Links 8/11/16

Dear patient readers,

Due to competing responsibilities, Links are light at their 7:00 AM launch time. You should have a fuller ration by 8:00 AM.

UVic project takes on pesky geese with high-tech laser ‘scarecrow’ CBC (resilc)

Man’s dueling obituaries name wife in 1, girlfriend in other StarTribune (Chuck L)

How to talk about female Olympians without being a regressive creep – a handy guide Guardian (Chuck L)

Holy Grail of energy policy in sight as battery technology smashes the old order Ambrose Evena-Pritchard, Telegraph (Chuck L)


EU nations’ red lines for Brexit: a first look Bloomberg. This section is devastating to Brexit fantasies:

Worryingly for May and her Brexit minister, David Davis, several countries — including Germany, Portugal and the Czech Republic — insist that the U.K. adhere to rules on free movement of labor in return for access to the single market in goods and services. Many who backed Brexit did so in the belief it would mean fewer immigrants.

Just three fellow EU members — Denmark, Austria and Bulgaria — cited a shared concern with Britain over immigration, suggesting that May will find sympathy in short supply.

France signaled it is ready to go even further and link freedom of movement to Britain’s ambition of retaining the passporting rights that allow the financial industry to sell services and raise money on the continent.

UK house price growth slows after Brexit vote Guardian

Doubts raised over BoE’s ‘sledgehammer’ Financial Times

Former SNP Cabinet minister warns Nicola Sturgeon against second independence referendum based on Brexit Telegraph

Trade with China won’t save post-Brexit Britain CNN

Brexit is threatening to eradicate Britain’s pension payouts Business Insider

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour could lose 50 MPs at next general election because of UKIP’s potential collapse The Sun. Curious to get sanity checks.

Ministry of Defence facing £700 million black hole after pound slumps against dollar Telegraph

Russia’s Putin, Britain’s May agree to meet to try to thaw frosty ties Reuters

L’Italie appelle à un « Schengen de la défense » Le Monde

Refugee Crisis

Out of sight, out of mind? Europe’s migrant crisis still simmers Reuters

Is Germany trying to set Migration “Plan B” Agenda using Greece? Keep Talking Greece

Greek PM Calls on Europe to Ease Greek Debt as Did for Germany in 1953 Greek Reporter


China to resort to aggressive monetary easing in 2016 Xinhua CNBC

Cutting China’s Capital Down to Size Wall Street Journal

Japan’s Elderly Face Growing Risk of Poverty Wall Street Journal


Putin-Erdogan Meeting – Breakup, Breakdown Russia Insider. Important. Recap by John Helmer.

Welcome to the Erdoğan fanclub Politico


Google blames malfunction for deleting ‘West Bank’ and ‘Gaza’ from Israel/Palestine map Mondoweiss (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Julian Assange to be questioned inside embassy as Ecuador agrees to set date Guardian (Chuck L)

Did Assange Say Rich Was A Source? Nina Illingworth Dot Com (martha r)

A New Wireless Hack Can Unlock 100 Million Volkswagens Wired (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Pentagon Money Pit Counterpunch (resilc)


Stress Over Family Finances Propelled Hillary Clinton Into Corporate World New York Times. We are supposed to take this seriously? My recollection is that the advance on Bill’s book deal was $8 million and hers was $4 million. That was more than enough to settle their outstanding debt and provide plenty of funds for a very comfortable lifestyle, particularly when you factor in that presidential pensions are not shabby either.

Canadian Partnership Shielded Identities of Donors to Clinton Foundation New York Times. Resilc: “People forget.”

Arkansas rape victim comes forward after 40 years to call Hillary Clinton a ‘liar’ Daily Mail (Chuck L)

Hillary Clinton is the Dick Cheney of the left The Week (resilc)

HRC Shouldn’t Tout Endorsements From Pro-Torture Neocons New York Magazine

Clinton Fiscal Prudence Runs Counter to Krugman’s Call to Borrow Bloomberg. Resilc: “Bye, bye, Social Security.”

If I were worried that Clinton might lose, here’s what I would—and wouldn’t—do… Corey Robin (martha r)

Why the CIA Should Brief Trump American Conservative (resilc)

Republican primary donors jump ship to Clinton over Trump Business Insider

How Trump’s ‘populist’ economic policy hides a payday for the wealthy Guardian

A Tale Of Two States |American Conservative (resilc). Suggests Trump will not do well in the Rust Belt, and perhaps also that those voters are taking note of Trump looking more and more, policy-wise, like a pretty standard Republican.

Neo-McCarthyite Kremlin-Baiting of Trump Continues to Prevent Urgent Policy Debates Nation

Bernie Sanders money keeps pouring in for Wasserman Schultz rival Canova Miami Herald (martha r)

These States Are At the Greatest Risk of Having Their Voting Process Hacked MIT Technology Review (resilc)

Balance billing” and “drive-by doctors” are contributing to growing out-of-pocket medical costs. Slate

Big alcohol is working to undermine marijuana legalization, Wikileaks confirms SF Gate (Chuck L)

Colorado Readies for ‘All Out War’ as Anti-Fracking Measures Advance to Ballot Common Dreams (martha r)

Student Convicted of Rape Faces No Prison Time New York Magazine. Ugh.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

In Baltimore Report, Justice Dept. Revives Doubts About Zero-Tolerance Policing New York Times. Recall that Giulani, via police chief Bratton, depicted zero tolerance policing as one of the centerpieces of crime reduction in NYC. Later analyses suggested that getting lead out of gasoline was the primary driver of the fall in violent crime rates all over the US.

Lawsuit Charges 13 St. Louis Suburbs With ‘Extorting’ Black Drivers NBC (Chuck L)

Findings of Police Bias in Baltimore Validate What Many Have Long Felt New York Times. It’s unfortunate that this sort of thing needs to ben “validated”. It should be already understood to be pervasive. For instance, early in the days of Black Lives Matter, there was a hashtag on things white people had done in police stops or other encounters that would have gotten them arrested or killed if they were black. And that’s before you get to the fact that men of color are stopped by police in greatly higher numbers than whites.


Saudi Oil Output Sets Record Despite Global Glut Wall Street Journal

Here’s proof that Saudi Arabia doesn’t care about killing oil prices – only the competition Business Insider

Regulatory Déjà vu All Over Again Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Ben Bernanke explains why Fed’s not going to be raising rates for a while CNBC

Velocity of M2 declining more quickly Angry Bear

Class Warfare

Schrader bill would gut the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule Economic Policy Institute (Chuck L, martha r)

Antidote du jour. Jyoti:

Three juvenile Cooper’s Hawks in my back yard near Santa Fe, NM.

After a terrible failure last year our resident pair of Cooper’s Hawks succeeded this time around and produced three off springs. Early on one fledgling fell out of its nest, but the two remanning ones managed to grow into charming young males who were recently joined by a slightly older young female that one day appeared out of nowhere.

Interestingly the parent hawks were the ones who left the scene as soon as the young ones were able to fly and thus were expected to fend for themselves.

hawks 2 links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. abynormal

    M2 supply: comment: “I could see yry wage growth of about 2% in 2017, up from 1.5% now. That doesn’t spell contraction, that spells a boom in spending.”
    author: Some people watch the velocity of M2. I do not watch it closely. It is a minor indicator. But it still says something.
    Alongside the wage boom, keep your eye on capacity utilization.

    here’s the mgf capacity utilzation chart
    …to me it says wages & purchasing power divergence are gaped beyond FED control

    1. Jim Haygood

      Cap ute was quite extensively revised in April, with revisions extending back five years. Here is the Fed’s posted confession:

      As the Fedsters note, “In the fourth quarter of 2015, capacity utilization stood at 75.8 percent, a rate nearly 1 1/4 percentage points lower than previously published and more than 4 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2015) average.

      Hey, they just financialize the economy. It’s up to us to build factories with their ZIRP money (assuming we could get any).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “Sorry, we have revised the readings to show that you had been pregnant for the last 5 years…even though, all that time, we told you you were not pregnant.”

        No wonder you felt lousy.

    2. John k

      Growth in purchasing power is growth in both potential demand (spending) and growth in potential savings… Who is getting the extra income? If the rich, most will be saved, consistent with the last decade. Even if non rich get the income some will be saved, depending in part on confidence regarding future income.
      When oil prices fell most of the savings went to savings and reduced borrowing, surprising many economists that expected a boom in domestic spending.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Oops, the CBs are admitting that negative interest rates increase savings, they do not lead to increased spending.
        So CB policy screws up from both ends, no expansion in credit or spending, and no income from debt holdings (or bank accounts).
        But by all means lets keep doing it, continuing with policies that fail spectacularly seems to be de rigeur these days.

  2. abynormal

    the investigation is obviously getting close to the Valeant main artery! “Valeant takes these matters seriously and intends to uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct as we move forward with our mission to improve people’s lives with our healthcare products.”
    Background: 2015 Before Pearson took control of Valeant, it spent 14 percent of its revenue developing new drugs. Last year, that number was under 3 percent. Meanwhile, Pearson has been ruthless about price hikes.
    Yep, Enroned.

  3. ProNewerDeal

    May I recommend an antidote with humans? I randomly saw a few minutes of an Olympics “Rugby 7” match. On what is called a “throw in” in football/soccer, the desired ~240 lb recipient of the ball is lifted by 2 teammates ~12 ft in the air to catch the ball. Quite impressive!

    Disclaimer: I am aware that Rugby is likely one of the sports like gridiron football (NFL, etc) that has a high risk for concussions/CTE.

    1. petal

      What you saw is called a “line-out”. It’s really neat. Been watching rugby since studying abroad in Australia many moons ago. One of the guys I used to watch here at Dartmouth is now the captain for the US 7s squad. Great fun.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have read that Olympic medal counts correlate with GDP.

      That is, it’s pretty much pre-ordained who wins and who loses, but still, the little countries need to be reminded that they are beaten, beaten, beaten, again and again.

      “We are superior.”

      Or we can just compete as individuals and take an oath to not to profit beyond a certain monetary amount.

      1. pretzelattack

        i’d like to see that, just the best individuals. performances might drop a bit, because you wouldn’t have the vast resources of some nations behind the athletic training programs, but it would take some of the incentives to cheat away too.

    3. Xihuitl

      Re concussions: I understand not, the reason being that rugby players don’t wear all that protective gear, including helmets, that actually causes football players to hit harder and cause more injuries. If they wanted to reduce concussions in football, they would take off the helmets and pads.

    1. Spring Texan

      That’s absolutely appalling — and I think worth kicking in a few bucks to his gofundme fundraiser to keep his case alive. f He’s raised almost $20,000 of the $75,000 already. I’ll contribute.

      rom the link.”One year ago, The Los Angeles Times fired me in what became known as The Ted Rall Scandal. I’ve been their cartoonist since 2009. Never had a problem. Was never late. Never did anything wrong. My bosses never had a complaint — to the contrary, I received nothing but praise. What I didn’t know, and my editors didn’t know to tell me, was that the political cartoonist of The Los Angeles Times isn’t allowed to criticize the police. I wish I’d been informed. …[I was fired and lies were told about it.]…Their latest legal maneuver is beyond belief. Although discovery hasn’t begun yet, things haven’t been going well for them during initial hearings in court. That’s how it goes when you don’t have a legitimate defense for your indefensible actions. So their lawyer is resorting to scorched earth tactics. The last thing they want is for 12 Angelenos to listen to my case, consider both sides, and render justice. The sleazy move their lawyer cooked up is to file an “anti-SLAPP” motion against me. …Incredibly, the Times’ lawyer is arguing that I, an individual freelance cartoonist with a five-figure income, is quashing the Times’ free-speech rights! If they convince the judge that they are right, my case gets thrown out and – get this – I’m going to have to pay their attorneys’ fees! Even more incredibly, they asked the judge to force me to post a $300,000 bond now, in advance, to guarantee their attorneys’ fees if they win their anti-SLAPP motion. She knocked it down to $75,000. But it’s not like the 10% bail that you hear about on TV. I owe the entire $75,000 on or before Thursday, August 18. My lawyers and I prepared a brief to fight it, but because the Los Angeles court system is so backed up, we can’t get a hearing until next summer. So another words, I either cough up $75,000 by next Thursday, or the Times gets away with what they did to me.”

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        So now we have cartoonists to add to the group that is primed and ready to grab a pitchfork, before too long it will be 300 military contractors and hedge funders in their gated communities versus 320 million people getting completely reamed by them.

    2. Don Midwest USA

      I got an email from Greg Palast calling for support for Ted Rall.

      I sent in a donation.

      The way that the oligarchs control the corporate media continues to become clearer. Just look at the lack of coverage of TPP for years. Only because of the Bernie movement, and now Trump has it been on the radar screen.

      I realize that I am wandering around, but heard today on a liberal station new in Columbus OH that Ferguson went from 7% of city revenue from fines and jails, to 14% of revenue after one of the financial collapses. The burden on the police was to collect money from people was an important factor in what happened there, and what is happening around the country.

