2:00PM Water Cooler 7/24/2017

By Lambert Strether of

Readers, I had to do a router reset at the exact moment I was about to press the Submit button. And I will return (unapologetically) in an hour or so with UPDATEs. –lambert. P.S. 3:02PM, all done.

Trade

“The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and British trade officials will begin their Trade and Investment Working Group today, with the hope that it could lead to a bilateral trade agreement after the United Kingdom officially exits the European Union. However, the two days of talks are likely to focus on a raft of near-term measures the two sides could achieve, according to business sources briefed on what to expect” []. “A U.S. trade official told Morning Trade the talks will lay the groundwork for ‘commercial continuity,’ adding that early discussions will also explore ways to strengthen trade ties that are consistent with the U.K. trade obligations as an EU member.”

“‘I see three ways you can adjust a bilateral trade deficit: one is tariffs, one is quotas and one is managed trade. If those are put on the table, I don’t see how either of our trading partners are going to continue. I look at the impending NAFTA negotiations and I see some very rough sledding coming up,’ [Nelson Cunningham, president of McLarty Associates] said” []. “That’s particularly true for Mexico, since the United States had a $63.2 billion trade deficit with that country in 2016. ‘You take $60 billion of the Mexican economy, that is hugely significant,’ Cunningham said.”

Politics

New Cold War

Hysterical hysteria:

Someone's been getting into the wrong, uh, Tito's, if you know what I mean.

— Jacob Bacharach (@jakebackpack)

“Forensic studies of ‘Russian hacking’ into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2017, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers, and then doctored to incriminate Russia” []. “Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack.” This is from the , and so highly credible; . Indeed, IMNSHO, VIPS, not being torturers (Brennan) or perjurers (Clapper) are some of the few members of the intelligence community with any credibility at all. WARNING: The scope of the post is limited: “We focus specifically on the July 5, 2016 alleged Guccifer 2.0 ‘hack’ of the DNC server.”

Health Care

“Following a week of high-level negotiations among GOP senators, Republican leadership is planning a Tuesday vote on the motion to proceed to the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) — the vehicle for their health care reform efforts. The process has been shrouded in confusion and uncertainty, as it still remains unclear what legislation Senate leaders ultimately hope to move forward. And while knowing what’s in the Senate bill may be, as Senate Whip John Cornyn said, a “luxury we don’t have,” it’s worth acknowledging that there’s still a narrow path towards passage” []. “The fallout early last week is indicative of the deep divisions among Senate Republicans on health care reform. While little has changed that dynamic, a renewed effort from the White House and an injection of $200 billion in additional funding could provide a needed boost to GOP leaders. Recall that a mere $8 billion in additional funding introduced by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) was enough to lift the House bill over the finish line. The likely absence of Sen. McCain this week and the intransigence of Sen. Collins will make threading the legislative needle a difficult — almost impossible — task for GOP leaders. But the BCRA could make one last gasp for revival before we finally write its eulogy. And if Leader McConnell writes the right prescription, it has an outside chance at survival.” Ka-ching.

UPDATE This thread, from the Washington DC director of MoveOn, is a good guide to the Parliamentary mechanics involved in passing a health bill (any health care bill) in the next few says. Start here:

The first big tell is Tuesday morning, when Republicans need 50+1 votes to start final debate on… something bad, don't know what yet. 2/

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler)

UPDATE Neera throws #TheResistance under the bus:

If we defeat Trumpcare it will be because of the courage of a few GOP (woman) Senators who are willing to put country over party.

— Neera Tanden🖖🏼 (@neeratanden)

As readers know, I think you can give an account of the AHCA/BCRA voting that doesn’t include demonstrations at all. But I’m not the well-paid liberal CEO who pushed those tactics!

2018

“Five poll numbers that should make Democrats uneasy” []. “Democrat favorables haven’t budged since the 2016 conventions. [And] Trump supporters aren’t going anywhere.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Chuck Schumer: A Better Deal for American Workers” []. The top level summary:

First, we’re going to increase people’s pay. Second, we’re going to reduce their everyday expenses. And third, we’re going to provide workers with the tools they need for the 21st-century economy.

Some very quick reactions:

1) Schumer doesn’t address debt. What’s the point of increasing pay that doesn’t increase quality of life, since the increase is passed right through to (say) the student loan people or the medical debt collectors?

2) Schumer, by not addressing Medicare for All, suppresses it. Isn’t that really the best way to reduce “every day expenses”?

3) Schumer’s focus on worker’s tools is a jobs guarantee for the professionals who will do the training, but says nothing about the nature of the 21st-century economy. Why isn’t the best “tool” for workers a union?

4) Schumer seems never to have heard about Case-Deaton. How will Democrats reverse the trend of declining life expectancy in the working class?

Then Schumer goes into detail. Again, quick, not especially thought-through reactions:

On Monday we are announcing three new policies to advance our goals.

On a day the entire Beltway is going nuts over health care? WTF?

Right now, there is nothing to stop vulture capitalists from egregiously raising the price of lifesaving drugs without justification.

Well, except for Democrats like Cory Booker voting against the most minor reform possible: Importing drugs from Canada.

We’re going to fight for rules to stop prescription drug price gouging and demand that drug companies justify price increases to the public. And we’re going to push for empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for older Americans.

First, please drop the “fight for” (and “push for”) rhetoric. Democrats always virute signal about fighting for, but they never deliver. Second, if “empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices” works, then why not just empower Medicare to negotiate everything, and move straight to single payer? Third, why limit this to “older Americans”? Why not all citizens?

Right now our antitrust laws are designed to allow huge corporations to merge, padding the pockets of investors but sending costs skyrocketing for everything from cable bills and airline tickets to food and health care. We are going to fight to allow regulators to break up big companies if they’re hurting consumers and to make it harder for companies to merge if it reduces competition.

