Links 9/22/19

The discovery of the ancient Greek city of Tenea BBC

Stress caused sleeplessness for the Victorians too – but they thought it only afflicted ‘brain-workers The Conversation

Bald eagles have found themselves a new home: Suburbia LA Times

As global leaders meet, the Amazon rainforest burns Agency France-Presse

The end of an American tradition: The Amtrak dining car WaPo. Further crapification. I posted recently about a recent surprisingly pleasant overnight Amtrak journey – of which a meal in the dining car was an essential part.

Agency could keep Three Mile Island nuclear debris in Idaho ABC (The Rev Kev)

Man who created NYC subway map says ‘it’s a mess,’ calls for improvements NY Post

When the Ideologues Come for the Kids NY magazine (UserFriendly). Andrew Sullivan.

‘I just bear-hugged her’: Washington woman finds her missing dog after 57-day search in Montana Seattle Times

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

The Private Surveillance System That Tracks Cars Nationwide  Motherboard


I wasn’t just a brain in a jar London Review of Books

Cataract Surgery Could Confuse Biometric Identification The Wire


Brexit: The perils of progress on the backstop RTE


Kashmir: SC Seeks Probe Into Alleged Illegal Detention of Children The Wire

As Narendra Modi Heads to U.S., Controversy Follows Him NYT

View: Modi-Trump meeting could be game-changing for Indo-US ties Economic Times

‘Panic Reaction’: Modi Government’s Corporate Tax Cut Invites Opposition Ire The Wire

The realpolitik of Modi and MbS Qantara


Power’s Glaring Omission: Yemen American Conservative

Beneath Contempt Craig Murray

Saudi Arabia vows to respond to oil attacks with ‘necessary measures’ BBC

Iran says it will destroy any aggressor Reuters

This Is the Moment That Decides the Future of the Middle East Foreign Policy (TP)

Secretary Esper and General Dunford Briefing C-Span (KC)

Israel: Wounded Netanyahu in desperate battle for political survival after poll blow Guardian (The Rev Kev)

‘Leave, Sisi!’: All you need to know about the protests in Egypt Al Jazeera

Class Warfare

Sacklers threaten to scrap opioid deal if they aren’t shielded from lawsuits Ars Technica

Starving Seniors: How America Fails To Feed Its Aging Kaiser Health News

Stephen Schwarzman: ‘I like to do things that are beautiful’ Lunch with the FT.

Leftists, liberals, and neoliberals share a problem: Congress Vox. Ezra Klein. UserFriendly: “Baghdad Bob tries to explain away Obama’s fecklessness.”

Michelle Obama charging up to $4,200 for tickets to new tour NY Post

The Return of Fiscal Policy Project Syndicate (UserFriendly)


Hong Kong protests: police use court orders to obtain protesters’ digital fare payment details in another weekend of petrol bombs, tear gas and fires on the streets SCMP

‘You Don’t Have to Face It Alone.’ Hong Kong Protests Propelled by Hidden Support Network WSJ


Tucker Carlson: The Press Has Abandoned Harris For Warren, She May Be Doomed Real Clear Politics


Mark Penn: Hillary would be 2020 contender if she had conceded the 2016 election Fox News

Pete Buttigieg Gets Personal During Presidential LGBTQ Forum: “I’ve Got To Be Who I Am” Hollywood Reporter

AGAINST NUTPICKING John Halle (UserFriendly))

‘He knows I’ll beat him like a drum’: Biden accuses Trump of abusing power to smear him WaPo

Elizabeth Warren Declares War on Lobbying, Hires Lobbyist One Day Later National Interest (UserFriendly)

Julian Assange

Novelty Joke PM From Fake Country Meets With Trump, Silent On Assange Caitlin Johnstone

Trump Transition

Backed by Over Two Dozen Cities and States, California Sues Trump Admin for Revoking Authority to Adopt Strict Emissions Standards Common Dreams

Inside the Trump Administration’s Chaotic Dismantling of the Federal Land Agency ProPublica

Antidote du Jour. TH: “Evasive little Gnatcatcher. He refused to hold still!”:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “Saudi Arabia vows to respond to oil attacks with ‘necessary measures’ ”

    Vows to keep radar stations turned on every weekend now, no matter how many western infidels they have to hire to do it for them.

    That image of that Gnatcatcher is very attractive that. You would think that a grey bird would be just plain & dull but such is not the case here.

    1. Mirdif

      According to some of the Saudi opposition Telegram channels the attack was detected immediately. However, MbS has ordered that everything gets approval from him personally. So they had to wait for him to respond. Problem was, he was on one of his cocaine binge sessions and could not be reached.

      Also, there are apparently petrol shortages in the Kindgom as internal supplies are being routed to export to give the impression that the attack has not affected supplies.

      My view: the US is behind this almost certainly. The aforementioned channels are adamant that the attack originated in Iraq from territory controlled by a militia in hte pay of MbZ. It is part of the Trump administration’s attempts to get India and China to diversify their oil sources – which means buying more American oil.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Neither idea seems credible to me.

        Previous attacks were responded to immediately with anti-missile launches, its not credible that any air defence would require MbS to authorise over Saudi soil – they usually only have a few minutes or even seconds to get missiles launched in time following detection.

        I can’t image there being the slightest incentive for Trump to destabilise the Saudi’s in this manner, not least because he doesn’t want oil prices rising in an election year. There is no need for conspiracy theories on this – the Houthi’s have the means and the motive to carry out the attack. What we are seeing is the Saudi’s desperately trying to pretend to their own population that this isn’t blow back from their genocide in Yemen, so pinning the blame on Iran or even Iraqi shiites.

        1. tegnost

          +1, Thanks for this….
          the Houthi’s have the means and the motive to carry out the attack.
          Sometimes it is just that simple

        2. WJ

          Of course it’s the Houthis. Everybody knows this. Saudi Arabia violated a year-long cease fire over a territory in Yemen two days after the event, and then, one or two days later, the two sides are discussing an armistice.

          But because the Western Press are bootlicking Pinocchios, Pompeo can reap the benefits of pretending that Iran was behind the attack anyway. It helps to control the press.

        3. notabanker

          The moment I heard the Houthi’s bombed the Saudi oil complexes I wondered how long it would take the US to blame Iran. These guys are so transparent, they don’t even try and hide it anymore.

          I watched the linked Esper briefing, he’s a dolt, former Raytheon VP of Government Affairs. It’s clear Iran is responsible, we have to send troops to defend the Saudi’s, we urge our partners to contribute because the Saudi’s are still vulnerable. Then they hand the mic over to a 4 star who says they haven’t figured out what they are going to send yet.

          So if they are telling the truth, they were unable to defend against an Iranian attack, are still unable to defend against it, and won’t know what they need to do to defend against it until Monday. Putin and Xi are laughing at these clowns.

