New Study Finds Humans Shouldn’t Spend More Than 5 Consecutive Hours Together Onion (David L)
Dog elected mayor in Cormorant, Minnesota abc7chicago (furzy mouse). Maybe a third party should run a dog for President…
SeaWorld earnings, stocks plunge as animal welfare debate rages Christian Science Monitor (furzy mouse)
Geneticists decry book on race and evolution Science. Nikki: “So much for the NYT’s Nicholas Wade…”
Global Warming is increasing moisture in Earth’s atmosphere driving Mother of all Feedback Loops Daily Kos
California Moves Toward Historic Statewide Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags EcoWatch
You Are Not Nearly Scared Enough About Ebola Foreign Policy (David L)
Enugu, Nigeria News: Ebola Virus Spreads From Lagos to Enugu, 21 Quarantined Epoch Times
Ebola “moving faster” than MSF can handle Channel News Asia
I love math and I hate the Fields Medal Cathy O’Neil
The Internet’s Original Sin Atlantic (David L)
Apple Adds China Telecom to Host User Data Amid Security Concern Bloomberg
Has China Lost Its Magic Wand? Bloomberg
Prayuth urges businesses to do more to help poor The Nation (Thailand)
The tax haven in the heart of Britain New Statesman (Eric). If you have not read Nicholas Shaxson’s Treasure Islands, you must read this.
Argentina flings “terrorism” charge into bust up with creditors Financial Times
Russia launches China UnionPay credit card RT
Fears grow over Jerusalem unrest Financial Times
Ireland’s biggest food retailer drops Israeli produce as European boycotts surge Electronic Intifada (Ti F)
Obama to travel to Estonia to meet with Baltic leaders on Ukraine McClatchy
Ukraine, war, and sovereign default FT Alphaville
Eastern Europe: Don’t Sanction Putin Bloomberg
Ukraine Says It Destroyed Part of Armed Convoy From Russia Bloomberg
The Mystery of the Malaysian Airlines Crash Over Ukraine Truthout (Miguel)
Sunni tribal leaders offer to battle Islamic State if Baghdad makes concessions McClatchy
PKK ‘terrorists’ crucial to Isis fight Financial Times
ISIS tentacles reach toward China Asia Times
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
Turnabout’s fair play? Germany intercepts Hillary Clinton phone call RT (Nikki)
Questioning Ed Snowden’s Cure-All CounterPunch
Schrodinger’s Cat Video and the Death of Clear-Text Citizens Lab
Impact(s) of the Boehner Lawsuit on the Separation of Powers in National Security Just Security
GOP says Obama health official instructed staff to delete email The Hill (furzy mouse)
Obamacare premiums mask the real cost of Affordable Care Act coverage: Analysis Cleveland Plain Dealer. I keep being flummoxed about how so few of these “analyses” look at the impat of high deductibles
Dishing More Dirt About the Medicare Drug Program Patient Safety
Huge Price Differences in Blood Tests Is Another Reminder Our Health Care System Sucks Jon Walker, Firedoglake
Rick Perry indicted for alleged abuse of power for veto threat The Hill
Chris Christie’s Political Team Was In Direct Contact With Pension Overseer During Campaign David Sirota, IBT
Detroit City Council approves bonds to pay bankruptcy settlements Reuters (EM)
The other Texas border deployment: doctors, dentists, opticians Reuters (EM)
Michael Brown Killing: Police in Ferguson Fire Tear Gas Amid Looting NBC
Cops Gone Wild Paul Craig Roberts (Brendan)
Michael Brown’s killer identified Daily Kos
Police: Officer Wasn’t Aware Michael Brown Was Suspect in Alleged Robbery Wall Street Journal
Timeline: Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo. USA Today
‘I just saw someone die’: Rapper live-tweets Michael Brown shooting and shares graphic photo of teen’s body in the street as victim’s family accuse Ferguson police of character assassination Daily Mail
Late release of information risks further distrust in Ferguson, Mo. USA Today
The REAL ISSUE Behind the Ferguson, Missouri Police Response George Washington
After Ferguson Congressman Hank Johnson Proposes Bill To Stop Militarizing Police
6 Good Reasons a Black Person Might Resist Arrest Mother Jones
No, it isn’t only libertarians who care about civil liberties Digsby. Lambert: “See last para. So if there are more, how come the have no power in their party?”
Fears of Renewed Instability as Fed Ends Stimulus New York Times
US Treasury bears face irresistible force Financial Times
Traders Profit as Power Grid Is Overworked New York Times. Fred aA: “Feature not a bug.”
Secular stagnation: Facts, causes, and cures – a new Vox eBook VoxEU (Michael W)
The Real Fiscal Responsibility Talk Show Pilot Project New Economic Perspectives. Please support this important project!
Do People Really Dislike the State So Much? Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson
Bain and Blackstone’s Recent IPO for Michael’s Stores CEPR. Not only do private equity general partners cut headcount (a very large scale study confirmed the obvious), but as this case shows, they often fail to meet stock market returns. And the assumptions here are favorable to the investors.
In the sharing economy, are workers employees or independent contractors? Boston Globe
Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):
WKPD: The under 40 rule is based on Fields’ desire that “while it was in recognition of work already done, it was at the same time intended to be an encouragement for further achievement on the part of the recipients and a stimulus to renewed effort on the part of others.”
In other words, 40 was just a number plucked from thin air by someone or other but certainly not Fields. How unmathematical. More like Climate Science, really.
is there a mathematical problem with climate science?
there’s too much of it! That’s kind of a math problem. What happens to math when you have too many numbers?
They can call it the “Potters Field” medal for people over 40. bowhahahahahahah. sorry I’m over 40 but I still think like an 8 year old.
Somebody went Link crazy this morning. That’s too much bad news in one place. Could things really be that bad? Maybe, yes. But it depends on how sensitive you are.
It is a shame the mathematicians are out skimming electricity markets. See that’s the thing. They get together for pizza parties and good fellowship then they go out and rip people off. Why do they do that? Well, not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts. So said Einstein anyway. You can’t teach that in a school. But It wouldn’t be so bad if they could only skim up to a certain point of profits, that would work actually and they could still have their pizza and coke and you could still hedge your congestion. How much money does any one person need before it ruins the party for everybody else?
Confusing math for psychology is a problem for some…
Usually Boyle’s Law rules and the math dudes are all out having a gas. Then for some weird reason all at once they realize they are screwing each other. Then they self compress into the Federal Reserve shelter and refuse to leave until they get enough pizza to go out into that dangerous environment again. But they always do, given enough pizza.
yeah CB it’s amazing now with 3D printers just about anybody could make their own medal out of whatever pellets they feed into those things and give it to themselves no matter how old they are. They could pin it up on the refrigerator and see it every time they reached for a beer. Why worry about other medals when you’ve got your own medal machine?? It doesn’t make any sense at all anymore. It might have years ago when only a person with experience could make a medal, but now, it’s a field (no pun intended) for Do-It-Yourselfers to have a field day (sorry).
By the way, I finally got some good advice here on NC. I just got $400 worth of tailoring done so I don’t look like a clown when I get dressed. I’ve got to upgrade “the look” from Men’s Wearhouse hefty trash bag to something a man can style in down Third Avenue in New Yawk and have the papparaazi wonder if they should’ve set up in a discrete position with a long lens. It’s actually kind of creative. All hell could break loose but I was stylish once before, then I hit a long stretch of vagabond years, you know how that is. Things go around and come around and if you make it through stil standing you can take a deep breath and say “No more fkkking around.” I’ll print up a medal if it works and hang it on the fridge, just to crack myself up.
Didn’t occur to me to make a medal on a 3D printer…but sure, why not? You can by cheap plastic ones from China too and shipping is only $1.00. Sometimes free.
That’s how I buy my electronic parts now. Just order on Ebay and shipping is usually included or a $1.00. One time I ordered a 99 cent item, shipping included, as a standalone order. The friggin’ thing actually showed up in my mailbox 2 weeks later!!!
Radio Shack is toast. I needed 6 small ceramic noise filter caps one time and priced it at Radio Shack. $1.20 ea. Yikes. Bought from Thailand – 30 pcs for $1.50, shipping included, and had them in 8 days!
I’ll try and support American retail some other way. Food would be good.
But yeah, I think you New Yawkers are under way too much peer pressure when it come to clothing. I spend half my time in gym shorts, and when I want to get dressed up I have a nice selection of golf shirts and shorts. Got ’em at Ross and some even have Nike Swooshes on them. Nike Swooshes are considered stylish around here.
Meteorolgy and climate science is heavily based on modeling. Which means large amounts of very complicated math. And with math, as long as you don’t make an error, you should get the same answer everytime you imput the same data. Not a lot of subjective results.
If someone “plucked a number from thin air,” it wouldn’t be science, at all.
If someone “plucked a number from thin air,” it wouldn’t be science, at all.
Do you have examples of peer reviewed scientists doing this without accounting for, or at least, notating, the imprecision?
Do you think “Climate Science” is a huge scam?
There is a mathematical reasoning about confidence intervals. When you form an equation that includes variables that have been observed and measured, like temperature or pressure, for each variable in your equation you have to round the end result of your equation one decimal place to the left. So, when several variables are involved, you end up rounding to a result that is meaningless. If the results have not been thus rounded, the numbers represent false precision. I’m not a chemistry teacher, but at least I remember all that, and it seems to me it’s the main problem with climate science: there are too many variables in play for calculations to have much precision, so models based on measurements may yield accurate results only a small proportion of the time.
and yet physicists and chemists don’t have a problem with climatology.
I knew a PhD chemist who was a county commissioner once. He devised a plan for calculating his own pay increases. He took the average of all the superior court judges in the state, plus the average of all the county sheriffs, and the clerks, assessors, etc., then divided by the number of groups and multiplied by some percentage. He then said this proved what his pay should be right to the penny. I pointed out at a meeting that his math had no validity. The commission passed his pay plan anyway, then six months later the commissioners suddenly got, surprise, a 50 percent pay raise automatically.
Except you have misapprehended the entire process of climatological research and scientific inquiry that has yielded the present consensus. We have over a century of observations of temperature in the air and water. Added to this are millenia of proxy data about temperature and rainfall. This yields the much maligned hockey stick diagram of Dr. Mann. The most reliable instrumental measurements in the whole sequence of numbers are the satellite derived measurements of a skyrocketing atmospheric temperature regime-yet this is the part most opponents contest, instead of the climate proxy data for the last 350,000 years based on tree rings, oxygen isotopes, ice cores, lake cores and so on that are not only imprecise but depend on inferences that may not hold up.
The reality is that we are augmenting an already warming climate by adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere; pretending this is untrue or attempting to handwave it off or rationalize the facts have no effect on what is happening right now. Further, scientific biases lean towards the conservative and the gradualist; the possibility of catastrophic or sudden changes are usually discounted or ridiculed. So we may indeed be in far deeper trouble than even the IPCC or the most hair on fire climate advocates can comprehend.
Satellites can’t measure the temperature of the atmosphere. People who use the data, which consists of measurements of “radiances” in the infrared and microwave bands, infer temperatures by comparing datasets generated by weather balloons to the satellite data. Different groups of scientists looking at the same data have drawn different conclusions. None of the conclusions show skyrocketing atmospheric temperature, rather they show small changes where the troposphere may be a tenth of one degree celcius warmer versus the stratosphere being maybe three tenths of one degree celcius cooler over a decade. Maybe, because given the type of data and instruments, calculating the margin of error may be impossible. Further, the instruments on the satellites degrade and change the results given over time. It looks to me that the satellites can actually predict the emergence of El Nino, because radiances from the ocean surface show it as a picture and you can actually see it. I would say the last great improvement in weather prediction was Doppler Radar. Now my local station can predict when it will start snowing within a 15 minute time frame at least 2 hours in advance. That surprising accuracy may have something to do with believing that satellites must be the sine qua non for climate forecasting. I think some people place inordinate trust in technologies, before they have been proven, because they mistake sophistication for efficacy.
