Links 11/21/19

Owner reunited with cat found 1,200 miles from Portland home BBC

‘Code Red’ alert issued as Australia fires continue to burn RTE

The planet is burning Aeon (Anthony L)

Extinction crisis: how can we end the illegal wildlife trade? Financial Times

Israeli Company Figures Out How to Turn Household Garbage Into Injection-Moldable Thermoplastic Core77

Cement has a carbon problem. Here are some concrete solutions. Grist

How the U.S. Air Force Turns an F-16 Fighter Into a Drone Popular Mechanics (resilc)

A Military Draft to Confront Climate Change? American Conservative (resilc)

Exclusive: Humans placed in suspended animation for the first time New Scientist

What to do if you’re exposed to tear gas Popular Science


The US and China may not sign a ‘phase-one’ trade deal until 2020 Business Insider

China Is Out of Economic Ammo Against the U.S. Noah Smith, Bloomberg


Brexit talks: the brutal reckoning that awaits the UK Financial Times

Lib Dems launch ‘Stop Brexit’ election manifesto ahead of UK general election Politico

George Osborne admits he’s considering abandoning the Tories to vote Lib Dem Sun

Polish workers abandoning Brexit Britain in favour of Germany Aljazeera

En verdad el perro de Evo fue asesinado por militares Debate (Jorge P). So maybe Evo’s dog is OK after all. But it does appear at a minimum that a dog was killed just for the hell of it.


Iran’s ‘only crime is we decided not to fold’ Asia Times (resilc)

Hours Before Deadline, Gantz Tells President He Has Failed to Form a Coalition Haaretz

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Facebook, Google business models a ‘threat to human rights’: Amnesty report DW

Senators Press Amazon For Answers On Ring’s Sloppy Security Practices Intercept

How the Iranian Government Shut Off the Internet Wired (David L)

The Roger Stone – Wikileaks – Russia Hoax Craig Murray (Adrien)

Researchers Warn That Your Political Ideology May Affect Job Offers TechTarget

Imperial Collapse Watch

US has spent $6.4 trillion on post-9/11 wars, a new study says CNBC

Trump Transition

Fed Agency Plans Are Not Adequate to Prevent 99.8% of U.S. Endangered Species From Suffering Climate Crisis, Study Says EcoWatch

Michelle Obama’s new book is just another craven cash grab New York Post (resilc)

Why Tim Cook made friends with Donald Trump The Verge

Trump hosted Zuckerberg for undisclosed dinner at the White House in October NBC. Looks like Trump is trying to do what Obama did for banks for Big Tech.

Why the Hell Did Democrats Just Extend the Patriot Act? New Republic (UserFriendly)


Gordon Sondland Accuses the President of Bribery LawFare (David L)

Impeachment hearing highlights conflict over US policy in Ukraine WSWS

I’ve Given Up All Hope in Senate Republicans Voting to Impeach TruthOut

2020. Being a bit sparing since the hot takes will have jelled by Water Cooler.

Biden Complains Moderators Keep Giving Him Ample Time To Speak The Onion

Joe Biden, In Departure from Obama Policy, Says He Would Make Saudi Arabia a “Pariah” Intercept

This MSNBC democratic debate was rigged against anti-establishment candidates Washington Examiner

Bernie Sanders Wins the Foreign Policy Debate Nation

The Corporate Media’s War Against Bernie Sanders Is Very Real Jacobin (furzy)

Do 160 Million Americans Really Like Their Health Plans? Kind Of Kaiser Health News. Mainly an online questionnaire, which is not terrific. Plus I pretty much always lie about my demographics on these things. But the big issue is that Americans have no idea how bad our system is. One of my friends grew up poor and because he worked for a grocery store part-time, he would buy food past the sell by date. When he got a job and a decent income, he said fresh snacks and bread didn’t taste right.

Deval Patrick Was an Overrated Governor New Republic

Google limiting and generalizing political ad targeting around the world 9to5Google

Fracking Under Fire In California OilPrice

The Long-Forgotten Flight That Sent Boeing Off Course Atlantic. More comments at HackerNews. Paul R singles out this one:

Despite all the press around the specifics of MCAS and the 737 MAX, the broken relationship between Boeing and the FAA, and the poor state of Boeing pilot training in many developing countries, this article reads as the single most damning piece about Boeing. The implication is that there isn’t a simple policy or process fix to get Boeing back on track, but that the company culture and leadership model is fundamentally broken and has been for the last 20 years. That is a slow and painful thing to recover from, and not many companies have done it successfully (though Microsoft and IBM come to mind as ones who made it through to the other side).

GM accuses Fiat Chrysler of corrupt bargaining with UAW Detroit News

The Navajo Generating Station Coal Plant Officially Powers Down. Will Renewables Replace It? GreenTech Media (Heresy 101). A problem with doing the right thing: 500 jobs lost.

Betrayed by the Big Four: whistleblowers speak out Financial Times (David L)

Rawls, Antigone and the tragic irony of norms Notes on Liberty (Brandon C). Important.

Class Warfare

Student-loan debt and skyrocketing housing prices have become so bad that more millennials are planning to rent forever Business Insider

Antidote du jour. CV took this photo of the Meadow Beauty at the beginning of the month, just before the deep freeze.

And a bonus. Funny, we haven’t had pandas for a while.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ignacio

    RE: En verdad el perro de Evo fue asesinado por militares Debate (Jorge P). So maybe Evo’s dog is OK after all. But it does appear at a minimum that a dog was killed just for the hell of it.

    This is quite weird. The news about the dog killing appeared yesterday (nov 20th). This post includes a picture of the dog that was posted on facebook on november 13th, so it is not proof the dog is alive and well. More over, the headline actually says that “It is true that Evo’s dog was killed by the military” and the same phrase appears in the picture subtext while this contradicts with the inner text saying the dog is alive and well. The sub-headline is badly written and has not been edited. For instance says “expresindete” instead of “expresidente”. This is a shoddy work.

  2. zagonostra


    Strange that I can’t find last night’s full debate online. I’ve googled and googled and all I find are clips. It shouldn’t be so hard for someone on the East Coast who had to go to bed early to wake up the next day and be able to see the full unadulterated “debate.” And why isn’t it on CSPAN, why is it on MSNBC that is so damn compromised it hurts my conscience to click on there site?

    What a screwed up political process they weave…

        1. Danny

          Combat veteran Tulsi’s takedown of Mayor Pete is toward the end.
          After he regurgitates the usual “You met with dictator Assad” politicavomit, Gabbard accuses him of cowardice for not willing to meet with certain world leaders, no matter who they are.

          His lower lip curls under, the body language of a wimp. All his memorized metronymic speeches–you can practically see the wind up key turning in his back–did not prepare him for this harsh reality.

          That one clip, looped over and over, would make a great video for Trump, were the Democrats foolish enough to let him anywhere near the final ballot.

  3. mamzer ben zonah

    What to do if you are exposed to CS tear gas:

    Because CS gas [actually a very fine powder] activates the TRP receptor, causing vesicle-mediated release of Substance-P [similar mechanism to capsaicin] it ought to be possible to block some effects by treatment with BTX-A [for example, a few drops of BOTOX in each eye to reduce conjunctival effects, and perhaps some BOTOX swish-and-spit for the mouth, maybe even some inhaled BOTOX mist to protect the airways.]
    Ideally this would be administered at pre-exposure prophylaxis. The protection would be expected to persist for at least a few days, perhaps as much as a week or more, and should take effect within an hour of administration.

    Pass this along to your [affluent] friends in Hong Kong!

    1. xkeyscored

      it ought to be possible to block some effects by treatment with BTX-A
      Maybe, but has anyone tried it? I found nothing on the internet through a quick Google search to back this up.
      I did find this, related to Botox injections:
      The botulinum toxin contained in Botox can spread to other body areas beyond where it was injected. This can cause serious life-threatening side effects.
      Call your doctor at once if you have a hoarse voice, drooping eyelids, vision problems, severe eye irritation, severe muscle weakness, loss of bladder control, or trouble breathing, talking, or swallowing.
      Hong Kongers and others, take note!

    2. shtove

      Or spend a week making batches of horseradish sauce in your unventilated kitchen. After that, tear gas shall hold no terror.

      1. Oregoncharles

        My son used that technique once to clear his sinuses. It did clear them; dynamite would, too. IOW, only if you’re truly desperate. And you need fresh horseradish available. It’s easy to grow, hard to get rid of.

  4. Olga

    The Navajo Generating Station Coal Plant Officially Powers Down. Will Renewables Replace It? GreenTech Media (Heresy 101). A problem with doing the right thing: 500 jobs lost.
    It’s not just the jobs lost, but also property tax revenue that power plants fork over to various communities that would also be lost (as they are often located outside urban areas, they are the largest single tax payer).
    Doing the right thing will be difficult – it must be done, but there are many issues to consider and work out. Given the state of public discourse in today’s USA, USA, I am not holding my breath.
    Not to mention the retraining of utility workers that will also need to happen.
    Of, course – all this also presents opportunities – if only one could detect a sign of intelligent life anywhere close by.

    1. ambrit

      As a denizen of the Neo American Siberia, (Gulag without walls,) the ‘retraining’ policy is widely recognized as a sick joke. Most of the ‘jobs’ available around here are either high end Credentialed ones or bottom of the heap Service tasks. The Middle Class is disappearing along with the middle class jobs. Logical and cruel, in effect, Neoliberal.

        1. JBird4049

          I’m not sure that my fellow city dwellers are “woke” enough of reality to be the Harkonnens although our own Blue overlords might be.

      1. Oh

        Retraining is a way for these good for nothing connected training companies to grab money fully knowing that it’s a sham!

      2. Lambert Strether

        > the ‘retraining’ policy is widely recognized as a sick joke.

        Retraining does, however, give jobs to (credentialed, politically connected) trainers. So there’s that.

        The Trillbillies are quite scathing on NGOs and grant-writing.

    2. Louis Fyne

      the US only produces 16% of the world’s CO2. Even if every American got raptured today at noon, the world is still in bad shape. Just saying.

      fission is the only tech that’ll dent CO2—barring Star Trek-level of tech developments in the next 5 years.

      and not holding my breath given the typical progressive-liberal reaction to the idea of more fission.

        1. Danny

          Mining and processing millions of tons of uranium ore,shipping that, then refining it to get a couple hundred pounds of fuel pellets, pouring thousands of tons of concrete, guarding the plants, reloading, cooling pond construction, guarding the waste, decommissioning and storing nuclear waste for half a million years creates a hell of a lot more carbon than the puny savings of nuclear versus coal, when all the other inputs are ignored.

          In addition, what’s never mentioned, is the environmental cost of creating the steel and concrete for the high voltage lines leading from the centralized nuke, or coal plant, the mining costs of steel, aluminum or copper for thousands of miles of wire and the associated carbon emissions and environmental destruction that causes.

          No thanks, solar electric and hot water panels on each home and commercial roof is much better for the environment, is more affordable and sustainable. Bonus for Nancy Pelosi and the ChickenLittleHawks that voted to extend the “Patriot Act”, no terrorist will hijack a plane to attack anyone’s roof like they might a nuke.

          1. David Mills

            Call me Don Quioxte….


            Argued it too many times already. Look up Kirk Sorrensen if your keen. Or Schellenberg’s TED Talk (although tge TED Talks have gotten bad with people like Luke “Collusion Hard-on” Harding and Charles “I dont pay no stinking taxes” Browder).

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      With the closure of the Navajo Generating Station a major justification for the existence of the Glen Canyon Dam has gone away. The dam’s reservoir, the name of which is an ongoing dishonor to the memory of John Wesley Powell, was its source of cooling water. It’s time to take the dam down and restore the wild, unpredictable flow of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, not to mention the river’s aquatic ecology.
      The dam has already had one close brush with death; it came perilously close to being washed away in the 1983 flood. The details of this event can be found in one of the best reads I’ve had in recent years, The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon. And the broader story of water in the western USA can be found in the incomparable Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water.

      1. Wukchumni

        There’s a charming used book store in Uptown Whittier, Ca. on Bailey, where everything is a buck or 2, sometimes they dare to mark em 5, but that would be for a 6 inch thick leather bound complete Shakespeare volume.

        Rifled through their classics for some favorites to pass on, and snagged Cadillac Desert, Blue Highways & A Confederacy of Dunces, each a mere greenback.

        I remember reading Cadillac Desert in the UK in the late 80’s, wondering how an author could make water so scintillating, the subject of.

        The dam immediately to the south of us, the former ‘Success Dam’ (renamed recently by our esteemed Congressman Kevin McCarthy, to honor one Richard Schafer, poor sap) was found to be in danger 20 years ago of a high risk of failure if an earthquake came calling, which would take out Porterville (tweakerville, bad meth problem there) if it went. It’s been kept at only 35% of capacity as a precaution.