First, “fight to,” “make it harder.” Second, , it’s a stretch, even discounting “words are wind,” to call this the start of a populist movement, since the populist movement was driven from the bottom up by a wave of well-organized discontent, as opposed to being created from the top down by Democrat consultants and strategists. Third, Schumer still puts markets first; he just wants to tweak them. Hence, he’s squarely in the neoliberal mainstream; the “consumer” framing does this, too. Fourth, show me concrete material benefits. Suppose we break up the giant health care insurance companies. Is that really the answer to universal health care? And do we have another couple of decades to experiment on the health of the American people when there’s a proven solution sixty miles north of Burlington, VT. Fifth, Schumer pointedly does not mention the following ginormous monopolies: Google, Facebook, Amazon. Why? Sixth and finally, it’s hard to see the Democrat Party moving forward on any policies that benefit the working class (i.e., most voters) unless they adopt a funding model like the $27-contribution Sanders campaign. Otherwise, Democrats are simply beholden to squillionares Schmidt, Zuckerberg, and Bezos, and will “fight for,” and not deliver, again and as usual.

Right now millions of unemployed or underemployed people, particularly those without a college degree, could be brought back into the labor force or retrained to secure full-time, higher-paying work. We propose giving employers, particularly small businesses, a large tax credit to train workers for unfilled jobs. This will have particular resonance in smaller cities and rural areas, which have experienced an exodus of young people who aren’t trained for the jobs in those areas.

“Tax credits.” Hold on to your hats, folks. I’m so excited.

Chuck Schumer goes big for antitrust!!!!

— Zephyr Teachout (@ZephyrTeachout)

This voter adopts the correct attitude:

We off that. It's $25, now.

— Ella Septima-Hamer (@Jbrous14)

“Chuck, what have you done for us lately?” No reason can’t work both ways….

UPDATE “The 4 Types Of Constitutional Crises” [FiveThirtyEight]. This:

True constitutional crises are rare. The Constitution is set up so that power is shared between the president, Congress and the courts, and between the federal government and the states. This cuts down on vacuums where no one has clear authority, instead creating situations where multiple people or institutions are empowered to act. Serious constitutional crises occur when our institutions are rendered ineffective, which is usually about politics more than process, and often has less to do with how institutions were designed than with how legitimate they are perceived to be.

The last type of constitutional crisis — when different parts or branches of government are at loggerheads — might be the one we are most likely to see during Trump’s administration. If Trump continues to strain democratic norms and push political boundaries, Congress, the courts or even members of his own administration could push back. Those conflicts could be resolved deliberately and thoughtfully, with an eye toward what the founders would do. Or not.

Oddly, or not, the authors leave out the intelligence community, clearly players, and clearly trying to take advantage of a power vacuum.

UPDATE “51st state question answered “no” in 6 of 11 counties contemplating secession” []. “In five of the 11 counties where the secession question appeared on the ballot, the measure passed by strong margins.”

Stats Watch

Purchasing Managers Index Composite Flash, July 2017: “Markit’s U.S. samples are reporting the best strength, though still moderate, so far this year” []. “The manufacturing PMI shows the most acceleration… Strength in new orders, especially for services which hit a 2-year high, is the leading in today’s report with output and employment also positives. Price data are mixed with wages up but fuel bills down and selling prices soft.”

Existing Home Sales, June 2017: “The slip in pending home sales was no false signal as existing home sales fell” []. “Rising prices and thin supply, not to mention low wages, are offsetting favorable mortgage rates and holding down sales. Housing data have been up and down and unable to find convincing traction so far this year.” And: “Total housing inventory available declined 7.1% on the year having fallen for 25 months in succession” []. And: “This was slightly below the consensus expectations. For existing home sales, a key number is inventory – and inventory is still low” [].

UPDATE Supply Chain: “Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s latest investment move shows the growing significance of the warehouse in retail competition. The country’s biggest store operator secured the right to invest in logistics-equipment provider Plug Power Inc. along with a pact to roll out more of the company’s forklifts and other vehicles at its distribution centers” [].

The Bezzle: “Indoor vertical farming is on the rise, if a recent funding round for San Francisco startup Plenty is any indication. The company just scored what they say is the largest agriculture technology investment in history. Plenty has attracted attention – and quite a lot of money – from well-known tech greats like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt” []. Well, how are the cities gonna secede if they can’t grow food?

The Bezzle: “Abuses Hide in the Silence of Nondisparagement Agreements” []. “As more harassment allegations come to light, employment lawyers say nondisparagement agreements have helped enable a culture of secrecy. In particular, the tech start-up world has been roiled by accounts of workplace sexual harassment, and nondisparagement clauses have played a significant role in keeping those accusations secret. Harassers move on and harass again. Women have no way of knowing their history. Nor do future employers or business partners.” Non-disparagement wouldn’t be on my list of the best way to ensure coding quality, either, but that’s not up for discussion…

The Bezzle: “Canada: Supreme Court Clears Way for Facebook Privacy Lawsuit” []. “In 2011, Facebook created Sponsored Stories as a new advertising product that uses the name and the profile picture of the users. When a user “likes” the Facebook page of a company that purchases the Sponsored Stories, his name and photo will be associated with the company or their product and will be used to advertise on Facebook and externally. (Douez v. Facebook, Inc., ¶ 6.) According to the British Columbia Privacy Act, this practice is illegal and can be actionable without proof of any damage.”

The Bezzle: “Is a More-Enlightened Social Media Possible?” [ (Rainbow Girl)]. Rainbow Girl comments: “Interview with Dan Zigmond, a zen priest. Also (drumroll) ‘director of analytics for FB news’.”

As the director of analytics for Facebook’s News Feed, Dan Zigmond works on the algorithms that decide what more than a billion people read each day. That’s a big responsibility.

Does your background in Buddhism inform, or dovetail with, your work on the News Feed?

From the Buddhist context, we’re all inherently interconnected. One of the great illusions is the sense of an independent self that’s disconnected from the world. Connecting with people can help us break down that illusion and understand that inherent connectedness. In our daily lives, it’s very important to interact with people you meet as if they are a part of you and you are a part of them.

Rainbow Girl: “A quick read illustrating profound smarminess. No mention of how he manipulates what information people receive, i.e., facilitating delusion, traditionally one of the three main ‘poisons’ that cause suffering in dharma philosphy.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 72 Greed (previous close: 73, Greed) []. One week ago: 67 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed. Last updated Jul 24 at 1:19pm. One year ago: 85, Extreme Greed. Good times…

Health Care

“The Company Behind Many Surprise Emergency Room Bills” []. “Before EmCare, about 6 percent of patient visits in the hospital’s emergency room were billed for the most complex, expensive level of care. After EmCare arrived, nearly 28 percent got the highest-level billing code.” Credentialism and corruption… (see NC on medical coding here and here).

