2:00PM Water Cooler 6/20/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“This week cleared trade advisers from industry groups and businesses could have in hand the legal text detailing how the administration will handle the issue of financial data storage in future trade deals, according to private-sector sources” [Politico]. Maybe Yves would be happy to receive the text over the transom. It would be a nice addition to our trove!

Treasury last month unveiled the outlines of a plan for financial services data as it relates to trade deals, in a bid to ease Congressional passage of the TPP. Lawmakers and financial services firms complained the TPP left financial services out of a rule that would ban governments from requiring companies to store data within their borders. The new language would apply to a separate services trade deal that includes seven TPP countries — Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru. The administration said it would try to address on a bilateral basis the concerns of other TPP countries not involved in the services trade talks [in other words, side deals].

Watch the administration working hard, as the bureaucratic machinery grinds on, and all the players take success for granted. Somebody should ask Clinton what it would take to get her to explicity oppose TPP in the lame duck.



“Americans Overwhelmingly Prefer This Presidential Candidate’s Healthcare Plan, Study Shows” [Motley Fool]. Clickbait headilne; you know the answer. And yet somehow the Democrat Party has managed to select a candidate who disagrees with what most Americans “overwhelmingly prefer.” Odd.

“‘There Is Beauty In Decay,’ Says Head Of Federal Highway Administration While Surveying Nation’s Crumbling Roads” [The Onion].


“The email issue won’t go away because it entails serious issues of racketeering in public office, not just niceties of security procedure. One of the Secretary of State’s duties is to approve weapons sales to foreign countries. During her three years at State, Hillary signed off on $165 billion worth of sales by private commercial arms contractors to Clinton Foundation foreign donors. On top of that was an additional $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that gave to the Clinton Foundation. It also happened that the weapons contractors themselves and companies connected financially to them made substantial donations to the Clinton foundation — and paid whopping speaking fees to Hillary’s husband ex-president Bill, during her years at State” [Clusterf*ck Nation]. A paranoid and cynical observer might conclude that Bill made the front-running, and Hillz delivered the goods. “Won’t go away” is a little vague, however, spanning anything from campaign scandal to impeachment.

The Voters

“The biggest San Francisco election surprise—by far—was Jane Kim coming within a few percentage points of beating Scott Wiener. Kim’s success also has the biggest political implications for San Francisco” [Beyond Chron]. Sanders supported her.

The Trail

“At this point four years ago, Romney trailed Barack Obama by 2.2 percentage points nationally, according to the RealClearPolitics average. Trump is 5.8 points behind Hillary Clinton. The gap has led to predictions of catastrophe in November” [Washington Examiner]. “But remember the lesson of 2012, which has also been the lesson of every other election: The presidency is won by winning states, and therefore the condition of the race in key states tells more about the campaign than any national poll.”

The bottom line is that the Clinton-Trump numbers in some critically important states are more in line with the Obama-Romney race than they are with some sort of doomsday blowout suggested by the national poll numbers. And that suggests that after all the noise and drama and weeping and gnashing of teeth, Trump could be headed for a loss that looks, not like a party-ending calamity, but an ordinary Republican defeat. Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush might have lost in much the same way.

Republican Establishment hysteria at Trump is matched by Democrat Establishment hysteria at Sanders. In either case, lazy scribes doing access journalism flip through their Rolodexes and file establshment-driven stories. Of course, in this case the Republican and Democratic establishments are co-operating against Trump, but that’s just the Iron Law of Institutions for the Republicans, and in any case, there is more that unites Republican and Democrat Establishments than divides them, since they’re both neoliberal. Unlike Trump on some policies (war; trade) and Sanders root-and-branch.

And here is a fine example of Republican Establishment hysteria: “Today, Americans can’t simply rely on the system to save them from the possibility of a fascist president” [Robert Kagan, WaPo]. You know, Robert Kagan of the Kagan clan that helped create the Iraq War, the hugest foreign policy debacle in American history (which Trump gets right, I might add). Married to — Clinton Secretary of State? It would be irresponsible not to speculate — Victoria Nuland, who tried so hard to set the Black Sea littoral on fire, making a matched pair with the Mediterrean’s. And so we get lectures on fascism from the same national security insiders who architected the arguably fascist state we’ve had since the Patriot Act. Help me.

“Clinton Supporters are Scaremongering about Donald Trump to Silence the Concerns of the Young and the Poor” [Benjamin Studebaker] [surprised, spills coffee]. “I started seeing it a few weeks ago, when Daily Kos told its contributors that after March 15th, they were no longer allowed to robustly criticize Hillary Clinton from the left. As Donald Trump continues to win, win, and win some more, it has only intensified. First they asked Bernie Sanders supporters to unite behind Clinton. Now they’re accusing Sanders supporters of being privileged if they resist. And from there, it’s just a small step to calling Sanders’ people enablers of racism, sexism, or even fascism. If you haven’t seen these arguments yet, you will soon. The arguments being peddled are very poorly constructed. They rely on a mix of fear and bias toward the near.”

“‘The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,’ the campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said in a statement. ‘The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future'” [New York Times]. Still waiting for Trump’s speech on Clinton, which he bumped for his Orlando speech. Pre-occupation with making sure his campaign can do basic blocking and tackling? Lack of will to win? Canny postponement ’til a time when voters will pay attention? (For my money, I think Trump should take a leaf from Sanders’ playbook, have one speech, and deliver it over and over again. The speech should have plenty of red meat on Clinton’s corruption and warmongering, which has the great merit of being true.)

“Every single 2016 presidential TV ad currently airing in a battleground state is either from Hillary Clinton’s campaign or the Democratic outside groups supporting her” [NBC]. “The opposition, by contrast, hasn’t spent a dime in these same battlegrounds – whether it’s Donald Trump’s campaign or Republican-leaning Super PACs.” And Trump’s doing only a little worse than Romney, who spent a boatload.

UPDATE “And despite Trump’s assertion that a deal to get him to drop out would be illegal, Jim Fishman, a professor at Pace Law School in New York, said making Trump a business proposition contingent on his dropping out could pass legal muster. “It’s against the law to bribe someone for a vote or certain favors, but if I say to Trump, ‘I’m starting a new hedge fund with $300 million committed to it. I’d really like you to join us. Your name will bring in billions. I’ll give you a 50 percent interest from the start, and you can cash out the value of your initial interest ($150 million) when you want,’ There’s no bribe there, and Trump could go away with the $150 million,” Fishman wrote in an email” [Politico]. What’s Fishman doing? Angling for a no-show job at the Clinton Foundation?

“Sanders collides with black lawmakers” [Politico]. ” The Congressional Black Caucus ‘vehemently’ opposes Sanders’ call to abolish superdelegates.” No doubt, given that the CBC exemplifies the Black Misleadership Class.

“A Top Democrat Brings a Message of Party Unity to Vermont” [Seven Days]. To an annual dinner, where last year the speaker was DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz. This year: “[P]arty officials invited a DNC vice chair, R.T. Rybak, a former Minneapolis mayor, to speak at this year’s dinner. [Rybak] stayed publicly neutral in the Sanders-Clinton conflict. In an interview with Seven Days, Rybak said he’s not taking sides. ‘I am absolutely, totally committed to two candidates I love,’ he said.” From the Department of How Stupid Do They Think We Are?

“Bernie Sanders Still Has Some Leverage Over Hillary Clinton” [Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine] Grudging admission. Somebody alert Chait.

Obama runs ad for Patrick Murphy, hence against Alan Grayson [Roll Call]. “Murphy was joined at a weekend news conference in South Florida by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and South Carolina Rep. James E. Clyburn to tout his criminal justice overhaul agenda, and both Obama and Vice President Josesph R. Biden, Jr., have made appearances in support of Murphy.” The usual suspects!

“How many people work for the ‘political organizations industry,’ which the US Bureau of Labor Statistics defines as ‘political parties, political action committees (PACs), political campaign organizations, and political organizations and clubs that are engaged in promoting the interests of national, state, or local political parties or candidates’?” [Conversable Economist]. Answer: ~20,000 in peak years of the election cycle. “The relatively small size of the number, compared with the amount of attention, surprised me. Although the total number of jobs for people being professional athletes appears to be only about 13,700, and that group generates a lot of attention from the rest of us, too.” There are not very many of the Shing.

Clinton Email Hairball

“Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Sunday she doesn’t believe the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server has been compromised by President Barack Obama’s endorsement of Clinton in the 2016 White House race” [AP].

“The report notes that former Secretary of State Colin Powell used a personal email, and staff of both Secretaries Powell and Condoleezza Rice periodically used personal accounts” [Richard Ben-Veniste, USA Today]. As NC readers know, the rules changed between Powell’s time and Clinton’s. Ben-Veniste also conflates email accounts (Powell, Rice) with a privatized email system, which is important (1) because if you control a system, you can destroy the data on it, which (2) is exactly what Clinton did with half her mail. Ben-Veniste — hold on to your hats, here, folks — doesn’t mention either of those two points. I mean, Colin Powell had a private, unsecured server in the basement of his home? And then threw away half the mail on it when people found that out? Really? A sad performance for a man of Ben-Veniste’s huge integritude.

Stats Watch

No interesting stats today. What is this, summer?

UPDATE Employment Situation: “Average hourly pay rose 2.5 percent in May compared with a year ago, even as nationwide hiring slowed. That’s below the 3.5 percent that is consistent with healthy economic growth. But it’s above the roughly 2 percent that has occurred for most of the seven-year recovery from the Great Recession.” [ABC]. The new normal is the best economy ever!