        As an aside, this is the area where Lucifer’s Hammer by Niven & Pournelle was set.

        It’s a dam that needs to go, not be renamed.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          Maybe it was the very name originally given the dam that drove the change when its vulnerability became known. The failure of an earthen dam named “Success” would be too juicy a target to keep the wags at bay.

          1. Wukchumni

            They’ve known it’s a jonah for a long time, and it gives McCarthy a chance to rename something, his calling in political life.

            There are 3 renamed post offices in Bakersfield on account of his clout (truth be said, its the only thing most in Congress ever get accomplished, and they all gladly sponsor one anothers pithy little nothing efforts) and there wouldn’t be a Merle Haggard P.O. or a Buck Owens P.O. if it wasn’t for Kevin.


        2. JBird4049

          So they built a dam in our glorious state of California, land of earthquakes, without checking for faults or having something other than a glorified pile of dirt as a dam? What geniuses thought of this?

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Fracking Under Fire In California”

    No real surprise there. The reason given was pollution but I am betting that there was a more important reason. A decade ago the State of Oklahoma only had three or four dozen earthquakes a year but through fracking, they have had a 900-fold increase in earthquake activity. And I doubt that the fracking companies will be stepping forward to repair all the damage that they caused here.
    This being true of a State that was once relatively earthquake free, is it really a good idea to go playing around with fracking in a State that has about 10,000 earthquakes a year? Especially when so many people are whistling past the graveyard when there is talk of The Big One yet to come?

    1. Wukchumni

      I made mention of how 795,100 acres of Sierra Nevada wilderness was now deemed oilderness by the Forest Service out of 800,000, or a pretty much 99% grab by the drillers.

      Here’s the skinny on Sequoia National Park & Yosemite National Park…

      99% of the visitors here only go to the Sherman Tree & some hike up to Moro Rock, and that’s about it. There’s 400,000 acres of wilderness only a few 1%’ers such as yours truly, ever see.

      Same story up north, the 99% crowds into Yosemite Valley and it’s a mob scene, looking up at the mistine chapel et al.,
      But the other 750,000 acres in Yosemite NP, hardly touched.

      If frick can frack, and base it on usage, you have to wonder if both National Parks could come under similar siege, with 99% gone, poof!

      1. Off The Street

        New NP business opportunity, personal drone tours to allow visitation to those heretofore out of reach areas. Why wait, why hike, fly now, pack a lunch. /s

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It seems obvious that fracking leads to more quakes.

      It’s like it had long been thought that Ostrom’s Deinonychus led to Archaeopteryx. But how, it was not known, until more fossils were discovered in Liaoning, China, that filled the gap between the two.

      Elsewhere, we have the search for the missing link between ape and man.

      And the same with the exact mechanism or mechanisms here. It would seem local geology would be a factor, and in a decade’s time, we see a big increase in quake activity, a similar order of magnitude increase should be observable for 10 years worth of fracking in California. But sometimes, small quakes relieve tension along the fault (quakes could be due to, say, volcanic eruptions, but here, we look at only those related to faults). Other times, small quakes are precursors of something big coming down. It’s site specific.

    3. Procopius


      And I doubt that the fracking companies will be stepping forward to repair all any of the damage that they caused here.


  6. Jos Oskam

    “…more millennials are planning to rent forever…”

    In a few generations, the whole notion of “capital formation” seems to have evolved into “don’t own but rent”. But who do you rent from? Right, the owners. And who are the owners? Right again, an elite class that actually owns- and collects rent for everything.

    You Americans may not be familiar with the term “feudal system” but we Europeans know all about it from history. And for me all these massive moves, from owning to renting, from capital to debt, are a clear warning sign that feudalism 2.0 is well on its way in America.

    Better grab a history book and read up on “vassals” and “lords”.

    1. John

      One would think that the history of slavery and share cropping in the US south would be enough of a reminder about vassals and lords.. Feudalism in all its wondrous variety is the human historic norm….little democratic twitchings are the outlier. Accept your position serf!

    2. ambrit

      Don’t forget ‘Peasant Revolts!’ (The sort of situation where a group of people are willing to acept a Lose-Lose dynamic. Something like the growing Deplorables political phenomenon.)

      1. Massinissa

        I mean, its not 100% lose-lose. Only like 99% lose-lose. There was a Peasants Republic called Dithmarschen which fought off feudal lords attempting to control them for about 250 years.

        I mean, eventually order was reimposed by feudalists, but that’s still an impressive span of independence, heh.

        Though, the fact that Dithmarschen is history’s *only* peasant’s republic shows how bad the odds are…

        1. shtove

          “Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business—the Prince Consort, who is dead—a German professor, who has gone mad—and I, who have forgotten all about it.”

    3. Joe Well

      Jos Oskam, thanks to the magic of mortgages and foreclosures, a lot of home “ownership” will just end up being very expensive renting.

      The math on renting vs. owning is ridiculously simple.

      The non-principle cost of home ownership (mortgage interest, origination fees, closing costs, maintenance, heating costs, homeowner’s insurance, property tax, common fees, God knows what else) must be significantly less than rent, or it is foolish to buy.

      And home ownership is unbelievably risky for someone without a unionized government job with tenure and socialized healthcare. Because if you can’t pay your rent, you just don’t renew your lease, but selling a house is much harder and a foreclosure can destroy you financially.

      People who are buys in this market (disproportionately American adults 20s-40s) are forced to understand this, which is why there is so much more support for progressive housing policy.

      1. russell1200

        What you say is not wrong, but the whole subsidized system of 30-year mortgages is of an immense benefit with today’s expected life spans.

        To me, one huge issue is how does your local government get its tax money. If it does it through property taxes, than home ownership may not be real feasible in retirement.

        1. Joe Well

          >>What you say is not wrong, but the whole subsidized system of 30-year mortgages is of an immense benefit with today’s expected life spans.

          This is simple math. If you instead took the money you didn’t spend on the house and saved it, you would have that money to spend on rent in retirement. The real value of homeownership today is forced saving, but you risk losing it all in a reversal of fortune.

          >>To me, one huge issue is how does your local government get its tax money. If it does it through property taxes, than home ownership may not be real feasible in retirement.

          This is trickier. A lot of places have abatements for lower-income retirees, but they can be hard to get. Also, there is the reverse mortgage option, but not open to everyone. A lot of debate about this in the affordable housing movement.

      2. ambrit

        Our middle daughter, newly divorced, (pass the smelling salts!,) is buying a Townhouse Condo because the mortgage payments on it are roughly one half of the rents for similar dwellings in this location; the Baton Rouge metropolitan region. So, even if her foray into ownership goes bad, she has still only ‘lost’ half of what she would ‘lose’ renting. (The low down payment mortgage is making a comeback.)
        The mortgage is roughly $800 USD per month. Her rent was raised last month from $1200 USD per month to $1600 USD per month, without warning. This in a medium-large upscale apartment complex. Any other commenters hear of similar ‘events’ recently? (I ask because my contacts with the Vitamin Shop owner showed me that Commercial rents have become ‘nationalized.’ Is it the same with residential rents?)

        1. Off The Street

          Some of that rent nationalization is taking the form of short-seller funds, at a less-publicized end of the capital world. The country is over-retailed and malls are among the earlier casualties. Zombie malls are on the rise, lol, with repurposed square footage converted to Doc-in-a-box outlets, adult daycare and other demographics-friendly trends.

          How will that play on Main Street? The pain gets shared around as capital continues to seek those fleeting returns. Will your city, or mine, become more or less attractive, inquiring minds want to know. In the meantime, glad to know that there are still some affordable places!

          1. Wukchumni

            I had my moment of retail clarity last year. We were going to Lake Tahoe and a big storm closed I-80 so we overnighted in Rancho Cordova, a Sacramento-adjacent city.

            The next morning we went to a nice restaurant in a strip mall of say 15 stores, and looking from my breakfast nook, every business left standing was something you couldn’t do on the internet, a nail place, a Thai restaurant, an ice cream store & a quickie health clinic. The other 10 stores were quite empty.

            1. ambrit

              We aren’t quite as bad here, but still find several empty storefronts in each newish strip mall. The real “economic destruction” here is hapenning in the inner ring suburban commercial districts. Some of the old “Main Drags” are now full of cheapie Tire Shops, Rincones, Thrift Shops, chain eateries, and the ubiquitous Storefront Churches. A lot of the redevelopment work is going on in the core urban area. Plus, new strip malls(!!!) far out in the exurbs. Follow the money the merchants all say.

        2. Louis Fyne

          >>Is it the same with residential rents?

          yes, if your market is dominated by national/regional/mega-local institutional landlords (who can afford to let some apartments lie fallow) versus the traditional ma-pa landlords of the past.

          1. ambrit

            A reasonable surmise. The mid-sized apartment complex is managed by, if I remember correctly, a regional “Property Management Company.” Plus, the larger complexes are way out of the price range to build of anyone less than a regional top predator.
            Consolidation has efficiencies of scale, for the owners, not the renters.

            1. Louis Fyne

              anecdotally— and you also have lots and lots of Baby Boomer landlords retiring and getting out of the business.

              Lots of institutions are scooping up their property and removing the local competition (much like retail).

              and local landlords would be also be more willing to overlook an imperfect credit report if a prospective renter gave off a good vibe or had extenuating circumstances.

          2. HotFlash

            Why stop at national? We have international landlords! I am seeing the Akelius logo on many many apartment buildings here in Toronto, some surprisingly small.

            1. ambrit

              Oh good heavens. Some jokes write themselves.
              Q: What do you call the Property Manager for your Akelius apartment complex?
              A: Simple! An Akelius Heel!
              That is a good observation about the globalization of not only property ownership, but management too. I have noticed that, unlike labour arbitrage, which always ends up in a “race to the bottom,” property rent arbitrage always ends up in a “hyper inflationary spiral.”
              It’s not looking good for the Home Team.

      3. Jos Oskam


        Thanks for your comment. It made me think.
        However, I am of a generation where you were expected to save until you could afford a down payment on a house, typically 15% or so. A 30yr mortgage would cover the rest.
        As I see it, you can pay off that mortgage over 30 years and be the owner of an asset afterward. Or pay rent for 30 years and still be where you started.
        I may be an exception, but doing the “buy” thing then, now allows me to retire on a small income because there’s no more rent to pay. Contrary to folks I know who rented their whole lives.

        1. ambrit

          Also, rent thirty and more years ago was less of a ‘burden,’ relative to income than it is now. Once you enter the fixed income cohort, you have no leeway to finesse sudden bursts of inflation. The rent goes up and your retirement cheque does not.
          On a related note, our state has old folks property tax ‘breaks.’ Property tax up to a politically determined limit are void. That helps those of us, like Phyl and I, who settled for smaller and cheaper housing. (Not that we had much choice in the matter.)

          1. JBird4049

            It is not just SS/SSI/SSDI but wages in general. And like like you say for more than thirty years. Honestly, I would like to find the creeps who devised the “COLA” (cost of living adjustments) that are always less than the actual increase of the cost of living or any reasonable measure of the general inflation. Just when did the official statistics and reality start to diverge and who were the people responsible?

        2. jrs

          So 15% on your average 3/4 of a million dollar two bedroom house is over 100k, yea I see why people struggle with that. Of course then the mortgage is still extremely expensive even after that 15%.

        3. Joe Well

          Jos, as I said, this is a simple math calculation. It has nothing to do with morals, ethics, generations, culture, etc. And no, buying a house is no guarantee of having an “asset” in 30 years. That is speculation and many homeowners got thrown out on the streets in 2007-2009.

          Here is a rent vs. buy calculator which I think is too biased toward home ownership (underestimates costs) but it makes clear what I’m talking about.

          I plugged in some real-world numbers from Boston.

          Cost of apartment: $700k
          Monthly rent on the same apartment: $2500.
          Result: It would take 11 years to hit “break even” and over the long term, you will have gained very little relative to holding money in cash.

          You were part of the blessed Boomer generation that enjoyed a kind of market socialism that meant that people could buy a house and be confident they would be able to afford it and that they weren’t getting ripped off. Congratulations for you, but that world is gone now. Do you see now why there is so much intergenerational anger?

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            Interesting. Your comment (correctly in one sense) says it’s simple math but goes on to suggest (also correctly) why it’s so much more than that.

