Links 10/24/16

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Just How Welcome Are ‘Foreigners’ on Japanese Trains? Global Voices (resilc)

Microsoft’s tablet deal with the NFL has been a disaster Yahoo (Dan K)


Chinese house prices crash in October MacroBusiness

France begins to clear Calais camp BBC

CETA Panic

EU sets Belgium Monday deadline to back Canada trade deal Reuters. Among other things, the Walloons object to the investor-state dispute settlement process. This is a fundamental feature of the pact and there is no way to come up with a finesse on this issue. You have to love the blather: EU officials are “rushing to assuage the Walloon government’s concerns.” How about, “What about sovereignity don’t you understand?” If the Walloons refuse to back down on ISDS, this deal is toast. Keep your fingers crossed.


Theresa May set to reject flexible Brexit deal for Scotland Financial Times

Hilary Benn: Parliament will want to vote on Brexit negotiating plan Politico

Theresa May warned of risk of constitutional crisis over Brexit deal Guardian

Movimiento autonomista le propina duro golpe al oficialismo: Jorge Sharp se queda con Valparaíso elmostrador. Timotheus:

This is potentially huge for Chile and even S. America: a very young independent just crushed the two major party coalitions for mayor of the country’s #2 city, Valparaiso. Read PODEMOS in Spain. Chile’s post-Pinochet politics for 25 years has been dominated by a neoliberal duopoly with a Democrat-like bunch alternating with a Republican-like bunch (with notes of fascism as they descend from the pinochetista formations of the 1980s). This outcome reflects the deep rejection of both that has been building for a while.

Haiti’s Clinton Problem: During his term, Bill Clinton used violent and underhanded tactics to promote US interests in Haiti Jacobin (Joe H)


Diary Patrick Cockburn London Review of Book (guurst)

The Turks want Mosul and Aleppo “back.” Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)

The Niger Delta Oil Wars Are Unlikely To End Soon OilPrice. Resilc: “Ee have “advisors” in the north, how soon is the south too?”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The DDOS attack yesterday reminds us of how vulnerable we are to flaws in technology Quartz

The Little-Known Company That Enables Worldwide Mass Surveillance Intercept. Lambert: “Wondered what role NZ was playing in 5 Eyes.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Martin van Creveld explains why our armies are becoming pussycats Fabius Maximus

Why won’t anyone admit that America is fighting 5 wars? The Week (resilc)

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife Wall Street Journal


If the Russians are Really Meddling in Our Election via Wikileaks, Can They Please Keep It Up? Paste Magazine (Kim Kaufman)

15 revelations from Wikileaks’ hacked Clinton emails BBC

Reader Don B flags a brief Magnetar appearance in Wikileaks e-mails: “I would like to figure out a way to see John Podesta in DC for 15 minutes in the near future.”

Hillary the Hawk closing in on the White House Washington Examiner

Senate Fight Hinges on Tight Races Wall Street Journal

Is Trump a drag on other candidates? BBC

Bankruptcy Bust: How Zombie Companies Are Killing the Oil Rally Wall Street Journal

Trump Should Follow Putin’s Example in the Coming Crisis Unz Review (Chuck L)

If Brexit can happen, so can a Donald Trump government Independent. Resilc: “People are fundamentally irrational and unpredictable. How big a turnout is the question and for who.”

Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change. Boston Globe (furzy)

AT&T-Time Warner face uphill battle in Washington Financial Times. Trump has spoken against it (see below); Clinton has been non-committal; Kaine has raised some lukewarm concerns.

Donald Trump rips into possible AT&T-Time Warner deal CNN (EM)

AT&T Is Buying Time Warner Because the Future is Google Wired (resilc)

Variations in party % sampling, 2016 and Oct 2016 polls Spread An Idea. The source of the misunderstanding is that “oversampling” does not mean “overweighting”. It means sampling more in a particular slice of the mix to get a more accurate reading on that particular cohort.

Political Road Map: How unlimited cash gets funneled into legislative campaigns Los Angeles Times (resilc)

Banker Deaths and WikiLeaks Deaths Have a Common Thread Pam Martens and Russ Martens (Wat)

Silicon Valley: Under pressure to float Financial Times

Class Warfare

Gary Younge, America’s Deserving and Undeserving Dead Children TomDispatch

The Cure For Being A Woman YouTube (Chuck L). One of the things I’ve come to realize is that I’m much more gender blind than most people are. What is noteworthy to me about this clip is that the subject puts constant fear of physical harm on her short list of what is dysfunctional about being female. That’s never been part of my reality, in part due to not being cute when I was young and therefore not having been the object of unwanted male attention, but also having been bigger than all the boys in my classes in both height and weight through adolescence. As a result, I’ve had only a very few instances where men have tried to intimidate me, like an overweight guy in his 40s coming into the ATM section of a bank branch, going through the motions of getting money, and then asking me at the neighboring ATM to give him cash. I was feeding checks in and reflexively gave him a “What, are you crazy?” look and continued without changing my rhythm. I had been planning to get cash but was not going to do that in front of him. I figured there were multiple cameras and he didn’t look desperate or drugged out, so he was unlikely to do anything stupid. He lurked a few minutes and left before I was done processing my checks, so I did in the end get my cash too.

The point of that long-winded story is not being afraid makes you less vulnerable. I’ve also stared a man down when I could see the impulse to slug me flicker through his eyes, and again, that was reflex on my part, and clearly not what he was expecting.

But if most women really are that afraid most of the time (ladies, pipe up), then the power of the “Trump as bully” trope in rallying women against him makes a ton more sense to me than it has heretofore.

What is the gender pay gap and is it real? Economic Policy Institute. Anyone who has worked on Wall Street will tell you it is real. On top of the undervaluation of work done by women (confirmed by studies that show that the same writing sample attributed to a man will be scored higher than if attributed to woman, and women in the sciences on average have to publish 2.5X as many peer-reviwed papers as men to get tenure), women are perceived to be weaker bureaucratic infighters and are thus targeted more than men. I’ve experienced, and have also had other women report, that men tried to invade their client relationships in a way they would be unlikely to do with a male peer.

Oakland rent continues to rise, Zillow says KTVU. EM: “Median asking rent up 70% in under 3 years.”

America’s Middle-class Meltdown: Core shrinks to half of US homes Financial Times (resilc)

Antidote du jour (Tracie H). I believe this is a tapir:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. endoftheworld

    RE: “Vote all you want. The secret gov’t won’t change.” by the Boston Globe—damn that’s a pretty cynical attitude. I think it’s true if we continue to elect career politicians. Obama, for example talked about pulling out of Iraq, but didn’t. He had a bunch of advisers telling him what he had to do, and as long as he could play golf, he was happy.

    I am hoping by electing a non-politico like The Donald, things will change. Anyway I cast my one vote for him.

    1. Carla

      The Globe article is from 2014 when Michael J. Glennon’s book, “National Security and Double Government” was published. I read it then, and have been recommending it since to everyone I know without a single taker (and it’s only 118 pages!).

      Sticking your end in the sand, endoftheworld, is not going to change life or politics in these United States. Glennon wrote his book because he knew that people with no understanding of how our government runs have zero possibility of changing it. It turns out, almost none of us really want to know.

      This very well written, content-rich, thoroughly well researched and supported (with more pages of end notes than text, and some fascinating end notes, too) book sank like a little gemstone in the cesspool of our political nightmare. Too bad for us.

      The good news is, everyone can still read it — nothing has changed. The bad news is, nothing has changed.

        1. Bob

          Altho it isn’t a long read, it’s very, very dense. Having just read the abstract and conclusion (which begins on page 109) I may try once more to read this in depth but I can see why your friends haven’t read it. Now that it’s immediately available they will have one less excuse to attempt it.

          1. Jake

            The column describes the prescription, but it’s not particularly sanguine.

            The ultimate problem is the pervasive political ignorance on the part of the American people. And indifference to the threat that is emerging from these concealed institutions. That is where the energy for reform has to come from: the American people. Not from government. Government is very much the problem here. The people have to take the bull by the horns. And that’s a very difficult thing to do, because the ignorance is in many ways rational. There is very little profit to be had in learning about, and being active about, problems that you can’t affect, policies that you can’t change.

            Not really much more to say. Though I did repost on my Facebook timeline.

            1. TheCatSaid

              “There is very little profit to be had in learning about, and being active about, problems that you can’t affect, policies that you can’t change.”

              For me, I look for the places where I can engage. It’s one reason for why I comment at NC, or more recently taking active steps to get to know my neighbors. I don’t worry about “results”. Again and again I see that the things I can and need to address in myself and in my most local environment (household, neighborhood, community) are right there in front of me.

      1. Carla

        Great description of our nation paraphrased from a NYT story “When Crib Monitors Double as Web Weaponry”:

        A country that keeps its data in the cloud and its head in the sand.

      2. oh

        Very detailed book that lays out how our democracy was given away. It places the blame on on the SLEEPLE.

      3. Robert Hahl

        Terrific essay, which boils down to:

        “Because members of Congress are chosen by an electorate that is
        disengaged and uninformed, Madison’s grand scheme of an equilibrating
        separation of powers has failed, and a different dynamic has arisen.
        His design, as noted earlier, anticipated that ambition counteracting ambition
        would lead to an equilibrium of power and that an ongoing power struggle
        would result among the three branches that would leave room for no
        perilous concentration of power.”

        “But the overriding ambition of legislators chosen by a disengaged and
        uninformed electorate is not to accumulate power by prescribing policy for
        the Trumanites, as Madison’s model would otherwise have predicted. Their
        overriding ambition is to win reelection, an ambition often inconsistent with
        the need to resist encroachments on congressional power. All members of
        Congress know that they cannot vote to prescribe—or proscribe—any
        policy for anyone if they lose reelection. It is not that Madison was wrong;
        it is that the predicate needed for the Madisonian system to function as
        intended—civic virtue—is missing.”

        This seems true enough, as far as it goes, but it fails to account for the fact that the Trumanites were formally acknowledged and codified in 1947 when civic virtue seemed quite high, yet:

        “President Harry S. Truman, more than any other President, is
        responsible for creating the nation’s “efficient” national security
        apparatus. Under him, Congress enacted the National Security Act of
        1947, which unified the military under a new Secretary of Defense, set up
        the CIA, created the modern Joint Chiefs of Staff, and established the
        National Security Council (“NSC”). Truman also set up the National
        Security Agency, which was intended at the time to monitor
        communications abroad. Friends as well as detractors viewed Truman’s
        role as decisive.”