      The police have been able to avoid transparency at the same time they have become, in the words of Bernie Sanders, an occupying army.

      Ted Rall is a fearless journalist/cartoonist and he needs support against the billionaires who own the media and the system that uses police to keep “order”

  4. ex-PFC Chuck

    From the text accompanying the link regarding the report on Baltimore policing:

    Later analyses suggested that getting lead out of gasoline was the primary driver of the fall in violent crime rates all over the US.

    The Freakonomics guys offer yet another hypothesis: the legalization of abortion did it.

    1. abynormal …detailed workup
      pg. 1) International crime trends are even more vexing (Ferrington et al., 2004).Britain legalized abortion before the USA, but violent crime rose in Britain and across Europe and Oceana in the1990s despite rising incarceration rates, rising or un-changed police per capita, and declines in the age 15–19share of the population (Barclay and Tavares, 2003 ;UScensus, 2004).

      pg. 20) This analysis adds to mounting evidence that preschool lead exposure affects the risk of criminal behavior later in life.

      1. Dave

        How about the legal migration of lots of Jamaican “Yardies” to London, who became the distributors of marijuana to British youth. In addition, the level of violence they created caused the police to start carrying firearms for the first time.

        Explained to me years ago by a cousin who serves in the Metropolitan Police.

        Plus there’s Rotherham. Horrific reality of ‘industrial scale’ child grooming revealed
        grooming of young girls by gangs of predominantly Kashmiri men is still occurring on an “industrial scale” in Rotherham because authorities are failing to tackle an organised child sex crime

        1. abynormal

          actually Dave the paper includes this activity on a longer timeline…for me the charts are great but the math is bit murky.

        2. RabidGandhi

          Ah yes, the darkies are all hepped out on reefers.

          Btw, the 1930s just called and they want their paranoia back.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I don’t think the Freakanomics theory is widely accepted now – while some weak correlations have been found, the most robust studies find a weak to non-existent correlation. The lead in gasoline hypothesis is on much stronger ground in terms of cause and effect linkages, although even this cannot account for the entire drop in crime. I suspect that other factors – such as better nutrition and better child care interventions in vulnerable families are also involved.

      1. JohnnyGL

        I feel like I saw something once where they tested actual inmates who were convicted of crimes and found a very high rate of elevated lead levels among them.

        1. neo-realist

          Sounds like poor people far more exposed to lead paint from old buildings, and possibly lead in their drinking water in addition to the nutrition deprivations and lack of proper child care.

          1. Dave

            Could it be the lead from the bullets they handled?
            One smear of lead, the size of a little fingernail, then ingested through food handling is enough to lower I.Q. by one point.
            “I read that somewhere” as well.

      2. bob

        Lead in gas was also phased out in different areas (states, part of states) at different times. Because of this, it makes it easier to look for correlations over time.

        1. Steve Gunderson

          Its correlates among countries as they phased out leaded gasoline.

          And now a days, cities no longer have higher crime rates than rural areas.

  5. low integer

    After the little drama in Water Cooler yesterday I just thought I would put forward the idea that academia really isn’t meant for most of the types who occupy, and I use that word on purpose, it these days. I mean seriously, what is the point in regurgitating already established facts, spending years searching for that last tiny drop of meaning(?) in a field no one cares about that has no practical use, and writing all of it down into long and pretentious essays to obtain letters to put before or after one’s name and a piece of paper. Then boring students and subjecting them to boiler plate analysis and tasks.

    The kind of people who really belong in academia actually have their own ideas (imagine that!), think outside of the usual paradigms, and have some life experience to help to put everything in context. They belong there because it provides them with the resources to move forward in the creation of new ideas, unhindered by too many of life’s other issues. While not all will succeed, some will actually make a huge difference with the new ideas they create. Ironically, they are also the kind of people who don’t care about whether they are an academic or not, and will happily walk away and find something else to put their energy towards if need be. Einstein came up with the idea on which he based the Theory of Relativity while working as a patent clerk, he didn’t need tenure or an office at a university, because he had ideas.

    In the end, imo, specializing in trivial or extremely narrow fields makes one very vulnerable, even though they may feel self important when ensconced within the academic bubble. I also have a feeling this vulnerabilty manifests in some kind of assumed intellectual superiority with a twist of condescention thrown in, and is probably why people feel like there is a divide between academics and the working population. Also, the toxic environment of the types who currently occupy academia ensures those who have something real to contribute stay away.

    I am not an academic btw, in case anyone is wondering, though for full disclosure I have done some formal study in engineering. In any case, clearly this is a controversial opinion and if this line of thinking was adopted in the academic system it would break a lot of rice bowls. That said, I strongly believe that sometimes difficult things need to be said before positive changes can occur. Feel free to disagree with me, or even insult me (I imagine I will find any insults quite amusing, so please don’t hold back if you feel the urge), but I doubt I’ll be changing my views on this matter.

    1. Ulysses

      Just a thought: who decides that “no one cares about” any given field? Should we also force people to disband model railroad clubs, bird-watching groups, etc. because they are a “waste” of time? It seems to me that we should be working towards a world where any interests (apart from those that clearly pose a threat to humanity) can be pursued.

      Your use of “no one” in this instance seems chillingly authoritarian to me– dehumanizing anyone with interests that are different from your own. Maybe if we had a few less engineers designing weapons of mass destruction, and a few more “worthless dreamers” writing beautiful poetry, the world might be an easier place to live in for people.

      1. low integer

        I am accutely aware of the danger of allowing new ideas that have destructive potential into a world full of so many people with a lack of ethics. See Oppenheimer (headed the Manhattan Project) and Binney (designer of the primary NSA electronic data gathering system). I am also not claiming that people should not follow their interests, rather that they should be honest with themselves regarding the utility of those interests to others. I sense that I have touched a nerve here. Authoritarian? Hahaha that’s pretty funny.

        1. jrs

          And what if they determine their interests are not of much utility to others? Jeez man have you never worked a useless job of no use to others to pay the bills? And for all that BEEN GLAD that at least it’s not one of those jobs that is destroying the world! At least it’s ONLY useless!!! Just because some insane capitalist corporation is paying for something (most of which are actually VERY POORLY run at least when they grow beyond a certain size) doesn’t mean it would be any use in a rational universe.

          You can either make money or make sense, the two are mutually exclusive.

      2. cocomaan

        Aldo Leopold said it best the better part of a hundred years ago:

        “What is a hobby anyway? Where is the line of demarcation between hobbies and ordinary normal pursuits? I have been unable to answer this question to my own satisfaction. At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant. Certainly many of our most satisfying avocations today consist of making something by hand which machines can usually make more quickly and cheaply, and sometimes better. Nevertheless I must in fairness admit that in a different age the mere fashioning of a machine might have been an excellent hobby… Today the invention of a new machine, however noteworthy to industry, would, as a hobby, be trite stuff. Perhaps we have here the real inwardness of our own question: A hobby is a defiance of the contemporary. It is an assertion of those permanent values which the momentary eddies of social evolution have contravened or overlooked. If this is true, then we may also say that every hobbyist is inherently a radical, and that his tribe is inherently a minority.

        Maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t be doing things because of a vague fear, as the original poster puts it, of “specializing in trivial or extremely narrow fields makes one very vulnerable, even though they may feel self important”.

        If self importance were critiqued in other areas, say, civil service or other bureaucracies, the world would look very different. Instead, NC commenters go after people who have made their hobby a vocation. It’s kind of sad.

    2. HBE

      I think I know who this comment is aimed at and i agree with most of it accept the derision of history. I think the intent was to focus on one particular branch of history that isn’t that useful, but it doesn’t come across that way.

      History in general is the greatest aid in helping to understand the present and likely future outcomes on a macro level.

      Technology and words and their meanings may change but humanity stays quite consistent in action, which causes parallels that history can be used to identify, diagnose and develop a potential remedy for.

      1. low integer

        I’m not saying people should not study history if they so wish. I’ve spent many hours doing so myself. While I was not directing my comment at history in particular, I would assert that history will be recorded regardless of whether there or not there are people sitting in educational institutions poring over insignificant details, and that peole who are interested will read and learn about it.

          1. low integer

            I spend about 40% of my reading/studying time on technical stuff and the rest of that time on stuff that has either loose connections or no connections to technical stuff. Then you start to see parallels and relationships between seemingly unrelated topics, which can be quite interesting.
            NC is a staple of my informational diet, though I admit I don’t really bother with the technical economics stuff very often because it bores me, which is not to say that it is not important.

    3. TiPs

      My own casual observation from inside the ivory tower, there is a “class” difference. Academics who come from middle class backgrounds tend to be more grounded in reality, more interested in applied work than theoretical. In economics for example, what researcher in their right mind would accept the proposition that consumers are rational maximizers? When you grow up around “real” people, you see too many counter-examples to jump on that fantasy train….

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Does it depend on which middle class background?

        Ones who were pampered by parents, who studied all day and all night, one college preparation school after another, after regular school was over at 3PM?

    4. Carolinian

      Perhaps all generalizations are dangerous including those about the academic world (which imo not particularly related to said disagreement).

      1. low integer

        I am not concerned about the specifics of yesterday’s Water Cooler issue. Rather I have been thinking about the system of academia as a whole and how it perpetuates certain outcomes at the expense of other possibilities.

        1. Carolinian

          Personally I’m more concerned about credentialism. There was a time when you could go to college just to mature or pursue some interest without your parents having to mortgage their house. Wall Street is wrecking academia along with everything else.

          1. Isotope_C14

            Excellent comment,

            I’d like to elaborate on what has wrecked academia.

            It is because the central idea of current grant funding is capitalistic. You compete by writing funding proposals based often on already completed research. Capitalism rewards success and punishes “failure”. Science works best when failure is also published, but it seldom is. I’d wager that 30% of effort in the life sciences is spent doing something someone else already did but never published because who publishes negative or not amazing results?

            Another facet of this is that funding via grant proposals means that your most well-to-do laboratories are going to have a great team of grant writers. It’s not always the case, but great grant writer and great scientist do not always go hand in hand, let alone instructing, mentoring, etc.

            So the successful grant writer, senior PhD with tenure, probably is raking in about 100k/year if they are lucky. A junior post-doctorate position might be lucky to pull in $45k/year at a private university, and folks with an undergraduate degree who are laboratory technicians will make somewhere around $30-40k/year.

            So if finding a cure for Cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, etc. is important, why the heck are we cultivating a field that no one can AFFORD to work in?

            I always say to folks that say they donate to X or Y that I’ve never seen it “trickle down”.

            The crappification of the sciences has longer term issues as well, with Universities desperate for additional money through the grant system, they are light on quality instructors. How do you give quality education when that isn’t even on the money radar?

            In the realm of science, money wrecks everything.

            1. pretzelattack

              where is the wreck? where is say basic physics or biology going wrong, due to the influence of money. there are specific fields such as medical research where that seems to be true, but it is generally true of hard sciences?

              1. Isotope_C14

                I’m not sure what your comment is addressing. If you would be so kind to elaborate, and specifically on your definition of hard science as well.

                My background is in Microbiology/Molecular Biology, FYI.

                Basic Science, is very poorly funded. Specific projects with clinical data is funded, but not to the levels that even that *should* be funded.

                Of course, we should rely on our hedge-fund managers to cure disease…

                1. pretzelattack

                  physics, chemistry, biology. outside of medical research, what is the evidence that science is coming up with fake or poor results due to money?

                  1. J.

                    I don’t know how extensively papers in other fields have been examined for reproducibility.

                    Here’s a few links for biomed and psychology:


                    cancer research:

                    oncology/women’s health/cardiology:

                    On the traditional career path in the sciences, you spend around 7 years getting a PhD, 5 or more years as a postdoc, and 7 years as a junior professor trying to get tenure or perhaps getting a series of grants to work at a research institute. After your first couple of years as a professor if you don’t get grant money you don’t get tenure, and if you are at a research institute you don’t even get a salary.

                    Then you find yourself involuntarily-out-of-field at 45 or so with
                    those previous 12+ years of effort wasted.

                    tl;dr no grant money=no job

                    1. pretzelattack

                      ok but i would like to concentrate on the hard sciences, outside of biomedical research–not anthropology or psychology or economics. there’s an implication that results across the sciences are being bought, and i was just like to see the evidence for that.

                2. Procopius

                  I think basic science (aka basic research) is poorly funded because of the prevalence of short-term profit-seeking. Industry, especially Big Pharma, but all other industries as well, only want to spend money on “researching” something which they are confident will bring in profits within a couple of years. They don’t want to finance research that has no apparent short-term value. The days when Bell Labs researched stuff that led to finding the background signal of the universe or that “holes” in crystals were as important as the electrons, leading to transistors, are a rarity now. Senator William Proxmire inadvertently illustrated that kind of thinking with his “Golden Fleece” awards. Volcano monitoring is obviously of no use to anyone, so we better defund it.