The Bezzle: “In the study “Does Academic Research Destroy Stock Return Predictability?“, published in the January 2016 issue of the Journal of Finance, authors R. David McLean and Jeffrey Pontiff re-examined 82 factors published in tier-one academic journals and were only able to replicate the reported results for 72 of them. At least 10 out of 82 factors were artifacts of reporting mistakes in the databases, which have since been corrected [ETF.com]. “They also found that, post-publication, the ‘average characteristic’s return decays by about 35%.’ In addition, they found that “characteristic portfolios that consist more of stocks that are costly to arbitrage decline less post-publication. This is consistent with the idea that arbitrage costs limit arbitrage and protect mispricing.”

Housing: “While the idea of ‘tiny houses’ seems like a new thing, this already happened over 100 years ago although by a force more powerful than the financial market. After the 1906 earthquake and fire people sought shelter in tented communities and city parks. Of course this was not a long-term solution so union carpenters in combination with the San Francisco Relief Corp., San Francisco Parks Commission, and the U.S. Army got busy on building the original earthquake shack. These tiny cottages were built quickly and fast. These places simply provided a roof over the heads of families after the devastation of the quake. Today, they are being sold to future tech hipsters and investors for ridiculous prices. The earthquake shack mania is now here!” [Dr. Housing Bubble].

Shipping: “It is expected to shift about 10% of the Asia-to-U.S. container traffic from West Coast ports to East Coast terminals by 2020, according to a recent report by global business adviser Boston Consulting Group and supply-chain management provider C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. So far, 136 ships that wouldn’t have fit through the pre-expansion canal have made reservations to follow” [Wall Street Journal, “The Panama Canal Expands”]. “But the expansion isn’t a panacea for the shipping industry. And it doesn’t guarantee a payoff for all the East Coast ports and other businesses that have poured billions of dollars into expansion and infrastructure along the East Coast in hopes of profiting from the larger vessels and extra cargo.”

Shipping: “FedEx Corp. is scaling back its plans for Cuba, a sign that businesses see brighter prospects for tourism than trade in the country’s immediate future. The express delivery giant amended its application to the U.S. Transportation Department for Cuba service, the WSJ’s Mike Esterl reports, dropping Havana in favor of the smaller resort town of Veradero” [Wall Street Journal].

Shipping: “Oil leaks from Mauritius mutiny ship” [Splash247]. “[T]he national coast guard is being questioned how it failed to notice the ship had entered Mauritius waters before it hit the rocks.”

Political Risk: “As I was standing in the seemingly endless line while stuck on hold with a rapidly depleting cellphone battery, I overheard other customers changing plans, with many not finding available flights for two or three days. That’s when I realized that this was basically an inventory problem. Airlines have consolidated, resulting in less capacity and greatly reduced seat inventory. Whenever disruptions occur, they lack the inventory to recover quickly” [DC Velocity]. “In much the same way, many suppliers in our industry have trimmed their inventories. How easily can they recover when customer demand spikes suddenly, a port strike depletes supply, or a hurricane limits transport? The airlines have no wiggle room. To gain operational efficiencies, they have sacrificed customer service. What do your customers experience when your own supply chains are disrupted? Do you have flexibility built into your systems?”

Remember that airline flight metaphors are elite metaphors (“headwinds,” “turbulence”). So this article provides a handy basis for conversation with your local, friendly 1%-er about the effects on fragile, closely coupled systems from events that are not weather. The conclusion: “The inventory ripple effect even extended to complimentary toiletries. Without luggage, I was grateful for anything the desk attendant could spare. I was given a razor, shaving cream, and a toothbrush—but no toothpaste. That’s when I realized that being a refugee of modern air travel is like going camping in a business suit.” The Archdruid calls that collapsing in place. Except not.

Political Risk: “Confidence is not a fairy, nor is it an illusion. If businesses refuse to invest because their confidence is low, the outcome will be just as bad for output and employment as a supply-side shock like a hurricane. As I explain in my forthcoming book, Prosperity for All, the right way to prevent another Great Depression, is by active intervention in the asset markets” [Roger Farmer’s Economic Window]. Let me translate: “Service the 1%, or the economy gets it!”

The Bezzle: Argues, in essence, that Brexit is priced in [MarketWatch]. “Overvalued markets, however, are high on the list of things about which to worry. ‘If I had to come up with one thing that we’re not paying attention to that is going to be the big issue and that would be overvalued markets, especially overvalued equity markets,’ Hulbert said. ‘…No one’s talking about that. And part of the reason is understandable. Overvaluation doesn’t change very quickly. And it’s been overvalued for many years, so it’s boring.'” I dunno, but I’m not sure I agree. How do you price in a systemic event?

The Bezzle: “Courts are Taking a Moral Stand Against Porn Trolls’ “Legal Shakedown” Tactics” [The Fashion Law]. Hilarious! And note that the decision turned on a fake signature…. Like robosigning, eh?

Honey for the Bears (?): “Real Time Economics talked with Stanford University economist Robert Hall, the [NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee’s] longtime chairman, about the process for calling a recession, how to weigh mixed signals in economic data and the current state of the U.S. economy. Here are excerpts. [Wall Street Journal, “An Arbiter of Recessions Sees ‘Clouds on the Horizon’ for the U.S. Economy”]. “”So far as I know, no reputable observer has said, ‘Oh, I can see that a recession has started.’ You’re hearing a lot of clouds-on-the-horizon kind of talk, and that often precedes a recession. But we’re still in that stage and the committee would not find much to talk about other than to say, well yes, as usual, there’s some clouds on the horizon.” So the WSJ left “as usual” out of their headline…

The Fed: “Fed officials try to understand why they cannot keep raising rates” [The Economist], “Monetary policy, as the central bank constantly insists, is highly accommodative. And yet the economy is behaving like it is coasting along the gentlest of downward slopes.”

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 67, Greed (previous close: 53, Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 55 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 20 at 12:25pm. Huge swing to greed, as remain polling converts Mr. Market’s hysterical misery to ordinary unhappiness.

The Unsettlement

“Indian curry was already popular in England in the 19th century. In fact, spices had been present in English cookery since the time of the Crusades in the late 11th century” [Londonist]. History has a lot of “breaking points.” Musical interlude:

“Brexit is a fake revolt – working-class culture is being hijacked to help the elite” [Paul Mason, Guardian]. Hijacking a culture seems like a category error to me. It’s also, oddly from Mason, an airline flight metaphor.

“Damning Report Claims Mexican Federal Police Participated In Disappearance Of 43 Students” [HuffPo]. And “Six dead, more than 100 injured in Mexico protest” [Agence France Presse].

“Just weeks before it stages the 2016 Olympic Games, the state government of Rio de Janeiro has declared a “state of public calamity in financial administration” and warned that the situation is so dire it impedes the locale’s ability to meet Games commitments” [WaPo].

“Missing Booksellers” (complete coverage) [Hong Kong Free Press].

Guillotine Watch

“Negative Rates Are the Tools of Our Elderly Oppressors” [Bloomberg]. Not the “elderly oppressors” — the 75-year-old grandmothers living on $17K a year, alone except for their cats, who get the Fancy Feast while they themselves get plain tuna — but the stenographer, who paints central bankers as impotent in the face of “the decline in the neutral real interest rate and the associated decline in risk-adjusted expected rates of return,” as Willem Buiter paints it. “Real.” “Neutral.” I can’t believe it’s not Buiter.

“Larry Page, the founder of Google and head of Alphabet, adheres faithfully to the notion that software, or “the algorithm,” is much more efficient and effective and pure than any human system could ever be. The sooner we digitize the entire world and let software run it all, the sooner everything will be made better” [ReCode]. “He’s not alone; Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla’s Elon Musk and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos all submit to a similar logic, to varying degrees.” Ka-ching.

“When Michael Young, a British sociologist, coined the term meritocracy in 1958, it was in a dystopian satire. At the time, the world he imagined, in which intelligence fully determined who thrived and who languished, was understood to be predatory, pathological, far-fetched” [The Atlantic]. “Today, however, we’ve almost finished installing such a system, and we have embraced the idea of a meritocracy with few reservations, even treating it as virtuous. That can’t be right. Smart people should feel entitled to make the most of their gift. But they should not be permitted to reshape society so as to instate giftedness as a universal yardstick of human worth.”

Class Warfare

“Feminism’s Class Divide” [Catapult]. Good read:

“In Fall 2003, I moved to New York City for the start of my first year of law school. My classmates were beyond survival: They had glossy tans, doctor-and-lawyer parents, and dreams of changing the world. I’d been poor in Milwaukee and working class before that… [T]he women were well aware but not worried about the sort of domestic violence and birth control access issues women faced in Milwaukee, and entirely, given their upper class backgrounds and our projected post-graduation corporate futures, unconcerned with low pay. Their main goal was to change the way we women spoke about each other.”

The glass ceiling, but not the piso mojado


“New Angles on Inequality in Life Expectancy” [Conversable Economist, Econintersect]. Reviews the Currie and Schwandt study, which looks rather a lot like a riposte to Case-Deaton. Quoting from that study:

It sometimes seems as if the research literature on mortality is compelled in some way to emphasize a negative message, either about a group that is doing less well or about some aspect of inequality that is rising. … We believe that a balanced approach to the mortality evidence, which recognizes real progress as well as areas in need of improvement, is more likely to result in sensible policymaking. After all, emphasizing the negative could send the message that “nothing works,” especially in the face of seemingly relentless increases in income inequality.

So, a work of scholarship recommends a tendentious approach? Seems odd.

“It’s a troublesome story playing out across America in the 10 years since the housing bubble peaked and then burst in a ruinous crash: As real estate has climbed back, homeowners are thriving while renters are struggling” [AP]. “Seattle Times]. Because markets.

“[Miami-based physicist Neil Johnson] says the paper’s [original] key point is that it would be more effective for agencies combating ISIS to shift their focus from millions of individual followers worldwide to these self-organizing groups, ‘of which there will typically be only a few hundred.’ Breaking up [nice euphemism!] such clusters of hardcore followers while they are relatively small, he says, can prevent the development of larger, potentially more dangerous ones. (Johnson says the groups his team studied, which the paper refers to as aggregates, averaged around 500 followers.) Johnson leads an interdisciplinary team at the University of Miami that studies complexity in real-world systems” [Scientific American]. Of course, the technology will have far broader application than ISIS. David Brock, for example, might find it useful.

