Links 10/21/19

Egypt unveils biggest ancient coffin find in over a century Reuters

Anyone with a body knows that clothing sizes are flawed. Could there be a fix? Vox

A new pesticide is all the buzz Ars Technica

Humpback whales use their flippers and bubble ‘nets’ to catch fish Science News

Cruise company bans passenger for life after she ‘recklessly’ stands on railing for a photo WaPo

Unprecedented movement detected on California earthquake fault capable of 8.0 temblor LA Times


Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report The Hill (UserFriendly)

As Trump Tweets He Is ‘Bringing Soldiers Home,’ Pentagon Chief Says US Forces Leaving Syria Are Shifting to Iraq Common Dreams

Democrats Have No Answer for Trump’s Anti-War Posture Truthdig. Maj. Danny Sjursen.

Syria, War, And Elizabeth Warren: More Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix Caitlin Johnstone

Lebanon protests: All the latest updates Al Jazeera


Chile extends state of emergency as protest death toll hits seven AFP

‘So Awful’: Military Returns to Streets in Chile as Unrest Simmers Common Dreams


Spanish PM announces trip to Barcelona after weekend violence El Pais


Swiss elections: Landslide Green gains tip parliament to the left Swiss Info


Tight Canada election may offer power-broker role to smaller parties Guardian


Lots going on in the world today other than Brexit. So in compiling Links today, I focused on some of those events, and encourage readers to read today’s post by Yves for more Brexit news.

Brexit: government to introduce withdrawal bill in Commons today – live news Guardian

Health Care

Massive marketing muscle pushes 3D mammograms, despite no evidence they save more lives, investigation shows USA Today (Dan K)

The city trying to make urban living good for your health BBC This Glasgow story caught my eye, as one of my great grandfathers hailed from Bearsden.

Scores more heart attacks and strokes on high pollution days, figures show Guardian

Zantac Recall Widens as Sanofi Pulls Its Drug Over Carcinogen Fears NYT

Our Famously Free Press

‘A culture of secrecy’: what is the Right to Know campaign about? Sydney Morning Herald


Chinese Hacking: The Plane Made from Stolen Tech?—Cyber Saturday Fortune (UserFriendly)

‘You can never be China’s friend’: Spengler Asia Times

After trade talks in U.S., China ramps up Brazilian soy purchases Reuters

Doubts mount that Hong Kong crisis can be resolved Australian Financial Review

737 MAX

Congress Ramps Up Scrutiny of Boeing Executives, Board WSJ

Boeing expresses regret over ex-pilot’s 737 MAX messages, faults simulator Reuters

The Great Green Wall Is the Type of Utopian Project That Could Save the Planet Global Citizen (David L)

Melting Permafrost Imperils Arctic Residents Der Spiegel

PG&E, under siege after mass power shut-offs, stands its ground San Francisco Chronicle

Waste Watch

California governor vetos recycled content mandate Waste Dive


After monsoon rains dredged up Mumbai’s plastic problem, grassroots groups might finally turn the tide Independent


Evo Morales: ‘We are not a country of beggars any more’ FT

A massive money-laundering scandal stains the image of Nordic banks Economist (Dan K)

Class Warfare

I’m a Political Theorist, and I Hate the “Equality”/”Equity” Chart Benjamin Studebaker


CAIT demands high-level enquiry by govt to probe ‘unholy nexus’ of e-commerce companies, banks Economic Times

Grab What You Can in India’s Bad-Loan Melee Bloomberg

How symbols persist: The curious case of the Hyderabad funds The Telegraph (India)


Pete Buttigieg Needs Black Support. His Chicago Fundraiser Debacle Won’t Help. New York Magazine

Red Flags All Over for Senate Republicans National Journal

Bernie Sanders tops third-quarter money race in New Hampshire Boston Herald

Elizabeth Warren’s and Bernie Sanders’ ‘free’ college idea would be a disaster for international students Business Insider. Readers should have fun shredding this.

Who writes her material? Hard to imagine someone actually thought this tweet was funny.

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Donald

    Maybe Clinton writes her own material. One often read her supporters say that in private Hillary was funny and personable. This tweet might be an example of her humor, along with that joke she cracked when Gadaffi was murdered. One gets the impression the Clintons have more than the average number of sycophants around them.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I met Bill one time only, early during his first term – and cracked a joke at his expense. A real softball, I served it up, expecting him to smack it into the stands (e.g., to turn my line into his own witticism). Alas, he was not amused and his minders were clearly very nervous. A photographer snapped a photo at just that moment.

        1. The Rev Kev

          For a moment after reading that sentence, I thought that she was asking him if in his politics he hung to the left or hung to the right. Hillary would not have been amused.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            The polite term is “does he dress right or dress left?”

            (Amazing to ponder how much airtime American politicians’ genitalia have received in recent years, what is wrong with people?)

        1. ambrit

          Observing the present sorry state of American politics, all I can surmise is that the asylum came to them.

    2. timbers

      Reading Democrats have no good answers… I was blown away how amazingly, misinformed, and warmongery the lot of Democratic candidates are (except Gabbard who cheered me up with her response to Hillary). And not just on policy and facts on the ground, but also how out of touch with what I suspect most voters want (at least the few Republican Trump supporters I chat with). What Warren is saying is cringe inducing. Where do you even begin to try and get these people up to speed on what’s really going on in Syria and the region – if they were even capable of listening? And where do they get their incredibly bad information, from briefings by the CIA or something? Or are they just making their positions up on the fly after consulting with their polling/political strategists? It really drives home the often said “there is no fundamental difference between the two parties.”

      Very discouraging read.

      1. xkeyscored

        While the article occasionally refers to mainstream Democrats, both the title and most of the article make out there are no Democrats opposing these endless wars.
        Has the author heard of Tulsi Gabbard?

      2. Carla

        Kind of surprised that Maj. Danny Sjursen did not mention the ONE candidate who has made “ending the forever wars” her platform. Odd, dontcha think?

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        You figure we are on year 26 of total nuttiness when it comes to foreign policy (41 wasn’t the worst), but this kind of thing filters down to advancement and who gravitates to thsee jobs. Then there was the removal of civil service protections under the Homeland Security scam, or a right wing jobs program. Don’t worry Democratic leadership agreed to the stripping of worker protections for 170,000 federal employees.

        Then politics Is local. For Team Blue, gaining a Republican voter Is worth twice as much as the vote they lost. It doesn’t work, but this is their primary calculation. I doubt Obama had a clue where Syria even was except he was high on his SMRT war and wanted a quick victory in lieu of domestic accomplishments. Critics will just be yelled at disloyal (see Hillary Clinton).

        1. foghorn longhorn

          “You figure we are on year 26 of total nuttiness when it comes to foreign policy (41 wasn’t the worst),…”

          Reagan, shouldn’t get a pass, he armed the mujahedeen
          Bush 1, a thousand points of light, new world order
          Bubba, every time there was a bimbo eruption, somebody got blowed the eff up
          Bush II, enough said
          Obama, ditto
          Trump, incomplete grade as of yet

          1. Oh

            I was thinking about Bubba and I read your sentence as “bimbo erection”. I can’t get Billy boys’s WH misadventures outa me mind!

            1. foghorn longhorn

              Yeah, you’re right.
              Could probably go all the way back to the original gw, George Washington, really.
              We’ve always been at war somewhere, but the most brutal was our own unCivil War.

              1. Carey

                Has it been “we”, or our ruling class, who’s always been
                up for a new war? From my POV, it’s been the latter.

      4. marym

        Agree that Democrats have no good answers, but except for posturing (tweeting that the troops are coming home), Trump doesn’t have an anti-war posture. Sending the troops to Iraq, leaving some of them in Syria for the oil, and increasing the troop level in the ME by 14,000 since May isn’t anti-war or anti-empire.

        1. GF

          IIRC Tulsi Gabbard is a formidable Democrat anti-war candidate who is being thoroughly ignored. Not even a mention in the lightweight post by Truthdig. Maj. Danny Sjursen above. Democrats obviously want to be the war party now in order to attract Republican support. It may turn out that the Republicans will be getting disaffected Democrats in return.

          1. Harrold

            If Gabbard does get a lot of attention, I suspect voters will not like what they see. Her spiritual leader Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa ( aka Chris Butler ) is not mainstream or progressive in his teachings.

            1. urblintz

              “Civil Beat found no evidence that Tulsi Gabbard is — or ever was — a Butler devotee. And we could find no record of her ever speaking publicly about it.

              She has veered away from her earlier, conservative positions on social issues and voiced support for same-sex marriage — in stark contrast to her father, who still maintains his anti-gay stance, in line with Butler’s teachings.

              In 2012, Gabbard told Civil Beat that the changes were part of her “gradual metamorphosis” on social issues brought on by her experience of seeing oppression in the Middle East during her military deployments. As for her father’s views, she said: “While my parents and I have a very close relationship, and we love each other and respect each other very much, we don’t agree on everything.”'”

              I will not be voting for Tulsi Gabbard but I do believe this issue has been put to rest, at least factually.

              I’m curious about your take on Hillary Clinton’s proud, if little known, association with “The Family”:

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  Hillary was allowed into a number of male only meetings. The Family is a power based cult.

                  They may tolerate HRC because they believe a man is there to control her, but like most religious types, hypocrisy is ever prevalent.

