Links 7/2/16

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Two Dozen More Bodies Found In Lake Wobegon The Onion (David L)

Right. That’s it. There’s now too much news. Please can somebody make it stop? Telegraph. How I feel.

Silence the most fitting memorial at Somme commemorations Guardian

Great frigate birds found able to fly for months at a time PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Europeans are now fretting about Muslim girls in swimming pools Washington Post. Chuck L: “​I would not call this ‘fretting’… is an insistence on imposing an outside culture on our Western liberal one, instead of welcoming and accepting the culture …​the EC, perhaps imperfectly, has tried to bring these migrants into our Western democracies, but many only want it the Sharia way…”


For Yanks who want to keep tabs the latest on the Conservative and Labour power struggles, the Telegraph seems to have the best one-stop shopping, although with the inevitable risk of having a skewed perspective. UK readers please tell us the degree of noise in the signal (remember, our Acela corridor papers might as well be Pravda). It has gotten to be very tabloid-esque in the last year.

Intrigue and betrayal stalk UK’s corridors of power Financial Times. Many good quotes, but note this observation: “The Brexit vote had a galvanising effect for the EU-27, immediately creating an us-against-them dynamic. The priority was self-preservation, even if it came at the expense of London.”

Brexit Aftershocks: An Inside Look at the EU’s Raging Power Struggle Der Spiegel. The idea of Juncker engaged in a power struggle with Merkel is remarkable, as in that he thought he had any chance of winning. Juncker is both in a less powerful post and an inept bureaucratic infighter.

Brexit cannot be cancelled or delayed, says François Hollande Guardian. Awfully presumptuous but triggered by this:

His timetable is in stark contrast to those of Michael Gove and Theresa May, the leading candidates to replace Cameron as Conservative party leader and prime minister, who have said they would not trigger the article 50 process until the end of the year.

So Conservatives are reaffirming their commitment to Brexit. Of course, this is necessary given the upcoming leadership contest and that party members voted 58% for Leave. The year end (for May) could be to give her time to see if she can back out. Or she may be as unrealistic as Cameron re her ability to limit immigration but still have full access to the trade area (the EU has been very clear this is a red line for them).

John McDonnell sets out Labour’s 5 ‘red lines’ on Brexit Financial Times. Even Labour says a deal must protect the City.

London bankers face Brexit choice: lobby or leave Reuters

A democratic strategy for the EU negotiations PrimeEconomics

London house prices slashed after Brexit vote Evening Standard

The Worst of the Brexit Fallout Is Still to Hit the U.K. Time

This George is not for turning: austerity still in vogue for Osborne Guardian

Interview mit Steinmeier zum Brexit: “Wir erwarten von London einen Fahrplan – und zwar zügig” Spiegel

Post-Brexit EU May Be Stranded By Its Own Data Rules Forbes

The economic risks of an outbreak of Brexit-style votes Financial Times

Lost passports: a guide to the Brexit fallout for the City of London Bruegel. Very good technical discussion.

Brexit: The immigrants who voted Leave BBC

How Severe Is Venezuela’s Crisis? Defend Democracy

Media Exaggerations of Apocalyptic Venezuela Plays into Regime Change Narrative Real News

Greek fears over Brexit impact BBC


Hacked Emails Reveal NATO General Plotting Against Obama on Russia Policy Intercept (Chuck L)


Bangladeshi Forces Free 12 Hostages From Cafe Overtaken By Islamic State Wall Street Journal

The Benghazi Report Misses the Real Scandal of Libya National Interest

State Department: Don’t Blame Us for Hillary’s E-mail Issues Foreign Policy. Resilc: “What bullshit. The queen says jump and we jump.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Document spells out FBI rules to get journalists’ phone records: article Reuters (EM)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Obama Administration’s Civilian Drone Casualty Count Far Lower than Independent Estimates Gawker

The CIA Tried to Recruit Women With These ‘Empowering’ Posters Motherboard (resilc)

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

FBI source to Fox: Agents are “livid” about plane meeting-not just optics, but BCltn is possible target-witness in Foundation investigation @bretbaier


Probably too late, but a meeting on the CA vote: The 2016 California Primary: A Disturbing Story w/Bill Simpich, Lori Grace This event is Saturday July 2, 2016 from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM PDT. Come join us at Sunrise Center, 645 Tamalpais, Corte Madera, CA 94925 for an update on the condition of the California Primary. The event will include a showing of a mini-documentary about the California primary, and information about lawsuits already filed in California.

Bernie Sanders’ Message Is All Over Dem Platform Draft Daily Beast (furzy)

California Slow Bern. Martha r: “CA primary margin goes below 8 to 7.936 as of today.”

Is Sanders’ End Game to Sell Out His ‘Political Revolution’ or to Take It All the Way to November? This Can’t Be Happening! (Judy B)

Dems Need Better Answers for the Working Class New York Magazine (resilc). No, they need better actions.

Hillary Clinton’s VP Short List Is Short on Progressives Truthout

Clinton brings in record $68 million in June Washington Post. That is the real downside to Trump behaving badly….donattions to Clinton spike

Clinton sought secret info on EU bailout plans as son-in-law’s doomed hedge fund gambled on Greece Fox

In Not Opposing the TPP, Democratic Platform Committee Gives Trump a Big Gift Alternet. No, we just had some truth in advertising for a change.

Here’s What Needs to Happen for Donald Trump to Actually Win Vice (resilc)

Major Political News Outlets Offer Interviews for Sale at DNC and RNC Conventions Intercept

Green Party’s Jill Stein Makes Inroads Wall Street Journal

President Obama, the ‘Night Guy’ New York Times. Haha, your humble blogger is not alone.

Trash by the numbers: Startling statistics about US garbage TreeHugger (resilc)

Giant step forward’: California governor signs stringent gun control measures Guardian

New York Police Dept reinstates Muslim officer suspended over beard Reuters

Class Warfare

At Menards, employees learn to become lobbyists for the billionaire owner City Pages (Chuck L)

A Mid-Year Burst of Minimum Wage Increases Starts on July 1 WSJ Economics

The Typical College Student Is Not Who You Think It Is Atlantic (resilc) “It”? So now they are being depersonalized? We need a gender neutral pronoun like Margaret Piercy’s “per”. The story is short and important.

Poor Kids Need Summer Jobs. Rich Kids Get Them. FiveThirtyEight

The Surprisingly Swift Decline of U.S. Manufacturing Employment NBER (resilc). Confirms Trump’s thesis re trade deals and China.

Tech tax’: San Francisco mulls plan for taxing the rich to house the poor Guardian. How about also taxing all those AirBnB rentals that take housing stock and turn it into hotels?

Why Are Voters Ignoring Experts? Project Syndicate (David L) v. “Why Are Voters Ignoring Experts?” Angry Bear

Antidote du jour (Chet G):


And a bonus video:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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      1. Antifa

        AG Lynch is putting out the flames as best she can by saying she will do whatever the FBI wants.

        This is the equivalent of saying, “Hey, I just work here. If paper crosses my desk and needs a rubber stamp, I stamp it. What do I know from the gray areas between law and politics and money?”

        This will calm the public for the time being, and then when the time comes to indict, she will find some grounds for not prosecuting; just nothing she can do about it. The famous Washington Last Stand — “It’s done. Now what are you gonna do about? Protest? Write a letter to the editor?”

        If AG Lynch was as straight, honest, and ethical as painted, she would be in some haste right now to recuse herself. That she isn’t makes me suspect she has heard about the carrot and the stick from Bill Clinton — do this our way, and the rewards will be there for you in the future. Act against us, and see nothing good for you and yours, ever. She’s stuck. She can’t recuse because that would be acting against the Clintons, and asking for the stick.

        1. nippersdad

          This seems relevant:

          Note the two posts at 10:42 PM and 11:26 PM



          “Loretta protects the nation. The nation needs our first female President. Protecting Hillary IS protecting the nation.”

          It doesn’t sound like she is awaiting events on Facebook; the case is already closed.

          1. Steve H.

            – Protecting Hillary IS protecting the nation.


            Noting, looking down the fb page, there is posted the Observer story linked above. Mexed missages.

            1. nippersdad

              “…she will replace the beloved Eric Holder.” LOL!

              Thanks! Great catch! I had cursorily checked that, but obviously I need to start examining these things more closely.

              1. katiebird

                (Grin) thanks for sharing the Eric Holder bit… I was too sleepy to appreciate the humor….

            2. nippersdad

              Going through the page itself, I see that I REALLY got punked.

              My apologies to all; please ignore…or, better yet, delete.

          2. Darthbobber

            This is pretty clearly a spoof page. The Loretta Lynch character is like a Breitbart caricature.

        2. Pat

          It would be very interesting to know how that meeting got leaked. Largely because I’m pretty sure that eventually Lynch will have no choice but to officially divorce herself from the process regardless of what bat Bill may or may not have flourished.

          If it was Lynch or someone in her camp, they want her out. If not….

          1. Tom

            I agree — the initial leak to local ABC reporter Christopher Sign was the big green START button that set this whole story in motion. I would sure like to know exactly who made that call.

          2. different clue

            Over at Colonel Lang’s Sic Semper Tyrannis, a very recent post is called The Day The Earth Stood Still In Clintonia? Here is the link.

            I offer the link because near the end of the thread a commenter named Tidewater offers a well argued speculation as to where the leak came from and why it came from there.

            1. different clue

              And now that the comment WITH link has posted, I will also try cut/pasting Tidewater’s comment itself right here.

              Tidewater said…

              Tidewater to All,

              I studied the television footage that KNXV-TV ABC15 Phoenix used with morning anchor Christopher Sign’s report. ( “US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Bill Clinton meet privately in Phoenix before Benghazi report.”) (“Quite the Meeting on the Tarmac.”)

              I didn’t expect to find much anything. But a couple of interesting things were revealed. I think the “trusted source” of Christopher Sign was from the police. It needs to be noted that the AG’s plane landed in a private area of the Sky Harbor where there could be very few people around except, you would assume, those waiting to board another private plane in the same area. These would be the people who were told “no photo, no pictures, no cell phones,” by the FBI. I studied the last part of the video which showed a group of people standing under an aluminum pavilion. In the background it seemed that there was a rise in the ground, and it was very barren. I assume that some of the effect was an illusion caused by the camera lense foreshortening the background. Nevertheless, you wouldn’t expect people in that direction.

              I was looking for some very rich people who were being inconvenienced by the contretemps. There were about fifteen people under the aluminum pavilion. Almost immediately I realized they were surely all police. They were the welcoming committee from the Phoenix police department, given, I assume, the privilege of meeting the AG’s plane. Four or five of them were also security.

              If you look in the center of the group, you see a tall black woman holding a water bottle, in a polka dot dress with white beads. I think she was going to be a principal greeter. To her right is a bearded guy who might be public relations. On the far right is probably a detective wearing a cowboy hat and a suit, looking like a western lawman. (At one point he grips his lapels between thumb and finger. He seems like he is laid back about the whole thing.) They are all alert. They seem relaxed, too. The wait is OK. They are a disciplined force. There are a number of sturdy black guys with close haircuts in black suits. They are looking in all directions. One is checking a phone and then turns to observe the background, back to camera and stays that way. There is a very big cop on the left front on the tarmac with a pistol worn high that seems to have a blue handle. He seems too ugly and scary to be F.B.I. There are quite a few cell phones in the group, without counting, I think at least five, and most of them are either being looked at or being used. There are a number of uniformed policemen on the right front. One puts on his sunglasses.

              So what is this all about? This is the welcoming committee for the Attorney General of the United States, who is the principal speaker at the “President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing,” which has been going on for months. Loretta Lynch has been flying out to different cities all over the US for these pow wows. These occasions surely run like clockwork. And here, what has happened? They have been waiting a while and it will mean the carefully planned schedule is set back how long–nobody knows. As it turns out, it will be some thirty minutes before anyone can do anything at all. Perhaps the phones in use are sending a warning that a grand luncheon should be set back, “but for how long,you think?” “Well, at least forty minutes…” “What!”

              Who is to say that one of these cops is not on the phone with Christopher Sign?