UPDATE “Some of the most powerful people in the US are talking about a massive change to healthcare” []. [Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini] told Aetna employees at a town-hall-style meeting in May that he thought ‘we should have that debate’ about single-payer ‘as a nation.’ … Bertolini did not support a total government-run single-payer system but could be open to a private-public system used in some nations. “So the industry has always been the back room for government,” Bertolini said. “If the government wants to pay all the bills, and employers want to stop offering coverage, and we can be there in a public private partnership to do the work we do today with Medicare, and with Medicaid at every state level, we run the Medicaid programs for them, then let’s have that conversation.” Why? I see what’s in it for Bertolini (ka-ching) but what’s in it for us?

UPDATE “If Jesus did anything, he offered health care wherever he went — and he never charged a leper a co-pay. Like most Americans, I know the Affordable Care Act is not perfect. In considerable measure, this is because over twenty states sabotaged the ACA by refusing to expand Medicaid. Its main shortcoming is that it needs to be transformed into a single payer system with universal healthcare for all [William Barber, ] (Barber is “chief architect” of North Carolina’s Moral Mondays).

Our Famously Free Press

UPDATE “Newsweek Settles with Journalist Smeared by Kurt Eichenwald” []. The background:

In October, Paste reported on a disturbing story involving Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald and Sputnik editor Bill Moran. The former, it appeared, sought to silence the latter through the use of bribery and threats.

For the uninitiated, Moran had written a piece based on a Twitter user’s misattribution of a damning Eichenwald quote about Benghazi to longtime Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal. Wikileaks had just dumped Clinton campaign director John Podesta’s emails, and there was a mad dash among journalists and non-journalists alike to find a big story in them. One of those emails had Blumenthal sending the Eichenwald story to Podesta.

Upon realizing his mistake roughly twenty minutes after publication, Moran took the article down. However, then-GOP candidate Donald Trump used the misattributed quote in a speech to attack his opponent.

From these facts, Eichenwald inferred that the only possible means by which Trump could have come across the misattributed quote was purposeful collusion with the Russians, and that the Wikileaks documents themselves had been altered. This conclusion led him to write a piece, “Dear Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin, I Am Not Sidney Blumenthal,” in which he wove a sordid web connecting the GOP candidate to Russia.

The piece went viral, earning the Newsweek journalist a top spot on various cable news shows. Moran was fired.

A sad victim of Putin Derangment Syndrome.

Gaia

“Solve Antarctica’s sea-ice puzzle” []. “Researchers are struggling to understand these stark differences5. Why do Antarctica’s marked regional and seasonal patterns of sea-ice change differ from the more uniform decline seen around most of the Arctic? Why has Antarctica managed to keep its sea ice until now? Is the 2017 Antarctic decline a brief anomaly or the start of a longer-term shift? Is sea-ice cover more variable than we thought? Pressingly, why do even the most highly-rated climate models have Antarctic sea ice decreasing rather than increasing in recent decades? We need to know whether crucial interactions and backs between the atmosphere, ocean and sea ice are missing from the models, and to what extent human influences are implicated.”

UPDATE Earthquakes in the colonies, far from the metropolis:

Animation of equakes in Okla. & parts of adjoining states, 2004-16. Size of dots and volumes are proportional to equake strengths.

— USGS in Oklahoma (@USGS_Oklahoma)

Class Warfare

UPDATE “The gig economy of the 18th Century” []. “The diaries of three men in 18th-Century Britain that I have found give a fascinating insight into how middle class people – the supposed beneficiaries of today’s gig economy – made multiple employments work. Edmund Harrold, a resident of Manchester in the early 18th Century was a barber by training and title. He rented a small shop, shaved customers’ heads, bought and sold hair, and crafted wigs. In the hours unfilled by this he worked as a book dealer, and eventually as an auctioneer, selling various items in alehouses within Manchester and in outlying towns. He lent out money when he had it, earning 10% interest on his holdings.” Whatever “middle class” means…

UPDATE “Robots are closing in on a new breakthrough—picking up an object and putting it in a box. It’s a seemingly modest action that marks a big step in warehouse automation” []. “The e-commerce surge has raised the role that backroom handling plays in the sales supply chain, and pushed warehouse operators to fine-tune operations that have long been geared toward handling industrial-scale materials while human workers took over for the ‘picking’ of individual items to fulfill orders. With companies under pressure to deliver online orders faster, warehouse bottlenecks have become the focus of more research.”

News of the Wired

UPDATE Wait ’til other countries start doing this:

This is now part of the US non-immigrant visa application. This is obnoxious, absurd and threatens freedom of speech.

— Nima Fatemi (@mrphs)

The applicant is from Iran, but still.

“James Frederick Housel | July 28, 1951 – March 11, 2017” [ (MR)]. A second obituary of Isolato.

Margaret Hamilton: NASA’s First Software Engineer (video interview) [].

“Ten Ways to Organize Your Bookshelf” []. “It could be argued that every bookshelf, like every piece of writing, is autobiographical, even with its veneer of objective organization, but I admit I can see the nostalgic appeal in consciously organizing my books according to the stages of my life.” Why not just a heap of books next to one’s bed?

UPDATE Zeitgeist watch:

Nothing to see here. keep playing.

— SabrPictorial (@SABRPictorial)

* * *

Readers, feel free to me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allegic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please put it in the subject line. Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (, proposed by Richard Smith):

Mmmm, dinner!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

120 comments

  1. Vatch

    Joy Reid made a geographical error. Slovakia was not part of Yugoslavia; it was part of Czechoslovakia.

    1. Vatch

      Oh, and Yugoslavia wasn’t one of the Soviet republics, either. It was Communist, but it wasn’t even part of the Warsaw Pact.

      1. David Carl Grimes

        When I saw Joy Reid’s tweet, I didn’t know who Joy Reid was. Judging from the tweet alone, I thought she was some low-information diehard Clintonite fangirl who was brainwashed by the establishment media on this Russian hysteria. Like it was the dumbest thing I heard. Until I googled her name. Then I discovered she was Harvard educated journalist who was brainwashing us through MSNBC.

        These people are getting very desperate.

