Links 9/9/19

6 curiosities about the rare Friday the 13th harvest moon TreeHugger

Space Command projects what it would need in a real world Star Trek C4ISANET (The Rev Kev)

Community-led Conservation in West Kalimantan Asia Sentinel

The holiday islands where locals have nowhere to live BBC

The Great Barrier Reef outlook is ‘very poor’. We have one last chance to save it The Conversation

Why Polish people hate rules BBC

Sports Desk


Australia retain the Ashes after England fail to save fourth Test at Old Trafford Guardian
Brexit may be one thing, but to have Australia retain the Ashes, that’s serious.


UK Cabinet on resignation watch as Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to take war with MPs to Supreme Court Independent (Ireland)

Boris Johnson draws up plan to legally stop Brexit extension if MPs vote against general election Telegraph

Ireland warns PM Johnson: no-backstop equals no-deal Brexit Reuters

Hurricane Alley

Counting bodies ‘not the priority’: Bahamas not lying about Dorian deaths, health chief says Miami Herald

Extreme Weather 2019: Tropical Storm Gabrielle, 2 Other Developments Being Tracked In Atlantic Ocean International Business Times

Our Famously Free Press

AFP joins BBC initiative to fight misinformation AFP

Random Thoughts About Life, Politics, And Humanity Caitlin Johnstone


Mark Sanford announces GOP presidential bid: ‘We have lost our way’ Politico

Ahead of Standing Ovation at New Hampshire Democratic Convention, Sanders Camp Announces Endorsements From 53 State Dems Common Dreams

Can Uncle Joe Run This Marathon? American Conservative. Pat Buchanan.

Biden and Warren, longtime frenemies, will finally meet in a debate chasing the biggest prize of all WaPo

U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Harris addresses police shootings in criminal justice plan Reuters

How Much Trouble Could Mark Sanford Cause Trump In The 2020 GOP Primary? FiveThirtyEight

UserFriendly: “the manufacturing of warren”:

Democrats in Disarray

Progressives Explode After ABC Panel Featuring Chris Christie and Rahm Emanuel Launches Attack on Medicare For All Common Dreams

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT “HARD WORK” MEANS Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

Class Warfare

End Legacy College Admissions NYT The Grey Lady speaks.

Third of foreign investment is multinationals dodging tax FT

Algorithms Should’ve Made Courts More Fair. What Went Wrong? Wired

British Airways cancels ‘nearly 100 percent’ of flights as pilots begin two-day strike

Wall Street Journal decries “The Great Student-Loan Scam”: But the flimflam is even worse than WSJ describes Condemned to Debt: The Student Loan Crisis (User Friendly)

Mugabe and the Continuing White Supremacist Narrative Craig Murray

Boeing 737 MAX

Door blows off Boeing 777X during stress test KOMO News. Oopsie. And yes, I realize it’s a 777, and I filed it under 737 Max, but didn’t want to change the category.


As ISRO Reached for the Moon, Its Scientists Faced Pay Cuts The Wire

India’s private sector faces social media storm Asia Times

India isn’t getting more rainfall, but it is experiencing more floods Scroll

Indian spacecraft may have crashed on moon Asia Times


Hong Kong protests: peaceful pleas for United States’ support quickly descend into usual mayhem as tear gas fired and MTR station trashed and burned SCMP

Central Hong Kong Beset With Violence After Lam’s Big Concession Bloomberg

Clashes after peaceful crowd takes Hong Kong message to US consulate Agency France-Presse

China will not tolerate attempts to separate Hong Kong from China: state media  Reuters

Corporate America is over-caffeinated FT

Iran says tanker last seen off coast of Syria has reached its destination, and oil has been sold Independent

Trump Transition

Manager: Trump family building ‘dynasty’ for decades to come AP. Say it ain’t so.
The Madness of James Mattis Truthdig. Maj Danny Sjursen.

Explainer: Donald Trump’s Decision to Cancel ‘Secret’ Talks With the Taliban The Wire

Trump’s effect on US foreign policy Asia Times. Joseph Nye, who wrote the book on soft power.

Trump probes threaten to overshadow Democrats’ agenda The Hill

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “Indian spacecraft may have crashed on moon”

    Secret Pakistani Moon Mission reportedly returning to Earth with small Indian flag painted on its side.

  2. Steve H.

    > India isn’t getting more rainfall, but it is experiencing more floods Scroll

    “This predominantly male migration has a gendered impact.”

    So this has now become a fact with weight and consequence. A longer geographic reach by males is standard throughout history, but I don’t find it being called a ‘migration’ before. It’s been a way to get extra sons out of the house, with a possibility they may come back with new resources. Braudel covers some of the Age of Adventure in this light. Or the men went first and the rest followed – Mongol expansion followed this form.

    We’ve seen hints of this with workers following building booms in the oil states, particularly the stories of worker abuse. But to have it documented within a nation, on such a scale, may be unprecedented. Perhaps black migration after the civil war is a case, but even there, the percentage of population wasn’t very high.

    But like the rains, the local effects have been large. Los Angeles and Detroit were both auto hubs, and there was migration toward capital. But then both got hung out to dry and left ghettos behind.

    I think the gender split can have huge consequences, but a Google Scholar search suggests it isn’t particularly well-understood. A lot of ‘needs more study.’ Could consequences include what Sapolsky saw, a local culture shift when the dominant males of the Forest Troop were wiped out? Or local military conscription of foreign workers? It seems like a huge wild-card to me.

    1. Dan

      Women get raped on long trips. It’s a fact of life.

      Many of the post pubescent 12 to 18 girls in the ‘migrant’ caravans are placed on birth control before their families let them accompany the coyotes to the U.S. How do feminists in the U.S. feel about this?
      “Given the frequency of sexual and gender-based violence, many migrant women take contraceptives before migrating to avoid the risk of pregnancy from rape by armed criminal groups, locals, or their smugglers. Unfortunately, contraceptives don’t protect women from sexually transmitted diseases or other health risks, and migrant women often do not report or seek medical care for sexual and gender-based violence. Migrant women captured by criminal groups are also in danger of being sold into prostitution and human trafficking.”

  3. ChiGal in Carolina

    THANK YOU J-L for the nod to Rafa’s win. I could literally feel my heart pounding, I wanted it so much for him. To seemingly have a clear path, with Fed and the Djoker out, and then to see it almost slip away…

    Medvedev may finally be the youngblood to break through the stranglehold: what an amazing talent and temperament! I just didn’t want it to be last night. It’s a kind of redemption to see Rafa so healthy and at the top of his game again.

    1. petal

      I had to stop watching after it went to the fifth set. Painful! Glad Rafa pulled it out, though. It was like he was caught in the silent, overwhelming rip tide that was Medvedev and couldn’t get out. I think we’ll be seeing more of that guy in the future. Great tennis, great effort on both sides!

    2. John k

      Exciting bc it was so close… traveling, so missed first 3 sets, last two were great.
      Nearly on par with best five setters among top 3.
      Now just 1 behind fed…
      Medvedev might be the young blood we’ve been waiting for.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          At the very least. He’ll be a top threat at all the other slams as well into the foreseeable future.

        2. ChiGal in Carolina

          dunno… his body has taken more punishment than most. Djoker is younger and Roger gifted by the gods but even he seems to be slowing down.

          So it was lovely to have another slam with Rafa the last man standing, but I’m not taking anything for granted.

    3. Ignacio

      I missed it. It was too late for me to watch :(
      But according to some friends it was epic. As other commenters say is good to see young blood rising. With Medvedev I would add Thiem as a candidate for top position.