        The only explanation I can think of which accounts for all this legislative action was the existence of nuclear weapons and knowledge that others would get nuclear weapons, setting up the scenario that Orwell described in his rather tedious novel 1984. (On the other hand, Ode to Catalonia is a great read.)

    2. Jessie G

      I think there’s an element of truth to this article, but it goes too far in releasing elected officials of all culpability- it’s not my fault, the bureaucrats made me do it! They should seek out experts with dissenting views, which they could no doubt find even internally in the government if they tried. It also makes this sweeping assumption that politicians truly intended their campaign promises to begin with, and starting with a premise that naive makes me skeptical.

    3. Bev

      Dr. Jill Stein ‏@DrJillStein Oct 21
      America is declining rapidly under Democrats & Republicans. Now is the time to build a party for people, planet & peace. #ItsInOurHands

      Dr. Jill Stein ‏@DrJillStein Oct 22
      Dr. Jill Stein Retweeted Edward Snowden
      There may never be a safer election in which to vote for a third option. (Snowden shows NYT’s headline, Election Forecast: Hillary Clinton has a 93% of winning.

      Dr. Jill Stein: Coincidentally, there may never be an election where it’s so dangerous to vote for either establishment party. #BreakThe2PartyTrap
      The Young Turks – Live Show 6pm-8pm DST 10.21.16
      The Young Turks Presidential Townhall with Jill Stein
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    4. Procopius

      I’m not so sure he was happy. Remember in the Roman Republic, when they gave a Triumph for a general who had notable victories, they had a slave standing behind him on the chariot whispering in his ear, “Remember, thou art mortal?” I think from time to time John Brennan whispers in his ear, “Remember 1963, in Dallas.” But he seems to get the occasional chance to change course for a while because obviously the factions in the Deep State are contending with each other. Not sure, though, which is the way he would rather go.

  2. allan

    Uber warns of fake driver scam spike at city airports [NY Post]

    The terminals at the city’s airports are being plagued by bogus cabdrivers claiming to work for car-hailing apps like Uber or Lyft — and its gotten so bad that Uber has lodged an official complaint with the Port Authority.

    “In recent weeks, the conditions at the terminal have noticeably worsened and have reached crisis levels,” Uber’s New York City manager, Josh Mohrer, wrote to the PA, which runs the metro-area airports.

    “In response to feedback from our riders and drivers, we are writing to request that the Port Authority Police Department review the problem of illegal solicitations at the airports.” …

    So, a corporation whose business model is based on evading safety laws and regulations wants the local authorities to enforce those laws and regulations – but only on competitors. Sort of like a tech company, which routes its intellectual property revenues through offshore cutouts to avoid US taxes, wanting to use the US court system, which is paid for by such taxes, to enforce its IP claims. File under Guillotine Watch, Death of Irony Edition.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The best routes will become semi informal anyway. Plenty of people will pay a reliable and convenient Uber driver to not drive for Uber but fit a regular fare around the driver’s schedule. My legally blind mother through the use of a bulletin board at a local college hired a commuter student to drive my sister and her stupid friend from school to where ever they needed to be and then home. There was no tech billionaire involved. No molds were broken, and land line phones were used.

    1. cocomaan

      Port Authority officials said efforts to stop bogus cabbies have been hamstrung by a court ruling that said the authority could no longer seize vehicles. “If you were taking away the car, they couldn’t work as a livery,” PA spokesman Joe Pentangelo said.

      Was this a ruling following from Uber’s success? I am not in the know on this and have never taken Uber myself – I live in the boonies.

      1. Paid Minion

        Karma can be a PITA sometimes…. LOL

        It would have been nice if someone at the Port Authority had said:
        “Now let me get this straight……… want us to crack down on the guys who are doing the same thing you, that you are doing to our licensed and certified cab drivers?”

        Then try to keep from laughing.

        I’d laugh even harder, if Uber lobbied/paid for the court ruling undermining the Port Authority.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Here’s how I’m disrupting Uber: When I’m back in the Philadelphia area, a friend of the family drives me around. He’s an Uber driver, but I keep that big monster out of the transaction. Instead, I pay him cash.

      Works for us!

    3. oh

      I’m hoping a car pooling app will significantly undercut Uber. e.g. people going to or from the airport to same suburb could share the ride and maybe fuel cost.

  3. Ignim Brites

    “Why won’t anyone admit that America is fighting 5 wars?” I thought we were fighting five wars in Iraq and Syria alone. But so long as American casualties are minimal, the American people and the American media could care less. John McCain was right about that. Plus we have a Nobel Certified Peace President. So what’s the worry? Granted we lose the Nobel certification shortly but even Sec Clinton will probably pursue his desultory tactics. These keep the focus of the opposition on the lack of success rather than on the effort (whatever it is) itself and thereby blocks the emergence of a genuine anti war movement. The point here is that there is nothing at stake for the US in the middle east and therefore the entirety of the effort is for domestic political purposes.

    1. timbers

      My friends told why no one talks about it: “It’s Bush’s fault!” – “Well Obama inherited a mess you know” – “How dare you say Obama has been at war longer than any President and suggest the wars are his fault instead of Bush’s!”

      1. Dana

        At war longer than any other President? Only if you don’t count Clinton’s term-long bombing campaign in Iraq.

        1. timbers

          Legally declared war = Obama longest Prez evah. Not even 1 single day of peace in Obama’s 2 terms.

          IMO Obama = most militaristic Prez in history thus far, probably to be quickly exceeded by Hillary.

    2. Steve H.

      A friend in the mil asked almost the same question recently. Which suggests the grunts have noticed the level of discourse.

    3. funemployed

      Easy fix. Class-blind draft. A very small chance of Chelsea, for example, being blown up by an IED would radically shift the moral calculus of the ruling class. Throwing a few bankers in a high security prison in Alabama for life would have a similar effect.

      1. jrs

        I’ll believe that will happen when we have a class-blind criminal justice system first. Yea since we don’t, the burden is on you to prove the ruling class won’t bend and break the rules to their favor. I know they will.

        1. Alex morfesis

          Actually…a constitutional amendment calling for a draft which works from the top down…I am sure charlie munger can drive a stick shift…seniors first…richest ones first…second…congress kritters…oldest first…then just regular oldsterz…war does not need the young and dumb anymore…so enuf of this current way of working the inductee process…

          1. Steve in Flyover

            I was making the same argument with my friends during the First Gulf War.

            They are sending the wrong people. They are sending 18-24 year old kids, with plenty to live for.

            Who they need to send are us 40-45 year olds, with kids, wives, mortgages.

            IOW, guys with nothing to live for. :).

            Getting a “kitchen pass” to go blow s##t up for 6-12 months would just be icing on the cake.

            To digress, one of the guys on my crew was a member of an National Guard unit that flew KC-135s. In the summer of 1990, he was happy, because his two weeks of active was going to be spent in Germany “…….flying all day, and drinking beer all night…..”

            On August 1, Saddam invades Kuwait. He comes into work, all moose-faced. “S##t……..we’re not going to Germany……..”

            He was supposed to be gone two weeks. Four months later (late November 1990), he gets home, with tons of “war stories”.

            Remember at the time, the news was filled with predictions about reinstating a draft, thousands of casualties, yada-yada. He came back with “Saddam is really Fooked” stories.

            Since they were ready to deploy to Germany anyway, they were sent to Saudi Arabia instead. Initially, it was scary, because the only US units “in country” were the 1st Fighter Wing, the 82nd Airborne, and them.

            By November, they were running out of room to park aircraft. Many of them flown by National Guard and Reserve pilots. Most of them pizzed, because they had been recalled from their airline/cargo/corporate jobs, and sent to Saudi to twiddle their thumbs on a sand dune for the duration. Let’s just say they were highly motivated to start and finish the job, then GTFOOD.

          2. craazyboy

            See “Old Man’s War”, John Scalzi.

            But’s it’s a volunteer draft. The perk is if you survive the Space Alien Wars, the old farts get to keep the new government issue super bio body the military gives you.

        2. Antifa

          A class-blind justice system would require 100% of criminal cases to be done by jury trial, and the choice of 12 jurors to be by lottery, not agonizingly selected by the prosecutor and defense attorney.

          Currently, 99% of criminal cases are settled by plea deals. That leaves the actual sentencing in then hands of police and DA’s, not judges.

          Of course, there aren’t enough people in these United States to put in the jury hours needed to handle things this way, so we will have to include citizens of Canada, Mexico, and most of South America. Habla Espanol?

          The certain result will be most people accepting plea deals for short prison terms just to avoid jury duty. No more insane than the current system . . .

  4. petal

    Great links today. Thank you!

    As for the female being afraid regularly thing-growing up, I was abused physically, verbally, and emotionally by my father. It got to a point as a teenager, though, that if it came to it, I would have taken him out if need be. My bigger-in-size brother started taking after him and I fought back. My mother was afraid for him when he did this. Was also tailed and then cut off at an intersection by a creepy guy in a van whilst running to crew practice in college. Took actions to get myself out of that situation-because I was aware. Those are the only instances in 38+ years. I am not afraid in my daily life-even when I was living in Boston and going home at odd hours or volunteering in bad parts of town. Pretty sure the guy is the one that would come out on the worse end. They’d be the recipient of a lot of bad stuff and would either end up in the hospital or dead.

    The “Trump as bully” thing doesn’t really bother me. My female friends, though, are aghast. I don’t think they ever had to deal with any bad guys, guys in general(ie be a female at 6m:1f ratio engineering school), or threatening situations while growing up, so they never learned about how to deal with them or what someone can be like when not on best behaviour/boorish, etc. They also had their group of girlfriends and didn’t interact much at all with males. This has stretched into adulthood. Also think some of them have been conditioned to be the submissive female type/good girl/pleasing. Female friend from London is along these lines and always scared of everything-I don’t think she could function on a daily basis without her husband. She’s horrified by Trump. Sorry if I’ve offended anyone-was just reporting my observations. It’s a very interesting subject.