              What I suspect is that the FBI protecting both Clinton and Lynch must have had a little problem. It would have been part of the occasion of the President’s Task Force that a video record be made of it, long pre-planned. It is all about public relations after all, isn’t it? But the FBI doesn’t want footage made of the security cordon out on the tarmac. Probably some men with heavy golf bags etc. out there. No pictures of the planes today, either. There is no need to know what Clinton’s plane looks like these days. (Whatever it is; however he got it.) This would be absolutely routine, no pix of a large yacht, either, I would think. These are the new rules. So the FBI went over to the local cops and said something like, we don’t need a lot of video of these planes out there or how we do things, and you know that. We are all in law enforcement. So give us a break…

              But as to stopping them from using their cell phones, not a chance. It is quite clear about that. Cell phones are being used. The FBI may have tried, but it was a little too late. Maybe they relented on the communications since they themselves didn’t know know how long this was going to take. Maybe they managed to discourage the videos and still photographs. I’m sure that that Phoenix police group would have cooperated.

              Since some video footage of the task force work is needed, the video camera is allowed to start running when she comes down off the plane. And then from the tarmac, we get a look back at the all-cop welcoming committee. It is all very quick. My suspicion is that there weren’t any other private planes in the area, just the two, Lynch’s and Clinton’s.

              The police know a story maybe better than anyone, and newspapers and television always work closely with them. A cop’s daughter gets married, she will get a very good newspaper article and photo. There is a lot of perfectly reasonable quid pro quo. I think some of the police, perhaps high ranking ones, would have had felt that it was odd and inappropriate not that Clinton was talking with the AG, but that he was throwing a spanner in a highly organized, long planned, all city and federal task force/conference. This thing was a big deal for them and it deserved better. So it seemed to someone like it was worth a story. Also, cops have suspicious minds, and the whole thing didn’t seem right.

              But planned between the AG and Clinton? I think he did her a disservice.

      2. Bubba_Gump

        Interesting story, sounds plausible. But the Observer is owned by Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka Trump. So I’m keeping that in mind.

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      I hope and pray to the Good Lord Above that they get her on perjury or something else and lock her up and throw away the key—–and I’m an atheistic agnostic! But on the theory that “there are no atheists in foxholes”, I hope the Supreme Power will help us out on this one. May the Force be with you, FBI!

      1. optimader

        Skip the Supreme Power bit,
        I hope for just one ethical FIBer to prevail at making an airtight case to indict;
        I’ll settle for one to spill the beans in detail on her established but unindicted felonies counts as SoS and perjury counts… because it’s one or the other or both.

        If either goes down , even if pathetically she prevails and is elected she will have no credibility and will likely have an impeachment initiated against her which will be it’s own shameful Historical first!

        I still maintain it’s a case of admitting the felonies or perjuring herself , or more likely both.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Really, why does anyone believe the House would impeach her? They are all in this together. Backs will be scratched, not stabbed. “For the good of the Realm.”

          1. different clue

            Correct. She is her sponsors’ Trillion Dollar Obama 2.0. They will not let any damn House of Representatives threaten their future profits from a President Hillary Clinton.

            The Tea Partiers are too few all by themselves to get an Impeachment under way. All the Decromats and all the rewards-after-office Republicans will unite to prevent it. Impeachment will be off the table.

            1. Pat

              And I say this only proves the oligarchs are stupid. The indictment doesn’t have to pass the vote and make it to the Senate. The vote to indict is going to be televised, it is going to be nasty and it is going to be deadly. By the time they are done her numbers are going to make Bush 2’s lame duck pit look good. She has none of the protections that her husband had. It won’t be a private sex scandal. The economy will be still be in the dumps for the majority of Americans. And she has the charisma of stale beer.

              Oh, and I personally believe that the obstruction towards a President Clinton is going to make it look like Obama and Congress were best friends.

              Unfortunately we may get the chance to find out who is right.

              1. different clue

                So what? . . . . her sponsors will be thinking. They will make very sure their Congress passes TPP, TTIP, TISA and all the other Forced Trade Agreements, and Clinton signs them; before any impeachment drama is supposed to start.
                After that, Clinton will endure whatever pain she has to while in office, secure in the knowledge of the multi megamillion buck payoff awaiting her after she returns to private life.
                In the event that Clinton really does get elected.

          2. Oregoncharles

            Well, they impeached Bill, who was actually pretty popular (sigh).

            OTOH: how many of them WANT a President Trump? Of course, impeachment would occur after the election, so that depends on her choice of VP. Watch for her to choose a very Republican-friendly one. Maybe the current AG?

          3. Optimader

            Theatre… Its easier than legislating but sone sensitvity to the Vpotus choice

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Might be a long wait for your “ethical FBI’er”, Snowden said by his estimate 85,000 contractors had the same clearances he did and could have located some vestigial remains of a moral compass and decide to expose the truth. None did.

    2. Quentin

      Today Hillary Clinton gets ‘interviewed’ by the FBI. Yesterday her best friend had a chitchat with the AG Loretta Lynch. What a coincidence. I wonder to which circle of Hell Dante would have assigned the Clintons.

      1. mad as hell.

        Greed, violence, treachery come to mind. I’m sure one of those circles will be the most fitting. Would like to see the sentence given in the end. Can only hope for now because there will come a time when all hope is abandoned. In the meantime the Clintons will just continue being the Clintons.

        1. Antifa

          Aside from the nine circles of hell, did Dante never mention the gated estates right on the lake of fire? Very exclusive real estate . . .

      2. JE

        Can’t forget about the DOJ’s work to stonewall release of the 34,000+ emails between HRC’s aides at the State Dept and the Clinton Foundation/Teneo Holdings. Both Cheryl Mills and Abedin double dipped, working as HRC’s aides while holding private positions. News of the court filing came out the day before the plane meeting —

    3. VietnamVet

      The dots are not being connected. It is not just the sense of entitlement that the Phoenix Tarmac meeting demonstrates. It is another reflection of the incompetence of all those involved. The House of Saud by donating to the Clintons bought the American government’s approval for their employment of Islamists to take down the Syrian government and cut the Shiite crescent to their north.

      As a result, together with Secretary Clinton’s regime change campaign in Libya, the West is now teetering on a knife’s edge due to the influx of Muslim refugees and the Islamic State’s terror attacks. Also, an indictment would cause another economic crisis just after Brexit roiled things more.

      The government of Turkey is in an existential crisis (as is the European Union) from the blow-back from the Syrian civil war. They are seeking rapprochement with the Russian Federation. If they seal the Syrian-Turkish border, it would end the resupply to the Syrian Islamists. On the other hand, Russia is now arming their SU-25 fighter-bombers with anti-aircraft missiles. Carrier Groups, CVN-75 Harry S Truman and CVN-69 Dwight D. Eisenhower, are in the Mediterranean Sea.

      Russia is trying to negotiate an end the Syrian war. But, if there is no indictment and if Hillary Clinton is elected President, enforcing her no fly zone over Syria will start World War III.

  1. anon

    On the Fox report about Clinton using US intel as her own private financial research advisor: of course! The Surveillance Industrial Complex may not have shown much ROI in combatting terrorism, but one thing they’ve excelled at is economic espionage. If the elites to whom they market those wares, like serving and retired officials and oversight committee members, aren’t smart enough to profit off it that’s not the fault of the intel community. But I suspect many have profitted off their access to the information firehose, and that’s the real reason the whole national security aparatus continues to enjoy their unwavering support.

    1. human

      Durng WWII Western Union turned over copies of all overseas communications each day to the OSS. Industrial espionage has always been a component of warfare.

    2. oho

      Purely by coincidence, Chelsea Clinton’s husband starts a Greek distressed debt fund at the same time Hillary Clinton gets confidential intelligence/briefings re. Merkel’s policies towards Greece.

      What a small world!

        1. Alex morfesis

          No $illy follow the countertrade$ cuz no better way 2 hand out fcpa ca$h then 2 “lose” almost all of it on $ome bad trade$…

          awe $huck$…oh well…

          $o has anyone sued mister chelsea for losing their money…

          why $oitinlee…


          But wait…maybe some of the money went to compensate those 419 nigerian scam victims his father stole 10 million from…nah…like father, like son…did you read the part of daddys trial transcript where he actually invoked the Clinton name in his email 419 nigeria scam…god bless this great country…former congressman married to a journalist and their son marries the daughter of the peoples name he used to scam millions…wife stays married until too many questions about dad…

          so…poof…marriage gone just before he gets out of prison…

          Amerika…vaht a contree…

          Go yakoff….

    3. Oregoncharles

      Why else would they have been spying on the Brazilian oil company?

      OK, there is something: for ammunition to bring down Rousseff.

  2. abynormal

    “The owl,” he was saying, “is one of the most curious creatures. A bird that stays awake when the rest of the world sleeps. They can see in the dark. I find that so interesting, to be mired in reality when the rest of the world is dreaming. What does he see and what does he know that the rest of the world is missing?” M.J. Rose, Seduction Thankfully, Yves & Owls SHARE

    1. SufferinSuccotash, Red Fool

      The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only within the falling of the dusk. — Hegel.

  3. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Surprisingly Swift Decline of U.S. Manufacturing Employment NBER (resilc)

    This paper finds a link between the sharp drop in U.S. manufacturing employment beginning in 2001 and a change in U.S. trade policy that eliminated potential tariff increases on Chinese imports………. These results are robust to other potential explanations of the employment loss………

    Good for NBER.

    If it really was “technology” that is responsible for massive manufacturing job loss and not “free trade” enabled wage arbitrage, it wouldn’t be necessary to move factories out of the us at all. Just move the machines in.

  4. allan

    Neoliberal jobs policies in action: Much-touted Start-Up NY created few jobs [D&C]

    A job-creation program highly touted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration created just 408 new jobs in its first two full years, despite an advertising campaign that cost state taxpayers tens of millions of dollars
    at least $53 million.

    Businesses participating in the state’s Start-Up NY program created 332 jobs in 2015 after creating 76 in 2014, according to a new state report.

    The report from Empire State Development, the Cuomo administration’s economic-development branch, was released Friday evening ahead of the holiday weekend, a time notorious for government agencies to release unflattering news.

    It was more than 90 days late: By law, the report was due March 31.

    The jobs number is a bit unfair. Just think of how many jobs in the advertising industry
    were created by the $53 million in ads.

    On the bright side, the July Fourth weekend Friday night dump didn’t save Cuomo from having this
    plastered on the front page of the D&C.

      1. McKillop

        Where I live, in the middle of wilderness, huge signs have been erected across the highway warning people that animals might be on the highway and present night dangers; that seatbelts save lives and that cellphones should not warrant attention in lieu of driving. How we lived without such concern puzzles me.
        Still. I\m grateful that we needn’t read
        books written by ghosts wooo are highly paid Or ads

  5. Torsten

    Must read the following excuse in Project Syndicate’s “Why Voters Ignore Experts”:

    Most economists, let alone specialists in other disciplines, regard such accusations (of failing to predict the Great Fleecing) as unfair, because only a few of them devoted themselves to scrutinizing financial developments;

    “Pray then,” a voter might ask, “what WERE they doing?”

    1. oho

      Experts to the hoi-polloi: What are you going to believe—my powerpoint slides or your lying eyes?

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I find the “voters are too stupid to decide important stuff like Brexit” meme highly offensive.
      These voters understand hardcore economic facts much better than any ivory tower economists. They know for a fact that their savings have drained away. That their real cost of living is rising much faster than any fake CPI number. That they lost their homes. That their kids have been unemployed for years. “They’re too dumb” merely parses to “I’m better than you are”.

  6. D. Battabong

    The Brexit vote had a galvanising effect for the EU-27, immediately creating an us-against-them dynamic

    Britain has shown us Europeans how that’s done for the last 40 years: you can be part of the club but always be the one who seeks an edge, a favor, never be embarrassed about gaming the system. Then – quelle surprise – (I’m French but I give full credit to NC for the expression) the rest of the (fed up) club (finally) says, “… and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out…”

  7. Cry Shop

    CIA views women as simple tools.

    What should one expect from an organ that seems to have become a chapter of the Mormon Church. Took me a while to find again the following quote, but it fits right in with the posters.

