Links 11/3/15

Abrupt changes in food chains predicted as Southern Ocean acidifies fast: study Sydney Morning Herald (Chuck L). The jackpot is nigh….

…but not to worry, you will still be able to drive your car: The Earth is not running out of oil and gas, BP says Telegraph

Picasso’s muse provokes anger with frank views on wolf whistles Guardian

Uber has suspended its services in 3 German cities Reuters

Amazon opens its first real bookstore — at U-Village Seattle Times

A ‘huge milestone’: approval of cancer-hunting virus signals new treatment era Guardian (Chuck L)


Six Ways to Gauge How Fast China’s Economy Is Actually Growing Bloomberg. Note Barclays pegs growth at more like 5%.

Data Mining Reveals the Extent of China’s Ghost Cities MIT Technology Review

Over 40 per cent of goods sold online in China fakes or poor quality, says state media report South China Morning Post

EXPOSED: Beijing’s Covert Global Radio Network Reuters (Chuck L)

‘Regular, but not a poke in the eye’: US Navy plans two or more patrols per quarter in disputed areas of South China Sea South China Morning Post

Economic ties won’t ensure peace between China and Japan East Asia Forum

The Indonesian Massacre: What Did the US Know? New York Review of Books (resilc)

Osborne seeks two-tier Europe enshrined in law Financial Times

12 reasons why Cameron will lose on Brexit Politico

Berlin dismay over UK’s EU reform push Financial Times

Netherlands ‘wants to rein in tax avoidance during EU presidency’ Guardian. Not exactly credible….


New U.S.-Backed Alliance to Counter ISIS in Syria Falters New York Times

Iran Feature: Supreme Leader — US is a “Den of Espionage” Conspiring Against Us EA WorldView (resilc)

The King Of The Shores: An Interview With a Syrian Refugee Smuggler New Republic (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Drone Company Misled Military into Buying UAVs that Were Basically Toys: Lawsuit Motherboard (resilc)

A New Biography Traces the Pathology of Allen Dulles and His Appalling Cabal Intercept (resilc)

Trade Traitors

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: European Opposition To The TTIP Trade Pact Worries US International Business Times


Ben Carson Vaults to Lead in Latest Journal/NBC Poll Wall Street Journal. Also shows Clinton picked up 6 points in her lead over Bernie.

Dr. Ben Carson fears for his Life from Militant Liberals Juan Cole (furzy mouse)

Jeb Bush’s New Campaign Hashtag Is Backfiring Big-Time Wired (resilc). Um, hasn’t he gotten the memo that he’s over?

On suspending my campaign Larry Lessig (Chuck L)

Clinton Foundation spinoff won’t refile tax returns Politico

Another Volkswagen diesel engine is cheating emissions tests, EPA claims Verge

Keystone XL oil pipeline in doubt as U.S. asked to pause review Reuters

Police State Watch

Police backlash puts pressure on Tarantino’s ‘Hateful Eight’ Seattle Times (furzy mouse). This is looking too close to brown shirts for my taste.

A New Report Shows How Often Cops Sexually Assault Civilians VICE (resilc)


Why The Fed May Wait Until 2017 To Raise Rates Forbes. There’s a much simpler reason that Yellen is going to continue to engage in Penelope-with-her-suitors delaying tactics on rates through 2016: the elections. All the leading Republican candidates are more Fed-hostile than Hillary.

Weak ISM Report Further Boxes In the Fed on Policy Choices WSJ Money Beat

Is U.S. manufacturing signaling a recession? CNN

Janet Yellen Turns Over Documents to House Panel Investigating 2012 Leak Wall Street Journal

So “the Sky is Falling” on California Manufacturing(?!) Wolf Richter

CfA Report Reveals Payday Lenders Paid for At Least One Favorable “Academic” Study Campaign for Accountability (allan)

Class Warfare

Why ‘how’s the economy doing?’ is no longer the right question Jared Bernstein, Washington Post

Study: Don’t Flip Burgers if You Want a Better Job US News

Larry Summers: Where Paul Krugman and I differ on secular stagnation Washington Post. See the last sentence.

