2:00PM Water Cooler 9/11/2015

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.



Trump’s Wall: “‘You can’t build a wall from sea to shining sea,’ Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) said. ‘It just doesn’t work'” [The Hill]. But that was last week. We’ve all moved on!

Clinton “thinking about” reclassifying marijuana, says potential donor [Bloomberg].

Sanders: “It is not acceptable that many young people have criminal records for smoking marijuana, while the CEOs of banks whose illegal behavior helped destroy our economy do not” [HuffPo].

The Voters

From the Quinnipiac poll:


“Hillary Clinton’s plan to “curb the outsized influence of big money in American politics” is being championed by an unlikely source: [Correct The Record,] a political committee that says it can accept unlimited money and coordinate directly with the Democratic front-runner’s presidential campaign” [International Business Times]. The bar for the “unlikely” has been lowered this year, however.

“Daniel Craig, the actor famous for portraying the British spy, confirmed to the Center for Public Integrity that he donated nearly $50,000 this summer to Americans Socially United, an organization purporting to support Sanders’ upstart presidential campaign” [Public Integrity]. “Sanders, who is unflinching in his advocacy for campaign finance reform, has asked Americans Socially United to stop campaigning on his behalf. His campaign sent the PAC a cease and desist letter (!) in June” [The Hill]. Roger Stone? Is that you?

The Trail

“‘The [Iowa] field has become a two-tiered contest—Donald Trump and Ben Carson ahead, and everyone else far behind,’ Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the poll, said” [Bloomberg].

“If Donald Trump can win the nomination, Ben Carson could too” [FiveThirtyEight].

Biden still milking it. Never believe a headline with the word “emotional” in it [Reuters]. Or “opens up” [NBC].

“Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on Thursday as he seeks to court African-American support for his insurgent presidential campaign” [The Hill]. “‘We know Sanders gets it,’ the [senior] aide said. ‘We know he understands the pressing issues facing African-Americans nationwide, but we needed to hear it from him directly.'” Remember when Obama whipped the CBC for TARP? Good times. The Black Misleadership Class; if they aren’t trying to backstab Sanders, that’s a win.

Ellen DeGeneres on Clinton: “You are the smartest and most qualified person for the job. If I want to hire a plumber, I want someone who has snaked a drain before” [New York Times]. Or drained a snake, if we’re talking about Wall Street, which Clinton doesn’t, much.

The Hill

Best headline ever: “US Debt Limit Watch: Sep-Dec an Unscripted Magical Mystery Tour” [Market News].

Stats Watch

Producer’s Price Index, August 2015: “Unchanged in August vs expectations for a 0.2 percent decline” [Econoday]. “Though still low, the direction of this report does support the hawks, at least to a degree, at next week’s FOMC.” And: “Those figures are far from the Fed’s 2 percent target, a gap that could cause Fed policymakers to delay a rate hike when it meets next week” [Los Angeles Times].

Consumer Sentiment, September 2015: “Just when you think you’ve gotten through the week, consumer sentiment dives and, perhaps, tips the balance against a rate hike. Weakness is centered in the expectations component which is down more than 7 points to 76.4, also the lowest reading since last September. Weakness in this component points to a downgrade for the outlook on jobs and income” [Econoday]. “New York Fed President William Dudley himself has said he is focused on this report as an early indication of how U.S. consumers are responding to Chinese-based market turbulence. These results offer a rallying cry for the doves at next week’s FOMC meeting.”

Wholesale Trade: “The nation’s inventories are heavier than they were last year which may limit future production and hiring” [Mosler Economics]. Mosler confirms my Maine Bear priors: “This chart is now looking a lot like prior recessions.” (“Inventory data provide a valuable forward-looking tool for tracking the economy”) [Econoday].

“[Via Merrill Lynch Research:] Based on the BAC internal data, which tracks aggregate spending on credit and debit cards, consumers reduced spending in August” [Across the Curve]. “[P]aints a sluggish picture of the consumer in August, suggesting caution for the Census Bureau report.”