        4. VietnamVet

          The Saudi Arabia attack was a game changer. The Empire just doesn’t want to acknowledge it. Clearly Saudi oil supply is vulnerable. Reports are that the shortage could last months. President Trump cannot be reelected if oil is cut off from the Gulf. I really don’t know if he can keep things calm to November 2020. The Houthis demand an end to their war. I still think Hezbollah and the Iraqi Shiite militias coordinated and assisted the attack. Since the USA is occupying Iraq and Eastern Syria, the Empire denies it. All Shiites have reason to try to attack the House of Saud. This is a Muslim Holy War. But what really changed is that if attacked, Iran will destroy Israel and Saudi Arabia with hundreds of thousands of missiles and UAVs. They have non-nuclear Mutually Assured Destruction. Only idiots and true believers don’t want to see this.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Russia and China are not going to let Iran to be left twisting in the wind. They are, all three of them, going to be doing naval maneuvers in the international waters of the Gulf of Oman as a message of unity-


            There was also a rumour a coupla months ago that the Russian bolstered Iranian air defenses as well


  2. Dr. John Carpenter

    Re: Veepstakes 2020, didn’t Vanity Fair put “Beto” on the cover or at least give him his first big fawning press? I don’t disagree with their take on him here but, me-ouch.

  3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Beneath Contempt.

    We’re in an era when the great mass of people in the great deep sea of humanity are so far and away better in every respect than all the charlatans, poseurs, showoffs, midgets, lickspittles, and thieves who run the corporations and that own and run the governments of the world.

    Do everything you can. Get mad. Convince people. Rage.

    1. Zagonostra

      It’s hard to gin up anger amoung the comfortable, even if comfortable on a mountain of debt, when you can fill your fridge with cold beer and steaks for the Barbie.

      Rage, fury, like that of King Lear against the fierce storm when he is thrown out seems to come organically. It’s what the intellectuals used to study under the heading of Crowd psychology and which is tamped down and closely monitored by the Security State.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I dunno, people were very comfortable (substantially more comfortable) when we stopped the Vietnam war. It took: 1. a functioning moral compass in the heart of the people; and 2. a functioning press. The second one we can work on, it’s #1 that seems so very absent today

  4. Sam Adams

    It’s becoming clearer and clearer by the day that the US Military procurement officers are arming the Calvary with the best horses (f35 bricks) money can buy while the Indians are armed with mustard gas and digging trenches (cheap drone swarms). Didn’t we Play this once before?

    1. JTMcPhee

      Mustard gas? Citations please, and which Indians? The tribes manufactured by US intent and covert action?

      Query: Where did Saddam Hussein get the chemical weapons he used against Iran, back when he was “on our side” against that hated place where people had the nerve to toss out “our” installed ruler, the Shah, and also against nominal if insufficiently submissive Iraqis? Could the yahoos in our Cavalry have had something to do with that?

      Seems this whole huge human exercise is a lot like one of those on-line shooter games — even if one sickens of the carnage and stops playing, the game goes on, and on, and the casualties just mount up. “The only way to win is not to play the game.” But pink-misting our fellow humans (who are, we are assured by the gameplay, assiduously trying to pink-mist us, is so very seductive and involving…

      And. Not to worry, parts of the Empire’s covert and even right-out-there-where-you-can-see-them set are busily developing and fielding drone swarms of their own: Along with a host of other cutting-edge and increasingly autonomous weapons.

      We. Are. So. F___ed.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Upmarket dining cars are making a come-back in Europe. I even saw one in Ireland recently, the Belmond Grand Hibernian. It seems particularly weird to have one in Ireland as there is no train journey longer than about 4 hours (including stops) anywhere in the country. So you actually have to slow the train down to make the trip worthwhile. Its very ironic somehow that such a lovely gentle old fashioned way of travel is now so staggeringly expensive.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I spent several years in Europe and I never met one fellow traveler that did not have a good time in Ireland. Sadly, I never to my great regret ever get to visit there.

    2. Phacops

      Sad. I was hoping to take the Empire Builder from Chicago to Glacier NP and perhaps hike into one of those grand old backcountry lodges. But I guess such travel is going away as people would rather experience the in-your-face consumerism of dizzyworld.

      But then, even when train travel to our national parks was in its heyday, and there were dedicated resort trains like those from Chicago to French Lick (home of Pluto Water), was travel and the time it took really affordable for the working class?

      I was fortunate enough after my undergrad years to take the Canadian Pacific from Toronto to Vancouver and the dining car as well as the bar car where one can meet other travelers were real treats. The scenery along the shore of Lake Superior and through the Rockies and through the spiral tunnel was spectacular.

      I really like trains so a couple of years ago on a motorcycle trip through Colorado rode the Cumbres & Toltec as well as the Durango to Silverton. I’d recommend them for any train buff.

      1. johnf

        I believe the Empire Builder is still offering full dining car service, except (as has been true for decades) over the Portland–Spokane segments.

        I took an overnight sleeper, northbound, on the City of New Orleans a few months ago. It is one of the trains that was “contemporized”, a year or two ago. When I asked the conductor about breakfast, he said he would skip it and sleep in.

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          I noticed the article mentioned a petition to stop the Amtrak change. If I can find it, I’ll post a link.

    3. Ranger Rick

      I liked the Amtrak dining car. Once on my way back east from Sacramento I met a nice pair of NASA Ames retirees over lunch. You really never know who you’re going to sit across from, and I found it immensely charming.

    4. kgw

      My wife and I have been on the SouthWest Chief (LA to Chicago, then on to Pittsburgh (Johnstown) several times to visit her family. We also enjoyed the Coast Starlight from LA to Seattle: delightful. I have quit airlines, and, as Deckard says in Blade Runner, “I’m twice as quit now.”
      The dining car is a wonderful way to get rid of your narcissism, btw.

  5. NY Geezer

    Mafia Rules

    “Scott Morrison, the novelty joke Prime Minister from the imaginary nation of Australia, met with his boss Donald Trump today without any mention of the US government’s transnational conspiracy to imprison an Australian citizen for exposing American war crimes”

    Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Snowden persecuted for exposing American crimes (“snitching under
    mafia Rules”)

    Now Donald Trump now to be impeached for exposing Biden crimes(“snitching under
    mafia Rules”). Ironic!

    Its time for someone to update Alice in Wonderland or maybe just reproduce an updated version.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      “In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw round, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”
      “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
      “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here.”

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Amtrak is being run by a former airline industry lawyer/executive, Richard Anderson, who also, bless his heart, was an United Healthcare executive as well.

      Just in case you were wondering where the crapification came from.

      1. Cuibono

        explain that to me. Anderson made 125 million in 2005 alone at United.
        Why exactly is he at work to crapify our railroads?

          1. rowlf

            Richard Anderson ran things well at the airlines he was in charge of and was one of the best airline leaders in the post deregulation era. I don’t know why he decided to accept the Amtrak position. I hope he can sort things out.

  6. foghorn longhorn

    “Officials [in Wisconsin] made every excuse in the books to prevent people from voting,” Clinton said Tuesday at George Washington University.

    “You can run the best campaign and have the best plans and get the nomination and win the popular vote and you can lose the Electoral College and therefore the election,” she added.
    The most qualified evah.

    1. Pat

      The whining never stops. How many entities have been blamed by Hillary Rodham Clinton for her loss? I have lost count.

      Meanwhile no mention of the state party members who were begging her campaign and her for some attention because it didn’t look good no matter what the polls said. God forbid she campaign there or any other rust belt state whose electoral college votes she needed.

      Sorry I am just sick to death of the entitled toddler queen refusing to acknowledge SHE lost, she wasn’t robbed.

      1. dcblogger

        In this case it is NOT whining. There was massive voter suppression across the Great Lakes and Pennsylvania. Clinton supporters showed up and were turned away on the thinnest of pretexts. Had they been permitted to vote Clinton would be in the White House.

