2:00PM Water Cooler 7/8/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, this is short because I too was up very late following the heart-sickening events in Dallas, which were also hard to write about. Check back at 3:00PM and I should have figured out more to say and link to. There’s also other important news in the business and political worlds. UPDATE As of 3:00PM, that’s enough for today!

Zeitgeist Watch

“Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska will miss his party’s national convention in Cleveland later this month because he is planning to “take his kids to watch some dumpster fires across the state,” Sasse’s spokesman said Thursday” [Heat Street]. “These dumpster fires, the spokesman added, ‘enjoy more popularity than the current front-runners’ of the major political parties.” “Dumpster fire” (or, alternatively “trash fire”) seems to be the meme of the moment. I’m not sure it’s the right metaphor though; a dumpster fire is contained or, to put this another way, dumpster fires have no contagion.


“EU TO PROPOSE DETAILS ON TTIP REGULATORY BODY: The European Union is expected to introduce a proposal for an institutional body for regulatory cooperation in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership at a round of talks scheduled to start next week in Brussels, POLITICO Europe’s Hans von der Burchard reports” [Politico]. “The new body would establish and supervise cooperation between regulatory agencies in the EU and U.S. in a bid to ensure that TTIP not only establishes a common approach for current norms and standards, but also future regulations — part of what analysts have termed a ‘living agreement.'” And others might call a sovereignty-destroying supra-national vampire squid.

“The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated with the United States and the recently concluded Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada could well signal the end of the precautionary principle, specialists is EU law have warned.” [Euractive]. “A group of specialists in European, German, Belgian and Dutch law have published a study in which they stressed that neither the CETA nor TTIP agreements mentioned this fundamental principle of EU law.”


Clinton Email Hairball

“The Ahab Caucus Returns to Port Empty-Handed, Again” [Eugene Robinson, WaPo]. That’s because the Republicans would rather write Moby Dick than actually harpon the supposed object of their desire; see this disspiriting transcript from gormless Trey Gowdy, where he first dominates Comey and then — search the link for “consciousness of guilt and intent? In your old job…” launches into extended speechifying [Yahoo News]. Why in the name of my dear old Aunt Fanny couldn’t Gowdy simply have asked Comey what “administrative sanctions” he would have recommended? Comey tossed him the ball in his presser, and, as expected, Gowdy dropped it. The American people could care less about Gowdy getting down in the weeds one more time. They want to see some elite, any elite, held accountable! And of course, Gowdy didn’t do that.

” Fortunately for Hillary — but not the Democrats — heedless incompetence is not a federal crime. Comey’s cascade of carelessness is an indictment of a woman who is partly running for president on her ability to handle a 3 a.m. emergency phone call on a secure line” [Walter Shapiro, Roll Call]. I have anecdotal evidence of older professional women in my former technical field, in Clinton’s camp and supportive of her, being quite upset by this. As I’ve said, imagine Clinton were the CEO of a small non-profit; her board would fire her at once. But instead, she’s running for President! Do readers have more such evidence?

“Clinton will probably get through this, but if she has any plans to shoot people on major thoroughfares or conduct human sacrifices in honor of the goddess of time and death, she’d be wise to put them on hold” [Chicago Tribune].


“In a unanimous decision at their 84th annual conference, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) passed a resolution condemning President Barack Obama’s decision to set the U.S. on track to spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years to ‘maintain and modernize its nuclear bombs and warheads, production facilities, delivery systems, and command and control'” [Defend Democracy]. The problem with those old nuclear bombs is that they’re too hard to use.


“Donald Trump’s speech in Cincinnati Wednesday night astonished even those in the press corps and political world who have spent a long time watching Donald Trump speeches. As Trump talked and talked — the speech lasted 68 minutes — some took to Twitter to express amazement, and in some cases, outrage” [Byron York, Washington Examiner]. “Trump is simply so far outside the conventions of political oratory that his style is sometimes hard for political professionals to grasp.” Not to break an arm patting myself on the back, but NC readers already know this. But here’s the money quote:

“Still, amid it all, Trump manages to cover some of the bases of a conventional political speech. In Cincinnati, he devoted the first part of the speech to attacking Hillary Clinton in light of the Obama Justice Department’s decision not to charge her in the email affair.

Readers will remember that yesterday I pointed to the “Rashomon” style of press coverage of this speech, and wondered if Trump mentioned Clinton at all; the headlines didn’t reflect that. Today, we see that Trump placed his attack on Clinton up front, but that didn’t become “the story.” Part of this is that the political class hates Trump (and his supporters), and the editors, who write the headlines, even more than the average reporter; but we also see that Trump’s rhetoric gives reporters so many degrees of freedom that he can’t control his own messaging. There’s very effective attack material in Trump’s speeches, but if Trump wants to drive up Clinton’s unfavorables, Manafort and Stone are going to have to either fix Trump’s rhetoric, or manage the press better. I leave it to reader to determine which will be easier for them. (More and better surrogates would also help Trump, but those would have to come from the same Republican establishment that Trump ripped through in the primaries, many of whom are now trying to McGovern him.

The Trail

Clinton’s Veep short list: “Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Tom Vilsack and Tom Perez” [CNN]. “She has a preferred candidate or two in mind, CNN has learned, but intends to keep her options open until Donald Trump reveals his selection.”

“Trump’s Capitol Hill Visit Fails to Bring Party Unity” [RealClearPolitics]. A ton of spin on all sides here, but the fact that spin is even possible is troubling. The clock is ticking!

“Trump slashes TV appearances as advisers clash over controlling his message” [Howard Kurtz, FOX]. “Manafort is still firmly in charge of the campaign’s direction, relationship with party power brokers and the Cleveland convention. But Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump and owns the New York Observer, is increasingly handling the day-to-day mechanics, constantly talking to the candidate, despite his lack of political experience.”

UPDATE “Bernie Sanders Makes His Last Stand With Democratic Platform” [NBC].

Team Sanders is preparing for a final push on a dozen policy items at the first meeting of the full Democratic Platform Drafting Committee, with the top priority being an amendment opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal….

Michael Lighty, policy director of the Sanders-aligned National Nurses United union, said everything rides on the Orlando meeting as the Sanders and Clinton campaigns prepare for an endorsement.

“They’re in the final stages of negotiating an agreement between the two campaigns. I don’t know if they’re going to get one, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist here at the Kennedy Space Center to know that once that deal is cut, there’s nothing left on the table. So this is the table,” he said.

Yep. Very pleasant to see Sanders extracting the highest possible price for his endorsement (which I hope turns into a poisoned chalice).

UPDATE “Let Bernie Win on Trade” [US News]. ”

Clinton has already said that she opposes this iteration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And the party platform doesn’t mean that something is set in stone. Far from it, in fact – a future, altered agreement could always be brought up for a vote. So to my mind, there’s very little downside – and actually plenty of upside – for Clinton and the rest of the Democrats to go along just to get along with Sanders on this one.” Yes and no. It’s preparing the battleground for the left later.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “May was indeed an odd outlier in what is otherwise a still favorable trend for the labor market. June nonfarm payrolls surged a much stronger-than-expected 287,000 vs a downward revised and recovery low increase of only 11,000 in May. June’s strength is led by a 38,000 gain for professional & business services, a closely watched area that is especially sensitive to changes in labor demand” [Econoday]. And: “an upside blowout over expectations” [247 Wall Street]. But: “Nice rebound as Verizon workers return to work, but the year over year deceleration continues and, of course, this number will be revised next month. And the lower average hourly earnings gains could put off fears of the US turning into Zimbabwe and Weimar for several hours” [Mosler Economics]. And but: “Here is a look at employment to population ratios which clearly shows NO group has recovered from the Great Recession” [Econintersect].

UPDATE The Banks: “Deutsche Bank is coming unglued” [Wolf Richter, Business Insider]. “Deutsche Bank will need to raise more capital to rebuild its buffer, fund more bad-loan losses, and pay more legal settlements for wrongdoing that keeps oozing from the woodwork. To raise capital, it will need to sell more shares and CoCos. With both crashing, it’s going to be tough. It’ll dilute existing shareholders, who are going to dump these shares in anticipation, which will sink them … And issuing 6% CoCos when their brethren trade at 75 cents on the euro, or below, is going to be very expensive or perhaps impossible. Italy is in the middle of a white-hot banking crisis. Risk of contagion in Italy and far beyond is huge.”

UDPATE Political Rik: This on Brexit:

UPDATE Political Risk: This on the EU:

Gentleman Prefer Bonds: “Long Bond yields are at lowest levels in recorded human history and there is a food fight to strip them and peel away the coupon” [Across the Curve]. “The Bond Stripped Bare By Its Brokers, Even.” Surreal!

Shipping: “Total Class I rail traffic through June 2016 was down 7.5 percent with carload traffic down 11.3 percent and intermodal traffic down nearly 3 percent” [James Sanders, Seeking Alpha]. “Class I intermodal container traffic has turned negative at -0.4 percent, as seaport traffic declines have increased.”

Shipping: “U.S. rail traffic rose in Week 26, but data excluded holiday impact” [Progressive Railroading].