With idle labour equal to 14.5 per cent, the fiscal deficit is too low Bill Mitchell (furzy mouse)

Here’s How Much QE Helped Wall Street Steamroll Main Street Bloomberg (JTMcPhee)

Disaster capitalism, and the outsourcing of violence in the UK openDemocracy

Antidote du jour (@EmergencyKittens). A Siberian forest cat. OMG, how much is fur v. fat?

siberian forest cat links width=

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. James Levy

    On Syria, for American tactics to work you need enough trigger-pullers to go out there and force the opposition to shoot back, thus exposing themselves to overwhelming US firepower. This worked in Kosovo and Libya, but isn’t working in Syria or Afghanistan because either the US can’t summon up enough trigger-pullers or the locals have learned the game and refuse to stand up and get themselves bombed to oblivion. All the emphasis on “Intelligence” to do the job of trigger-pullers simply leads to wedding and hospital massacres and the occasional lucky strike. It also seems to enrage the populace rather than demoralize it. So until Uncle Sam can bamboozle some group somewhere into going out and tackling ISIS head-on so that the Pentagon can unleash its bombs and cruise missiles on them, you can expect the war to go, as Jim H. might say, not exactly as well as the leaders anticipate.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Billy Mitchell: the fiscal deficit is too low.

      We don’t know if crisis military spending, deploying bombs and cruise missiles, won’t achieve that goal soon.

    2. Jim Haygood

      One is shocked — shocked — that the war situation has developed not necessarily to our advantage (as Emperor Hirohito confessed in his radio broadcast of 14 Aug 1945).

      Don’t count out Generalissimo Obama, Suzerain of Syraqistan and Peace Putz Plenipotentiary, yet. With the aid of his talented Def Sec Ashton Carter, backed by his brain trust at the Kennedy School o’ Gubmint, a winning strategy surely will be found.

      1. rjs

        actually, i dont hear a lot about Florida fracking…right now there are no drilling rigs of any kind working in the state, or offshore from it…

        1. abynormal

          The Center, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council and Earthworks are co-sponsoring the first-ever Florida Fracking Summit. The oil and gas industry is using extreme oil extraction techniques in Florida, and the pressure is on to drill even more. The summit will feature presentations from experts on drilling technology, geology, hydrology, water resources, air quality, public health issues and drilling regulatory frameworks. The summit is intended to promote public awareness and inform Floridians about what is going on in their backyards.
          Summit Oct 27 & 28

      2. Benedict@Large

        Regarding the water table in south Florida, I used to install water and sewer pipes there, and we usually hit water at about 4 feet, but it’s important to understand that hitting water meant hitting quicksand about the consistency of half-melted ice cream. And this is the same water that is our drinking water. Anything that gets into that water anywhere in south Florida will eventually get to everywhere in that water.

      3. Torsten

        Florida’s onshore oil and gas production is confined to about five counties. It is puny. It is confined to about five counties and it is economically insignificant to the state–about 1/8000 of Florida’s tourism revenues.

        Consequently, the April Florida Fracking Ban Ban that Aby referenced did pass the Florida House last April. However, it then died in the senate, largely because of the standard ALEC provisions that would have stripped cities and towns of authority to regulate oil and gas exploration and production.

        This year, again, the bills are being introduced. They will be voted to the House floor and passed because some 100 state legislators have received campaign donations from the oil lobby. Fortunately, for the reasons above, the donations have been only token $250 or $500 donations, so we can hope the bills will meet a similar fate this year.

        Of course, in addition to hope it will be necessary for citizens and the press to write and shine light on their legislators.

        Sorry to be late replying to this thread. I’m busy packing up and getting the hell out of Florida.

  2. jgordon

    Definitely if someone comes up with a way to provide infinite cheap energy to operate all of these fancy and expensive new technologies BP is talking up we’ll be able to extract oil for some years to come yet. Of course, absent cold fusion, zero-point energy, or perpetual motion machines to provide that needed abundant cheap energy we will sadly not be taking the oil out of the ground. A minor quibble that the BP article somehow fails to mention.