      1. Wukchumni

        Here in sunny California, it’s not uncommon to walk or drive by a dozen tennis courts with only one of them being used, or none at all.

          1. Wukchumni

            It’s another dying sport in our country…

            A friend was a tennis instructor for around 30 years and I asked her, what happened?

            She told me:

            1.) Repetitive injuries.
            2.) Gyms becoming popular in the 80’s-90’s.

            1. petal

              I play outside once a week in the good weather, can’t afford the cost of our indoor facility to play during winter. If I could find someone that wanted to hit every day, I would. I prefer it over the gym, no contest. Another problem is finding someone at my skill level. That is the bigger challenge. It’s frustrating having to play down and hold back.

              1. Wukchumni

                There’s an apartment called Pheasant Ridge near the Puente Hills mall that was brand spanking new in the late 70’s with 4 lit courts, game so on, once we learned the combo on the gate.

                Kind of liked the game and played for 5 years, but those quick starts & stops all the time were a bit much, and remember tennis elbow?

                Lately the apartments are better known for being a last trimester for future Americans by land, by virtue of mom taking a jet from China for its coming out party here.

    4. ewmayer

      Judging by the court-surroundings-blanketing ads, I only know that some dude or dudette named JP Morgan was the real winner. My tennis-loving friends assure me that it was a Bulova match, though – the angst of all the well-monied NYCers in the stands was palpable! :P

      1. Wukchumni

        A good many professional tennis players are paid spokespersons for Rolex-which is a bit queer, as time is not of the essence in the sport.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “AFP joins BBC initiative to fight misinformation”

    Sounds totally legitimate that. I understand too that the late Jeffrey Epstein and his accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell were once considering joining together to found an orphanage for young female foundlings. So what Epstein and Maxwell had planned for those young girls was about the same as what AFP and the BBC plans for their readers in this new initiative.

    1. Olga

      Reading that headline, I had a thought: ‘The pope joins Barbarossa in fighting against the crusades.’ A similar level of absurdity.

  5. dearieme

    U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Harris addresses police shootings in criminal justice plan

    Shooting of police or by police? Shouldn’t Reuters at least try to write in English?

    The Great Barrier Reef outlook is ‘very poor’. We have one last chance to save it

    I’ve been reading headlines like that since, I suppose, the seventies. Maybe even the sixties.

    1. ewmayer

      “I’ve been reading headlines like that since, I suppose, the seventies. Maybe even the sixties.” — Yes, I suggest simply ignoring them, just like those overblown “smoking is a health risk” ads we’ve been seeing since the 60s. One of my great-aunts smoked every day and lived into her 80s, so clearly the scientists behind the fear campaign got it wrong.

      1. dearieme

        But the evidence from Bradford Hill and Dole against smoking cigarettes was persuasive: thereafter more and more evidence backed them up. Eventually lung cancer deaths fell as more and more people gave up the filthy habit. Case closed.

        By contrast the imminent death of the Reef has been foretold again and again, and every prediction so far has been falsified by events.

        There: see the difference? The death of the reef falls into the same class as the return of Jesus: when it doesn’t happen by a predicted date just pick a new date.

        1. pretzelattack

          links? otherwise it sounds something like “the scientists were predicting an ice age in the 70’s” (or 80’s, or 60’s, or whatever date the person making the assertion wants).

        2. pretzelattack

          that’s why the tobacco industry hired an ad firm to craft the fud campaign against the science. same firm later hired by the fossil fuel industry to create a similar campaign against climate science.

        3. Wukchumni

          How come Jesus is a common name in Latin America, but i’ve yet to meet a WASP’y American man with that moniker?

  6. NotTimothyGeithner

    Wow! The DNC under Tom Perez is putting together a binder full of opposition research on Trump. Apparently, they’ve learned about mass communication at the DNC recently. Team Blue’s better PR quest is comically bad.

    Thunder sticks? Really? You can see the hand of Team Clinton. Only they would be so annoying. Only people who whistle to draw attention to themselves are more irritating.

      1. Wukchumni

        When you think the turning point in your campaign will be best waged by a coterie of loud supports in the audience, part of the Warren commission?

        Lizzy Warren took an attack
        Thunder sticks gave her forty whacks.
        When she saw what they had done,
        Got her approval number up to twenty-one.

    1. Grant

      I am not surprised that her campaign tried to make some noise when she came out. Not a huge thing by itself. However, the media failing to mention that and framing as they did is another matter. It’s propaganda, of course.

      We all know that if Bernie was not in this race that Warren would not be pushed by the corporate media. Says a lot about how badly their actual candidates of choice at the beginning are doing, and how little faith they have in Biden. Warren, however, being more progressive than many other candidates running says tons more about those candidates and the Democratic Party than her “progressiveness”. In a sane world (given what is coming for us and the changes we need), with any halfway progressive party, she would represent the right flank, not the left. Her work with the CFPB was good, and she should be proud of that. But, that happened before she got into office, and putting that in place in the wake of a financial crisis is radically different than the type of radical changes we need on a wide range of issues, from healthcare to the environment. I see no logical reason to think she will push for comprehensive structural changes, because in order to do those things you need to challenge the very interests she is cozying up to and you need a radical inclination that she lacks. As things are shaping up, the DNC and the media are going to push her as a unity candidate, because the person most likely to benefit from Biden dropping out is Bernie, and if he was to take a solid lead, the establishment would lose their collective minds. No one in Biden’s rough ideological area is doing well, so they are staring down a Sanders lead if Biden does implode or drop out, two things that could happen. So, Warren will not be a candidate that is relatively more progressive than others if she gets the nomination, she is already “pivoting”. I would also imagine that since there will be no clear winner in the first round, that the superdelegates will be in the game in the second round, and the jockeying for their support (what a train wreck of internal democracy that is) will revolve around who particular candidates will chose as their VP. Any notion that Warren would get a bunch of support from superdelegates and still choose Bernie as her VP, if she wins the nomination, should be dispensed with. That will not happen.

      Also, if I remember correctly, it looks as if with Harris supporters, that many of them had Warren as their second choice, which meant that if Harris went down in support that Warren would be the main beneficiary. Well, Harris has gone down, and Warren has gone up. So, I think it is safe to say that at least a decent portion of Warren’s rise is connected to Harris’s fall.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > So, Warren will not be a candidate that is relatively more progressive than others if she gets the nomination, she is already “pivoting”

        Warren is taking a big gamble by spending a lot of her money — the money she collected from large donors before declaring, and then transferred to her 2020 account — up front. If she doesn’t break away away from the pack in the early primaries, she’ll need another cash infusion.* Hence, I would guess, the cozying up to the Clintons and the retreat to policy positions more acceptable to big donors (e.g., opposing #MedicareForAll). Speculating further, they’re worried about internal polling.

        Warren is not that popular in her home state (suggesting that the question of her Indian ancestry is not her only Achilles heel, as it were). Hence the conventional wisdom that she’ll do well in NH because it’s adjacent to MA looks wrong. Which would be why she has to bus in cheerleaders to rallies. Not a good look, and also suggests that internal polling contradicts the liberal Democrat “narrative.”

        NOTE * I think the Sanders operation is built for the long haul, so he doesn’t have that problem.

    2. UserFriendly

      Literally the only thing we have going to sink warren is that the Boston Globe didn’t want her to run so there is some bitterness there and they actually cover her honestly.

