Links 11/13/19

These Devastating Photos Show The Effects Of The Massive Bushfires In Australia BuzzFeed :-(

Where plastic outnumbers fish by seven to one BBC and Baby Fish Nurseries Are Riddled With ‘Prey-Sized’ Plastic, Alarming Study Finds Vice

The Cinema of Inadvertence, or Why I Like Bad Movies HedgeHog Review

Gulf Oysters Are Dying, Putting a Southern Tradition at Risk New York Times. Resilc: “Too bad, but gotta have ethanol in iowa. Runoff tastes good they say.”

These maps show how many people will lose their homes to rising seas—and it’s worse than we thought Popsci (David L)

Climate Change Is Breaking Open America’s Nuclear Tomb Vice (resilc)

The climate crisis will make entire cities uninhabitable. It’s time to head underground Wired


Tariffs on China Imports Emerge as Hurdle to Trade Deal Wall Street Journal

Hong Kong police warn city on ‘brink of total collapse’ Financial Times

Why China wants Trump re-elected in 2020 Asia Times

The Right Way to Reduce Your China Product Costs China Law Blog. Troy P. Way way more interesting and revealing than the headline.

Angela Merkel urges EU to seize control of data from US tech titans Financial Times (David L)


Nigel Farage warned he has ‘48 hours to save Brexit’ as Leave donors call for him to pull further Brexit Party candidates Telegraph

Senior Tories admit Farage right to say no-deal Brexit still ‘on the table’ Independent


Bolivia coup led by Christian fascist paramilitary leader and millionaire – with foreign support Greyzone Project

Bolivia scraps joint lithium project with German company Deutsche Welle, November 4, 2019. Bill B: “Morales had blamed the opposition for organizing the protests against the lithium project to undermine his government.” Note that Tesla’s stock spiked up when Morales resigned.

Evo Morales Finally Went Too Far for Bolivia Atlantic (Bill B). The charge is that Morales wanted to be president for life.


US wants to create illegal quasi-state in eastern Syria: Russia AMN (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

A US federal court finds suspicionless searches of phones at the border is illegal TechCrunch

Intel struggles to close potentially damaging chip flaws Financial Times (David L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

SecDef: Expect ‘Trimming, Reducing, Some Eliminations’ in 2021 Budget – Defense One. Resilc: “‘As Army Secretary, Esper was known for his “Night Court” review, credited with freeing up $25 billion over five years for higher-priority efforts.’ After an increase of 160bil. what a jokester.”

Army’s new recruiting ads focus less on combat roles ABC. Resilc: “How about signing up to be a combat DJ?”

Trump Transition

US held record number of migrant children in custody in 2019 Associated Press (furzy)

White House to use webcams to create live feed of border wall construction Washington Post

Divided Supreme Court leans toward allowing Trump to end DACA The Hill

Trump advisers exploring tax proposal that would lower “middle class” rate to 15 percent Washington Post

Former Trump campaign official testifies Stone gave updates on WikiLeaks hack The Hill

Nikki Haley Is a Trump Loyalist Until the Moment It Becomes Inconvenient Esquire (resilc)

Trump Tells Crowd Ivanka Has Created 14 Million New Jobs New York Magazine. Resilc: “And cured most cancers to boot.”


The GOP’s defense of Trump, annotated CNN (furzy)

There’s a Surprisingly Plausible Path to Removing Trump From Office Politico (resilc)

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, widow of Baltimore Rep. Elijah Cummings, will seek his seat in Congress Baltimore Sun (furzy)

‘Go back to California’: Wave of newcomers fuels backlash in Boise Los Angeles Times


Why Wouldn’t Michael Bloomberg Run for President? New Republic

Hillary Clinton ‘under enormous pressure’ to run in 2020 BBC (Jokerstein). A measure of the size of her echo chamber and ego. Did she miss that her last grifting speaking tour with Bill played to halls full of empty seats, even with severely discounted ticket prices?

Turns Out, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Huge in Iowa Mother Jones (resilc)

Former coal baron Don Blankenship announces presidential bid. Slate (resilc)

Verso Corporation Announces Sale of Androscoggin and Stevens Point Mills for $400 million Yahoo. RPW: “The incredible shrinking Verso.” Another sorry chapter in the private equity ruination of coated paper mills that should have stayed competitive.

Driving Tests Coming for Autonomous Cars Spectrum IEEE (David L)

U.S. auto showrooms need more electric cars, environmental group says Reuters. Resilc: “I have a 2012 Prius with 92k on it. I will dump it before 100k and buy a gasoline powered car. It is way too complex and the marginal gas benefit isnt that great for me. Complex=repair$ and finding the labor qualified to fix…”

The Growth and Challenges of Cyber Insurance Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (resilc)

Class Warfare

The SoftBank Effect: How $100 Billion Left Workers in a Hole New York Times (David L)

DISINVESTMENT, DISCOURAGEMENT AND INEQUITY IN SMALL BUSINESS LENDING NCRC. Quelle surprise, banks discriminate against women and minority-owned small businesses

Antidote du jour (Lee):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


      1. Wukchumni

        While I realize that every owner of a pit bull tells you theirs is harmless, from 2005 to 2017, out of 433 Americans killed by dogs, pit bulls were responsible for 284 of them.

        1. nippersmom

          Yes, and in most if not all cases it was because of the way they had been raised/trained/treated, not because the breed is inherently vicious.

          People used to spread exactly the same propaganda about GSD, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers.

          1. Wukchumni

            So a startling 2/3rds of the dog murders of humans by pit bulls is no big deal, they’re just a misunderstood breed?

            Yeah, no.

            1. Plenue

              Yeah, yes. People who want an aggressive dog, for guard duty or fighting, often get pit bulls because of a myth that the breed has some sort of ‘locking jaw’ feature (it doesn’t; there’s no such thing). A disproportionate number of killer dogs being pit bulls is because a disproportionate number of people who want to train a killer dog get pit bulls.

              For the record, my neighbor has not one but five of them. They’re beyond harmless, and completely useless as guard dogs (they’d probably help any burglar steal stuff). In fact I know quite a few pit bulls and pit bull mixes. All completely harmless.

              Another neighbor has a Doberman, harmless, and I’ve known plenty of German Sheperds, also completely harmless.

            2. Brooklin Bridge

              no one said, suggested or questioned that the deaths were unimportant.

              no one said or raised the issue that Pit Bulls might be a misunderstood breed.

              cept you.

              Dogs’ relation to human owners is incredibly close even when the relationship on the human side is highly negative. How they are raised is probably the greatest factor in how they behave. One has every right to wonder out of all 433 of those dogs (and a link would be helpful), how many were raised as attack dogs and out of that latter category how many were Pit Bulls?

              1. inode_buddha

                Crap like this is the reason why they are now banned in my neighborhood. Some guys dog tore up the other guys kid, the dog owner didn’t have homeowners insurance, so they went after the landlord instead.

                I’ve had plenty of dogs (great danes) and ya know, I’m sick and tired of dog owners making excuses. Fix yer broken act. Maybe those owners who wanted an aggressive dog should be in jail, or have their heads checked. “Dogs don’t hurt people, people hurt people!” Yeah where have I heard that argument before?

          2. Krystyn Walentka

            If it was true that pitbulls are only viscous because they were trained to be vicious we would not see the higher rates of viscous attacks in pit bulls. Rather, the attacks would track to the owners, not the breed.

            FYI, I was nearly bitten by one of these pitbull raised by a caring family. The owner had the nerve to blame ME, saying I “move in a weird way”.

              1. ChiGal in Carolina

                Always appreciate precision in language!

                And the fact of the matter is that this breed was singled out for maltreatment by people who wanted to use them in dog fights because they form such a strong attachment to their human owner they will fight to the death to please them.

            1. Angie Neer

              I don’t have a position on nature vs. nurture for dog breeds, but I had a similar experience with a neighbor some years ago–my 3-year-old son was surprised (and terrified) by the neighbor’s unleashed and unsupervised pit bull challenging him in our back yard. The neighbor caught up with the dog quickly and there was no attack or injury, but the neighbor told us our son needs to learn not to raise his arms in front of the dog. What he actually learned is to be terrified of dogs. Thanks, neighbor!

            2. Plenue

              “If it was true that pitbulls are only viscous because they were trained to be vicious we would not see the higher rates of viscous attacks in pit bulls. Rather, the attacks would track to the owners, not the breed.”

              Or people who want a viscous dog seek out pit bulls because they believe the myth that they’re inherently a more viscous breed, and then train them to be viscous. It’s a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

            3. Toske

              “If it was true that pitbulls are only viscous because they were trained to be vicious we would not see the higher rates of viscous attacks in pit bulls.”

              If we transpose this statement, it says that if there is a higher rate of vicious attacks in pitbulls, then it cannot be the case that they are only vicious due to training, i.e. it must be due to their nature. This does not follow. Generalization based on anecdotes is exactly how such myths come about in the first place.

          3. KFritz

            The breed is descended from dogs selectively bred for fighting to the death–courageous, tenacious, and vicious. Staffordshires are also descended from the same lineage, but the worst of that lineage has been bred out of most of them.

            Some of the same people who train their dogs to be vicious also breed selectively for viciousness, and there is enough interbreeding of their ‘handiwork’ with run of the mill pit bulls to create a fair number of genetic time-bombs in the general population of bit bulls NOT trained for combat or attack.

            One problem with most pit bulls that attack, whether from nature, nurture, or both, is that they attack with little or no warning. Most breeds of dogs warn with growling/woofing, posture, grimaces and ear and tail indicators. Pits usually don’t.

          1. Wukchumni

            I’ll stick with a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, which similar to cold fusion-i’m always 10 years away from getting as a companion.

          2. Anthony G Stegman

            I agree. Kind of like strolling through graveyards. Dead people never hurt anyone, while alive people kill by the millions.

  1. Winston Smith

    Time to head underground?
    Time to reach out to my bookshelf and re-read Isaac Asimov’s “The caves of steel”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Another movie, for some reason, comes to mind : Fatal Attraction.

          Though the object of desire is not Douglass, but the throne.

    1. Daryl

      I guess this is how we all end up living in dome cities.

      “Hostile surface weather” is not a new phenomenon, just a changing one…

      1. Hepativore

        If current trends continue, the super-rich like the financial elite and the Silicon Valley overlords will live in heavily armed and guarded domed cities and leave the rest of us to fend for ourselves, Mad Max style.

        I keep seeing articles that preparing for a hypothetical apocalypse is becoming quite the pastime among the new aristocracy across the world.

        1. inode_buddha

          I will bet that not one of those articles suggests changing their ways to prevent societal breakdown. Essentially it seems to be an exercise in asking forgiveness rather than permission. In which case, they deserve, and shall receive, neither.

          1. Hepativore

            Actually, they seem to be operating under some modern variation of the Divine Right of Kings as their guiding principle. Since they are the job-creators who lifted themselves up by their bootstraps, they are naturally entitled to rule over the poor and lazy masses.

            The difference between the new global aristocrats and the nobility of old, is that the modern aristocracy makes no pretention of having any sort of noblesse oblige to the lower classes.

        2. JBird4049

          So, the current aristocracy of this world wants to be the aristocracy of the new world once they have have finished destroying the old world with the very apocalypse(s) that they seem determine to created?

          Hozzabout they just do not destroy the world, which they are already the aristocracy of, or is that just insane silly talk of mine? The only real reason that they are in serious danger of losing their power, and maybe lives, is because of the current crises that they themselves have created.

          The world is run by evil, homicidal, clown children. I swear it is.