    A better solution that people can start implementing today would be to just stop using air conditioning and personal passenger vehicles. Yeah, it takes a bit more intelligence and ingenuity to live comfortably under those conditions, but not a whole lot more. And it’s better than feeding parasites like BP and destroying the planet in the process.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Even with perpetual motion machines, we still need to consume less.

      “What, no grass-fed, free-range beef allocated for our perpetual motion barbecue this month? Only enough for 900 billion humans out of 25 trillion on this planet? What do we do with that wonder-of-Nature barbecue?”

      I might suggest seafood from Southern Ocean, for that Nobel prize-winning barbecue, but not with food chains changing fast there.

        1. hunkerdown

          I think jgordon’s invoking Rule #2. Perhaps air conditioning is not the problem; perhaps what and how much is being air-conditioned is.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Speaking as a nurse and with a wife with health conditions that are immensely aggravated by elevated temperature and high humidity, like a bunch of other people that are pinned by birth and circumstance to southwest Florida and elsewhere where it’s hot and getting hotter, our pitiful little lives depend on A/C. And it’s not an option to wave a fan and hope to evaporative-cool via sweating. Can’t even option for solar PV, since $$$$, and the scams pulled by the aptly named “power companies” with grid-tie fees and making net metering illegal and killing any subsidies for conversion to what is supposed to be the future, and of course privatizing the whole “market.”

            So as long as the collapse is in slow enough motion that the segment of the curve of time vs. destruction that they happen to be born into and die out of is flat, or rendered nearly so by their wealth and their “people,” why should they give a sh_t about what comes after. or what’s happening elsewhere, mostly out of sight, to other people “less fortunate?”

            Seems the problem in all of this is that the Few know they have but a relative few years to live and some insatiable need for titillation and excess and mastery. And because there’s no accountability and reaction now, and zero chance of retribution in the future, they can go on grabbing all the food on the table, throughout the entirety of their grasping, self-indulgent Large Lives.

            And if that leaves the rest of us gasping and weeping and wasting, after they have been kindly and carefully shepherded and nursed through the end stages, after being succored and stuffed up and catered to through the BIG years, well, “IBG-YBG, and we hope you can subsist on a diet of cake and seaweed…”

    2. Vatch

      Or maybe people can keep their air conditioning, but adjust the thermostat’s setting a couple of degrees, especially when they are away from the house or apartment. And continue to use a car, but when it’s time to get a replacement vehicle, they can buy one with the best fuel mileage that they can afford.

      And the big one: don’t have large families, because all of those children will grow up to be energy users. Professor Albert Bartlett had some useful things to say about how fast energy user human populations can grow.

  3. financial matters

    Jared Bernstein has been doing a good job of looking beyond the numbers to try and address poverty and unemployment

    Why ‘how’s the economy doing?’ is no longer the right question Jared Bernstein, Washington Post

    “We live in what is at least a dual-equilibrium economy with pockets of prosperity amid those of poverty, where, absent full employment, fairly narrow groups of workers are in high demand and the rest suffer from weak bargaining power.

    Let us cut to the chase here and prove that two-handed economists can be definitive. We’ve got two economic problems: slack and distribution.

    Were we to mop up the slack and get to and stay at full employment for a while, many workers would find themselves with a lot more of the bargaining power they currently lack, and that would help point more growth in their direction.

    More pressing right now is what to do about it. The best answer I have is: If the private sector won’t generate the economic activity we need, the public sector must pick up the slack, as it were.”


    and from an earlier link Bernstein

    “Clearly, if America’s anti-poverty policy framework is founded on work in the paid labor market, and if that labor market doesn’t provide the necessary quantity and quality of jobs, public policy must make up the difference. If this sounds radical, consider the following: Policy makers are quite comfortable spending literally trillions of dollars to reflate credit markets when they fail, based on the notion (a sound one, I’d argue) that the economy cannot function without adequate credit flows. Well, neither can it function without enough jobs, so if the Federal Reserve is the “lender of last resort,” then the government must be “the employer of last resort.”

