2:00PM Water Cooler 9/19/14

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Scotland: The Day After

How Scotland voted, by jurisdiction [“Taking the no road,” [Economist], and class [Economic and Social Research Council]. From the latter:

On average, only 32% of freehold home owners support independence compared to nearly more than half of people who rent their property from a council or housing association. One possible explanation for these differences is the circulation of reports claiming that mortgages will become more expensive and house prices may fall if Scotland becomes independent.

So TARPing works?

Nationalist leader Salmond steps down [BBC]. Weird. Prime Minister Cameron faces a revolt from Tory backbenchers over pre-referendum “bribes” to Scotland [Telegraph (link fixed)], and Tory proposals to “restrict the rights of Scottish MPs over England-only legislation” [Guardian], a.k.a “the West Lothian question” [Guardian]. Labour has more than 40 Scottish MPs. Cameron promises devolution reforms by next May’s election [Globe and Mail]. But Labour leader Miliband wants a constitutional convention [BBC]. 

Meanwhile, secession polls at 25% in the U.S., highest in the Southwest [Reuters].


“What came through strongly to me in this day’s work, was the unreality of the whole thing” [Sic Semper Tyrannis]. Well, the wedding parties blown to pink mist probably won’t share that view, at least in their last moments, but I do see what the poster means.

DOD to train 5,000 Syrian rebels against ISIS. Saudis have “volunteered” to host the program on their territory [New York Times]. I genuinely don’t get this “training” thing. The US just lost two major wars: Iraq and Afghanistan. What is this, those who can’t do, teach? How come we don’t do Vladi a solid for getting rid of Syria’s chemical weapons, “train” those Maidan dudes with the trebuchets, and airdrop them into Mosul? One stone, so many birds.

But are we in a war? The DOD hasn’t named ISIS thing Operation Cataclysmic Turkey, or indeed anything. And “the more the president and his aides have talked, the more confusion they have sown” [Times]. Are we sure that’s a bug?

ISIS releases first-person shooter [New Yorker].

And highly touted terrorist prospect weighs multiple recruitment offers [The Onion].

Stats Watch

Leading indicators, August: “Edged” 0.2% higher, although 0.4% expected, signaling the crapified new normal, forever, if we’re lucky moderate growth. Biggest weakness: real economy housing permits. Biggest strength: financial manipulation “the yield spread, which reflects the Fed’s still stimulative policy” [Bloomberg]. This is called “gaining traction” [Heavy Duty Trucking].

FOMC: [CNBC] ran a diff on this month’s statement and last month’s, so now you can compare the boilerplate. Clever!

2014 and 2016

That lovable goof, Joe Biden, is at it again (“Shylock”) [Politico]. And on the Republican side, Chris Christie is a self-popping balloon [Corrente].

The people who brought us Obama really hate Hillary [The Hill]. And they’ll leak a private mailing list to show how much!

And for those who came in late, the “dark art” of “oppo” [Politico].

Annals of Outright Corruption

Husband-wife team looting the NSA? She’s got the title (Director of the Signals Intelligence Directorate), he’s got the business (DRS Signal Solutions) [Buzzfeed]. Of course, it’s all sekrit, so we can’t be sure. So Annals of Innocence, Perfected.

News of the Wired

  • “Networking” in the language of graph theory, as is only right [Dan Hon].
  • Game of Blocks: Westeros in Minecraft [YouTube (furzy mouse)].
  • Judge OKs serving legal papers via Facebook [New York Post].
  • Google and Apple commit to encrypting users’ data by default [BBC].
  • Apple will no longer unlock iPads and iPhones, even for search warrants [WaPo].
  • For context on Ray Rice, et al., see the work of Alice Miller [Power of Narrative].
  • Cold War re-enactor wages war on PC cops [Christian Science Monitor]. Wait wait, “Cold War re-enactor”?
  • Politeness can pay, and more than pay [Independent].