The Fed: “At the simplest level of analysis, there is a 60/40 case in favor of a decision to begin the interest rate normalization process at the Fed’s Sept. 16-17 Open Market Committee meeting” [Mohamed A. El-Erian, Bloomberg]. Yeah, but what if the coin lands on its edge?

The Fed: “A week before the Federal Reserve’s most critical policy decision in years, Wall Street opinion makers can’t agree on anything” [Market Pulse].

Fear and Greed Index, September 11, 2015: 15 (+2); “Extreme Fear” [CNN].

Mosler to present on The Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy to a newly formed MMT group in Spain, September 14-17 [Asociación para el Pleno Empleo y la Estabilidad de Precios].


“[N]egotiations are under way in Washington this week to resolve a deadlock between Canada, Japan and Mexico over how a deal would treat vehicle imports” [Globe and Mail]. “Japan has proposed – and the United States has provisionally agreed – that the rule for Trans-Pacific partner countries in a proposed TPP trade zone should be that a car with as little as 45-per-cent domestic content can be sold without tariffs… But auto parts makers from Canada, the United States and Mexico are calling for TPP auto content rules of 50-per-cent domestic content.”

Dear Old Blighty

“Britain’s opposition Labour Party will announce the result of its leadership election on September 12th. Both the polls and the betting odds suggest that Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran of Labour’s far left and a record-breaking opponent of his own party in parliament, will win” [The Economist].

“Jeremy Corbyn set to beat 100-1 odds to become leader of UK’s Labour party” [Guardian]. I hope the ballots are counted in public; the way the Labour regulars were purging the voter rolls reminded me of Florida 2000.

“A number of backroom staff in the Labour party have been in touch today to say goodbye ahead of an exodus of frontbenchers and staffers who disagree with Jeremy Corbyn” [Spectator]. Rat, ship. If the UK is like the States, they’ll all end up on cable or the UK’s equivalent of K Street anyhow. I just hope Corbyn has a Karl Rove of his own. He’ll need one.

“In keeping with his left-field stance, Corbyn steadfastly refuses to don the kind of polished suiting that’s become the rather bland mainstay of his opponents” [Telegraph]. “[L]eave the suiting to the bankers.”

“NHS workplace stress could push 80% of senior doctors to early retirement” [Guardian] Neo-liberal scheme to gut the NHS continues.

Police State

“These new [Department of Justice] rules [requiring a warrant for Stingray surveillance] don’t apply to state or local law enforcement. That’s a big deal. The American Civil Liberties Union believes that agencies in at least 21 states have access to Stingrays, including city police departments in California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois. And last month, USA Today revealed that municipal use of Stingrays in cities like Baltimore was much more common than previously believed” [The Atlantic]. And there are now cheaper mini-Stingrays, called “Wolfhound” and “Jugular.”

“An Oregon police officer who reported his chief for allegedly comparing African-Americans to monkeys says he has been harassed by community members, even enduring death threats” [CBS].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“The Negro Motorist Green Book, popularly known as the Green Book, was a travel guide intended to help African American motorists avoid social obstacles prevalent during the period of racial segregation, commonly referred to as Jim Crow.  The Green Book listed businesses that would accept African American customers” [Black Past].


“Food Industry Enlisted Academics in G.M.O. Lobbying War, Emails Show” [New York Times].

“A private parking firm whose staff were caught doctoring photo times to issue overstay [parking] tickets has finally apologised and offered full refunds to customers after being exposed by MailOnline” [Daily Mail]. Not that this could ever happen in, say, Chicago. Or with any other digital device generating income via a fine.


“The outlook is grim. The National Research Council estimates that the amount of land burned in western North America could quadruple with every degree of warming” [The Economist, “America in flames”]. “In 1995, the forest service spent 16% of its budget on fire suppression, and the rest on other important activities, including clearing brush and managing watersheds. This year the agency will spend a little over half its budget on firefighting, and by 2025, it predicts, that could rise to around 67%. This, says the agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, who oversees the USFS, will leave “much fewer resources for the very restoration projects that have been proven to reduce the risk of wildfire.” It’s a self-licking ice cream cone!