    1. cocomaan

      Camille Paglia said it best:

      PAGLIA: Working class culture retains an idea of the masculine. There’s absolutely no doubt about that. But, with that, comes static. So you have to have strong women in order to deal with masculine men. That is why masculinity is constantly being eroded, diminished, and dissolved on university campuses because it allows women to be weak. If you have weak men, then you can have weak women. That’s what we have.Our university system, anything that is remotely masculine is identified as toxic, as intrinsic to rape culture. A utopian future is imagined where there are no men. We’re all genderless mannequins.

      As usual, she’s blunt about it. I am sure someone is already typing out a post to pick apart her verbiage, but the thrust of it is obvious and inescapable.

      1. Lee

        My mother was a strong working class woman who took Annie Oakley’s advice regarding women and firearms and would not brook being physically abused. She shot her first husband in the foot as he was going for her and barely missed blowing her second husband’s head off by firing a rifle through the front door, which he was trying to break down to get at her. Happily, her third husband was a very decent man. She managed a restaurant in a mall with a vast parking lot and was responsible for closing it at night. On one occasion a man followed her through the dark and nearly empty lot. She stopped and turned to face him showing no fear. She had her hand in her purse gripping a pistol. The stalker quickly changed direction.

        Annie Oakley’s advice:

        “Why did Oakley encourage women to learn to shoot?

        Shirl Kasper, Biographer: She overhears a woman talking, “I wish I could learn to shoot a gun.” And Annie goes up to her and says, “I’ll teach you.” This is the first time in her life, it seems, that she really starts to make women friends… And I think she takes great delight in teaching these women how to use a gun. She says she teaches 15,000 women over the years. She tells stories. This is when she starts sounding like a feminist. “I think women should have the right to protect themselves and carry a gun.” She even appears in the Cincinnati newspaper, showing how to hide your gun under an umbrella so no one will know you have it. Then if someone attacks you, you can pull it out.”

      2. Plenue

        My conclusion (as a man, mind) has increasingly become over time that masculinity is quite useless. And its immense fragility (what Fight Club was actually about) leads to no end of incredibly stupid episodes, at all levels of society.

      3. Oregoncharles

        Paglia herself is notoriously combative – used to get into fist fights. To say nothing of her writing.

        I’ll also note that this whole subject has deep pitfalls if you’re male.

    2. DorothyT

      Re: The Cure for Being a Woman

      Yves wrote:

      The point of that long-winded story is not being afraid makes you less vulnerable .. But if most women really are that afraid most of the time (ladies, pipe up), then the power of the “Trump as bully” trope in rallying women against him makes a ton more sense to me than it has heretofore.

      I honor Yves’ comments and the stories of the two women that have responded so far to the ‘being less afraid thus less vulnerable’ meme. However, I wish to point out that fear is a valuable and natural response when girls or women are truly endangered by boys or men who feel they can get away with battering or murder. So many do ‘get away with it.’ Fear can escalate to trauma, which then generalizes into all sorts of situations that might not otherwise appear to be threatening to outsiders.

      Please be kind to the girls and women in your lives that are fearful. Listen to them and don’t offer pithy assurances not to be afraid. If only one of the solutions could be police or court protection for them, but too often the only protection is their own vigilance.

      And Trump’s bullying? No doubt it has raised the anxiety level of many for different reasons. We’ve seen how little shrift some of the media give to women’s charges of his violence against them.

      1. cocomaan

        I think it’s healthy to at least look at where the fear is coming from. By all measures, violent crime is going down, and that includes sexual assault. So why the paralyzing fear? Well, the answer might be why Yves put this under “class warfare”. When the economy wallows, tribalism comes to the fore.

        The other thing I’d like to say about your post is with regard to police and court protection. As David Graeber points out in his book on bureaucracy, police aren’t in the business of actively preventing crime. Active prevention would mean posting police in your neighborhood or house to maintain right and just conduct. No, they are there to catalog and respond to the results of the crime that’s taken place.

        A woman’s, or a man’s, own vigilance is actually the only thing they can rely on, and that sense of self should be fostered.

        1. DorothyT

          Violent crime going down? Good. Including sexual assault? I doubt that. The police will often tell a woman that if she brings charges against a husband or boyfriend or even a casual date for violence or threats, he may become even more dangerous for her (and possibly her children too). In my day, regardless of physical proof, the police wouldn’t take a report like that as they would tell you the courts would see it as “He said. She said.” And so did many of the officers, as well.

          Class warfare? Violence against women knows no class boundaries. Knew of a major broadcast network executive with a large family who beat his wife. Many true stories like that.

          1. Patricia

            Yeah, I think it’s domestic child and spousal violence that is the source of the fear. (The real fear, not the media-manufactured stuff which is more like horror-stories-around-the-campfire.) Esp early childhood abuse breaks things in a psyche and recovery varies, depending on the intensity/type/chronicity.

            And yep domestic abuse crosses all class boundaries.

            Personalities vary, too. Also, support of an abused person (particularly a young one) makes gigantic difference in ability to recover.

            There’s a lot of child and spousal abuse. It is seldom accounted for in crime reports.

            1. Paid Minion

              To avoid a long-winded story that nobody is interested in hearing, let’s just say that, in my experience, the work “abuse” covers a lot of territory. So does “harassment”.

              One wonders how many of these women would be complaining if a single, rich George Clooney-esqe type was performing the harrassment (my guess…….close to zero %), vs. non-rich, non-handsome schlubs such as myself. (close to 100%).

        2. Vatch

          I tried to post a reply, but it appears to have been swallowed by Skynet. The FBI reports that violent crime is up by 3.9% from 2014 to 2015, although property crime is down by 2.6 percent. I don’t want to post the link, because that’s probably what annoyed Skynet; just go to the FBI web site.

          1. Emma

            I firmly believe the best way forward for all of us is a “don’t tell me bad, show me good” approach. We really need, much, much more focus, on examples of good behavior.
            So along those lines, for example, the prosperity of an entire nation absolutely requires a movement to drive money into an ever-increasing amount of societal investments which create inclusive and equitable growth. That is also the means for achieving equality……

      2. HotFlash

        I was one of 14 girls in a class with 37 boys through grade school and things could get physically rough. For instance, I was followed home from school by a gang of them, knocked down and, weather permitting, had my face rubbed in snow *repeatedly* over the years. Ah, grade school crushes! Anyway, later in life I had recurring nightmares about being attacked and not being able to defend myself — tried to hit back in the dream, but it was as if through jello.

        A wise therapist suggested martial arts. I started with judo, then progressed to a jujitsu style — very satisfying. I learned to punch very well indeed. The nightmares stopped.

        I also think that it was good for me to learn that I wasn’t made of porcelain. I could fall without getting hurt, get roughed up a bit without lasting harm, take a solid hit or kick without freaking. As one of my sensei’s told us, “You may never be in a street fight, but you *will* fall down.”

        Plus, I think I acquitted myself well enough that the guys in the dojo accepted me as a more-or-less equal and I, in turn, felt that we had each others back. IOW, guys were not my enemy just b’c they were guys.

        Upshot, and as I say often (stop me if you’ve heard this before…), the only effective defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrified.

        1. Oregoncharles

          I’m glad you mentioned that. A college friend told me she was attacked, on campus; but she’d been taking karate, so she whipped around and hit him. She lamented that it wasn’t a very GOOD hit, but it did the job: the guy fled.

          It would be very helpful if more women learned to defend themselves; it would make violence against women more dangerous, help correct the balance. But it’s a lot to ask, an unfair burden. It would have made sense for my skinny self, too, but I didn’t do it. So it has to be an opportunity for those who are attracted to it: you not only help yourself, but the social atmosphere.

    3. furzy

      Being 5’10” and fast in feet and mouth has saved me from many a male annoyance!! and as Yves said, “show no fear”….that really freaks the fellers out…I do get annoyed when the ladies are endlessly abused in the movies, etc, and never fight back…my best advice…seriously study a defensive art, like judo or tae kwon do if you feel fearful…I learned to fight back on the long country school bus ride….was miserably putting up with my books being thrown out the window, the boys siccing even bigger girls on me…when one day, enuf was enuf, I didn’t care if they killed me, they were going to suffer and bleed, and I threw myself tooth and claw at the gaggle of them………..and they left me alone after that….

      1. craazyboy

        This isn’t just a problem for girls either. Guys need to be fearful of skinny little guys with guns and knives. Plus, must I mention gang sodomy at gunpoint? That could happen too.

      2. Jeotsu

        I have had the “pleasure” of living in some very dangerous inner city areas of a couple of US cities. Have been assaulted. Have been shot at. Had a coworker murdered one evening (I was likely last person to see him alive as we changed shift and he took over for me). Used to fall asleep to the sound of gunfire.

        People are animals. Predatory people are very often not thinking clearly, they are working mostly with their lizard brain.

        Being large is stature helps. I am male, and of adequate size (5’11”). Even so, understanding human body language is what has saved me from many a fight/assault. It is hard to describe to people that fraction of a second male-to-male glance that conveys “yeah, i’d be a good fight, but I’m busy…” Not inviting a fight, but simultaneously making it clear you are willing to. This body language is universal, and I’ve had my bacon saved by it in many a country.

        Too many people grow up in a bubble where they don’t understand these nuances of body language, and don’t know how to move their body in a confidant way.

        Confidence in yourself changes your body language, and makes you safer. Confidence in your physicality changes it again, and provides more assistance. I’ve taught a number of women sword fighting, and it has improved their physical presence — not that they would carry sword around for protection — it is a matter of understanding your body, knowing at least a bit what a fight feels like, and thus not having a clenching fear of the unknown.

        But knowing when to run is good too! I’ve done that. Decided the dude with the lead pipe had ill intentions. :)

        1. Skippy

          Humans are more influence by their enviroment, hence the decadel studies on the most important years being the first 5, all health, cognitive, social, and other factors are largely set into motion during this time.

    4. ChiGal in Carolina

      It is not exactly being “afraid” but a subliminal sense of constraint that is so ingrained you don’t even know it’s there. I was raised in an academic family and thankfully not subject to abuse or even gender favoritism. As I got older, I was often hit on in public, but that is at most an irritation and something I have called men out on when I felt the situation warranted (like the a-hole who exposed himself to me in the middle of the day in a public park – I was totally pissed and started yelling, drawing attention to what he was doing and he ran like hell with me trying to chase him down). I also fought back when I was mugged by a couple of guys on an el platform (and kept my wallet).