              2. low integer

                Physics is the only hard science imo, because it explains everything else, except life and conciousness. Basic physics, by which I’m guessing you mean Newtonian physics, is all done. All sorted. Possible that something has been missed but I don’t think so and nor does anyone else. Turbulence gets a bit complicated. Everything works as the theories describe until you arrive at the quantum scale or start thinking about dark matter.

                There is no real need for any new research into Newtonian physics, now it is just a matter of how these well established principles can be leveraged into engineering applications. Too many of these proposed applications are based on military uses. Ugh.

                Quantum physics requires huge and hugely expensive particle accelerators to gather data so is at the mercy of funding. Some very special minds are able to work these things out theoretically. As you point out physics is not really corruptible. People working in physics at those levels just wouldn’t stand for any bs to have their name attached to it.

                1. pretzelattack

                  i think it has progressed considerably beyond newton. there are questions about gravity, still. where has physics been influenced and produced bad results by money?

                  1. low integer

                    I never made that claim and clearly you didn’t read my above comment properly. Newtonian physics will keep you busy for a very long time, and there is no point even thinking beyond that until you understand and can quantify all the Newtonian principles. Some things are not easy and it doesn’t matter how many questions you ask, you will still have to start at the beginning and incrementally work your way forward. Not going to be answering any more of your questions btw.

                    1. pretzelattack

                      no, where is the evidence that the hard sciences are being crapified? if they are not, the we accept their results, no? because we can’t duplicate the work that goes into those result, we can’t check everything for ourselves. even if we had the talent, we don’t have the time.

            2. curlydan

              I agree with you, Isotope, and I was going to post a comment in a similar vein.

              Many people’s visions of academia need updating. Instead of publish or perish until you get tenure, it’s fund raise (aka get grants) or perish for your whole career.

              Anyone who thinks that academia will be a scholarly pursuit filled with books and students may be in for a rude awakening. It’s more likely a relentless search for funds and management of people (whose careers and livelihoods depend on you, the professor) applying those rarely attained funds.

              So the people who are most likely adept at academia now and increasingly in the future are more an MBA type than a scholarly type. If you can’t sell and manage, you may want to look elsewhere–especially you introverted bookworms.

          2. jrs

            good point, academics being academics and teaching college or applying themselves to research hurts noone, unless the research is funded by Monsanto, and it suits a lot of personality types better than anything much on offer out there in the private sector (which sucks monkey balls). But credentialism is not a good trend in terms of everyone needing advanced academic credentials just to eat.

      2. so

        Exactly. Whenever I see someone generalize, it’s almost always about control.
        If you don’t fit in a box, defined by a word, you don’t deserve to exist. Laziness.

        1. low integer

          If you don’t generalize then you will have to account for every single interaction of every single sub-atomic particle in the universe at all times, and how these interactions then manifest at every single “level” of nature, including human thought processes. That is a bit too much for me, unfortunately.

          1. Carolinian

            Not condemning all generalizations since have made plenty of them myself around here. Helps to have some trees along with the forest is more my point.

            1. low integer

              As well as branches and leaves. Then there is the soil, the undergrowth, and the local fauna and insects. Of course it is all surrounded by air, too, which interacts with everything else. It all forms a system and one should be able to see or visualize it from afar or up close, depending on what one is looking for.

              1. so

                What about feeling. You can feel the wind, but you can’t see it.
                Emotion too! Get out of the box. Everyone has a gift, find it.

                1. low integer

                  Wind is air that is moved by large scale convection currents. Yes it is me who is stuck inside the box. Just because someone understands something that you don’t does not mean they understand less than you about things that you consider yourself knowledgable about. It is not a zero sum equation. Emotions are great but irrationality that is masked by appeals to the emotions one “feels” is just foolish.

    5. Patricia

      We will always need some who love to pore through old stuff, good historians among them. That includes naval history. Humans have done a great deal on the seas, you know, and military/nationalism went alongside adventurism for centuries. We need all the stories. We are in a place (and when aren’t we, really, but this one particularly) that requires us to understand ourselves better, for our survival. History is vital for that.

      Just because academia is a mess right now doesn’t mean we don’t need academia. That’s a truism for nearly everything that is threatened these days. Just because it doesn’t do much for you and many others, doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. Academia is one field of human endeavor among many. The world is huge and multi-faceted.

      We need far more libraries and people in them. They can roll with the times but they are needed in communities. We need to refocus on the humanities.

      It seems neoliberalism’s attitude of austerity has spread into everything. The truth is that we have plenty enough width and air for academic work, for broad teaching, for close poring.

      We cannot even be creative without a spirit of openness. This is partly why our art has been lacking—austerity and profits have stripped even that from us. We no longer live in everyday reality but the perpetually pinched ‘ought’.

      Call generosity back.

    6. Katharine

      Your criticism of modern academia looks reasonable to me, unfortunately, but it would be unreasonable to apply the generalized judgment to any individual whose work or thinking you didn’t know well, or to a field that simply did not happen to interest you. There are still some decent, thoughtful, interesting people in academia, despite decades of destructive management by the run-it-like-a-business crowd. I don’t know how they manage it, but admire them.

    7. Jim Haygood

      ‘Specializing in trivial or extremely narrow fields makes one very vulnerable, even though they may feel self important.”

      A little historical perspective might help. Five hundred years back, a small literate elite, fluent in Latin and Greek as well as their local language, could master most of the classical literature, art, music and cutting-edge science of the day.

      Being a Renaissance wo/man is no longer possible, as there aren’t enough hours in a human lifetime to apprehend even a tiny branch of the vastly expanded body of knowledge that a global pop of 7 billion can produce.

      Intellectually, we are all as beetles, rolling our little balls of dung with little sense of what it’s for.

      1. low integer

        I think of a sound knowledge set as being constructed like a pyramid, in the sense one must build a wide base of general knowledge and build upwards into the details. The foundation should be constructed of a coherent understanding of ethics. Many people forego creating this structural stability and instead stack their knowledge on a very small base, creating a structure that builds upwards into the details, yet is not able to withstand any lateral forces, which might be considered as any kind of challenges to the prevailing ideas/ideology in/of that field. Imo there are too many people who know but do not understand, and this constitutes a significant opportunity cost to society.

        1. a different chris

          But you were the guy/gal who started this thread with “hey why do we need all those academics anyway”.. which at least as I read it is basically saying we’ll not build that base, we’ll just let things basically float in the air.

          You want (and I enjoy all of your posts, unfortunate that my first reply is critical!) to do things better than academia is currently doing, but you want to replace academia with something pretty darn vague. Can’t we just fix it?

          1. low integer

            I’m just saying that many people undertake useless academic pursuits, which in my opinion are better suited as hobbies as they are not particularly useful. Twist it whichever way you want but the resources used on a relatively useless academic pursuit could be used in other more productive areas. Imo much within academic culture is toxic to what it purports to be in service of.

            1. Lambert Strether

              The difficulty here is determining what is “useless” in advance. Stephen King got a “useless” English degree, and turned into University of Maine’s largest donor, and has done good works state-wide, especially for libraries and dentistry.

              1. low integer

                I am not arguing against English degrees, and you will note Stephen King did not barricade himself into a pointless lifelong academic career, he wrote books! I really liked “The Bachman Books” btw, read it when I was about 13 I think, and when I saw the movie “It” around the same time it scared the shit out of me hahaha.

              2. Ulysses

                “The difficulty here is determining what is “useless” in advance.”

                Very well said! We can think of arcane scholarly pursuits like we do of biodiversity. You never know when some obscure plant or insect might be the key to saving lives

                Academics studying theology in 13th century Paris, or semiotics in 21st century Berkeley are all “self-indulgent.” None of them are in any sense as “useful” as a farmer or a longshoreman. Yet who wants to live in a drab dystopia with no philosophy, history, art, music, literature? What’s the point? Going to a museum is “useless.” Listening to my daughter sing at a bar is “useless.” If low integer truly wants to argue in favor of another Maoist cultural revolution, okay. That’s an argument worth having!

                If, as I suspect, he is merely kicking someone who is clearly feeling down– by denigrating his entire life– that is cowardly abuse unworthy of him, or her.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        From Zhuangzi, an early anarchist:

        Our life has a boundary but there is no boundary to knowledge. To use what has a boundary to pursue what is limitless is dangerous;*

        Ego has no boundary.

        Use ego to chase knowledge – that’s one option.

        * the translation is awkward so, I include the original for those who can do a better job:


    8. Anne

      I mean seriously, what is the point in regurgitating already established facts, spending years searching for that last tiny drop of meaning(?) in a field no one cares about that has no practical use, and writing all of it down into long and pretentious essays to obtain letters to put before or after one’s name and a piece of paper. Then boring students and subjecting them to boiler plate analysis and tasks.

      I think maybe you need to separate out the structure of academia from learning/knowledge/education; I’m not sure that what the academic world has constructed for those employed by and working within it has much to do with the concept of learning and imparting knowledge. It may be possible to self-teach, but isn’t that possible because others have created and built a body of knowledge?

      Not that I’ve never had the why-do-I-need-to-know-this experience – I have – but for every one of us who has resisted having to learn something we weren’t particularly interested in, or didn’t think we’d ever have a use for, there are plenty more who think it is important, want to know and don’t care if they never need it. And many who do make use of it, often to the benefit of others.

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but I much prefer conversing and exchanging ideas with people who are interested in learning and have some base of knowledge, than I am with people whose knowledge emanates from the lover end of their digestive system. Now, knowledge comes from all kinds of places; as a 60-something person, my days of classroom education are behind me, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped learning, or want to stop.

      And it’s only because we have an educational structure in place and people who not only teach but are required to stay current and break new ground that people like me can research topics that interest me, check the sources and bases of things presented to me as facts, and constantly reevaluate my place in the world, and who I am.

      Not to mention allowing me to be really good at crossword puzzles and “Jeopardy.”

      I think, too, that you seem to be assuming that specializing in a narrow field means one’s general body of knowledge is also narrow – and I’m pretty sure that isn’t true across the board. Yes, there’s a difference between learning something and applying it; you can “know” a lot about something and still not have any idea how to implement and integrate it into the real world. I see this with fresh-out-of-law-school lawyers all the time: they may be brilliant students but completely inept with real-life legal situations.

      I do find it a little interesting that you seem to have brought more than a little “assumed intellectual superiority with a twist of condescension thrown in” to this party, for the purpose of belittling someone who commented here, and I don’t think it adds much to the discussion.

      1. pretzelattack

        re self-teaching; exactly, how do you teach yourself? how do you tell the wheat from the chaff, as you learn about a field. you aren’t really qualified, initially, to do that. especially in technical fields.

        this election is one of the most contentious i can remember; i think people are more likely to be swayed by confirmation bias, and become more upset, and this is not limited to academics, no matter their field of study.

        1. low integer

          re self-teaching; exactly, how do you teach yourself? how do you tell the wheat from the chaff, as you learn about a field. you aren’t really qualified, initially, to do that. especially in technical fields.

          Just be patient and start at the very beginning. If you are too worried about making mistakes and “wasting” time you will stifle any attempts at self learning. Making mistakes is a great way to learn imo.

          1. pretzelattack

            but how will you even know they are mistakes? how do you evaluate the sources, and the techniques?

            1. low integer

              Buy a book and start forcing yourself to think it through before you ask others questions. Physics books are not like “how to get rich” books, they all contain the same fundamental principles, though some are better than others and different books are directed at different competencies. If you want to quantify things as well as understand the physical mechanisms by which physics operates you will need to learn maths, especially calculus. Think in terms of reaching goals in decades rather than days, or consider it a lifetime challenge, as many serious physisists do.

              1. pretzelattack

                but how do you know you are thinking it through correctly. there is a lot more knowledge than there used to be, we can’t be specialists in everything. if we have to reinvent the wheel every time we approach a subject, we won’t learn very much.

                1. low integer

                  All I can say is from your line of questioning it is clear that unless someone holds your hand through every step of the process you will not make any progress, so I would advise you not to bother. I’m sorry to say this but I guess some people are just not suited to taking matters into their own hands.

                  1. pretzelattack

                    no handholding is not required. a knowledge base is. you can’t acquire that in 6 months or a year, or even a decade sometimes. it’s a lifelong process just for one specialty. hence, you can’t really evaluate the current state of the field without accepting the current framework, or else providing evidence that the framework is not adequate for some reason. where is that argument? and what of the talent factor? you’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater. what is your alternative, and why do we need it?

          2. Anne

            “Start at the very beginning” using what as your sources of information?

            I can teach myself to knit, to cook; I can watch you tube to learn how to install a shower base. I can probably find tutorials to learn to speak other languages.

            Am I learning history and anatomy and pharmacology from books, or from the internet, or am I talking to old people who lived through times I’m interested in, dissecting animals in the hope they are somewhat like humans, and interning with the local meth manufacturer?

            Where am I learning engineering? Can I teach myself calculus or physics? How will I know if I really am understanding concepts and theories – can I test myself, too?

            Basically, you seem to be advocating off-the-grid learning, which is fine, but I think you are missing the part about how years and years of other people’s work and research and practice make such a thing possible.

