Links 12/2/19

32 UK Towns With Hilarious Names That Actually Exist Bored Panda. I lived for a couple of my years when I was a child on Shades of Death Road in Allamuchy, New Jersey (since bowdlerized to Shades Road). So I guess it’s no surprise I found these amusing.

Seattleite, 92, finally tells story of German who saved more Jews during the Holocaust than Schindler Seattle Times (UserFriendly)

Machine learning has revealed exactly how much of a Shakespeare play was written by someone else MIT Technology Review

Archaeologists tie ancient bones to a revolt chronicled on the Rosetta Stone Science News

Mexican officials detain suspects in massacre of members of Mormon sect The Hill (UserFriendly)

Cosmic Crisp apple: New variety ‘keeps in the fridge for up to a year’ Sky News. Why does anyone wish to store an apple in the fridge for a year?

There’s an easy way to make lending fairer for women. Trouble is, it’s illegal. MIT Technology Review (Dr. Kevin)

Virginia targets historic push on equal rights amendment for women The Hill. UserFriendly: “this will be interesting to see if SCOTUS cares about the time limit it had originally.”

Driverless cars aren’t safe enough to share our streets FT (David L)


Understand The OPCW Scandal In Seven Minutes Caitlin Johnstone

America Lost the Iraq War. These Cables Show How. New Republic (UserFriendly)

PETER HITCHENS: My secret meeting with mole at the heart of The Great Poison Gas Scandal Daily Mail (Harry)

The Superpowers Battling Over Iraq’s Giant Oil Field (re Silc)

Plumbing the depths of despair in Turkey Qantara

How safe is vaping? New human studies assess chronic harm to heart and lungs Science (UserFriendly)

Julian Assange

Assange to Testify on Being Recorded in Embassy in London

Carbon Calculus IMF

Polar Bears’ Diet Is 25% Plastic, Russian Scientists Say Moscow Times (furzy)

Why business cannot tackle climate change on its own FT (David L)

Warming toll: 1 degree hotter, trillions of tons of ice gone ( (furzy)

As sea engulfs coastline, Indonesians pay high price to shield homes Reuters


The Nature of the Hong Kong Protests Consortium News (Bob K)

How China’s Rise Has Forced Hong Kong’s Decline NYRB

Hongkongers make BN(O) passports an election issue for foreign secretary Dominic Raab SCMP

Huawei chips away at US ‘security’ ban Asia Times

Health Care

Trump’s drug importation plan faces resistance in US, Canada The Hill

Concussions, broken bones, and more: a week of football in the U.S. Stat (chuck l)

I was a drug rep. I know how pharma companies pushed opioids. WaPo

737 MAX

John Barnett on Why He Won’t Fly on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner Corporate Crime Reporter (IronForge)

Tough luck, Aussies! Pentagon won’t compensate Australia for faulty Boeing fighter jet that went AFLAME on takeoff RT (chuck l)

Class Warfare

We Don’t Need Space Colonies, and We Definitely Don’t Need Jeff Bezos Jacobin (furzy)

The Billionaire Problem Project Syndicate (UserFriendly). Simon Johnson.

How’s life? OECD Better Life Index (JG)

‘Losing two farms a day’: Wisconsin is facing a serious dairy crisis Yahoo Finance (furzy)

What counts as work? London Review of Books

The Way Out for a World Economy Hooked On Debt? More Debt Bloomberg. UserFriendly:  “It sure would be helpful if they stopped conflating public and private debt.”

As politics heat up, so do hiring bias worries TechTarget

Ecommerce turns to biometrics to validate shoppers FT

The Limits of Lagarde Project Syndicate (UserFriendly). Yanis Varoufakis.

Germany’s ruling coalition shaken by new SPD election FT. The German equivalent of electing Bernie president.

Opinion: New SPD leadership could bring Germany closer to new election  Deutsche Welle


Buttigieg: ‘I was slow to realize’ South Bend schools were not integrated The Hill (UserFriendly)

Trump Transition

The war crimes president: Donald Trump doesn’t understand the damage he’s causing to the military Salon

Welcome To The Potemkin Village Of Washington Power American Conservative (UserFriendly)

The Enemy Within Atlantic (David L)

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. divadab

      And it was a pretty good article until Gen Mattis started praising Colin Powell as some kind of exemplar of leadership. Sure, General Mattis, leadership that tells blatant and several lies in a public forum in order to gin up support for an illegal war is great leadership!

      Anyway, I stopped reading at that point, and figure that the rot includes Mattis as well as that moral degenerate Colin Powell. Is there any honor left in the US Military? Not if these guys are exemplary……

    1. Wukchumni

      Isn’t a ‘growler’ a large container to bring beer home in, not a jet that catches on fire for no apparent reason?

          1. Wukchumni

            Also, a disequilibrated sports fan.

            I’m dropping the ‘Long Suffering’ prefix and sticking with the suffix solely, i.e. Bills Fan.

            I have seen the promised hand, and it belongs to Josh.

      1. chuck roast

        Back in day little kids in the neighborhood could make a penny “rushing the growler”. They would hang out at the factories around mid-day, and wait for the working stiffs to take their lunch break. The guys would give give the kids their beer pails and a few cents and the kids would run off to the local watering hole, have the pails filled with beer and run back to factory with full pail as quickly as possible.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Where beer is concerned, it’s a half-gallon jug.

          Sheesh – don’t drink all of that yourself.

      2. wilroncanada

        Maybe if they’d had a couple of growlers in the growler, they could have put out the fire, and had a refreshment after it was extinguished.

      3. HotFlash

        Wikipedia says: Growler.

        Gentlepersons, I found out a couple of years ago that a growler is a jug of small-craft beer. At least, that is what it it in Canada. I currently have one under my desk since I have to return it to brewer ($4 deposit!), which is a while away. I live with another sort of growler, my domestic felines.

    2. RMO

      Doesn’t surprise me – it seems crazy but in the aviation world it’s standard practice that if a manufacturer screws something up they don’t feel obligated to pay for the fix. In the civil world the SOP is 1: screw up 2: design a fix 3: get the national airworthiness authority to issue a legally binding airworthiness directive which has to be followed in order to make the aircraft airworthy 4: expect the owners to pay whatever is necessary. Every now and then a company will offer compensation or free rectification but it’s rare for that to happen without legal action by the people who own the affected aircraft.

      Of course you could argue that a national government purchasing millions of dollars of equipment a year should have more ability to influence the manufacturers to be more supportive than say a single person buying a new Cirrus or R44 but I suppose that of the government officials were mean to the companies in negotiating those terms of sale they would have much less chance of moving over to a nice high paying job with them later on.

  1. Gizzard McDuckduck

    “The Enemy Within” link above leads to a micro$oft publicity site for free email, not to the Atlantic.

  2. Field Marshal McLuhan

    What counts as work? London Review of Books

    I recently spent a few years as a full-time caregiver for family (cancer sucks). I lived with them, cleaned and cooked, cared for their pets, tended to the house, drove them to and from appointments, entertained them, fed them, consoled them. I have never worked so hard in my life. And for all the grief and loneliness that came with the job, the hardest thing of all was having to deal with the ignorance and cruelty of people who simply could and would not see what I was doing as legitimate work. I got called a leech and a bum by people who knew perfectly well how much I was doing for my loved ones, how absolutely vital my presence was. All because the tasks I performed didn’t come with a paycheck attached.

    What frosts me is that the exact same suite of tasks, if done for a stranger for pay, would have counted as a legit job. But because I worked for my loved ones for free, I was a mooch and a loser.

    The ‘Protestant’ work ethic is an utterly vicious view of life, a weapon for the strong to use against the weak. And the strong will only become more mercilessly attached to it as the weak increase in number and desperation.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      yeah. people suck, sometimes.
      I became a househusband around 13 years ago, when i could no longer handle my job(cook/chef) due to arthritis-from-hell.
      i kept house, repaired the crappy house we were living in, and did all manner of things to remain useful.
      but the community saw me as a bum…nobody ever saw me on pain days, of course…i only ventured out on non-pain days…and in addition to the invisible illness aspect, there’s a great need in a bunch of people to deny such things…and to instead insist that “everything’s fine”. My travails with the disability system were’nt believed by anybody…because it’s “easy to get on welfare”…fox news said so.
      when i finally got my hip replacement, suddenly i was regarded as legitimate…after all, they don’t give hip replacements to fakers and frauds,lol…and of course, no apology was forthcoming.
      there’s lots of things that play into this cruelty…manipulated psychology and fear are a big part of it. people unconsciously put themselves in your shoes, and unconsciously recoil from the implications: mortality, it could happen to me, etc.
      and the Machine is there with a ready set of scapegoats and just-world-ism…taking legitimate human fears and exacerbating them in order to shore up TINA.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Being in pain is bad enough. I’ve never been in your situation, or even close, but I’ve hurt my back a few times and it ruins everything….ruins your mood, attitude, plans for the day, changes your whole schedule. The worst part is the fear of making it worse.

        Some of the worst enforcers of the ‘undeserving on disability’ meme are themselves the legitimate recipients. Politicians and media infect their brain with the idea that there’s legions of the undeserving clogging up the rolls and creating the bureaucratic obstacles that are set up all throughout the system.

        It’s so frustrating to see rampant victim blaming take place. But, this is exactly what AOC hits at when she says we need to get rid of the ‘scarcity mentality’. She’s exactly right. We need to stop pretending we’re NOT the richest country in human history and doling out punishment like we’re under siege and giving out rations.

    2. vlade

      Of course, if you had a million dollar plus bank balance, you’d be hailed as someone who sacrificed their career and life for the loved one, and have a book and a movie contracts by now.