    2. LaRuse

      If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD – winter depression), well, best of luck to you.
      As for the rest of the world, at least Vitamin D supplements are sort of inexpensive.

      1. Off The Street

        Light boxes can help SAD sufferers. My friend has one and I can tell you that they can be quite effective. Turn one on in the evening and you may end up wide-awake for hours!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            High altitude sickness.

            The Tibetans, via their Denisovan ancestors, acquired the ability to cope living that high up.

            Not all of us can say that.

      2. tegnost

        Here is my current sunrise sunset…

        As a longtime dweller in the PNW my trick has been to get up early and be exposed to as much day as possible. Also I’m an outdoor worker so in order to get a good day in the 9h and 15m’s of daylight I’d better be getting going right now :)
        It helps to have NC to provide fodder for thinking during the day, and perusing comments at evening makes every day interesting, thanks to all!

    3. Brian (another one they call)

      Here here Mr. Smith; That lead to Foundation. Say hello to your new partner Daneel.

      1. Procopius

        Although Trantor was underground, I think the better comparison was “Caves of Steel,” which takes place long before the Galactic Empire, and the Foundation, was formed.

    4. Stephen V.

      We’ve been there done that & it didn’t go so well: Elizabeth Claire Prophet and her Summit Lighthouse from Wikipedia :

      Prophet predicted nuclear war would cause the end of the world in March 1990.[6] Adherents started construction of a large bomb shelter in the church compound in Corwin Springs, Montana[5] on land purchased from magazine publisher Malcolm Forbes.[2] Construction was halted by court order when large amounts of stored diesel fuel leaked and contaminated the area.[5]

    5. Wukchumni

      There’s around 250 caves here, and if it wasn’t for the Sequoia trees, it might be called Natural Caves National Park. I’ve barely scratched the surface being in around 10% of them.

      It’s my get out of the heat card, just barely go beyond the mouth of a cave, and presto it’s around 55 degrees in most of them.

    6. Jeremy Grimm

      Large scale living underground? How much food could be stored underground for how long? The hydroponic gardens sound swell, but how many people can they feed? [I am curious why mushrooms received no mention.] Air, water, and sewage will need to be moved with pumps of some sort. That means expending some form of energy. How many bicycle-drive pumps would it take to pump air into a city? How much solar power to drive electric pumps? What about lighting? How much lighting would an underground city require?

      I think underground dwellings are a good idea but underground cities and their supporting infrastructure are best considered as a means for cataloging the many support networks cities — above and below ground — require. The next step should be cataloging all the points of possible failure and the interconnections of failures between these support networks. I believe a cascade of failures in these networks rather than any single ‘heroic’ failure will precipitate collapse of the world as we know it. Austerity is building many single points of failure into support networks and coupling these networks in ways that will work to spread failures throughout this interconnected web of support networks. Consider failure of the GRID — a network supporting many other networks — and how that affects traffic lights which affects traffic flows, gasoline and diesel pumps, water pumps, and sewer pumps … and what backups do most cities have? The GRID is the most obvious network supporting City life — so consider the street drainage networks designed for the worst case rains of yesterday. If the streets flood all traffic flow can stop. How many boats do our cities have to move provisions if the roads become shallow streams and lakes? How many provisions are on the shelves of the cities stores or kept in local inventory?

      For the Sci Fi subtopic on this thread — how about the Metro series by Dmitry Glukhovsky? [But I confess that the story telling style of Metro 2035 got a little weird for me.]

      And Winston Smith … what about the rats who will follow us underground and thrive in the dark corners and narrow alleys of an underground city?

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          That bunker looks pretty cool if you have the money. Looking at it I have trouble not thinking of Satre’s play “No Exit” or Hugh Howey’s Silo Series. I wonder how many of those armored vehicles will go AWOL in the event of a real disaster.

      1. JP

        Having worked with tunneling contractors, I have to agree that drainage is a huge problem. Tunnelers say a tunnel is a hole in the ground that leaks. If the lights go out in New York (and the emergency generators run out of diesel) all the subways start to flood. NY would fill up with water in a few weeks. There is no such thing as sealing a large underground structure that is below the water table. They all have pumps to dewater. And yes how about sewage. All sewage treatment plants are built on the lowest ground available unless the stuff is pumped. That is expensive and if the pumps stop your city underground starts to fill up. Of course the underclass could always be employed to man the manual bilge pumps and they could live down there. They won’t run out of water.

      2. neighbor7

        Kim Stanley Robinson’s “New York 2140” is a superb rendition of the submerged city future. Sanders should put this guy in his cabinet.

    7. xkeyscored

      I’m not sure how underground cities would pan out in, say, Jakarta or Miami. You’d need some heavy duty waterproofing with sea levels expected to rise.

      1. polecat

        Maybe we should just have Alexa ask CRISPR what the solution is, and go from there .. ‘;]
        I think human evolution needs a push. Back some, then a Sidestep to a short branch !

  2. New Wafer Army

    Re: Bolivia coup led by Christian fascist paramilitary leader and millionaire – with foreign support

    These disgusting people are christians in the same way that North Korea is democratic. I sometimes wonder if these types of organizations are not really meant to discredit real christians? It’s certainly a hell of a long way from Liberation Theology which “sought to apply religious faith by aiding the poor and oppressed through involvement in political and civic affairs. It stressed both heightened awareness of the sinful socioeconomic structures that caused social inequities and active participation in changing those structures.”

      1. New Wafer Army

        Oh dear. What a shallow and childish view of religion that site supports. (I understand most American “christianity” is actually nothing of the sort but just another racket.) I would have probably thought it was cool as a teenager. Steven Pinker? Ron Reagan? Seriously? It’s just another American grift. I prefer to read the early christian thinkers themselves, John Scotus, Meister Eckhardt and contemporary theologians and philosophers. (Also Kant, Hegel, Heidegger and many eastern thinkers.) I hope you break free of your prejudices.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our LORD Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1

          Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. -a little further down page

          I’m an atheist and particularly wary of Saul of Tarsus, but wouldn’t a central pillar of Christianity be the justification for being a Christian comes from the individual? Even the general role of the infant baptism and godparents is them speaking in place of the baby.

          I’m not questioning your faith, but who are you to determine who is a Christian and who isn’t?

        2. Plenue

          Religion is itself childish and shallow. I was raised in your weird blood/death cult, I know it inside and out.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Gore Vidal’s Julian

            10 years to write, an account of how Julian The Apostate tried to take Rome back to the old gods.

            The sun, light, and celebration of life

            1. Plenue

              Sort of. Julian himself joins a weird mystery religion, as I recall. So while it skewers Christianity (a big deal is made of how ludicrous the doctrinal debates seem to anyone outside of Christianity), it does it while waxing poetic about the very ‘revealed knowledge’ cults that Christianity directly stole from.

              1. Oregoncharles

                One theory is that Christianity was the public face of a mystery religion, that broke loose from the occult part. I.E., Jesus was a mushroom – literally, a figure for the psychedelic mushrooms that were the mystery.

                Very clever, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of his evidence, which was mostly linguistic. Mostly I think it’s funny.

                More seriously, according to the book, Julian also tried to set up a caste system in the Roman Empire. We’re fortunate he failed.

                1. Procopius

                  Remember, Gore Vidal was writing fiction. The first Vidal novel I read was Messiah, and I still think that is a possibility, but it did not actually happen.

        3. Wukchumni

          What if we all found out by the time we were 10 that Christ was fake-a myth our parents kept alive until we were old enough to figure it out, as there was no way he was keeping track of all of our actions, but kept the faith in our belief in Santa Claus being almighty through to the end of our lives, although he was in the same regard as Christ in that watching over us gig?

          1. JBird4049

            And I have found that people use their dislike of individuals to dislike a religion, or even all religions, as well as use their dislike of a religion, or even all religions, to dislike individuals, or even whole groups of strangers.

            I have also been call an idiot when I was an agnostic for not believing in God, and a fool for believing in God’s existence when I do. So, whatever.

            Also, grifting is as American as apple pie with religion being a fine tool to steal from others using their hopes, dreams, and beliefs. Has anyone noticed that the truly faithful of any creed or belief are rarely noticed, but the grifters shout out their “faith” to the whole world while proclaiming that their interpretations are the true ones.

            As our country has become neoliberalized and impoverished, those grifters have taken to using the so-call “Prosperity Gospel,” which is completely different from the liberation theology of the last century. I rather like the idea that the preachers of the prosperity gospel, especially those with the mansions and jets, should spend a few decades in prison, which, unfortunately, is not going to happen. Rather like the Democratic and Republican hustlers and con artists.

            Both groups destroy our faith and trust, as individuals, in our communities, and in our whole society for their personal gain, which is their greatest evil.

      2. hunkerdown

        Christianity requires belief in and and submission to the NT. If these guys are evangelical OT-only wayward Christian soldiers, that ain’t Christianity, and you can get a better idea of what it is by watching who Bolsonaro and his family pals around with.

    1. xkeyscored

      These disgusting people are christians in the same way that North Korea is democratic. I sometimes wonder if these types of organizations are not really meant to discredit real christians?
      I’ve known many Christians who seem quite OK. And I’ve known quite a few who don’t. Look at history for examples, too many to mention, of copious Christian involvement in all manner of crimes and atrocities. You can say they aren’t or weren’t “real Christians”, but they identify, and are identified by most, as such. Indeed, they might equally declare you to be not a real Christian.

      1. New Wafer Army

        That’s the exact same argumentation made against socialism. Stalin killed 50 zillion twillion… etc.

      2. Mike

        It is not the Christian, per se, but the social class of the Christian that makes for evidence of criminality. Chrisitianity offers many contradictory answers to the question “How shall I behave?”. Once anyone gets enough power, the social principles fly out the window, and excuses fly in. The more power, the bigger the excuses. And little, poor Christians emulate the big, rich Christians if they can. No different with any of the many religions supposedly given us by God. Anthropology and news have taught some of us some distance from the parochial view.

    1. skippy

      Under the direction of Kevin Hassett during the Donald Trump presidency, the CEA released a report vilifying socialism and associating what they characterized as the “socialist” policies of liberal politicians to those of historical authoritarian regimes.

  3. PeakBS

    If you’re going to share Elon Musk tweets – it would fit in NC wheelhouse more to show what a fraud he pushes & sharing those tweets.

    Fraud you say?!

    Here is but one resource which includes not only depositions under oath but also various links to investigations that will hopefully inspire NC to start digging even a little deeper into this poster child of what’s wrong with so much including ZIRP, SiliCON Valley, regulatory capture and all the other ills of today.

    Includes deposition into family bailout by shareholders of Solar City(SCTY) and much much more.

    Or did you hear the one about tax payers getting screwed by a billionaire due to NY writing off ~$1B in grants:

    Someday this will end and NC being early trying to stop this fraud will help save innocent lives.

      1. bob

        No you don’t. That’s a smug, half-assed attempt at a dig. Exactly the type of behavior that The Cult Of Elon is becoming famous for.

        “The stock price is going up! Neoliberalism is winning! I’m right because I am rich! Worship me! I’m green! Green with money!”

        I honestly hope you’re smart enough to get out of the con that is being a Bagholder For Elon. I hope you all do, if only for the sake of everyone else that will have to listen to The Cult squealing all over the intenet, all the way down. It’s a long way down.

        1. Wukchumni

          I’ve made mention of this before, how Elon’s dopelganger of a predecessor also had a goofy first name (and a last one that sounds very South African as an added bonus), and was known as ‘The Match King’.

          Meet Ivar Kreuger:

          Kreuger’s financial empire has been described by one biographer as a Ponzi scheme, based on the supposedly fantastic profitability of his match monopolies.

