Links 5/20/19

WaPo

American Conservative

TreeHugger

Gizmodo

Scroll

New York Review of Books

BBC

MPR. News. chuck l:  ‘The realization produced “a little warm glow,” he says. “I guess now that I’m a few years away from it, I’m beginning to feel it more.”

Asked about the chances that a government-funded science project like this could happen today, he says: “Zero.” ‘

California Burning

San Francisco Chronicle

International Business Times

Seattle Times

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

 BuzzFeed (david l)

Class Warfare

Guardian. Today’s must-read; you might have skipped over this so-so headline. Completely different model than the serve-yourself-on- your- app-sans-staff.

NYT

FT (david l). Trailer loans were the original subprime (the small 1990s market which also blew up).

Daily Yonder

WSJ

2020

Boston Globe. UserFriendly: “gag me, he looks like such a tool.”

ABC

Atlantic. re Silc: “headed to a bad place if he wins”.

Have New York magazine (Userfriendly). From the poisoned pen of the loathsome Jonathan Chait.

Politico

Userfriendly: “The reason most republican officials should probably be in jail”:

What the hell is a “Consensual Rape”?
I’m like 100% sure that’s just normal rape but said by a sleazy corrupt politician.

These people have lost their F*CKING minds!

— Terrence Daniels (Captain Planet) (@Terrence_STR)

 

Project Syndicate. mgl: “I would like to see a history of what things were like in USA USA before Roe v. wade and contraception being available.”

Syraqistan

Craig Murray

Al Jazeera

The Hill

BBC

737 MAX

FT

Brexit

Techcrunch

EUReferendum.com

China?

Moon of Alabama

SCMP

Bloomberg (david l)

SCMP

Politico

The Hindu

India

The Wire The seventh and final stage of India’s staggered voting for Lok Sabha elections finished yesterday. During the voting period, exit polls cannot be reported. Now they can. Counting day is 23rd May, and results should be announced that day. Expect lots of chatter and speculation between now and then.

Scroll

Bloomberg (furzy)

Trump Transition

McClatchy

FT Quelle surprise.

Salon (JZ). Salon (JZ)

Politico

Antidote du Jour (:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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156 comments

  1. Henry Moon Pie

    Re: Luddites–

    Here’s another piece from the American Conservative that demonstrates some affinity between us Lefties (he explicitly praises AOC multiple times) and the Paleos. We both see human values being obliterated in favor of more profit and more war.

    My Luddite cry is a little simpler. It’s called forth whenever I read a story about geo-engineering or cloning or creating designer bacteria:

    Quit f—ing with s–t.

    Haven’t we screwed things up enough? Learn some humility, you billionaires, you politicians and–yes–you scientists and engineers. Like Wendell Berry says, we’ve been trying for a few centuries to shape the world according to the preferences of the powerful among us. Let’s all try letting the world shape us for a while, and that begins with sackcloth, ashes and humility.

    Reply
    1. Svante Arrhenius

      There is innovation, then there is marketing. There is creativity, then there are scams. There are scientific advances, and there is offhanded experimentation on a misinformed public (usually, the most vulnerable, but not always). Couldn’t help but think, suburbanites were subjected to more scary stuff, first? Living atop landfilled stripmines, eating ickky microwave junk food; inhaling exhaust, lubricant, phthalate, benzine aerosols, asbestos, cigarettes… the kids irradiated by color TV, non-ionizing sources; serving as guinea pigs for pharmaceutical firms. Poor, rich people! All we have to fear is being torn to pieces, all alone, amongst our robotic overlords. I’ll take my chances with the robots?

      Reply
    2. zer0

      That’s a fairly chaotic way of thinking.
      The very reason you’re able to express yourself online, drive, go visit friends and family around the world, live past the age of 40, live in a cozy A/C’d room, and have free time is because of science and engineering.
      The humility you portray, the bending at the knee to nature, isnt actually very thoughtful or wise. You remind me of Christopher McCandless: subservient to ‘nature’ in a metaphysical sense, but not wise enough to realize that nature is just a human concept. I’m sure he didnt like science or engineering, yet funnily enough, those two things may have saved his life. He didnt take going into nature as a test of one’s skill & knowledge, he took it as a test of one’s nature (no pun intended). And he died for his lack of skill and knowledge. Ive known many homesteaders in rural Alaska, and they view him as an idiot, plainly said.

      You must also realize, at this point in time, it is clear that humanity is going down a specific path whether you like it or not. And that path is to engineer ourselves out of the follies of past decisions and the greed of the few sociopaths who rule the nations.
      So rather than admonish engineers and scientists, who are also as human as you are, you should actually be trying to advance science and engineering as quickly as possible.

      Reply
      1. rippledub

        “You must also realize, at this point in time, it is clear that humanity is going down a specific path whether you like it or not. And that path is to engineer ourselves out of the follies of past decisions and the greed of the few sociopaths who rule the nations.
        So rather than admonish engineers and scientists, who are also as human as you are, you should actually be trying to advance science and engineering as quickly as possible.”

        BIG LONG SIGH . . .

        “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”
        ― Albert Einstein

        Reply
        1. Henry Moon Pie

          “The humility you portray, the bending at the knee to nature, isnt actually very thoughtful or wise.”

          I’m not quite sure how or why you made this jump from humility to a worship of nature, and your connecting McCandless’s actions to a sense of humility is even more puzzling. After all, McCandless was either indifferent toward his own survival or completely lacking in humility to head out into the Alaskan wilderness as little prepared as he was.

          What I’m talking about is the sense to know one’s limitations and refrain from acting outside them if there is danger of harming others. If you’re a fair weather sailor, don’t take your family and friends out on your 25-footer in a gale. Similarly, given our scientific and engineering community’s poor record of anticipating secondary and tertiary effects of their innovations, it would seem wise to be extremely cautious when tinkering with geo-engineering, cloning, gene modification, etc. The call of the Swiss for international review before any geo-engineering undertaking would be a minimum of caution, but even that was vetoed by the U.S. and KSA.

          The humility I’m talking about is the kind that would remind a scientist or engineer that we know just about enough about this world to be dangerous. All of that air conditioning and international air travel (I indulge in neither) has come at a price of environmental destruction which was either not foreseen by our wonderful scientists or engineers until it was very late or they advanced the research and engineering knowing the harm it would cause (like the Bomb).

          The idea that we are separate from nature and above it was born in the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Bruno Latour lays the blame at Galileo’s feet. It has led to an arrogance that threatens the survival of the very civilization that gave birth to it. You want to tag me with worshiping nature when it’s the self-worship of the technocrats that is the real problem. If they were only half as intelligent as they think they are, maybe they could engineer us out of this, but the odds are they will only hasten our destruction.

          Reply
          1. Judith

            I have been re-reading the correspondence between Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder. They began their friendship and their letter writing sometime in the 1970s. They are so thoughtful about the moral and practical importance of stewardship and community and what might be possible if only humans were willing to do the work.

            Reply
          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            But on the other hand we’re just playing the hand that Nature dealt us, a species that via a jump in evolution’s “truncated equilibrium” ended up with excess “higher” brain capacity that gave us huge leverage over resources and other species. We’ll play that hand, Naturally, exploit our niche (which happens to be the entire planet from the top of Mt. Everest to the bottom of the Marianas Trench), breathe up all the air, eat up all the food, drink up all the water. To think that we will then somehow “endure”, in other words not die off and disappear completely is simply hubris and a complete misunderstanding of the geological record. Sure, we can do a lot to prolong our day in the sun.

            Reply
          3. zer0

            That same tinkering, as you put it, is unfortunately the cause and effect of trying to master all that is around us. Which is one of the innate drives of human existence. So basically your idea is to stop a part of human ego, which is impossible.

            To give a relevant example, genetic cloning is just a modern step forward from artificial selection (the earliest form of genetic cloning/manipulation). Of course it has already brought about horrible after effects, like the unnaturally resilient plants that now are found crowding out native plants all over the world.

            But we’ve been doing this for years. Ever since humans could move plants/fauna, we’ve been changing the environment around us. The asian pear tree you see all over the midwest was brought from China as a ‘pretty shrub’, that then unfortunately mated with local pear trees to create a hybrid that is ultra resilient. Ive got so many examples: African mussels in the Great Lakes, Mediterranean garlic on the West Coast, all manner of insects from the tree boring pests from China/Japan, etc.

            And if you think destruction of habitat is a modern concept, think again. If you read about the history of forests, for example, one thing is clear: all ecological history is marked by THOUSANDS of years of exploitation by humans.

            You say we can learn from our mistakes. Yet have we really? And can you stop humans from being, well, human? I doubt it.

            “The idea that we are separate from nature and above it was born in the Renaissance and Enlightenment. ”
            That’s a patently ridiculous statement. I dont even know where to start. Maybe if you’re looking at a modern Western canon of literature (the known Anglo-Saxon written history), but its very clear humans were thinking of ways to circumvent or master nature far far before. Agriculture, husbandry, etc. all came about well before. If you look at the carbon table, humans began emitting mass amounts of carbon when the Silk Road was established. Which predates the renaissance by about 1000 years. Monotheistic religion predates the renaissance too. And like I mentioned, thats a Western view of the world which takes out entirety of Asia, ME and Africa.