    3. vidimi

      i don’t get the hate for warren. if you don’t have bernie, gravel, or tulsi in the race, she would still be the best candidate since FDR

  7. bmeisen

    Sports Desk – NFL
    Why should the Dolphins, why should the Browns be any better? Their owners already have their stadiums booked, TV contracts signed, even tickets sold, for the next tax-relevant NFL seasons. Their QBs don’t have to say Hail Marys, their top drafts don’t have to shine. There are no losers in the NFL, just a trophy that gets handed around.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      T-shirt sales. Proving their wealth wasn’t merely the result of an inheritance or cornering a market. Look at Dan Snyder. He tries so hard, and he makes the Eagles having a comeback win feel great. The rumor is executives for the Washington team race to the exits to avoid having to watch game film with Snyder.

      What twitter has demonstrated is how thin skinned these people really are. (cough Musk or Bill Gates’ mockumentary about himself as if he needs to make one) There are people who are outraged about the Patriots signing Antonio Brown as if the teams with cap room weren’t lined up to make similar offers.

      1. rd

        The Patriots history with troubled players is interesting. Belichek has generally been successful with it due to the Patriot’s all-in team focus. Much of society could learn from it as we incarcerate huge numbers of people and then wonder why they don’t do well afterwards.

        Their huge failure was Aaron Hernandez. Surprisingly, one of the lessons that came out of that was that drafting him to play close to home let him maintain his high school connections with other troubled people that allowed things to spiral out of control during the season. Belichek, Tony Dungy etc. generally have had more success with players who don’t come from nearby and rely on the team for much of their social connections during the NFL season.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I wouldn’t consider Hernandez to be troubled in the same manner as Brown, Dillon, and Harrison who also had different personalities from Brown but were considered problematic. Gronk is a big personality. I don’t know how he would have done on a different team.

          Ed Reed, most recently, and others have said Bill Belichick is a positive, “heres what you can do”, kind of guy, hence the guys who believe in themselves and are there because they want to be there to tend flock there.

          There have been articles written about Bill’s approach to free agents and the draft, and Bill simply doesn’t invest too much in one player, he has room to maneuver and his failures tend to be less magnified. Hernandez was a fourth round rick despite the talent. When Bill gets top free agents, he only goes after the guy he thinks is actually the best at the position. He won’t pay top dollar for a linebacker if he needs a linebacker and its where the market is.

          The book “Patriot Reign” has a bunch of team building propaganda that probably works, but I still think much is Bill simply the least worst football coach.

    2. Wukchumni

      We somehow snatched victory from the jaws of defeat en route to a 7-9 season, but long suffering Bills fans wouldn’t have it any other way, as nope springs eternal in Buffalo.

      1. inode_buddha

        I always root for the Cleveland Browns, because they make you feel good about yourself. In spite of living in the Bills backyard.

        1. Wukchumni

          We were @ the Ralph once upon a time, and although play had stopped and there was nothing going on, the assembled mass started booing quite loudly and I was at a loss as to why…

          The then head coach was doing a United Way public service announcement on the jumbotron~

          …tough crowd

          1. eg

            As a sometime visitor to Buffalo games and a supporter of a competing team that shall remain nameless, I do so incognito — there is no upside to wearing opposing team gear to a Bills game …

            1. Wukchumni

              We went to a Bills game in Oakland (the stadium is falling apart, lots of crumbling concrete on the steps up to our seats) about 5 years ago late in the season and the hapless Raiders had managed a couple of wins and the Bills weren’t much better, and we were sporting the colors of red white & blue, and Raider Nation was quite upset @ us, lotsa taunting that in no way was justified, as the ersatz pirates were mired in Davy Jones locker, going nowhere fast.

          2. pretzelattack

            the phily fans once pelted santa klaus (ok a guy in a santa costume, but it’s the thought that counts) with snowballs and a few beer bottles)

            1. Wukchumni

              Could the miscreants that pelted Santa in Philly, have been distraught 10 year olds that realized they’d been had?


              Why do all of us know Santa Claus is a myth, while a good many of us still believe in a supreme being myth?

                1. Wukchumni

                  What if you turned it around and we all knew the God was a myth @ a tender age, but continued to have a lifelong fling with Santa, because he always came through with the wherewithal?

    3. Craig H.

      If you look at the list of the top shoe contracts there are basketball players and soccer players and golfers and no NFL players. None.

      The owners in that industry extract 99.99% of the surplus. You have to hand it to them. The basketball owners and the soccer owners must be dying to know the secret. My guess is it involves a pact with Satan.

    4. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Dolphins are tanking on purpose to get the #1 draft pick, either Alibamas Tua or Abubamas Jalen Hurts.

      I watched the Browns yesterday and i legit thought they were going to dominate. I guess the Titans didnt get the memo.

      Saints play tonight – Who Dat – and LSU finally has a quarterback. Halle frickin lujah. Best chance to beat Bama in 8 years.

      Lagniappe – Climate Change is the elephant on the field as several College teams succumb to dehydration and cramps, most notably Florida St against Boise St. The stadium at Texas was 100 degrees. From my porch in New Orleans, September feels like the new August as Temps seem to go up and not down. Bad news for Coastal residents if Hurricane season is just beginning. Last thing, NFL players are starting to act more like NBA players. Antonio Brown, Laveon Bell, etc are demanding trades and getting them.

      1. Wukchumni

        Used to be there were scant few trades in the NFL, players just got released and other teams picked em’ up.

      2. ambrit

        It is actually funnier the way you use it!
        Thanks for the laugh!
        Oh, and the porch temperatures on out front porch, which faces West, are hotter than usual this year as well. I have noticed that the weather services, when they run a two week ahead prediction, revert to the “standard” temperature regime at over a week out, which has consistently been degrees lower than what actually transpires. Thus, for the last month, predictions of highs of the low nineties or upper eighties have turned out to become actual temperatures of high nineties. The weather services predictive algorithms are ‘behind the curve.’

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Listen. Anything to mess with Saban is very much appreciated.

          The fact that you made a meta 7th century college football joke is outstanding and ill never see Alibama the same again!

          Better copyright it before Alabama plays Oklahoma in the BCS Championship.

          1. ambrit

            Yay! It can become interesting!
            Imagine this, a Middle Eastern professional basketball team called the Sixers! Games against the Sunni teams would be real grudge matches! Soccer hooligans will have nothing on this lot.
            I do remember working on a commercial job in Tuscaloosa and being the ‘designated driver’ for the out of town workers who wanted to attend the local UofA game against LSU. In the middle of a heat wave, lots of attendees wore long coats, that mostly clanked and tinkled as the people entered the stadium. That was the drunkest stadium load of people I ever was in. Football being what it is in a college town, there was nary a traffic cop writing drunk driving tickets to be found that day.
            As for messing with Saban, well, I went to a place called Miami Beach Senior High School when Skip Bertman was the baseball coach. Good Lord, but I move to Louisiana and here old Skip turns up as head coach for LSU. There ain’t no justice. (TANJ)
            So, it was with quite some joy that I later turned up working at a surveyors office with a field surveyor, Marty Donovan, who just happened to have been a pitcher on the Tulane team that beat the pants off of LSU one year. So, maybe there is some justice after all.

            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              I used to deliver pizzas for mellow Mushroom and i shit you not, Skip Bertmans wife would answer the door in her leopard printed nightie!!!

              1. ambrit

                That’s “the Beach” for you! I’d sometimes have something similar happen when doing service calls for my Dad’s plumbing company on Miami Beach. You learned to ‘not look’ after a while. It soon became automatic in such circumstances. Customs are varied and ‘interesting’ even within small geographic areas.
                I know that the “Mellow Mushroom” is a mini-chain now, but I remember a really good pizza joint somewhere just north of Carrolton Avenue in the vicinity of ‘The Boot’ that I believe was called that. It was not part of a chain. As with all things related to “higher education,” the prices were premium. Luckily, this place was worth the price. They even delivered two pizzas to our impromptu Friday night party in the left hand elevator in the dorm. (Hint: when planning parties in an elevator, the electrical outlet to power the lamps, sound system etc. are on top of the elevator. Just pop up the ceiling access panel and reach in till you find it.) That party ran all night, as we ‘contributed’ free beer to the campus cops who stopped by to check us out. (Yes, we had a keg.)

