Links 10/24/18

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Guardian. Kevin W:

This got the blood racing. The deep waters of the Black Sea are anoxic meaning there is very little oxygen present. Thus the life forms that would normally eat those timbers cannot survive there. If a ship goes down in those seas, they can stay intact like this one to an incredible degree. The coils of rope are still there along with the bones of the monkfish being eaten by the crew at the time the ship went down. Amazing.

Duffle Blog (Kevin W)

Gizmodo

Nature (David L)

Artificial Lawyer

MIT Technology Review (furzy)

EcoWatch (Glenn F). .

Axios. More prevalent at higher income levels.

BBC

Business Insider (David L)

Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

North Korea

Guardian

Asia Times

India

The Wire (J-LS)

Shaxson: Britain owes its pre-eminence as a financial centre to the combination of a strong legal system, which stops people stealing your money, with a weak regulatory one, which allows you to steal other people’s,” From Sunday Times review..

— Ann Pettifor (@AnnPettifor)

Brexit

Financial Times

The Times. Looks like someone woke up to the fact that leaving the EU without a new trade deal is a crashout; a transition period just allows for much better prep. So someone apparently thinks the EU will nicely give a super duper long transition period so that the UK can get things all stitched up. CETA took seven years to negotiate and another to win provisional approval. The EU won’t cut anywhere near that much slack. And a long transition period arguably violates WTO rules.

RTE. Um, this does not sound new. Has the EU managed to convince the UK this is new? All that sounds new is how this non-starter might be papered up. Or have I heard too many ideas and lost track as to which were rumors and which were sort of real?

Yorkshire Post. Whip count still short. .

City AM. Um, if the Withdrawal Agreement is 95% settled, this is supposedly settled. But now it might be retraded?

A shocked cabinet was today told no-deal Brexit may force government to own or operate lorry ferries, because freight through Dover and Channel Tunnel could fall 85% and we’d run out of vital goods, food and medicine

— Robert Peston (@Peston)

The problem, , is that May’s plan is something the EU will never accept, for good reason, and Corbyn is similarly clueless. Neither party has come to grips with the basics of trade arrangements.

Syraqistan

New Yorker (David L)

Politico

The Hill (Bill B)

Seattle Times (JTM)

Bloomberg. This will be fun.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Forbes (David L)

Associated Press

MacRumors

Financial Times

Trump Transition

Bloomberg

Bloomberg (furzy)

Inquisitur (David L)

The Hill

Benjamin Studebaker. UserFriendly: “Spot on.”

Kaiser Health News

StarTribune. UserFriendly: “I officially hate this woman.”

Lars P. Syll (UserFriendly)

The Hill (UserFriendly)

Bloomberg (furzy)

Goldman arguing that the smart money has been exiting stocks and bonds since February's volatility spike, as measured by ETF flows.

— Tracy Alloway (@tracyalloway)

Wall Street Journal

Self-driving school bus test halted in US BBC (UserFriendly) and Reuters (EM)

Class Warfare

CNBC

Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “Are those berries down there?”

And a bonus antidote from Kevin W:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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203 comments

  1. Livius Drusus

    Re: Silicon Valley’s dirty secret: Using a shadow workforce of contract employees to drive profit.

    And people wonder why so many Americans are miserable in this supposedly best economy in 50 years. There is more to the economy than just job numbers. You have to take into account things like the stress of unstable, short-term work. The American rat race has been dialed up to 11 and people are feeling it. Anecdotally I can say that most people I know seem to be more miserable than ever, including people who make high incomes. It is the stress of living in a pressure cooker 24/7.

    Thankfully there are some signs that people are getting sick of this. I notice that more people are beginning to see the pitfalls of advocating for work flexibility when that ends up producing things like unstable contract work and the gigification of entire industries. As usual the bad stuff had to start hitting the more educated, white-collar workforce before people started to care. The gig economy was all good when it was just hurting taxi drivers and other blue-collar workers. Better late than never, though.

    1. a different chris

      > the bad stuff had to start hitting the more educated, white-collar workforce

      History proves over and over that it’s the bourgeois that overthrows the establishment, not the too-busy-trying-to-stay-alive poor.

      –>>Castro: “Born in Birán, Oriente as the son of a wealthy Spanish farmer,”

      –>>Che: As a young medical student, Guevara traveled throughout South America and was radicalized by the poverty, hunger and disease he witnessed.

      He wasn’t subject to poverty and hunger, he “witnessed” it. And I could go on.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        French Revolution. Peasants with pitchforks seeking bread came later, it started when the 1% got sick of being completely screwed by the .001%. We’re not there yet (yet).

    2. DJG

      Livius Drusus: Agreed. The idea that a good employee is a mistreated employee is more prevalent than ever. Now we have to engage in rebuilding solidarity across the whole class of those who work for wages.

      If we are on the verge of another major crash, as some of the articles posted today hint at, life is going to become more interesting indeed, as companies try to lose workers, as 401ks and other shoddy pensions collapse, and as both political parties try to explain away their disdain for work and for workers.

    3. Brindle

      The desired result for companies is that workers act and respond like robots. With robots if you change the settings for higher production rates it does not complain. The de-humanizing of workers is an ongoing project and will only get worse.

    4. flaesq

      But keeping them contractors is a great way to keep them down. The place I’m at now had me for 3 years as a contractor with the promise of the becoming direct. Short-term, from their perspective it was a very good decision because I wasn’t looking elsewhere for work rather I was waiting to be hired on.

      On the other hand now I am in my second year of being a direct employee and finding no path to promotion or raise despite being in a high-tech business doing supposedly sought-after firmware engineering I’m feeling fed up and looking elsewhere. So I guess it did work out for them for 4 years.

  2. Enquiring Mind

    Ann Pettifor’s quote above:

    Shaxson: Britain owes its pre-eminence as a financial centre to the combination of a strong legal system, which stops people stealing your money, with a weak regulatory one, which allows you to steal other people’s…

    How much of modern education and professional training is used to put some gloss on theft and variants of unethical behavior? Did that late-night studying to get to the Top Table, and that First degree, or foreign analogues, that led to those City introductions not include any Examen? Perhaps such quaint notions no longer matter, another consequence of neo-liberal indoctrination, or was it Post-Modernism, or both, so hard to tell these days. Read Shaxson’s Treasure Islands and see that the average person is unprepared for yet another asymmetric warfare aspect of modern life.

  3. PlutoniumKun

    Massive Study Finds Eating Organic Slashes Cancer Risks EcoWatch (Glenn F). The study.

    More than one-third of Americans report eating fast food every day Axios. More prevalent at higher income levels.

    The thing that stood out for me from the fast food study is the following:

    Only 1 in 10 Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, per CDC.

    Thats pretty shocking really, its not all that hard to have the 5 or so portions recommended. And there is plenty of evidence that eating lots of vegetables can at least partly mitigate other parts of having a ‘bad’ diet. In other words, having a salad with your pizza is a very good thing.

    I wonder if there is a generational change – its not scientific, but the last year or so I’ve noticed that during lunchbreak in my office there has been a real change from a few years ago in what most – especially the younger support staff – eat for lunch. I remember quite a few (especially the younger guys) would go out to buy fast food or just cheap sandwiches, now the majority are eating some sort of salads, either bought or home made. There is currently here a wave of ‘healthier’ fast food salad type places, certainly in the more prosperous parts of town, although its noticeable here that in poorer areas its still hard to get a lunch that isn’t unhealthy.

    As for that organic study – I just had a quick browse, and it looks like a reasonably comprehensive study, I can’t see any obvious flaw. But most previous studies haven’t found any health benefit of organic food at a population level. I wonder if greater availability (far more regular supermarkets seem to stock in now) is making a difference.

    1. DJG

      Plutonium Kun: The study tracked volunteers in France, so it may not have much light to shed on U.S. habits. French agricultural practices in general are stricter than what is allowed in the U S of A. You will have to advise us as to how close practices are in Eire and France.

      I’m leery of studies that list pizza as “fast food.” Pizza is all kinds of things, and pizza from a bakery in the U.S. is often the best possible quick lunch.

      the participants in the study:

      Led by Julia Baudry, an epidemiologist at Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale in France, a team of researchers looked at the diets of 68,946 French adults. More than three-quarters of the volunteers were women, in their mid-40s on average. These volunteers were categorized into four groups depending on how often they reported eating 16 organic products, including fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, ready-to-eat meals, vegetable oils and condiments, dietary supplements and other products.

      Another factor is that the French participants may have followed “La Discipline,” what Julia Child described as three meals a day, no seconds, no snacking. This does not accord with the current U.S. diet.

      Also, the French typically are not as overweight as Americans, and overweight / obesity is a factor in development of cancer.

      Yes, we should all eat better. I try to maintain a “Mediterranean” diet. But this study only points toward what we all know: Pay attention to what you eat. Don’t eat crap. Enjoy your food. Have the occasional (occasional) feast.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I’m not sure the difference between France and the US is relevant here – the study was comparing people with similar diets and lifestyles, but some buying organic while others not. Of course it may be true that due to other quality reasons there is a ‘different difference’ between US and French organic and non-organic foods. But in general the overall quality of food in France is exceptionally high – the typical French consumer simply will not accept – to take one example – hydroponic greenhouse grown tomatoes when fresh varieties are available.

        As for ‘pizza’, you are quite right that there is a world of difference between a ‘real’ pizza and something from Dominos. A real pizza on a properly fermented base with good fresh cheese and tomato and so on is a thing of wonder, and is a perfectly healthy food. But I strongly suspect that the overwhelming majority of pizzas eaten outside of Italy fall into the industrial product variety.

        1. polecat

          Homemade pizza is easy to make, and can be quite delicious. We mix our own dough, and spread polecat’s special canned pasta sauce over it, followed by a few toppings. Most decent ‘bought’ pizzas are expensive, and inferior ..
          As far as produce, we’re good through the growing season, and beyond, with oodles of cherries, vine berries, blueberries, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots .. with a side of honey (when an excess can be had) and happy hen eggs ..
          So, we recieve at least partial nourishment from the sub-urban homestead.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          In America we can get “organic” vegetables from the local supermarket most of the time and in my area there were some people who sold wonderful tomatoes from their garden (organic?) and used to sell fresh eggs from their chickens … chickens that I’ll bet were treated more like pets than farm animals. But the French can get their organic vegetables from places like the Maison Collignon grocery – 18th district, 56, rue des Trois Frères, Paris. The cool factor alone means there can be absolutely no comparison between French organic vegetables and American organic vegetables. [ ]

      2. Lord Koos

        Pizza is often a lot of empty calories and high fat/high sodium – white flour, cheese, cured/processed meats, etc.

        I enjoy cooking and we have always tried to eat well. We are eating better food now since moving out of the city and into a small college town in a more agricultural part of the state. Farm fresh natural eggs, a bigger organic garden and fresher produce. Lots of olive oil.

    2. RubyDog

      For a skeptical perspective on that study:

      The blog is written by Steven Novella, MD, a neurologist who is part of the “Skeptics Guide to the Universe”,
      which has a mission to debunk pseudo and junk science. Not saying this study is such, but the way it is reported is misleading at best. Per his first paragraph – “One of the frustrating aspects of how science is reported in the mainstream media is when a complex study with very unclear results is presented with a misleading bottom line. Most people read only the headline, or perhaps the first paragraph, in order to glean the essence of a scientific study. They don’t read deep into the reporting to find the important details, or go to the study itself.”

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Anyone who can write the following:

        Promoting organic food is not sustainable. We simply don’t have the land, or the manure, to any significant portion of the world with organic food. Further, the organic lobby takes many unscientific stands, such as opposing food preservation through irradiation and all genetic modification. It is a package deal, with lots of nonsense and pseudoscience.

        Has no business criticising other scientists.