    It is simply impossible to read $2 a Day and maintain such naïve thinking. What happens next is up to the American public and, given the lives to which Edin and Shaefer have introduced us, doing nothing should not be an option.””

    1. fresno dan

      In other posts on this blog, we see the “surprise” of middle aged POORER white people’s death rates increasing. This at the same time that we are told that the unemployment rate is 5.1% or so. And that wages will increase any day, month, year, decade, score, or century….

      It is something I have ranted about for a while – whether economists do it purposefully or are just that stupid, this tendency to use aggregates and averages to just NOT SEE the great many people (90%) who have been ground down continuously and relentlessly for going on 40 years.

      The proposal for public jobs will generate incredible squeals. Funny how all the money created to keep the 0.01% in trillions is something that must be done – the rationale being that it is for public finances (credit) that are necessary for all. But whether it is necessary for all, it is empirically NOT BENEFITED all…

      But poorer people dying sooner? Survival of the fittest baby!
      Funny when the market says the giant banks are lumbering, maladapted dinosaurs, we can’t allow the extinction of those critters…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The last thing they will contemplate is to create money for the people to spend into existence, as a regular feature.

        “Won’t that make the serfs lazy?”

        As the hard spending (on defense) government will tell you, spending money is not an easy job.

        So, I don’t think that will make the serfs lazy.

    1. JTMcPhee

      …sadly, only seems to work one roach or rodent at a time, if you can stomp them quick enough… As the saying goes in RentalWorld, if you see one roach, there’s a million more back in the dark cracks… And how quickly they morph and evolve Resistance to poisons that would kill us and our kids and pets, and come back with ever faster reflexes and nerve conduction velocities… Big brains we got, but not the right code…

  4. Brooklin Bridge

    12 reasons why Cameron will lose on Brexit Politico -Denis MacShane (a former minister of Europe in Tony Blair’s Labour Government. He is the author of “Brexit: How Britain Will Leave Europe” (IB Tauris, 2015) and works as an adviser on European politics and policy in London and Brussels.)

    Oddly, there are some good points in the article about why the UK vote for Brexit by someone who is implicitly opposed to such an exit and who is beside themselves with distaste for anything “left” (a true believer in the “adults in the room” theory of economics) as this paragraph – perhaps the most blatantly sarcastic in the article – attests:

    It’s not just classic little Englander xenophobes who find fault with Europe. The Labour Party in Scotland last weekend voted to oppose TTIP, and for many of the leftish intelligentsia Europe is a wicked conspiracy to promote globalized capitalism with all power flowing to multinationals at the expense of workers. The Guardian recently gave a page to a leading TV economics reporter, Paul Mason, to denounce the treatment of Greece by Europe. Another totemic veteran of British leftism, Tariq Ali, gravely informed his readers that he would vote Out in Cameron’s plebiscite to show solidarity with the Greeks and their Syriza government. He did not seem to know that in the July referendum and September election, the Greeks voted Yes to Europe and then Yes to staying in the euro — so for British lefties to vote the U.K. out of Europe is solipsistic self-indulgence even by British leftie standards.[emphasis mine]

    As I recall, the Greeks voted overwhelmingly (61%) NO, that is, against the bailout “deal” and against continued austerity in the referendum, and the subsequent vote required to keep Tsipras in power, even assuming it wasn’t rigged, almost split the Syriza party in two or am I missing something?

    1. Massinissa

      A few years ago, people thought that Scotland leaving the UK or Catalonia leaving Spain were crazy ideas. Today, everyones taking it seriously.

      Give it 5 years, and that writer might be changing his tune. Hell, it was what, 6 months ago everyone in Germany loved Merkel, now half of them want to kick her out of office because of the refugee crisis…

  5. Ulysses

    From the US News piece linked above:

    “The obvious positive aspect of taking such a job is that it provides income to the unemployed worker, particularly if the worker is not receiving unemployment compensation,” the study said. “However, it is possible that potential employers will infer that the worker is not of appropriate quality precisely because he/she has been working in a lower-level job.”