            “The humility I’m talking about is the kind that would remind a scientist or engineer that we know just about enough about this world to be dangerous.”
            Do you think we dont? We probably have a more complete view than most. But I need to make a living, just like you need to make a living. You can live in a bubble and assume that because you work, wherever you work, that you are not a part of the problem. Fine. But trying to get everyone to live on an Alaskan homestead is frankly ridiculous. And I find it funny: the ones that live on these homesteads buy Columbia tech high-end sportswear, have hunting rifles, fishing gear, fly in with small planes, use tractors, chainsaws, and have gas generators. Where do you think all of that comes from?

            “If (engineers and scientists) were only half as intelligent as they think they are…” sounds fairly arrogant. They are probably a lot smarter than you think they are. They understand that to create something longstanding, that has great use, is hard. It takes time, millions of hours of incremental improvements from past ideas, from thousands of knowledgeable people spending their lives trying to understand a tiny part of the world.

            And if your so smart, get your priorities in combating climate change straight first:
            #1 is cattle farming. If you want to start saving the world, tell people to stop eating beef & dairy products. That has nothing to do with scientists and engineers. Science is trying to grow beef in a lab for this very reason.
            #2 is the obvious oil, petroleum refining, and all manner of byproducts mainly ferts and polymer plastics.

            #1 should be easily doable. #2 is going to be nearly impossible. Dont tell me you dont use anything with plastics. You can get away with saying you never use A/C, but I know you have a computer screen, mouse, and keyboard. All of those have at least 30 different kinds of plastics I know of from PVC to Nylon. You definitely own some form of polyester or nylon clothing. If youve owned a car, your already in the top 17% of the worlds worst carbon emitters. Flown in a plane? Top 5%.

            You dont walk the talk. You make it seem like you do, and you say things to make yourself seem morally superior to others. I can see going after the immoral: Exxon, GE, Glencore, Anadarko, BHP, etc.

            But scientists and engineers? Really?

            Reply
            1. Procopius

              The idea that invasive species are terrible ignores the basic truth that nothing is forever. What is happening is that an ecosystem we like is changing. Mother Nature does not care.

              Reply
            2. Lambert Strether

              If we could get the scientists out of the corporate labs and fund university research directly instead of through the horrid grants process, we might make some progress.

              Reply
        2. Eduardo

          “You must also realize, at this point in time, it is clear that humanity is going down a specific path whether you like it or not. And that path is to …”
          destroy human life and our planet as we know it?

          I see science and engineering somewhat orthogonal to the problem of climate change and to it’s solution. It is, imo, more an issue of will, education, and politics. We can do a decent job against climate change right now if people would stop eating beef. Or, if instead of trying to transition to electric cars we transitioned to no personal vehicles. Etc.

          But we won’t. Because people are selfish, or stupid, or lazy, or brain-washed, or something. Myself included.

          Seriously, what are the problems that you see scientists and engineers as solving?

          Reply
          1. zer0

            How to start.

            Scientists and engineers are terms given to people who probably wouldve been known as ‘inventors’, ‘astronomers’, etc back in the day so its good for you to first realize that those terms are modern, but the practice that engineers and scientists do is not. It is ancient, as ancient as the first hominids that started chipping away at flint and obsidian near ancient volcanoes in Africa.

            So the connection you need to make is that humans have an INNATE drive to figure out the world around them, create tools to better their lives, which includes, plundering, gathering, and procreation and civilization/society.

            So now, climate change. When do you think that started? It basically never ‘started’. Its been going on for quite some time, sometimes due to human activity other times due to natural events. But Ill go ahead and assume you mean climate change as done by humans.

            So when did it start? Current SCIENCE has actually figured out, by looking at carbon saturated water in deserts, that humans began really outputting carbon when the Silk Road was established around 200 BCE. This is when we really started to have an impact on the geological scale. Climate might have been effected, though we dont know. Weather patterns are by nature fairly chaotic. There were decades of drought, decades of floods, etc. The only thing we do know, is that water, which is the worlds biggest carbon sink, began to really take on a lot of carbon. More than could be naturally effused away. We theorize this is due to large scale husbandry and agriculture.

            Then if you fast forward to the industrial era, basically, 1700, 1800’s, with the advent of coal mining and steam power, there is another great shift in carbon emissions. I wont go into pollution or destruction of habitat, which also started in ancient times and has gone till now, but humans began polluting the oceans and rivers a lot more in the 1800’s. By the 1900’s, the seas which used to be filled with fish, were literal deserts. This was noted by British SCIENTISTS at the time, as they had been the first to count marine populations over time.

            The reason why Im writing all of this, is to show you two things:
            1) Humans began destroying the environment since day 1, its just that things have accelerated now. And the Earth doesnt have as much capacity for error as it did back in the day. And human populations were much smaller back then.

            2) Scientists were the FIRST to basically realize what was happening. No one else was studying what was around them. Without science, there wouldn’t be record keeping to go on, ecological studies to realize what is happening around us.

            In conclusion, humans are humans, and havent changed. We cannot change through thought alone, nor will we. Einstein had a sex drive. He also drove a car. To think that we can change innate characteristics is like hoping a tiger will stop hunting because you told it to. It just wont happen. Its something you have to come to terms with.

            That is not to say we cant make progress. But my initial post was basically trying to argue that scientists and engineers are just humans following one facet of our innate characteristics, which is the inquisitive/creative one. The plundering one would probably be your better target, which I guess would be the modern day equivalent of the ones who run large mining, oil, and agricultural operations. Which are usually NOT scientists and engineers.

            Reply
          2. davidgmillsatty

            Stop eating beef? Are you an dense? Animals and plants have a symbiotic relationship. Big animals, including cattle are quite necessary for the biosphere. And cattle are even more necessary than in times past when large animals roamed the earth who no longer live here. Cattle are about all we have to take up the slack.

            And secondly there are humans who evolved north of the 35th parallel who relied on meat for existence. These people do not do very well on carbohydrates. That includes most Europeans whose ancestry is not Mediterranean. This is basic Darwinism.

            Reply
            1. Eduardo

              “Are you an dense?”
              I don’t think so, but I suppose I might be the last to know if I were. :-)

              …making the transition to a plant-based diet may be the most effective way an individual can stop climate change.

              Reply
        3. zer0

          Two things:
          1). Einstein? Not a great role model for environmentalism.
          2). Humans are humans. We havent changed much in the few years we’ve been on this planet. The idea that humans will change with thought alone is, unscientific, unfounded, and laughable to anyone with knowledge in anthropology, biology, or even ecology.

          Look around you. See all that is there? Buildings, cars, pipes, etc. Do you think ancient humans actually thought that differently?

          If they did, why did they gravitate toward tool making? First small simple tools. Animals for transportation. Then, more advanced tools. Animals as a means of energy, now with carriages for moving more people at once. Then advanced tools, new forms of energy, explosion of products.

          If you don’t realize that humanity was built step by step by step, with the same principles, same inherent drives (ego, whatever you want to call it), you don’t understand humans. And you are going to believe that the world can change with a *snap*, as if someone can write an article and the whole world will go “Oh, that’s what I should do?”.

          Best quote Ive heard about this is “The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.”

          When E.O. Wilson wrote this, he didnt say it was fixable. He was lamenting a truth he found as a biologist. A truth that most hardcore engineers and scientists find after many years of reading, writing, listening, and observing both past and present.

          And what I find amusing is the idea that humans can change their inherent instincts, but animals cant. As they say, a tiger is a tiger. But is a human not an animal too?

          So you see, I find it utterly ridiculous, this present notion of “lets fix it”, where the “it” is basically everything humans have done since the dawn of time: plunder, gather, create, and procreate.

          Reply
          1. davidgmillsatty

            At long last. A poster here who has a fundamental grasp of science. Might as well educate the community on intelligence as well. That you either got it or you don’t. Intelligence is inherited every bit as much as athleticism, and no amount of education is going to change the equation all that much any more than training ad infinitum will help a poor athlete.

            Reply
      2. Synoia

        And that path is to engineer ourselves out of the follies of past decisions and the greed of the few sociopaths who rule the nations.

        Do you have any evidence to support this? If so please post links.

        Reply
  2. Sent from my Huawei phone.

    Re: Google suspends business with Huawei

    Thanks to Google for being the conscience of capitalism.

    We’re now safe from what the Guardian judged the best smartphone of 2019.

    Reply
    1. Svante Arrhenius

      Oops… Sent from my HUAWEI MediaPad M5 SHT-W09 tablet

      ‎Μολών Λαβέ Know-Nothing churls!

      Reply
    2. Carolinian

      Says Huawei will still be able to use an open source version of Android but not Google Play store and apps if the ban persists. Many Google apps are already blocked in China.

      Of course Android is based on Linux and some Linux distros have toyed with making their own smartphone operating system. If you take Android out of the picture then the Chinese could succeed with their own os and even start to rival Android since the above link says they have “43% of the global smartphone market.”

      Reply
    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have been thinking about going with a not-so-smart phone for a while now.

      Not sure if the best smartphone of any year will change the decision evetually.