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (jsn):


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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Roland

    The USA did not “lose” the Iraq War. The USA successfully wrecked the Iraqi state, and can return to do wahtever it likes in Iraq, whenever it wants, for any reason it likes, or even no reason at all. Moreover, the whole Western “Me Too!” brigade can tag along, such as the French and the Canadians are now doing.

    Contrast the USA’s defeat in Vietnam. After the USA was defeated by the Vietnamese, the USA was not free to return to Vietnam whenever it liked and resume bombing cities there.

        1. trish

          losing or winning these wars is all a matter of perspective.

          and re the cashflow gravy train, one wonders who’ll be building and running the facility, providing support, logistics…any corporate contractors getting a piece?

      1. Roland

        I don’t claim the USA necessarily “won” the war. I say that the USA did not “lose” the war. First of all many wars, maybe even most wars in history, are indecisive.

        Evaluating claims to victory would depend on how you interpret the USA’s war aims in Iraq. If you accepted the propraganda excuses for the war (WMD, GWOT, establishing democracy, etc) then obviously those aims were thwarted. The only declared aim which was achieved was the downfall of Saddam Hussein.

        On the other hand, if the aim was to destroy Iraq as a regional power in the Middle East, then there can be no question that the USA was successful. Today Iraq is militarily weak, economically impoverished, and in political chaos.

        If the aim was to make an example of any people who have opposed US policy, again the war was a success. The USA slaughtered and tortured thousands of people in Iraq with utter impunity. Nobody in the world lifted a finger to try to stop it. Instead the bourgeois bond traders of the global marketplace rushed to subscribe the full cost of the venture, incidentally furnishing us all with a undeniable instance of the liberty with which hegemonic currency issuers can employ MMT as a policy instrument. Meanwhile the Americans didn’t even feel the need to drive their modern money with taxes–instead they helped themselves to tax cuts while they ramped up military expenditures.

        People in Iraq who fought against the American invaders suffered heavy losses and the ruin of their country. Iraq is a fine example of the reality of American imperial power. The USA wrecked an entire country of about 25 million inhabitants, and they can do it again.

        Today, over a decade later, even the Western countries who regarded the Iraq War sceptically back in 2003, such as France and Canada, now hasten to send their own “Me Too!” contingents to help the USA kill more people in Iraq.

        So Lambert, in my opinion it would take a pretty funny sort of reasoning to construct a narrative of the USA “losing” the Iraq War. The USA did not cover themselves with glory in Iraq. But they did not lose.

      2. different clue

        There is a confusion between winning the war and winning the occupation and winning the peace.
        We won the war. General Garner intended to win the occupation by keeping the Baathist Army and the Baathist Mukhabarat completely intacting and functioning smoothly with no transition-bump at all. Garner’s expectation ( and the expectation of other ‘realists’) was that we would arrange the installation of a credible-looking successor strongman ( a “mustache transplant”) and leave Iraq in his good hands,
        thereby winning the peace through closing the occupation fast.

        Garner did not expect to be fired. Nor did a lot of other people expect it. Someone within the Bush Administration decided to make the occupation infinite and through the peace away. So they replaced Garner with Brennan or whatever the NeoCon ViceRoy’s name is, and turned him loose to fire Iraq’s entire army and secret police and destroy every institution in Iraq step by methodical step.
        So the war was won and the occupation winning essentially up to the firing of Garner.

    1. cwaltz

      USA leadership may be able to come and go as they please in Iraq, I’m not sure the same will be said for our military. I was reading that not only would ground troops have to dodge Sunni backed ISIS but the Shiite militias which have stated they will not work with our military and were responsible for a large number of our casualties when we occupied. That leaves us with essentially the Kurds who apparently are financially struggling due to their decision to go it alone. I guess we’ll all just tighten our belts here and pour more money into a region that is hostile to us.

      1. Veri

        The Shiites are still pissed at us for that Sunni Awakening. Then, we abandoned The Sunnis, again! About the only people that like us there are the Kurds. For obvious reasons. We haven’t f*cked them over yet, unless you count helping Saddam gas them back in the 1980s.