News of the Wired

“The Fathers of the Internet Revolution Urge Today’s Software Engineers to Reinvent the Web” [IEEE]. “[P]ioneers of the Internet and the World Wide Web joined together to call for a new kind of Web—a decentralized Web. It was a call for change, a call for action, and a call to develop technology that would ‘lock the Web open.'”

But even the basic things people want to do aren’t possible, because instead of being a true, interconnected web, it has become a collection of silos. “People have their friends on Facebook and some photos on Flickr and their colleagues on LinkedIn. All they want to do is share the photos with the colleagues and the friends—and they can’t. Which is really stupid. You either have to tell Flickr about your Facebook friends, or move your photos to Facebook and LinkedIn separately, or build and run a third application to build a bridge between the two.”

Well, yeah. Because silos enable the extraction of monopoly rents, and you gotta pay for that tiny house in San Francisco….

“When everything else fails, amateur radio will still be there—and thriving” [Ars Technica].

Radio amateurs get a sweet deal, with effectively free access to many gigahertz of the same radio spectrum that companies pay billions for. They’ve earned it. Throughout the history of electronics, they’ve been at the borders of the possible, trying out ideas that commerce or government deem impossible or pointless—and making them work.

Sounds like an ideal medium for the decentralized Web. Eh?

UPDATE That’s a little cryptic. Techies and ham radio readers, if any, what I would like to know: Does amateur radio permit data interchange such that a 1995-style HTML web page could be transmitted and displayed in more or less real time? (No images, no video, no JavaScript, just stripped down HTML the way it used to be).

“A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages” [One Div Zero]. Some of the details are wrong…

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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 (AW):

tiger lillies

Adding, thank you readers for last week’s rapid and successful Water Cooler Mini-Fundraiser. I’m still writing thank you notes!

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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. Take the Fork

    On “The Disgraceful Truth” & Fascistic NeoCons (edit of earlier comment):

    “…seeks accountability but feels helpless about how this might be achieved, practically and fairly.”

    This helplessness is also felt with regard to bringing the financial criminals to justice.

    At this time, denying Clinton the presidency is the single greatest step towards achieving accountability, justice, satisfaction, whatever. It won’t be much. But it will be a step in the right direction. The NeoCons are frantic to get back into power and will throw in their lot with Clinton. For me, this fact alone makes support for Clinton unacceptable.

    Kagan Inc, Podhoretz Inc, Kristol, Boot, Perle, and Bolton are like turds that won’t flush. I would like to see all of them, along with the entire Bush War Cabinet, tried as war criminals. Fat chance, I know. But at least we can do all we can to ensure that their insidious ideas are never in position to influence policy. This starts with defeating Clinton.

    I say again, however cartoonish a one-term Trump Presidency might end up being, if we as a people can end 2016 having destroyed both the Bush and Clinton dynasties, we may in hindsight be able to call it a good year.

    1. Pavel

      Hear, hear! Especially the final sentence. My thoughts exactly. Trump is a scary deceitful buffoon (at best) but the neocon crowd hanging around HRC — and her actual history as senator and SoS — makes her the truly frightening candidate. And that is apart from all the grift and other dishonesty.

    2. fresno dan

      “turds won’t flush”
      – although I think Kagan, Kristol, Perle etcetera aren’t nearly as useful as real turds…

    3. JE

      The American brexit? Hillexit? Clintexit?

      Past the obvious differences, denying Clinton and her ilk the reigns of presidential authority would be a shining moment in history —

  2. Carolinian

    Today, Americans can’t simply rely on the system to save them from the possibility of a fascist president

    Sounds like we need a strong man to step in and intervene, a kind of fuhrer, someone like, say….Robert Kagan. Kissinger showed similar wisdom when he said Chile couldn’t be allowed to go commie through irresponsibility of its own electorate.

    Do these neocons ever listen to themselves?

          1. hunkerdown

            The inventor of Lisp was born to a Jewish mother. Alan Dersh’s Lolitas can stick it.

          2. different clue

            No . . . . the hate symbol in question is ((( whatever ))). The ((( . . . ))) is a shout-out to some webcast show called The Daily Shoah which apparently used a real echo-y voice when pronouncing one or another Jewish name. The (((-)))s were adopted by various White Right bloggers and such. It is meant to remind the reader that the name being referenced is (((Jewish))). Or belongs to a (((Jew))).

            As in (((Lorne Greene))), (((Michael Landon))), (((Leonard Nimoy))), etc. To make sure that we the reader know.

        1. Vatch

          Is that a reference to the LISP paragraph in the article “A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages”?

    1. hunkerdown

      He’s right, you know. A system explicitly and intentionally designed to protect itself and the landed gentry from the will of the people, and that has been effective at such for nearly 2.5 centuries with the learning curve leveling out ever more over the past 50 years, is going to protect any other authoritarian too.

      Doesn’t mean we need a strong man, necessarily, but if the US is in the ochlocracy phase of anacyclosis, not the oligarchy phase, and if the US system hasn’t countered the theory, a strong (wo)man is what’s on the menu.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        If wikipedia is to be trusted in its entry on anacyclosis, then I don’t buy that we are in a stage of ochlocracy, or mob rule based on the corruption/degeneracy of the people and their preference for demagogues who pander to their sense of entitlement. There is a portion of the population that could reasonably be described in this way, but the concept is a claim about rule. I would argue that the more important problem with our rulers is that they do not pander to their constituents, not that they do.

  3. JTMcPhee

    Clinton, TPP, “in the lame duck.” Another example of shooting way too low? I would think “we” would “demand,” in our usual progressive hat-in-hand way, that the creature “must irrevocably” forswear and bind itself to VETO any such “deals,” and give the trade rep/Corp 5th columnist the boot. Meaningless futile suggestion? But thanks for at least keeping a night light on the subject. There was that nice listing of “trade traitors” that used to get noted in the days before the vote on Fast Track…

    I’ve been trying to figure out where the power centers are for the people who ought to be doing everything they possibly can to kill the beast outright. Lots of marginal motion by people hoping to feather their nests or minimize personal damage, but not much in the way of organized centralized flat out kill-it-off opposition. What gives? “Resistance is futile-ism”?

    1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

      She won’t do it, her whole career is about passing things like the TPP.

      Which is why I won’t be voting for her.

      1. different clue

        That’s why we have to get the Trade Treason Agreements frozen and not acted on at all during the entirety of the Lame Duck. They must still be kept “out there in orbit” so as to force Trump and Clinton both to say whether they will permit them successful re-entry, or whether they will shoot them out of the sky when they get close enough to the earth. But that can only work if we can torture and terrorise enough of the Lame Duckers into being too scared and terrorised to bring anything relevant to any aspect of any Trade Treason Agreement to any trace of a vote.

    2. hunkerdown

      Yep, pretty futile. Better to demand they not just bring the TPP to a vote now, but bring the TPP to a No vote now, and to hold them responsible for results, just like their rich donors. Don’t let them get away with the rotating heel game. If the Party can’t discipline itself in the public interest, it doesn’t deserve its privileges.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Hey, I recall another “Party” that kind of got its walking papers somehow, as a result of a few people catalyzing a lot of other people. Actually, in several places. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidarity_%28Polish_trade_union%29 Though some now say Lech Walensa was a CIA something-or-other, https://intelnews.org/2008/12/11/03-12/ . This CIA — https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol48no2/article11.html. And you have to believe that the security advisers to our own Elite recall what happened to Ceaucescu et ux. http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100593190

        There are a number of recent regime changes that seem to presage the Big One, the Soviet thing, which of course with a lot of help from the Empire and our own oligarchy went on to derail the popular part in favor of looting… http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/sovietcollapse.htm

        And all that Endless (sic) Great Game-Corporatist World CupCoup stuff is just so much fun to speculate and cogitate about, but in a universe where nothing is what it seems to be even in 20-20 hindsight (clouded by Players puffing smoke and wiggling mirrors to distract from current stratagems and assist them in “seeing their opportunities and taking them,” https://nanaimocityhall.com/2010/11/19/the-value-of-planning-information-%E2%80%93-%E2%80%9Ci-seen-my-opportunities-and-i-took-%E2%80%98em%E2%80%9D/, at all levels of the political economy, who fokking knows anything except what happens to them moment to moment, and then Heisenberg and those chaos theory folks and the rest of them come along and tell is that’s all just one level of a multiverse or something…

        You say you want a revolution
        [and a counter-counter-counter-counter-counter-revolution]
        Well, you know We all want to change the world
        You tell me that it’s evolution
        Well, you know We all want to change the world
        But when you talk about destruction
        Don’t you know that you can count me out
        Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right? …

        It’s been a hard day’s night
        And I’ve been working like a dog
        It’s been a hard day’s night
        I should be sleeping like a log
        But when I get home to you
        I find the things that you do
        Will make me feel alright
        You know I feel alright
        You know I feel alright
        Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/beatles-the/a-hard-day-s-night-lyrics/#SRgzAjQ1EvIxxPxu.99

  4. Anne

    In case any Sanders supporter was just waiting for the Clinton supporters to be nice and all warm hugs about getting in line, here’s something in that vein: An Open Letter to All Our Passionate Bernie Sanders Supporters.

    An excerpt:

    More than anything, however, I just want to be friends with you Bernie supporters again. What can we do to make that happen? I’m sorry that Clinton was not your first choice. I’m sorry that you disagree with a lot of her policies. I disagree with some of her policies, too, but I sincerely believe that she’s the best person to run this country, and that she’ll be a really good, really strong president. I hope so, anyway.

