Links 10/31/16

Fishing Cats Cradle bioGraphic (guurst). Give the horrid swipe-friendly layout time to load; it’s a good read.

Video: A Pack Of Wild Pigs Is Wreaking Havoc In Riverside LAist. Hedgies in the Southland?

Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops NYT. Oh, I don’t know. The “bounty” to Monsanto seems to be working out fine, just fine.

Drugmakers Turn Cheap Generics Into Expensive Pills WSJ

The Feds Raided the Scammers Behind Those Fake IRS Robocalls. It’s Not Enough. Slate

Global reflation: still weak and patchy Gavyn Davies, FT

While Services Sector Booms, Productivity Gains Remain Elusive WSJ

Private-Jet Forecast Cut by 600 Planes as Slow Growth Zaps Sales Bloomberg

Odd Lots: What Mathematical Models of Herding Cows Can Teach Us About Markets Bloomberg

The power of prediction markets Nature


Islamic State v. al-Qaida LRB

Iraqi Shi’ite commander says Mosul battle ‘no picnic’ as troops advance Reuters

With Shiite militia help, ISIS outnumbered 4-to-1 in Mosul, Iraq CBS

Syrian rebels’ Aleppo offensive could amount to war crimes, UN envoy warns Guardian

Yemen: Dozens killed in Saudi-led coalition air raids Al Jazeera

Turkey takes editor of opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet into custody Deutsche Welle

Protests erupt in Morocco after fishmonger crushed to death Reuters


China banks in stand-off with regulators on loan loss provisions FT

As concerns grow over falling yuan, China’s rich eye property abroad – report Reuters

China as Factory to World Mulls the Unthinkable: Price Hikes Bloomberg

The Irrational Downfall of Park Geun-hye Ask a Korean. And we think our political class has troubles.


The UK has no choice on ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit Al Jazeera (J-LS).

France sets up team in Brexit push to lure business from London FT

Brexit and neoliberalism mainly macro

When The World Leaders Thought Passports Were Not A Necessity Swarajya

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

German magazine “konkret” interviews me about about Tor, spies and the cult of crypto Yasha Levine, Surveillance Valley. Comes highly recommended.

Inaudible Soundwaves Expose a Spooky New Pathway for Hackers Fortune (DK).

The Inevitability of Being Hacked The Atlantic

First self-driving cars will be unmarked so that other drivers don’t try to bully them Guardian


Hillary Clinton faces intense animosity as she approaches White House Toronto Star. Canadian reporter ventures out beyond the Acela corridor. Yglesias tweets his hot take:

Peak smugness, am I right or am I right?

Official: FBI obtains warrant to search newly found emails AP

The FBI is sitting on ‘explosive’ information regarding Donald Trump and Russia, top Democrat asserts Independent. So now Comey is a Russian agent of influence? What a wonderfully clarifying election this has been!

James Comey, Hillary Clinton, and the Email Investigation: A Guide for the Perplexed LawFare (MsExPat). Must-read (agree or not).

The Story About Judicial Dysfunction Behind the Comey Whiplash emptywheel

Don’t blame Comey for this mess CNN (DK).

FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe WSJ. More on the staff insurrection, which Yves called.

Hillary Clinton emails: What we know, and what we don’t USA Today. Good wrap-up.

So far, sexting, groping is 2016’s ‘October Surprise’ AP. October surprises past.

Trump, Clinton reveal strategy and style _ with schedules McClatchy

The Consequences of a Trump Shock Simon Johnson, Project Syndicate

Money increasing stakes between Teachout, Faso Record Online

Millions in political donations fueled by matching bonuses at Boston law firm Open Secrets

Professor who’s correctly called every presidential election since 1984 predicts Trump will win Yahoo News. Allen J. Lichtman.

Once the hope candidate, Obama in his final days faces a hopeless electorate WaPo. Mission accomplished!

Green Party VP Nominee Ajamu Baraka: We Must Disrupt Our Relationship to Democratic Party The Root

How to Make Conservatism Great Again Washington Monthly. Heartfelt advice, I’m sure, but wouldn’t it be better to put a stake in conservative ideology’s heart forever, and open up space on the left? After all, when Obama took office (assuming good faith) rehabilitating the Republicans was part of his game plan. How’d that work out?

How the government lost its case against the Oregon occupiers WaPo. I think the creature Hive Mind is buzzing futilely around and about alt-right, which is primarily a media creation (of course, as “creative class” symbol manipulators, that would focus their attention). But alt-right isn’t taking up arms and seizing territory under novel legal theories, like the Bundy types. And now these guys have what I’m sure they think are two victories: They just won this case, and the Feds backed down at the Bundy Ranch. They also have a martyr in Robert “LaVoy” Finicum. So it will be interesting to see what their next move is.

Class Warfare

The Real Living Wage? $17.28 An Hour – At Least OurFuture

The Last Chapter Problem Baseline Scenario

Exclusive: Abortion by prescription now rivals surgery for U.S. women Reuters

No Kegs, No Liquor: College Crackdown Targets Drinking and Sexual Assault NYT. If the number one priority of the university nomenklatura had in fact been the prevention of sexual assault, they wouldn’t have been running courses on microaggression. They’d have been cracking down on today’s drinking culture, the venues where that culture is enacted (often fraternities), and they’d be empowering women with self-defense courses (which would give them a life-long skill). But that would have involved cracking down on powerful on-campus actors (fraternity alumni and legacies, ka-ching), powerful off-campus local actors (liquor stores and bars, ka-ching), might have led to difficulties with admissions numbers (ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching) since by now students expect to “party” — not a verb when I was a mere sprat — and, most importantly of all, would have prevented the formation of Deans of Microaggression, Departments of Microaggression, and an entire academic circuit devoted to microaggression studies, including journals, conferences, and books. I mean, (cishet) guys, if she’s not drunk and/or she’s ready, willing, and able to kick you in the nuts, then the whole “No means ‘no'” semantic foofraw gets a whole lot simpler, does it not? So if the headline indicates a trend, I’m happy, not least because this approach promises to reduce sexual assault.

Standing Rock Water-Protectors Waterboarded While the Cleveland Indians Romped Counterpunch (WS).

The Myth Behind the First Cleveland Indian: Louis Sockalexis Daily Beast. Sockalexis was from Indian Island, in the Penobscot Nation near Old Town, Maine. There really ought to be a way to honor Sockalexis without tarting up the Cleveland Indians logo. Maybe if it were less cartoonish? Heck, why not just ask the Penoscots?

Antidote du jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. jgordon

      Isn’t it interesting that this election has revealed that a whole slew of principled people were just corrupt globalists in sheep’s clothing all along?

      Warren, Taibbi, Reich, Simon… really it’s astonishing how many snakes are slithering out now that the swamp is draining.

      1. craazyman

        really. my biggest worry about a Trump presidency is how he might decorate the White House.

        It might be cheesy. You’d like to think, or I would anyway, that a slight modernization of a 19th century Americana would be the limit.. No plastic fake brass and no statues of himself in the Oval office. hahahah

        1. craazyboy

          Melania may refuse to move there. Early in the campaign, she mentioned the White House would be the smallest house she ever lived in. Trump tried to cover up the gaff, pretending it was a joke on Melania’s part.

          But many do worry we’ll get a yuuuge flashing Trump casino sign installed on the White House roof. I’m not sure if that’s disallowed in the White House lease terms.

          OTOH, seems to me Melania’s real concern should be too many bedrooms…..

          1. craazyman

            Well one thing’s for sure.

            He’ll have the yuuugesst Christmas Tree the United States has ever seen!

            1. craazyboy

              The 80 floors of basement and high speed rail to Dr. Strangelove’s luxury coal mine condos always does come as a pleasant surprise to new First Ladies.

          2. pretzelattack

            the lincoln slots room. poker tables are oval so they would fit in the office. the secret service could learn to roll dice. this could work.

            1. craazyboy

              Flashing Trump casino signs for sale in the White House gift shop. This will pay for the Trump tax cut plan!

          3. Yves Smith

            Trump has already said he won’t live there. He’ll stay in a Trump facility in DC.

            There is precedent. Bloomberg never lived in Gracie Mansion. It is rented out regularly for private parties.

        2. DanB

          He’s going to rename the White House “The Trump House”. Some of the signage will be satellite-visible.

            1. pretzelattack

              jesus h. christ, 58 million bucks??? i wouldn’t pay 50 cents for it. i’m a philistine, i guess.

              1. craazyboy

                I kinda liked it. ‘Course I like shiny stuff. I may go $50 for a small one. Paperweight size maybe.

                1. subgenius

                  Know people that actually fabricated those…. They’re pretty damn impressive in person. Not a koons fan, though.

        3. Optimader

          They will have to go out to the shed and dust off a couple hundred years of potus gifts of state fron the French Aristocracy.

          They can leave the rest of Michelle’s IKEA shit in place, put down some drop cloths and paint it with gold rattle can enamel paint from Home Despot. Add some red flock wallpaper — good to go!

        4. Propertius

          really. my biggest worry about a Trump presidency is how he might decorate the White House.

          You mean the “Trump House”?

      2. Milton

        Indeed. I’ve permanently removed quite a bit of authors, that I thought were true leftists, from my compiler during this election season.