    A more egregious case is that of an adventurous and quite brilliant young woman. She had worked for a refugee-relief project in the most lawless region of South Asia before finding her way into an even more dangerous part of the world–one of great importance for U.S. foreign policy. She became so interested in the area’s ongoing struggle and the local culture that she decided to study it systematically, exiting from her marriage to return there. She made a great number of friends, from village women to guerrilla leaders, multiplying the number of “foreign contacts” she faithfully reported on the security form required of all CIA applicants. That in the process she had learned what makes the locals tick–as well as a language known to few, if any, CIA officials–was of no account: Her chances of being hired would have been much better if she had remained celibate in Salt Lake City.

    1. Bubba_Gump

      This sounds off. Socially, CIA rank and file don’t talk about the work but what they do talk about how everyone there is screwing each other, married or not. The place honestly sounds like one big episode of the Jersey Shore. I think the secrecy is the big factor — they can’t talk about anything important with outsiders, so they develop close bonds with co-workers. If a relationship between co-workers becomes known to the superiors, one of them just gets transferred to a different group so the relationship can continue without breaking the rules, no other consequences. It seems almost sanctioned.

      1. Cry Shop

        Oh, Mormons have multiples when they can get away with it, away from the rest of society. They just don’t like the idea of it being outside the “clan”. The incestuous, inward looking scenario you just described of agent upon agent, everything must be done in house is exactly the rules that this woman violated.

  8. Robert Hahl

    “The Typical College Student Is Not Who You Think It Is Atlantic (resilc) ‘It’?”

    I sometimes use “e” instead of he/she, “er” instead of he/her, and “ers” instead of his/hes as gender-neutral pronouns. It doesn’t always work but it should a lot better than current usage. In this case, “The Typical College Student is Not Who You Think e is.”

    1. Robert Hahl

      What happened to the “edit reply for 5 minutes button?”

      “er” instead of his/her, and “ers” instead of his/hers.

      1. low integer

        Have you changed your cookie settings recently? I have noticed that when I set my browser to reject cookies I no longer get an opportunity to edit comments.

    2. katiebird

      I probably would have avoid the issue and said, The Typical College Students Are Not Who you think They Are. …

      Because Typical ≠ Individual so why not make plural?

    3. DJG

      I am favoring ze, maybe because is sounds vaguely Dutch and, therefore, a part of the nittygrity Germanic heritage of English

      ze zer zy zine

      The Typical College Student Is Not Who You Think Ze Is, and You May Not Want to Read Zy Copy of the Atlantic, Either.

        1. Cry Shop

          Chapter 1 of Rudolf Flesch‘s textbook, “How to Write, Speak and Think More Effectively” uses Chinese to explain why nominative, objective and reflexive are all unnecessary encumbrances that Chinese once possessed but evolved away from and eventually ditched. Even the difference in possessive determiner vs. possessive pronoun isn’t necessary (why not turn hers into her and ditch the whole grouping). Grammarians will do their best to protect their positions, keep things a mess; lets hope for the best.

    4. porquoilequeso

      Why not just say “they”? Same effect without inventing a new pronoun and as far as I can tell it’s a well-established colloquialism.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        According to informed sources (i.e. my teenage children), everyone says, “they” as singular.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Knowledge or expertise trickle down theory.

      You find knowledge/expertise at the top…not bottom up.

      It’s a special theory of the General Theory of Trickle Down that includes money-creation-trickle-down and wealth-trickle-down.

  9. Robert Hahl

    “The Typical College Student Is Not Who You Think It Is Atlantic (resilc) ‘It’?”

    I sometimes use “e” instead of he/she, “er” instead of he/her, and “ers” instead of his/hers as gender-neutral pronouns. It doesn’t always work but it should a lot better than current usage. In this case, “The Typical College Student is Not Who You Think e is.”

  10. David Carl Grimes

    Good quote:

    We are not going to vote for the demon named Hillary because they are threatening us with the devil named Trump. We will vote for a saint no matter what, and if that saint is not Bernie Sanders, then we will vote for the saint named Jill Stein,” said Bill Taylor, a Philadelphia activist who is helping to plan four days of demonstrations in support of Mr. Sanders at the Democratic convention this month.

    1. nobody

      Another good quote:

      “Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent.”

      (George Orwell, “Reflections on Gandhi”)

      1. ProNewerDeal

        You really think Sanders & Stein are net evils? If so, can you point to any current US politician you judge as net good? If not, then at least even a historical US politician?

        IMHO Sanders & Stein are both net good, with overall a good social democratic policy platform, & an earnest consistent approach to their platform. Sanders & Stein are not serial flip-floppers & con-persons like H Clinton & Trump.

        1. RabidGandhi

          “Net evil” is not really a concept I want to play. Saying, for example, that Sanders has aided Israeli oppression of Palestinians but this is somehow cancelled out by his support of medicare for all, creates a morass of moral apples-to-orangesism that should be avoided like the plague.

          No, I cannot point to any US politician who is a saint, like the clownish comment above. Perhaps Upton Sinclair is the closest I can think of, if he even counts as a politician.

          People should vote for Sanders because he is the least awful by a long shot, but the gravest mistake would be to ignore his warts.

          1. hunkerdown

            “Net evil” is a means of rationalization that implies some priors that are very dangerous to a stable society:
            that penance is a social matter that supplants the individual or collective right to justice;
            that individuals exist for society to selectively harm and exploit;
            that equality before the law is an aspiration, not an objective;
            that aspirational goodthink is as good or better than objectives reached.

            Egalitarians should shun this “net evil” horse apple with the same vigor and virulence as liberals pretend to shun inequality or rape (that they’re not on the business end of).

      1. different clue

        The God of selection is a callous God, and Its first true prophet was Darwin. If Mama Corn ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

    2. Oregoncharles

      I’ve met Jill Stein. She’s impressive, but I don’t think she’s a saint, and I doubt that Bernie is, either.

      I grasp the logic of the quote, but the “demon/saint” wording bothers me. Not so sure we even want saints in office. A certain amount of realpolitik is probably required.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Monk: “Master. I have a question.”

        Guy: “I am no master.”

        Monk: “Can I not call you master?”

        Guy: “I don’t want to delude you. Please stop calling me master.”

        Monk: “Is that an order?”

        Guy: “I feel duty-bound to stop delusion. I am no master and I am no saint.”

      2. different clue

        There is something deeply sick and deranged in the mind of those who demand sainthood from their officeholders and officeseekers. From such demands are born the cults of personality which formed around Reagan yesterday, Nixon last week, and Clinton today.

      3. aab

        I wasn’t motivated to comment initially, but for whatever it’s worth, I agree with you. I understand why people despairing at corruption would yearn for someone pure, but that impulse is fundamentally destructive. What’s great about Bernie is that he has been tested in difficult times, and shown to be a man of decency and principle, who’s also an effective pol. He’s not perfect and he’s not pure. There’s no magically 11th dimension chess, and he may not “have this.” No one person will ever fix the system, and that kind of worship reinforces hierarchical practice in a broadly negative way. It’s no accident that it’s been frequently used in the neoliberal era to get people to vote against their interests and then ignore the betrayals against them.

    1. Jagger

      I have had reservations about Lake Waubegon and Harrison Keillor ever since watching Fargo, the TV series. Clearly Minnesotan’s, and South Dakotan’s, are a lot more sinister than Keillor is willing to acknowledge.

      1. Carolinian

        PHC is just entertainment. You aren’t supposed to take it literally. And Lambert has pointed out that his initial version of Prairie Home was a lot edgier. Now days listeners are probably tuning in out of nostalgia for the show itself. He’s done it for 40 years.

        1. Jagger

          Actually I was joking. I know they are both basically fiction intended for entertainment.

  11. JaaaaayCeeeee

    You have to be careful about any MSM coverage of Brexit, because it is as much activism as coverage.

    For example, in the second link, where Michael Deacon, in the Telegraph, blithely despairs of too much happening to cover, he repeats the smear of Corbyn as having been antisemitic. That’s from a doctored quote to report Corbyn as saying something he never said, which is still Cokie Roberts style “out there” being reported as fact in UK news, as Deacon propagates it.

  12. nippersdad

    Some nice pushback on Chomsky’s voting for the lesser evil schtick of a few weeks back:


    And, apparently, they aren’t taking even that fairly polite criticism well:

    It has been a real pleasure to see sustained resistance to the usual arbiters-of-the-left/gatekeepers opinions this year! I hope it keeps up after the elections.

    1. RabidGandhi

      This point by Chomsky (who said he is voting for Stein) always gets misunderstood every election cycle. Smolski’s entire argument is based on ignoring the point Chomsky always makes before his reasoning behind LOTE:

      We are kind of indoctrinated here into focusing all of our attention and energy on what button we push in November every couple of years, which is not insignificant, but not the main issue. The main issue, what is—what are the forces, domestic forces, that are pressuring, acting, to determine the kind of choices that will be made, legislation that will be passed and so on? Now, of course, there’s one force that’s always going to be there: private concentrated capital, corporate power. Lobbyists, corporate lawyers and so on, writing the legislations, certainly, they’re always—funding the elections, they’ll always be there. The question is: Is there going to be a countervailing force? Is there going to be a force representing popular interests, needs and concerns, defending themselves against what in fact is a standard class-based assault against them? And now, elections can be used as a way of galvanizing and mobilizing the kinds of groups which will—could become persistent, dedicated, growing, constant forces that influence significantly what’s done in the White House and Congress. The New Deal legislation of Roosevelt, for example, wouldn’t have been passed—it wouldn’t have even been initiated—without militant labor action and other political action. And those are lessons to remember.

      Or as he said in 2012, the election is something we should spend five or ten minutes on max, and then spend the rest of our efforts on real democratic activism.

      Now I personally think he’s wrong in this election: it is not clear that HRC is a lesser evil than Trump. But his overarching point is the far more important one: don’t mistake the quadrenniel election extravaganza for democracy.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        If the election is so unimportant by comparison to the issue of day to day activism, then why give any advice at all about who or what party to vote for?

        It seems like a straw man argument. No one is arguing that political and social engagement take second place to voting, but simply because voting is the less critical effort doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with the advice to always vote for the Democrat over the Republican AND including 3rd party choices when a Republican is in play.

        1. RabidGandhi

          With all respect, no I don’t think it’s a straw man; he is rather challenging the premise of the question. The reason why Chomsky even gave advice was in direct answer to Amy Goodman’s question “Who do you support”. He immediately answered by indicating that the question was the wrong way of looking at the issue. Challenging the question is not creating a straw man. Obviously, whom to vote for is not an issue he wants to spend a lot of time on, but since she asked….

          Secondly, his logic on Dems vs Repubs is as follows (sorry haven’t got the exact quote): there is hardly any difference between Ds and Rs, but when applied to a huge country those very slight differences can mean improvements for large populations. Here again I disagree with him, #1 because he discounts the “only Nixon can go to China” effect of the damage Ds can do; and #2 because he is saying Trump=R, Clinton=D therefore Clinton = slightly less horrible, which I am not convinced to be the case. But again, to emphasise this is to ignore the main point: spend very little energy on the elections.

          Lastly, to your point that “[n]o one is arguing that political and social engagement take second place to voting”, just the mere fact that so many Sanders supporters have become dejected by his inevitable-from-the-outset defeat by the corrupt DNC machine is proof that they saw the goal as getting him elected, and not the grassroots movement he has preached since the beginning. If your goal is activism and awareness-raising, being cheated out of the primary would just be an assumed part of the process, and not a cause for accusations of “sheepdogging” or other such garment rending.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            With mutual respect, You responded to @nippersdad’s comment which linked to articles that address Chomsky’s points made entirely outside of Amy Goodman’s interview. To use the Goodman interview exclusively to suggest that Chomsky was only answering the premise of her question is incorrect.

            The following brief, by John Halle and Noam Chomsky, belie your point. This brief is at the origin of what Andrew Smolski and later Jeffrey St. Clair are addressing concerning Chomsky, not the Amy Goodman interview.

