Links 12/4/17

December 4, 2017

The Parrotfish Bite, Greedy Slugs, Lefty Whales and Other Amazing Animals The Wire

Opossum breaks into liquor store, gets drunk as a skunk Now, who can resist such a headline. Not me!

‘Croydon cat killer’ linked to hundreds of deaths as five more animals discovered decapitated Independent

How Zarafa, France’s First Giraffe, Became a Cultural Sensation Hyperallergic

Pontiac Silverdome stadium fails to implode near Detroit BBC. Oops. (Includes video.)

How Cash-Strapped Chicago Snagged a Triple-A Rating for Its New Bonds WSJ

Class Warfare

Living in cars, working for Amazon: meet America’s new nomads Guardian

Mr.Money Mustache, UBER Driver Mr. Money Mustache. Worth reading for its first-person analysis of how driving for Uber makes no economic sense for drivers (if one can see past the reflexive cheerleading for “disruption”.)

UK government warned over sharp rise in child and pensioner poverty Guardian

Amazon bosses try to raise morale by giving exhausted staff two 7p chocolates each after shocking working conditions were exposed Daily Mirror. Allrighty then!

Smoked pot and want to enlist? Army issuing more waivers Fox News. This is good news– I think?

NYC Private School Hosts Homeless Shelter With a Touch of Class WSJ

Judge dread TLS There can not be too many reminders of how abysmal the US criminal justice system is– particularly for the poor.

Kill Me Now

Clinton Should Run for Cotton’s Senate Seat Politico. Help me. Is this a legit Chelsea trial balloon? Her demand for her close-up? How many stakes do we need to put into this political vampire? At the risk of belaboring the obvious, the Dems are not going to be able to capitalize on the tremendous political opportunities unfolding– nor win again– until they move past Clinton fantasies (whether they center on the Big Dog, HRC, or Chelsea). How about a politics for 2017 and not some ‘90s redux fantasy? Or Bush dynasty remake: especially as we all know how that turned out. Junior wasn’t exactly a chip off the old block– and IMHO was a far worse president.

Is Hillary Clinton The Smurfgoat Of Our Time? Bourgeois Alien. UserFriendly: “rofl.” Moi: Another winner from UserFriendly! Keep those links and comments coming, dear readers. If we forget how to laugh, there’s no escaping the nightmare in which we’re currently trapped.

The Cost of Devaluing Women NYT. Sane and sensible commentary on sexual harassment in the NYT? I’m shocked!

MSNBC Host Joy Reid Wrote Numerous Anti-Gay Articles on Her Old Blog Mediaite (UserFriendly)

Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations NYT.

Medical Care

Edith+Eddie: A Story of Love and Elder Abuse in the US Al Jazeera

Apple wants to know your heart rate. For science. WaPo. Am I alone in spotting the potential for grifting this opens up? Not to mention another problem: allowing a company that’s just disclosed embarassing software security flaws to collect confidential medical information.

How Cashews Explain Globalization WSJ

Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues Scientific American. And yet we continue to throw food waste into landfills– or devise high-tech solutions to burn it to replace fossil fuels– rather than making composting a national (global?) priority.

Soil Power! The Dirty Way to a Green Planet NYT

Financial markets could be over-heating, warns central bank body Guardian


Beijing’s bitcoin ban ‘helped China dodge a scary cryptocurrency bubble SCMP

Americans Are Receiving Unordered Parcels From Chinese E-Criminals — And Can’t Do Anything To Stop Them Forbes

Venezuela to launch cryptocurrency to combat US ‘blockade’, Maduro says Guardian. UserFriendly. “dear god.”

Sports Desk

Trump, Christie Square Off Over High-Stakes Gambling American Conservative

Ravens, NFL scramble as fans stay home Baltimore Sun

Net Neutrality

FCC’s net neutrality repeal sparks backlash The Hill. Hands off my internet!

Ex-NSA Hackers Worry China And Russia Will Try to Arrest Them Motherboard. The deck: The US government has been indicting foreign government hackers, and American government hackers are worried China and Russia might start doing the same to them.

The Electronic Computers, Part 4: The Electronic Revolution Creatures of Thought


Second Brexit referendum has 16-point lead as half of Britons back new vote, opinion poll show Independent

Brexit: everybody gets a prize

Imperial Collapse Watch


John Lehman: China, Russia, Iran threaten ‘New Pearl Harbor’ Asia Times Some sensible analysis here– e.g, US procurement system broken, and I might add corrupted by grifting– if one can see beyond the hysterical headline, among other flaws.

13 GIFTS FOR THE SMART-HOME OWNER Wired. None of these is quite as ridiculous as the smart condom I included in Links last week. I encourage readers to spot obvious problems with these boffo holiday gift suggestions.

Trump Transition:

Congress faces frantic week with possible shutdown, taxes, Russia Politico. Fasten your seatbealts! It’s going to be a bumpy week.

Billy Bush: Yes, Donald Trump, You Said That NYT

Trump moves to block Romney from the Senate Politico. Another scion whose time has come– and passed.

Trump tweets about Russia probe spark warnings from lawmakers Reuters

Trump Finds Loopholes in Chief of Staff’s New Regime WSJ. In other words, Trump finds ways to be Trump– is anyone at all surprised by that? He is the President, after all, and the chief of staff works for him, after all. Interesting detail re Melania’s role– I always suspected there’s much more to her than playing the bland arm candy role she’s been assigned by the MSM.

Treasury Department To Investigate If Treasury Secretary Is A Liar Or An Incompetent Dealbreaker


White House paranoid: ‘Everyone thinks they’re being recorded’ Politico. I wouldn’t call this paranoid, more a rational assessment of reality.

Tax “Reform”

Despite lawmakers’ warnings, few Iowa farmers face estate tax Des Moines Register. UserFriendly: “Great Grassley quote.” Moi: So, those who spend on wine, women, and booze: does that make them deplorables? All sarc aside, this is an important piece, as it debunks the popular Republican talking point that the estate tax threatens family farms.

How Not to Debate the Tax Plan Jacobin

‘This is class warfare’: Tax vote sparks political brawl over populism that will carry into 2018 elections WaPo (UserFriendly). And it certainly should, unless– and this is a very big ask– the Democrats avoid scoring an own goal, for which they’ve displayed ample talent throughout most of the period I’ve been seriously watching American politics.

Disastrous Republican Tax Plan Is Only the First Step in Long-Term Effort to Cut Social Security and Medicare, Exacerbating Inequality AlterNet. I thought about crossposting this, but for a huge analytical gap: author Steven Rosenfeld’s failure to mention that the last two Democratic presidents were each themselves poised to gut Social Security. Don’t get me wrong, we need to worry about this threat, but cannot afford to assume blindly that Democrats are reliable on this issue.


White House May Share Nuclear Power Technology With Saudi Arabia ProPublica

Will the GCC summit resolve the ongoing crisis? Al Jazeera

Puerto Rico

Sonnen, Pura Energía build solar systems in Puerto Rico as utility woes continue Ars Technica

Fake News

Reality Check: Who’s buying the Putin calendar? BBC. Regardless of whether the sales figures are fake news or not, some of these pictures are priceless. Where can I get a copy?

ACCC to probe Facebook, Google over media disruption. Sydney Morning Herald. Inquiry to examine much more than alleged fake news, but I decided to file this here so it wouldn’t get lost among other links.


Cricket in the time of smog: Should Delhi be struck off the international venues list?
Beijing’s not alone in having massive air quality problems. Pity Kohli failed to score a triple ton. And see this: Smog kills thousands in England This Day in History

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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