            Not that you are wrong. The base calculations are indeed simple. What’s not, for instance, is an emotional appreciation of just how long 30 years really is -assuming a 30 year mortgage- (particularly in terms of risk) which is to say just how tenuous a number of other things such as your health, your economic situation, the RE Taxes, the insurance (can go through the roof) and possible hidden maintenance nightmares such as bad concrete in foundation showing up some 10 years after purchase even on new construction. Or in old, Lead paint, lead in pipes, asbestos or terrible insulation, among so many many potential issues, that you miss in your initial enthusiasm (and new construction has its own pitfalls). The list goes on and on and 30 years seems a perfect span for some catastrophe or series of them to materialize like a wave or series of waves over a sand castle. Then, if by luck and/or skill you make it, the market crashes or due to other things the house/condo is much harder to sell than it was when you bought it.

            And then selling a house is not simple or cheap or (usually) quick.

            You very correctly point out that boomers enjoyed a relatively low risk over time bubble compared to what exists today.

            All that said, rent sucks, has its own and some of the same risks, and the conditions for rent to be viable are ever more difficult and tenuous.

          2. mpalomar

            “Do you see now why there is so much intergenerational anger?”

            – I do but it’s not the obvious, unless you’re falling for the divide and conquer routine the elites rely on to keep false dichotomies internecine in the restless global pillage.

            Doomer here; my parents were packaged, without knowing or consenting, as the greatest generation; went through the depression and the WWII meat grinder; if they came out the other end alive and more or less in one piece, they used the GI bill to get an education.

            In the US it was the golden age for workers, a booming economy pumped by the rebuild of the ruins of Europe and Asia; empowered unions were making gains in a tight labor market, thriving on the few protections won during the New Deal era.

            My parents last house, a modest brick box of 2000 sq ft, cost them $40,000 in 1968. Fifty years later when they had to move for health reasons they sold for $700,000.

            That very same greatest generation voted for the usual suspects, Eisenhower, Kennedy-LBJ, Nixon… some of their contemporaries were already working the MICC golden triangle that sent their sons off to the familiar meat grinder, imperialist war in SE Asia, momentarily radicalising their doomer children…

            Never trust anyone over thirty, or under for that matter.

          3. Hamford

            Let’s not forget the double digit inflation of the late 70s/ early 80s. This was a handout to anybody lucky enough to be holding a mortgage. The creditor class vowed to never let this happen again.

          4. Lambert Strether

            > Do you see now why there is so much intergenerational anger?

            Seems to me the children lucky enough to inherit the houses their parents paid into for thirty years have little cause to be angry. Or the children of parents who bought into the myth and whose homes were taken from them in the foreclosure crisis.

            “Intergenerational anger” has the same ontological character as the zeitgeist. Good for seeming profundity — I’ve used it that way myself — but in the end not a serious analytical tool. Who is angry? Where? Why? When? And so on. Could it be that the anger is stoked by interested parties? And so forth.

    4. Off The Street

      That transition to feudalism could take a few different routes. Here are two to start.

      Manorial or seignorial system
      And wait until you see the new prima notte.
      That is another way to divert the return to cousin marriage

      Ostsiedlung, but where to next?
      South America is lovely this time of year I hear.

    5. Danny

      After you read about feudalism, read Michael Hudson’s Killing the Host- How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy, about how the rentier parasites are raping America and the world.

        1. Danny

          Cool. For fun write down all the rentiers you come into contact with in one average day.

          1.Coffeehouse, who owns the building. Do they have a business loan?
          2. Transit, private or public. Don’t forget all the privately held bonds that may finance it.
          3. Office building. Owner?
          4. Store, who owns business, the building, commercial loans?
          5. Your apartment.

          The people to whom rent is paid, the classical rentier, are often found in assessor’s records, sometimes available online.
          i.e. San Francisco Assessor’s Office

          Notice any demographic trends?

          Determining who has issued loans is more difficult. Ask the proprietor for a banking reference. They will often spill the beans.

          Imagine what would happen if no new loans of any kind were issued. The interest on old ones would keep accumulating. Eventually every dollar out there would be sucked out of the economy. Any mathematicians able to provide a formula for when that would be?

    6. Grant

      I question the assumption that those that own the land should monopolize the benefits of land rent through expropriating the value that nature provides and the proximity to economic development. Many of the classical economists did aim to reduce land rent and other forms of unearned income. Ricardo supported free trade in part because it would have reduced land rent. Henry George, the Physiocrats, von Thünen, they had their theories on land rent, and Marx in the first Volume of Capital talked about differential rent and the benefits that nature provided to the owners of private property. Wasn’t it John Bates Clark who treated land and capital as basically the same thing? I, personally, would like to see the growth of housing decommodification. I am in my early 40s and live in southern California. I will not likely own land if I continue to live here and I am okay with that. In today’s world, there are benefits to being mobile and having the capacity to move somewhat quickly if need be. If I want to save for retirement, I can do so by other means.

    7. Arthur Dent

      Landlords have a lot of tax breaks unavailable to homeowners, especially now that property tax deductions are greatly limited by the recent “tax cut”.

      So renting and putting a bunch of money away in investments (including REITs) is an alternative way of being a lord instead of a vassal. IRAs and 401ks give good tax breaks for this type of investment.

      In my area, my home value has gone up about 40% in 26 years (my house had no idea there was a bubble and crash in home values in the 2000s as its value probably fluctuated less than 10% in that decade). Renting a house like mine would be not much more than the current mortgage and property tax bill but with less maintenance costs. However, by stuffing money into IRAs and 401ks over the past 35 years, my house is only 15% of our total assets, so whatever its value does in the future is almost irrelevant to our future well being. We raised a family in it and it served that purpose great. I never had any illusion that it was the key to our future financial success though.

    8. Anthony G Stegman

      There is an upside to more people renting, and fewer people buying. When people rent they usually rent only the space they need – 1 BR apartment vs buying a 3 BR house. This leads to less wasteful consumption – less furniture, etc…While some economists say this is bad for the economy we should all ignore them because the climate emergency is far more important. In order to have a chance at saving the planet we all need to reduce our levels of consumption. We need an extended economic recession lasting for years if not decades.

    9. Procopius

      Well, one of the features of feudalism was that you were not allowed to change your job or your place of residence. You were also required (by law) to follow the same occupation as your father (don’t know if that only applied to the first-born or all sons — anybody know where I can look it up?) During the early middle ages when primogeniture was enforced younger sons sometimes escaped into vagabondage or a town (“Stadtluft macht frei.”) Of course that all came after price controls failed and the population was decimated several times over by devastating plagues (conveniently named after the reigning Emperor). The key element that led to the decline of the Western Empire seems to have been the breakdown of the tax collection system due to population loss and loss of North Africa to the Vandals.

  7. zagonostra

    >Michelle Obama book deal.

    Unlike Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, who came under FBI scrutiny and had to resign because of her book deal, the Obamas’ have too much prestige with the ruling elites to come under scrutiny.

    Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they give you a mansion on Martha’s Vineyard.

    Anticipatory payoff/bribery for being the pretty face and well-spoken voice of the status quo.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The new “book” (I guess this is what we will call it) isn’t even the funniest part. Scroll down to see the Michelle Obama store.

      The author of the article sure does have some bizarre ideas about the Obamas though. Jimmy for whatever else he was is still a bright and reflective individual. Obama was always a social climber. Expecting Obama to ever emulate Carter’s post Presidency is a complete fantasy. Buy a hoodie with a meaningless slogan to show your attachment to the family of the former President. Show your love of dancing with Jimmy Fallon!

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Kill it with fire, the sooner we drive a wooden stake into the heart of Clinton/Obamaism the better. Kamala’s attempt last night to bring back the Ghost of Christmas Past was pathetic and very telling. “Rebuild the Obama Coalition”, yeah and that worked out so well didn’t it, given that his coalition was with Wall St, Big Insurance, NATO, and Republicans.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > Anticipatory payoff/bribery

      That’s it. Again, you can reach right into the cookie jar. Or you can defer your gratification and have a reputable associate reach into the cookie jar for you, preferably through a Foundation or a lawyer or some number of intermediate layers.

      The moral difference between the two practices is, of course, obvious.

  8. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Hacker News” in the Boeing section at-

    Said earlier this year that the Boeing 737 MAX will not be flying by the end of the year. After reading this article, I am beginning to wonder if it will be flying by this time next year. Trump had better not make it a promise to get it flying before the November elections to gain political points. That could blow up in his face that.

    1. ambrit

      “Blow up in his face.” Uh, no, more like, his political prospects would “crash and burn.” Or, his approval ratings would “take a nose dive.” Plus, I sincerely doubt if the Federal Reserve would “foam the runway” for him. Not just Trump though. The Democrat Party is facing similar “headwinds,” since they seem to have placed their political process this cycle on “autopilot.” This is definitely not the election cycle to “take a flyer” on either legacy party.

        1. epynonymous

          Read Peirs latest, he has a new publisher. His last one’s lawyers got spooked by him crediting his fans contributions of puns.

          Everyone’s a cri-tic.

    2. Carolinian

      That Atlantic is a good article even if it isn’t saying anything new. They turned the company over to money engineers rather than airplane engineers, creating yet another instance of what Hudson talks about–parasites “killing the host.” A company led by engineers would have admitted their mistake right away and reassured the public rather than moving into CYA mode. The plane may be fixed, but the current PR disaster is all on Boeing’s management and has probably permanently damaged the brand.

      1. cnchal

        > . . . A company led by engineers would have admitted their mistake right away and reassured the public

        You have this wrong. A company led by engineers would not have made these mistakes in the first place. Wherever disaster unfolds, you can bet bean counters and marketing people were large and in charge.

        There is along history of this. The much reviled early Corvair was buillt without suspension componets that would have resulted in a good handling car due to bean counters wanting to save $10 bucks per car. Look what it got them instead. Same with the Pinto and the exploding gas tank if hit from behind, and there they knew it would cause deaths but considered the profits worth it as the payouts would be less than the expnse of building the car properly.

        The basic premise that any MBA can be inserted at any company and manage it properly has deadly consequences.

        1. Carolinian

          Airbus has made automation mistakes that have caused deadly crashes. Is it led by engineers or bean counters:? I don’t know. But mistakes do get made although there doesn’t seem to be much excuse for the ones Boeing made.

          And that’s probably the reason they wouldn’t come clean. Sounds like to the people now running the company the only real disaster would be a drop in stock price. For an engineering led company reputation matters. It’s the same story that is being told around here about other industries and health care so it’s not just Boeing. Our real problem maybe Wall Street.

          1. cnchal

            Airbus has been through a major corruption scandal and the current CEO seems to be from the engineering side.

            > Our real problem may be Wall Street.

            Stawk price is the most important thing in the world, when it comes to Wall Street.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        It’s also happening in “healthcare” and education, and the results are every bit as lousy. It’s why legitimate competition is such a dirty word–it only “works” when there is no alternative.

    3. xkeyscored

      Looking on the brighter side, Trump seems to be going ahead with his plans for two ‘new’ Boeings for presidential use. An expensive way to get rid of him, but worth it?

      Two Boeing 747-8s are being converted into VC-25s, the model used for VIP transport. They will serve as the “flying White House” starting in 2024, although Trump requested that they be ready for use in 2021. … Trump had boasted that he struck a deal with Boeing to lower the cost of renovating the jets, which were originally built for a now defunct Russian airline, by $1 billion. Boeing will be paid $3.9 billion to build the jets for the White House.
      The cost of Trump’s new Air Force One has skyrocketed nearly $2 billion from the original estimate –

      1. Procopius

        This looks like the generic mistake that made so many software projects fail. You need to settle on a design and then DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING. Do not add the latest bell or whistle just because it looks so cool. This is also what’s gone wrong with the F-35, the Littoral Combat Ship, and the Gerald R. Ford (accepted by the Navy even though it’s two years’ past when the problems were supposed to be fixed, they aren’t fixed, and don’t look to be fixed in the next five years). Every time you submit a request for change, the contractor can adjust the price — upward.

  9. ptb

    re: Biden questioning patriotic weapons and war support for Saudi Arabia…

    ah, so that’s why the donor class is having doubts

    1. integer

      My understanding is the CIA wanted their guy – Mohammed bin Nayef – in charge, and were not pleased when MBS seized power and assumed the role of Crown Prince. Should someone like Biden become president the US will more than likely apply pressure on SA – for example by refusing military sales and assistance, without which SA is vulnerable – until MBS is removed from power, after which the relationship will revert to its previous state.

  10. FreeMarketApologist

    The tear gas article is a useful read for everybody – you never know when you may need the knowledge!

    For my HK co-workers this is definitely, as Lambert says, “news you can use!”