            Clearly Chomsky thinks voting for Hillary and voting period is important enough to let himself be included as the co-author of the brief and as a critic of those who would argue for 3rd pary candidates.

            St. Claire’s argument:

            The most noxious element of the Chomsky/Halle endorsement of Clinton is their paternalistic guilt-tripping that seeks to blame people who choose to vote for Jill Stein, Gloria La Riva, Gary Johnson or no one at all in the extremely unlikely event (one percent according to analytics guru Nate Silver) that Trump prevails in November. If HRC, who now enjoys support from both the Chomsky wing of the Democrats and the Kissinger-Goldman Sachs wing of the GOP, manages to lose, it will be the fault of her own record of mendaciousness and villainy, just as Gore was solely responsible for blowing the 2000 election, even though liberals continue to viciously scapegoat Ralph Nader.

            It’s an intellectually dishonest position and a morally indefensible one. According to the specious argument of their Tractatus Illogico-Politicus, Halle and Chomsky would not bear any responsibility for the deaths caused by the candidate (HRC) they support. But Greens, anarchists, socialists and anti-war libertarians who recoil from the Queen of Chaos would bear responsibility for the carnage caused by the candidate (Trump) they did not support. That’s a textbook case of moral hypocrisy.

            As to your point: “just the mere fact that so many Sanders supporters have become dejected by his inevitable-from-the-outset defeat by the corrupt DNC machine is proof that they saw the goal as getting him elected”

            No, the fact so many Sanders supporters became dejected is not proof that their only goal is to see Sander’s elected (though I would argue that goal is a perfectly reasonable one and a legitimate part of any normal definition of activism – frankly) , but among other things expresses their frustration and well justified horror with the fact that our democracy is so obviously broken and twisted.

          2. Alex morfesis

            “should discussions be left to experts with washington contacts”…thus began the career of the god formerly known as chomsky…and now we are faced with his perpetual kolotoumbo with his “trust me little children…”

            Obviously have never even been a fan, let alone a groupie or have even been able to read five minutes of his works…without dozing off or wondering if he was an asset of the sigmaringen castle crowd…

            it certainly would take a short moment to look at his defense of his intro to faurison book and compare it to his coming out party in 1967,

            “the responsibility of intellectuals”

            where in his faurison defense he claims he stood up for the rights of war criminals to teach at universities…yet our introduction to his existence takes a swipe at Schlesinger in suggesting he should not have a seat in academia…

            The god formerly known as chomsky has always done the requisite ministry of sillywalks routine…much closer to agamemnon and Montgomery than patton or Odysseus…”what matters is the process, not the result…”

            Nixon was left of sanders in many ways…and ike might as well have been trotskys brother…remember lucille ball was considered a conmunist by some in congress…

            The god formerly known as chomsky is more the bobby valentine than the davey johnson…he sits well in front of the camera and makes all the right noises, but somehow the dead keep piling up…

          3. Tom Allen

            Are you seriously arguing that he had no idea that Goodman was going to ask him who he’d vote for? Or that he’s surprised that the takeaway from that interview (and others) is that “even famous leftist Noam Chomsky says vote Clinton”?

            It’s really weird how Chomsky gets misunderstood in precisely the same way every four years. You’d think the author of “Manufacturing Consent” might ask himself why that is, and what role he plays in upholding the status quo.

            1. RabidGandhi

              1. Am I arguing he was surprised by Goodman’s question? No I never said that in any way.

              2. Or that he’s surprised that the takeaway is “Chomsky says vote for Clinton”? No matter what Chomsky says it always gets twisted and taken out of context– that is how he gets accused of defending Pol Pot, Holocaust denial, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan… The intentional misinterpretations are consistent enough that they can be both expected and strategically ignored.

              3. Should he question what role he plays in upholding the status quo? Yes. I, however, personally do not see him upholding it in any way, and his regular 4-year attack on how the establishment wants us to understand the election circus is a prime example.

      2. nippersdad

        Points taken, however, in this election we have two very real evils vying for the post. If one cannot recognize that and can actually endorse one of them in tossup states, then how much value can the establishment give to a movement whose spokesmen are so easily veal penned? What is to put the scare into them if even Chomsky takes their side when someone like Trump overtly speaks of the exact same types of things that Republicans have only heretofore dog whistled? When the substance is the same, only the verbiage varies?

        Personally, I see little difference between a Trump and a Bush Jr.; they are ultimately going to have the same advisors anyway, and that is really what counts. We aren’t protesting an individual we are protesting a Washington Consensus, and that never changes.

        1. RabidGandhi

          The thing is every election we have two very real evils vying for the post, so what’s new. Chomsky says the same thing every year and you would be hard pressed to find a critic who has been more vocal of the establishment and their fake parties. At no point have I heard him say anything positive about HRC or Trump.

          A lot of people misunderstand what is being asken in a US presidential election, thinking the question is “whom do you want to be president”. It’s not. The question being asked is “Which of these candidates we picked would you rather be president (with the caveat that your vote probably won’t count because of the electoral college and vote suppression)”. Option (a) would be to reject it completely– which is valid because the establishment has no grounds to ask the question and it is a charade of democracy. Option (b) is to recognise the charade and the invalidity whilst also realising that a few people (because of the electoral college) do have some say in picking between Coke and Pepsi and there is a slight difference between the two that can make a significant difference for many.

          Choosing option (b) is far from an endorsement, just as Sanders joining the Democrat Party in order to get his anti-Democrat message out is not an endorsement of the DNC. Chomsky said he’s voting for Stein– that’s hardly an endorsement for HRC. These are practical, strategic choices, and they should not be mistaken for ideological ones.

      3. diptherio

        That is exactly the same point Smolski makes

        Actually, and as any leftist should intuitively understand, what matters are the movements, the alternative structures that can apply pressure on the current political order. What matters for changing environmental policy are the level of environmentalism and environmental activism, not politician’s rhetorical beliefs (see Welch and Mazur in The Environmental State Under Pressure for an empirical study).

        What he’s really objecting to in his response to Chomsky and Halle’s response to his first article is the name-calling and belittling of leftists who don’t buy the lesser-of-two-evils argument, by other leftists. Halle calls us “idiotic” while Chomsky says we are stricken by a “refusal to think.”

        Chomsky is, apparently, calling for swing state voters to go with Clinton on the basis that she’s the LOTE. So even if he’s voting Green, that’s only because he doesn’t live in a battleground state. Per Smolski:

        If you advocate that third parties should be abandoned in contentious states, then you are advocating that third parties should be abandoned. We can call this the “risk nothing, win nothing” political strategy. When there is a left flank, Chomsky and Halle have advocated that it should be abandoned if it threatens the Democratic contender against a Republican. Why should the Democrats care about progressive demands when the Congressional Progressive Caucus is only 29% of the party and there is no left flank to apply pressure? And why should they feel threatened by a left flank that will abandon itself as soon as there is anything substantial at risk?

        There are two differing analyses here, both coming from the left. Instead of disagreement and debate, we get name-calling and belittlement.

        Look, like I said, I respect Chomsky immensely. I think it is ridiculous to call Chomsky a “Zionist double agent”, gatekeeper, or other such nonsense. Further, I understand if people want to vote Hillary to stop Trump. I don’t think it is an effective strategy, nor do I think she is a lesser evil, but understandable considering the Oompa Loompa’s insanity. However, when LEV supporters begin labeling fellow leftists lunatics, and all sorts of other garbage, they should be called out for their bogus argument, which is counterproductive to the current task, the building of a radical left.

        1. RabidGandhi

          I completely agree about the level of debate: it has gotten blown ridiculously out of proportion, especially considering Chomsky’s original point: that this whole issue should take 10 minutes tops, then get on to something constructive.

          To be honest, I had never heard of Halle before, but I am pretty familiar with Chomsky’s writings, so I can’t speak for his views or his namecalling. As for Chomsky, I could not find that quote about a “refusal to think” outside of Smolenski’s CP article.

          But to see the tempest in a teapot magnitude of this whole row, look at the way it evolved: Chomsky always gets asked this same question (which is why I quoted the DN! interview) and he always gives the same answer: not important, most people don’t have a voice, if you do have a voice, go LOTE and don’t waste your time on it. His whole point gets ignored and transmorgified into “Chomsky endorses Clinton!” and then accusations of Gatekeeper! Idiotic! Zionist! fly on both sides.

          And note– Chomsky makes a point about strategy and it gets converted into a point about ideology. It makes me wonder if he hasn’t hit on a nerve, for those on the left who are offended by his lack of faith in the electoral system.

        2. Brooklin Bridge

          You make some excellent points Dipthero, and I agree that name calling and belittlement rather than debate was one of Smolski’s major objections, but I would add that he did address the lessor evil voting phenomenon straight on:

          Worse yet, Halle and Chomsky are decidedly wrong in their assessment, hiding behind their religious belief that the utilitarian logic they employ is obvious and a priori correct. They willfully ignore that the logic of lesser evil voting (LEV) is a causal mechanism pushing the political structure to the right. They cannot fathom that their strategy is part of the rightward drift, even while they admit that that rightward trend exists, which is why, in Chomsky’s words, Democrats are now “Moderate Republicans”.

          Simply put, their political strategy on voting is bollocks, straight up.

          This is a strong rejection not only of poo-pooing the lessor of evil voting phenomenon, but also of the thesis that voting is insignificant. The rightward drift now happens systematically at every election and there is an obvious causal relationship between.lessor evilism and this drift. It has become a major problem directly connected with voting.

          While I go beyond what Smolski said explicitly, I think it fair to point out it is hardly contradictory to the importance of activism, that if voting does lack significance, that is only because our system is broken and twisted and surely that should be a reason for day to day activism to address the problem more than a reason to take the act with a grain of salt (while making sure, nevertheless, to vote for the Democrat).

          BTW, your point about why Chomsky voted third party while advocating not doing so in states where it will count was a helpful clarification.

    2. Oregoncharles

      To his credit, Chomsky made me actually think through the “lesser-evil” puzzle. I think he’s wrong, practically and morally, and I finally wrote out my argument. sorry this is a bit long, but I tried to be thorough:

      What do you think will happen if you (and millions of others) keep voting for “evil”?
      Actually, we know what will happen, because it already did.  That’s been the liberal “strategy” for more than 30 years.  Throughout that time, the Democratic Party has moved relentlessly and ONLY to the right, carrying our whole politics with it. 
      The “lesser-evil” argument is morally defective, on a number of counts.  One is that it privileges short-term thinking over the longer term.  The trouble is, the long term matters, if only because there’s so much of it, and because consequences accumulate.  In this case, the consequence is that we have a Democratic President (and for 4 years, a Democratic Congress) who, on all but a few cultural issues, is WORSE (to the right of, more secretive and authoritarian) than Bush II.  In fact, that’s the pattern:  each president in turn is more right-wing, largely regardless of party.  That’s a direct result of lesser-evil voting:  the parties have held an auction and sold themselves to the highest bidder, and liberals have forbidden themselves to do anything about it.
      Look at it another way:  it’s a lot like paying a blackmailer. All it gets you is more blackmail. It’s self-defeating.

      There’s a more fundamental defect:  it violates the basic premise of representative democracy.  That is that we direct the government by our choice of candidates, presumably choosing the one that will serve our interests or our values – and unchoosing them if they don’t.  Sending a message, expressing our wishes, is the most important thing we do when we vote; and it happens whether or not our chosen candidate wins, because those were votes that were available.  
      So what happens if you vote for someone you DON’T really want, because you hope they won’t be as bad as another candidate.   You misdirect the government, precisely as we’ve seen.
      Sometimes politics requires courage.  You can’t expect your politicians to “grow a spine” if you won’t.  Fear-driven voting has a further problem:  it makes you absurdly easy to manipulate.  It isn’t hard to find a Republican who can serve as a bogey-man (or, indeed, a Democrat, from the other side).  Failing that, they can always just pretend, as they did in the last two presidential elections.
      There is actually a technical solution to the dilemma. It’s called Ranked-Choice or Instant Runoff Voting, because it eliminates the spoiler effect.  It’s an established technology, in use in a dozen places in the US and several countries, and it leads to better politics in a number of ways .  Greens in Benton County, Oregon are beginning a campaign for it as I write.  But the legacy parties are always against it, because it’s just too democratic.  It would empower voters, letting more parties compete and widening the choices available.