      Reply
      1. Brooklin Bridge

        I’ve been trying to find a carrier that will support a pre-4g phone. No luck so far. They are all salivating at what they perceive they can do with 5g. They tell me (I suspect BS) that the towers will no longer support pre 4g (yet at the same time they assure me that customers who currently have such old phones will continue to be supported). When I ask them to explain that ridiculous inconsistency, they go into double talk – every time.

        Reply
        1. Shonde

          Got the same no pre-4G support from my carrier and was told that all pre-4G phone owners would be receiving a letter this year telling them they needed a new phone. If you obtain any more info on this matter be sure to post it since I am still angry at myself for allowing myself to be talked into a new phone. Loved my old flip phone! Are we being conned? Any recourse if we are?

          Reply
    4. ChrisPacific

      I don’t think Google had much choice, given that it they are subject to the new law (or the existing law applied to the new determination). I’d be willing to bet they are unhappy about it, since if it’s sustained for any length of time it will lead Huawei to fast-track deployment of their own OS for new phones and possibly break Google’s monopoly in that area.

      I have noticed cracks in the hive mind treatment of the issue. This morning I read an AP story that noted that the US has never presented any evidence of intentional spying by Huawei, or of their equipment being used for such a purpose.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Both Huawei and Samsung OS teams would be kicking into overdrive at this news, long overdue for handset manufacturers to escape app store jail and walled gardens. Of course Apple is the worst at all at this, but GOOG has so many Android versions out there that the whole thing is a hot mess. The whole thing is so very reminiscent of AOL versus Compuserve. GOOG exert control in the West with app compatability requirements (and of course revenue shares to make Sergei even richer) but in China deploying a new Android app is done at literally hundreds of different app stores, buyer beware. The wild card is react.js and they’re almost there, usability like an app but no app store download required. Zuckerberg read this writing on the wall long ago and spent hundreds of millions building out react.js, so the handset and OS are dumbed down and pushed down the stack and all of the functions are simply served over the wire

        Reply
  3. Svante

    Scary, that ridiculously overly refined, processed, frozen food microwaved in little plastic coffins reminds us of “hospital food,” devoid of flavor, texture, nutrients. Exactly porn: with a plastic outer appearance, reminiscent of the real thing to some souless mass-marketing nincompoop?

    Reply
    1. Off The Street

      That reminds me of my impression of TV dinners years ago, all that promise and imagery before you get to the lousy taste. Just look at the delicious meal portrayed on the packaging and try to forget what the, er, product looks like when it exits the oven. But all the cool kids were having ’em.

      Reply
      1. Svante Arrhenius

        Almost metaphorical of everything to come, every aspect of any sane, balanced, enjoyable life… Ersatz? I remember an experience right out of Mad Men. I’d gone with a male friend to take my mom out, after work (getting $7K at an ad agency, where the males who’s work she did, started at $45K). They’d annointed the Ford Mustang, a “girl’s pony car” so, were very solicitous as to how they could market it to longhaired Marvel Mystery Oil smelling white trash like us? Lower the suspension, dump in a 289 with righteous manifold and lose the pushrods, anti-sway bars, ventilated iron rotor brakes, rack and pinion steering, McPherson Struts and radials… You don’t think we invented Steve McQueen, do ya? It was FREE Geno’s Pizza Rolls and Schlitz Beer for life, after that! Thank YOU Albert Hoffman!

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          I was born in east L.A. and lived in a keeping up with the Joneses (real or imagined) neighborhood until I was 6, and it seemed as if every family had 4.3 kids. We were all pre-pill aged.

          My mom told me that somebody got these small monkeys and had them in a cage on their driveway, and before you knew it, there were 5 or 6 homes in such a fashion out of say 75 in the immediate area, human see-human do.

          This all came to a head when said little monkeys started flinging poo everywhere, and one by one, the zookeepers closed down shop, and that was that, in Jonesestown.

          Reply
          1. Svante

            We’d liked oddball stuff: BMW bikes & cars, US audio gear from small unknown MA, AR and CA companies, Marmot Mountain, Patagonia, Gore, Japanese cold-drawn bicycle tubing, Sony, Honda: all GREAT, pretty CHEAP, all rugged, but easily repaired. Then, the hippys discovered cocaine, went to work at papa’s brokerage, and drove it all so far upscale that we reverted to sex & drugs.

            PS, O/T: just found out about an anti-Ilhan Omar rally tonight at 5PM in Times Square. Just TRY finding any dissenting views, supporting her, on Google? Peh!

            Reply
    2. Roxan

      When I was sick, my insurance company sent me a free box of frozen dinners. They were hospital sur! I could not believe such a thing existed. The cat liked them.

      Reply
      1. Svante

        Poor CAT! Just the notion that they can charge extra to infect us with their novel antibiotic resistant bacilli by getting us to refuse the horrid crap I’d not be able to eat: after a nuclear war, marooned in outer space, being tortured in a CIA black site. I’m still crying over my mom’s last ICU “Thanksgiving Dinner.” Mind you, I’m fine with Big Lots’ mylar flavored Indian MRE, but bad hospital food is indeed something I’d go to war over.

        Reply
  4. divadab

    Re: Joe Biden and more of the same sameness

    Never voting for this tool. Epitomises even more than Hillary the utter bankruptcy of the Dem party. I mean bankruptcy in the sense of bankrupt of ideas, bankrupt of proper analysis, bankrupt of new blood, and bankrupt of moral authority.

    Backwards with Biden. Great approach. Will get the over-65 vote maybe but completely lose anyone under 40. Biden as candidate guarantees Trump reelection. Yet again the Democraps would prefer to lose with their guy than win with someone unacceptable to their owners – who ain’t you, Chuckles.

    Reply
    1. Brindle

      Yea, Biden is probabaly the worst candidate of all the Dems running. The Dem elite hope he can just sleepwalk his way to the nomination–dismissing policy driven candidates as “angry”. Biden is a grotesque creature of the corrupt CAP beltway Dems….and yes he will likely lose to the other grotesque old white guy that the GOP will put up.

      Reply
    2. voteforno6

      I was in Iowa over the weekend, and I did not see one yard sign for any candidate, and I didn’t hear any talk of politics. People predicting that Biden will run away with this thing because of polls are, well, wrong. It’s way too early to make any kind of prediction.

      Reply
      1. Mike

        True, but… saying it makes it so, according to our propagandizing media. Saying it twenty times a day, in different publications, makes it more than true – it becomes God’s word.

        We must learn how this works and stop beating the bushes for another answer to the question ” why is the media falling for this?” The proof is “out there”.

        Reply
        1. davidgmillsatty

          The east coast and west coast haven’t the foggiest clue about what happens in flyover America. Nor do they understand that flyover America totally ignores them.

          Reply
    3. DonCoyote

      From the :

      Cedric Richmond, the Louisiana congressman and the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, told me the crowd’s size wasn’t an indicator, with Biden more focused on getting his message out to the TV audience on Saturday. “Trump’s the one who cares about crowd sizes,” said Richmond…

      Oh you mean the candidate who won an improbable/impossible victory in 2016 cares about crowd size? Yeah, that means it doesn’t matter…

      Reply
    4. Geo

      Speaking of Biden and bankruptcy, here the best rundown of his life’s work to make debtors lives as difficult as possible – even making Bill Clinton look like the progressive in the 90’s.

      Well worth a read.

      Reply
    5. WestcoastDeplorable

      The “Biden buzz” is all about name recognition and nothing else. Plus when it gets down to the primary, aren’t the busload of other Dem candidates going to demand an investigation of his quid pro quo deal withholding $1B guarantee to Ukraine if they didn’t fire the prosecutor with his kid Hunter in the cross hairs? And what about the kid’s failure to be charged for coke possession?
      The only Dem candidate with both experience and a clue is Tulsi…and if Trump weren’t running I’d probably give her my vote.
      But face it folks, Trump IS running for re-erection so you’re getting another 4 years of Trump; and this time there won’t be the “pee dossier” hanging up his agenda. My advice? Go long popcorn!

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        The MSM really doesn’t want to talk about that “leveraging” the IMF loan (how did Biden get the power to approve/disapprove?) The MSM is trying to defend this by saying that the investigation into Hunter’s company had, in fact, been suspended a year earlier, so that proves it could not have been in Biden’s mind. Suspended does not mean ended. Also, did Hunter and his Dad know the investigation had been suspended? If the prosecutor was so corrupt, is there an indication he was bribed to suspend the investigation? I think there’s a chance the mighty right-wing Wurlitzer might start playing that tune if Biden is the nominee.

        Reply
    6. djrichard

      It’s interesting to contrast with the emphasis that the electorate is more “woke”. Akin to taking the red pill. Is Biden the antidote to that? For those that regret taking that red pill and would like to be jacked back into the comforting cocoon of the way things were before they took the red pill?

      Reply
  5. zagonostra

    >What longer paternity leave did for men in Spain

    Curiously, the Spanish study also found that women become slightly more inclined to having additional children when men are more involved in parenting – perhaps because they’re no longer shouldering most of the child-raising burden.

    This article very interesting when placed next to Chris Hedges Article in today’s Truthdig.com that links the recent Alabama law on abortion to declining birthrates in the U.S.