      1. Oh

        I hope you’re not talking about Obomber. I really don’t want to see him in a movie. I’ve had enough of that grifter.

        1. ambrit

          A remake of “The Day of the Jackal?” With ‘O’ playing the de Gaulle part. Then, I would go with a totally different ending. (And no stunt double.)

    3. Ignacio

      Yep, FMML it is income, income! what makes a job ethic. Even if you make or sell anti-personnel mines.

    4. dearieme

      The ‘Protestant’ work ethic is an utterly vicious view of life

      Hold on; you’ve boasted about your Protestant work ethic, devoted to looking after your family. The fault isn’t in your work ethic it’s in those loathsome creeps who wouldn’t acknowledge your efforts. Keep the work ethic; find a better class of acquaintance.

      1. Vegetius

        I hear everything you say. But blaming the “Protestant work ethic” is wrong. Protestant ethics regarding work and its role in society have been misunderstood by sociologists, caricatured by viscous leftists and abused-for-profit by sociopathic libertarians and neoliberals.

          1. HotFlash

            I am a caregiver as well as an artisan, and also, dare I say it, a proud member of the petite bourgeoise. The authorities want to know what our relationship is, I say, “Friends,”, they are flummoxed. But I will also embrace ‘viscous leftists’. I can embroider it on my jacket while I sit with my friend. Sticky friends are the best kind!

    5. JohnnyGL

      Yup, that’s awful. In today’s America, if you are poor and not working (for pay), you’re dog doo-doo. The country hates you. I know someone who won’t admit it, but I swear, he’s happier in jail because he can’t get/keep a job and can’t handle the shame of being on the bottom. At least in jail he’s on the same level as everyone around him.

      It’s definitely worse if you’re a guy, too. I know a few housewives with lefty values who are simultaneously living a life cut-and-pasted from the 1950s caricature. It’s sort of an amusing contradiction.

      The funny thing is that it’s so pervasive that even rich trust-fund types who could easily go full-bore on the whole ‘life of leisure’ thing feel obligated to have some kind of ‘job’ which brings in a paycheck to boost their status and self-esteem.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        One of the things I really like about a few of the places I’ve lived: Paris, Port Vila (Vanuatu) and Sydney.

        Basic human dignity. In Paris, a homeless poet living under a bridge still gets a measure of admiration and appreciation. In Vanuatu, basic human dignity on display: people with not a single possession on this Earth smiling, joking, laughing, because the society tells them they are not worthless. And Sydney, where people in the trades (like my son) occupy a rung in society where they are still mostly valued (and even handsomely paid).

      1. Oregoncharles

        Yeah, house-husband.
        The typical mother who gets to stay home with the kids, that is. Most don’t get to any more.

        And he talks politics on here or with random acquaintances to stay sane, because the isolation is dangerous.

        FWIW, I think Polecat is in a similar situation.

  3. UserFriendly

    Oh guys, I thought up a solution to climate change!!! Make it perfectly legal to murder anyone worth $1 billion or more until we are at net zero, if you murder them, you get to keep all their assets over $1billion and their next of kin get the $1billion. They could always just give up the money to get the target off their back and any forfeited money goes directly towards reducing emissions.

    2 birds with one stone there. How long do you think it would take?

    1. roadrider

      How do you know that billionaires themselves won”t take advantage of this offer until there’s only one mega-trillionaire who rules the entire world?

      Also, even if its non-billionaires who take advantage of this you’d just be creating a new crop of multi-billionaires.

    2. hunkerdown

      But is there really a difference between neoliberals and feral hogs, operationally speaking?

      Anyway, I believe the term you’re looking for is “right of self-defense”.

      1. Ignacio

        This is insulting for feral hogs. They play roles in the ecosystem quite different from the parasitism of billionaires. By the way: Parasite (Korean film, 2019) a somehow crazy story with a good take on inequality. I still don’t know if the title ‘Parasite’ refers to the classy, the poorer or both in the movie.

        1. xkeyscored

          I assumed Hunkerdown’s ‘operationally speaking’ referred to their flavour and texture when eaten. (Probably still insulting for hogs.)

    3. xkeyscored

      It’d certainly make for wildly popular reality TV, if you fancy becoming filthy rich with this admirable project.

    4. ambrit

      Apply the Robber Baron ethos to the idea. Hire one half of the public to kill the other half. Don’t tell the ‘victim’ half who the ‘killer’ half are.

  4. Wukchumni

    Cosmic Crisp apple: New variety ‘keeps in the fridge for up to a year’ Sky News.

    One of the keys to becoming a supermarket apple is how long will it last in storage, and the apples you buy today, might’ve been picked months ago. I’m experimenting with Sierra Beauty apples to see how long they can last in storage and does it improve the taste over time?

    One of the varieties here is a Yellow Newtown Pippin, which was exported to the UK in the 18th & 19th centuries, as it was one of the best keepers, and could make the sea voyage.

    Some of the apple trees here produce fruit in July, and they’re the sprinters with no staying power, take a bite from an Anna, Dorsett Golden or Red Astrachan, and the flesh will start browning as you pull back. Each of the aforementioned orbs might last a week or 2 in the fridge before they start going south and mushy on you.

    On the other side, you have the marathoners such as Arkansas Black, which tastes like crap when you pick it, as it has to age a few months after picking, in order to become ripe & delicious.

    I welcome the new varieties of ‘college apples’ and my favorite is a red one developed by Cornell University called SnapDragon, which is similar to Honeycrisp, but even more crisper, with flavor cells that burst in your mouth with each bite, a winner!

    The only issue with these new varieties, is the casual grower such as me, has to wait a decade before we can grow our own.

    1. petal

      I grew up not far from the Geneva(NY) Experiment Station, and had field trips to there and the Cornell Plantation in Ithaca. It was always a treat. Area people were proud of the work done there and being involved in developing new apple varieties.
      So much these days is about extending storage life.

      1. Kevin

        I’ve noticed certain apple varieties age when I slice them up here at work for a treat – like normal. Others, I look over 30 minutes later and they are still all white…kinda creepy.

        1. Oregoncharles

          It’s just a genetic quirk; certain old varieties are known for staying white.

          Pears are worse; cut faces not only turn brown but liquefy.

          And a further quirk: that brown color and accompanying taste is just what you want in cider!

    2. Phacops

      Some of the newer varieties have also changed the labor of harvesting them. Near me the growers of SweeTango apples, seeing that the skin is delicate and the stems woody have changed harvesting practices. Those apples must be cut from the branches. So, to ensure quality they are paying pickers hourly instead of piece/weight.

      But, we also enjoy lots of heirloom varieties. My favorite, Northern Spies. And some good, old, varieties are being put to great use, as in ciders, where the name of a great local hard cider, Smackin’tosh, is as aromatic as the apple that gives it its name.

      1. petal

        When the Honeycrisps came out, it was a big problem-you look at them crosseyed and they go brown. They damage very easily and rot fast. Harvesting was a nightmare.
        I like the old varieties, I guess. They last(ed), they’re good for baking and eating. 20 Ounce, Spies, Cortlands, Macouns, Jonagolds. Not really into the new fangled stuff. A guy I grew up with is head cider maker at Angry Orchard and has been jumping into the heirloom/rare varieties. Pretty cool.

        1. Wukchumni

          Its fun growing up with them, the Dixie Red Delight apples I had last fall when the tree was 4 were nothing special, and they got a lot tastier this year, all 8 of them.

          Planted a Northern Spy this spring and it’s still alive, but no doubt the gophers are scheming a way to do it in by turning it into a Northern Spy stick.

      2. lordkoos

        My dad loved tart apples, and would drive out to a nearby farm where the guy kept a few heirloom trees, to get Northern Spies for sauce and pies. I’m in WA state, apples are a big crop here and I’m surprised how few people will bother to grow the older varieties.

        1. lordkoos

          Heirloom pears are a revelation as well — my mother-in-law had a pear tree behind her house that bore small red pears that were the best I have ever tasted. The only downside was that the skin was quite thick on them, so that they needed to be peeled before eating, but they were so delicious that it was worth the trouble. I never could figure out what variety they were.

      3. inode_buddha

        I’ve loved the Cortland and the 20-oz baking apples since forever, upstate/western NY u-pick

      4. Oregoncharles

        A neglected Mackintosh derivative is called Macfree – meaning it’s free of scab, a big problem here. Deep red, very late ripening, with a good hint of Mackintosh flavor. Not much used commercially because it develops watercore, transparent areas in the flesh that are super sweet but don’t keep. OTOH, they’re the last apples we have sitting in the fridge, still in good condition.

        A feature of red apples is that they will make red applesauce: just leave the peels in for a while – overnight – after cooking them, before you process the sauce (we use a Squeezo Strainer, which is a blessing). Pink applesauce!

    3. Sol

      Indeed. Red Delicious are flavorless chunks of cork. They’re popular in stores because they keep well and ship well. It’s terrible that there are people who think that’s what an apple tastes like.

      If only I could grow my own apples as quickly as tomatoes and peppers. That’s why I put up with grasshoppers – unholy demon spawn that they are. The garden enables me to get my hands on Japanese melons, eastern European peppers, lemongrass, shiso leaves, all sorts of delights that generally aren’t in the local grocery store.

      Wukchumni, do you know of apple varieties good for the deep south? My area gets about 200-400 chill hours, and last I looked I could find two apple varieties that would fruit in those conditions (and then i couldn’t find them to buy, only to confirm their existence!) Would v. much appreciate a few tips there, if you have them.

      1. Wukchumni

        Anna & Dorsett Golden are the 2 low-chill hours apples that do well in the deep south, and there are a few others such as Husk Sweet, etc.

        Local nurseries tend to have the same supermarket apples, and that’s where the internet comes in handy.