      In the meantime, there is the courage of your convictions, without which there can’t be any social progress.

  13. Watt4Bob

    As concerns the voters rejection of “economists and other experts”.

    “If economists and other experts want to regain their fellow citizens’ trust, they should not be deaf to these concerns.”

    Most of the offending economists and other experts are employed to disseminate the propaganda that has been used to keep voters in the dark about the important issues that affect their lives.

    The problem is not deafness, it’s corruption.

    “They should first be humble and avoid lecturing.”

    No, humility is not the issue, the issue is being a paid liar.

    “They should base their policy views on the available evidence, rather than on preconceptions.”

    The problem with their policy views is not rooted in their own preconceptions, but in the fact that their policy “views” are in reality what ever their bosses expect them to be

    “And they should change their minds if the data do not confirm their beliefs.”

    For these “economists and other experts”, changing one’s mind leads to unemployment.

    “This largely corresponds to what researchers actually do; but when speaking to the public, experts tend to oversimplify their own views.”

    As I hope I’ve made clear, these “economists and other experts” have no views of their own, their job is to sell the views of their bosses.

    The “economists and other experts” we are discussing are not simply holding too tightly to mistaken beliefs, they are dishonorable, unethical people who are, and have for a very long time, been employed to lie to us, in furtherance of the criminal enterprise that ruthlessly controls our country.

    It seems to me that the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, voters have become aware that the problems they face are not going to be fixed by following the advice of “economists and other experts” who are employed to lie to them.

    We’ve been lied to, and we know who is doing that lying.

    We are not in need of more humble, less preachy liars, we are in need of less liars, and more truth.

    1. Rhondda

      Righteous rant! Elites and their sycophants always think “the solution” is better PR.

      1. cnchal

        This protectionism is obviously inefficient and cost U.S. consumers more than $100 billion a year in higher medical bills and other costs. Yet economists act really dumb when questioned about it. Apparently it never occurred to them that competent doctors could be trained in Mexico, India, or even Germany. Sorry folks economists don’t give a damn about efficiency in this case, they want to protect the income of highly paid professionals.

        Economists, with few exceptions, are bought souls that see themselves as part of the highly paid professionals. I don’t wonder why they haven’t advocated firing themselves and being replaced by cheap Chinese economists. That’s for the stupid trash people to cope with.

        Globalization, as a fairy tale told by economists went like this.

        Trade lifts all boats, and with the extra wealth generated from that trade, the losers here and there could be compensated and that everyone would be better off.

        What really happened was that the extra wealth was grabbed by those already sickeningly wealthy, and no help was extended to any loser. Now that the losers see that economists are at the center of the scam, as the paid mouth pieces of the super wealthy, the beneficiaries of the scam, their credibility has gone to less than zero. Everything that comes out of their mouths is assumed to be a self serving lie.

    2. Enquiring Mind

      The public perception of economists would be helped in part by the latter reaching out to the public in lay terms instead of what is often perceived as jargon or obfuscation. There is also a perception among many that the profession is dominated by too many from MIT and Harvard, or Chicago, similar to how the legal profession has so many at high levels (e.g., SCOTUS) from Harvard and Yale, and that they appear to shout down outsiders.

      While there are inside-baseball arguments to be made about the relative merits of those and other programs, there also appears resistance to have any dialog with any economists that are not part of the Orthodox culture. That culture is also perceived as being too cozy with Wall Street, limiting objectivity and increasing appearance of conflicts of interest and declining intellectual integrity.

      The economics profession would do itself a big favor by observing the current populist and anti-neoliberal trends unfolding around the world and identifying ways to connect with the citizenry. They live in the economy every day and are subject to impacts of policy decisions that are oversold, manipulated or watered down.

      People don’t want to have to keep hearing “who are you going to believe, the economists or your lyin’ eyes?”

    3. Steve H.

      I am not buying the implicit assumption, which is treating “economists and other experts” as a class.

      See also Michael Hudson, Steve Keen.

      Far more insidious is the cognitive capture described in ‘ECONned.’ Coupled to a selection process tied to funding. With a counter-example of Mosler funding the UMKC department.

      1. Watt4Bob

        I wouldn’t characterize UMKC as a counter-example as much as the exception that proves the rule.

        I’d also say that the topic is sufficiently understood to cover those class-members who we have been listening to courtesy of the M$M, and who have been presented as, and consider themselves to be very “serious people”.

        …And every once in a while, the size of the job demands a broad brush.

        1. Steve H.

          I tend to load the paint heavy on the roller myself.

          I thought of a test case. When Myron Scholes lost $4.6 billion for LTCM, was he heavily invested in his own company, or did he take the money and run? Did he have his own skin in the game in regards to his own work?

          1. Watt4Bob

            Where are you going with this test case of yours?

            Are you implying that the existence of deluded “geniuses” who believe their own hype is in some way a counter narrative to my observations?

            I’m saying having skin in the game doesn’t prove you’re not corrupt, neither does being stupid.

            Then there’s the issue of going back into the business of advising others after following your own advice has been both a business, and a personal disaster.

    4. Brooklin Bridge

      What’s newsworthy here is simply how far into the bubble someone can be so as to hear nothing but feint scratches on the wall when in point of fact the cracks in the structure are starting to make dangerously loud reports.

      Assuming this guy is sincere, it is amazing just how clueless he is when he suggests: The solution is to be polite and humble when you kick them in the groin.

      1. Watt4Bob

        Assuming this guy is sincere, it is amazing just how clueless he is when he suggests: The solution is to be polite and humble when you kick them in the groin.

        I think it’s even more ridiculous than that, and could be described as being more polite while holding the victim down, so others can kick them in the groin.

    5. Skippy

      What is MPS for 200 Jim….

      Bad part is in a Toynbee-esque manner the funders forget they payed for propaganda and internalize it, along with successive broods taking it as prima facie, then the whole thing gets a life of its own, till it becomes the dominate narrative…

      Disheveled Marsupial…. next thingy you know…. any observation to the contrary is the act of heretics or deviants whom fail to bow before the numbers…

  14. diptherio

    The WaPo article about Muslims refusing to integrate is not just about swimming and Sharia. It’s also about what uptight something-somethings the Swiss (et al) can be:

    Earlier this year, an immigrant family in Basel had their naturalization applications turned down reportedly because they walked about town in “sweatpants” and didn’t greet local passersby.

    Knowing a few Swiss, I have to say that sounds about par for the course…which is why I will never be visiting Switzerland. Judgemental bastards. Also, banning the Burqini is ridiculous. Have you seen them? A wet-suit with a skirt…horrors! And women-only hours at the pool is something I know a number of my female friends would really appreciate…and they ain’t Muslims. Just sayin’.

  15. Tom Stone

    I am puzzled that any one who follows the news would hail more restrictive gun laws in California. If you look North to south Canada has more liberal firearms laws than California and Mexico has among the most restrictive gun laws in the world.
    Look at the crime rates…and also look at the GINI rates and corruption north to south.
    Look at NYC, Chicago, SF.
    Highly restrictive gun laws, lots of violent crime, a huge divide between rich and poor and endemic civic corruption.
    We have police forces armed with tanks, machine guns and grenade launchers through the 1033 program and we get Ferguson, Oklahoma State Troopers draining EBT cards, TSA agents groping grandmas and beating mentally retarded 19 year olds while the DOJ sells thousands of Guns to the Cartels.
    So lets give the state a monopoly on the use of firearms because the state can be trusted with absolute power…as long as the right person is in control.
    Is the right person Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?

    1. mark

      Canada’s gun laws:

      “Under the Criminal Code, handguns require an “authorization to carry.”
      The number of “authorizations to carry” issued averages 8,169 per year.
      Most authorizations go to armoured car guards and people working in remote wilderness areas.”

      “There are just two categories of individuals who are allowed an authorization to carry: those who require one because of their occupations and those who need one for the “protection of life.” They need to get an authorization from the chief firearms officer for their province or territory. ”

      You can own a handgun, but you can only carry it from your home to a shooting range, and back.

    2. Take the Fork

      Most hail it because it satisfies them emotionally (the biggest problem with the progressive left) or because giving the state a monopoly on weaponry makes it that much easier to enslave a population (Fascists, Marxists, Neocons, Neoliberals).

      I’ve said it before and say it again: If you really believe that the US is either currently enjoying or just a skosh away from full-spectrum oppression, then to advocate unilateral disarmament of the people is sentimental idiocy.

      The meek shall inherit the gulag.

      1. Anon

        Well, the recent CA gun laws do not “unilaterally disarm the people”. The people of CA elect their Legislators who wrote the law; they had the numbers to override any veto Brown might have contemplated. Will people still die from gun violence, most likely. Will the availability of selected gun types and ammunition be reduced, most likely.

        Californians that don’t like the law can move to Nevada where suicide by gun is highest in the nation.

        1. JCC

          Actually it’s the 5th highest, not the 1st highest. Older articles (pre-2010) put it at the highest, but later research between 2013 and 2016 put it anywhere from 5th to 8th. The State of Nevada does not like that publicity for obvious reasons and it’s been dropping in rank since the state is actively trying to reduce it.

          But after questioning your statement and doing some quick research on the intertubes, what really surprised me was this, … “Nevada’s veteran suicide rate was seventy-four percent higher than the national rate of 12 deaths per 100,000 population.”


        2. kareninca

          I don’t care about “suicide by gun” rates. I care about suicide rates. The four people that I knew here in CA who killed themselves, didn’t use guns. Well, guns are hard to get here. Ropes and exhaust fumes and train tracks are ready to hand. Do you have evidence that banning guns reduces actual suicide rates? China has the second highest suicide rate in the world, and they use pesticides.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            The plural of anecdote is not data. And for all you know, you’d have ten friends dead by suicide if guns were more readily available. You have no counterfactual. Your personal data set proves nothing.

            Guns make it easy to kill yourself based on impulse. There is ample evidence of people being suicidal but reconsidering after a night’s sleep or calling a hot line or speaking to friend. You have to think and plan more to kill yourself with any other method (the whole process takes longer).

            See here:

            Cut it however you want: In places where exposure to guns is higher, more people die of suicide.


      2. hunkerdown

        If “to inherit the wind” is ancient Hebrew for to receive nothing for one’s efforts, I can’t see how “to inherit the earth” could mean anything but an undistinguished invisibility like unto death. Why do Christian churches lie about ancient Levantine culture?

  16. HBE

    Menard employee story.

    I had a friend who worked at Menards during school this story doesn’t even come close to how shady he made the company out to be, I am fairly certain what they were doing was/is illegal but I’m not sure.

    According to him they had a demerit policy were wages were regularly docked. For instance if you showed up late you got a demerit and wages were docked (much more than the time missed), if your uniform was poorly maintained (very wrinkly) you were docked. If you didn’t achieve your daily assignments fully you were docked. These were just a few of his examples, but from what he said I got that managers could basically dock pay for nearly any reason. For this reason himself and most other employees rarely took home the weekly pay they were hired at (IE below Minnesota minimum wage) so Menards hired employees and paid them less than minimum wage but somehow was able to do so because employees had received “demerits” Over the week (“it was harder to go without a demerit than to get one”), so they handed them out like candy to keep wages down.

    This was a few years ago so I don’t remember exactly what he said, but they also did something weird with this “demerit” money on paychecks so it didn’t appear quite as shady.

  17. Pat

    Paraphrase of the accurate Angry Bear assessment of why voters are ignoring the ‘experts’ because they have proven that the only thing they are expert at is lying.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The interesting question is, why are some better at detecting their lying, while others keep faith?

      Can we scale that secret detection sauce up to provide universal immunity?

      1. MDBill

        Too many of us have exposure only to the lying experts. That’s what the MSM gives us. It’s exposure to more plausible explanations that provides the eventual immunity, or at the very least causes us to begin questioning.

        Unfortunately, exposure to the MSM versions can be acquired relatively passively. Discovering the alternatives requires greater effort. Human nature being what it is, which do we think is more likely to win the day?