    Also the above story makes you sick when comparing how German,Spain, Italy and other post-industrialized countries treat expectant mothers/fathers with the U.S.

    Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “Trump, Europe increasingly at odds on Iran”

    Modifying an old 1970 movie’s title, ‘Suppose Trump Gave a War and Nobody Came’? Not many countries want a bar of this fight, especially since Trump started it be reneging on the nuclear deal. Even if Trump tries to convince countries to come into the fight by promising lucrative deals, contracts & trade agreements, who would trust him not to renege on any agreements offered afterwards?

    Reply
    1. Procopius

      Yes. Why would the Iranians agree to negotiate with a country that is so unreliable? Indeed, Khamenei has said they aren’t even going to talk to the U.S. any more. Why Trump thinks sending them his personal cell phone number is going to bring them around is just baffling. The whole think has screamed from the beginning that war is the goal. That’s why even if there is a “perception” Bolton is making the policy, not Trump, he won’t fire Bolton.

      Reply
  7. Wukchumni

    ‘Luddite’ Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word American Conservative
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A friend was walking the Pacific Coast Trail a few years ago, and I did a 60 mile section with him from Big Bear to interstate 15, and it was really different for a couple of reasons, in that about half of the through hikers had a smartphone in their hand most of the time, with pre-loaded apps that told what the lay of the land ahead was like, and water sources being scarce in SoCal, it clued those grasping their rectangles into where you could find some. We were also within coverage zones for maybe 20 of the 60 miles, so you’d see people yacking away.

    The other thing was trail angels, that would leave a cooler full of water bottles, fruit & veggies, snacks, etc. I’ve never seen that before, as it most certainly wouldn’t fly here in the NP, that’s a siren call for the bears, who have a sense of smell 7x as strong as a dog.

    I talked to my friend awhile back in regards to his PCT sojourn, and he said that the preponderance of phones was the most shocking, and I can relate in that we’ve walked maybe 3,000 miles together, and heretofore had never seen anybody with one in the High Sierra, as there’s no coverage.

    We’re getting a cell tower in Sequoia NP next year in the frontcountry, I wonder what sort of range it’ll have into the back of beyond?

    Reply
    1. Fred1

      I started backpacking and backcountry trout fishing 45 years ago. Whether going alone or with other people, the SOP was to leave with a trusted friend a detailed itenerary with a date and time to start looking for me if I haven’t checked in. I never needed this, but came close to dying several times from falls. But this risk was part of the attraction. Today I never go alone, but still don’t take a cellphone. The main difference is I have no hesitancy in avoiding dangerous routes, steep inclines and fast water.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        My friend also used a SPOT device for the first time on his PCT trip, and found it was good for letting us know where he was at, etc. And if something untoward happened, there’d be help and soon. With the solar charger et al, it weighed a little over a pound.

        I think of all the miles we walked without a net, a good many of them off-trail where the next step is where you think it should be.

        The last time I hurt myself was 6 years ago on Memorial Day weekend, when we were just about at the middle fork of the Kaweah River, when I slipped on a smidgen of waterous greenery on a somewhat slanted boulder and went down so fast, 2 of my friends behind only saw me on my back. I fractured my shoulder 6 miles in, the last mile off-trail. In all probability if i’d had a SPOT device, no helicopter rescue would’ve been possible, as the middle fork trail is pretty woodsy with scant landing possibilities, but a hand crew with a stretcher could’ve come from the NP, but luckily I was able to walk out, and we’d fashioned a sling out of the lid of my backpack, and everybody else took my backpack/gear and found room for it in the packs.

        As long as I kept walking, the pain was held to a dull roar on stage left, but when we stopped it cried in pain, keep going. Made it to the trailhead on my own recognizance.

        Now, if i’d fractured a leg, i’m not walking out. And it takes one of my friends about 4 hours to hike out and call the NP, and rally the troops, or you get instant with a SPOT device, hmmmmm.

        The issue here in Sequoia NP wouldn’t be from a seasoned backpacker, more the neophytes. Every year there’s a how dumb can a SPOT device rescue call be, and it’s limbo sticky, such as the fellows that were facing mid-ankle high water @ Cliff Creek, who signaled they needed help, or the backpackers that drank unfiltered water, and needed a helo out. Here’s the park policy on wilderness permits in Sequoia NP

        Search and rescue actions are conducted on a discretionary basis. The level and necessity and of the response is determined trough evaluation of the situation by field personnel. Rescuer safety is always our first priority. These parks expect visitors to exhibit a high degree of self-reliance and responsibility for their own safety commensurate with the difficulty of their chosen activities. The higher risk the activity the more you need to be prepared for dealing with emergency situations.

        If you chose to carry a hand-held electronic signaling device, be familiar with its operation, limitations, and frequency of failure to transmit. Do not rely on it to summon rescue personnel or notify family that you are “OK.”

        Being self reliant was part and parcel of what backpacking is all about, nobody’s going to walk your walk for you, shoulder your pack for you, cook your food for you, or make your bed.

        Reply
        1. crittermom

          I noted this in the recent edition of my former local paper.
          I used to work this campground, subcontracted under the Forest Service.

          Beautiful area, but very rugged. A hiker died there when I worked in that area.
          I’d reported his car sitting for a week in the parking lot (he’d failed to leave the requested info page on his dashboard) but was told nothing could be done until he was reported missing. He finally was.

          It took days and a huge rescue effort to find him, going in by horseback. (A horse broke it’s leg & had to be put down, too, during the rescue).

          Thankfully, this rescue was successful.

          Reply
        2. Wyoming

          It was interesting reading your descriptions of thru hiking. I have a somewhat different perspective and experience. I have hiked/backpacked about 25K miles total and about 15K miles in the last 5 years to include the PCT, AZT (times 2) as well as the AT previously.

          When I hiked the PCT in 16 literally everyone had a smart phone for navigation (with backup batteries or solar chargers). I never saw anyone with a map. It has been years since paper was really necessary. About 6 years ago on a thru hike my buddy had his smart phone and I had mine and the maps as I could not bring myself not to take them. After a couple of months of carrying maps and going through the map switch at various resupplies one day I realized that I had not even looked at one of the maps for a month. I have never carried them again.

          I even go into the deep AZ wilderness without them these days. The Guthook phone navigation maps are special and one can download navigation software and sets of topos for anywhere prior to a hike. Being trained in the old map/compass techniques many decades ago I still carry a compass (its a feature of my expedition watch) – but one only might need carry topos if they are going into the real wilderness – and the PCT, AT, AZT, CDT (even it) can no longer be considered real wilderness. The navigation facilities of the smart phones and the latest generation SPOT or Delorme devices (you can text message via satellites) have resulted in phenomenal capabilities. Since the phone capabilities don’t need cell coverage (they use the GPS satellites) they pretty much always work (even in the bottom of the Grand Canyon or in the trees), but that being said it is rare not to have some kind of cell coverage almost every day even in the most remote areas these days. And with the text messaging thru the satellites one has with the SPOT type devices one can be in 24/7. I have even met a guy who was running an internet business using these systems while hiking. To keep my wife happy (she thinks I am too old to be out there by myself for some reason) I set my SPOT to let her know where I am every 30 mins and it downloads to her computer.

          I carry enough battery power to be about triple the max food carry I can haul so I never run out of power between charges (I don’t carry solar charging eqpt). But on these trails with the very large numbers of hikers you are never more than a few hours from seeing someone who can charge your phone for you or send a message for you if you figure out a way to lose or break it or your SPOT/Delorme device (this is really rare as I have only heard about someone managing to do this and have never actually run into someone who broke/lost their phones or SPOTs). On the PCT south of Rt 50 you are seldom out of sight of other hikers for more than a few minutes really.

          As to knucklehead hikers I assure you they are just as common among the thru hikers as the day hikers. But it is actually kind of hard to get stupid enough to get in real trouble – though due to the large numbers out there it happens very frequently. But most instances are taken care of by the hikers themselves or the other hikers who come along. As to injuries I have twice walked off broken ankles (verified via xray after I returned). It takes about 3 weeks of hobbling along. Tape them tight and eat your favorite pain med several times a day. Broken toes happen a lot as well as various stress fractures and most hikers can walk them off as well. A major bone you definitely need to go home for a time.

          One can still get away from it all and go old fashioned but not really on the freeways that the PCT and similar trails have become. You have to go off road so to speak. Make your own routes, hike the Hayduke, the PNWT, or the GET where there is almost no one. But that being said in 2 thru hikes of the AZT I have only had about 5 days out of 1600 miles where I saw no one else and even hiking off trail in the middle of nowhere in AZ I consistently run into other people – I would ask myself “What are these people doing out here?”, but then there is me too.

          I share your dislike and disdain for the providing food and water (the trail angels as they are called) as I consider this to be cheating and detracting from the experience. But it is fair to say that the folks putting this stuff out there save a lot of the thru hikers from disaster. They have become so dependent on it that when it is not there (as in someone else used it up or something) then they end up in trouble. I have had to give water to hikers in trouble on the PCT several times. I have had a number of discussions with hikers saying the PCT is not really hard and then I challenge them to hike from Landers Camp to Walker Pass without using the Trail Angel water caches like was done in the old days and tell me how easy it is (42 miles). But it is fair to say that for the vast majority of thru hikers it is overwhelmingly a social experience and not a wilderness experience so the phones and all make sense in that respect.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Most of my mileage has been in Sequoia NP, and I walked all the trails and then branched out into peaks and off-trail travel, different ways of getting from a to b, whadya got, a patchwork quilt of disjointed boulders running every which angle, or something that looks completely impossible from afar, that is until you get within 30 feet of the hidden passage and it shows itself. Fun times.