      2. Mike

        Oh, my- we will never be able to be precise in our political characterizations when the Yugoslav SOCIALIST Federation is called “Communist” – while the party called itself “Communist”, Tito in no way ever said or indicated that the Socialist form of government he led could call itself Communist, since Communism was a stage of social development that would have NO STATE, NO GOVERNMENT worth the name. Marx described the stage of communism as the withering away of the state forms.

        The canard of calling Communist Party-led nations “Communist” is conflating the PARTY with the NATION – something the “Capitalist United States of America” sold to you to equate the Stalin-led dictatorships with the theory of social development that Marx posited as the end result of social planning, education, and total lack of private property (or management of property by a managerial class). Hate it if you will, label it as utopia as you must, but be clear about what it actually was.

        1. Temporarily Sane

          I am extremely skeptical of all “perfect” systems that promise to deliver utopia but it would be hilarious if a few hundred years from now China becomes the first country on earth to transition from a highly developed capitalist economy to a functioning communist society.

      3. Dwight

        Moreover, Slovakia and Slovenia are members of NATO since 1993 and 2004, respectively. Slovakia, then part of Czechoslovakia, was invaded by the Warsaw Pact in 1968, a few years before Ivana left for Canada. Melanie was from a NATO ally when Trump married her. So Reid is impugning NATO allies we are obligated to defend from Russia, while helping in her petty ignorant way to unnecessarily ratchet up conflict with Russia. Racist, xenophobic, jingoistic, and profoundly ignorant and confused.

    2. WheresOurTeddy

      Reid’s tweet is racist. Please imagine what would happen if a similar tweet was sent out by a media member asking why Trump’s daughter is married to a Jewish person after the incident with the USS Liberty in 1967 and the trial of Jonathan Pollard.

      I am neither Slovakian, Slovenian or Jewish. Just observant.

      1. Quentin

        Also misogynist! Has Mrs. Clinton chimed in criticising the perpetrator to this dastardly perversion?

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          Melania voted for the wrong person. There’s a for her as far as Joy is concerned.

          Melania is thus an un-person, and any attacks are in bounds.

          The irony of an African-American woman doing this to a woman of foreign origin is pretty thick. Then again, as Upton Sinclair said, it’s impossible to get someone to understand something when their paycheck depends on them not understanding it…

    3. Quentin

      Nor was Yugoslavia a so-called Soviet republic. It was called Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Tito was at odds with the then Soviet Union. So WTF is she talking about anyway? Mr. and Mrs. Clinton intentionally destroyed that country. Slobodan Milosevic was posthumously exonerated by the International Court of the crimes which the international do-gooders accused him of. Have the Clintons apologised in the name of the US? So now the narco-state of Kosovo sends out its menfolk to run drug and prostitution rings all over western Europe.

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        Tito to Joseph Stalin: “Stop sending people to kill me! We’ve already captured five of them, one of them with a bomb and another with a rifle… If you don’t stop sending killers, I’ll send a very fast working one to Moscow and I certainly won’t have to send another.”

        Seem like fast friends to me…

      2. Simuna

        What? Milosevic was definitely not exonerated. He just cacked before a verdict was reached. Choked on a meatball sub if I’m not mistaken. Classic maskirovka…playing all the hits.

          1. Plenue

            No, he wasn’t. Not in 2007, and not a decade later either.

            As for John Laughland, the man literally denies there even was any genocide at Srebrenica:

              1. Plenue

                (yes I know, pro-Western source. Examine what is said, not who speaks.)

                From the second link:

                “This is a perfect example of fact-bending journalism. I sent an e-mail to the ICTY to get their reaction to the Wilcoxon and Clark reports on Milosevic’s supposed exoneration.

                The ICTY replied:

                “The Trial Chamber of the Karadzic case found, at paragraph 3460, page 1303, of the Trial Judgement, that ‘there was no sufficient evidence presented in this case to find that Slobodan Milosevic agreed with the common plan’ [to create territories ethnically cleansed of non-Serbs]. The Trial Chamber found earlier in the same paragraph that ‘Milosevic provided assistance in the form of personnel, provisions and arms to Bosnian Serbs during the conflict’.”

                The Trial Chamber did not in fact make any determination of guilt with respect to Milosevic in its verdict against Karadzic. Indeed, Milosevic was not charged or accused in the Karadzic case. The fact that a person is, or is not, found to be part of a joint criminal enterprise in a case in which he is not charged has no impact on the status of his own case or his own criminal responsibility.

                In short, the trial against Karadzic was against him and him only, and therefore has no impact on the separate case against Slobodan Milosevic. Karadzic, meanwhile, was found guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide, in case Clark has any reservations about Karadzic’s role in the Balkan wars.”

                The most generous assessment that can be made is that there isn’t enough evidence to concretely prove that Milosevic agreed with the plan for ethnic cleansing, yet provided the material means and manpower to conduct that ethnic cleansing, which he knew was going on.

                “Now see, I’m not going to burn this house down myself. But I have provided some gasoline and matches. Gee, it sure would be an awful shame if something were to happen…”

        1. todde

          “Slobodan Milosevic was posthumously exonerated on Monday when the international court of justice ruled that Serbia was not responsible for the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica. The former president of Serbia had always argued that neither Yugoslavia nor Serbia had command of the Bosnian Serb army, and this has now been upheld by the world court in The Hague. By implication, Serbia cannot be held responsible for any other war crimes attributed to the Bosnian Serbs.”

          1. Simuna

            You linked to an editorial spreading disinformation. The court did not reach a verdict against Milosevic because he died in custody. The evidence still stands.

            However, Page 1303 of PROSECUTOR v. RADOVAN KARADŽIĆ Case IT-95-5/18-T, concluded ‘Milosevic provided assistance in the form of personnel, provisions and arms to Bosnian Serbs during the conflict’.” Genocide did occur under Milosevic’s command. Milosevic was despised even by his own Serbian countryman. Milosevic hung on to power by assassinating his political rivals, including the popular Ivan Stambolic in 2000.

            It seemed Yeltsin was too busy having heart attacks, stuffing ballot boxes, and stumbling down Pennsylvania avenue in his skivvies to stop genocide in Europe. I’m sure RT disagrees, and everything was under control.

    4. WheresOurTeddy

      Remember: If you’re an American journalist, an attack on someone’s ethnicity is not racist if they’re Eastern European.