                  Their anti-woman stance would be in opposition to their belief in the power cult like devotion Hillary possessed as well her seemingly easy path back to the White House.

                  Besides they want to have an in with any potential boss of the IRS.

            2. Carey

              What do the words “mainstream or progressive” mean, these days?
              Gabbard at least *talks about* ending USA USA’s perma-wars.
              Do I trust her? No, but she’s making good noises, at least.

        2. False Solace

          Trump finally pulled a few troops out of part of Syria while shipping thousands more to Saudi Arabia. And the pro-war Dems scream so loud it lets Trump pretend to be the peaceful alternative.

          The US had giant bases in SA throughout the 90s. We abandoned them for a reason. AQ didn’t want Western troops on what they viewed as holy soil. Trump is putting them all back.

        3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Non-sequitur: he doesn’t have an anti-war posture except for posturing.

          That’s all Trump needs to have, a posture. He can and does pivot on a dime and the anti-war part of the playing field has been completely abandoned by the Dems.

          And today he can say he has been trying to end the war all along but the spies and Beltway won’t let him, more red meat for the base.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              We’re in the age of “Say Anything” so all he has to do is say he is pulling back on war. How can the Dems even make a simple statement like that? After yelling from the treetops for 3 years about Red Boogiemen under every bed and Oh Those Poor Kurds.
              The only thing that matters is the narrative and the Dems have boxed themselves out. But I’m sure the bathrooms will have ample signage for people who gender identify as sparkly ponies

            2. Carey

              Better Trump! than our feckless Dems.

              No Dem support = no faux alternative™-party funding.


    3. JohnnyGL

      Note what she decides to mock, — his inarticulate way of writing/speaking.

      There’s no issue with his gangster-like approach or critique on substance of what he’s proposing. It’s all about mocking him for sounding dumb.

      It’s a wonderful testament to how superficial she is, just like a lot of ‘resistance’ types.

      1. Oregoncharles

        His language in that letter was crude, not dumb. It’s a pure exercise in imperial power: I get to talk to you this way, and you have to listen. Didn’t work: turns out Erdogan no longer cares about NATO, which is probably sensible of him. Too bad he’s such an imperial jerk himself.

        Actually, it may have worked to the extent of getting Turkey to moderate their invasion. The Russian moves probably played a bigger role. The whole thing forced the Kurds into Assad’s arms, probably the best they could hope for.

        1. Mike

          Sems that Erdogan is playing both ends to achieve the middle- both Russia and the US know he is “fencing” both sides of any issue to achieve greater play for himself. From Russia he gets more advance military gear than he had, and some negotiating room to continue his hopes of increased land and leverage in Syria. From the US, while his connection to NATO is almost broken, he still has the chance that Turkey will be aided in joining the EU, plus better military gear. Neither side is advancing his full agenda, so the third-world stance allows him wiggle room.

          It behooves the nations of the Middle East to realize the two biggest CLOSE threats are Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and both are backed by the US. The EU is compromised to the extent they play within the US orbit but have deep reservations about Turkey joining or even getting close.

          To me, this comes closer to a hair-trigger response causing catastrophe, as bad as Cold War almost-errors that could have launched missiles.

    4. flora

      Sycophants … maybe so. Is that why Hills bailed on a DC event that Gabbard is attending?

      from 10/19/2019 NYPost: (Page and website not loading now for some reason.)

      • Hillary Clinton Bails On DC Event That Tulsi Gabbard Is Attending (NYP)

      ‘It looks like the “Queen of Warmongers” blinked. A face-to-face confrontation between Hillary Clinton and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard set for next Friday was averted when Clinton backed out of the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, DC. Clinton aides cited a scheduling conflict when she announced her withdrawal from a speaking slot at the annual event. One insider told Slate that Clinton dropped out to protest the inclusion of former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson on the schedule. But Gabbard is on the bill, too — and Clinton’s pull-out came just hours after the former Secretary of State on Friday accused the Hawaii Democrat of being the “favorite of the Russians” on a podcast.’

        1. dearieme


          I think an awful lot of people are going to have to grasp their noses tightly and vote for Donald L H Trump to keep that menace out of office.

          1. neo-realist

            There will be a revolt among many dems if she runs after the way she blew it in 2016. She won’t have the guts to do it.

            1. Oh

              Pelosi and Schumer along with their fellow neocons want her to run. No need to worry about her having any guts (she never had any!).

                1. Carey

                  I think Schmuck Chumer is bright enough, in his
                  and Biden’s reptilian way.

                  Underestimating the enemy is generally a bad idea.

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Yes but not a revolt by the only Dems that count: those who select the candidate.

              It’s kind of like how they select the Chief Executive of Hong Kong or of the Federal Reserve: “you can pick anyone, so long as their name is on this list”

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            And that’s just what an awful lot of people will do if Hillary is nominated in 2020.

        1. Jeffrey Radice

          I happen to respect Alex Stamos, but he’s drunk a bit too much of the MIC Kool Aid (better hope the CIA didn’t get to it first ;).

          “Her promulgation of positions compatible with Russian geo strategic interests can help them mainstream such discussion in the [Democratic] party,” Alex Stamos, a former Facebook executive and NBC analyst told the network.

          as if that’s a bad thing.

    5. T

      Weird how we don’t constantly hear that about anyone else.

      It’s almost like there’s a concerted effort, for decades, to convince people.

    6. ambrit

      The political cynic in me reads this as another step in rehabilitating Hillary for her 2020 re-run at the Presidency. A lot of criticism of Clinton is that she “was” a warmonger. Here, in the guise of ‘humour,’ she is spinning the Cuban Missile Crisis as proof that the sainted JFK was also one. So, ‘strong willed’ JFK equals ‘strong willed’ Hillary. Wrapping herself in the mantle of past Democrat Party glories.
      I really would not put any depth of skullduggery past that woman.

        1. xkeyscored

          She could try emulating him by being assassinated. (By Russians, of course.)
          It might boost her popularity.

          1. ambrit

            A female lead in a re-re-boot of ‘House of Cards?’
            Perhaps a vaudeville version of ‘San Clemente Quayle?’

      1. Procopius

        That explains it. No matter how much I bleach my brain I can’t unsee that time he tousled Trump’s hair. I’ve seen more sickening things, but not many.

    7. Procopius

      Conservatives (i.e., Republicans, Blue Dogs, New Democrats, DLC members, Centrists, Establishment Democrats) are unable to be funny because they have no sense of humor.

  2. notabanker

    Neal McCluskey is the director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom to Choose the Best Education Money can Buy.

    Fixed it for them.

  3. ObjectiveFunction

    More disquieting analysis on China from Jeff Snider, here (further commentary on his blog here)

    Digest of key points as follows:

    1. China’s post 2008 miracle wasn’t all that miraculous; it was bought and paid for by global eurodollars [hot money]. Take away the “dollars” and the growth suddenly disappears. But that’s not in the textbooks.
    There is no way to get back to 2007 so long as things remain as they are. Stimulus is pointless because it doesn’t work; these global eurodollar shortages are too much anti-stimulus for even the biggest fiscal panics [Snider’s leitmotiv].

    2. Xi has consolidated power by isolating Premier Li Keqiang, a Western-style economist. By tradition, it was the Premier who had responsibility for economic matters. Li, not Xi, was Hu Jintao’s confidante and protégé. Xi Jinping, by contrast, was a princeling and a party boss. Suspicious of intellectuals, more pragmatic by nature, Xi reluctantly went along with “stimulus” in 2016 because at the time he hadn’t yet consolidated his support.

    3. Li’s “stimulus” didn’t amount to very much. By Q1 2017, long before trade wars, China’s economy started slowing down again and rolling over.
    Xi and Uncle He (Liu He) have been taking more economic authority ever since. Xi isn’t taking any chances, tightening his grip on the Party as well as the country. He is now effectively the leader for life.

    4. Jiang Zemin’s Three Represents were: steady culture, economic reform, and finally political reform. Placing political reform far into the future meant getting along with an authoritarian government with the power to redraw the physical as well as intellectual landscape. Pollution, corruption, and displacement were the price Chinese were willing to pay for prosperity for their children and grandchildren.
    And then in October 2017, the country’s leader with the backing of the military said, effectively, we’re done. At the 19th Communist Party Congress, Xi spoke of a Chinese economy suddenly dedicated to “quality” growth. The Communist government is shifting into managing what has already been attained. And I doubt political reform will be on the agenda.

    5. Everything in China is at stake here, top to bottom. China has become a gross geopolitical risk because it can no longer achieve growth. Xi Jinping’s position grows more precarious by the quarter, by the month. It is very likely why so many hyper-reactions to the smallest not even provocations – the NBA, Winnie the Pooh, and the beginnings of the Hong Kong protests.

    I’d welcome any comments from folks deeper into the Zhongnangai Kremlinology than I am.

    (Also, I hope to be at the NYC meetup)

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        They read the capitalist playbook and took it to another level, in that playbook (with debt-based “money” and everything floating against everything else) the incentive is not to have the best finances, all the incentives are to have the worst possible balance sheet (issue more debt than the next guy). Luckily they used alot of that free money to build roads and trains and ports, versus the US who spend it all on bombs and socialist handouts to giant rentier monopolies (Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Surveillance, Big Prison, blah blah blah).

