes no demands. And unions are okay, except, except, except. Does anyone truly wonder why the U S of A’s most notable characteristic these days is stagnation?

    E.g., poor Barbara Boxer, Lion of the Senate, defender of liberalism, friend of Uber and Lyft and “contractors” everywhere.

  15. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Jamieson tweet / ‘UVA has ruined us…..’

    I have no doubt that somewhere else in the propaganda rag that is wapo, it is being unironically reported that americans LOVE their “healthcare,” and that Medicare for All is socialist and wanting “free shit” will turn the usa into Venezuela and then no one will have food or toilet paper.

    For Heather Waldron, the path from “having everything and being able to buy things and feeling pretty good” to “devastation” began when she learned after her UVA hospitalization that a computer error involving a policy bought on had led her insurance to lapse.

    She is now on food stamps and talking to bankruptcy lawyers. A bank began foreclosure proceedings in August on the Blacksburg house she shared with her family. The home will be sold to pay off the mortgage. She expects UVA to take whatever is left.

    Oh, and that obamacare is “working” and just needs to be “built upon.” And pre-existing conditions. And skin in the game.

    1. Baby Gerald

      Great points, Katniss. For the same outlet to produce this article a week after defending their so-called ‘fact check’ against Bernie’s claim that way too many [half a million] people are bankrupted by medical expenses every year is particularly rich.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      Talk inside the Borg cube was that the Feds wanted 3 companies to result: Windows, Office and MSN/Internet stuff.

      In the end there was a stupid consent order and some DOJ buffoons in the cube for a few years.

      And Microsoft still thought it had lost the case.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Trump declares US-Taliban talks ‘dead’ after cancelling Camp David meeting”

    Let’s see. About twenty years ago the US managed to take over all of Afghanistan. More or less. Right now, the Taliban have managed to take back over half of the country since the initial invasion. At this rate, by 2035 the Taliban will have the whole country except for the capital of Kabul back under their control again. You think that the Pentagon will be willing to negotiate their departure from Afghanistan then?

    1. Wukchumni

      In retrospect, going with the unlimited mileage option on our rental Karzai was a mistake, along with not taking full comp & collision insurance.

    2. Drake

      Only westerners think of Afghanistan as a country. The Taliban have basically already taken back all the areas that they care about — the Pashtun sections. The other parts are still controlled by Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmen, etc. And ‘control’ is a very slippery word. No outsider controls any part of Afghanistan longer than they occupy it in force, and sometimes not then.

  17. Carolinian

    Good BAR (and good Links today). This sounds true to me

    But Trump is not an ideologue like his former guru, Steve Bannon, who really does believe the white world, led by the U.S., is in a race-based fight to the death against the Yellow Hordes. Trump is just a spoiled, huckstering, not-too-bright brat who loves being on television and doesn’t want to get cancelled in 2020. He will likely keep up his tariff-war against China just long enough to close a “deal” that he can sell to his Amerikaner followers as a victory. U.S. corporations can then continue, at their own pace, rerouting their low-wage supply lines to other parts of the Global South – most of the which will be way stations on China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

    The failure to take Trump’s true measure is perhaps the biggest failure of The Resistance and the TDS crowd. The fanatical opposition has likely pushed him more firmly into the embrace of the Republican party where the seeds of fascism actually live. Trump has moved from almost total GOP establishment opposition in 2016 to 90 percent Republican approval in 2019. My state even canceled next year’s primary on the theory that a Trump win would be inevitable (and also to stick the shiv in Mark Sanford).

    So Dems should beware of a Trump pivot to the center if it will save his reality show from cancellation. Trying to defeat him with their own smoke and mirrors could be a mistake.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Next year, I doubt Trump will use a campaign bus, like McCain’s Straight Talk Express, which, in hindsight, was a pretty green gesture.

      Are any D candidates planning on not accumulating as many airline miles, but with more reliance on bus travel?

  18. notabanktoadie

    Capitalists seek to maximize profits and reduce the cost of labor. This sums up capitalism at its core. Chris Hedges from “The Capitalists are Afraid”

    Usury requires profit – in order to pay the interest (Any positive interest rate is usury, modern redefinition notwithstanding).

    Otoh, equity finance, which shares wealth and power, requires no borrowing, much less at interest.

    Why then do we have government privileges* for usury cartels, aka “the banks”, when this must necessarily reduce the need for those with equity to share it?

    *Such as deposit insurance instead of inherently risk-free debit/checking accounts at the Central Bank or Treasury itself.

  19. Barbara

    Two brief comments before I’m out the door.