        And about the New Yorker article on Biden, I still see the are blaming the Maidan Square sniper shootings on the Yanukovych. Hard to take an article as serious journalism when they make a mistake about that. Oh, and Hunter Biden’s indiscretions in finance and something about his involvement with a Ukrainian investment company.

        The New Yorker article is an approved piece of propaganda. Looks like Biden is going to run.

        1. different clue

          Let us pray that Biden AND Clinton AND Sanders AND others fight eachother all through the primaries.

    2. Veri

      We weren’t meant to win, in any permanent sense. We were there because neo-con plans said to be there and when their plans failed, spectacularly and YET AGAIN, we got left with the short end of the stick covered in sh*t. So, the neo-cons activated Plan B. Then when Plan B failed, Plan C. And so on until it resulted in the clusterf*ck that Iraq is, today.

      We know that decision makers in The US Gov’t have been supplying The Free Syrian Army (The FSA), which includes Al-Qeda offshoot, Al-Nusra. That The Free Syrian Army has an agreement with Islamic State to be BFFs against Assad. We know that The FSA has already indicated that any American weapons they get, they will give to who they see fit – including Al-Nusra and Islamic State.

      We know John McCain was in the same room with one of The FBIs Most Wanted Terrorist (since 2011) in Syria in 2013. That would be Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Caliph of Islamic State. Nice photograph, PRICELESS.

      We know that major funders of ISIS, that morphed into Islamic State are America’s BFF in The Gulf, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

      We know that The FSA handed over a journalist to Islamic State, who was later beheaded.

      It has come to light that beheaded journalist, Steven Sotloff was apparently in some scheme to investigate Syrian rebels use of chemical weapons in Aleppo.

      We know that IS(rael) is providing artillery support to The Free Syrian Army, al-Nusra, and Islamic State (IS) in Southern Syria, close to the border.

      It can be deduced that Saudi Arabia wants to host the training of The FSA, because Saudi Arabia already has 5,000 Saudi terrorists waiting to be armed and sent to Syria. And that more are on the way in the coming months. Saudi Arabia has approximately 125 men for every 100 women and that is a huge social problem that threatens social stability. Sending Saudi Wahhabists to die is better than them sitting around in The Kingdom.

      And that Congress and President Obama have signed off on arming terrorists. Which is illegal and can be considered treason. Since Congress has the only authority to impeach The President, and The President is head of the Administration which would investigate Congress – no one will be investigated. Charged and jailed or executed for aiding terrorists.

  2. Rough Tough Timmies

    A guy who shoots militarized cops is a coward. I see. But a cop who maces girls or seated dissidents, or who shoots a handcuffed guy or an unarmed kid with his hands up, or tases an invalid to death with other cops around, that’s not a coward.

    Oh, right. That’s a chickenshit borderline-retarded pig on white man’s welfare. When the bankers RIF them and steal their pensions and they have to do real work even though they are only qualified to kill helpless citizens, I am going to hire one to clean the big boat that they wanted but I got instead, and I am going to berate him for doing it wrong and watch his face get red because you’re not a pig any more so you have to suck it up, asshole.

    Cops are animals. In Africa they would rehabilitate them in a residential vocational center like the dehumanized child soldiers they are.

    1. frosty zoom

      “The kindness bestowed on us by people who don’t even know us is so overwhelming I can’t even explain it,” Darla Dickson said, her voice cracking. “It’s unfathomable how people could wrap their arms around you and love you with such kindness that it helps lift the soul.”

    2. abynormal

      SAVANNAH, Georgia — An autopsy is planned for Friday/Today after a handcuffed man was shot and killed by police in Savannah, authorities said.

      Police arrested Charles Smith, 29, on outstanding warrants and placed him in a patrol car Thursday on the city’s west side, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Sherry Lang said.

      Smith was arrested and handcuffed with his hands behind his back, Lang said. After being placed inside the patrol car, he was able to move his hands to the front of his body and also kicked out a window of the car, she said.

      “The officers said as Smith attempted to exit the patrol car, they saw that he had a firearm,” Land said in a statement.

      He was then shot by an officer.