          Another biographer called Kreuger a “genius and swindler”, and John Kenneth Galbraith wrote that he was the “Leonardo of larcenists”. Kreuger’s financial empire collapsed during the Great Depression. The Price Waterhouse autopsy of his financial empire stated: “The manipulations were so childish that anyone with but a rudimentary knowledge of bookkeeping could see the books were falsified.

        2. Monty

          Not really. I just remembered this very user high-fiving themselves on here 6 months ago, regurgitating a load of “TeslaQ” FUD.

          I got no money in Tesla stock and don’t own a Tesla vehicle, but I do wonder about the mentality of those that rail against a ‘green’ product designed and made in the USA. Why the spite?

          1. Plenue

            Because electric cars are inherently an environmental disaster, a delusion that furthers an unsustainable model when we should be pushing for more public transportation. And that’s before we even get to the human misery the lithium and cobalt is extracted with.

            Oh, and also Tesla is a badly run, unprofitable dumpster fire of a company that won’t exist in five years, and Musk is a sociopathic fraudster.

            1. davidgmillsatty

              My thought was that maybe Musk’s decision to give Great Britain the finger might end up being a very good thing for Great Britain.

              And then there is the fact that the British have never been known for making reliable cars.

              So maybe it is a win-win for both.

    1. Jesper

      What might be interesting is how Tesla will handle the different situation in Germany with (I believe) a strong union representing the workers and a judicial environment that might force Tesla to pay suppliers on time or face liquidation.

      1. polecat

        Is this to imply that the unions (amongst other German institutions) are all jake with the takeover/coup in Bolivia ??

        If so, that’s awfully fracked up. Worse than the Elon himself !

        1. Ander Pierce

          Trade unions and neighborhood coalitions are both powerful, well organized forces within Bolivia, and very deadset against the coup. Right now El Paz is effectively besieged, and coup forces are in a legal bind now that the head of the Bolivian senate, Salvatierra, un-resigned, stating that she had only resigned under duress, and her resignation had never been confirmed by the senate. Constitutionally, the presidency would go to her, and she is a member of the MAS party that the coup forces have tried so unsuccesfully to defeat!

          Meanwhile masses of indigenous Bolivians are rallying to support Morales. Either the army and police start a bloody civil war (which they are probably doomed to lose) or the coup forces will have to allow Salvatierra to take the presidency. At which point she will likely call for a new election (one which MAS is likely to win).

        1. ambrit

          This looks like a job for the Paedofinder General! (That should keep that eminent worthy out of the BBC’s hair at last.)

    2. Joe Well

      I think the assumption is that anything anti-Elon would be preaching to the choir on here, unless there is genuinely new info. On the other hand, I am a part of the choir that would love to be preached to about how awful Musk is.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Help me. We regularly criticize Tesla and Musk (I cannot recall ever saying anything nice about him) and get shit for that, but that isn’t enough for you purists. Merely featuring a tweet saying he’s not locating his new factory in the UK is not an endorsement.

      Or would you have us pretend Musk is not building a new factory so as to create the false impression that Tesla is not investing in new plant?

  4. mpalomar

    The underground cities story reminds me of Arcosanti which has been floundering for decades, refusing to die apparently, in the Arizona desert. I thought it an underground project, some of it appears so but after reading the current site I”m not sure.

    As far as the need for more electric cars, I swapped a 2000 Camry for a 2004 Prius in 2005; it now has 100K miles and is still getting 50 miles summer and 45 miles in Nova Scotia winters (Canadian gas prices higher than US, currently $1.14 Can per litre). Since the water pump failed in 2006 (eventually covered under recall), the car has been extremely low maintenance. When it dies I would like to get another but starting to wonder about the extent of the unwanted smart features on new models.

    1. Harold

      Our 2004 Prius was recently vandalized and had to be scrapped. It seems that the catalytic converter, conveniently located on the front underside of the car, contains platinum ,and that there has been a rash of these thefts both in Brooklyn and California. It would have cost thousands of dollars, much more than the book value of the car, to repair., since removing it also damages the exhaust system. We are now carless and likely to remain so. (Car was running well).

      1. inode_buddha

        Last I checked, removing the cat converter does not cause permanent damage to anything except your wallet. New aftermarket units can be had for as little as $150, if you are a do-it-yourselfer.

        On a related note, some local junkyards were broken into a while back, and an entire semi-load of cat converters stolen for drug money.

      2. mpalomar

        Sorry to hear about your ride. Carless is the road to sanity in NYC. I lived in Williamsburg Brooklyn from 1982-92 and had a beat up little pickup truck, I padlocked and chained the hood after the battery was stolen. Odd coincidence, the guy around the corner, a modern dancer/coreographer was selling used batteries out of his basement.

        Smashed windows were a common occurrence, some would leave the car unlocked to circumvent the treatment. I still on occasson have the errant vehicular nightmare, the dream where I’ve forgotten where I parked the truck or left it parked too long on alternate side parking and the city towed it to the great unrecoverable maw of impounded vehicles.

        On our street the parking signs were trimmed down with a hack saw freeing up the curb for 24 hour care free parking.

    1. ambrit

      Thanks, I guess. I fear that if I am proven correct, my ‘prize,’ approved by commenteriat acclamation, will be a one way ‘vacation’ to Mars, courtesy of Space X and DARPA’s super secret “Space Slingshot Propulsion Initiative.” (I hope that isn’t what you meant by “band together.”)
      The best numbers in the country are 0 and 00. The House always wins. Techies disagree with me and support the numbers 1 and 0. When considering the Binary nature of the medium we are communicating over, I find it hard to come up with an analog.
      With my luck, I’ll end up a work unit in the Theocracy of Guelphs Gulch. Alas, I am neither Holy, Roman, nor an Emperor.
      Stay warm!

  5. Wandering Mind

    Further thoughts on Bolivia in light of events yesterday.

    It appears to me that there are two crises of legitimacy in Bolivia. The first one I wrote about in previous comments relating to Evo Morales’ decision to run for a fourth term.

    The second crisis of legitimacy is unfolding now. To understand this, you have to consult the Bolivian constitution.

    Article 169 establishes the order of succession to the presidency, which is as follows:

    1. Vice President
    2. President of the Senate
    3. Leader of the Camara of Deputies (similar to our House of Representatives).

    As of November 10, the following had “resigned:”

    1. President
    2. Vice President
    3. President of the Senate
    4. Leader of the Bolivian House
    5. First Vice President of the Senate.

    Offices 1 – 4 are constitutional offices.

    #5 is an office established by the Senate itself under its power to make its own rules (like our Senate).

    The rules of the Senate require that the President and the First Vice President of the Senate belong to the majority party (currently MAS, Evo Morales’ party) and that the second vice president belong to a minority party.

    The Senate rules also say that in the absence of the President of the Senate and the First Vice President, the Second Vice President “replaces” the President of the Senate.

    So, what happened yesterday? The Second Vice President, a member of the minority party, declared herself President of the Senate and therefore President of Bolivia per Article 169 of the Constitution.

    The majority party (MAS) refuses to accept this and I agree with them in that what happened does not legitimately follow the constitutional order.

    So, what would have been a more legitimate procedure?

    The first thing to note is that all of the persons who were in office as of October 20, 2019 had been elected in 2015 in an election which no one is claiming was fraudulent.

    The second thing to note is that the Bolivian Constitution, like the U.S. constitution, vests the power to remove the President and Vice President of the country in the Bolivian Congress.

    So, if the opposition believed that there was election fraud, that the President and Vice President were responsible for the fraud, and that fraud was serious enough to warrant their removal from office, they should have brought the matter of removal to the Congress.

    That would have gone nowhere for the same reason that removal of Donald Trump is likely to go nowhere: the President’s party controls the body which has the power to remove him.

    So, the first illegitimate move the opposition made was to force Evo Morales and his vice president to resign rather than bring the issue to the Congress.

    Next there is the issue of the legitimacy of the Second Vice-President of the Senate declaring herself President of the Country.

    The Constitution does not set up any procedure for the order of succession of the President of the Senate. It leaves that to the Senate itself.

    And the rules of the Senate make it clear that the President of the Senate must be a member of the majority party (i.e. MAS).

    It is fairly clear that there was coercion (which may have included threats to their families) of the Senate President and First Vice President to induce them to resign.

    It is even more clear (at least to me) that the Senate itself should have elected the replacement to the President of the Senate and the First Vice President of the Senate. This may not be technically stated in the rules of the Senate, but the idea that the majority ought to control those two offices is clearly stated.

    The way that this was done, therefore, is nothing less than a power grab by a person who would never stand a chance of being elected to the presidency herself and who is being backed by people like “Macho Camacho” who have never even tried to stand for election to anything.

    Bear in mind that the indigenous population of Bolivia is in the majority and that the people who are now “bringing the Bible” into the Presidential palace strongly opposed the adoption of the current constitution and the “Plurinacional” nature of the country which it recognizes.

    I cannot see how this minority right wing expects to keep control over the population, even with the help of the military, especially since the majority indigenous population has exercised their power over the past 14 years by adopting a constitution and putting an indigenous person in the presidency, however flawed that person turned out to be.

    1. WJ

      It’s a military coup, aided and encouraged by the US. The indigenous peoples will be easily kept in check through state force and quasi state paramilitary terrorism if need be. Why should anybody expect constitutional procedures to be respected in such a situation?

      Also, in what way, exactly was Morales “flawed” and how does that have any bearing on anything whatsoever?

      1. Wandering mind

        The then government was not able to control the population in 2003, which is why the then president fled the country and is now living in the U.S.

        1. Fritzi

          Obviously they were not brutal and ruthless enough back then.

          This time they no doubt have learned their lesson.

          Attacking the families of opponents is a nice first step, they’ll probably institutionalize it.

          Most current semi authoritarian, supposedly authoritarian and in some cases even genuinely authoritarian governments have gone soft in comparison to the olden days.

          But with international media sufficiently compliant, the US increasingly dropping pretenses (and increasingly desperate, I guess), even the Internet most under safe control, they could return to the open mass slaughter, mass torture that was en vogue in earlier decades.

          If you kill a couple dozen or hundreds of protesters you may only make the rest more angry.

          But if you get serious and slaughter tens of thousands, or more, the same people may be sufficiently terrorized to keep it quiet for some considerable span of time, twenty years, thirty years, who knows, especially when they realize that nobody gives a fuck about it internationally.

    2. Olga

      I object to calling EM “flawed.” By today’s standard of world leaders, he was pretty good. His accomplishments are/were significant. And he did get re-elected with over a 10% margin. Let’s please keep things in perspective.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        The major flaw I see is having the Supreme Court rule in his favor so he could run again. It doesn’t seem right, even if technically lawful. I mean the Bushies dragged in some lawyers to argue that torture was “legal”, but that didn’t make it right either.

        On the other hand, if you’re the president of a country who actually gives a damn about improving the lives of your country’s people, and I believe Morales is that, what do you do when your time is coming to an end and you’re surrounded by pissed off right wingers who want their money back?

        You could groom a successor, but look how that tuned out when Correa stepped down in Ecuador. Or look at the coup Chavez’ successor Maduro has managed to survive so far, but for how long? Look at the trumped up charges against Roussef and Lula in Brazil that took them out an brought a fascist in. it’s the whole world that’s lined up against these leaders, not just the opposition in their own countries.

        Morales must have been aware of these events, and ultimately it about power and you can’t improve the lives of your people much if someone else has it. My guess here is he felt he didn’t have a decent successor and he didn’t want the right wing to take over, so he used the power he had to try to get a few more years. And maybe he felt other allies would step in, as they did somewhat in Venezuela to help Maduro.