UDPATE The Bezzle: “Buyer beware: Mozilla deal demands up to $1 billion after Yahoo’s sale, Recode says” [Ars Technica]. I don’t want to be cranky about a free browser, but if there’s money like that floating about, Firefox should be stabler and faster.

UPDATE The Bezzle: “[M]ature startups continue to amass tons of capital and keep their lips sealed about their future plans” [Business Insider].

UPDATE The Bezzle: “It turns out the area around Kangding [China], populated by tall mountains that are scattered with under-used hydro power plants, is an ideal place to mine the [Bitcoin]. ‘Everyone says this is a virtual currency but in many ways it’s a traditional manufacturing business,” says [Ryan Xu, chief strategy officer at Bitcoin Group], who visits the area regularly. ‘You buy heavy equipment, you burn electricity and you are rewarded with Bitcoin'” [Australian Financial Review].

“The oil industry is learning it’s easier to shut down a supply chain than to restart one. With oil prices up about 25% this year, some producers are looking to invest in new projects and dust off expansion plans that were canceled when the market was at its nadir. But oil-field services companies that do much of the actual drilling say they’ll struggle to quickly scale back up” [Wall Street Journal]. “Nearly 70% of U.S. fracking equipment was idled in the downturn, and 60% of field workers involved in fracking were laid off… Not all of those workers will want to return, and it may take higher wages to lure them back. It’s a penalty faced in other cyclical industries, from steel to auto parts, where painful downturns continue to exact a price on the way back up.”

UPDATE “As apologies go, Grey Singapore’s overnight effort upon handing back its Cannes Lion it won undeservingly for an app which preyed on emotion around migrant deaths and ultimately was found not to work, was one of the worst I’ve ever seen” [Mumbrella]. Fun dissection of a public relations debacle.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 75, Extreme Greed (previous close: 71, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 71 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 7 at 11:50am. And acceleration into extreme greed!

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Lambert here, from my armchair at 30,000 feet: I remember the energy and creativity of the original #BlackLivesMatter movement in 2014, after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, from even before the hash tag was associated with the movement; everything seemed to accelerate and then stall, right at the point where die-ins at college campuses — one of many non-violent direct action tactics that was, significantly, multi-racial — ended as the semester ended in late 2014. Tactics then seemed to congeal around hash tags of the dead, around which marches tweet storms originated and marches were organized, a pattern that persists to this day.

Here is Hillary Clinton’s interview with #BlackLivesMatter activists, well after the stall early in the year (“Hillary Clinton’s Private Meeting with #BlackLivesMatter in Keene, New Hamphire,” August 24, 2015). “[CLINTON:] I don’t believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws.” Sadly, Campaign Zero’s materials on proposals to change the law were not available for the meeting but it’s safe to say their work had no little effect, on either party. But with reflection, I think Clinton was wrong: It was non-violent direct action that did change hearts; it certainly changed mine. (Gay marriage and the long-forgotten or erased ACT-UP also succeeded by changing hearts, also mine.) And I can’t help but see the period from early 2015 to this day in Dallas as a period of stasis that did not change hearts and, therefore, not laws.

I know this sounds like I’m blaming the movement, but I’m not. It’s as if elites noticed the pot was boiling, lifted the lid, said “Yep! That’s a rolling boil!” and then put the lid right back on without turning down the burner. I attribute the stall to the decapitation of the movement by the political class in general and the Democrat Party in particular, especially the Black Misleadership Class. For example, House Democrats didn’t stage a sit-in for BLM in 2014, 2015, or 2016, not even the more modest proposals, like body cams, that had some chance of passing. And the fact that corrupt but powerful Democrat pols just appropriated the tactics of the powerless for a sit-in whose goal was to increase mass surveillance is even more distressing. Creativity and energy well up from on the streets and from the neighborhoods, and do not originate from the dry holes of consulting shops or the halls of Congress. But “what happens to a dream deferred?”

* * *

“Reading the news of the latest police murders of African Americans in this country, I’ve been wondering how much state violence American elites believe African Americans are supposed to tolerate before they take matters into their own hands” [Corey Robin]. “how long do we think this situation can go on like this, without the victims of police brutality fighting back, and what do some of our most mainstream traditions and voices, from the past and present, have to say about that question?” (Robin quotes Locke to good effect; from White Trash, Locke did PR for slave-owners…) And read all the way to the end; even Robin is unnerved.

UPDATE “The Uncomfortable Reason Why it Came to This in Dallas Yesterday” [Red State]. Can’t believe I’m quoting Red State, but it’s been a strange year. “Here’s the reality that we don’t often talk about – that societies are held together less by laws and force and threats of force than we are by ethereal and fragile concepts like mutual respect and belief in the justness of the system itself….” The hard truth:

The most important safety valve to prevent violence like we saw in Dallas last night is the belief that when officers do go off the rails, the legal system will punish them accordingly. If minority communities (and everyone else, for that matter) believed that, resort to reprisal killings would be either non existent or far less frequent.

But they don’t, and there’s good reason for that. And that is because a huge, overwhelming segment of America does not really give a damn what cops do in the course of maintaining order because they assume (probably correctly) that abuse at the hands of police will never happen to them. As long as the cops keep people away from my door, they have my blessing handling “the thugs” in whatever way they see fit.

I see the attitude all the time even in the comments to the stories I write here at RedState.

“One of the main suspects in the shooting in Dallas on Thursday night that left five police officers dead and seven others wounded has been identified as 25-year-old Dallas resident Micah Xavier Johnson, a senior law enforcement official told NBC News and the Associated Press” [Business Insider]. Note “Michael Xavier Johnson”; the oft-used “Michael X Johnson” gives the wrong impression. ” Police have not officially identified Johnson, who is believed to have been the suspect who died after a long standoff with Dallas police officers. CBS has reported that Johnson was not on any FBI watch lists. The Washington Post and other media outlets have also named Johnson as the suspect.” Meaning that amping up surveillance — that’s what the Dems staged their loathesome sit-in to do — won’t help a bit.

Military experts have said one of the attackers appeared “tactically professional” and “focused” in videos taken of the ambush.

A Texas law-enforcement official told CBS News’ David Begnaud that Johnson claimed to be a US Army veteran during his standoff with the police. The Army confirmed Johnson had served as an enlisted soldier and served a tour of duty in Afghanistan. It said Johnson was trained in the Army reserves as a carpentry/masonry specialist. It was unclear what type of firearms training he had.

Photos of Johnson, apparently taken from his Facebook page, were being shared on social media Friday morning:

UPDATE “Man falsely connected to the shooting by Dallas police is now getting ‘thousands’ of death threats” [WaPo]. As of this writing, the Dallas Police Department had not taken the tweet down that identifies him.

UPDATE “Law professor’s response to BLM shirt complaint” [Imgur]. Fun stuff.

Our Famously Free Press

“Rather than merely dehumanizing and disturbing, these videos can be powerful pieces of evidence and indisputable public records. We may not know what occurred prior to the start of a video or after its end, but what has been recorded may very likely be useful in an investigation” [Nonprofit Quarterly]. Given clear provenance, yes. Maybe Facebook’s much-maligned requirement for real-life identity helps with that. I’m of two minds: If they’re decontextualized, it’s hard to distinguish such videos from snuff pr0n. Contextualized, as the author points out, they’re the modern equivalent of Emmett Till‘s casket, which his mother insisted be open.

UPDATE “As police shootings continue, bystanders get more sophisticated at filming altercations” [Los Angeles Times].

Dear Old Blighty

UPDATE “We can’t leave the negotiations with Europe to the Tories” [Jeremy Corbyn, Guardian]. Pretty serene, for a guy in the midst of the biggest political and constitutional fight of his life!


“Climate Change Claims a Lake, and an Identity” [New York Times].


UPDATE “You See It Is Not So” [The Archdruid Report]. “Progress” as an exhausted artistic form (or “notional space”). Well worth a read.

“How Trees Calm Us Down” [The New Yorker] (original). “fter controlling for income, education, and age, Berman and his colleagues showed that an additional ten trees on a given block corresponded to a one-per-cent increase in how healthy nearby residents felt. “To get an equivalent increase with money, you’d have to give each household in that neighborhood ten thousand dollars—or make people seven years younger,” [University of Chicago psychology professor Marc Berman] told me.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

“Good Idea Fairy revealed as O-3 in Pentagon basement” [Duffel Blog].

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

“Facebook Messenger has started rolling out Secret Conversations, a feature that enables end to end encryption for conversations within Messenger. Secret Conversations is built on Signal Protocol, a modern, open source, strong encryption protocol we developed for asynchronous messaging systems” [Open Whisper Systems].

Class Warfare

“Lenders used misleading tactics in advertising home loans during the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis, according to a new study by a UT Dallas professor” [Eurekalert]. According the study by Dr. Umit G. Gurun, professor of accounting and finance in the Naveen Jindal School of Management, “borrowers spent on average $7,500 more on a $250,000 mortgage when taking an advertised ‘low-rate’ mortgage, compared to an identical mortgage that was not advertised. A significant number of these advertisements were misleading — explicitly displaying initial low interest rates without mentioning higher reset rates.”