        Greg Palast documented this at the time. Also the great Project ID ( ) is working to make sure it does not happen again. Saying this has nothing to do with what you think of Clinton and everything to do with what you think of the right to vote.

        1. notabanker

          Puh -leeze. If only for the electoral college, now it’s Wisconsin voter suppression. When do we switch back to Putin and Russia? If only, if only….

          If only the DNC hadn’t nominated a corrupt warmongering sociopathic hack lawyer that was completely unelectable and couldn’t beat an old obnoxious commercial real estate flipping reality TV star. It takes a special kind of ineptness to lose to Trump, and by golly, she has it. But yeah, it’s because the Republicans, or Russians, or the 200+ year old US Constitutional requirements.

        2. Pat

          I seem to remember 100,000 voter’s registrations being wiped out in Brooklyn for the Democratic primary in 2016. And thousands of voters being denied their right to vote because Jeb gave such wide parameters to the company purging the rolls of former felons in 2000 (Palast had a lot to say about that one which was largely ignored.) And multiple instances in between. But fighting to make sure everyone can vote has never been a priority for our Democratic leadership.

          I mean we spent years on Russia! Russia! Russia! And only now as that falls totally apart do we get rust belt voter suppression.

          Oh and just as a point of information Democrats were apparently in charge of denying Clinton voters in Pennsylvania. The state official in charge of overseeing the election was a Democrat appointed by a Democratic governor. I am really going to have to look into how that one worked.

    2. Lambert Strether

      And the Democrats have been whinging furiously and doing squat since at least Florida 2000, when so many of these techniques came together.

      Anybody see the outcome of the NC redistricting struggle? The Republican’s slightly less bad map passed because they bought off a few Democrats with safe seats. A real kick in the teeth for the activists, and naturally not a word from Clinton, Pelosi, Stacy Abrams, etc., that I can find.

      It’s no so much that liberal Democrats don’t have spines; it’s that they’re actively anti-spine.

      1. Procopius

        Didn’t a lot of Democrats vote for the hideous Help America Vote Act in 2002? You know, the one that “encouraged” all the states to buy these paperless electronic toasters that change your vote in front of your eyes? And then have refused to provide any money to maintain the stupid machines or to replace them? We need paper ballots, counted in public by hand.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Michelle Obama charging up to $4,200 for tickets to new tour”

    I have been racking my brain for an answer but failing. What could that women possibly say that would be worth dropping a coupla grand to hear? Anecdotes of her time at Princeton University and Harvard Law School perhaps? How to be a fashion icon and a Camelot wife? How to prioritize the organic movement and LGBT rights rather than leveraging her influence to help black people and stand up for them? Is there something that she can point to in her eight years in the White House that outlasted her time there?

    1. JTMcPhee

      We all shed hairs and dead skin cells in the millions every day. I bet you could find a bunch of hers in various sumps and corners of the White House. Does that count?

      I guess the cover charge for her tours selects those women who have, like her, already “made it,” and who do nothing to help the billions below the glass floor they tread in their Louis Vuitton and Blahnik creations…

    2. pretzelattack

      it’s just people impressing each other with how much money they have and how “woke” they are. at least she didn’t charge as much as clinton, but then the bankers actually thought they were buying a successful politician.

    3. Bugs Bunny

      Mentioned this, with some outrage on my part, to a liberal friend. The reaction was total disbelief that I found anything wrong with it. “They deserve every penny”.

      I guess I should not have discussed religion.

    4. cripes


      I knew this about michelle obama from her cringe-worthy master’s thesis on Princeton Educated Blacks (didn’t have to travel far for that one) to her University of Chicago Hospital sinecure at $100,000, bumped to $300,000 on baracks appointment to the senate, where she was in charge of giving bus fare to low income residents to leave the emergency room and travel to other more suitable hospitals for their gunshot wounds. And got help from David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett to succeed™. Her jawb was aptly titled “Vice President for Community and External Affairs.”

      $4,200 to see her? A bargain. Reminds me of Jay-Z’s reply when asked why he didn’t fund program in black communities, who made him a billionaire-ish celebrity: “My presence IS charity.

      That’s our internal comprador class.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Maybe gushing descriptions of the trips she took on Air Force One to Milan at $200K per hour for shoe shopping with the girls.

        Qu’ils mangent de la brioche

    5. Kurtismayfield

      If it were me, I would be asking “How do you fool so many people that you care about them, but really you were just hucksters who were out for yourselves all along?”

      If she did respond I have follow ups.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    Tucker Carlson: The Press Has Abandoned Harris For Warren, She May Be Doomed Real Clear Politics

    He makes an interesting point that in the current mood, being favoured by the press may be a poisoned chalice for any candidate. Its certainly an advantage early, when the ‘politically engaged’ core of party voters are involved, but as the campaigns spread out for the less engaged, I think it will matter much less and may be as counter productive as it was for the Republicans last time out. I can’t help feeling that the move by centrists to embrace Warren may be more a sign of their desperation that all their favoured candidates are failing to move, and Biden of course is an accident waiting to happen. If Warren genuinely wants to win, she may find that pushing away some of her new found friends may be a better strategy.

    1. Joe Well

      The age and wealth gap between Sanders and Warren supporters is the most striking thing. My gut feeling is that the aged, well to do scions of the media and the party feel much more comfortable with Warren fans than Sanders fans, or even Yang fans, and that is driving this as much as policy. And for the same reasons, younger and less affluent voters would be unimpressed at best by the Establishment seal of approval. So this is going to be an ugly 2016 redux.

      1. WJ

        Warren has the advantage of being a candidate that will lose to Trump in a landslide, her voting bloc being essentially a high-brow subsection of Clinton’s in 2016.

        That way, the DNC and press can tell us in 2024 that we tried a left leaning candidate in 2020 and it didn’t work. So we can run Buttigieg or Harris in 2024.

        1. Carey

          I agree that losing with a corporatist, then blaming the left, is the Dems’ plan next year.

          Should be fun

      2. Lambert Strether

        > So this is going to be an ugly 2016 redux.

        Worse, because when Clinton’s baggage is removed from the equation, the power relations are clarified. Also better, for the same reason.

        1. ambrit

          Snark alert/ Hillary Clinton IS the baggage. And, she has not been banished to the outer darkness yet. [See Warren’s ‘meeting’ with the Borg Queen/kissing of the ring.] /Snark off

      3. Bugs Bunny

        Trump’s going to wipe the floor with her if she’s nominated. I just don’t see Warren as able to get his stink off of her. The attacks will be so low and base that a decent person would throw in the towel. That won’t do.

        And I do think she’s decent.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Decent with a Clintonian, Third Way, where-else-are-they-going-to-go kind of program that ensures that only the most gradual kinds of change are allowed to creep in to the public debate, calculated to be just barely enough to keep the serfs on the plantation from outright armed revolt.

          It’s a real shame that after His Holiness The Mellifluous Melanoderm people have still not learned to pay absolutely no attention to what they say but rather to pay intense attention to what they actually do.

          The Senator From Raytheon Warren’s actions speak for themselves.

      4. lordkoos

        And it’s not only a wealth and age gap. Compared to Sanders, Warren has fewer supporters among women, people of color, and the working class in general.