        I’d be interested to hear from anyone who knows more about what’s going on with the MAS party. Maybe there were legitimate candidates who could have run things after Morales stepped down and he wouldn’t allow it, but Morales doesn’t strike me as the power hungry type.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          One possible option, which was employed a few years, was to become the premier, while making that position more powerful than the president.

          Another option to consider is to become the chairman of the military commission. That was the way for another smart leader, and let someone else be the president or party chairman.

          1. JBird4049

            The older I get, and the more I continue to see that Morales, Chavez, Maduro, Allende, Aristide, or even the Castro Brothers are deemed the evil, bad, no good eaters of babies while Bautista, Pinochet, the Duvaliers, the Somozas, D’Aubuisson are upholding democracy, liberty, and apple pie merely because they have the gall to not brown nose the American Powers That Be. Sometimes they even divert the rightfully stolen money of American corporations to the poor of their own country. What bad people.

            Before I die, I would like to see that this ends, and somehow I intend to do so, presumptuous as that may sound.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Complimenting Deng or Putin, by imitating, would perhaps be options, if possible, less flawed.

              1. JBird4049

                I know that the people that I can consider the “good guys” often only by comparison to the favorites of the United States government.

                Compared to Bautista, the Castros are the good people who improved the Cubans’ lives, but Fidel Castro’s methods included being a dictator using some of a dictator’s methods of control. But Allende was a decent individual, elected President while Pinochet was a murdering torturer and traitorous thug working for the local as well as the American elites.

                I would be that just about all of the leaders and their governments overthrown in the Americas by the United States’ was because they were not conservative enough for them; by conservative I mean friendly to whatever the corporations wanted and denying their populations any economic control over their lives. It is an American variety of lead or silver. The bullet or the money.

                This is a long, winding way of saying that there are always reformers who want to do well for their country even if sometimes their methods wrong, even evil; the United States wants to maintain its domination of the various countries of the Americas with an obedient, exploitable population ruled over by an obedient, wealthy oligarchy for the corporations of the United States benefit using illegal methods of bribery, torture, assassinations, and invasions.

                What’s being done to Bolivia is just the same old thing that the United States has routinely done for something like a hundred and fifty years.

    3. Summer

      People keep thinking the Constitution is here to save the day and can be used to get rid of Trump. And the evidence keeps piling up the Constition is of the Trumps, by the Trumps, and for the Trumps of the world.

    4. xkeyscored

      I cannot see how this minority right wing expects to keep control over the population, even with the help of the military
      I’m afraid I can see how, all too clearly. I only hope it doesn’t turn out that way, though the signs don’t look good.

    5. Massinissa

      “I cannot see how this minority right wing expects to keep control over the population, even with the help of the military”

      Easy, just look at Columbia.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It has been suggested that minority horse riding warriors kept control over local populations, in places in India and the Middle East, if not other places like Wei river valley where the ancestors of the Zhou kings originated, close to the start of the bronze age.

        So, it would not be new.

        Also not new is the fact that empires come and go, as do non-empires (democracies or quasi-democratic states).

  6. allan

    Republican Monroe County legislators propose bill that limits the authority of the county executive [WXXI]

    A week after Monroe County [NY] voters elected their first Democratic county executive in three decades, the Republican-controlled County Legislature introduced a bill that would severely curtail the authority of the county executive.

    Specifically, the bill would give the legislature the power to approve the heads of every county department selected by the county executive. …

    We’re all Wisconsinites now.

      1. allan

        It was temporarily put on hold in March, but the GOP have appealed
        to the GOP-controlled WI state Supreme Court, where it is still pending.
        And in the meantime, they never give up. From less than a month ago:

        GOP starts push to curb Wisconsin governor’s veto powers

        Wisconsin Republicans continued their push Tuesday to weaken Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ powers, holding a hearing on a constitutional amendment prohibiting him from using his veto pen to increase spending.

        GOP legislators have been working since Evers won election last November to reduce the governor’s authority. They passed a host of laws during a December lame-duck session prohibiting Evers from pulling the state out of lawsuits without legislators’ permission, a tactic designed to prevent him from withdrawing Wisconsin from a multistate action challenging the Affordable Care Act. Evers still managed to withdraw from the lawsuit after a judge temporarily put the laws on hold this spring, but the lame-duck session set the tone for the icy relationship that has developed between the governor and Republicans over the last year. ….

  7. Drake

    Note that Tesla’s stock spiked up when Maduro resigned.

    Unless I missed some news, Maduro should be Morales.

  8. Ignim Brites

    “There’s a Surprisingly Plausible Path to Removing Trump From Office”.

    The end game for the impeachers is to get Trump to resign. Barring that, it is highly unlikely the House will vote to impeach. The Senate will likely conduct a trial that will be a mini Church Committee inquiry into the activities of the intelligence community. Does anyone seriously believe the intelligence community will allow the House to empower Rand Paul to question Brennan and Clapper under oath in public?

    1. inode_buddha

      After the Bill Clinton debacle, does anyone really think “under oath” has any weight any more?

    2. hunkerdown

      Sure, why not? Clapper will just give the “least untruthful answer” as he has before. Brennan will just whine like a petulant child. Assuming that either of them have any familyblogs left to give what official Washington thinks when each makes far more money and has far more influence as on-air shills for neocon empire.

    3. jefemt

      My limited imagination won’t allow me to envision Trump ever resigning— ego, pride, competitive nature… he’s no Nixon!

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      Some might say transparency in congressional deliberations and votes is inviolable…….

      Yes, some “might” say that.

      Some might also say that when you have a system in which only two groups effectively get to compete, the one that loses should just shut up and do their jobs.

      Why bother to “vote” at all? Why not just say that “nobody” likes Trump anywayzzzz so let’s just kick him out? SECRETLY, of course.

    5. Carolinian

      That’s an outrageously silly article that suggests that after a secret process to impeach Trump the Senate will then go along with a secret process to vote him out just because their names are protected. The public, they think, will swallow the whole thing and just shut up.

      Maybe we will have a Civil War…..

      1. chuckster

        Or even worse, Tim Cotton running for a counter-Restoration in 2024. Be thankful America for the idiot you have. What waits in the wings will be exponentially worse and more “effective.”

        1. JBird4049

          So after the Star Court, we’ll have the Star Government, then the “Restoration” or perhaps an American “Glorious Revolution” led by such as the Senator from Arkansas Tim Cotton?

          I realize that we are all being somewhat hyperbolic here, but really, I think some people think that Roberto D’Aubuisson and his ARENA Party is something to emulate. I just can’t wait to see what the crazy, fringy bits of the American Left comes up to match the Right.

            1. JBird4049

              Hey, that there socialized Medicare is just crazy Liberal, Marxist-Leninist talk meant to brainwash our children, fluoridate our water, and steal our precious bodily fluids!

              And the sad part is that some Americans actually do believe that it’s a commie conspiracy. Hello the John Birch Society.

    6. anon in so cal

      Someone today (a GOP senator?) is apparently trying to introduce the notion of a secret ballot for Senate voting.

    7. wilroncanada

      Ignim Brites, re ‘…plausible plan to removing Trump from office.’
      But they’re waiting for HRC to tell them what it is.

    8. Oregoncharles

      Was Brennan under oath when he lied outright to the Senate Intelligence Committee – who were in a position to know he was lying?

      And is Oregon’s Sen. Wyden, who called Brennan’s bluff, now all-in on Russia!Russia!Russia! -hence supporting the Brennan-Clapper coup?

      Of course. (Ed.: I may have mixed up Brennan and Clapper – have trouble telling them apart.)

  9. BoyHowdy


    Just a polite suggestion. When you wrote I think Tesla stock prices will spike up when Maduro resigns, I think you meant Morales. I could be equally wrong, though. Have a great day and thanks for all the great content.

  10. cnchal

    > The SoftBank Effect: How $100 Billion Left Workers in a Hole New York Times (David L)

    Tech wasteland, Softbank edition. I burst out laughing at this point.

    Oyo now claims to offer more than 1.2 million rooms, including in China and the United States, where it recently bought the Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas.

    It has scaled up partly by promising hoteliers monthly payments, made possible by SoftBank’s money. The payments, which are an advance on the hotel owner’s share of room revenue, were supposed to be paid no matter how many rooms were booked.

    In exchange, the hotels added free breakfasts and linens in Oyo’s signature red and white. They agreed to book all rooms — even walk-in guests — through Oyo and let it control how the rooms were sold on other sites.

    But those payments led to rising losses in India. And over the last year, SoftBank has pushed Oyo on profitability rather than just growth, said current and former employees of the start-up, who declined to be named for fear of retaliation.

    Several hotel associations said Oyo had now canceled or cut the payments. Some also said Oyo had deeply discounted room rates and increased its commissions and fees.

    In June, more than 70 hoteliers in the coastal city of Kochi marched to Oyo’s local headquarters before a two-day strike against the site. The unrest spread to Bangalore, New Delhi and other cities. Last month, the Competition Commission of India opened an antitrust investigation into Oyo’s practices.

    “The situation is so bad, we’re looking at it as a scam,” said Pradeep Shetty, the honorary joint secretary of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India, which represents around 3,000 hotels and filed the competition complaint.

    Ritesh Agarwal, who founded Oyo when he was 19, said in an interview that only a few hotels had been unhappy or tried to leave. He said Oyo had occasionally reduced the guaranteed minimums, but only when hotels had misrepresented their business in contract negotiations.

    “Asset owners continue to believe that Oyo is the best option in terms of the value proposition we can provide for them,” he said.

    Not Mr. Solankey. He said he was losing 150,000 rupees, or $2,100, a month. While he plans to quit Oyo, he needs the money the company owes him. Oyo has offered to pay just half the debt — and then only if he signs a new contract with no guaranteed payments, according to correspondence shared with The Times.

    Is peak gullibility in sight yet?

  11. The Rev Kev

    “SecDef: Expect ‘Trimming, Reducing, Some Eliminations’ in 2021 Budget”

    I could do that job and here is an example of how I would do it. At the moment the Pentagon purchases all fuels used by the US military. They then sell it on to the Army, Navy, etc. for a marked up price. The difference the Pentagon pockets for their own personal slush fund. If the separate arms purchased their own fuels, that would be a saving of tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
    Another example? I would also sack half of all generals and admirals in the US military by pulling their names out of a hat. Does that sound unfair? Well, if I let the Pentagon choose which generals and admirals should be let go, likely the best of them would be first on the chopping block. By making it being done by sheer chance, statistically only half of them would be let go. Besides, why is the public housing these people in literal mansions?

    1. a different chris

      I appreciate the rest of your post, but this part needs rowed back a bit :)

      >If the separate arms purchased their own fuels, that would be a saving of tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

      Even if you, like me, believe the Pentagon spends a solid trillion a year, I doubt 40% of that is on fuel, and I doubt they mark it up by 100%, because that would be the numbers you need to get to save “hundreds of billions” since the minimum definition of “hundreds” is 200.

  12. JohnnyGL

    Wow, I didn’t know JFK gave a big speech supporting M4A. You can pretty much deliver this same speech unchanged from almost 60 years ago. Same arguments, same debunking.

    Bernie should put together a big ad buy with all the most prominent democrats since FDR who’ve made the case and just blast it on network TV. He’s got a big war chest, he needs the to win over the elderly. They’re generally proud of their parties most prominent historical figures. Appeal to their patriotic sense of history (in addition to their self-interest).

    1. petal

      Starting this past weekend, a new youtube ad of his has started playing when I watch stuff(I’m in NH). I don’t think it is very well done, though, and he looks old and frail in it.