It has been a long time, but I used to work at atmospheric modeling and weather prediction. The equations of motion are complex but well defined. Ignoring the non-linearity of these equations, the methodology of testing a model is based on using historical data to see if conditions developed as expected. The problem as I see it is that the implicit assumption is that the past is a valid predictor of the future. If the rate of change exceeds the historical rate then the model will always underestimate the future conditions.
God, no, this is totally wrong. You never do it that way.
For rough estimates, the precision of your result given as a percentage of the true value is the same as the precision of the least precise input term.
For better estimates, you look at the extreme cases for your inputs, and then look at the most extreme resulting outputs. Your precision may be worse than your rough estimate tells you, but it will rarely be much worse. Typically subtraction is your most treacherous operation, for the difference of two nearly equal values can be closer to zero than your input errors–and while you can be sure you are absolutely near zero, if you then multiply this by something else, you may have a much higher proportional error (percentage of true value, that is, fewer significant digits) than you might expect.
It would be very, very hard to lose one significant digit with each calculation.
You may successively lose significant digits over long calculations.
Having this in hand is something you do before you publish.
To claim they have no significant digits is to claim they did their arithmetic wrong. Well, did they? This is something that can be determined decisively and publicly. It is not a matter of opinion.
No, that is not at all the way numerical modeling works. Modeling here means the governing equations are too complex to solve exactly – true of pretty much any real-world complex system. So one needs to first make massive simplifications to the mathematical equations – here, the equations of fluids (air and oceans), their interactions with each other, and multiphase atmospheric/oceanic/geologic chemistry. Even with the world’s most powerful supercomputers at one’s disposal, one ends up with a cartoon of the real system which one hopes captures the really important stuff. One then needs to solve the cartoon equations on a finite grid of datapoints (or volume elements) which is much too coarse to come close to capturing small-scale effects like turbulence, details of landforms and particulates, so one has to model the small-scale effects again (The very august field of “turbulence modeling” is just one of the smaller-scale effects that get replaced by crude fudges here).
One then models some initial state which one hopes is not completely off (“data from every weather station & satellite on earth” and an ever-expanding grid of such measurements is the aim here), and marches the resulting cartoon^n forward in time – again in discrete (and currently quite large) time steps which necessarily ignore fast-dynamics, otherwise the computation would take hopelessly long.
Oh, and did I mention chaos? That means that no matter how accurately one can do all of this, given a long enough time evolution, any tiny error/discrepancy in the initial data (and due to the finite-grid discretization errors, and due to the inevitable roundoff errors in the computation, &c) will amplify – the so-called “butterfly effect”.
Which is not to say that the climate modelers are not doing fine work – but they persistently underplay the above limitations of their models, are prone to “convergent assumption” biases, and likely drastically underestimate the “error bars” in their results. I can understand why they feel pressured to do this – they are facing a well-funded denial lobby which has the luxury of having to do 0 productive work of its own, and which is paid to seize on any sign of non-consensus as “proof that this is all BS.”
But that does not change the fact that the modeling is a mathematical sausage factory.
Still better than economics, though – at least climate modeling starts with something approaching rigor (conservation laws of physics and chemistry captured in mathematical form, e.g. the coupled nonlinear systems of partial differential equations governing the spatiotemporal evolution of a fluid medium), economics lacks even that kind of “we know these equations govern the phenomena we wish to study but they are massively complex, so now we need to approximate, simplify and numerically model them on some suitable kind of discrete computational mesh” basis.
There’s an everything problem with Climate Science.
Well, yes, in the sense that climate affects every aspect of our lives. The progressive warming of the Earth’s climate, along with the continuing growth of the world’s human population, are the giant problems of our time. Everything is worsened by these problems. So yes, “everything problem” is a good summary.
Interesting point. Please, elaborate.
The age for the Fields should be 42 since Doug Adams declared that to be the secret to the universe, don’t ya know.
On maths types becoming dirty capitalists – who would rather get a PhD in math then scrounge for a highly elusive teaching/research job – or make gazillions on Wall Street figuring out new ways to do high frequency trading or creating new derivatives, i.e., screwing investors?
“the German officials deny systematic spying on the United States”: it’s unusual of Germans to do things unsystematically.
I suspect that’s how Germans smile sweetly and ask coyly, “Now why would I do a thing like that?”
Re California and plastic bags: good. They’re banned in most of the Bay Area, and so far as I can tell, economic activity continues unabated.
Re Jeremy Stein and normalizing Fed policy. “Financial markets are fairly fragile.” Oh, my sides! We’ve been hearing that crock of sh*t for 6 years as the S&P has tripled and yields on junk went through the floor. If markets aren’t rocketing up, they are “fragile”. Talk about intellectual capture. What clowns!
Banning plastic bags is just another “feel good law”. Grocery bags are not “single use bags”! We use them to line our indoor garbage cans, as lunch bags, for kitty poop, etc. Now we have to go to Costco to buy bags for the garbage but they don’t work very well for kitty poop.
I remember reading that this was a project for a young NGO woman. What is does for most people is cause them to buy the large corporations expensive plastic bags. One of the most disgusting commercials, is Glad or Hefty or whoever touting there bags covering Mt. Rainer to show they are saving the environment.
As one who grew up in Oregon where there is hardly any trash, the issue isn’t the plastic bags. It is the Californians and New Yorkers who are PIGS. Having run a weekender work furlough cleanup program for about 10 years, bags aren’t the problem; inconsiderate, slovenly, people are the problem.
Well, I spend time in NYC and SF, and I can tell you that in SF, 1) if you don’t bring your own bag, you pay for one, and 2) that bag is paper. We (like most in SF) always bring reusable bags. We compost all organic food leftovers. If we use one kitchen-sized plastic bag a month, for what is neither recyclable nor compostable, that’s a lot… SF is way ahead of NYC on this. And I don’t think it’s all “feel-good”.
After working outside all day, I was curious what people thought.
In El Cerrito, we have our own recycling center that we pay for through our garbage fees. Almost everything is recycled – cardboard, paper, plastic bottles, plastic and glass bottles, white styrofoam, sheet plastics, “single use” plastic bags; almost anything that has a market. My excess plastic bags get bagged in one bag an recycled. Green trimmings (redwood & ivy & weeds) go in the green bin. Food waste goes into our compost bin, which needs to be worked over because it looks like the d*mn gophers have gotten into it again.
Mandating recyclable plastic bags would be good because over time they would break down and produce methane in the landfill. Electric utilities would buy the methane to generate electricity!
If there weren’t groups, such as Green Action, that oppose pyrolysis (where waste is broken into molecules that form a synthetic gas that can be used to generate electricity), anything that isn’t recycled can be converted into energy. This process is used in Japan and Europe but the US sticks to landfills and the fairy tale that EVERYTHING can be recycled.
The people I see who manage to bring a pile of cloth bags to shop are the well-organized upper middle class folks who then save a bit of money. The people I see who can’t manage to do so, and so are stuck paying for the lousy paper bags that are then sold to them, are the moms with the kids in tow; the confused not-so-bright, the tired and sick looking.
We reused every single plastic bag we got, as trash bags, like heresy 101 says; until this law I never had to buy plastic trash bags: now I do. The poor people I know collected them and used them for stuff (they are even now still eking out their old supplies). I have a friend who just used them in a major way to move from one rented room to another.
wow, really? well-organized upper middle, who only want to save a few cents, only? I’m sure some of those exist, but I know a number of low income (including myself) and low-middle and middle but very aware of the destruction of the environment and refuse to play a part when it’s really quite easy (if, gosh, so inconvenient for us!) to bring your own bags or if you forget, load up the shopping cart and bring it out to the car…it is one thing they can do.
What bothers me (OK, one thing) are the “environmentalists” I know who are environmentalists when convenient. Hypocrites. If we all really tried our best to minimize our impact within our means, even if to only makes a statement…
my feeling is too many don’t give a sh*t and don’t want to bother being bothered by it.
Yes, yes, of course I know the demographic you are talking about, trish. You and MikeNY. There are different ways of being poor. What you’re describing you’d find in Oakland and Berkeley. Here in Silicon Valley the poor people are hanging on by their fingernails, living in their cars; if they are immigrants living many to a room. What is manageable for the educated poor with social capital can be just one more source of expense and misery for someone who can’t manage it. I expect as the country gets poorer, that fewer people will be able to “manage it.”
If I thought it made a big environmental difference that might help my opinion of the law, but I don’t. We have unbelievably poor air quality around here – really health destroying, especially for kids and the elderly – and people are focusing on bags. About eight months ago there was a big refinery fire nearby; the air all through the Valley was acrid; you could see the smoke hovering here, fifteen miles away; people literally got seriously sick from it – but no outcry. Then it happened again a month later. Still no outcry. But bags, well they are tangible.
Anyway, we are in agreement re hypocrisy. Most of the “liberals” I know drive SUVs. I have a friend who has told me that she “always votes for whoever will raise taxes, because taxes are how you get things done” (yes, I have all sorts of friends). Her SUV is the size of a Mack truck. Not that the conservatives are less hypocritical.
I don’t understand why biodegradable plastic bags aren’t required by law. It’s not the plastic bags as such which are the environmental problem, it’s the fact that the standard supermarket plastic bag is nearly immortal. Make them all biodegradable and the problem goes away. Then I can go back to using the supermarket bags for garbage, like Heresy101 and Kareninka.
I don’t know why we can’t just ban disposable grocery bags and people will eventually grow accustomed to bringing their own bags or box or basket or other non-disposable receptacle to carry their purchases home.
Okay, we ban them. Totally, you’re shot on sight if you even ask for one. What if someone forgets to bring them? Does Mom have to go home with no groceries, with hungry kids? Does Gramps have to carry all his meds in his rickety hands?
Seriously, there are so many things wrong in this world. So many of them are illegal already, but they happen anyway; funny how that is. One more law, and then another law, and another law, nice and distracting while the psychopathic elite grind us down for their pleasure. While the actual criminals keep literally raping and robbing. Really I’m in favor of needed environmental regulations, but some of this stuff is just self-righteous attempts to control other people. Like trying to turn the whole world into a kindergarten classroom with Nice Rules, all the while genocide is happening all over the place.
If someone forgets to bring them a paper bag is generally 5 or 10 cents.
People focus on it because it’s something they feel they can do (because it’s usually local laws where citizens still sometimes have some influence), and controlling the genocidal elite is not something they feel they can influence (because people don’t have a lot of power in regards to the federal government). Self-righteous attempts to control other people, well I think there may be some busy body impulse, but I don’t think it’s the MAIN psychological driver. The main driver is environmental collapse is obvious and many think the only possible changes are from the local bottom up (yes actual grassroots movements, I don’t think anyone is deep pocketing bag bans). And so it’s a step in that direction. That we really need national environmental policies, and global agreements on climate, and ways to prevent overfishing etc. etc. Well yea and I’m not sure that is lost in the plastic bag banners, but they are trying to start societal change from the ground up even if the initial efforts seem weak.
I know that the current system is that if you forget, you pay 10 cents for a bag. Trish said BAN. That’s what I was responding to.
Great, so we we can do trivial things that make us feel good locally, while huge monstrous things (Fukushima, GMOs, estrogen mimics, nanoparticles, various genocides, destruction of the middle class) are happening globally. Sorry but I think things like bag bans are a distraction from real issues which unfortunately are complicated and involve evil people with real power. People control their neighbors and think “wow, I’ve done something”, and then they don’t do what’s needed. I know so many people who feel wondrously self-righteous about their cloth bags, who feel like they are doing their bit thereby, who at the same time think Obamacare is working out well enough indeed for those other people (for instance).
The “biodegradeable” plastic bags don’t actually biodegrade. Over time the break up and fragment, usually under the influence of ultraviolet light (sunlight). The plastic is still there, just in invisible pieces.