        I like Raintree Nursery in Washington state, they have one of the better selections of heirloom apple trees, and we’ve been happy with our purchases which arrive in the mail, ready to be planted.

      2. Ed S.

        An orchard owner pointed me to the “Trees of Antiquity” nursery. They currently show 199 (!) different apple varieties. They probably have something that could work.

      3. HotFlash

        Red Delicious are flavorless chunks of cork.

        Totally agree and would never, ever buy them in a store. However, if you ever have a chance to eat one off a tree, you would be delighted! Their downfall is that they look the same even after months of storage, do not brown when cut, and do not develop soft/brown spots basically, ever. However, older than 4 weeks or so, they taste like, um, flavourless chunks of cork.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Noted and reported to The Committee For UnAmerican Activities.

        Precisely how to you intend to demonstrate your fealty to Mom and Pie unless said Pie is of the Apple variety?

        (Citizens: beware, so-called “sleeper cells” of pear and berry fruit substituters could be secretly subverting your own communities as we speak).

      2. HotFlash

        Yeah, me not a pie fan, but this might work for you: mock apple pie, made with oh-so American Ritz crackers. My mom would make this for Aptil Fool’s Day. Ah, nostalgia!!

    4. Greg

      Yup, it’s all about storage for commercial apples. Obviously there’s the farm to fridge time to take into account, where it has to stay fresh, but more importantly long term storage is how apples are available all year round. Take a relatively short harvest season at each end of the world, store for up to 9 months, magically you have apples 12 months round.

      The key thing about this discovery will be storage in regular fridge temperature. When I wandered through a major apple post-harvest factory in the Hawke’s Bay earlier this year, they use de-oxygenated atmosphere (ie suck out the O2 and pump up the N2) at a temperature between zero and zero point five degrees. Four degrees is way cheaper to maintain, and not having to mess about with atmosphere controls as much will save oodles. Also way easier to check on status since it’s in a breathable atmo (averages don’t apply to each harvest from each orchard or even each area of an orchard, they all need to be checked frequently for senescence).

    5. Greg

      Unless they’ve been buggered with using gene editing techniques, you should be able to grow them from seed without waiting ten years for them to come out of exclusive licensing. Hard to sell apples without the seeds in them.

      1. Jonny Apple

        Except that apples don’t grow true to seed, cultivars must be cloned, i.e. grafted. Planting an apple seed is like buying a lottery ticket. That must be why I keep planting them!

        1. Oregoncharles

          Every one is different, like children. Although a few varieties are known for “breeding true.”

          Johnny Appleseed was planting seeds, selling cider apple trees.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Or a freezer.

        Raw cider will generally ferment just fine without help, unless you’ve sterilized the apples – which we do to use ground apples.

  5. avoidhotdogs

    The OECD how’s life study falls into all the same holes previous studies, including the “improved domain specific happiness/life satisfaction”, do. First, there is nothing to stop you setting all the domains as “maximum importance”. That tells you nothing plus people do routinely change the importance of the domains of well-being, and usually must prioritise some over others. I won’t go into huge details as it references work I was involved in during my previous career but suffice to say though the female elderly will say independence and relationship are crucially important, empirical research show the latter matters more until their spouse dies (when they suddenly switch to the former; divorced middle aged women in Australia exhibited same phenomenon). But you can’t ask people to rate importance – you have to force them to choose between them to infer relative importance.

    Second, whilst it is perhaps interesting to “value a Norwegian’s life through my eyes, or the eyes of an American”, ultimately proper (relative) importance scoring should be the country’s own. Thus elicit relative importance (first point above) using a technique that reflects real world choices and apply these to the outcomes of the people in Norway.

    1. Tomonthebeach

      I did not find many insights from this report. That the bottom 20% economically is less happy than the top 20% is a statistical artifact of large N studies. Toss in common sense and you wonder why anybody who is economically deprived would be happier than somebody living in relative luxury.

      I would have to classify this expensive study as junk science.

  6. Mark Alexander

    Long-term storage of apples is a legitimate concern if you have your own apple trees and harvest the apples yourself, and don’t buy supermarket apples all year round. Then you’ll want a cool place for storage into the winter, because you can’t eat all your apples in the first week, and having apples that can go for a couple of months is a Good Thing. A year seems a bit crazy, though.

      1. Wukchumni

        One part of the experiment with storing Sierra Beauty apples is to polish half and leave the other half as they came off the tree, and eat one of each type @ the same time say a month or 2 from now, will there be a difference in taste, will the unpolished ones last longer…

        …stay tuned

        1. Greg

          So you’re testing whether the waxy cuticle on the epidermis affects the absorption/synthesis of ethylene? Since that’s what you’re polishing. I wonder if the act of polishing creates micro-bruises that accelerate senescence… Interesting!

    1. Wyoming

      One of the prime reasons for long term storage – not so important in modern times – is that apples were a form of starvation insurance.

      There were a number of heirloom apples which were grown solely for that purpose. A perfect apple from a few select varieties dried and kept in cool dry conditions could last for over 2 years. Thus providing the ability to bridge across a major crop failure.

    2. The Historian

      Or you can do what my ancestors did with their excess apples – can them. Then you can have apple butter and apple pies and dumplings all year round.

      1. Chris Smith

        I store mine in a liquid form with a bit of added yeast and possibly a few cloves in convenient 12oz glass bottles.

    3. Alex

      In our orchard some distance from Moscow we had a few varieties that ripened one after another from July to September, and we could enjoy the most long-lasting ones as late as on the New Year day, and then until the next summer it would be just preserves, so it would’ve been nice to have apples a few more months.

      Though I wonder if it’s not at the expense of taste or nutritional content.

      1. Wukchumni

        Of the early apples, I guess Dorsett Golden tastes the best, but they aren’t very complex-a simple apple, it’s more the availability of nothing much else in terms of time of harvest and ability to grow in warm places, that makes it worthy.

        Now, compare apples that blossomed a few weeks later than the ‘sprinters’ (picked in mid-July) and got picked in mid-November, the latter had 100 more days to come to fruition.

        And yes, you can have apples ripen all months of the summer from July to November, here. I like the Sansa, a Japanese import good for August harvests, while the Gala comes around the same time. Liberty apples ripen in September, etc.

    4. Oregoncharles

      A technical suggestion: a chest freezer can be used very efficiently as a cooler, by using a separate plug-in thermostat. My son did this. First used a replacement thermostat, but it’s hard to adjust. The ones that plug into a cord and then insert a sensor through the door are a lot easier. Works on uprights, too, but chest freezers are better.

  7. Wukchumni

    Machine learning has revealed exactly how much of a Shakespeare play was written by someone else MIT Technology Review
    I always thought he was such a phony, how could one person come up with all those 420 new words that are still commonplace in usage, without having an circumstantial go-between?

    1. Steve H.

      Yes he was a phony, the way a person who does wonders with food is a foody. (Think a moment…)

      The fact he was dead when Henry VIII was finished has something to do with it not being completely his own work. No indications that Fletcher was so prolific in word production.

      Circumstances help account for his quantities, beyond that brain. He was alive as the romance languages were being combined with middle English to make the language we understand. Fecund ground for creativity. Beowulf in ye olde is incomprehensible to us.

      1. LifelongLib

        I read somewhere that he probably got feedback from the actors about what worked and what didn’t (and IIRC he sometimes acted himself) and would change the plays accordingly. Doesn’t really go to the question of authorship, but apparently he wasn’t like a novelist who just locked himself in a room and came out with completed texts…

        1. wilroncanada

          It’s called workshopping. Almost all plays are workshopped: that is, walked through, often several times, with changes made in dialogue, movement, character development, etc. The original writer still gets credit for writing the play, unless the thing is changed into being unrecognizable.

          1. Steve H.

            Way different in Will’s time. Actors got their sides (their lines with a couple of cue words), never the whole play. They memorized on their own, with different instructors for the verbal and gesture components. They got maybe one full run-through, and there were contemporary complaints of intrusive prompters.

            The author didn’t get paid unless there was a third performance. Thus the epilogue (“give me your hands, if we be friends, and Robin shall restore amends”), which was the author begging for applause so the play would be performed again. That’s why there isn’t always an epilogue, if the script was a version past the first couple of performances, the author didn’t need it anymore.

        2. Oregoncharles

          He actually worked for a theater, so was involved in productions. But most modern playwrights are involved in the production process.

      2. Conrad

        The headline massively overalls the story. The computer results agree with what a literary scholar, Spedding, had noticed about one play in 1850.

    2. Craig H.

      The part I like best is they are claiming they are confirming what Spedding said in 1850.

      Spedding, J, “Who wrote Shakespeare’s Henry VIII,” The Gentleman’s Magazine,
      pp. 115–123, 1850

      This is from the Plechac preprint.

      So the key tech is the sentence diagram like we used to learn in 4th grade (do they still teach the sentence diagram?) or whenever and the Machine Learning is just gilding on the lily here.

      (also after I posted this I saw Conrad made my same point!)

        1. The Rev Kev

          A Bishop Colenso did an analytical study of portions of the bible – Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua – back in the 1860s and his published results did not exactly make him Mr. Popularity.

    3. shtove

      There’s a short programme on the BBC, with a computer word-cruncher who reckons Will came up with about 100 novel words.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I think we should look at this form of Shakespearean invention as a flashy display of virtuosity akin to rapping (which interestingly also uses our heartbeat rhythm, iambic pentameter).

  8. human

    “That entire team came down. They were from the military side. My impression was their mindset was – we are going to do it the way we want to do it. Their motto at the time was – we are in Charleston and we can do anything we want.”

    A clear example of how they expect maintenance contracts to make up for manufacturing defects.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That section also said “The new leadership team – from my director down – they all came from St. Louis, Missouri. They said they were all buddies there.”