UPDATE “Tiny houses are hot right now because they’re a reaction against the 2008 housing bubble burst. Mega-mansions have been so popular for so long that it seems rebellious to opt for less. These homes push against the idea that a person’s worth should be evaluated based on the amount of square footage they own. Tiny houses maintain the American dream of homeownership while downsizing it to make it more accessible to more people” [Cleveland Scene].

News of the Wired

UPDATE “Thinking about Big Data — Part One” [Robert Cringeley (GF)] and Part Two. These two posts are must-reads to understand search.

UPDATE “W. E. B. Du Bois’s Modernist Data Visualizations of Black Life” [HypoAllergic].

UPDATE “How To Make Your Text Look Futuristic” [Typeset in the Future].

UPDATE “Help Protect the CITGO Sign, a Boston Icon” [Change.org]. Only 271 to go….

* * *

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 (Rainbow Girl):


Poppies seem appropriate; but I’ve spaced out on the reader who sent this in. Hello?

UPDATE Rainbow Girl, who adds “Location is SE Connecticut shoreline.”

Readers, if you want to send me some videos of plants in whole systems (bees and blossoms, for example, or running streams) — I can use them to practice with FFmpeg and hopefully post them. Because of download times, they’ll have to be measured in seconds, rather than minutes. Thank you! Adding, I got another one today! Please keep sending them; they will ultimately appear!

Adding, thank you so much, readers, for last month’s rapid and successful Water Cooler Mini-Fundraiser. I have finally finished all the email thank you notes so yours should be coming, as will notes to those who send contributions via physical mail. Adding, to me, a reader’s reality is their handle, and even more their actual comments. I don’t mentally connect handle to email, let alone to contribution. So if I’ve snarled at you, take comfort that all are snarled at without fear or favor!

* * *

Readers, if you enjoyed what you read today, please use the dropdown to choose your contribution, and then click the hat! Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. Water Cooler will not exist without your regular support.


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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. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s hard to do ‘we shall overcome’ napping by using those poppies.

      Stay awake through all the pain and suffering.

      But I think the popular trend is towards recreational use (if we wage-slaves can somehow find time for recreation and decide not to use that time to chase butterflies or smell roses).

      1. jo6pac

        I’m retired from my blue collar life and live as close to the ground as I can. I do take time to smell my Royal Sunset roses along other flower in the yard of the house I’ve rented for over 40yrs. I get up like in the days of a job 3:00am but now I make coffee and go set in the hot tube and watch the night sky. It’s filled with satellites, meters, planes headed to SF or SJ airports, and a real fun morning ISS overhead.

        Yes when I was a wage slave there wasn’t much time to kick back.

      2. Skip Intro

        Opium is the religion of the masses!

        Although I hear oxycontin is starting to give it a run for its money.

    2. Oregoncharles

      I think they’re Oriental poppies growing among daylilies(?), but can’t see th eleaves to be sure.

      1. Uahsenaa

        There are what appear to be irises in the background. Could be iris leaves, though they typically don’t have that crease in the center.

    3. EGrise

      I suppose the next generation of the Black Misleadership Class has to come from somewhere.

    4. Kurt Sperry

      Those are Oriental Poppies (Papaver orientale) rather than Opium Poppies (Papaver somniferum), a perennial species rather than annual.

  1. Fabian Incerto

    With the ongoing violence in this country it is time to take seriously our roots in conservative christianity and how this has led to such a violent culture. Elicka Peterson Sparks’ bookThe Devil You Know: The Surprising Link between Conservative Christianity and Crime, does an excellent job of helping us to see the roots of this link in our culture. We are a unique country with a heritage that gave root to religious fundamentalism. Today with our swing towards more conservative religious views (60% of our nation believes Noah had an ark) if we don’t address this problem we will roll back to a barbaric age that I never thought I would see in my lifetime.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “Conservative Christianity” sounds like a Democrat trope, to me (and I fought that stuff hard during the horrid Bush administration).

      Classifying the slave owners and tobacco growers of Jamestown, or the heirarchs of Massachusetts as “conservative Christians” is ahistorical and simply not useful. Consider reading White Trash; it’s a wonderful book I’m working my way through now.

      1. Fabian Incerto

        I think before your react you should at least have read the book or a review of the book. You are misunderstanding the philosophical and religious studies terms for political terms. I know this is an economics and political site but I thought a little input from another discipline would be helpful.

      2. Fabian Incerto

        I would also agree with Joe Bageant that we have the liberals of today to thank for the fundamentalism that has raised its ugly head in our culture. https://youtu.be/vYaqEgyrh1M I guess those of you who rest in the thought that you are not “conservative Christians” and you find safety in reading White Trash, than just do it. Whatever gets you through the night.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > those of you who rest in the thought that you are not “conservative Christians”

          Ah. “Those who.” Have you given consideration to actually responding to the comments placed before you? I like Joe Bageant a lot, but he’s not a historian.

        2. ambrit

          Curious, but if my memory serves me aright, the first several centuries of Christianity were marked by theologically oriented communism. Those are the “True Conservative Christians.”
          Also, the fundamentalism you cite can be seen as a refuge from the difficult decisions needed to forge a new and healthier social contract. For a good look at the problem, Mark Twains’ “Extract From Captain Stormfields’ Visit To Heaven” is an exemplary read.
          I particularly liked the line; “…they think they’re the only ones here.”

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Matthew 25:15
            “And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one…and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common. Neither was there any among them that lacked; and great grace was upon them all”.

            1. abynormal

              i’m feelin BEARD flashbacks…he use to do this, tie up threads foeva……………

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                ? Tie up? By adding what would seem to be a relevant quote? C’mon Aby lighten up.
                In case you’re wondering I am not a Christian, not that it matters. I just don’t happen to think there should be any “third rail” subjects on this great forum.

                  1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                    I see, you’re allowed to post, but I’m supposed to shut up. Thanks for that.

                    1. abynormal

                      my initial post was a description of beard days that usually ended in justifications, innuendos and misunderstandings …not your post per se.

                      now we’re related…sometimes it works out bahahahahaaaaa <3

    2. Pirmann

      It is because we’ve moved away from our Christian roots that things have, and continue, to get incrementally worse.

      1. Fabian Incerto

        Really. I was a minister in the Christian Church for many years. I gave up my career. I was working on my PhD in the sociology of religious studies because I disagree with you. It is the Christian tradition and the religious myths that have created the fundamentalist ideologies that are found throughout our society. I was a minister, taught in colleges and graduate schools. Anyone who thinks that hope is found within religion of any type has not gone into the bowels of the religious world.

      2. cwaltz

        It’s all realitive.

        Worse from when? Are you talking about the God fearing Christian white slave owners or back in the good ol days when my husband could drag me to the court house steps as long as it was before 8pm in Stafford County Virginia.

        No one needs to have religion in order to behave like a good person by the way.

        1. craazyman

          why couldn’t he drag you there after 8 pm if he could before?

          was he too drunk at that point?

          1. cwaltz

            Stafford County Virginia law allows for a husband to beat their wife but only if they do so on the court house steps before 8 pm.

            I’m not sure why the fine Christian men in the days of yore decided it should be that way. It’s just how it was, you know back in the good ol’ days when we all had God.

      3. savedbyirony

        Really, societies like England have moved significantly away from their “christian roots”, if by that you mean participation in organized/institutional christian religions, and as far as deaths by shootings go they don’t have nearly these killings.

    3. The Trumpening

      I would recommend “Albion’s Seed” by David Hackett Fischer. He describes the cultural foundations of four main groups of settlers from England, Puritans (New England), Quakers (Delaware Valley), Cavaliers (Virginia) and Scots-Irish (Appalachians). Violence is not so much a result of “Conservative Christianity” but the Scots-Irish are the most violent of these groups and they come form the borderlands of England and Scotland where centuries of incessant violence bred a people with a high murder rate.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            That looks like a good one. I liked this fun fact about the Puritans:

            The Puritans tried to import African slaves, but they all died of the cold.

            New England!

        1. Procopius

          For more on the Scots-English border and borderers, who seem to have been as violent and unruly as any people of any time anywhere, see The Steel Bonnets, by George Macdonald Frazer (the guy who brought us the Flashman series) or his fictional treatment of the same, Candlemass Road. I think they went to the same places as the Scots-Irish. Hmmm. Is it the Scots that are common there? But they invaded from Ireland, didn’t they?

      1. nobody

        “In 1982, the murder rate in the nation as a whole was 9.1 per 100,000. This level of violence was four times higher than most western countries. But within the United States, the homicide rate differed very much from one region to another. The northern tier, from New England across the northern plains to the Pacific northwest, tended as always to have the lowest rates of homicide: 3.8 in Massachusetts, 2.1 in Maine, 3.1 in Wisconsin, 2.3 in Minnesota, 0.9 in North Dakota, 4.4 in the state of Washington. The middle states, on the other hand, had murder rates that were moderately higher, but below the national average: 5.7 in Pennsylvania, 7.2 in the middle west, 5.7 in Kansas, 6.0 in Colorado. The south Atlantic states averaged 10.9 murders per 100,000 in 1982. The southern highlands and the southwestern states had extremely high murder rates—14.7 in the west central states, and 16.1 in Texas. Homicide rates were also high in northern cities with large populations of southern immigrants, both black and white. But southern neighborhoods occupied by migrants from the north tended to have low homicide rates. These patterns are highly complex; many ethnic and material factors clearly have an impact. But in ecological terms, homicide rates throughout the United States correlate more closely with cultural regions of origin than with urbanization, poverty, or any material factor.”