    “Not of appropriate quality” = not of sufficiently high socio-economic status. Only people from affluent families can afford not to work for months while sending out resumes. Here in the big bad city I see an even more extreme type of this class discrimination all the time: unpaid internships.

    It is no longer enough that your parents had the cash to send you to Princeton, or Yale, or NYU, for four years. Now, after all that, they still have to pony up thousands of dollars a month for you to work for nothing– for super-rich arrogant people who may, or may not, help you actually land a paying job after taking advantage of your free labor.

    1. JTMcPhee

      And my question as always is how to break the feedback chains and loops and blow up the amplifiers that produce these iDiotic outcomes, this mass self-boiling of frogs…

      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        Thanks for the Bloomberg link, JT McPhee, on How Much the Bernanke Fed’s Quantitative Easing Helped Wall Street Steamroll Main Street”.

        Results of this successful wealth transfer attack on the American middle class has played more than a little into today’s NC featured article about increasing mortality and morbidity rates among middle-aged whites in the U.S.

        Left unstated and unacknowledged is the intense anger on “Main Street” about what has occurred.

    1. Massinissa

      To be totally fair though, the man who accidentally shot the other two was 74. I think maybe he should retire from having booths at gun shows.

      Im glad the two old men who were shot in their legs are alright.

  6. nippersdad

    Re: Ben Carson is being hunted by liberals. I had to laugh at at that. It never ceases to amaze me what weenies conservatives have become. Everyone, absolutely everyone without exception, is out to get them. Mass paranoia must now be the signifier for conservative thought.

    They really are an embarrassing little bunch of cretins.

    1. Masonboro

      I suspect this is a deliberate tactic to inflame the base. The money quote is : “I challenge the secular progressive movement to the very core”. The message seems to be that if you are religious and/or right-wing you need to come to his physical defense as he is requesting guns to protect him from secular progressive guns. This action seems inflammatory but probably that is the intent.


      1. fresno dan

        I challenge these candidates to actually allow people to carry guns at their campaign gatherings….
        Shouldn’t Carson refuse secret service (government agents, your tax dollars being used to protect POLITICIANS!!!) when he has so many patriotic, gun toting individuals willing to do it for free?????

        I must say, it does bring back memories:

    2. cwaltz

      Fear seems to be a primary motivator for the conservative brain. It’s funny because they’ll insist that Democrats want a nanny state but they consistently seem to want Daddy Republican to protect them from that Kenyan in the WH, communism, Russia, muslims, the death of Christianity, etc, etc. It appears they are afraid of just about everything from gays to socialism((even as you explain to them that these things aren’t a threat.)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s ironic that the conservatives, the right, are motivated by the left brain, the side that deals with emotions, irrational ones like fear and anger.

        While the liberals, the left, are motivated by the right brain, the side that deals with rational solutions, the scientific socialism of Marx.

        1. Massinissa

          As a socialist myself, I think I can say, that im pretty sure almost EVERYONE, straddling both sides of the aisle, thinks with the left brain. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be quite so many ‘democrats’ and ‘liberals’.

    3. Jetfixr in Flyover

      He is being “hunted by liberals”

      Yet all Republicans want to do is make sure the US is knee deep in guns.

      Coming soon, after Republican gerrymanding: Voter-gunner laws. God forbid the so called “free s##t army” be allow to vote and/or arm themselves.

      1. Massinissa

        Ah, the good old days when White people kept them Blacks from coming to the voting booth with the treat of lynching

  7. Howard Beale IV

    The SIberian cat is a recognized breed by the US Cat Fanciers Association but not by the the UK’s Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.

  8. Jef

    “Amazon opens its first real bookstore”

    So we are ok allowing a mega corp to muscle in and dominate an entire industry, not making any profit all the while but understanding that once the entire industry collapses they will be the only game in town and therefor must eventually make money hand over fist.