      I wonder who exactly they were and what they had been doing previously. Doesn’t sound like at this stage they were keeping engineers going into management at Boeing.

    1. Wukchumni

      Aeroflop Airlines welcomes you on board our *palindrome numbers* day Dreamliner and soon the doors will be closed and we’ll see how it goes, in the further adventures of US becoming the USSR in a Bizarro World way.

      1. anon in so cal

        Have you flown Aeroflot? Their 777-300ER service between Los Angeles (and other US and worldwide cities) and Moscow is excellent. They fly Airbus on shorter routes.

        1. Wukchumni

          This 1970 NYT article on Aeroflot, sounds more akin to our hapless airlines…

          Their complaints of domestic service also include unreliable schedules. Some say that interairport communications are poor. And they add that refreshments on most short flights consist of hard caramels distributed be fore every take‐off and landing to prevent “ear‐popping” because of improper cabin pressurization.

          The seats, six‐abreast, were placed in rows so close together that it was necessary to force the feet down hard between the seat and the one in front simply in order to sit up straight.

          After distribution of the caramels, the flight took off on schedule for the trip to Kiev, which was to take 75 minutes, according to the announcement by the plump, matronly looking stewardess.

          Two and a half hours later, the airplane landed

          1. Bugs Bunny

            Sounds like a flight on American from JFK to anywhere.

            The caramels have been replaced by food poisoning though.

          2. lordkoos

            A friend of mine told me about flying Aeroflot into Warsaw before the demise of the iron curtain… apparently the in-flight service amounted to straight shots of vodka accompanied by some aged gray sausage cut into rounds and served by stocky flight attendants.

          1. Synoia

            Because of an Equipment (plane) failure of a KLM flight, we spent 3 full days in Kano, Nigeria.

            One flight dropped an engine at take off at Heathrow airport.

            An AA 767 returned after I detected a pressurization leak after take off.

            Planes are large, complex machines. There are some failures. Flying less risky than crossing the road.

        2. Ohnoyoucantdothat

          Fly Aeroflot every spring round trip Simferopol-Moscow-LA. 12 hours up near the pole. That route uses both Boeing 777 and Airbus A320 if I remember correctly. OK flights for the most part but they have become extremely anal about carryon weight lately. They want to charge $100 for each infraction. Flight is so long I can watch 4 movies, have 2 meals and still get some sleep. Only bad flight was 2 years ago, LA-Moscow when a guy with the flu sat next to me. I’m asthmatic and the flu would probably kill me so I complained to the flight crew and they let me move. This guy should have not flown as he was really sick and coughing a lot. He didn’t seem to care about my problem as he refused to wear a mask. A**hole.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It was a good thing that that sick guy was not on the Moscow to Beijing Trans-Siberian Railway with you.

            How many would that have been? 3, 4 or 5?

        3. Olga

          And have been known to serve smoked salmon sandwiches on internal 2hr flights (no alcohol, though). In fact, they recently won some prize for best airline. Probably does not help to cite a 1970’s NYT article.

          1. Wukchumni

            The comparison you apparently missed, was Aeroflot was a truly horrible airline in the days of the USSR, while US carriers were top notch.

            …everything has switched around now

    2. Whoamolly

      Do any of the ticketing sites allow you to filter the search by plane types?

      I recall finding a couple when the 737 MAX was first grounded but can’t find any this AM.

      1. Whoamolly

        Looks like Expedia is only one of the bunch that makes it easy to find aircraft details.

        Others may have same info but I couldn’t find it while doing a quick search for a planned flight

    3. Lambert Strether

      At this point, the only Boeing planes I’d fly are 777’s (not the new model, which Boeing is surely crapifying), 747s, maybe 757s, maybe older 737s.

      Certainly not 787s. Remember when the 787 batteries were catching on fire, and Boeing decided not to figure out the problem, but to put the batteries inside boxes? Yikes. Makes you think about those metal slivers, too.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Seattleite, 92, finally tells story of German who saved more Jews during the Holocaust than Schindler”

    I think a more fascinating story is how Denmark, under military occupation, managed to sneak out nearly all their Jewish population to Sweden by boat without the Nazis twigging to what was going on. Even the few that were rounded up were protected by the Danish government and were kept out of the extermination camps. Out of nearly 8,000 of these people, only a little over a hundred lost their lives during the war-

    1. John Zelnicker

      @The Rev Kev
      December 2, 2019 at 8:16 am

      Many years ago I heard a story (surely apocryphal) that when the Germans came with dogs to check the boats before they left the dock, the Danish would sprinkle cocaine and human blood around the deck which thwarted their ability to sniff out the humans hidden below.

      1. ambrit

        I have read in a memoir of a French Resistance member that cocaine was used to ‘turn off’ the noses of the German tracking dogs, thus allowing fugitives a much better chance of avoiding apprehension. Simply, make a “big” trail at one point, leave a small pile, preferably several piles to account for multiple dogs, of cocaine in ‘hidden’ spots, hidden to thwart precautions by the dog handlers, and go ‘stealth’ from there on.

          1. ambrit

            How do ‘they’ get supplies of ‘illegal’ drugs at any time? Smugglers! I can well imagine the occasional patriotic dope fiend donating a part of their stash for la patrie.
            If we can have ‘La Putain Respectueuse,’ we can also have ‘La Toxicomain Respectueuse.’

      2. Jessica

        One major reason why such a high proportion of Danish Jews survived was that Denmark surrendered rather than fighting the Nazis. In the Netherlands, many who would have resisted the Nazis were killed in battle or captured and even if released, were identified. In Denmark, they were alive and in place to help out.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Nations did what they thought was best, in that war, or any war.

          Some country or countries defended their key cities to the last civilian (or maybe would have), with millions dead.

          Some, like France with Paris or, in this case, Denmark with Copenhagen, just surrendered.

    2. Jeff W

      Perhaps even less well known is the rescue of nearly 50,000 Jews in Axis-allied Bulgaria, largely due to the efforts of the Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly, Dimitar Peshev; the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Exarch Stefan of Bulgaria; and metropolitan bishop Cyril, Metropolitan of Plovdiv. (The record is mixed, however. Over 11,000 Bulgarian Jews in Macedonia and Thrace were deported to Treblinka and died.)

      1. Deplorado

        I believe Macedonia and Thrace that you refer to were part of Yugoslavia and Greece at that time and were under Nazi occupation (which may have included Bulgarian troops). Bulgaria itself was aligned and technically not occupied.
        As far as I know, all Bulgarian Jews were saved due to the initiative of some public leaders, including the king.

        King Boris III died shortly after this event following a visit to Hitler. He was in his prime. It has been speculated that he was poisoned on account of helping save the Jews.

  10. John A

    UK towns with funny names. There is a small village in Yorkshire called Booze. The locals have long campaigned to change the name because they thought being called boozers had negative connotations.

    1. shtove

      Down our way, the Piddle river valley is covered in place-stains: Piddletrenthide, Piddlehinton, Piddletown, Tolpuddle, Affpuddle, Briantspuddle and Turnerspuddle.

      Spotted recently: “Prince Andrew’s Close (this is a warning)”.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Trump’s drug importation plan faces resistance in US, Canada”

    There is no way that a country the size of Canada could supply the needs of the United States. But, but aren’t these drugs or their precursors manufactured in China? Maybe the Canadians could set up additional manufacturing capacity in China under close Canadian supervision for quality control, import those drugs to Canada for re-packaging, and then ship them across the border to the United States.
    The benefits would be that Trump can claim he is making cheap Canadian drugs available for American voters, err, citizens, the Chinese get the money and if the Canadians charge a mild handling fee, it might be enough so that Canadians get their own drugs for free. Everybody wins which is precisely why Trump will never got for it. He only believes in win-lose deals.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Bash Trump all you want, but according to the article “the federal government has had the authority since 2003 to import drugs, it has never implemented an importation program.” No doubt plenty of pissant politicians made electoral hay over “doing something” about high drug prices 16 years ago, only to never speak of their “solution” again.

      If it can’t or won’t work, it’s long past time to stop pretending that it’s an option. As long as it hangs out there as a possibility, no one has to come up with a better idea. I’m certainly not going to fault Trump for saying put up or shut up, “resistance” or no.

    2. Anon

      The more depressing point is this:

      Drug companies have fought against proposals to allow drug importation for decades. While the federal government has had the authority since 2003 to import drugs, it has never implemented an importation program.

      But as the idea moves closer to reality, drug companies have increased their efforts in Canada to push officials there to block it.

      “The pharmaceutical industry enjoys very high prices in the U.S. — much higher than in other countries,” Riley said. “They have moved their advocacy from this country, where laws are being enacted, and moving it to Canada to try to scare Canada.”

      PhRMA, which opposes drug importation, spent $6.2 million on lobbying in the third quarter of this year, according to federal disclosures. Drug companies like Amgen, Genentech, Bayer, Sanofi and Eli Lilly also lobbied on drug importation in the third quarter.

      We sat on the ability to save lives for 16 years because of campaign contributions.

      1. The Historian

        I think we need to make clear what drug importation means: It means that we users cannot import drugs, it doesn’t mean that pharmaceutical companies can’t import drugs.

        A case in point: I take Losartan/HCT. It is very difficult to get that drug right now because the companies that sell it in the US import it from countries like India, China and the Czech Republic and the FDA has found that these imported drugs contain carcinogens. So while I can’t import Losartan/HCT from India or anywhere else, pharmaceutical companies like Sandoz, Torrent, and Teva can!

    3. ambrit

      Why did I first read that headline as; “Trump’s dog importation plan faces resistance in US, Canada?”