    3. JohnM

      “Fast food is generally high in calories, fat and sodium, a combination that increases the risk for cardiovascular and other diseases.”

      I’m wary of articles that repeat dietary dogma like that expressed above without regard to accumulating science to the contrary. In case anyone missed it, recommended limits on fat consumption were quietly removed from the dietary guidelines in 2015. The biggest dietary RCT ever done (Women’s Health Initiative) failed to find any benefit to a low fat diet. For a great summary of all the science that fails to find support for fat restriction, see the pinned tweet .

      And for just a taste of the questions about the dogma of salt restriction, check or enjoy a more extensive examination .

    4. Procopius

      … its not all that hard to have the 5 or so portions recommended.

      I’ve never been motivated to research it, but what the heck is a “portion,” anyway? When I’ve checked out government nutrition recommendations they talk about multiple “portions” per meal. What’s that about and why can’t they just give a number in fluid ounces or grams or ounces or pounds or pints?

  4. PlutoniumKun

    The Decline and Fall of Elizabeth Warren Benjamin Studebaker. UserFriendly: “Spot on.”

    I think that among other things (its an excellent evisceration of Warren), he highlights one reason why Sanders is the only candidate who could really take on Trump, and would have won if he’d been nominated:

    Young people know that you don’t trolls on the internet, and Donald Trump is the biggest troll there is. When he makes these digs, a response of any kind is taking his bait. But to respond not just once, but to respond eleven times in fifteen minutes? She lets Trump get to her, she responds emotionally, and and she doesn’t know when to stop.

    This most recent episode is the best example yet of how easy it is to bait Warren. Trump dared her to take a DNA test and offered her $1 million if she could prove she was a Native American. Warren did it–implicitly lending credence to the immensely bigoted notion that all one needs to claim Native American identity is a microscopic level of blood relation. She then paraded around her embarrassingly low level of Native American blood heritage, demanding that Trump pay a bet it’s plainly obvious he won. Many, many left wing writers have gone on at length about how horrifying this is, begging Warren over and over to stop doing this, to apologise to Native Americans and let the issue die. But over and over she ignores the left and does whatever she wants. In the process, she gave the Republican Party a valuable news cycle with mere weeks to go before the midterm elections.

    Quite simply, Sanders knows that you don’t wrestle with pigs in the mud. Unlike HRC and Warren he would never allow Trump bait him, he knows the way to deal with loudmouths and bullies is to never rise to their taunts, but just treat them calmly and firmly. I doubt Trump would have a clue how to get under Sanders skin, and the more he tried the more foolish he would look.

    1. voteforno6

      Considering everything that’s been thrown at Sanders throughout his career, I’m sure that he has a pretty thick skin. Also, even for a politician he has incredible message discipline. Trump’s campaigning was scatterbrained, and Clinton made the mistake of trying to engage him on his own turf. Sanders would’ve stuck to his message, and slaughtered him the second that Trump tried to engage him on policy.

    2. a different chris

      Seriously?

      She then paraded around her embarrassingly low level of Native American blood heritage, demanding that Trump pay a bet it’s plainly obvious he won.

      Plainly obvious to who exactly? How did he even win? He said “none”. She has “not none”. If you can’t explain your argument in less than two paragraphs (I did my side in 7 words), guess what? Warren won in the way that counts. Soundbites. Trump makes big stupid statements, he got called on it and as usual he was wrong. Does Liz Warren have enough Native American cred to meet pearl-clutching liberal standards? No, pretty much nobody does. She isn’t trying to win Ms. Native American, she’s trying to blow up Trump’s runny mouth. She would succeed if, again, we weren’t burdened with pearl-clutchers.

      Trump shouldn’t have said anything. Not Warren. He’s a bully and got punched back.

      The other parts of Studebaker’s essay were mostly not bad -she’s a freaking ex-Republican, for god’s sake. What do you expect? She’s not Sanders, who is? But this “oh my God we lost, if not we will redefine the argument until we’ve lost, because we a losers and that’s what we do” makes me want to barf.

      Again, notice the difference between the right wing, which lines up no problem behind outright lies, and the left, which explodes into finger-pointing and back-stabbing when they just need to shut up and push open any cracks they can make. Nobody meets their purity test (pun intended), ever.

      1. cm

        I have to disagree w/ your assessment, and include this quote from the linked :

        She continues to call herself a Native American, even though Native Americans want her to stop doing it. Over and over again, Native Americans asked her to speak up for them during the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests. Over and over again, Warren did nothing. Warren claims Native heritage while ignoring Native American political issues. She does so on the basis of DNA testing which itself shows only a miniscule fraction of Native background (based on comparisons with samples from indigenous people from Peru, not the United States). She does this even though she herself was never given tribal citizenship, never grew up on a reservation, and never suffered racial discrimination on the basis of her appearance. Her behaviour is exploitative and racist, and young people in the Democratic Party have no time for it. Native Americans living on reservations face more economic exploitation than any other group in the country by far, and Warren treats them like scum

        Warren needs to shut up about Native Americans, but by now the damage is done. Would be amusing to see Trump’s reaction when she destroyed herself on Twitter.

        1. o4amuse

          This seems to be a good place for Buffy St Marie’s Now That the Buffalo’s Gone

          Can you remember the times
          That you have held your head high
          And told all your friends of your Indian claim
          Proud good lady and proud good man
          Your great-great grandfather from Indian blood sprang
          And you feel in your heart for these ones

          Oh it’s written in books and in song
          That we’ve been mistreated and wronged
          Well over and over I hear the same words
          From you good lady and you good man
          Well listen to me if you care where we stand
          And you feel you’re a part of these ones

          When a war between nations is lost
          The loser, we know, pays the cost
          But even when Germany fell to your hands
          Consider dear lady, consider dear man
          You left them their pride and you left them their land
          And what have you done to these ones

          Has a change come about Uncle Sam
          Or are you still taking our lands
          A treaty forever George Washington signed
          He did dear lady, he did dear man
          And the treaty’s being broken by Kinzua Dam
          And what will you do for these ones

          Oh, it’s all in the past you can say
          But it’s still going on here today
          The government now want the Iroquois land
          That of the Senaca and the Cheyenne
          It’s here and it’s now you can help us dear man
          Now that the buffalo’s gone.

        2. a different chris

          The main part of my assessment is that political arguments are best evaluated by soundbytes, Sad but true. I have 7 words, Mr. Studebaker used….um…I gave up somewhere in the 50s.

          I mean this is over the top (my italics): “Native Americans living on reservations face more economic exploitation than any other group in the country by far, and Warren treats them like scum

          No, she just ignores them like everybody else. Do you think they are going to vote for Trump because of this? I didn’t see any of them saying that.

          1. ObjectiveFunction

            Dems have One Job(c): to persuade a bunch of voters who pulled a lever for Trump to pull a lever for their guy. They do that by offering substantive reinforcement of our trashed social contract and a change in national direction, not IdPol ‘check your privilege’ hectoring.

            Instead, they wish ruin and death on all those voters, and think the road to victory lies in drumming up *more* women / POCs who sat on the sidelines duped by Putin in 2016 but are now somehow triggered and outraged enough, just like them, to come out.

            The problem is that Trump can trigger his own base of ‘didn’t bother’ folks equally well, and is. Especially by hoisting humorless HR types like Warren on their own petards. That base resents being talked down to by rich coastal hypocrites on the make, and shameless jackass Trump is their way to hit back. He delivers.

      2. Mark Gisleson

        Forget ideology. Warren lacks the savvy to be a good candidate. Charlie Pierce at Esquire likes to call her ‘Senator Professor.’

        Your response parallels Warren’s action. It’s clear you don’t “get it.” But whether you do or not, Trump won this round. He’s winning most of them and that is infuriating to those of us who have worked campaigns and see clearly (and instantly) when Democrats fail to engage properly (properly meaning ‘not stupidly’).

        You are reacting to Trump exactly as he would want you to. He wants you to sputter, fume and lash out in anger. It just makes him even happier. And if it enrages you that Sanders would do this better, then maybe you just don’t care about winning. What do you care about? (Because whatever it is, it’s gone until we fix this sh*tshow the neoliberals clevered us into but aren’t clever enough to get us out of.)

        Oh, and purity test? I’m a former officer of the Democratic party in Des Moines under Carter, I’ve worked one gubernatorial (1982), two US Senate (1984, 2006) and one US House race (2016). My ideology takes a back seat once a campaign starts because anything else is foolish and prevents winning. After the convention Bernie had no problem pivoting and campaigning for Clinton and I had no problem with him doing that even though my personal opinion of the former SOS is unprintable in a family-friendly blog.

        People who do this stuff for a living think Warren just punched herself in her face. Has nothing to do with Clinton or Bernie. You have a lot of baggage to let go of. Not that you have to, but if you ever want to help someone get elected, you need to step back and start studying how this ‘game’ is actually played, and think less about how you think it should be played.

        No disrespect intended, but if you showed up to a campaign I was working on with that attitude, I would show you the door. It’s very hard to keep a campaign on the rails. It’s also hard not to note that survivors of Hillary Clinton’s campaigns have a lot of trouble ‘moving on.’ That speaks to the cult of personality she ran in lieu of an actual campaign. I usually get drunk for a month after my candidate loses. But then I’m over it. You can’t fight the next election until you get over the last one. Next election is twelve days away. I don’t think you’re ready for it.

        1. NoOneInParticular

          Warren might have done better to tell Trump, sure, I’ll take a DNA test, when you release all your tax returns dating back to age three when your dad started giving you that $200,000 a year allowance. If you’re gonna play this silly game with him, play.

        2. a different chris

          “It’s clear you don’t “get it.” ”

          Oh, thanks. You know-it-alls have gotten so many people elected the Dems have a what majority in the House? Oh, none. A what Senate majority? Oh, none. But your types got the Republican Presidential candidate you wanted so Hillary could cruise to the … oh, wait a second….

          “He wants you to sputter, fume and lash out in anger. ” She didn’t do that. She is taunting him. You can’t seem, or don’t want to, to tell the difference. You guys think he’s invincible, yet he’s barely standing. When was the last time he said “Pocahontas”? I missed it probably. But I heard him furiously backtracking on his bet. “President Donald Trump said he won’t make good on a bet on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage unless he can personally test her DNA.” From Time Magazine, that leftist bastion. How is that weaseling a win for him?

          You’re just so afraid to throw punches because yes, you do get hit back. But that’s how you learn that

          So don’t lecture me. You got nothing. I don’t care about the freaking Carter days. No disrespect intended.

          “if you showed up to a campaign I was working on with that attitude, I would show you the door. ”

          If you were running it, I wouldn’t bother. How many seats have you guys lost, from the local school councils up to the Presidency over just the last 6 years? I don’t run with losers.

          And I’m really, really learning why we lose.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            You’re really quick to attribute everything you’re angry about to those who talk back to you. You might have asked which candidates I’ve worked for, or whether any of them were favored by party insiders. Working within the party wasn’t easy for me as a DSOC member, but I was representing my union and my union chose to work within the party.

            You win by building coalitions, not by insulting everyone you think disagrees with you.

          2. Oregoncharles

            Democrats lose because they don’t serve the People – who are also the voters.

            And people say so, when asked. They have no faith in either duopoly party; that’s why they voted for A Thumb In Your Eye. I wish they’d voted Green, instead; some did, but Jill Stein isn’t a TV personality.

            1. Elizabeth Burton

              Jill Stein also no more qualified to be president than is Donald Trump; she’s just more polite about it. That is why I held my nose and voted for the other evil, because I knew the GOP would own Congress and I had at least a little hope a Democrat in the White House would be sufficiently obstructive to at least mitigate the damage. Or slow it down.

              After all, even Hillary knew she would have to keep up appearances.