    I’m scared of the alternative. Like, really, honestly scared, like scared that I’m going to one day have to explain to my kids why I’m on a Government Watch list because I bad-mouthed the President. I feel like if we could all be friends again on the Democratic side, we could ensure that this man who hates minorities, gays, and women doesn’t end up the leader of the free world.

    I honestly feel like the man’s policies would be detrimental to our everyday lives.


    What I’m saying is: Can we just skip to the hug now? Cause I really want to get to the hugging part. Let’s shake hands. Let’s be friends. Let’s ensure that Trump is not elected, and work together to push Clinton to enact legislation that will better benefit all of us.

    Yes, because this is all I wanted: hugs from the Clinton cohort.

    They just have no clue how seriously obnoxious and offensive this kind of message is.

    1. Roger Smith

      What a bunch of pathetic, insincere crap.

      “What a freeloader! What, you want everything for free now? Some people worked real hard for their hugs and I am just supposed to give them up to you, damn commies!” Sound familiar?

      “She is the best person to run the country” — how? Do you mean of the two candidates? Even that assertion would be questionable. You want to beat Trump so badly, you shouldn’t have supported Clintoon from the start. Now you get to deal with the outcome, whether you like it or not. Tough luck. Go feel bad in your own corner, cry a little bit, the Democrats love a good show with feelz.

      1. James Levy

        It is extremely difficult to convince people how truly atrocious Clinton’s policies are.

        Her greatest ally is the Right. They’ve been demonizing her as a big left-winger for decades. It was always pure bull, but both the anti-Hillary and pro-Hillary people buy it completely. Then you’ve got a brigade of Dean Rusk wannabes telling us how pragmatic she is. On top of that, you’ve got the feminist guilt trippers and the center-left media, which the average Hillary voter depends on as their antidote to the lies of Fox News and Talk Radio (which, to be fair, is full of lies, but that doesn’t stop the MSM from grotesque distortions and the occasional whopper). All these sources make Clinton out to be a solid, stolid, decent “centrist”, which is very consoling for people who for years have been told that they are whack-jobs from Left Field. It feels nice to be moderate in the American political discourse, and Clinton has been presented to these Democrats as a moderate. That she is no such thing takes painstaking explanation and people don’t really want to hear it. The process involves deconstructing too many narratives and shibboleths.

        But I would argue that contempt for these people is a poor starting point for winning any of them over.

          1. Archie

            My 2 cents worth Allie, fwiw. I honestly don’t think there is a peaceful way left at this late stage. Your choices are to get of Dodge (and go to I don’t know where), hope HRC has another stroke, or hope she is renditioned to some non-Israeli loving, peaceful country for trial on war crimes, or we win the political lottery in this election cycle. And even in all of those cases, the moneyed elites are still intact behind the scenes owning the media, the financial institutions, the military budgets and the weapons of military dominance. There are no honest leaders left that carry enough clout to speak the truth to what our current condition really is. Bernie is the closest I have seen since RFK and MLK. They both were assassinated. That’s how the powerful play the game.

        1. fresno dan

          Nice analysis JL.
          As I always say, keeping the “brand” of liberal for dems and conservative for repubs is what their branding schemes are all about – the fact that is has no relationship to reality is what advertising is all about…

      2. Anne

        From the Clinton supporters among my FB friends, I get either a bunch of posts that help them confirm why they were right to support her, or I get posts like the one above, meant to persuade me that I must come to my senses and do what they think is right for the country. Now, apparently, I can get a free hug for being a team player.

        My response to the person who posted that obnoxious open letter was as follows:

        Not that anyone asked me, but…the Clinton supporters don’t need to keep reminding us what’s at stake, or what terrible consequences will be visited upon the land if we don’t all get in line behind Clinton. It isn’t a case of our being more inclined to get in line if the argument is made nicely, with promises of hugs, as opposed to getting in our faces and screaming at us.

        I am not some naïve, hippie-wannabe who has stars in her eyes and fingers in her ears…I’ve been around for a few years, have some life experience under my belt, have researched and discussed and weighed the pros and cons and studied the issues and candidates’ records and questioned my own bias and at times agonized over how much our system has failed us and how to set it right.

        I have no good answers, really. I’ve lost count of how many election cycles we’ve been forced to choose the least bad candidate, how many times we’ve been guilted and shamed into taking the path of least resistance, how many times we have been loyal to the Democratic brand only to find out that all they wanted were our votes so they could go do whatever it is they were going to do anyway, campaign rhetoric and promises be damned.

        Choosing the least bad candidate has done little but ensure that the bar will keep going lower. I don’t want to vote for someone who thinks she’s above the law, who has likely blurred and crossed the line between her public life and her family’s fortunes. I don’t want to think my only choice is to vote for someone whose views I can’t count on.

        I am never going to vote for a Republican for any office, and I don’t frankly understand someone who would affirmatively cast a vote for Donald Trump in the belief that would help.

        Please, just stop nagging us about our vote; it isn’t helping.

        1. dots

          I think this is why the late Senator Paul Wellstone has been coming to mind so much recently. It took tremendous courage and conviction for him to stand up alone in the Senate to speak out against the Iraq War when everyone else believed that the US should invade on the premise of a pre-emptive strike to prevent Iraq’s nuclear armament. That’s what statesmanship is, though. When you believe that we are heading down an ill-considered path, you stand up even against all your friends and colleagues and do all that you can to convince them to look at other alternative points of view.

          Statement by Sen. Wellstone Regarding Military Action Against Iraq

          Washington, D.C. October 3, 2002

      1. James Levy

        Yes, and we all know that it would be as believable as Trump balancing the budget and retiring the national debt. No deal with the Clintons, to paraphrase the Elder Moltke, survives first contact with their immediate interests.

      2. Carolinian

        She thinks she has it in the bag and doesn’t have to compromise with the hippies. In fact this overconfidence could be the Donald’s secret weapon. He may be playing an expectations game and at the right time–perhaps the convention when even his enemies are tuned in to enjoy the chaos–he’ll do like Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor and turn himself into suave debonair Dean Martin. Then he can deploy his other secret weapon which is the truth. Hill’s problem is she has far too much to hide.

        All a fantasy no doubt and it seems unlikely that Trump is so very clever. But then what is going on with him?

        1. fresno dan

          We project onto our “leaders” what we want of them – it is too terrifying to accept them as they really are.

          1. Emma

            Perhaps we’ll wake up like the Italians have finally just done. Great news for the Five Star Movement in Italy and it’s leader Beppe Grillo, a famous Italian comedian. Plus congratulations to the young and well intentioned Virginia Raggi of the 5-Star party for running a superb anti-corruption and transparency platform with the movement:

        2. JustAnObserver

          To think that Trump could pull a Nutty Professor is, I think, a misreading of him. He is I think all Art of the Deal – i.e. tactics – and very little strategy. Tactical nous, repetitive shouting of “Make America Great Again”, seasoned with nativist soundbites was sufficient to get him through the Repub nomination process against a bunch of no-hopers but the general is going to take more than that. The question is whether he realizes this. If he does and decides to really home in on Clinton’s manifold weaknesses then there’s every chance he might succeed.

          Of course we have to allow for Yves’ Caveat: That he really does want to win … ? I thought at the beginning probably not but I’m beginning to wonder whether he’s now joined the merry band of “Clinton and her Neocon Nutters must be stopped at all cost”. I think he’d be prepared to go to honorable defeat against Sanders but against Clinton ?

          Maybe we’ll see him commenting here at NC :-).

          1. Take the Fork

            “I love Naked Capitalism. I mean, what’s not to love? I love naked. And I love capitalism. It’s just great. It’s been very good to me. They’ve got these great little pictures of animals. Naked animals. You gotta to see them. Beautiful animals. And they’re great people. Tremendous people. And we’re going to be great together. Tremendous. Huge.”

            Donald J. Trump

      3. ekstase

        I don’t know if he could pull off Dean Martin, but I’d like to see him take a go at looking like a progressive. That hairdo, while fascinating, has its limits in terms of characters he can morph into. Still, it’s fun to picture him trying to appeal to the hippie-commie vote. I’d like to see the outfits his handlers would pick put for him. Lose the suit, the hair and the orange glow, what would we have left?

      4. cwaltz

        Sanders can believe her if he chooses.

        I won’t.

        Snowballs have a better chance in Hades then Hillary Clinton has of getting my vote.

        Her supporters can bully, cajole, and swear I’m going to be responsible for the Trumpocolypse until the cows come home. If they want to beat him so darn bad they’ll support Sanders, who I WOULD be willing to vote for instead of a third party. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

      5. Jagger

        Clinton could consider endorsing Medicare for All followed by an exchange of hostages with the Sanders campaign.

        Dependent on the hostages, I might be willing to support Hillary in exchange for Medicare for all. But the hostages absolutely can’t be expendables from Honest Hillary’s perspective.

        I wonder how many people would be willing to serve as a hostage for Hillary. Low IQ would have to be a requirement.

    2. DJG

      Ladies and Gentlemen: Did you look “above the fold”?

      Sweetened by Mock
      Lightened by Droll

      1. Anne

        If you’re thinking this is an Onion-style site, you might want to check out the other posts in the politics section.

        1. DJG

          Anne: The very good essay up top today by Benjamin Studebaker dispatches this Hillary-Bernie equivalence nonsense. So I already was immunized.

          It is true that Rowles and Pajiba have gone through a lot of pixellage trying to play up the importance of Hillary. When I went back to the article that you posted above, though, an animated ad for Hellman’s Mayonnaise interrupted Rowles’s brilliance.

          So I remain skeptical.

    3. jrs

      “I also don’t want to break the system in order to fix it, because breaking the system might have long-lasting effects on not only me, but my kids.”