“U.K. law prohibits introduction into the wild of any animal that doesn’t already live there, even if it once did. Yet the Otter’s beavers are multiplying, and the mystery of how the rotund rodents came to Coleridge’s “wild streamlet of the West” has fanned the flames of a national beaver conflict” [WSJ, “British Beavers Gnaw Their Way Back, but Are They Worth a Dam?”]. How many? 212.

“An appeals court Thursday overturned federal approval of an insecticide used on a variety of crops, ruling that it could hasten an already “alarming” decline in bees” [Los Angeles Times]. “The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said the federal Environmental Protection Agency approved the insecticide, sulfoxaflor, based on flawed and limited information. Initial studies showed the insecticide was highly toxic to honey bees.”

Our Famously Free Press

“Sy Hersh, secrecy, and paranoia” [N+1].

In its unending accumulation of detail after disastrous detail, Hersh’s reporting often has the screwball plotting of a Pynchon novel. If the subject matter weren’t so upsetting, his reports would be funny.

Hersh’s stories break down complex events into chains of isolated, largely reactive individual decisions. His reporting never points back, as Pynchon’s novels do, to shadowy conspiracies; there is no titanic clash between impersonal forces, no central organizing principle, only human action churning away. Near the beginning of Hersh’s book on the Iraq war, an intelligence official complaining about the ‘enhanced interrogation’ tactics at Guantánamo says, ‘It was wrong and also dysfunctional.’ A few pages later, this refrain is repeated by another source: ‘It’s evil, but it’s also stupid.’

Seems a fitting reminder for today’s anniversary. There’s a lot of that going around.

“Beacon finds partnerships and matching donations work better than subscriptions and paywalls” [Neiman Labs].

Class Warfare

“The University of Toronto warned its students, faculty and staff about the threats on Thursday and said it’s working with the Toronto Police Service and Peel Regional Police to find out who is behind the anonymous threats, made by someone using the screen name “KillFeminists.” Meanwhile, campus enforcement have increased their patrols, the university said” [HuffPo]. Quite sensible, after the Université de Montréal massacre, which had precisely the same object.

“[N]ew research out from Yale University suggests that it’s not the presence of inequality that causes problems, but rather the visibility of that inequality” [The Atlantic]. “When wealthy people find out that their neighbors don’t have the resources they do, researchers find, they’re less likely to help them, or anyone else.”

“The Seattle Office for Civil Rights is studying whether waiving fees or cutting costs for workers of certain select companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing, potentially violates anti-discrimination rules” [Seattle Times].

“How Pope Francis Is Reviving Radical Catholic Economics” [The Nation].

“At WeWork, an Idealistic Start-Up Clashes With Its Cleaners” [New York Times]. Remind me never to use the words “start-up” and “valued at” in the same sentence, paragraph, or story as “idealistic.”

News of the Wired

“Why the high-tech smart home is still years away” [Telegraph]. Thank heavens!

Bill Atkinson’s notebook as he developed the Lisa interface that evolved into the Mac interface [Folklore].

“Using acoustics software to identify individual tigers by their calls” [Wildtech].

“The British Library Puts Over 1,000,000 Images in the Public Domain: A Deeper Dive Into the Collection” [Open Culture].

“The Creative Reuse Potential of Collections” [MuseumID].

“A giant slab of ice as big as California and Texas combined lurks just beneath the surface of Mars between its equator and north pole, researchers say” [Space]. So I guess Musk won’t have to pack an ice-cube maker.

“The Most Misread Poem in America” [The Paris Review]. “The Road Not Taken.”

* * *

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 (Bob Hall):


A pitcher plant, Otter Pond, Vinalhaven, ME.

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. Winter is coming, I want to buy a few books, and I need to keep my server up, too.


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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. optimader

    “The outlook is grim. The National Research Council estimates that the amount of land burned in western North America could quadruple with every degree of warming” …the USFS, will leave “much fewer resources for the very restoration projects that have been proven to reduce the risk of wildfire.” It’s a self-licking ice cream cone!