        1. Carey

          Is it oversimplifying to say that China built Public Works and much of the money went to the Many, while USA USA built private, deindustrialized “works” and directed almost all of the money to their Few?

    1. Jessica

      I think that Hong Kong shows what will happen in China when the growth has slowed down enough for long enough.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Perhaps, although one of my fears is that HK (and maybe Taiwan) will be used by Xi to demonstrate just how domestic dissent will be dealt with.

        The infighting and muddling through Snider is describing here stands in sharp contrast to the slick technocratic hive mind described in the ‘Spengler’ piece (well worth the read for those interested).

        Some of Mr Goldman’s eloquent points are very well put, but when he (and the interviewer) described Kissinger as the West’s leading expert on China I threw up a little in my mouth.

        Also, nobody who actually knows Chinese people would ever declare them incapable of deep and loyal friendship outside family, or great kindness to strangers. I appreciate the point he is trying to make about the communitarian spirit being different in China but… umm, just no.

        1. Oh

          Goldman’s write up was a bunch of BS. He was parroting the neocon, capitalist talk. Yeah, Kissinger was an expert? What a joke!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            An expert, today, is loosely defined, almost everywhere you go.

            And you will hear many titled that way in many countries. But that standard, Kissenger can be said to be an expert in the early ’70s, for going to China.

            You can say he is not one now, but he was one, arguably then.

        2. Dan

          I liked the Spengler piece. After growing up around majority Chinese people all my life, what he says about competitiveness and superiors and inferiors is valid, at least until their third generation assimilates.

          Agree about friendship. Older Chinese people who are not assimilated are cold and unfriendly until much time passes, but then they will become very steadfast and loyal friends. Much more so than Americans, who have further tarnished the idea of friendship with the charade of Facebook “friends”.

          1. Procopius

            I imagine Kissinger was given a lot of briefings on Chinese history and culture. Since the McCarthy Years gutted all Chinese expertise in the State Department and only people who will not rock the boat have been assigned to that desk (or those desks) he probably did not bet the best information. Probably more like what Joseph Alsop picked up as a Captain trying to undermine General Stilwell. A lot of people have been able to spend time in China now, and learn the language, so I would bet Kissinger is not really qualified as an “expert,” but most of the neocon “experts” on Russia and China aren’t, either.

    2. Livius Drusus

      If anyone is interested in a left-wing critique of modern China I would recommend the work of economist Minqi Li. Li is originally from China and switched from a pro-neoliberal to a Marxist stance after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. I think this is important because I have noticed that people who defend modern China online often accuse Westerners of racism and having a colonialist mindset when criticizing modern China.

      Monthly Review publishes a number of Chinese scholars who are critical of modern China, including Minqi Li and others. For example, here is a good piece on China and the ecological crisis.

      An interesting article on the decollectivization of Chinese agriculture.

      I am not a Marxist myself but I find a lot of work by Marxists to be interesting. Monthly Review has a number of interesting articles on modern China from a left-wing perspective.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The narrative is Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, or Marxism and Leninism adapted to Chinese conditions.

        Those that believe in it would argue it is different from Marxism.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The narrative is Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, or Marxism and Leninism adapted to Chinese conditions.

        Those that believe in it would argue it is different from Marxism.

    3. xkeyscored

      5. Everything in China is at stake here, top to bottom. China has become a gross geopolitical risk because it can no longer achieve growth.
      Wouldn’t that apply to the USA, only more so? From a quick and superficial Google search, China’s economy grew by 6.0 per cent in the third quarter of 2019, while U.S. GDP growth will slow to 2.1% in 2019, much of which is growth in real estate and share prices, wealth transfer rather than wealth creation.
      As for hyper-reacting to supposed provocations, how many countries has China bombed, invaded or sanctioned recently? And how would US authorities react to rioters attacking public transport facilities in US cities?

      1. Alex morfesis

        Economically China has bombed, invaded and sanctioned every country in the world and continues to do so on a regular basis…their own little IMF via trade disruption… There are three forms of oppression… Physical, mental and economic…economic is their shtick along with enough mental to keep their internal system under control while reserving the physical in the form of internal policing actions.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            If the assumption is that Alex M. hasn’t written something similar or equivalent about the US, Russia or other powerufl countries, it helps to ascertain.

            I believe we should ask him first, before presuming that he has not looked in the mirror.

            1. Alex morfesis

              Well…appreciate the defense and since moi has squawked about the principality of moscva have expected some retort but didn’t expect a defence of the middle kingdom to also come from our fine friend from somewhere around the urals, north of turkey….

              The notion any great power on this planet has clean hands is preposterous…no place is there some holy/wholly fair and prosperous land. All those in power today everywhere are sad excuses for carbon based life forms. To state otherwise is a fantasy.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Going forward, one important thing for Xi to keep in mind is to avoid doing all the heavy lifting in the heartland alliance btw. Russia and Chinese.

                It’s ego-boosting to hear ‘you’re the victim but you can take on the bad guy now,’ and then rush out to launch offensives all over, but that would not be very Chinese in character, traditionally.

        1. Massinissa

          Are we talking about China or the US? Because it seems like your paragraph would make more sense if you were talking about the US.

          1. Alex morfesis

            Oh how sad so many Americans were harrassed, targeted and tagged for having purchased that “little red book” from that proud yale grad commonly known as Mao, only to watch their grandchildren have their economic future helped to be destabilized by that big red machine all these years later….

    4. Steve H.

      It’s odd for me to read this and not find inconsistencies with what I wrote a couple of days ago. Snider’s perspective is different, as his primary focus is on investments. Take this statement:

      “In short, China is a danger to the global economy on many fronts.”

      I find that entirely plausible. Am I wrong that Snider seems to be saying that Xi has an accurate view of the current state of affairs? This makes his marginalizing of Li flow on two vectors of realism and politics; a realistic switch in strategy due to changing conditions, and a discrediting of Li due to:

      “Li is a Western-style Economist, in favor of the textbook approach to both analysis and in advising the standard solutions.”

      Now, I tend to run oversensitive on predicting large-scale shifts. But put together what was stated in “One Belt One Road” with Snider’s assessment of Xi’s perspective:

      “Which meant a world without any growth.”

      Given negative interest rates, and both the US consumer and industrial bases being hollowed out, and a necessary contraction if anyone is serious about slowing down fossil-fueled climate change, we could change “growth” to “groaf” in the statement. Then this statement:

      “Steady culture, economic reform, and then political reform while keeping with dogmatic Marxist progression (societies must become rich before they can become true socialist).”

      could mean that economic reform has run it’s course. Compared to where it was, China has become rich. As Snider says, the real issue is the unequal distribution of the wealth. And that is a political question.

      Thank you for these posts, ObjectiveFunction.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Cheers, and yes, Snider points out that ironically the ‘bad guy’ (Xi) seems to have a clearer grasp of economic reality than the ‘good guy’ (Li). I didn’t note that part as I didn’t want my post to get into TL:DR space.

        As to the wealth question, to me, China has definitely unlocked part of its tremendous ‘human capital’ although it also seems to me Chinese abroad have done even better.

        I’m less sanguine about whether their tangible investments will ultimately prove to constitute durable ‘wealth.’

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          I didn’t note that part as I didn’t want my post to get into TL:DR space.

          Go for it. The average NC reader seems to have a pretty good attention span.

        2. Susan the Other

          Seems to me that everything China does is defensive. OBOR is defensive. Large tracts of industrial agriculture in Siberia is defensive. Daming up all the big rivers is defensive. Allowing enough consumerism to pretend to buy into the free market… is defensive. They are dedicated to science and technology, same. They seem to be using useless totalitarian tactics when things stop working, but they’ll probably be the first to figure out how to achieve a free society without a free market. I can’t even imagine how you unleash 1.5 billion people to just go have at it in a “free market.” I really do not think that is China’s goal.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            This reads like everything is defensive, if without it, one would perish, immediately or otherwise, directly or indirectly.

            Killing a animal or chopping down a tree, for example.

            Splitting Poland in two, as well, in that sense, if we were apply that river-damming logic.

    5. Oh

      Good hatchet job on China.
      China’s post 2008 miracle wasn’t all that miraculous; it was bought and paid for by global eurodollars [hot money]. Take away the “dollars” and the growth suddenly disappears.

      Most economies need capital for growth. Eurodollars were used for that. CHina took away manufacturing capacity from most western and asian countries. They’ve built a good transportaions system (fast trains) and are expanding their solar energy capacity. Anywhere you go you only find products outsourced to the Chinese manufacturing engine.

      I don’t see why the Chinese Govt. can’t complain about critisicsm about HK, especially when they’re paying the NBA to play games there. Looks to me like the NBA player who made the comment about HK is a virtue signaller.

      It’s fashionabe to bash China but the US and European ships are rapidly taking on water and listing badly with no recourse to building up their manufacturing capacity at ANY level.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Sigh, the inevitable “Yeah? well Whitey World sux far worse, so you have no business criticizing China” heckle.

        An empty thoughtstopper that contributes nothing to the conversation, or to understanding. Why don’t you provide a link or an anecdote to support your view?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          ObjectiveFunction, in your point number 5, above, and in Oh’s comment, how Beijing is reacting to criticism is mentioned.