          3. Yves Smith Post author

            She came off badly in her exchanges with Trump. She looked like a silly emotional woman. He didn’t give a rat’s ass about what she said and laughed at her. And you think she won? This is like going to a game when your team is beaten 21 to 3 and somehow saying they won because their uniforms were prettier.

      3. FrankZappasGuitar

        Putting forward policy that provides material, concrete benefits to the citizenry is the path to ‘winning.’ Where’s the Medicare for All pitch from Ms. Warren?

        Whereas…

        Attempting to erase one’s embarrassing claims of Native heritage and ‘hit back’ at DJT by taking a DNA test and thereby invoking the ‘one drop’ mythology of racists and also reminding all of us of her hypocrisy on DAPL, Occupy, the War on Drugs ™, and other crucial social issues is the surest path to ‘doom.’

        Never change, Democrats! Let’s keep eating this trash, this …

      4. CarlH

        “Warren won in the way that counts. Soundbites”.

        She did? Maybe she won the battle of the soundbites for die hard liberal democrats, but I have heard nothing but mocking, derision, and laughter about this episode from every other corner. It made her look petty, and foolish.

      5. ewmayer

        “Plainly obvious to who exactly? How did he even win?”

        Plainly obvious to anyone who thinks 1-2% DNA admixture (typical of those of Eurasian extraction) makes one a Neanderthal as much as 0.1-1% DNA admixture (result of EW’s test) makes her a person of color, tribe member, whatever.

        Trump won by getting her to rise to the bait and mudwrestle, and her touting her negligible native ancestry as “a win” is just silly. She got caught trying to have it both ways – enjoying all the privileges of elite-credentialed-whiteness while trying to gain added career benefit from claiming native ancestry, with the implied “I am a person of color, see how I’ve triumphed over my oppressors” narrative.

      6. ChrisPacific

        He is now claiming he said that he would pay the money if she could “prove she is Indian.” I couldn’t find a source to verify whether that’s actually what he said, but it could very well be. Simply by taking the DNA test she has already lost, because she has accepted the implicit premise that it’s possible to prove you are Native American using DNA. It’s not, a fact that she has been forced to acknowledge in her response to the criticism from Cherokee Nation. That’s come across as insincere, because she is still trying to have it both ways by attempting to claim on Trump’s bet.

        The whole question of “who is Native American” (substitute your minority or persecuted indigenous population of choice) is much more fraught and difficult to properly answer than people realize. It’s also a question of massive importance to the population in question. They don’t appreciate it when people trivialize the issue or take a simplistic interpretation in order to meet their own ends, and it happens All. The. Time.

        I recently had an argument with some friends on Facebook over this, who referred me to Warren’s own statement on the issue. The main reason she gave for why she did it was “Trump called my mother a liar.” It’s personal for her. She feels she’s defending her family honor, and that’s why she won’t back down. That’s consistent with the comments in the article about how she is easily provoked. It’s also why she is standing her ground on a hair-splitting definition like “I have Native American ancestry but I’m not a Native American” even though that’s far too fine a distinction to survive in the political media even before her opponents start twisting it around, and even though her own statements and actions aren’t always consistent with it.

        I wouldn’t take her position on this as a reason not to vote for her – most elected politicians are as bad or worse on this topic, and that category certainly includes all of her accusers. I do find her apparent inability to recognize the problems with her response somewhat problematic, and I’m definitely concerned about her susceptibility to Trump’s goading and what it might say about her political judgement. Most of this is metagaming though (i.e., electability) and in the end it will come down to her positions on the issues, at least for me.

    3. flora

      Trump adding the $1 million dollar wager as an incentive was clever. If she take’s that bait she looks like another money-grubbing politician.

      1. James Graham

        He could pay her one-thousand-twentieth of a million.

        (Or whatever is her Native American DNA percentage.)

      2. a different chris

        She said it would be donated to a Native American fund? Google or Duck-Duck-Go it, for god’s sake.
        How does that look like money-grubbing?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Help me. Giving a big donation confers political advantage. Taking Trump’s money at all makes him a winner. Reminds people that to him, $1 million is chump change.

    4. willf

      I thought it was odd that the author mentioned Senator Merkely as someone “the left” supports. Why throw his name out there?

      1. Oregoncharles

        Are you aware that Merkley has been considering a run for President? Publicly, that is.

        Considering the Dems’ stable, he’d be a pretty good candidate.

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      This most recent episode is the best example yet of how easy it is to bait Warren.

      Based on the discussions here when it first happened, and the discussion here today, a lot of people don’t agree with that statement, nor this: ‘Young people know that you don’t trolls on the internet.’

      And this passage is not clear:

      implicitly lending credence to the immensely bigoted notion that all one needs to claim Native American identity is a microscopic level of blood relation. She then paraded around her embarrassingly low level of Native American blood heritage

      1. the notion that all one needs to claim NA identity is a microscopic level of blood relation is bigoted
      2. her low level is embarrassing.

      What makes the notion in 1 bigoted? The microscopic level part? Or that fact that it should be based on some blood purity?

      Would people (not Warren per se) who have lived among Native Americans for generations, who are culturally Native American, though without the blood purity, be considered Native Americans? Or do they have to migrate to their own promised land?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Did you forget about miscegenation, the theory in the Old South that if you had any black blood, you were black? As in you could never escape from having any slaves as ancestors?

      2. Lynne

        What makes a person Native American is determined by Native Americans. Period. Each tribe has its own criteria. To say that a blood test establishing a minuscule blood quantum proves the person tested is Native American, regardless of any other criteria, is insulting as well as bigoted.

    6. Heraclitus

      I don’t think Sanders would have beaten Trump, for two reasons:

      First, Sanders has never had to face serious opposition research and character attacks. Hillary went easy on him because she didn’t want to alienate Sanders’ voters. There is a lot for Sanders’ opponents to muddy the water with.

      Second, probably ten to fifteen percent of Democrats, at least, are social liberals but economic conservatives. When push comes to shove, they won’t vote for Bernie, because they want to protect their pocketbooks, and Bernie’s policies would empty them.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Huh? You think Clinton didn’t do top to bottom oppo on him? Where do you think the business about the stupid real estate deal his wife did for her college, or his $500K house, or his (I forget what it cost) jacket came from? That’s all they could get on him.

        Second, multiple 1:1 polls during the campaign showed Sanders beating Trump by at least 10 points, Most showed 20 points. And he was less well known then than now (after California, basically).

        Third, Sanders would crush Trump in a debate.

        Fourth, Dems are only 26% of voters and the socially conservative ones are dying or getting Alzheimers and being replaced by young voters who think socialism is a good thing. The real fight is for independents.

      2. Elizabeth Burton

        I would also point out that Bernie won his first political contest by a whopping ten votes, in no small part because of the attacks from his opponents. Maybe people who persist in denying his viability as a presidential candidate should take a little time and actually find out something about him.

  5. Pookie

    Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi national, who was murdered, most likely at the Saudi embassy by other Saudi nationals, on Turkish soil. Is there some compelling national reason why the U.S. should have a response to such a situation? If so, can someone post a link to an explanation of same?

    1. cocomaan

      Because he was well connected in American journalistic circles. And because he’s related to a whole set of high profile Saudis, like Dodi Fayed (the one in the car with Princess Di). Many of Kashoggi’s relatives are either in the arms industry or in the cultural production industry (journalism, literature).

      Jamal Kashoggi was also a paid informant and operator for Saudi intelligence.

      Someone like Shawkan in Egypt facing the death penalty for taking pictures of the revolts or someone like in Yemen don’t count because they weren’t well connected.

      I agree, it’s none of our business, except that I sense that the intelligence services in the USA are interested in driving a wedge into Saudi politics.

      The problem with antagonizing Saudi is that they are the dirtiest people on the planet. They could start world war three pretty easily and I’m not exaggerating.

      1. cocomaan

        Oh yeah and the other bizarre thing Kashoggi was involved with was acting in an advisory role to , who resigned as Saudi intel chief ten days before 9/11. This is after Kashoggi struck up an acquaintance with Bin Laden under the payroll of Saudi intelligence (when it was under bin Faisal), trying to influence Bin Laden into the Saudi’s corner. Of course, as the story goes, Bin Laden didn’t want to have anything to do with a regime that let American armies occupy the holy land, among his other demands about caliphates and other wahabbi talking points.

        To me, anything having to do with that Kashoggi story is so wrapped up in cloak and dagger stuff that it’s not even worth fretting about. He was far, far more than a journalist.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Would I be the first to suggest that MBS’s initials don’t stand for Mohammed bin Salman but are actually short for Mohammed Bone Saw? He should have called in the professionals for a hit job of this sort. He should have called in the Goodfellas. Certainly their explanations of what happened are better than the stuff coming out of Riyadh lately-

          (language & violence alert)

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Decades ago, in 1940, Trotsky was killed in Mexico, not in a soviet consulate, but on Mexican sovereign soil, by killers sent by Joseph one-death-is-tragedy-but-not-a-million (allegedly) Stalin.

        And Uncle Joe was our friend, even after that.

        I wonder if the difference is that Leon was not dismembered.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Dodi Fayed a Saudi? I thought he was an Egyptian. Wikipedia thinks so too.

        Dodi Fayed – Wikipedia
        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodi_Fayed
        Life and career. Fayed was born in Alexandria, Egypt and was the eldest son of the Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed, former owner of Harrods department store. His father was also the former owner of Fulham Football Club and the Hôtel Ritz Paris.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Simple, really: “All the world belong us.” See Project for the New American Century. And this handy list of “US” activities in the overthrow-and-undermine” realm:

      The oil must flow… to fuel the military global network-centric Battlespace forces that are the largest users of petroleum, who must therefore keep wars going to ensure the supplies of petroleum that all those conflicts “require,” so the many rice bowls of the whole imperial establishment are not threatened with being broken or taken away or even diminished. See US military (avowed) “budget” (aka “expenditures,” no “budgeting” involved). And to protect the “national interests” of the Empire, which largely are the interests of a small set of supranational corporations with zero “loyalties” to the nation that gave them their launching pads and initial charters and is now wholly owned and subsidiary to, and the Corporate State of That Middle Eastern Country That To Even Name Is To Commit Anti-$3mitism… No gentle soft landings in the offing for any of it — the Imperial Forces plan to “full spectrum dominate” even the carnage of global environmental and social collapse. Like they have “dominated” Notagainistan and Syria and Grenada and Panama…

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      The msm isn’t as controlled by the powers that be as much as sympathizers and fellow travelers. They applaud the efforts of Saint McCain and notorious cough reliever, W, because the msm loves them and their policies. Khashoggi was one of them, not a truth to power type. The stenography corp was attacked, not a Glen Greenwald type. If Khashoggi could be “disappeared,” then anyone could be next. The NSA obviously isn’t preventing this.

      My gut is the average American is ready to hate the Saudi plantation, so any negative story demands a response.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Some Americans are already speaking out about the Saudis as they know what they are all about. This from Maj. Danny Sjursen-

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Colonel Lang at Sic Semper Tyrannis has long voiced his Saudi-skeptical opinion and analyses.

          Just recently this . . .

    4. pjay

      Interesting comments on the Khashoggi case today by Craig Murray, who has very good inside s. He also discusses Gina Haspel’s flying dash to Turkey:

  6. PlutoniumKun

    EU may offer British PM a UK-wide customs union RTE. Um, this does not sound new. Has the EU managed to convince the UK this is new? All that sounds new is how this non-starter might be papered up. Or have I heard too many ideas and lost track as to which were rumors and which were sort of real?

    Unless I’m missing something, this seems to consist essentially of a legal commitment to negotiate a UK wide special customs union after withdrawal – but only if the UK signs up to the backstop.

    The Withdrawal Agreement will contain a specific commitment to a UK-wide customs arrangement by way of a legal article, but that commitment will say that a formal EU-UK customs union will require a separate agreement.