Because a lot of “biodegradable” plastic will not ever biodegrade under normal circumstances.
Rather, we should ban the products of synthetic chemistry outright. Altogether, they have been a pointless waste of resources and an absolute travesty for the environment. If we care to even begin correcting the damages we’ve wrought on this world, feel-good half measures like this will not do it; instead they’ll divert attention and resources away from effective, though more inconveniencing, corrective measures. And thus we will be worse off on the balance.
“No, it isn’t only libertarians who care about civil liberties Digsby. Lambert: “See last para. So if there are more, how come the have no power in their party?””
The power of the 51% dictatorship.
Saying libertarians care about civil liberties, is like saying Obama and his democrats care about social issues.
It is a nice sentiment, but completely lacking in follow through. So much so, I wish they would all get a clue.
Libertarians vote for republicans. This is about as far against voting for civil liberties as one could get.
And as far as people who profess caring about the world AND believing in Obama… well ,all we can ask is, “what is the color of the sky in your world? “
There is little difference between the two parties as far as civil liberties is concerned. Libertarians vote Republican in the belief that the RP will cut budgets for the federal gov’t thereby reducing, in their eyes, state power. For example, as Yves posted yesterday, Obamacare seems, increasingly, to be a civil liberties Trojan Horse as well as a boon to corrupt insurance companies. Then it is not completely irrational to think the RP may be a better party to vote for.
I think demonizing libertarians because they tend to vote Republican is the same as demonizing liberals for voting Democratic. What we ought to do is try to have cooperation with the anti-authoritarian right rather than continually throwing rocks—we have a common enemy the National Security State and until we unite there is no way to stop the rapid move to a police state. Even Ralph Nader has moved in that direction and we should follow.
My problem is your formulation: I don’t believe there is such a thing as an anti-authoritarian Right. It’s a matter of who and where authority lies, and how answerable it is to democratic control. I think Corey Robin’s book The Reactionary Mind pretty well nails it. People on the Right have no time for majority rule unless they are the majority. And they believe in inherent hierarchies–in fact, Robin argues that in the end all right-wing politics is a defense of privilege. Please find me a “libertarian” who does not believe in such “natural rights” hierarchies of class, gender, and race, because deep down 99 out of 100 of them do. What pisses them off is not authority, but any authority over them, especially one that forces them to treat others as equals. The southern slave-owning planter is the perfect case of this: he despised government “tyranny” that might force him to treat blacks as equals. Any interference in the “natural order of things” is anathema, that order always being defined as what is best for white guys. So although I would like to imagine that there were anti-authoritarians on the Right with whom we can make common cause, my knowledge and experience tells me there really aren’t except is a dangerously superficial way (you know, the types who denounce Obama’s “tyranny” but supported the same policies under Bush and hate wealth but only when they can associate it with Jews).
Second that observation James…
Skippy… The slavish devotion to an antiquarian concept… is the real scary part, followed by the poor unpacking of its canons and the excessive use of the words “Free” and “Real”.
JamesLevy, do you ever read the comments at Zero Hedge, a site that is popular with many libertarians? I invite you to read the comments there re the incident in Missouri. It will open your eyes (well, if you wish them to be opened). Yes, there are racist comments. However, a huge number of commenters feel great sympathy for the black victim of the police. They see the black kid as being in the same situation that they could easily find themselves in, vis a vis the police state, and think he should have had the freedoms that they feel they themselves should have. I think you must not know many libertarians. You’ve come up with a facile “theoretically plausible” description of them that doesn’t actually match reality – kind of like the depiction of working class people on “Reality TV.”
Did anyone ever find out where they buried Marla?
It should be pointed out that as a practical matter, whether or not we are in favor of authoritarian police states, these sorts of complex societies take a tremendous amount of energy to maintain. Lacking energy and resources to exploit, these sorts of societies will naturally dissipate in some manner, whoever does or does not like it. Some people like it when it rains, and some people don’t. That’s the correct way to see the situation. Laying political nonsense on top of it is just so much obfuscation by people are not in tune with nature and reality.
Republican ≠ conservative; Democrat ≠ liberal.
No matter what, I go with the group that doesn’t promote theocracy, anti-science, open and proud bigotry, irrational economics, hypocrisy, war-mongering, or “faith-based” anything.
I believe Ralph Nader has been warning us about corporatization, all along (at least since the Corvair days).
I hope, then, that you support the non-partisan organization Move to Amend and the We The People Amendment to the Constitution (House Joint Resolution 29). Go to http://www.movetoamend.org to join a local group in your community, or to start one!
Short and sweet: The We The People Amendment states clearly that corporations are not persons entitled to Constitutional rights, and money is not speech.
Unless you are prepared, and at least as well organized as ALEC, that could be a very foolish move. ALEC on behalf of its corporate backers has been organizing state legislatures for years to vote for a constitutional convention. They are not going to evident enormous time and effort for light or transient reasons. A convention could completely rewrite the Constitution.
The corporations as people concept actually has a long and benevolent rationale — it was intended put restraints upon miscreants by making the agencies through which they were acting responsible to the courts and the public.
The recent twist of the concept by SCOTUS should worry all of us. We may literally see corporations as the only “people” with a vote. Of course we all would be represented — by going to work for a corporation.
Even if it only reduces to the question of a single amendment, we are opening ourselves to enormous mischief — after all, the protest against “Citizens United” is the unfair use of campaign money. What would happen if all that money was channeled into one or two issues. What are you and your friends prepared to do against the huge media blitz that would surely wait in the wings?
democrat = conservative playing collectivist
republican = conservative playing individualist
libertarian = conservative playing populist
conservative meaning supporting (knowingly or not) the agenda of global elites and power structures
Ralph Nader did huge damage to a beneficial direction of the US automotive industry
can you give some evidence of the “huge damage?”
Nader was pivotal in ensuring that the US automotive industry would not pursue the market for aerodynamic high mileage, small, light, unibody construction cars using modest displacement aircooled engines.
You may do the actuarial research on the consequential environmental damage associated with the larger consumption of fuel, pollution, resource depletion related to the production of much larger, heavier less fuel efficient vehicles and decades of ethylene glycol production.
“..The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a press release dated August 12, 1972, setting out the findings of 1971 NHTSA testing—after the Corvair had been out of production for more than three years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had conducted a series of comparative tests in 1971 studying the handling of the 1963 Corvair and four contemporary cars, a Ford Falcon, Plymouth Valiant, Volkswagen Beetle, Renault Dauphine—along with a second generation Corvair with revised suspension design. The subsequent 143-page report (PB 211-015, available from NTIS) reviewed a series of actual handling tests designed to evaluate the handling and stability under extreme conditions; a review of national accident data compiled by insurance companies and traffic authorities for the cars in the test—and a review of related General Motors/Chevrolet internal letters, memos, tests, reports, etc. regarding the Corvair’s handling. NHTSA went on to contract a three person advisory panel of independent professional engineers to review the scope and competency of their tests. This review panel then issued its own 24-page report (PB 211-014, available from NTIS), which concluded that “the 1960-63 Corvair compares favorably with contemporary vehicles used in the tests…the handling and stability performance of the 1960-63 Corvair does not result in an abnormal potential for loss of control or rollover, and it is at least as good as the performance of some contemporary vehicles both foreign and domestic.”
Unfortunately the Corvair platform had the potential to change the landscape of the US automobile lineup, and instead Nader helped make making that design radioactive in the industry, basically giving that market away to imported cars, leaving us where we are at today with Americans either driving imports or the favored American vehicles: 250lbs Sears Sheds on wheels and Pickup Trucks.
Here is the progenitor of the design, the Tatra 97 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatra_97
which Ferdinand Porsche basically expropriated (stole) to design the Volkswagen KdF ( Beetle )
“Tatra sued Porsche for damages, and Porsche was willing to settle. However, Hitler canceled this, saying he ‘would settle the matter.’  When Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Nazis, the production of the T97 was immediately halted, and the lawsuit dropped. After the war, Tatra reopened the lawsuit against Volkswagen. In 1967, the matter was settled when Volkswagen paid Tatra 3,000,000 Deutsche Mark in compensation”
I don’t need to do research on the consequential environmental damage associated with the larger consumption of fuel, pollution, resource depletion related to the production of much larger, heavier less fuel efficient vehicles and decades of ethylene glycol production, I just wasn’t aware that Nader was pivotal in this. guess I’ll need to look for this evidence.
Despite all the evidence you have supplied to blame Mr. Nader contributing to America’s continued love affair with gas guzzlers the size of a tank, there is a rather large elephant in the room with regards your analysis, namely all three US major car manufacturers had European operations that produced far smaller and more economic vehicles for these markets during the timeline you mention – just naming a few off the top of my head, we have the Mark I Ford Escort, the Chrysler Sunbeam – a European car of the year – and the GM Golf, usually referred too as the Opel Kadet in the USA.
Rather than blame Nader, perhaps if you focused your attention on the poor management in US operations, combined with the US consumers demand for exceptionally large and heavy automobiles, you may be closer to the truth. Further, Gas prices in Europe have always been heavily taxed and significantly higher than the USA, which mean’t we in Europe on the whole could never afford to operate a “tank”, particularly given our road infrastructure could not accommodate such large vehicles, particularly within cities, towns and villages who’s age stretches back in many cases for hundreds of years.
Lets face it, your entire city and metalled infrastructure has been build around the automobile, with road widths significantly wider than those in Europe, as your old colonial towns and cities will qualify.
“… namely all three US major car manufacturers had European operations that produced far smaller and more economic vehicles for these markets during the timeline you mention – just naming a few off the top of my head, we have the Mark I Ford Escort, the Chrysler Sunbeam – a European car of the year – and the GM Golf, usually referred too as the Opel Kadet in the USA…”
Your memory is a bit selective.
Actaully the “timeline” for the Ford Escort and Sunbeam were after the Corvair (-Motor Trend ‘s 1960 “Car of the Year”) platform production run were fro model years 1960 through 1969 The Ford Escort was launched in 1968 and the Chrysler Sunbeam a full decade later..Both were subject to progressive DOT and EPA emission standards which eliminated a great many European standard automobiles.
In anycase the Corvair was a unibody vehicle platform with a cost spread over a variety of vehicles , cars vans and light trucks., so maybe not so directly comparable to any single sedan platform
One you did mention, the Opel Kadet was initially imported by Buick dealers in 1964 and in fact was the car that knock the VW beetle off it’s perch.
The fact remains that the Corvair held out the possibility of being transformational for at least part of the US automobile market but it did not succeed, in part due to Ralph Nader carving out a name for himself by selectively highlighting perceived issues with the vehicle that had already been addressed by the manufacturer at the time the book was published. The (suspension/performance issues were found not to be any worse than contemporary vehicles, most specifically the target competitive vehicle, The VW Beetle, which long interestingly (to me) was based on prewar design stolen by VW’s Ferdinand Porsche from the Czech Republic manufacturer Tatra.
Many European cars of the 1960s had intriguingly advanced designs and some were sold in the US A great many were laughably inappropriate for the US market and would have been commercial suicide.
“…Rather than blame Nader, perhaps if you focused your attention on the poor management in US operations, combined with the US consumers demand for exceptionally large and heavy automobiles…”
Auto industry cororate management takes it’s share of the blame, but in the end, Nader was an opportunist blowing his horn in an evolving industry. US consumers wanted vehicles robust enough to survive the range of use in this country at an affordable price point. The Corvair platform was purpose designed to simutaneously satisfy those requirements.
BTW, if you are old enough to recall, the vaunted European manufacture MBenz, was one of the last holdouts resisting US driven EPA emission standards?
Yeah, I’m pretty sure Nader had nothing to do with the Ford Pinto. Nobody in their right mind should trust an industry that puts their financial miscalculation over the safety of their consumers. So are we to assume that bobo Democrats are trying to smear Nader? Or that the American automotive industry is attempting a revision of it’s history? In any case this attempt was weaksauce bro.
your post is nonsensical..