    I’m sure I could sell this concept at the next VC gathering.

    I do so miss my local book store.

  9. LarryB

    Even though I don’t generally like Tarantino’s movies, I’m going to be sure to see “The Hateful Eight”, just to stick a thumb in the eye of the police who think they are above all criticism.

  10. optimader

    Jeb Bush’s New Campaign Hashtag Is Backfiring Big-Time
    more economically stated:
    Jeb Bush is backfiring –or even more economically use past tense: Jeb Bush backfired

    Hopefully this is a wooden stake in the dynasties heart? Or next up his son, George (Prescott) Bush, the Bushes are not too creative w/ names)… an empty suit with a 2D CV being crafted*. Some future generation will have to worry about his son, Prescott Walker Bush.

    * GROAN>>> Military service[edit]

    On March 21, 2007, the United States Navy Reserve announced the selection of Bush for training as an intelligence officer through the direct commission officer program, a Navy initiative whereby applicants in specialized civilian fields forgo the typical prerequisites of a commission, such as boot camp, and – instead – attend two weeks of classes on subjects such as military history and customs, followed by online classes. Bush told The Politico that attending the October 2006 launch of the aircraft carrier named for his grandfather – the USS George H.W. Bush – inspired him to join the service. He also called the death of Pat Tillman, the NFL player and Army Ranger who was killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan in 2004, “a wake-up call”.[14][15] Bush served in Operation Enduring Freedom for eight months and returned to the United States in 2011.[1][16][17] During that deployment, he was given a different name for security purposes. Not even those he was serving alongside knew his real identity.[18]

    1. ewmayer

      Gotta grease those skids for scions of the dynasties because as Talking Barbie Bush sez, ‘boot camp is hard.’

      Re. Tillman, a wake-up call in what sense? The ‘with friends like these’ sense? The ‘being a mega-tough NFL player is irrelevant to a bullet’ sense? He sure has picked up his dad and uncle’s penchant for empty-phrase-deployment.

      1. optimader

        He sure has picked up his dad and uncle’s penchant for empty-phrase-deployment.
        Indeed, a variation of his uncle’s “our best and brightest” bromide.

        As for Tillman, a shame for him that he wasn’t better advised by someone that allegedly cared for him.

        Any kid that I cross paths with that contemplates joining the military, I always recommend their visiting a VA hospital (Hines). I read somewhere and completely agree that the notion that the only place recruiting offices should be located is the top floor of a veteran hospital.

  11. Gio Bruno

    RE: Picasso’s Muse

    Europe is not America. Men and women seem to interact differently in the two cultures.

    I spend many hours on an American college campus with thousands of European students. American males seem to interact with American females very differently than, say, Scandinavians. The European male students appear to view their female country persons with greater congeniality/respect/sublty. (No perceived denegration in demeanor/talk/gesture.)

    Expressing appropriate appreciation of the opposite gender is an art form. Fine art was Picasso’s forte’.

    1. cwaltz

      At 93 I am sure she IS flattered if she hears a wolf whistle(particularly since most men seem to be more attracted to youthful appearance.) I don’t understand though if someone is basing their perception of you based on your looks, which is why someone would wolf whistle, though how she doesn’t see that as the very definition of “being treated like an object instead of a human being.” They aren’t whistling at your personality, your intelligence, or any of those other things, they are whistling solely based on your appearance. While my appearance is a part of who I am, it’s a minute part. I’d argue it’s the least important part of who I am(even as I acknowledge that my attractive appearance in my youth definitely worked to my advantage.).

      I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the male half of the species but I reserve my right to be offended when some random guy asks me to “show him my tits” when I’m out walking. She’s welcome to see commentary as some sort of affirmation or compliment however, I reserve my right to see that commentary as demeaning and insulting instead of “art.”

      1. optimader

        they are whistling solely based on your appearance.
        and in the fleeting ephemera of life, is that a bad thing?

        1. cwaltz

          Uh yes, mainly because I’m not an art object, I’m a human being(and yes I find it creepy that someone would be fixated on my rack enough to comment on it.)