    Trump’s whole presidency is on the deck of the Titanic. The trick for the rest of us is to get off that deck safely. Holding my breath.

    Chemical cloud to end Global Warming. I seem to remember years back when we had a period of a dearth of rain where they sent out planes to salt the clouds with dry ice.
    Whatever happened to that?

  20. The Rev Kev

    “California Lawmakers Vote to Undo N.C.A.A. Amateurism“: ‘We’re firmly against anything that would lead to a pay-for-play system,” said Larry Scott, the commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference’

    Well there is an obvious solution. Have Colleges dump their entire sports program. Get them out of the sports/entertainment industry and have them concentrate all their resources on the actual education of their students. All those private interests can then put their hands into their own pockets to keep these de facto pro sports teams running. A side effect would be that they would have to pay those athletes a decent wage to keep playing but that would be their problem. Thinks of the tens of millions of dollars that have to be paid to the coaching staff alone so that they can lead lives as a multi-millionaires – at the college’s expense. As for venues, why those private interests could rent all those stadiums laying mostly unused by those colleges so that would be a source of revenue to those colleges.

    1. Another Scott

      Yes, I was coming to make the same point. Given that few athletic programs make the schools money, impact the bond rating (thereby preventing borrowing for academic facilities), have a central role in the recent admissions scandal, is there really any reason to have them that doesn’t amount to serving the interests of the 1% who are big donors (think Phil Knight at Oregon) and the 10% who get admitted to play non-revenue generating sports.

      1. KLG

        I have linked to this USA Today database before:

        Sort the table by “% ALLOCATED” and you will find out how much of each school’s athletics budget comes from student fees and direct allocations from the institution. 91% for UC-Riverside leads the pack, or about $19M that could be spent on, you know, education? UCONN takes over $40MM and gifts it to their Athletic Department. University presidents say sports are good for their institutions, school spirit and such. They don’t understand double-entry bookkeeping when it comes to certain things. Where is another Robert Maynard Hutchins when we need one?

        At first glance, maybe 25 institutions are in the black without institutional subsidies. This database includes public schools only. Add USC, Notre Dame, Stanford and a small handful of other private schools also in the black without digging into their students’ bank accounts.

        1. a different chris

          School spirit ends at high school. What is really funny (in that sad way we’ve all become accustomed to) is that colleges have been visibly and deliberately turned into robot-worker construction factories rather places for people to grow.

          Well my employer doesn’t have a sports team. What does one have to do with what they expect you to accomplish in college?

    2. Tim

      Learning to work hard enough to compete at a high level of college sports gives individuals intangible skills and abilities to deal with difficulty that should not be ignored.

      MOST college sports don’t pay for themselves with revenue. Those should be kept by the schools that can fund them.

      1. a different chris

        Yeah with the difficulty that no matter how hard they try that guy in the back that never had an intelligent thought in his life is just better at sports than they are.

        I really hate that “sports builds….” whatever BS people spout. Seriously? What planet have you been living on? I’m gonna tell you you ain’t gonna like this one much.

    3. Arizona Slim

      A former president of the University of Michigan would agree with you, Reverend. Link to his book on the topic:

      From the above link:

      “In Intercollegiate Athletics and the American University, James Duderstadt agrees, taking the view that the increased commercialization of intercollegiate athletics endangers our universities and their primary goal, academics. Calling it a ‘corrosive example of entertainment culture’ during an interview with ESPN’s Bob Ley, Duderstadt suggested that college basketball, for example, ‘imposes on the university an alien set of values, a culture that really is not conducive to the educational mission of university.'”

      On a personal note, I met James Duderstadt a few years after he published this book. It had caused quite a stir, and for that he was quite proud. To the point of grinning from ear to ear.

  21. Wukchumni

    A cabin owner showed me a thick binder* of all the information he could find on a Lemoore NAS based A4 Skyhawk 2 seater jet that barely missed clearing the ridge above the Bullfrog Lakes just south of Mineral King in the bountiful winter of 1969. He found that the snow was estimated to have been coming down at a rate of 4 feet an hour when the plane was in the air, it wandered into a blizzard. Both pilots disintegrated upon impact, there was no there, there.

    Photos of the hard to get to site (planes never seem to crash near trails) were interesting, and mostly scattered on one side widely with some identifiable pieces (a twisted instrument panel, a nose cone, etc.) with the engine resting on the other side of the ridge, the heavy part of the plane’s inertia leaping over meaning it just missed the final abyss.