        1. ambrit

          Admittedly anecdotal, but during my perambulations down “on the street,” I find Warren to be a cypher (and I don’t mean a rap circle,) to most of the people I interact with.
          Strictly a 10%er candidate so far. If she does not manage to expand her ‘base’, she will be trounced by the “Lesser Orange Devil.”

  9. PlutoniumKun

    The discovery of the ancient Greek city of Tenea BBC

    This is a lovely story (despite one clanger in the middle implying that there were cannonballs in Europe in the 4th Century AD), and it shows just how much there is still to discover. The mediterranean area is thick with unexplored archaeology and there is even more in places in the Middle East and North Africa which have hardly been touched by archaeologists in decades (Libya and Syria in particular). This site seems particularly exciting as it seems the remains were covered by layers of alluvial silt, which is pretty good at keeping things intact. Nice to see the locals are interested in it too.

    1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

      I hope that the discovery benefits the locals who could likely need a bit of a lift & that the publicity leads to a larger dig. I also hope that somewhere within that mud there is a large stash of linear B tablets like those found at old King Nestor’s palace at Pylos & that among the details of everyday domestic stuff they might reveal more about early Bronze Age history. If the people are in fact Trojan perhaps there could be details discovered that back-up & add to the growing evidence from Hittite tablets that Hisarlik was actually Troy.

      I live in hope.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        After giving it some thought I believe that the date 1100 BC is also incorrect, as by that time Mycenaean Greece was falling apart as described by Eric Cline in his book ” 1177 : The Year Civilisation Collapsed “. If Trojan prisoners had indeed established the city it is more likely to have been around 1200 BC or earlier.

        Cline believes that the collapse of that miniature globalised East Mediterranean world holds lessons for us today & for what it’s worth I agree with him.

        1. ambrit

          When Schliemann first excavated “Troy” in the 1870s, he found nine levels. The level he later identified as Homers ‘Troy’ was covered in burnt debris, indicating a violent sack. I have suggested before that this layer and subsequent could come from the ‘collapse’ phase of the Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age culture. Thus, the natal and later growth phases of the Tenea site could be viewed as part of the recovery phase of said ‘collapse.’ In that regard, the identification of the Tenea population with displaced Trojans would be quite plausible.
          As far as Tenea is concerned, it is early days yet.

          1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

            I would agree with all of that & as Cline suggests the Trojan War could have been one of the early signs of the pillage that very gradually developed into the more widespread attacks from the Sea Peoples.

            I hopefully will live long enough to learn what Tenea has to offer & perhaps as a massive bonus discover what treasures & possible horrors lie within the tomb of China’s first emperor – the mercury is there anyhow.

            1. LifelongLib

              Several years ago there was some publicity about a theory that there weren’t any Sea Peoples, rather that the collapse was caused by a series of earthquakes and subsequent looting by local peasants. Haven’t heard anything about that idea since though.

              1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

                There are Egyption hieroglyphs that bear descriptions of various groups of the so called Sea Peoples who under Rameses II they had a hard time fighting off. About 10 different groups are described but it is only guesswork where they originated from. There is however also evidence in Syria & elsewhere in the ME of local revolts perhaps caused by food shortages due to climate cooling, the resulting famine & the earthquakes you mention. I imagine it is like most large scale disasters which would likely have many causes resulting in various reactions to the effects.

                Personally I suspect the Mycenaean’s as being one of the groups as they were natural seafaring raiders who had a long time habit of attacking Asia Minor as was recorded on tablets by complaining Hittite rulers.

                Just a guess though about a period that must have been very confusing then never mind now.

              2. ambrit

                There is also the Thera/Santorini volcanic mega-eruption theory for the collapse of the Minoan civilization and subsequent Bronze Age collapse.
                As can be gathered from a brief perusal of this subject matter, the issue of dating is crucial. As Velikovsky pointed out, the dates traditionally given to the early Egyptian dynasties are questionable.
                It’s a big world, and we’re part of it!

                1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

                  Yes, it could all be much different than we suppose with only a few pieces of the jigsaw & looking back as if through the wrong end of a telescope. Recent discoveries from Crete from around that time show that the population had to barricade themselves in at the top of mountains & I suppose that if events of that time occurred now with populations vastly larger the effects would be incomprehensible. Kinda like the difference now to when Vesuvious blew it’s top during Roman times.

                  Apparently the ME has around the population of the US but only about 1% of the world’s water supply, likely one of the reasons the Israelis covert the Golan Heights with it’s large aquifer.

      2. The Rev Kev

        ‘I also hope that somewhere within that mud there is a large stash of linear B tablets’

        Now that is an intriguing thought that. You do wonder if there might be some sort of library of tablets buried there if the place was suddenly abandoned. We can but hope.

        1. Synapsid

          Rev Kev,

          Linear B recorded Mycenaean Greek and was used only in the palaces. It seems to have fallen from use about the time the palaces and Troy VIIa were destroyed, well before Tenea was founded. The best candidate for the language of Troy is Luvian which was spoken over much of Asia Minor. No writing of any kind has been found at Troy, only a single seal with three Luvian symbols on it.

          If Tenea was indeed founded by Trojans I wouldn’t expect any kind of writing from its early layers.

          1. The Rev Kev

            @Synapsid – Thanks heaps for that. I am afraid that I do not know anywhere as much about this period as I would like to and am amazed that so little writing has survived from ancient Troy. Still, I am one of these people that always has their hopes up that a site might cough up an archive or two upon excavation whether it is Greek, Roman or even here at Tenea. Now I am off to read up on the Luwian language so thanks for that.

    2. ambrit

      I noticed that ‘clanger’ too. (Could the correspondent have really meant a catapult stone?) Otherwise, who knew how advanced the Visigoths were? No wonder they raided all the way to Hispania! Agreed that there are lots of undiscovered sites ‘of interest’ scattered about.
      What interested me was the fact, which seemed to be emphasized in the piece, of the lack of funding the archaeologists were struggling with. That and the age old stranglehold the department heads, “Ye Olde Guarde,” have on disbursing what resources there are available. The discovery of the burial field with all those intact scarcophagi is a major find in and of itself.

    3. ObjectiveFunction

      Great story, but dreadful prose. It seems editing no longer exists at the Beeb. For example, spellchecker mindlessly swapping “lead” for “led”, excessive repetition of “he said”, etc.

  10. PlutoniunKun

    Power’s Glaring Omission: Yemen American Conservative

    Samantha Power is a monstrous hypocrite – sadly like her mentor Obama – nobody in the general media or in establishment intellectual circles seems interested in calling her out on her responsibility for Yemen (and arguably Libya too). I’ve just seen two reviews of her book and both were full of praise with not a hint of criticism.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        There’s lots of that going around. When hillary clinton’s opus of a memoir was published in paperback, the preening about her role in the Honduran coup as secretary of state was removed.

        It would seem these ladies like being thought of as tough until shit goes sideways. Then mum’s the word.

        1. ambrit

          I hope you were not meaning “Moms the word.” In which case, out with my fave Political CT; “America Needs Two Mommies!” Hillary/???? 2020.