      Frankly your kids are probably screwed regardless at this point. I do disagree with most “break the system” and it will magically correct itself thinking. It’s pure magical thinking in my view, rather than any type of strategy. But the system alone is going to have long-lasting effects on you and your kids. Make no mistake: neoliberal capitalism is bad for children, adults, and other living things.

      “Also, I am super proud to have President Obama as our commander-in-chief right now …”

      eh well what can one say?

      “I’m scared of the alternative. Like, really, honestly scared,”

      I’m scared for the future regardless. Like, really, honestly scared. My coping mechanism is mostly resigned stoicism. It’s not going to lead to a revolution, but I don’t know what will at this point.

      “There aren’t any Clinton supporters who are thinking, “Oh, we really should stop at a $12 minimum wage,” or “we should reduce the cost of college, but not eliminate it.” We’re just cautious in our approach”

      That might maybe be true of Clinton supporters but does it even matter: how much LEVERAGE will you have?

      Really though what an odd article, while we all hopefully learn and change opinions on politics it’s basically a childish view of how the world works.

    4. aletheia33

      @Anne 2:43 pm
      letter to bernie supporters

      this is not only obnoxious and offensive but like nothing i’ve ever seen before, quite. a hideous marriage of tv commercial feel-good with … ugh, i can’t find the words.

      downright creepy… evocative of the psychopathic serial killer in the movie/novel talking to his next victim just after he rapes her, in the process of post-rape torture, before he delivers the final, drawn-out coup de grace.

      i’m sorry you don’t want to die…really, i’m sorry. but i sincerely believe what i’m going to do to you is the best thing for both of us… i mean just think of the alternative… i leave you here alive when i’m done with you, they find you here out of your mind and they won’t know what to do with you… of course no one will believe you… i don’t think you really want to end up that way… do you?? i didn’t think so…

      so can we just skip to the forgiveness part? cause i really want your forgiveness… i really want to feel good about what i’ve done to you… and am going to do to you. if we can just do this together… you can help.

        1. Anne

          I’d think so, except this is not the first time I’ve seen this kind of approach to Sanders supporters; they’re trying to be bigger than what they see as the petty arguing and insulting – they are “reaching out” to Sanders supporters, but all they are offering is the chance to pretend that Clinton’s incremental approach to leadership will bring about the kind of change we need.

          Basically, they just want us to lower our voices, be polite and get in line.

          And for that, we can have a hug!

          1. JustAnObserver

            They’re reaching out in the same way that Muhammed Ali “reached out” to George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle, Zaire 1974.

      1. Anne

        Here’s the thing: this isn’t about friendship for me, and it’s not about finding some special place where I feel loved and accepted. I felt like the article could have been written by the Olaf character from “Frozen:” “I’m Olaf and I like warm hugs!” (I have a 3 1/2 yr old grandson and I’ve seen this movie so many times I can recite whole sections of dialogue).

        I’m not looking for rainbows and unicorns; I was never under any illusion that electing Sanders would usher in a utopian era. Or that he would just wave a magic wand and make what ails us all better. But I did think it could be the beginning of being able to be heard, Of accountability not ending with my vote.

        And I suppose part of my irritation with the post and with some of the stuff that comes into my FB news feed, is that electing Clinton seems to be more about continuing to mow down those who get in her way than in being champions of anything she seems to be offering in the way of policy. Her candidacy seems to be about who she is not – not a man, not Donald Trump – than about who she is.

        It shouldn’t be my problem if Clinton is a terrible candidate. And she is a terrible candidate. Reviled by more people than like her, operating under a cloud of possible criminal activity, distrusted by a majority. I can’t even make the case that she’s competent and will “get things done” considering that her execution of foreign policy was a disaster we are still paying for, and she’s a little too cozy with the deficit hawks and Social Security “fixers,” and the insurance and pharmaceutical industries who are taking us right back to where we were when single payer came off the table and wasn’t supposed to be spoken of again.

        “Better than Trump” is damning with faint – very faint – “meh.”

        I want them to STFU and leave me alone: I’m not responsible for this Hobson’s choice that’s been engineered for us, and I sure as hell am not going to trade my integrity for a warm hug from someone who just wants me to get out of Clinton’s way.

        1. Carolinian

          Well said. Politicians are only in love with that thing in the mirror (Trump too of course). Their role is to do our bidding, not be our friends.

        2. Archie

          If it makes you feel a little better Anne, my wife cries almost every night because she has voted in every election since she was eligible but sees nothing to vote for this year. Our grandkids are 4 and 8. This is why she cries.

          1. cwaltz

            Tell her to look at the third parties. The reality is that very first vote away from the duopoly is hard but it gets easier each and ever time. There is something freeing about voting FOR something instead of continually being tricked into voting AGAINST those “evil, other side of the aisle” folks.

            The first time was the hardest because for a long time I believed the meme that because my vote wasn’t going to one of the duopoly choices it doesn’t count. However, I’ve come to understand those votes DO count which is why the Bernie shamers are out trying to convince us we have to vote for Clinton if we lose the primary. Don’t worry DNC I’ll still be voting against something. My vote for a candidate is also a vote against YOUR candidate. It’s a rejection of TPP, dysfunctional health care, endless money for wars and banks and everything the DNC has sold regular voters out for.

              1. JacobiteInTraining

                Took me 35 years, but ‘I’m With Her!’ — (Jill Stein! :)

                A vote taken away from Hillary, and a vote taken away from Trump, is a vote well spent.

                1. aab

                  I’m worried about throwing states to Clinton. But if my state could go Stein enough to take it away from Clinton, it would swing the entire election, which would be win/win.

        3. fresno dan

          June 20, 2016 at 5:56 pm

          So many of the things Bernie wants is how it USED to BE. Yet the Clintoons tell us how it is financially impossible…pretty much because of their henchmen Rubin and Summers.

          Go to the St Louis FED website, and look at the vaunted GDP. Goes up 99% of the time – indeed, it is about 5 times higher than when I started college. And when I went to college, the US was five times poorer than it is now….but somehow, the grants, gifts, and low, low tuition back than that made college essentially free for me can’t be duplicated today even though we are 5X wealthier……
          a cynic might ask where all the extra money ends up…..but we know being a cynic is a terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE thing…

          1. fresno dan

            Wow – I am in moderation for that? I think about some of my smart as* remarks, and some things I said that I would take back…..man, that moderation man is one mean SOB

        4. craazyboy

          The only thing a prez has to do to be waaay better than Hillary is say “VETO” three times.

          Grand Bargain

          The bar is pretty low.

          1. fresno dan

            OH, that is exactly right!!! Nice insight craazyboy – nobody thinks in terms of what shouldn’t be done, and how bad it can be if done….

    5. Jeff W

      …I just want to be friends with you Bernie supporters again

      Somehow it reminds me of this creepy scene from The Stepford Wives (1975) [spoiler alert] with Paula Prentiss playing Bobbie Markowe:

      Joanna! How could you do a thing like that? How could you do a thing like that? How could you do a thing like that? When I was just going to give you coffee. When I was just going to give you coffee! When I was just going to give you coffee! I thought we were friends! I thought we were friends! I was just going to give you coffee! I was just going to give you coffee! I thought we were friends…I thought we were friends…I thought we were friends. How could you do a thing like that? I thought we were friends.

    6. Skip Intro

      If you squint a little, you can almost hear that bit about watch list sung to the tune of ‘it is a nice little flight you have planned, it would be a shame if something were to happen to it’.

      The sudden concern for Sanders voters is a real turn-around:

      UNCOUNTED: The True Story of the California Primary


  5. katiebird

    This is freaky weird:


    They are mainly characterized by a vast range of incredible morphological wrinkles: camera-like eyes, really flexible bodies, and ‘sophisticated’ chameleonic response. All of this is ruled by the larger nervous system found among invertebrates, which makes these beings the rulers of the oceans.

    They possess highly developed brains and are considered as the most intelligent invertebrate demonstrating elaborate problem-solving behaviours. And as if it wasn’t freaky enough for octopuses to open up jam jars, scientists have just concluded that these aquatic creatures are even more mysterious.

    Thanks to the first-ever full genome sequence, researchers have found that octopuses (NOT Octopi) are in fact entirely different from any other animals on our planet. Their genome shows a never-before-seen level of complexity with a staggering 33,000 protein-coding genes identified, more than in a human being.

    US researcher Dr. Clifton Ragsdale, from the University of Chicago, said: The octopus appears to be utterly different from all other animals, even other molluscs, with its eight prehensile arms, its large brain, and its clever problem-solving abilities.

    “The late British zoologist Martin Wells said the octopus is an alien. In this sense, then, our paper describes the first sequenced genome from an alien.”

    I had no idea we could use octopuses to open jars!!

    1. James Levy

      I saw video of one waiting for the scientist to leave and turn off the light. It then popped off the lid of its aquarium, pulled itself out, plopped on the floor, climbed a desk, opened the cover of another aquarium, ate a fish, then repeated the process–closing the lids behind itself! The most astonishing animal behavior I’ve ever witnessed.

        1. myshkin

          I think James has confused a documenteary with Finding Nemo.

          Over forty years ago when there were still a few fish left in the Med, I was living in a poor farming/fishing village of 25 people in the southern Peloponnesus,
          fishing and eating what I caught and sleeping in a friend’s olive orchard. Snorkeling one day, I speared an octupus but couldn’t kill it, had to toss it to some one else in the boat to do the deed. I greatly regretted and will always remember the experience and the look that puss gave me and the battle, one of the more traumatic moments of my life. Shortly thereafter I became a vegetarian, still am. There is an extraordinary awareness about octupus.
          They also taste good, as I recall, with lemon juice and a shot of ouzo on the side.

            1. cwaltz

              Are you sure that just because plants don’t have eyes that they don’t feel?

              We have to eat living things to survive. It’s reality.