          My question is why we only hear about the Chinese government reacting, and not much about the ordinary Chinese in China. For example, massive popular protests to boycott the NBA could have been one such response.

      2. Yves Smith

        I don’t have time to track this down, but that first point is at least partly if not significantly wrong.

        China engaged in very large scale stimulus right after the crisis. That was deficit spending.

        I also don’t buy at all the “hot money” claim. China’s growth post crisis was driven much more by investment than exports. That in turn was domestically-driven: real estate and factories.

        Honestly, this reads like a crock. You can correctly say this model is running on brand fumes but it isn’t at all like Thailand 1997. Among other things China still has large FX reserves.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you.

      There was gathering of retired servicemen in Bristol last week. Much doubt was expressed about the official version.

      It turns out that the lab that did the tests is not accredited to do so. There was no novichok, either.

      My father, a real former colonel, and godfather attended.

      1. xkeyscored

        There was no novichok, either.
        Is there any source for that, other than last week’s gathering? (Not that I ever accepted the official UK version of events.)

        1. ambrit

          Novichok is so bloody dangerous that the circumstances surrounding the Skripal “poisonings” do not add up. If events went off as claimed in the ‘official’ version, there should be dead people lying in drift-rows all over Salisbury.

            1. pretzelattack

              oh and the household pets that eventually died of thirst or starvation, instead of nerve toxins.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you and well said, Ambrit.

            My father said that when in an NBC warfare situation, servicemen and women were instructed to inject through their NBC suits if novichok was suspected.

            An earlier reply to Xkeyscored went astray. There was a doctor at the local NHS hospital who disputed the official account, but he has been gagged.

            1. ambrit

              I read about that poor doctor. I also have not read of any sightings of the Skripals since their miraculous “recovery” from the “evil Eastern plot.”
              Your Dad’s point about injecting through the NBC suit is telling. That indicates something being about as bad as is possible.
              Oh, and why isn’t Porton Down station located somewhere truly remote? Like a rocky outcrop out in the Atlantic ocean?
              Good luck at the races!

          2. Procopius

            Errr… How do we know that Novichok is so dangerous, except from the propaganda mills government agencies praising themselves for protecting us? The only person in this episode who has died didn’t just get a microgram or so from touching a doorknob, she had to spray quite a lot from a perfume bottle onto herself. The whole story is truly preposterous, though.

  4. Winston Smith

    There are some glib inaccuracies in the guardian report on the Canadian election (quelle surprise!). First, I don’t think many people care that Mr Scheer has dual citizenship: it is the fact that in the past, he has virulently criticized others in the same position. Second, the article claims that Mr Scheer has rejected working with other parties if the conservatives win a minority govt. Rubbish. It is just that he can’t given the chasm that separates the “social agenda” of the conservatives from the other parties. Especially given the fractious nature of the electorate. A minority conservative govt will not last and another election would be down the road shortly.

    1. JEHR

      I don’t think any other parties want to work with Scheer. He does not understand how taxation works, he wants to balance the budget, and he told lies of omission regarding the carbon tax by not explaining that whoever paid the tax got an income tax credit. I don’t like the idea of his being an American not because he is American but because he never told us about it. He also embellished his brokerage experience and he is a nasty fellow when personally attacking others. Not what we need! We need kindness–lots and lots of kindness.

    2. eg

      It has been an unusually rancorous campaign, in my experience — I’ll be grateful when it is over.

      Really surprising to me that the Liberals have struggled so badly given the generally positive economic circumstances (outside of Alberta) during their current mandate. But maybe this is another case of the usual economic indicators failing to accurately represent the lived experience of the electorate? (viz. Mark Blythe’s barb, “your GDP — it’s not my GDP”)

    3. Oregoncharles

      Dual citizenship means divided loyalties; I think I would care, if you’re talking such a powerful post.

      Useful insights, though. Thanks.

      1. Ford Prefect

        That’s why Ted Cruz revoked his Canadian citizenship once the newspapers figured out that he was a Canadian citizen (which he astonishingly didn’t understand despite being born in Calgary in a birthright country).

        BTW – I don’t know if Elizabeth May has revoked her US citizenship – she was born in the US.

        Elizabeth May has represented Saanich, BC as head of the Green Party since defeating a Conservative cabinet minister 8 years ago. This is interesting because Saanich is largely a WASP suburb of Victoria, BC but has become a core location for the Green Party. This was the equivalent of a US Green Party candidate beating a Republican for a House seat in a white suburb. There is growing estrangement for traditional parties generally.

        1. Oregoncharles

          I’m envious. We should ask us to tell us how she did it.

          Party loyalty aside, I think it would be a legitimate objection if she was in a position of power. It’s a far cry from MP to PM.

  5. Eduardo

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared in court Monday to fight extradition to the United States on charges of espionage, saying he needed more time to prepare his case.

    Assange and his legal team failed to convince District Judge Vanessa Baraitser that a slowdown was justified. The full extradition is still set for a five-day hearing in late February, with brief interim hearings in November and December.

      1. Carey

        I was thinking they preferred to carefully neglect the wrongly imprisoned Julian Assange, and let him die there as an example to the rest of us.. will be watching.

    1. Charlie

      Or maybe this is the reason:

      “The issue of elitism in college admissions was underscored this year by Operation Varsity Blues, a federal investigation into admissions fraud that resulted in the indictments of dozens of people, including wealthy parents and college coaches caught in schemes to create false records to secure admission to top schools. Actress Felicity Huffman is among the better-known defendants; she is serving two weeks in jail after pleading guilty to paying $15,000 for her daughter’s SAT score to be falsified.”

    2. Harrold

      Easier to get in children of well paying parents if there is no 3rd party evaluation of their abilities. Much easier when everything is subjective.

  6. mrsyk

    Caitlin Johnstone firing on all cylinders.

    “1986: Elizabeth Warren secures an advantage by switching her identity to Cherokee.
    1996: Elizabeth Warren secures an advantage by switching her identity to Democrat.
    2019: Elizabeth Warren secures an advantage by switching her identity to Bernie Sanders.”

    “Fun fact: After the US establishment subverts democracy to install Warren, the western empire will have two unelected rulers named Elizabeth.”

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report”

    Well, Trump being Trump, he said the quite stuff out loud when he said “We have secured the oil”. That is what those troops are defending. They are there not to stop ISIS coming back or to support the Kurds but to make sure that Syria does not get its oil back to make it more difficult for Syria to rebuild itself. Syria’s people went through a hard winter last year due to a shortage of oil and EU/US bans on oil imports into Syria made it harder. That is why the Syrian are once more seizing the oil fields that the US are abandoning and which they had destroyed so that they can get domestic production up again-

    1. barrisj

      The “Borg” seems to be continually confounding “no more endless wars” Trump by shifting military placements from one country to another – Syria to Iraq, or adding more elsewhere – 1800 to KSA, or leaving a “residual force” – Syria again, or increasing air and ground combat – Afghanistan. Whenever Trump issues seemingly a definitive military withdrawal order, shortly thereafter we read of something the opposite happening. He must understand by now that the DoD/Pentagon have its own agenda, and Trump’s efforts to disrupt the old way of doing business has failed time and time again. His SecDef choices have repeatedly thrown their lot in with the Pentagon, and one wonders why Trump hasn’t found someone to explicitly carry out his wishes, fallout be damned.

        1. Carey

          Unheard of!, before Trump! I’m so damn glad he’s being obvious.

          Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Dead Man’ is worth a viewing.

  8. Amfortas the hippie

    regarding ars technica on “bee vectoring” fungi—-
    this is prolly OK…or would be if it wasn’t for the whole industrial ag monopoly, their priorities and prejudices.
    with that bunch in charge of the food supply, any otherwise benign innovation is suspect.
    i’ve never really had an issue with mold, out here(powdery mildew eventually gets whatever squash i plant, but it’s always when the vines have produced and are dying anyway)—except for greenhouse conditions(for which there are preventative measures)
    but i have used the other fungus they’ve tried this with, Beauvaria Bassiana(eradicated imported fire ants for going on 20 years on my place…enough that the quail came back..with surgical precision)—i can’t see how the bees themselves wouldn’t be infected with something like that…with infected bees being excluded from the hive.
    regardless…i think this kind of thing would be an improvement based just on the tiny bit of stuff that gets used, instead of broadcasting it everywhere…but i predict that this will end up being a giant problem, given the ethos of the only players that matter in ag, today.
    principiis obsta;caveat ruinam

    1. xkeyscored

      i can’t see how the bees themselves wouldn’t be infected with something like that
      Most diseases are pretty host specific, as in most human pathogens won’t infect sheep, let alone plants. There are things like malaria that depend on two or more hosts (mosquitoes and humans), but it’s unlikely that this fungus would suddenly start infecting bees when they’ve already been exposed to it.
      And the amounts used are very significantly less than otherwise:
      In Canadian trials where bumblebees distributed an organic insecticide called Beauveria bassiana to greenhouse crops like tomatoes and strawberries, just 1.3% of the pesticide was needed relative to traditional methods. Bee Vectoring Technologies, meanwhile, claims that Vectorite with CR-7 requires just one teaspoon to every 4.5 pounds of traditionally sprayed pesticide to be effective.
      But yes, Big Ag will find a way to ruin.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        the label for Beauvaria says otherwise(i don’t have any on hand, but wiki:”Some strains do have a wide host range and should, therefore, be considered nonselective biological insecticides. These should not be applied to flowers visited by pollinating insects”-
        for imported fire ants, i poured a dilution down a pipe directly to the queen chamber(otherwise, the workers would sacrifice themselves removing it. similar to bee behaviour).
        I intend to spray it next year for grasshoppers—but i will Definitely wear protective gear(respirator, especially)—and i’ll be careful of timing, etc to better target my targets(run big sprinklers in morning to encourage grasshoppers to climb on top of things and linger til midday, when other critters are hiding/doing other things, then target spray the wet and lazy hoppers(they hate being wet))
        the strain i can afford, still rather expensive, is a generalist…it’ll target everything it comes in contact with….so I’ll be super careful…because i love all my good bugs.
        my point is that what we call “farmers”, today…are really immortal, supranational fictions who’s only concern is next quarter’s profits….and we’d be foolish to expect them to allow such circumspect and careful application of anything
        they’ve managed to make even BT a problem,lol.
        and don’t get me started about herbicidal manure.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          I have been invited to visit a fella who keeps bees while as a joiner constructs them for others. Life as been so hectic of late leading me to not being able to spare the time. I watched the IMO excellent film ” Leave no Trace ” last weekend & this clip featuring the little guys, the lost soul of a Father with his daughter spurred me on to make a definite date of it.