    4. katiebird

      We got a catalog from a Canadian Pharmacy marketing in the US. I had never known of this. The prices were pretty incredible (and maybe they were?) Does anyone here get their prescriptions from Canada?

      I’m wondering how to find the best one. And if it is a good idea.

      1. Michigander

        I’ve received generic Viagra (generally mfd in India, they inform you of that) from Maple Leaf Meds. Haven’t had the need, thankfully, to investigate other drugs, but their service has been very good.

      2. Annieb

        About sixteen years ago, I ordered a special kind of sunscreen from Canada and the package was intercepted. I received a phone call from the US Dept of commerce and had to call them to get the package. I received a lecture on the dangers of ordering products that might not have the same rigorous testing as in the US. This was for a sunscreen made in Canada!

        Now it’s possible to mail order synthetic opioids from China. Good grief.

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There are people who could use more affordable prescription drugs.

      That’s for the immediate present.

      Longer term, nations, that can do so, are better off making things themselves, instead of relying on distant suppliers.

  12. Wukchumni

    32 UK Towns With Hilarious Names That Actually Exist Bored Panda.

    About 13,000 or so banks issued what was called National Currency, from the 1860’s to the early 1930’s, and some interesting town names turned up on money in Pennsylvania…

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      Newfoundland, in addition to having empty, spectacular landscapes and friendly people, is a treasure trove of amusing place names: Dildo and Dildo Bay, Goobies, Cow Head, Muddy Hole, Leading Tickles, Snook’s Arm, Ireland’s Eye, Heart’s Ease/Desire/Content…

      But how could they ever compete with Blue Ball and Intercourse, Pa.?

      1. JEHR

        I’m sorry, but I don’t think many places can defeat Nfld for place names:

        Black Tickle
        Chimney Tickle
        Leading Tickles
        Tickle Cove
        Tickle Harbour
        Blow Me Down
        Come by Chance
        Comfort Cove
        Conception Bay
        Happy Adventure

        Happy Adventure
        Happy Valley
        Heart’s Content
        Heart’s Delight
        Heart’s Desire
        Little Heart’s Ease
        Little Paradise
        Man Point
        Muddy Hole
        Virgin Cove

        From comments:

        Comfort Cove
        Gay Side
        Naked Man
        Granny’s Crack

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          “I’se the b’y that builds the boat,
          and I’se the b’y that sails ‘er.
          I’se the b’y that catches the fish and brings it home to Lizer…”

          Ok, then, I’ll have the fried cod tongues, please!

  13. divadab

    Re: New Republic “America lost the War in Iraq”

    With a quote like this from the article: “abandoning Washington’s Kurdish allies to the open arms of Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad” , it’s clear the New Republic is more a purveyor of propaganda than a source of useful information. The King of Saudi Arabia is a dictator; the President of Syria is elected. The blatant misrepresentation of this by the “New Republic” makes its entire output suspect and of diminished credibility.

    Filthy liars, with an imperial agenda.

    1. Anthony K Wikrent

      Re: New Republic “America lost the War in Iraq”

      The article mentions “nation-building” five times and in a way that implies the “strategy” of “nation-building” is to blame.

      In point of fact, there was NEVER any USA plan for “nation-building” or for “winning the peace” in Iraq. And this was the result of a political decision. The military command was completely ignored by the ideologues in the Bush regime on this issue.

      The exact day and event that fore-doomed the U.S. war in Iraq to failure and bloody disaster was captured on pages 110 to 112 by George Packer, in his 2005 book,The Assassin’s Gate: America in Iraq. It was a November 15, 2002 meeting in the White House between national security adviser Condeleeza Rice and her deputy Stephen Hadley, and representatives from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Heritage Foundation, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The three think tanks had pulled together a panel of experts to plan the postwar occupation of Iraq, but Rice wanted their plan to be reviewed by the American Enterprise Institute. AEI was the most important think tank for the Bush neoconservatives.

      As the plan was explained to him, AEI president Chris DeMuth threw a fit. He cut off CFR president Leslie Gelb, who was on speakerphone.

      “Wait a minute. What’s all this planning and thinking about postwar Iraq?” He turned to Rice. “This is nation building, and you said you were against that. In the campaign you said it, the president has said it. Does he know you’re doing this? Does Karl Rove know?”

      It was that decision — initiated by De Muth’s ideological opposition — to reject the policy of nation building, that doomed the U.S. effort in Iraq to failure. Packer does NOT explore how that rejection of nation building arises naturally from the conservative/neoconservative/libertarian ideology that believes market forces are more potent and more legitimate than the institution of the sovereign nation state. It should be obvious that such an ideology is inherently incapable of nation-building.

      1. JTMcPhee

        A failure to undertake what’s euphemistically called “nation building” after trashing much of Iraq is not, in my estimation, what “doomed the US efforts in Iraq to failure.” Nation-building, American style, has nothing to do with nation-building as aspirational liberals might understand the term. (Remember how “we” built our nation by genocide and rape of the landscape of a continent inhabited by “brown people.” And on the labor of a bunch of other persons of deeply Melania Ed skiing tones?)

        How many examples are needed, of American Imperial failures, most involving “nation-building”? Afghanistan, Vietnam, Libya, various Central and South American and East and West Asian and Middle Eastern and African nations. There’s a boatload of discourse on the many reasons the US Empire “failed” in Iraq, from an inchoate mission notion (other than “collect the oil,”) to multiple warnings from various generals saying (as generals say) that a whole lot more “boots on the ground” would be needed. That planning of the “postwar occupation,” (forget that such occupation one of those “violations of international law.” And how much evidence is needed that the US has made a lot of dead GIs and A whole lot more “brown people” by such “occupations” along with lots of great opportunities for corruption all around? And how many of these places, including the many places where “we”” are told “we” have done “nation building are still places where US imperial troops are still camping out in their “Little America” outposts?

    1. xkeyscored

      Thanks for the link. I think the colonisation of public space is one of capitalism’s more insidious and under-reported aspects. The space we live in shapes the way we live.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Kunstler: “It’s not incidental that some of our worst buildings are the giant centralized schools, designed as if they were aircraft assembly plants or insecticide factories. They are ill-conceived in too many ways to count. Their size alone creates an alienating zone of estrangement in which students are ciphers rather than persons.”

      I know of a test case: Columbus, Indiana, which happens to be where I grew up – though I did not go to high school there. One brother did. Largely because of the influence of one family – the Millers, who then owned Cummins Engine Co., headquartered there – Columbus is a Mecca of modern agriculture. Not only modern – it has also preserved its Victorian downtown to a remarkable degree.

      In particular, many of the schools (not including the old high school, though) are exemplars of architecture. The Millers offered to pay the architect’s fee (around 10%, I believe) if chosen from a list they provided. Some of the results are exuberant and must be encouraging places to go to school. That doesn’t mean the town is immune to gigantism, a major modern failing, but it probably helps.

      In fact, Columbus (I visit there regularly) is an island of prosperity in flyover territory. Partly they’ve just been lucky; most of their industrial plants, notably Cummins, have survived, and they attracted some Japanese firms in better times. But they do make a case for Kunstler’s thesis that architecture matters. If you like that sort of thing, it’s worthwhile to go there and sign up for the Visitor Center’s architecture tour. You might get my nephew as your guide.

  14. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Buttigieg: ‘I was slow to realize’ South Bend schools were not integrated The Hill (UserFriendly)

    “I have to confess that I was slow to realize — I worked for years under the illusion that our schools in my city were integrated… But what I slowly realized… if you looked at the county, almost all of the diversity of our youths was in a single school district,” he said in an interview with Rev. William Barber III, a prominent civil rights activist.

    Way to demolish the buttigieg “bright and articulate” meme in one fell swoop.

    Laboring “for years under the ‘illusion’ ” of something that any partially aware person could see with his own eyes in a nanosecond, particularly one whose commitment to “public service” is sacrosanct?

    And “the diversity of our youths was in a single school district” might make some sort of sense in one of his other seven languages (or My Cousin Vinny), but in English is just pandering political bullshit, and bad pandering political bullshit at that.

    1. sleepy

      He’s lying. Any amount of money says he knew by age 12 which were the “black schools” and which were the “white schools”, being raised in a bubble notwithstanding.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Your point is true, but besides being mean, he’s fairly shallow. Pete learns what is necessary for a gold star, and the ugly side of things is clearly out of his wheel house.

        In a 1974 game against Georgia Tech, the Tech crowd taunted Notre Dame players with racist and anti-Catholic insults and threw fish on the field (in reference to Catholics eating fish on Fridays during Lent). Some Notre Dame players said they feared for their safety as the game ended.

        Besides being a jerk, he’s quite stupid. Knowing or not knowing, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana should know better. Now I see why Zuck thought he was going to run for President. If guys like Pete fancy themselves President, why not Zuck?

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          He’s running as the mascot of well-off PMCs and boomers who have the same “why do we have to talk about this” attitude towards race and inequality he has, so he could either play it callous or play it dumb..but learning. He chose the latter.

    2. Sol

      See all these problems around us, guys? In ten or twelve or twenty years, when these problems finally breach the event horizon of Pete’s bubble, he’ll get right on setting up an action committee to look into them. Vote for Pete! :D

      /big sarcasms

      Survivor bias may be one of the more troubling social woes of our time.

  15. xkeyscored

    PETER HITCHENS: My secret meeting with mole at the heart of The Great Poison Gas Scandal Daily Mail

    Wow! Strong stuff for a mainstream paper usually considered fairly right-wing!
    The whiff of political interference had begun as a faint unpleasant smell in the air and grown until it was an intolerable stench. Formerly easy-going superiors had turned into tricky bureaucrats.
    The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had become so important that it could no longer be allowed to do its job properly.
    Too many of the big powers that sponsor and finance it were breathing down its neck, wanting certain results, whether the facts justified them or not. …
    And, as it grows harder for everyone to ignore this enormous, dangerous story, I suspect I shall be looking over my shoulder rather more than usual.