            Of course there are problems with the way academia has evolved, and knowledge is too often driven by who is paying for it – I get that – but I’m not sure it follows that tearing down the structure improves the quality and quantity of knowledge. I think we need to broaden access to knowledge whenever and wherever we can, and stop limiting the acquisition of knowledge to however much you can afford to pay for.

              1. pretzelattack

                no we can’t “discover” everything on our own. trying to discover first principles on our own is a massive waste of time, and will result in far less learning within our lifetime.

        2. JustAnObserver

          Teaching yourself:

          o Step 1 – Read the classics in the field after, first doing

          o Step 0 – Finding out what the classics are.

          O.k in physics, taken to extremes, this would imply starting with Newton’s Principia Mathematica (!), but the principle is certainly sound for fields that have been around for a while.

      2. abynormal

        “people whose knowledge emanates from the lover end of their digestive system.” beige slip goes with everything ‘)
        (btw, i am a follower of your thoroughness…from this life student, Thank You.)

    9. nobody

      Here’s what Dave Hickey discovered about American academia:

      I chose to dwell in that underground empire [of the arts] for the first forty-seven years of my life—in record stores, honky tonks, art bars, hot-rod shops, recording studios, commercial art galleries, city rooms, jazz clubs, cocktail lounges, surf shops; bookstores, rock-and-roll bars, editorial offices, discos, and song factories. I lived the freelance life, in other words, and I did okay at it, until 1987, when this nation, in its wisdom, decided that citizens who lived the way I did were no longer deserving of health insurance, by virtue of their needing it a lot. Faced with this reality, I began to take teaching gigs in universities and soon discovered that, for the length of my whole life, from birth until the day I stepped on campus, I had been consorting with the enemy. According to the masters of my new universe, all the cruelties and inequities of this civilization derived from the greed and philistinism of shop-keepers, the people who ran those little stores, who bought things and sold them, as I had done.


      To me, it has always been the heart of the mystery, the heart of the heart: the way people talk about loving things, which things, and why. Thus it was, after two years on university campuses without hearing anything approximating this kind of talk, I began feeling terrible, physically awful, confused and bereft. I kept trying to start this kind of talk, volunteering my new enthusiasms like a kid pulling frogs and magic rocks out of his pocket, but nothing worked. There was no BOUNCE, just aridity and suspicion. It finally dawned on me that in this place that we had set aside to nurture culture and study its workings, culture didn’t work.

      It couldn’t work, in this place, because all the things that I wanted to talk about—all those tokens of quotidian sociability that had opened so many doors and hearts for me—all those occasions for chat, from Tristram Shandy to Roseanne, from Barnett Newman to Baby Face—BELONGED to someone. But not to everyone. All the treasures of culture were divied up and owned by professors, as certainly as millionaires own the beach-fronts of Maine. So, even though, in the course of a normal day, I might chat with a lady in the check-out line about Roseanne, might discuss the Lakers’ chances with some guy at the blackjack table, might schmooze on the phone with Christopher Knight about Karen Carson’s new paintings, and maybe even dish with Karen herself about an all-male performance of Swan Lake, there was no hope of my having a casual conversation with an English professor about what a cool book Tristram Shandy was.

      Because, in this place, books and paintings and music were not ‘cool stuff.’ In society, these objects were occasions for gossip—for the commerce of opinion where there is no truth—an even more dangerous proposition—although my colleagues, being masters, had little choice but to behave masterfully. Exempted by their status from the whims of affection and the commerce of opinion, they could only mark territory from the podium, with footnotes, and speak in the language of authority about things they did not love…

      “Unbreak My Heart” (in Air Guitar)

      1. Dave

        “..All the treasures of culture were divied up and owned by professors, as certainly as millionaires own the beach-fronts of Maine…”
        Nice! After a couple years of film school, I came to the same conclusion.
        I originally started with wanting to learn technical production details, to learn history of and appreciate film history, watch great movies and go into production.

        Except for raw technical details, everything having to do with movies was hoarded and mediated through Baudrillard, Lacan, Marx, semiotics, interpretation, criticism and and every kind of parsed out historical and confabulated ‘community’ imaginable who had suffered without grievance until their retroactive and ongoing salvation by the nascent intelligentsia running the Cinema Department.

    10. Uahsenaa

      The problem is academe is a quasi-governmental institution–in that, while nominally independent, depends heavily on government funding–whose priorities are those of the current neoliberal order. You can get huge piles of cash to work on the next technological boondoggle, but heaven forfend you should ask for a few thousand dollars to teach people foreign languages or history or how to analyze the rhetorical structures of arguments so as to better arm yourself against the propaganda of government and business alike. The academy already provides the kinds of knowledge that might be useful to ordinary individuals, but nobody wants to pay for it.

      Also, I think you’re a little mistaken about what academic institutions are and historically have been. They are, at their core, fundamentally small c conservative things. They will not and indeed cannot buck the prevailing order, because they depend upon it for their very existence. The notion that colleges and universities are these bastions of left-wing extremism is a right-wing canard designed, at least in part, to conceal the fact that colleges exist to create compliant, white collar laborers, not free thinkers. As you rightly note, free thinking is a one way ticket to getting fired or never getting tenure.

      1. Jim Haygood

        “heaven forfend you should ask for a few thousand dollars to teach people”

        … or research whether substances such as ibogaine and LSD could be effective in treating alcoholism. We’ve got a Drug War and a rehab industry to protect!

        On the other hand, wanna study Criminal “Justice” [sic], there’s a whole department for that. Get a degree, start a career, feed the Gulag.

    11. nobody

      David Graeber (pdf):

      If I were to generalize…I would say that what we see is a university system which mitigates against creativity and any form of daring. It’s incredibly conformist and it represents itself as the opposite, and I think this kind of conformism is a result of the bureaucratization of the university.

      His assessment of ‘collegiality’ in American academia, pervaded as it is with a particularly intense form of the general American kiss-up kick-down ethos, is spot on:

      What collegiality means in practice is: ‘He knows how to operate appropriately within an extremely hierarchical environment.’ You never see anyone accused of lack of collegiality for abusing their inferiors. It means ‘not playing the game in what we say is the proper way.’

      About the “radical in the abstract” discipline of anthropology specifically, though I am sure it is similarly true in the other social and human sciences, I can confirm that Laura Nader (quoted in the article) is correct: “You can quote Foucault and Gramsci, but if you tell it like it is” (as is done here at Naked Capitalism daily) it’s a different story.

    12. jrs

      I bet the patent office these days would have worked Einstein too hard to come up with anything and put him on contract where he was always worried about finding a new job in 6 months. Are YOU aware what most work consists of these days? Sure doesn’t seem like it as you seem to have a rosy view of people finding something else they can apply their energy to that will actually make use of their abilities in an economy where even once stable professions are made precarious service work. Most work these days is useless, I’ve held so many near useless jobs. The vast majority of jobs are at least as useless as whatever academic study you think is useless AND not even intellectually stimulating just drone work accomplishing nothing forever.

      Look utopia for me isn’t academics it’s everyone on a 20 hour work week or something so EVERYONE can be an academic, or a novelist, or a mother, or a caretaker, or a friend to the friendless, or a expert on birds or planter of trees or whatever the heck they want in their free time. FREEDOM for everyone. But being we don’t live in there but live in sh#t@ville I can understand why people choose academia.

      1. low integer

        I don’t live in the US and I’ve worked in some really shitty jobs thank you very much. Never let my mind go to sleep though. Here’s a post I wrote earlier but decided not to post:

        The US is on life support. A nation that worships at the altar of trickle down corruption. As an Australian, when I was younger (in the 90’s) the US seemed so cool and like it was at the forefront of so many things. I used to wish that I lived there and felt like Americans got the best of everything. 20 years later and the place is fucked. Corruption has won. I imagine the hollowing out process was was well underway in the 90’s but the effects weren’t too visible. Was it too much complacency after the Vietnam war withdrawl, when US citizens thought they had won against the establishment? In hindsight the domestic enemy wasn’t dead, it was regrouping and building strength. I really hope you USians can work something out to get everything back on track but it stands to reason that there comes a time when power is so consolidated that it is almost impossible to challenge it. The fact that some or many Sanders supporters will vote for Clinton says a lot to me about where the spirit of the nation is at.

        Apologies in advance for the above, and in relation to my first post I feel like I’m responding to tangential interpretations so I’m just going to make this my last post for the day.

        1. jrs

          I don’t think it’s tangential. It’s tangential to a critique of academia as such perhaps, and how it can be improved or whatever, but I don’t think that’s really the argument you were making, no not really, you were on about another poster who has chosen academia as their means to make a living. Unless they are doing actual harm (investment bankers – alright maybe, apologists for energy or oxy-codeine industries perhaps) it’s so wrong to attack people for the compromises they make to live in this system. It’s abhorrent. So a look at what earning a living means for the best of us is plenty relevant. Then a little solidarity.

          1. low integer

            If you were to look at my comments left over the last week or so in Links and Water Cooler I believe you will find a lot of solidarity with those who are doing it tough, and you are welcome to make any assumptions that fit comfortably with your view of the world wrt the intentions of my initial post. Later!

      2. jrs

        And yes when everyone works 20 hours for a living wage some of them might even be formally employed in academia for 20 hours a week, but those who aren’t will also be able to follow sophia or their muse.

    13. low integer

      Hahaha thanks for the replies everyone. Think I’ll just stick to chatting about politics and economics around these parts from now on, or maybe I’ll just go back to being a reader rather than a commenter…

      1. low integer

        Adding: this has been a very good lesson for me about sharing one’s ideas on the internet. Just not worth it imo. Those with the least insight are always the loudest, and it is tiresome. Yes, please someone tell me how it’s me who has no insight and is tiresome, I know that will be the first reaction for many, and it will be visceral hahaha. Later!

        1. low integer

          Yves or Lambert is there any possibility you can delete all the comments I have left under the handle of low integer? I feel like I have shared a lot and I would really rather have it all deleted than leave it in floating around in cyberspace. I think the time has come for me to move on.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Geez mate, you’re pulling a “Levy”? Taking your ball and going home? Or as they say down under “throwing your toys out of the pram”?
            I say keep bringing it, at best your ideas will get aired, at worst you’ll get some pretty informed comments about them.

            1. low integer

              No, just moving on. I was interested in getting to the source of why things are so crazy around the world and I think I have arrived at the answers I was looking for. Not that this thread has much to do with that, but dysfunction is cumulative so academia plays its own little part imo. Time to move on to the next thing. I have learnt a lot here though, no doubt. So thanks to all who have helped along the way.

          2. kareninca

            low integer, you are taking this way too seriously. This will pass. Keep posting; you will forget about this. BTW, I read your posts and the responses re academe in the most cursory way (because I already have my own opinions, haha); it’s all good, even the bad stuff; it doesn’t all have to be right. No-one is having surgery based on this. I think you are stressed out by Levy’s departure (which I sort of regret too, although I thought his reasoning was poor, and it is not unusually brave to use your own name (as he did) when you are saying what is gospel in a large social set you are comfortable in and you are financially secure).

          3. Lambert Strether

            That would be time-consuming and technically dangerous. It would also be unfair to others to responded to your comments, since if yours were deleted, theirs would be as well.

            1. low integer

              I will take your word for it, though I have seen examples of what I requested being carried out at other sites so it is certainly possible on at least some commenting platforms. Later!

              1. Lambert Strether

                Well, you’re not, really, are you? I reiterate your request would also be unfair to other commenters, whose comments would also need to be removed (or else the thread be destroyed).

              2. Yves Smith Post author

                First, in our history of over 750,000 comments, we have NEVER had a commentor ask us to remove a comment, save a duplicate or one where they mistakenly used their real name or worse e-mail address. as opposed to a handle (and that we can fix with an edit). Worse, you act as if we should cater to your unwillingness to take responsibility for going off half-cocked and expect up to regularly tidy up after you.

                Second, Lambert is 100% correct and you are out of line to insinuate otherwise. We’ve spend a LOT of money on customizing our comments section, which includes deep nesting of comments. To rip out a comment, we need to rip out all the responses to it, in a very precise reverse order, or all of the rest of the comment section falls apart and nothing nests. So yes, your request is inconsiderate to us and other commentors in the extreme.

  6. Carolinian

    Former CIA officer Phil Giraldi in the American Conservative link above

    And it is of particular interest how the Washington Post seeks to link the intelligence community anger at Trump to Russia and Putin, both regular targets of the newspaper and a convenient hook to demonstrate alleged disloyalty on the part of the GOP candidate. Since the end of the Cold War, I have rarely noted any former or current intelligence officer’s hatred of Russia as the “bitter foe.” Does the paper make all this stuff up? Maybe. At a minimum I believe it would be fair to say that the Post is heavily editorializing what it describes as a news story, not exactly unusual for a newspaper that has an editorial page controlled by neoconservatives who have never been shy about pushing their anti-Trump, anti-Putin agenda.[…]

    I hear much more anger from former colleagues over the Hillary Clinton email scandal because with all her vaunted experience she should and must have known better, and chose to disregard the rules anyway. Many of us believe she ought to be in jail. In any event, both candidates will receive their briefings and one hopes that a better understanding of some developments in the world will prove beneficial to them, possibly making them think twice about some of the ill-advised policies that they have been promoting.