        2. Oregoncharles

          That makes sense – the predictions are basically a rolling average of past performance, so if the normal is changing they’ll always be a bit behind.

  8. Robert McGregor

    “Manager: Trump family building ‘dynasty’ for decades to come”

    When I saw that title, I thought, “Who is the kiss-ass sellout who is saying this?” But when I took one look at that guy’s picture (Brad Parscale), I realized, “No, he’s a true believer whacko!” I didn’t know there’s a white supremacist “look.” Well this guy’s got it. I can’t wait to hear the “dueling campaign managers” interviews next year.

  9. Ptb

    Re: Brexit
    A 2 month extension in exchange for a GE in which Labour expects to lose seats? Not much of a trade if you ask me…

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Door blows off Boeing 777X during stress test”

    I saw a report on this incident – but cannot find it again – which suggested that the problem lay in Boeing making the plating of the 777 thinner as well as the screws used being smaller. If true, then this would suggest that instead of listening to the engineers who would build planes with a bit of overkill as a safety margin, Boeing is listening instead to the bean-counters who want those aircraft built to minimum spec to save weight which would make them more economical to fly.
    I seem to recall that the old DC-10 also had a problem with their doors in flight-

    1. Olga

      This is lifted from MoA:
      “Frames were changed from sheet metal to milled aluminum and reduced by 2″ thickness each, giving a total of 4” additional space. So they might be as strong as on the “traditional” 777 but more flexible (stiffness increases at the order of 4 with thickness), causing more deformation to the door surround structure and putting more loads on the locking system.”
      If true, then more proof of Boeing’s descent into … what? Madness, a pit of greed, or just total disregard for common sense? Hard to tell.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That was it. Thanks Olga. I knew I saw it somewhere though I was wrong about the mention of smaller screws.

    2. RMO

      The small aft cargo door which blew out on two DC-10’s in flight (the second time being the THY DC-10 that crashed leaving Orly with a massive loss of life) also blew out on the first test pressurization of the DC-10 prototype. A little disturbing that a Boeing engineer hasn’t heard of this as it was a pretty significant aviation engineering and safety incident! A Boeing 747 leaving Hawaii also had one of its cargo doors unlatch and blow out – in the end this was traced to damaged wiring allowing the latching mechanism to be back-driven into the unlatched position. Up through the 737 Boeing used plug doors in their aircraft which have the advantage of the pressure differential keeping them closed even if the latching and hinge mechanisms fail. They reduce interior space though (as you’ll see if you ever have the chance to go into a 707-720-727-737 cargo hold) which is the reason they were done away with.

    3. Lambert Strether

      Ugh. Now I have to make sure I’m flying an old 777. Great aircraft, the only one left now that the 747 is gone — can’t speak for Airbus — and now they’re crapifying it. Maybe somebody can explain what happens when a 777X loses a door in the middle of a long-haul flight over the Pacific. Nothing good, I’m sure.*

      Also, Boeing’s MBA’s are optimizing their aircraft toward mechanical crapification at the same time the airlines are deskilling the pilots. I don’t think it’s a good thing those two trend lines are both heading downward.

      NOTE * Maybe the airlines will lower their prices to compensate for the increased risks lol no.

  11. FriarTuck

    RE: Space Command projects what it would need in a real world Star Trek C4ISANET (The Rev Kev)

    As a lifelong fan of Star Trek, all of these “scenarios” sicken me. They miss the point of a unified post-scarcity utopia; in the ideal – one nation will not “dominate” space but share it as a unified world exploration effort.

    The US has clearly demonstrated, as this blog has spent time partially cataloging, how “rules-based order” is a cover for unilateral domination. And the US bends or breaks those rules when convenient.

    In short, go ahead and talk about the domination and capitalization of space. Just don’t call it Star Trek.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Lifelong fan of Star Trek here too. Not so much Star Trek in these scenarios but more like Starship Troopers with their talk of dominance by their leaders.

    2. WheresOurTeddy

      who among us can forget PIcard’s passionate speech to Q about American Exceptionalism and the power of markets?

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The one salient feature about Star Trek seems to be that Earth is and will be the center of the universal drama.

    1. Jesper

      Yep. Interesting read. This part:

      Rosenberg argues that the elites have traditionally prevented society from becoming a totally unfettered democracy; their “oligarchic ‘democratic’ authority” or “democratic control” has until now kept the authoritarian impulses of the populace in check.

      is just brilliant. Oligarchic democratic authority……..

      It seems that the gist is that our ‘elite’ is so brilliant that the (undeserving) masses cannot possibly understand the elite and the masses should be obedient and grateful for being held under this noble control.
      & yet the narcissists in our society are not to be found in this ‘elite’, the people in the ‘elite’ do not have an excessive admiration of themselves – their admiration of themselves is fully justified as that is what they themselves have found out by asking themselves.

      I suppose that if, and that is a big if, we lived in a meritocracy then maybe possibly this oligarchic democratic authority might be acceptable. But since luck of birth etc is a big deciding factor on who gets to be in this ‘elite’ then even that slim justification fails.

      1. inode_buddha

        This, to me, is hypocrisy writ large. Accuse the other guys of exactly what you yourself are doing. I mean, what about the authoritarian impulses of the oligarchs? What, are they innocent or something? (I used to put up with that kind of crap all day every day at work…)

    1. Polar Donkey

      Jerry Jr hired High Freeze as the Liberty football coach. That’s really all you need to know about Jerry Jr.

      1. sleepy

        Freeze got his start as football coach at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis. He’s just continuing the tradition.

    2. boz

      You have to wonder about this kind of stuff.

      Is the focus of the charity souls (well, souls via education)?

      Or is it economic profit?

      Both of those are fine if under strong governance, but mixing them (and manipulating for personal gain) is not.

      It very much sounds like they have lost their way, and become enamoured with money.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Southern Baptists? The name kind of gives away their values and why they split from Baptists nationwide. When the Quakers and Methodists stopped supporting slavery, those plantation owners had to find new churches.

        Falwell Junior simply torments more people underneath him than the old man.

        1. Another Scott

          The Methodist Episcopal Church did split in 1844 over slavery as did the New School and Old School Presbyterians.

          1. Oregoncharles

            The Presbyterians re-united within living memory – mine. Not all that long ago. Don’t know about the Methodists.

  12. Wukchumni

    Diary entries from I Will Bear Witness 1933-41 by Victor Klemperer, about 3 1/2 years into the 3rd Reich:

    March 23, 1936

    “He flies from place to place and gives triumphal speeches. The whole thing is called an “election campaign”.”

    May 16, 1936

    “The huge German army is feared and used by every party: Germany will do a deal with England, perhaps with Italy, but a deal will certainly be done and to the advantage of the present government. And I certainly no longer believe that it has enemies inside Germany. The majority of the people is content, a small group accepts Hitler as the lesser evil, no one really wants to be rid of him, all see in him the liberator in foreign affairs, fear Russian conditions as a child fears the bogeyman, believe, insofar as they are not honestly carried away, that it is inappropriate, in terms of realpolitik, to be outraged at such details as the suppression of civil liberties, the persecution of the Jews, the falsification of all scholarly truths and the systematic destruction of all morality.”