      A gun was found under Smith’s body during the crime scene investigation, Lang said, and the “arrest encounter” was captured on video.

      It was not immediately clear whether video recorded what happened outside the patrol car, inside it, or both. None of the video has been released.

      Society had a crime problem. It hired cops to attack crime. Now society has a cop problem.”
      Still Life with Woodpecker

    3. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Anyone wanting to be a policeman, a judge, or an elected official should be immediately disqualified from holding that position.

  3. DJG

    If the ISIS blowback-eradication program and Syrian multiparty civil-war-a-ganza have no name, why shouldn’t we be the ones to name it? Are we allowed to have contests at Naked Capitalism? Or are you in one of those no-contest states? Having read a lot of highly amusing comments on various articles from Scots during the recent exercise in popular sovereignty, I’m thinking that we should incorporate “omnishambles” somehow.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Omnishambles… How could I not have used that already? I’ve been using “Syraqistanza” to denote the whole “front” of Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan, and Gaza, but perhaps we need to get IS[IS|IL] in there too….

        1. Paul Tioxon

          We need more than manly, we need Muy Macho! Entre: Operation Matamoros. The Killer of Moors. Nice family name in Spain, earned from 800 years of war on the Iberian territory invaded by the expanding Islam. Let’s hope our involvement takes less time.

          1. psychohistorian

            I thought that was Flash-in-the-pan Man

            Operation Yankee Flash-in-the-pan Man, the quickest way to extinction.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Via Wired, this seems to be the seminal article on the craft of naming operations:

          Naming operations seems to have originated with the German General Staff during the last two years of World War I. The Germans used code names primarily to preserve operational security….

          Just Cause was the first US combat operation since the Korean War whose nickname was designed to shape domestic and international perceptions about the mission it designated. And it is perhaps unsurprising that the man who helped formulate the name, Lieutenant General Kelly, held an undergraduate degree in journalism.[86] His background equipped him to appreciate what others could not: that naming an operation is tantamount to seizing the high ground in waging a public relations campaign. …

          [T]he military still has some learning to do about the art of naming operations. Rules for helping staff officers through the process would be of little value because nicknaming is an art rather than a science. Yet four general suggestions emerge from the last 45 years of nicknaming operations: make it meaningful, target the key audiences, be wary of fashions, and make it memorable. These suggestions and the prudent guidelines already published in DOD Regulation 5200.1-R may prevent another “(non)Productive Effort.”

          First, make it meaningful.

          Second, identify and target the critical audiences.

          Third, be cautious of fashions.

          Finally, make it memorable.

          [S]tart by identifying unique attributes of the operation. Try to capture those characteristics in specific terms with a metaphor or with words that evoke an image. Try to keep each word to two syllables or less. Sea Angel, the name that replaced Productive Effort, has all the traits of a memorable name: it is unique and specific; it evokes a clear image in more than one culture; and it has only three syllables. Desert Shield and Desert Storm share those traits. It is no accident that the latter name is so frequently substituted for the name Gulf War. People remember it.

          So in that spirit:

          • Operation Furtive Stoat
          • Operation Droning Boar
          • Operation Fully Amortized
          • Operation Righteous Toke
          • Operation Steaming Load
          • Operation Hunky Orientalist
          • Operation Just Asking

          And so on and so forth. Better examples will doubtless occur to readers…

          1. JerseyJeffersonian

            Operation Pottery Barn
            Operation Who Did It & Ran
            Operation Non Mens Compos
            Operation Free Floating Malevolence

            This is kinda fun.

            1. sd

              Operation Not My Fault
              Operation Lyndsay Lohan
              Operation Fubar
              Operation Lets Try That Again
              Operation Cheneyfication
              Operation Mortgaging Your Child’s Future

              How did I do?

    2. bob

      Cheney’s minaret? His new ticker must be running in overdrive.

      Crescent FUBAR?

      The war nerd was also onto something with his comparison with the kardashians. We have a golden opportunity. Call the whole clusterfuck “kardashian”, or “K” since the media loves letters. Two birds with one stone. They’ll all be out of the news cycle in a week.