    It seems to be one of a series of ‘concessions’ which mostly consists of wrapping up existing ideas in terms that the UK may find less politically toxic. I’m not sure that committing themselves to a customs union means much, unless the detail of how it would work are agreed, and clearly it would take years to agree and implement anything like this as it overlaps with so many other existing agreements. The only ‘new’ thing in this is a committment to a customs arrangement, which would obviously have to be in any sort of a post Brexit agreement.

    I do note that it talks about a ‘UK wide customs arrangment’, not ‘UK membership of the customs union’, by which I would interpret that it would simply mean that with some goods there would be some sort of fast tracking of UK products or products imported into the UK.

    The EU will want to know which part of the Union Customs Code acquis (body of law) the UK is willing to swallow in order to be part of such a customs union.

    In particular, it would have to be decided whether or not the UK will seek to negotiate, sign and implement its own trade deals, or whether it will still avail of free trade agreements (FTAs) the EU currently has with third countries.

    The EU will also need to know whether, as it continues to negotiate its own trade deals around the world, it is doing so on behalf of 27 or 28 countries.

    The other problem is that the only off-the-shelf arrangement the EU operates, aside from its own, is a customs union with Turkey.

    The EU-Turkey customs union does not absolve Ankara of having to carry out checks for regulatory compliance.

    It looks like it would be hideously complex to negotiate, the commitment may only be a commitment to enter negotiations in good faith, there is no guarantee any sort of agreement could be made on an issue like this, if for no other reason that it would be dependent on both parties including its requirements in trade deals with the US and Asia.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The EU-Turkey customs union has a hard border. Richard North has shown the pictures!

      Yes, this looks like repackaging to me. I am not sure the “customs arrangement” bit is noise in the signal. There is no way to have a fudge on access to the internal market. The UK would have to accept EU rules and EU jurisdiction.

  7. Eudora Welty

    Re: Richard North’s piece about Brexit: in the comments, there is a link to a British governmental hearing about impacts of no-deal Brexit on health. One woman giving testimony says that, as we all know, one of the things that the EU does well is the work in Public Health with communicable disease.

    OMG. “What have the Romans ever done for us?” from Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

    1. Wukchumni

      We’re hanging out with British friends that live in the Lake District, and if we so much as mention Brexit, it brings on a barrage of umbrage, so we’ve been trying to keep the problems domestic, which isn’t all that hard, but we sound much like they do, just flip around unique awful issues.

  8. zagonosta

    Refer: The fall of Elizabeth Warren.

    I knew I could no longer support her when she back peddled from the answer she gave Judy Woodruff on PBS as to whether she thought the DNC rigged the nomination on HNC’s behalf. Initially she answered simply and unequivocally “Yes” (see link below)

    Subsequently, she hemmed and hawed, equivocated, and back peddled her answer devolving into such a convoluted mess of a response that you could tell she was/is compromised as a voice for progressives.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        In retrospect, Warren was always a back bencher at best. She was gifted the opportunities, but she lacks the Presidential quality to win. I would say she is far too focused on what is directly in front of her, for example HRC’s inevitability. Of course, Hillary was going to be President. No one ran against her (Jeb! Hah!).

        Obama might be a Sulla compared to a Caesar, but he’s still the kind of person who will grab the moment, not expect it to be awarded to him. He ran against HRC because she was the flawed candidate she always was.

        The Native American issue is interesting. It was obvious back when it was reported that she was filling out a form to take advantage. She’s stuck in the old style deny til you die aspect of politics. A better politician would have recognized the obvious and simply accepted what they did and then argue for better educational access/funding and so forth. The GOP will hammer her anyway because the GOP has been the same operation since 1865 or thereabouts, but ti would have humanized her. I see her lifelong status as a Republican mirrored in this. When she was forced to think about issues, she became a Democrat, but she has to have the issues thrust in front of her to bother with it. Warren can’t seem to step back and acknowledge her obvious fraud and the effects of denial.

        Trump for all of his boorishness and lack of knowledge around the world saw an opening to remake himself as a super Glen Beck with his own television network by thrashing Republicans such as Jeb and McCain and pointing the finger at HRC. He certainly didn’t grasp the scale of HRC’s weakness which is fair especially in the race for 270. Unlike HRC and Jeb with his sheepdogs, Trump went directly to the voters versus collecting trading cards of endorsements of elites.

        1. Jeff W

          In retrospect, Warren was always a back bencher at best…I would say she is far too focused on what is directly in front of her…

          I agree. I’ve always thought that Warren pretty much misses the forest for the trees. As a commenter pointed out above, she lacks political savvy—it doesn’t take a brilliant political strategist to realize that you don’t double down with a DNA test that convinces next to no one, no matter how else you respond.

          I’ve often thought that if the US had a non-corrupt, non-neoliberal, non-money-driven political system, with the political spectrum recalibrated to something resembling the rest of the world, then ideologically, Elizabeth (“C’mon, I believe in markets”) Warren would represent the right, Bernie Sanders the center (or maybe center-left) and someone else the left. At least that’s what I’d envision. I don’t dislike Warren or her policies—but, as that commenter said, she lacks political savvy and her premises seem, to me, more conservative than I’d like.

  9. Henry Moon Pie

    We occasionally get a “what then must we do” comment at NC, and courtesy of joe shikspack at Caucus99percent.com, here’s someone trying to formulate an answer. Jem Bendell, an academic in the field of sustainability, says we’re on climate change and our institutions’ functionality is going to go down as the temperatures go up. It’s :

    By the near term, he means less than 10 years from now. By social collapse, he is speaking of unpredictable and interrelated breakdowns, in affluent as well as poor countries. And that’s just the beginning: Over the following decades, Bendell sees climate disruption working longer-term injuries to governments, economies, social institutions, agriculture, industries — to civilization, you could say — on a continuum running from “inevitable collapse” to “probable catastrophe” to “possible extinction.”

    How do we “adapt” to that? By accepting that the world as we’ve known it is ending, he says, then beginning to envision whatever new one can be built on the ruins. (Also, by abandoning any misplaced notion that we can still avert disaster.)

    He urges a as part of what he calls “deep adaptation.” Those three are:

    1) resilience (think Resilience.org, a spot a number of readers here already visit);

    2) relinquishment–ruh-roh, this means giving up the SUV, house on the beach, watermelons in December and weekend trips to Paris or London; and

    3) restoration, i.e. return lands to their natural state.

    The second item is the one that will require a huge psychological adjustment on the part of first-worlders accustomed to assessing their value as human beings from the collection of labels in their closet.

    Phrased another way, we have far too many people on the planet living far too well. We’re killing the planet and rendering it incapable of supporting this many of us at this level of consumption even in the short term. So far, our way of coping is to let the pain fall on the poorest, but Bendell argues that the rich won’t get away with this for long because the institutions they depend on to defend their wealth will collapse under the strain. He argues that the more humane, moral, ethical, reasonable way of facing the future is to adapt as a society, preserve as many lives as possible at a sustainable level of consumption, so that we have time to reduce population humanely.

    I’m back to that old three branches in the road:

    1) business as usual–wars, famine among the poor, epidemics, deaths from disasters–but Bendell says that can’t go on forever without the structure collapsing entirely; or

    2) intensely intrusive, nearly world-wide authoritarian government; or

    3) a radical and extremely widespread change in culture and values that embraces, even celebrates Bendell’s “deep adaptation,” including relinquishing our car-in-every-garage lifestyle.

    1. cnchal

      > 2) relinquishment–ruh-roh, this means giving up . . .

      You know who isn’t giving anything up? A couple of days ago in Water Cooler we read that the participants in the “air freight industry” are dislocating their shoulders due to slapping each other on the back for the continued success and groaf of their “industry”, which when boiled down to it’s essence is flying Amazon ordered Chinese crapola around the world.

      Globalization is a disaster, no matter where one cares to look.

      1. roxy

        “2) relinquishment–ruh-roh, this means giving up the SUV, house on the beach, watermelons in December and weekend trips to Paris or London; and”

        Wow! I’ve got all that covered right now. I must be more “preppered” than I thought!

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Me too. But there’s an interesting truth in there. It will be a lot easier for us “poors” to engage in Deep Adaptation than those pursuing a middle class lifestyle. It may even be the case that the real leadership in this effort will come from us.

          1. cnchal

            > It may even be the case that the real leadership in this effort will come from us.

            A decision by conscientious people to deliberately conserve and consume less will release resources that greedy gluttons will gladly and at an ever increasing rate, devour.

            1. Olga

              Well, maybe not. To the extent the gluttons’ wealth depends on the “little” people consuming to much, including stuff they cannot afford (while sinking into debt) – if such gratuitous consumption were deliberately and systematically curbed, the gluttons’ fortunes would likely shrink. It seems to me that the best way to defeat heedless globalisation is to boycott unnecessary consumption.

            2. knowbuddhau

              What, is someone going to follow me around, going, “You gonna eat that?”

              I suppose that’s true of everything, no? There’s no point in my reducing at all, in fact, I should consume as mush as possible to prevent others from doing so.

              If we all pull together, we can burn through it all before it’s too late. /s

              No really, just like every other one of our kin (by universal common descent, we’re all related), we, as earthlings, are not exempt from having to live in a fairly close balance with our environment.

              What makes people think we can go on living out of balance in perpetuity, no sacrifices in their comfy lifestyles?

              News flash: We’re in the process of being made to fit the Procrustean bed we’ve been making for ourselves. Label says, made of externalities.

              Personal externalities come back around just like corporate ones. There is no “away.”

              Are we decarbonizing yet?

              1. cnchal

                > What makes people think we can go on living out of balance in perpetuity, no sacrifices in their comfy lifestyles?

                Marketing. You deserve the good life! Lots of stuff, a big house, a truck (cars are for losers), and the list goes on.

                > Are we decarbonizing yet?

                If ‘we’ is society, no.

                Olga makes a good point. If enough people make it a priority to consume less, the stawk market might melt down, and those whose priority was to consume as much as possible (the gluttons – those with the most toys win) might back off a little.

                Who will be the first to sacrifice him or herself for this cause?

          2. Whoa Molly!

            Deep Adaptation for the poors probably means things like foregoing medical care and living with rotten brown teeth

            For the 10% I suspect it means driving a Kia instead of a Lexus.

        2. Whoa Molly!

          I have cancelled all my weekend trips to Paris. Only summers at a villa in the South of France from now on.

    2. a different chris

      I’ll take door #1, sadly. I will bet everything I have on that, against 100 acres of farmland, somehow (darn if I know how) situated where the slavering hordes won’t find it and the environmental destruction will leave it fertile. And 10 years worth of canned/jarred/salted food since I know f(amily blog) all about how to myself & family and I can only hope that we could figure it out in 10 years.

      1. Whoa Molly!

        A best seller since 1948, Five Acres and Independence.

        As someone who grew up on a small farm, I can say The book is accurate.

          1. todde

            10 acres Enough is another good book.

            it’s from the 1800s, so it may not be as practical.

            or maybe more practical, depending on how bad it gets.

    3. Mel

      “3) restoration, i.e. return lands to their natural state.”

      Heart’s in the right place.
      One of the take-aways I got from The Mushroom at the End of the World is that land has not been natural, i.e. that we have been managing it, for the last 10,000 years at least. But for 9,800 years or more we had generally managed it qua land, so it kept its ability to provide for us. Modern practice seems to treat land as a dead hydroponic medium, to which we bring all the nutrient chemicals, drugs, and processing chemicals there will be. Ridiculously resource- and labor-intensive to have to bring in so many things that we used to get for just a little wise management.

      1. Wukchumni

        One of the many reason we live where we do, is the idea that Sequoia NP being named the 2nd National Park in the country in 1890, means that absolutely no polluting industries have been plying their trade there for the past 128 years. The water that flows out of the Sierra is about as pure as any rivers you’ll find in the country. And the land is largely untouched by human hand.