    And with the advent of humans thinking they are going to “manage” forests, they have gotten old, diseased and more likely to burn in giant conflagrations. How did forests ever get along without us?

    1. different clue

      Humans did all kinds of managing forests in this hemisphere for thousands of years. Indian Nations did managed burning all over North America for instance. Huge forests in South America, Lacondon region Mexico, etc. are Indian Nation managed food forests.

      Yet AmeriWestern Chauvinists mistake U.S. Forest Service management in particular for human management of forests in general. It is almost as though some people consistently fail to realize that Indians really are/were human, and that therefor ten thousand years of Indian Controlled Burning is indeed human forest management. I wonder why AmeriWestern Chauvinists continue to overlook and amnesiafy the basic fact of ten thousand years of Indian Controlled Burning on this continent.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Charles Mann has an excellent description of controlled burning by native Americans in 1491, which I think everybody should read. They were managing forests on a continental scale.

        1. different clue

          Yes. So it goes to show that human management of forests can work and has indeed worked in the past. We just need to get clear on managing how and for what. I am beginning to think I really should read Mann’s book.

          I don’t know if Mann’s book covers this, but I have read implications in the past that since the American chestnut was a very fire-tolerant species, Indian Fire management may have favored the American chestnut over thousands of square miles and led to the presence of vast chestnut-dominant forests in the East right up to the time of the blight. And it may be
          the fire-resistance feature of having some kind of “insult-and-injury-resistant” ring-zone around the trunk right at or below ground level is what kept the subground root systems alive to keep sending up sprout after sprout after sprout, even after blight killoff of the main tree. Such sprouts from ancient root systems are still found here and there in Appalachia. I have seen one in East Tennessee and one in Pennsylvania myself.

  2. Bruce S. Post

    In reading the article about “The Road Not Taken”, which I agree is quite misunderstood, I was surprised that I did not read the name Edward Thomas (unless I missed it). Some scholars believe that Frost was poking fun at his good friend Thomas, the English poet who died in WW I. Edward Thomas liked to walk about, and it is thought that Frost was teasing Thomas about the latter’s indecisiveness when the two men went out on rambles together in the English countryside.

    Living here in Vermont, I can attest to both Frost’s popularity and to the common tendency to over-sentimentalize him. Bernard DeVoto, who after witnessing Frost’s disrespect toward Archibald MacLeish up at the Breadloaf Writers Conference one summer, delivered one of the most withering comments ever directed at Frost. DeVoto was overheard to say, “You’re a good poet, Robert, but a bad man.”

  3. ewmayer

    More links for the weekend reading pleasure – if that is the right word – of my fellow NCers:

    Public Distraction Theater:

    o Exclusive – U.S. to China: Take back your undocumented immigrants | Reuters

    Let’s hope the list of deportees includes that birth-tourist Mom at the National Zoo recently exposéd by The Onion!

    9/11: The Real Legacy:

    o U.S. government blocks release of new CIA torture details | Reuters

    This is a more fiiting 9/11 ‘memorialization’ than the obligatory corporate-media-hyped fawning weepy NYC niemals-vergessen-fest. We should never forget what we as a nation have become in the wake of 9/11 – a hyper-reactionary post-constitutional non-republic, whose ongoing over-recation (= feature, not bug, to the over-reacters) has been responsible for the slaughter of many hundreds of times more innocents than died on 9/11.

    Drought Watch:

    o Evacuations ordered as northern California wildfire expands in extreme heat | Reuters

    5th day in a row of extreme heat today in CA … finally supposed to cool off over the weekend.

    o California citrus farmers pull up trees, dig reservoirs to survive drought | Reuters

    And not a speck of mulch or natural groundcover to be seen amidst those trees … morons.