        1. Pat

          I would also say that having a relatively long memory helps. If the experts are consistently wrong, you begin to get the idea that they are either incompetent OR not telling the truth or both. Most of our experts have a long record of being wrong. And if it affects you personally you are likely to remember. And for many of our country they have been affected personally by trade, insurance, the war in the Middle East, mortgage fraud, etc…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Long memory and generational knowledge = discovery of the 16,000 year processing of the planet.

            I don’t think one person could have done that in one life time.

    1. fresno dan

      July 2, 2016 at 10:57 am

      Adding to the sense of injustice: Even though the agency realized early on that Masri was the wrong man, it couldn’t figure out how to release him without having to acknowledge its mistake. The agency eventually dumped him unceremoniously in Albania and essentially pretended his arrest and detention had never happened.
      Assembled by the CIA’s inspector general, the report provides the clearest official view to date into the dark, murky world of the Bush administration’s anti-terror rendition program. Beyond snatching an innocent man and holding him for five months, the report highlights a shocking lack of professionalism at America’s top spy agency. The Hollywood cliché of deeply devoted patriots doing their best to protect the United States appears, in this case, to have been replaced by a classic bureaucratic mess and individuals most intent on protecting their own careers.

      The report notes that Masri was “questioned in English, which he spoke only poorly.”

      None of the Americans involved in Masri’s detention has been held to account, notes Masri’s attorney, Jamil Dakwar, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Human Rights Program. Indeed, the two men most responsible for the errors were promoted.

      I don’t know how many articles I have read that say the same thing.
      Think for a moment, not even being concerned about the man being innocent, but just from the aspect of competent, proficient government employees who do the job of intelligence gathering.
      Our people fail not because they are not vicious enough – but simply because they are lazy, stupid, and ass kissing toadies.
      And one can never say, If only Bush/Obama knew! I used to think our presidents were too lazy or stupid to know how the CIA worked, but I don’t think that’s it. The business plan of the US military/industrial/congressional/political party complex is NOT to be successful – there’s more money in endless war….
      Remember the peace dividend….funny how it ended.

  18. fresno dan

    The Benghazi Report Misses the Real Scandal of Libya National Interest

    The report, though, is a classic case of asking the wrong questions and, unsurprisingly, then getting meaningless answers.

    What the committee members should have asked is what Ambassador Stevens and his staff were doing cavorting with Islamist militias in Benghazi in the first place. But that would have required a deep inquiry into an embarrassing fiasco of a Libya policy that many Republicans had also supported.
    The Obama administration witnessed yet another eastern uprising. But U.S. and other Western officials did not see it (or at least did not profess to see it) as just the latest bloody manifestation of Libya’s tribal politics. Instead, in a process reminiscent of the preludes to the Balkan wars and the Iraq war, official analyses and media accounts increasingly portrayed the Libya struggle as a stark moral conflict. On one side was a vicious, murderous dictator, and on the other, rebels seeking greater freedom for their country and protection for civilians from the dictator’s security forces.

    Lobbyists for a “humanitarian intervention,” both in key European members of NATO and in the United States, insisted that Qaddafi planned a military offensive against Benghazi that would culminate in a genocidal bloodbath. They twisted statements he had made, thereby “proving” that he intended the kill innocent civilians, not merely armed rebels that resisted his government’s authority. The most vocal proponent within the U.S. government of a military intervention for supposedly humanitarian purposes was Secretary of State Clinton, although she received crucial support for that position from both Samantha Power (a longtime advocate of the responsibility to protect doctrine) and UN Ambassador Susan Rice.

    The enthusiasm for regime change might seem puzzling in retrospect, given that the brutally disillusioning experience of the Iraq intervention was still fresh. Yet the Obama administration seemed determined to repeat many of the same errors. Once again, the United States was about to lead an effort to overthrow the longtime secular dictator of a very fragile, somewhat artificial country. In both cases, policymakers seemed blissfully naive about what might follow.

    That is pretty much the US media in a nutshell – no matter how ridiculous or divorced from reality a US political party is, for the most part, ONLY charges brought by the parties are given any attention. This despite the fact that both parties frequently ignore the wishes of a majority of Americans on a wide gamut of issues.

    And the idiocy of repubs critiquing Clintoon for not having enough fire power (cough, cough, Iraq – coughs lung out) on hand for this invasion …uh, police action….nation building??? humanitarian intervention????? again just shows the stature gap – is there no politician????? in this county who can explain what happened and why it was wrong? – – But of course not – team red believes every invasion is a great invasion – the only problem is when they don’t go well…..for us. And team blue still brands itself as the sober, non-interventionist “last resort” (which seem more and more like 1st resorts) alternative.

    It seems apparent that we will keep doing this until we squander every advantage and resource that we have. I am reminded of a country song by Bobby Bare called the “Winner” – portion below:

    ……He said boy I see you’re a scrapper so just before you fall
    I’m gonna tell you just a little bout what it means to be a winner
    He said now you see these bright white smilin’ teeth you know they ain’t my own
    Mine rolled away like Chicklets down the street in San Antone
    But I left that person cursin’ nursin’ seven broken bones
    And he only broke ah three of mine that makes me the winner
    He said now behind this grin I got a steel pin that holds my jaw in place
    A trophy of my most successful motorcycle race
    And each morning when I wake and touch this scar across my face
    It reminds me of all I got by bein’ a winner
    Now this broken back was the dyin’ act of a handsome Harry Clay
    That sticky Cincinnati night I stole his wife away
    But that woman she gets uglier and she gets meaner every day
    But I got her boy that’s what makes me a winner
    He said you gotta speak loud when you challenge me son cause it’s hard for me to hear
    With this twisted neck and these migraine pains and this big ole cauliflower ear
    And if it wadn’t for this glass eye of mine why I’d shed a happy tear
    To think of all that you gonna get by bein’ a winner ….

    1. Jen

      Fresno Dan, that brings back memories of driving around with my Dad in the 70’s, listening to country music back when country music was still interesting. As I recall the last lines were something like:

      But my eyes still see and my nose still works and my teeth are still in my mouth
      You know what that makes me? The winner!

      Bare’s all time best, though, was Drop Kick Me Jesus Through the Goalpost of Life.

  19. allan

    Seattle police watchdog on his way out after clashes with officers’ union [Seattle Times]

    Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Friday he will not reappoint the civilian director of the Police Department’s internal-investigations section, whose decisions have drawn the wrath of the police union.

    In a major shake-up, Murray said his decision to not grant Pierce Murphy a second three-year term stemmed from likely changes to the Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA).

    Murphy, who has overseen tough disciplinary actions against officers, has repeatedly been criticized by Ron Smith, the president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG). …

    Since taking the job, Murphy has restructured the office to make it more independent and transparent, in contrast to his predecessor who was seen as too closely tied to police management.

    Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole has generally accepted Murphy’s findings, although she disagreed with him in one notable instance: a case in which three officers returned fire on the wrong car.

    The only unions that are thriving these days seem to be the ones whose members drive MRAPS, use pepper spray on innocent protesters and shoot up the occasional wrong car.

  20. roadrider

    Re: Sanders end game

    He’s already said he’s voting for Clinton so he’ll have to backpedal quite a bit in order to run as an independent.

    1. Take the Fork

      Sanders needs to channel his inner Churchill.

      He should fight all the way to the convention. He should fight at the convention. He should fight after the convention.

      Then, regardless of who is elected, he should continue fighting.

      An endorsement of Clinton will alienate, perhaps permanently, some number of his supporters.

      In whatever negotiations are currently underway, Sanders has one – and only one – option: to say NO… again, and again, and again. As soon as he says “yes” it’s over.

      This isn’t about who gets the next four years. This is about a long-term political realignment that Sanders will almost certainly not live to see.

      Whenever he goes down, he should go down fighting.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      He could theoretically run as an independent AND vote for Hillary :-).

      “I’m going to vote for Hillary over myself because I’m a gentleman and because she so desperately needs at least one vote besides her own; it’s the descent thing for me to do, but no copy cats please!”

      Oh well, one can muse…

    3. heresy101

      Not necessarily if Clinton and DWS are as contemptuous as we know they are. The lawsuit 104 Bernie backers are joined in the class-action lawsuit by 17 others who claim the system of choosing a nominee for the party was rigged and its chair, long-time Clinton insider DWS, is to blame.

      Primarily basing their case on information leaked by “Guccifer 2.0” in June, which was allegedly lifted from DNC servers, claimants state that in reality, “the DNC was biased in favor of one candidate – Hillary Clinton – from the beginning and throughout the process.”

      While they are unlikely to win the lawsuit, the response will force Bernie to go third party:
      1. We have gotten reports that DNC may be threatening to “de-credential” delegates who choose to participate in #DNCLawsuit class action.

      2. @TheDemocrats respond to #DNCLawsuit by threatening to yank credentials, instead of merits of case.

      If they “de-credential” the Bernie delegates, the jig is up and Bernie/Stein wins with 39% of the vote!

      1. marym

        On what do you base a claim that anything would “force Bernie to go third party” or 39% of the vote for a ticket that’s still not on the ballot in most states?

        1. heresy101

          I think Clinton is so conceited and in her own world that she will likely yank credentials of Bernie’s delegates to the convention who have signed on to the lawsuit. The demonstrations in the streets will be watched live by the whole world (unlike 1968) and the chaos inside will make it virtually impossible for Sanders to endorse Clinton (I believe he has integrity). If that is the outcome, the most likely third party option is for Sanders to run on a Sanders/Stein Green Party ticket for the reasons you raise.

          While I think Sanders/Stein could actually win (39%) because Clinton & Trump are so despised, it doesn’t matter to me. The two parties of evil need to be broken up if the stranglehold of the 1% is to ever be broken.

          If Sanders isn’t on a third party ticket, I’ll have to vote for Trump because the Warmongress supports WW3 – the no fly zone in Syria and the Nazis in the Ukraine.

          1. marym

            I didn’t raise any reasons. I think it’s unlikely Sanders will run as a Green, assuming he continues to think Trump is the worst threat. If he did, and the Green ticket miraculously got 39% of the vote, and no one else got more, that 39% would need to be very strategically distributed as far as the electoral college. However, we can’t really speculate about that since they aren’t on the ballot yet in enough states.

            1. heresy101

              Trump will clean Clinton’s clock as time goes on. Look at the Trump speech and transcript Lambert posted of a few days ago. He makes most of Sanders points on trade and jobs. His international speeches are usually better than Sanders (he will negotiate with Putin and pull back from NATO). Unfortunately, Trump’s solutions are typical Republican/1% trickle up programs. Clinton can only defeat Trump if the election is rigged and stolen like in California and if she is not thrown in the slammer

              If Sanders runs with Stein, 39% of the vote is not a miraculous outcome. Only 30% of voters are Democrats, 23% are Republicans, and 40% are independents. Sanders took 50% Democrats, would get the Greens and others, and maybe 1/2 of the independents that would be about 36%, which is not far from 39%. With the disgust for both Clinton and Trump, this is the best scenario to defeat Trump. Even if Trump wins, the Democratic party is in tatters and a broad movement for change can be built.

              1. Cry Shop

                Trump is conflicted. He wants to win, hates to lose. He probably will throw it, but in a way that he thinks makes him out a hero. The nature of his erratic actions suggest to me he is subliminally already already looking for a way out.

                The last thing his id and ego both want is to live with is a bureaucracy he can’t fire fighting him (most of the Executive branch professionals), 2nd guessing and editing his intent (Congress), and being vetoed (SOCUS).

              2. marym

                Below is a link to ballot access status for the Green party. To win an election they need to be on the ballot in enough states and win a majority of votes in enough states to get 270 electoral votes. If you’re arguing that they can win the argument has to be based on those electoral facts, not national figures about party identification.

                On the other hand, if you’re arguing that Trump’s apparent strengths and/or a 3- or 4-way race may result in a Trump win, and that this would be ok if it left the D’s in tatters, since Sanders has said specifically that a Trump win is not ok with him, it seems unlikely that he would support this scenario.