    1. ambrit

      Having been close to the teargas during the 1972 Republican Convention, I can support your admonition. The old style tear gas was bad enough. I shudder to think what the “improved” “crowd control gasses” are capable of.
      Was tear gas used in the “clearing” of Zuccotti Park?
      Looking for that information on the Internet, I came upon the rather amazing fact that Zuccotti Park was renamed to that from it’s old name of Liberty Plaza, after 9/11! How appropriate! ‘Liberty’ is dethroned in favour of a private individual’s name; the name of the chairman of the board of the entity that actually owns the property! If that doesn’t demonstrate the “Spirit of Neoliberalism,” nothing does. What happened to the Occupy movement in that park makes is starkly clear why Liberty was removed from the name.
      Zuccotti Park wiki:

        1. ambrit

          It was such a shame that the winds of those days were blowing in from the direction of ‘The Chicago School.’ Like Upton Sinclair’s book about Chicago a century ago, Moscow soon became “The Jungle.”

          1. Off The Street

            With assists from Andrei Shleifer, Lawrence Summers and Jeffrey Sachs.

            Another Jungle musical theme applies from Hollywood to Moscow and back, one from Guns N’ Roses.

    2. Eclair

      And, closer to home, I’m sending the link to the article to my granddaughter, who is a student at Syracuse University. After more than a week of student demonstrations, following ‘racist’ incidents and the alleged dropping of a white supremacist manifesto onto students’ phones, most of her classes have been cancelled and she is leaving to go home for an early Thanksgiving vacation. Better to be prepared than not.

  11. Olga

    A companion to “Iran’s ‘only crime is we decided not to fold’ Asia Times (resilc)” (which is a helpful recounting of a recent FM Zarif’s speech):
    Just two points (i.e., all one needs to know for context): “The US is not willing to see China transform itself into a great power.”
    And El Baradei: “We’ve gone from MAD to SAD – self-assured destruction.”

    On Iran, as one person said ‘In electing PM M Mosaddegh, we had the first democratic election in 4,000 years- and the USA came in and family-blogged it for us.” So much for democracy and freedom.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Great powers.

      Russia, China and the US are the leading powers today.

      Economically, we are looking at, perhaps, Japan, China, Germany and America.

      In any field, each power will try to make itself grater and check others.

  12. Ignacio

    Forgive for this but I am posting a link in spanish for which I would like some discussion. The article says that a spanish judge is investigating the involvement of a Russian elite military unit called Unit 29155 supposedly from the GRU meddling on the so called (in Catalonian) proces (independency process). The article links this unit with the Skripals’ affair (they say according to the NYT without providing a link). The article cites also Bellingcat as a source as well as german intelligence sources (Hans-Georg Massen is named).

    La Audiencia Nacional investiga los movimientos de espías rusos en Cataluña

    El Pais is very much in the Russia Russia Russia! game.

    1. russell1200

      The link to the NYT article:

      Top Secret Russian Unit Seeks to Destabilize Europe, Security Officials Say

      It is interesting, but I unfortunately, I just don’t know how much to trust the NYT reporting. But I will say this, it is muddy enough to sound like there is something there.

      Your link seems to dovetail with the general modus operandi. It is definitely worth looking more into.

      1. Ignacio

        I have been looking more into it and it is very simple: Terradellas, a former member of the CDC, and Puigdemont friend is now under investigation for the misuse of public funds in the Procés. He has apparently been using NGOs with false projects to obtain money from the Catalonian Government that was in turn used to illegally finance the Procés and it has been shown that part of the money was transferred to swiss accounts probably to pay for Puigdemont expenses in Brussels after he fled the country. The ‘russian plot’ is the following: when Puigdemont was going to declare the Independence of Catalonia in Oct 2017, Terradellas had promised him that he would have official support from the Russian and Chinese government that would recognize Catalonia as a country. This didn’t materialise, but part of the money was deviated to pay for Terradella’s journeys to Moscow in search for that support. Nothing about military elite units novichoks and the like to see here.

      2. ewmayer

        “I just don’t know how much to trust the NYT reporting” — short answer, ‘not one whit’.

        Suggest you do a websearch for an article titled “Top Secret” Russian Unit That “Destabilizes Europe” Is A Well Known Small Arms Training Base.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Thanks ewmayer. I knew that I had seen an article about that place. Yeah, some reporters went there and the place looked run down and not that much used.

          1. Ignacio

            Oh boy! El Pais is doubling today in its Russia Russia Russia propaganda. The famous ultrasecret 29155 Unit attacks again! Now in Catalonia! Although, given their record they will almost certainly fail again.

            1. Lambert Strether

              Right wing Spanish nationalism has, well, a rich history…

              As for the Russian funding*, it seems like the sort of thing a great power would do, and we do all the time, and worse. What’s the issue?

              And maybe if the architecture of “the West” wasn’t so weak, “foreign powers” would have fewer contradictions to exploit? Start with austerity.

              NOTE * Of what looks like bog-standard bourgeois nationalist movement, from what little I know. Hardly the stuff of revolution.

              1. Ignacio

                It is not a question of funding. It is said by the Russia Russia Russia propaganda that the destabilization consists on hacker attacks and social network agitation. The excuse to launch this propaganda was, as it has recently been known, that Puigdemont aides tried to obtain official recognition of the independent Catalonia from Russia and China in 2017. The illegal funding is not from Russia but diversion of public funds -funds for expenses in social projects- to finance independentist operations disguised as NGO projects. What they say now is that a Russian asset has been seen these days in Catalonia. A replay of Salisbury. Wow!

    2. scarn

      “Terradellas, que ejercía como una suerte de Rasputín con Puigdemont..”

      The whole article is an assemblage of rumor and hearsay, and they are clearly leaning hard on anti-Russian tropes by calling people Rasputin. Aside from “Secret Agent Federov” having the audacity to travel to Barcelona twice, what is the evidence of any kind of Russian plotting? I can’t believe people swallow this stuff.

      1. Ignacio

        To depict Catalonia as a destabilization playground for the russians is sheer stupidity. This is very clear for me.

    1. RWood

      Old come round to new, but not news:

      Bolivia: Evo Morales’ fight to control the military

      I think the metaphor of revolution as a tide, used by Karl Marx to explain the revolutions of 1848, helps capture the present, chaotic moment.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “I’ve Given Up All Hope in Senate Republicans Voting to Impeach”

    Delusional of course. That William Rivers Pitt may have binge-watched one too many episodes of the West Wing. If the Republicans voted Trump out in the Senate, it would be catastrophic for them in the November elections as not only would Trump voters seek revenge, but all other Republicans too for siding with the Democrats against a Republican President. Beside, how many people would really look forward to the Presidency of Mike Pence?

    1. ambrit

      Don’t forget that Pence could also be impeached, which gives us President Pelosi. She is a character who I would not put it past her to suspend the Constitution and rule by decree to “save the Nation.” Just for fun, what if ‘Interim President’ Pelosi appointed Hillary Clinton as Regent for the ‘Time of Civil Unrest’ that would probably follow the Trump impeachment. If I were a budding Insurgency, given the sharp divide between the “Heartland” and the Urbs, I would block the transport of food supplies from the countryside to the cities. Blow up a few road and rail bridges, like T. E. Lawrence did in Arabia back in WW-1. The Army is going to be called out anyway, so….

      1. polecat

        ambrit, under tyour previous notions,
        ‘President FlipCoin’ .. in taking power, will no doubt institute the first ‘Hungered’ games …

        Oh, wait ! We’re watching the preview unfold.

      2. Eclair

        ” ….. block the transport of food supplies from the countryside to the cities. Blow up a few road and rail bridges …” Good Thing that Popular Science runs the helpful article on What to do if you’re exposed to tear gas.” Prior to this, one would have to attend NVD training sessions held in church basements and on isolated Indian Reservations, to learn the basic rules for self-protection that peaceful (and not so peaceful) protestors should follow.

        1. ambrit

          Yes! In Popular Science no less! Now that’s a solid middle class oriented venue. A tell on how close to “regular folks” all this civil unrest is getting.

    2. Carolinian

      Indeed. The secret vote in the Senate idea is another fond TDS fantasy. They are obsessed with Trump and can’t believe everyone else doesn’t hate him as much as they do. Whereas some of us simply ignore Trump and the TV too. It’s our cynical MSM who are making people crazy.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Pitt acts like the last three years never happened. Like the calls for “impeachment” didn’t start the day after the election. Like pretty much the entire unelected bureaucracy has, for three solid years, used its overwhelming power to disparage, discredit, and remove the person that the voters chose to be president.

        And now he despairs that this latest parade of priggish, entitled, unelected foreign service “professionals,” that no one’s ever heard of or voted for, and who are offended that the president doesn’t show them the deference they feel they deserve, fails to persuade voters that they made the wrong choice.

        Get the hell over it.

        As near as I can tell, the “country” of Ukraine exists and must be preserved purely to provide the opportunity for sleazy westerners like the bidens and wall street to shake down. Trump was elected to be president of the united states, not guardian of all things Ukrainian, and I, for one, don’t give a flying fig whether he gives them missiles or not. Actually, I’d prefer he didn’t. And Mr. Pitt should know that I’d vote against anyone who wanted to remove Trump from office because he didn’t provide them on LT. COLONEL vindman’s timetable.

        1. Bernalkid

          Pitt paraphrase: the hopey changey impeachment situation has developed not necessarily to the Democrat’s advantage …

        2. epynonymous

          Interupting “The Price is Right” on TV to air the impeachment hearings is *not* how you win the hearts and minds of elderly middle-america.

          Guaranteed 100K old home-bodies got riled up today. Making them miss Drew Carey have people guess the price of blenders is gonna make up more people’s minds against impeachment than for!

          Sure, they can’t use the internet, but they vote.

          1. Wukchumni

            “Ok contestants, one of you five are going to move on to the money round, whomever comes closest to answering this question…

            What is the price to buy off your party faithful into thinking you’re doing something?”

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Its never been about Trump as much as the “smart” people who had a feeling about the inevitability of HRC despite and are desperate to be proven “not wrong” because the reasons HRC lost were fairly predictable. Betting on Hillary to do more than collapse over the finish line (the most likely scenario) given the state of the electorate and organization was backed up by recent elections, Clinton heavy elections, or her own electoral history (she significantly underperformed Gore in 2000 against a Republican too extreme for Peter “there are too many mosques” King.). Simultaneously, the Clinton people were more focused on yelling at people into submission than earning votes. They know this. Their laziness and sloth and general lack of civic participation beyond their team sports interest is directly responsible for Donald Trump.

    3. Pat

      Far too many. Just saying there is probably a large faction of Republicans who would be secretly thrilled to see the back of Donald Trump and hearing “Hail to the Chief” for Pence.

      Most of our Dem Leadership would only be upset because Mike wouldn’t be the money raiser Donald is and when eventually realizing their complicity with the Republicans is more obvious without Donald’s distractions.

      1. hunkerdown

        I disagree. The Democrat professional class has been conditioned to hate Pence’s presumed policy preferences for the past 20 years. He is a more powerful “clear and present danger” to the average person’s civil liberties and a much better bogeyman to divert dollars away from the economic left.

      2. Carolinian

        Polls say Trump has a 90 percent approval rating among Republicans. So even if GOP Congress members don’t like him they aren’t going to stand up to that.

    4. Lee

      In spite of my better judgment, I have been tuning into the hearings from time to time. I tend to agree with Turley’s take, that the Dems are falling short of making an airtight case and that there is a strong odor of McCarthyism in their approach.

      I’m assuming that the House will vote impeachment and that then during a Senate trial the Republicans will be free to advance their own narratives unshackled from the restrictions being placed upon them in the House. Specifically, they will be able to go after the Bidens and we’ll get a threefer out of it in that Trump, the Democrat establishment, and the bipartisan neoliberal, and neocon projects will be dealt some serious blows. Ever the optimist, me.

      1. Lee

        Speaking of McCarthyism: Cuomo on CNN just accused a Trump defender on their panel of being “unpatriotic” for questioning the intelligence community consensus on Russian interference and Ukrainian non-interference in U.S. elections.

        1. inode_buddha

          Memo to Cuomo: Big claims require big proof. And attempting to subvert the will of the voters via impeachment is unpatriotic, you hypocrite.

          1. Monty

            That would have been sweet!

            guest – “Big claims require big proof. And attempting” *feed cuts to noise*

            cuomo – “we appear to have lost our connection.” *pause* *jingle* “And in today’s other news…”

        2. integer

          Cuomo is the worst. Occasionally I can make it through an episode of Hannity or Ingraham, but I simply cannot bear listening to Cuomo for more than a few minutes at a time. I remember when he told his viewers that reading Clinton emails on Wikileaks was illegal.

            1. integer

              Seems like a pretty minor thing to get banned for. Some of the replies to Trump’s tweets are an order of magnitude worse.

      2. polecat

        I look forward to watching, live .. in primed-time ..’Orange is the new Blue’ .. once Barr and co. release the get crackens …
        It would serve Schiff y right, to be frog-marched to jail, right along with his assorted miscreants.