        1. EricT

          Quite a fantastic creative young man. He’s still got that youth fire and needs to understand that the questions he was posing with his earlier work is eminently applicable to what is happening to him now. I hope he could of foreseen the responses of the involved parties and not take offense to their responses as the strategies involved are highly successful for eliminating opponents( ie: Al Franken ). What I don’t understand is why the campaign didn’t just treat him as a contractor, who produces ads for the campaign. You can’t hold the campaign responsible for the beliefs of a hired contractor. They are there to perform a service. For example, I’m not responsible if the guy who picks up my trash or the carpenter who fixes my roof is a holocaust denier. It doesn’t mean I’m a holocaust denier. But I like my trash picked up and a roof that doesn’t leak. Their beliefs aren’t a problem for me unless they interfere with my right or another’s right to exist.

        2. The Rev Kev

          I don’t know if this is Bernie or Bernie is listening to advisors but abandoning people that have supported him like Orfalea and Gabbard is not a good sign as Jimmy Dore points out. Orfalea was sacked by Bernie for something that he said a very long time ago that was not controversial at the time but which now is and the whole thing smells of a take-down.

      1. ambrit

        Sanders was ‘impeded’ by the actions of insiders in his campaign apparatus the last time. This could be more of the same.
        Sanders needs to hire Mike Gravel’s ‘Wunderkinden’ to do media work for him.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Hong Kong police warn city on ‘brink of total collapse’’

    It is getting bad. The protestors are ramping up their violence because that always works out well for everybody in the long run. There is no way that the government can give them all an amnesty for all this violence while investigating police actions as demanded by the protestors. A video surfaced from Monday where a mob of them were beating up a young girl with metal rods because she disagreed with them-

    1. Anonymous Coward

      This came across my twitter feed last night, and, for me, explains rather much about the stakes that the protesters on the ground are feeling there:

      Aren’t you afraid? I asked, gingerly. “We are afraid,” they quickly admitted. They even giggled, but it got serious quickly. This is our last chance, they said very matter-of-factly. If we stand down, nothing will stand between us and mainland China, they said. They talked about Xinjiang, and what China had done to the Uighur minority. I’ve heard about the fate of the Uighurs from so many protesters over the months. China may have wanted to make an example out of the region, but the lesson Hong Kongers took was in the other direction—resist with all your might, because if you lose once, there will be a catastrophe for your people, and the world will ignore it.

      via Zeynep Tufekci in The Atlantic.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Their fate is already sealed as whether they want to admit it or not, they are part of China. This only came about because the British took a part of China and made it a British colony for a century and a half so it was only ever a temporary status for the people that lived there. Hong Kong could have negotiated a much better outcomes for themselves in the long run but all this violence has thrown all chances of that away.

            1. Massinissa

              AND? You act like China doesn’t have a history of problems with putting political prisoners into gulags with Chinese characteristics.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Perhaps it’s lost in translation.

                There have been re-education camps since at least the Cultural Revolution (Puyi, the last Manchu emperor of China, was in one after the world, if I recalled correctly from the movie, though perhaps under a different name for the camp).

                I have seen the term ‘vocational and training centers’ used for the situation in Xingjiang.

              2. The Rev Kev

                Maybe you should ask any Japanese-Americans about that point who lived on the west coast during WW2. Or the North American Indians with their reservations. Every country has a “history”.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  No one country is perfect.

                  The US apologized to the Japanese American.

                  The Crimean Tatars are still waiting.

                  As for native Americans, they have cause to empathize and unite with native Siberians, those in Australia and others around the world.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      And I agree.

                      Often, only the US is criticized here, when ‘every nation has a history,’ including rising powers challenging America now.

                      The wrong conclusion to assume would be that a better world is coming with the new powers. Maybe…maybe not.

                      By including them in the criticism now we can try to avoid the assuming.

                2. Massinissa

                  What Americans have done doesn’t change what China has done. This is pure whataboutism. It doesn’t defeat or change my point at all.

                  My main point was that contrary to Ignacio’s post being ethnically Chinese doesn’t mean Hong Kong’ers are not at risk of unjust imprisonment by the Chinese government.

                  Other countries histories or non-histories of putting people in camp is entirely irrelevant to that.

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    Wahtaboutism can be a very abused word to cover up deficits in arguments and I prefer whatifs myself. Try this alternate history as an example. The British Empire seizes the nascent colony of San Francisco back in the 1840s and forces the US to accept a 150 year lease there. They build up the city and turn it into one of their “treasure islands” which sucks the wealth of the western United States out of it. Finally, when the treaty expires, the US once again takes control of San Francisco but must promise to retain some laws for a further 50 years.
                    A case comes up where somebody escaping a crime that they committed takes shelter in San Francisco. The City Council decides on an extradition law that most governments around the planet takes part in. Radicals, based out of Berkeley’s University of California, start a campaign of protest which turns into a violence as they battle San Franciscan police. The protesters use Molotov cocktails, stones, etc and start burning the BART transit system stations. They also smash shop windows and attack people from the rest of America who are in the city. Europe critices the S.F.P.D. for over-reacting.
                    So, with this scenario in mind, you fill in the blanks and tell me what happens next. What does Washington do? How about the San Francisco Police Department? Will there be a crackdown? Not so simple now, is it?

          1. Olga

            Were is your evidence that Us are in a concentration camp? Maybe not read so much western propaganda for a change?
            What is going on in HK is wanton destruction of a city and life, which is less and less comprehensible as days go by. But maybe that is the point – to destroy HK as an economic engine that benefits China.
            As for Us – maybe those kids are worried about that, but does it occur to you that they may have been brainwashed?
            The tactic of violence is not going to get them anything, just destruction.

            1. ambrit

              Tiananmen Square back in 1989 showed the lengths that specifically Pekin will go to crush dissent, even peaceful dissent. Army units from far away regions were sent in and killed many of the demonstrators. (Far off regions so that there would be no local associations to deter the troops from killing unarmed people when so ordered.)
              The ethnic submergence of the Tibetan local population and it’s culture is a policy objective of Pekin. The Hong Kong youth see this history and rightfully worry that they will be the next example of Chinese forced conformism.
              Nixon’s administration argued for “Constructive Engagement” as a way to inveigle China to become fully Western over time. The cadres in Pekin have finessed this strategy. Pekin never wanted full western style capitalism, so, Pekin took what it found useful and ignored the rest. Now Hong Kong is being told in no uncertain terms to toe the line or suffer the repercussions. Part of toeing that particular line is the social rejection of western style individualism.
              As to the destruction, Pekin can sit back for now and watch patiently as Hong Kong itself cripples any serious ability it may have had to force major concessions from the central government. Once the international business community loses faith in Hong Kong as a reliable ‘partner,’ the city will soon fall back out of it’s special status and into that of a ‘regular’ city in China.
              The writing is on the wall.
              Perhaps the one bright note to be found here is the admission by Pekin that it has had two confirmed cases of pneumonic plague in the capital. As has happened so often over human history, the new Jackpot will probably begin in the Orient.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Writing on the wall.

                  Somewhere inside the Forbidden Palace, there stands a screen-wall with nine beautifully glazed terracotta dragons

                  You will find similar screens elsewhere in China, usually before a gate or an opening, for the purpose of blocking negative chi from entering.

                  Nine is the largest number, traditionally in China. Anything with nine-dragons is considered the highest in degree. Kowloon is the Cantonese pronunciation for ‘nine dragons.’ To geomancers, it’s location is among the best.

                  Will that hold?

                  1. ambrit

                    Do the Dragons have to be facing a direction, or is their presence global in effect? Doorways can be circumvented. Fields of force must be overcome. Thus, referring to Kowloon; do those Dragons guard the Hong Kong from negative chi emanating from Pekin, or the other way around?

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      If they are yoga-practicing dragons, they would be flexible enough to defend both directions.

                      During the Cultural Revolution, for those fleeing, the dragons were facing north, they must have believed. The teacher of one Bruce Li (and his name was Ip Man) could have been one such believer.

            2. Massinissa

              Yes, millions of Hong Kongers have been brainwashed. Two million protesters, all brainwashed by western propaganda. Sort of like how Trump supporters are brainwashed by Russian propaganda on facebook, right?

              Great way to deny people agency.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                The Strait Times has an article about the president of the Republic of China, in Taibei, calling for the international community to stand by Hong Kong.

                (If a coup is the takeover of a government by force, is a rebel army defeating a governing government in a civil war also a coup?)

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    There might have been, gulp, foreign influence in that civil war, as was the case of the American civil war (from the UK, Russia, etc), in that the Fourth Field Army under Lin Biao was given the captured weapons of the Imperial Japanese Army and those of Manchuko by the Soviets.

                    That greatly helped to the CCP to capture Manchuria in the opening phase of the Chinese civil war, and the eventual (large degreed) coup.

              2. witters

                The thing is, people may have agency, but that agency might i) not mean much, ii) not be the agency they think it is. Here real radical politics starts.

            3. Yves Smith Post author

              I’ve posted direct accounts from people who have been there. Also there have been articles. From a contact, ex McKinsey:

              McK has clearly lost a significant amount of its moral compass. My favorite example is China. I’ve been to China often, built a factory there in the early 2000s, and our youngest son recently returned from working there (he’s fluent in Mandarin). Last fall Jane and I went to Xinjiang, the westernmost province of China, where the silk road enters China. That region and its capital, Kashgar, has gotten lots of recent press because of the oppression of the Uighur minority. It’s worse than most press describe. It’s a police state like the storm troopers of Star Wars. Last fall (after we were there) McK held its annual senior partner meeting in the desert near Kashgar. For that to have been done was, to me, a clear signal to the Chinese government of McK’s tacit approval of their actions there. It was appalling. No other part of China, including Tibet, is even remotely as oppressive.

    1. ambrit

      I have seen some stealth ‘ads’ for the military on the sides of the main roads here. The one I remember seeing yesterday said “Now Hiring” in big bold letters. Below that and in smaller letters was “United States Air Force.” Behind this signage was a stylized eagle.
      “Uncle Sam Wants Some of You!”

    1. pjay

      Thanks for this link. A very informative backgrounder on the intimate ties between the Ukrainian and US swamps that helps explain the ferocious Blob “resistance” in this theater.

  14. a different chris

    >“I have a 2012 Prius with 92k on it. I will dump it before 100k and buy a gasoline powered car.

    Pssst, dude, you have a gasoline powered car. We don’t call a GP40 a “electric” freight locomotive, we call it a diesel locomotive because that is the one and only source of power. Same with your 2012.

    Me, I wouldn’t even buy a plug-in hybrid, it’s like a…um, ok I can only come up with off color sex jokes this early in the morning. But a full electric vehicle would be my only new car choice now. Admittedly, I have 5 vehicles at all times so I can grab a gas-powered small car for long highway drives (would rent one actually as I don’t travel like that much sans horses anymore), my full-sized truck to pull the trailer or run to Lowes, but for day-to-day a Leaf would be the vehicle of choice. (no that doesn’t add up to 5, I also have a convertible that never runs and a couple of classics).

    Enjoy your Buick, I guess.

    1. ptb

      are you sure that’s true everywhere? I’d say in most parts of the country (as in outside SoCal or AZ) an affordable circa 100mpg hybrid is a better use of resources than a more expensive plug-in that charges on fossil fueled electrons. More versatile to boot, and if you’re talking Tesla, less prone to catastrophic fires. Albeit not as cool.

      A “plug-in hybrid” would of course be the best of both worlds.

      1. a different chris

        What’s true everywhere? Not sure what you are referring to in my post.