                1. oh

                  If he’s serious about defeating Trump Sanders would run with Jill Stein to accomplish that goal. With the current position i.e. ‘ I will campaign to defeat Trump’, he seems to be saying that he’ll work for HRC’s win! That would turn off a lot of his supporters who’ve worked so hard for him. This is a chance of a life time that he should not squander.

  21. I Have Strange Dreams

    2 anecdotes from multi-kulti Germany:

    1. I was at the bank when a lady (I presume) came in behind me in full burka. I found the experience unnerving. The German word unheimlich describes it better. In a free society, one should have the right to dress as one pleases (with respect to modesty), but masked people in public places feels sinister.

    2. At our annual school barbecue it was decided to only serve halal bratwurst (sausage) as it would be “easier”. About 5% of our school is Muslim. Germans like their sausage, and the halal fowl sausages are rubbish. Literally. To be honest, I was pissed off.

    Oh, and the government are now rolling out 80 cent / hour jobs for those granted asylum. Yay, neoliberalism. I jumped for joy at the news of Brexit. Looking forward to seeing the EU project falling apart like a cardboard umbrella.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      1. Not all masked people are the same. I think customers dressed as Ninjas (on any non-Halloween day) at a bank would be un-nerving.

      2. Go vegan. Grill some vegetables. No one will be, hopefully, go hungry.

      1. Jagger

        My impression of Germany, and Europe in general, is that Germans don’t look at meals in the same way as Americans. Meals of good food and drink are events to be savored rather than a health project for a long and boring life. Health concerns seem to be pretty low priority compared to enjoying life. We Americans usually take long life too seriously and have never really learned how to enjoy life. What good is long life if it isn’t enjoyable? Too bad. To each their own.

        1. ewmayer

          Exactly – it’s a prioritization of social-group health over individual health. If you’ve not lived and spent close time with the locals in such a place for at least a few months, spent multiple evenings at a Weinstube, Biergarten or Heuriger and gotten caught up in a rousing groupsinging of a classic drinking song like “Rucki Zucki” it will be nigh-impossible for you to appreciate the very different cultural norm at work. It’s less about the number of years one achieves than the amount of Gemütlichkeit and fellowship one fills them with.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It reminds me of the the communal baths in Japan…those mixed sento.

        2. JCC

          Your statement reminds me of an incident at our dinner table when I was a kid.

          My mother had fallen for all the propaganda about how much healthier margarine was compared to butter and put out a plate of some (supposedly) decent quality margarine at dinner instead of butter.

          My father, a physician, questioned it, and my mother said, “It’s better for you”, to which my father answered, “If you think I would rather live 85 years putting bad tasting grease on my rolls every evening than live 75 years putting butter on my rolls every evening, you are sorely mistaken.”

          It was the first and last time margarine was ever served at our dinner table (Thank God).

    2. Plenue

      I’m curious about the mindset of Muslims who seem to expect things to be exactly the same in the new country they move to. There needs to be a balance; the Europeans should be willing to accommodate and not throw a hissy fit about things like burkas or calls to prayer (what, that’s noise pollution but regular church bells aren’t?). But immigrants who expect to be able to just continue their traditional internal laws or expect their host country to kowtow to their every whim (“I’m offended by this portrayal of the Prophet that freedom of speech allows!”) need to understand that they are now citizens of a new country and subject to its laws and traditions first and foremost. If they don’t like that, there are plenty of Muslim-majority countries they could try moving to instead.

      Muslims can have their equivalent of Chinatown, but they shouldn’t expect it to be an isolated, unaccountable mini-country unto itself, and I’ve seen too much anecdotal evidence about parts of London and Paris where the police are hesitant to go and enforce national laws to dismiss claims of ‘no-go zones’ as racist exaggeration.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        The problem is that if they have their equivalent of ‘Chinatown’, then they will be accused of ghettoising themselves. The great majority of muslims I’ve known, especially in the UK, were perfectly well aware that they were in a country with different customs, and most accepted that they could not impose their views. But the problem is that there is no consistency – orthodox Jewish communities, for example, have often run themselves in ways which aren’t always consistent with the nation as a whole (which is why Jewish and Muslim communities often work together when it comes to trying to negotiate special deals with local governments on issues like separate swimming pools, etc).

        A key problem – one that isn’t often recognised or discussed, is that much of the immigration to Europe in particular was for a whole series of historical reasons from backward rural regions in north Africa or central Asia. These people were often, even by the standards of their home nations, uneducated and very religious. They struggle terribly just to deal with urban life, let alone in such different societies. Its unsurprising some become very introverted.

        1. sid_finster

          Ever been to Bradford? Hell, significant areas of any major English city.

          You’ll think that you died and went to Pakistan, but with worse weather.

      2. Alex morfesis

        Modern asylum seekers all fake it…as you mentioned, there are plenty of burhka loving Muslim countries to move to…why pick european countries if you are really being “prosecuted”…total rubbish…there is nothing in the koran “insisting” on ninja type burhkas…islam has multiple branches and dozens of interpretations…in saudi arabia, the women can not drive and in Bangladesh two women have traded political control of the leadership for a number of years…shia insist on a linear hereditary connection to the origins, while the many branches of sunni go down a path that basically rejects hereditary control…

        meanwhile…islam and christianity keep going at each other over what brand of sneakers jesus will wear when he “returns”….

        As g-d laughs himself to sleep…

      3. hunkerdown

        It would seem to me that the mindset of the Muslims in question is the mindset of the identitarian Democrat, or the expatriated but well-naturalized American similarly situated. That is, the people who are moving in are largely of a middle-class, i.e. bourgeois, lifestyle and habit, and, as such, carry a certain outward-facing, imposing insularity with them.

        To be fair, if naturalization means something other than melting in (to the melting pot that liberals fetishize) and participating in the culture that’s already there, it has no meaning.

  22. Take the Fork

    “How Far Is Europe Swinging to the Right?”

    For everyone (hall-monitor excepted), a rerun of some painless graphics from a month ago:

    If Trump were classified somewhere “from populist and nationalist to far-right neofascist” would it be correct, based on current available date, to say that the US is at a level most closely aligned with that of Hungary? Or is the US just too exceptional to be compared?

    1. RabidGandhi

      This is the same NYT that thinks neocon HRC is on the left and Brazil’s newly installed austerity government is “centrist”.

      Their categorisations should be read with boulder-sized grains of salt.

  23. fresno dan

    The group’s very identity is up for grabs. The N.R.A. has historically represented the buyers of guns, not the sellers—that role has been played by another group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation—but its allegiance is shifting. The N.R.A.’s largest donors today are the world’s major gun, ammunition, and firearms-accessory manufacturers. The N.R.A. notes proudly that it receives the bulk of its revenue—in 2014 it was $310 million—from membership dues (the group claims to have five million members) and from other contributions. It conveys the impression that it is a grassroots operation, like the Bernie Sanders campaign. But according to a 2013 study by the non-profit Violence Policy Center, a significant part of that money is provided by a small core of large firearms-industry donors.
    Most gun-lovers find that 3-D guns are still too expensive, too imprecise, and too fragile to be a real alternative to traditional guns. But the issue will not disappear, and for the N.R.A. it poses a profound dilemma: when forced to make a choice, will the group prove more loyal to its Second Amendment principles or to the needs of its gun-manufacturer donors? In a promotional brochure distributed by the N.R.A.’s “corporate partners program,” Wayne LaPierre promises donors that the N.R.A. “is geared toward your company’s corporate interests.” With statements like that, it’s difficult to tell whom the N.R.A. really represents.
    There’s one more question the N.R.A is having trouble addressing: Is it actually good at what it does? In an article in The New Republic in 2013, Alec MacGillis argued persuasively that the influence of the N.R.A. had long been overstated. For much of its history, it hasn’t had much of an opposition. Back in 1994, when Bill Clinton was quoted bemoaning the N.R.A.’s power in that year’s midterm elections, he had, in fact, been urging more politicians to fight the N.R.A., according to Tom Diaz, a former N.R.A. member and the author of The Last Gun (2013), a book critical of the gun industry.
    The 1994 election had much more to do with partisanship and the Clintons than with the N.R.A.: the gays-in-the-military debate that resulted in the creation of “Don’t ask, don’t tell”; the 1993 tax increases; Hillary Clinton’s failed effort at health-care reform; Travelgate; Nannygate; Troopergate. But the N.R.A. was happy to take the credit. It also took credit for Al Gore’s loss in the presidential election in 2000—never mind the impact of Ralph Na­der’s independent run that year, the impasse in Florida, and the role of the Supreme Court.
    Does the emperor have no clothes? Is the NRA, like the 2016 repub nominees, not a deep field of Ruth, Gehrig, and Meusel but a bunch of T-ball players?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Empower oneself.

      Do not trust saints, saviors, messiahs and experts.

      “Everyone has greatness within.”

      1. NeqNeq

        I am not sure a person can empower themselves in a situation like this.

        Can one be empowered by withholding consent wrt beliefs? That appears to be something from nothing.

    2. jrs

      It refutes it by talking to more expert (supposedly) experts, so what does it have to do with ignoring the experts?

      I mean climate change theory is simple and signs of climate change are intuitively present to naked eye observations it is true, but it’s not something most can be an expert on the details of without consulting experts or some sort or other.

    3. NeqNeq

      Now that I can get back to this:

      Jrs and pretzelattack are sniffing the right trees. How ought a non-expert form justified beliefs about topics/subjects which require very specialized training? Especially when either 1) a disagreement between those with said training is perceived by the non-expert, 2) the non-expert does not have the degree of specialized training necessary to determine who counts as a reliable expert, or 3) experts overstate/ under-justify conclusions for the purpose of activism or advocacy.

      Given the particulars of today’s world, do non-experts have any epistemologically sound ground on which to stand? I am unsure.

      1. different clue

        Non-experts can ask what the various schools of experts predict over the next 30 years or so. The non-experts can then spend the next thirty years seeing which school of expert prediction better matched what actually happened after thirty years. If any one school of expertise better predicts events of the next thirty years than any of the other schools of expertise predict events over the next thirty years . . . . then the experts with the best predictions are the most reality-based experts.

        Can’t wait thirty years? Well then, see what the various schools of experts predicted for “the next thirty years” thirty years ago. And see which school of prediction got it most right over the last thirty years. And if any one school of expert prediction got it more right than the others, go with that school of predictional expertise.

        1. NeqNeq

          That sounds like a lovely solution! A few questions:

          How does this apply in nondeterministic or open systems/universes? EX: Economist A predicts GDP will be x in 2036 Economist B predicts y. Neither incorporate the effects of the major war which will break out in 2027. GDP is actually z in 2036. Which economist was most right? On the nondeterministic side- say that given the (as yet uknown) laws of economics, GDP will be either x or y. On the appropriate day, the non-expert looks at GDP and finds that it is x. Is conomist B less expert than economist A?

          Which leads to a different question: Is correct prediction of a future state sufficient for being expert? EX: My niece, Suzy, predicted that the DOW would go up ove the next year. I asked why she thought that and she said because she got an A on her spelling test. The DOW was up that year. Is Suzy an expert?

          I will finish this round by asking how (correct) identification of the most right school, based on past prognostication, ensures justification in believing current claims given questions 1(difference amongst members of the right school) and 3 in the above post.

          Thanks! I, along with many others, have been working on problems of expert testimony in epistemology for several years. We are not the brightest bulbs, though, and usually find ouselves muddling along. If you are correct then the answer has been in front of us this whole time!

  24. dingusansich

    Along the watchtower …

    A frustrated American general named Breedlove (what, Strangelove was taken?), once supreme commander of NATO forces in Europe, finagled for war with Russia over Ukraine. Come on, what’s the use of a collarful of stars if you can’t use them to say goodnight to a continent or two? He wore out his rocking horse with bottled-up anger because he couldn’t play with his other toys.

    An alcoholic ex-Benelux prime minister of a nation about the size of Milwaukee, forced to step down because of lax supervision of a wristwatch-recorder-wearing secret police chief, wants to play the Al Haig or Emperor Jones of Brussels, dictating who’s in and who’s out, and when, between remarks openly contemptuous of the little people who didn’t elect him, and their heads of state. Feel for how he chafes in his britches!