            I rely on a topo map and compass, and rarely do long journeys that require that many topos, usually a couple will suffice.

            I appreciate those that walk long distance trails, although its not really for me. My bailiwick is 10 days or so, and have done lots of them.

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              Just out of curiosity Wuk. When you go away for a coupla days just how much gear do you carry in terms of weight? Not so much any food and water (which is self correcting) but the actual weight of your gear? Use to carry a pack myself once upon a time hence the curiosity.

              Reply
              1. Wukchumni

                Basic weight of my pack is around 20 pounds, and that includes the pack, hammock, sleeping bag, thermarest pad & chair conversion kit, a New Yorker, cooking gear, water filter, clothes, et al.

                Reply
      2. Wukchumni

        p.s.

        Have a lot of backpack trips planned, taking my nephews to the Mosquito Lakes in Mineral King (they’d get more visitation if said bodies of water had a better p.r. agent) and 8 of us are going back to Iva Bell hot springs on a 50 mile loop including Fish Creek, Purple Lake, numerous other small off-trail lakes, and 15 miles of the PCT, for around 9 days.

        I tend to dayhike around Mineral King a lot, and the walks are all similar from a gradient standpoint in that you gain around 2,500 feet in 4 miles in getting somewhere and then give it all back away on the way down. Or walking off-trail through what amounts to my very own grove of Sequoias, as there’s nobody around, just me and the giants.

        Owing to there being a lot of snow still in the Sierra (and a couple feet more since last week) everything will be inaccessible till later in July as far as high passes go, with some well into August.

        …a tip

        There are 6 High Sierra Camps in Yosemite NP, and just one in Sequoia NP. It’s on the very front doorstep of the Great Western Divide wall of granite ascending from the view on it’s porch, with fabulous dayhike possibilities from there. The Yosemite camps accommodate 50-60 people, Sequoia just 12. This will be the 85th season @ Bearpaw Meadow High Sierra Camp. Highly recommended especially so for those wary or unable to carry a full backpack, yet want to see the grandeur.

        Bearpaw is a full-service camp 12 miles east of Giant Forest on the High Sierra Trail. The camp is dramatically situated at the edge of the high country, on a precipice overlooking the craggy granite peaks of the Great Western Divide. The camp is quite small, with 6 tent cabins that can accommodate up to 12 guests. A full-time staff of five provides fresh-cooked breakfasts and dinners, hot showers (rigged so you can’t leave the water on continuously), and a flush toilet. Despite these amenities the camp is very rustic. It’s definitely a camp and not an inn, and the tents in particular are very basic. But that’s the point: Bearpaw is a perfect way for day hikers to get an immersive Sierra wilderness experience that would normally require backpacking.

        Reply
        1. Thomas Jennings

          Try backpacking out of Lodgepole in Sequoia NP in September. Great weather and no mosquitoes.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Climbed up to Mt Silliman out of Lodgepole a few years back. A fun peak that can be done in a longish dayhike where you gain about 5,000 feet, but we did an overnight and took our time.

            Reply
            1. Thomas Jennings

              Cool – I did a guided loop out of Lodgepole up to Mt Silliman with ‘s group (highly recommended btw, even if you have done backpacking trips on your own). We practiced off-trail navigation with compass and paper map and other backcountry skills so it was a 2 day 2 night trip. Definitely a world-class and beautiful part of the high sierra that is not heavily trafficked.

              Reply
              1. Wukchumni

                I know Sequoia NP like the proverbial back of my hand, and what a place to get lost on purpose. The Tablelands are tailor-made for it. A favorite place is Moose Lake, which oddly looks tilted when viewed from higher up in the Tablelands, and that isn’t possible.

                It has a reputation for weird stuff happening there, a friend that was working @ Bearpaw Meadow high sierra camp about 25 years ago that walked there and was so freaked out by a light display overhead on a cloudless night, that he up and split @ midnight.

                Moose Lake has a commanding view of the Black Kaweah and other Kaweah peaks, and an interesting feature in that you can walk on water for around 200 feet, as there is a series of granite slabs just a few feet under water, be your very own Jesus, dude.

                Reply
          2. Synapsid

            Thomas Jennings,

            September is a wonderful time anywhere in the Great Basin (Nevada and neighboring- state boundaries) and the Colorado Plateau. The Plateau ranges from about a thousand feet above sea level to 10 000 feet, the Basin goes a couple of thousand higher.

            Reply
        2. Janie

          High Sierra camps are wonderful. I did the loop once and stayed in others whenever I could. It’s nice to carry a light pack, not have to bear-bag and have someone else cook great meals. This was so long ago that Nic Feorri was running the camps and the ski school.

          Reply
      3. Thomas Jennings

        Fred – This is just silly. World class backpackers, people with many more miles on trail (and off-trail) than you or I, carry a cellphone, and many carry a SPOT or similar device. In most cases a cell phone doubles as a camera and can be loaded with all your necessary maps (to be backed up with a paper map). And yes, it is SOP to leave an itinerary with people that will care about your well-being, however why wouldn’t you bring along a device that could potentially save your life (at a negligible weight penalty)?

        Reply
        1. Fred 1

          Thomas:

          Understood. The short answer is young and dumb. The long answer is habit and how I grew up. Home was a town of 1500 in the middle of nowhere in the central Appalachian mountains during the mid-60s. Five minutes from anywhere in town would put you in the middle of the woods. My friends and I grew up playing in the woods. Our parents certainly didn’t want to come looking for us if we weren’t home by dinner, but they knew where to look, because they knew we knew how to find our way home. But it’s a great feeling as a kid to wander through the woods alone.

          Growing up, gear was considered a waste of money. My first wading shoes were old tennis shoes with indoor-outdoor carpet superglued on the soles.

          As an adult, my overnight hikes and fishing trips were in the Pisgah NF in NC; the George Washington NF in VA; and the Monongahela NF in WV. I’ve never hiked a through trail or out West. Most of my trips were three days and two nights, probably never more than 20 miles round-trip.I always timed them so see as few other people/fishermen as possible.

          Going alone was stupid, and doublely so to do without a cell. I had some very nasty falls, which surprisingly never left a mark on me. But I haven’t done that in a long time.

          Why not carry a cell now? I don’t go alone anymore. I’ve learned from my mistakes. Habit and most importantly the satisfaction/joy of being untethered.

          Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    About the guy that made the “Consensual Rape” remark. His name was Republican Missouri legislator Barry Hovis and he was in a former life a police officer from Cape Girardeau, Missouri. So the worse of it was that this must have been his attitude when dealing with rape cases when he was with the police which would have been rough on those women that he dealt with. Easier for him though as if the rape was “consensual”, then there was no rape.

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Exactly.

      Rape is not consensual.

      However, in the local BDSM world, plenty of consensual ‘rape’ fantasies.

      Im gonna keep my mouth shut on this one.

      Right Meow!

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Makes you wonder what the Representative pictured would look like in leather.
        Or, leave him tied up on the couch upstairs at Lafittes in Exile. Then he might change his mind about “consensual.”

        Reply
      2. jrs

        what is called “statutory rape” (ie underage sex) probably straddles that line between how consensual it is (I think it usually abuses power imbalances if any real age difference is involved, but is not forced).

        But it’s not what people informally refer to when they say “rape”.

        Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      We had billboards up in the CVBB with a smiling person looking lovingly @ mom, and the wording:

      “I am a son she considers a gift from God.”

      Conceived in sexual assault

      Tulare-Kings Right To Life

      Consensual need not apply,

      Reply
    3. Plenue

      It’s stories like this that remind me that as bad as the Democrats are, their evil comes from a place of smug technocratic elitism. But I frankly have no idea what fuels so much of the GOP. They seem to openly indulge in stupidity and cruelty purely for their own sake.

      And then of course the Democrats convince themselves that the West Wing was a documentary and that there are a bunch of honorable, reasonable Republicans running around that some beneficial middle-ground can be arrived at with (something echoed in other fiction like Alpha House).

      It seems to me we have to go back at least half a century to find any semblance of a non-douchebag Republican party.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Jeffords was the last “reasonable” Republican. Every other contender threw their lot in with Cheney. He was just one guy who made his move 18 years ago. He opposed Clarence Thomas’ appointment to the Supreme Court.

        Reply
    4. Edward

      Hovis must be a member of the Republican Rape Caucus:

      My favorite member is Clayton Williams, who ran for governor of Texas in the 1990’s. While sitting around a campfire, he told a group of reporters that, “Rape is like bad weather; as long as it is going to happen you might as well enjoy it.”

      Reply
    5. ChristopherJ

      the term is an absurdity, but from former law inforcement, not surprised.