      “The greatest threat to the US today, K, has been neutralized. Kanye is ok, don’t worry.”

  4. DJG

    Interesting article about the husband-wife corruption team in the upper echelons of the secret police. Reminds me of entries by Procopius in the Secret Histories. It is the era of Barack Paleologus and Theodora Hillary, Icon of Inevitability.

      1. MikeNY

        I made the mistake of watching Ex-CIA Deputy Director Mike Morrell on Charlie Rose today. Talk about whack: the dude sat there in complete earnest talking about how we should be thinking of “kinetically” removing Assad and installing somebody friendly to our interests and allies if we want to defeat ISIS. He was basically advocating a US coup, with murder as the cherry on top.

        Pure self-interest. No moral compass whatsoever. Evil.

        And they wonder why groups like ISIS are proliferating.

        1. hunkerdown

          It’s the dark side of the Gamification of Everything. Dotcom bubble 2.0 has done a much cleaner job of wrecking/crapifying our humanity than the first one.

  5. LizinOregon

    The use of Special Forces to “train” foreign troops was pushed hard as the main the mission for Green Berets in the 80’s and now has spread to the broader group called Special Forces. From personal knowledge of the various missions of a former family member it became clear that it is really an excuse to get troops on the ground to gather intelligence, get behind enemy lines to help with targeting of bombs, and deliver arms and money to insurgents.

  6. Brooklin Bridge

    sludge, opps, judge OKs serving legal papers via Facebook

    Seems innocent enough; the ruling was for a situation in which traditional methods of serving papers had failed, but the precedent is creepy. We are moving ever closer to the day when we are required by law to have access to the net and – heaven help us – social media accounts. This is a requirement to privatize and/or eliminate the US Post Office.

    It is already required for tax and/or penalty payment by businesses in some states.

    Judges are too prone to self importance to realize how precarious computers and the net make their own jobs.

    1. ambrit

      This is a sea change. Previously, one was required to obtain some sort of verifiable actual possession of a document by a person or legal representative, eg. “service” of a summons. Now the courts will accept an illusory ‘service’ to an easily falsifiable ‘person.’ Knowing how easy it is to hack an online identity, the semi sacred nature of legal process has just been degraded to common commodity. Now the State will not have to prove an individual is connected to a crime. Just “Dislike” your bestest ex-friend to an existing crime and the job is done. Somehow I doubt the legal system will take the next logical step and provide “virtual” punishment. No money in it.

  7. DIno Reno

    Scotland blew it big time. Bunch of wankers. The Scottish brand alone was worth, what, half a trillion dollars? It was one of the best country stand alone brands on the planet. Name any other country brand name and the reaction is mixed at best. Scotland, on the other hand, well all right then. Thrift, intellect, industrious, honest, etc. Instead they make a big fuss for nothing and stay tethered to one of the most disgusting financial regimes extant for a bunch of false promises. I’m done with you Scotland. I wash my hands of you for brand destruction. Nothing is harder to create and easier to lose. Great brands are all we have.

      1. ambrit

        *snark on*
        What are you, some kind of pinko? Buying whiskey from that bunch of socialists up North? Be a real American and buy Kentucky Tavern in the litre plastic jug.
        *snark off*

    1. ewmayer

      @Dino Reno:

      I think you meant to say “Bunch of wankers votes to remain tethered to wunch of bankers*.”

      * That is the proper collective term (e.g., flock of seagulls, pod of whales, murder of crows) for high-finance types, is it not?