        Yeah a 100mpg hybrid would be the best use of (fuel) resources for long trips, but I was also – as is my way, agreeing with all sides sigh – agreeing that a hybrid is a really complicated beast and when all costs and environmental impacts are considered it can get dicey.

        Note that your local “fossil fuel” plant can translate 40% or better of that fossil fuel to electrons, whilst that gas engine is lucky to get to 25% output efficiency and then there’s the conversion loss on top of that.

        Anyway, to clarify my thoughts: I’m not going to lug a gas engine around when I have less that 50miles/day to go on average. And I’m not sure – might, but understand people who would argue against it -to lug an electric drivetrain around when I know I’m going to burn gas at some point anyway. The Prius that started the discussion only gets 1/2 of your 100mpg. I had a turbo diesel that got about the same, although what came out of the pipe was admittedly horrible. (But it could also run on fryer oil, not that I ever tried it or would that be workable for the country as a whole.)

        I wish we had decent train service, really.

        1. ptb

          fair enough…
          My disagreement is fairly minor.

          I could quibble about the hybrid’s weight of a petrol powerplant vs the considerably larger battery on the full plug-in (the rest of the drive train is equally electric on both).

          Youre right about the higher thermodynamic efficiency difference, and of course in a few decades we will have mostly wind and solar when possible. I would however trade that efficiency off for the convenience of easy filling that a liquid fuel provides (or if you like, the high peak power / transmission cost associated with “fast chargers”, if widely used).

          By the way a turbo diesel hybrid would be my dream technology at this point in time – totally acknowledging that there are some pretty important technical barriers not yet solved to do with catalytic converters on TD’s (was the ultimate motivation of the VW scandal).

          And yes, trains / mass transit. thank you!

          1. inode_buddha

            I heard that VW *does* in fact have a turbodiesel hybrid that gets 100mpg with vanishingly low pollution, but I don’t know if it is in production. The technology really isn’t that different from diesel locomotives — its easy to design an engine to be very efficient at only one given speed and set of conditions, which is what VW did. The Batteries do all the heavy lifting while the engine just keeps them charged up. The engine itself was pretty small, motorcycle sized.

            I was quite interested in this, then they had that scandal and I never heard of it again.

            1. Angie Neer

              Seems to me I’ve seen some mention of VW’s work on diesels with vanishingly small pollution…can’t quite recall though…something about federal prison.

              1. inode_buddha

                Nope, different car, different engine altogether. They hybrid had an all-new 1-litre diesel. The engines affected by their emissions debacle were all the 2-litre current production.

    2. Ignacio

      I will probably buy an all-purpose plug-in hybrid sedan. With about 40 km autonomy I could run 90% of my miles on electric (home-spmkt-home transits for instance, or to pick up my mother at the residence on sunday).

      1. a different chris

        Yes if as often as once-a-week you need to go a (fill in numbers here*) then the hybrid make sense.

        *I work with (worst-cold+max-overnight-charge+midlife-battery-capacity) and come up with 50miles a day as no-worries which means something as simple as a Leaf will work, giving me twice what I need for the work commute and leaving me enough to go see Mom on any given day.

    3. Chas

      We bought a 2019 Nissan Leaf, all electric, and love it. No spark plugs, no carburetor, no oil to change, no tune-ups needed. For the 7,500 mile check-up all the dealer was going to do was rotate the tires so I did that myself. There are very few moving parts to wear out. The car was supposed to have a range of 226 miles, but we have been getting way better than that, even up to 290 miles in the heat of summer.

      1. cnchal

        No carburetor? Cars haven’t had those for at least a quarter century.

        Other than the engine and related componenets, there are just as many moving parts to wear out. Ball joints, struts, brakes, tie rod ends all of it your expense, and after the warranty expires, a few buried sensors or electronic control boards go bad and the car is scrapped.

        I am glad you love it, now. How quickly that turns to hate is the question. Oh, and a heads up, be careful with replacement tires. The wrong choice can shorten your range, a lot.

        Natural gas, good. Gasoline, bad.

        1. bob

          Tires life is also the big, expensive thing that a lot of people with “electric cars” are complaining about. I’ve read that it cuts the life of the tires in half, if not more.

          Modern cars have engines that can perform without anything but oil changes for over 100,000 miles. The engine is not the source of most of the cost of maintaining a car.

      2. polecat

        How many mopes can afford a Leaf, or any othe new ride .. or even used, for that matter, electric or not ?? Being ‘green’ matters not, if one has to rely on debt peonage/financial penury to locomote. Not everyone gets a free ride ala little St. Greta !
        For all you wedded to the cult of ‘Progress’, I have a question : Where’s My cheap, reliable ride .. ??
        Back in the day, it was a VW Beetle, or its equivalent …. not any more.

        bloody f#cking hell !! Isay we go back 80 yrs or so, and bring back the city-wide trolley systems of yesteryear, as a way to cut back on personal transportation .. and as a different chris above stated, bring back decent train/rail service. We already have the right-of-ways .. ei roads/freeways/interstates …

        1. cnchal

          > Where’s My cheap, reliable ride .. ??

          If I may make a recommendation, look for a gen 6 (1998 -2002) Honda Accord, two or four door with the four cylinder engine and 5 speed manual transmission. Really nice car, smooth, comfortable, great driving position and visibility, easy on gas, neutral handling with a bit of understeer that you can fling around a ramp, and they don’t break. I am running one to death with almost 300,000 miles, original clutch, starter, alternator, radiator, coolant hoses, and I could go on. Takes a pothole with nary a shudder, and did I mention they don’t break. I maintain it myself, including the timing and balancer belt. What it doesn’t have, is status.

          I love them so much, I looked for and found a low mileage mint one. A backup car for keeps, from before cars became crapified.

          $3 to $4 thousand all in and you have a sweet ride. Let the debt serfs in their new crapmobiles look down their noses at you and have the last laugh.

  15. Wukchumni

    ‘Go back to California’: Wave of newcomers fuels backlash in Boise Los Angeles Times

    “Californian Go Home” notes left under my windshield wipers, my neighbors resentful of me being an equity refugee, hostility towards me only the basis of from whence I came.

    Yeah, none of that stuff happens when you go intra-state instead of out of it. There’s a lot of cool California out there, go find it.

    1. chuckster

      Here in Arizona, we want Trump to build a wall not on the Mexican border, but on the border with California to keep you all out. Phoenix has become a suburb of Los Angeles. Haven’t seen that many walled-in, gated communities since I was in South America.

        1. jrs

          Yea I know someone who left L.A. for there because they couldn’t find a job :(. Another because they couldn’t afford a house. One because they couldn’t afford a house and wanted more guns.

          The idealistic people left for Portland, the pragmatists for Phoenix. If they want to live in gated communities after all that, it’s all a big pretend to be in a class they simply aren’t part of. It’s a big club and they aren’t in it.

      1. Wukchumni

        One thing I noticed in regards to Phoenix when driving on the 10 freeway, was all the electric billboards that hit you with 3 messages as you cruise by, about 1/3rd of them are for lawyers of every conceivable stripe (burn lawyer, motorcycle lawyer, husband & wife lawyers, ‘in a wreck-need a check lawyer’, unlawful termination lawyer, big truck wreck lawyer, etc.) offering their services.

        …you’d think it was the main industry in town

      2. The Rev Kev

        I saw a cartoon saying that the true purpose in life of Oregon was to stop all but the most determined Californians from getting to Washington State

    2. Plenue

      What rich idiots are moving to Idaho anyway? Sorry to any Idahoans reading this, but Idaho is a godawful wasteland of a state. I always dreaded having to go there on “””vacation””” as a kid.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “These Devastating Photos Show The Effects Of The Massive Bushfires In Australia”

    It has been hazy the past two days with the smoke pervading the air. And with the fires you are seeing people at their best – and at their worse. A well know local politician named Barnaby Joyce said that the two people that died must have been Green party voters though he denied it after, even though it was on tape. A domestic violence advocate named Sherele Moody said at a Greens press conference that firefighters returning home will probably beat their partners due to the stress which went down like a lead balloon. Rock spiders both of them.
    Meanwhile the Prime Minister and his Ministers have been getting nasty about the suggestion that there is a connection between the fires and climate change and that ‘now is not the time’ to talk about it – which nobody is buying. His suggestion of ‘thoughts and prayers’ went over like a fart in an elevator too, especially by people who have lost their homes.
    Meanwhile the fire-fighters are putting up a helluva fight. One fire has a frontage of about 1,000 kilometers (over 600 miles) and they are really stretched. A water-bombing helicopter crash-landed but the pilot is OK. Firefighters from New Zealand have arrived to lend a hand in fighting these fires. There are also fire-fighters from the southern State of Victoria also fighting as well. They may end up calling out the Army to help. Seems that the smoke in the air was so thick that it stopped a cold front from freshening up the fires so, that’s good – kinda? A US DC-10 Air Tanker 911 has been loaded with firefighting equipment and will be heading down south shortly. Man, it’s getting bad here. I may have to move to somewhere safer when this is all over. Maybe California?

    1. Monty

      Maybe California?

      Pretty sure they wouldn’t give you a Green Card after reviewing your subversive opinions on the here!

      It’s OK though, I heard you can skip the application process and just walk in. If you tell them you are scared of the fires, they are obliged to let you in and give you and your family tree full bennies!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Perhaps not moving to California, but instead, to China (except maybe Hong Kong at the present time)?

          Would that be a choice worth defending?

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Perhaps Moscow, though daylight is in short supply in the winter, even if I can be sure that websites like this great one, which is in the US, can be found over there.

              Not being able to engage in challenging discussions, even if there are many other positives, would be a big negative for any migration destination.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  But how many of us would be able to criticize a less-than-perfect Moscow while there, as people from all over the world can do on this website about the US, or would like to move there, as the first choice?

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    True. But as been seen in links here the past coupla days, the number of websites like NC are being steadily reduced. Remember, as an example, how Peter Thiel secretly bankrupted Gawker? Or how the FBI secretly investigated
                    That PropOrNot list from three years ago was not just a smear. It was a declaration of war by the main stream media against the independents. That was why the Washington Post spruiked them. Hard times ahead.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      I don’t know if I recall this correctly, but in the past, there had been attempts, from not domestically, but abroad, to disrupt this website.

    2. paul

      Spoke to my young brother (NSW rural fire service) this morning and the situation just sounds nuts.

      Nowhere’s safe and they are just being overwhelmed by the number and size of the fires. He had just finished dousing the embers of the primary school his children went to and has no idea what will happen to his current town.

      May god bless them all.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      You used the expression ‘rock spider’ — “Rock spiders both of them.” I am not familiar with that expression. Would you please tell me about it, it sounds useful.

          1. The Rev Kev

            bwilli123 was right with the original definition but what I am hearing come out of some people’s mouths like that Sherele Moody was so vile that I felt that they were on the same level as these people.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              Thanks! — just seemed a little extreme to me. If you were Dante wouldn’t you give each of these types of vile behavior its own fitting circle for punishments — punishments to fit the crime.

  17. Wukchumni

    Gulf Oysters Are Dying, Putting a Southern Tradition at Risk New York Times.
    Occasionally i’ll look @ old menus on eBay that somebody purloined 80 years ago, and one item that damn near every menu has no matter the location, is 3 or 4 different kinds of oysters, and you never ever see that hardly here in California when you go out to eat. How about the rest of the country, how common are oysters offered?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I haven’t been out to eat in while. When I did a few years ago there was on oyster dish available at the bar in Annapolis as an appetizer. A friend is fond of oysters and a few searches on the web turned up several East Coast oyster farmers who would ship oysters by the dozens.