      But over the years as a nature lover living in the city one thing I am acutely aware of is that with a man I could wander along the lake at midnight without having to be on guard. Not possible as a woman.

      I miss the unfettered freedom I had as a kid living in a small town.

      1. kareninca

        Men can’t wander at midnight without being on guard. My brother, who is now a psych professor, came to visit us in Chicago in the 80s. He is 6 foot 2 inches and enormous. His field is social psych, and he knows a lot about crime. He traveled all over the Chicago area looking for a safe place to live, and he told me that there wasn’t one (so he stayed in our place in Hyde Park). He is not a coward; he is a realist. An unarmed man is nearly as much of a potential crime victim as an unarmed woman, if the criminal has a gun or a knife or pepper spray. Men are assaulted and attacked all the time.

        Also, being with a man is no defense. My husband and I were out at the Palo Alto Baylands a few years ago and two guys came up to us; they were casing us; it was clear that they were considering robbing us. The fact that my husband is 6′ 4″ and sturdy did not deter them at all (I am sure they were armed). They only lost interest when they saw what a cheap POS our car was (a truly ancient Honda). No doubt being there by myself would have been worse, but a guy is not much help; personally I would rather have a gun (not that I own one).

    5. Wyoming

      No one who was acquainted with my mother, 3 sisters or wife would even think of openly describing them as weak or subservient due to the fear of what would be the likely result. They are (or were – some have passed) strong, tough, intelligent women. That being said my mother told me she was sexually assaulted during WWII when she was an Army nurse, two of my 3 sisters have been raped and the other sister was thrown down a set of stairs when she was pregnant, and, lastly, my wife was raped when she was in college. None of these women were tiny or petite either. It is a dangerous world out there and this is not a simple issue to address or solve.

      1. Medbh

        I appreciate you emphasizing the difference between physical and mental toughness. My experience is that people either dismiss concerns about physical safety (i.e. “quit being a wuss, you’re overreacting, there’s nothing to be worried about”), or suggest that woman are inviting victimization by not acting “tough” enough or standing up to bullies.

        Directly challenging an aggressive or obnoxious man may have been effective in a situation or two, but that doesn’t mean that strategy will be effective for everyone or in every situation. Sometimes challenging escalates a situation, and sometimes we just get lucky.

        I suspect that a woman’s physical appearance also plays a significant role. My sister and I are attractive women. Being in public spaces inevitable meant being hit on, cat called, or fending off demands for attention. Ignoring someone doesn’t always work, and sometimes behavior would escalate or get more hostile if you just ignored them.

        There are woman in my family who have been raped, and I don’t know of any woman within my family or circle of friends who cannot provide at least one example of being in a public place that resulted in aggressive or intimidating behavior, such as a guy exposing himself, blocking or refusing to let you leave a space, screaming because you walk away and refuse to talk, etc.. Woman don’t usually talk about it because that’s just the way it is. The concern, cautiousness, and (sometimes) fear is legitimate, and helps keep women safer. Bad men don’t wear a scarlet letter to give you warning.

        I wish people could attempt to understand what others are experiencing, even if it doesn’t match one’s personal experience. Gender, physical attractiveness, location, etc. can all influence one’s perception (and reality) of safety.

    6. B1whois

      I’m going to respond here as a woman of 5 foot 9 inches and 180 pounds 53 year old blond with a well-earned engineering degree in civil engineering. Trump’s brashness doesn’t scare me.
      What I am actually afraid of is a Clinton presidency and the attacks of the right-wing Fever Swamp against women. That’s the honest to God’s truth.
      Reading the replies of different people brings to mind the conversation I recently had a very good friend who told me that he is now afraid that any time he gets into a fight the other person might kill him with a gun or a knife. It’s made him deside that if he gets into a fight he’s going to win by such a huge Beatdown or death so that geting shot or stuck is not an option. I find that extremely scary, the breakdown of society in the US. Let me just say that I am implementing my plan to leave the United States for the wonderful South American country of Uruguay. I have got my plane tickets and I’m leaving November 5th, before the election.

  5. m.e.

    I’m 5’1”, 90 pounds, and am a dead ringer for an Academy Award winner. Intimidation has been apart of my life her first movie came out, and I do some pretty bizarre s*** to avoid it. But I figured my issues have more to do with my uncanny resemblance to a perma-A-lister than with my gender, height, or weight.

    That said, some of my shorter girlfriends have told me about similar threats in their early 20s. So I think you’re on to something with the height/weight thing, but I’d be curious to see more research on it.

    1. Anonymous

      I saw Amy Winehouse walking in the street once, being harrassed by several paparazzi. They were walking in front and around her, holding their cameras just a few inches in front of her face, letting the flashes go, asking her questions.

      I was in a car driving past at the time, now wish dearly I had stopped, regardless of the traffic, to try to help her.

      Yes, celebrities are different to the general run but I wondered if a larger male star would have been treated like that. Seems doubtful to me.

      Celebrities get criticised if they hit out when treated the way Amy W was on that occasion, but if it happened to us I think many of us would find our patience ran out pretty quickly.

    2. Katharine

      I’ve always been about average size, and I suppose looks, and never had any real problem letting people know I didn’t want to be bothered, either nicely in a train station where I didn’t want to talk or brusquely on the street where “Hey, baby, what are you doing?” got “Minding my own business!” A slightly younger woman once expressed perplexity about even the nice brushoff, saying “But then they say you’re not being nice,” and my response was essentially, who gave them the right to judge, and what about your judgement of their niceness? I think “niceness” conditioning does a lot of women a real disservice, as they lose sight of their autonomy. Is there anything in male socialization that causes men to doubt they have a right to their own preferences, feelings, and privacy, or is this something really one-sided?

      1. Emma

        Interesting comment. I think that those (men or women…..) who appear to be ok with the abuse of women, abuse others, and it’s always found at the top with a nations’ leaders whether they be in or out of the public eye ie. the ruling elite.
        To varying degrees, misogyny is found everywhere worldwide, but what may exacerbate the problem, is our willingness to encourage typical stereotypes in our portrayal of misogyny, through the actual enhancement of those stereotypes.
        I don’t think rejecting sexism alone is either what creates a better society for women. Human rights must be thoroughly defended through collective action which challenges the really subversive power in a nation. That is how we don’t lose sight of our autonomy.
        It’s indeed only together, both men and women, can fight a patriarchal and perversive political establishment which really exploits sexism to meet its own nefarious goals. Real equality can only exist if a nation respects and ensures its’ citizens have real choices. And that the economic system in place governing those citizens is securely and properly independent from the ruling elite. I’d therefore posit the thought that in the US, though progress has definitely been made, equality is like a small bird which still makes its’ nest in the ruling elite’s ears. Both the taste for and the smell of equality is simply buried in the pockets of the ruling elite. You see, they don’t really need loose change like the rest of us really do………..

      2. jinmichigan

        “suck it up” is the first, second, and third rule of male socialization. I think that very much “causes men to doubt they have a right to their own preferences, feelings, and privacy.”

    3. JohnnyGL

      Sorry to hear of your experiences.

      I figure it’s instructive to think of the possible outcomes from the prospective assaulter’s view.

      1) a successful assault
      2) an unsuccessful assault with a clean getaway
      3) an unsuccessful assault while getting caught
      4) an unsuccessful assault while getting caught and getting a serious beatdown from a woman and ending up as tabloid fodder as people love stories of bad guys getting what they deserve.

      #4 obviously results in not just a criminal record, but a severe loss of reputation of masculinity.

      Then imagine the guy who’s facing hard time after outcome 3) or 4) trying to fend for himself in a high-security prison. I recall touring prisons on more than one occasion in my younger years (school field trips and other activities) and one thing that was clear was there was little tolerance in prison for rapists and others who assaulted women. Lots of prisoners have wives, girlfriends, daughters and despise them.

  6. Bugs Bunny

    A very sarcastic Vladimir Putin gave a press conference yesterday where he commented on 2016, cyberspying, Syria, Russophobia and other fun stuff

    Near the end, he notes a number of unresolved problems that Americans are being distracted from… number 1 for him is “the government deficit” a “ticking time bomb”


    1. financial matters

      Nice interview. Putin, for better or worse, again comes across as the most reasonable politician in the room. I mean this in a good way as he comes across as a reasonable statesman.

      Even MMTers warn us that not all debt is good. If all our spending goes into military and surveillance activities without paying attention to building a strong sustainable economy it could well be a ticking time bomb.

      Related: In the excellent 2009 Oliver Stone documentary ‘South of the Border’, Bush apparently tries to counsel one of the newly elected social democrats of South American that war can be very good for the economy.

      1. Pat

        A lot of people I know go ballistic when I say that Putin is one of the few if not the only adult in the room. Yeah, I know his background. Yes, I know he is not a good guy. But most of these people either have ignored or totally missed what bad actors the American establishment have supported, created, trained, backstopped, etc IOW how we don’t qualify as the good guys either. And when you start reeling off our actions their eyes glaze over or they try to shut you down.

        Our media has a a lot to answer for. Media consolidation might be one of the smartest things the oligarchy managed.

        1. Paid Minion

          We might not like his policies, but you can’t fault him for looking after his countries interests.

          LMAO. Putin is the “rising tide lifts all boats” guy.

          Unlike our “Privatize the gains, socialize the looses” kleptocracy.

          Frankly, if Russia IS involved with hacking the Democrats, all we can do is thank them. Nobody who votes for the Hillabeast should be under any delusions as to what you will be getting if she is elected.

          Russia “interfering with the election”? What a joke. Like the Israeli lobby hasn’t been for 50 years. Or any foreign citizen, MNC or country that ever gave a dime to the Clinton Foundation.

    2. RabidGandhi

      To his MMT credit, at least as subtitled, Putin mentioned “debt” not the deficit. And totally agree with the others: it’s a sad sign when the most adult person in the room is Vladimir Vladimirovitch.