      3. RabidGandhi

        I agree that the chattering class has clearly jumped the sharks this election, with the blatant red-baiting, the harrowing warmongering, the outright shilling…. And as Lambert says, this is good because it has been very clarifying.

        That said, I was surprised to see Taibbi on your list. I understand him to be in the “gouge my eyes out and vote HRC” camp, like Adolph Reed. While I disagree with this camp, I find it understandable and rational, as opposed to the Krugmans, Yglesiaii, Reichs… who are just hacks. I think it is important to make a clear distinction between these two groups.

        Or did Taibbi say something rancid I wasn’t aware of?

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          I am not aware of anything that has muted the goodwill I still feel toward (the admittedly self-aggrandizing) Taibbi for coining “vampire squid”.

          One of the most apt descriptions of anything, ever.

        2. vidimi


          trump is going to devastate the country. the argument should be that this outcome is preferable to the devastation that a clinton mk2 presidency would wreak, not that a trump presidency would be great.

          taibbi and chomsky and, possibly, greenwald, have done nothing wrong in my eyes.

        3. james brown

          I have to jump on the ditto band wagon here. If one feels an obligation to support one or the other of the two party’s candidates, selecting HRC over Trump is no worse than supporting Trump over Hillary as long as one is aware they are both rancid choices. I lost the patriotic need to vote for a candidate I don’t support after Obama I but I don’t condemn anyone for their reasoned choice of one over the other.

        4. ewmayer

          Re. Taibbi, I stopped reading him after he wrote a truly bizarre, hysterical screed about Trump’s closing speech at the GOP convention, which when compared with Jeffrey St. Clair’s take on the (allegedly) same speech, made for a legitimate question of what speech Taibbi actually watched, and what cocktail of drugs he was on when he (allegedly) watched it.

          ISTR posting links to both of the above pieces in next day’s Links … ah yes, see my comment in 7/23 Links – one reader posts Taibbi link, I reply and add St. Clair link in ensuing discussion.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I read it as a simple statement of ‘this is how the markets will react’, not a judgement. Its hard not to see a very big initial negative shock to markets and international trade if he gets elected, although in truth I would not expect much to change longer term with him in charge.

      1. John k

        Big shock for sure. Elites not expecting, would be like Brexit except biggest economy. But economy too weak for big shock, leads directly to less spending and recession, probably world wide because everybody weak, major Eco/political problems eu and China.

        On plus side, easier to pass massive infra spending he says he wants, maybe short recession in us.

        Stopping Tpp doesn’t stop trade, just slows Corp takeover… Recession stops trade.

      2. Pat

        I agree there will be a shock, remember Brexit. Funnily enough it stabilized fairly quickly. My bigger problem is “it will cause a world wide Recession.” Ummmm, for much of the western world there is already a long term on-going recession. The majority of humans did not recover from the last crash. It is part and parcel of the reason there is a rise in all these groups and ideas that our elites do not want to admit have any appeal. See Brexit, Trump, Sanders, Le Pen, the Pirate Party, and on and on.

        Failing to recognize that little problem is a huge blind spot.

      3. Waldenpond

        Have a tantrum, punish 80% of the people and then blame the ‘market’ as if it’s not very specific individuals plotting specific actions to retaliate for not getting a 110% guarantee that their particular theft will continue.

    3. oh

      The article was so full of BS that it makes me question Simon Johnson’s view from now on. He seems to cheer the suspect growth numbers put out by the administration while a whole bunch of people in the US are hurting.

    4. Michael

      Simon Johnson says, “These banks are clearly too big to fail – no European government in its right mind would allow a default on bank debt.”

      So bank bonds should be just as safe an investment as government bonds – both backed by the full faith and credit of the government? No haircuts allowed?

  1. Yves Smith

    A note on “self defense” courses. They are probably OK with a drunk frat boy (as in he’s probably so impaired that it would only take a a bit of pain to deter him), but if you are dealing with a more practiced abuser, or someone who is much bigger than you are or pretty determined, mere defense (as in trying to ward off the atacker) may not do.

    And this goes against cultural norms as to how women are supposed to behave. Listen to Juanita Brodderick’s high level replay of what she said Bill Clinton did to her. Putting aside the fact that he was the governor and she was a state employee, his reported moves were clearly practiced and designed to put his in control and physically on top of her pronto, when he was physically much bigger than she was. Since (to be crude) a man can’t get his equipment inside a less than willing woman without using at least one of his hands, meaning he can’t pin both of her arms, even a woman in such a disadvantaged position can turn the tables by inflicting trauma, like trying to (or actually) gouging his eyes out or boxing his ears. But you have to be trained enough (and it is not much training, believe it or not) to hurt him enough that he’s disabled. That means being willing to do things like break eardrums, break wrists, rupture kidneys, crush testicles. That’s not as hard to do as you might think and you don’t have to succeed to shut down his central nervous system. But you need to be disinhibited about really hurting someone who is prepared to really hurt you if you fight back. Most people are not willing to contemplate that that is what is at stake if you are talking about rape.

    1. cocomaan

      Refocusing the conversation from identity politics is going to be a monumental effort. The unfunded mandates by the feds through title IX aren’t going anywhere. So for the foreseeable future, institutions of higher ed are having to double down on in loco parentis. It’s demanded by students and parents alike.

      The drinking and drug use is seen as a rite of passage that needs to be managed by the administrations in a safe manner. Which, of course, is impossible. There’s no such thing as a safe Bacchanalia.

      It’s a good sign that these places are thinking about drinking as a root cause of what’s been called an epidemic of rape on campus. But until there’s some real thought put into the drinking age and an effort by parents to educate their children instead of relying on student loans to do it for them, we’ll have this problem.

    2. Anon

      That dishinhibition is exactly what is taught in military and police training, and would have to be part of any serious self defense course. The real concern is that a jury of your peers might show favoritism to your attacker, or that a biased law enforcement system would seek to impose pre-trial punishment, based on a victim’s lower socio-economic status, race or cultural norms that simply value a woman’s right to freedom from abuse less than that of “boys to be boys”. More scenes like those in India where undercover female police beat down abusers on public transport might serve as a corrective here, especially if the area of operations was expanded to include bars and frat parties. If special units are wondering what purpose they can serve after the drug war ends, I’d suggest maybe they consider something novel like protecting the female public against male aggression (and perhaps feel shame over doing so little about it in the past).

    3. Uahsenaa

      I like Lambert, which is why it gives me know real joy to point out how irritating his comment on the Times article is. For several reasons:

      1) Sexual assault more often than not is perpetrated by someone the victim knows well and, quite often, is even in a relationship with. The whole stranger danger framing of assault and abuse is a grossly misleading one, because quite often sexual assaults are a matter of one person pushing another s/he knows very well and who is not as likely to resist for the simple reason that you’re not generally on guard to kick your friends in the nuts the moment they do something that makes you uncomfortable.

      2) Frats/Sororities reflect what’s going on, they don’t create it. We regularly get alerts here at the UI when a sexual assault takes place, and I would note that the most recent one took place in a dorm (where alcohol is not allowed and strictly policed) between two people who knew each other intimately. I fail to see how Lambert’s solution would have prevented this.

      3) Micro-aggressions are a real thing that people of color experience. I realize that identity politics can get ridiculous at times, but I’ve noticed that the discussion here at NC can veer a little too much into the territory where genuine concerns are simply dismissed out of hand. Having been a teacher most of my adult life, in both secondary and post-secondary settings, I can say without a doubt that the way black and brown kids are implicitly taught to denigrate themselves is both subtle and insidious. It’s easy to get up in arms about a girl being slammed to the ground by a so-called school safety officer, it’s much less easy to see how teachers and professors undermine students of color’s will to achieve by insinuating they must have been cheating/plagiarizing to have turned in the work they did or by constantly setting ever lower expectations for academic performance.

      You’re better than that, Lambert.

      1. Yves Smith

        Lambert has seen PRECISELY what has happened at the college in the small town where he lives since it decided to market itself as a party school. Public drunkenness and reports of abuse of women have exploded since what amounts to a policy change. To say that campus drinking and the frats are not part of the problem is denialism, period.

        And the idea that college students are to be shielded from “microaggressions” and that somehow prepares them for real life is bollocks. I heard a parent lament that their child (creative writing major) was in a course where some Grimm fairy tales were being examined as narrative models. One female student argued that a prince kissing a sleeping princess was sexual assault. Help me.

        1. Uahsenaa

          I’m going to have to respectfully disagree, for no other reason than this is something people of color THEMSELVES from all walks of life complain about consistently and constantly. It begins in primary school and extends all the way into university. Pointing to an anecdotal instance where someone finds an interpretation to be a bit ridiculous–as a rhetoric teacher, I can say that ridiculous interpretations are par for the course–cannot and indeed should not invalidate the constant, daily belittling that black and brown kids are subject to in US schools. This is one of the reasons why, in the black community for instance, there is a strong movement for greater control over and representation within public schools, so that teachers and administrators at least won’t be oblivious to that belittling.