      1. Wukchumni


        In general, i’d say that restaurants had about 50% more food offerings on menus way back when, as compared to now.

    2. Danny

      Sadly, even if they were available, and inexpensive, you wouldn’t want to eat them for health reasons–unless they came from really remote and clean locations. Oysters are filter feeders. PCBS, furans, pesticides, all kinds of industrial chemicals become part of their flesh through the wonders of chemistry. Farmed oysters, fish and shrimp, are fed food containing toxic chemicals that accumulate.

      Between Fukushima’s radiation toxifying seaweed, spices and fish, and China’s giant chemical dump culture, nothing from Asia is clean anymore. The U.S. allows Japanese food to be imported into the U.S. that the Japanese government will not allow the sale of.

      Eating an oyster from around the Mississippi Delta is sort of like chewing up a used cigarette filter. The good news is one can eat high quality organic food to help protect one’s health, rather than using their teeth dig a grave, like most people do.

      1. neo-realist

        Not to sound like a wishful thinker, but we haven’t yet seen any serious cancer clusters here on the west coast where people love to eat sushi, which presumably comes from Fukushima tainted water.

    3. Liberal Mole

      We have an oyster farm in clean, shallow Morro Bay, and an abalone farm on the headlands above Cayucos. They sell pretty much exclusively to fancy restaurants. Never seen them at supermarkets or farmers markets. Like all farming, it’s a scary business. The owner said his first year they planted 3 million oysters, and a red tide (which never usually happens in Morro Bay) killed 97% of them.

      1. Danny

        Like PG&E’s corporate culture of infrastructure maintenance?
        You’ll love what’s coming out of their twin nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon, just upstream from Morro Bay.

        1. polecat

          Danny. Diablo Canyon is Downstream from Morro bay, not up. Close proximity, granted, but at least the coastal marine currents trend southwards, so that means Avila Beach on south won’t be in need of jellies for tidal illumination at night.

  18. Craig H.

    > A US federal court finds suspicionless searches of phones at the border is illegal

    Does this make a difference? Is this going to stop them from searching whatever they want?

    Sort of like that movie scene where the guy says he doesn’t need no stinkin’ badges.

    (Trivia: he says, “I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges”.)

    (trivia 2: my spell check says suspicionless ain’t a word.)

  19. Carolinian

    Pierce in Esquire

    Nikki Haley, truly one of the most stunningly ambitious political creatures of my long experience

    Oh heck yes, and she doesn’t even have the competence to be very subtle about her zeal to say or do what is necessary so that her rich backers will–as she thinks–buy her the presidency. 2024 will undoubtedly be the battle of the shills. Will it be Haley or will it be Rubio?

    1. Wukchumni

      The whole ‘highly placed people worried about the direction the country is going’ and wanted me to get involved but I ain’t no turncoat rigmarole as she staked out liar ground, turned my stomach.

      We really do have the politicians we rightly deserve…

  20. a different chris

    I lost track of how I got to this Vice link, whether directly or from some other link on this site, but talk about a level of mendacious stupidity that I was hoping was contained to America’s borders:

    Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack had some harsh words those trying to link climate change to the fires, too.

    “They don’t need the ravings of some pure enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time when they’re trying to save their homes,” said of the victims of the fires on ABC Radio National on Monday.

    WTF. What a clown show the human race is.

    Here’s the link in case isn’t actually in the above, like I said I don’t know how I got there:

  21. djrichard

    Fed Reserve once again weighing in on unsustainability of the federal deficit

    Good to see so many comments on that from the blue team on how to put the federal deficit on a sustainable path /sarc

    Red team comment that always plays well against dem programs and will play well against medicare-for-all: “we don’t have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.”

    Anyways, too bad there isn’t a megaphone with the opposing view point: the deficit isn’t a problem.

  22. Danny

    Go Back to California article:

    (The Boise mayoral candidate’s) basic tenet: “The longer you live here, the less you pay. Sixty-year residents would pay no property taxes, while newcomers would shoulder the burden.”
    “This gives much needed relief to longtime residents and forces new people to pay their share,” he said on his Facebook page. “Maybe it just might make them think twice about moving here. It would also discourage out-of-state investors.”

    Clear speaking from a non-professional politician. We need more of that.

    That’s what California’s Proposition 13 is. The longer you have lived here, the lower your property assessment, relative to increasing housing prices caused by population growth and speculation. Add to the property tax bill, the add on bonds and special fee assessments, meant to go around the will of the people.

    “That’s not fair, whine the real estate agents hungry for the percentages that they could make on flipping houses to rich Chinese, and the social activists looking for cheaper places to live and into which they can move their relatives from Latin America, plus a lot of long term residents who have been priced out by the immgrants, speculators and Wall Street parasites, like Mnuchin.

    Say someone has lived in a house for the last 41 years and has been paying property taxes all that time; those dollars with which they paid their property taxes were worth a lot more then than they are now.

    The long term residents have paid for and built the infrastructure that newcomers use. The Democrats want to void Proposition 13 to basically seize the homes of long term poor and middle class people to pay for newly arrived mostly non-taxpayers who will perpetuate them in power.

    The State is flush with cash. We don’t have a revenue issue, we have an ideology, prioritization and leadership issue rooted in thought leadership of a one party system.

    1. Monty

      That is an interesting way to frame prop 13, and makes a lot of sense to me. Do you think they would ever be able to get enough votes to overturn it?

      1. anon in so cal

        They keep trying, using various tactics. There was a referendum on the Los Angeles ballot within the past year to levy a “parcel tax” on lots, to fund school construction. Taxpayers remembered how the LAUSD spent (squandered) funds voters had previously approved.

        If Prop 13 is eliminated, it will wipe out what’s left of middle class homeowners.

        1. Danny

          Think what that would do to raise rents as property owners suddenly faced huge new reassessments and people kicked out of homes by the taxman had to seek rentals.

          Housing prices would drop, but that would also affect expensive new homes not not benefiting from Prop 13, thus overall property tax collections might actually go down.

          There is a small number of long term residents, poor, middle class and veterans, still covered by Proposition 13, no one ever mentions that.


          There is something wrong with an oil refinery never being reassessed because the shell company that owns it changes hands, thus never a reassessment.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      How would this scheme of declining taxes depending on term of residence handle a rental residence owned and rented out by a long term resident to newcomers? Do you suppose widespread use of this sort of tax policy might tend to tie people to an area? What are they supposed to do if all the jobs leave an area? What about someone born in a city who leaves and comes back? Your straightforward scheme seems a little problematic to me.

      Why not look to State and Federal Revenues based on income to support schools, public transportation, a public utility, and other common services? Property taxes are not the best way to fund these things. [I’ll have to leave working out the details of the kind of property taxes we should have to Michael Hudson who has spent a lot time, thought, and energy addressing that issue.]

      1. Danny

        Your first sentence: Limit it to owner occupied homes only. State rent control is now in place, therefore–over time– new arrivals pay more, the longer a renter is there, the lower their rent relative to the market rate.

        Tie people to an area? That’s called “stability” and enhances community and schools. Job availability is a problem for sure.

        Lots of school expenses are outside of Prop 13. Bonds, and other means of getting around the Proposition.

        What Is a Mello-Roos?

        “A Mello-Roos is an ad hoc California tax district created to finance an infrastructure project. A district may be created only with the approval of two-thirds of voters and permits a special tax to be assessed on its residents. The state law allowing such districts was implemented in 1982 as a way for local governments to bypass the state’s 1978 cap on property tax increases.

        The Mello-Roos tax law remains controversial. California developers have been known to advertise their newly-constructed houses as “No Mello-Roos!”

        1. The Historian

          “Tie people to an area? That’s called “stability” and enhances community and schools.”

          That type of thinking is called stability? Odd, back in Europe during the Middle Ages and beyond, they called that serfdom. I find it interesting how all those old ideas come back under new names. I’m still trying to figure out how you think being tied to an area enhances community and schools, though. Seems to me that all it does is create a fear of outsiders, a fear of anything new, and a fear of change.

          1. jrs

            I call it pure (class) prejudice to assume renters are never interested in stability, including in staying in a place a long time (although jobs might force otherwise of course, but homeowners aren’t exempt from that either). Of course massive rent increases can also force otherwise.

            Renters merely aren’t rich, and to buy in CA, oh yea baby you need to be rich. Some people just chose the wrong parents (not rich ones), only earn middle class or (gasp where is the fainting couch?) less wages etc..

    3. The Historian

      In defense of Boise:

      There is much in that article that is true, but then there is much that is exaggerated. Yes, the cost of housing in Boise has risen dramatically. My house was just assessed for tax purposes at twice what I paid for it six years ago. That kind of housing increase is crazy, to say the least, and I doubt if it can be sustained for long.

      And yes, the population of Boise has been growing rapidly while the state’s minimum wage has stayed at $7.25/hr. Most places in Boise pay more than the state’s minimum wage though I can’t tell you how much more. All I know is that there are many job postings on many of the stores and some list the wage.

      But I haven’t seen all the California hate that this article purports to exist. The people of Boise are still very friendly and helpful, and Boise considers itself a welcoming city – meaning that it takes in immigrants from all over. So far that has not been a problem with the residents of Boise and its suburbs, nor for that matter have been people from anywhere, including California. I too monitor the NextDoor sites and in the six years I have been here, I have only seen one person commenting on outsiders and that person was shot down by other posters rather quickly. Seems to me that the California hate, if it truly exists, comes more from the small towns outside of Boise which aren’t as friendly to outsiders now and never have been.

      I live on the outskirts, not in Boise, so I don’t get to vote for Mayor, but I can tell you that the mayoral candidate who tried to run on that plan to tie property taxes to the length of time a person lived in Boise only got 1.6% of the total vote. Obviously, the people of Boise didn’t care that much for him or his plan.

      For me, moving to Boise was a relief – not having to deal with East or West Coast attitudes any more!

  23. Summer

    “Angela Merkel urges EU to seize control of data from US tech titans” Financial Times (David L)

    Despite all the “globalist” “one world” cliches, every country is worried about meddling in their political and social affairs. That doesn’t really fit with reverence for “winner-take-all” in the economy.

  24. montanamaven

    The impeachment hearings testimonies so far are pretty simple; RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA! Ukraine great. Russia bad.
    George Kent is a advertisement for why we shouldn’t pay much attention to anybody from a family who has been in “civil service” for generations. He went on and on about how it’s important to have foreign help and compared the help we got from French Lafayette and the German von Steuben during the American war for independence in 1776 to the fight for freedom in Ukraine is today. The Ukrainians need our help and we Americans are the von Steubens and Lafayettes of modern times. Seemed he mostly wanted to impress us all with how he passed American history with flying colors in whatever academy he attended.
    So basically it comes down to who should run US foreign policy; an elected president or the “civil service”. Clearly these guys want to keep this whole cold war going and are really pissed that anybody should challenge this. These are people who I do not want to have a beer with. These are boring banal bureaucrats.
    I just got back from a trip to Berlin and I went to the Stasi museum. Acres and Acres of files and dreary cubicles where bureaucrats collected data on their fellow Germans. Banality of evil times ten. We have strong reasons to be skeptical about these civil servants.