      On Netflix is little gem of doco Audrie and Daisy, both of whom were sexually assaulted by kids in their neighbourhood.

      Daisy was 14 and drunk, she and friend accept invitation for private party with some older boys…

      These cases weren’t that unusual, but the Sherriff made it quite clear that Daisy had come for company and more booze, which she got, and therefore the rape that followed was really consensual. Main dude got probation for ‘endangerment’. But only after a big fuss made by community over several years…

      Consent. I have different view and the requirement for older people to look out for vulnerable kids and not take advantage of them

      Reply
  9. Katy

    A New Diet Study Confirms Your Worst Suspicions About Ultra-Processed Foods Gizmodo

    Food manufacturers have already coopted the phrase “minimally processed,” which has as clear a definition as “all natural” (it has no meaning).

    I’m confused enough about what to eat. If I buy wheat berries, grind them in my flour mill at home, add water and a sourdough culture of yeast and bacteria, then bake it in my oven, is that “minimally processed”? What if I have someone else make it like that and buy it at the bakery? What if I buy the flour at the supermarket? What if I buy a loaf of bread that is labeled “100% whole wheat” and “minimally processed” but that lasts for weeks on my counter without growing mold? Or should I stop eating bread altogether and switch to sweet potatoes? I like bread.

    The only reason I’m even able to fret about this is that I’m relatively wealthy.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      The only reason I’m even able to fret about this is that I’m relatively wealthy.

      Don’t fret over being able to your self. Being hungry because of poverty well and truly awful. Trust me. Do fret over the Big Food’s advertising mind screw that makes it almost impossible to knowledgeably eat well no matter your finances.

      Reply
    2. PlutoniumKun

      I think it was Michael Pollen who said the rule of thumb should be ‘if it comes in a pack and has a list of more than five ingredients printed on it, its not food, its an industrial product’.

      Its as good a rule as any to follow (i.e. to avoid anything like that if possible). Basically, if you cook it yourself its almost certainly good, unless you are emptying a bag of sugar into the pot.

      Incidentally, I can recall as a student hearing more than one science lecturer/researcher say things like ‘food is just a collection of chemicals, your body doesn’t mind what form it comes, and your body just needs a dozen or so key nutrients’. It was usually said in tones contemptuous of people insisting food should be ‘natural’ or whatever. I well remember a food science specialist insisting that a Big Mac had a pretty good balance of carbs, protein and fat and as such was perfectly good food. And he hadn’t been paid (at least directly) to say it either.

      I always find it amazing at how something as fundamentally important to human life as food as been subject to so much misdirection and confusion in science. Its only in quite recent times that the fundamental importance of the biome and its influence on a vast range of human illnesses has become to be recognised.

      To quote Pollen again ‘Eat food, mostly plants’.

      Reply
      1. Judith

        He also said don’t eat anything your great-great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food and don’t eat anything that will not eventually rot. That should cover most all of Katy’s concerns.

        Reply
        1. davidgmillsatty

          Not particularly good advice if your ancient forebears lived north of about 35 degrees. Plant food was scarce and animals were the only reliable source of food. So these people adapted to eat meat not plants. Basic Darwinism. The descendants of these people do not do well on carbs.

          Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        Jamie Oliver said that when shopping for food, look at the ingredients. If it sounds like something out of your grandmother’s pantry, then go ahead and buy it. If the ingredients read like something out of an industrial chemical lab, then put it back. Sounds like good advice there.

        Reply
    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Bread or no bread.

      It was weird at first, but I have trained my stomach to adjust to a low carb diet.

      Reply
      1. davidgmillsatty

        That is because of your genetics. Your ancestors from eons ago were most likely from a cold and brutal climate not conducive to plant growth. Meat was likely the only reliable source of food. The idea that we can all eat the same diets is stupid from a Darwinian point of view.

        Reply
    4. kareninca

      I’ve discovered that if I eat bread or crackers I gain weight. Quickly. Even the whole grain and organic versions. I am almost the only person in my extended family who is not obese or even overweight. It is not a carb thing – I eat lots of beans and sweet potatoes and bananas and oranges, and I don’t restrict food intake. It is very strange. Maybe it is a gut bacteria thing? Of course I like bread and crackers – who doesn’t? – but it is kind of exciting to not gain weight even thought I don’t restrict food quantity intake at all (other than to wait until I’m hungry to eat).

      This is also working for my brother.

      Anyway, if you have a weight issue, try skipping the bread and crackers just to see.

      Reply
  10. skk

    Re: Google ( and Intel) suspending business with Huawei.
    And of course China retaliates.
    Time to stock up on motherboards, power supplies, gpus, solid state drives, heck even a two buck retail computer boot up speaker.

    I cd make a profit on this. Or in cannibalising my older computers for parts. Or grey markets.

    This is serious. But look on the bright side. There’s gotta be opportunities here. Amidst all the pain of shortages, inconveniences.. o wait, .. when medical equipment electronics start waiting for replacement, upgrade parts and software, real pain and suffering.

    Reply
  11. Polar Donkey

    Seattle bicycle culture. About 8 years ago, city of Memphis started putting in bike lanes on many streets. When this started, bike enthusiasts talked about the economic benefits that would come from the lanes. It was so over sold it bordered on the absurd. 8 years on, we have bike lanes all over the place. I doubt bike riding has increased 1%. Now the bike lanes are used by the scooters. The high poverty rate and racial/ economic polarization have turned bike lanes into a race/class issue. Activists in poorer minority neighborhoods are saying “screw your bike lanes.” It is a government policy almost no one asked for, shows no benefits, while other issues sit idle, yet we keep getting more.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Excuse me for asking but doesn’t it rain a lot in Seattle? If so, it would be strange to have a bicycle culture develop there then. Or am I missing something?

      Reply
      1. neo-realist

        People are health and outdoor obsessed to the max around here, even if the weather doesn’t justify it. The thing that discourages me from biking is the hilly geography and the absence of railing to protect the bike lanes, e.g., Amsterdam.

        Reply
      2. tegnost

        I bike commuted in seattle for decades, The temps are moderare, the rain, well, it’s wet, rain gear and fenders work fine. Once one learns the topography and can avoid the steep hills and learn the back routes so you don’t ride on arterials it’s a great bike city. Also the light rail is really starting to branch out and be more useful and the rapid ride buses as well as regional transport in general are great. No need for a car if you can handle some walking.

        Reply
      3. PlutoniumKun

        Weather is rarely an issue for bike culture – and other Nordic/Benelux countries generally have pretty terrible climates for cycling, but it doesn’t stop the locals from doing it.

        Reply
      4. Lepton1

        I’m in my late 60s and I bike about 5 to 8 miles a day, unless the weather is really bad. I use my bike for shopping nearby stores instead of driving. It saves a lot of gas. Also, I’ve found that after several years of near daily cycling my health really improved. I strongly recommend it. The first year or so you feel averse to going out if it is too cold. Later, you get used to it.

        Reply
    2. Plenue

      Seattle is awash in class issues as well. One of the recurring characteristics of the liberal Northwest is to constantly complain about poor and homeless people (not out of sympathy for them as victims mind, but because they’re a detriment to all the ‘worthy’ people), but never actually take any substantive steps to solving these problems.

      Reply
    3. Katy

      Minneapolis just did the same thing in a minority-majority area of the city. The two-lane roads became one-lane roads with a bike lane physically separated by posts. I don’t know whether the community members asked for that; I haven’t seen more bicycles on those roads. I’m not sure who the city was trying to cater to. The money would have been better spent on improved bus services.

      Reply
    4. BondsOfSteel

      IMHO, it’s Cascade Bike Club piece. CBC is one of the most powerful local political organizations and has been pushing bikes against cars for decades. Up until this year, they have been very successful in pushing ‘road diets’ where car lanes are removed and bike lanes added. They also push to add bike lanes on busy streets to ‘tame’ traffic… intentionally slow down traffic to make it worse so more people will consider taking bikes over cars.

      I suspect this pro-bike article is mainly to push their agenda. For the first time ever, they lost the battle for a road diet:

      Since then, the mayor changed the master road plan to drop miles of bike lanes:

      Dollars to doughnuts, this article is a puff piece pushed by CBC to make Seattle look more bike friendly this it is to get more political support. It’s timing… after the sunniest April/May in record isn’t an accident. (I do see a lot of bikes when it’s sunny… and much fewer when it’s rainy.)

      P.S. For the record, I support cars, bikes, and motorcycles.

      Reply
  12. The Rev Kev

    “Trump’s Huawei ban spooks allies, industry”

    Seems that a lot of countries are still going ahead with Huawei as they are superior to all the competition. European officials have said that the US does not have anything to compete with Huawei’s 5G mobile network nor do other countries have the capacity to ramp up with deliveries. Also, Huawei is self-sufficient in chips for handsets so Trump trying to cripple this company may not have as much effect as hoped. It seems that Trump’s attack on ZTE gave Huawei a heads-up on what to expect. More on Huawei and Europe in the following link

    What is really worrying is the damage to the US in its reputation with reliability. What I mean there have been a few examples where the Trump administration has chocked off vital gear for export or sabotaged foreign products – such as aircraft – because they contain US made components. This must make other countries nervous, especially in a just-in-time delivery system. Even Trump’s allies may not be immune to such blackmail so perhaps a long-term trend would be to cut back on US-made components due to reliability issues. This of course would not be good for the US manufacturing sector in the long term which may be a bit of an understatement.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Are Luddites for or against Europe’s 5 G rollout, or that of anywhere else for that matter?