    As fans of Dean Baker’s Beat the Press know one of his pet peeves is the Post’s penchant for placing editorial statements in news stories. Perhaps it’s time to return an earlier time when news outlets had clearly labeled partisan loyalties. Of course that would be a problem these days since our diminishing supply of major news organizations all seem to think alike.

    Paraphrasing Sally Quinn:

    1. Askia

      I think Morell is motivated to denounce Trump because he fears that Trump will tell the public what the CIA was doing in Syria when Morell was running things. I imagine Morell is less than enthused that a major talking point in this election is that he ordered his agency to arm militant islamists; an action that many in the general public would consider to be near-treasonous even if it’s technically legal. Now if Trump criticizes Morell’s actions in Syria, the media will just say it’s just thin-skinned Trump lashing out at a critic.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The bitter fact is that US taxpayer dollars are going to a group that recently decided to behead sick children. The Empire’s response was to say “we are considering pausing our support”, and with monsters like Morell and Hilary in charge we can expect nothing but more of the same.

  7. RabidGandhi

    Neoliberalism Rule n° 2 in action:

    US maternal mortality rates higher than reported, study finds

    Declercq and colleagues noted that the World Health Organization has reported that 157 of 183 countries have shown decreases in their maternal mortality rates since 2000. The current estimated U.S. rate is comparable to that of Iran and Ukraine, they said. And among 31 industrialized countries, only Mexico has a poorer rate.

    I couldn’t access the underlying study, but I’m curious as to the comorbidity with the opioid epidemic. Either way the answer is clearly Moar Obamacare.

    1. Steve H.

      This article is particularly focused on coding issues, regarding inconsistencies in updating reporting.

      These two sources have specifics:

      CDC: Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System

      Pregnancy-Related Mortality (Most recent I could find.)

      Obesity and complications are a reason on the rise. Flu was important, too. The real eye-popper:

      11.8 deaths per 100,000 live births for white women.
      41.1 deaths per 100,000 live births for black women.
      15.7 deaths per 100,000 live births for women of other races.

    1. Bubba_Gump

      Disgusting, thank you for posting. A friend of mine was teaching English in a town out near the Celaque cloud forest around 2003… I went for a visit and found the country rough but delightful. It was certainly not dangerous at that time, even for two white kids who spoke maybe ten words of Spanish between them. I’ve wondered from time to time what became of the kids there and the local teachers, especially after the coup. The US just can’t keep its hands off an “opportunity.”

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Could this be a “preemptive” strike? What with tim kaine selling his jesuit Honduran cred hard, and john negroponte sliding out from under his slimy rock to impugn Donald Trump’s non-interventionist blasphemy.

      Could be that some of those Hispanic voters are not remembering united states’ benevolence quite as fondly as they “should” be.

      nyt to the rescue! At least a “little bit.”

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Geez I didn’t realize Kaine was a Jesuit, they’re really the worst that Rome offers to the world, have a look at the link between Jesuits and Lincoln’s assassination, it’s just one lovely example.

  8. Jim Haygood

    The legal plunder of America’s corrupt Drug War:

    DEA agents have profiled passengers on Amtrak trains and nearly every major U.S. airline, drawing on reports from a network of travel-industry informants. Filings show agents were able to profile passengers on Amtrak and nearly every major U.S. airline, often without the companies’ consent.

    The DEA came under fire for harvesting travel records two years ago, when Amtrak’s inspector general revealed that agents had paid a secretary $854,460 over nearly two decades in exchange for passenger information.

    Five current and former agents said the DEA has cultivated a wide network of such informants, who are taught to be on the lookout for suspicious itineraries and behavior. Some are paid a percentage if their tips lead to a significant seizure.

    Court records show agents and informants flagged travelers for questioning based on whether they were traveling with one-way tickets, had paid in cash, had listed a non-working phone number on the reservation or had checked luggage.

    Is “non-working phone” a synonym for “landline phone”? Who would travel without a smart phone these days? /sarc

    Now gate agents can rat you out to the narcs for a commission. Welcome to Loretta Lynch’s East Germany, comrades.

    Best move your Ostmarks by check or wire transfer. It’s not as if it’s a free country or something.

    1. Katharine

      Is “non-working phone” a synonym for “landline phone”?

      In case that was a serious question, I’ll answer. No. It is a number that is either “not in service” (nobody’s being billed for it) or “temporarily disconnected” (for one or another reason, often because whoever is being billed is not paying).

      I hope that helps, but I’m afraid I don’t go back far enough to tell you the finer points of buggy whips.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Can’t remember ever getting a call at the contact number one provides for travel reservations.

        Must be some database they query, to check whether the number is associated with the traveler’s name? (Credit/debit card issuer’s records would be one obvious source.)

        Is an anonymous, cash-prepaid phone a red flag?

        Attention to detail is important to survive and thrive in the police state.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      When I read this, it made me think of a link posted by fresno dan in yesterday’s Water Cooler, on how gun control advocates can “persuade” second amendment-ers that nuthin’ bad is gonna happen if they give up their guns.

      Here’s the quote:

      They [gun control advocates] should explain why the progressive state is not a Hobbesian tyranny but properly liberal and a better defender of universal rights and justice than America’s version of Locke.

      Just “explain” it. Yeah, that’s gonna work.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        2nd Amendment gun guy: “Yeah, but you need lots of guns during the transition to the progressive state.”

        It’s like, you have to stay alive until you get to the temple to pray. Then, you can go to Heaven one day.

    3. MDBill

      The DEA came under fire for harvesting travel records two years ago, when Amtrak’s inspector general revealed that agents had paid a secretary $854,460 over nearly two decades in exchange for passenger information.

      That works out to over $40,000 a year. That’s a nice little income supplement.

  9. Eureka Springs

    In a society mired in systemic deceit and secrecy for our “security” It’s still difficult to imagine anything more manipulative and deceitful than the CIA briefing a President or potential President.

    So I imagine NO CIA. Not as we know it today.

    And I wonder if anyone has ever seen Hillary and Obamas cousin Cheney in the same room?

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        JFK intimated he wanted splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the wind. Subsequently Kennedy’s brain was splattered into many pieces in Dealey Plaza.

        1. neo-realist

          All Presidents and Congressmen have learned their lesson from Dealey Plaza on who’s the boss. No more Church or Pike style committees, except for the purpose of whitewashing alleged misconduct.

          1. hunkerdown

            Doesn’t mean Trump can’t, or wouldn’t, call a few well-armed plumbers and take care of troublesome political-class people.

            I’m cheap. DNC donors in Gitmo is all I ask.

  10. Unorthodoxmarxist

    Better fewer, but better.

    Looks like Labour is poised to lose what are marginal seats in an upcoming election. Most likely these seats are largely their version of Blue Dog Dems. Probably a big chunk of the PLP that orchestrated the coup. Guess Labour is kicking itself for not implementing proportional rep when they had the chance under Blair & Brown.

    So yea, as Lenin said: better fewer, but better for Corbyn and Labour.

  11. Jim Haygood

    Silicon Valley invests in tech jobs … overseas:

    Cisco Systems Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Alphabet Inc. are among companies supporting Moshe Friedman’s KamaTech, a venture backed by the U.S. government and private money aimed at getting more ultra-Orthodox Jews like Friedman into Israel’s burgeoning technology industry.

    Friedman, who wears the white shirt, black suit and black skull cap of ultra-religious Jews, has seen interest in his program soar: from five haredi entrepreneurs at a community startup event he hosted in 2013 to 1,000 at a Tel Aviv gathering a year ago. Friedman said today there are at least 6,000 haredi engineers in Israel, from almost zero three years ago.

    At Google’s campus in Tel Aviv, 16 ultra-Orthodox women, picked from a pool of 1,000 already working in the industry, study application development.

    “This is a very rare moment in Israeli history where the society sees the haredi community as a resource and the haredi community sees the Israeli society as an opportunity,” Moshe Habertal, a Jewish philosopher, said at a ceremony for KamaTech at the U.S. ambassador’s house in December.

    “At the U.S. ambassador’s house …”

    Come for the KamaTech ceremony, return for the presidential fundraiser!

    Google can put these good fundamentalist folks to work, drafting its fantasy maps showing occupied Palestine as part of Eretz Israel.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Can you find Kama Tech on Google Maps?

      Again, from Rick Steves Europe episode: Even though it borders the Dead Sea, the beach areas belong to Israel.

  12. johnngyl

    If canova somehow beats wasserman-schultz, then bernie sanders should start walking around the senate floor like he’s walter white from breaking bad because that would mean….

    1) he really IS dangerous (to their congressional seats)
    2) no one is safe from him

    I still think debbie wins, because her district looks nearly bullet proof, but i will defer to any florida readers who know better.

    1. Waldenpond

      I am not impressed by Canova. He comes across as insincere and unbelievable. DWS says jewish people should not marry non-jewish people and that media should not show so many pictures of Gaza and Canova’s response is that DWS can’t be trusted on Israel. My guess is he’s a neo putting on an act. I agree with people that want to get rid of DWS but I’m not sure I would bother to vote in that particular race. I think DWS will win it also.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeeft

      Where is the beef?

      More kabuki? Debbie is likely to win?

      You busted tail so Hillary got her endorsement? Why not taking on the alpha dog? DWS is an easy target to confront (but not defeat necessarily).

      Jam tomorrow and jam yesterday, but never jam today.

    1. Louis

      No disrespect to those losing their jobs but I’ve never understand how the business model of Macy’s, or department stores in general, is sustainable in the 21st century.

      Granted, there are some things that department stores sell that people largely buy in person. Clothes are the most obvious example–sizing is still generally not consistent enough to buy online, and people often like to see how they look in it.

      With that being said, there are a lot of other things department stores sell that don’t necessarily have to be tried on–small appliances like blenders or toasters–and can easily be bought on Amazon or another online retailer

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Amazon doesn’t even make a profit on its retail business.

        Do you think that once amazon drives every brick and mortar store out of business, the prices will stay as low as they are now?

        But I’m sure they’ll have some awesome digital Christmas light displays mixed in with those “targeted” ads.

      2. Romancing the Loan

        I buy 90% of my clothes online too – sizing is inconsistent but free shipping/free return policies means you can treat your house as an endless dressing room, with better lighting and without the salespeople whose well-meant attention can make one quite uncomfortable.

      3. inode_buddha

        Its very simple. There are times when I need something *right now* and would prefer to test my options in person. Sears is 10 minutes away. Done deal.

      4. MLS

        I’ve never understand how the business model of Macy’s, or department stores in general, is sustainable in the 21st century.

        It’s not. They aren’t going away (well, not all of them), but these companies are going to continue to get a lot smaller.

      5. ilporcupine

        Possibly. At present, the shopping public can go to the brick-and-mortars, and assess quality of items, then go find cheaper online. This, of course drives the retailers crazy. What will customers do when this is no longer an option? The social media/internet paradigm is to let others decide for you via reviews/likes etc. Anyone who has ever tried to assess the worth of an item, via reviews, will be able to attest to the futility of that approach. As far as “trusted” assessments by friends, family, I don’t consider that to be a substitute for my own judgement. I bought an expensive toaster for my mother as a gift, a few years ago, because she likes bagels so much, and it had the “one side” toasting option. It was on sale at a local bigbox. She loved it so much, I bought one just like it for my YL. Ours turned out to be a piece of crap, uneven toasting, nothing like hers. I took it back to the store and exchanged it, Consider sending all these items back via UPS or postal, winging across the country, back and forth, to get one you like. I, for one will miss shopping at local level. I cannot imagine shopping for lumber, flooring, or other building material this way.

      6. skeeter

        I don’t see how it is sustainable not to have brick and mortar retail. I often wonder about the energy costs of online shopping and its distribution system wherein most goods are distributed via fleets of aircraft and delivery trucks. Amazon’s anxiety to move to drone delivery portends ever more energy costly retail.

        Between the big boxes and the online all the mom and pop’s disappear. Now I have to fire up a 747 every time I need a widget.

        Soon the drones will come down our streets and we’ll be wondering, no disrespect to those losing their jobs, how sustainable a fleet of delivery trucks is in the 21st century.

  13. pretzelattack

    so, i’m waiting at starbucks for my morning quadruple espresso, when i spy the nyt. oh my goodness, it turns out that putin and the russian spy agency hacked more than 100 democratic officials, in order to influence the us election. it would have been helpful if the times had identified the officials who conveyed this information, but this is very, very alarming! maybe obama should declare war on russia, or should we wait for clinton to do it? i need to hear from dick cheney and judith miller on this important issue.

    1. Steve in Flyover

      Ant the PTB are not pizzed at the Russians because they are spreading disinformation…….they’re pizzed because the Russians released info that the PTB didn’t want the wretched refuse to know.