      2. polecat

        My, uh, ‘driveway’.. once just gravel (a permeable membrane, however) is become a micro-meadow .. with yarrow, califoria poppies, and other herbacious plants .. which I might add are beneficial insect habitat .. encroaching further every year, and thus will be pointed out to city officialdom, should they, in the future, cite me for nuisance issues.

      3. Jessica

        “For 9,800 years or more we had generally managed it qua land, so it kept its ability to provide for us.”
        Not so sure that that is true. When I study ancient history, it is impressive how many places that were ecologically vibrant in antiquity are barely usable or unusable now. The difference in that it often took them many centuries, even millennia to destroy the soil. We can do the job much faster nowadays.

    4. Judith

      You might be interested in this discussion about the global political issues presented by geoengineering.

      From the article:

      But despite these differences, all proposed geoengineering techniques, if deployed at the massive scale necessary to affect climate change, would have significant impacts on the environment, biodiversity, livelihoods, and food security. Some techniques, particularly those in the vein of solar radiation management, have military origins and could be weaponized as a way of controlling temperature and rain patterns.

      Geoengineering techniques, particularly carbon capture and storage, are also actively promoted by the fossil fuel industry — the main culprits and the largest profiteers of climate change. If these techniques function, industry hope they would allow them to continue emitting greenhouse gases and keep profiting.

      Proponents of geoengineering recognize that it will “create losers and winners” — some places may benefit from the intentional atmospheric changes, but others will suffer. But this is an overly glib euphemism. In some cases, there will be millions or billions of “losers.”

      1. a different chris

        >Some techniques, particularly those in the vein of solar radiation management, have military origins and could be weaponized as a way of controlling temperature and rain patterns.

        All you wanna-be dystopian sci-fi novelists, fire up your word processor of choice!

        1. neighbor7

          Anybody read Kim Stanley Robinson, especially in this regard his climate trilogy? He’s a technological optimist, but a smart one, and as a novelist has a deep feel for vagaries of human character. It would be interesting to have a discussion/debate between him and say James Howard Kunstler, whose World Made By Hand novels are far superior to his blog rants. Two deeply explored and humanized possible futures, and we’re probably facing both of them.

    5. Olga

      Yes to all, but then there are headlines such as this one: In potential reprieve for fossil fuels, climate efforts face political headwinds

      Let’s see how it all works out…

    6. marieann

      > relinquishment–ruh-roh, this means giving up the SUV, house on the beach, watermelons in December and weekend trips to Paris or London.

      Wait…what! I was supposed to have all that…Rats, I’ve been doing it rong all these years.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Same here. What I embrace when the “we’re doomed” feeling becomes too strong is the image of all those rich people, who’ve never had to do a single thing in their lives they didn’t want to do, and who’ve had all their needs seen to with little or no thought to how it was done, emerging from their opulent survival bunkers to discover they are now going to have to do it all themselves. Because all the people who did it for them are dead.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Now, now. You have to be more optimistic. You see rich people in their opulent survival bunkers hiding underground. I see static supply depots there for the taking – with some ‘liberated’ military gear from the nearest defunct military base.

    7. Jeremy Grimm

      I’m guessing we will experience branches one and two but branch number three … no. We will reach a branch that carries the thought of branch number three but I think we might be relinquishing a great deal more than what “relinquishing our car-in-every-garage lifestyle” suggests. Recall the series “Connections” that ran on PBS some while ago? The things we believe are necessities, the things we surround ourselves with and things we simply could do without are aggregates of thousands of ideas, processes, and materials that today are spread thinly and far and wide in the wide wide world. Without some “civilization”, cross-country transportation — and world-wide transportation a lot of our favorite things could not be made and could not be distributed from where once they were made. Think of simple things like window glass, matches, nails, or pins. Where does the smith who makes the pins and nails get his steel? How does he refine and forge that steel without coal? Where does his charcoal come from? — his bellows? Deep adaptation will require much more than just adapting our standards of living. We will need to re-craft a new way of life and a new way of organizing our communities — and forget about living as a self-reliant individual like a mythic pioneer. Even the hunter-gathers have specializations, a division of labor, and a deep reliance on community.

    8. Jeremy Grimm

      As for the reactions — reaction #1 sounds good but a little vague and underdeveloped. Reaction 3 will happen with or without our help. Reaction # 2 is worthy of remark — “giving up the SUV, house on the beach, watermelons in December and weekend trips to Paris or London”. Really? I haven’t read the you referred us to [I will though and I thank you for it!] — but who exactly is Professor Bendell’s audience? It can’t be me or any of my friends — though other commenters have already noted this little discrepancy.

      Whatever group of people survives past the Jackpot will need to begin organizing scavenging operations to gather up as much of the still useful items that will litter our dead and decaying cities as they can. That’s consistent with the thinking of the Archdruid and Hugh Howey’s Sci Fi. They will have to change their special regard for human dead. The bones and dried flesh will be needed to replenish the soils. Fungi and algae will take on a new importance in our diets if the weather becomes as chaotic as seem to characterize the weather in some paleoclimate transitions. The near future climate transition is unprecedented in its extent and speed. I believe humankind can and will adapt to the very different future we have created for them but “deep adaptation” — though strong those words do not convey what future humans will have to do to survive after the Jackpot.

  10. PlutoniumKun

    World’s oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea Guardian

    This really is an exciting find – intact historic timber vessels are very rare indeed, especially in the mediteranean (there is generally a better chance of preservation in northern colder climes, hence the number of pretty good viking ships that have been excavated). Very little is known about the construction details of ancient Roman and Greek vessels, so this is potentially groundbreaking.

    One of the interesting things about Greek craftsmanship is that its known they had quite skillful carpenters making sophisticated hulls for trading and military vessels, but even the greatest Temples such as the Parthenon had quite crudely built roofs, little more than layers of timbers and earth. The weight of these roofs caused quite a few structural problems. It seems not to have occurred to them that an upside down boat hull is an excellent model for a light and strong roof (essentially, an A-frame or hipped roof). It seems poor cross-communication among experts isn’t a new thing.

    1. Enquiring Mind

      I have heard some church buildings described as inverted arks. People may have seen various buildings with visible timbers that bring to mind boat structures.

      1. Alfred

        Deborah Howard, in the glossary prefacing her book, The Architectural History of Venice, defines a “Ship’s-Keel Ceiling” as “in the upper Adriatic region the wooden ceiling of a church or large meeting hall which in form and construction resembles an upturned ship.” Howard is not referring to antique forms, though of course her definition does not exclude the possibility of survivals. Also, of course, the “upper Adriatic” is by no means “Greece.” Whenever one looks into the architecture of churches in current use,one immediately runs into claims that a particular roof structure is that of an upturned boat, or was intended to evoke Noah’s Ark. To me, such claims appear usually to be grounded only in visual analogy, and passed down as lore. Evidence of architects’ actual interest in nautical structures is, however, hard to come by.

    2. The Rev Kev

      That ship was just one of forty ships that that group have charted. They are going to have to rewrite the entire history of maritime history based on what they find at the bottom of the Black Sea. There are whole ship types that we have no idea what they were like except for a depiction on a mural or a jar decoration like that Greek ship. Sometimes we only have a few words that mention a ship type. There must be thousands of ships down there such as Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Venetian – you name it. It doesn’t get better than this. More on the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project at-

    3. DJG

      Plutonium Kun: I thought that temple roofs were tiled. At least that is what I am used to seeing in Italy, where replicas of Etruscan and Roman temples have tiled roofs. Or was it that the Etruscans and Romans invented the tile (and brick) business?

      Of course, the replica temple at the Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome may be overcompensating…

      1. Alfred

        By “earth” I took him to mean earth (or more specifically, clay) that had been processed into tiles.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, they would have been tiled, but it would usually be over layers of timber planks and earth (at least, thats as I understand it). Its a while since I read up on this, but I think it was related to needing a shallow pitch to keep the tiles stable, but to waterproof the roof they needed thick clay. This meant the roofs of the larger buildings were very heavy, leading to various other structural issues. The use of lightweight roofs (among other things) is why gothic cathedrals achieved an architectural ‘lightness’ that classical buildings could rarely match.

        It may well be that the Greeks did think of using ship builders, but there was some other practical reason they didn’t do it thats not recorded.

        1. Mel

          I think I recall from a discussion of skeuomorphism, that the temples, first of all, had to look like temples, and that a lot of the detailed carving was to reproduce the look of the wooden beams that they used to build with before they were rich enough to carve stone (or too poor to keep using vital wood, whichever it was.)

    4. a different chris

      >It seems poor cross-communication among experts isn’t a new thing.

      Actually I would bet on penny-pinching. If the Parthenon roof leaked, somebody could be sent up there and patch it. When a ship went down, there was the loss of the whole ship and it’s cargo.

    5. Wukchumni

      As much as some people on here are down on global long distance trade, it’s always been the hallmark of us as a people. Of course, your distance may vary, our Indians here seldom ventured more than 100 miles from home, and it was all about trading with other tribes.

      The shipwreck is remarkable in terms of preservation of wood, but has nothing on 45,000 year old ‘Swamp Kauri” wood unearthed from bogs in New Zealand.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Re cheerleading for global long-distance trade: Any argument that too much of a thing is too much? Go page through Amazon or the Banggood website to see how much plastic and other dreck gets “traded.” Soybeans to pigs in China? Roundup ™ everywhere in everything? Plastic crap “recycled” by dumping it in Vietnam (REVENGE!) or half-way there to ‘make a profit?”

        And how “trade” facilitates killing even the vestiges of little bits of autarky that might diminish at least the rate of climate disruption and the effects of extraction, moving ‘work’ to the winner of the race to the bottom. And how about the “contribution,” as if that is a good thing, of all those huge Diesel engines in all those “trade ships” moving pre-trash and “commodities” from hither to yon, even “coals to Newcastle” as the saying used to be? Not to mention the stuff that gets spewed into the upper atmosphere from all those turbofan engines powering all those Jumbo Jets taking those who can “afford it” on wonderful voyages of personal pleasure and exploration to other parts of the planet. Because they, as noted, know that they can “afford it” and will not feel the consequences.

        Cheerlead for “trade” as if it is something innately wonderful, a part of our human character? Maybe a cautious person might look at “trade” with an eye to how it affects not our personal peccadilloes and profits, but the planet, let alone the mopes not as privileged as we might be? “Comparative advantage” sure looks like just a slick scam notion to some people.

        But then a lot of us know that we, with our personal financial security and health care, will not have to worry a whit about the bigger effects, because we will live out our wonderful lives and die comfortably, well cared for, before the “deluge.”

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The issue with trade is not necessarily about its global or long distance nature, but the scale of it.

        So, it has not been the hallmark that people, say, 5,000 years ago, in France, got all their clothes from the other end of the continent.

        Maybe one or two shirts, and some jade ornaments, but not nearly everything, not 50%, not 25%, in the entire house.

        1. JTMcPhee

          I’d bet that 5,000 years ago in France (and most of the rest of the planet) only a tiny minority of wealthy people got ANY of their clothes or stuff from “the other end of the continent.) Autarky with local trade was more likely the rule. And yes, archaeologists find items in burial sites and kitchen middens (ancient garbage dumps) that traveled long distances from source or site of manufacture, but exceptions kind of prove the rule.

          Scale is one issue with “trade,” but all “trade” currently involves burning lots of carbon, from extraction or cultivation or manufacture to transportation to ‘final disposal.” And all the incentives have, maybe this is changing, but they have been in the direction of ever increasing “trade” with all that means, for “imperial outreach” and kleptocracy and oligarchy and consumption and despoliation of our living space.

          1. a different chris

            And as you so perfectly phrased it: “soybeans to pigs in China”.