        “Some scholars offer a materialist explanation: the comparative wealth of New England against the poverty of the southern highlands. But many a hardscrabble Yankee hill town is poor and orderly, and more than a few southwestern communities are rich and violent.

        “Others argue that southern violence is mainly a legacy of ethnic or racial diversity. But some of the most violent communities in the southern highlands have no black residents at all, and are in ethnic terms among the most homogenous in the nation. At the same time, many New England communities are ethnically diverse and yet comparatively peaceful.”


        “The laws of New England are actively supported by other institutions. For more than three centuries, town schools have taught children not to use violence to solve their social problems. Town meetings strongly condemn internal violence. Town elites teach others by example that violence is not an acceptable form of social behavior in New England. In short, violence ‘isn’t done’ in the prescriptive sense. And when it is done, the regional culture of New England has little tolerance for violent acts, and punishes them severely.

        “All of these tendencies run in reverse throughout the old southwest and southern highlands. The principle of lex talionis is still part of Texas law, which allows a husband to kill his wife’s lover in flagrante delictu. Texas places comparatively few restraints on the ownership of firearms. Texas schools and schoolbooks glorify violence in a way that those of Massachusetts do not. Texas elites still live by the rule of retaliation, and murder one another often enough to set an example. Texas is entertained by displays of violence; Massachusetts is not amused. In short, violence simply IS done in Texas and the southern highlands, and always has been done in this culture—since before the civil war and slavery and even the frontier—just as it had been done in the borderlands of north Britain before emigration.”

        pp. 889-90

    4. JustAnObserver

      “60% of our nation believes Noah had an ark” ?

      As they say on Wiki – Needs citation(s). Actually 2 (1) Noah & Flood existed (2) He built an ark.

      1. craazyman

        That’s hilarious.

        How does the other 40% think Noah saved animals from the flood? Life preservers?

        sounds like they’ll need more than one Darwin award for this one. haha

  2. Stephen V.

    I don’t know Lambert but I was in Folkestone, England a few weeks ago. The place where 8m young men paraded to board ships to fight on the Continent 100 years ago…Red poppies are all along the Leas along the coast:

  3. Roger Smith

    Re: “Facebook Messenger has started rolling out Secret Conversations

    I see almost zero use for this… other than for Facebook to more easily weed out useless discourse about the recent Game of Thrones and your 11 year old sisters crush from their search database. They only want useful topics damnit!

    On the other hand, Hillary Clinton may want to look into this feature….

  4. allan

    The Guardian hauls Neil Kinnock out of mothballs the House of Lords to dump on Jeremy Corbyn.

    … He is angry with David Cameron for promptly resigning, because “it was the captain’s job to stay on the bridge. Just in terms of duty – straightforward duty.” But above all, he is angry with Corbyn. “People divide into those who are vain, and those who are not,” he observes, glancing over at the telly. “And Jeremy is a vain man.” …

    “Deep conviction is entirely creditable. But dogmatic adherence to policy issues is not realistic. You can’t even bring up kids on that basis. I don’t think you can even buy a car on that basis. People of deep convictions can afford to compromise. People of shallow convictions are terrified of compromise, because they will consider that to compromise is to betray. Well, if you’ve got deep convictions, you know damn well it isn’t. You know that compromise is a means of getting to the next stage, a bit closer to what you originally wanted to do. It’s called parliamentary democracy.”

    That’s New Labour-speak for pragmatic incrementalism. The symmetry between how Sanders and Corbyn are being treated by their respective parties is amazing. Kinnock should have gone on to say that Corbyn is losing leverage
    by not resigning.

    1. Epistrophy

      “People divide into those who are vain, and those who are not,”

      Oh Dear,

      This coming from Kinnock! Pot calling kettle black?

    2. Fiver

      Same playbook, same play as in imitation, or one play fits all?

      Both countries are determined by the same core complex of systems the financial arms of which will require massive injections if current bubbles are to be sustained. The veritable PTB who determine such matters now have their overt ‘crisis’ at the ready courtesy of, I’d venture, an unprecedented series of shocking and/or tangibly portentous events over the last couple of months, delivering Orlando, Brexit, Clinton, Dallas and the first signs of panic, that being a hugely inflated, not credible headline ‘jobs created’ number and giant new all-time high stock ‘rally’ as the dismal news of the last 24 hours looped away with an occasional switch of wooden heads. On one show I watched Hillary Clinton give an OK if standard response on the shootings, then when the interviewer turned to the e-mail, I watched as if rendered stupid as she calmly, smiling like a rose, blamed the fact she was whipping around State secrets on long-term, experienced professionals who had sent her un-marked stuff – though e-mails have already surfaced wherein Clinton clearly orders the ‘mark’ deleted/removed and then sent on, others she penned that were judged classified at origin, and there’s no way she wouldn’t know what that meant. She refused flat out to say she did anything wrong other than to pursue a convenience.

      Anyway, Brexit will or will not go into play in a big way depending on the perceived odds of a Trump win. Hillary is of course the choice of champions like Wall Street banks, the MIC, etc. and, once Germany and France fold on opposing the corporate ‘trade’ deals demanded of them, on what to do with Deutche Bank, and on adopting a much more aggressive stance re Russia, in other words, so long as Clinton looks to win, Brexit will be walked back to the barn.

      Just incredible.

      1. Procopius

        OK, I’m not familiar with the exact cases you’re referring to here, but am I wrong in believing that the Secretary of State is one of the highest-ranking classification authorities in the government? With authority to declassify many previously classified documents, and to determine if a classification is improper? I have not specifically researched the statutes on this (I understand they are incredibly complicated, obscure, ambiguous, and contradictory). I know from my experience in the Army that officers as low in rank as Major have the authority sometimes to declare a document classified, but I’m less sure about who has authority to declassify them. Within the staff, the G-2, the Colonel in charge of intelligence at Division level, has a lot of authority to declassify. So when you say Hillary ordered markings removed, was she acting in accordance with her duties?

    3. MDBill

      Neil Kinnock: “Deep conviction is entirely creditable. But dogmatic adherence to policy issues is not realistic.’

      Oh, like dogmatic adherence to the completely discredited belief that unbridled capitalism will raise all boats?

  5. Pirmann

    Zeitgeist Watch

    Ben Sasse’s comment is exactly the type of thing I’d like to see Bernie Sanders say.

  6. ekstase

    This quote from Locke, in Corey Robin’s piece, really struck me:

    “..it being out of a man’s power so to submit himself to another, as to give him a liberty to destroy him; God and nature never allowing a man so to abandon himself, as to neglect his own preservation: and since he cannot take away his own life, neither can he give another power to take it.”

    Seems to suggest that each of us has a moral obligation to not let ourselves be destroyed. Maybe at one time, or in some places, this was a prevailing philosophy, but in a very degraded or unequal society, it is very hard to grasp, and live by such a sentiment. However, it makes total sense to me. What is the point of life if any of it is called “worthless”?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      On Locke, yes, but also consider this from Isenberg’s White Trash:


      My point is not to cast the first stone by indicting Locke for hypocrisy, but to point out how deeply intertwingled our evil is with our good, as a nation. As Lincoln said: “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

      1. Lee

        IIRC, Locke also promoted the taking of indigenous lands by European colonists on the grounds that native populations were under-utilizing available resources.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              I had a technical friend who said “don’t say ‘is,’ say ‘has been categorized as.'”

              That’s the elite perspective, yes, and that’s the reason for the quotes.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Clearly one you’re not happy with. I hope you find the happiness you seek elsewhere.

          Adding… Dialog isn’t tough at all. Time-sucking low value-add exploiters are tough. And I don’t like tag teams. Cheers.

        2. DJG

          Fabian: There is no prayer and no quote of the bible. Lambert is quoting the biblical cadences of Lincoln’s second inaugural address, a truly prophetic speech from a man who as widely considered a non-believer. If anything, Lincoln had a tragic view of history, and he knew that the horrors of race and racial classification would bring destruction to his nation. And probably not deliverance.

          Yet I am seeing comments here and below by people who don’t recognize this speech, don’t recognize what Lincoln was saying, and can’t figure out what kind of dialogue is encouraged at this site.

          Yes, it’s a pile-on. Abe and me.

  7. mega mike

    Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regress into barbarism
    Rosa Luxemburg

      1. ambrit

        The Neos have perverted the Zen aphorism; “If you meet the Public Good on the road, kill it.”

      1. craazyman

        what if there’s a spoon in the road? should you just leave it there?

        I probably would.