      3. Lambert Strether

        > Specifically, they will be able to go after the Bidens and we’ll get a threefer out of it in that Trump, the Democrat establishment, and the bipartisan neoliberal, and neocon projects will be dealt some serious blows.

        The worst possible outcome would be if a Trump 2.0 somehow emerges from the scrum: Not a right-wing nut job, eloquent, with some gravitas, able to pass as “healing divisions” etc. Josh Hawley, say. There are probably others. Big opportunity here for a Republican who isn’t a wussy Never Trumper, ineffectual like Ryan, or a swivel-eyed loon. If Trump 2.0 had a Sister Souljah moment with the Freedom Caucus, the press would swoon. Trump 2.0 would solve a lot of problems.

  14. allan

    Trump’s NOAA pick withdraws, cites health [The Hill]

    President Trump’s much-scrutinized pick to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Barry Myers, has withdrawn from consideration, citing health concerns.

    Myers’s nomination was first announced in November 2017 but has remained in limbo partly due to concerns over conflict of interest.

    Until Jan. 1, Myers was the CEO of AccuWeather, a company that was founded by his brother. …

    Who among us has not been nominated to head an agency whose work product is monetized
    by a family business?

  15. Olga

    We forgot the most important news of the day – charming prince Andrew stripped of his public duties on account of Epstein and not feeling sufficiently sorry about it. We will miss him… I’m sure.

    1. ambrit

      For the Royals, this is big. Usually, the Royals barge right ahead and try to brazen it out. This looks like there is something of which The Palace is afraid lurking about. If I were a betting man. I would lay money on Epstein having set up more than one Deadman cache.

      1. xkeyscored

        If there was a second deadman cache, why hasn’t it surfaced?
        My bet would be that the cache, probably on Epstein’s island, was captured or destroyed before he was bumped off.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          I think the cache is hiding in plain sight, and it has a name–ghislaine maxwell.

          And according to amy robach, who never even called the police to tell them what her nixed “reporting” had uncovered by the way, Virginia Giuffre has plenty of pictures. Caches are only useful if someone wants to know what’s in them.

          1. ambrit

            Ah yes, to paraphrase Conan Doyle;
            Public: “The curious incident of the b—h in the mean time.”
            Police: “The b—h did nothing in the mean time.”
            Public: “That’s the curious incident.”

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Anthony Weiner’s laptop. The custody thereof. The files they found on it called “Insurance”. Epstein figures prominently. Andrew McCabe sent in to scoop it up and away from the local police, who were “devastated” and “outraged” at what they saw. Child sex, and even worse. Lump this in with Harvey and the networks, stars, and political parties who protected him.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I have noticed something about the news coverage of Andy. They have been using a film clip of him waving goodbye to a girl from a doorway at Epstein’s place. But what they do not show is the full clip showing a very, ahem, young girl accompanying Epstein to his car from the same doorway. Old Andy puts in an appearance at the end of this clip-

      1. xkeyscored

        To my mind, a very young girl would be say four or five years old.
        The girl Andrew (is alleged to have) had sex with was seventeen at the time. This is above the age of consent in the UK, and only one year shy of legal womanhood in the USA. The youngest girls I’ve heard of associated with the Epstein/Maxwell pimping operation were fourteen, still not what I’d call young girls.
        None of which is to say Epstein, Maxwell and Andrew aren’t or weren’t sleazebags, or what they did was OK in some way.

        1. Danny

          Aren’t women supposed to be in control of decisions about their body as young as whatever age they can get pregnant?

          1. The Rev Kev

            I think that the old saying here was ‘Old enough to bleed, old enough to breed’ but I’m not buying it.

        2. Olga

          A girl at 14 is a very young girl…. pwueeze! The teen would not be able to say no to authoritative males. Even at 18, they are still too young to be exploited by middle-aged men.

          1. jrs


            at a certain point men should be forgiven for statutory crimes (not Epstein though as that’s serial offenses and a criminal organization, it’s a whole other level of course). They are too often thinking with the wrong head. And in many ways we are too punitive. But these super young women exploited by middle age men, hell yea there is a power imbalance there, and no it’s not in the girls favor, if one can’t even see the power imbalance there, do they see any?

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            A girl at 14 is a very young girl…..

            Jeez, I can’t believe that even needs to be said.

            Not to mention that these men were looking for girls from poorer families and handing out hundred dollar bills……

          3. xkeyscored

            The teen would not be able to say no to authoritative males. Even at 18, they are still too young to be exploited by middle-aged men.
            But a “girl at 14 is a very young girl”? Won’t those who rape and abuse under-fives, and their lawyers, attempt to imply that their crimes were no worse than Epstein’s?
            I had sex with teenagers as a teenager, but never with what I’d call very young girls or boys. I expect that goes for many of us.
            I think using words like this sensationalises the story, and runs the danger of trivialising worse crimes.

            1. CoryP

              Our common tongue isn’t advanced enough to include words such as “ephebophile”. While I’d prefer just calling him a sexual abuser / trafficker, I think that the media who barely wants to cover this story has no desire to muddy the waters. And probably no ability to properly grapple with adolescent sexuality in America’s puritanical culture.

              But the dramatic power imbalance is the main feature and as Olga says would hardly be different were the victims 18.

              Vile behaviour regardless of terminology.

      2. Oregoncharles

        A side note, that applies double for video or still pictures: I learned decades ago that I can’t tell young people’s ages with any reliability. This is especially true of adolescents, who are in transition and develop at different ages. 16 or 26 – could be completely wrong. Fair skin or a baby face can make a woman (since that’s who we’re talking about) in her twenties look like a teenager, or a little makeup can make a teenager look almost a decade older.

        So without ID, pictures aren’t evidence.

        edit: sorry if this appears twice. First attempt appears to have failed.

        1. Oregoncharles

          PS: yes, this applies to the girl in the video – she’s small and her mannerisms are young, but I can’t tell. Not under 14, and could be a secretary. I wouldn’t want that job.

          Further footnote: besides Maxwell, several other young women who worked for Epstein seem to be entangled in the scandal. I could see shielding them – they’re likely co-victims.

  16. The Rev Kev

    That clip of the Koala in the bushfire was an edited one by Channel Nine. Here is the full clip-

    As of today, I am seeing that clip on the TV as part of a bushfire fund appeal. Meanwhile, a Koala hospital’s GoFundMe campaign has raised over a million dollars to help animals in distress after initially trying for only $25,000. It is thought that about 350 Koalas have died in the recent fires-

  17. ptb

    re: Rawls, Antigone

    “Is civil disobedience justified when it invokes a moral objection to target a law that has been enacted through a legitimate process?”

    Interesting question, but it seems to me there has never yet been an occasion to ask it.

    First of all, what I know of Rawls, actually defines some principles necessary for such legitimacy (i.e. his famous thought experiment defining a version of justice that can be reasoned about at least a little). From this, he is crystal clear that majoritarian democracy by itself is not enough – although this is kindof irrelevant to much of US history since even simple majority rule was not in place.

    Now in acknowledgment of this, the post- civil-rights US system does quite a lot to address the problem. But there are gaping holes. As far as I can tell, Rawls was used quite a bit to justify the whole equality of opportunity concept. But outside of the classic civil rights context, this came out quite disconnected from a principle of justice.

    Rawls’ answer to the question of how you improve upon majoritarian democracy etc became reduced to a taking point to defend parts of the capitalist status-quo, when the context was related to inequality. Obvious example:
    Citizens United. This is a big deal when figuring out how to remake laws, and things bigger than laws – constitutional structures, the legal system itself.

    So if we want a discussion that isn’t sadly mooted by our de facto corrupt lawmaking process, a discussion that isn’t totally un-poetic and thus uninspiring, we gotta talk about justice with the reference point of a 2500 year old blind man who hears the voices of the gods. That’s great, but it’s high tragedy.

    Civil disobedience does not have to be a tragedy.

    Personally, I think the unexplored logical path is one that was not discussed during the 5 seconds I spent on this at school (I’m am engineer. we didn’t do humanities), and that would be the path in the direction from Rawlsian definition of justice (which i think is neat) to to elements of socialism and social democracy with big govt that doesn’t get corrupted too fast. But that’s all my own axe to grind, and I am way out of my depth here.

    1. The Historian

      Like you, I didn’t take humanities courses in college – I took strictly STEM and I always knew I was missing out on something. There just wasn’t enough time or money to learn everything I wanted to learn. But if you are retired, here is your opportunity! All you need to do is get Great Courses Plus and use your local library. It will give you a start and you can find what interests you and go from there. If you are fortunate to live near a college like I do, take some courses and make friends with the professors. They are more than willing to guide you towards great authors and great ideas. As a perk, the humanities guys are the greatest people to get coffee with – they are always talking about new ideas and arguing different points of view, something I rarely find with the STEM or business people!

      As a bonus, I think you will find out why Antigone is revered today probably even more than it was 2500 years ago.

      It is never too old to learn!

      1. Off The Street

        You can even peruse those Great Courses or similar fare online through various library-friendly software apps. Try Kanopy, Libby and others to see what may be available. Many libraries maintain handy lists of similar resources to supplement the perennial favorite of book in hand.

        1. The Historian

          When I started looking, I was amazed at what was out there that I never knew about before. I even learned to play the flute at age 65 with the help of you tube videos. I’ll never be professional but that wasn’t ever my point. I always wanted to learn but just never had the time before. Now I do – and that is the greatest thing about being retired!

    2. David

      The question is more interesting when we alter the beginning to “Under what circumstances is”, thus accepting, that for some people at least, the answer to the yes/no question will be “yes.” Clearly, of course, it cannot be “yes” all the time, since otherwise everyone who had moral objections to any legitimately enacted law would be free to defy it through civil obedience. So the real question is, how would you judge, and the secondary question is, who would do the judging? It’s as well to say straight away that there’s no real answer to either question: the assumption (as in the article) is that this disobedience is in pursuit of positive change as we see it (here, civil rights in the US in the 1960s). But how do you distinguish that disobedience from, say, unwillingness of health administrators to work in cases involving the use of foreign surrogate mothers for male homosexual couples, or for that matter any other other topical moral dilemma of your choice? Only by invoking the Norms Fairy, and saying that some arguments are just better than others, and that’s it.
      Sophocles didn’t have this problem, because Antigone’s dilemma was a real one: obeying human laws or obeying divine laws. And for the Greeks, divine law was not a philosophical concept: it was a harsh reality, such that the Gods would punish you directly for violating it. Today, and for the last several hundred years, we don’t have any concept of an active divine law, and we try to make do with various different human productions which not everybody is convinced by.
      Because, as here, most writing on this subject regards defying the law as honourable and praiseworthy, there’s an assumption that the norms changing process described is always positive and forward-looking. But like all political techniques, it is of course neutral. In France (to take a case I know something about) the salafist movement has been very active trying to change norms, notably the secular nature of the French educational system. Schools have been quietly dropping the teaching of “controversial” subjects like evolution, and many no longer offer pork dishes on the menu. Faced with threats by parent groups to withdraw their children from school, and without any support from the government (because islamophobia!),schools have quietly given way. Many have removed the Charter of Laicité, which they are legally required to display prominently, and put it in some inconspicuous office, because Muslim parents have complained it offends their beliefs. So far, the line on educating boys and girls in the same school has held, but logically that will be the next battleground. Already, parents have refused to let girls attend mixed swimming classes.
      Now you will reasonably object that that these initiatives involve very small numbers of people, and aren’t typical of the populations from which they come. That’s true, and indeed France’s Muslim population, many of whom came to France in search of a freer life, are the principal victims. “Muslim” women in France today (including many non-believers) are obliged to dress in a much more conservative way than their mothers did. There are parts of Eastern Paris where even European women tend not to wear skirts or dresses for fear of being called prostitutes. Needless to say, the very small number of people behind these initiatives are just as convinced of their rectitude as Antigone was, and for the same reason.
      So norms change, not as part of a widespread, thoughtful Rawlsian debate about the need to change unjust laws, but through the activities of small numbers of motivated and dedicated people, prepared if necessary to suffer for their beliefs. The problem is that this is just a technique, and like all techniques is capable of being used indifferently by all sides.

      1. ptb

        At a strawman theoretical level, it should make no difference who does the judging, if they follow the rules in good faith. More realistically, the system should survive the outcome with its integrity intact, even if the people doing the judging are poorly chosen, subject to human failings, and even in the face of some organized effort to take advantage of those possibilities.

        But that robustness has limits, which sure look like they’re breached in some important places. For example, the ability to purchase laws. After that, asking about right and wrong, or just and unjust, becomes naive. One asks about practical questions of power struggle.