            We can raise pigs and soybeans here. China can raise pigs and soybean there. Why do we have to ship it all a zillion miles back and forth? Trade at its best brings exchanges otherwise unobtainables between landmasses.

            But that’s not what we have.

  11. cocomaan

    Roger Stone may indeed be a dirty political operator, but what law does he violate by calling Wikileaks and coordinating with them about the Wikileaks leak of DNC emails? What law prohibits you from talking to a journalistic outlet publishing the leaked/hacked text of a private company’s emails?

    I’m not even clear what laws are violated if everything about the Russia collusion story is shown to be true, from the tower meeting to this wikileaks stuff.

    This article really only dives into the Trump Tower meeting: Nixon’s old legal counsel:

    many potential illegal actions by the Trump campaign, which could range from aiding and abetting (18 USC 2) to conspiracy per se (18 USC 371) to conspiring to violate several potentially applicable laws like: 18 USC 1030—fraud and related activity in connection with computers; 18 USC 1343—wire fraud; or 52 USC 30121—contributions and donations by foreign nationals. Also, 18 USC 2381—for, contrary to a widespread belief that there must be a declared war, the Justice Department as recently as 2006 indicted for “aid and comfort” to our enemies, the form of collusion better known as treason. Collusion is the perfect word to cover such crimes, pejorative and inclusive.

    And another from this person:

    Finally, it is good to keep in mind that there is no crime of “collusion” in the federal code. The applicable crime is conspiracy under 18 USC Sec. 371. That would cover a conspiracy by two or more persons to violate a law of the United States or “to defraud the United States.” You need an election law specialist to tell you whether asking the Russians for negative information on Hillary Clinton violated federal law.

    I’m seeing an extremely steep hill to climb for prosecutors to prove any of this. And that still doesn’t address whether Stone’s with Wikileaks was in any way criminal.

    1. Stromcrow

      How Russiagate Ends

      Not with a hack but a leak

      DNC Emails–A Seth Attack Not a Russian Hack
      by Publius Tacitus, October 23

      Not with a bang but a whimper

      “Politico” Report Says Russiagaters Should Prepare for “Disappointment”
      By Caitlin Johnstone, October 20

      1. pjay

        The Publius Tacitus posting is mostly a useful summary of the “Russia hacking” case, but it does add something new and potentially important:

        “Now there is new information, courtesy of the National Security Agency aka NSA, that confirms that the NSA has Top Secret and Secret documents that are responsive to a FOIA request for material on Seth Rich and his s with Julian Assange. While the content of these documents remain classified for now, they may provide documentary proof that Seth Rich “dropped boxed” the emails to Julian. If these documents are declassified, a big hole could be blown in the claim that Russia hacked the DNC.”

        1. polecat

          Could also bring to light the how, if not the who, with regard to the ‘big hole .. or holes’ that were brought upon Mr. Rich’s person ….
          I do buy the premise that his demise was from a botched robbery !

    2. Bill Smith

      Wouldn’t hiring Steele be the same thing? He’s a foreigner who paid other foreigners (sometimes with gifts) to compile the dossier.

    3. Elizabeth Burton

      Not to mention that just because somebody brags about something doesn’t mean they actually did it.

      I don’t think that Roger Stone thing is about Trump. I think it’s just another attempt to pile on Assange and try to link him to Russia, which the establishment insists was the source of the DNC emails. They’re already bribing Ecuador so they can lay hands on him, and even they need something more substantial than trying to paint a treason charge on him for the Chelsea Manning leak.

      1. jonhoops

        They can’t charge Assange with treason, he’s not an American citizen. But they will find some BS to charge him with despite that little inconvenient fact.

  12. zagonostra

    Refer: Gavin Newsom Is Bullish On Single-Payer

    You can tell when a Democrat is not serious about Universal Healthcare when they refer to it as “single-payer.”

    Time and time again, polling has shown that “Medicare-for-all” resonates with the majority of people. When “single payer” is used it confounds people, and opponents easily peg it as “socialism” and government take-over.

    Where the heck is the Frank Luntz of the Left?

    1. JTMcPhee

      The “conservatives” pay better. And in the end, it is all about money for the skilled set…

    2. a different chris

      It was supposedly Lakoff but nobody’s heard from him for years. Probably didn’t really want the job. Is he still alive?

  13. The Rev Kev

    “12 relatives of GOP Nevada governor candidate pen op-ed opposing him”

    Hmmm. Something tells me that it is going to get a bit awkward around the Laxalt Thanksgiving table next month.

    That “Self-driving school bus test halted in US” story has an extra ‘http://: ‘ at the beginning of it by the way.

    1. Anon

      No, not really.

      Adam Laxalt’s real mother is a Laxalt (Michele), but his real father is Pete Domenici. Yeah, that Democrat. Adam Laxalt probably could NOT describe where the Laxalt family cabin is located in the Carson Range (above Carson City). He’s likely never met the real Laxalt clan in Nevada, since he’s lived most of his life in Washington, DC (where his mother is a lobbyist/commentator).

      While the then widely known grandfather (Paul Laxalt) was a Nevada Governor and then US Senator and biggest buddy to Ronald Reagan, most Nevadans, today, don’t know blinck about him. Back then, Nevada was much more rural.

      That is not to say that Adam Laxalt is an underdog in the upcoming state election. He is backed by big money (Sheldon Addelson) and has produced a slick campaign video staged as a “Nevada Hoedown” that features big Republican names from Washington, DC and some local Republican candidates (including my former neighbors Mark Amodei and Dean Heller) and lots of BBQ and western music.

      The largest voting blocks in Nevada are located Reno and Las Vegas. Neither are into rural “hoedowns”.

  14. Brooklin Bridge

    Bad bears in buried news. Looks like it’s official now, Assange will have to fend for himself. Equador pulls the plug (as G. Greenwald said they would only a month or so later):

    The Guardian had it in a small corner but at least front page an hour ago, now I can’t find it at all, except using my “history” utility.

    1. vidimi

      i don’t think it helped matters when assange decided to sue ecuador. the man has a poor political sense.

  15. JTMcPhee

    Hey, some folks, in recent comments, teed off appropriately on “K-cups” as one of the many bleeding sores on the planet’s body, convenience and cooolness and au-courancy being what they are.

    For those who want to lessen their First World impact, here is a tiny step they can take in that direction, a refillable re-usable “k-cup”-style coffee filter thingie that will not mean one has to trash one’s beloved Keurig convenience device: Gold plated, for those who must have the very best. Or in stainless (sort of) steel:

    Put that together with the Sierra Cup, , which everyone should be issued one of at birth and use it throughout their consumptive lives to replace all that ‘stuff’ (crystal champagne flutes and brandy snifters and Limoges teacups and such) as one little thing that might help reduce the piles of sh!t that end up in landfills or waterways… “Oh noes, that infringes on my freedom of choice! I DESERVE the BEST! And I can AFFORD it!” Even though at the cost of incremental destruction of everyone’s only livable planet…

    And for the dedicated, and this involves some planning and use or maybe re-use of extracted materials, how about one’s own personal Solar Cooker? The author’s box looks a lot like the boxes that Imperial fragmentation grenades and land mines are packed in — maybe a use for some left-overs that litter the future battlescape? And lots of reflective foil packaging and stuff already are blowing in the wind…

    1. Eclair

      Re: k-cups. My son-in-law just had to buy a Keurig, as they are billed as super-kool. Along with millions of other super-kool koffee drinkers. Their trash can is filled with the empty little cups.

      For years, I have used an Italian (I know, imported, but no alternative) stove-top espresso coffee maker. (Forget Michelangelo, Roman aqueducts, Dante, the Italians greatest gift to civilization is the espresso maker.) No filters. No breakable carafes. The little rubber ring does deteriorate, supposedly. They come in various sizes. They do not work for large amounts of coffee, but the product is soooo strong that a carafe-full would probably blast you off into space.

      1. Quentin

        I’ve always ended up burning the handles of Italian espresso pots by turning the burner too high out of impatience.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Try scrunching another non-renewable extractive material around the handle — a piece of wadded-up aluminum foil. Or you can one of those Chinese idea mills, and suggest a nice high-temperature-resistant plastic sleeve that can be fit to those espresso pots’ handles. “Find a need and fill it,” said Robert SchullerThis is how “trade” grows and prospers. And Schuller’s quote has been hijacked for profit by Tommy Barnett:

          And we all need to learn patience, now don’t we? “All good things come to him who waits,” just like Warren Buffett has preached and practiced for generations now…

    2. a different chris

      I had a “reusable k-cup” once, for years, and Keurig thus redesigned their units to not accept it. And the unit I had died. Glad to see that they are allowed again (you’re sure, right?), but mine (and the coffee maker) is now in a landfill so I would have to buy another one.

      Once burned, twice shy. Not gonna fall for it again.

      1. polecat

        I don’t get .. What’s so hard about using a french press .. or even a Mellita drip cone …. ?? I’ve used one or the other, for years, without fail .. except for the occational screen replacement, in the case of the press ..

        But for the altar of Progress .. idiots wanting the newest, and coolest, shiny object …. as they bitch about the environs going to hell !!

      1. pjay

        Yes, this was confusing. For those who don’t know, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is a real organization that addresses a real problem: religious fundamentalism and proselytizing in the Armed Forces (esp. the Air Force). This particular story was satire. The MRFF website apparently linked to it because it was funny but contained more than a grain of truth in their view.

        Here’s founder Mikey Weinstein (not to be confused with the notorious Hollywood producer) on TYT:

      2. HotFlash

        Mikey Weinstein is the real deal. He’s been raising the issue of ultra-Christianity in the armed forces for some time, especially the Dominionists in the Air Force. Here is .

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          especially the Dominionists in the Air Force

          The Christian Soldiers didn’t volunteer for the infantry…eh?

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Hubble Telescope’s Broken Gyroscope Seemingly Fixed After Engineers Try Turning It Off and On Again”

    I think that I know where NASA got its technical IT advice from to get the Hubble Space telescope working again-

  17. Roger Smith

    From the Studebaker article on Warren’s Fall:

    “There are two reasons why we not only must refuse to support Warren, but we must actively oppose her. The first is that Sanders was right in 2016–the Democratic Party must be transformed, and the left must be led by someone who is actively committed to transforming it. That isn’t Warren. Warren was perfectly happy grovelling to Hillary Clinton and hanging us out to dry. She will never lead a transformation of the party. She’s an appeaser, not a fighter.

    The second is that there is a historic chance in 2020 for the left of the Democratic Party to win the nomination outright. The centrists are overconfident. Too many of them want to run. There will be a crowded field, potentially including some combination of Joe Biden, John Kerry, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Eric Holder, Michael Avenatti, Martin O’Malley, Michael Bloomberg, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, and heaven knows who else. If the left can choose a single person, one democratic socialist to rule them all, it has an excellent chance of prevailing against a disunited and disorderly center.

    Who can the left get behind? Bernie Sanders. Or, if he’s unable or unwilling, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the one and only senator to endorse Sanders in 2016. He’s the one we should write glowing pieces about–not Warren.”

    What? This collapse of logic illustrates why the ‘transformative left’ (or progressive, or w/e label you want to use) will absolutely not be able to take advantage of the crowded neo-liberal centrist field of chicken’s with their heads cut off in 2020. Sanders made the exact same concessions to all the important things he said and proved he wouldn’t stand up for principles. Let’s pretend Sanders only deferred to Clinton and duopoly politics in order to play the game until the time was right, to make voters think he isn’t was “extreme” as they might feel he is, or as optics would ping him as. Well even though I agree with those “extreme” policies I do not agree with being dishonest to voters (Obama was more than enough for the rest of history). He never should have let up and he should have renounced the corrupt Democrats when he had the spotlight on them. Maybe the general population wouldn’t care and the base level of exposure to the right marketing could get him in the spot, who knows.