      Could it be possible that Russia is observing our current batch of oligarchs/kleptocrats and said to themselves, “You know, we had our disagreements, but things were a lot simpler and more stable when the USA elected honorable, honest people who weren’t effing nuts. Maybe we should do the Americans a favor.”

      As far as the hand wringing about Russians “influencing our elections”. What a JOKE. Like the Israelis, Saudis, Chinese, Japanese, etc. haven’t been doing it for 30-40 years.

      1. RabidGandhi

        Huh? Who said the “Russians released info” at all? The whole point is that there is no evidence of this Vast Russkie Conspiracy,

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          That’s because they are just that crafty! My godfather was a CIA agent, and he was tailed* by the KGB for a whole two weeks (it was a short time. The KGB was just making sure. My godfather is far too bland to be exciting) and then nothing. Where were the KGB agents then? Oh did they realize he wrote reports about easily available information which were then promptly stored in a file and forgotten and the KGB stopped watching him because it was a waste of time or was the KGB that crafty?

          *He was told this would happen, but since he only read reports, maybe one or two days before they hit the newspapers in the West, the Soviets would also read, they would just want to make sure he was who he said he was.

        1. polecat

          Haven’t you been ready the news/blogs lately?? ……. or was that snark??

          hint: lawsuit ! ….

      1. Ashley W

        WIKI LEAKS is at war with the Clintons – now bloviating has been Beckel demands his assassination. But this is only half the story. Assange’s attorney stepped in front of a train last spring.

        This volley of shots between bows is deadly serious. And I cannot for the life of me figure out why the narrative doesn’t include the mysterious death of John Jones… I remember reading the comments in the British Press back when it happened… and it was white hot conspiracy… the guy had no reason to kill himself.

        But why the blackout on this death as part of an ongoing battle between Assange and Clinton?

        I’ve been on several discussion threads about this and nobody else even knows about it. Seth Rich was one of a half dozen hits by this bunch in the last 6 months. Anyone? Ideas?

  14. allan

    U.S. mutual funds boost own performance with unicorn mark-ups [Reuters]

    Some U.S. mutual funds are boosting their performance with relatively big bets on private companies such as Uber and Pinterest, which they have been marking up at a rate far greater than the broad stock market.

    Relied upon by millions of Americans to save for their retirement, mutual funds emphasize that their investments in young tech companies ahead of their initial public offerings are relatively small.

    A Reuters analysis of fund filings and other data shows, though, that some have taken a more aggressive approach, boosting the share of these companies to more than 5 percent of assets and awarding them rich valuations that in some cases have helped them beat their benchmarks and peers by a wider margin. …

    These private investments come at a risk, though. Many are young companies that have yet to make a profit. They are also harder to price and to sell than publicly traded stocks.

    That could hurt investors in a downturn because fund managers forced to meet investor redemptions may have to sell liquid public companies while marking down the unlisted ones …

    Wall People want a nanny exchange to tell them what the prices are. Web People embrace the bubble risk.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Facing a tough challenge from index-tracking funds, actively-managed mutual funds led by Fidelity Investments, BlackRock, T. Rowe Price and Wellington Management, began piling into pre-IPO tech companies in 2014.”

      Looks like active management, losing market share to ETFs, is doubling down. Unicorns shouldn’t show up in index-based ETFs.

      Surprising that such big names in funds should be playing such stupid games. Probably a late-stage venture capital investment is an unwritten requisite to get a decent allocation of the IPO.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How do we know corporations (of an index, say S&P500) don’t engage in unicorn mark ups?

        Cash to be banned, unicorns everywhere, hegemony currency backed by force…

        What other survival investment options are there? Physical gold?

  15. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: the anecdote

    I spent a considerable amount of time working on the hedge Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday, a hawk grabbed a sparrow right out of the shorter hedge. I felt a little bad.

    1. Carolinian

      My neighborhood is lousy with hawks…also squirrels and mourning doves, their favorite food. Hawks are cool animals but a menace if you have a bird feeder.

    2. Waldenpond

      Sorry, so sorry to laugh… but we too learned the nesting season can be quite long. Disturbed hummingbirds but no deaths. Our neighbors have bushes that go wild during the summer and it’ll be a couple of months before we can hack that sucker back into a reasonable size.

    1. polecat

      ‘cough’…they say that…’Cough’… every year..’cough’………

      …but I’m gonna watch anyway ;’)

      1. ilporcupine

        I watch most every year, and am rarely disappointed. I have to go to friends farm, out of town, to really see much. 200 an hour is only around 3 a minute, and you have to be looking in the right part of the sky at the moment it streaks past, so you miss getting a gook look at all but a few each minute.
        Sometimes, you get lucky and they cluster in one sector of sky, and you see quite a few in succession. Also, requires you to be up at wee hours! We were out last year at 4-5 am, laying on our backs on lawn chair cushions, watching. Ya gotta commit! Ha!
        Seriously, do see it if you can, but it can be a little underwhelming if you are in a populated, light polluted urban area.

  16. F900fixr

    “……plenty of funds for a very comfortable lifestyle.”

    Yeah, for an upper middle-class (or lower) rube.

    But not if you want to hang out with your bankster buddies and “celebrities” in Manhattan, spend summer weekends in the Hamptons, and fly the G550 to Jackson Hole, Vail and Palm Springs when it gets too hot or cold in The City. The lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to.

    Combine the need for big bucks, with the desire to “influence events” and you have……… The Clinton Foundation

    They need a lot of money, because they spend a lot of money.

      1. Louis

        I read the linked article and,predictably, there was no shortage of “get off my lawn” type comments blaming the younger generation for being in this situation. Like anything else, if you look around hard enough you can find bad apples: i.e. young people who are lazy or have made bad choices.

        However, the number of people in their 20’s or 30’s living in multi-generational households is too high for it to have been completely the result laziness or poor life choices. In other words, while there may be some bad apples here and there, many (if not most) of those in this demographic are trying to do the best they can in a world that’s a lot crueler than the one their parents started out into.

        While student loan debt may play a role, I think the bigger culprit is the mismatch between wages and real-estate. Prices to buy or rent housing have been rising faster than wages in a lot of of the country–we’re not just talking about San Francisco or New York City anymore.

        Affordable housing is not always a popular topic but something is going to have to give–either the gap between prices and wages narrows or renting–or perhaps even a step farther and multi-generational living arrangements–will become the normal.

        1. curlydan

          Listening to my kids’ mindless drivel pop station this morning, the topic of discussion was the term “baggage” and its meaning for millennials in their relationships. Turns out, baggage=student debt for these young ones, and they often delay marriage until the baggage is cleared out. Another good reason to stay with the parents given a poor job environment and marriage less likely.

          Being mindless drivel, though, they couldn’t bear to mention Bernie’s name or policies.

          1. rich

            Dear City Council Members and Palo Alto Residents,

            This letter serves as my official resignation from the Planning and Transportation Commission. My family has decided to move to Santa Cruz. After many years of trying to make it work in Palo Alto, my husband and I cannot see a way to stay in Palo Alto and raise a family here. We rent our current home with another couple for $6200 a month; if we wanted to buy the same home and share it with children and not roommates, it would cost $2.7M and our monthly payment would be $12,177 a month in mortgage, taxes, and insurance. That’s $146,127 per year — an entire professional’s income before taxes.

            This is unaffordable even for an attorney and a software engineer.
            It’s clear that if professionals like me cannot raise a family here,

            then all of our teachers, first responders, and service workers are in dire straits.


            I don’t think this situation pertains solely to Paleo Alto

            1. Waldenpond

              I read the replies to that…. THAT house is $2.7. Someone noted there was a house just under $700k within a 15 minute bike ride. Yes, housing is too high for the vast majority. I don’t think that is the issue for this particular family.

        2. polecat

          what’s old …or at least less recent anyway.. is new again.

          I think as time goes forward, extended families living under the same roof/roofs, will become the norm….and the infirm and/or elderly will die at home…rather then face humiliation and needless intervention in a medical/eldercare facility…or worse, simply ignored !

  17. Jim Haygood

    A fresh non-legacy of president Okey-Doke 0zero:

    The Drug Enforcement Administration Thursday rejected petitions to remove marijuana from its list of the most dangerous drugs [Schedule I].

    In long-awaited responses, DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said his decision to deny the petitions filed in 2009 and 2011 was based on government findings that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, coupled with a lack of evidence that it is a safe, effective medicine.

    U.S. states have long since moved on, while 0bama’s trogolodytic fedgov remains mired in the Harry Anslinger era, impervious to facts or science.

    Nixon and Agnew crafted the Drug War to selectively profile minorities … and it’s workin’ great!

    Nice daughter ya got there, Mr Prez … be a shame if she got locked in a cage for puffing on that funny cigarette.

    1. Steve C

      As a good neoliberal, Obama knows the drug war is too lucrative for the law enforcement establishment to allow it to be abandoned. What’s more big alcohol opposes pot legalization. With his unshakable faith in the establishment, Obama would never go against a major industry like that. But it’s all good cuz we can all go see Hamilton.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’ve thought Obama was always a small “c” conservative. Obama isn’t really a new ideas guy despite claims of “technocrats” who prefer bad, old ideas. I would not be shocked if Obama simply worries about “reefer madness” now that he is an adult. What kind of message does it send if he legalized pot and tells kids not to do drugs?

      2. Skip Intro

        And the unintended consequence: Big national/multinational companies and banks stay away from the pot business in CO and WA, which keeps the business of sales and cultivation, as well as the banking in state. The longer the feds keep up their war, the better for the states where it is legal.

      3. polecat

        “but it’s all good cuz we can all go see Hamilton.”

        …….If you gots the Tubmans, that is……

    2. Anne

      Because alcohol doesn’t have a documented “high potential for abuse?” By that metric, it should also be a Schedule I drug, shouldn’t it?

      Oh, wait, no – that can’t happen…waaaaay too much money from the industry and lobbyists to risk.

      Never mind.

      1. polecat

        the DEA will ‘reschedule’……. when the corpros have everything buttoned-up tight, so as to completely control sales and distribution !

        …and at that point, all the little sellers…legal ones at least…will be bought out…..or shut down.

  18. pmr9

    In the 2015 general election, Labour lost seats to the Conservatives in northern England because traditional Labour voters switched to UKIP. Surveys and recent by-elections suggest that these voters are returning to the Corbyn-led Labour Party

    1. Vatch

      Yeah, but they’re not in the top 0.001%. It must be very humiliating for them when they have to ask billionaires for donations.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think they believe that, through harder work, they too can be in the top 0.01%.

        And those who are trying to stop her, well, they are just jealous.

        Jealous or right wing conspirators.

        Or Russian spies.

    2. Katharine

      Why? What can you do with that kind of money that will make you happier or more at ease with yourself than, maybe, a tenth or a twentieth of that kind of money? Just curious.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You can use that money to build walls around your gated communities.

        And you hope reporters don’t report on your walls…all over America.

        “A wall? How disgusting, unless it protests my children inside our exclusive millionaires’ community.”

      2. Anne

        It isn’t necessarily what you can do with the money as much as what the money means to you. For some people, it means success. For others, it’s about proving they are better than someone else. With some people, no amount is ever enough – the more they have, the more they seem driven to acquire.

        For others, it’s about power and access and opportunity – who you know, what doors are open to you, how easily you can get people to do what you want. I think it’s why with some people, it breeds entitlement. And apparently, rather than being put off by people who only want to know them because of their money, they are turned on.

        For all the problems money can solve, it also seems to have the ability to push psychological buttons we can’t always admit we have. I sometimes think there is no amount of money that will ever make Bill Clinton let go of being a poor kid from Arkansas. And I suspect, at times, that Hillary is driven to prove she is better than the husband who has cheated on her over and over and over again.

        Money and food are two things we can’t live without, and most of us have some trouble living with in a healthy way.

        1. Patricia

          ” And I suspect, at times, that Hillary is driven to prove she is better than the husband who has cheated on her over and over and over again.”

          I suspect so too. Hillary seems rather traditional. 1% glass-ceiling feminism serves her ambition. The convenience of a political alliance wouldn’t do a thing for the rage, methinks.

    3. polecat

      well yeah.. as long as your ‘handler’ is near-by……armed with a diazepam pen !

      the stress..It’s OK…it’s ok…….

      1. Jim Haygood

        Ol’ “Bill” loads his Diazepam with liquified Viagra … boing-g-g-g-g … ready to rock!

        1. Lambert Strether

          I need to do some arithmetic but it’s not clear to me that one ad hom plus an unsubstantiated smear adds up to zero, or less than zero.

          What do you think? Any stick to beat a dog, or real value-add to the comment section?

      2. ilporcupine

        You do realize that silly Diazepam story was all speculation by one person, spread like wildfire thru the RW blogs, and has no factual basis? Where is Lambert popping up to tell you it’s against site policy to spread these unsourced speculations? Clinton’s record is horrible enough to stand alone.
        BTW, this is the same tactic which has so infuriated regulars here, when encountered on other blogs/outlets. I saw the pics, in as HI=RES form as I could find, and that object looked suspiciously like my vaporizer/e-cig device!
        Not picking on you, polecat, this was just a convenient spot to drop the comment.