        “Under what circumstances…” is asking whether the moral objection that motivates the disobedience is justifiable, whether it is a result of the failing of the system, etc. We want to be in a world where that is the big question. But we are moving away from that.

        I’m not sure why reading that article set off this rant, I think it has something to do with it implying, as you suggest, a persistent belief in the good faith of … not even sure who, “decision-makers” if you will … with respect to rule of law etc. I’m not seeing evidence for that belief where in counts the most, it isn’t close, and it isn’t getting better.

        1. The Historian

          I think you are trying to argue from a Kantian viewpoint that if we make laws, then it is our duty to obey those laws. But laws are created by humans and therefore have nothing in common with physical laws that cannot be violated. Humans are imperfect – and I would think that it is impossible for humans to come up with perfect laws. In addition, human norms change and old laws no longer work. For instance, we had laws that allowed slavery. Should those laws still be obeyed?

          Thoreau. in his book “Civil Disobedience” said “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.” Hence Antigone.

  18. Pat

    Wow. I may have to print up that Post commentary for a few of my acquaintances who haven’t caught on to the brazen cash grab by the Obamas. They will discount a lot because it is the post, but the numbers cited and the description of the book kick off is devastating. (I didn’t know about the merchandise.)

      1. Off The Street

        Those new drapes for the Hamptons or Martha’s Vineyard or Chicago or DC or Hawaii or wherever pad, it is hard to keep track, aren’t gonna buy and hang themselves.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m surprised that they did not claim that it was Russian sabotage rats which caused the outage. Rats personally trained by Putin. But good point about being cashless as a vulnerability. I found a page that says-

      Estonia is a cashless society with over 99% of financial transactions occurring digitally. Electronic ID and Blockchain are widely used in FinTech applications. 80+ FinTechs ranging from innovative startups such as TransferWise to Blockchain leader Guardtime make Estonia a global centre of excellence for FinTech.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The Estonians may feel, being victimized in the past by the powerful neighbor, the Russians were behind it.

        If they haven’t claimed that, they can compare themselves to Hong Kong and those who see the CIA involved.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “The Corporate Media’s War Against Bernie Sanders Is Very Real”

    Not only Bernie but Gabbard as well. With Bernie it has become so bad that #BernieBlackout is now a hashtag on Twitter. Also, Katie Halper has tweeted “Oh look! @MSNBC “forgot” to include Sanders.” on a graphic board of the Contenders-

    As Jimmy Dore says, it is amazing that the mistakes all go only one way. With Gabbard, it is even worse. Yves mentioned that there was a lot of Tulsi-hate on Twitter after the debates. As her popularity has surged after each of the other debates, it is almost like a campaign was mounted to try to drag her down straight away. But I am sure that Twitter would never countenance such agitprop campaigns on Twitter itself. If Gabbard is dropped, expect to see the same sort of stuff with Sanders.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Outside of his “high dopes” cult of employees, the McKinsey Intern seems to be more a target of mockery than anything else. Comparing him to the kid telling teacher what happened when teacher was out the room is widespread.

        He’s far too young and ambitious to become a joke at this stage in life.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Perhaps somebody will notice that Buttgig attaining the leadership of the two-bit city (sorry South Bend) required fully 8,000 people to vote for him. So he’s not exactly a vote-getting juggernaut.

          Or notice that he outspent everyone else 10:1 on TV in Iowa. Of course he got a poll bump.

          I still want to know: when do we get to see his husband? When will he appear on the campaign trail, up on stage? And how do the McKinsey geniuses and hedge fund billionaires backing him think that whole vibe will play outside Chelsea, Cambridge, and Noe Valley? In Chattanooga, Laredo, Boise, Lansing, Tallahassee, Raleigh, Joplin, Mobile, and Yakima?

          1. jrs

            Is the poll bump even real?

            The case Klobuchar made that she was the more qualified centrist is probably right, as is Booker really, as was that woman who dropped out, although she was a more progressive than Klobuchar. They aren’t going to excite anyone, especially Klobuchar … but a mayor of nowheresville as a candidate …

            But not what centrist Dems want and so we have possibly the weakest IMAGINABLE centrists in front, Biden and Buttigieg. I mean if the goal was to beat Trump, even purely on Trumps badness, this is really weak, so many negatives in those two as candidates.

            1. Carey

              >Comparing him to the kid telling teacher what happened when teacher was out the room is widespread.


              Tell me if this fits: “paid to lose.”

          2. Kurt Sperry

            Perhaps somebody will notice that Buttgig attaining the leadership of the two-bit city (sorry South Bend) required fully 8,000 people to vote for him. So he’s not exactly a vote-getting juggernaut.

            More people have voted for Kshama Sawant than for Mayo Pete. By a mile.

          3. Lambert Strether

            > Of course he got a poll bump.

            State polls are notoriosly bad (250 sample size) and Iowa is notoriously volatile. It’s also not an especially good predictor; if it were, Rick Santorum would be President today. It’s important for the narrative…

  20. Summer

    RE: “if pete doesn’t like people who meet and work with dictators and war criminals, i got some news for him about McKinsey…”

    Just wish that could be put to music and set to blast. Say it louder…

    1. jrs

      Hahaha, it’s like if Biden doesn’t like people who have made a fortune in the fossil fuel industry and that’s accurate about Tom Snyder (though he’s my favorite billionaire candidate as billionaire candidates go), what industry does he think his son was involved in in the Ukraine (and made way too much money off)? I mean if the pot isn’t calling the kettle black there I don’t know what is. And at least Snyder says he’s changed his mind.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        But you figure with Biden’s access and devotion to the credit industry over the years, he’s never really stolen that much. Biden’s kid has cashed in a bit more, but Joe himself basically fixes the game and forgets to bet.

      2. Odrot

        Steyer. First time anyone at any of the massdebates uttered the word “resources” instead of “money.”

  21. Summer

    RE: “Democrats Heed Obama’s Warning: As voting nears, candidates discover ordinary voters matter more than social-media warriors.”
    That’s a headline from politico. Sure, I understand challenging allegations, but claiming some don’t matter as much so to hell with them…we will see.
    The problem is that anyone who posts anything contrary to the establishment that has anything to do with injustices will be considered a “social-media warrior” and thus not deserving of any consideration because they’re not “ordinary people.” The establishment is almost frantic enough to start saying “Anybody that complains about any unrepentant BS is not a person.”

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      That’s regular folk like Joe Scarborough, dead mistress, and Mika, daughter of a war criminal. Lets listen to regular folk.

  22. Samuel Conner

    The Craig Murray/Randy Credico interview is fascinating and IMO is a big deal.

    There has been some ventilating in the conventional media about whether DJT might pardon Roger Stone at some point. I recently read that DJT will come under pressure to pardon RS as the sentencing date approaches.

    Based on the CM/RC interview, I think one can confidently predict that there will be no such pressure, and no pardon.

    The thumbnail sketch is that Stone’s lies to Congress exacerbated DJT’s troubles with the ‘deep state’, and were motivated by RS’ interest in appearing more important to DJT than he was. It’s one thing to pardon someone who “takes a fall” for the pardoner, but quite another to pardon someone who self-interestedly made trouble for the pardoner, and then got into his own trouble for that.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > The thumbnail sketch is that Stone’s lies to Congress exacerbated DJT’s troubles with the ‘deep state’, and were motivated by RS’ interest in appearing more important to DJT than he was

      Which you would never see from the coverage in our famously free press.

  23. xkeyscored

    Israeli Company Figures Out How to Turn Household Garbage Into Injection-Moldable Thermoplastic – Core77
    The company is being very tight lipped about how this works, but I sense a scam.
    Metals and glass are separated and recycled, as is common at a facility like this. What’s uncommon is that everything else–plastics, paper, food waste, you name it–is all transformed into an entirely new material called UBQ.
    Food waste?
    In a nutshell, the untreated garbage is shredded and ground into confetti; that confetti is melted and reconstituted as thermoplastic strands
    Melted paper, food waste, and you name it?
    UBQ says its material doesn’t break down
    Melted food waste that doesn’t break down?
    And the accompanying video claims “the heterogeneous stream of materials is reduced to its more basic natural components,” at which point the words CELLULOSE SUGARS FIBERS LIGNIN appear on screen. I think there’s a lot more in waste, even without metals and glass, than those four.

    My guess is this technology could generate profits via waste, pollution and recycling laws and schemes, but will do little to combat the problems of plastic or other waste.

    1. Samuel Conner

      This sounds vaguely like thermal depolymerization, that can reduce long-chain Carbon-containing molecules, whether natural or synthetic, into hydrocarbons that could be used as inputs for plastics or for refining into fuel. TDP hasn’t got very far, AFAIK, aside from a small demonstration plant that depolymerized offal from a turkey processing plant. It seems to be hard to do in a $-competitive way even at scale.

      1. polecat

        Remember, back in the early 00s, all that turkey offal that was converted, via thermal depolymerization, into useful stuff ?? Neither do I …

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Its not impossible – all hydrocarbons ultimately derive from dirt – or as geologists call it, kerogen. So producing plastics from mixed organic waste is theoretically feasible. There has been decades of work in gasifying organic waste (i.e. turning it into methane or other alkanes) – the chemistry is pretty simple. And the alkanes are the ultimate source of polyethylene and polypropylene. So in effect, this has already been done many times. What they seem to be suggesting is that they’ve worked out a short cut from mixed organic matter to produce something like PE or PP, although apparently not either. Maybe its using catalysts or fancy chemistry, or even bioengineering.

      The article is however so vague about the science I’d be very sceptical about it. My guess is that the process involves very large amounts of energy to crack the waste material before its formulated into that plastic. I’ve seen many apparently great ideas always looking great until someone asks the question ‘just how much energy is needed to do this?’

      1. xkeyscored

        just how much energy is needed to do this?
        Agreed entirely, plus I wonder how their process would cope with electronic waste, building rubble (including brick dust and particles, harder to detect than actual bricks), and all the other stuff that finds its way into waste streams.
        Also, proteins aren’t hydrocarbons; they contain nitrogen, and often sulphur. Where does that end up, I wonder?

    3. Oregoncharles

      Thanks. I had essentially the same reaction, expressed below. I do see a possibility they’re using the paper as filler – it claims there is fiber in the final product.

      And a horrible thought: if this really is a breakthrough, we have a dilemma, as there’s a boycott on Israel and Israeli products.

  24. John Beech

    The fact I expose myself to NC should be enough to prove my bona fides as a reasonable Republican voter so let me tell you; the ongoing Schiff debacle is bringing me back home to the Republicans. Here’s a summary of opinion at a recent dinner with friends, all Republican-voting business owners, like myself.

    1. I knew what Trump was when I voted – Democrats have themselves to blame for nominating a craven, corrupt, career politician to oppose him. No regrets!
    2. Regarding dirt on Biden; if there’s dirt I want to know. And not only am I not surprised the self-serving career diplomats are aghast at how he goes about getting things done, but I don’t care. In fact, good for him.
    3. The only promise Trump’s broken, thus far, regards doing something about escalating health care costs. Otherwise, he’s batting 1.000 against too many government regulations, doing the best he can against illegal immigration, and actually is extricating us from costly foreign entanglements.

    Basically, he’s going to get their vote again.

    Note1, I am the only one interested in Bernie Sanders – and this is solely due to his pledge of M4A.

    Note2, I switched voter registration to Democrat a few months back to help Sanders if he is viable when he reaches Florida come primary voting. And absent the President addressing health care in a substantive way, if Sanders is the nominee come November’s election, I’ll follow through and give him a chance because I’m fed up with the self-serving pols in Washington. Otherwise, I too will vote again for President Trump. This view is rather sacrilegious amongst my my friends, but it’s what I am thinking.

    1. jrs

      It was still voting for a fundamentally evil man (and corrupt sheesh). Yea, I can more than live with my Jill Stein vote, albeit in a solid state anyways. I’ve voted Green in the last 3 Prez elections and it doesn’t trouble me. But at this point Trump has been such a disaster that even though my solid state vote is purely symbolic, I’m apt to vote blue no matter who, just to send a message.

      Kind of odd that of all the economic issues Sanders brings up, the only one a Republican voter relates to is healthcare, but kind of typical I’m afraid, the comfortable classes are still comfortable in most ways and maybe nothing changes as long as that’s so, but the healthcare issue even affects them sometimes.

      1. Wukchumni

        I cast my Presidential vote in 2016 for a different game show host: Wink Martindale, and have since come to find that a Baltimore Ravens coach is also named Wink Martindale, and I hope there wasn’t a mixup with whom the vote went.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Not that things are good, but universal healthcare would be a very immediate and dramatic effect on our American life as a whole. People would rush to the exits from bad work environments. Many good work environments that aren’t tenable because of healthcare make sense at least in two income households.