      Reply
    2. ChristopherJ

      Hey Rev, at least soon we might be able to buy a top phone that still spies on you, but the data goes back to china instead of to the USA.

      Apple, Cisco, intel – all must be worried about potential backlash here. Still, the US has never wanted to be a the forefront when it comes to technology, so they will stumble on with inferior telecoms just to spite themselves.

      Jeez, feeling snarky this morning, eh? Still getting over the election horrors

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Agreed about the election results. I think Labour got real arrogant when they thought that they had the election tied up. Just found out yesterday about an incident during the campaign when the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, had a Hillary Clinton ‘Deplorables’ moment. Bowen’s response to questions on the impact the loss of franking credit refunds would have on retiree incomes?

        ‘If you don’t like our policies, don’t vote for us’.

        And that is exactly what they did along with everybody else effected adversely by Labour’s economic package. I heard that Bowen has thrown his hat into the new leadership tussle but he is being opposed since it was his economics package that he was pushing that lost them the election.

        Reply
        1. witters

          As I tried to point out yesterday, the ALP lost not because of what they offered, but because of what they did not. They did not and cannot separate themselves from the bipartisan elite neoliberal consensus. And they don’t want to. If you can see it in the USA, why not here?

          Reply
  13. Pookah Harvey

    Re: “Tax the wealthy and big companies for road repairs? Democrats are divided”

    The Oregon Democrat (House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio) called the idea of rolling back the Trump-backed 2017 tax cuts “a great talking point for someone who doesn’t want to do anything before the next presidential election.”

    DeFazio advocated increasing federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, which have not gone up since 1993, and looking at the possibility of taxing vehicle miles driven.

    Maybe somebody should show this guy a video of Paris from every weekend over the last few months. This idea will certainly do something before the next presidential election.

    Reply
    1. boz

      Thank you, marym. An interesting read.

      What stood out for me:

      (It should be mentioned that the nineteenth-century women’s movement also opposed abortion, having pinned its hopes on “voluntary motherhood”—the right of wives to control the frequency and timing of sex with their husbands.)

      Hurrah for agency!

      The problem as I see it comes down on both sides to dignity: pro-choice frames dignity in the mother’s right to choose whether or not to continue with a pregnancy (and not be forced). This veto holds until birth (I guess?).

      Pro-life frames dignity of the unborn having effect from conception, and therefore not to be set aside for convenience’ sake (as opposed to actual risk to the mother’s life).

      There is a whole lot more to it than that, on both sides, of course.

      I can see how both sides view the other position as ludicrous.

      That “Voluntary motherhood” requires advocating speaks volumes about attitudes towards women and sex that persist today (and have gotten worse, arguably). By this I mean objectification, rape culture and a sense of entitlement to sex – witness the ‘incels’.

      I’d be delighted to live in a society where men had the right attitude and respect for women, such that abortion was never needed.

      I wonder if the strength of feeling by liberals re abortion is driven by pessimism that such a society will ever be brought to reality?

      Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “What You Need to Know About the 2019 European Parliament Elections”

    Hadn’t realized that the elections were so close. Now this is really going to get interesting as to who gets elected. Right-wing populist are co-ordinating across several countries like Italy, France and Austria to get their people elected and over a dozen got together in Milan last weekend to present a united front. Haven’t heard much from left-wing populists as they seem to have gone missing in action. Of course Steve Bannon is on the scene.
    Probably find that the two year old Austrian scandal will be seen for what it is – a spook operation to spoil momentum with voting. Macron saying that what is needed is “more Europe” rather than less Europe is probably only helping the populist cause. Of course publications like the New York Times are throwing around accusations of Russian interference as well as anti-Semitism and anti-emmigration. Maybe the real cause of these parties popularity is the fact that Europe’s leaders just don’t listen to the concerns of Europeans and seemed determined to wipe out the concept of countries on that continent. I guess we’ll find out soon how that works out for them.

    Reply
    1. JEHR

      Yes, when the Eurozone is run by technocrats and financiers, there can be no good come out of the elections. The EU pretty much ignores the results of national elections (see Greece) and goes on its way creating a huge block of countries that are really run by two dominant members. It is scary what is happening in the EU between the rise of rightist parties and the authoritarian impulses of member states Hungary and Poland.

      Reply
  15. JEHR

    After reading the article by Henry A. Giroux, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he works at a Canadian university:

    Henry A. Giroux is University Professor for Scholarship in the Public Interest and Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He is the author of numerous books, including “America at War With Itself,” “Dangerous Thinking in the Age of the New Authoritarianism” and “American Nightmare: Facing the Challenge of Fascism.” His newest book, “The Terror of the Unforeseen,” will be published in June.

    While reading the article by him, I recalled the phrase “surveillance capitalism” which I discovered in the , a magazine published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

    Reply
    1. pjay

      I mean no offense, but I have to be honest. I’ve been reading Giroux (or trying to) for many years. I”m familiar with his work, and I know he is sincere. He has many dedicated followers who do good work. In some ways, criticizing him is like criticizing Mister Rogers. But if ‘critical pedagogy’ is meant to be a method for enhancing the critical consciousness of the masses, then I can’t think of a worse example than a Giroux article. Of course I agree with many of his comments, since his torrent of words, liberal catch-phrases, progressive enemies, and academic references often includes everything but the kitchen sink. But in recent years, when I read some of his stuff I cannot help but think of the famous Alan Sokal hoax article for Social Text. That is, his work often reads like a parody of what it advocates: critical pedagogy. Who but the choir of liberal academics or their students (past or present) could relate to these essays?

      But once again I bucked up, got another cup of coffee, and slogged through both articles hoping for some real analysis beyond the usual “fascist Trump” warning. But I was foiled again. Admittedly I could have missed something in all the righteous rhetoric. I did notice one interesting thing: among all the references to Jameson, Berger, Benjamin, Debord, Arendt, etc., Giroux mentioned Mark Fischer. I may be wrong, but I couldn’t help but think Fisher would have some problems with these essays as well.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        For some reason, I find him unreadable.

        But then, I’ve become increasingly self-indulgent about that over the years.

        Reply
      2. Tom Bradford

        Certainly hard-going with what seemed to me to be a rich vein of hysteria.

        What struck me, though, was how well much of what he described could have been said of the Medieval Catholic Church, and of Islam today.

        Reply
      3. Tomonthebeach

        Some nice quotables, but most of those 2 essays struck me as elite gibberish offering no useful ideas for how to reverse the tide of US fascism. Pedagogy would have worked had our pre-college education system not embraced emphasizing technique over substance.

        As a kid in Catholic grammar school during the early 60s, I begged and pleaded to get sent to an elite prep school downtown Chicago vs the local PS101 in Whitefliteburbia as my public school chums were way behind my 8th-grade classmates. Looking back 50 years, and seeing how my boyhood chums turned out as adults, my tantrums to get into a better high school were well worth the fuss. Most became binary thinkers of the FoxNews variety. Most had jobs; not careers. How do you change how people have been viewing the world for over half a century?

        Reply
  16. Carolinian

    The business side of Game of Thrones–no more “appointment TV”?

    And this viewer thought the finale was terrific. Benioff and Weiss haters will have future grist for their mill as show fan Bob Iger has put them in future charge of the Star Wars franchise.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      With the migration of jobs to part time and 1099 positions, how many people plan to invest in a show on a weekly basis? Basically, the CBS audience that lost their remote.

      With GoT, there are torrents, borrowing people’s HBO access, people who signed up for one month and binged, etc. I think about the relation of the loss of bowling leagues and now potentially the loss of appointment tv in relation to the cost on time and money.

      There were less options, the X-Files episode Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose in 1995 on a Friday is estimated to have been watched by 15.38 million people. The premiere of Season 8 GoT is estimated to have been watched by 17.5 million people in the U.S. Obviously, both shows were in different spots in their life, but I don’t remember much hoopla about Peter Boyle guest starring on the X-Files. Despite the X-Files serialization, monster of the week episodes didn’t require much knowledge of the show.

      My suspicion is the finale was probably heavily outlined by GRRM. Also, Pod made it!

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        The thrust of the link seems to be that streaming is now king and scheduled television including HBO’s Sunday night showcase not so much. Binge watching will replace episode to episode cliffhangers that were in the great Charles Dickens tradition. If Old Curiosity Shop were to come out today Little Nell’s fate doubtless would have been leaked on Twitter long before American audiences could wail in suspense. Indeed the final plot of G of T was leaked in advance but some of us went out of our way to avoid. It’s odd how some want to ruin the suspense and along with it their own pleasure in watching the story unfold. Shows like this are a bedtime story to entertain us, not a puzzle to be solved.