    It was in search of the Gamblers Special DC-3 that had disappeared, and crashed killing 35 on board.

    * a police report if you will, as he is a retired policeman

  22. Jason Boxman

    The Amazon walkout is hilarious, in truth. The existence of the company itself is antithetical to efforts to reduce the climate catastrophe.

    On the merchant side, the entire purpose is to ship more and more useless junk faster and faster. Most of the stuff sold on Amazon, indeed in any store, has no rationale to exist outside of capitalism and consumption. Meanwhile, how many apps and services does the AWS side support that simply burn CPU cycles. Likely most of it.

    When I go to Target (or if I shopped on Amazon, which I don’t if at all avoidable, ugh.), I have a choice of at least 20 different brands and “types” of toothpaste, all with the same active ingredient. How messed up is that?

    1. Jeff W

      I have a choice of at least 20 different brands and “types” of toothpaste, all with the same active ingredient. How messed up is that?

      In the US, consumer choice or maybe “choice”—but, interestingly enough, not political or ideological choice—is fetishized as “freedom.”

  23. QuarterBack

    Re “web scraping” ruling and litigation, I can’t imagine LinkedIn prevailing because I see no practical difference between HiQ’s actions and how the Google Search engine operates with every byte of public content on the Internet. Both companies read public facing websites, index the collected content, and present it to users in a form with additional utility. The only difference between the two is scale. If what HiQ does is prohibited by law, then the Google search engine would be also. As a practical matter, one can argue the legality and ethics hypothetically, but removing Google search from the Internet, at this point, would be nothing short of calamitous. Like it or not, for this issue, the ship has already sailed years ago.

    1. LarryB

      One big difference is that Google will respect a robots.txt file, if you don’t wan Google to index your site, they won’t. You will see a big decrease in traffic, most likely, but Google won’t scan your site if you ask them not to. Presumably LinkedIn has tried this and this other company is ignoring it (robots.txt is only advisory, it can’t block access itself).

    1. a different chris

      TLDR (but in this case the “L” stands for Lazy) but yeah.. and of course it is even more horrific when medical debt destroys a marriage. I mean somebody in a loving relationship loses it due to an illness. Not sure whether the illness is theirs or a child’s is the absolute worst…. Ok, I guess since I’m staring into the abyss I’ll say the worst is when a marriage has to break up under the financial strain of a sick child.

      For me, I’ve been lucky. My only real discomfort is imagining trying to explain this BS to somebody from France…

  24. Synoia

    Bill Gates Is Funding a Chemical Cloud That Could Put an End to Global Warming Interesting Engineering.

    The problem s too much Carbon Dioxide and Methane.
    This fix reduces incident radiation, which is necessary for plant growth.
    The brilliant plan by Gates is to reduce our food supply, and not address root cause at all?

    Brilliant, just like MS Windows security.

  25. dearieme

    Hello, hello, hello, what’s all this then?

    Do I see that John Bolton has been given the chop?

    Nothing if not lively, the White House of Donald L H Trump.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I imagine Neera Tanden will welcome Bolton to the #resistance anytime now. With her union busting, it makes sense for her to seek allies.

    2. Carolinian

      Now to get rid of Pompeo and dump Pence in favor of Tulsi for VP. She’s been accused by other Dems of angling for the job.

      1. John k

        Tulsi provides any pres protection from deep.
        Good move for trump if he is thinking of withdrawing from foreign wars.
        But won’t happen. Pence solidifies Christian Right base.
        OTOH, if he’s unhappy with Mattis…

  26. Parker Dooley

    “USS Gerald Ford – A $13 Billion Boondoggle”
    Well named. Can’t float and launch planes at the same time.

  27. Otis B Driftwood

    Regarding ‘Bernie Sanders Went to Canada …. ‘ – what’s this from Sydney Ember of the NYT? An article that is accurate and actually sympathetic to Sanders? Very uncharacteristic. For Ms. Ember, who has been rightly criticized for her biased reporting, I am hopeful this reflects an affirmative response to criticism and that her coverage will continue to improve.

    1. wilroncanada

      I can’t read the article because I won’t take the time to circumvent paywalls. There is often more intelligence in the comments here on NC anyway. I suspect there may be a healthy dose of sarcasm in her article about a trip to Canada as a “road to Damascus” moment. ( 1.) Does he really have to come to Canada for a short visit to acquire knowledge about some version of single-payer medical care? (2.) Is Canada the ideal country to copy, with it’s non-inclusion of dental care, vision care, and drugs? (3.) Does she really consider Sanders so simple as to be “converted” by such a journey, or has he actually developed the idea–along with other thinking activists–and has actually been the idea’s advocate for many years?
      Perhaps you’re giving her too much credit?