      1. DarkMatters

        It is sad because it might be relatively easy for a western counterpart to work with him constructively, but not only is there no leader of his caliber to be found in the West, but as Trump as shown, the mere suggestion to do so brings down opprobrium.

    3. JohnnyGL

      Thanks for that link. Very interesting to listen to him.

      It’s really crazy how some of the foreign leaders who are MOST demonized in the US/western media seem to be the most reasonable sounding people in interviews. I listened to a lengthy segment of Assad interviewed by NBC the other day and he came out of it sounding pretty good, oddly enough.

      Re: MMT and the debt, Putin’s perspective is going to be different than that of a US domestic audience. Putin is talking about the external value (exchange rate) of the USD, not the value for Americans. Russia, like a number of other countries, has stockpiled a large amount of USD based reserves for several reasons and would prefer not to risk facing a large possible devaluation of that stock of reserves.

      In short, he’s talking his book on that one. He’s not advocating for some Pete Peterson-style reforms that are unnecessary :)

      If I’m not clear in my explanation, imagine what a 40% fall in the USD would mean for your day-to-day expenses. I suspect not much….maybe a bump in food and oil prices.

      Then, imagine what that would mean for Russia’s economy and existing stock of forex reserves. Much more of a headache, I’d suspect.

      1. DarkMatters

        You also get a different impression of Qaddafi from his speeches on youtube. You also do get a different impression of Trump from his speeches than from the MSM interpretations.

  7. JTMcPhee

    I wonder: will there be any reporting on what’s placed on offer to “the Walloons,” and what pressures and threats are being applied to the individuals manning this “unfortunate surprise sticking point” in the slick glissade down which all the Fokkers scurrying where us mopes can’t see them have been propelling the End of Sovereignty and Apotheosis of Corporate Rule? Gray men in suits, with briefcases containing, ah, who knows what, descending from corporate jets and limousines to “work the magic of Trade” on “backward peoples” not happy about having their throats cut and their children starved…

  8. Carolinian

    Re AT&T/Time-Warner–I have a friend who works at TCM and is worried since the channel is more of a prestige thing for TW and doesn’t make much money. Given AT&T’s poor service and bottom line mentality (speaking as a consumer) it’s hard to see how they would make a good fit with creatives.

    That said, anything bad that might happen to CNN will be well deserved. Ted Turner was ultimately thwarted in his big idea of colorizing old movies but his other big idea–24 hr tv news–has transformed the tv news business into the mindless yak fest we have today. The once prestigious broadcast news organizations had to dumb down to compete.

    Since merging AT&T and Time-Warner is such a bad idea Hillary will, in the end, doubtless be all for it.

    1. Roger Smith

      I am eagerly anticipating her neoliberal response. Sanders, Trump, and others have already absolutely condemned it. In the FT article above Kaine gives us a preview of the Clinton response, which will be gelatinous and to the right of the “nazi, fascist, demagogue, Russian puppet, bully” Trump:

      “ISSUE needs to be given a hard look and certainly could be cause for alarm. If ISSUE does not meet meaningless platitudes A, B, or C, it might not be best for the American Public.”

      Yay fact checking!

      1. Pavel

        Roger, Bingo! See my NY Times quote below, including the Team Clinton comment:

        A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton told reporters that she “certainly thinks regulators should look at” the deal.

        Jeez, Hillary, ya think?

        1. Roger Smith

          I caught that after! Thanks for sharing the link. It seems like a terrible idea for her to commit to this vauge-ry at this point in the game (but even more so that her opponent is the stance he is). However, when you owe donors… that dishonesty will always rear its head and cause complications.

        2. Anne

          You can’t see me, but this is one more Clinton response that has my head on the desk…and it fits in perfectly with the how-many-Clinton-staffers-does-it-take-to-send-a-tweet? overthinking and micro-parsing.

          Even a non-rocket scientist like me knew immediately that this merger was a bad thing – but I guess as the possible president to ALL the people, SOMEONE needs to consider the needs of those at the top of the food chain, right?

          Or maybe it’s just that she’s trying to remember how large her ATT/TW holdings are, or whether the Foundation owes any favors to those involved in the merger [note to anyone who’s interested, when I went to put in the abbreviations for the two companies, I quickly realized that it’s not a good look to put TW before the /ATT in print, not good at all].

          I feel like she thinks this slow, measured, careful response marks her as a person who is never going to act without thinking, but she apparently has failed to consider how badly some of her so-called well-thought out decisions have been – but then, it’s hard to learn from your mistakes if you don’t think you’ve ever made any (oh, wait, she does say it was a “mistake” to have a private e-mail account – I guess she thinks we rubes don’t know the difference between an account and a server – but still, she did say she made a mistake. This one time).

          I don’t know if it’s head-on-desk syndrome, or Monday blues, but my head hurts: time for the ibuprofen.

          1. JohnnyGL

            You’re precisely correct on this one.

            If you can’t just come out of the gates strongly against it, with no additional conference calls or focus group poll-testing, you’re kind of hopeless.

            The is one ‘edge’ Trump has over Clinton. For all his faults, he knows instinctively on some issues what the RIGHT answer is and is confident enough that he doesn’t need to check with his campaign staff. This is how he gets his reputation for “telling it like it is”, deservedly or not. Clinton can’t or won’t give anything that sounds like “straight talk”.

            I think the wikileaks emails have shown how much time the staff spends thinking about and talking about “optics”. It’s like it’s all day, every day. Calling for “scrutiny” is calling for nothing.

            As far as using the word, “mistakes”, well, I’m sure it was focus-group tested, first. :)

          2. integer

            This kind of non-answer is Clinton SOP. Here’s an email with Gene Sperling advising Neera Tanden on how Clinton can blur the fact that she is against reinstating Glass-Steagall using a similar approach.


            So common theme on these comments is not to cave on Glass Steagall or bank size — but to have more of a feel of agreeing but explaining why she has the smartest way to do it, as opposed to explaining why she is against.

          3. JCC

            “I feel like she thinks this slow, measured, careful response marks her as a person who is never going to act without thinking”… yes! And yet we are inundated by MSM telling us all that these “nuanced” responses make her the sensible “best choice”.

            Every time I hear the word “nuanced” in conjunction with HRC I know I’m getting propagandized by the press, with warnings of future lies and/or bad policy pushed by HRC.

  9. Umh hnh

    Valparaiso is a Human Rights City. Stay tuned for more of the same in other Chilean cities adopting the PDHRE template.

    1. Pavel

      Excellent… Bravo Wallonia! From the Guardian report (your link):

      Belgium says it cannot sign Canada trade deal – PM

      Hopes that Belgium would back a European Union trade deal with Canada appear to have been dashed, putting the agreement in jeopardy.

      Belgian prime minister Charles Michel said he had told EC president Donald Tusk today that the country could not sign the deal because he had failed to get agreement from regional authorities, notably Wallonia.

      The EU had given Belgium’s federal government until late on Monday to secure backing for a deal, or a summit to sign the Ceta agreement planned for Thursday would be cancelled.

      But according to Reuters, Michel said to reporters after meeting regional leaders:

      I have officially told Tusk that we have no agreement.

      He said he was still open to further talks with Wallonia and said it was too early to say whether Ceta, which has been in negotiations for several years, was dead.

      But Tusk is now expected to contact Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and call off Thursday’s planned summit.

      1. cnchal

        There are going to be some crying eyes up north. Probably not a happy day for the Maritime fish plant processors, whose plans are, harvest the seas, employ Mexican guest workers in the plants, ship to Europe, watch your bank account grow.

  10. Jim Haygood

    How welcome are foreigners on Japanese trains? Well the first thing is, you have to remember to duck when entering and exiting the train, since many of the doorways are less than 6 feet high.

    Commuting from Osaka to Kobe one morning, I was straphanging (in NYC parlance). The ‘strap’ was a 9-inch coil spring anchored in the ceiling, with a plastic ball on the bottom end for grip.

    When the train went round a curve, damn if that strap didn’t just pull right of the ceiling.

    Japanese already consider gaijin to be quite bizarre lifeforms. Seeing one yank a strap off the ceiling served to confirm that foreigners are gross and brutish as well.

    Sumimasen, mina-san. I was born this way.

    1. Pavel

      One of the best things about Japanese public transport (subways, trains, buses): nobody — and I mean NOBODY — is talking on cellphones. With the exception of gaijin ignorant of the local customs, of course. I often call a friend and if she is on the train she won’t respond but just send a text message that she is “on JR now”.

      In France they ask passengers to move to the areas between trains if they need to use their mobiles.

      I remember a painful Greyhound journey in the States a few years ago. The driver advised passengers to use mobile phones quietly and only briefly. The woman across from me was talking non-stop for (literally) hours. I finally reminded her of the rules and she gave me a very dirty look as though I were the one at fault.

      1. Clive

        And… related, westerners taking up more than the minimum allocated space (and yes, Japanese public transport seats outside of the equivalent of first class are pretty pinched) and thinking of nothing intruding into the personal space of the person / people sitting next to them. The Japanese find this very off-putting and it isn’t a difficult thing to avoid doing.

          1. Clive

            He’s allowed !

            But look at the people next to him. There is a woman who looks asleep too, but has her arms folded inwards and her head downwards to her chest not, I point out, lolling to the side. Similarly the other woman with her arms and legs crossed. And the man in the corner seat — he’s practically pressing himself against the partition. No arms sticking out, even onto the armrests — and definitely no manspreading!

            1. optimader

              A college chum spent an undergrad year as an exchange student in Japan. Vintage ’78.
              He lived with a host family in the suburbs of Tokyo IIRC, very nice family as you would expect, still keeps in touch with them.
              Anyhoo, he was delayed one evening, probably partying, and was on the late train out. Sat down in front of a couple inebriated business men who went on and off again for his 20 min commute speculating uncharitably about who he is, what a Caucasian was doing on there train, and generally uncharitable speculation that would come out of inebriated business men on a late night outbound commuter. All this under the false assumption he was not fluent in the language.

              When he got off, he gave them a little bow,thanked them for the entertaining conversation that he indirectly participated i,n and a quick explanation why he was on the train.! All with a smile.

              So of course the two guys did the quick apologetic meltdown.

              Human’s social herd mentality until confronted with the individual interaction.