    1. John A

      Peter Hitchins is a fascinating character. Brother of the late, chain-smoking and died of cancer, originally left-wing but big gungho supporter of the Iraq war and Dubya, golden boy Christopher. There were/are definitely shades of sibling rivalry. Peter started as very left-wing socialist-worker who did not go the gilded public school and Oxford path of Christopher, who took a sharp right turn and became a columnist for the Daily Mail. He still writes for the Mail and traditionalist in terms of religion etc., but, is remarkably perceptive in being pro-Russia on the Crimea issue and now just about the only MSM journalist to have written about the clear corruption in the OPCW,

    2. norm de plume

      If Peter Hitchens is looking over his shoulder, Caitlin Johnstone must be walking backwards.

      ‘Error establishing a database connection’

      result from CJ’s site. A fairly common occurrence.

      Re P Hitchens, he also once wrote a very balanced, indeed affectionate story on Iran. Again because he has read all these scarifying things about the place so he went over there for a visit. He loved the place and the people and realised early that the stories were bulldust. He ended up a lot more valuable than his brother, though perhaps less ‘useful’

        1. Norm de plume

          Yeah, that was a bit strange. He had probably had one too many G & Ts by that stage. Alcohol of course drives a lot more bad behaviour than dope.

      1. CoryP

        C Johnstone doesn’t have a huge amount of bandwidth on her personal site.

        I recall her saying on Twitter this is why she cross-posts to Medium and then shares those links in case they get a lot of traffic.

  16. Amfortas the hippie

    on Mattis, the potemkin village/deep state, viewed through the dirty lens of a sidebar item(

    everybody’s crying about “partisanship” and division…and the “populism” that inevitably results from great swaths of folks being totally ignored/dismissed.
    and yet each of these pretends that the usa has been, in the past, a beacon of hope, a city on a hill…a shining light and defender of democratic ideals.
    i’d posit that this denial of the lived reality of americanism is exactly why the divisionary machinations(something that is also glossed over) work so well.
    after all, the two parties, when looked at from sufficient height and dispassion, agree on a whole bunch of things…like war and coddling wealth, and punishing the poor, and making more poors to punish.
    for a gop-er to whine about the hyperdivision in this country is one level of laughable…it has been the gop policy for decades to ensure that we are at each other’s throats over relatively minor differences…otherwise they would have gone the way of the whigs, long ago.
    at another level entirely is the clintonists.
    LOTE-ism and the readily apparent craziness of the goptea are the only thing keeping them around.
    my cousin made a comment about “illegals” stealing our jawbs…and i lit into him with an hour of historical analysis…ending with an admonition that the Machine doesn’t need his help to foment these divisions…that it ain’t “illegal people” fleeing their own countries that our own corpsegove has crappified who should be the recipients of his ire…but those in power for the last 50 years who did the crappifying.
    i encouraged him to reseacrch the history of cia, et alia’s “interventions” wherever an FDR/Sanders type government reared it’s head(from Mossedegh to allende to evo morales), the training of death squads, etc…and then to go and read one of the army field manuals on Counterinsurgency…and to then view the current media and political and legal environment through that lens.
    everything that has been honed in third world backwaters to prevent democratic socialism and government of by and fr the People is being brought to bear upon us, now….and you’d never know it by the light of our public discourse.
    somehow russian bots are to blame for all our problems…as if dysfunction simply must be due to foreign interference.

    i’ll end the rant, now…I’ve been suffering winterweatherpain, cedar fever(allergies) and now a sinus infection, for 2 weeks, and am only today able to go see the doctor(if i can mange to get past the robot girl gatekeeper)…so i’m a little ragged around the edges, and more than weary of tiptoeing through the shibboleths that make up our idiotic official discourse, while studiously ignoring the mangled carcass of the body politic on the kitchen table.

    1. JTMcPhee

      For what it’s worth, you are not alone in your distress. Hard not to succumb to Futilitarianism, a comforting but feckless belief structure. Folks here see all this stuff, and still argue about how many warts and their shape and color and malignancy. Other than maybe working for Bernie, not too many of us are in the way of derailing the Juggernaut.

      Has your cousin gotten “woke?”

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        ive worked on him for 20 years. in canoes and on foot and in a golf cart(the Falcon) in various wilderness settings.
        he grew up as a sort of prototeapartier….that’s where we grew up in east texas…one of the spawning grounds of the right wing mindf&ck machinery, where they tightened the drive belts and greased the gears before nationwide deployment(it was a strange place to grow up, especially seen in this light)
        as of 6 years ago, he’s gone back to college to get a philosophy degree,lol.
        so yeah…not “woke”, but Awake.
        this “illegals” nonsense is a pavlovian response. they bust through from time to time, usually due to acutely stressful conditions.
        my response, in its turn, is like a booster shot of the Enlightenment,lol.
        he’s come a long way.
        ergo, no one is irredeemable.

        and thank you all for your forbearance.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      McRaven looks to “American civil religion” (isn’t that supposed to be the “quiet part”?) for salvation. When you entrust your life and the future to the nation-state, I’d call that something other than religion.

      Speaking of entrusting, I’ve been thinking about that Amazon hunter-gatherer who stores his meat in the belly of his brother. What are the possible objects of our primary trust? The self, certainly, and that’s led to all sorts of fun places in the past few centuries. Family perhaps, but is that more than an exension of the self, and just about as trustworthy and reliable. “God” but that idea seems to be fading even as its perhaps last enthusiasts react violently to the concept’s palpable dying. There’s Mcraven’s nation-state, but that carries the risk of having your country look like Berlin in 1945. Jeremy Lent in The Patterning Instinct reaches pretty far for a proposal: tradition in the form of neo-Confucianism.

      And then there’s that fellow human in the Amazon who shares the spoils of his hunt with his group rather than storing part of it for himself by means of salting or drying. His impulse to share is enabled, even driven, by his trust in the group to take care of his future.

      There’s a worldview that makes our kind of obscene inequality impossible. It’s also an outlook far more compatible with care for the Earth than rape-and-move-on Individualism/Capitalism.

      But for we prisoners of modern culture, it’s very tough to get back to the garden and think of any kind of real-life group the way that hunter-gatherer regards his band of fellow humans.

      1. Oh

        When I was traveling from the outskirts of Mendoza, Argentina to the city I had the wrong kind of bus pass and the driver wouldn’t take cash. A complete stranger – Argentinan helped me out by scanning his pass for me and he refused to take cash for payment. This shows how they care for their fellow human beings. It happens here too I suppose.

    3. inode_buddha

      Amf, that is the exact reason I broke away from the GOP back in 2004…. because being completely disabled out of my job simply didn’t register upon their tiny brains. As if I was unemployed (and in great pain) just for fun. When I finally started calling people out on this to their faces and *showing them my broken body* they had no answers, but they sure shut up.These people truly believe their taxes pay for everything, and the government is treating them like a blank check.

      Then I found NC. I’ve been progressive (small P) and independent (small I) ever since. I’ve also been employed. Currently down and out again, new medical problems.

      You need to tell your relations the illegals didn’t steal your jobs, your own red white and blue american bosses gave those jobs away to the cheaper guys.

    4. Oh

      Thanks for your rant. Couldn’t agree more. If you haven’t do so already, check out Paul Street’s podcast on alternative radio about the US CONstitution. He makes a lot of sense.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “The Way Out for a World Economy Hooked On Debt? More Debt”

    I found this quote some time ago but lost the source. It does seem to give a good description of what is going on though-

    ‘We need to lower rates so people can spend more and borrow more, even though Australian households are already the second most indebted in the world with rising levels of mortgage stress. So, the plan is to lower rates to increase debt and to deplete savings. To keep it going, we keep growing the base by using lower interest rates and watering down the lending standards and discouraging people from keeping their savings in the bank.’

    Sounds like a plan.

    1. typing monkey

      Hmm…I’m not sure who the “We” is, but so long as Germany, China, Japan, etc. have excess savings and Australia (or the US or Britain or Canada) is unwilling to impose capital controls that prevent those savings from entering Australia (or the US or Britain or Canada), the average household almost by mathematical necessity must see their debt levels increase.

      The problem, in other words, does not originate in Australian policies. It originates in German and Chinese policies.

      1. LifelongLib

        “excess savings…German and Chinese policies”

        So they should pay their people less? Because that would be better for (say) the U.S.? Doesn’t seem likely to happen…

        1. typing monkey

          No–they reduce savings by pursuing policies to encourage consumption.

          And yes, it would be better for the US.

              1. anon y'mouse

                one imagines that buying and selling non-existing (un)goods and (un)services would be impossible.

                the computer software and media streaming services can tell you how to market it though!

              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Maybe. I was thinking consumer consuming, or buying, solar panels, for example.

                That’s consuming, and reducing carbon, if the current source is coal.

  18. Vegetius


    A lot of people think Sweden will be the first western European nation to virtue signal itself into a police state. But my money is still on England.

    1. avoidhotdogs

      Whilst when I lived in Sweden I never felt “the system” was as stacked against me (politically etc) as my native UK, one thing did profoundly worry me. In Sweden cash is being usurped by online monetary systems far more quickly than in the UK. The *ability* of the Swedish state to monitor your entire monetary existence far exceeds that in the UK.

      I challenge anyone in the UK to find the majority of homeless people in their local area with card terminals to accept non-cash. Yet that was my experience in a Swedish moderately large city.