    1. notabanker

      I am no fan, but still a firm believer that Trump knows nuclear war is bad for the Real Estate business.

    2. polecat

      Finally, the banishment of the newly flayed BristleMouth has begun.

      Long Gone the Bolton ! Long Gone the Bolton ! Long Gone the bolton !

    3. Bugs Bunny

      My guess is Bolton bolted after the Iranian FM came to the G7. Probably waited a week or so to not tie the two together.

      Interesting that Bibi has doubled down, pressuring Europe on Iran and threatening to annex the Jordan Valley. Willing to bet Bolton gave him a heads up.

    1. Plenue

      I don’t remotely think that’s true. Just a decade ago British television was airing soon-to-be-Doctor Who telling a woman he would ‘ram her purview up the sh**ter with a lubricated horse c**k’ So unless things have changed massively since then, I’m pretty sure British comedy is as blunt and crass as ever.

      Of course RT would serve as the vehicle for reactionary whinging though.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        Well it is correct that ” Rising Damp ” would not go down at all well with the holier than thou PC brigade & coincidentally I have just watched the first series, after having purchased a 2nd hand boxset . It is also true of ” Love thy Neighbour ” & ” Till Death Us Do Part “. In all 3 of these the butt of the jokes are the racists.

        I do not have TV but occasionally watch shows which originated there & the BBC’s otherwise excellent ” The Hollow Crown “, was marred for me as it used black actors to portray people who were definitely not black – Margaret of Anjou being just one example. The recent film ” Mary Queen of Scots ” is another case of this & I was particularly taken aback at the inclusion of a few black people within a fundamentalist Presbyterian church.

        If India made a film about the love affair between Shah Bijan who built the Taj Mahal & his wife with white people playing Indian nobles or mixed into a crowd scene, it would I feel be seen as rightly ridiculous & possibly racist, as would whites being cast as Black Panthers or Zulu tribesmen.

  28. Wukchumni

    I’ll be part of a hunting party looking for a duo of Sequoias of size, one is 25 wide across @ eye level, and another has a larger circumference than the Sherman Tree @ the base, with a 23 foot wide waist. They’re both in the hard to get to Garfield Grove of Giant Sequoias (sorry you got assassinated-what if we named an obscure grove after you?) and you have to walk around 25 miles (one way) to access the grove the easiest route, dropping down into the forest for the trees from above in going from 8,600 to 3,600 feet in descent. This will get a friend up to around 46 out of the 50 largest living things (sorry mold in Michigan-you don’t rate) visited in his quest to touch em’ all.

    11th largest Sequoia: King Arthur

    13th largest Sequoia: Floyd Otter

  29. Oregoncharles

    “Could Johnson take the initiative and solve the Irish backstop today?” An Irish Sea border. Of course, that’s been the obvious solution all along – I suggested it’s what would really happen regardless, since the land border isn’t enforceable.

  30. BoyDownTheLane

    Boothbay is a favorite stop for me too but I’ve twice stayed here:

    and once had to back out of reservations here:

    Around the corner from the Five Gables is a dockside lobster joint of the kind that dots the landscape up there, but the funny part was the signage and placemat explanations that told the tourists from beyond the Hudson that the lobsters were maintained in proper tanks. The restaurant sat on top of the water in the cove at the top of Linekin Bay, itself a proper holding tank.

  31. ewmayer

    o “Rare ‘Micromoon’ Is Gracing Us With Its Presence On Friday The 13th HuffPost (furzy)” — For those of an East Asian persuasion, this harvest moon means moon cakes! (Which admittedly, to a westerner like myself, are a bit of an acquired taste.)

  32. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL


    The received wisdom is that Chinese payment tech like Alipay will soon take over the globe. LOL.

    Two years ago Chinese citizens were told they may only have one tech-style account that linked to their bank. An estimated 7.2 *billion* accounts were closed as a result.

    Then the PBOC said all payments providers (including Alipay and WeChat) must clear through a new PBOC account.

    Then the PBOC said they must not only clear through them, their deposits must be held by them.

    Then the PBOC pushed back on Alipay’s ambitions in payments entirely, in order to protect the Chinese commercial banks. Ant Financial renamed themselves Ant Lifestyle and said they were going to concentrate instead on enterprise banking software.

    Now last week Jack Ma was stripped of all of his Alibaba shareholdings. Speculation is that he is going to disappear.

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