          I hope that there are actually off grid communities in Oregon as shown in the film – no room here that’s for sure.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            that was a pretty moving clip.
            I built a top bar beehive last week…still hafta work on the actual top bars(the part that requires actual measurement,lol.see: “bee space”)
            and plan to present it to the wild hive in the bee tree. their hollow branch won’t last forever(70 mph wind last night with a squall line)
            as for off grid communities…I know of 2 “hippie communes” in Texas that fit the bill…and numerous variations on that theme, from single family and/or hermit*, to multiple, disparate folks combining resources to live smaller.
            few and far between,found by accident… and none of the on-line “finding the others” efforts I’ve seen are adequate.
            I’ve been thinking about WOOF, again..because i need labor, and have a lot to teach.
            we’re out here, though…saving the planet, 20 acres at a time.

            (*I had a flat once, in Hockley, Texas, and met this guy: he was picking up trash along the highway and talked my ear off while i changed the tire.he was a hoot. visited him pretty regular like when i was 18-21. even hid out from the cops there.)

          2. Judith

            Lambert listed a review of this book a while back:

            The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild

            Thomas Seeley, the author, is a professor at Cornell who has spent his career studying honey bees in the wild. I found the book fascinating and really well written. Great explanations of his research (and he always credits his graduate students by name) and lots of practical connections (he keeps bees and is passionate about them). The last chapter summarizes his advice about how beekeepers can help their bees stay healthy.

            From the blurb:

            “Humans have kept honey bees in hives for millennia, yet only in recent decades have biologists begun to investigate how these industrious insects live in the wild. The Lives of Bees is Thomas Seeley’s captivating story of what scientists are learning about the behavior, social life, and survival strategies of honey bees living outside the beekeeper’s hive—and how wild honey bees may hold the key to reversing the alarming die-off of the planet’s managed honey bee populations.

            Seeley, a world authority on honey bees, sheds light on why wild honey bees are still thriving while those living in managed colonies are in crisis. Drawing on the latest science as well as insights from his own pioneering fieldwork, he describes in extraordinary detail how honey bees live in nature and shows how this differs significantly from their lives under the management of beekeepers. Seeley presents an entirely new approach to beekeeping—Darwinian Beekeeping—which enables honey bees to use the toolkit of survival skills their species has acquired over the past thirty million years, and to evolve solutions to the new challenges they face today. He shows beekeepers how to use the principles of natural selection to guide their practices, and he offers a new vision of how beekeeping can better align with the natural habits of honey bees.”

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              aye. i have no hands on experience…and know of noone within60 miles that keeps bees(or is kept by them, i should say)
              but top bars seem to be more on the bees being bees side…it’s essentially a built hollow log, with no frames(meaning the bees decide what size, etc to build the cells and comb.)

              the wild hive i’ve been watching for 3 years often struggles by january, which says to me that they don’t have enough stores, for whatever reason(ample flowers around here, even right now, well into october)
              regardless, I’ll set the thing out and see if they choose it.
              the mantra of my favorite online bee people is “trust the bees”.

  9. JohnnyGL

    “Ending tuition and fees for Americans would almost certainly lead to big revenue losses for institutions”

    The good people at business insider write this like it’s a problem for me. It’s NOT a bug, it’s a feature!!!

    Maybe American colleges and universities should prioritize educating American students?!?!?!

    Also, the reduced revenue for universities would stop/reduce the arms race in administrative bloat, massive building projects and local land grabbing, rising rents around university towns and all the other ‘pollution-like’ effects that dropping a crowd of rich kids into an area brings.

    But, but, but….the cultural enrichment?!?!?! We should all be blessed to have a chance to meet and learn from the children of oligarchs from all over the world, instead of just local ones!?!?!

    Yeah, i’ll pass. Trump’s takeover of team R shows america has little interest in what Cato is selling.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Bug / feature.

      This is the loss of “sovereignty” that anti-globalists continually warn about (and are derided for). Policies to benefit actual citizens must be subjugated to “concern” for the preferences of foreigners, and can be rejected when those foreigners cannot–or will not–be accommodated.

      As for “cultural enrichment,” I thought that that’s what open borders are for.

      1. polecat

        Cultural enrichment is easy to access … from this thingy called a ‘Book’ …..

        … no porous Sovereign Borders required !

      2. Dan

        In addition to the rich Asians getting favoritism because they pay the highest tuition, acing out residents, an illegal alien can sneak into the California, enroll at a local high school a week before he/she gradates and be considered a “state resident” for lower tuition than say one of those foreigners from Oregon or Nevada or Arizona, whose grandparents fought in the wars and have paid taxes for over a hundred year and must pay out of state tuition.

        University or California or California State University system students have to pay higher tuition to subsidize yesterday’s arrivals.

        In addition, illegals now get free admission. Maybe the next step is to pay them to attend our publicly funded universities and colleges? This is why California residents pay upwards of 13% state income taxes?

    2. Adam Eran

      A few factoids of interest:

      U.S. federal funding to higher education has declined 55% since 1972. State funding declines are even steeper.

      The Germans offer tuition-free education even to foreigners now.

  10. Merf56

    Re: “You can never be chinas friend“
    Thanks for catching this excellent interview. Fantastic read. Goldman has some excellent insights no question.
    But …… he voted for Trump and inexplicably imho, almost gleefully intends to do so again and is clearly hugely proud of that fact. (though he notes several important disagreements with Trump on what he is actually doing as opposed to saying…)
    How can anything he says really be trusted in light of his worship of Trump?
    Is his Trumpenworship his fatal flaw like Hitler’s obsession with attacking the Soviet Union? How can he be so clear on some issues and so utterly blind as to Trumpian incompetence and unhinged behaviors…?

    1. xkeyscored

      I see few insights and a great deal of ingrained bias. “David P Goldman – philosopher, economist, mathematician and musicologist – is a Renaissance man“? This whole interview smacks of pure realpolitik, with China cast as an enemy that must be defeated, not because of any faults it may have, but purely because it threatens US hegemony. Renaissance man or knucklehead?

      You have compared the situation that the US is facing toward China to the siege and conquest of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258. [Which Goldmann does not deny.]

      I hear a lot of people say, “Americans have eavesdropped on the German Chancellor Merkel. They have stolen data from around the world, as we learnt from Edward Snowden. Why worry about Huawei when the Americans do exactly the same?” What do you say to this?
      Well, [chuckles]. A former head of the Central Intelligence Agency told me it’s a matter of whether we steal everybody’s data or the Chinese steal everybody’s data. And don’t you prefer having the Americans steal your data? [No I do not. I fear the USA far more than China. Look at their respective track records for attacking others.]

      The Chinese understanding is that every smartphone is a data gatherer. It’ll gather data on health, on consumer transactions, on the environmental traffic patterns. All of this data can be uploaded to the Cloud. It can be processed by Chinese computers, and it can give China massive advantages in terms of industrial controls, health systems, the environment, urban planning and, of course, social and political control. [Unlike the US understanding and use of smartphones?]

      I couldn’t read any further. The message appears to be that we must make China our enemy purely because China is succeeding while we are failing.