              1. Banana Breakfast

                Is Ghostbusters really that obscure? I wasn’t even born when it was released and wouldn’t think of it that way. Hell, it has a sequel coming out this month

    1. reslez

      Someone said something dumb on the internet? What a shocker /s

      In any group of people a certain number will be idiots; that doesn’t invalidate the claim of a movement. The claim has to be invalidated by something else. BLM isn’t going anywhere, though the reactionaries and cop worshippers wish it would. The reactionaries have also said some incredibly brutal things.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

      None of us is perfect…that’s the fact of life.

      And yet, ‘they’ will use our imperfections to undermine (we allow for imperfect them, but they won’t reciprocate).

      Do we say, these twitters are not helping?

      Do we say, they are not part of us?

      Do we say, we are not perfect (and be discredited – or is the public smarter than that)?

    3. Oregoncharles

      That is a pervasive problem with Twitter (which I avoid). Remember Dawkins’ many unfortunate comments on it?

      1. Procopius

        I had to stop reading Dawkins’ books. Too much rambling. The earlier ones had good stuff, there was even good stuff in The Greatest Show On Earth, but way too much rambling. Also, he refuses to see that nothing he has said or shown “proves” that there is no God. That is not a matter that science is capable of. Science can say, “That hypothesis is not required,” but that isn’t proof.

    1. Procopius

      I don’t really care who she picks as long as she keeps her hands off Senator Professor Warren. I understand there are a couple of guys at Labor and HUD who are actual progressives to offset her conservative and neoconservative leanings.

  8. jgordon

    This Dallas incident illustrates for me just how fragile and makeshift is this thing called a “state”. The currency of state is credibility, and on just about every front you care to look at the US seems bound and determined to bankrupt its credibility for no good reason. Now that the credibility jar is almost empty I think more and more things like this will be happening right up until the whole thing unravels.

    Secondly, people turn inward and become insular/intolerant in such times; it’s a basic survival response that exists for a reason. I’m starting to think that it’s not entirely a bad thing.

    1. Jim Haygood

      No convincing reason was ever found for the urban riots of the 1960s — Watts, Detroit, Newark, etc — though police abuse and destruction of low-income housing with so-called urban renewal were thought to be factors.

      Sometimes the popular mood turns dark, reaching a tipping point where people just aren’t going to take it no more.

      Seems like this is happening now. If it were just an anti-establishment mood in the political realm, we could perhaps feel optimistic. But when the bullets start flying, it takes on a ugly aspect indeed.

      July 5th (reco by Treas-weasel Comey, directeur manqué) was a sad day for the country. But 7/7 — already notorious for the London bombings of 2005* — looks to be a lot worse.

      Somber times, bro.

      *purely a coincidence of dates, one hopes

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Let’s hope that this particular chain of events stops here and there is not a black-victims response to follow in this narrative.

        And use this tragedy to finally do something about it – here, I refer to the subject of police brutality solely.

        Why not go with robot cops? Particularly in peacekeeping operations like that.

        We don’t have to worry robot cops getting hurt or killed and thus, no need to program them to use lethal force, even to prevent killings of human bystanders.

        The robot cops can even be shields to protect.

        And fire as many human police officers as possible.

        1. curlydan

          The ultimate cop was human but fictional, Sheriff Andy Taylor. He didn’t carry a gun. When he arrived at the scene, the first thing he did is try to defuse the situation. Today, it’s tackle, taze, and God help us for what’s next.

            1. cwaltz

              I remember that. He was allowed to have one bullet but he wasn’t allowed to chamber it in his gun.

              Don Knotts was hysterical.

              1. abynormal

                cwaltz…got something for ya. sometime in the 90’s i caught an interview with the cast. no frills or audience just black back drop and most of the cast on stools. at the end the interviewer asked what made the show so endearing for so many years to such a large audience..Ron Howard popped up and replied, “It was about Acceptance.” chills…a missing link today, no?

            1. Skippy

              Problem being is decades ago it got militarized and made sexy, tactics are military grade on subduing enemy troops after over running a position.

              Disheveled Marsupial… its intent is to be confrontational w/ a side of supreme authority and anything but full compliance is seen as an attack on that authority…

      2. Jess

        Jim — Personal experience regarding the Watts Riot:

        I went to an integrated Catholic high school. One Saturday about a year before the riot, one of the white guys who lived in Inglewood (at that time, just beginning to turn salt-and-pepper) held a party. About midnight four of us took off in my car to go to Bob’s Big Boy. Got stopped by the cops for no reason — except for the fact that the two guys in the back seat, Mike O’Leary and Darryl Nelson, were, you know, black. In fact, the cops were surprised as hell to find out that the driver and front seat passenger were white.

        Anyway, they put Pete and me on the curb, then slammed Mike and Darryl up against the car, spread ’em, and frisked ’em. They actually asked me what I was doing with two niggers. Now in those days I had a bad temper and it took all the self-control I could muster not to punch the cop myself.

        Finally — after threatening to arrest us for being out after curfew — they let us go. Next morning I told my parents about it and predicted that kind of treatment would lead to a shooting war in the black community. Parents poo-poo’d it. But when the Watts Riot did break out, suddenly they were announcing to the neighbors how their genius boy Jess had predicted it a year before.

      3. Fiver

        ‘No convincing reason was ever found for the urban riots of the 1960s — Watts, Detroit, Newark, etc — though police abuse and destruction of low-income housing with so-called urban renewal were thought to be factors.’

        What? Where I grew up across the border an hour from Detroit in Motown’s radio/television/newspaper ‘broadcast’ region, we were informed with every day’s reporting that racism and critically, the associated systemic poverty, ran too wide and deep, and the resulting social pressure-cooker was destined for an explosion if there wasn’t a far more substantial effort (than ever was made) to lift black outcomes. My parents adored King and were crushed by his death. But for so great a man as King, and something a great deal worse than those riots was in store.

        And bound by King for half a century they’ve waited – and what they got was Obama, who no more represented their interests than the Man in The Moon. That leaves it for Hillary to fix – maybe she’ll find a way to jail as many black women as Bill did black men.

      4. Procopius

        You never heard of the McCone Commission Report? I thought that did a pretty good job of explaining the causes. Kind of general, generations of abuse and policy induced poverty, not the immediate triggers, but the root causes.

    1. ambrit

      Well, there are at least two versions of that ethos here on the Gulf Coast.
      One is Brad Pitts charity project in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. See:http://www.governing.com/blogs/view/Brad-Pitts-Katrina-Cottages.html
      Another is the Katrina Cottages in Mississippi. We were lucky enough to live in one for a year after the hurricane. Well built and a good design.
      See: http://katrinacottagehousing.org/
      Do remember that, no matter how ‘lowly’ a shanty is still a place where families and communities live.

      1. abynormal

        a place where families and communities live HT
        Smooth post’n points today ambrit (probably everyday but i got time mgt issues’)

      2. optimader

        I recall seeing Pitt interviewed or read that had he not fallen into a lucrative acting career hi passion was to be an architect.. What I see is ok.. Much like what is built in the islands in the gulf of Honduras . Cement pier first floor with living quarters ~ 15′ up. what is nice is an extended eave to accommodate a porch where residents can spend their time.
        Brings back memories of this doozy
        While offshore northern Honduras, Hurricane Mitch passed over Guanaja island.[1] High waves eroded northern coastlines and damaged lagoons.[16] Most of the Bay Islands had damage to their water facilities.[17] Two days of winds exceeding 200 km/h (120 mph) destroyed nearly all of the plants and trees on Guanaja, uprooting or knocking down almost the entire mangrove forest.[18] It is estimated that the hurricane produced waves of 44 ft (13 m) in height.[19]

        1. ambrit

          That storm surge is a ‘b—h!’
          On the Katrina Monday morning, the water level came up ten feet in forty five minutes. I know, I was there and saw it. The waves weren’t too bad, six feet or so, but in the “Gulf of the Pearl” they acted like ‘rollers.’ The house rose and fell a foot or so with each wave. If it wasn’t for a centrally situated double fireplace, we would have been washed away like most of the other dwellings in our town were. A number of the missing bodies were never found.

  9. Isolato

    RE: “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

    I wish I saw it that way. Instead I see soldiers pay for their leaders, children pay for their parents, policemen in Dallas pay for Baton Rouge.

    Truly, “Man is born to trouble as the very sparks fly upward”.

    1. hunkerdown

      The harem-keeping alpha male holds a rather different concept of “true and righteous” than its hosts.

      People should be sectioned for Platonism.

    2. Pirmann

      Straw man. You are citing events resulting from the judgment of people, not the judgment of the Lord.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Let’s not be tediously literal. Or foster anachronism.

        You don’t have to be a Believer to see the results of terrible evils worked in the past still playing out in the present. That was my point in quoting Lincoln, just to spell it out.

        1. Isolato


          Not to open a can of worms…but that’s the problem with assuming that there is an active principle of justice in the world, divine or not. It runs up against Job’s problem, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Because, obviously, plenty of horrible stuff happens to people who don’t “deserve” it.The wrong people are punished for our sins.This week is just a small example of that AND of misdeeds going unpunished. So that was my problem w/Lincoln.