        Reply
        1. Procopius

          … Little Nell’s fate doubtless would have been leaked on Twitter …

          The equivalent here in Thailand was a novel called Four Reigns, by Kukrit Pramoj. It’s the story of the life of a woman from a well-to-do family born in the reign of King Rama V until the Revolution of 1932 and the beginning of World War II after King Rama VIII abdicated. It was first published as a serial, and as with Dickens, Kukrit was beseiged weekly by people who wanted to know what was going to happen to their favorite character. He usually had to reply that he didn’t know, because he hadn’t written it yet and they would have to wait, just like him.

          Reply
    2. JDM

      Books were still better,…. well except for the part that Martin didn’t get around to finishing them. :-(

      Reply
  17. Roger Smith

    If we don’t have bad schools anymore, how will we know which ones are the best so we can donate to them???

    Reply
  18. JBird4049

    Fire danger could force SF blackout, PG&E says San Francisco Chronicle

    So PG&E might have to make a city of over 800,000 go dark because it cannot do what it used to be able to do for the past century. But of course they can’t. Because reasons?

    So why aren’t those executives in prison along with the Boeing, AGI, Chase Manhattan, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, the Sackler Family, and others? (Laughs bitterly.)

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      The trickiest thing would be stoplights and gas stations being powerless, I wonder how they’re going to handle that. You take away either, and there’s a bit of bedlam for the bay area.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Would be an excellent earthquake drill. The ’89 Loma Prieta Earthquake knocked out power for around two days as I recall.

        Reply
      2. Procopius

        Used to be stop lights were uncommon in California. You have to remember the Rule of Right of Way, yield to the car approaching from your right. It actually works very well when people are used to it. If you’re approaching an intersection and there’s a car coming toward your right-hand side, you have to stop and wait for them to proceed. Otherwise you go.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          There’s a bizarre five-way intersection in Cuernavaca, near where we used to stay. No signals – people got through it very efficiently, just on eye .

          But there are a lot of accidents in Mexico. Just not at that intersection, that we saw.

          Reply
    2. Lepton1

      Probably many reasons.

      “used to be able to do for the past century”

      I suppose a century ago the state was not criss-crossed by high power electric lines. With population growth there are many more such lines.

      The climate has changed to make the summer and fall dryer and windier which greatly raises the chance of generating sparks and then those sparks starting a fire.

      They probably should have been more aggressive about trimming back vegetation near their wires. I don’t know how big a job that is.

      Reply
  19. John Beech

    The U.S. Has a Fleet of 300 Electric Buses. China Has 421,000 Bloomberg (david l)

    China . . . is a LOT more poor than the USA.
    Second, they import oil thus their command economy does this as a strategic imperative.
    Third, knowledge and experienced gained becomes of increasingly important strategic value.

    . . . I could go on but think; can doing everything toward an electric infrastructure ranging from windmills to hydro, nuclear to solar be a bad thing for a government when combined with their grip on rare earth metals?

    Fortunately, while they’re a formidable competitor, they’re not ten feet tall. Bemoaning the fact of the pace of transformation in the USA is about as effective as peeing into a hurricane. The fossil fuel economy is going to transform at the most capital efficient pace possible and little people like me yapping about it amongst others means nothing because we need political consensus amongst millions while they only need it amongst hundreds.

    And not to put too fine a point on it but we have our own version of the hundreds who at least work to cajole ‘we the people’ in the direction they want to go versus creating 1984. Me? I’m glad we don’t have a command economy because it that event even more little people would become the grease on the working face of the gears.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Are there still bicyclists around the Tiananmen Square?

      Weren’t there way, way more Flying Pigeon bicycles than buses (electric or otherside) way back then?

      Biking comrades at that time didn’t have to wonder about the sources (coal, nuclear, etc) of the electricity of the buses.

      Reply
      1. Janie

        Still no traffic allowed when I was there, so it’s bicycles or shank’s mare. It was soy, an overweight fair-skinned American had a heat stroke. Police were very concerned and attentive and littered her out.

        Reply
  20. prx

    Is there a material difference between the food co-op outlined in the Guardian article and the Park Slope or 4th Street co-ops in Brooklyn and Manhattan?

    Reply
  21. Wukchumni

    She served an $8 school lunch to a teen who couldn’t pay. Then she was fired — for ‘theft’. WaPo
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

    …there is no free lunch

    You have the right to not serve, anything you served can be used against you in court…

    Reply
  22. Bugs Bunny

    Jerri-Lynn, many thanks for the Calcutta and Shah Jahan links.

    You always post great India topics and I especially appreciate food-related links :) The Calcutta story was very poignant and captures much of what I’ve seen over the past 25 years of visiting (mostly South) India.

    Now I have to pick up some ingredients to make that lamb-stuffed chicken recipe! Mmm!

    Reply
    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Glad you enjoyed the links. The recipes look great – I’m going to buy the book. Looks like it combines history and interesting recipes.

      Reply
      1. Bugs Bunny

        I’ll pick it up when I’m next in Delhi. Hopefully in October…

        Another great aspect of India – the bookshops. Some of the best in the world.

        Reply
  23. Oregoncharles

    ” fathers who participate more actively in childcare are less inclined to have more children, likely because they’re more aware of how much work is involved”

    Well, yes. But it raises another question: why is such a fundamental activity such an overwhelming amount of work? Seems like “modern conveniences” would make it easier, not harder. But it appears from ethnographies of more “primitive” cultures that child rearing was just part of the work flow – and people generally had far more leisure (which may have been a big factor in itself).

    This may be an example of Parkinson’ Law: work expands to fill the time available. But there are other factors. One is that in primitive societies, all children are “free range” – they run in packs, and generally can call on most any adult if they need help, or food. The camps or villages are very intimate, and mostly relatives. They also are expected to work, so far as they are able. Children are very clever at catching small animals or finding edible plants. Also, some of the practical arrangements may be more efficient than, say, diapers, which create a great deal of work. And nursing is far more convenient, if mom is available, than packing bottles.

    The truth is that civilized people work far more than primitives – a term I do not consider pejorative. This article belongs with the one about the disadvantages of “convenience.” It leads to one of my themes: was civilization a good idea? Considering that it has laid waste to the Earth, maybe not.

    Reply
  24. cripes

    For those fortunate to be spared today’s televised Diversity Charade of mayor lori lightfoot’s “first” *black* *female* *lesbian* *historic* *etc* inauguration in Chicago, I can report that the ebbing tide of obamaism and the rising tide of anyone but incumbant-ism exemplified by trump’s false populism has swept another corporate lawyer, law and order, false progressive into office.

    Democratic primary voters who choose from the slate of demo-crats allowed them voted against Rahm, and against Preckwinkle giving the unknown Lightfoot a stunning 73%. The accidental mayor with the deer-in-the-headlights stare rode in on a tide of disgust, corporate cash and her own obscurity.

    At least the grassroots LBGTQ have voiced their opposition to this “wolf in sheep’s clothing”

    Where is Adolph Reed when we need him?

    Reply
  25. djrichard

    ‘They Were Conned’: How Reckless Loans Devastated a Generation of Taxi Drivers NYT

    From the article,

    “They didn’t have 750 credit scores, let’s just say,” he said. “A lot of them had just come into the country. A lot of them just had no idea what they were signing.”

    This I think is the more valuable dimension to immigration that I think many are missing. Basically a target rich market for banks: new rubes with no existing debt in US dollars. Sure their income levels are low, but compared to existing rubes in the US being at their max debt load, this is an easy problem to solve.

    Not all that different than new college students being a target rich environment as new rubes with no existing debt in US dollars. Of course there the Fed Gov seems to have “crowded out” the private sector in being a purveyor of debt to the marketplace. If I were in the private sector lending business I would be taking great umbrage at this. After all, how are banks going to do God’s work of finding new markets for Federal Reserve liquidity if the Fed Gov is crowding them out?

    Reply
  26. BDBlue

    I think it’s important to note that we are not headed towards a pre-Roe America. The kinds of abortion restrictions in the Georgia law, for example, have never been the law of the U.S. See this helpful thread –

    To clarify this, because I think a lot of people have misunderstood: What I'm saying here is that the Georgia law is NOT an overturn of "Roe v. Wade." We're not headed back to pre-"Roe" days. We're headed for something much worse. — David Walsh (@DavidAstinWalsh)

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      The biggest difference is that the more advanced states in the North and West would retain the laws they have, so it would be legal in most of the country. That’s the reason for the provision in the Georgia law criminalizing going out of state for an abortion (probably unconstitutional in its own right).

      One effect of these draconian laws will be that a lot of people move out. Short run, that’s likely to make Georgia et al even worse places to live. And increase the pressure on places like Oregon.

      Reply
  27. Procopius

    I haven’t looked at the other comments yet, so somebody else may have already posted this. Over at The Rude Pundit, the Pundit points out that . I’m so embarrassed. It seems so obvious once it’s pointed out, and I never recognized it at all. From the 16th but still must-read.

    Reply
    1. VietnamVet

      The denial by the elites and Democrats while raking in the money is enormous. The destruction of the working middle class is forcing people back to their tribal beliefs to avoid fatal despair. The new variants of religion are in most cases are much more extreme than in the good old days. The rise of ISIS in Syria/Iraq was caused by the similar overthrow and loss of power/livelihood. Unless the middle class is reconstituted with government and private sector jobs that can support a family, this is not turning out well.

      Reply

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