    1. David

      I think she may be even worse than that, or at least no more hypocritical than the average. She’s an example of what I call humanitarian fascism: the identification of countries where we intervene to overthrow regimes we don’t like (and in any event may not be very nice) just because we are stronger and we can. Any amount of blood and suffering is justified because it’s in a good cause. So it’s still argued by some that the war in Libya was justified : an evil tyrant was overthrown, so let’s not worry too much about the price. Our hearts were pure which is all that counts. Give me good old fashioned hypocrisy any day.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, true, whatever you say about hard core neocons like Bolton, at least they are up front in their desire to see raw power used for political/economic objectives. The ‘humanitarian interventionists’ are just dishonest.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      Ugh, I assume one was the NYRB; if anyone locates a better treatment of her, please link (not an assignment, I’ll ddg too).

      1. Acacia

        NYRB seemingly hasn’t recovered since contracting a bad case of Putin Derangement Syndrome when Cold War 2.0 was launched.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Operation Mockingbird — the gift that keeps on giving?

      Interesting parsing one could do of the CIA’s cryptic and ironic public motto: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” This, for the paragon of obfuscation and deceit, where the operators clearly have elevated the art of untruth to great heights, and where “freedom” is only accorded to the upper reaches of whatever you want to call it, the Borg, the Matrix, Deep State, etc.

    4. Carolinian

      It says it all about Power that Nikki Haley stepped into her place and nothing much changed.

      –Both unhinged on Russia–check.

      –Both tireless advocates of Israel–check.

      Nikki even claims to be a bit of a feminist which is a useful defense when her “I don’t get confused” is challenged. The best defense is a good offense is the Haley/Power doctrine and indeed the basis of R2P itself.

  11. PlutoniumKun

    Brexit: The perils of progress on the backstop RTE

    This is a long article, but well worth reading for a bit of an inside track on what’s happening with Brexit (shorter version – ‘not much’). Its becoming more and more clear that Johnson is not interested in serious negotiations, he thinks a no-deal will favour him – and given the way Corbyn and the Labour party seem determined to shoot themselves in the foot at the wrong moment, he may be right. All things considered, the Tory Party is still doing remarkably well in polling and could well win an election, despite all the evidence of depravity and incompetence.

    I don’t normally have the stomach to read much British right wing media but I had a browse through a local newstand yesterday and even allowing for the fact that the Irish editions of those papers are heavily edited to remove anti-Irish content, the mendacity is stunning. The millions of Britons reading the Mail, Telegraph, Sun, Express, Times are being fed completely fictitious nonsense. Apparently the EU is on the verge of giving in and presenting Boris a victorious new deal and only the evil Irish and French and Spanish could stop this (or something like that, they don’t really make much sense). Read them and then compare with the linked article – its two entirely different worlds.

    Its been suggested in Ireland that the only way the WA could get through now is what Fintan O’Toole is calling the ‘Caligula’ option after Caligula ordering his soldiers to collect sand so he could declare his victory against Neptune. Essentially, agree to the Irish Sea border (which the EU wanted all along), while allowing Bojo to declare it a huge victory concession. But its not even clear anymore that Bojo has the slightest interest in any type of a deal.

      1. Charger01

        Eh. The Jon Pie bunch is a weird conservative comedy group, as covered by Chapo Trap House with their live show in London.

    1. ChrisPacific

      I’m starting to wonder whether Boris could spend his EU meetings doing nothing but make armpit noises, then come back and announce that ‘negotiations were progressing well’ and have the media uncritically repeat the line. If the EU contacts said: actually, no they aren’t, Boris just made rude noises the whole time and didn’t speak or listen to anyone, then it would either be dismissed as positioning statements or simply not reported at all.

      The FT carried the EU reactions to Johnson’s meetings, but (as we know) it’s a paywalled site and unlikely to have wide circulation. This RTE piece is the first other one I’ve seen to pick it up, and I doubt it is particularly well read in the UK either. I just tried a quick search against BBC domains and there is still nothing.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Sacklers threaten to scrap opioid deal if they aren’t shielded from lawsuits”

    Challenge accepted! Let the lawsuits roll then and see what turns up in discovery.

    1. Pat

      Scrap it. Seize their assets. Send their asses to jail. Let them have to use public defenders. And defend themselves in the lawsuits. Treat them like low class drug dealers they are.

      I know, but a girl can dream.

      1. LifelongLib

        They’re being sued, not prosecuted. But yes the wealthy are very good at making sure whatever they do looks legal, at least on paper…

        1. Procopius

          Errr… minor quibble: looking legal is not a protection against civil asset forfeiture. In most states you don’t even have to be charged with a crime to have your assets seized if the cops “detained” you. Well, at least in some states. A few states have been “reforming” the practice.

          1. LifelongLib

            My understanding (may be wrong) is that they are being sued (civil cases) but haven’t been arrested or criminally charged with anything, so asset forfeiture doesn’t come into play. A criminal case would have a much higher bar and these are guys who can afford the best lawyers money can buy, so…

            1. Romancing The Loan

              FYI I am a criminal defense lawyer and the idea that I couldn’t find an assortment of charges to stick to any given rich person given the entirety of the federal criminal code to play with is laughable. The first serious dictator in the US is going to have no trouble imprisoning and seizing the assets of anyone they desire.

              (Good start – the ridiculously broad “defrauding the United States” charge used in the bogus Russian troll farm indictment. This covers most of our executive class. Remember probable cause gets you all the way to arrest and search warrants so you can find better dirt, and it’s a very low bar.)

  13. divadab

    Re: Caitlin Johnstone article: I have been unable to access any articles on her website for several weeks. Posting this here in the hopes she gets news of what seems to me to be a DOS attack.

    1. Carolinian

      It may just be you.

      As for Caitlin dubbing Australia a fake country, it could be time to reconsider making Oz the 51st state. On the plus side they would get to join our fine health care system and no longer have to hack the Region Code to watch the latest DVDs. On the downside they’d have to start driving on the right as God intended.

      1. The Rev Kev

        No joke. My wife smashed her arm about a year ago pretty bad. If we had your health care system in Oz, we would be living in our car by now.

    2. Baby Gerald

      I have been having the same problem when I try to access her site with my decade old MacBook Pro (with the coveted mag-safe power plug). Apple’s planned obsolescence has me stuck on OS 10.7.4 and just recently Flash updates have failed to install on my Chrome browser. Thus, I need to access Caitlin’s work via Chrome on my not-quite-as-obsolete 6 year old Samsung Galaxy G5 phone.

      Not to say Caitlin hasn’t suffered DDOS attacks before. But my problems accessing her site are on my end. I would presume you are in the same boat as me, divadab.

      1. ewmayer

        That’s odd – I’m even more legacy than you – running OSX 10.6.8 – and have no trouble viewing her site using 10-year-old FF 22.0 under same. (I have PaleMoon – a FF fork, again an older version which runs under 10.6.8 – also installed on the same macbook, that supports TLS 2.0 which a lot of https-pages now require, so if I get the dreaded “SSL – no cypher overlap” error I switch to PM).

    3. Old Jake

      Ok, I’ll put in my 2 pennies here. I subscribe, and get her writings in my email inbox. I also see her in Medium, to which I also contribute a few thalers.