          And frankly, it’s incumbent upon white people in positions of authority and instruction to recognize that it happens and how it happens, if anything is to change. It has nothing to do with cloistering sensitive souls from the miseries of the world. If there’s any group of people in this country who have its brutality shoved in their faces on a daily basis, it’s black and brown kids. It’s about expending a modicum of effort to make people’s lives a lot less miserable, especially for those against whom the deck has already been thoroughly stacked.

          Also, at no point did I deny that frats and sororities are involved, I said they’re not the source. Sexual assault still happens (and quite a lot) without any substances involved. How is cracking down on binge drinking and partying going to help those victims? How is it going to deal with the secondary victimization that results from having their reputation dragged through the mud should they ever report the assault? Holistic approaches involving positive consent instruction in honest and open sex ed (which I realize is a rare beast in the US) get at most of the vectors that contribute to sexual violence. Banning keggers would make a dent, at best, and certainly isn’t going to improve law enforcement response to sexual assault cases nor make victims feel more comfortable coming forward.

          1. Yves Smith

            Women are on the receiving end of this all their lives and I don’t see microaggression policing as a solution. It creates resentment which leads to other forms of retaliation.

            And I have to tell you at the schools I know with no frats, sexual abuse is a fraction of what seems to happen routinely at frat schools. I don’t know why you are defending a drinking culture. It doesn’t take much in the way of powers of observation to see that drinking disinhibits and reduced the judgment of men and women, and the higher the level of alcohol consumption, the more so. I have managed to know four nymphomaniacs (two were roommates, one married a friend and I got to exhibit her conduct at close range). All had very serious drinking problems. One was diagnosed as a Stage 4 alcoholic, meaning her odds of five year survival were 20%.

            1. Uahsenaa

              I feel like you keep misconstruing my argument (at no point did I stay binge drinking and party culture are perfectly fine, what I did say was they are not at the root of the problem of sexual assault, which has many vectors that need to be addressed–colleges have the unfortunate tendency tackling something easy and visible, like cracking down on drinking, rather than doing the hard work of actually educating their students as to what is appropriate behavior) and 2) keep moving the goalposts.

              If you were trying to make an argument for prohibition, then your examples above would be apropos, perhaps, but even then I would have serious qualms with how it was presented. The drinking could just as easily be a symptom as a cause.

              As for “women suffer this too”–this is precisely the kind of think that black feminists complain about. It’s why third wave feminism is a thing at all, because (mostly) white feminists of the second wave failed to see how the intersection of race and gender has drastically and qualitatively different consequences for women of color. White women are not generally subject to greater levels of police harassment, were not historically made out to be objects of hyper-sexuality or subjects of extreme aggression (e.g. the “angry black woman”), and are not overwhelmingly more likely to grow up in poverty than their white male counterparts. Piling a barrage of denigrating slights on top of that strikes me as just cruel.

              Which isn’t to say that the rank sexism to which white women have been subject is okay either. I happen to think the “you should just get over it” attitude is extremely toxic. It takes brutality and oppression for granted, and I just can’t do that anymore.

              At any rate, I do appreciate the discussion. It’s clarifying for me.

              1. Jeremy Grimm

                How do you distinguish between well-meaning but “clueless” or just plain stupid and a microaggression? Doesn’t “micro” mean very small? Don’t you suffer enough large aggressions as a Black, female … male .. old, young … to spend your time thwarting those? It becomes very difficult for me to relate to other people if I must always feel like I’m walking on eggshells when I speak with them — besides — it spoils my fairy tales.

              2. Yves Smith

                Women are interrupted by men all the time and resented if they interrupt men. And unlike blacks, they have the underlying threat that if they escalate an argument with a man, he can beat the shit out of you if you provoke him unduly.

                I managed by being brought up with a dearth of normal girl conditioning and having an unusually domineering father, to learn how to convey a “don’t fuck with me” vibe which means I get that sort of thing vastly less than most women do. Thus my personal experience is that learning how to carry yourself to ward off or undermine a verbal aggressor is vastly more effective than trying to get aggressors to behave (BTW, some people do this even more effectively by being jocular and pulling the rug out from under them without them even realizing what has happened). And the person on the receiving end is much more motivated to learn the new behavior than the perps.

                1. Jim Haygood

                  If only you didn’t live in NYC, you could back up that “don’t fuck with me” vibe with a .38 snub nose in your purse. :-)

        2. hunkerdown

          It IS sexual assault, but WASN’T at the time. Now that could be a dangerous principle to apply to a single act of questionable consent — there is no 72-hour cooling-off period where you can unscrew yourself — but one might think that a Good Liberal would smile and be happy about the relief. But that’s bourgeois “innovation” for you, creating reality instead of making history.

          One wonders how that Very Special Snowflake has gotten on since then. I can see how such virtue-signalling would prepare her for “real life” as a society wife or courtier.

          1. john

            What comes to mind is the colleges who created the ‘consent forms’ for sexual liasons. (French is a lovely language.)

            South Park covered them, showing the next morning as frat guys pass them into their supervisor, PC Principal.

            He walks down the hall collecting the forms, giving high-fives… reading them and commenting aloud about who got to do what to whom the night before.

            You can’t fix people.

    4. EndOfTheWorld

      A common ploy used by rapists and sadistic murderers is this: they tell you don’t worry, all they want is money, but they have to get you tied up, so you don’t run to the cops. This was used by BTK in Wichita, the East Area Rapist (still at large, BTW), and many others. My advice is: don’t tie yourself up. Fight for your life while you’re still untied. And when you fight it might help to have a Colt .45. “God made man, and Sam Colt made them equal.”

      All kidding aside, one of the best things, aside from weapons, for home defense is a small dog. Some of the smaller breeds (chihuahua, dachshund, lhasa apso, to name a few) are very adept at sounding the alarm if there’s an intruder.

      1. pretzelattack

        or they tell you to go someplace more private (armed robbers too). what i’ve read is that’s when you need to do whatever you have to do to get away.

      2. katiebird

        Also don’t ever willingly get in the car. Scream, yell, claw … whatever you got. Fight before you get in the car.

        1. abynormal

          …or let them take you around the corner or down an alley, NOT ANYWHERE…stand your ground and tell them they have to kill you right there on the spot. grab a mailbox or poll…one retired cop explained rape is about power so go down on all fours and eat grass, also moo like a cow…this can be very disarming. if they want money, your car etc give it to them but they can’t have you…cause your arms and nails are embedded, in a poll, right! Katiebird is deadly right! never leave the your premises.

      3. Binky

        Nobody needs a giant gun for self defense when a 22 pistol will put more then enough holes in a person to distract them. It’s what the mob uses to off people, cheap and effective, easy to conceal.

        1. Yves Smith

          Stop this nonsense. The Tueller rule, based on police studies, has found that a gun in the hands of trained police officers is useless if the assailant is within 21 feet. He can get to the cop faster than the cop can get the gun out of his holster, on his hip, which is plenty assessable.

          Women who carry guns carry them in their bags. You can imagine how long it takes them to get a gun out compared to a cop. Not hard for a perp with an operating brain cell to stop her.

          I met a woman in Dallas who was held up successfully, in her car, with a gun next to her on her seat in plain view and over 2000 rounds of ammo in the back. There’s huge difference between the value of guns as fetish objects and as something practical.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            That’s why you need your small watchdog to alert you to the home invader. Plenty of time to get your gun and have it pointing at the miscreant when he enters the room. I’m not trained in martial arts but I have been trained in shooting a pistol, courtesy of Uncle Sam. If somebody invades my house, I will aim for center of mass.

            Of course, with the cop they know exactly where the gun is–stuck in his holster. They don’t know where my guns are.

            1. EndOfTheWorld

              I should add that in my state you can’t kill the guy if he’s just burglarizing. He has to be doing something that makes you fear for your life. I think if he breaks into my house I will fear for my life. Not if he’s out in my garage trying to steal a leaf blower.

              I have no reason to believe this will happen, but if it does, I’m ready to kill in self-defense.

              1. pretzelattack

                i really wonder if a knife or wrench is a more effective self defense weapon than a gun, when you’re just walking somewhere. i’ve seen that 21 ft rule too, and i think it would be fairly easy for somebody to be just waiting for prey in an alley or behind a car–no matter how situationally aware you are suddenly you are within that distance without being aware of them.

                1. subgenius

                  Yes, inside 25-30′ a knife is a better weapon. Fixed blade 3.5″ and VERY sharp. Especially if you know how to use it.

                  1. subgenius

                    A flat head screwdriver is also very effective if you understand how. Sharpen the blade with a grinder. Essentially a 6″ poignard. And street legal….

                    1. EndOfTheWorld

                      I wonder what the law would say about killing in self-defense with a knife, or even a screw driver. I mean, you’re carrying around a lethal weapon. You might as well kill him with a gun. You’d have to know how to use the knife for it to be more effective than the gun. Which I don’t.

        2. EndOfTheWorld

          The mob uses a .22 to kill people execution style, usually in the back of the head, and the back of the torso. They like it because it’s relatively quiet. A .22 might not stop a guy charging you. He might have enough energy left to get his .357 magnum out of his pocket and kill you.

      4. Medbh

        My cousin was a police officer and had worked in jails too. He also said the best defense is a dog, any dog. Their barking attracts attention, and no one likes to be bitten. There are plenty of easier targets, so houses with dogs are usually not worth the potential trouble.