  8. craazyman

    holy molochachas. anybody still give a bleeping doohickey about Scotland? Jesus. What a farce from start to finish It’s like an explosion of boredom, a rampantly unrestrained effusion of incoherent being splashing like a cresting wave against the wall of its own reality. That”s the sort of thing Gary Winogrand took pictures of! You’d think photographers are fake artists. Plagiarists even! God makes it, the photographer takes it! What did they do but stand there with a paunch belly and a leering stare? It’s God’s color, God’s light, God’s shadow, God’s texture, God’s “Natura”. What the bleep does pushiig a little button do to make it “art”? Well, if you go to the Gary Winogrand show you’ll see. It’s over tomorrow so I went late today. Don’t be fooled by picture on the internet or in books even. Those aren’t photographs, their only photographs of phottograhs. They’re fakes! If you see the real ones, see them in front of you you’ll realize what’s going on. Why the hell do some people call him a dirty old man because he took picture of women walking down the street. Gettting in their faces and shooting their tits bulging under a dress. Or pictures of naked animals. He took picgures of naked animals too Also politicians. Also airports. Also people on the streets. But he did it with such sensitivity to the power of composition and gesture you’d think he lined everybody up for several hours and took a hundred shots until the one he wanted was perfect. Just right as that wave of reality crested and broke in a perfect cylindrical force of almost mathematical perfection. But no. He just walked around looking. Seeing. The seeing. That’s the incredible part. How iintensely direct and potent was the seeing. God makes an infinity but man has to choose. And that’s the art. Knowing how to see and what to choose to make it a double reality — that which was seen and that which majestically coveys what was seen. Majestically is not a exxageration even though it sounds like it might be. I’s just not at all easy. most people spend their days in various states of incoherent effusion. Probaly even Mr. Winogrand did, staggering from day to day under the yoke of some necessity. It’s only after the fact, when you collect it all and put it together in one place. Then it reveals itself in all its majesty. It’s no wonder the man is a famous photographer. He deserves to be. And as for Scotland. It doesn’t matter if they have their own money or the pound. They have to figure how to see and it won’t matter either way. Next few weeks the big news will hit and all they’ll bei talking about is Aretha ad Adele. The Life so short, the craft so hard to learn.

    1. OIFVet

      After reading this I now have to read me some Hemingway to clear my head. There is something to be said about minimalist writing.

      1. psychohistorian

        You wouldn’t think that the net effect of textual white noise could go negative but folks keep trying.

    2. Paul Tioxon

      I’ll start worrying about Scotland when they give Ireland back to the Irish. Jameson, the only real whiskey.

  9. ewmayer

    Now-old news, but I have no way of knowing which of the links-with-extra-snark I forward will get posted by the NC PTB, and my day was full ’til now:

    House votes to arm Syrian rebels | Reuters

    “..questions remain over whether [congress] will give [the alleged moderate rebels] the advanced weapons they say they need to defeat Islamic State militants.” I urge every conscientious NC reader to encourage his or her local hyperweaponized police department and school district to do its part and donate generously. “I have LA school police on the line with a donation of shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles … can I get a one-to-one matching donation from someone else?”


    Quick hits:

    o “Networking” in the language of graph theory, as is only right — “The best, they play like computers”. Aside from the fewer-blunders aspect, is that supposed to be a good thing? Let’s extend this line of reasoning to some other increasingly-computer-aided/dominated fields of creative human(?) endeavor:

    – “The best writers, they write like computers”
    – “The best mathematicians, they do maths like computers”

    Any other such “future quotes” readers can think of?

    o Judge OKs serving legal papers via Facebook — Someday soon this will no longer be optional.

    o Google and Apple commit to encrypting users’ data by default and Apple will no longer unlock iPads and iPhones, even for search warrants — I strongly suspect the “increased privacy protections” are way overblown. And of course such commitments, even if sincere, are meaningless until seriously tested by Uncle Stasi. (And don’t-forget the now-ubiquitous “account breaches by evil hackers”, the Big Data analog of the “rogue trader” ploy in big finance.)

  10. Bunk McNulty

    Thank you for the link to Arthur Silber’s essays on Alice Miller’s writings. recently, I have had a few very upsetting conversations with people I have considered friends who are immovably bound to the notion that the beatings (whupppings) they took from their parents were not only justified but absolutely necessary to the building of their character. There is no reasoning with them. It breaks my heart.

    1. Otter

      You are asking them to unlike their character.
      Since they have only one character, that’s probably pretty scary.

Comments are closed.