    Class Warfare:

    o New Orleans mayor faces house arrest in firefighter wage squabble | Reuters

    o N.F.L. Cheerleaders’ Wage Fight Gains Momentum | NYT

    And lest we forget, the NFL has enjoyed special congressional tax-exempt status since its inception. I’m guessing at the time the excuse was ‘Just till the newly-merged league gets on its feet.’

    o And on the Clown Car front, entirely unsurprisingly, we have ZeroHedge:

    Guide for Learning to Use a Sidearm to Defend Yourself, Your Loved Ones, and Your Property, Should a Race War Break Out

    Posted by: hedgeless_horseman
    Post date: 09/10/2015 – 15:47

    By property ZH of course means “your preciousssssss hoard of silver and gold bullion, now on sale due to central bank manipulayshunss and paper-PM-market dilution, bitchezzz” (And of course your precious guns & armor-piercing ammo you keep in the expensive gun vault recommended by the poster, who is probably a paid shill for the company manufacturing same). Re. cops, never let ugly facts (killings of cops down sharply this year vs same time in 2014) get in the way of one of your inane ‘memes’, eh, Tyler(s)?

    But I was most deeply disappointed to not see any detailed prepper tips for the coming Zombie (not sure if race war on top of that) Apocalypse. A shocking omission.

    1. craazyboy

      Public Distraction Theater:

      I think some of us are concerned that previously gone out of print Ayn Rand books will go into full volume publication again – and even the average US citizen voter knows a sizable campaign contribution, even from an “illegal immigrant”, is worth a thousand or more votes when selecting our “leadership”, and subsequent governmental policies.

    2. hidflect

      ZH used to have valid and insightful posts but they ran out of info and have since been led by the tail to Prepper Land via a desire to feed the commenting crowd who have taken over like a zombie horde. One article on the tumbling gold price actually had people citing the inevitable EMP strike as their raison d’etre for hanging on to their shiny rocks.

      The site is a bad parody of itself now, not even worth reading for chuckles. I mean, they blew past Alex Jones’ Paranoia Parallax eons ago and are lost somewhere in the Dementia Dimension.

  4. Carolinian

    Here’s a somewhat interesting article that suggests the correct analogue for Trump is not rightwing demagogues from Europe’s past but rather the shady media tycoon Berlusconi.


    They share a flaunted machismo and political incorrectness. This is part of a well-calculated electoral strategy. What Berlusconi had already understood before Trump is that saying outrageous things gets you free media coverage and forces others to engage with what you are saying. So you get to set the terms of the political debate, while shifting its center of gravity in your favor. At the same time, Berlusconi and Trump’s political incorrectness targets a specific electoral group — predominantly blue-collar white males who feel threatened by globalization, multiculturalism and women’s rights. There is an element of revanchism in their discourse, which allows them to attract conservative votes while assuming an air of radicalism.

    Berlusconi’s popularity in Italy was also due to his capacity to transform class antagonisms into cultural issues, capturing large swathes of the working-class vote. The fact that he was a billionaire never seemed to distance him from ordinary people. On the contrary, it tapped into their aspirations. Even more importantly, the fact that he had brought commercial television to Italy implied an association with popular culture that set him in opposition to the country’s traditionally left-leaning cultural elites. In the same way, Trump’s anti-establishment rhetoric appeals to working-class voters who resent what they perceive as the patronizing attitude of ‘liberal elites’. This suggests the old class antagonism is now translated into a new cultural division which plays out in terms of political style rather than income.

    Of course the indispensable nation would never elect such an unserious person President, right?

    Whether they will be able to rein in the forces they have conjured up remains to be seen — but don’t forget that Berlusconi was initially dismissed as wholly unelectable. His political momentum lasted more than 20 years.

    1. A Real Black Person

      “rump’s political incorrectness targets a specific electoral group — predominantly blue-collar white males who feel threatened by globalization, multiculturalism and women’s rights.”

      i don’t like statements like they suggest that a social phenomenon is overwhelmingly occurring in: one political party, and one narrow socioeconomic group..

      First, let me address the obsession with white males:
      Are you suggesting that there isn’t a large number of female Republicans out there? Or that most women are feminists?

      There are social conservatives in every ethnic group who are traditionalists who disapprove of some of the social norms of modern society.

      There are economic conservatives who are not white or male. Because Americans likes to believe that it is a CLASSLESS society, politicians try to appease blue collar whites and other people who have very little power.