    5. PlutoniumKun

      Yeah, I think that needs to be emphasised. I know a few martial artists who maintain that ‘fighting’ training often makes things worse for people in real life situations. It encourages people (not just women) to get into confrontations when running or yelling is the best option. If someone is significantly bigger and stronger than you and decides to rape/rob/beat you up, unless you are very skilled at one or other of the martial arts and have real body power, then to defend yourself you have to fight dirty, really dirty. Although in reality there is such a strong cultural revulsion (even among thugs) to things like gouging the eyes or biting, I doubt if in reality most people can do it.

      1. OIFVet

        There is no such thing as “fighting dirty” when your well-being is on the line. There are no points for “fairness” and style.

      2. HotFlash

        Then that is bad/stupid martial arts training. My very excellent martial arts training taught me to look for and avoid dangerous situations. For instance, after two classes I realized that my local laundromat was dangerous — only one entrance, so I could be trapped. I therefore got my own washer and dryer. That kind of thing is good self-defence. Also I learned to take a punch without freaking and to not get into bad situations. I also learned that most guys are probably stronger than me (run away, run away, whilst screaming!!!) I think the most valuable thing I learned is to realize when I am being attacked. Flight is better than fight.

        1. MojaveWolf

          Self-defense and martial arts are two different things, and different trainers in either discipline (which do overlap a lot) frequently advocate different things.

          As with most parts of life, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. But I think everyone would agree that sometimes you are stupid to fight when the fight can be avoided, and sometimes there are no other options but fight. In that latter instance you don’t want to be worried about spinning back kicks (again, exceptions to everything, but mostly NO!), and do want to be worried about how to cause enough damage/pain to make them stop at minimal risk to yourself. I don’t see how it’s stupid to say this, or how this conflicts with “avoid bad situations when possible.”

          Also, while I get this is different for women than even smaller, less scary looking men (like me), even when you are physically overmatched (or seemingly physically overmatched) or the aggressive party outnumbers you and/or has weapons, running or trying to run isn’t always the best option. For one thing, if they tackle you from behind and you’re on the ground and they’re on top of you, that’s about the worst possible spot to be in (unless you’re a brazilian jiu jitsu submissions expert, which btw strikes me as a GREAT art for sexual assault situations, in that it evolved primarily for grappling in close quarters and includes a lot of ways to successfully counterattack and defend when a larger stronger possibly even quicker person is on top of you)

          Most people, including most people who attack someone, don’t really want to fight. If you just stand there calmly, get ready to fight, and give them the face-saving option of “yes, I’m sure you can kick my ass but I’m not gonna make it easy on you so let’s go” or “yes, I have no chance against all of you but someone has to go first,” there’s a good chance nothing will wind up happening. People who would tackle you from behind if you run and they catch you will back off if they keep swinging and missing and you counter-attack just enough to keep them at bay and keep one of them from coming up behind you. And one good shot, not even to anywhere vital but just busting someone’s nose, which hurts a lot and causes much scary-seeming blood to flow even tho it doesn’t really hurt them in any meaningful way, can make people back off without further incident other than back and forth talking (I am speaking from personal experience here with all of these situations, and again, yes, I know, it’s different for women for all sorts of reasons but I’m NOT of larger frame than most women, and people have varying degrees of capability but most of the time, people will back off with no fight at all if you calmly don’t seem scared of them and don’t mouth off so they have to go after you for their ego’s sake).

          There are various sprays and weapons that can be useful too, especially against a single attacker.

          And I realize you didn’t say this, but I’ve seen it said elsewhere, so let me emphasize SUGGESTING PEOPLE BE CAREFUL ABOUT THEIR SITUATIONS AND/OR BE ABLE TO DEFEND THEMSELVES IS NOT VICTIM BLAMING those who get stuck in a bad situation where they can’t defend themselves.

          In my early 20’s I had a really weird reaction to not that much alcohol one time and staggered out of the bar in an effort not to throw up. Then I staggered into the alley beside the bar so no one would see me and began puking, then collapsed and watched the stars spin overhead until two guys wandered into the alley and started talking about me. My primary memory is “He has a really nice ass, I don’t think he’s gay though” from them and the refrain of “Please God don’t let them be rapists please god don’t let them be rapists can I move? no i can’t move please god don’t let them be rapists” running through my head. Fortunately, they were not rapists. But I totally would not have blamed myself if they had been, that woulda been all on them.

          Another time in my early 20’s, this girl friend of mine who showed no interest other than friendship got really wasted and started seriously hitting on me. Being the sober party, the responsibility for taking care of her and not doing anything bad was all on me. She did nothing wrong.

          So, yeah, the culture combined with some people just being complete scumbuckets is the real problem in these campus assault cases, but there’s nothing wrong w/doing whatever you can to minimize the chances for the scumbuckets to act, either, and doing so isn’t blaming victims. NO ONE has not done something stupid at some point in their life; the cost should not be death or rape or sexual assault or robbery, and when it is, the blame is ENTIRELY on the muderer/rapist/ robber, not the rest of us for “tempting” them or something idiotic like that.

          1. MojaveWolf

            Apologies. I just looked up the size of the “average” woman and I am 3 inches taller, which probably does matter for deterrent purposes. Even combined with the perceived greater helplessness of women by a lot of would be attackers, tho, I still think running is usually not a good first step unless you are a hella good sprinter. (and yes, I’ve heard trainers say yell and run away too; also hit then run away, and sometimes yes, you should run away, sometimes screaming and sometimes silent, but this is as problematic as “just break their nose” when said as a blanket line of advice w/out qualification.

            One thing self defense courses can do is, as HotFlash mentioned above, get people used to being in these situations so they are less likely to panic, or if they do panic, their auto-responses are more likely to be productive. And their millisecond analysis of the situation can tell them which is the best way to go in this particular instance.

        2. Yves Smith

          No, you have that wrong. Martial arts is sports fighting, It is for competition just like football or basketball. Kicking someone in the balls is totally verboten in martial arts, while it is an obvious target in a street fight.

          1. financial matters

            That’s just the sparring competition part which also doesn’t allow the many hand strikes taught such as hammer fist, throat strike and palm strike to the face.

            One of the techniques in the Koryo form (poomsae) of taekwando is the groin remover.

        1. craazyboy

          Actually, the pepper spray stuff works fine. Not being a gun owner, I bought the kind they sell as bear spray. It comes in a larger aerosol can and shoots in stream for 20ft or so. I just keep it in the house in case of the not so probable event of a break in. But they make purse size cans as well.

          I did test it to see how it shoots, and due to a ceiling fan going, caught a little side spray. Spent the next half hour uncontrollably sneezing, coughing and eyes watering. Lindsey Lohan could have kicked the crap outta me, or probably more easily, run away.

          But it did wear off with no permanent damage. One thing to keep in mind in all this pre-planning is the eventually of a protracted court case(s) where the jury will have to decide which was worse – being groped, or having a pair of scissors jammed in your eyeball.

        2. optimader

          Hornet spray. Requires emergency room treatment = Assault w/ objective evidence
          Bear spray = go home take a shower wake up on the couch

    6. sid_finster

      It doesn’t take much skill or physical force to severely injure a single would be rapist so much as presence of mind, “situational awareness” as theoreticians of combat call it.

      This is harder than it sounds, especially when a woman is terrified. Adrenaline does a lot of things to people, but it doesn’t make them smart.

      1. abynormal

        Ha! the cop/instructor went over this FIRST. she said everybody freaks at first…the survivors get their breath and recognize the situation they’re in. she said Men can be the worst when they’re accosted…they first show confusion which makes them vulnerable, exactly where the mugger wants you. Men also tend to show indignation which escalates the situation…”How dare you! go earn your own money” etc.
        No matter how bad you freak out you must gain composure as quickly as possible.

    7. Jeotsu

      We are trained to not hit people. This is generally a very good thing, but it needs to be overcome. From the one’s I’ve trained I find only 10% of people are natural “hitters”, everyone else really pulls their punches unless they are trained (or filled with adrenaline).

      While learning to avoid dangerous situations is best, it is not always effective. Sometimes badness happens, and you’re stuck in it.

      Remember to scream. Noise attracts attention, and can really throw and attacker off their game. Almost all attackers fear discovery. And if the attacker has to divert another hand to try and cover your mouth, it gives you more opportunities to strike back.

      Favorite self-defense story: Very small female friend decided to take a self-defense course. Instructor called her on stage for demonstrations in the “if she can do it, you all can” philosophy. His first instruction was “hit me”. So she swung, a bit wildly, and he missed his divert/block. And she broke his jaw. On stage. End of class. But at least everyone there learned that even a small person (by luck or training) can land an incapacitating blow!

    8. Oregoncharles

      I’ve seen claims from people teaching women self-defense that the biggest problem is getting them to hurt their attacker, or to use their full strength. Being unwilling to hurt someone is a virtue – unless it makes you a victim.

      But as you say, it means overcoming a lot of cultural conditioning. And since men are usually larger and stronger, successful self-defense means disabling or frightening him right at the start. The latter is what my friend did; even a “not very good” karate strike is still obviously dangerous.