      1. OIFVet

        As a Slav, I came to the conclusion that the haters are just jealous. I mean, look at this Polish entry to the I mean, can you blame any hot blooded male for wanting some of that???

      2. Mike

        Thank you- clarity of language is the first casualty of ideological miseducation. We seem to call every instance of hatred or enmity “racist”, as if the term is the only one with strength enough to condemn. She is a bigot and a very poor thinker, and she may be a racialist in other situations, but not racist because of Trump’s wives’ origins.

        Sometimes I wish we had copy editors… volunteers?

    5. Quentin

      It’s disgusting that a US woman makes catty remarks about women because they were born in Slovenia and Slovakia. Can this black woman be rightfully accused of racism against white women of Eastern European origin? The Democrats re now a gang of ignoramuses.

  2. Bill Smith

    ” DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack”

    Look, I believe a fraction of the current Red Scare stuff but I don’t see that point means anything. I can set the date on my computer to be years ago. Then copy files and the date stamp will reflect the date I set it to. Do the Russians now have time travel?

    How do we know what machine the copy was made on?

    1. Watt4Bob

      How do we know what machine the copy was made on?

      The evidence they are describing comes from the DNC server on which the copy originated.

      They can tell how long it took to create the copy, because there are system logs that record the time the file copy began, and the time it completed sucessfully.

      Copying to a USB drive takes much less time than copying across the internet.

      That’s a totally reliable way to discover how the files were taken.

    2. hunkerdown

      Can’t, but you can more than suspect they were saved by one Warren Flood (of Bright Blue Digital, the only “hack” in this affair) on GSA computer equipment, if you look at the RTF files in a text editor.

      1. Bill Smith

        How would these guys have gotten the system files from the DNC?

        “On 7/5/2016 at approximately 6:45 PM Eastern time, someone copied the data that eventually appears on the “NGP VAN” 7zip file (the subject of this analysis). This 7zip file was published by a persona named Guccifer 2, two months later on September 13, 2016.”

        This doesn’t look like they are taking about system files from a DNC machine.

    3. Alex Morfesis

      Now now…let us not get a call from the bezos daily shopper algo twisting (aka marketing) dept…please do not the sharks…

      Could really not care less if raz-putin personally “bent the knee” & burped don trumpioni…and imagined that would allow him to “own” el grande kahbrone…

      Russia is as much a threat to the american public as Uruguay…anyone who suggests otherwise should be slapped with a qui tam case for wasting govmynt resources…

      And anyone who expects “the teflon don” to keep his promises once the “service” is rendered…is imagining some other kid from queens…

      Have personally removed anyone from either side of the argument on my twitcher who says trump or russia or clinton…

      Good, bad or indifferent, the only matter that matters is the electoral college…and if one does not like those results, one can move to impeach…that is all…

    4. JustAnObserver

      Actually that’s more difficult than it seems. Most operating systems require root (administrator) privileges to set the computer’s clock backwards. For personal computers that’s not a problem since the owner of the desktop/laptop/tablet normally has admin rights. For corporate computers on a complex network this is normally not the case.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      > How do we know what machine the copy was made on?

      Ideally, we would be able to work with the physical hard disk — and it would certainly be a hoot if it were ever released!

      That said, nobody has successfully challenged the validity of the email texts, including those with the greatest incentive to do so. Therefore, although attribution is hard, I’m willing to accept the forensics done on the metadata (and, although this is an argument from authority, more willing to accept their work than CrowdStrike’s, or the intelligence community’s).

  3. WheresOurTeddy

    Been following this for some time. Strange, I haven’t heard about this *ACTUAL* investigation with *EVIDENCE* of real *CRIMES BEING COMMITTED* on the #Resistance media outlets. Wonder why?

    No problem gaslighting us for the better part of a year with their “anonymous” spook sources who never provide any evidence for their extraordinary claims, though.

    Just IMAGINE the media bonanza if some of Kushner’s/Bannon’s/Conway’s/Trump’s hard drives popped up.

    This is the most propagandized country in the world, with the possible exception of North Korea. But our rulers are way better at it.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Crushed? Someone should have told them they have to sandblast those puppies (platters) if they don’t want anyone to read them.

  4. cocomaan

    All vertical farming technology is just guerilla indoor weed growing technology recycled for vegetables. These investors have never seen it before because they do cocaine and Rx.

    This vertical farming nonsense is really a case of “let them eat lettuce”, because that’s all you’re going to be able to reliably grow in one of those things.

    At the very least, you have to vent the hot air from the LEDs (which still produce heat), the hydroponics, and whatever other equipment you have. Climate control for one of these buildings must be an enormous cost. And whatever air you pipe in has to be filtered for particulates, since you need the thing to be sterile. And so on.

    Every time you post one of these vertical farming articles I start to see red. Which might be the glare of the LEDs.

    1. Darius

      It’s like spaceships that never leave the earth. Cool. Another bright, shiny object for the easily distracted. Why do you need an artificial environment for a planet blessed with soil and sunlight? Unless you think the planet is just for trashing as you move into your cool new spaceship.

    2. visitor

      Won’t humidity, if those vertical enclosures are not properly ventilated, quickly lead to interesting moldy outgrowths?

      1. grayslady

        Yes, it will. If you visit any professionally constructed greenhouse at a botanic garden they all have screened ventilation windows that are opened in the summer months, as well as fans moving the air to prevent fungus development. It is an expensive proposition.

      2. Enquiring Mind

        How long until we see a VC pitch for vertical farming that uses the waste heat from the server farm (see, they pre-figured the application!), with next-gen heat exchangers to keep any humidity on the veggie side?

        Hot columns vented off the back of the server racks to cut down on the carbon footprint, since less A/C and more oxygen generation through new organic growth. Now all we need are some product names.

        These pitches practically write themselves!

        1. polecat

          Untill some monkeywencher ‘re-routs’ those vent ducts BACK into said servers, thereby rendering the whole enterprize kaput ! … ‘;]

    3. Tinky

      I was under the impression that the technology used by this company in Singapore works quite well. Can you provide a counter argument?

      1. grayslady

        I can.

        1.Singapore is very near the equator, so they have almost equal days and nights all year. That’s fine for growing short-day or day-neutral plants; it’s not fine for plants that need a period of longer days in order to mature.