    1. Olga

      This from German soldiers, who fought on the Russian front and were able to return home (though the home later became GDR): H’s winning strategy to build and maintain power was to deploy major propaganda (anti-USSR) and job creation. (IOW – keep minds deluded and tummies full.)

      Keeping abreast of the current propaganda efforts is crucial. From C Johnstone link:
      “Make no mistake, maintaining narrative control is the single highest priority of the establishment. Not keeping taxes down, not keeping Bernie out of office, not even keeping the wars going. Without narrative control, their entire empire will crumble. Never lose sight of this.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You see that – narrative control – all the time, in Moscow, Tokyo, Berlin, DC, Beijing, Pyongyang, etc.

        1. ambrit

          Tying “narrative control” into it’s ur-progenitor, Bernays, we see the ultimate source of said ‘control’ as being London and Washington, D. C. Truth be told, considering Bernay’s family background, the natal place of ‘narrative control’ can be said to be Vienna, Austria.
          An essentially Mittel Europa idea, that.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            When we see today the huge sculptures by those Persian kings of kings, of themselves, along the royal highway, they were alll about narrative control.

            In that sense, it’s very ancient (and likely older than those upstart Persians. Say, for example, Homer’s Iliad).

            1. ambrit

              I abase myself in propitiation MLTPB!
              That’s why it is now known as the “Epic of Gilgamesh” instead of “The Epic of Enkidu.”
              Again, obsequious grovelings.

        2. witters

          I would be careful MLTPB, in generalising the narrative control thesis (I mean, ‘etc’ might be replaced with MLTPB).

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That ‘huge German army’ in 1936 was helped, along the way, from 1922 to 1933, by the USSR Red Army.

          1. Olga

            One school that operated between 1929-1933 – so for four yrs. only and before the rise of H. A very different animal than claiming that the Red Army “helped a huge German army” between 1922-1933. The comment is fundamentally misleading and thus qualifies as nonsense. Precision does matter – particularly when we are discussing matters of war and, therefore, life and death.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              A huge German army in 1936 was helped, along the way, from 1922 to 1933 by the USSR Red Army..


              The Red Army ‘helped a huge German army’ between 1922 – 1933.

              The 2 statements are not the same, to be precise about it.

          1. Wukchumni

            Kama Kama Kama chameleon…

            Once again, if you want to see what was going on in the 3rd Reich on a day to day basis, as written by a critical thinking German Jew, I can’t recommend the aforementioned book enough.

          2. Olga

            If that is what is meant – that was not until Aug. 1939 – so 1922-1933 cannot be it. there was no Wehrmacht in those years. Saying something that defies known history without any context or explanation makes it nonsense.
            And not to quibble with Mr. Klemperer, but there was hardly a ‘huge German army’ in 1936:
            In fact, in early 1936 H. re-militarised Rhineland. He admitted later that it was a big gamble, because if France or UK opposed it (as they should have done according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles), H. said he would have lost, since the army was not strong enough. They did not – and the road to WWII was open…
            Additionally, USSR was in no position to be helping whatever German army there might have been between 1922-1933. It had many problems of its own to fight.
            Of course, MLTPB is free to elucidate what his utterance was meant to convey.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Hardly a ‘huge German army’ in 1936 vs. the 1936 Klemperer quote in which the German army was described as ‘huge’ per Wukchumni.

              That’s a quibble between you and Klemperer.

              However the description, that Germn army in 1936 was helped from 1922 to 1933 by the Soviet Red Army, to the extent the 1936 German army that was part of (the newly formed) Wehrmacht had many officers who were in the German army before it was called the Wehrmacht.

            2. The Rev Kev

              I read that when the German troops re-occupied the Rhineland, that they had orders that if there was any opposition to them, that they were to immediately retreat back to their original positions. As these troops were re-occupying a part of their own country, nobody thought of opposing it as it might break out into a general conflict.

              1. Wukchumni

                Hitler in the 1930’s repeatedly bluffed the allies (and his own volk) into thinking that the hand he was holding was a full house, when it might’ve been a pair of 3’s.

                Another tidbit from the book:

                The official exchange rate of the Reichsmark to Pound was 14 to 1, but Klemperer’s friends had to pay 20-1, and were subject to a ‘Reich Flight Tax’ of an additional 25%, when leaving the 3rd world.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Hitler would have made a helluva poker player. What between the hand waving, the expressive face and his occasional rants, you would not know how to read him. You see time and again in the book “Rise and fall of the Third Reich” how he bluffed the western powers when he had nothing to back it up with and how they kept on folding.

                  1. Wukchumni

                    Klemperer & wife Eva are world class hypochondriacs, so the diary makes you suffer a bit with their myriad of maladies real or imagined, but he is a keen observer of lies being at the heart of the 3rd Reich’s power, little tidbits of newspaper accounts versus actual attendance at smaller affairs, etc. The general public attitude in Dresden & outskirts.

            3. ambrit

              I don’t quite understand the point. The organization that coordinated training with the Red Army back then became the Wehrmacht through a change of name, not a wholesale changing of personnel. Those officers who trained out at Kazan later became the core of the German Army Tank Corps and Luftwaffe. Presumably, the Red Army cadres involved benefited similarly. What hamstrung the later Red Army were the Stalin purges of the officer corps, done for political purposes.
              Tangentially related to all this is the fact that the partition of Poland in 1939 was an ‘under the table’ deal worked out between Moscow and Berlin. Yet another example of the love hate relationship between Russia and Germany.

              1. Wukchumni

                I met an elderly German-American fellow in the 1990’s who had worked on the swept wing concept on the ME-262 jet fighter, and he asked if I knew where the engines for early 3rd Reich airplanes came from?

                American companies were only too happy to supply the blueprints under contract, etc. for a price, but of course.

                1. ambrit

                  An old friend of ours down in Louisiana had an uncle who was a Master Sargent in the American Army during WW2. He told the tale of having to save the lives of two Americans who were the Standard Oil of California representatives for the Bremerhaven U-Boat works. Yes. They were caught in the yards trying to destroy evidence of business dealings between Standard Oil and the Reichs Kriegsmarine throughout the war. The trade was routed through Sweden.
                  In WW1 there was Zaharoff and his policy of selling arms manufactured by Vickers Arms to anyone who could pay. He supplied armaments to both sides of several wars.
                  Then, there is the perennial example of IBM and the Reich’s “Final Solution” to a certain German ethnic “problem.”

  13. erichwwk

    In the cited article, “Trump’s effect on US foreign policy” by Joseph Nye he writes:

    “Failure by American leaders to act in the 1930s contributed to hell on Earth; so did refusal by American presidents to use nuclear weapons when the United States held a monopoly on them.”

    What on earth does Nye mean? Granted that we now know the atomic bomb was built, NOT against either the Germans or the Japeanese, but the Russians (or more soecifically, to “stop” socialism, and there were (and still are) those that have felt (and still feel) an atomic war is winnable (and in American “interests'”), is that what the author of “soft power” is saying?

    1. Olga

      I saw that sentence and gulped… so he wrote a book on ‘soft power!’ Hate to think what his book on ‘hard power’ would have been like.
      Why do we even pay any attention to swamp creatures like him?
      (But yours is a good question. The US only had monopoly until 1949, although after that, it maintained a numerical advantage. So it is either ‘bomb USSR between 1945 and 1949’ (there was such a plan, it’s just that the US did not have enough bombs/planes to achieve the full obliteration of USSR), or bomb it after 1949 and through the early 1960 (JFK refused to cooperate). I think he is bemoaning both of those scenarios.)

      1. Acacia

        There were many nuclear attack plans against Russia and China, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to use nukes on a number of occasions. Look up SIOP-62.