I was thinking the same thing when you quoted an old Department of Transportation report as an authoritative source. Apparently you possess no knowledge over the safety concerns at the time that Ralph Nader fought for and DoT never took seriously until they were forced to. Critiquing Nader for his alleged anti-environmentalist stance during this struggle is laughable.
Do you know what the best outcome for the environment is when it comes to cars? Not owning or using one. This isn’t something a bobo would understand though.
When you can make a factual critique I’ll consider it.
Some people need heroes, even if they don’t have a accurate assessment of them. I am not one of those people. The automotive industry evolved in spite of Ralph Nader.
“.. Do you know what the best outcome for the environment is when it comes to cars? Not owning or using one…”
yes indeed, Andrew, very enlightening. And everyone should get a free pony and live in a moss and twig leanto.
Ralph Nader’s work has saved millions of lives.
“Through much of 1960s, 70s, and 80s, 40,000 to 50,000 people were killed each year in traffic crashes. However, in the following decades, as effects were felt from major improvements in highway design, vehicle design, seat belt and anti – drunk driving laws, enforcement, and education, the number of fatalities began to drop. Even as vehicle miles traveled rose rapidly — tripling in the space of four decades, fatalities dropped by nearly 80 percent, a truly dramatic achievement.
This progress was due to concerted policy efforts. For example, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles alone saved an estimated 75,000 lives or more between 2004 and 2008. In 2009, there were 33,808 traffic fatalities, the lowest number since 1950…
The dramatic reduction in the rate of traffic fatalities and injuries over the past decades and the more recent reduction in the absolute number of fatalities and injuries have been the result of targeted application of policies focused on three broad strategies:
– Preventing a traffic crash from happening in the first place (e.g., preventing alcohol-impaired driving, controlling speed, improving safe driving behavior, and improved vehicle handling)
– Reducing the level of injury in the event of a crash (e.g., increased use of seat belts, improvement in child restraint systems, and improvement in vehicle design in absorbing energy of a crash)
– Increasing the speed and quality of medical care after a crash has occurred
(e.g., improving emergency medical services, reducing response times, improv
ing care on site, and improved emergency hospital care)”
I actually tend to walk the middle ground, which I suppose is a sure way to be hated by everyone. While I think there are some libertarians I could more than make common cause with. I also do think that much perhaps most of the right is deeply authoritarian at a very deep level. And trust me those deeply authoritarian righties HAVE DEFINITELY taken to calling themselves libertarians!!! And if Banger isn’t careful he might find out that is the crowd he is hanging with.
The deep authoritarianism of the right. Economics: I have actually heard conservatives who call themselves libertarian praise the coercive nature of the economic system (ie obey or starve!) BECAUSE it keeps people in line (not even a bug but a feature). Look the left may point out the (not very) hidden coercion in the economic system and think themselves clever and think they are presenting some challenge to libertarians – see your free market isn’t really freedom at all! Touche! While meanwhile actual conservatives who call themselves libertarians as much as confess “yes the coercion is THE POINT! People must be kept in line and made to obey somehow and the economic system does the best job of it of all, that’s why I’m a ‘libertarian”. And you see this stuff in inner horror and take mental note – the authoritarian personality ya grok?
And while I get not voting Dem, I get voting Green, I even get voting capital L libertarian though I prefer the Greens (Green is the new red- comrade Micky D’s told me so), and I even get voting for a particular R if they happen to be the best choice in a bad race, I don’t get wanting to defect to the Republican party of all things. Especially if one’s main issues is the environment and climate change. Ok I get that Dems are no good for this at all, that they are worse than useless and want human extinction as much as the next plutocrat, but the Rs …
Banger’s suggestion of outreach is a good one, although I would not vote Republican.
Reaching out to rank and file Republicans and the Tea Party, though, is a good idea.
Surveys say clearly that conservative people are just a concerned as we are, and pretty much for the same reasons. Surveys also say that while 85% of all of us, conservative liberal black brown white, are furious with “Congress” most people are loyal to their own congressman.
What’s the message?
The message is that all of us render ourselves helpless by turning our concerns into useless abstractions — “the corporations”, “the authoritarian Right”. We all want humanized concepts.
As a better alternative, many of us comment on several sites — how many of us try to talk to people who’s politics offend us? — Arguing and spreading the progressive Gospels is not talking, nor need we be baited by obvious trolls. It means biting our tongues, and instead listening carefully through the bromides or shorthand we all tend to use, to seek what we have in common. 99% of us are just as angry at the obvious abuse of power and privilege, bailouts, corporate welfare.
— In short, looking to ourselves and seeking ways to refocus our energies.
“As a better alternative, many of us comment on several sites — how many of us try to talk to people who’s politics offend us?”
The problem is the authoritarian right people I’ve actually encountered elsewhere are incredibly aggressive (they are actually authoritarian in their personal behavior as well) and while it’s just the ‘net, haven’t you ever heard the saying that a liberal is someone who leaves the room when there’s a fight :)
But we all want the same thing? Yea I’m not sure that’s true of some people and that there isn’t sometimes REAL class conflict. Some people (not all anythings) really do just want to keep their stuff no matter how many human beings get crushed in the process. I’m not sure I actually want the same thing. This is not an “all” anythings statement. It is generalizing about a real psychology that I have definitely noticed though (and everyone I’ve encountered like that is a conservative calling themselves a libertarian, that does not mean the converse is true).
It’s good to remember that there are several types of conservatives. Corey Robin very well describes only one type – the hierarchical, we v them conservatives.
But there are other types of conservatives. Faith conservatives want a sacred book and rituals to hold on to.
Economic conservatives want fiscal prudence, which mostly means balanced budgets and a sound currency.
Social conservatives want to preclude socially disruptive behavior and don’t want another French-type Revolution.
No doubt libertarians overall come in different flavors and combinations of flavors.
More importantly, Dems might find commonality with some libertarian sub-groups, such as atheists. In general, Dems may want to look at “slices” of each type of libertarian.
“Libertarians vote for republicans.”
A link on that?
See: Paul, Rand; Paul, Ron;
Maybe I misinterpreted the statement, I thought he meant libertarians vote exclusively for republicans? If so, I merely asked for a link supporting that claim.
If that exclusiveness is not what he meant, then it is an irrelevant claim because by the same token one may also make these claims:
Democrats vote for republicans;
democrats vote for democrats;
democrats vote for independents
democrats vote for libertarians;
democrats vote for greens;
republicans vote for republicans;
republicans vote for democrats;
republicans vote for independents
republicans vote for libertarians;
republicans vote for greens;
..continue through all permutations.
Isn’t it ridiculous that we have to beg the oligarchs to validate even our political identities?
People who describe themselves by the power to which they submit are probably too far gone to help.
They have no power in the party because they always fall in line. Their threats are empty, their protests impotent.
Like so many other liberal bloggers, Digby’s schtick is to ruthlessly mock the Republicans and occasionally despair over the Democrats. Never ever will she consider abandoning them. Come election day she and the others will vote for the lesser evil only to be dismayed when, once again, evil ensues.
Digby eliminated comments a few years ago because of a consistent segment would call out the blog on it’s soft pedaling on criticizing Democrats—as well as her new hire, the Dem consultant David Atkins. I read Digby occasionally, but it does have certain credibility issues.
My usual heuristic for determining whether a blogger is a windbag is whether they engage with their commenters. I’m still having trouble reconciling that with Arthur Silber’s generally worthy (but comments-closed) blogging.
Even that article, ok she calls the 19 republicans who voted for the bill as “probably being wingnuts”, but on the 145 democrats who voted against it: crickets.
I read Digby – she’s an intelligent person and good on some issues – militarization of the police, civil liberties etc.,
But you are right – they always ‘fall in line’. What I wonder about the digby’s of the world is this – could a democratic president do anything that was a ‘deal braker’. Is there any principle they hold that would take precedence over loyalty to the party. The current guy, Obama, who she still defends, has lied, misled, bragged about killing people world over, presided over an enormous transfer of wealth, supported policies that will destroy American cities, American education, destruction of the consitution – you name it. His presidency has been an disaster.
What would it take for those people to finally say, ‘enough?’
We (progressive liberals) have no power because we do not aspire to earning buckets of money that we can contribute to campaigns…. and too many of us accept the lesser of two evils instead of rallying behind someone who reflects our perspective.
do not aspire to earning buckets of money of money when we revolve back out into the private sector, as well.
Indeed we need to rally behind an alternative to the two evils, three if counting libertarian.
Libertarians are running with this ball now and woe to those who are “liberals” and think that libertarians who support (some of) their civil libertarian objectives, with more power wouldn’t attempt to dismantle what remains of the social safety net.
Here’s an alternative: the Green Party. For 2014 candidates, see:
Unfortunately, many races don’t have a Green Party candidate, partly because this is an electoral off-year. There may be more candidates in 2016. We can encourage more people to run in 2016 by supporting those Green candidates who are running in 2014.
A similar party is the Justice Party. They’re a smaller group than the Green Party, but their candidates deserve support, too, especially if there’s a Justice Party candidate in an election that doesn’t have a Green Party candidate.
I don’t know about the Justice party, I mean I’m sure they mean well but we’re now splitting the 3rd party left vote, which is what 1% of the vote as is ….
Your point is quite valid. But if there’s no Green Party candidate in a particular electoral contest, and there is someone from the Justice Party, your vote isn’t being split by voting for the Justice Party candidate. What’s important is to take votes away from the Demolicans and Republicrats.
If one is in the market, one way to break parties’ entitlement to the brand loyalty of particular identities is for them to learn the actual price and to deal with other vendors.
I feel a little dirty even having engaged that metaphor.
I wasn’t aware anyone was arguing only libertarians care about civil liberties in the first place :). Failure to keep up? Like what the ACLU? I wasn’t aware it had gone full libertarian …
I found this interesting and disappointing.
and it is silly to argue that only libertarians care about civil liberties. so many of those in power who profess to represent the people don’t. libertarian politicians are running with this ball and the rest who should be championing civil liberties, aren’t, and, well, pretty obvious why…
There are issue and there are issues. Climate change is THE issue of our time–nothing compares with it. Whether the end-result of this warming period is catastrophic or not we cannot know at this time but, theoretically, there are a number of catastrophic scenarios that are becoming increasingly obvious today and, frankly, were obvious 25 years ago. The fact the world is, for the most part, unconcerned with this problem strikes me as an example of collective insanity.
If there is a society that is at least somewhat interested in the problem it is Germany–yet Germany, despite the importance of the issue, continues to have increasingly total fealty to the USA the society that may be the most in denial of global warming. Curious isn’t it?
Climate change has a huge and obvious silver-lining that seems to have passed by the vast majority of people including the intellectual class in the West. To actually address the issue would require some fundamental changes in our culture that would be salutary: 1) it would unite the world in a common purpose thereby decreasing conflicts over boundaries and petty issues–for example, the conflict in the Ukraine would be easily resolved–let the people in eastern Ukraine decide what form of government they want (duh!); 2) the need for common action would spur funding of alternative energy and energy conservation schemes that are being actively repressed by the government controlled mass-media; 3) the need for unity within and between communities would spur the growth of a convivial rather than a materialistic and status-based culture which would just flat out be more fun; and 4) a common purpose would begin to decrease economic inequality and all the ills that result from it as the oligarchs would begin to see that radical selfishness on their part means possible destruction of their own and their children’s future. These are all good results–but the most important thing is to move from a culture whose chief feature increasingly consists of denialism and escapism will turn around. Maybe people will start to be curious about what actually is going on and exactly what governments hide and how they do it so that the men and women behind the curtain are exposed for what they are.
Agreed. But notice whenever anyone brings up the issue anywhere there is mostly silence, like the post here on the Keystone XL, pretty much noone comments on it. Maybe it scares people too much to bear. Or it feels too hopeless and overwhelming to even choose any response but learned helplessness.