      1. montanamaven

        Thanks for reminding me about our civil war. He also seems to have forgotten that the Russians helped us win WWII at much cost. They were instrumental in defeating those Nazis in Western Ukraine. Now we are actually backing descendants of those thugs and trashing the Russians. My head is in danger of exploding.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The Russians helped us win WWII at much cost…


          1. It was more ‘the Soviets’ and not just the Russians.
          2. It was not they ‘helped us win WWII,’ any more than it was that the US helped the USSR win WWII. All victors helped each other win WWII.
          2b.It was not a war for the US to win, with help from others, any more than it was a war for the USSR to win, with help from others. No one nation is the sole or main protagonist.
          3. Much cost also on the part of the Chinese people, under separate control the CCP and the KMT at the time. With their keeping busy the Imperial Japanese army, divisions were able to be sent to Moscow, Stalingrad and elsewhere. Relocating factories to Siberia became a safer choice than otherwise.
          4. Lend Lease to the USSR started in Sept. 1941, a few months before the Pearl Harbor attack (Dec. 1941), reading Wikipedia time line in one of the entries. At the start, then, it was more the US helping the USSR, directly or immediately, with Lend Lease. Indirectly, FDR saw it as helping America down the line…mutually beneficial…win-win.

          1. The Rev Kev

            ‘at much cost’

            I believe that about roughly 80% of all Wehrmacht deaths were on the eastern front or something on that order. By the time the Allies landed in the west, most of the best German formations were long gone which is why it took only 11 months from the D-Day landings to the final surrender.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Also much cost on the part of China, in holding down the Japanese Imperial Army.

              The KMT fought differently, under the philosophy of Jiang Baili, who years before WWII, wrote of trading land (vast land of China) to gain advantage.

              The cost would have been greater if China had refused to surrender Shanghai or Beiping, but instead, held on to it like the USSR with, say, Leningrad or Stalingrad. There could have been easily millions more in cost.

    1. Olga

      Posted a link about the czar’s navy helping the Union in the civil war by blocking British from helping the south – he’d probably never heard of it. The link got lost in moderation, but the help was real.

      1. The Rev Kev

        There are still half a dozen graves in San Francisco of Russian sailors who died there while taking part in protecting that city from Confederate raiders. The Russian Consulate replaced the markers several years ago and all hell broke loose. The closure of the Russian Consulate there may have been payback against them for this act in light of how the other headstones have apparently been neglected-

  25. Carey

    ‘I was a liberal NY prof, but when I said the left was going too far, colleagues called me a NAZI & treated me like a RUSSIAN SPY’:

    “..Although I was not fired for airing my views, my life on campus was made intolerable. Within two days of my interview’s appearance, I was called into the dean’s office and pressured to go on a paid leave of absence by him and the head of human resources. “People are concerned about you,” the dean said. The implication was that I must be crazy for differing with the campus orthodoxy. I was also roundly denounced by an official committee, called the Liberal Studies Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group, who ended their sentencing by declaring: “The cause of his guilt is the content and structure of his thinking.” I have since dubbed them “the Conformity, Inequity and Exclusion Group.” They demand conformity with their “social justice” creed, treat as less than equal anyone who doesn’t conform, and attempt to exclude dissidents from the university, and by extension, from academia at large..”

    1. Monty

      A quick read of his Twitter pronouncements has me agreeing with them about, “the content and structure of his thinking.”. A procession of right-wing garbage talking points. Seems like just another repulsive, spiteful bell-end looking to ape Jordan P’s path to fame and profit.

      1. jrs

        Right wingers make whole careers talking about how persecuted they are in liberal academia and other places (nice that the Russians are helping I guess). It sure beats working for a living: cha ching. Meanwhile how many better qualified starving adjuncts would grasp at the chance at a professorship. I’m not saying there aren’t legitimate critiques to be made, there are. But this stuff is usually being milked for fun and profit, especially profit. And the right will make you rich. And the left? Well uh … Can anyone even name the modern academic equivalent of a Chomsky?

        You wonder why there is a REAL LEFT? Because people with actual thinking and teaching chops get nothing but gigs, but overstuffed professors (ok Boomers) bloviate on about “the left”, with nothing much original to say.

      2. jrs

        No, no the man’s a real genius. There he is defending Zuckerberg, and there he is commenting “The main suffering derived from climate change is the psychological distress suffered by believers in it.” While he’s not worrying about “menstruating men” and linking to Brietbart and thinking women “call in sick with cramps” (because women just love discussing their reproductive systems with their employers afterall).

        Because “menstruating men” is a MUCH more important issue to talk about than climate change, which is a source of mere psychological distress in believers afterall ..

        Oh and “Take your “collective good” and shove it.” says the rugged invididualist who has lived off tenure.

        1. inode_buddha

          It would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. You can tell from a mile away when somebody hasn’t spent any time in the real world. Stuff like this is the entire reason I left academia, not that I was ever involved, just disgusted.

  26. Stephanie

    Verso Corporation Announces Sale of Androscoggin and Stevens Point Mills for $400 million Yahoo. RPW: “The incredible shrinking Verso.” Another sorry chapter in the private equity ruination of coated paper mills that should have stayed competitive.

    Tin-foil hat on: What does this do to the viability of print as a medium? The industry is already a ghost of what it was even 20 years ago. As it becomes more difficult and more expensive to get coated stock for retail advertising (catalogs, Sunday circulars, junk mail), it becomes easier and easier for marketing departments to shift dollars to their electronic campaigns. So that’s more presses and press operators sitting idle, more plants closing as the big players consolidate, more technical knowledge lost, more opportunity for communication to be channeled through systems that are monitored and modified in real time.

    Okay, tin foil hat off.

    1. elissa3

      Beyond hilarious. Thank you.

      Public service announcement: don’t click on the link with and hot or cold liquid in hand.

  27. Wukchumni

    The largest milking concern in the country went bankrupt the other day, and one of the reasons cited was lactoseluster sales in the USA.

    When I was a kid, all the dairies were in Chino, Ca., now they’ve moved up to the CVBB, and a friend is a trucker, who tells me that 2-3x a week, he goes and picks up milk powder to be delivered to the Port of LA and then onto China, where the demand is.

    1. Monty

      I heard that those familiar with the process know it as, “Pasteurized Pus”. This is due to the chronic mastitis that dairy cows develop on their factory farms.

      1. anon in so cal

        In California, at least, there are no ethical dairies; the industry is based on cruelty. It’s more ethical to eat a steak than to drink a glass of milk.

        Also ghastly are the veal farms in California’s central valley. Mile after mile of these tiny wooden enclosures where baby calves are forced to stand, immobilized, until they are slaughtered.

    2. inode_buddha

      You’ll have to tell your SO that the Upstate Milk co-op in Batavia is still doing just fine. Nice, clean milk every AM. They were recently hiring for a plant expansion but I sat out this round.

    3. bob

      Dean foods is a PE run flash in the pan. For the past 5-10 years they were buying everything and making huge profits through market share alone. I’d bet the BK benefits the owners, somehow.

      There were plenty of stories on Dean foods, and how wonderful they were.

  28. xkeyscored

    Intel struggles to close potentially damaging chip flaws Financial Times
    As you’d expect from the FT, this is paywalled, but I guess it’s basically the same as this piece from 4 hours ago.
    Remember Spectre and Meltdown? Well, it turns out Intel’s patches didn’t entirely do the job.

    The ‘fundamental design flaw’ in Intel’s CPUs came to light last year, with the security vulnerabilities dubbed Spectre and Meltdown. They would allow an attacker to view data in kernel memory, which could span anything from cached documents to passwords …
    Apple and Microsoft issued patches based on Intel fixes, but security researchers say they identified additional variants of the flaws which the chipmaker took six months to patch – and further unpatched vulnerabilities remain. …
    The Dutch researchers had remained quiet for eight months about the problems they had discovered while Intel worked on the fix it released in May. Then when Intel realized the patch didn’t fix everything and asked them to remain quiet six more months, it also requested that the researchers alter a paper they had planned to present at a security conference to remove any mention of the unpatched vulnerabilities, they said. The researchers said they reluctantly agreed to comply because they didn’t want the flaws to become public knowledge without a fix.
    “We think it’s time to simply tell the world that even now Intel hasn’t fixed the problem,” said Herbert Bos, a colleague of Mr. Giuffrida and Mr. Razavi at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam […]
    “Anybody can weaponize [the Intel chip security flaws]. And it’s worse if you don’t actually go public, because there will be people who can use this against users who are not actually protected,” Mr. Razavi said.

    And it’s a given that the NSA/NSO etc are already all over these vulnerabilities.

  29. xkeyscored

    US held record number of migrant children in custody in 2019 Associated Press
    “The nearly 70,000 migrant children who were held in government custody this year — up 42 percent in fiscal year 2019 from 2018 — spent more time in shelters and away from their families than in prior years. The Trump administration’s series of strict immigration policies has increased the time children spend in detention, despite the government’s own acknowledgment that it does them harm.”
    Should we expect Trump to trumpet this as an achievement during his re-election campaign? I expect some of his supporters see it as such. The UK government even has “A Hostile Environment” (officially for migrants, so far) as a catchphrase.

  30. WestcoastDeplorable

    Resilc: “I have a 2012 Prius with 92k on it. I will dump it before 100k and buy a gasoline powered car. It is way too complex and the marginal gas benefit isnt that great for me. Complex=repair$ and finding the labor qualified to fix…”
    Sorry but you must own a Prius from a different universe. I, too, have a 2012 Prius (mine is a plug-in model) with 83k on it; no problem finding “qualified labor” (as close as my local Toyota dealer), and other than oil and filter changes, and tires, I’ve found it to be a steady, reliable, non labor intensive vehicle..yes I’d buy it again!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Resilc lives in Vermont. You are generalizing from a different universe. Also I suspect the difference in weather makes a big difference. Batteries don’t generate heat, so in winter you either drain your battery quickly or wind up using gas.

  31. Brooklin Bridge

    Driving Tests Coming for Autonomous Cars

    I expect such “tests” will at least in part (and perhaps more and more over time) be more for public consumption than for ensuring actual safety. They talk about the Turing test and “fooling people into thinking it’s human.”

    I don’t want to be fooled into thinking autonomous cars are safe. And I see little evidence as to why I should trust the main stream media to report anything w-h-a-t s-o e-v-e-r truthfully, never mind the mortality rate related to autonomous vehicles upon which multiple economic giants (that control said media lock stock and barrel) depend on to pay for their staggering investments.

    I suspect even now that the companies such as Google are looking at what already amounts to stunningly huge investments and wondering if the technology will actually ever get off the ground without some serious bending of public perception not to mention a legal framework that can be used to justify making these total control machines compulsory in the event the public concludes that if it must be killed in a tiny cube of near flying metal, at least let it be their own damned fault and not that of some profit driven algo in the clouds.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The disruption would be attempted, I imagine, along the line of assuming ti think or to see that ‘non autonomous cars, human pedestrians and animals/plants’ are not safe, with the implied default assumption that autonomous cars are safe, and go from there, as the initial step, to improve road safety.

      Then, the problem is not as unmanageable.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Yes, to improve road safety is the ostensible goal right now, you’re right. But do you really think these companies care that much about road safety or do they rather care about profit? As it stands, they are spending money like drunken sailors on the technology and the timelines for true level 4 and 5 autonomy keep stretching out further and further away. I just don’t believe in the goodness of Google (or any of the others in the race) to keep at it for the sake of reduced fatalities. That’s more along the lines of being a selling point as well as a backbone argument to take over the roads ( prohibiting human drivers and affordable automobiles or more precisely, automobile ownership – all in the name of safety) and one that can be changed along the way.

        Rather, I expect the end game is something more along the lines of an almost complete monopoly of transportation and the shifting of the ownership model over to one of rental. That, or some other closely related form of self interest, I think, is more the long term vision of such companies to recoup their investments than saving human lives. I’m not sure climate change won’t get in the way of that dystopia, but for the moment the threat of climate change to the neo-liberal dream of limitless economic expansion seems to elude the investor’s radar.

Comments are closed.