      1. Michael Hudson

        Most of you readers seem unaware that David Goldman was chief of Lyndon LaRouche’s credit-card and financial scam that sent LaR to jail. I testified at the trial against Goldman and other LaRouchies before the awful judge Sweet (much respected who died recently) who said that they were just middle-class kids led astray. Dennis King’s LaRouche and the New American Fascism has good background on Goldman.
        Goldman told me that he always got the shakes in front of Larouche because the man was such a genius. He urged me to talk to the CIA and help, and he went on to work in National Security. LaRouche testified that he was doing it all for the CIA.
        Goldman helped organize LaRouche’s getting matching funds for running for president — using sales of EIR and other publications as alleged “contributions”. My experience with him is that he’s utterly corrupt and opportunistic. He obviously is ashamed of his long, long association with LaRouche. Many of his associates have followed his example, such as Criton “Nick” Zoakis, and Asia Times

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          regarding larouche.
          my first in person exposure to fringe/alternative political economy weirdness: 17-18, i had a car. so we’d go roaming around houston. In the Montrose(the weirdo/queer pseudo-Haight part of houston, then), while waiting for a light, late-20’s clean cut people would approach and hand out “mags”, with wet ink. they were laroucheites…you could see the zealot gleam in their eye.
          as was my habit even way back then, I went and had coffee with them,lol.
          definitely a cult…they were fervent and high strung, and much scarier to talk to than…say…ordinary crazy bums.(but the chicks were all hot)
          from the mags(which i still have), i learned for the first time about capital controls and industrial policy…but larouche, and his minions i could definitely do without.
          in the 30 years since then, marvelling at the New Dem’s adherence to the Right’s economics, I’ve often wondered if larouche wasn’t some cia op, meant to discredit the more esoteric economic policies of the New Deal.
          he used to come on tv at 3am, too,lol…like Gene Scott.

        2. xkeyscored

          Thank you, Michael. I’d never heard of Goldman before, but in light of this article, none of what you say surprises me in the slightest.

          1. Olga

            He’s been writing for Asia Times for many years (as Spengler), but my BS antenna would usually go up seeing his stuff. (Although I do have to say that he plainly explained why US is so opposed to 5G – i.e., losing the ability to spy on everybody).
            Thanks, Mr. Hudson, for clarification.

        3. Craig H.

          I don’t know any of these people but judging by appearances,

          LaRouche testified that he was doing it all for the CIA

          looks like a likely explanation to me. That was a well-oiled organization for a long time. I am skeptical they got the money from selling books and magazines or average concerned citizen donations.

          I always loved the story that we are still mired in a centuries-old war between a secret society of Aristotelians and a secret society of Platonists. LaRouche must have been on some great drugs when he concocted that one.

          1. Oregoncharles

            If he was working for he CIA, how did he wind up in jail? That’s usually a get-out-of-jail-free card – like Epstein. (Further doubt: that might be LaCosta’s lame excuse for corruption.)

            Possible answer: that would have been the CIA operating domestically; completely illegal, so they couldn’t intervene when he got caught.

            1. Carey

              Speaking of Epstein™, wonder where and how he is now?

              Any new news on those malfunctioning™ cameras?


            2. michael hudson

              Doing SOME work for the CIA doesn’t mean that you can act as a financial criminal.
              The CIA made this clear at LaRouche’s Boston trial. They handed out to reporters a list of projects that they had indeed hired LaRouchies to do. Their list did NOT include massive credit-card fraud.
              The NSC then hired selected members of his dirty-tricks team including Goldman. Some of the others committed suicide.
              LaRouche had one request to the court that was granted: He was sent to the Minnesota prison where my father had been consigned. LaRouche, a seeming trotskyist (SWP), had an obsession with my father and me, which is what led me to play a role in his prosecution to show people that my ideas had nothing at all to do with his, including my Schenker music theory and history of the American School of political economy. LaRouche was a travesty of my writings at the time, aiming specifically to use them to create a cult. I learned to carefully avoid anything resembling a cult like that (Goldman lived in squalor with his wife and other LaRouchies in upper Manhattan.)

        4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thank you, prof. Hudson.

          Can you say more about this:

          Many of his associates have followed his example, such as Criton “Nick” Zoakis, and Asia Times

          Just a few individuals at Asia Times, the top leaders there, or the whole organization itself?

      2. JTMcPhee

        The Samson option for the Empire:

        If I remember right, back when the Empire had over 30,000 nuclear weapons, the SIOP provided that in the event of an all out MAD event, we would blast the rest of the “civilized world, Toronto and Buenos Aires and Cape Town and Auckland. Because why should those people get to take over the world when the Soviets and US finished each other off. What the idiot war planners do with vastly more than a genteel sufficiency of nukes.

        Sure looks like humanity has a death wish. Something to do with telomeres, maybe? Or would that be “Teller-meres,” as in anti-Soviet, “father of the H-bomb and first-strike proponent” crazy guy Edward Teller? And his opposite numbers in the Kremlin?

    2. The Rev Kev

      I too have problems with some of the stuff that David P Goldman writes. When he talks about the Palestinians it gets pretty bad. Here it gets very anti-Chinese. As an example, he accuses the Chinese of being unfair when “They bankrupted their competition and hired their talent.” That is exactly what modern capitalism does. What happened to all those smaller companies that existed in America last century? Is it not true that before, as an example, you had thousands of newspaper, radio and television companies but now only 6 corporations own nearly the lot?
      As for the idea of America getting a bunch of corporations together to challenge Huawei, it is not going to happen. For one that would require to have a well-planned industrial policy (crickets!) and two, those companies would be more concerned with plundering any support that the government offered without annoying their customers in China.
      But for “And don’t you prefer having the Americans steal your data?”, well no. I can joke that Xi Jinping does look like Winnie the Poo but I know that I will never have a Chinese SWAT team come crashing into my place. On the other hand, if I joke that Donald Trump looks like Biff Tanner, I may very well have a SWAT team crashing my door one day.
      As for Chinese expansion, I don’t see them trying to get a base in every country in the planet. If they think different to us, I guess that having a few thousand years of civilization will do that to you, especially if you mostly isolate yourself. They have their own history and their own culture.
      I had a laugh when he said ‘The Chinese spend $1,500 to equip a foot soldier….Americans spend $18,000 to equip a foot soldier.” Spengler should look at the clothing tags on some US gear to see where it was made. But he misses the point. He says that “their missile forces, their satellite forces, their submarines, and so forth, are extremely good.” Well, duhhh! That gear means that they cannot be successfully attacked. And now they are slowly upgrading the rest of their gear, including the clothing for their soldiers. It is known as “smart spending”.
      Finally he goes on how China cannot be your friend. Lord Palmerston once said “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” so China merely got with the program. And it was an American diplomat that once said that the only thing worse than being an Enemy of the US was to be an Ally of the US.

      1. Olga

        We seem to have plunged into a full-blown ‘bash-China’ day today (see comments above by new names merf56 and objectivefunction, too). Goldman has always had an anti-China bias, so can hardly be taken seriously. No mention of all the US bases surrounding China, the fact that Pentagon has elevated China into its main threat, or all the unproductive sanctions.
        This really reminds me of a situation in the 1970s, when one discovered in the US a knee-jerk hatred of all things USSR. It may even be worse with China, since its main sins seem to be wanting to be sovereign and beating the US at its own game (of capitalism).
        I do wish for a more balanced reporting (and links) on China.

        1. Mike

          Naked Capitalism is not good on China – too many dodgy links which is why I only come here occasionally now

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Wu wo – a quite ancient Chinese Daoist and Indian concept (anatman), meaning no self.

            In Chan, it would be the ‘No Mind,’ meaning to be immersed in what one is engaged in at any particular moment.

            Presumably, many are familiar with this, and if not, this is a reminder, for the discussion here, about China; and so, let’s focus on what one can contribute to the debate, and not so much about thie site being ‘not good on China.’ For, if NC is not up to one’s expectations, the one way to improve is by debunking those ‘dodgy links.’

          2. Yves Smith

            This site is a finance and economics site run by all of 1.5 people. We have never said we are China experts, and as a critical thinking exercise, we often offer up provocative links to see what readers make of them.

            Readers usually try to improve what we do rather than piss on us. Your comment is utterly unhelpful. You fail to say what is deficient and more important, you fail to offer better links.

            And you are dead wrong as far as our Hong Kong coverage is concerned. We’ve punched above our weight there.

            If you want a news feed, Reuters is over there.

      2. Oh

        Well said Rev! That clown Goldman wants the USG to provide funds to Microsoft, Google and the like for 5G and quantum communications (which I don’t know if he understands at all).

        1. xkeyscored

          I think Goldman’s understood some basics about Chinese quantum communications, in a slightly muddled way. The USA is indeed likely to lose its ability to spy on Chinese communications, or those of any country using their technology, if China succeeds in integrating it with their 5G network. It’s probably already lost its ability to eavesdrop on some of their most sensitive communications.
          The Chinese have pioneered a communications technique called “quantum communications” [quantum encryption might be a better term] which uses the entanglement of electrons at a distance to create a communications signal. [Not sure that’s 100% accurate, but near enough.] The quantum system is such that if you interfere with it in any way, the signal disappears. The quantum state is destroyed. So, it’s like a letter that disappears the moment you look at it. It’s theoretically impossible to hack. [And the theory is extremely well backed up with plenty of solid evidence, and no known or imagined exceptions or workarounds.] … So, the result is America’s ability to eavesdrop on everyone else will disappear in two or three years. … We already know that the Chinese are using quantum communications for sensitive data transmission inside China through fiber optic cable.

  11. Watt4Bob

    With regard to Chinese hacking to build their airplane.

    The turbofan engine is just one example of likely trade secret plundering which former U.S. officials have dubbed “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.”

    If you ask me, “the greatest transfer of wealth in history” was, and is the transfer of wealth from the American people to the 1%, and their allies, including the Chinese, via the neoliberal policies, of which, trade secret transfer is central, and deliberate.

    The bulk of technology transfers to the Chinese was and is through more or less voluntarily surrender on the part of American industry looking to profit from wage and regulatory arbitrage, and of course, the ever elusive access to the biggest consumer market in the world.