              I’ll never understand the smugness that those who choose not to eat animals feel because they “only” eat plants(which don’t have adorable little faces.)

              1. Jagger

                We have to eat living things to survive. It’s reality.

                Yes, I agree. Which raises the question, if this existence was designed intentionally, what purpose is served by making it mandatory that we must kill to survive?

                And definitely plants are living entities. Whether they have awareness and feel pain is an open question.

                1. Jagger

                  Answering my own question, if a reality is bounded and reproduction occurs, than death is mandatory or you will have space problems. The only place that would allow external existence without death and reproduction would have to be a boundless or infinite space.

              2. myshkin

                For the sake of argument pulse and grain, the plants whose seeds we not only save for the next season but can eat as well and get complete protiens from, is that in the same category? Apples peaches and pears?

                “Are you sure that just because plants don’t have eyes that they don’t feel?”
                Most of us don’t have direct experience with harvesting our food, either plants or animals. It was enlightening for me. I know I don’t have the same feelings about trimming the salad patch or harvesting peppers as my experience with the ocutpus or watching a farmer butcher his goat. Once an animal realizes its situation there is no doubt it does not want to die,the arugula seems to bare it stem willingly.

        2. fresno dan

          Did you see the video of the racoons in the main links today working as a team? And I have certainly heard about the octopus escaping to eat fish from other aquariums and than returning to its own aquarium. But I have never been able to confirm it. Although octopuses do get out of their aquariums with apparent ease.

          The ancient Greeks thought people were derived from an eight appendaged critter and that people were always trying to pair up to get back to their original 8 appendages.

          So…maybe we’re really descended from octopuses and not monkeys….COOL!
          If only I had an ink gland, I would save a fortune on printing…

    2. mothy

      That is actually not what the (linked) Nature article says at all.
      I do not understand what the point of the intermediary globalpossibilities.org article is, other than click-bait, I suppose.

        1. craazyboy

          Some jars are hard to open. You need to run hot water over the lid first, so it expands a bit, then try and open it. Octopuses can’t do that. When they are in the ocean.

          1. fresno dan

            3 words:
            deep sea vents

            of course, the REAL problem is a lack of deep sea oven mitts…(or should I say, tentacle mitts….)

      1. Pavel

        Yes, I read the article. No doubt octopuses (“NOT Octopi” as it reminded us several times) are amazing creatures, but as one commentator said, this is an excellent example of horrid science reporting.

        1. craazyboy

          I’m pretty sure Octopie are just dumb pets the Lizard People brought with them when they invaded Earth at the dawn of civilization 6000 years ago. Being Interstellar travelers, our oceans look like aquariums to them, and that’s why they put their pets there. Then they slithered back out of the ocean to meld their DNA with humans and run humanity.

    3. Plenue

      Not only can they open jars, in the future they’ll be our overlords and the sole job of humans will be to put crabs in jars so the cephalopods can show off their jar opening abilities.

    4. Archie

      All I know about octopi is what I learned in a Sardinian restaurant in the old part of Milano. I had black risotto, pasta with the tentacles in a light tomato sauce and grilled body. Nothing was wasted and it was all prepared with great respect and attention.

    5. Take the Fork

      I’ve read that looking into the eyes of an octopus is the closet you can get to encountering an alien intelligence… People who keep them say that they actually like to play tug-of-war with pencils, fingers, etc.

      For my part, I made a personal decision to stop eating them a couple years ago when I learned how intelligent they seem to be. I can’t form an argument as to why I did that. I just… stopped. Seeing “Candide” in action had something to do with it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQwJXvlTWDw

      Also made me glad I am not a crab…

      If you believe in Evilution: the evidence as I understand it suggests that, alien DNA aside, we and they went in different directions sometime around 600 million years ago. If they had evolved to breathe air, they would no doubt rule the universe. Maybe that is what HE waits dreaming of… Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn…

      Their tragic quality is a short life span – at least from my point of view. For them, a year of three might be quite satisfactory.

      1. cwaltz

        I guess the octopus I tried wasn’t prepared well. It seemed pretty rubbery to me. I’ve had no problem not repeating the experience.

  6. pandoval

    Regarding the San Francisco election of Jane Kim vs. Scott Wiener, my experience is that the Sanders endorsement was substantial. The Democrat Party gave their official endorsement to Wiener, and his direct mailing advertisements were overwhelming. It was only because of the Sanders endorsement that I was aware of Kim; otherwise, it becomes difficult to differentiate Democrat Candidate 1 vs. Democrat Candidate 2. More broadly, a trusted independent group (such as offshoots from the Sanders candidacy) that could provide such endorsements would be valuable because it would help to mobilize those on the left to vote and compete against established interests.

    1. jo6pac

      That must really tear into nancy (we pass it and read it later) poloosy at lest I hope it did.

    2. Buttinsky

      I would just add that there are some highly volatile issues here in San Francisco — affordable housing and police violence not the least of them — and Wiener and Kim are definitely on opposite sides of those issues.

      Wiener supports and is funded to a larger degree by developers. Kim has worked to expand at least the legal requirements for more affordable housing. (None of the laws actually seems to produce housing that is, in fact, affordable to most residents.)

      Kim was the first (and maybe the only) city supervisor to call the murder of African-American Mario Woods by police exactly that, murder, has foregone the support of the police union, and called for serious police reforms and the removal of Police Chief Greg Suhr. Wiener has courted the police union, resisted police reform, and criticized the corrupt and weaselly Mayor Ed Lee when Lee was finally forced by public pressure to fire Suhr. Wiener said he would have kept the corrupt and very divisive chief.

      Just to fill out the “identity politics” blanks: Wiener is a gay white male and Kim is an Asian-American woman, and both relatively young (30s?). In a city where the “gay vote” and the “Asian vote” are both considered very important, I wouldn’t venture a guess as to how all of this will play out given the economic and cultural upheavals underway here.

    3. marym

      This just in:

      Jane Kim ‏@JaneKim · 18m18 minutes ago  San Francisco, CA

      #EveryVoteCounts! Updated election results released today- we’re officially in lead + up 373 votes in race for State Senate D11! #runjanerun


  7. James Levy

    I loved this one:

    defend their standard of living in the face of secularly low rates of return

    The rates are not “secularly low”. They are deliberately and purposefully low. They are low so that the people in charge can say they are “doing something” about the aftershocks of the Great Recession without actually spending any money via fiscal policy. And, conveniently, the money they loan out at these excessively low interest rates go to wealthy people!

    Trouble for us is, the trend will almost certainly continue. Clinton is for them because her Wall Street owners are for it. Trump has come out for them, along with a balanced budget and tax cuts for the rich. Either way you swing, the elites have you nailed to a cross of low interest rates and cheap money for the elite.

  8. Ivy

    How many economists does it take to go out on a date? The answer may be found by asking the committee:

    NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee

    Do they only date people interested in business cycles?
    One wonders how many of them it would take to change light bulbs on dates?
    Given the well-known issues within the Orthodox school, perhaps some new committee members from the Heterodox side could help improve dating chances.

  9. Jane

    ““People have their friends on Facebook and some photos on Flickr and their colleagues on LinkedIn. All they want to do is share the photos with the colleagues and the friends—and they can’t.”

    Someone should tell the Fathers of the Web that the Grandparents of the Web included a really neat feature: links.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      They did. And a standard protocol (HTTPS), a standard data format (HTML), a standard mode of address (the URL), and a standard architecture (REST). Which the genius squillionaires in Silicon Valley are busily infesting and destroying, at great personal profit to themselves, because markets. Every iteration of iOS, for example, conceals the URL from users a little more.

      1. Uahsenaa

        There are so many pages now that are just an accumulation of scripts, it’s mind boggling. I’ve been using script extensions for years, and it seems as time has passed, the number of sites any given page is pulling from has grown astronomically. How can any of that be even remotely secure?

  10. Elliot

    ““People have their friends on Facebook and some photos on Flickr and their colleagues on LinkedIn. All they want to do is share the photos with the colleagues and the friends—and they can’t.”

    Someone should tell the Fathers of the Web that the Grandparents of the Web included a really neat feature: links.

    If the photos are on a private page on Facebook, links don’t work for the non-FB viewer. Many pages are unavailable to the unchurched, I mean, those of us not on FB.

  11. grayslady

    I notice that the USA Today article by Richard Ben-Veniste doesn’t list his current occupation–attorney at Mayer Brown specializing in white collar crime cases and advising parties involved in congressional investigations. It also doesn’t mention that he was chief counsel for the Dems on the Senate Whitewater Committee and that, along with Paul Sarbanes, was responsible for discrediting the main witness against the Clintons by secretly recovering deleted files from a hard disk. Instead, Ben-Veniste is listed as someone who participated in the 9-11 bipartisan (designed to make readers believe he’s the kind of guy who has no axe to grind) commission.

    I didn’t see Mayer Brown listed as one of the top Hillary donors for 2016, although every other white shoe law firm was listed among the top contributors. However, Ben-Veniste personally contributed to Hillary’s 2008 campaign. So much for full disclosure.

  12. Pavel

    Christ, just when you thought Apple couldn’t get any worse:

    Apple CEO Tim Cook will host a fundraiser with House Speaker Paul Ryan next week as the iPhone maker tries to strengthen its relationships with key Republicans — despite its decision to pull support for the GOP convention because of its distaste for Donald Trump.

    Cook will help generate cash for Ryan at a private breakfast on June 28 in Menlo Park, Calif., along with Gary Wipfler, the company’s treasurer, according to an invite obtained by POLITICO on Monday. The money benefits not only the speaker but a joint fundraising committee aimed at helping to elect other House Republicans.

    Cook is hosting the fundraiser on his own accord, as Apple does not have a corporate political action committee like Facebook, Google and other tech giants in Silicon Valley. Still, the move reflects Apple’s desire to court Republican and Democratic officeholders alike, even at a time when it has serious reservations about Trump, the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.