    Joined by the “socialist” president of France eager to eject the U.K. from the magic circle of the 27, the better to return the Isle de France to preeminence, and the Paris bourse. Meanwhile the Polish head of state demurs over surrender of sovereignty but wouldn’t mind an EU with its very own military stick to poke the Russians with. He’s a regular Archimedes, with a weak Poland the place to stand, and the 27 a lever long enough.

    At the apex of our pyramids, precariously tottering at the tipping points, we find the magnified vices and vanities of the most adept clutchers and climbers, little bags of bones far out of their depth, out of anyone’s.  

    The Fourth of July? Remember the Somme. 

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      They conceive their various power pyramids with the broad base (the people) at the bottom and Their Lordships at the tippy top.
      But in reality the pyramids are now becoming inverted, with the mass(es) teetering and swaying at the top and the little apex at the bottom grinding into the ground.
      I say tip the whole thing over already.

  25. Tertium Squid

    Obama after dark

    There is time, too, for fantasy about what life would be like outside the White House. [Rahm] Emanuel, who is now Mayor of Chicago but remains close to the president, said he and Mr. Obama once imagined moving to Hawaii to open a T-shirt shack that only sold one size (medium) and one color (white). Their dream was that they would no longer have to make decisions.

    I don’t like the modern notion that every decision should be funneled through an executive with godlike powers.

    And remaining friends with someone like Emanuel – it’s interesting to see that Obama isn’t forgetting his Chicago machine politician roots. It’s good to remember that Obama may be a black community organizer, but he’s also a white lawyer.

    1. nycTerrierist

      and for the record, in Chicago he ‘organized’ the black community for real estate developers.

      “Barack Obama’s political career rose from the south side of Chicago with a lot of help from his friends involved in the housing industry. They have profited and thrived, unlike the Senator’s south side constituents

      The Tony Rezko scandal focused the nation’s attention on just one piece of a much larger story: Obama’s close association with several South Chicago slum landlords, plus one property manager who is now his senior advisor. “

      1. Cry Shop

        That’s why he because an item of interest to Valerie Jarrett and the political machine that employed her and Michelle (née Robinson) Obama to funnel money for the machine. His particular (a)morality appealed to them, and the rest is history.

  26. Dave

    “fewer young Americans are working summer jobs than in decades past, and fewer of those jobs are going to the teens who need them most.”

    Here In the San Francisco Bay Area at least, those jobs are not going to rich teenagers, as the article implies, they are going to Spanish speaking immigrants in their 30s and beyond.

    From Newspaper and telephone book delivery, to retail clerks, dishwashers, waiters and waitresses, cooks, gardeners, any job that I would have done as a kid. Is it too many rich teenagers unwilling to work? Hardly, there are supposedly thousands of homeless teens in the Bay Area, desperate for any work. They are not hired.

    I believe it’s linguistic apartheid. Once an employer has four employees, legal or otherwise, who only communicate in Spanish, he is not going to hire a non-Spanish speaker who will not “fit in”.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s a big change in life to move to another country.

      Hard to imagine millions of hungry Americans looking for work in the EU, or the core, rich parts of it, speaking only American.

      Better to stay and fight, righting injustice in one’s homeland, Mexico, north of it, or elsewhere.

    1. allan

      The author of the original piece (laundered through a German site), is the notorious John `20 Committee’ Schindler. From his bio:

      John R. Schindler is a strategist, author, and commentator whose security-focused career has included a couple decades as both a scholar and practitioner. He is the national security columnist for the New York Observer.

      Previously a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, …

      `Previously’ due to sending unsolicited pics far worse than what Anthony Wiener sent.

      Schindler has been after Snowden since day 1. You can find many of his past claims debunked at
      Caveat emptor.

      1. Optimader

        Schindler is a strategist, author, and commentator= A long form description for being unemployed with no prospects

    2. hunkerdown

      I’d rather read more about UNIAN. They smell Western. A Ukrainian “information agency” site, indeed.

    3. Alex morfesis

      Snowden a russian agent ?? Snowden, grandson of rear admiral edward barrett USCG ?? that’s just too…

      ouch…fell off the barstool laughing…

      Edward Joseph Snowden…grandson of Edward Joseph Barrett…

      hmmm…something about their names…some familiarity…

      If you follow your rabbit hole a bit, you might end up with an npr interview qouting some nyu professor named mark who used to work for john McCain…you know, mark the brit.

      dj markie g ??..

      which will loop back to some former swedish prime minister named Bildt…you know…come on…ya gotta know…the guy that blew a gasket with that swedish organization giving snowden that human rights award thingee…oh come on…every bahdee knows…

      and this is just me playing with the googolmonster(100 zeroes…)

      $omeone should change the pillows on this casting couch…hard to hide the evidence when the same dna stains keep showing up of these fourth rate actors in this three penny opera…

  27. Jim Haygood

    A Daily Caller link about Hillary’s FBI interview that got “nuked” yesterday proved to be accurate:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton was interviewed by the FBI about her use of a private email server as secretary of state, her campaign said Saturday, as federal investigators neared the end of the probe that has hung over her White House bid.

    Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, gave a voluntary interview for 3 1/2 hours on Saturday morning at FBI Headquarters in Washington, her campaign said.–election.html

  28. DJG

    The comment about too much news. First, it does seem to be an unusually active summer, but another issue are the social media and our general networkedness. We can’t seem to escape the constant flow of information. There are times when I wish that I still had a dial-up modem. At least then (fifteen years ago?) I could turn off the WWW.

    On the other hand, we are now able to get news from sources that were once overlooked. It does allow for a broader perspective. I read La Stampa almost every day. In the past, getting an Italian newspaper in Chicago took some doing and a trip to one of two bookstores.

    On the third hand, Jill Lepore recently wrote an essay for the New Yorker on the role of changes in media in the political process. So the rise of newspapers in the early nineteenth century had an impact on elections around the Civil War, let alone the invention of the telegraph. We don’t know what the rise of texting will be. When I first discovered blogs, I considered them Committees of Correspondence. (I was reading Eschaton, one of the first.) Has that been borne out?

  29. DJG

    Too much news? Or too much propaganda. I am aghast at the attempts by the Sleepless One’s Administration to play down the destruction caused by drones. I recall that this is the same administration that has resisted dissseminating the report on torture by the intelligence agencies. (Let alone the draft trade pacts.)

    So we end up with Gawker, which considers itself a satirical site, questioning in a deep way the propaganda machine.

    1. Carla


      Nevertheless, the constant stream of news/propaganda/opinion with which we are constantly bombarded really is overwhelming, and I don’t know how Yves does what she does. Thank you, Yves!

  30. Pelham

    Re the item on Sanders’ end game: Sorry, but Jill Stein and the Greens are neither a viable nor a desirable option.

    The writer and I believe much of the left miss what is unique about Sanders, and that’s his ability to focus really hard on the economic issues that affect everyone without — like so much of the left — veering almost immediately into the deep weeds of the vast array of multi-culti, rainbow issues that the left treasures but that turn off vast numbers of the electorate like a light switch. The Greens, unfortunately, are a prime example of this.

    As an alternative, I’d suggest something like the following for a post-Sanders future: A “left” party that centers on just 3 or 4 economic issues as its indispensable pillars and encourages any candidate in any congressional district to take any position they feel appropriate on any other issue. Thus in a red district you could have a candidate who strongly favors the party lines on, say, free college tuition and single-payer health care but also supports gun rights and opposes abortion. In a blue district, a candidate would take traditional left positions on all those issues.

    The alternative, a left party that insists on every candidate toeing every line on every issue won’t get very far. If you find this impractical, look at Europe. There, some of the traditional “center-left” parties have actually moved to the right of the “center-right” parties on economic issues while maintaining the usual left commitments to social issues. This isn’t identical to what I’m suggesting but it is similar, combining two formerly incongruous forms of political commitment under one party banner.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Completely agree, I had a chance to vote Green yesterday here in Australia where such a vote actually matters but chose not to. It’s power that matters, not adherence to an ideologue’s menu of “everything that must be done all at once to have a pure Utopia”. Sadly I think global warming action is a net vote loser, but championing economic justice in a targeted manner could bring them to power, solve the great swath of social ills, that in turn would build the electoral commitment to address issues #2-X.
      Otherwise the Greens remain meaningless outsiders sniping and demanding adherence to an ideological dog’s breakfast that the broad masses just won’t sign up for anytime soon.

      1. low integer

        Otherwise the Greens remain meaningless outsiders sniping and demanding adherence to an ideological dog’s breakfast that the broad masses just won’t sign up for anytime soon.

        As a voter I understand the need to balance pragmatism with ideology, and used my own formula based on this theory when voting yesterday, however assuming you are talking about the Aus. Greens here I think you are selling them short.

    2. SpringTexan

      I agree too. And yes it is a big strength of Sanders that these issues are central to him and that he has a huge amount of “message discipline”.

    3. roadrider

      Disagree entirely.

      You’re approach completely ignores the connections between issues. For example, support for the fossil fuel economy is intertwined with military interventionism in the Middle East. Support for fair trade impacts foreign policy. Opposition to abortion rights impacts the ability of women to pursue careers.

      What you’re advocating is an incoherent, cafeteria-style party that would have a lot of the same pathologies as the 20th-century Democrats who had to tolerate the segregationist wing and eventually fractured over the civil rights issue. Except your approach would have multiple fracture points over hot-button issues such as gun control, abortion rights and any number of economic issues outside of the 3-4 core issues.

    4. hunkerdown

      Because ballot lines have dreams and hopes and feelings. And/or cooties.

      I’m afraid I disagree with the long-time Democratic strategy you just recited. Ballot lines and party traditions matter less than ever right now. Any ballot line the little people can own and hold is the ballot line everyone should vote.

  31. ambrit

    We have “The Dread Lord” to describe the non Euclidian fringe candidate Cthulhu.
    How about “The Drone Lord” as a moniker for B Obama? Drone in all of its’ meanings. (There are more than two.)

  32. ckimball

    re Drone Lord

    Although the numbers of civilian casualties by drone attacks are submitted by the Obama administration and then compared with those of The “London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism”, my mind grasped onto “The president ordered his first strike on his third day in the White House; the victims weren’t terrorists, but a pro-government Pakistani tribal leader and his family, which included two children.” as information which I will never forget since I was surprised to be surprised by the magnitude of how this revelation hit me.
    One thing, if this is so, any possibility of innocence or even niavety seems

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “The people are wrong…again.”

      The experts or an expert, in this case, protests.

      “I protest the outcome.”

      No fraud, I presume. Not protesting that, so far.

  33. porquoilequeso

    Re: Slow Bern in CA

    As of June 30 according to that link, Clinton has 2,692,450 confirmed votes, Bernie 2,293,196 and there are a total of 350,460 unprocessed ballots.

    2962450 – 2293196 = 399254 > 350460

    Clinton’s margin is greater than the remaining ballot count. For good or ill, fair or not, she has won the CA Dem primary by the rules under which it operates. That slow bern has bernt out.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      Indeed. Having the women play best of three is patronizing and sexist. Women aren’t forced to run three fifths marathons are they?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think it should be based on how many people watch they play.

        And also spending power.

        Pay = a percentage of ((people watching) x (added spending per person watching) + attendance revenue).

        If women spend more, as a result, on products advertised, then female players should be paid more.

        If men just watch and let their girl friends, wives and mistresses do all the shopping, then male players are not entitled more pay, it matters not if they sweat more.

  34. allan

    Israeli minister says Facebook a ‘monster’, hindering security [Reuters]

    Israel’s Minister of Internal Security on Saturday accused Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, of not doing enough to prevent incitement against Israel and said the social network was “sabotaging” Israeli police work. …

    He said Zuckerberg was responsible for Facebook policy and called on “the citizens of Israel to flood him in every possible place with the demand to monitor the platform he established and from which he earns billions”.

  35. low integer

    Gotta say I’m loving watching all the bitter right wing media pundits having various mini-tantrums on TV in the wake of Turnbull’s disappointing (for them) performance. Ha!

  36. David Carl Grimes

    The sleepless one is hard at work working for his corporate backers – not for the American people

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