        2. Countries that are not near the equator will need enormous amounts of supplemental light during months with shorter days in order for the system to be economically productive. If the producer can generate its own electricity via solar panels, and a solar compatible generator, it might be a financially viable project in non-tropical climates that don’t have bitterly cold winters. Otherwise, there is the cost of supplemental heat, as well.

        3. The photos in the article appeared to show a crop of lettuce. Lettuce is one of the least demanding plants to grow since it doesn’t require heat to germinate. It’s a cool weather crop. However, tomatoes and many other vegetables require bottom heat to germinate (the soil needs to be warm), and some plants require warm soil throughout the growing period. That would require additional time and resources to propagate the crop.

        4. Next to Bangkok, Thailand, Singapore is one of the hottest, most humid climates I’ve ever been in. Although nothing is mentioned about temperature and humidity control in the article, there has to be some provision for air flow and cooling. Lettuce, in particular, grows best in cooler temperatures.

        I have grown hundreds of plants indoors from seed, and it’s not as simple as this article makes it sound.

        1. makedoanmend

          Knowledge and experience (or is it experience and subsequent knowledge) surely do make for a fine argument and insights.

          As a Horticultural teacher once said to me, always go to first principles and work from there: lettuce is a cool weather crop, photoperiods, available light reception period, etc.

          I hadn’t thought of any of these factors as an initial response to the gauntlet laid down by the original comment.

          Thanks for reminding me that I desperately need to do some botanical revision.

          NC as goad
          I bow to goad

          1. Synoia

            Lagos Nigeria as a child: Hot, Humid. Equatorial Tropics.

            No potatoes, Oranges were green, much tropical fruit, never remember lettuce or any other salad.

            South Africa, Johannesburg, Highvelt. All the European crops. Never very hot, slight frost in winter.

        2. Damson

          Humidity in Bangkok….. absolute hell!

          Following a few months of it, I travelled or Madras, India. It was June, and Tamil Nadu was generally experiencing a heatwave!

          Yet it was bearable, because it was dry heat.

          Enjoyed the floods later…. including having to get out of the car as it filled, perch on the roof, and enjoy the little black pigs swimming by…

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        Absolute Macro

        Urban Web

        Seems like vertical farming is a national security issue for Singapore. So I’d like to know more about whether it works without subsidy.

  5. Altandmain

    Are Democrats turning to an alliance between neocons and neoliberals? If so, it’s a terrible strategy

    US: Growing danger of children overdosing from opioids


    Evidence Clinton Campaign Invented Trump/Russia Story To Cover Their Failures

    From Jimmy Dore.

    Why You Need To Stop Blaming Millennials

    The company isn’t a family

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Neocons and neoliberals.

      Are neo-progressives (versus say, paleo-progressives, I guess) good or bad?

      ‘Are you a meso-progressive?’

    2. John

      Is there a difference between a new-liberal and new-conservative? If so, that’s pretty confusing.

      (How come nobody writes an article about this?)

      1. Mark P.

        Nobody writes an article about the potential theoretical differences between neolibs and neocons because the people who understand the issues sufficiently would all be bored sh*tless by the exercise.

        But, yeah, in principle one could be a neocon (a belief system about international power relations) without being a neoliberal (a belief system about the primacy of markets in society that then leads to some restrictive beliefs about government’s role).

        That being said, in non-theoretical practice one hand washes the other. Actually-existing neoliberalism depends on neoconservatism for its implementation globally.

  6. Darius

    Schumer: Let them eat training. Back when I used to read him, Krugman would deride the “skills gap,” correctly pointing out that a skills gap would cause employers to jack up wages for jobs that were supposedly hard to fill. Not happening. Sorry Democrats. No skills gap. What is needed, he said, were policies to increase demand. Put money in people’s pockets. Democrats used to know this before they decided not to know it. Instead, they hide behind the supposed skills gap.

  7. PKMKII

    We propose giving employers, particularly small businesses, a large tax credit to train workers for unfilled jobs.

    Lemmee translate that out of weasel: “We propose,” meaning that we will cave in on all demands from conservative politicians on the policy. “giving employers, particularly small businesses,” meaning shell corporations of the rich and the TBTF. “a large tax credit to train workers for unfilled jobs,” meaning they will do the absolute minimum to qualify as a “training program,” which will translate into approximately zero jobs, but with a big tax cut.

    1. jrs

      or to hire who they were going to hire anyway but now suddenly pretend they need a massive amount of “training”, even if they are ready to go in a few days (noone is ready to go on day 1, it takes a little while just to get one’s bearings on a new job).

  8. Vatch

    Earthquakes in the colonies, far from the metropolis

    Sarcasm alert: The people of Oklahoma were very lucky to have Scott Pruitt as their state’s attorney general. I’m sure he worked hard to stop the fracking that was causing so many earthquakes. Now he’s hard at work protecting all Americans.

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      proof that “useful idiots” exist in all parts of our country, not just the denigrated Economic Sacrifice Zones…

  9. Louis Fyne

    “Chuck Schumer: A Better Deal for American Workers” [New York Times].

    Wake me up when Schumer (D-NY) advocates breaking up Citi-JPM-Wells-Bank of America like the Federales broke-up Ma Bell.

    Until then everything DC Dems say re. econ. policy is pure grandstanding.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Lincoln did not win one single Southern states, which were all dominated by Democrats usually.

      Often things change, and sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

      So. today, they’ve enslaved their members so thoroughly, even though brutally abused, they can’t escape. There is no ‘Liberia’ to escape to.

    2. sid_finster

      Notice that even these vague, symbolic and unenforceable concessions had to be pried out of Team D using the electoral equivalent of water torture.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          If Ossoff had won, the hippie punching orgy would have pushed “OMG Russia” out of the elite discourse.

  10. John

    Want a laugh? Read this article:

    It says that economists are now more frequently doing their own math rather than relying upon the research of others and that this is great news. Reading it was downright entertaining!

  11. ScientistYouLike

    “Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack.”

    That data transfer rate (~0.25 Gbps) does not far exceed common internet transfer rates. I routinely get 3x that at my house from remote sites. I have G Fiber, but at many datacenters or universities, this is plausible. And, no, I am not colluding with the Russians!

    1. Annoyed by Stupidity

      So 250 Mbps (=.25 Gpbs) is standard for broadband now? If you’re lucky, your broadband connection will get you 20-25 Mbs unless you got direct access to a T3 line, and even then the provider will most likely throttle you.