          And the image of our troubles as a column of sparks madly whizzing about in that crazy dance…it is beautiful.

          1. cwaltz

            Some of faith though is even though bad things may indeed happen to good people here the hope is that eventually the universe rewards the good and those bad things that happen are meant to serve a purpose(wrapped in the pain you are supposed to perhaps learn or gain an understanding of something.)

            Most people of faith I know don’t believe the journey ends here(which makes atheists who are good simply because they believe it is the right thing to do very admirable IMO by the way. Although, I also find it a little sad to think that they must always feel alone when they experience pain and hardship. Those of us of faith always have someone/something with us as we struggle and that provides us comfort.)

            *shrugs* That’s how I’ve always felt anyway.

            1. ambrit

              My wife, Phyllis agrees with you. She feels sorry for me when I go all despondent.

          2. Procopius

            Reminds me of one night in Vietnam. For some reason I was alone in the bar and the chaplain came in. The poor man was in a profound depression, feeling he was ineffectual. I explained I’m agnostic (leaning toward atheism), but reminded him of what God said from the burning bush to Job. It seemed to help him.

      2. optimader

        I’m sorry, wasn’t The Lord “people” or am I missing something? Questions along this line got me into a world of sht at a catholic gradeschool.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Oops — the S&P 500 closed less than 2 points below its last record high of 2,131, set on May 21, 2015.

    Almost invariably, stocks retreat at least a couple of months in advance of a recession. For instance, before the last recession, stocks crested in Oct 2007. NBER dated the recession onset in Dec 2007.

    Recession warnings are blooming like spring flowers. But the data don’t support such a conclusion.

      1. Jim Haygood

        The warnings are interpretations of data, about which reasonable people can disagree.

        Whereas the data is objective.

        Atlanta Fed projects 2.4% groaf for the just-completed 2nd quarter (also a model-based interpretation of data). I’m down with that.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Ah, duh. The data I don’t understand are the shipping data. Ocean shipping, rail, trucking, air freight. All in bad shape. There is overcapacity due to all the free stupid money floating about, but cargo has dropped as well. Ultimately the economy is about stuff, and there seems to be less stuff about…

          1. Jim Haygood

            It’s not a good sign. Yet the Dow Jones Transportation Average is up 15.5% from its Jan 25th low.

            Current strength doesn’t preclude a recession in 2017-2018, which would restore the general postwar pattern of recessions occurring in the first two years of a new presidential administration.

            When the data shows it, I’ll be hollering doom along with the wolf boys. :)

              1. abynormal

                that real stuff be the boots on the ground, and i really appreciate your follow through. example: my family members are slapping each others backs for mochanicin their own vehicles (not sure how that will end)…what will they do as parts dry up?

              2. cwaltz

                Heh, why in the world wouldn’t you believe in a market that in 2007 climbed all the way to 14,000( on the backs on idiotic lending practices) and then 18 months later plummeted to half that value?

                1. Procopius

                  I quit when he asserted that it was all “government” debt. That’s not a problem. The problem is financial sector debt, also known as “leverage,” which is far, far larger than government “debt”.

              3. Fiver

                Others have remarked on some similarity between the collapse in trust in so many institutions as evidenced in the US with that which ended the Soviet Union. Trust nothing. For starters, Mr. Market died in a FIRE in 2008. Careless smoking.

            1. griffen

              I trust the yield curve at this point. Stocks lie, yet tis more difficult fer bonds to tell tall tales.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                I think we’re through the Looking Glass, we used to have a “risk-free rate” where cash was a viable alternative to being fully invested, but if cash is now a wasting asset with NIRP, and going out to longer dated maturities isn’t very clever with interest rates at 5000-year lows, this may backstop equities in ways we would never have seen in previous cycles. Add to that the fact that we now have a brand-new player at the equities table who can conjure new chips for his pile at the stroke of a computer screen (central banks) so can never get a margin call (thus no forced liquidations), and equity price risk may be lower than previous history would suggest. That new player doesn’t even have to leave footprints of his own, all he needs to do is sell the VIX futures and the algos do his buying for him.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


      If only they tabulate the data as carefully as California election officials, they wouldn’t have to revise them so often, and by so much all the time.

      In a few years, we will learn the 2nd quarter of 2016 was particular slow.

  11. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

    Though, in some small fairness to Locke, the point stems from the combination of his belief in the private ownership of personal property and the utterly idiotic idea (albeit common throughout history) that human beings can BE property. Other than self-owned, that is. But you’re spot on re: the intertwining of good and evil (or just plain stupid, often indistinguishable from evil) in this nation’s history.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Does a human need to be property before you can buy one hour of his life from him?

      I often wonder about the philosophical basis for selling one hour, or 5 minutes, of one’s life.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That was a thought provoking article, having just glanced at it (again I think). My problem is always not having a block of time set aside to engage in detailed discussion; otherwise i would have participated more.

          On human rental, if 80 years of one’s life is priceless, dividing priceless into (80 years x 52 weeks/year x 5 working days/year x 8 hours/day), one still get a rate of priceless per hour.

          I think wage slaves and enterpreneurs are selling themselves short, even at $500/hr.

    2. Plenue

      I’ve never understood the obsession with linking rights to property. Why does the mere act of owning ‘stuff’ imbue you with special protections? Why can’t people just have inherent rights merely for having a pulse? Oh, sure, the literature is littered with claims to just that, but in practice it’s seldom the case. The homeless have no property to speak of, and thus aren’t treated as ‘proper’ people. The poor have little property, and thus are continually neglected (or actively screwed over) in favor of the oh-so-glorious middle-class, despite the fact that there are far more poor people than there are of any other group.

      As far as I can tell the only reason this stupid concept exists at all is because a bunch of guys who owned stuff wanted to protect their stuff and began writing that ownership of stuff confers rights. Seems to me it’s always been a self-serving bit of intellectual farce, from the very beginning. But because ‘civilization’ has decided that people like Locke constitute secular saints, many of their basic ideas are simply never questioned.

      1. divadab

        Well possession of private property signals solid bourgeois values – thrift, hard work, pleasures deferred, responsibility, a stake in the community and motivation to make the community a better place.

        Lack of property signals inability to plan, shiftlessness, laziness, irresponsibility, a certain impulsiveness, and rootlessness and lack of attachment to community.

        The Rotarian’s view. Bourgeois values have some value – why else would everybody want to be bourgeois?

        1. Plenue

          I’m pretty sure there’s a large collection of anthropological evidence to counter the idea that lack of private property means a lack of sense of community. In fact even just typing it out here the absurdity that communal ownership would mean a lack of communal identity is apparent.

          And there are plenty of people who don’t want to become bourgeois. The idea that the ideal existence is $80,000 a year, a wife, 2.5 kids and a dog in a house with a white picket fence is very much one of propaganda.

  12. ChrisFromGeorgia

    The most important safety valve to prevent violence like we saw in Dallas last night is the belief that when officers do go off the rails, the legal system will punish them accordingly. If minority communities (and everyone else, for that matter) believed that, resort to reprisal killings would be either non existent or far less frequent.

    Once people think the system is rigged against them, they will in some cases resort to violence.

    BTW note the FBI has also sown the seeds of widespread “it’s rigged” sentiment with their non-prosecution of Hillary. That isn’t nearly as incendiary as the police shootings of minorities this week, but already I am hearing of military folks saying “why bother” adhering to security laws that aren’t enforced uniformly. Once the men in uniform start rebelling, it’s “game over.”

    We really need grown up leadership at this point or it is just going to get uglier, I am afraid.

        1. Procopius

          It’s just like one of those remote controlled cars kids play with. You have to push the buttons on a controller to direct it. Very useful if you don’t want to risk getting shot. Evidently the shooter was an excellent marksman. Wonder if he earned the Expert Marksman pin the Army awards, or if you have to be combat arms to get that. I never shot that well, so didn’t pay that much attention, but I think it was awarded to a couple guys in my basic training platoon. Some people have talent that way.

      1. Massinissa

        Police unions are among the strongest in America arnt they? Also, I don’t think we are at that point technologically anyway. The closest we could get right now would be Drone Cops, which would still require a pilot, and I think that would be worse than having real cops.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Personally, I would prioritized that over better drones, and also over self-driving cars.

          1. nowhere

            In the manner of John Henry (and our neoliberal overlords), would’t the proper thing be to have the police battle the robot police in a winner takes all, exclusively televised extravaganza? Imagine the national interest: you’d get the gunz crowd, SV techno-future types, grifters…

            The possibilities (and marketing rights) would be endless.

    1. Procopius

      It’s not only non-prosecution of Hillary, and bankers, and large real estate promoters. It’s the obvious entrapment of mentally challenged people to put on trial for “material support of terrorist organizations.” Heck, even the prosecution of Moussaui was obviously unjust. Although it’s not the FBI’s fault, the debacle of the Military Commissions at Guantanamo takes its toll. It’s widely understood that of the 750+ people who were held there less than a dozen could be prosecuted for real crimes. When is the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed even going to start? Trying a guy for being driving Osama bin Laden around? Spare me. Then there are the many, many towns which treat tickets as a revenue source, and … Well, I could go on for far too long, but you know what I mean.