“The fact the world is, for the most part, unconcerned with this problem strikes me as an example of collective insanity.”
The only reason I can think of is people are too busy surviving and/or incredibly poorly educated (of course it doesn’t help that they also happen to live in increasingly authoritarian police states like the U.S.). A society that makes people so busy trying to survive that it leaves them unable to think of the long term survival of their children, grandchildren, and maybe even themselves DESPITE having enough prosperity for everyone if only it wasn’t set up to funnel all wealth into a few hands is collectively insane. YES IT IS. This society is collectively insane.
Addressing Climate Change means ZERO growth, in fact NEGATIVE growth, which means grinding poverty, terrible suffering, and death for billions.
Germany is clueless wrt addressing CC. They are simply the most technocopian of societies, in other words in denial and placing all of their hope on something that does not and can not exist.
The only thing beneficial to be done to address CC in any meaningful way is to do much less not more.
No, addressing climate change would create real growth–new technologies, new ways of life–real growth–and smart growth not stupid, primitive growth.
the cat and the duck look like they are conferring on important issues.
It walks with a duck and talks with a duck.
Duck: Did you take care of the Rooster?
Cat: Sure, boss. Don’t worry about it. He’s sleepin’ wi’t the fishes.
from central casting for Peter and the Wolf
Re: Cat and duck we’re-off-to-see-the-Wizard picture –
Does the duck have a person-face on its bill?
Is this handsome couple a photoshop “goof”?
Those two are definitely up to something.
This seems like the kind of thing NCers might appreciate:
Optimist or Idiot? ~Lev Yilmaz, Tales of Mere Existence
My answer is both.
I see no benefit to pessimism unless you make it fun–which I have learned to do. I told a friend yesterday that now I say “things are f-cked up–so cool! Why? Because the f-ed-ness of things is really interesting, compelling and kind of amazing–so whether things turn out for the better or the worse it’s all part of life and, again, the one thing you can count on is that you won’t really know what is really going on no matter how much you try and you’re going to be an idiot just like your friends, neighbors, relatives and all the rest of the people in the world. Perhaps we should talk to the animals more–maybe they can give us some insights.
Also, pessimists can be pleasantly surprised…
Yes, happiness for a pessimist is when things don’t turn out as badly as expected.
My version is this: “Imagine if the World were perfect–wouldn’t that be boring? There would be nothing worth doing, nothing to struggle against…sounds terrible”
Imagine a plot-line without conflict: it’s nothing; no plot at all. Imagine a weight room without weights: what good is it to anybody? Imagine a life without struggle and without “evils” to struggle against: no growth, no progress, no challenge. Who wants any of those things?
The Hasids say something to the effect of, “Our world is a world of miracles. The greatest miracle of all is not that evil should be defeated by good, but rather that evil should be transformed into good. But if evil did not exist, the miracle of it’s transformation would also be impossible–and this is why evil exists, and must exist, in the World.” I’m paraphrasing and combining a couple of different teachings, but I think that’s the basic idea behind one of their theodicies. Seems pretty sound to me.
As for pessimissim, nycTerrierist is right: being pessimisstic leaves room for pleasant surprises, while optimism is just setting yourself up for disappointment. And as those optimists, They Might Be Giants, sang:
It’s a matter of degree. Imperfection can be a single small flaw — it doesn’t have to be 50-50, or worse. There have been positive and negative trends. Trending positive would be nice, right about now.
Good critique of the theodicy. A possible response is that our experience of “evil” is relative; i.e. in the face of great evils, lesser ones become less troubling, and in the face of little evil, even minor ones become more troubling. The mundane version of this phenomenon can be seen in the constant “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality, where today’s proud purchase is tomorrow’s shamefully out-of-date product. Nothing, to put it bluntly, is ever good enough.
And it may also be that what we consider good and what we consider evil are intimately linked to one another. Wasn’t it our desire to do away with the “evils” of domestic labor that lead us down the path of mass produced appliances (and their concomitant pollution) and shoddy pre-packaged food (and poor health that comes with it)? Wasn’t it our desire to do away with the “evils” of expensive fuel that have lead us to invade distant lands (with the corresponding death and destruction)? What if our high standard of living is directly related to others low standard of living?
Less violence, less oppression, less corruption are all obviously things to be desired and worked towards, but if we go about it in an unreflective manner, we run the risk of recreating that which we seek to avoid. We invaded Iraq to do away with evil…or at least that’s what most people thought, which is why they went along with it. Wanting to “make the world a better place” can be a dangerous thing, if it’s not combined with the hypocratic principle to first, do no harm.
I don’t know where this is going, or even if I’m still responding to your comment or not…probably a good place to wrap it up ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
“Wasn’t it our desire to do away with the “evils” of domestic labor that lead us down the path of mass produced appliances (and their concomitant pollution) and shoddy pre-packaged food (and poor health that comes with it)? ”
the desire was to some degree created by the marketing and re pollution issues, research on and exposure of pollution, like that of many toxic industrial chemicals, was (and is still) suppressed, played down, and attacked with the aid of our “public servants.”
ooh, ooh, forgot to add the bit about how it’s always darkest right before the dawn and that the point of a system’s greatest power is also the point where it begins its inevitable decline. It’s all yin-yang and whatnot…
Also, I like to think that the arc of history is like an action movie. The thing is, our individual lives only last for a few frames, maybe a few seconds of that movie. I imagine that my entire life will take place in (the equivalent) of the scene where the hero is captured by the villians, tied to a chair in an empty warehouse and being tortured (surely!) to death.
Now, in the grand scheme of things this is an important scene and one that we know will ultimately lead to the hero’s redemption and triumph–but to those of us who only get to glimpse this little snippet of the movie, it seems gawd-awful and gratuitously sadistic. What kind of psychopath would come up with this? And then you have Gnosticism: but that’s a misunderstanding–a larger perspective would show the reality to be very different.
The nice thing about this belief is that it’s utterly unfalsifiable, which means that even if my life turns to complete shite, I’ll never be forced to abandon it ;-)
We need the dark to show us the light, unfortunately it’s getting too dark. I have learned to expect the punches, that way I can roll with them & then come out fighting – while making the most of the gaps between rounds.
As Townes Van Zandt put it: “There ain’t no dark ’til something shines…”
@Diptherio – Beautiful, thank you.
No, no. I see aren’t familiar with how we think about things here in “winter is coming” New England. “It’s always darkest before it goes completely black.
And here is the poster.
I love your version, diptherio. Thank you.
You Whig types need to get your own world and leave the rest of us alone.
Agreed about pessimism. Schopenhauer’s “Studies in Pessimism,” needn’t be viewed bleakly.
thanks for that!
You’re welcome. One of the many enjoyable pearls of wisdom in his writings. He’s a great re-read (or listen) on a bad day imo, but to each his own.
Just adding this link, seems appropriate
“They saw that magnificent mushroom cloud and instead of falling down to worship it, they ran to the nearest church or Christian Science Reading Room or Socialist meeting hall. After convincing thousands of adolescents to kill themselves in the name of holy despair, these sleazy careerists ran to hug the knees of GAIA, the bloody mother. They Chose Life — the swine!”
I like it – embracing the “f-ed-ness of things” [Banger] and transforming evil into good [diptherio].
Can I build a theology on that? :D — Dealing with each or both is enough work for a lifetime – and enough for an autobiography.
My daughter is visiting with her two kids, age 3 and 3 months. She made the comment, in her always happy attitude, that she no longer tries to “have fun” – now anything that happens is “fun.” Which I thought was profound. Because it isn’t necessary to be a control-freak, nor is it necessary to get depressed. You just get up and do what you have to do and that’s how we all get through life. And it turns out, as luck would have it, that living like this is just about as fun as it gets.
Do what you have to do to do what you want to do. Try to learn something while your doing it, whatever it is and take the time to eat/drink in an enlightened manner. Off to make pesto and Italian sausage hAHAHA! What a great summer.
re I love math and I hate the Fields Medal Cathy O’Neil
thanks for this.
“the Fields Medal is easy to understand (“it’s the Nobel Prize for math!”) but it’s incredibly and dangerously misleading.” Simplistic portrayals, Superstars…So true. It is indeed the Nobel of Mathematics. We’re big on superstars and big-press awards. The Arts as well. Created by the press? Needy for this?
To me, it’s also about conquer. So much of how we perceive (how it’s reported, what is rewarded) is about conquer. And achieve, narrowly defined.
Often “nature” reporting errs, too, on the side conquer, of adventure reporting. Not all, no, but what gets the most press? Even television nature shows present unrealistic pictures of nature- as more action all the time- was it Neil Postman I read so long ago who wrote so well about it?
All these things do shine a light on good stuff, but the best way to achieve that?
I loved O’Neils description of Math as a deep, complex, evolving art. Such a rich description. Everything a complex metaphor of endless layers.
agreed. while unfortunately a mathematical illiterate I can intuitively grasp the beauty and I thought this a wonderful description. mathematics as poetry.
The invisible Russian military convoy, while creating the usual ruckus, particularly in Guardian’s comment threads, seems to fizzle harmlessly like a Hamas rocket in creating new alarm.
In the interest of keeping the issue alive, this is another item on MH17 but written rather well.
Vanishing point ..By Pepe Escobar Asia Times
Saker on latest rumors.
The ever yapping poodle.
RE: The Mystery of the Malaysian Airlines Crash Over Ukraine Truthout (Miguel)
I feel kinda sorry for the guy who wrote this “op-ed.”
He is, it would seem, under the mistaken impression that MH17 is still relevant. He seems to think that someone cares about the truth, and the world’s need to know it. He seems not to realize that when the crash failed to spark the “Attack Russia” fire, MH17’s ship had sailed.
“All this said, I do not wish to draw premature conclusions. I repeat, once again, we must wait for the outcome of the international investigation and resist the pressure to jump to hasty or biased conclusions.
The “international investigation,” if there ever was one, is long gone. Those in the position to know what happened and who is responsible knew as soon as the crash happened. And they’re not about to spill the beans. The “black boxes” and ATC recordings should have been made public weeks ago, if they ever were going to be. There is no “international investigation,” and the continued silence mocks his patient wait for its results.
Poor guy. Poor Malaysia. Poor Dutch families whose loved ones died.
This is how it goes when the US decides that your “services” are required.
Obama admin has taken W. Bush’s “create your own reality” mode and used it as the delivery system of the Ukraine Operation. Often US State dept briefings on Ukraine are basically 100% lies. This can only be maintained if you have near total compliance with the major media orgs. Interesting how the Big Lie is a permanent condition, the catapulting of the propaganda is relentless and unending. Interesting times.
Well said. I would add that it was the same with Syria and Libya, and we can expect more lies on Iraq. It seems as if lying about any and everything is becoming the preeminent ‘western value’.
MSM may have moved on but this was a good summary from an interested but independent source. Even so, the Truthout article falls short because it doesn’t:
Article is mostly recycled junk.
Yup, because the fox (UK, Ukr) is in charge of the “international” investigation, the eerie silence, not even a reason for delay, is now manifest evidence of a coverup of US/Ukr guilt. This follows the agonizing delay and dubious investigation of 9/11, which of course raised more doubt than answers and by then two wars had already been launched. Black box and ATC recordings contain fairly elementary and unambiguous information. If there was nothing to hide, and if evidence supported the US charge of Russian fault, it would have already been released, as would aerial photos and satellite/radar data.
What surprises me most is that they haven’t released something fabricated yet. I suppose there are too many moving parts, too much cross-correlation, for a timely and credible production. Integrating log forgery, false voice/ambient noise synthesis, photoshopping, deposing or disposing of witnesses is undoubtedly painstaking and time-consuming.
Why would the black boxes have anything worthwhile in this case – beyond Bang!
If that is true, the exact moment of *bang* would be very useful information in reducing the uncertainty about from where the missile might have been launched and what sort of missile it was. Not that it is necessarily true.