    I don’t know much about Merkley but that in and of itself makes me question his viability (time could tell if he runs). Other than that, who else is there? This is Trumps race and I am not sure Sanders could beat him anymore. Future tweet: (Sad Bernie still running for the party that threw him under the bus. Pathetic!) or how about (Can’t wait to destroy Sad Bernie in the debate tonight. He was to chicken to show up to the last one we were supposed to have. Weak!). Sanders would have to one, ignore the bait and more importantly, two, sell the realism of the electoral process and what is at stake. In a society that has been dumbed down and everything is presented as detached drama for entertainment, that will not necessarily be easy when up against the sensationalist drama master.

    I think we are more likely to see Trump vs. the one turkey whose head is bent and thus missed the axe in the factory ala South Park.

    1. JohnnyGL

      “Let’s pretend Sanders only deferred to Clinton and duopoly politics in order to play the game until the time was right, to make voters think he isn’t was “extreme” as they might feel he is, or as optics would ping him as.

      He never should have let up and he should have renounced the corrupt Democrats when he had the spotlight on them.”

      I think this is seriously misguided. Sanders would have come across as a complete whinysore-loser. For all the shenanignas, and they were myriad, he lost the delegate count. I think best estimates is that he might have lost more like 52-48 in the pledged delegate count, instead of 54-46, roughly. Instead, he did the honorable thing that he promised to do ahead of time: run his race until the end and agree to support HRC when she won. Since then, Sanders and his acolytes have pushed hard against closed primaries, voter purges, and same-day registration rules. All of these things would have neutered most of the DNC’s and various state party’s underhanded tactics that were used.

      1. a different chris

        Agree totally. There is no way Sanders beats Clinton in 2016, thinking that is some real bending of reality. (Actually, I generally support that kind of facts-be-damned positivity from our side! See my Warren posts! Just not the hindsight version!) He just had too big a hole too early. It looks like, but really isn’t like pro sports, where all you have to do is get to the playoffs and then it’s wide open again. The convention was – and maybe this has now changed with the new rules – always simply a formality for launching the presidential campaign.

      2. Roger Smith

        There is a good point to the there that he might have still lost the primary. But if parading around to get people excited to vote for a mass murdering, career narcissist (among other things) is honorable, why isn’t Warren allowed to do it? Simply because she didn’t say she liked Bernie better first? I think, at least in some way, maybe not as previously stated, Sanders should have stuck to principles and done so visibly. Instead what is visible to average people is his parroting of Democrat nonsense about Russia, digs on Trump, or just general conformity the will of the party apparatus. He looks like everyone else. He never should have taken the ‘will you support Clinton if she wins’ bait (propaganda implying presumption of loss). He should have said he’d vote for the best candidate.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          It’s honorable because he gave his word that’s what he would do if she won, and he kept his word. Have ethics in certain quarters deteriorated so far there are people who no longer feel that a person’s word is their bond, and that no ethical person breaks that bond?

          I hear that same snide excuse for abandoning Sanders over and over from people who seem to have either never heard the word “integrity” or have a very poor understanding of what it means.

  18. JohnnyGL

    Hollywood donors flood Dems with midterm cash: The Hill

    So….by the dem leadership’s preferred metric of fund-raising, the blue wave is already a success!!! No matter the outcome of the elections!!! Getting some extra votes is just the cherry on top!!!

    1. jo6pac

      LOL, Yep everything is good in demodog consulting world;-) If they win control of congress that means nothing to us on Main Street.

    2. polecat

      So, I WAS right with regard to seeing blue progressive lampreys in that pool painting featured in yesterdays Watercooler …

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Guns and guards to be removed from Korean ‘truce village’ of Panmunjom”

    Apparently both Trump and Pompeo are unhappy that the North and South Koreans are not waiting on Trump’s approval for measures like this to take place. Didn’t make a lot of friends in Korea either when he said: “they do nothing without our approval.” Now Trump is attacking South Korean President Moon Jae because of these moves. More on this at-

    1. JTMcPhee

      When I was in the Army in ‘66-69, a common refrain among the Troops was “[email protected] THE ARMY” for all the chickensh!t stuff the troops had to put up with, and because a lot of troops figured out that they were cannon-fodder Imperial Storm Troopers engaged in that “racket” that Smedley Butler called out, 30 years earlier.

      I sense that there’s a similar meme spreading across the planet that the idiot rulers of the Empire think they can “full spectrum dominate:” [email protected] THE EMPIRE.” A whole lot of special circumstances and conditions have let the neo imperialists get this far. Looks a little like those circumstances and conditions may have run their course. Maybe too late for the continuation of our species, but maybe Gaia has weighed us, measured us, and found us wanting as creatures claiming “dominion,” not stewardship, with respect to all the life on the planet.

      So will the Borg be trying to “Sanction” those pesky Koreans? I hope they can get past their “tear down this wall” moment with better long term outcomes than the Germans seem to have done. Wonder what the organizing principles of the two rulerships will be, toward the seemingly increasing likelihood of reunification? Certainly this is another Gorbachev moment, for the looters to try and cash in on, spreading “neo” doctrine over yet more of the planet.

    2. JohnnyGL

      I can almost hear Larry Wilkerson screaming in his office, saying:

      “THIS IS HOW KIM OWNS YOU, TRUMP!!!”

      It’d be crazy if things progressed to the point where the US was more-or-less, politely, asked to pack up and take our missiles with us.

    3. Olga

      There was an interesting and deeply moving film about the Korean (and other Asian) comfort women. The movement to get them recognition and an apology is also very much an anti-war and pro-unification effort. Just FYI; I did not know of this connection.

      1. ewmayer

        Earlier this year one of the local (left coaster here) Korean TV affiliates showed a drama called , a 2-episode mini about an elderly WW2 comfort woman who befriends a troubled teenage girl. It’s a big deal in Korea, as it should be, but Japan’s level of denial here is reminiscent of Turkey’s w.r.to the Armenian genocide.

  20. Wukchumni

    Why a daily bath helps beat depression – and how to have a good one Guardian
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I’ve got nothing against showers, but my preferred method of getting hot & bothered is total immersion from the neck down in a bathtub when I was growing up, and a hot tub or natural hot springs whenever possible. (next month, we have a week-long soak-a-palooza road trip in 3 different locales…)

    When we’re @ a natural hot springs soaking with other devotees, I always ask them a question:

    “We’re you more of a bath tub person or a shower person, when you were a kid?”

    Most responses come back bath tub.

    The bath tub was my ad hoc library, and sometimes i’d spend hours reading the 1966 World Book Encyclopedia (the “M” was quite hefty, the “W-X-Y-Z” a comparatively slim volume) until i’d soaked up enough knowledge for the day and/or heat finally ran out and hanging out in a lukewarm tub ain’t me babe.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Do we have enough water for everyone to bath daily?

      Maybe or maybe not…because we prefer fresh new water and not someone else’s.

      Natural hot springs, though, you never throw the bath water out. The same pool of hot spring water can be used by millions.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Of course the hot spring is renewed by some part of the hydrologic cycle, the water comes from “somewhere.” And whatever schmutz is shed or otherwise added by the bathers therein, goes out with the overflow, to join the general effluvium of human excreta that ends up in oceans and lakes and such. (“But my token contribution is so very minimal, it does not even count, so there.”)

        I read (and my wife tells me, as do a couple of Brit acquaintances) that the Brits do not bathe daily or sometimes even weekly. Or use deodorant and antiperspirant chemical products, packaged in plastic for the most part, often containing “substances known to the state of California or EU to cause cancer.”

        And here, where a ‘fresh, clean scent” is a class marker, look at all the “products” that fill the shelves of all the stores that cater to said fetish. Especially like FDS, Summer’s Eve, Norforms, Vagisil and Even AXE For Women products, to go with that wretched stench of AXE FOR MEN products, implicitly guaranteed to overcome feminine reluctance to copulate…

        1. Wukchumni

          Every second i’m in a natural hot spring, I think to myself, will this effect any bloggers that never go to such places?

          1. JTMcPhee

            I’m sure. Especially all the bloggers who are not in any position, financially speaking, or by physical limitation or natural disinclination, to ever get to such esoteric and wonderful places as some of us. I hear there are wonderful hot springs in New Zealand, am I right? Enjoy! With a nice Chianti!

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              You can find ‘onsen’ mineral bath powder in some Japanese supermarkets.

              And they are not free. So, having money is essential.

      2. Lord Koos

        Yep a hot bath every day is energy-expensive, both in the cost of heating the water and the use of the water itself, unless you live near a natural hot springs.

    2. HotFlash

      The frugal Japanese wash off in a shower or shallow tiled shower pan using buckets of water. The clean person then soaks in . Usually only one person at a time, in order of rank, so in a family it would be father first, and he would get the hottest water.

  21. Eclair

    Re: Why a daily bath helps beat depression.

    Gosh, where do I start. I am a warm, soaking bath aficionado, especially as I have become older and arthritis, with all its attendant stiffness and pain, has set in. There is a reason why the Romans set up those northern european towns around natural hot springs (see: Aix les Bains). And why Native Americans had their Western migration routes pass by hot springs.

    This is the second ‘cure’ for depression that I have heard or read about in the last two days. Last night, on our local radio station, John Tesh, who gives helpful hints on health, success, and how to be a better parent, gave his cure for depression: when you go to bed at night, give yourself a reason for getting up in the morning! Then you will have a better night’s sleep, which will lead to you being less depressed.

    And, now, The Guardian is pushing hot (but not too hot) baths before bed as an antidote for depression.

    Kill me now! As our hosts are wont to exclaim.

    It’s a campaign to blame individuals for being depressed; it’s your own fault! For being unemployed. For pushing your kid to burden himself with education debt. For living in the Florida Panhandle in the house your great grandfather built. For being a dairy farmer that Walmart suddenly deems to be too small to bother buying their milk from. For working at a chain grocery store that has had its pension funds ravaged by a private equity firm. For living near the Tonawanda Coke plant, outside of Buffalo, NY, which just declared bankruptcy after being sued for gross pollution and which has not even paid off its latest fine imposed by the EPA (may it rest in peace,) and which is flagrantly leaving the mess to be cleaned up by The Gubbmint.

    There is a reason to be depressed, people.

    Then, there is the assumption that everyone has their own bathroom, with tub and running hot and cold. To be able to turn a tap and to sit in solitary splendor in the privacy of your own little room, in a tub of water adjusted to your personal comfort. It encapsulates all that is crazy about our civilization. The profligate use of materials to build personal bathrooms, and of fossil fuels to heat water. The profligate use of water. One whole tub full …. for one person. And, then, down the drain to the sewage plant.

    Soaking and bathing is, or used to be, in many cultures, a social event. You soak, and talk, in a communal bath house, or mineral spring or sauna.

    OK, I’m ranting. But this article is so weird, on so many levels, so symptomatic of a certain class obliviousness to the mess we have created, that I just had to let loose. And, my reason for getting up each morning? Reading NC posts and comments! So, by extension, Reading NC Cures Depression.

    1. Harold

      Don’t get me wrong. I love hot baths, but if Sylvia Plath is given as an example of someone who self-treated her depression with hot baths — it didn’t work very well for her!

      1. newcatty

        Some people can not, for various health reasons, including some physical restraints, literally walk/hike to glorious hot springs in the wild county. Some of us can not physically get into and out of bathtubs. A quick, and if desired, warm or hot shower will just have to make due for most of us. Maybe I will start a diary here on NC about the joy and uplifting holistic effects of the privilege of having a home with two(came this way, appreciate them)bathrooms. Ahhh…The fish in me is calling for a soak ( I mean a shower of city water to indulge in). I did love the few times I soaked in a hot spring, but it is not a needed or desired way to be one with the natural world at this time. Some people enjoy simple, but profound ways of doing this. Say, sitting on a porch or deck and watching the birds play or as clouds roll by…

        1. Wukchumni

          There’s plenty of natural hot springs you can drive to if you can’t make it there on your own power…

          The first ‘boiled’ food ever, was more than likely some ancestor in the distant past that wondered what would happen if you stuck a bird’s egg into natural hot water.