      I’ve also heard of women getting away because they severely bit their attacker. Again, takes commitment – and then fleet feet.

      But again, from a broader point of view, making it more dangerous to attack women would be a real contribution to society.

      1. Yves Smith

        It is actually easier to hurt someone than you think once you know what some of the vulnerable points of the body are. You don’t have to hit them hard, it’s more about using your body weight when you strike.

        The course I took was about 80% men, 20% women, and most of the women came with their husbands/boyfriends. I went (bizarrely) not because I’m worried but because I have zero sports ability (I’m strong but have slow reflexes and only so-so coordination) and this seemed to be a “sport” I could master quickly, plus I though it would be useful in picking up ancillary information in dealing with gun enthusiasts, which it was.

        About half the men had studied martial arts. They all said it was counterproductive in terms of this sort of training. In martial arts you are taught to avoid striking many of the parts (start with the balls) that are prime targets in this type of training. They also had to unlearn what they knew.

        They also train you to move at slow speeds, which is now recognized as a sound method for patterning for sports/athletic training. You assimilate the movement neurologically and can replicate it as faster speeds in sparring and in real life.

  2. voteforno6

    I doubt that we’ve reached peak smugness from Matt Yglesias, I’m sure that he has at least a couple more levels that he can attain. After all, this is someone who probably considers himself to be a journalist, without having ever done any real reporting. Also, most journalists would probably be horrified to be found on a campaign operative’s list of media surrogates. He probably thinks he’s doing good work, though.

    1. JSM

      It’s enough to put one on the fence between Stein & Trump.

      It’s almost clear now that only the latter & four years of soul-searching in the wilderness of a melted mind is the only thing that will ‘redeem’ these hangers-on. (They’re definitely not journalists; ‘courtiers’ is probably most accurate.)

    1. Jim Haygood

      Takes you back to the good old days when entering “miserable failure” in the search box produced one result: George W. Bush.

      Fair and balanced! :-)

  3. timbers

    For the first time in don’t know how long regarding the Clinton email saga I’m seeing the words “seized” and “warrant.” Had to put sunglasses on when I saw those words. What took so long? Long overdue but still no indication these words will ever be applied to the Queen of Grift.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It feels like we are on the movie set for the filming of Untergang.

      Next up, a close up of the leader in her bunker.

  4. allan

    For any NC’ers who might want to help shift the Overton window to the left by making a last minute campaign contribution, here are three choices, all involving close House races.

    There are two ways to shift the window to the left – (A) moving the left edge further to the left
    and (B) trimming the right edge.

    Under (A), Zephyr Teachout in NY-19 is in a very closely race and deserves whatever support can be thrown her way.

    For (B), I looked at the list of Trade Traitors™ helpfully supplied by Vatch a couple of months ago and compared it with polls and lists of Leans Dem/ Toss Up / Leans GOP on Real Clear Politics and similar sites. As far as I can tell, the two most endangered House Dem Trade Traitors are Brad Ashford (NE-2) and Ami Bera (CA-7). So, if you can hold your nose, contributing to their GOP opponents would help rid the Democratic caucus of two of its worst members.

    I ruled out Senate races since the $$$ amounts on both sides are so enormous that it’s hard to have an impact if you don’t have a PAC, but certainly Evan Bayh richly deserves the same treatment.
    Corporate prostitute and torture enabler – what’s not to love.

    Fewer and better Democrats.

    1. Ché Pasa

      The problem as always is that funding/electing Republicans in place of targeted Democrats who have done the naughties does not make the situation better. Ever. Unless, of course, enabling even further lurches to the right is what you’re after.

      Try to think outside the box in these situations.

      1. pretzelattack

        looks to me like clinton is lurching further to the right than trump. he’s the lesser of two lurchers.

        1. Ché Pasa

          Depends, doesn’t it, on the specific issues. Some of the Hillary policy proposals are clearly to the right of practically anyone now in power. But recall, Obama ran to the right of Clinton on some issues in ’08 — and won. Recall, too, that FDR ran to the right of Hoover in ’32 — and won. The Democratic Party has a long, long institutional memory of these things and others like them, and they know how resonant rightist campaigning is among the electorate, and particularly among People Who Matter. What they campaign on is not necessarily what they will or won’t do. That’s another kettle of fish altogether.

          As for Trump, I don’t see any sincere policy proposals, left or right, at all. He’s a lawnsprinkler throwing out whatever redmeat to his audience he thinks of at the moment. Some of it is standard Republican Party boilerplate, some of it is whatever pops into his head at the moment, some of it seems to have a unique-to-Trump twist on how to conduct the government and foreign policy which highly personal to him, but is neither left nor right in an ideological/political sense.

          What he would do in office, though, is anyone’s guess. The only thing I think we can be sure of is that whatever he would do would not take into consideration any interest but his own. That’s how he conducts his business, that’s how he conducts his life.

          But my point is that electing Republicans in place of Naughty Democrats cannot and does not make things better — at least not for most people most of the time.

          There are other options out there, albeit restricted and often unlikely to win.

          FTR, I’ve known Scott Jones, Ami Bera’s GOP opponent, for years, and personally I find him to be a sincere and clear-headed “moderate” Republican (moderate in comparison to the reactionary consensus of most Republican office holders.) As sheriff of Sacramento County, he made some serious and necessary reforms of the Department. On the other hand, they have not been enough, nor are they complete.

          Nevertheless, despite Bera’s trade naughtiness and other issues I have with him, I wouldn’t want Scott to replace him in Congress. I would rather have a “real” progressive or a socialist or some other leftish disruptor.

            1. Ché Pasa

              You don’t know that. You absolutely cannot know whether he would or not.

              But your faith is touching.

              1. Pat

                Fine, I’ll put it this way. When the candidate herself continues to advocate for policies that she has stated will probably start war with Russia, her determination to start WWIII should not be doubted. When the other candidate advocates talking to them, his determination to start WWIII should be considered non-existent comparatively.

                IOW, all indications are that he is less likely to start it than she is, which makes him a better bet for civilization to survive the coming disasters than she is.

                1. NYPaul

                  A perfect example of how commenting sections at most blogs (gratefully not N.C. most of the time) make society dumber.

                  “YOU DON’T KNOW THAT!!”

                  From the adult section, please accept my apology, Pat.

                  1. Ché Pasa

                    You do not know what Trump would or would not do in office, nor do I, nor does anyone. I doubt that he knows what he would do in office.

                    For you or anyone to claim that you know with the utter certainty that he would or would not “start World War III” is complete horseshit.

                    The same goes for Clinton.

                    The transformations of the last several presidents when they got into office — from what they campaigned on to what they actually did — should have taught you something.

                    I guess not.

                    1. witters

                      You know so little that voting, surely, is out of your range. But not advice about it. How does this work?

                    2. jonboinAR

                      That’s a strawman, “You don’t KNOW what he’ll do”. Of course no one knows with any certainty, but at least he’s talking peaceably about Russia, unlike his opponent. I should think that makes him the better peace candidate, which is what your interlocutors are arguing.

                2. Ché Pasa

                  You badly misconstrue the nature of campaigning for president in this country.

                  Candidates say what they or their campaign consultants believe will attract voters. What they say during campaigns and what they actually do in office might have little or nothing to do with one another. Cf: the current president. You can easily trace the phenomenon through many, many presidencies.

                  If you believe what a candidate says they will do (or won’t do as the case may be) and base your vote on that belief, I can almost guarantee you will be in for a terrible disappointment and shock.

                  It is the nature of these things.

                  1. Anonymous

                    A candidate’s record is a solid clue to how they will act if elected again.

                    HRC’s record as Senator and SoS is horrifying: unwarranted regime change, support for anti-democratic coups, support for bad trade deals (after promising to oppose them), etc. HRC has left a trail of death, destruction, and chaos around the world. She is additionally a racist and bigot.

                    The worst of the NeoCons have endorsed her: Morell, Boot, Wolfowitz, Kagan, Nuland. They know she is a reckless war hawk.

                    This provides solid evidence of what a Clinton presidency would look like: WW3

                    1. Ché Pasa

                      Hillary has done plenty of shit in her various positions, no question.

                      Trump has done plenty of shit throughout his life and career, no question.

                      Neither one is a savior/hero.

                      Positing one as better or worse than the other, or defending one while denouncing the other, is simply absurd.

                      They are both awful candidates, neither of whom should be elevated to the presidency. But one of them will be, and God help us, for neither of them will have more than a momentary interest — if that — in what becomes of the rest of us.

    2. Susan Nelson

      Don’t contribute to Ashford’s opponent. The dark PACs are in full tsunami here in the Midwest at least, and he is well taken care of. Better to contribute to a Democrat worthy of assistance.

      Some suggestions: @downwithtyranny (Howie Klein) keeps better track of real progressives than anyone. There is a list of candidates at Blue America, Teachout being a prominent cause of his. He discussed some of the congressional races in a post yesterday:

      I am seeing a lot of money being spent trying to flip the Iowa Senate, and widen the margin in the House. (Wisconsin, here we come.) I am sure we are not alone among states for that treatment. Contribute to your local state leg candidate. Or if you don’t have one and would like to adopt, I will vouch personally for State Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm, SD 26, who won four years ago by 126 votes against another incumbent in a redistricting battle, and has a giant target on her back. My state rep is wonderful, Todd Prichard, but isn’t in serious danger. Mary Jo is. Pat Rynard at breaks down some more key Iowa races to choose from.