        175 million Russians and Chinese would be killed by the alert force, while a strike by the committed force would kill an estimated 285 million with 40 million more injured.

        After digging into this history, Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove looked rather different to me.

        Also look up the US response to the French losing the battle at Dien Bien Phu (how the US got into Vietnam): use nukes against the Viet Minh.

    2. Ranger Rick

      There is a sizeable contingent of alt-history buffs who wonder what could have happened after World War II had the US decided it wanted to conquer the world. There certainly was no shortage of people who thought it could be done.

      1. ambrit

        Churchill, if the shadowy “soft history” known as the “unofficial” version of history, as we know it, goes, was talking with Patton about the practicalities of re-arming the Wehrmacht in ’46 or ’47 and driving East with a combined Allied Axis army. The demobilized German units were housed in camps, with their weapons cached at depots right next to those camps. The German units could thus be re-armed quickly if ‘Uncle Joe’ tried to keep moving west right after the cessation of hostilities.
        America’s use of the two atomic weapons against Japan at the time was a calculated gamble. Russia was about to come into the war in the Pacific. If Japan had held out, we would probably be dealing today with a divided Japan, similar to the situation in Korea.
        So, lots of “what if” scenarios to play around with. I prefer to “play around with” real time ‘what if’ scenarios. Like, “What If” Sanders wins the 2020 election?
        More later when my Tempuscope gets back from the repair shop.

      2. mpalomar

        There is a sizeable contingent of alt-history buffs who wonder what could have happened after World War II had the US decided it wanted to conquer the world.
        – Actually, I thought that was the road taken, after all the US never demilitarized, needlessly turned on their most important ally against the axis as soon as WWII ended and developed a net of 7-800 military bases and numerous fleets that span the world.

        1. Olga

          Yes, it was the road taken – just not through an active war (for a while). The funny thing is that – as soon as US did opt for war – Korea and Vietnam – the attempt to take over the world was lost. I was thinking this weekend that future historians – if we live that long – will look to those two wars and conclude that they must have been the start of the end of US’ empire. Those wars sapped any advantage US might have gained through the projection of soft power, led US to make compromises that long-term extracted an unwanted cost, and inflicted irreversible economic damage (e.g., going off the gold standard and requiring US to bolster the dollar’s reserve currency status by other (unsavoury) means). Plus what you said…

          1. mpalomar

            The US “attempt to take over the world” can be thought about by the strategies employed; economic, hard and soft power. Perhaps the west’s ‘cold warriors’ were more successful in their grab than we concede and does it not continue today?
            Three points in that regard.
            1. The neo-liberal economic model, though struggling, largely controls the levers of power. China is infected, the Soviet Union collapsed and was looted, apparently partially controlled by oligarchs as of course is the West.
            2. The project for the new American century continues to blunder from one debacle to another, yet as with the Vietnam War, though the US loses the wars, a lesson has been proffered to any future recalcitrant wealth redistributors. Chomsky makes this point, you don’t necessarily have to win the regional wars, you just have to make the savage point that resistance will be met with lethal force.
            3. Brazil is another kind of case in point; Lula is in jail, Rousseff, the only approximately honest politician was deposed by a band of crooked judges and politicians with the guidance by the US DOJ and SEC.

    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Didn’t Americas Leaders act though? Didn’t they support Nazis infirectly? Like henry ford?

      Didn’t Americas Working Class support Socialists?

      1. ambrit

        Damn right they did.
        Insofar as the American elites supported Hitler, it was because he promised to combat Communism for them in Europe. So, by any definition, a class war driven event.

    4. Lambert Strether

      > What on earth does Nye mean?

      The USSR exploded its first nuclear weapon in 1949, so there was a four year window to do whatever it was that Nye thinks ought to have been done (which includes selling the country on starting a new war just as we thought we’d finished with the old one). And Nye isn’t advocating an Osirak-style strike but a strategic strike. Yeesh. Thank heavens we did containment because it could have been so much worse!

  14. Wukchumni

    Mark Sanford announces GOP presidential bid: ‘We have lost our way’ Politico
    Wasn’t Sanford lost on the way to hiking the Appalachian Trail, having an affair?

    1. Carolinian

      When governor Sanford unleashed a pig in the SC lege chambers cause they wouldn’t cut spending. Sadly for him he won’t be able to contest Trump in the primary because the state Republicans have canceled it.

      Something in the water down here–definitely.

    2. nippersdad

      He was in Buenos Aires with his girlfriend.

      But he admitted his errors so his “Christian” base loves him again. It never ceases to amaze me how simple apologies without acts of contrition by conservative pols are good enough to regain Christian cred but feed or house the poor and you are damned for eternity.

      They don’t have to make sense within their own reality.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Sanford is going back, but didn’t he actually seem to have gone missing at least to news watchers outside of SC?

    3. DJG

      Wukchumni: Joe Walsh, Mark Sanford. With opponents like these, Trump is going to come off as The Sane One.

      What Republicans have done to themselves should have been kept private.

    4. Olga

      My thoughts exactly – the guy who could not distinguish between Argentina and Appalachia presumes to give us a lesson on ‘finding our way.’ One cannot make this up. (We’re in trouble when reality becomes stranger than fiction.)
      OTOH, his handlers probably count on the famously short memory of the US populace.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Atrios pointed out he’s running for a MSNBC job.

        Then again, Trump is President, so I assume people like Sanford and Scarborough are simply annoyed they didn’t double down and demand tribute for their rank hypocrisy while supporting awful policies.

      2. Wukchumni

        …add in the equally useless Tea Partier: Joe Walsh

        Watched him on Bill Maher, and it was painful.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          The interview with the Feminist lady was quite good. Coupled with Chappelle, Mahers bashing of WokeLiberals is a good sign, methinks. First time ive been able to stomach maher for 12 mins in years! Maher specifically cited the me too crimes of Bidens creepiness and Bernies Campaign ‘crimes.’

  15. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Madness of James Mattis Truthdig. Maj Danny Sjursen.

    Perhaps the only thing more celebrated than Mattis’ ostensible intellectualism is his supposed integrity. Yet his record as defense secretary throws that into question as well. Lest we forget, the general only decided to resign when Trump dared suggest a modest troop withdrawal from an 18-year war in Afghanistan and a speedy end to a highly risky, and ill-defined, mission in Syria.

    Collective derangement is awfully handy when the unacceptable status quo needs to be defended. Orange Man never right. I get the impression that they’re honing their skills for use in the event that Bernie prevails.

    1. nippersdad

      I pity the people that try to go after Sanders for war spending were he to achieve the Presidency. Cutting schools and Social Security to drop bombs on weddings in Afghanistan for twenty years is not a look that many of them would want to to be forced to wear on a twice daily basis, and the truly obstreperous that are gifted rallies across the street from their district offices would be truly brutal.

      1. Ben Wolf

        There’s a special place in hell for Sanders, a man screaming “Soshulizmmmm!!” while stuffing his accounts with pennies given by the desperate. He could never figure out how to get rich, until he finally hit on that good old con of feeding fake hope to people hanging by a thread.

        And they’ll go on giving it to him while they can’t pay the rent, just like 2016 when he couldn’t win and kept on grifting until the last minute.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Ah…I see its now moral to take money from the rich for donations because the rich are just doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.

          Then of course your comment features the paternalistic nature of elites knowing better than the lower classes. Classic “New Democrat.” Its no wonder you people lust after “white flight Republicans”.

          Not to mention the anti-Semitism on display. Your complaint is that Sanders is after money…hmmm…how do you keep your sheets so white?