            1. polecat

              I think I need a break…..

              After reading, and trying to assimilate ALL that has gone on over last 8 years…longer if you count 9/11…..about all I have left is levity…..because….when gets down to brass tacks, nothing has improved….. only worsened…and I dispair!

              …so have at it with the intellectualizing ……. I’ll leave the one liners for some other oaf…….

  19. Le Projet Européen

    Re: Schengen Europe

    “Italy invites French, German army in for prosciutto and vino”

    Alt-History Novel or Current Events?
    Where am I?

  20. european

    Gary Johnson is polling at about 9% right now, in Ohio at 12%. Is it possible that a rather big part of that are Trump voters, who are lying to the pollsters?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s possible.

      To those leaning his way, it’s possible thatTrump is the LOTE candidate, and Ohio is a swing state.

    2. Gareth

      Johnson is at 10% in Wisconsin according to the new Marquette Law School poll which has a history being very accurate, if you forgive them for totally blowing the Clinton/Sanders primary. But then, who didn’t?

      “In a four-way matchup including Clinton, Trump, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Clinton is supported by 42 percent of registered voters, with Trump at 33 percent, Johnson at 10 and Stein at 4.”

      I think Johnson gets a nice boost in Wisconsin for his legal marijuana stance, which is supported by 59% of state residents.

  21. Antifa

    The article on newer batteries is highly encouraging; however, it isn’t going to cut it for we humans to start approaching zero carbon emissions by 2050. The world will be unrecognizable by then due to climate change.

    Every municipality, every county, every state should be aware of its carbon emissions and start using solar and geothermal and these modern batteries to start sucking carbon out of the atmosphere, to bring us back to where we were in 1750. It can be a community project to build such a machine, or a 1% tax across the state, or a special carbon tax on industries, or all of the above.

    If you spill the cat’s litter box on the floor, you clean it up. It’s not someone else’s problem.

    If we have poisoned our oceans and freshwater and breathable air with CO2, it’s out problem to clean it up. This is the best and first use of new technologies — stop digging the hole we’re in, and start actively filling it in again.

  22. Elliot

    I skipped back and looked at the watercooler from yesterday (I’m not here much anymore and had missed it).

    I’d have said it differently from the way Levy did, but in the main I agree.

    I have been disappointed to see in-depth insight into economics and the workings of governments & policies & how they affect human lives veer ever more into a mirrored Trump boostering/anti-Clinton athon, with dashes of anti-intellectualism. And then the demonizing and derogation of those who disagree, and the boxing and labeling of all disagreement as Clintonite and so, unworthy. (Wasn’t Lambert pushed away from some earlier ‘progressive’ blog in a similar purge?)

    I’m no fan of Clinton, never was, and won’t be voting for her. But Trump is a dangerous buffoon, and pointing that out is not supporting Clinton.

    Positing that he doesn’t really mean the things he clearly says, and saying he will be anti-war (solely because he’s not Clinton) is embarrassing. As Michael Hayden said last night, then why doesn’t THAT Trump run for office?

    Defending or dismissing his blatant calls to violence is shocking. Today he’s quoted as saying he’s not really in favor of democracy, I hope commenters here don’t dismiss that.

    I remember the Kennedy assassination, the horrid years of violence around the civil rights struggles, and what Trump is dog-whistling to is dangerously close to that.

    It seems like the ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ idea has taken root awfully strongly here, between the Trump phenomenon and the increasingly pro-Putin view of any event involving him, which I have taken to be a reflex against the US’ military adventures/invasions. A person can be against that stuff, and also against Putin annexing Crimea, though you woudn’t know it reading here. And the US is not responsible for all the international ills in the world, though you’d be hard pressed to find that in the comments either.

    And several of the commenters have gotten increasingly strident in shouting down other commenters who say things they don’t like, leaving a very bad taste when I do come here.. which is, as a result, less and less often. I miss reading Yves’ articles, but I don’t miss the vitriol in the comments.

    1. Carolinian

      And one of the most strident was often the gentleman you are defending whose favorite tactic was to attribute to you something you didn’t write and then attack it. He also, btw, seems to be quite a knowledgeable historian.

      As for Trump, he is one of the two major party candidates for president and should he be elected we will all have to understand who he is and where he’s coming from and accept that result. Pretending that’s never going to happen or that it will cause the sky to fall isn’t going to change that. You seem to be offended by a range of views here on the subject. Myself, I applaud the proprietors of the site for living up to their slogan–“fearless.” I suspect, however, they often wish we would talk about something else.

    2. Ranger Rick

      Don’t mistake a lack of Trump denunciation for full-throated support on NC. What is important to keep in mind is that people around here do not immediately jump to the conclusion that “Trump is Hitler” that you see being pushed by more popular news outlets.

      Also important to keep in mind: this is politics, and politicians will say, and do, anything to get and keep real power. Things like sincerity and integrity simply don’t apply in an election year. So when we see Trump and Clinton, spout platitudes we understand them to be empty words. More often you will see people fretting over surrogate activity (nominees, appointments and policymakers) as the true bellwether for a candidate’s intentions.

    3. low integer

      I miss reading Yves’ articles, but I don’t miss the vitriol in the comments.

      Why don’t you just read the article and not the comments then. Seriously, once upon a time I was impressed with the critical thinking skills of the NC crowd…

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      A buffoon is someone whose ridiculous behavior is a source of amusement to others. People you might call a buffoon are a political rival or the guy at work who tells silly jokes at office parties.

      You can have “buffoon” or you can have “dangerous,” but you cannot have them both.

      1. Ashley W

        Wonderfully instructive piece on Trump, his detractors and the role of journalists in this race

        A luscious excerpt….

        NEW YORK—All over America IKEA futons are groaning with the restless insomnia of journalists—tossing, turning, cursing the impotence of their melatonin capsules—burdened with the future of the Republic. Long nights of torment, and then . . .

        Morning resolve! Before they’ve even microwaved their second Jimmy Dean Sausage Sandwich, they know that this will be the day of reckoning. They will fire up the Kia Sedona and take the long way to work, giving them more time to think about the epic 1,500 words that will make the difference between chaos and civilization.

        Yes, they tell their wives, It’s time for my “Donald Trump is a Dickwad” column.

        Let me make it clear here that I’m not talking about lesbian-rights vegans who organize fair-trade coffee boycotts at Maxwell House and agitate for medical marijuana in The Nation. Nor am I thinking of tweed-jacketed professors of sociology at Montana State submitting articles to the Journal of Spanish-American Diacritical Marks. Think-tank analysts at the Institute for Pan-Arab Non-Alignment are most certainly churning out white papers on why Donald Trump is a dangerous threat to the Maghreb treaty on fish hatcheries, but I’m not discussing them either. I’m not talking about intellectuals or activists or experts.

        No. I’m talking about the guy who enrolled at McNeese State in the nineties and fell into deep reverence for Professor Rusty Naugahyde, the legendary teacher whose Newswriting 312 workshop was almost as inspirational as Lou “The News Is Sacred” Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Our starry-eyed undergraduate buys a safari jacket, takes an oath of objectivity and resolves never to be a member of a political party.

        After that it takes years of struggle to become the lead Metro columnist at the Lotus Tree, Kansas, Daily Arapaho, days spent chronicling the brutal fights over county bond issues needed to repair the Lost Frenchman Bridge. But now that he’s a 32nd-degree Mason and chairman of the Little League committee on maintenance and parking, he knows that it’s his responsibility, and his privilege, to tell the people of Lotus Tree that Donald Trump is a narcissistic disagreeable soulless callous rude arrogant authoritarian vicious egotistical vulgar braggart and megalomaniac, possibly a lunatic, definitely a psychopath, perhaps a fascist.

        [… sorry all Trump haters… this guy is funny enough to ruin keyboards during morning expresso]

          1. Greg

            Joe Bob Brigg’s film reviews are well worth digging up though – pity he’s working for such a dubious outlet these days.

            1. Carl

              Yes! I always looked forward to reading his drive-in movie theater reviews. Loved the chronicle of Trump adjectives in this piece, and the description of the MSM losing their heads.

    5. makedoanmend

      I’m sure in the digital world of the web that there must be a certain proportion of Pro-Clinton + Anti-Putin/Russian websites where one could read interesting articles and one could sit around the virtual campfire, confirming each other’s worldview. Gotta be. I’ll give odds.

      As for being shouted down. Can’t be done. Not in the digital world. There is no sound, but sometimes there is the fury.

      I put my opinion or factoid or spell on the web, as a guest, and leave. I read and ponder, and leave. And then the next second occurs and I feel no need to linger. And then the next day dawns in the East and sets in the West.

      The key to all is breathing. It really helps. The alternative is pretty terminal.

    6. Patricia

      I don’t understand this ongoing complaint about the NC combox. IMO, the worst of it here has been downright sensible compared to what’s going on all around.

      Media weight has been so heavily against Trump that I find it a relief to read something different. When everyone is screaming about Trump’s calls to violence (current eg), but saying nothing about Clinton’s love of violence, why do you expect the same here? Trump’s disqualifications are not yet clear enough? Hating Trump at top voice has become a social imperative. Do you know how weird that it?

      I haven’t read one commenter here who thinks Trump is even close to ok. You write that saying Trump is a dangerous buffoon doesn’t mean you’re supporting Clinton. Well, yes, this is not a difficult concept. Plus too the reverse, right? Right?

      People have become upset but so what? It’s a horrid election and we are distressed. If we weren’t angry, there’d be something wrong. We bring various perspectives and bounce against each other. We sway back and forth, searching for some place to stand among the unacceptable options.

      Presidential elections go a year too long. When we start looking too familiar to each other, when contempt starts creeping in, it’s time for a break.

      1. jrs

        Yea yea maybe the insanity looks rational compared to the mainstream media it is a reaction to. Well I don’t watch that junk to begin with so the reaction in isolation just looks unhinged. Ridiculous nonsense all day long on how leftists should vote for Trump. It doesn’t make sense, sometimes I try to give Trump a chance, but I’m always back to leftist/liberals for Trump just doesn’t make sense.

        1. Patricia

          To my ears, you are the one who sounds unhinged. “..try to give Trump a chance”? Whatever for? Everyone knows he’s a first-class ass.

          And in this combox resides ‘ridiculous nonsense all day long’? Pfffft. The election itself is nonsense. Why become critical of the people who are grappling with it?

          Those few here who might end up voting for Trump have decided he is less terrible than absolutely wretched. They’re taking a gamble, just as you are if you go for Clinton. That’s not ‘sensible’. I can’t stand either option and, along with many here, will vote third party but that also lacks ’sense’.

          Why is it so difficult to understand that we’ve been offered only rotten choices and that people are doing their best to find a way through, and that they might not choose the way you do? This is a basic concept of living. If you can’t learn it when the issues are drawn large with a fat black crayon, how can you possibly know it for the rest of your life? Clinging to delusions of control diminishes human capacity and relationship.

          As to media, I didn’t mean tv which I don’t have. I meant nearly every online so-called progressive site plus their comboxes, which are filled with haranguing contemptuous Clintonites.

          Clarity of thought is the only defense against delusion and nonsense. Not an adequate defense, but it might get you through.

      2. Lambert Strether

        Being an old codger, I’ve seen this every election season.

        It boils down to enforcers asking: “Why aren’t you singing in chorus?”

        To which there are many answers, ranging from “I couldn’t carry a tune it I had it in a sack” to the question “If you want to read here what you can get everywhere else, then why are you here?”

        Just so we’re clear, because I’ve said this any number of times, but (assuming good faith) there are commenters who can’t quite get or accept it, my views are:

        1) We do not have a qualified candidate for President, of any party.

        2) I hope either of the two likely winners is crippled, and that gridlock results (because that’s better than any alternative I can see).

        How anybody can convert that position to hatred of Clinton or support for Trump is beyond me.

        I’ve also said that I think the great story of this election is the emergence of independent left voices (in the context of the crack-up of the Republican party, led by Trump, and the realignment of the Democrat Party, led by Clinton).

        How anybody can convert that position to hatred of Clinton or support for Trump is beyond me.

        It seems to me that most comments like this one are based on expectations for content, as opposed to the content itself. (“My gawd! They didn’t cover ____! They must support ____!” Or “Good gracious! ____ said ____, which is the [greatest|worst] thing ever! Why aren’t they covering it?”) With both parties so adept at strategic hate management, this is normal and to be expected. There are many “either/or” thinkers who want to force “both/and” people into their box. Na ga happen.

        1. Patricia

          Your stance is clear and logical.

          That some have to hear the same thing they hear everywhere else or they begin to panic, means they haven’t yet conquered the social issues of their teen years.

          Thus they do the same damn thing every election. They aren’t learning.

          That is what I can’t handle after a while.

    7. temporal

      If Trump, as a Republican, says he doesn’t favor democracy it might be because he favors a republic, sort a Republican thing to do, or more likely he was just trying to get a rise.