      1. craazyboy

        Last I checked, manufacturing was down to 10% of the US economy, and some of us white collar white folk used to work there too! Trump has 30% polling numbers, so that theory doesn’t seem to wholly fit with the numbers.

        But maybe it’s women scaring everyone. That could be.

        1. A Real Black Person

          It’s more likely that it is the ” Social Justice Warriors” that are scaring–I mean driving people towards conservativism. Before I ever heard of the term, I thought the complaint about universities and colleges being an indoctrination center was hogwash. Now, I know better. Certain professors, in certain classes, are doing nothing but using their position to promote views that I’d say are radical and I’m not talking about “gay marriage” here, I’m talking about the idea of more than three genders…and seeing oppression where it doesn’t exist. The students who are receptive to professors concerned with “social justice” unfortunately are not the smartest…and tend to be the stereotypical students who major in a useless subject…find themselves unemployable and blame their unplayability on “greed, bigots, etc.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              I don’t take it seriously either. If students were as malleable as the commenter suggests, teaching would be much more easy than it is. I think the truly dangerous types of indoctrination come with systems that train professionals for careers, in grad school. If you’re afraid of SJWs, just consider the damage a neo-liberal economics department can do.

              1. craazyboy

                I guess there is plenty of collage stuff that does scare me. Harvard for one. Or as the commenter suggested maybe someone can get a 100K student loan to major in 4th dimensional DNA sex combinations, and the USG finally decides to “forgive” his loan and it goes on the taxpayer bill. ( I still think the USG sells bonds, and the bondholders want to be paid back)

              2. A Real Black Person

                I’d say schools that have economics departments with neoliberal viewpoints that they present to students as facts, not philosophical theories, kind of support the belief, that is held by social conservatives, that universities often be indoctrination centers;They just don’t teach how to think….but WHAT to think.

                It seems to me that people tend to endorse indoctrination as long as that indoctrination involves beliefs and views they share. Some people are
                believe in authoritarian style of education…they also seem to be religious and like the “character building” that the military and private schools schools produce.

                1. Scylla

                  Speaking as a middle aged college student, my experience seems to disagree with your description. On the whole campus I attend, I can think of two professors (History/Women’s studies and Mathematics teachers) who were not promoting status quo/conservative/right wing views. However, extreme attention was aimed at the two I previously mentioned to the point where the math prof seems to have made a joke about it and started calling students “comrades”. I have taken classes with both of them. The history prof seems to simply describe events and attitudes as they have existed, and the math prof only shares his opinions of anything other than mathematics with students he is close to (his views are to the left, admittedly). The biggest thing that makes these two stand out is that they stand for democratic/anti-authoritarian processes within the university governing process. They are basically labeled as commies because of this. The only indoctrination attempts I have seen are of the conservative/right wing variety that occurs in the polisci, econ, and oddly, the chemistry departments.

                  I would also add, that excepting a very small minority who appear to already have formed their own strong philosophical leanings in agreement, the students ignore all of this stuff. So regardless of any attempts made by faculty, your fears seem just a bit unfounded in what are admittedly, my own anecdotal observations.

                  1. A Real Black Person

                    You need to read what I wrote more carefully. Nowhere did I say I–me–had any concerns.

                    I also didn’t make huge sweeping generalizations. Note the use of the words “some” and “receptive”.
                    So, with that said, if you wrote that long post to “teach me a lesson” about stereotyping, you wasted your time.

                    ” The biggest thing that makes these two stand out is that they stand for democratic/anti-authoritarian processes within the university governing process. They are basically labeled as commies because of this.”
                    The same democratic/anti-authoritarian system that raises tuition every semester while the social and economic value of the “education” they provide for more and more money is questionable.
                    That sounds less like a democratic system and more like a market economy system.

                    1. low_integer

                      “I also didn’t make huge sweeping generalizations.”

                      “The students who are receptive to professors concerned with “social justice” unfortunately are not the smartest…and tend to be the stereotypical students who major in a useless subject…find themselves unemployable and blame their unplayability on “greed, bigots, etc.”