    POLITICO: Apple’s Cook to host Paul Ryan fundraiser amid Trump woes

    Tim “Human Rights” Cook raising money for the right wing Republican? I guess Apple is good about LGBT rights in the US but that doesn’t stop them from doing business in Saudi Arabia and exploiting Chinese workers and evading — oops, sorry, minimising — their taxes.

    The cost to make an iPhone is apparently ~$300 and of that about $5 goes to the Chinese labour component. Would it kill AAPL to double it to $10?

    1. craazyboy


      Isn’t it about time we had another corporate “tax holiday” so we can repatriate our “offshore”[plus hidden onshore] earnings and pay a negligible percentage tax on it? It’s been 12 years or so since GWB gave us the 5% tax holiday, and we’ve stored up about a trillion waiting for you a-holes in Washington DC to do another.

      You need some campaign funds to continue your deficit reduction crusade, right? We can be on the same side here!

    1. Pavel

      I’ve been listening to Martenson for a few years now. I highly recommend his podcasts to fellow NCers. They don’t cover only economics — there were a couple of really fascinating (and inspiring) ones on microfarming. He is very big on self-sufficiency and thinking in terms of physical health, enjoying nature, and the importance of social community as well as traditional financial issues.

  13. KurtisMayfield

    Re: HTML over radio.

    Yes it is most definitely possible. It is wifi. If you tried it over the public radio or microwave bands for long distance you would run into a few issues:

    #1. Interference. The public bands are crowded. You have to be sending a very discrete signal over a very narrow band. And that would not leave you with much

    #2. Bandwidth. Your webpage would have to be very targeted, and also one way.

    #2. Power. 50,000 watts is a standard radio signal power. How far does that reach? You would have to relay the signal.

    Here is an example of Anonymous using ham radio for comms:


    1. Adam Gordon

      Well said, radio has bandwidth-over-distance issues. There have been services that did utilize radio to broadcast data, in the past. During the 90’s, there were some data broadcasting services that used old localized (city-sized) pager networks, to broadcast specific data in small packets, such as sports scores or stock quotes. Bandwidth sizes were in the range of 20-30 kilobytes every few minutes. That’s a slow web page load, even in 90’s HTML (markup data would eat up an unacceptable amount of bandwidth). Also, these broadcasts were one-way; you had to buy a special device that was constantly vacuuming this stream of data and saving it. Then, there was an interface to allow you to view the specific score or quote that you wanted. I even subscribed to a service that sent out news headlines, but not stories.

      Ultimately, SMS is significantly more efficient for on-demand content, and is the technology of choice in the third-world for accessing weather reports, crop reports, etc. Of course, SMS is also monopolized by cell phones providers, as well as other similar options, such as the mobile web.

        1. hunkerdown

          “Because markup”? (You’re welcome to use that next time your inner centrist escapes.)

          I have no effing idea why this patent was granted, but I offer US8099115, “TCP over SMS” (USPTO).

    2. MartyH

      @KurtisMayfield … mobile data (data to your smartphone) is a mesh-network of collaborating transceivers. The distance and bandwidth issues are addressed by density of “cell sites.” We’ve done the same thing with Ham Radio to varying degrees … mostly proof of concept stuff. There are LOTS of data frequencies around and there are some very sophisticated networks in Northern California that demonstrate what CAN be done by amateurs cooperating and pooling their private funds.

    1. JCC


      On the other end, self-healing, non-commercial -> no commercial business is allowed on Amateur Radio transmissions by law <- meshed networks (local cells connecting through broadband ham nets) is awfully appealing… and happening.


  14. mk

    “Larry Page, the founder of Google and head of Alphabet, adheres faithfully to the notion that software, or “the algorithm,” is much more efficient and effective and pure than any human system could ever be. The sooner we digitize the entire world and let software run it all, the sooner everything will be made better” [ReCode]. “He’s not alone; Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla’s Elon Musk and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos all submit to a similar logic, to varying degrees.” Ka-ching.
    Yeah, like better living through chemistry

  15. Plenue

    Both stats and guillotine watch: I’ve had some recent interaction with serious economics student types. They just can’t understand all the ‘dumb’ people being ‘suckered’ in by populism when the stats clearly show that the economy is doing fine and getting better. At no point does it ever occur to these economists that the average person isn’t doing well and voting accordingly. The notion that regular people have a much better understanding of the reality of their positions and that something must be wrong with the stats in how they aren’t reflecting the opinion of the populace seems to be a completely insurmountable concept. The stats MUST be correct, there is no other possible option.

    “What, you think the stats are being goosed? You some kind of nutjob conspiracy theorist? Go back to Alex Jones! Leave us SERIOUS, RATIONAL people alone.”

    1. cm

      In Black Swan there’s a nifty section where he looks at previous economic predictions (of things like GDP, stock market, etc.) and compares to the reality. It is not pretty for the economists.

      I laugh every time I see Lambert’s daily “Stats Watch” given how often the data is subsequently revised — I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Lambert include a significant post on major revisions.

      Also, as I’ve said ad nauseum, if the economy is so great, when do we get back to 6% on our savings accounts? Can an economist explain that?

    2. fresno dan

      I know I’m tiresome about the topic, but economists and their averages and aggregation can only see that money is being made and lots of it! HOORAY.
      The stupid ones never think to ask about the distribution of all that GDP
      The smart ones know which side of their toast (and for Brexit, scones) is buttered and know to never ask…

    3. sid_finster

      “tell me who did the study, and I’ll tell you what results they got.”

      -Dick Armey

  16. Carla


    “Stein may be making big strides toward being treated like a legitimate presidential candidate. In her 2012 Green Party run, she appeared on only 36 state ballots. But her campaign’s ballot access coordinator told Counterpunch last week that “we fully expect to get on the ballot in all but three states due to our petition drives” and will then litigate the “onerous” requirements in the three remaining states in hopes of hitting 50.

    That’s not bluster. Ballot Access News publisher Richard Winger told Politico Magazine in an email he expects Stein to reach 47 as well. If so, Stein would break the ballot access record for the Green Party, topping the Ralph Nader 2000 effort by four states…

    Stein defiantly told Politico Magazine she has a “No Safe State strategy,” because “there is no safe state under a Democratic or Republican future.” She’ll be stumping in Pennsylvania later this month.”


    1. Archie

      Hopefully, at the very least, Bernie will endorse her as the best option to defeat Trump. I would be totally down with that.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      Thank you, I’m quite glad to hear almost every US voter will have the opportunity to vote for Stein. If even half the Berners voted for her it’d put the GP on the map overnight.

  17. Alex morfesis

    Pron troll legal scam/$hakedown…did legal support work fighting on one of those…it was the elderly aunt of a former st pete police chief…it was obvious she left an open wifi network and someone had used it to download…the type of pron did not match race…and this is a very red hat church lady…

    but the other side thought they were amusing…they had made a claim they had magic software that could prove it was downloaded to her ip…

    knowing what little I know about tor, the software “report” attached to the john doe lawsuit was junk…

    sounded like vaporware…

    this expert was used quite often with his magic lantern software…

    so a look up to this german “student” expert on viadeo turned up he does neither speak nor read english, yet there was his report in english…

    so I did my own walk thru and…tada…

    these companies are not monitoring thru gateway review of downloads…

    they are doing the downloads to darknet sites and have software in the downloads that sends back the ip info…

    once confronted with the reality of the “set up”, they quickly dropped the defendant from the lawsuit…

  18. Benedict@Large

    So Pat Murphy runs as a Democrat for the House in 2012 so he can face Allen West in the General rather than the primary. When West changes his District to avoid this, Murphey chases him up the Florida coast for the pairing. (Murphy is from Miami, he ran in Palm Beach County.) Murphy was a Republican (like his dad, a Miami real estate magnate), but suddenly says he’s really been a Democrat all along.

    Well here’s the gig on Patrick West replacing Allen West (you remember Allen, the nutball?) To be honest, he pretty much cast the same votes as Allen would have . Stuff like cutting food stamps and the like.

    So now Pat, the Republican who runs as a Democrat is moving up to the Senate to fight Alan Greyson, and the party is going to back Murphy? And we’re supposed to believe Sanders has pulled the party left?

    The Democratic Party is going nowhere people, not until all the Clinton-Obama crap is ripped out by the roots. Fortunately, living in a large swing state, I’ll have a chance to make that happen this November when I vote for Trump. And no, I don’t like him a bit. I just hate people who run as one thing and then rule as another a whole lot worse. Pat Murphy and Hillary Clinton need to find jobs in the private sector.

    1. Bubba_Gump

      It’s really too bad Grayson screwed up with the “hedge fund.” Of all the people who should’ve known better than to make themselves an easy target.

  19. Daryl

    Speaking of programming languages, Alan Kay is presently doing an AMA on Hacker News: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11939851

    Not sure how much will be of interest to NC readers, but there is some good stuff in there (ctrl-f “education”). If nothing else, a nice reminder that there are ethical computer scientists doing things other than working on creating a surveillance state.

  20. NOPE

    One of the delusions of Dem party cultists is that voting for Trump is la politique du pire. But Trump is not clearly worse than Clinton. He does not share responsibility for aggression in Libya and associated war crimes. Trump’s corruption is comparable to Clinton’s but smaller in scale. Her experience? Everything she touches turns to shit.

  21. sgt_doom

    On the TPP there are two points I would endeavor to make (having studied it thoroughly now):

    (1) There are many companies, including utilities, and land owned by foreign multinationals in the USA. Presently they have to adhere to the laws of America, but once the TPP is passed, then overnight those companies can abide by their own rules and regulations and ignore US law — this is most important.

    (2) Taken in its entirety, the TPP destroys workers’ rights. Period!