  12. DJG

    Go Rainbow Girl. We are now down to Buddhism as a club (and a long way from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind).

    I especially enjoyed this exchange in the article:
    Sangha, the Sanskrit word for “community,” can be considered a sort of social network.

    Right. People have always formed communities, and they’ve always formed communities through meditation practice. Social networks are new ways of forming those communities that don’t rely on physical proximity as much as they have in the past.

    [Why, yes, that’s exactly how I remember the Three Jewels: I take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in the Dharma. I take refuge in Facebook.]

  13. skippy

    OK who did the tile job next to the door in the plantidote photo – ???? – if DIY meh, had a go so good on them, if some tradie did it…. grrrr

    1. polecat

      I don’know … the tile pattern off-set has a more ‘organic feel to me.
      … a nice compliment to that puffball from hell !

      1. Jen

        Now that you’ve pointed out the tile, I can’t unsee it, but my first reaction was “what the hell is that?”

        So, what the hell is that?

    2. pricklyone

      Hahaha… Like you my eye went right to that, as well.
      (And I don’t even work in the const. trades.)
      This is why I don’t do any DIY tile work, it’s so hard to “fudge” mistakes. Even small errors are so glaring.

    3. Oregoncharles

      Looks a bit like my kitchen floor, before the cracks.

      The dining room table gave a perfect view of the unintended curve.

    4. makedoanmend

      It’s a deep state rorschach test to measure one’s actual proclivity to accept non-linerality. Those who can accept must be banished.

      Thankfully, the non-linerality shocks my senses. saved today. not so much the maverick I thought. rawhide. where’s my bonanza

  14. WheresOurTeddy

    Wow:

    “When you think of a federal sting operation involving weaponry and military gear, the Government Accountability Office doesn’t immediately jump to mind. The office is tasked with auditing other federal agencies to root out fraud and abuse, usually by asking questions and poring over paperwork.

    This year, the agency went a little more cowboy. The GAO created a fictitious law enforcement agency — complete with a fake website and a bogus address that traced back to an empty lot — and applied for military-grade equipment from the Department of Defense.

    And in less than a week, they got it.”

    1. HotFlash

      Thank you, WOTeddy.

      Reporting by The Marshall Project and others found that much of the equipment came from the obscure 1033 program, which dates back to the Clinton era. Any equipment the U.S. military was not using — including Humvees, grenades, scuba-diving gear and even marching-band instruments — was available to local cops who could demonstrate a need

      To the Clinton era. Why am I not very much surprised?

  15. Alex Morfesis

    Better than oslama kare…ha…if don trumpioni wanted to give everyone coverage he could expand his current existing national emergency powers and draft everyone 18 & older…set up some web based “military” training system…have some jamborees over the course of a few years or whatever mechanisms would be needed to qualify “everyone” for va health coverage…

    yes…yes…va is closer to a disaster than functioning…but it would be probably the fastest and most expedient road to a true national health system that Roosevelt (teddy) promised over 100 years ago…

    Yes…not politically possible…the fay vo writ burp from swampy bottom…

  16. WobblyTelomeres

    Lambert: the link is a bit funky on the robots story in WSJ. Looks like your slash-A is missing from the preceding link.

  17. Oregoncharles

    I think you need a new router, Lambert. That’s the second time recently.

    Not that I really care exactly when you post.

    1. LifelongLib

      My router went through a period where it was crashing a lot. Moving it away from other equipment to a cooler area of the room seemed to help. Plus the usual of making sure all the cable connections were tight, no fraying, etc.

  18. Annotherone

    Re: Oklahoma ” Earthquakes in the colonies, far from the metropolis” –

    Gives new meaning to W.B. Yeats’ line: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold…..”

    They say the number of quakes has fallen since the Oklahoma Corporation Commission imposed stricter limits on wastewater injections where the earthquakes have been occurring, and as the price of oil has fallen. Still, a 4.2-magnitude earthquake struck northern Oklahoma last week.

    We’re too far south in OK to feel most of the quakes, but have experienced just two or three of the stronger ones. In one case, early morning, I was still in bed and the bed started to seem to swing for a second or two – felt like a hammock!

    1. Edward E

      Kinda reminds me of these songs, ‘Last Trip to Tulsa’ and Where Did It Get Off To? ‘Tulsa Shuffle’ or ‘The Devil Went on to Tulsa’ After Surfacing in Pawnee and last but not least ‘Oklahoma Breakdown’ Shakedown

  19. Art Eclectic

    1) Shouldn’t that EmCare bit have been posted under The Bezzle?

    2) What happens when Trump supporters splinter off and form their own party, primarying establishment Republicans?

  20. Bunk McNulty

    Rudy does not want to play with Donald. So sad when even your old buddies turn their backs on you. A trial balloon punctured tout suite.

    (CNN)

  21. edmondo

    2018
    “Five poll numbers that should make Democrats uneasy” [CNN]. “Democrat favorables haven’t budged since the 2016 conventions. [And] Trump supporters aren’t going anywhere.”

    Latest poll from Michigan has Debbie Stabenow behind Kid Rock; another found the Virginia governor’s race tied. Please Democrats, talk more about Russia. That’s what all of us care about – NOT!

  22. ewmayer

    o “Chuck Schumer: A Better Deal for American Workers” [New York Times] — And by better deal, team DNC of course means “better lies”. Here the lies in Chuck E. Cheese’s ensuing list:

    First, we’re going to increase people’s pay [‘people’ = CEOs]. Second, we’re going to reduce their everyday expenses [‘they’ = multinational corporations, which are also people according to our elites]. And third, we’re going to provide workers with the tools they need for the 21st-century economy. [‘workers’ = robots and overseas sweatshops.]

    Right now, there is nothing to stop vulture capitalists [like the ones who dominate my list of Big Donors] from egregiously raising the price of lifesaving drugs without justification.

    We’re going to fight for rules to stop prescription drug price gouging and demand that drug companies justify price increases to the public [‘we contributed to your reelection fund, Chuck’ will of course count as a very fine justification]. And we’re going to push for empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for older Americans [just like BHO ‘pushed for’ Wall Street to reform its wicked ways].