    2. divadab

      Sweden, at least Gothenberg, where I spent some time as a seventeen year-old away from home for the first time, struck me as surprisingly authoritarian. Here’s my example – three of us young lads from Toronto were waiting at a pedestrian crossing of a deserted street . We crossed against the light, the only ones of at least 10 people who were waiting, and the Swedes WHISTLED at us – which is how they signify disapproval, eg. at a hockey game. We were like, what’s wrong with these people, the road is empty of cars?!?

      Well, they are very orderly and apparently authoritarian people, these Swedes of Gothenberg, and they disapprove of disobeying street lights, even when there is no danger in doing so. No danger of this kind of behavior in the UK, in my experience.

      1. Vegetius

        That kind of social enforcement is why they were able to have what they had for as long as they did.

        You can have social enforcement, state enforcement, or no enforcement. But social enforcement is impossible in a low-trust society, which is what you get when you open your borders to completely alien cultures.

        And so the Swedes are destroying their society in order to enjoy the benefits of diversity. Political correctness means no one can point this out without state sanction.

        I wonder if actual existing real Swedes are whistling at the “new” Swedes.

        1. JBird4049

          I see it differently. The key to social control is creating a high trust society; homogeneity does not create trust although it does tends to be easier to create trust then. Agreement on society’s basics like waiting in line and respect for the other person is the key. In a large society having the state provide the means to settle disagreements and be the one with the exclusive right to use deadly force if needed also helps.

      2. Jokerstein

        Right, I’m from London originally, and I view crossing against the lights not just as a privilege or a right, but as a DUTY.

        1. Foy

          I’m with the Whistlers…you walk, perhaps cuting a little finer than you usually do, someone standing next to you who is not concentrating fully, perhaps on their phone, follows behind you a second or two later thinking its all turned green, and then splat…

          There’s no patience in the world anymore, no one wants to just be and enjoy the present moment. Waiting for the lights is actually a good time to rest the mind…

      3. The Rev Kev

        I saw the same sort of disapproval while crossing an empty street against the lights in communist East Germany too. The young western Germans would mock it by saying “Ordnung must sein” – there Must be Order!

  19. JTMcPhee

    Interesting typo in the link about superpowers battling over the oil under Iraq: “”

    And nice teaser from C. Hitchens on his secret meeting with the anonymous OPCW Actual Whistleblower. Kind of undercut by the essays that surround it. Like the one “documenting” how pot use activates the killer impulse in terrist types.

    1. xkeyscored

      Kind of undercut by the essays that surround it.
      I see what you mean, celeb gossip, sexual titillation, cyber monday deals (didn’t notice the pot).
      But that’s exactly what I think is great. This stuff is hardly news for you or me or NC. Now it’s in the Daily Mail, a mainstream, generally right-wing newspaper that usually supports UK imperialism etc., and it’s openly talking about “this enormous, dangerous story.”

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      I noticed that item about the rising use of marijuana in Britain causing more schizophrenic flip-out psychotic violence in Britain.

      I wondered whether Hitchens was just making that up in his own mind for grouchy old “you-kids-get-off-my-lawn” reasons . . . or if there is something innately sick and twisted about the British which is revealed and potentiated by marijuana.

      Because marijuana never led to that sort of thing here in America.

      ( Or does Hitchens own stock in money-laundry banks and does he seek to raise its value by reducing the use of marijuana in order to re-raise the use of illegal drugs in order to raise the amount of money being laundered through whatever money-laundry banks he might own stock in? Not accusing, just wondering . . .)

      1. JBird4049

        In fairness, heavy pot use can create mental health illness in a few individuals. It’s just that you need the relatively rare and right set of conditions and mondo use of weed at the same time. Think of schizophrenia which is inherited, but probably is triggered by disease or drug use like smoking weed.

        Then add “journalists” looking for sensational news items to point to the relative handful of sufferers. It becomes OMG the Demonweed Marijuana is making all our children insane.

  20. a different chris

    “But I only want to make promises that we can keep,” Buttigieg says in the ad, which aired Thursday evening in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “Look, what I’m proposing is plenty bold. I mean these are big ideas. We can gather the majority to drive those big ideas through without turning off half the country before we even get into office.”

    Newt Gingrich is a smart guy, like him or not. The Buttigieg quote, from a guy who only has been told he is smart, illustrates that well. Mayo Pete doesn’t understand what Gingrich said (and proved), that you really just want 51%. Getting 60% requires too much compromise, and just gives you a bloated mess that will never totally get off the ground.

    But Pete thinks politics is like science, where everybody agrees that gravity is 9.8m/sec2. He needs a different line of work.

  21. Alex morfesis

    Fair Lending to Women can never be illegal….in the early 90’s it was easy enough to begin proving lending discrimination by the computerization of public records and the UCC databases and to avoid prosecution, the industry came up with its new and improved wizard of Oz machine, the credit score, which was “proprietary” and therefore we could not look under the hood for those of us looking to calibrate the world into a fairer and more reasonable place….but after a couple of decades of data, it is now possible to show how credit scores are gamed, especially after the great financial crash in looking at how credit scores of certain ethnicity based names have been kept lower for trifling credit issues while obviously white names living in very white zipcodes have been popped to 800 plus despite even hundreds of thousands of dollars of losses for lenders from those obviously white borrowers.

    But….perhaps there is confusion on what the banking industry wants to do vs what it is legally required to do….the permanently and intentionally broke (don’t hate me, there is a percentage of our population that lives with the mindset they can never climb out of their social status and no ladder will help) don’t use credit in a bankably profitable manner.

    The postal banking system was defunded(it was never legally shut down) when bankers argued in the early 60’s to congress they were going to provide all banking needs of all citizens…which was a lie….

    the fair housing act was an attempt to water down a scotus pending ruling, which based on arguments was obviously going to be ruled against the National Association of Faketerz and the building of suburbia (Jones v Mayer)…in it, (meaning the fair housing act), the now to be outlawed before it can ever be enforced(50 years after a law is enacted, it is still not enforced) rule of what we now call disparate impacts, is just another example of the intent of an industry to discriminate, period, end of discussion….

    Credit use as a vehicle for living a daily life vs credit use for asset acquisition and accumulation. The industry wants those who want to have things today and are willing to pay more or less whatever price while willing to trash the future. The disruption of state based usury laws by Paul Volcker and his $&£ crisis to force upon the nation National banking has led to payday loans and high interest credit cards for barely above water borrowers…..

    All this noisy background to lay out the argument of how the new AI(Artificial ignorance) machine learning nonsense is just to kick the can of discrimination enforcement out another 20 years….

    Bankers can use these tools to “reduce” discrimination in their lending practices if these tools actually are shown to reduce those discrimination practices, not to hide behind….

    Women need to lobby to have FDIC insurance yanked from lenders who can not show lending that at least matches half the demographic….meaning if at least 25% of lending dollars (not just percentage of loans) at any FDIC taxpayer funded and guaranteed enterprise is not lending at least a quarter of its $$ to Women…

    “no soup for you”

    No fake and shake algos can ever explain or justify a 50% difference… That has always been my tactic….find the obvious way out of line numbers and laugh at anyone attempting talking points around reality…

    The article is incorrect in allowing the theme to be it is illegal to adjust AI nonsense…the inputs for machine learning are garbage as they are obviously not accounting for the regulations requiring no discrimination and the gentleman quoted in the article is one our famous Praetorian guards who is working on “industry” standards for AI machine learning but golly gee whiz, somehow fumbled the “disparate impacts” thingee that just slipped thru HUD just a few weeks ago…golly gee…would love to help blacks and women, but golly gee, must be my subconscious which does not want competition so….oh well….better luck next lifetime…. Or not…

    the law “is”

    and all this new fake and shake AI nonsense to make a new and improved excuse “need not apply”

    1. xkeyscored

      the permanently and intentionally broke … lives with the mindset they can never climb out of their social status and no ladder will help
      For many, that’s more than a mindset, it’s a reality. And some don’t want to higher social status like those above them.
      If you’re poor, it makes sense to stay broke. Debts can’t be paid without money. Having money means it can be taken from you. Better, if you get a windfall, to splurge it fast than save it.

      1. BobW

        Income and assets will bar you from some government programs, too – SNAP (aka Food Stamps), Medicaid, Section 8 housing. Having just a little too much costs more than the the programs provide.

    2. Alex

      “it is now possible to show how credit scores are gamed, especially after the great financial crash in looking at how credit scores of certain ethnicity based names have been kept lower for trifling credit issues while obviously white names living in very white zipcodes have been popped to 800 plus despite even hundreds of thousands of dollars of losses for lenders from those obviously white borrowers”

      Can you share a source for this with us? That would be pretty hard for FICO and others to pull off without a single leak.

  22. ObjectiveFunction

    Buttigieg: ‘I was slow to realize’ South Bend schools were not integrated.

    Does anyone here seriously believe this man will be our next President? We can’t even say his last name without feeling awkward and pretentious, like shopping at “Targé”.

    And the moment our Schoolyard Bully in Chief tags him with one of those Seven Dwarfs names, e.g. “Plastic Pete” (not exactly a dog whistle, but instantly suggests a Ken doll) he’s finished. His prime assets then become faults: calm and reasonable becomes wussy, and eloquent becomes smartypants pull my string double talk. Right now, Americans want someone real and pissed off. And as Major Tulsi showed us all, Pete doesn’t do ‘angry’. He’s Dukakis.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Dukakis had problems, but he was a relatively decent human being. Buttigieg strikes me as ultimately mean spirited. It might be controlled, but Pete doesn’t do “righteous anger” because he is just a mean person.

      Not knowing about segregation in Indiana. The second Klan took off in Indiana. Being formerly Catholic from Indiana and to be as “smart” as he claims, he appears to be able to read, he simply doesn’t give a damn.