    And with regard to what Larry Page claims, I would recommend the following book:

    Weapons of Math Destruction

    By Cathy O’Neil

    Thank you.

  22. Pookah Harvey

    Just days after Assange warns of another Clinton email disclosure (Julian Assange: Next Leak of Hillary Clinton Emails Will Be Enough to Indict Her, but … ) Sweden asks to meet Julian Assange inside Ecuador embassy concerning his rape allegations. . “Interviewing Mr Assange inside the embassy has been Ecuador’s request for four years. Over 4,400 days we have been asking the Swedes to come and interrogate him in our embassy. So it is welcome there has been change of heart and some sign of political will.” stated Ecuador’s foreign minister, Dr Guillaume Long.

    Is Obama making a deal with Sweden concerning Assange to keep a lid on the emails?

    1. Kurt Sperry

      I doubt Assange or any one else can be relied upon to keep the lid on that Clinton material. Probably every active intelligence agency in the world and a lot of enterprising free lancers have copies of all of that. Guccifer proved almost anyone could get into the server. I wonder what North Korea or Russia (or whomever) is getting from Obama not to leak those Clinton emails?

  23. allan

    Chicago alderman waters down Uber, Lyft regulations in face of Emanuel pressure

    nder intense pressure from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration, an alderman has backed off several tougher proposed regulations of the burgeoning online ride-hailing industry, setting the stage for a potential City Council vote this week on a watered-down version of the rules.

    Emerging Monday from a closed-door meeting with administration officials, lobbyists for ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft and other aldermen, Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th, told reporters he’s dropping a measure to require ride-sharing drivers get fingerprinted as part of background checks in order to operate in Chicago. … He also said he is backing away from a requirement that ride-hailing companies provide a certain level of handicapped-accessible vehicles.

  24. clinical wasteman

    Re Paul Mason: for sure there’s a category error here, but it goes deeper than ‘hijacking a culture’. It happens as soon as Mason (along with all the others) says ‘working-class culture‘. In general because anyone who mistakes class for culture (eg. the entire anglo-English op-ed profession) has lost all hope of ever understanding either; and in particular because Mason (like his debating partners over at the Sun and the Daily Mail), disingenuously uses that class/culture confusion to set up one sub-type of ‘working-class culture’ as representative of an entire class. ‘Nuff said! The UK is suddenly split between a caricatured white, nativist, exurban/small-town ‘working class’ on one hand and ‘metropolitan elites’ on the other. But the class=culture myth already falls apart here because the ‘white working class’ (as temporarily imagined by the columnists, until they go back to castigating the same people as lazy welfare monarchs) supposedly share ‘cultural values’ with their upper-Middle England landlords and bosses, while having much more materially in common with the metropolitan, international working class that’s missing from this picture. The Euroliberal and Anglo-exceptionalist wings of the Upholstered Class are equally guilty of ignoring most urban workers (not just in London: see also Midlands, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Bristol, Glasgow, Cardiff) this way. One side does it because identity politics and aspirational Competitiveness are part of the same package; the other does it because identity politics and aspirational Competitiveness are part of the same package.
    I’ll spare you another run-through of the reasons I think a post-Brexit Little England would ruin real lives within the ‘culturally non-working class’ majority of low-wage workers and unemployed and would do less than nothing for the ‘cultural working class’.
    The point is more that the myth that you can’t have class solidarity without cultural sameness is a noxious top-down invention that can become self-fulfilling. It’s also as insulting to the actual workers who make up the imaginary homogeneous ‘White Working Class’ — slandered as racist delinquents by liberals and as racist heroes by Toryshire — as it is to the countless other workers whose class condition it denies altogether. ‘Brexit’ would only be the latest of many attempts to legislate the myth into reality.

  25. ek hornbeck

    Another Ham Radio Reply.

    From the Computer Side-

    Anything that can be expressed digitally can use any medium that has On and Not On. This is kind of basic ‘Voice of the Pharaohs’ stuff (sigh, Lambert knows this but for anyone who doesn’t there’s no reason you couldn’t make an analog recording of the voices of the Pharaohs technologically, the engineering is kind of stupid simple).

    Speaking of voices I know a guy who got tired of loading his code into an Altair using the front panel and a paper tape reader and came up with the idea of shooting it out through his 300 Baud Modem into a Sony Walkman and loading it back the same way.

    I actually own 3 Timex Sinclair 1000s (2 mint in box) and their primary storage was a standard cassette tape (likewise a Commodore Vic 20 which I don’t own and 64 which I do though it’s not mib).

    But my point is that you can code stuff in Braille if you like (anyone want to translate Windows 95 into tomb rubbings?) provided you have a reader at the other end to decode that shit and a machine (or virtual one) to execute it.

    And all you negative Ham operators- you already use Morse all the time! Sure, I get it, but to the rest of the world it’s a bunch of annoying cliques (that’s a pun son).

    1. Jay M

      When I looked into radio in the 90’s I think there were all these sites that emitted bursts of probably digital communication. It was thought that the deep state and other sovereigns were communicating. This stuff still goes on I imagine?

      1. Christoph Stein

        In the 70ths I owned an teleprinter, something like an electric typewriter with an input to be connected to a radio.

        All you had to do ist to connect the loudspeaker to the teleprinter and find a radiostation (shortwave) which sends strange sound.

        With this I was able to receive news from Moscow, Beijing …

  26. fresno dan


    The reason the Brexit debate has gotten so out of hand is nobody understands what it’s about.
    This lack of understanding is also, at the same time, the reason why the debate has gotten so out of hand. Nobody seems to understand it’s not about Cameron or Nigel Farage, or Michael Gove vs Boris Johnson, it’s about voting for or against the EU, for or against Juncker and Tusk and five other unelected presidents having a say in one’s life.

    And that’s not all either. It’s about voting to leave, or remain in, a Union that is already dead and preserved only in a zombie state. Brexit is just one vote and many more will inevitably follow. Brexit is not the first, Grexit had that ‘honor’ last year. Later this month, elections in Italy and Spain have the potential to turn into preliminary Italix and Spexit votes. And then there will be more.

    The reason why these things are taking place, and will be, going forward, is that the economies of all these countries are fast deteriorating. The sole reason why people have accepted the rule of Brussels coming from far away over their daily lives, is the promise that it would make those lives better and more comfortable.

    That promise has been shattered. The EU has made things worse for most Europeans, not improved them. And when seen in that light, why should people agree to continue to be told what to do by those who’ve made them poorer? There’s no democratic model in which that remotely makes sense. There are only undemocratic models left.

    It’s an exact mirror image of what is happening in the US. The jobs numbers the government and media feed Americans look good once filtered through a hundred layers of manipulation, but people look at what job they themselves have, and what it pays them, and they look at their families, friends and neighbors, and then decide this just ain’t working out or adding up.
    n America, the Democratic and Republican parties have all but internally combusted and destroyed themselves. In Britain, Labo(u)r did that years ago through Tony Blair, and the Tories are doing it today by infighting over Brexit. None of these things are incidents or stand-alone events.

    They are part of a much larger pattern, as evidenced by the popularity numbers of people like French president Hollande (8%?!). All but a few incumbent parties in the west are evaporating. And all for the same reason: the demise of the existing economic models and systems that they have based their policies and popularity on.

    An economy in decline means the end of centralization and the end of existing political power structures. This is inevitable. Because both can exist only by the grace of ever growing economies. It’s what our economies are based on. It’s what our entire world view is based on. Sometime in the future historians will have a hard time understanding this, but for now it’s all we have, because it’s all we’re willing to consider: growth to infinity and beyond.

    If one accepts that the “Great Recession” began in 2008, its been 8 years. There are about three things that can happen
    1. There is another big technology boom like in the 90’s
    2. We limp along
    3. We collapse

    I actually disagree with the sentence “Because both can exist only by the grace of ever growing economies.” We have had growth (not as much as in the past)….we just have distribution of essentially all growth in ever fewer and fewer hands. I suspect if there was no growth at all, what was left would be distributed into fewer and fewer hands…
    So I think talking about growth is like talking about a drowning man being on fire.
    The rich aren’t getting rich because of laws of physics or the will of God – they are getting richer because they control how society is set up – to their advantage. Only when that changes will changes to most people’s lives happen….

  27. Anne

    Sanders could have had a field day with this:

    Leaked Guide Shows Clinton Staffers How to Solicit for Super PAC Without Breaking Pesky Rules

    Let’s say you’re running a huge campaign to elect Hillary Clinton president. Citizens United made it possible for Super PACs to raise unlimited amounts of money from incredibly rich people. You want them to give as much money as possible to Priorities USA, the main Super PAC supporting Clinton.

    Sadly, however, there are still rules forbidding campaign staffers from explicitly asking the incredibly rich to give more than $5,000 to Super PACs like Priorities USA. They are loose rules, and rarely enforced rules, but they are rules nonetheless.

    So what can you, a Clinton operative with a Cleveland Park mortgage and irritatingly expensive children, do to avoid paying defense lawyers half a million dollars in the very unlikely event that the Federal Election Commission decides to open an investigation into what you did?

    Fortunately, a 2015 memo evidently written by Marc Elias, now general counsel for the Clinton campaign, explains it all. Very precisely.

    The memo, found among the trove of documents from the Democratic National Committee apparently stolen by the hacker who goes by the name Guccifer 2.0, includes rules and sample statements that will keep you on the right side of America’s barely existing campaign finance laws.

    All the rules quoted below are taken directly from that memo. The sample statements are an artistic extrapolation.

    Follow the bouncing ball through the loopholes; it’s just so…Clintonesque.

  28. Cry Shop

    Guillotine Watch — meritocracy

    Mostly people know Parkinson’s Law, but have not read Cyril Northcote Parkinson’s original series of essays, melded into a booklet. He had several “laws” in the booklet, all of them humorous attacks on the idea that a meritocracy could be, could exist.

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