    Right now our antitrust laws are designed to allow huge corporations to merge, padding the pockets of investors but sending costs skyrocketing for everything from cable bills and airline tickets to food and health care. We are going to fight to allow regulators to break up big companies if they’re hurting consumers and to make it harder for companies to merge if it reduces competition [and by ‘fight’, I of course mean ‘spew copious amounts of fine-sounding verbiage to our friends in the MSM’].

    Right now millions of unemployed or underemployed people, particularly those without a college degree, could be brought back into the labor force or retrained to secure full-time, higher-paying work. We propose giving employers, particularly small businesses, a large tax credit to train workers for unfilled jobs. This will have particular resonance in smaller cities and rural areas, which have experienced an exodus of young people who aren’t trained for the jobs in those areas. [Note that by ‘small’ we of course mean ‘multinational with lots of smaller subunits’ … and we fully expect such employers to simply pocket the resulting windfall and continue offshoring and hiring underpaid H1-B slaves and illegals.]

    o Re. Interview with Dan Zigmond, zen priest and director of analytics for Facebook’s News Feed” — Zigmond: “From the Buddhist context, we’re all inherently interconnected. One of the great illusions is the sense of an independent self that’s disconnected from the world. Connecting with people can help us break down that illusion and understand that inherent connectedness. In our daily lives, it’s very important to interact with people you meet as if they are a part of you and you are a part of them.”

    Sorry Dan, not buying the cuddly “Zen Buddhist” shtick — the way FB exploits said “interconnectedness” via your algos in the real world tells me your philosophy is not so much Zen as it is Locutus of Borg.

  23. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Chuck Schumer: A Better Deal for American Workers

    If the Democrat party wants anyone to believe that this time they’re actually serious, they need to do a little better than trotting out a Wall Street shill like Schumer to deliver the message. I mean don’t they have some fresh blood who doesn’t have a decades long history of equivocation and failure they could use to at least pretend they really mean it? Just another sign of their utter fecklessness.

    1. Massinissa

      In DC, they call a decades long history of equivocation and failure ‘experience’, and anyone who does not have that background is ‘inexperienced’.

    2. polecat

      The ‘fresh blood’ as it were, gets drained too quickly to be of benefit to anyone but the DNC VAMPIRES !!
      I say silver stakes for the whole lot … now where’d I put my garlic ??

  24. Daryl

    > UPDATE Wait ’til other countries start doing this:

    The concern I have is what happens when I tell them I literally do not have social media. Should I perhaps open a / account and have a robot repost pictures of American flags and bible quotes 24/7 so I don’t get hassled going through the border?

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Or set your password to IIllegallyBetOnTheSuperbowlIn1998.

      You can’t be compelled to testify against yourself (not yet anyway). Revealing your password would do that.

  25. D

    Re Dan Zigmond, Director of Facebook Analytics!™ & Zen Priest!

    Yep, Smug, , is perfect.

    Caucasian Male Buddhists™ in high Silicon Valley positions seem very common (I’ve worked here for decades). The ones I’ve come across/known of are unbearably filled with themselves, unempathetic, and chilling underneath it all. Like wealthy self righteous Christians™, they seem solely attracted to those tenets (which they bend to meet their purpose) by which they might justify their undeserved and obscene profit and power at the expense of others. Senator Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum is a perfect example.

    An Asian American acquaintance, born into Buddhism – who also worked in Silicon Valley for decades – had me in tears of laughter in her critique of them as utterly fake Buddhists.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One finds it in every religion.

      Miracles, we’re talking about.

      Centuries ago, virtuous Chinese women under pressure from chauvinistic husbands or from lineage-concerned father-in-laws to produce (sons) would go to temples to pray, often staying over a period of time.

      Frequently, miraculously, their wishes were granted by the Buddha or Guanyin.

      And not rarely the babies resembled the better looking monks.

      Thus in other very understandably Homo Sapiens ways, it came to pass that soon, in the Middle Kingdom, Chan disappeared or was absorbed by the other 7 Buddhist schools, and only in other neighboring countries did it survive, as, for example, Zen in Japan.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Left behind were phrases like ‘the stink of Chan (that is, the stink of Zen)’, etc.

        Of course, we remind ourselves that Chan traced its source back to Tao…where, ‘The Way that can be said (or voiced, or worded, or expressed) is not the Eternal Way.’

        But those that stunk excelled in babbling nonsense which was difficult for the 99% to discern from ineffable Zen experiences.

        And now it looks like the same bad karma is being reincarnated in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  26. Lambert Strether Post author

    The Hill. Missed this one.

    Sanders keeping door open on 2020
    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who battled Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary and created a revolutionary movement among millennials, is having discussions about running for president again.

    “Yes, is the answer,” said one Sanders associate who helped with the senator’s previous bid, in response to a question about whether the Independent senator from Vermont had begun to think about another run.

    “He thinks he’s earned the right to run again, and he believes if he would have been the [Democratic] candidate he would have won against Trump.”
    The source also suggested that Sanders is making his plans with other candidates in mind.

    “The last thing he’s going to do is step aside and let Joe Biden take it,” the Sanders associate said.

    And then of course the trip to Iowa…

      1. Jen

        If he does run, he be starting from a very different place than he did last time, and if he’s thinking about it now, he has a lot more time to wage the all out war it’s going to take to win the nomination.

  27. bwilli123

    Welcome to Our Global Censorship and Surveillance Platform

    “…A complete social graph. A real-time census of every living person in the world (outside of China and Russia). One that knows all about you, whether or not you are on Facebook/Google/etc. These companies are already close to this goal in Europe and the US, and at 2 billion daily users (Facebook and Android), so it won’t be long before they expand that to the rest of the world. ”

    Happy thoughts. Not.

  28. Procopius

    I don’t know what sect of Buddhism Rainbow Girl is practicing in, but, “One of the great illusions is the sense of an independent self that’s disconnected from the world.” This is not what I understand the Buddha to have taught. What I thought he explained was that the “self” is not a real thing, because it’s made up of component parts. Therefore it’s an illusion in the sense that it seems like a real thing, but it’s just a shorthand way of referring to a complex interaction that one day will cease to be. The fact that it’s disconnected from the world is not relevant to anything. Of course, I may misunderstand what he taught because I haven’t read enough of the sermons that are supposed to have been his teachings.

Comments are closed.