    Chinese theft of American technology, much of which is financed by tax-payer funded research, was and is, largely an unintended downstream result of policy choices rooted in the hysterical rush to gain access to Chinese markets, the price of that access being technology transfer that together with the never ending search for cheap labor, and less regulatory ‘burden‘ caused the deindustrialization of the USA.

    The very same people now crying loudly about Chinese ‘theft‘ of America’s technology, are the ones who just a few years ago were telling congress that there was nothing to fear in transferring aerospace technology to China because “rockets are basically trucks to carry stuff into orbit”.

    These are the same people who think the financialization of the American economy which led to the Great Recession and immiserization of the American working class was a great idea.

      1. Olga

        Wouldn’t it be fun if China now asked for retroactive compensation for those ‘technology transfers’? Maybe even slapped sanctions on parties, who do not comply… (or, is it just a case of ‘what goes around, comes around’?).

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          By that time horizon standard, the Tocharians or their descedants could ask compensation for transferring bronze technology.

          In turn, China can ask Moscow for tranferring to them lacquer making technology, which originated over 2000 years ago in Zhongguo.

      2. ambrit

        I’ve read that rice cultivation predates China as a cohesive culture by millennia. The Koreans claim to have unearthed domesticated forms of rice dating from 15,000 years ago. As with all science, the question is not settled, just at a consensus level of proof.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The particular rice strain that could be harvested twice a year was imported, I understand, from Vietnam during the Song dynasty.

          We should also remember, at the time of Confucius, and earlier, millet was the main grain in Central Plain China (the birthplace of Hua-Xia culture).

          1. ambrit

            And eating a diet of millet was considered a sign of lower ‘class’ status, etc.
            There is a scene in the beginning part of “Seven Samurai” where the peasants searching for samurai to hire eat millet so as to save the rice for the potential belligerent hirelings. It is emphasized as being a form of self-sacrifice.
            If rice cultivation can be pushed back before 15,000 years before the present, then there is a distinct possibility that rice cultivation was developed on what is now the submerged Sundaland. So, the record is right; “Everything You Know Is Wrong.”
            Bolling oscillation:
            Younger Dryas sea levels:

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I believe iron and bronze went through a similar reversal (assuming there was one with millet and rice),

              When iron first appeared in Warring State China, not the ones from outerspace, it was rarer and more expensive than bronze. Later, when iron was manufactured widely, it came to be cheaper.

              I have seen iron buddhas from as later as the North-South Dynasties Period (a couple from the fifth century AD). It was probably cheaper to make, but iron being stronger than iron, could be the reason (for example, the Diamond Sutra is so named because diamond can cut through a lot of materials) – the Buddha had to be able to cut through all the delusions.

              1. ambrit

                The Buddah had to ‘cut through’ the final delusion too; that we can cut through delusion. That takes enlightenment. At least I know of no Buddhist sects that preach a doctrine of ‘grace.’

    1. tangfwa

      Pure excellence thank you. Westerners using China as an instrument of their own neoliberal scams are/ were the ones “bombing” their own nations and, frankly, committing the environmental crimes now on China’s account.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Tempeh, apparently, did not originate in China.

      And while the Babylonians might have invented vinegar 5,000 years ago, it’s not certain who invented the rice vinegar variety. Maybe the Japanese or the VIetnamese?

      1. witters

        Rather than wikipedia, MLTPB, why not get your hands on the greatest reference book there is here. For China students it is essential and legendary.

        So, for the most recent edition: “Chinese History: A New Manual” by Endymion Wilkinson (Harvard University Asia Center for the Harvard-Yenching Insitute, 2013).

  12. Amfortas the hippie

    re: studebaker
    why not just dismantle the damned fence?

    looks pretty rickety to me…

    1. Bugs Bunny

      Can’t have that – the invisible hand perfectly regulates who gets to sit in which seat inside the fence. Outside, it’s the law of the jungle.

      Or is it the inverse?

      Never mind.

    2. Tomonthebeach

      I suggested the same thing to Benjamin yesterday along with pointing out that equity has two different meanings which further clouds the metaphor.

    3. xkeyscored

      Studebaker seems to be saying that nobody asserts that simple equality is a goal. Isn’t that the supposed basis of western electoral systems, each voter gets one vote, all voters are equal? Not to mention freedom of speech, equality before the law, etc.

      “Equality” is associated with each person getting a box. … It’s a straw man position–it doesn’t resemble anybody’s real-life stance. … Those students will go through life imagining that whenever anyone uses the word “equality”, they are referring to a ridiculous position that nobody in the literature holds.

      1. Susan the Other

        Studebaker was a little annoying. He sounded like he was coopting the old argument that freedom and equality are diametrically opposed so a system that demands both will just keep going in fits and spurts and rely heavily on rationalizations. Never accomplishing a good society. But instead of saying that, he himself just goes in fits and spurts. When he started messing around with the word “equity” he lost me. Equity is having a share in something. A share, a stake, etc. Equality is much closer to a human right. But Studebaker doesn’t want to get near that one. But he sounds like he is desperate for a thesis so why not borrow and pervert one? Hey, it’s a free market!

  13. a different chris

    The Studebaker article was fun. There is a second article to be written about all the people in the stands that paid and what they think about the box-standers. The fence is there for a reason. A third article on the possible waste of time involved in watching a sporting event whether you paid or not.

    1. Another Scott

      It was a good article, but reveals that Studebaker is unable to escape the framework established by his professional class. The tall man wouldn’t have the gun, he’d be directing the police, and he’d say something like “boxes have too much of an environmental impact so you can’t make and more” and “there are people in the third world without boxes or a ballgame, you have it so much better than them.”

  14. Wukchumni

    SAN DIEGO — Matt Smyth’s secret was revealed his senior year of high school with a knock on the front door of his family’s home in Fallbrook, Calif.

    Two plainclothes sheriff’s detectives were investigating reports that Smyth’s former assistant scoutmaster — the one who’d driven kids to Boy Scout meetings, chaperoned camp-outs and hosted fishing outings on his bucolic property — had molested several boys.

    To the shock of his parents, Smyth shared that he’d been a victim, too. But the bombshell stayed close to home for decades. Smyth never heard from the investigators again, and he moved on — or tried to.

    The most dreaded possibility of an NPS backcountry ranger here is a boy scout troop being in the vicinity. Not all of them are screwups, only about 2/3rds in my estimation. Tends to be father figures that have no idea what they’re doing, teaching their young charges all of the wrong ways to go about being in the wilderness. At the end of every summer I hit up friends in the NPS for a good story of woe, and the scouts never fail to amuse me with their misguided antics.

    FD: I was a cub scout dropout, wearing a militaristic uniform was so very uncool in 1970, even a 8 year old kid like me was hep to what’s what.

    1. Oregoncharles

      I dropped out of cub scouts back in the 50’s, right after the teenage pack leader had us marching down the road. It also dawned on me that we weren’t really going to learn much woodcraft. Not what I had in mind.

      My mother sighed and said OK. I don’t think she really expected her eldest to take to scouts – and I don’t think any of my juniors even tried.

  15. Tomonthebeach

    “‘Free’ college idea would be a disaster for international students?”

    Nonsense. First of all, poor people do not send their kids overseas for schooling. Second, Americans already send their kids overseas for school to countries that have free colleges. We just pay the asking priced – usually via fellowships. Foreign students who want to study here will do the same thing – many already are..

    The main objectors to free college are the for-profit diploma mills like Kaiser, Norvus, and hundreds more (see Wikipedia). When public schools are free, students will vote with their feet. Aside from well-established privates like Harvard and religious schools like SMU, most for-profits are where kids with low aptitude scores seek a ticket punch. This is borne out by their relatively very high drop/flunk-out rates. Putting these factories out of business is best for our children who will not get buried in debt then flunk out or “earn” a diploma that is useless.

  16. Alex

    Standing on a cruiseship’s railing is not the most prudent behaviour, but what kind of a person would ‘bring it to the crew’s attention’

    1. Wukchumni

      I’ve been there before after about 6 days of being held hostage in a floating mall with faux auctions consisting of Thomas Kinkade schlock, and buffets pushing iffy food. Oh, also it’s a petri dish for Norovirus.

      Yeah, I wanted to make the leap~

  17. The Rev Kev

    “‘A culture of secrecy’: what is the Right to Know campaign about?”

    Tough times for Oz here. Our Prime Minister is a bit of a thug who is cracking down on the media which has the temerity to criticize him from time to time. Also, the Australian Federal Police has a new Commissioner who is completely onboard with this program and the recent raids on newspapers and reporters were done after his appointment.
    I saw him on the news in front of a Senate committee and he was asked if he had seen all the redacted newspaper front pages and was shown some. Asked about the reason for this he replied that he had not “turned his mind” to it. That suggests to me that he know that the government has his back, hence the arrogance. I predict that our freedom of the press position by Reporters Without Borders will suffer a rapid drop but that the government will ignore it.

    1. Wukchumni

      Its interesting how Aussie & NZ are such polar opposites politically, you’d think there’d be more immigration to Godzone from the left-behinds on the other side of the Tasman.