    4. Anon

      Just clicked on the CJ link provided here at NC. I have a superfast (CSUniv.) pipeline to the Internet. Her website loaded slower than most. Could be that her provider is slower than most.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “When the Ideologues Come for the Kids”

    Well of course they have to go after the kids as they have no say in the matter. You can even bypass their parents. It is different when they get older. The University of North Carolina recently held a workshop on white privilege and racism and out of 30,000 students, only 9 turned up.
    “Of those nine, two were journalists there to cover the workshop, and two said their professors offered them extra credit for attending. The remaining five were members of the university’s chapter of conservative group Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), who came “more out of curiosity and concern about the nature of the seminar.”-

    1. cnchal

      Isn’t that when instead of if? The stawk was priced at $3500 per employee last time I heard about it a week ago.

      1. Blowncue

        -Thomas Cook collapses
        -Les Orangers hotel in Tunisia holds vacationers as collateral – literally – locking their gates and turning away buses called to take vacationers to airport – armed guards
        -Thomas Cook pays out to Les Orangers
        -Vacationers released

        That’s one way to jump to the head of the line!

  15. Jason Boxman

    I met part of Michelle Obama’s media (?) team on the Acela on the way back from DC; they were doing work for the nationwide tour she was doing at the time. I’d never met any people so thoroughly smitten with someone. It bordered on worship. They were LA-based.

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      Never, in the course of human events, have so many paid so much to hear so little.
      $4200 is life-affecting money to 60-70% of the population when over half of Americans are making $30K a year or less.
      The Obamas got theirs, what’s your problem?

    2. tegnost

      In my recent “democrat on the street” interactions I have been informed that Warren is the answer. I am told to be glad that M4A and student loans are in the news, and whatever increments are necessary to appease the hoi polloi are best delivered by this highly educated super smart technocrat. I mention bernie being the source of the positive changes and am besieged by disgust and bernie hate. The point being that incremental changes are all that can be done. Where would I like us to go back to? they query. I say restore glass steagall, more unions, no student loans and prosecute banksters so back to something like ’70’s or better yet the ’50’s and I prove myself to be a lost cause as there were social problems we had then that have been successfully swept under the rug or even ostensibly solved (see gay marriage)(see… FTAStudies have found that Black people are shot by police at disproportionate rates, and unarmed victims are more likely to be Black. According to a 2018 Harvard study, Black men age 15 to 34 are nine to 16 times more likely to be killed by police than other people. ) These people I talked to absolutely love michelle and that totally proves them to be unracist, unlike me who doesn’t absolutely hate all things trump. I’m no longer fighting with these people who see obama as the best president ever. Try to connect the dirty homeless problem to the slathering excess of QE driving up rents and they look at you like you’re crazy, I mean how mean am I to want their homes to be worth less? I tell them I will vote for biden warren as that is the most likely route to delegitimization/collapse and I am so totally sick of it all and if that’s what they want then they can have it. Incrementalism is a fire wall and the “good” republicans will see that and vote for the centrist. As JTM points out above, we are so effed.

      1. Geo

        This type of thing always reminds me of Bruno Bettelheim’s analysis of the response to imprisonment in concentration camps by various political ideologies:

        The non-political middle-class prisoners were a small minority among the prisoners. They were least able to withstand the initial shock. They found themselves utterly unable to comprehend what happened to them. In their behaviour became apparent the dilemma of the politically uneducated German middle classes when confronted with the phenomenon of National Socialism. They had no consistent philosophy which would protect their integrity as human beings. They had obeyed the law handed down by the ruling classes without questioning its wisdom. And now the law-enforcing agencies turned against them, who always had been their staunchest supporters. They could not question the wisdom of law and police. Therefore what was wrong was that they were made objects of a persecution which in itself must be right, since it was carried out by the authorities. Thus they were convinced that it must be a “mistake.”
        These prisoners resented most to he treated “like ordinary criminals.” After some time they could not help realising their actual situation. Then they disintegrated. Suicides were practically confined to this group. Later on, they were the ones who behaved in an antisocial way; they cheated their fellow prisoners; a few turned spies. They lost their middle-class sense of propriety and their self-respect; they became shiftless and disintegrated as autonomous persons.

        Accepting that the system has failed means accepting that their own status within that system is not merited. Their identity is based on a functioning system so they support the corrupted system because it supports them.

        It’s fascinating how the “resist” people will talk about how the current government is traitorous and dangerous but then only feel some slight tinkering will fix it.

        1. LifelongLib

          Dunno. Aren’t the most successful people under any system going to be the ones that go along with it and do what it tells them to do? Granted that means different things in different systems, but it seems like conformity is a virtue in them all…

  16. WheresOurTeddy

    Elizabeth Warren Declares War on Lobbying, Hires Lobbyist One Day Later National Interest

    Republican till 1995 (converted at age 47!). Sat through 12 years of Reagan-Bush before she got fed up with conservatism.

    Accept no imitations. Sanders 2020. Polling 1st place in 5 states including CA. First campaign ever to have over 1,000,000 individual donors.

    The Working Class has chosen our candidate. All that remains is to see how brazen will be the chicanery of those who imagine themselves to be our betters.

  17. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: Mark Penn

    I mean Neera likes to embarrass herself on a daily basis with twitter, but Mark Penn might be the dumbest of the Clintonistas.

    Also Nog died. This sucks. Watching Deep Space Nine on the first run took real work, since it was in syndication. During football season, I didn’t know when it would air so I would have to make sure the tape was on extended play and just kind of let it run over night. In this Era of prestige TV, addiction, PTSD, DS9 had it all.

  18. Ed

    “Man who created NYC subway map says ‘it’s a mess,’ calls for improvements NY Post”

    This is an excellent article, and their willingness to run articles like this is a reason why the NY Post is a must-read if you live in NY despite its editorial ideology.

    Reading the article, I think the problem is that so many band-aids have been put on an aging system that the subway system itself has become very complicated, which makes producing a clean map difficult. You pretty much need a separate map now for weekend service, and as the article notes the system contains routes that run at night, routes that don’t, stations where you can transfer to the platform to go in the opposite direction for free, stations where you can’t, and both wheelchair (and stroller) accessible and non-accessible stations. Plus express trains of course pass through some stations without stopping.

    It seems to me that the key to a cleaner map is to get a legend for each type of station before worrying about the route:

    1. Can you go to the opposite track without leaving the station?

    2. Wheelchair/ stroller accessible?

    3. Local only?

    4. Limited or no night time service?

    The use of squares for local service with the number of the train a great idea, and color coding whether a route stops there at night is a good idea though it might be better to come up with a shape. But I think it will be cleaner to incorporate information about transfers and wheelchair accessibility into the shape of the station itself on the map, with a legend, instead of putting a symbol next to the station which is too cluttered.

    Labeling stations with both cross streets, using the numbers and abbreviations to save space, is also a good idea. One other idea, thin the route lines in the outer boroughs to indicate that they are traveling longer distances than apparent on the map, which because the network is denser in Manhattan shows the island as two to three times its physical size related to the outer boroughs than it really is.

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: When the Ideologues Come for the Kids NY magazine (UserFriendly). Andrew Sullivan.

    The use of these drugs for gender dysphoria is off-label, unapproved by the FDA; there have been no long-term trials to gauge the safety or effectiveness of them for gender dysphoria, and the evidence we have of the side effects of these drugs in FDA-approved treatment is horrifying

    It’s almost impossible to take seriously a political ideology that demands fealty to “science” and nature when climate and the environment are threatened by human “activity,” while at the same time so recklessly embracing human intervention to correct the “mistakes” they have convinced themselves that nature has made in gender determination.