        There is a reason voters haven’t become “bored” of healthcare which was predicted by “smrt” pundits and Democrat strategerists. Despite Chuck Shumers’ claim that Democrats should have focused on the economy before healthcare, 1/5 of the economy is healthcare spending. Its not escapable. I can ignore public schools. I’m out of school and don’t have kids. I can ignore abortion clinics. I’m a man. I can ignore credit card interest laws. I rarely buy things because I’m cheap. I can ignore gun control because I’m not in school and I don’t own a gun. I’m not accidentally going to shoot myself. Despite being a shining beacon of health, I do have a dentist appointment next week. I can’t ignore healthcare as a whole. Its going to hit me.

        Not that other issues aren’t important and are representative of why there needs to be dynamic parties capable of chewing gum and breathing at the same time (any Democrats who whines about hard work needs to be removed) to handle issues that represent smaller segments of the population, HEALTHCARE IS CONSTANT.

      3. marym

        Voted Green in 2012 and 2016 in a futile attempt to send a message to the Dems. Hoping to vote for Sanders but also contemplating the grim possibility of a solid state blue no matter who vote to send a message.

    2. Samuel Conner

      Thanks for supporting Sanders.

      I’ve been wondering whether there might be a trap for the Ds in these hearings. The JB/HB/Burisma business has for me the smell of possible violation (of the spirit if not the letter) of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, in that JB might be credibly accused of doing precisely what DJT has been accused of, threatening to hold up cash assistance to a government in exchange for a concession that had a significant private element of benefit.

      If this gets to a trial in the Senate, I imagine that the defense might drag this into the forefront of public awareness.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I’ll simplify for you: 8 years of Obama put career partisans in at the FBI, CIA, State, and Justice. Obama’s undying fealty to Permanent War, Wall St over Main Street, Big Pharma over Sick People, and Big Tech over Everyone endeared him to the corporate class that owns the information that is allowed to go over the airwaves. Those career partisans pay lip service to “democracy” but decided that the people had selected incorrectly in 2016. Knowing that their team was utterly corrupted and compromised, from the Clinton “Foundation” through to the Biden quid pro quo scam-o-rama in The Ukraine, to the 2014 Ukraine coup, the Honduras coup, arming al-Qaeda, 1 MDB/Goldman, quid pro quo of $400M by State to get Sweden to accept Monsanto poisons, using Dem Party funds to pay foreign agents to compromise the US election, ad nauseam) oops when Trump won they knew they needed to blow lots of smoke, and fast. Pure Saul Alinsky: accuse your opponent of what you are guilty of. Otherwise their parallel justice system, where Paul Manafort languishes in jail while Tony Podesta sips aperitifs in a seaside villa, comes tumbling down. I say: tumble away, about goddamn time.

        1. Off The Street

          December 9th discussion of Horowitz report should clarify many things stop

          Will cause the Schiff process to escalate like a hyperbolic function, yielding more heat, little light stop

          Counter-programming efforts being gamed out for news releases to a servile press stop

          Appropriate focus groups called in for double shift duties to provide more talking points stop

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Jeff Zucker waves his hand “these are not the droids you are looking for”

            Parallel realities and systems of justice continue. “Home” team has control of the Panopticon

            There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly, and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to… The Outer Limits.

    3. Louis Fyne

      you’re preaching to the reasonably-minded choir. Media + DC + party base have total Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      (in my opinion) The great irony of the impeachment inquiry is that it proves the conservatives right about the efficacy of the federal government—-DC is gridlocked, nothing gets done and the world keeps turning (the proverbial cans gets kicked down the road).

      Biggest failure for the Democrats is the opportunity cost—all this TV time on the hearings and it’ll translate into zero value. When if they spent the same time on wealth inequality and/or health care inflation, they may have able to make some convincing arguments.

    4. allan

      “The only promise Trump’s broken, thus far, regards doing something about escalating health care costs.”

      Do your friends get out much? Because the word “only” is doing a lot of work there.
      Many of us remember promises concerning

      1. $1 trillion in infrastructure projects.
      2. Closing carried interest loophole.
      3. Bringing back manufacturing jobs.
      4. Draining the swamp.
      5. Dealing with the opioid crisis.
      6. Protecting Medicare. And speaking of which, hot off the press:

      Glitch in Medicare drug plan finder could cost consumers [AP]

      A glitch in Medicare’s revamped prescription plan finder can steer unwitting seniors to coverage that costs much more than they need to pay, according to people who help with sign-ups as well as program experts.

      Serving some 60 million Medicare recipients, the plan finder is the most commonly used tool on and just got its first major update in a decade. The Trump administration has hailed the new version and Medicare Administrator Seema Verma says it will empower beneficiaries to take advantage of their coverage options.

      But as open enrollment goes into the home stretch Thanksgiving week, critics say the new tool can create confusion by obscuring out-of-pocket costs that seniors should factor into their decisions. …

    5. marym

      I’m fine with exposing the corruption of the Bidens or any other politicians, though I doubt that Trump sees the scope of what constitutes corruption in the same way as I do! As far as other aspects of his performance, I disagree that he has promoted objectives for which people may have entertained some good faith hope of improvement.

      Troop withdrawal:
      He gets at least a check mark for effort in Syria, though I don’t know the latest status of troops, contractors, and “taking the oil.” Other than that, there have been more airstrikes and civilian casualties (link), increased troop levels in the Middle East including troops to Saudi Arabia (link), and his veto of the bill to end complicity in Yemen.

      If voter concern was that illegal immigration is bad for the country on grounds of impact on jobs, wages, housing, and public services, has there been some improvement that opponents of illegal immigration contend balances out the disappeared children, and other cruelties at the border? As Trump administration immigration policies are extended to childhood arrivals, asylum seekers, family migration, temporary protected status, refugees, naturalized citizens, birthright citizens, and deportation of military veterans, in what ways is this direction beneficial to our country?

      More or fewer regulations are meaningless without an assessment against stated goals. What are the goals and the impact on air and water quality, public health, worker protections, consumer protections, patient protections, etc. of removing regulations (link)?

      1. Monty

        He’s absolutely horrible, but if you vote for the Democrats, no matter how rotten they are, then they will never change. If they win with Republican lite policies (with a side of idpol), that’s all we will get, and that is not something I will be party to. That’s why I won’t endorse them again until they move closer to policies I agree with.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          “but if you vote for the Democrats, no matter how rotten they are, then they will never change”
          welcome the club for people who Team Blue calls “Vlad”.
          I threw that argument at those people for a long, long time(well before trump).
          “democratic” in democratic party means “vote for whomever we select for you, citizen”.
          goptea is terrible, but at least it’s somewhat democratic.
          a pox on them all.
          my flag has a middle finger on it.(and sometimes, a skunk)

          1. polecat

            “citizen” …..

            That’s a good one. Too bad they don’t see us as such. If one were to use the term ‘coinpurse’ ..or even ‘asset bladder’ .. well, now we’re talkin …

    6. The Rev Kev

      I think that John Beech’s comment is a perfect demonstration of the fact that you can have reasonable Republicans contend with reasonable Democrats to choose a President that would run the country. But the trouble is that extremists in both parties are refusing this to allow this to happen in order to serve their own personal interests and this is having a knock-on effect.
      We have all seen CNN and now MSNBC lie their faces off as they try to rig the election in favour of candidates that they deem to be the “right” ones. Hint – Sanders is not one of them nor is Gabbard. I find it ironic that from time to time Fox news has been getting it right and that it is now people like Tucker Carlson that is talking truth to power. Never saw that one coming.
      This is getting to be sort of like that Chinese curse – “May you live in interesting times!”

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        in spite of my often libertine ways, and inherent radicalism about a great many things, i’ve always gotten along pretty well with the Russell Kirk sorts…and the Thomists and old timey front porch republicans…and it was as weird to them as it was to me.
        we hardly agreed on anything but Place, and the joys of gardening and oak trees.
        the internet has confused us all into thinking that every republican is just like hannity—or mcconnell.
        or, conversely, that every dem is just like whatever ubersocialist scary monster you care to mention (like hillary clinton,lol/s)
        caricatures of monolithic evil, whom we must avoid all contact with, lest we be contaminated with impure ideas..
        but that’s what the machine wants.
        so to foil that machine, early in the teabilly madness, i decided to stop hiding from my neighbors and uttering anodyne comments in order to avoid the noose…to apply what i’ve learned from a lifetime of lay anthropology in the field…and shared a beer with my racist, musclecar, gun nut hillbilly neighbor across the back fence.
        and it turns out that he was as afraid of me as i had been of him.
        we’ll never be friends…but i’d cook at his daughter’s wedding if asked…and i don’t expect to see him with pitchforks outside my house, no matter what some ideologue on the radio says.
        because now he knows what a libertarian socialist(we used the term “liberal” for simplicity) actually looks and sounds like…and it has little relation to what rush limborg or glenn beck waves around on a stick.
        (and this particular subject is leaning towards M4A…now that he’s seen what the “best medical system in the world” is really like)

    7. The Historian

      Are you holding on to old labels of what Republicanism and Democratic used to be? In the 80’s, the Republican Party could have people like John Andersen and Norman Rockefeller and still be within the limits of what Republicanism is. Not so anymore. And the same goes for the Democratic Party.

      I don’t know you well enough to know if you have changed, but certainly the parties have. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate what party affiliation means to you?

  25. xkeyscored

    A Military Draft to Confront Climate Change? American Conservative (resilc)
    I don’t know that I agree with everything in this piece, but it’s good to see the issue being taken seriously.

    “A crisis of unknown proportions is riding down the road on us and the risk is high enough to take insurance. You can’t get ready for this crisis without a whole lot of people to handle it.”
    “As much as I may have a fear of the DoD becoming so instrumental in meeting what might be the worst crisis the world ever confronted, I still understand that they are the only ones with the capability,” he said, pointing to military ships, planes, logistics, and response expertise in past crises. “(The military) are the only ones with organization and discipline to handle this.” …
    So this is where the draft comes in, and according Wilkerson, it will not only help solve the problem of facing future crisis, but returning policy to the people. How many would have supported the Iraq War if there was a draft? Would we still be fighting Vietnam if there were an all-volunteer army then?

    1. jrs

      But why is it necessary to draft people? Why not just pay them well? This may still be less ideal in some ways as it will pull from the desperate but …

      The military could take it on I guess, maybe why not as perhaps they do have the logistics. It’s not an ideal solution but we are running out of options and can’t seem to get serious solutions. And yes I am perfectly aware that as it stands currently the military is part of the problem.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Climate change adaptation might be a large set of public-interest projects that would provide useful work that could be undertaken under the auspices of a Federal Job Guarantee.

        I’ve read progressive skeptics of the JG (I think I have read this concern in Matt Bruenig’s writings, for example) question whether there is enough useful work to employ all the people who would want to take advantage of the program. I suspect that there will be more work to do than there will be real resources of underutilized people and materiel to do what is needed.

      2. polecat

        I’m pretty confident that the Extiction Rebellion/Thubergian Jihadis would be all good with forcing the lowly, unconnected serfs to do the Corporate NGO’s biding … at punitive starvation wages.

    2. Susan the Other

      Yes. It’s time somebody opened up the discussion. And I agree with the premise that we are faced with existential threats which only a serious organized effort can forestall. Not surprised it was tasked to Col. Wilkerson. But they seem to be tackling 2 problems: Creating the necessary man power for climate mitigation and emergencies, and reopening the draft. One thing is clear, climate mitigation requires an army of hands-on soldiers. To fix things – not to devastate things. There maybe should be two drafts. One for the usual destructive purposes. And a new one, more like the Peace Corp, for serving the country in emergency situations and for long term projects to repair the effects of climate change. I’m a little leery of a new draft using the obvious necessity of military know-how and can-do for peaceful purposes if it comes with a rider to use all draftees for combat. The way it was presented was intentionally ambiguous.

    3. Wukchumni

      We’d really have to decide what our mission statement was-which direction we want to go as a country for real, as opposed to what mostly involves kowtowing as a matter of course to those engaged or retired from active military service as requested by prompting on the television.

  26. Wukchumni

    The planet is burning Aeon
    The wildfire season around these parts was thankfully a big nothing, with rain coming yesterday, and 3 more days of deluge due next week, stick a fork in it.

    A few burn piles full of contributions since April are ready to go, they need only meet their match after everything that died back with their roots on, greens up again and the surroundings previously a 360 degree fuse in the summer, become fireproof.

    Every year about this time, I feel as if i’ve gotten a reprieve, another chance to slit my risks, and a Ryobi 40v battery operated chainsaw with 14 inch bar makes for effortless cuts.