  5. Mrs Smith

    Re: sexual assault on campus, my personal take is that there has to be a real focus on raising boys to be respectful to all humans, which apparently doesn’t occur to anyone (especially parents of boys). We shouldn’t be putting the onus on women to “protect” themselves from sexual assault, whether they are intoxicated or not.

    Sexual assaults by men used to be something that was usually the result of learned or ingrained deviant behavior towards women, now, it’s just expected to happen, mostly because boys are never taught that girls and women are people too. It’s a wicked problem, and cutting back on alcohol on campus, and teaching women to kick men in the nuts isn’t really a solution.

    1. craazyman

      if they don’t admit to it, torture them until they do.

      (This topic does not make for the peanut gallery’s finest hour).

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I’m with you! This topic along with discussions of various ways of inflicting or avoiding violence dominate most of the comments on today’s links. I’m not suggesting the topic is unimportant but in the present nexus of events it seems unfitting.

    2. Anne

      I’ve read your comment three times now, and each time, I find myself wondering how you are coming to the conclusion that parents are now to blame for the bad behavior of their sons, that somehow, they aren’t teaching them that females are people, too.

      The second thing I wondered was, are you a parent? Because your comment doesn’t suggest that you are. I am the mother of two married daughters (33 and 30) and they are parents to three sons (almost-1, just-turned-2 and about-to-be-4). I can assure you that these boys are being taught respect, and that females are people. It would be hard for them not to know this, as their mothers are female, they have many female friends, etc.

      The third thing I wondered was, how old you are. Sexual assault on college campuses has been going on for a long time; what is different is that there is more awareness of the problem. I was a college freshman in the fall of 1971, and I can assure you that alcohol was free-flowing, parties were everywhere, and so was marijuana. While I was never the victim of assault, there were certainly occasions when I could have been.

      The fourth thing that struck me was your saying that assaults are now expected to happen. Really? I don’t think so. But if that were the case, women knowing how to defend themselves would be a good thing, wouldn’t it?

      Actually, this raises the fifth question – why would it ever be bad for a woman to know how to defend herself? To know some techniques for being safe?

      Overall, I think your comment is probably not worth the time I spent reading and addressing it.

      1. Carla

        Thank you, Anne, for taking on Mrs Smith’s comment. Your spending the time saved it for me, and you covered all the bases. Good job!

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Kind of hard to “defend” yourself when you’ve drunk yourself into unconsciousness. It might be prudent to not get so shit-faced in the first place, knowing what could happen. But, I guess, in this environment, that constitutes some sort of “microagression”:

        The new rules brought attention to a page on the alcohol office’s website, titled “Female Bodies and Alcohol,” that explained that women often become drunk faster than men because they tend to be smaller. The page was swiftly denounced as blaming women’s bodies — not the actions of men — for sexual assault. It was quickly changed, but the damage had been done.

        “The website focused on stopping women from drinking hard alcohol,” said Stephanie Pham, 20, a junior from Monterey Park and the founder of a campus anti-assault group, Stanford ASAP. “Why doesn’t Stanford focus on discouraging rapists from raping?”

        Good call, Stephanie.

        1. OIFVet

          This hard alcohol glass ceiling is abhorrent. Women took just as big a loan as men to attend college, yet they are now told that they shouldn’t partake in one of the defining activities of the college experience: binge drinking to oblivion. Why should they take personal responsibility for their own safety? And don’t these anti-alcohol ninnies know that college women need the beer goggles just as much as their male counterparts do? I am with Mz. Stephanie on the issue.

          1. Portia

            some drunk men are animals. how are you going to nanny them so women can do whatever they want without fear?

            1. OIFVet

              I was being sarcastic. It is impossible to police every single male, (short of living in some dystopian society where men are preventively castrated) therefore women do need to take steps to protect themselves. One of these steps is to avoid getting drunk, even in the company of men they know very well. Willingness and ability to cause bodily harm in the process of self-defense is a definite plus. I was a frat boy and I know of several sexual assaults that took place in my frat. Not one of them was ever prosecuted, and all of them involved alcohol. Mz. Stephanie thinks that women should be free to get plastered without fear of getting violated. I agree, but I also happen to be older and to live in the real world, so reality dictates that women imbibe in moderation and be ready to inflict violence and physical harm upon their male drinking companions.

              1. Optimader

                I and my friends found the concept of fraternities tedious and it never occured to me (us) to sexually assault anyone while sober or drunk.
                Does that make me an outlier?

                1. OIFVet

                  Why would it? Frats are small minorities on most campuses. I enjoyed it, had a blast while never assaulting a woman, sober or drunk. There were the social and professional networking benefits, but frankly all of my life-long friends I made outside the frat system, and I avoid socializing with the crowd from that part of my past. Some of them simply never grew up. Coincidentally or not, the men-children happen to be those who were prone to be rapey.

              2. Katharine

                I agree. It’s not making excuses for men to say that women need to take common-sense precautions. If someone went out in a blizzard with no coat or boots, I’d think they had less than common sense. If a woman gets plastered at a frat party, I tend to think the same (reserving judgment about possible Mickey Finns). As far as that goes, if a man gets plastered I think so too. Most of us have done it at least once, more fools we, but alcohol poisoning can kill you.

                Of course we should change the way authorities deal with rape, which is archaic and inexcusable, but in the meantime doing things that make you safer is a sign of a survival instinct.

              3. hunkerdown

                I wonder whether this holds in European countries where children learn to handle alcohol earlier in life under family supervision and don’t have the entire state apparatus and a few teetotallers trying to discourage them from developing a taste for booze (as I was informed during an age-restricted product sales training course).

        2. Portia

          Rape is a crime, punishable by law, so I think that is a discouragement. The only problem is, men who are drunk and horny aren’t thinking about consequences of getting caught. And there is a lot of humiliation and a lack of certainty a man will be prosecuted when a woman comes forward. It is an inescapable fact that women’s bodies handle alcohol differently, and they need to eat a lot when they are drinking. And not accept drinks they have not opened themselves or gotten directly from the bartender. The fact that rapes happen most often with men you know is a painful fact. If you see taking responsibility for yourself as a woman as a burden, it just enables some men to keep on blaming us. Some men are violent drunks–it just is what it is. You don’t lie down in front of a car in the road and expect all the drivers to avoid you, so don’t get drunk and expect to be safe.

          1. Jim Haygood

            women’s bodies handle alcohol differently

            DUI laws set a limit of 0.08% blood alcohol concentration without regard to gender … presumably because there is no scientific basis for doing so.

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            Just to be clear, when I said “Good call, Stephanie,” I was being sarcastic.

            An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

              1. MojaveWolf

                There was a Stephanie Pham quoted in an article above.

                I’m torn on the whole thing. OF COURSE people should be able to get intoxicated at parties without worrying that a sizable % of the party are evil scumbuckets who need to be skinned alive and then incinerated, making the world a better place by their absence.

                Sadly, a sizable % of people are such, so it does make sense to take that into account. So how bout “don’t get drunk at frat parties” while realizing a lot of people will think THESE frat guys are nicer (because some are, and if you wouldn’t be there if you thought these were the bad kind) or “these people will look out for me” or have the sudden epiphany of “I thought I stopped at 3 drinks but what the heck is going on how drunk am I?” or some people are just innately trusting and it’s hard to get them to be otherwise, and not blaming them when things go wrong?

                Also why not “self defense courses are good” while not blaming people who don’t have time/inclination/money to take them, or had the ill luck to take a bad one, or whatever?

                Sorry for being so rant-y today.

                1. Medbh

                  Another potential shortcoming of the self defense strategy is that most assaults involve substances and/or intoxication. Drunk people find walking and talking challenging, much less fighting off a rapist.

        3. HotFlash

          I realized early in my college days that I did not like the feeling alcohol gave me. I had a roommate whose parents could only afford to send her for one term, during which she was supposed to have landed a husband. She would load up on the cafeteria soft-serve to ‘line her stomach’ before parties. I developed two strategies: At big parties I drank beer from the bottle. Had one then refilled it with water from the kitchen tap. Noone could tell. At smaller parties, I would have a Jim Beam in a brandy glass. I didn’t really like the stuff and could nurse one all night whilst still seeming cool.

          1. Stephanie

            I had a roommate whose parents could only afford to send her for one term, during which she was supposed to have landed a husband. She would load up on the cafeteria soft-serve to ‘line her stomach’ before parties.

            I’ve wondered about that. Yves has mentioned being able to participate in certain types of expensive social events (skiing, etc.) as a key to the networking that gets kids ahead in life and it’s occurred to me that frat parties might fall into a similar category, albeit with a different aim. I knew a girl in college whose aim, clearly stated to just about everyone, was to get married to a boy on the right career track (why she picked a women’s college I do not know) and hustling for invites to frat parties was her thing. I got the impression she was in a similar boat as your roommate: under orders from her family not to waste their investment (in a women’s college… again, not sure about the logic there).