  13. Jim Haygood

    From an article in The Hill, in morning links:

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the House Oversight Committee chairman announced he will formally request the FBI to investigate whether Hillary Clinton lied under oath to Congress.

    Smells like b.s.

    As it was explained to me by several high-powered D.C. lawyers when a company where I was employed received a Congressional subpoena, a contempt of Congress citation is voted upon by the committee concerned. If passed, then the full House votes on it. If passed, it is then referred to the Justice Dept for criminal prosecution.

    That is, the contempt of Congress process is fully under the control of Congress. Involving the FBI is buck passing, and likely an attempt to run out the clock while pretending to be “doing something.”

    There is only one Depublicrat party.

    1. Uahsenaa

      I think there are less sinister motives here. Comey repeated evaded Chaffetz’s questions about other matters that came up in the result of an investigation the director claimed was narrow in scope, but to any half-awake observer clearly was not. When pressed, Comey said the FBI was not formally requested to investigate other related matters (lying before Congress, Clinton Foundation shenanigans, etc.), so I think this is Chaffetz trying to further press Comey on matters in which he clearly knew something but wouldn’t say.

      1. cwaltz

        The way Comey painted the FBI was rather disturbing. If we are to believe him they don’t videotape their interviews (which he knows is bullshit since HE was one of the ones who was responsible for the change in policy that permitted videotaping)and if in the process of investigating they find a crime has been committed they ignore those crimes because investigations are meant to be limited in scope. You can’t tell me he didn’t watch her lie to Congress or consider that when considering her credibility.

  14. petal

    Since there has been discussion around here lately about self-driving cars and AI, thought it was interesting I just received an email saying that Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network’s SF meet-up will have a “Next Big Thing” panel that focuses on you guessed it-self driving cars and AI, and another discussion called “new frontiers in education”. John Donahoe(eBay, Paypal) and Peter DeSantis(Amazon Web Services) will be attending along with Dartmouth’s current president for fireside chats.

      1. petal

        Ah yes, we have those here. I imagine they will be at the SF gig. I mean heck, the feckless leader…I mean president is going, so why not them too?

      2. petal

        The (un)esteemed provost Carolyn Dever will be making the trip as well. Like you said, grifters gotta grift. Should be quite the gathering!

  15. Pelham

    An average of five police officers are killed in the line of duty monthly. When it happens, it’s usually a local story but doesn’t make the national news.

    However, when police shoot and kill someone, especially if it’s caught on video, it does go national.

    Put those two things together, and an ordinary news consumer these days would conclude that police are simply shooting people for the heck of it. The media might want to consider giving us some routine way to evaluate the wider and quite relevant context of these killings by police. They are atrocities and as such inexcusable but not entirely inexplicable.

    1. Massinissa

      Heres a problem with your math though: way more than five people are shot by police a month. MOST of those shooting don’t make national news.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Tragically, police officers are killed not by just bullets, but by cars as well, and presumably, the number includes these non-shooting deaths.

        1. marym

          2015 130 line of duty deaths including 39 by non-accidental gunshot per a law enforcement memorial website. (27 by automobile accident)


      1. Massinissa

        Even if its 1 or .5 civilians a day, that’s still far more than 5 cops a month.

    2. marym


      It wasn’t until recently that it became easy to find a number to go with the gruesome reality that black people—and black men in particular—live with every day: the ever-present threat of police violence.

      Police officers fatally shot nearly 1,000 people last year, according to The Washington Post’s ongoing count. Halfway through 2016, police have shot and killed 506 more. “Unarmed black men are seven times more likely than whites to die by police gunfire,” the Post wrote last year.
      Of course, this is just one count. The Guardian’s tally is 561 deaths, including 526 shootings. And that discrepancy suggests that as important as these efforts have been, in the absence of a comprehensive federal effort to track such shootings, the full scope of the problem remains unknown.

      emphasis added

      1. cwaltz

        I wonder how that squares with this also compiled by the Washington Post.

        In a year-long study, The Washington Post found that the kind of incidents that have ignited protests in many U.S. communities — most often, white police officers killing unarmed black men — represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings. Meanwhile, The Post found that the great majority of people who died at the hands of the police fit at least one of three categories: they were wielding weapons, they were suicidal or mentally troubled, or they ran when officers told them to halt.

        I do find this troubling though-

        Race remains the most volatile flash point in any accounting of police shootings. Although black men make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 40 percent of the unarmed men shot to death by police this year, The Post’s database shows. In the majority of cases in which police shot and killed a person who had attacked someone with a weapon or brandished a gun, the person who was shot was white. But a hugely disproportionate number — 3 in 5 — of those killed after exhibiting less threatening behavior were black or Hispanic.


        If the person is exhibiting less threatening behavior, you’d figure they’d be less likely to shoot? That clearly is not the case.

        1. abynormal

          and the officers i’ve viewed are extremely geeked up after they’ve shot the subdued victim. a horrifying site.

        2. Jagger

          or they ran when officers told them to halt.

          I wonder how running away is a danger to anyone? How can running justify lethal force?

          1. hunkerdown

            I don’t believe the thought process there goes any further than “stray varmint”.

          2. ambrit

            I know that if I shot a burglar as he or she ran away I’d be doing time.
            Not only are the police as individuals going off the rails more, but the policing system has shifted towards an ‘off the rails’ style of working.
            I remember reading that the police in the UK had to account for every shot they fired. Do ‘they’ still do that?

          3. Skip Intro

            Whereas putting down the suicidal or ‘mentally troubled’ is both cost-effective and completely within the legal authority of the police.

  16. JTMcPhee

    What I like best — well, find most interesting — about the activities in Dallas, is one of the climaxes — it appears the police used a “bomb robot” or “robot bomb” to pink-mist one of the perpetrators (i know, I know — alleged perps.) No more negotiation with terrorists cop killers — clank clank whirr whirr BOOOM! Better than killing one with 68 rounds into his body, “because that’s all the ammo we had”? http://x22report.com/thepeople/index.php?topic=9859.0 (that incident was right close to where I live…)

    Law & Disorder / Civilization & Discontents

    Dallas deployment of robot bomb to kill suspect is “without precedent” http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/07/is-it-ok-to-send-a-police-robot-to-deliver-a-bomb-to-kill-an-active-shooter/

    The killer robot used by Dallas police appears to be a first https://www.yahoo.com/news/killer-robot-used-dallas-police-200429535.html?ref=gs

    So now the po-lice are making IEDs? mirror your enemy…

    Quick show of hands: how many think that this was just fine? and that the guy got what he deserved? and that this saves the government the embarrassment of a trial?

    Seems to me there is dang little stopping the rapide descent into anomie, complete and condign… and maybe like the guy just exploded by the Dallas SWAT, we as a species deserve what we are about to get?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Back in high school days, the local police were tipped to a burglary at a furniture store.

      As the suspects drove their loaded truck out of the parking lot, the cops opened up on them, Bonnie and Clyde style. News photos showed 60 or 70 bullet holes perforating the van.

      It was just a straight-up rubout of a couple of guys who allegedly were Dixie mafia, according to the cops. No one raised a peep about it.

      The robot would be just a new tool to make this procedure more “surgical,” while enhancing “force protection.”

    2. nowhere

      This did trigger reading into the police dropping a bomb from a helicopter in Philadelphia in 1985 against MOVE.

    3. Waldenpond

      I was up later last night, checking in, admitted it would be days before data was available so I went to bed. Going through the range of emotions, disappointment, frustration, hoping victims survive, perpetrator stops.

      Saw the bomb story first thing and I just shut down.

      Checked it with TYT, you know… the ‘liberal’ news. Two of three just fine with it, I mean, morally, what’s the difference? Turned it off. I simply have no response to someone who could care less about the militarization of forces while living under permanent war. I’m just blank. I’m hitting hopeless and wondering if there is some level of enlightenment at the end.

    4. fresno dan

      July 8, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      I think of it this way: Drones
      Seems fail safe – we kill our enemies with impunity. Obama expanded the program greatly.
      So…..is there less terrorism than there was 8 years ago?

      Honestly, I can’t believe with this long discussion I’m the first to link to this:

    5. cnchal

      Quick show of hands: how many think that this was just fine?

      The Dallas Police were all out of ideas and had to blow him up. Instead of a robot delivered bomb they could have used a tranquilizer. Couldn’t let a psychiatrist or mental health professional try and learn something from the perpetrator.

      Getting the guy alive and examining him wasn’t a priority.

    6. hunkerdown

      Who’s going to negotiate with the police after that? Terrible, terrible decision, increasing the ill will of the people against the state.

      I’m thinking it might be wise for Sanders supporters to boycott the convention from another state.

  17. allan

    Dallas attack adds to Cleveland concerns before Republican convention

    Cleveland police on Friday tightened their security plan for the Republican National Convention after the deadly shootings of police officers in Dallas, increasing surveillance and intelligence operations just 10 days before the convention. …

    Ed Tomba, the city’s deputy police chief and head of convention security, had previously told Reuters he was “very, very confident” in the city’s convention plan. He reiterated that confidence in a telephone interview on Friday in response to the Dallas attack.