    Most of the trees here are typically less than 2 feet in diameter, except for a 6 foot wide oak tree near the river, nothing like it in size anywhere around these parts as far as nearby oaks go, and a few months back, about 1/3rd of a cord worth of branch office fell off one day, some disassembly required.

  27. Tomonthebeach

    Call me a libtard snowflake progressive, but Pelosi extending the Patriot Act (now there’s an oxymoron forya) for political expedience sake is ample evidence of why we need to purge the Democratic Party of visionless, spineless pols like her.

    This administration gets away with murder, literally (note the recent convicted warcriminal pardons) because the Democrats in Congress allow it. Worse, we the people put these people in power, so we too allow it.

    1. Oregoncharles

      “we need to purge the Democratic Party of visionless, spineless pols like her.”
      A half-measure, and an already proven failure, at that. What do you think progressives have been trying to do for the past 30 years or more? And what happened during that time?

    2. hunkerdown

      She has a vision and she has a spine. She knows exactly who she’s working for and what game she’s playing. As George Carlin said, “you ain’t in it.”

      There’s no way to take “these people” as a whole out of power without scrapping the Constitution, which is about 200 years overdue by my reckoning.

    3. pasha

      pat act is only extended for three (or four) months. it must then be voted on as a single bill, standalone. stopping budget reconciliation would have hurt millions on medicaid (700,000 in puerto rico alone) and snap (food stamps). i’d much rather have a straight up or down vote at the beginning of an election year, forcing congress critters to show their true colors

  28. Oregoncharles

    “Israeli Company Figures Out How to Turn Household Garbage Into Injection-Moldable Thermoplastic”

    Let’s assume for a moment that this is for real. It’s essentially what I suggested a while back: use the thermoplastic portion of the waste to glue everything else together, a la Trex (sawdust consolidated with polyethylene). Essentially papercrete using plastic instead of cement.

    The article is interesting to read for what is missing – all the important stuff. I’m skeptical about including food waste; wasteful, for one thing, since it’s better used as fertilizer – as is done by Republic Services here. For another, it introduces water and some very reactive ingredients. I suspect they treat it all with heat and pressure to break down the organics, an established technology, but they aren’t telling. Color could be added when they melt the mess, so that’s less mysterious.

    I wonder what the energy cost is? It has the big advantage of sequestering carbon, though it would go back into the waste stream after a while.

    1. xkeyscored

      They claim the process is energy efficient, whatever that means.
      The UBQ Process is:

      – Patented worldwide
      – Closed-loop
      – Climate-positive

      – Energy efficient
      – Zero residual waste
      – Zero emissions
      – Zero water consumption

      1. ambrit

        Roman cement is also a lot tougher than modern cement. Lasts longer for one thing. Can we imagine many of the present day road bridges still being used in a thousand years? Yet Roman built concrete buildings are still being used today. For example, the present day Pantheon in Rome, now a working church. A poured concrete dome 1900 years old. Now that’s building for you!
        Ye Pantheon:,_Rome

        1. Danny

          The Romans used the principle of the arch and most importantly, their works contained no rebar, which immediately starts to rust when microcracks open in the concrete admitting moisture. Rusting steel expands to 17x it’s original volume, with an inexorable force, further cracking the concrete and letting in even more moisture.

          We could build without rebar today, but the structures would be low, wide, massive and very expensive.

      2. Oregoncharles

        Well, we have plenty of volcanic ash, and seawater is readily available. I noticed the article does not contain a recipe; apparently that is yet to come.

        The formula might have been a closely guarded secret of a guild, so not written down anywhere scholars might find.

  29. PlutoniumKun

    China Is Out of Economic Ammo Against the U.S. Noah Smith, Bloomberg

    Smith writes that the only ‘ammo’ left to the Chinese in an economic war with the US is rare earth metals, but they have so much more than this – not least a near monopoly on the base chemicals required for numerous pharmaceuticals. If anything, they’ve been very restrained recently compared (for example) to the type of economic war Japan and South Korea have been engaged in. I suspect they don’t want to blow away the advantages they have – and will be careful to assess the damage the US is capable of inflicting on their own economy.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s also about what cost is intolerable, and not just about ammo superiority.

      For example, some would risk a whole city, and millions of lives, to not lost a battle.

      Some, like the French in WW2, had not stomach or preferred to spare Paris.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Trump knows that he has China over a barrel if he wants because of their two-currency system, they use the RMB internally but everything external requires dollars. Multi-national mainland investments are now utterly trapped: even if they close them down they cannot get the funds out of the country.

      But of course the leading Dem lights know better, Biden says “China is not a problem” and Mayo Pete said last night that Trump’s trade war was “unnecessary”. Biden would say that of course, since even a casual look at the $1.5B mainland “investment fund” he grifted Hunter into will make Burisma look as pure as driven snow.

  30. PlutoniumKun

    The Long-Forgotten Flight That Sent Boeing Off Course Atlantic

    I’d consider this a ‘must read’. As so often, the trouble seems to start with putting people with MBA’s in charge. I’d love it if a future Boeing CEO announced on his first day that his first cost cutting measure was firing all MBA’s and replacing them with engineers.

    One thing not mentioned in the article is that among the cost cutting measures was the complete failure to invest in a 737 replacement. It defies belief that they didn’t have a parallel development project going on to replace it, even while milking the existing design for as long as possible. It will take at the very least a decade to get one in the air if they start now – if in the meanwhile the 737 falls out of favour with airlines, they are in big trouble.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      More and more, we ask the worth of things we do.

      “What is my return for bringing up a son or a daughter?”

      1. ambrit

        What’s the famous quote? Wilde?
        “He knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.”
        This quote is a send up of cynics in general. I wish to know what a cynic with a moral compass would be called?

  31. Wukchumni

    We’ve had every kind of acorn* harvest in our time here, from none to bountiful with this fall being bumper, and the drop in late October to November is always helpful in finding Yogi, and there he was yesterday, a 200 pound black model, the 6th sighting of the year gave me 6 seconds of lack of separation through the windshield, before exiting stage left.

    *bears & woodpeckers seem the most reliable consumers, I wonder what the competition was like when you added in the Native Americans, for whom acorns were 2/3rds of their diet?

  32. smoker

    Re: Why the Hell Did Democrats Just Extend the Patriot Act? New Republic

    Some advocates have questioned whether the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), which includes the Squad, should have done more to combat—or, at least, register its dissatisfaction with—the last-minute maneuver by Democratic leadership. On Wednesday morning, leaders of the CPC and the libertarian House Freedom Caucus circulated a joint letter on Capitol Hill calling for extensive reforms to the Patriot Act before it is reauthorized. But when it came time for the floor vote, CPC co-chairs Pramila Jayapal and Mark Pocan voted in favor of the funding measure. So did most of the caucus’s members. The only person in CPC leadership to vote against the bill was Omar.

    Huh? The piece notes that Omar voted against the funding measure, but the Roll Call notes that she voted for it. There were no Nays from the Dems, with two Dems not voting: Tulsi Gabbart (Hawaii) and Jose Serrano (New York).

    On a very related note, I wish, as a matter of course, Journalists would link to Roll Call Votes, along with at least referencing the BIll Number, if not the Title – in this instance: House Resolution 708 Providing for consideration of the Senate amendment to the bill (H.R. 3055) making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020, and for other purposes (presumably the funding measure Resolution referred to) – far, far more often then I’ve ever witnessed.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Re: Why the Hell Did Democrats Just Extend the Patriot Act? New Republic

      Tinfoil hat time: Because the intelligence community is on their side in the soft coup they’re staging against Trump?

      1. smoker

        Most assuredly, particularly California Legislators. Hell Leon Panetta’s son is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus™ [CPC]. Additionally, many of the Congressional Progressive Caucus™ preside over the most shameful, inhumane centers of unsheltered homeless in the country.

        1. smoker

          There’s a handy list of California’s Congressional Progressive Caucus™ members here. The cities noted next to their names are generally not the only cities they represent at least a portion of, and many of the districts are located in more than one county. For example, here’s the California CPC Vice Chair Ro Khanna’s weird district, per wiki:

          California’s 17th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California that is currently represented by Ro Khanna. The district is located in the South and East San Francisco Bay Area. The district includes parts of Alameda County and Santa Clara County. It encompasses the cities of Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Newark, the majority of Fremont, and the northernmost part of San Jose. The district includes the campus of Santa Clara University, and the corporate headquarters of Apple Inc, Intel Corp., Yahoo, and eBay. It is the only majority-Asian district in the United States outside of Hawaii.

          And, needless to say, Nancy Pelosi was a California Congressional Progressive Caucus™ member before being elected as House Minority Leader.

          I’m so ashamed at having voted for her, along with many other California Dems for decades, it will never happen again.

          1. smoker

            Side note re Khanna’s District and this sentence

            It is the only majority-Asian district in the United States outside of Hawaii.

            That is a recent, BIPARTISAN development of the last decade plus. Note that it did not say Asian Americans – many who don’t appear to fare near as well in California compared to Asians with visas – the paragraph encapsulates the issue of uncapped visas so many facing joblessness and homelessness in the valley are angry about. The worker visas were/are given to predominantly young males.

  33. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Fed Agency Plans Are Not Adequate to Prevent 99.8% of U.S. Endangered Species From Suffering Climate Crisis, Study Says EcoWatch

    Just commenting on the title and the way it’s written.

    For Buddhism, life consists of suffering, pain and misery. To say that plans are not adequate to prevent 99.8% of US endangered species from suffering, or suffering something (in this case, climate crisis), seen in that light, would imply something not quite unusual.

    I think something stronger needs to be written instead, like, not adequate to prevent mass deaths (in contrast to dying naturally, in small numbers).

  34. Eclair

    RE: The Planet is Burning. A beautifully written essay, poetic in its description of our era as the Pyrocene, rather than Anthropocene. It gave a nudge to my way of thinking about fire, shook up my notion of ‘fire bad,’ and spins a believable narrative around ‘first-fire,’ ‘second-fire,’ and ‘third-fire.’ ‘Third-fire’ is our fossil-fueled way of life and must be stopped if we (humans and all our flying, swimming, creeping and four-footed relatives, as well as our flora) are to survive. “Third-fire doesn’t play well with the others. Wherever it and second-fire meet, it substitutes for or suppresses flame.” First-fire and second-fire, if managed, are good.

    “The substitution of third-fire for second-fire spread to agriculture. Tractors fed by diesel shove aside oxen and mules fed on grains grown on fire-renewed fallow; herbicides, pesticides and artificial fertilisers replace the fertilising and fumigating effects of fire. Contrary to European agronomic thinking, fallow is not a superstitious practice worsened by then burning the rested fields; the ecological jolt of fire is the purpose. Since fire needs fuel, in an agricultural system that means growing it, which is the function of fallowing. Now, fossil fallow serves that role. It supplies a stored surplus that we can burn to enrich fields indirectly and avoid setting part of the agricultural landscape temporarily aside.”

    “The mosaic created by fallowing held most of a rural landscape’s biodiversity. Fallowed fields, hedgerows, woodlots – such sites dappled agricultural lands with a kaleidoscope of habitats. In abolishing the practice, third-fire demanded that people invent an alternative place for biodiversity in the form of nature reserves.”

    The notion of fire, as an agricultural practice, as ‘fertilizing and fumigating,’ is an intriguing one.

    And, much as I hate to say it, Trump’s bombastic declarations about ‘sweeping the forest floor’ might have some kernel of truth wrapped up in his usual layers of bullying and incoherence.

  35. Matt

    “Cement has a carbon problem. Here are some concrete solutions.”

    I can’t believe no one commented on this article. The author is literally suggesting that instead of heating limestone in the concrete making process using coal, that we use TIRE FIRES instead!

    This argument does not help climate change activists convince the other side who are skeptical. In fact, it makes them laugh at climate change activists.

    1. Grant

      I think people on the right often look for any excuse to laugh at climate activists. It’s kind of funny though, as they are laughing at people that want to avoid societal collapse. Good luck to those laughing when explaining their decisions on those issues to their grandchildren. There are times when climate activists say things that maybe aren’t the most logical, maybe sometimes what they want to do isn’t realistic (like expecting things without acknowledging productive limitations). But, are those activists as off as those denying the science of the matter and those yawning us to collapse? If some people are skeptical about the climate crisis, are they also skeptical about the larger environmental crisis that the climate crisis is part of? Is the species extinction rate being thousands of times the natural rate a hoax or open to debate too? Dead zones in the gulf? The huge problems with the 80,000 chemicals produced in the US’s industrial economy and agricultural system that we throw into ecosystems? Ocean acidification? Deforestation? Soil erosion? The limits of growth in regards to throughput and pollution generation? If so, why would I care what these silly people laugh at?

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