            And I also have to wonder to what extent sexual assault happens at these events and goes unreported because in addition to the question of “did-I-consent-or-not-I-don’t-really-remember-much”, there is the desire to still be seen as the fun girl who isn’t a dumb slut and is not going to get anyone in trouble and will still be invited back.

      3. Waldenpond

        I have a grown son. We had don’t touch without consent talks. I did not, on the other hand, tell him to not take drinks from others as a parent might do with a daughter. At 19 (first living on his own with roommates) he comes home to tell me two people (one male/one female) spiked his drink and attempted to have sex with him. I told him that they knew he would never consent, they drugged him and that is rape. Even more disgusting, they were doing it merely to break up a relationship.

      4. Mrs Smith

        @Anne, Yes, I am a parent, in my 50s and I have a 15 year old daughter and an 18 year old son. We often discuss consent, in both sexual and personal terms. They both seem to have learned to “protect” their own personal integrity, as well as respecting that of others. They both choose not to drink or smoke pot (which is legal where we live), but we understand that if they chose to do so, it is their legal right.

        I went to college in the 80s at a Southern US University where 60% of the students belonged to Greek organizations. I have friends, both younger and older who have been sexually assaulted, and I was a victim of a violent sexual assault when I was in my 20s, which I never reported. This is, was, and will be a problem as long as men do not understand respect and consent. If a person is intoxicated, they can not consent. Full stop. If a person says yes, then says no, they do not consent.

        Ask the parents of Brock Turner about what a “good” person he is. I’ve also watched a young man, who was not invited to a party my daughter gave, show up and proceed to sexually assault a young woman who is one of my daughter’s best friends. He was only 14, but he was easily twice the size of this young woman. Luckily, I saw what was going on and quickly intervened. She was traumatized and crying, and she was very clearly saying “no” to his repeated attempts to grope and kiss her. He is the son of a well-respected family in my home town, and it seems clear to me that neither he, nor any of his friends have been raised to be respectful to other people, especially women. I attribute his lack of respect directly to his parents and the way he was raised by them, because I don’t think it ever occurs to them that young women have agency, autonomy and a rightful place as individuals in their world.

        As someone who used to teach a mixed-martial arts class, I think it’s wonderful for women to know how to defend themselves, but the fact that women are now expected to spend every minute of their lives, afraid for what some random, known or unknown man might do to them is the saddest thing I know.

    3. cocomaan

      cutting back on alcohol on campus… isn’t really a solution.

      I really beg to differ. The research says that half of sexual assaults involve substance use:

      Add to this the contention that any substance use means that consent has not been obtained and you have a severe problem of culture that campuses can only control through prohibition.

        1. cocomaan

          I think it’s a fair comparison! There’s a whole system of laws surrounding drinking in controlled environments: bartenders being able to cut someone off, legal limits for driving, purity controls so it’s not everyone making bathtub gin and having uncontrollable doses.

          When underage college binge drinking is purposely not controlled (esp as EndOfTheWorld says below, for reasons of profit) that’s an enormous problem.

          1. craazyboy

            Actually, I didn’t make this one up. Back in college, when environmentalism was in, we had a slogan, “Save water – shower with a friend”. Much later, I heard this one. But “drive” doesn’t mean drive a car….

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        If they didn’t let the students get drunk nobody would go to college. Or a lot fewer, anyway. For the colleges to enact that rule it would go against their financial interest.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Why are young people hanging around on college campuses, incurring fraudulent crushing debt and apparently not learning much of any use to the larger culture and species survival, and acquiring predatory and parasitic “skills,” and “making connections” and “hooking up (and spreading and exacerbating venereal and cultural diseases),” why are they called “students?”

          What do they “study?” How many of them employ term paper “services,” cheat on tests, just coast to that “degree” that finally (Zonker Harris, I’m looking at YOU — and please note that Gary Trudeau is breeding back to his neoliberal $hillary genome) kicks them out into the culture, with often zeero “socially useful” (by my lights) information in their heads and zeero utilitarian skills and zeero or nearly zeero “prospects” of getting on the gravy train, and zeero notion of a vector along which they might help drive “society” toward a safer landing, where some might survive the inevitable crash. Raped, to use a loaded-gun term loosely, by “the system,” but at least along for the ride and what pleasure they can get from it, or at least temporary oblivion via chemicals and “virtual reality”…

          That “student” label obscures the reality, but what’s new there, America? It’s “All Bernays, all the time.” And of course that is a gross generalization, but come on, folks, look at the culture. The Ivy Tower Bacchanalia? That’s, I think, “about” hormones and opportunity or clear lack of it, and local culture, with the opportunity to tsk-tsk and gain victim points and stuff behind a smokescreen of hypocritical “standards”, a little like like Strict Fundamentalists, Islamic and Xtian, getting their jollies out of forking little boys and girls, all culturally-approved after nods toward nominal disapprobation.

          And yes, I know several (small circle of acquaintance) young people who are trying to figure out how to at least ease the crash, maybe avoid it, but so much is groping for that magic-bullet solution that lets most of our carbocombustoconsumption culture continue (“carbon capture,” “magical batteries/alt-energy,” solar this and that, legalized pot…)

          The University notion of old, as I recall, was ideally about preserving and instilling what was thought of as wisdom (often incorrectly, e.g., metaphysics, physics, alchemy, astronomy, medicine) separate and apart from the polis, again with many exceptions proving the rule.

          As to the persistence of the Toga Party behavior (NOT the quaint enthusiasm of “Animal House, in reality), I matriculated at Brown University, 1964. Lived in a huge dorm, 3 sweating, testosterone-generating males to a room (except rich kids who got the singles).

          The first weekend, Saturday night, there was a “house party” in the “party room” in the basement. A 20×30 foot room painted all black, with mattresses and couches and a single 20-watt red bulb in the center of the ceiling, huge speakers fed by huge amps driven by expensive turntable and tape deck. Many frosh from prep schools arrived already lit, and the booze was trundled out of the “liquor locker” in large quantities. I went down there because it was expected, but I did not drink (then). All of them, of course, “under-age.”

          Also trundled in were many Pembroke (my mother’s alma mater) females. Loud music, “writhing bodies” veertical and horizontal, and among other couplings, the dorm proctor, an upper classman, got hold of a beautiful way-drunk blond Pembroke, apparent virgin(?), frosh and screwed her, unresisting, in a far corner, to be discovered, mostly stripped, by her suddenly unhappy mates. I got to carry her back up the Hill to her dorm. Quite a shocker for this Midwest Presbyterian Boy Scout…

          Rinse out the vomit and urine and hormone stink, and repeat, then on to the frat houses as one rose in one’s class… “Opportunity costs…”

          The Mongols and Huns and Germans and Russians and Japanese and even, yes, Americans, raped and looted their way across continental distances, and new-named “forces” are doing it as we speak. THERE ARE NO “SAFE SPACES” THAT YOU CAN’T MAKE AND DEFEND FOR YOURSELF. See, e.g., identity theft, cops with guns and impunity, the whole looting class, pimple-faced sh!ts with CRSP-R kits and 3-d printers (guy at the gun store tells of customer who “printed” with “tactical ballistic polymer” a complete lower receiver group for full-auto AR “assault rifle,” “good for at least 10,000 rounds,” very illegal but “way cool!”), and hot-dick rapers wanting to “get it off” by “getting it on.” (And it’s rare, but WOMEN commit rape too — “A rape epidemic — by women? Column,” it’s a human thing, though majority male…)

          Dominance, personal pleasure, exploitation… Expecting any kind of institutional behavior or individual behavior to “change” is in my mind just foolish. But hope springs eternal…

          1. craazyboy

            What do they “study?”

            I think “Alternative Sex” is a major nowadays, tho I’m not sure if that helps or not.

          2. dk

            Men rape men, too. And it’s not rare at all. “Real men” don’t like to talk about it.

            “Only in prison”, yeah right.

            It’s also one of the drivers of homophobia.

            1. JTMcPhee

              My point, exactly. We all have the equipment and potential. People will stick whatever that sticks out into whatever is “invaginated” (describes quite a number of non-vulva body parts…) Almost nobody gets to claim pure victimhood status, sometimes not even the “victims” who themselves prey on other weaker humans. Original sin was a pretty good insight (now turned into a general excuse, to be relieved by “indulgences” of various sorts…)

              1. UserFriendly

                The biggest driver of rape is the shitty culture that tells boys that they are sad pathetic nothings if they aren’t getting laid all the time while simultaniously oversexualizing girls and telling them they are whores if they ever have sex. I think there are quite a few boys who rape out of insecurity and quite a few girls who are shamed into not having as much sex as they want further driving male insecurity.

        2. fosforos

          Any college would be better off without drunks. and with civilized drinking at meals, and without ageist “no-drinking” rules.

      2. Synoia

        Your problem with alchol is prohibition.

        Eurpoeans do not have the same problem because there is no “Underage drinking” crime.

        Prohibiting something makes it more desirable, not less.

        In europe, drinking beer and wne as children is accepted, indeed it was historically safer than drinking water. WhEm reaching late teens there was little incentive to binge, and none after the first hangover.

        I would also point out that the objectification of women is driven by the entertainment and fashion industries, who do much to both objectify women and encorage violence in the name of free speech, and the new and coming master of the world, profit.