    How can “nature” be so right on the one hand, and so wrong on the other?

    How self-reverential and jaded do you have to be to make political hay of these issues at all?

    1. Carolinian

      A political ideology that drugs kids–just like Epstein. Gender reassignment for pre-puberty kids is monstrous.

      1. Aileen

        Yes, medical transition for children is monstrous. What you never hear in the glowing stories of “trans kids” is that puberty suppression followed by cross-sex hormones leads to complete sterility. In addition, since the child never goes through normal puberty, their genitalia do not develop properly, and there’s evidence that their ability to feel sexual pleasure is similarly suppressed or even completely absent. Medical gender transition for children leaves them sexually under-developed, so perpetually child-like in their physiology.

        Dr. John Money, who advised on the first “sex-change” operation on a child, was a supporter of pedophilia, and encouraged surgery–castration of boys & clitoridectomy of girls–who had non-standard genitalia as a result of disorders of sexual development (aka “intersex”).

        Medical transition of children is a pedophile’s wet dream.

        Many have predicted a wave of malpractice suits in a few years when people who were forced into medical transition as children realize what was done to them.

    2. Geo

      I’m not a big fan of Andrew Sullivan but on this one he’s spot on.

      As a kid I was called “girly”, “fruity”, and stuff I won’t repeat here. It was assumed by most that I was gay. Whether it was the hillbillies that would threaten to beat me or shoot me, or later, the older gay guys that tried to convince me I was gay like them. Heck, I’ve even had a girlfriend who said I wasn’t manly enough and was probably gay.

      Yet, I’ve never once had any attraction to men. This doesn’t matter to many it seems because I don’t conform to what they expect a straight guy to be. Too gentle, too fashionable, too artistic, too many gay and female friends, too thin, to passive, etc, etc. As if being straight is all about wearing sweatpants, being bulky, and treating women like objects and gays like a threat.

      You’d think we would encourage straight men to be less “toxic” in their masculinity, not telling them that the only way to not be toxic is to be gay or a girl. But, in my experience being a softer brand of man equates to others thinking you’re not a “real” man.

      On the flip side though, it’s not like us straight men haven’t been defining others and placing hardships and limitations on them for millennia. Sometimes a little backlash happens when a lopsided social order is corrected. To me, that’s what this time is. The whole balance has been out of wack in favor of straight white guys for too long and now that others have a bit of a voice in the conversation there is going to be some over reach. So, I get why whining about it doesn’t really mean much to others, just saying that if we want men to be less patriarchal, maybe we should allow “girly men” to be men. Allow young boys who like girly things to like that without thinking they’re actually girls. If gender is fluid than the traits associated with gender should be too.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Thank you for speaking out. In a community where we can be free to express personal things if we like.

    3. Plenue

      As a rule I couldn’t care less what conservatives think about much of anything, but Sullivan is basically right about this issue (there’s still some weird stuff in there though. The mention of ‘different sexual strategies’ smacks of tired ‘women want to settle down, men want to f**k everything that moves’ stereotyping).

      I’ve come to the conclusion that the whole trans movement isn’t actually progressive, and the largely uncritical embracing of it by the left not only says nothing good about many ‘progressives’ in and of itself, but also provides the right with ample justified ammunition.

      This whole thing is going to blowback hard on the left in ten or fifteen years when large numbers of people come to the horrifying conclusion that they never actually wanted to be the opposite sex, that it was a phase or a mental issue that transactivists essentially exploited, however earnestly, to push an agenda. And there are going to be a bunch of people walking around who have had permanent physical alterations to themselves that can’t be undone. It’s already happening to some extent; you can find testimonies on reddit about things like “yeah, I got my breasts cut off and it’s now the biggest regret of my life”.

      And that’s just for the adults. The kid stuff is an order of magnitude worse. Kids don’t know what the hell they are; they’re children. Ideological adults are projecting their beliefs onto their kids, who at most are going through a phase. Any doctor who aids in this should be disbarred.

      I also suspect that much of the left is never going to own up to its culpability once the PR disaster starts really rolling. It’s going to be right wing outlets that are going to be drawing attention to the fallout from this madness, and they’re going to be correct to do so. And they’ll have in their hands a giant warhammer to just beat the left with. They’ll be able to point to unhappy, mutilated people and say “see? This is what progressivism gets you!”.

      1. rl

        And homosexuals (actual homosexuals) will pay the price. Everywhere. I have to be honest: this is becoming one of my and many of my friends’ most persistent fears.

        1. Plenue

          That’s already happening, particularly to lesbians. Try finding a women only bar or club in the west coast liberal havens. They don’t exist anymore.

      2. UserFriendly

        Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. There definitely are transgender people and if an adult who has thoroughly researched the pros and cons of transitioning wants to go for it who are we to stop them? I am 100% against it for kids though. I know it makes the transition much more difficult after puberty but puberty changes so much about people anyways and I can certainly imagine the type of parent that would pressure their kid into it even if they were not totally committed.

  20. chuck roast

    Snowden’s Intercept article was interesting. I’m guessing that the patriotic “whistleblower” on The Dear Leader’s phone calls must have had a TC/SCI (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information) clearance, just like Snowden. So, this patriotic guy should be prosecuted, just like Snowden.
    Ha ha…just kidding.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Actually, he might be, because he eavesdropped on the boss. That was a serious violation in itself. I wonder who signed off on it?

  21. Totally Numb

    Numb-Trak – Dinner Cars Are Full Of Strangers.

    “Some people really like (the dining car) and view it as sort of a nostalgic train experience,” Wilander said. “Some people, especially our new millennial customers, don’t like it so much. They want more privacy, they don’t want to feel uncomfortable sitting next to people they don’t know.”

    Sums up class in class-less “Murica”. Even if they can afford an Amtrac ticket, I don’t want to risk developing empathy for anyone.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      So someone staring at a phone constantly, ignoring me and you, their companions, friends and everything thing else around them, including people waiting on them (and this is something I see constantly now), is going to be “uncomfortable” sitting across from someone they don’t know?

      We live in very stupid times. It can’t end well.

      1. Carey

        Good comment. If you read some of the stuff on dark patterns, and also a little on how easily
        perceptions are shaped on the devices you mention, and how much is being spent on doing
        same, well..


  22. petal

    Was out running errands today and saw 3 Tulsi yard signs and a bigger Tulsi banner along a poorer stretch of road that leads to the area with all of the box stores/shopping(this is in NH). Don’t know if they are really supporting her or get paid to plant the signs in their yards? Also saw 2 people in Tulsi t-shirts walking yesterday as I drove to the vet. She now leads the yard sign competition(at least in my area travels). I did tape a “no soliciting/no canvassing” sign on my door, so haven’t had any political visitors lately.

    The trees are turning colour now-big change over the last 2-3 days. Beautiful Fall weather. Can’t beat it.
    Have a nice rest of the weekend, y’all. Cheers.

  23. CarlH

    The Sackler article is enraging and adds further weight to my suspicions that things will not end well here in the U.S. I’m afraid there will be blood.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Indeed, it’s bizarre that after contributing to the deaths of almost half a million Americans, a group of people can retain nearly all of their wealth from those deaths. To my mind, that legitimizes the behavior.

    2. Geo

      “Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god.”
      Jean Rostand (1939). Thoughts of a Biologist.

      1. Dan

        “A well organized militia” could certainly do some private justice with them.