      If the Democratic establishment, via Bill Clinton’s triangulation, hadn’t abandoned their populist values and morphed into the liberal vocabulary version of the Republican party, Trump would never gotten a toe-hold into this race. Trump success comes from speaking to the 80% of Americans that have seen their standard of living decline over that last twenty years. So long as Dems pretend that this doesn’t need to be fixed, beyond stupid ideas like retraining, the anger that buoys Trump will expand. The next guy that takes advantage of this may not be quite so funny.

    8. Lambert Strether

      > As Michael Hayden said last night

      Yes, that Michael Hayden. Sort of amazing to see a pro-torture four-star general and NSA director quoted as any sort of authority on anything, but it’s been an odd year.

      As far as “It seems like the ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ idea has taken root awfully strongly here”, see my comment below; I certainly don’t believe it. In addition, “seems like” is pretty weak tea to support an assault on the integrity of the blog and the commentariat. I cannot but think that if evidence for your view were easy to find, you would have supplied it.

    9. flora

      Well, my goodness. This is the US, in an election year. Politicians don’t lead, they are markers for who has economic power and control in the country. In an election year I’d expect a lot of political commentary as a compliment to the economic writing and commentary. This election year is very unusual in this respect: both party’s establishments are economically aligned instead of opposed. If an establishment candidate wins that indicates one likely direction for the US economy. Continuation of the status quo. If an outsider candidate win that indicates a potential different direction for the US economy. A possible break with the economic status quo. Of course there will be much political debate, sometimes heated, sometimes more than heated, on an economic blog in an election year.

  23. ekstase

    “Arkansas rape victim comes forward after 40 years to call Hillary Clinton a ‘liar’”

    Wow is this upsetting to read. Just wow.

  24. Jessica

    Trumpophobia is the Islamophobia of the Democrats.
    There is a lot of pushback on this site against the demand that we join the One-Minute Hate. Particularly when those demands originate from people who have done worse than what Trump has only talked of doing. And there is some support for Trump as a possible monkey wrench in the machinery of neoliberalism.

    1. polecat

      Has anyone seen the new TIME cover…….

      OMFG…….you can count on it eliciting the OPPOSITE reaction of that to which it was intended !

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeeft

      The worry is that he might make refugees out of the descendants of those who had lived in the nation for hundreds of years.

      Those refugees might even end up in Jordan for generations, and their homes bulldozed to make room for the newer homes.

  25. Kurt Sperry

    About the Guardian Assange piece linked above-

    “Somehow, some way, the 2016 US Presidential Election just got even more terrifying. If this turns out to be true and Assange can eventually prove it, all hell is gonna break loose immediately; if he fails, what he’s said already will destroy Wikileaks forever.”

    I agree with the part before the semicolon; the bit after doesn’t I think apply. He’s outed a source yes, but the source is murdered with four shots in the back. Seth Rich can no longer be punished for the leaks he apparently made, Assange outing him now is hardly a threat to his and Wikileak’s credibility.

    I have no idea who killed Rich or why, but it appears Assange smells a rat and he may well be right to.

        1. pretzelattack

          from what i’ve read, the death is unexplained; nobody was alleging it was suicide, and he was not robbed. that’s the part of the story that makes me suspicious. is that only sourced to assange?

          1. pretzelattack

            i dont buy the conspiracy theory about meeting the fbi at 4 am due to his remark to his girlfriend about going home. i’m comparing the story to the trayvon martin case, also talking to his friend as zimmerman stalked him, though–trayvon told her he felt threatened. certainly there could be other explanations. there’s also the matter of the reward. whatever assange believes about the death, why offer a reward here?

          2. Lambert Strether

            There are many things in the universe that we know virtually nothing about. This is one of them.

            I don’t see a lot of utility in cluttering the NC comments section with idle speculation on the details of the 2016 election, especially since so much of it is generated from oppo research planted by one or another of the many players. There are plenty of other sites for that.

            Way too much noise, way too little signal.

  26. Plenue

    “Ministry of Defence facing £700 million black hole after pound slumps against dollar”

    Like it’ll make much difference. The British military has been a joke for years. They can’t even afford any more Typhoons, a plane they themselves helped develop. Instead they’ve been investigating whether they can repurpose their remaining Tornado’s back into AA capable aircraft, a role it was retired from when they adopted the Typhoon.

  27. Plenue

    >Student Convicted of Rape Faces No Prison Time

    “If I or any other judge sees you on a probation violation, I have almost no doubt you are going to prison,” Butler said, according to the local Daily Camera. “So if you think in any way you are getting off lightly, you are not.”

    Um…but he is getting off lightly. You’ve literally given him the lightest possible sentence. Also, talk about screwed up priorities. Traumatize a woman for the rest of her life, you get parole. But if you don’t always meet your parole officer on time, by god my boy, there’ll be hell to pay!

  28. Jeremy Grimm

    Regarding the Pentagon Money Pit: The Army Procurement, Accounting and Logistics systems are mind-boggling in their complexity and extent. The management systems used to track expenditures and maintain inventories are complex and “stove-piped” — meaning the systems don’t communicate or don’t communicate well. They are also spread across many locations. The organizational structure for Procurement, Accounting and Logistics appears more random than planned. I believe this characterization of the Army fits the other services as well.

    For DoD to be accountable for the monies it spends means consolidating multiple hydras of organizations, management systems, and incompatible databases. Billions of dollars are going into efforts to accomplish this consolidation. I am skeptical of the chances for success. Even if the Congress halts the flow of money to a service or organization unable to account for how the money will be spent — something that was threatened — I doubt doing so would improve the chances for success.

    While we fight foreign wars on multiple fronts and maintain bases around the world I believe the exigencies of the moment will trump efforts to reorganize the services toward making them accountable for the money they spend. The amount of money unaccounted for is beyond imagination but so is the complexity in making an accounting.

  29. JustAnObserver

    While I share some of the frustrations when the comments section seems to be all-Clinton/Trump all the time I’ve begun to sense, over time, that what’s going on here (and a few journos/bloggers on other sites) is a reaction to the Democratic Party’s position – when criticized – that we must all vote Less-of-Two-Evils (almost typo’ed Wevils). The reaction, round here at least, has been to take that at face value and say, O.K. let’s try to do the calculation. Is Clinton small `e’ evil actually less than Trump’s Dr. Evil Incarnate personna ?

    Once you try to do that what you find is that Clinton has been in public office for a long time so her `evil’ is a matter of public record going back at least to “SuperPredators” if not further back into the Arkansas times. Trump’s public `evil’ is sleazy Roger Stone dealings in the gambling industry, allegedly hiring illegals for his building sites, the Apprentice, etc. In other words Clinton’s actions as a public official implies that her `evil’ has affected – directly or indirectly – all 300+ million USians and give a very strong clue as to what her `evil’ could/would do if she makes it to POTUS. Trump, OTOH, is so far *mostly* blowhard posturing, buffoonery, and fascistiness interspersed with some fairly consistent positions on trade, Russia, US meddling in the ME (which drive the Repub establishment nuts). So, critically, we have no real public evidence on what Trump might do as POTUS.

    It seems, then, that now the `evil’ box has been opened the NC commentariat is struggling to overcome the Dem Party’s (ab)use of what Adam Curtis called (in another not unrelated context) “The Politics of Fear/The Power of Nightmares”, aided and abetted by the corrupt-when-not-blind media establishment, and try to analyze what slimy shit is crawling about in there.

    This is HARD STUFF and so I’m willing to cut quite a lot of slack for those NC commentators who are trying to “do the math”of LOTE.

    1. JustAnObserver

      I was going to add, if my Firefox hadn’t suffered a small seizure, that when taken seriously, at face value LOTE has a tribalism bypass function. You’re not allowing yourself to say noTrump ‘cos I’m a Dem, or no Clinton ‘cos I’m a Rep, you’re actually in “First, Do No Harm” territory.

      Of course if the analysis comes out that Trump’s `evil’ is likely to be less than Clinton’s then, of course, that’s where you go. The difficult case that seems to exercise much of the commentariat is when you come to the conclusion that the `evils’ are equal. Then what ?? Only 2 options left (a) 3rd party Stein/Johnson, (b) Don’t vote.

      1. aab

        Not really. First, I don’t see how any honest assessment of the reality of Trump vs. the reality of Clinton can end up with them being equal. She’s the fascist warmonger with a LONG track record of facilitating killing and exploiting hundreds of millions of people, and enjoying being responsible for killing (the 60 Minutes clip). Pointing that out doesn’t mean Trump is lovely, as everybody who does point this out has to constantly say, because the media and ruling elite is being incredibly dishonest and propagandistically framing Trump as some new level of evil. Which of course, ALSO helps Clinton, because it puts anybody on the defensive when trying to talk about this truth, acting as a distraction and wasting time and energy.

        But once you wade past the “yes Trump seems like a racist — but no more than any other Republican except that he says in words what they usually just whistle at, and yes he’s not fit under normal conditions to run the dominant military and kinda economic power on earth, and yes he has all sorts of unsavory personal and business skeletons in his closet BUT CLINTON IS ACTUALLY WORSE BY ALL THOSE MEASURES PLUS ADD FAR MORE SERIOUS CRIMES AND WORLDWIDE CORRUPTION,” most people are too worn out to address the other, more systemic argument, which should kick in if you actually really do believe they are personally a wash of evil vs. evil: She will — again, indisputably, if you’re arguing in good faith — be the far more effective evil. She is who the ruling elite wants. They are the ones destroying the country and the planet. Put her in, and we have to hope that the Freedom Caucus will continue to throw a monkey wrench into the works. Otherwise, we’ll get Russian war, Iran war, TPP, the death of Social Security and Medicare, globalized American policing (shudder), etc., etc. Does anybody here want hang the future of the welfare state on the Freedom Caucus? And those dudes can’t stop the wars. The new “draft girls” bill has already passed the House, I think.

        Put Trump in, and the Republican elite will be fighting him and the Democrats will be fighting him. Making him a one term President will be MUCH easier. Putting Trump in power weakens the corporate Republicans AND the corporate Democrats. Putting Clinton in strengthens both.

        The systems argument seems even stronger to me than the discussion of the two candidates personally. But that’s a hard argument to make to most people anyway, and it’s even harder when you have to fight past all the hot button, emotive bullshit just to get to the starting point of that leg of the assessment process.

        There is no equal. And I don’t get the impression most people who comment here are confused. I’m certainly not. I think most positions here have hardened. I think discourse here is driven more by people being free to argue from facts and not nonsense, so there’s a lot of venting, and some debate re: voting third party vs. voting for Trump. I’d be really interested to see how many commenters here intend to vote for Clinton. It seems to me if you’re #WithHer, you’re commenting at other sites, with very different cultures. Am I way off-base?

  30. Roland

    I don’t mind repeating that as a leftist, if I were an American, I would vote for Trump.

    Pace Levy, this isn’t “intellectual dishonesty.” It’s about opposing things, which, as a leftist, I think are the most worth opposing.

    Why? This:

    The two worst things about the USA in our time are Wall Street and the Pentagon. GFC. Needless wars. Are the boors or bigots of “flyover country” (God, I hate that expression) a problem on anywhere near the same scale as Wall Street and the Pentagon?

    Hillary Clinton is the candidate overwhelmingly favoured by Wall Street and the Pentagon. Contrariwise, Wall Street and the Pentagon are vociferously anti-Trump.

    For the past 16 years the USA has had very similar governments, under both major parties, with results all too familiar to everyone here.

    The USA needs a definite change of government. Voting third party won’t change the government. Trump offers at least the possibility of the closest thing you’ve had to a change of government in a long time.

    I think everyone should discount the hyperbole and melodrama coming from the almost unaninamous MSM. Never have the dangers of media consolidation been more apparent than today. As leftists, we have been warning about that very thing for a long time.

    You know the MSM fearmongering is nonsense. It is easy to prove. Trump has been a public figure for a long time. If he was anywhere near as dangerous as the MSM says he is, how come no attention got paid, until he started getting traction? The MSM was loudly warning of the dangers of Lyndon Larouche, even when that guy was nowhere near getting power. The whole thing doesn’t compute.

    As for the supposed menace of a President Trump in office, I would mostly discount that too. Why. Not hard to figure out: Trump would face a hostile legislature, a hostile judiciary, a hostile bureaucracy, a hostile officer corps, a hostile media, and a hostile financial sector.

    That’s not exactly the making of a successful dictatorship, is it?

    Nor does Trump have some sort of jackbooted legion ready to form a parallel state. Such a thing does not even exist in the lurid imagination of the MSM alarmists.

    American voters have a chance to vote against the a whole cast of imperialists, crony capitalists, and media magnates who have been beating us leftists for a long time. You can vote Trump and give them something they very obviously do not want.

    Is it tactical? I suppose so. I don’t normally like using tactics, but when so many of our political enemies are lined up as they are behind Clinton, I say we should not miss a chance to give the damned lot of them a jolly good beating.i

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