In addition to voice, FDRs record a host of flight data, mechanical systems status at time of failure and progression/propagation of failure: electronics, hydraulics, gps, altitude, air speed, source and rate of pressure loss, and lots of similar forensic data engineers can analyze for useful failure scenarios. And besides recording “Oh SHI…!” in the case of a SAM, one might analyze the frequency of explosions, whether it’s a big bang or a clusterf**k of multiple penetrations, which is what a SAM would sound like or machine-cannon fire. One might also hear the copilot saying “what the f**k is that fighter doing on our ass?” just before the FDR shows engine failure and speed-altitude loss. The point is, if the FDR revealed one big bang, instant system crash, and nothing else, why hasn’t that OR air-traffic recordings been released? It’s been at least two weeks since the boxes were turned over, seals intact to Malaysia and then very curiously to the US ‘ poodle, the UK.
The most recent viable theory, IMO, consistent with eyewitness accounts (no smoke trail from the ground), Russian radar data, and crash scene photos, is an air-to-air missile hitting one engine, followed by cannon fire into the cockpit. The FDR would most definitely reveal evidence of that. The conspicuous absence of ANY AND ALL evidence supporting NATO’s snap accusations of Russia and separatists is highly suspicious. Worse, it is in fact highly incriminating of deliberate false-flag mass-murder by Ukraine and probably the US.
Yes, until I see compelling evidence to the contrary, ‘false flag mass-murder’ by Kiev is the inference to the best explanation.
“Those in the position to know what happened and who is responsible knew as soon as the crash happened. And they’re not about to spill the beans.”
This it seems to me the best fit with the facts and a little reasonable conjecture. Now the question becomes, “what is the set of circumstances that would be advantageous for both the US/West and the RF to supress the truth of”?
And I don’t have an answer. But the truth* probably exists within that set of circumstances.
*because truth just needs an asterisk
and poor Ukrainian people who might- might- have benefited from the truth being loudly told to all the people reading the neoliberal press. and perhaps all who might enjoy the ensuing criminal trials of our dear leaders…sorry, fantasizing now…
From the Acemoglu and Robinson piece:
“Scott’s work emphasizes the fact that people don’t really like living in states and they get away from them if they can. This argument certainly mirrors a great deal of anthropological evidence from small scale and stateless societies and it is certainly true in some cases as our last several blogs (here and here) suggested. But our argument has a logical corollary which ends up looking like the opposite of Scott’s thesis: if people think they can control the state and use it in their interests, then they will demand that it takes action and expands.”
Acemoglu and Robinson are either incredibly disingenuous or they haven’t understood Scott’s work at all. Scott explicitly states in The Art of Not Being Governed and elsewhere that a state can be attractive to people when it suits their interests. I literally just flipped the book open at random and found an example:
“To take [court records from South-east Asian states] at face value would redit “the king’s peace,” prosperity, religious patronage, and divine providence with the power to attract and bind a critical mass of people around the state core. Taken with a large grain of salt, this image is not entirely false. There is repeated evidence of kings and their officials enticing settlers to open padi fields by providing working capital of grain and draft animals and waiving taxes for a time. Thus a Burmese official near Pegu boasted in his 1802 revenue report that he “fed and supported those who were pleased to come from distant towns and villages in the deserted places of high jungle and tall grass.””
I’ve read several pieces from Acemoglu and Robinson now where they cast Scott’s work as simplistic state-bashing, which it’s not at all- it really doesn’t reflect well on them that they consistently misrepresent a scholar like Scott in this way. The idea that Scott hasn’t considered the politics of state formation or the benefits that subjects of states derive from those polities is absurd, as I’ve demonstrated above. The value of Scott’s work is in theorising the dialectical tension between the cores of classical and their stateless peripheries. The fact that A&R seem to be more interested in using Scott as a straw man to make their anodyne theses (“state institutions matter! democracy good oligarchy bad!” gee, really, hadn’t realised, thanks guys) look slightly more sophisticated and sell their book doesn’t bode well for any subsequent work. Scott’s work has many implications for modern states in an energy descent like the one we’ll be globally experiencing this century, but A&R aren’t the ones to look to for an explication of that.
Apologies for the rant, but A&R don’t accept comments at their site and I keep seeing their crap pop up here.
“redit the king’s peace” should be “credit the king’s peace”
and “cores of classical and” should be “cores of classical states and”..
No need to apologize for a rant if it’s well-informed. I’m not familiar with any of these scholars, but it sounds like Scott deserves a look.
Two players die at world chess event in Norway
My original thought was WTF? But now I think maybe the it’s just the law of large numbers, like the spokesman says. I know a few chess fanatics–not the healthiest of people, by and large.
More shocking by far, I think, is that Magnus lost with the white pieces to some guy I’d never even heard of (not that I follow it that closely):
Here’s a good analysis of the game, for the chess nerds out there:
Magnus Carlson is a genius, but he has a very bland style of play. Compared to the play of Mikhail Tal or Garry Kasparov, Carlson’s play is very disappointing. Normally I don’t care much when a world champion loses, but in the case of Carlson, I applaud his losses enthusiastically.
Boring but practically unassailable play. He’s like Karpov times 10. I love Tal (who doesn’t?) but it comes down to winning the game, not making the flashiest sacrifices and tactical shots. I wish Carlsen and Tal could play, that would be something to see.
And, FWIW, I prefer Carlsen over Kasparov on the basis of attitude alone. Kasparov is a narcissist; Magnus actually seems pretty down-to-earth and reasonably humble.
carlsen seems like a normal person, not an egomaniac, but i prefer kasparov’s chess. imo carlsen would slaughter tal, as he does nakamura–just calmly refute the flashy tactics and win in the middlegame or endgame.
Exactly. Every time Nakamura plays Carlsen I wan’t to scream: “positional chess, you idiot, haven’t you learned your lesson?!?” Oh well. Nakamura’s entertaining when he plays weaker players. I wonder how Fisher would have fared against Carlsen…
Carlsen the person is superior to Kasparov the person, but I still prefer Kasparov’s games over Carlsen’s games.
Vatch, your assessment of Carlen’s chess is off the mark. A large percentage of Carlsen’s games do contain fantastic tactics and sacrifices of material, just like Tal and Kasparov. Here is the Carlsen page on chessgames dot com. Select a few ‘notable games’ on the top left of the page, and you will see no shortage of tactical brilliancy.
There is, however, some truth for your criticism of Carlsen’s style. He does not go all out with bonzai attacks straight out of the opening. There’s a reason for that. Chess opening theory has been analyzed in great depth, particularly in the sharper tactical lines. Top players nowadays are ‘booked’ in these most dangerous lines of play, and either you know the theory or you select the more placid alternatives. True, Carlsen generally ducks out of opening tactics. But his middlegames are fantastic; he constantly conjures lively tactical resourses out of what seem to be ‘quiet’ positions.
You are the only player I’ve ever heard criticize Carlsen for being boring. Several former worold champions have also been so criticized, including Karpov, Petrosian, and Botvinnik, but they were more deserving of that reputation. These guys were primarily known as masters of positional play, and they’d consistently prefer clear advantages in an endgame rather than engage in risky attacking play. In contrast, former world champions Spassky, Tal, and Kasparov prefered lively tactical play over strangulation of their opponents by positional means. I place Carlsen solidly in the pool of great tacticians.
About my own chess, my best rating was 2375, but more normally it’s just over the 2200 mark. GMs and IMs routinely eat me for lunch. But I am still willing to vent my opinions about chess and chessplayers. Cheers!
When a good player gets an advantageous position, tactical play will often win the game, and Carlsen is no exception. But it seems to me that too often he just waits for his opponent to make a mistake, which is reminiscent of Petrosian, Karpov, or Capablanca. Once his opponent makes the almost inevitable mistake, Carlsen chooses a winning method that is appropriate to the specific position in the game at that time. I prefer games in which players are willing to take a risk. In real life, a person should be cautious, but in games, one has the chance to enjoy some fun.
Despite all that, you are correct that chess openings are over-analyzed, and that inspires some people to play it safe.
Botvinnik could be quite tactical early in his career. And even in his twilight, he could make nice sacrifices, such as his game against Portisch in 1968. Usually attacks agains f7 use the Knight or the Bishop, but Botvinnik sacked a Rook on that square!
I’ve seen that Botvinnik-Portisch game many times; it’s a classic. For an example of Carlsen’s attacking style, here is his game against Topalov from the Tata Steel tournament 2012.
By move 22 Carlsen has sacrificed an entire rook. I couldn’t believe it when I first saw this game.
Yes, that’s a fun game. Carlsen’s attack was completely unsound. It’s a little amazing that a player of Topalov’s caliber lost that game. I think it’s likely that Topalov was a little out of practice, since he hadn’t played much in the previous couple of years. At move 25, Topalov had at least 2 alternatives that would have won.
But Carlsen deserves credit for taking a risk (for a change) in that game.
Hillary Clinton loves House of Cards–says show’s version of Washington intrigue is “just how I remember it.” May not be an exact quote.
i wonder what she thinks of game of thrones.
Rumor is, she’s taking notes for when she becomes president.
From the FT link, detailing the Widow K’s increasingly erratic behavior:
[President Cristina Kirchner] invoked an anti-terrorism law to seek criminal charges against a US-based printing firm which she claimed was linked to the holdouts, and accused it of sowing fear in the population in an attempt to undermine the economy. The company in question, RR Donnelly, closed its Argentine plant without warning earlier this week, leaving hundreds of workers jobless.
Pundits interpreted this as both an attempt to shift blame for Argentina’s deepening recession, and a message to other companies not to dare to try anything similar. Already, the business community is in a cold sweat thanks to another law that will facilitate state intervention in the private sector, as executives fret that Argentina is going down the same path as socialist Venezuela.
It is no coincidence that the value of the peso on the black market is plumbing record lows. Meanwhile inflation accelerated in July and there has been a sharp increase in the fiscal deficit this year.
Ambito.com [Argentina’s equivalent of the WSJ] reports the ‘informal’ dollar offered at 13.20 pesos on Friday, past its old record of 13.00 in early 2014. Meanwhile, Argentine inflation for July was 1.4 percent month-on-month, leaving prices 16.7 percent higher in the first seven months of the year.
Inflacionverdadera.com, using PriceStats data derived from the Billion Prices project, shows Argentina’s annual inflation rate at 37.9%. If the peso keeps collapsing in response to the Widow K’s radicalized responses to her default debacle, inflation will crank past 40 percent by autumn. Into the mystic, as it were.
The real mystery is why the vultures leash hasn’t been yanked and shortened, before it entangles any further. What I find very interesting is the timing and the issues of “sovereignty” and “free trade”, don’t you?
‘Free trade’ doesn’t mean much in Argentina, where you can’t even so much as import a book from Spain without an import permit.
It is really sad at Ezeiza to see Argentines dutifully queueing up to register their cell phones, cameras, and computers with AFIP, so the government won’t whack them with 100% duties when they return from overseas.
US citizens have never experienced Argentina’s style of heavy-duty interference with the ability to spend and travel outside the country.
That’s the thing about “sovereignty”, from my POV, they get to decide how to handle THEIR affairs.
“‘Free trade’ doesn’t mean much in Argentina, where you can’t even so much as import a book from Spain without an import permit.”
Amazon solved this age old “problem” of censorship with their ‘kindle’ technology. Even if they can’t make a “profit” from book sales they still can auction the reading habits (who, what, when and where is it read) of the population, and possibly the subtle and ‘strategic’ re-writing of “history”, how much would that be worth?
“US citizens have never experienced Argentina’s style of heavy-duty interference with the ability to spend and travel outside the country.”
Have you been somnambulating post 9/11?
Elephants and donkeys in politics.
Now, they are joined by dogs and, soon, ponies (a dog is running against a pony!).
All circuses and no bread.