      He’s not even an ignoramus. He has to know better. He just doesn’t care because caring about “little people” is beneath him.

      1. Steve H.

        He is an excellent fundraiser from the donor class.

        ‘Not getting it’ could be charmingly endearing to those who don’t get it.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Let me get this straight: a short, inexperienced, gay, one-term mayor of a two-bit town, who screwed that up royally, with an unpronounceable last name, a work history of screwing middle class workers through “right-sizing” at McKinsey, who got fully 8,000 people to vote for him in his only prior run for public office, and who is polling *zero* among people of color…is..gonna..what, again?

        Do you also do standup comedy?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If the Catfood Democrat leadership would rather see Buutijeedge nominated than Sanders nominated.

    2. jefemt

      APPLES— Eric Sloane wrote great books on the way things used to work— one of the discussions was apples— varieties, storing and shipping from colonial New England to Britain. The way they used to do it was packed carefully, isolated and insulated from each other by sawdust, and also keeping two leaves on the stem.

      I have heard this is not good, in that it removes the terminal bud/ point of flower and production. Anyone know more on this one?

      1. JTee

        Although you are in the wrong place, you are correct about apples. Most apple varieties produce on fruiting spurs. Thus, removing two leaves with each apple removes the fruiting spur, and most surely, you will have fewer apples next year. A minority of apples varieties are tip bearers and would be unaffected by this. Some varieties are keepers, while others are not (generally the early producers such as Yellow Transparent and Gravenstein).

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        I read somewhere that packing apples in dry maple leaves improves storage over packing them in something else.

      3. sd

        For what it’s worth. My uncle had apple orchards and apple storage, it was similar to a very very large root cellar – and built in to the side of a hill. It was definitely not “state of the art” so to speak. The apples were packed normally in apple crates, and then the crates got placed in stacks. The stacks were surrounded in groups by hay (not sure which kind, may have been straw) And then the doors got closed for the winter. The snow would cover the doors so the whole thing was more or less hidden until spring.

        The space was large enough to drive the tractor all the way in.

        The apples may have been intended for applesauce, apple butter or for vinegar and not necessarily for eating apples.

  23. sporble

    I didn’t read the FT article “Germany’s ruling coalition shaken by new SPD election” but I did read the Deutsche Welle one – and other articles here (in German).

    Imho, the comment “The German equivalent of electing Bernie president” misses the mark.

    The only thing that has happened here so far: the leadership of the SPD, which is one
    of the 3 governing parties in the current German govt., has changed.

    It’s hard to compare the German system to the US, and I do appreciate the attempt,
    but something like “Pelosi out: House Democrats make AOC Speaker” might be
    a little bit closer to what happened with the SPD, though this comparison, too, is quite flawed.
    No general election has taken place, nothing in the current German govt. has changed – yet.

    I can only hope that things here will get better. We’ll see!

  24. Pat

    The Way Out for a World Economy Hooked On Debt? More Debt Bloomberg. UserFriendly: “It sure would be helpful if they stopped conflating public and private debt.

    Not for Bloomberg and his ilk it wouldn’t. Gotta keep in mind that they need access to be able to keep the monies coming in before and after crashes. Stopping anything that might lessen the value of their investments along with keeping the “bail out” card for when things go south is essential to that. Can’t have people thinking that public debt can be a good thing and more importantly that it should be used for them.

  25. Livius Drusus

    Re: As politics heat up, so do hiring bias worries.

    This is why I only discuss politics with close family or friends and on traditional blogs where I use pseudonyms. I am always surprised by the things people post on social media knowing that their employer is likely spying on them, which is yet another “benefit” we get with all of this new, wonderful technology.

    Still, it is dismaying that you have to be so worried about discussing politics these days. I have always had friends with different ideological beliefs and it never caused any serious problems, just heated discussions on occasion. But lately I have read about people ending family relationships and friendships over politics.

    Not to sound like a cynic but at the end of the day your family and friends are the only people who might be there for you in a jam while politicians who don’t even know you exist won’t be. This even goes for politicians I like such as Bernie Sanders. There is a limit to how much hope and trust you can put into politicians and political movements.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Im 35, been on social media since ’04, so at this point Idgaf.

      Then again ive been fired for talking politics with guests, kicked out the Army for smoking pot, and alienate my centrist parents with every word I utter.

      On our Thanksgiving trip to Fayetteville, TN, I got told no less than 3Xs that i ‘talk so much bullshit.’

      I feel like Cassandra but someones got to tell these people that something is very wrong with our society.

      Time to Stand Up as Marxists, Populists, whatever and take on TPTB. Its quite thrilling not using a Pseudonym. Then again Im poor so no one cares.

      1. inode_buddha

        “On our Thanksgiving trip to Fayetteville, TN, I got told no less than 3Xs that i ‘talk so much bullshit.’”

        You too? At that point I usually tell people to prove it. Mainstream media doesn’t count because its all lies.

    2. jrs

      Um no, a lot of people see government benefits like unemployment and food stamps and Medicaid as the only thing likely to be there for them in a jam, and they aren’t necessarily wrong either. Even though it blows with the political wind (and yes cuts under Trump of course), it’s a lot more reliable than relying on friends and family. And that’s why politics gets heated.

      There is a limit to how much hope and trust you can put into friends and family, so many will end up being fair-weather friends if not a burden dragging one ever further down when one is already drowning (so you can barely even pay your rent anymore since you got laid off and who knows for how long, but never-do-well sibling that hasn’t worked a day in their life needs another bailout etc. – that’s family for ya!).

      1. JBird4049

        Also you want those programs to be available for those family and friends in case something happens to you.

  26. Alex

    Re There’s an easy way to make lending fairer for women. Trouble is, it’s illegal

    It’s kinda obvious that if you have two populations with different performance, then if you are allowed to use this variable for your models, then you’ll build a more effective model, meaning that a population with better performance (women in this example) end up having better scores, compared to alternative when using such variables is banned.

    The flipside is course that the population with worse performance (men in this example) will end up with worse scores. Overall of course the model would be more effective, in a sense of having better predictive power.

    One approach to the ethics variable choice that I like is to avoid using variables that a person cannot change (so a person’s credit history is okay while their gender is not).

    As a side note, while models can certainly be built and applied in a discriminatory manner, the old-style human underwriting can be and has been biased.

    1. Summer

      I see a great sci-fi film about a future with grocery stores still stocked, but people are starting to mysteriously die of starvation.
      Thinking of this apple thing with a piece from months ago about the attempts to grow veggies without needing soil.

  27. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    A panel of true luminaries discuss the Bloomberg candidacy. Stephanopolous, Chris Christie, and Donna (“I’m still not in an orange jumpsuit, nyah nyah”) Brazile:

    Citizen’s United: a handy list of the billionaires that run the country and how much they spent to get there (somewhat dated with discussion of Venezuela but still a shocker):

    Next up for Joe Biden: a closer look at his China activities. Absolute gold for Trump to drip feed against him, and maybe you thought The Ukraine was an anaerobic, fetid compost heap:

    Cream, ex-Eric Clapton, live on stage. For me, a pretty good definition of the word “heavy”. Love the wall of guitars sound (Gary Moore incendiary lead) and of course the insane Ginger Baker:

  28. CarlH

    From the article just below the piece on the OPCW in The Daily Mail:

    “Anyone with his wits about him knows that there are far more crazy people about than there used to be, many of them with knives, and it isn’t much of a stretch to connect this with the fact that the police and the courts have given up enforcing laws against marijuana, which some idiots still say is a “peaceful drug”.

    We all need a little chuckle with all this bad news about.

  29. boots

    Rural hubs of fentanyl etc trafficking, particularly in Kentucky and Virginia: A ruthless Mexican drug lord’s empire is devastating families with its grip on small-town USA
    “With unparalleled speed, the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación, or CJNG, has set up shop in cities, towns and unsuspecting communities across America.”

    Deaths of despair: Study Shows Ohio Valley’s Premature Deaths Driving Down National Longevity Rates

    Appalachian Impact Fund Executive Director Lora Smith: Eastern KY advocate named to Federal Reserve council

  30. Oregoncharles

    “32 UK Towns With Hilarious Names That Actually Exist”
    In Brown County, Indiana, a few miles west of where I grew up: Gnawbone, IN; and more charmingly: Beanblossom, IN. Also Nashville – the Little Ol Opry.

    This is literally hillbilly country; the accent is distinctive, and several of my siblings could imitate it perfectly. Not gone, either.

  31. Oregoncharles

    “There’s an easy way to make lending fairer for women. Trouble is, it’s illegal.”
    No it isn’t. It would be perfectly legal to stop using algos or AI in lending – because they are the problem, as the article says. It would also make for better lending, if you kept out the odd bigot. Or even ordinary ones.

    Incidentally, from the particulars it’s clear their algo is ignoring important data, like “filing jointly in a community-property state.” That means their effective credit worthiness is all but identical, because one can be held accountable for the other’s debts and they’re drawing on the same pooled resources.

  32. The Rev Kev

    “Huawei chips away at US ‘security’ ban”

    Was just reading a story how Huawei is now assembling their new phones without US parts. I find this type of article as being slightly ominous. They are sourcing the parts from other countries but you can be sure that they are seeking to ramp up research & production to make the parts themselves.
    In the meantime the US companies are losing orders that they never had to but the ominous part is that all the other countries in the world are now on notice that under a whim, that the US can withhold vital US parts from their fledgling industries so as to eliminate any future competition. What does that say about future orders for the US?

  33. Carolinian

    Great story on the 787. Thanks.

    But I think most of this was covered in stories in the Post and Courier–Lambert may have linked. Those stories didn’t get much attention because media no longer interested in corporate malfeasance unless there are casualties and particularly if there are casualties who could have been newspaper reporters.

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