          It’s a very primal experience, soaking.

    2. Louis Fyne

      Real news (like everything you itemized) drives away eyeballs. Aspirational self-help gets eyeballs.

      Watch the morning news. Add up the minutes devoted to serious news topic X and compare to pop culture or viral kitten videos. It’s (if you think that news should be about informing and educating,) infuriating, unsurprisingly and a sign of the times.

    3. Lord Koos

      If you’re not depressed, you’re not paying attention…

      1 out of 9 Americans are now taking anti-depressants, thirty years ago it was 1 in 50:

  22. Quentin

    Now I finally know why I’m depressed: because I don’t have a bathtub in my little apartment. The Guardian has made my day now. That’ s why I stopped reading it more than a year ago: too much HRC crap. If commenters can this thread by letting us know they are ardent tub fans, I can reface it and tell everyone I have none, as if you would be interested.

    1. Eclair

      Exactly, Quentin. As I pointed out above, The Guardian ‘assumes’ a bathtub and hot and cold running water.

      But, according to John Tesh, you CAN cure your depression by improving your sleep habits. And the way to do that is to Think Good Thoughts at bedtime. And, decide on a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Listening to him blather on, I swear, this thought made me go all cold and sweaty: what if some night I just couldn’t find a reason for getting up in the morning? I would fall into even more of a depression … and it would be all my fault.

      But, this is one reason we keep coming back to NC. Our little bubbles of self-complacency are constantly pricked by other commenters.

      1. Grebo

        Bathtubs and hot running water are standard issue in the UK. And, unlike many US bathtubs I have encountered, they are actually designed to be used as such. Showers are a relatively recent introduction, they were by no means universal when I was a kid.
        My current house (not in the UK) has no bathtub and that depresses me.

  23. Chris

    Still thinking about the migrant caravan making it’s way north through Mexico and how it could play out in our news cycles for the next 12 days or so. Consider this me calling my shot…

    I think it is a situation tailor made for Trump. For that many people to stay together on the move, they’re covering maybe 30 miles a day. That means they have a long way to go before they reach the border and anyone actually needs to do anything to either help or hinder them.

    The $Dem response will no doubt be to ignore them because they don’t want to even hint that some in their number want open borders. The liberals still want to tar the Left with that idea. Which leaves Trump and his jingoistic impulses freedom to run wild on .

    And he doesn’t have to do anything! He can threaten to put land mines on the border to look really tough to his supporters, end up not doing it, and still stir up enough sentiment from Republicans to get them to turn out and vote. He can take Air Force 1 to Texas and Arizona and people will take pictures of him reviewing our borders and reiterating his need for a wall. Anyone who takes the bait to respond will look either out of touch or be descending into a flame war with our troll in chief.

    Any Republican who wants to appear moderate only has to be less bombastic than Trump. So they can say things on Sunday morning like, “I don’t approve of the President’s suggestions but I am a firm believer in defending our borders. We are a nation of laws and I will not condone illegal immigration on this massive scale.” Cue the #Resistance with their cries of “they can’t be illegal, they’re people” and you have something that will haunt everyone 2020 presidential hopeful on Team Blue for the next 2 years.

    I think this is an October surprise to kill all other surprises unless Mueller’s dud goes off with more of bang than currently appears. Once again, we will see how the corruption and inauthenticity of the people who are publically opposing Trump cripples their arguments. If we had even one politician who was willing to walk the walk and wouldn’t be squelched by the MSM we’d have a chance. But we don’t. So Trump will continue with all the winning. This could be the factor that keeps the Senate and the house out of Democrat control.

    It’s disgusting to watch happen.

      1. a different chris

        Yes, this caravan is a good example of why our hosts keep saying things like “12 days is a long time in politics”.

        The Dems like to embrace people that don’t actually have a vote. And in many cases don’t even live in the US. Wonder why? Looks like it may bite them, I don’t think so (liberals are furious and they have the time and access to voting machines) but not gonna discount it either.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      I doubt the migrant caravan story will make or break the 2018 midterm election. But that’s because I strongly suspect the mainstream Democrats have already blown it. Even if they eke out a 1-2 man majority in the House. And I think that is unlikely as well.

      Nevada is a case in point. The Dems are running an aged, jowly Vegas machine pol as their guberatorial candidate. Against a very photogenic, very ambitious younger Republican, who has positioned himself as a darling of ultra-right money. Laxalt reached the state Attorney General office with immense help from RAGA. ( is a pac-like org that quietly promotes authoritarian right wing doctrines in modern law enforcement. If you want to see your state reduce prison sentence lengths, or eliminate cash bail, RAGA men are there to repel your efforts with massive amounts of out-of-state money.) Laxalt has spent much of his time as Attorney General finding ways to let Gov. Sandoval know that he has no future at the national level as a Republican; openly screwing with Sandoval, despite ostensibly reporting to him.

      This is not to say that all the Democratic candidates are old line machine pols. Nevada Dems are also running a smooth, lady-like, highly credentialed Boxer/Feinstein clone against Dean Heller. Heller’s Senate seat was actually considered at risk a few months ago, but no one sees it that way any longer. The stale and polite options promoted by our hack-dominated state party are part of the reason why.

      The Laxalt story is multi-layered, and you can’t get at most of it in the MSM. Based on his documented M.O., the 12 who spoke out against him have taken a considerable and unwise risk. Their Gazette-Journal op-ed was immediately countered by another one, ostensibly written by 22 other family members. It was a classic contemporary Republican piece, full of prideful bombast and excessive praise for Laxalt…….. with a strong under-current of menace. All standard, Trump era behaviors for advancing Republicans. The Rosen-Heller race is calmer, more reminiscent of careful Clinton-Obama era politics. But both = losing for Democrats.

      I would like to be wrong about many of these things.

      1. Lord Koos

        Here in WA state while canvassing registered Dems last Sunday, I was a bit surprised how unenthusiastic voters are about our Senator Maria Cantwell. I’m not a fan of hers, but the thought of Democrats being swayed to support a person who will vote with Republicans in the senate is a mind-boggler. It shows just how sick and tired people are of the business-as-usual, do-nothing congressional Democrats. The party leaders either aren’t getting the message or don’t care. I favor the latter.

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Leaders of Asia and Europe sit down for talks, not sanctions Asia Times

    Maybe now is not a good time.

    European nations participate in various sanctions. So, they are capable of doing that, to the ‘deserving’ targets.

    China, and maybe other Asian nations, does the same…years ago, it was ‘no direct ’ with Taiwan, and before that, no trade. And China has not ruled using force against that runaway province, so, presumably they have not ruled out sanctions in the future either.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Of course that “no direct with Taiwan’ was full of loopholes and work-arounds. Like the embargoes the Royal Navy and Customs sought to impose on France and Spain and the Netherlands — winking at smuggling of favorite fashions and perfumes and of course wine and other alcoholic beverages. “Where’ there’s a will (and profit) there’s a way.” See HSBC and many “American” financial institutions laundering drug money.

      Humans are very shrewd and adaptable creatures, in many ways — though not necessarily the ones that are tailored to survival of the species. “All we know (most of us) is our own personal pleasures and interests…”

  25. Oregoncharles

    An enlightening take on Brexit and the “British border in Ireland”:

    Focused on politics, emotion, and local setting, it’s a useful corrective to NC’s natural emphasis on trade issues. The gist: the border through Ireland isn’t primarily about trade, though it would certainly mess up trade on the island; it’s about peace.

    The problem, of course, which Mackey hadn’t really gotten to as far as I’ve read, is that the Unionists are just as emotional about it as the Nationalists. Consequently, the logical solution, reuniting Ireland, poses the same danger of new violence as imposing a full border. Which raises a good question: how real is that danger? The DUP seem to represent a relative handful of fanatics; could they wage a war by themselves? How many Orange Irish would support them? I’ve yet to see solid information on that; maybe a commenter on the ground there can help.

  26. Brian (another one they call)

    “Nazi marked plane crashes on freeway” This is a terrible yet perfect example of what news has become. Let’s break down what we can determine by looking at just one picture of the plane, compared to what was printed.
    1. The plane is a USA WWII era carrier bomber or trainer.
    2. It has the “iron cross” logo painted on it, which has been the German logo for over a century.
    There is no nazi plane or nazi slogan involved in any way.
    The people that created the story, as well as those that ran with it, are not reporters, but poorly educated hacks.
    Why are we left to this kind of moronocracy as a source for news?

    1. Mark Pontin

      Why are we left to this kind of moronocracy as a source for news?

      Because it’s 2018. You might have noticed this yourself.

      That means —

      [1] 75-80 percent of all ad revenues go to Facebook and Google. Most of that money used to go to old-school media and thus supported news reporting. Now that old-school media business model has pretty much collapsed and so has news reporting, except for high-end specialist niches.

      [2] Writers are often literally young contract workers recruited via Craig’s List ads and the like turning out first-draft click bait at minimum wages. I kid you not. Go to writing/ending jobs at Craig’s List and see for yourself.

      To conclude: the forms and appearances of old media news may appear to continue to exist, but in reality they’re gone and most people just haven’t realized it. This is true of much else in our societies.

      1. RMO

        The aircraft is a trainer – a North American T-6 Texan (also known as a Harvard in the RAF and RCAF and built by CC&F in Canada – also operated by West Germany in the 50’s) and the operators are a non-profit founded decades ago by U.S. WWII veterans. They operate several of them for shows and memorial day displays. The nearby Museum Of Flight and a group of volunteers called the Fraser Blues does the same sort of thing in the Vancouver area. Being familiar with the general aviation world I suspected that this was the case even though I wasn’t familiar with the group named in the story. Of course it took all of 15 seconds of online “research” to discover this so I’m not surprised that neither the original stories or the writers of streams of comments on other sites bothered to undertake such a massive effort. /s

        1. The Rev Kev

          Those North American T-6 Texans seem to be very adaptable. When they made that movie “Tora! Tora! Tora!” back in 1970, they used modified Texans to fill in the role of Mitsubishi A6M “Zero” fighters-

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I think “news” is one of those words that will soon disappear. Another one is “retirement”. And another is “war”, since in it’s current usage it describes something that has a beginning and an end, as opposed to something that is permanent

    2. Lord Koos

      I don’t think it was necessarily a product of inept reporting, rather an a attempt to get eyeballs using the Nazi angle, even though as you noted, it’s an Iron Cross. I’d guess at least half of American adults don’t know the difference between that and a swastika.

    3. ObjectiveFunction

      Quick, send those ‘journalists’ to India to expose all those (what else can they be but?) Nazi swastika banners bedecking shopping malls for Diwali!

  27. Oregoncharles

    “Or have I heard too many ideas and lost track as to which were rumors and which were sort of real?”

    And is there really a difference? Maybe it’s smoke and mirrors, all the way down, at least until something is signed.

  28. anarcheops

    [s] Ah yes, of course, why didn’t I think of taking a hot bath! Then all this misery could have been avoided! [/s]

    Look, there’s no point in drawing any kind of conclusion on anything from individual studies, so reading news articles poorly summarize individual studies is even more useless. The author of this article even admits: “Although the study was small, and there were some methodological issues with it”. Might as well just say “I need to write clickbait and it doesn’t matter to me if what I’m writing is true or not”.

    1. Bridget

      Magnesium has known soporific effects. Epsom salts are rich in magnesium. Ergo, treat yourself to hot soak in an epsom salt bath. Maybe even sniff on some lavender while you’re at it.

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