        1. bob

          I find Asians, and Japanese in particular, not very accustomed to having/giving personal space. A crowd is the norm, even when there is room to spread out.

          I’m very aware of it. It drove me nuts a few times over the summer holiday season this year. Granted, this is with tour groups. It seems the exact opposite of what you are saying.

      2. Knifecatcher

        The only – thankfully! – experience I have with Greyhound went slightly differently. This was about 2 years ago. I was near the front of the bus, with a young woman in front of me having an animated cell phone conversation, I believe in Hindi.

        When the bus pulled into an intermediate stop the driver (a large black man) got out of his seat, walked over to the young woman and said “You can keep your voice DOWN or you can get off here.”

        There were no problems for the rest of the ride. :)

      3. timotheus

        Two cellphone-on-busses horror stories: two hour trip through central New Jersey this summer: A woman sat down next to me, whipped out her cell and began a conversation in a language I (mercifully) did not understand. When I asked after 20 minutes or so if her she planned to talk on the phone for the entire trip, she nodded, obviously completely perplexed, as if to say, Of course I am, what else does one do in a public conveyance? I changed seats.

        Couple of years ago, DC to New York: young girl yapping loudly to her father from approximately Wilmington to Manhattan about boyfriends, STDs, what pills you have to take, among other edifying topics. Responded to dirty looks by threatening to have her friends deal with me when we get off the bus. Could not change seats, and no one else objected.

    2. Eureka Springs

      Even in Tokyo or Osaka stations there were no international signs to guide foreigners. Very disorienting.

    3. Clive

      Gaijin On A Train. It sounds like the title of a disaster movie. For quite a few Japanese, it probably seems like it. I can well see how the conductor on the train felt compelled to apologise for the foreigners. For a start, despite what’s commonly promoted, rudeness by Japanese shop staff, officials and sometimes just ordinary people you happen to come across is not unheard of. Most of it comes from embarrassment but of course, sometimes, they’re just annoyed at having to cope with someone who doesn’t know and can’t possibly understand The Rules.

      One thing that goes an awfully long way is, if you’re in any sort of situation where you’re interacting with a Japanese person in Japan as a foreigner, begin every encounter with either a sumimasen or a gomennasai. These are you’re standard “I’m sorry’s / please excuse me’s”. For extra credits, throw in a shitsureishimasu “I’ve been rude”. Do this even if you have behaved impeccably and (so you think) utterly beyond reproach. It will tell the Japanese person that you know you don’t understand everything you should be doing and you’re happy to admit it. It will take the pressure off everyone concerned.

      And secondly, please do take a phrase book / smartphone dictionary / similar. And use it. You do not have to get the pronunciation perfectly. If you’re using Romanised Japanese pronunciation, you will sound pretty clunky anyway. It doesn’t matter. It will a) be polite b) be considerate and c) make it easier for those you’re transacting with because while the Japanese learn English in their school system, the way they are taught is just ridiculous (you learn Shakespeare but not how to correctly pronounce “where are you going?” and to be able to understand the answers in an expected range) so they are not very confident in their linguistic abilities and embarrassed as a result.

      I was on a train last week and some Americans sat in the row of seats opposite my isle. They complained about the overcrowding (it was a commuter line and only just after the worst of the morning rush had passed and even though it was a limited stop express, it is a service which is heavily loaded with longer distance commuters who don’t need to be at their desks by 9 o’clock on the dot). Worse, the coffee, at £2 for a plastic cup of instant (Starbucks branded supposedly espresso-like but just the same old instant rubbish) wasn’t to their liking. I think they were New Yorkers. Or, worse, possibly Texans. They were certainly loud enough for them being the latter. The bloke who sat opposite me (it was a table seat) leaned over and whispered to me “bloody yanks… always moaning, like they own the world…” I nodded and tutted. In a different set of circumstances, we’d both probably have complained about late and overcrowded trains ourselves. But the cultural norms dictate that it is fine for us to do that, because they are our (English) trains. For a non-U.K. national to do exactly the same thing, well, that’s completely different, isn’t it?

      1. Eclair

        When my husband worked for months at a time in France over a period of a decade, I discovered the magic phrase: “Je suis désoleé de vous déranger, monsieur/madame, mais ……(and then my request, from a buying a train ticket to asking directions from a stranger on the street to making a request in a restaurant). Fortunately, my spouse is a svelte, soft-spoken engineer who doesn’t smile much, so he blended right in, culturally speaking. But, the tactic seems to work in any foreign country; what we Americans consider excessive politeness really makes social interactions run more smoothly. I guess it is the human equivalent of wolves rolling over and exposing their bellies. Although, my experience with wolves is limited.

        1. RabidGandhi

          The first thing I had to learn about not sticking out in the US was to stop starting conversations with “good morning”, “good evening” etc. USians haven’t got time for such niceties.

          1. Clive

            The last time I was in New York, I thought I’d be polite by, after finishing my meal (it was a fast food type of joint) asking the woman cleaning tables how and where I should remove the vestiges of what I’d just eaten.

            With a look that would have made even Yves flinch (craazyman would have probably asked her for a date though) and a tone which I’d not encountered since second grade, I was informed “ya put the trash in the bag and the bag in the can”. “Oh, erm… Can of what, my darling ?” I asked (although my American is pretty good, it took me a few seconds to twig that “can” was being used in the American parlance, meaning “rubbish bin” and didn’t refer to the British English usage, which is solely in the context of “a can of coke”).

            At that point the lady in question prodded my arm, pointed to the food wrappers, placed a bag on the table and walked over to the “can” and gesticulating in a dropping motion completed the explanation with a frown the would curdle milk at twenty paces. I thought she was going to call the police at that point.

            Of course, the woman was not being offensive, at least not intentionally. She was trying to keep on top of her work while a couple or more other customers (again, being New Yorkers and not exactly renowned for their patience and fed up that the 10 minutes they had for breakfast had already been used up a little) were looking askance at the tables they wanted to sit at which hadn’t been cleaned because she’d had to waste her time with my inept faffing around.

            1. craazyboy

              Well, things are improving, slowly, in the states. With more and more business majors taking entry level positions in the food service career path, I’ve been having success inquiring, “What waste disposal solution has been implemented by this franchise?” I used to get odd looks, but now they just point to the happy trash can.

              In the old days, in S. Cal, at least at the better establishments, chances were your waiter/waitress was a trained Shakespearean actor/actress. English worked fine in those cases.

          2. witters

            I found – as someone incapable of learning a new language – that a single remembered phrase, if uttered with a broad smile, would work wonders wherever I was. SO: learn how to say – in the relevant tongue – “I am a beer!” (“Je suis un biere” etc.)

      2. JoeK

        Granted, we gaijin in Japan can be bulls in a china shop. That said, Japan remains in many ways a cultural, if not political, sakoku (closed country). You can live there for a decade, master one or two Japanese arts (over a period much longer than a decade), receive menjo (licences) acknowledging this expertise, speak Japanese, and still be treated like you arrived yesterday and must be a student of these arts, probably a beginner in fact, because there’s no way a non-Japanese brain and set of hands could master a traditional Japanese art. Hundreds if not thousands of confirmations of this attitude.

        If you walk towards the Haruka express (for KIX airport) platform at Kyoto station you’ll see an information booth presumably set there because of the large number of foreigners riding that train. Next to the window is a sign saying the staff speak “English” in English of course, Korean (I assume) in Hangul, and then below that, “中国語,” which is Chinese, but in Japanese, in Chinese it’s 中文. Kind of like a sign saying “Se habla Spanish.” At least one can count on the Chinese speaker being native these days, since again IME (pretty extensive from studying and working in the mainland) Japanese speaking comprehensible Chinese are still very rare. I pointed this “Se habla Spanish” out to the staff member standing there last time I got on that train (last month) and got the most indifferent shrug I’ve seen from a staff member in Japan in a long time.

        As to “gaijin,” it’s definitely close to the n-word. I lived in a so-called “gaijin house” in Tokyo for a while, that’s an unofficial but common term for these places. While there I saw an article in English in the Yomiuri or Japan Times about these places, and throughout the article they were called “gaikokujin houses.” This term doesn’t exist but it appears the writers felt writing down “gaijin” was not feasible, a clue to its connotations.

        The point is, yes we Westerners can be crude rule breakers, but we’re damned regardless. I saved a sticker from my recycling bag that was returned to my house labeled “YOU TRANSGRESSED THE RULE!” (ルールを違反です!), with an exclamation point, as I’d mixed different classes of materials. Of course, almost all of it gets incinerated, not recycled, but one must, above all, keep up appearances. After that (and I glued the label above my front door) me and gaijin friends never referred to “the rules” but “the rule,” because as a Japanese teacher pointed out, Japanese don’t slavishly follow the law as is widely believed, but slavishly follow custom, so there’s a certain amount of wiggle room, but IME with gaijin The Rule is applied (if not enforced) more strictly as the ideal of The Rule is applied, this because gaijin are still, well, the ultimate outsiders and thus not afforded wiggle room. What you’ll get is the side-eye or perhaps a public scolding (more likely a behind-the-back complaint).

        But this latest incident is probably mostly about Chinese tourists. Yes we Ame-gaijin can be particularly crude (talk too loudly, move our bodies around too much, slouch), but the boom in Chinese tourists that last few years is testing the Japanese people’s tolerance of non-Japanese behavior. Talk about loud and physically expressive, mainland Chinese, especially men, are all about occupying territory (aurally as well). And Chinese tourists generally travel with an extra piece of luggage (or buy one at their destination) for souvenirs. During my frequent visits no small number of Japanese acquaintances express opinions on this situation and rarely is the comment positive.

        I’m happy because if nothing else it may make us Americans appear slightly less louche.

        1. JoeK

          Another anecdote, eating in public is frowned on, it would appear more so than puking in public is. One evening going into central Tokyo on the JR Chuo-line (home of the Chuo-cide, JR doesn’t charge the relatives of train jumpers–under, not into–for lost revenue during clean-up like the private lines, so it’s the considerate choice) I was pre-loading for my evening out with a beer and accompanying the first one with a sandwich. The carriage was virtually empty so I felt emboldened beyond my usual train-eating practice of surreptitiously munching on bread or an onigiri from within the packaging and just ate and drank openly. I looked around to check for disapproving side-eyes but only saw another gaijin halfway down the car on the opposite side doing the exact same thing, beer and a sandwich. He caught my eye (probably while also glancing about for disapproving looks), so we smiled and toasted each other from a distance.