          1. Hepativore

            Wow, did a sudden portal to the hell dimension that is Balloon Juice open here on Naked Capitalism last week? There seem to be a lot of various anti-Sanders posts here as of late. I mean, it is one thing if you do not support him for president, but many of the statements being made by his opponents here are just plain strange.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              I think its just the Republican types who hate country pop music who have flocked to Team Blue in recent years, especially among the courtier class, don’t have a clue what motivates likely or potential Democratic voters, partially because they, themselves, haven’t admitted they aren’t Republicans because they don’t quite fit in or simply can’t stand country pop.

              When they try to message, they usually produce nonsensical garbage. Actual Republicans would be better.

              1. ambrit

                I suggest that this “nonsensical garbage” is the tactic of trying to ‘poison the well.’
                I’m no expert, but I work on the assumption that a short, concise rejoinder followed by no further engagement is the optimal counter strategy.

                  1. ambrit

                    Thank you for suffering through the H— that is Facebook so that others of us do not have to.
                    That really is an example of compassion.
                    Plus, a comments section for an advertisement????

            2. ambrit

              Those statements make sense if viewed as parts of a co-ordinated smear campaign. Naked Capitalism has shown again how feared it is by the Establishment.
              Sometimes paranoia is justified. As in, “they” really are out to get you. Here, we have on display, “someone” is out to ‘get’ Sanders.

        2. DJG

          Ben Wolf: Are you still angry because they didn’t seat you close enough to the front after you paid $300 to attend one of the Clintons’ endless book tours?

          Bernie Sanders’s royalties are peanuts compared to the Vacuuming Up Dollahs wing of the Democratic Party.

        3. pretzelattack

          don’t you have some sympathy for the bankers who donated all that money and had to listen to boring h clinton speeches to boot, and still she lost while grifting till the last minute? no? i expect you’ll be providing proof of all your donations to the homeless bernie supporters, thanks in advance.

        4. nippersdad

          I would remind you that it is not Sanders who is attempting to screw widows out of their last mite, that would be the corporate Dems working with the Republican party to gut what is left of the welfare state. I would also remind you that democratic socialism is not a new concept in this country; “Real Democrats (TM)” and Republicans ran on it for seventy years until the takeover of the Democratic Party by the DLC. Sanders is actually the only “real” Democrat in the race as far as I am concerned, and that is why so many of the less economically privileged are giving him what they can to represent them. They literally have no one else willing to do so.

          If you want to score cheap political you are going to have to work a lot harder at it. All you have succeeded in doing is making the case that Gilens and Page had it right, and all you are left with to run on are some pretty pitiful insults.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            15 response comments and counting…

            Plus the other 2 or so comments the last couple days.

            This Trolls growing in size very rapidly! Protect the Billy-Goats Gruff!

        5. Jeremy Grimm


          I strongly favor Sanders but it is all right for someone else to oppose Sanders or favor other candidates. Invective is neither comment nor argument but it often does fit the category of deliberate provocation.

        6. urblintz

          “He never figured out how to get rich”

          Wow Ben, the manner in which you bust yourself is impressive. My hope that you will go away is tempered by the comical self-destruction you offer. Keep it up, fella!!!

        7. Yves Smith

          Sorry to see this late. He’s been banned. Policy violations: Making shit up, ad hominem, and general bad faith. Any future comments that get through will be ripped out.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Iran says tanker last seen off coast of Syria has reached its destination, and oil has been sold”

    Reports indicate that that tanker has enough to fulfill three months of use by Syria. The US and EU may want to sanction both Syria and Iran for that oil delivery but they are doing that anyway to those two countries. Options for the US are getting short when talking about these ships delivering oil to Syria. Recently the US State department sent messages to a dozen ship’s captains offering cash if they simply headed their ships into a “friendly” port for seizure. That tanker’s captain that is off the Syrian coast line was offered several million dollars. All those captains refused because for one, they are all patriots and two, that would mean trusting in the good faith of Mike Pompeo to be true to his word and not just arresting those captain’s and prosecuting them for political gain. Not a hard decision that.

    And today’s Antidote du Jour – an American Goldfinch?

    1. Carolinian

      The captain was from India so it may not have been patriotism but rather good old fashioned integrity. Bolton struggling to grasp the man’s thinking.

  17. Deschain

    Re: hard work – 100% agree. I don’t know anyone in my life who I’d say isn’t ‘working hard’. It’s kind of a prerequisite for living these days, unless you happen to be born to a .1%er.

    When someone says ‘but I worked hard’, what they usually really mean is ‘I played the neoliberal game skillfully’.

  18. Ford Prefect

    Interesting paper apparently looking at “The End of Democracy”:

    I think a key thing that is being missed here is that every couple of generations, “the elite” elect to pillage the rest of society and create substantial inequality of finance and opportunity. For some reason, the rabble doesn’t enjoy this and starts to push back, often in ways that are detrimental to, well, everybody.

    Sometimes it ends fairly well, such as American Revolution, post-Gilded Age in US (but not in Europe) and North America coming out of Great Depression to increased democracy and wealth in 1950s and 60s. Sometimes it doesn’t end well, such as French Revolution, Russian Revolution and the rise of Hitler. The good outcomes generally align with an increase in “socialism” while the bad outcomes generally align with an increase in communist, totalitarian, and authoritarian regimes.

    However, it seems like every couple of generations, “the elite” elect to roll the dice to see if they can get away with wealth inequality this time. We are in one of those periods now – the first go at deflating the balloon in 2008-9 required massive interventions focused on making the wealthy wealthier. I don’t know what the second round will look like.

    1. abynormal

      2nd round…Stoic.

      Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present. Marcus A.

  19. UserFriendly

    Reading about cricket reminds me of those AI bots that try to generate short stories. I know what all the words mean and the grammar is correct but it’s still all gibberish.

    1. Rojo

      God yes, what was I reading? “Australia Retain the Ashes”.

      Is it not “retains”? Maybe this is a Brit/Yank difference. But the rest of the article was pure salad.

      1. turtle

        Yes, it is common (standard even?) for British English writers to refer to a country, a company, etc. using plural forms instead of singular ones like American English writers. I kind of like the British form better because it’s less obfuscating.

    2. witters

      If you find cricket ‘gibberish’ then you have no hope with Brexit (and remember Wittgenstein, TLP 7)

      From Rob Slane:

      The current situation is so utterly absurd that it reminds me of that explanation of the rules of cricket, which goes like this:

      “You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out. When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!”

      So here’s the current state of Brexit, as explained to the bemused and befuddled:

      “There are a number of parties. One of them wants to take us out, but there are some within that party that didn’t want to take us out, so they were kicked out by the man who just came in. In order to get us out, the man who just came in tried to get himself out, so that he could then get back in, in order to take us out. But he was thwarted by the other parties, who despite wanting him out, kept him in because they fear that if he gets out, he will then get back in and will then take us out. But if they can keep him in long enough, and prevent him from taking us out, they figure that soon after he has failed to take us out, they will be able to get him out and get themselves in. And then after he gets out and they get in, they may try to take us out or they may try to keep us in. It’s anyone’s guess. Then again, it’s entirely possible that if they do get in, they might try to get us out, then campaign against their deal for taking us out to try and keep us in. It really is that simple.”

  20. Pelham

    Re legacy college admissions:

    Everything about admissions is so insanely screwed up that, I suggest, we need a grand simplification. How about something like this:

    1) Every college and university in the country would get a difficulty rating;

    2) Every kid with a high school diploma could apply to all the schools they like, ranked in order of preference;

    3) Once admitted to a school, the US would pick up the tab for tuition, boarding, books, etc.;

    4) However, if the student has unwisely picked a school that’s too difficult and flunks out, that’s it. No more free tuition, etc.