        That is why I believe, there is so much haste to disarm Americans.
        The elite are scared to death of vigilantiism and or just plain robbery, and are doing it “to protect the children”, who they suddenly care so much about, but not enough to fund pre-school and decent schools through their taxes or placing their children in public schools.

        1. polecat

          Exactly !

          …….. “Bu bu but OMG ! those scary black ARs !!!!” …….

          Their goal (Those upwardly mobile classes who are afforded PLENTY of security for themselves) is to ban anything short of a pool noodle to anyone deemed as an ‘untouchable’ .. you know, like the 80+%.

          1. ambrit

            Actually, as a former co-worker who did his time in the Stans put it; “The guys with AKs were something you could deal with. The guys who planted IEDs under the roadway were the motherf—–s!”
            If there is to be serious civil discord in America, expect it to be along the lines of classical guerrilla warfare; ambushes, bombings, and assassinations.

            1. Procopius

              Might be good to remember how to react to bombs in restaurants. If you’re eating in a restaurant and a bomb goes off, DO NOT rush outside. What we learned in Saigon in the 1950s was that very often the people who planted the bomb inside the restaurant have planted several more outside to get the fleeing crowd.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Might pay to be wary of evacuation areas too. I think that one time a bomb went off or one was called on an abortion clinic. The staff and patients evacuated to the designated safety zone but fortunately the large bomb that was planted there to kill them failed to go off.
                And need I say that this was attempted by a right to life group who apparently had never heard of the concept of irony?

  24. ambrit

    I view the Mark Penn piece as laying the foundation for “Hillary 2020.” At the ‘brokered’ convention, I can see Hillary coming out and saying; “I lost last time, period. Now it is time to rally round and defeat the Orange Dragon. Etc. Etc. Here’s how, with my new found wisdom, we will do it.”
    Thus, “America Needs Two Mommies! Hillary/??? 2020.” (Michelle is still a remote possibility. Her recent media blitz portends something more than just pure avarice.)

  25. Jason Boxman

    If you have no idea what railroad french toast is, Google turns up “SANTA FE (RAILROAD) FRENCH TOAST” and the secret seems to be heavy cream, and baking for several minutes after all the (sourdough) French toast has been first fried. I gotta try this out.

    1. Dan

      We love and support AMTRAK, however, unless you eat junk fast food everyday, there’s no way their meals were “beloved”. The entire democratic idea of sharing a table with strangers, seeing the country, exchanging viewpoints is wonderful. It is of course, inimical to the atomization of everyone and turning them into individualized consumption units told how to think by the five media corporations.

      Read this and weep for what we have lost:

    2. Anon

      Here’s a railroad recipe for French Toast, as well:

      Golden Dollar French Toast, served on Missouri Pacific’s Texas Eagle.

      Note: Do not use pre-sliced bread. Cut slices ¾-inch thick from a whole loaf of bread.

      4 slices white bread
      3 eggs
      ½ cup cream (half and half can be substituted)
      4 drops vanilla
      Powdered sugar
      3-4 thin orange slices
      4-5 strawberries

      1. Stir eggs, cream, and vanilla together in a bowl. Mix well.
      2. Dip bread slices in the mixture.
      3. Add shortening to the frying pan. When hot, fry bread slices until evenly toasted to a light brown.
      4. Sprinkle toast with powdered sugar.
      5. Garnish with orange slices.
      6. Arrange strawberries at rim of plate. (A tasty variation is to use frozen strawberries that are thawed then spooned onto the toast.)

  26. roadrider

    Re: Leftists, liberals, and neoliberals share a problem: Congress

    Klein’s lament is what I hear from a lot of Obama supporters, mostly those who didn’t lose their jobs or homes during the Great Recession. Despite the fact that unemployment wasn’t as high as in FDR’s day it was a very real crisis and IMNSHO public opinion would have supported steps much bolder than Obama’s weak tea. It wasn’t Congress that made Obama’s Justice Department not prosecute bankers and place bankrupt banks and Wall St firms into receivership instead of bailing them out.

    Many of the things Klein claims Obama wanted to do, like the public option, were half measures at best. And Obama himself sold out the public option in a backroom deal with the pharma lobby. Other things, specifically, modifying trade deals, were just complete shams for public consumption by the rubes while Obama’s team soothed the fears of those benefiting from those deals in private with assurances that nothing would actually get done.

    Sorry Ezra, but Obama’s problem was his ideology of preserving the power structure that was in a state of collapse and ripe for big reforms. After all, what was this nonsense about “post-partisanship”? It was obvious before Obama was even elected that the meaning of “post-partisanhip” was to to get the left to buy into bad right-wing ideas (like the ACA) and shut up about inequality, the GWOT, etc. What was badly needed at that time was a true partisan leader who was willing to fight for ideas that could improve the lives of the non-elites and remove the yoke pf Wall St, the MIC and the corporate state. But Obama proved to be a captive of those power structures and an apologist for the pre-collapse Bush era instead of an advocate for much needed reforms.

    Klein’s argument that Obama acted out of political reality also falls flat. The Democrats were decimated as a political party at the federal and state level (a total of > 1000 legislative seats at all levels were lost IIRC and also many state houses). So how popular was Obama really outside of the preening, liberal, coastal elites, academics and media whores? Obama had his chance to step on the Republican’s neck and kick them to the curb (politically speaking of course, no violence advocated here). However, he showed that with enemies like him they didn’t need friends. The result? Political losses that ensured that not much of note would be accomplished during his 8 years in office except for having a guy with a blue shirt with a big D printed on the front in the White House. Someone actually skilled in politics with an agenda to do something as opposed to just “marketing his brand” would have seized on the opportunity that Obama had in 2009 to completely marginalize his Republican and conserva-Dem opposition. Instead, Obama chose to become like Howard Beale in Network, proselytizing the corporate state agenda of the Mr. Jensen’s in Silicon Valley, big Pharma and Wall St.

    Yes, Bernie will face even worse opposition that Obama because the situation is not (at least not yet) at the same crisis level as 2008-2009. And he will face much worse opposition within his own party. But he will have public opinion on his side, and, in stark contrast to Obama, the will to mobilize them against the power structure. We badly need a President who will be guided not by what is judged to be “politically feasible” ( a self-serving justification that pols use to marginalize what they don’t want to do in the first place) but by what is needed to be done. Unlike Obama, Sanders actually believes in changing the system and doesn’t give a damn about “marketing his brand”.

    Bernie knows whose side he’s on and, sadly, so did Obama.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Its amazing how they don’t mention it was the Democratic Congress in 2009 and 2010 that was the problem or names which “conservative Democrats” were the problem or call for the removal of the same failed leadership. Its almost as if they want an excuse to use on the well meaning but ultimately rubes who infect local Democratic committees.

  27. Procopius

    That’s gorgeous, thanks for the link. For some reason the first picture, in which you can see a woman wearing a uniform appearing to help a kid with an overly large suitcase, makes me thing of something when I was a kid and rode a Pullman sleeper. There was, at one point, a Society for the Prevention of Calling Sleeping Car Porters George.

    In those days, because it was soon after the Depression and my parents still didn’t have much money, Dad used to take us to the train station in Akron to watch the trains come and go. That was before the soulless diesel locomotives, and to this day I love the steam locomotives. Those were real machines.

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