      3. OIFVet

        I had a good chuckle when I received my Oyster card in the mail. In addition to the card, the package included a tip sheet describing the local customs. It was a very polite way of telling the damned Yanks to mind themselves while riding the metro. Of course, I encounter many Brits who disregard the customs, but home field advantage is what it is. Then there is the rudeness of station attendants toward those who speak a language other than English. Saying goodbye to my sister and a brief hug in front of a turnstile proved to be more than the attendant could handle, even if it was 5am and the station was empty. He damned our Eastern European impudence. I am pretty sure he voted for Brexit :)

        1. Clive

          Oh, I’m so sorry (and is that an English thing to do? apologize for things that aren’t really your fault but you think there’s definitely guilt by association; then again, I can end up apologizing for the bad Broadway season of 1993/4 and that’s definitely nothing to do with me so I’m probably an outlier). There’s nothing that can hold a candle to British officialdom being officious if you have the misfortune to be on the wrong end of it. Although if you’re a native, you do tend to just shrug it off.

          Theresa May should, while there’s still free movement of people, deploy a crack team of ex-UK Border Force, London Underground / TfL and National Trust Room Guides to Brussels forthwith. That’ll teach ’em.

  11. Pavel

    Re AT&T and Time-Warner merger: We see absolutely typical Clintonian waffling on the issue whilst Trump and Sanders come out firmly against it:

    Politicians from both parties stressed that they were concerned about any limitation of consumer choice.

    “This oligopolistic realignment of the American media along ideological and corporate lines is destroying an American democracy that depends on a free flow of information and freedom of thought,” Peter Navarro, a senior economic adviser to Mr. Trump, said in a statement on Sunday.

    A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton told reporters that she “certainly thinks regulators should look at” the deal.

    Senator Bernie Sanders wrote on Twitter that the government should “kill” the deal, citing the prospect of higher prices and fewer choices.

    The comments are about 90% scathingly anti-merger. It seems there are lots of unhappy AT&T internet customers out there! And here’s one by Waldo:

    Waldo Wickhamshire 1 hour ago

    I for one want to hear stronger language on this from Hillary. The ambivalence in her initial response was telling. She’s definitely hedging her comments because she knows she has a debt to pay to her Wall Street bundlers once she gets elected. If she doesn’t come out with a statement that unequivocally opposes this merger then I won’t vote, for her or for Trump. I urge others to do the same.

    NY Times: Swift Opposition to Resurrection of AT&T Giant

    1. Andyb

      Eventually, just like there is actually only “one bank”, there will be only one corporation, probably called Global Enslavement, Inc. And as the Swiss academic study of interlocking directorates of all major global corporations proved, the one bank and the one corporation will have the same Board.

  12. torff

    Re: the Niger Delta wars, you and your readers might find this documentary of interest. (I’ve shown it to some of my economics classes.)

    It was on Netflix Streaming for awhile, though not sure it’s still there. In any case, definitely worth checking out.

    1. CraaaaaazyChris

      If you liked the ‘Big Men’ documentary, here is another one sort of in the same genre: We Come As Friends. I watched it on Amazon prime last weekend. About Sudan and South Sudan. Hard to watch at times (poverty, hopelessness), but an interesting, eye-opening view of Africa during the HRC SOS time period.

  13. cocomaan

    Interesting development in the DDOS attacks from Bloomberg via ZH:

    A Chinese security camera maker said its products were used to launch a cyber-attack that severed internet access for millions of users, highlighting the threat posed by the global proliferation of connected devices.
    The attackers hijacked CCTV cameras made by Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology Co. using malware known as Mirai, the company said in an e-mailed statement. While Xiongmai didn’t say how many of its products had been infiltrated, all cameras made before September 2015 were potentially vulnerable.

    Given that all our hardware is made in China, you have to wonder how many backdoors might have been snuck in. ATT and Comcast and Verizon can all merge into one ISP monster, but it’s meaningless if the hardware can just shut the entire system down.

    1. samhill

      Luckily, my web-enabled refrigerator is still running but it went and ordered $500 worth of Prince Albert pipe tobacco – yes, in a can!

  14. nippersmom

    I haven’t read “The Cure for Being a Woman”, but in answer to the question posed above, I do not (and never have) go about in constant fear for my physical safety. I take reasonable precautions- the same precautions I would expect a man to take- and go about my life. But then, I would also never describe being female as “being dysfunctional”. Certainly, there are societal disadvantages to being female (i.e. the gender wage gap) that need to be addressed, but I find the “dysfunctional” phraseology odd.

    I also work in a male-dominated field (less so now than when I was in college and starting my career) and am just as comfortable around men, and have just as many male friends, as women. I do wonder whether one of the reasons I am more comfortable around men is because I chose a male-dominated profession, or if one of the reasons I chose to pursue my field rather than a related female-dominated one, is because I have always been comfortable around men.

    1. Katharine

      > I do wonder whether one of the reasons I am more comfortable around men is because I chose a male-dominated profession, or if one of the reasons I chose to pursue my field rather than a related female-dominated one, is because I have always been comfortable around men.

      I should think it could start with either, but they tend to reinforce each other–thank God!

        1. Paid Minion

          Or maybe they prefer the predominately male team interaction, where you usually know who your enemies are.

          Unlike most female dominated teams I’ve observed, who are all friendly and sisterly to your face (whether it’s male or female), then start the back-stabbing the minute one of them leaves the room.

          1. Emma

            I’ve also had the opportunity to work and consult in male-dominated fields, but I’d err on the side of caution. In my opinion, it really depends more on the profession and personality types as opposed to ratio of men-v-women. In terms of respect towards, and acceptance of others, low people-politics, but high career development etc. etc., working in professional services as a woman was not as positive an experience as working in industry where something was actually being made.
            So, working alongside “macho” ex-military men who made up the larger part of a workforce proved to be great, but in another scenario with similar ratio, didn’t. One firm designed and manufactured cool technology, the other ‘designed’ and ‘manufactured’ hot-air! And this caused no end of suffering for many of us!
            I do recall an informative episode during my first-ever experience as an entrepreneur in a foreign land. At that time, I was also member of a foreign group of Anglo-Saxon businesswomen but thought the idea would translate well to the local market. The President and Founder of the group fully supported the endeavor of a ‘satellite’, and I rounded-up the initial participants in next-to-no-time. These women were eager to get involved and takeover. My goal was to help them, bring them together, and leave them in cruise-control. However, what struck me at that time, and has guided me ever since, was that despite their ‘macho’ culture as perceived in general by Anglo-Saxons, they displayed a far stronger desire to unite with, and actually involve locally supportive businessmen. Let’s just say their desire to do it this way beat our not so readily accepting Anglo-Saxon ‘combative’ attitude!

  15. Goyo Marquez

    Today’s must read, by Matt Stoller:
    How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul,

    The Watergate babies, at least partly because of Vietnam, saw government as the enemy, and so led by guys like Pete Stark, who owned a bank, undid the work generations of Democratic congressmen had labored over, to insure competition in the marketplace and protect against concentrations of wealth and power.


    1. Goyo Marquez

      One of the subheads:
      Clinton stripped antitrust out of the Democratic platform; it was the first time a reference to monopoly power was not in the platform since 1880.

    2. Goyo Marquez

      Interesting quote:
      “Clinton Library papers, for example, reveal that the lone Senate objection to the Supreme Court nominations of both Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg was from a lurking populist Ohio Democrat, Howard Metzenbaum, who opposed the future justices’ general agreement with Bork on competition policy.”

    3. flora

      Great link. Thanks.
      My comment is that Stoller under-emphasizes the Vietnam era divide between the college boys who got deferments and the blue collar boys who got drafted. The college boys declare blue collar workers – in total – to be redneck hardhats too ignorant to understand what was *really* going on, too retrograde (how else explain their willingness to support the war, even when they were the ones getting drafted?); blue collar became anathema to college educated “right thinking” young liberals. My description sounds over the top, but it’s pretty accurate. The college crowd developed a “workingclass-ist” bias of its own. Few of the college crowd ever served in the military. Gore and Kerry served. Young John Kerry was eloquent on the reasons for opposing the Vietnam War – as it had developed into a quagmire. I’d like to ask the now old John Kerry, “How do you ask someone to be the last one to die for a mistake in the Middle East.”
      I’d like to ask the whole elite Dem establishment, “How do you ask our country to fail in order to protect your narrow-minded ideology?”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        At that time, many colleges were tuition free.

        As late as the early 80s (don’t know the situation after I left), one only had to pay a registration fee (not tuition) every quarter/semester at the University of California.

        As you say, those college boys got free tuition to prepare for higher paying careers, while blue collar boys got drafted.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe not as the enemy.

      See the top of the comments – Don’t bother to vote. The secret government won’t change.

      I am more optimistic than those who think that, but still, I am not comfortable enough to say 1. the government is not a household, 2. but can spend as much as it wants.

  16. RabidGandhi

    W/R/T Chile Elections:

    Not to pooh-pooh a positive development with the election of Gabriel Boric in Valparaíso, but the Movimiento Autonomista is not yet comparable with Podemos.

    First, you can tell from the election results the impact of Boric’s candidacy: he won 54% of votes, but over 65% of the voters abstained (voting not mandatory in Chile). So Boric won less than 20% of the votes: a victory, but not earth-shattering by any means and even less is it a sign of a major change in the highly-ossified Chilean political scene.

    Second, Boric’s own trajectory must be taken into account. Boric came out of the 2011-13 Chilean student protests, which saw him and other leaders like Camila Vallejo launched into electoral politics, as he was elected to the House of Deputies (Chile’s lower congressional chamber). Boric joined as a member of the Autónomo Movement (a longstanding Marxist organisation that fought against Pinochet and had ties with Perú’s Shining Path) but earlier this year he broke off from them to form this new party and to switch his political focus from congress to a major mayoral post. So Boric forms a splinter group off a minor leftist organisation and has now scored 18% of the vote in Valparaíso: nice, but not yuge.