We pale when compared with the Romans who had a horse for consul once, and even slaves were given both bread AND circuses.
We have TV and at least some food for those who need it (at least, for now).
As for Consuls, we have 435 horse’s asses representing us.
Caligula never actually made his horse a consul. He only threatened to make his horse a consul because he was pissed at the current consuls.
Right! If Caligula had made his pony a consul, all would have been well. Clearly, we have learned from his mistake.
(Actually, I don’t know if Caligula actually had a pony; a pony just seems like the sort of creature an emperor would have; and we have ponies in great multitudes.)
Working link for Irish food retailer boycott of Israel…. http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/michael-deas/irelands-biggest-food-retailer-drops-israeli-produce-european-boycotts-surge
Working link for “Ireland’s biggest food retailer drops Israeli produce as European boycotts surge”–
Paul Sonne, the Moscow correspondent for The Wall Street Journal¸ notes that: “Ukraine refuses to say where/when exactly it hit the Russian column it said crossed the border. No pics yet either.” Sonne linked to this story in the Wall Street Journal:
Ukraine Plays Down Significance of Destruction of Russian Military Convoy
From the WSJ
“This was a traditional route of movement of armored convoys to the territory of Ukraine, and the Ukraine military were able to destroy most of those convoys,” Col. Lysenko said.”
Not even a decent fibber. Isn’t it interesting how almost any claim by the Ukrainian govt becomes instant headlines in US media whereas RT stories are all dismissed as crazy propaganda?
From what I have seen, the news reports for RT are more honest and more informative than the BBC. NPR, or any of the cable news channels. Their bias towards the Russian government, and its interests, is no worse than the bias that the BBC has in regards to the United Kingdom.
People in the establishment want to promote a façade of diversity, so they promote “liberal” gatekeepers willing to draw boundaries and help marginalize sources that the establishment finds disruptive. Linking to RT, without a defensive apology, shows that you won’t be a gatekeeper for the establishment. Therefore, it marks you as part of the outgroup, who won’t in the future receive TV invites or guest spots in establishment media.
The US probably has a RC-135 recon aircraft or two in the area. I’m sure at sunup it took a look around for wreckage ready to snap some really detailed photos of the Russian Invasion. Late in the day the Whitehouse announced they could not confirm the news that the Uks had destroyed a Russian military convoy.
Wish I knew what kind of sat coverage we really do have of that part of the world. There would be gaps in coverage as one passes overhead, but obviously a Serious Hegemon would put up enough of them to try and get continuous coverage of the entire planet. Searched wiki for info on this but no luck.
sat coverage = SBIRS & DSP for sure, others possible.
SBIRS-GEO (Space Based Infra Red Sensor – Geostationary)
The SBIRS-GEO spacecraft is a 3-axis stabilized A2100M platform with a scanning sensor and a staring sensor.
a mix of Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS-GEO) satellites, Highly Elliptical Earth Orbit (SBIRS-HEO) payloads
The primary mission of these and the older DSP is ICBM detection. The above link hints the new system may be sensitive enough (sorry craazyman) to detect aircraft heat signatures. But the article doesn’t really say if it can pick up ground infrared events like artillery fire or burning trucks. I guess it wouldn’t be surprising if it could, given low enough background heat.
They are geosynchronous, so if we decided Eastern Europe/Russia was an interesting place to put one, then we have full time coverage for whatever infrared things happen.
Ukraine / Novorossiya war internet resources:
collection of links
Brad Cabana, a retired captain from the Canadian Armed Forces, has an informative timeline from a pro-NAF perspective.
Anything he marks “UNCONFIRMED” should be treated as possible speculation or potential disinformation.
Europe doesn’t get it. Our Ukraine policy is about nothing short of regime change in Moscow. Our one and only foreign policy is regime change everywhere all the time, bombing optional. We will gladly destroy the European economy with sanctions if required on the way to drive Putin from power. Somewhere, in the wings, our handpicked Putin replacement is already meeting with lobbyists and dining with Senators. This is how we roll. Europe is caught in a vice. They will suffer more than Russia to see this through. We could care less. Fuck the EU.
The Internet’s Original Sin: An interesting article that boils down to a plea for a pay as you go web rather than one we have now which is supported by ads and offering free content. The justification is that spyware based advertising is too sinister and people would be willing to pay to avoid it.
I have my doubts. After all there’s nothing to prevent any website from making this choice at the moment, and yet few do so. People like free–in part for its convenience. He does suggest alternate payment systems such as Bitcoin may lubricate the process but as Yves has pointed out Bitcoin is “prosecution futures.” A greatly increased use of payment systems throughout the web might well lead to greater govt involvement and control which could be a lot more sinister than gmail or facebook.
But in any case thanks for the link….worth a look..
Re “free” Internet. Do you have access to the Internet without “provider” rent extraction? Tell us how to get that.
Ever been to a library? People get free internet there every day.
At any rate your comment not germaine to the story in question which is, if you trouble to read it, is about internet content, not access.
Is there any good reason for there not to be free wireless networks outside as well as inside libraries? Billing, marketing and profits are all huge and needless inefficiencies in delivering a nonpersonalized service essentially everyone uses.
I understand NYC is putting wifi access in old phone booths. There does seem to be a trend–probably spurred by smartphones–toward providing wifi in businesses. McDonalds now has excellent wifi as do home stores like Lowes and Home Depot. Target has wifi but not Walmart.
Of course open networks have security vulnerabilities but that doesn’t seem to stop people from using them. Which somewhat supports my earlier point: free and convenient can trump safety. But there’s a case to be made that using the internet at all can never be regarded as fully “secure.” So worries about wifi may be moot.
The Greatest Fake Religion of All Time io9
All hail Discordia!
No one listen to Scott S, he’s an agent of EVIL!!! The Discordian religion is actually a front for THE CON! The founders were secret blood-brothers with the Rockafellers, the Rothchilds and other members of the ILLUMINATI! They seek to draw the faithful away from the one true religion: The Chuch of the Flying Spaghetti Monster! Don’t be fooled! FNORD
Savage mockery of the Other is one of the *tells* of the Zee Globalistes, a “sport” among others sports such as gratuitous genocide and playing Polo with severed heads (a *great game* passtime with a twit twist), in remembrance of the Gilded Commonwealth.
Apologies in advance in case my longer comment shows up. I’ll be short and sweet since my longer comments get hung up somewhere. Climate change stories all point towards possible catastrophe and most of the world is in denial particularly the USA–yes, I know everyone mouths platitudes about it but that is worse than useless. What isn’t talked about is that actually dealing with the issue would be clearly beneficial to everyone. It would bring people together and force us to cooperate and create more of a sharing economy and a culture focused on conviviality and party-time rather than our relentless drive for status and material goods.
Re. “Town Elects Dog…”
Your comment was; “Maybe a third party should run a dog for President.”
Ahem, but, both parties have run dogs for president in the recent past, and both won.
I hear the Democrats are going to switch it up in 2016 by running a feral cat.
The NY Times article on Traders Scamming the Transmission Congestion markets needs a bit of translation for average people and, especially, economists. Congestion arises and potentially reduce delivery of electricity when the load in a geographic area (such as Port Jefferson) is greater for a time than the transmission lines can carry without overloading and tripping breakers. The article obfuscates what is going on with all the talk of quants and Phd’s, because Kirchoff Laws of current and voltage are what is controlling the flow of electricity over the existing transmission equipment.
When congestion occurs for more than an occasional time periods, it is necessary to spend money to upgrade that section of the transmission system to avoid outages. William Hogan and his ilk incorrectly propose that congestion revenue rights (which can be traded and speculated) will “solve” the problem of congestion by monetizing this congestion.
Ten years ago at at CA Independent System Operator (CAISO) class it was apparent to me and my classmates of the stupidity of Congestion Revenue Rights (CRR’s) proposal. The transmission owner who needs to upgrade the lines probably doesn’t own the CRR’s to collect funds for line upgrades because they are usually owned by speculators, such as DC Energy, or companies transmitting energy who don’t want the line upgraded because their parasitic revenue stream would be ended! Even if the transmission line owner held the CRR’s, why would they spend $10’s or $100’s of millions of dollars to remove the congestion because that would stop their CRR revenue.
Rather than creating a market for speculators, a rational engineering approach would be to continue to measure transmission congestion and then assess an adder to the Transmission Access Charge (TAC) to entities that are using the transmission system in the congested area to transmit electricity. Those funds would be held by the transmission owner and mandated to upgrade the transmission system, thereby ending the congestion in that area. None of Hogan’s market solutions are required!
Quants are dangerous to our health.
I enjoyed the Shaxson post on The City of London. Medieval is right. And our Fed is not much different in its attempt to maintain the privateers of capitalism. Now to its own chagrin.
The city corp (no capital letters, ever) is a perfect example of the use of power, along with that other age old institution, the queen.
Both don’t really rule anything, 99% of the time. They don’t have to. They wrote the rules. The other 1% of the time they have the option of power.
They allow, at the pleasure of the queen, an elected gov to run the day to day stuff. All the power, none of the responsibility. When they do want more power, they either take it, or have the “elected representatives” legislate it.
How in hell can the PM write law for the city, but have no control over the city?
The city is also cited as the number one reason that the UK has no Constitution, and never will have one. The city wouldn’t be able to exist in its current form anymore, and wouldn’t be able to adapt going forward. Non-starter for those that really hold the power.
The monarchy within the UK’s present political structure is just a throw back, the fact remains the UK’s elite cares little for the Monarchy, it’s the institution of the Monarchy they are more concerned about. This has been witnessed on many occasions throughout English history in the deposing of Monarchs deemed contrary to the interests of the actual ruling elite. The fact remains in the UK that it’s the elite who at the end of the day chooses who actually sits on the throne, a point reinforced by the Parliamentary war in the 1640s, the restitution monarchy in the 1660s and Glorious Revolution in the 1680s, and more latterly in the Constitutional crisis of the 1930s, the Monarch being forced out by the reeling elite, despite huge support from his subjects.
As for a written constitution, well the fact is they are but tissue and don’t amount for much, as witnessed by the undermining of the US Federal Constitution and its perversion in favour of the US ruling elite. A more organic form of government is in my mind preferable as it can reflect the times the changes to it are actually made in, hence, I’m agnostic towards the Monarchy, but actually vehemently opposed to the power of the City of London, which at the end of the day is a “State” within a State, much as the Vatican City is a “State” within a State. My own Welsh “nationalism” is not driven by actual nationalist sentiment, but rather a desire to break with the pernicious effects of the Palace of Westminster and attendant powers of the City of London, represented within Westminster and the Conservative Party – for my own little country I’d prefer a “principles” based organic Constitution underwritten with a highly independent judiciary operating on “Common Law”, it’s actually the “Rule of Law” that concerns me more. As such, and as with the Scots, having a Monarchy is neither here nor there, particularly given the fact that instead of a King or Queen, we’d have a Prince or Princess, essentially, whoever sits on the English throne does not necessarily mean they automatically act as Wales’s head of state, quite the reverse, its the “first born” who would be Wales’s head of State and this would be relinquished once they sat on an English throne, with their first born being our head of state, or close relative thereof. Complicated. Yes, but it keeps the folks happy and a politicised head of state is the last thing I want, particularly given it’s the Legislature which should be actual “sovereign”, curtailed from excess by the judiciary, which, whilst this is a “conservative” force in the UK, it has not sold its soul out to those with all the money, unlike the USA, which under it’s existing Constitutional framework (a written one at that) has been perverted beyond recognition, to the extent that its meaningless.
” the institution of the Monarchy they are more concerned about.”
the queen. It’s another player, but the pieces are all on the board. By the same token I could say that it’s not the UK elite, it’s “the elite”.
Could their be differences between the queen and the crown? Yes, but they already get 2 votes(in that instance), add a third for the UK elite, and a fourth for ‘the elite’. 1 more for the city, and another (each) for the corporate citizens of the city.