          1. jrs

            Is the idea of multiple genders radical? By radical I thought you’d say something like “professors calling for the abolition of private property!” Didn’t some native tribes believe the same thing about multiple genders (in addition to man and woman there was woman-man and man-woman)? I don’t know that multiple genders is The Truth ™, I would hardly like it crammed into me as if it was the only truth, I don’t think I react at all well to dogmatism. It’s maybe more not all culture’s have perceived gender as western culture has generally perceived it.

            The students are right to blame their unemployability on outside circumstances, they are quite frankly hard science mathematically right and there’s no doubt equations to prove it. While they personally may have done better with a more useful degree, if everyone had gotten a more useful degree, there would still not suddenly be vastly more useful jobs to employ all of them (fallacy of composition). So those who see the overall problem of unemployment as a systematic problem are right, even if their personal unemployment has multiple contributors.

            1. A Real Black Person

              I would hardly like it crammed into me as if it was the only truth I don’t think I react at all well to dogmatism. It’s maybe more not all culture’s have perceived gender as western culture has generally perceived it.”
              I’ve found that that many people are socially conservative in their views on gender relative to where the Left is or is perceived to be. The perception is that the Left is becoming more…well…”Left” in its social views while becoming compliant with the dysfunctional economic system. The Left’s embrace of higher education (which, for the purpose of argument, I’m not going to include vocational schools. ) is part of its further compliance with the dysfunctional economic system. It’s too bad the Occupy Wall Street protesters and their supporters don’t see that.

              ” if everyone had gotten a more useful degree, there would still not suddenly be vastly more useful jobs to employ all of them” One of the reasons behind the expansion of higher education since WWII was the neoliberal notion that a greater supply of engineers and scientists would create their own demand otherwise known as “Supply Creates its Own Demand”
              The other reason behind the expansion of higher education was that continued population growth and growing worker productivity would leave many people with nothing to do.

              I think why the Occupy movement has been dismissed and has fizzled out is that they haven’t been able to rationalize why they complain about a system they’ve invested so much into, and why SOME of them have no lucrative/marketable/rare skill and are complaining why the market isn’t interested in them.

              So, I’m guess I’m saying that going to college means accepting neoliberalism, aka globalization. . .because without neoliberalism and globalization the demand for highly credentialed specialists would be limitted by the surplus generated by the domestic economy . That would mean no solar panels, and very expensive computers. Don’t get me started on the limited use of oil).

              What liberals and and the Occupy Movement are arguing was for a kinder (to them), gentler version an ravenous, exploitative economic system that makes the lifestyles they desire possible.

              1. low_integer

                An improvement on previous work. Shows an awareness of some important themes however demonstrates both a lack of understanding with regard to the complex dynamics of these themes as well as a lack of nuanced reasoning. Lastly, this piece is written with a distinctly frustrated tone, which does the author no favours.


    2. Carolinian

      Elsewhere in Counterpunch:

      Trump has shown that there is more than enough indignation abroad in the land for independent political movements to gain a foothold. He has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that America’s duopoly party system can be overcome.

      Notwithstanding the merits of positions Bernie Sanders has taken on many domestic issues, the Sanders campaign has not done that at all.

      It is good only for getting reasonably progressive political ideas back into circulation.

      Winning the Democratic nomination and then the general election is not a strategy; and not just because it isn’t going to happen in Sanders’ case. It is not a strategy because what Sanders calls a “political revolution” is not about putting a new face in the White House – not, anyway, while everything else, the system itself, remains unchanged.

      It is about changing the system.

      In short, on “the issues,” Sanders trumps Trump. But Trump’s campaign could still do more good than Sanders’ – because Trump’s is undermining the Republican Party, while Sanders’ is making the Democratic Party’s stranglehold over all but the most modest progressive initiatives more secure.

      Hey good stuff.


      1. A Real Black Person Purple Monkey Dishwasher

        “getting reasonably progressive political ideas back into circulation.”

        You mean like civil rights for upper middle class LGBT people who often can buy the respect and dignity they want codified into law?

        Pouring more money into “green energy” which cannot replace or match the amount of energy fossil fuells provide? ” Green energy” is not economically or environmentally viable with current technology.