    5) To avoid grade inflation, grading of tests and papers would be entirely anonymized.

    So there would probably be a substantial number of students flunking out. C’est la vie. But one possible benefit of such a stark, harsh and transparently fair system would be a refreshing concentration of the student mind on actually learning things from professors who are firmly in charge rather than the students’ current reliance on their status as consumers to demand an easy pass (along with safe spaces, gourmet dining, Olympic pools, climbing walls, support animals and all the other frippery they insist on).

    I know, this runs the risk of not getting the very best students into the very best programs. But is this essential? Geniuses are going to shine pretty much regardless of their schooling if they can access the basics.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Education can be for enlightenment (perhaps without immediate monetary value, or even during one’s whole life), or for credentialism.

      The former can be shared among all learners.

      The latter is always about the individual student, and is a self-centered game.

      1. Pelham

        Quite true.

        BTW: In my proposal, I neglected to say that students would be admitted to schools on a strictly first-come-first-served basis — kind of a key point.

  21. Basil Pesto

    Australia retain the Ashes after England fail to save fourth Test at Old Trafford Guardian
    Brexit may be one thing, but to have Australia retain the Ashes, that’s serious

    quite so, and me on my couch at 4am, cheering each of those stubborn last few wickets. tremendous.

    1. The Rev Kev

      For those readers wondering about that term the Ashes. Back in 1882 a colonial Australian team went to England and beat them at the Oval. A guy wrote a mock obituary in a newspaper just after-

      In Affectionate Remembrance
      which died at the Oval
      29 August 1882,
      Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing
      friends and acquaintances


      N.B.—The body will be cremated and the
      ashes taken to Australia

      So after that a small Urn is the supposed prize for the contests between England and Australia-

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      His poll numbers seem to have dropped, benefittting mostly Warren, from I have read recently.

      Of course poll numbers are like hypotheses – they have to be tested against real numbers, which we will see early next year.

  22. Oregoncharles

    “Ireland warns PM Johnson: no-backstop equals no-deal Brexit” – which is NOT in Ireland’s interest.

    Isn’t this sort of a high-risk strategy for Varadkar? Granted, it’s Britain that caused the problem, but it’s Ireland that has to live with it.

    1. shtove

      It’s possible we’re seeing one of those historical patterns – Ireland has turned to Europe every 100 years or so to save itself from the perfidious one. Spain, France, Germany. We shall see.

  23. barrisj

    Re: the Rosenberg “death of democracy” thesis: In support of that, one can readily point to accelerating climate change and all the primary and secondary effects obtaining from cataclysmic warming to postulate that only authoritarian regimes would be able to mobilize whole populations to conform under governmental compulsion to emergency decrees radically affecting heretofore “democratically honored” principles of self-interest, including “property rights”, “the rule of law”, and other constitutionally mandated rights. So-called democracies such as exemplified by the US have been so drastically compromised by Big Capital special interests that the notion of conventional “democratic” responses to a massive existential crisis is risible on its face. Dirigisme logically would soon become the default posture of government, as choices would have been radically narrowed to only an all-powerful state to adequately address, e.g., society-threatening global warming, and which would require forced rationing of goods and services. Why not a Mao, Hitler, or Stalin in a time of irreversible crises? Indeed, how could it be otherwise?

    1. c_heale

      Authoritarian governments are unlikely to be flexible enough to deal with climate change. To me, after reading Collapse by Jared Diamond, it seems that climate change will be a civilisation ending event. If you can’t live like a peasant farmer, then you ain’t gonna survive.

  24. ewmayer

    o “Algorithms Should’ve Made Courts More Fair. What Went Wrong? | Wired” — To quote that legendary American philosopher Yogi Berra, “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice they’re different.”

    o “Trump probes threaten to overshadow Democrats’ agenda | The Hill” — If The Hill is referring to the dismal DNC-Dems’ agenda, it consists of snuffing out any progressive tendencies amongst the D candidates allowed to advance to the next round of debates and the eventual nomination, all while avoiding any actual policy proposals which threaten to materially change the corrupt status quo. In that regard, a never-ending series of electorate-distracting MSM-amplified-to-11 Trump scandals of the “OK, so the last 99 scandals failed to bring down Trump, but *this* time we really got him” variety serves a valuable purpose. Feature, not bug. I mean, just look at this past weekend – we had yuuuuge MSM and Twittersphere outrage-fests over Trump’s silly Alabama-hurricane gaffe, which Trump himself added to, as is his wont, by doubling down – and now the existential threat to the Republic which was some Air Force hero-warriors staying at a Trump hotel in Scotland. It’s the second coming of Watergate, I tellya! Oh yeah, and the looming specter of fascism, and Teh EvilPutin pulling the strings, and stuff. So stop wating time of na-ga-happen stuff like M4A, because your job is to be perpetually outraged and/or very afraid!

    1. rd

      Similar to Yogi Berra’s great quote, one that is often posted in science areas:

      “Theory is when you know everything but nothing works.

      Practice is when everything works but nobody knows why.

      In our lab, theory and practice are combined: nothing works and nobody knows why.”

      The big difference between science and economics is that scientists will post this on their wall as a wry admonition but economists cannot imagine it being relevant and dismiss it outright.

  25. rd

    Lack of climate resiliency

    In the face of climate change, it is clear that many man-made systems are designed to only operate acceptably within very small ranges based on mid-20th century normal values. As climate change starts to push the constructed systems to operate outside those ranges, special measures are required. Soon those special measures will become a new normal and the wails of anguish will become more constant.

    An example is the Lake Ontario and upper St. Lawrence River water levels that have been wreaking havoc on shorelines and boat use over the past handful of years.

    Since the St. Lawrence Seaway and associated power generation dams were built in the 1950s and 60s, complacency set in that water levels could be controlled within very tight windows and river flows. Recent flooding and drought periods have shown that this is not the case. The latest example is a temporary reduction in river flows to allow water levels to rise to allow boaters to get their boats out of the water for the winter. If the Seaway and associated facilities had not been constructed marinas and docks would have had to be designed and constructed to manage much wider swings in water level, more like tidal docks, as the cottage and pleasure boating industry developed in the basin over the past 60 years.

    1. Wukchumni

      Not to mention the Quagga & Zebra mussels that only got into the Great Lakes when the St Lawrence was opened to the Atlantic.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        But the QuaggaZebra mussels did not swim their own way up. They were brought up by ships, in ballast water I think.

  26. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Let’s call the U.S./Taliban talks what they are: negotiating the terms of America’s surrender.

    The terms currently include the Americans releasing more than 13,000 Taliban prisoners.

    After 18 years and a cool trillion dollars, our puppet government in Kabul is not even invited to the talks.

    Pretty sure this will not figure in any debates or news stories. A more clever, humane, and morally viable polity would take notice, and maybe even learn something.

    “…not with a bang, but a whimper…”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have always suspected Trump of doing something unpredictable.

      Here, he was attempting to be ‘like water.’

      1. .Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Kudos to Trump if this isnt just theatre. Reconciliation Councils are the #1 way to end National Civil Strife IMO

      1. Lambert Strether

        And now the idiot liberals are carping because Trump talked to the Taliban near the 9/11 anniversary.* Oh the humanity!

        * The war with the US that OBL won, actually, if his goal was shoving us on the downward path as an empire and a democracy.

  27. Jonathan Holland Becnel

    Hahahaha i literally laughed out loud at this one, Hal.

    I once lit a Pine tree on fire once in my front yard. Yes, sap is flammable. My neighbor ran over and slapped it out with his hand. Think i was around 8 or 9.

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