We’re on the same page it seems. My point was more about the use of power. the city, the queen/crown and the UK are all great, living examples of the politics of power on a world stage. The people that recognize that seem to get “power”. The people that don’t say “the queen is powerless”, more often than not.
Going forward? I’d rather see scottish nationalist bolsheviks break south to end the line. I can dream. Baby steps.
** also, adding- brits always love to mock the US for being so bible/church centric. How many members of our upper legislative house are legacy church appointees?
re Ebola Moving Faster….”WHO… emphasised… virus is not airborne.” That statement scares me. Nobody I know seems even remotely concerned about ebola. Except, I believe the world’s economic health is driving the message. “Many people have been misinformed regarding human-to-human transmission of Ebola. The Canadian Health Dept. States that airborne transmission of Ebola is strongly suspected and the CDC admits that Ebola can be transmitted in situations where there is no physical contact between people, i.e.: via airborne inhalation into the lungs or into the eyes where individuals are separated by 3 feet. That helps explain why 81 doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers have died in West Africa to date. These courageous health care providers use careful CDC level barrier precautions such as gowns, gloves and head cover, but it appears they have inadequate respiratory and eye protection…..It is apparent that the primary mode of person-to-person Ebola transmission is through direct contact with the body or bodily fluids of Ebola victims, but it is unwise to ignore the airborne mode.”
Excellent, thoughtful article here by the noted Dutch journo, Karel van Wolferen, on the European MSM and EU politicos’ slavish and craven deference to Washington as a consequence of long-learned Cold War “Atlanticist” mindset, never mind how “facts on the ground” contradict the official “Western” narrative concerning the Ukraine right-wing coup d’etat, MH-17, Putin, etc:
(obtained from the Ron Unz website, Unz Review)
Incidentally, the Unz Review has been publishing many counter-narrative pieces on the US government’s role in the Ukraine coup and its role in general in fomenting anti-Russian hysteria amongst its European “allies”, as well as articles free from usual blatantly pro-Israeli bias when discussing the Gaza crisis.
A great article. While it does rehash many of the things that get discussed around here, it illuminates the ongoing puzzle of Europe’s obeisance to Washington–suggesting it’s as much about security dependence as about financial or cultural factors. Thus when D.C. announces a new security threat Europeans have to follow our lead because we, with our nuclear bombs and aircraft carriers, are the ones with the big swinging d*ck. The writer suggests this has been going on for so long that it is practically unthinking.
As for the journalism, Walter Cronkite used to say that the way he picked stories for the CBS Evening News was by looking at what was on the front page of the NYTimes. Now it seems the Euro press is doing the same thing. Perhaps a first step in reforming or–one can only hope–reducing our strange stealth empire would start with that now very shaky publication. Most Americans could probably care less about Atlanticism. The Europeans would be better off as well. Time to tell the media.
Re Shaxson on The City. Not “capitulation” but “transformation” into Cinderella’s slipper.
The video is shot at a distance that makes it unclear as to how much damage is being done, although you can hear the meaty sound of someone being struck several times, as well as the nearly nonstop barking of the police dog and crackling bursts of Taser fire. Being filmed vertically doesn’t help, although I’m generally of the opinion that simply collecting footage that wouldn’t normally be captured is always useful and whatever makes the person filming most comfortable (seeing as it’s generally a very uncomfortable situation) is the method they should use. The recording also shows the arrival of more officers, as though the nearly invisible civilian at the bottom of the cop pile (which begins with 5 officers and a police dog) was on the verge of escaping the whole time.
Towards the end of a video, an officer pulls his squad car directly in front of the “scene” in an obvious attempt to limit the amount of onlookers with damning recordings. Shortly after that (and after the video ends), the cops started attempting to seize “evidence.”
A second witness ABC7 News spoke to says officers began confiscating cellphones from anyone who shot video of the incident. An officer asked for his cellphone after he shot video and the witness said, “Then he took my phone anyway because I didn’t want no problems. He emailed the incident to his phone.
The first witness said, “They didn’t take no for an answer apparently because they pulled one lady out of her vehicle to get it, and she wouldn’t give it up and they were about to arrest her and finally they let her go because I believe she gave it up.”
However, a third witness told ABC7 News he was ordered to erase his video. So he did. He said, “They were being kind of controlling, like demanding, ‘erase your phone’ and they were trying to take people’s phones away.”
So, cops know — or should know — they can’t do this. And I firmly believe most of them know this. The problem is that they just don’t care. The quickest “fix” is swift seizures of recordings using baseless arrest threats and other forms of intimidation. It’s an instinctual closing of ranks. Once the requisite dozen or so officers needed to affect an arrest had been met, one of the officers originally in the one-sided melee stands back and says he wants “that cellphone and that cellphone.” Well, he can’t have them. Not legally. And yet, officers apparently got what they wanted — rather than what they could legally obtain — in the end.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You have the right to photograph the cops, except the cops have guns, can claim your resisting, can arrest you, and shoot you for “reaching” for a what they thought was a weapon, and so on.
On these rules and court opinions are for naught if cops are never fired, never prosecuted, never convicted…
Again, the electorate holds the key to its own handcuffs.
We need laws quadrupling the penalty for any crime committed under the color of law, or by a public official acting in their official capacity (the Perry indictment — an official act, vs. the drunk driving charge against Rosemary Lehmberg — a non-official act, seems to illustrate the difference fairly well).
The police are out of control.
I attended kindergarten and the first grade in the ghetto (sincerely), in the mid 60s. When ‘Officer Friendly’ came to visit and give us his propaganda schtick, all of us already knew he was full of shit. The police don’t help poor people. Never have, never will. Steinbeck’s Tom Joad was right.
re The REAL ISSUE Behind the Ferguson, Missouri Police Response
“I mean, this has become our default response to protest in the U.S.”
become a default response, yes, but the cops have been purposefully steered there. I think this was/is part of the plutocracy’s plan – the security state at the local level, counterterrorism with terrorism defined as any dissent. Protest has been anticipated due to neoliberal profit-squeeze and planned for. easiest to go after black people, too, because white people have been propagandized to fear them.
re After Ferguson Congressman Hank Johnson Proposes Bill To Stop Militarizing Police
closing the barn door after the armored vehicle has rolled out?
also, sorry if this info has been posted already, but from Jonathan Turley today: “Nearly four years to the day before Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson opened fire and killed Brown, 18, a complaint filed in federal court accused the same law enforcement agency of violating the civil rights of a man who says he was badly beaten after being wrongly arrested, then later charged with “destruction of property” for bleeding on the uniforms of the cops alleged to have injured him.”
yes, many of us suspect, those armored vehicles aren’t just for minority communities, police crackdowns weren’t just for the whiter more affluent Occupy dissenters. Because of the economy, because of climate collapse and climate refuges and all of the above and more … take your pick.
And it’s a certain way to tell an authoritarian (including the authoritarian that calls themselves a “libertarian”). How do they instinctively react to what’s going on in Ferguson? Because I suspect some of them intuitively sense the unmentionable in polite society long game of what is going on as well as we do (the police state crackdown is meant for all the masses). Only THEY ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE.
The reaction to the Boston Marathon bombing was a dress rehearsal (not that the bombing itself was anticipated — not going CS, here). A major American city, locked down, under a paramilitary police force, using live ammo and heavy weaponry, in neighborhoods far flung from the crime scene, and with no rationale or precedent — all on an order that was obeyed without question.
Land of the free and home of the brave.
. . . uhhhh . . . not going CT, here . . . ack!
That whole episode was disgusting. “boston strong” BS. Boston Slobbering at the feet of the police state would be more accurate.
a shock-doctrine microcosm?
You could be onto something, but they lost their opportunity.
Duval Patrick and Mayor Menino were flying around all day in 2 blackhawk helicopters.
Toss them out, for freedom.
Thank you for the link to Peter Lee’s article in the Asia Times about the ties and interrelationships between ISIS, TTP, ISI and the Uyghur in China. My initial reaction to Mr. Lee’s article was, “How is this a(nother) U.S. problem, and how can we extricate ourselves from this region with its endless state-sponsored religious conflicts and genocidal factions where we have little at stake in terms of our national interest?”
Upon further reflection, however, one cannot help but be concerned about possible future access of extreme religious elements to nuclear arms in Pakistan. There is much to digest and monitor here for the U.S., as well as for the governments of China, Pakistan, India, Iran, and other states in the Near East and Middle East.
If you want to find out more about extreme religious elements with access to nuclear weapons, be sure to include the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s material in your search. They’ll tell you all about the Air Force Academy.
Thanks, Lambert… All better now.
ref to Ukraine and the flight MH17, a Boeing 777.
Some light thought for the weekend, make of it what you will.
The flight date was 07 of july, that’s the 7th month, of 2014 ( 2 + 0 + 1 + 4 = 7 ) and the Boeing 777 on flight MH17 had completed it’s maiden flight exactly 17 years ago.
Now you may not believe or give any credibility to esoteric numerology, yet it would seem that some people in high places do, including those in the financial establishment and institutions, ( masonic circles do too ) and they even make reference within public speeches.
The International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, talking about world’s economy at the Jan. 15 , 2014, National Press Club luncheon, brings numerology and the significant number 7 into her speech introduction. There are a few uploads of this video, the one linked here was posted in May of this year. Fast forward to 4.40 minutes.
Does the lady believe in numeroolgy or doe she make jest ?
She repeatedly asks to “drop the zero”. Why does she want herself to be removed ?
Perhaps not numerology in particular, but thaumaturgy in general is their bread and butter. After all, appearances are 9/10 of power.
666.79 S&P 500 intraday low on 3/6/2009 marked the bottom of the 2007-09 stock market decline.
Per Wikipedia: 666 is the sum of the first 36 natural numbers (i.e. 1 + 2 + 3+ … + 34 + 35 + 36 = 666), and thus it is a triangular number (Ever look at the symbol on a dollar bill?). Notice that 36 = 15 + 21; 15 and 21 are also triangular numbers; and 152 + 212 = 225 + 441 = 666.
666 is also the sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel (1 through 36) and is also the most common carbon isotope (Carbon-12), the basis of all known life on Earth, consisting of 6 protons, 6 neutrons and 6 electrons; as well as having other associations to numerologists.
As Robin Williams, bless his soul, asked in the film “Good Morning Viet Nam”: “Coincidence?… You be the judge.”
With all of the hubbub and demonstrated government overreach in Ferguson, I’m surprised that not one contingent of good, freedom-loving, assault rifle-toting, Gadsden flag-bearing, cammo-wearing, white militiamen has shown up to offer support to their besieged countrymen and fellow citizens.
Must be a NASCAR race on.
This had some very good observations-
Too true. As a resident of the ‘Heart of Dixie’ I must bow my head in shame. Here’s the cops attacking anyone who gets in their way, and the Talking Heads spin it as exclusively a race issue. One trend of thinking I’m seeing in the prepper libertarian fold is a defeatist “lets just hope we survive this” meme. Perhaps it’s just a prudential consideration of the extensive surveillance state now in existence, but very few people are secure enough to call for outright defiance of the State. Make no mistake about it, this situation has now progressed to the point where it will come down to exactly that; defiance of the State. The near future will tell the tale. If passive resistance and peaceful protest cannot do the job, the other option will surely come to pass. It’s scary, no two ways about it.
As to the poor people of Ferguson; where are the Panthers of today? (Not to excuse the Whitefolks. We have our full share of the blame.) Many of those patriots gave their lives. Can we do any less?
FYI, There are tremors coming out of one of Iceland’s largest volcanoes, Bárðarbunga, which is hidden under one of Iceland’s glaciers.
Map of tremors
RE: Irelands biggest food retailer drops israeli produce european boycotts surge.
It’s about time! Small European countries are sending a very plain message to “Bibi the Effing Mad” and his settler lunatics! Bibi of course will ignore it, but sensible Israelis won’t.