    2. xkeyscored

      You’ll know a lot more about this than I do, but wasn’t the Australian media pretty silent about the whole East Timor/Witness K business?
      “First they came for …”

      1. The Rev Kev

        The Australian media is pretty gutless. They are only protesting these changes as it is effecting them personally for a change. Not so much a “First they came for …” but more of a “Finally they are coming for you now”.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thanks for bringing up the dark side of Australia…it’s always more interesting coming from people in OZ there (or here, for those there).

      The same with other countries as well (say, France or Russia).

  18. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, J-LS.

    Readers may be interested in a lecture given to the IMF by the former Bank of England governor, Mervyn King, last Saturday, as per

    Readers should watch the lecture, which does not mention the green new deal and other good thinking fizzing on the left, and read in conjunction.

    At the time, I worked on prudential and financial stability matters for the UK’s main banking trade body and often in Basel, Brussels and DC. It was staggering to observe how Gordon Brown’s government, including the Blairites Mandelson and James Purnell, now at the BBC and gunning for Corbyn, with an eye on their next gig and the guy who did Gordon Brown’s thinking, Larry Summers’ vicar on earth and Mr Yvette Cooper, Ed Balls, sabotaged the reforms, including structural, being pushed by the Bank of England triumvirate of King, Paul Tucker and Andy Haldane. Not only did the Brown government push back on the Bank’s proposals, including forced recapitalisation in the spring of 2008, they also rejected Adair Turner’s idea for a people’s quantitative easing, time limited, means tested and targeted vouchers. Gordon Brown and his de facto deputy Mandelson and hatchet man Balls deserve to go down as amongst the UK’s worst leaders.

    The US investment banks stepped up their lobbying in London and Brussels, including regularly wining and dining on both sides of the Channel and Atlantic Sylvie Goulard, well known to French readers.

    The focus on Prince Andrew, subject of a Channel 4 documentary tonight, enables the MSM, from where Mandelson and his father Tony arose, to divert attention from Mandelson and the rest of the establishment, especially Blairite.

  19. dk

    Anyone with a body knows that clothing sizes are flawed. Could there be a fix? Vox

    In the article the word “tailor” appears only ones in the form of a verb (“tailoring,” and if a pun then poorly played), and “seamstress” doesn’t appear at all and somehow I don’t think that’s because of arguably sexist overtones.

    I happened to have found the brands that fit me off the rack, but when I need something adjusted, or a tear repaired, I use local tailors and launderers (who almost invariably have a sewing machine on display). Prices in my area are typically under $3 per seam. Albuquerque is having a small resurgence of cobblers and tailors, young folk and they do very good work. Some of these local artisans offer literally bespoke items at competitive prices ($40+ for a tailored jacket, etc).

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        wife and MIL always “knows a woman”…appear to be several that do seamtressing as an odd job..primarily mexican american, with at least one foot firmly in the barrio.
        i have ,,,issues,,, with buttons, and can say that these folks don’t charge enough for what they do.

  20. Wukchumni

    Unprecedented movement detected on California earthquake fault capable of 8.0 temblor LA Times

    How would you go about rebuilding Los Angeles after the Big One hits?

    It has been the ultimate car city in an era coming to an end…

    1. xkeyscored

      I imagine the real estate sector would have a full-blown feeding frenzy, with all the opportunities it would open up. Meanwhile, expect the poor to be offered $1000 leaky tents and some bottled water by some fly-by-night shell company set up specifically to avail itself of state and federal emergency funding.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      San Francisco Bay Area would have more problems than the greater LA/OC area, I believe.

  21. Wukchumni


    As Trump Tweets He Is ‘Bringing Soldiers Home,’ Pentagon Chief Says US Forces Leaving Syria Are Shifting to Iraq Common Dreams

  22. petal

    Another bee article for today.
    “Argentina-based startup Beeflow has developed a special nutrient-packed formula for bees meant to boost their immune systems and make them stronger to work better in colder temperatures. According to CEO Matias Viel, it enables bees to do seven times more flights in cold temperatures than they ordinarily would be able to without the formula.”

    1. xkeyscored

      Funded by Jeff Beezos, perchance, as a prequel to deploying it in Amazzzzon’s fulfillment centres?

      1. pretzelattack

        yeah i was thinking amazon could try to make use of this somehow, to get more out of its worker bees. or speed.

    2. Judith

      Poor bees. already working like slaves under extremely stressful conditions. Toxic chemicals everywhere. Trucked from one crop to the next, constantly having to re-learn where to go to forage, diseases, over-crowding, the food (honey) they so kindly create stolen from them, the list goes on. An now complaints that they are not working hard enough!

      If only there was a pill for that.

      Here are some useful tips:

  23. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Massive marketing muscle pushes 3D mammograms, despite no evidence they save more lives, investigation shows USA Today (Dan K)

    This is a perfect encapsulation of how the “free market” works in the “healthcare” industry.

    An “innovation” gets the government stamp of approval by clearing a ridiculously low bar at the pretty much criminally negligent and completely purchased FDA.

    Rather than do the required research, the “innovator” spends millions hiring celebrity spokesmodels and bribing “doctors” to hardsell the public, who doesn’t know any better, and other professionals who should.

    Recognizing that, despite government “approval,” not enough is really known about what was “approved,” the taxpayer gets to ante up $100 million to find out if that approval was warranted. One could be forgiven for thinking that in a “free market” economy, that would have been the “innovator’s” expense.

    Meanwhile, back at the capitalist ranch, the “innovator” is unable to get the consumer to dig into her own pocket for $50 or $100 to purchase this latest iteration of sliced bread, so they lobby for the next best thing–a “law” that forces someone else to pay for it. Because “poor” people.

    Where would these “free marketeers” be without the government aiding and abetting them every step of the way?

    1. ambrit

      “Where would these “free marketeers” be without the government aiding and abetting them every step of the way?”
      They would be in the “Galt’s Gulch Home For the Financially Infirm.” (A wholly owned subsidiary of the ‘American Cardboard Box Company.’ [An ACME Enterprise.])

  24. Stratos

    RE: “Elizabeth Warren’s and Bernie Sanders’ ‘free’ college idea would be a disaster for international students”

    Boo Hoo!

    “…private institutions, except for those at the very top of the food chain — Harvard, MIT, Stanford — would struggle to survive against even cheaper public competitors, leaving even fewer, and less diverse, educational options for international students.”

    Not logical. Private colleges and universities would be perfect fits for wealthy international students. Their money would find willing homes in those institutions.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Something Good.


      Endless hand-wringing about some possible worst-edge-cases where some person or other might potentially feel it’s Not Good.

      Rinse and repeat for everything:
      Health Care
      Gun control

      Meantime the Worst Possible People use the levers of power (i.e. money) to secure their private good (versus the public good) while the rest are busy arguing endlessly about angels and heads of pins.

      Let’s instead have The Debate: What is the purpose of a nation? Pick one:

      A. Ensure that its citizens can get fed, educated, sheltered, help if they’re sick, and protected from harm;


      B. Ensure that 3 billionaires can make more bank

      (Hint: the answer will default to B if you’re consumed by whether it’s 3,127,455 angels or 3,127,456).

  25. ZacP

    An excellent article about 3D mammography by Liz Szabo. A must read if you’re interested in how the whole healthcare system works to prematurely approve and market a “new and exciting” medical technology. It includes gems such as:

    In the past six years, he [Dr. Rose] has received $317,000 from companies that manufacture mammogram machines, including more than $50,000 related to specific 3D products, according to the Open Payments database. Twelve percent of Rose’s 3D-related payments were related to research.

    Rose said industry money hasn’t influenced him. “I can tell you it had zero impact,” Rose said.

    Bottom line, we need robust RCT studies before this screen is foisted on a population. 3D mammogram needs to be shown to improve endpoints that patients care about, such as lifespan. Too bad laws are already being changed to mandate their coverage by insurance. If 3D is later shown to be less beneficial than regular mammogram, it will be too late.

  26. WestcoastDeplorable

    I blame the FAA equal with Boeing on the 737 Max disaster….since when do aircraft manufacturers get to “self-certify” their products? If that’s the case then why the hell are taxpayers shelling out our money for a regulatory agency to protect us? Apparently, with 2 crashes of brand-new airplanes, we NEED that protection! The U.S. has become lack and loose letting big corporations jerk the Fedgov around. And many of these companies should be busted up because they’re monopolies.
    And it’s not just the 737 Max that’s in question…Al Jazerra produced a recent documentary on the 787 planes….8 out of 10 employees at the Charleston SC assembly plant who were polled stated they would not fly on this bird. Too many oversights and shortcuts.

    1. Harrold

      The FAA is funded by the Airport & Airway Trust Fund. Its money comes from aviation excise taxes.

      Airport improvements are occasionally funded with a grant from the US Treasury.

    2. VietnamVet

      Aircraft self-certification was passed by Congress to cut government spending for inspectors (austerity) and to comply with their donors need for more cost cutting to facilitate the transfer of company wealth to the rich. The safety of passengers was ignored. Congress-critter Lindsey Graham went from criticizing the President to praising his Syrian withdrawal. The difference is the 200 or so soldiers will be staying behind to keep the Syrian oil field out of Damascus’s hands. No matter that the troops are in the middle of the desert, with no allies, facing an effective Syrian Arab Army with Russian, Chinese, and Iranian allies which will sooner or later regain all of its national territory. The consequence to Americans is neatly ignored.

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