    “We have got to make some changes without a doubt,” Tomba said, mentioning the surveillance of potential threats from street level and farther away.

    “We will have plenty of people watching over different locations. We are beefing up the intelligence component, too. They are going to be very, very active,” Tomba said.

    7/7 changed everything.

    1. nowhere

      Amended First Amendment: “…or the right of the people peaceably to virtually assemble (i.e. social media, but definitely not in person).”

    2. Pookah Harvey

      From the Daily News:

      Strict RNC rules call for a ban on soda cans, glass bottles, tennis balls, umbrellas with metal tips and “any projectile launcher” like BB guns, paintball guns and water guns in the 1.7-square-mile “event zone” surrounding the Quicken Loans Arena convention site, where 2,470 delegates will gather to officially name Donald Trump as the party’s nominee.

      But pistol-packing protesters — as per Ohio’s lax open-carry laws — can freely carry in public areas, like parks, within the designated zones around the venue.

      But Ohio is also a long gun open carry state so this legal adaptation for assault rifles, as far as I can tell, would also be allowed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U6tORrODJE

      Somebody please convince me that this country is not really a lunatic asylum.

      1. fresno dan

        I am hoping the NRA mounts a demonstration of thousands of 2nd amendment advocates carrying their AK-47’s….and a counter demonstration is held by the National Association for Gun Rights, saying the NRA is a bunch of wussies cause they don’t support the right to bear machine guns….

        People (i.e., repubs) who believe that elementary teachers carrying guns are necessary to protect elementary school children are in no position to set up wimpy pansy rules prohibiting guns at political conventions. The only way to stop a bad man with a gun at a political convention is with lots, and lots….and lots of good men with guns at a political convention…

        Don’t the people at the republican convention want to BE SAFE??? AND ISN”T THE ONLY WAY TO ENSURE SAFETY is by HAVING PEOPLE BE PERMITTED to OPEN CARRY?????

    3. two beers

      I expect similar — if not even more — security “tightening” from the DNC in Philadelphia.

    4. KurtisMayfield

      Wait, did the chief of police just admit they didn’t have a plan for a “lone gunman/sniper” scenario? These guys really need to start closing their mouths before their feet get stuck in them.

  18. DarkMatters

    DO READERS HAVE MORE SUCH EVIDENCE? In reply to your Email Hairball, I submit the case of NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake. The legal case which was brought against him in April of 2010, as retribution, follows Hillary’s transgressions writ small:
    I can’t believe no one has brought up this case in rebuttal to Comey’s insistance that there’s no precedent. Drake was indicted because he had classified files on his home computer which he had reason to believe were NOT classified. Although he was “exonerated” of the worst of the charges, he had to undergo an expensive legal defense and had to plead guilty to a misdemeanor. Mr. Comey: did Hillary do any less?

    1. T.C.

      Cases of mis-handling classified information:

      Dr. Wen Ho Lee [http://fas.org/irp/congress/2001_rpt/whl.html]
      Contrast the government’s response to Clinton’s mis-handling of classified information with the
      Wen Ho Lee case. Lee spent 9 months in solitary confinement in Santa Fe while he was being
      investigated for possible mis-handling of classified information at Los Alamos.

      General Petraeus, CIA Director & Paula Broadwell [https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/petraeus-set-to-plead-guilty-to-mishandling-classified-materials/2015/04/22/3e6dbf20-e8f5-11e4-aae1-d642717d8afa_story.html]
      On April 23, 2015, Petraeus pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified materials. He was given a two-year probationary period and a fine of $100,000.

      Bryan H. Nishimura, 50, of Folsom [https://www.fbi.gov/sacramento/press-releases/2015/folsom-naval-reservist-is-sentenced-after-pleading-guilty-to-unauthorized-removal-and-retention-of-classified-materials]
      U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman immediately sentenced Nishimura to two years of probation, a $7,500 fine, and forfeiture of personal media containing classified materials. Nishimura was further ordered to surrender any currently held security clearance and to never again seek such a clearance.

      Looks like the Nishimura case cited is a very mild parallel to what Ms. Clinton both did and authorized
      doing during her tenure as head of the Dept of State. The similar violations that Clinton engaged in are
      orders of magnitude worse than those of Nishimura.

      ignorantia legis neminem excusat “ignorance of law excuses no one” Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition, pg. 673
      I have worked for several decades for various operations of the DOD and DOE handling all
      sorts of classified material, NO ONE to the best of my knowledge, who has ever received a
      government security clearance has ever NOT had to sit through a very thorough Security Briefing
      detailing all of the rules that must be followed when dealing with classified materials…NO ONE !!!!!!!

      This includes agency heads, middle management and worker bees. Recurring Security Briefings,
      usually delivered annually, are also mandatory for everyone.

      Ignoring the rules is criminal behavior and subject to severe penalties. ’nuff said…


    2. DarkMatters

      The case of 15 year Marine vet JASON BREZELER is now making the rounds; this is just one link of many:
      Summary of involved story: after tour in Afghanistan, where he was told to use his own computer for official docs, Jason returned stateside. In 2010, he got an urgent request from a co-marine in Afghanistan asking him for an intelligence doc on Karzai-connected Sarwar Jan, if he had it. Did so, hoping the info might save lives. Fork 1: He got an em back chiding him for having sent classified info over an open line. He reported himself to a higher up, and he was eventually reprimanded. Fork 2: Despite the info having gotten to Afghanistan, three marines were killed by one of Jan’s cohorts. Later, Brezeler approached Peter King, hoping to help families of the victims find out why his info hadn’t been used. Suddenly, Brezeler’s reprimand blossomed into a court of inquiry, which led to his expulsion. No good deed goes unpunished. (Pls note I just heard of this and am still checking stories to cross-check details in this one.)

  19. Kim Kaufman

    “imagine Clinton were the CEO of a small non-profit; her board would fire her at once.”

    Lambert, I think you over-estimate the competence of non-profit boards, small or otherwise.

  20. marym

    Clinton blames State colleagues for classified secrets in emails

    Hillary Clinton responded on Friday to a scathing assessment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that she was “extremely careless” with classified government secrets by shifting the blame onto her former colleagues at the U.S. State Department.

    After maintaining for more than a year that she did not send or receive classified information through her unauthorized private email server, she acknowledged on Friday she may have at least unwittingly done so, three days after the FBI concluded this happened at least 110 times.

    Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said she “certainly did not believe” that she was handling classified information on her server at the time, but emphasized that she followed the lead of her subordinates on whether information was classified.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Clinton responded by “shifting the blame,” says the article.

      It is Standard Clinton Procedure that any serious charges will be met by shifting the blame.

      As sociopaths, the Clintons are incapable of seeing themselves as culpable for anything. Therefore, criticism must reflect either the mistakes of others, or the vindictive motives of the critics.

      Shifting the blame is not a strategy or a calculation on their part. It’s an internalized worldview.

  21. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    I guess the alternative is to keep comments open in a free-for-all like ZH and we would have to sift through all kinds of “Protocols of Zion” posts. I happen to think the curating here is usually very even-handed but maybe that just reflects my politics. You might be happier elsewhere.

  22. JCC

    Regarding your request, above, Lambert on professional women being upset with the results of the Clinton Email Debacle, I work with quite a few female IT Pros and I have yet to hear one of them defend Hillary on this issue… but then again they all hold Clearances and know exactly what would happen to them under similar circumstances.

    As a matter of fact they seem to bring up the subject of their unhappiness at least as often as the rabid Republicans I work with, although in a more subtle and low key manner.

    I have mentioned this before here, as have one or two others, that this situation has cost her a lot of votes among those that have Clearances (4.5 million the last I knew) They are reminded almost daily that they must defend their Clearance. They know the law and the regulations, most probably better than Comey, and they know what she has gotten away with.

  23. TheCatSaid

    Thank you for the link to the DuBois graphics. Absolutely amazing. He was a real giant. Those data displays are works of art.

    I bet our easy computerized methods are trimming our creativity.

    (Kind of like automation trimming the pilots’ manual flying skills, from the link yesterday.)

  24. teri

    Re: Dallas shooting. I think that one very overlooked piece of this thing is the fact that the man who did the killing was a vet. These people are coming back from their tours of duty with mental health issues. And weapons. And a gung-ho shoot-to-kill military mindset. That all might be relevant.

    [Even if the guy was a carpenter rather than a military sniper while serving, they are all indoctrinated in the use of force mentality. That’s part and parcel of their training.]

    1. abynormal

      one of the officers did 3 tours. they fight together to survive an unwinnable war, return to kill each in a winnable war…notices the flee on the nose of the grasshoppa

  25. Propertius

    Fortunately for Hillary — but not the Democrats — heedless incompetence is not a federal crime.

    No, but in this particular case, “gross negligence” is – that’s the exact language of the statute. Where’s the boundary between “heedless incompetence” and “gross negligence”? Isn’t that something a jusry should decide?

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