        Pouring more resources into the Educational-Industrial Complex?

      2. RWood

        Don’t I hear an echo here — from here?
        “It is good only for getting reasonably progressive political ideas back into circulation.”

      3. different clue

        Getting reasonably progressive ideas back into circulation is better than not getting reasonably progressive ideas back into circulation. If Trump ends up blowing a hole in the wall, perhaps it is an army of people recently exposed to reasonably progressive ideas recently gotten back into circulation by the Sanders campaign who will figure out how to rush through that hole in the wall.

        As Butch Swaim once said: “Before there can be a revolution, there first has to be a revolution between the ears.” And just who the hell was Butch Swaim? Well . . . you could ask Noam Chomsky, but he won’t be able to tell you. I am confident that Noam Chomsky has never heard of Butch Swaim.

        1. jrs

          It could be. I think the debate breaks down to those who think the problem is people’s lack of exposure to progressive ideas (in which case Bernie is great) versus those who think it is the inability to implement them even though the public already wants them (so the public wants single payer but doesn’t get it, or people join the Occupy movement and it gets crushed by state oppression etc.). In which case Bernie is an ineffective means of social change.

          I think the latter is closer to the truth, that no matter what the exposure to progressive ideas it is ultimately a fascist state we’re dealing with. But I’m still rather unclear WHAT exactly most of the public believes since elections are an extremely poor proxy for this for 10 million reasons (duopoly, Diebold, voter disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, plutocracy, electoral college, small states overrepresented in Senate, early states overrepresented in Presidency etc.). If much of the working class really wanted socialism, would we even know? (being they are not prepared to take much more risks for it)

  5. different clue

    About GMOs . . . Here is a link to an article by someone who suffered nasty diffuse whole-body allergic symptoms for years, including years of useless treatment, before she was finally referred to a highly knowledgeable allergist. He suspected she might be allergic to traces of novel protein in GMO corn-tainted products. She went entirely off anything touched or tainted by corn of any sort, and her symptoms cleared up over time.
    As an experiment, she would re-expose herself to something corn-tainted for one meal and some bad symptoms would return. She is convinced of the problem’s reality in her own case.

    I believe this article may well be worth linking to as a link in the links section itself. But just in case it isn’t, I offer it in a comment anyway. Here is the link.

    1. different clue

      Well! . . . this comment printed right up even though it had a link in it. Very good. I hope people read the article with v e r y s l o w a n d c a r e f u l a t t e n t i o n. Near the end of the article are referrences to “eosinophils” and what they are and what they do and what can trigger excess production of them in the body. And what they do when they run amok in wildly produced excess.

      What if numbers of people with these types of symptoms and no answer to their problem were to get themselves checked by allergists or allergismology-minded doctors for the presence of excess eosinophils? What if people with these types of symptoms who were found to have wildly run-amok surpluses of eosinophils were then to remove from their lives any and all traces of any product tainted in any way by any presence of corn? And what if some of those people were to then have a steady disappearance of all their symptoms? Even if nothing else was learned on a wider scale, those people would find relief from their particular problem.

      I really hope this article gets read.

  6. low_integer

    I’ve been following the Black Injustice Tipping Point links for a while now. I thought I would share this relatively unknown song by deceased Angolan songwriter David Zé. I do not understand the language, however knowing a little about Zé’s journey I am sure the lyrics are profound. I don’t think this song ever had an official film clip, however this one by Carlos Diao has become the unofficial video clip and in my opinion is beautiful, both in content and technique. Enjoy.
    (safe for work)

    1. low_integer

      David Zé, was one of the mythical musicians of the Angolan revolution. With letters endowed with a very politicized nature of content, advocated in his songs nationalist ideas of Agostinho Neto’s MPLA. He died during one of the darkest periods of the Angolan history, factionalist counter-coup of May 27, 1977 [at] only 32 years of age. (Wikipedia)

  7. Jessica

    Looking at the poll above, the strongest correlation is age. The younger you are, the more likely you support Sanders and the older, Hillary.

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