    Meanwhile, by comparison, Podemos represents a far more unified left than what we see in Chile, and with all Podemos’ issues, that’s not saying much. That said, any slight movement to the left in Chile (after all the booby-traps Pinochet left in the country’s institutions) is a victory, however minor.

  17. JohnnyGL!

    I’m posting a weekly standard link and I’m feeling very uncomfortable about it. But these are strange times.

    This writer seems like he’s firmly in the pro-GOP, but anti-Trump and anti-Clinton camp. I think this whole magazine has gone this direction as battle lines on the right have been drawn.

    Writer gives a nice summary of what we’re learning from Wikileaks and why what they convey is problematic. It’s not individual emails, it’s the bigger picture that gets teased out.

    1. fresno dan

      October 24, 2016 at 11:41 am

      I forget the source, but it was best said as, “This is a race between the republican and Donald Trump”

      Other than the Clintons hoovering up all the grift, on substantive matters, what do the parties actually disagree on (e.g., war, banking, trade???). Honestly, a discussion among 4 year olds on whether the Easter bunny is better than Santa Claus made more sense than the 16 republican candidates talking about “defeating” ISIS and how their plans were SOOOOOO different and better than Obama’s…

  18. Portia

    since no one else has weighed in on the “gender pay gap” link, I will weigh in. The ” men tried to invade their client relationships in a way they would be unlikely to do with a male peer” phenom happens to me in a lot of situations. It just seems that men in male-controlled environments need to vet and have everything go through them, that they need to know everything and put their stamp of approval on it, or make it their own if a woman is involved. I really think many men are terrified of losing control of their world if a woman makes an independent decision. Women are not to be trusted to do anything but follow a male-produced program, and giving them power (which includes money) is terrifying.

  19. Katharine

    I’m a bit puzzled by the Examiner article headlined Hillary the Hawk Closing in on the White House. It details some of her hawkishness but gives nothing to show her closing in. In fact, despite an ABC extreme outlier, many recent polls show the gap between the candidates within the margin of error and about half show Trump ahead (within that margin).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Being an outlier, that ensures it will be the first to pop up when one googles ‘news.’

  20. ckimball

    re:cure for being a woman
    As a young woman (or young lady as I was called in my early to mid teens) I would go alone antique shopping in “downtown” San Francisco. Several times I was followed by men making sounds and saying things to me. I never told anyone. I felt like something about me was unseemly to have encouraged the
    attention. I was aware of being revolted more than being frightened. I started wearing coats. This was in the 1950s and early 60s. My cure was to engage in friendships to connect with mutual humanity so that
    I could understand similarities and differences. Eventually I felt more comfortable again.

  21. a different chris

    Ok is van Creveld really that much of an idiot? The links are all I read so maybe they don’t properly capture his views – but what I see is really, really phenomenally stupid. We don’t “win” wars because we don’t know or at least admit to the troops what we are really fighting for. They figure it out anyway and… well look at the suicide rate.

    PS: “Pussycat”??? Seriously??? He is an idiot. If our soldiers were “pussycats” it would really be horrible because, as a person who has cohabited with such creatures their whole life, I can tell you that they are deadly efficient and more to the point completely uncaring killers. If our troops had their mindset the human population would be down to maybe 1 billion at this point — thank god they don’t.

    1. Editor, FM website


      “He don’t “win” wars because we don’t know or at least admit to the troops what we are really fighting for.”

      Calling a distinguished expert an “idiot” when you didn’t read the article is quite odd.

      If you read before ranting you’d learn that it’s not just US armies, or even Western armies. Almost all foreign armies have been defeated by local insurgents since WWII (when Mao brought 4GW to maturity).

      As for your objection to the metaphor of “pussycats” — you’re overthinking it.

      1. fosforos

        I read this article up to the point where his idiocy became unbearable: where he claimed that the French army was “defeated” in Algeria and that the government as a result “collapsed.” The truth is that the government which collapsed in Mai 1968 collapsed because of the *strength* of General Salan’s French army in Algeria. The French army never for a moment lost military control over virtually the entire territory of Algeria. De Gaulle’s government was strengthened, not weakened, by withdrawing from Algeria. De Gaulle sold out the *pieds noirs* and *harkis* for three reasons: The US absolutely vetoed his plan to destroy Boumedienne’s ALN in its Tunisian sanctuary; the war had become burdensome in terms of economics and domestic politics; and (crucially) the FLN leaders guaranteed French access to and de facto control over the development of the Sahara’s petroleum resources.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Pussycat” is slang for soft, fuzzy, affectionate. It pretends they don’t have fangs. (Ferrets are more obvious, as they’re sabertoothed – the fangs hang out of their mouths.) We have an odd habit of keeping deadly predators as companions.

      You make an interesting point about the reversed meaning of the term.

  22. DarkMatters

    “Banker Deaths and WikiLeaks Deaths Have a Common Thread”

    The simply suspicious episodes comprising this issue are unsettling enough: John Jones’ suicide in a location where there was a CCTV camera malfunction, the involvement of Mary Hassell in cases with curious circumstances, Seth Rich’s murder by being shot in the back of the head, somehow during a “botched robbery”, followed by an offer of $20k by Julian Assange for information leading to apprehension of the perpetrator.

    But entertaining the possibility that the cancer deaths of Michael Ratner and Gavid Macfayden are anything but natural is beyond disturbing. It is true that assassination by cancer has been a topic of speculation since the 1930’s, and some corroboration did come out during the Church investigation in 1975. The fringe media has been filled with speculation on this, sometimes accompanied by disturbing documentation.

    Until now, this sort of thing has been discussed only in the context of spy vs. spy geopolitical “wet work”, usually blamed on Russians (Litvinenko, e.g.). But have we now come to the point where bioweapon targeting has become a mainstream political tool in the west?

    1. Oregoncharles

      Cancer isn’t a very good means of assassination, as it takes a long time and is sometimes curable.

      Throwing someone off a roof is another matter.

      I kind of wonder how Clive feels about that first banker, an IT executive. No wonder he protects his identity.

  23. JustAnObserver

    Re DDoS attack:

    What I completely fail to understand is why all these IoS (*) devices are even visible via the public internet and yearning to be hacked ??! Surely the simplest mitigation is to put them all behind a separate hard firewall. If you want to see any data they create then arrange for them to dump it onto some local disk space and only allow that space to be visible remotely via a hardened connection (encrypted + random port allocation) through your main firewall/router.

    Really its not that hard. Just apply the rules: (1) If its interface requires access via the public `cloud’ don’t buy it, (2) If its s/w is some proprietary `binary blob’ don’t buy it, (3) if its raison d’etre is to save you taking 3 steps from the couch don’t buy it. (**)

    Do people really really need to open their garage door from their holiday dacha in Tajikstan?


    (**) At least you’re safe with IoS kettles. Which self-respecting hacker is going to waste 11 hrs struggling to add it to their botnet ?

  24. fosforos

    In a long lifetime of reading the news media, I have never seen a statement as shamelessly false as “The Saker’s” claim that in 1991 “Trotskists (sic)” seized power in Russia. His continual vituperation against “Anglozionists” and against “Bolsheviks” makes him sound like a real *blackhundrednik* admirer of Nicholas II as well as (though probably to a lesser extent) of Vladimir Putin.

  25. Oregoncharles

    ” If the Walloons refuse to back down on ISDS, this deal is toast. Keep your fingers crossed. ”

    I’m probably not the first, but the news this morning is that it’s toast.

  26. Plenue

    >Martin van Creveld explains why our armies are becoming pussycats Fabius Maximus

    “Around 1995 Martin van Creveld told the CIA that Mexico would become the greatest threat to America’s sovereignty. They thought this was delusional; I suspect events since then have changed their minds.”

    Wait…what? This is the first time I’ve ever heard anyone claim Mexico threatens our sovereignty. Jobs, sure, nightmare (among some) visions of the Hispanic vote ballooning, but threatening our sovereignty? Seriously?

    1. craazyboy

      They only way I can figure is the USG could end up with two countries to run, and that’s more than twice as many as they can handle.

  27. ProNewerDeal

    BBC “15 revelations from Wikileaks’ hacked Clinton emails”

    This type of article could be useful, but BBC seems to lack judgement on what is important. I think my “freestyle” list of Podesta Wikileaks in comments a few days ago was more comprehensive.

    BBC fails to note that HC’s “private position was 1 pro-TPP & 2 pro-Grand “Bargain” / Ripoff Social Security & Medicare cuts, both are opposite to her “public position” which is anti both as per the 2016 D Platform. IMHO these huge policy revelations are in the Top3 most important Podesta Wikileaks revelations, certainly in the Top15, & definitely more important than “Chelsea Clinton is a Brat” or “Needy Latinos” which is apparently specific to intra-Corporate D beef bt HC/Podesta & Bill Richardson.

    IMHO BBC appears incompetent & clownish to prioritize intra-Corporate D beef over huge policy news items.

    If it exists, I’d be interested in reading such a TopX list by a skilled journalist (such as NC, Jordan Chariton, etc) that was primarily focused on policy revelations.

  28. kareninca

    Hmm. On the “male intimidation” question. I’m barely 5’4″, have an hourglass figure (well, a really big bust) and standard “pretty” features. Men have always been very polite to me. In fact, so polite that they have never hit on me at all or asked me out; I’ve always had to ask them out. Once I start talking and it is clear that I’m an Aspergers nerd case, they are a little surprised (the lisp doesn’t help), but I have managed to get dates.

    I’ve never been a crime victim except once in the Mission District of SF in the 80s; a guy shoved his fist in my face on a crowded street and demanded money and I handed him some (there was no-where to run). And in Berkeley in the 80s late at night a guy started talking to me in a disturbing way, so I started coughing vigorously without stopping and he went away, saying “boy you sure sound sick.” This is despite having lived in crummy areas (south side of Chicago) and traveled through dicey areas. I have read that being skinny is actually a huge big risk factor for being a mugging/assault victim, and that has matched what I have seen among my friends and acquaintances. Years of karate lessons in high school (which I was lousy at, since I have no depth perception) do give me the confidence that I could run or yell effectively.

    I asked my husband why guys never asked me out or hit on me. He told me that if a woman has a really big bust, guys assume that she must have a boyfriend or husband nearby who will beat them to a pulp if they approach her.

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