          It’s funny because I’m sure you would be equally insulted if a woman came up to you and asked you what your net worth was and treated you as a wallet instead of something with thoughts and feelings. As a matter of fact, I’ve watched men opine about “gold diggers” which is somewhat ironic considering the number of men who think it’s completely appropriate to choose dating women based on their physical appearance and whether or not they are “hot.”

          My only consolation is karma is most definitely female and she tends to place the shallow men who want an art object with women who want a hefty bank account. May they get taken for their net worth long before her beauty runs out.

          1. Jess

            As you note, there are women who go for the guys with gold. Cartier or Rolex watch, suit by Armani or that Emilio guy whose last name I can neither spell nor pronounce, Gucci loafers, Ivy League ring, and $100K car are all subtle indicators that he’s a good catch. But asking financial questions and making financial assessments of the “average guy” is also a customary pattern. “So, what do you do for a living?” It’s — generally — only after the guy clears that particular woman’s fiscal standards test that he’s subjected to the greater questions about integrity, intelligence, fidelity, parenting potential, etc.

            Like you I differentiate between “show me your tits” and a general appreciative comment, esp. one which is not accompanied by a leer or followed up with putting a move on. But I also find it interesting that younger women who object to unsolicited comments also go to such lengths and expense to look nice and attract attention.

            1. cwaltz

              Yep, and as I note those women(who are interested in men simply because of what they financially bring to the table) are generally getting what they deserve when they wind up with men who lie, cheat and toss them away when they get old as we all do because the sum of a man isn’t the size of his wallet. I will say this not ALL women ask what do you do for a living to clear a financial hurdle. When I met my spouse I outearned him. I was perfectly okay with that because I wasn’t looking for a sugar daddy to take care of me(which is ironic because I am presently a housewife and my spouse DOES take care of me.)

              If a man tells me I’m pretty in context of a conversation with me once , I generally say thank you as long as they don’t fixate on it. Although, I have been known to let the male who has asked my spouse how he ended up with me know that I consider it shallow that they think everything should be decided on the context of looks by telling him to tell them, “I’m not shallow.” That being said when men comment on me while I am walking down the street I don’t find it attractive at all. It’s a version of male Tourette’s. I don’t want or need validation of my body parts thankyouverymuch. Others are certainly entitled to feel differently however, I would caution that the very definition of being objectified is to be considered a piece of art or judged solely on a single aspect of who you are. It’s not really that big of a compliment particularly when what you look like is not necessarily something you have a great deal of control over. My pretty eyes are a not something I worked hard for. They aren’t something I earned. They just are. My hair is the result of genetics, nothing more, nothing less. Even my body type was largely predetermined by random genetic lottery.

              How do you know that young women are dressing or acting to attract attention? It is within the realm of possibilities that they want to look nice for themselves. I know when I was their age I did. Men aren’t the only ones appreciative of pretty things. I certainly didn’t think I should have to dress in a hijab because my looks inspired lust. Someone else’s feelings and thoughts are theirs to control and not my problem. I still feel that way. If I can see an attractive man and not comment on their backside I feel confident the male half of the species can exercise the same restraint and control. It’s really not that hard and our ability to exercise some level of control over baser thoughts and feelings really is what is supposed to separate them from the errant dog that “needs” to hump a leg.

              Anyway, that’s my two cents on the subject.

          2. optimader

            I’m more easily amused than offended by strangers with goofy or inappropriate questions/comments. For me, there’s no relationship equity in these situations to burn a clutch over..
            How we respond (or not) to strangers comes from our cumulative life experience I suppose.

            “So, what do you do for a living?” is very much an American socialization phenomena in my experience.
            As well, it often is ether someone that as you say, is trying to make some “interaction investment” assessment or just some innocent who is uncomfortable and trying to make conversation in the absence of any other perceived commonality (gee we both work, right?). My stock answer, as Lambert would appreciate always is: “as little as possible” with a smile. That usually renders out the dullards as well is a polite way of saying “none of you business at this time”.

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