        I`m waiting with interest for ISDS to hit muslim mores whem the film industry sues a muslim country for banning raunchy films.

        Some commemt about motes and beams is appropriate here in a mainly US mores blog.

        There are none so blind as those who will not see.

        Personaly, I`d execute rapists. If it were my daughter, I do believe I would have much trouble in controling my anger.

        1. JTMcPhee

          One wonders if the people of Muslim nations assaulted by ISDS proceedings might not force the good old “trial by combat,” or teach the slimy sh!ts in suits a thing or two about limitations of impunity, and mutuality, and vulnerability, and very rough justice…

          It is interesting that a principle of Sharia banking and finance is the assumption of mutual risk: FOX in 2008 put out a wonderfully ironic spin-comment on the subject: “U.S. Interest in Shariah Finance Opens Dangerous Doors, Critics Say,”

          Shariah-compliant banking, sometimes called Islamic banking, is growing in popularity in the Western and Islamic worlds. But critics say American interest in the system at a time of economic crisis is opening the door to increased Islamic influence in the American banking system. Worse yet, some fear the banks may be helping to finance international terrorism. [UBS? Goldman? BofA? Panama Papers?]

          In Shariah-compliant banking, lenders may not charge interest and investors cannot make money from forbidden industries like gambling, alcohol, pork and pornography. Selling debt, devising derivatives and short selling are also prohibited, and investments must be closely tied to actual assets. [THE HORROR!]

          In the U.S., the Dow Jones Islamic Index tracks Shariah-compliant companies and funds, and funds have sprung up like the Amana Mutual Funds Trust and the Azzad Asset Management.

          American investment funds, like those offered by TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab, can invest in Shariah-compliant companies, and those companies can offer investments in American companies. Top holdings in the Azzad Ethical Midcap Fund, for example, include Western Digital Corp., Southwest Electric Co. and Apple Computer, Inc. [ALL EVIL MUSLIM SHARIA-SPITTING MONSTERS! well, if you look close, monsters at least…]

          But allowing Shariah-compliant finance in the U.S. is green-lighting a seditious system that supports jihad, said Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.

          “If you understand what Shariah is, you understand that it is a pretty awful system. Not something that you’d want insinuated in your society and becoming a major feature of your economic system,” Gaffney said.

          “Shariah (Islamic law as dictated by the Koran) governs all aspects of life, from the personal practice of the faith to how you relate to your family to how you relate to your business partners, to your community … all the way up to how the world is run, and it is all one seamless program. You can’t say ‘I’ll take the personal pietistic practice … and skip the beheading and the flogging and the stoning and the global theocracy,'” he said.

          Punishments for some crimes under Shariah law include amputation and stoning to death. On Tuesday it was revealed that a 53-year-old Egyptian doctor had been sentenced under Shariah law in Saudi Arabia to 15 years in prison and 1,500 lashes for allegedly getting a Saudi princess in his care addicted to drugs.[Michael Jackson?]

          But despite Islamic banking’s association with Shariah’s harsh practices, the U.S. government is taking an interest in it.

          On Oct. 25, while on an official visit to Saudi Arabia, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert M. Kimmitt told reporters that the U.S. was interested in learning more about Islamic finance, and the Treasury Department held an “Islamic Finance 101” course in Washington on Nov. 6 to educate government officials on its ins and outs.

          Nicholas Kaiser, fund manager at Amana Mutual Funds Trust in Bellingham, Wash., said that his company’s Shariah-compliant mutual fund products are no different from any other religious funds and that the company carefully screens its investors.

          “Our shareholders are American. We don’t take money from non-Americans because of money-laundering laws. We have to know our shareholders and be sure they aren’t engaged in nefarious activities. We screen and check and verify every shareholder,” Kaiser said.

          He disagrees with Gaffney’s assertion that Islamic funds are a threat to the American way of life.

          “We simply take people’s money, invest it and give it back to them when they want it. We don’t try and convert the country. We don’t have any religious position. We aren’t evangelical. We aren’t zealots. We’re money managers,” Kaiser said. “I happen to be Episcopalian.”

          One might hope so, at least — it’s not like the necessary skill sets are not out there…

        2. b1whois

          I recently returned from 6 months in Uruguay, South America, where people are free to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana in public places, on the streets and in the parks. The bars do not close until dawn.
          I was able to attend a couple of college-aged events and was amazed that at no time did I see binge drinking. (One theory I had was that they had to pace themselves since the bars did not “close”.) I also did not see women being “preyed upon” by a rape culture, nor did I see women “flaunting” their sexual availability. The environment seemed subtlety different, as Uruguayans seemed much more relaxed about drinking and sexuality then us Usians. At no time did I think, “oh, that girl might get in trouble” as I often do when I go out in USA (because people were overly drunk or because they appeared to be with men who did not value them or because they did not seem to value themselves).
          Another amazing thing was seeing women walking alone at all times of the night and early morning without apparent fear of being accosted. This may be in part due to the fact that Uruguay is such a small country that everybody knows practically everyone else. I think the problem here in USA is a larger cultural one wherein the marketing and media are a big contributor to “rape culture”.
          As a final note I will mention that there are serious problems in Uruguay regarding domestic abuse, something that appears to be confined to in the home, not in the public space.

    4. ambrit

      As a parent with two grown daughters, and now grand daughters, I must say that until the culture does something, as much as a culture has agency, the rape problem will be around, and thus needs to be addressed on a personal level. Ultimately, this problem comes down to small group dynamics. Rape is a crime of violence. Violence is thus appropriate as a response to it. A threshold has been crossed.
      Secondly, philosophically, rape is an artifact of Patriarchal thinking. This is definitely a cultural item. Culture is changed very slowly, is my observation. Thus, expect very slow change on a meta level. Really, the actions to “empower” women to not only resist rape, but deny the male claims to ‘entitlement’ in the sphere of sexual relations will be the building blocks of a new social paradigm. Basically, a woman must make herself safe, and the culture will follow.

      1. Portia

        Thank you. I have often wondered why the default in some males when impaired by alcohol is forcing sex on a female if she is unwilling. Not all males are violent aggressors when drunk. There is intention there, when the inhibition is gone, to take what they want. I am reminded of the guy in CA who insisted that he should be able to have sex with any woman of his choice. I totally agree that women must make themselves safe until the men catch up. There seems to be no entitlement to that in our current paradigm.

        1. JTMcPhee

          I doubt that ‘men will catch up.’ Our species’ individual behaviors are the product of millions of years of evolution, and a whole long history before that. What’s the catch phrase? “Baked in”?

          And as to the notion that it’s “a male thing,” if one searches “rapes committed by women” one finds all kinds of data and studies and reports, including popularized ones like this: “A rape epidemic — by women?”, And “rapes committed by women” is not a “new thing,” either… even, Horrors!, women raping other women! Who would believe such a thing? (No excuse for any of it, from the social point of view, but there’s the facts.)

          And how many times does it have to be proved that “prohibition” does not work as advertised? When I went off to college, there were “strict parietal rules,” long since abandoned to “modernity” — no co-ed dorms and certainly no co-ed bathrooms, no women/men in rooms except at carefully “proctored” times, at least one of the four feet of the hump-backed animal had to be on the floor (see “Kama Sutra” and that “Twister” ™ game), the door had to be “ajar” (in practice, wedged hard with a tiny crack so the latch did not catch, “technical compliance”) and plenty of fokking went on, in the dorms, and for those who could arrange it, in off-campus locales.

          Face it, folks — it’s who we re and what we do, as a species. Marquis of Queensbury cautions: Keep your guard up, protect yourself at all times. And if you are being assaulted, forget the Marquis of Queensbury rules, the fainting behaviors, the cautions and screams and “Just say NOs!” and go all apesh!t on the assaulter.

          1. Portia

            yes. as long as there are people like you insisting that it is “baked in”, it’s “who we are and what we do”, that behavior will never change. I have noticed that many other things have changed though in the what’s OK for men to do to women department through the years. It just takes a long time, and YOU are one of the things that slows down the process.

        2. fosforos

          Isn’t it the classic phrase: (for males) getting drunk has the effect of increasing desire while decreasing ability to perform?

          1. JTMcPhee

            It’s a sliding scale, apparently. Maybe like those crossing curves I was taught as Received Wisdom in Econ 101… Demand, supply…

      2. Waldenpond

        Seems to me, the person wants to rape and unknown, hectic situations where it’s easier to separate someone from a group is just one tool and alcohol and drugs are just another tool to commit the crime.

        Can’t women make themselves safe by hanging out with women? Women’s colleges… get as drunk as you want.

        1. abynormal

          eyes just crossed…i like you Walden but I’M NOT THE PROBLEM…i should be able to go where i want , you know….LIKE YOU DO.

          1. Waldenpond

            Thanks for the call out. I agree people should go where they want and aggressively defend themselves. The focus should absolutely be on violence prevention.

            I expect young people also will want to experiment with alcohol and drugs. I thought the don’t drive drunk analogy was weak as it indicates having a designated sober person and was trying to think of how people can experiment safely. Maybe a policy that frats/events are required to have contingency bouncers and they only get paid if there is no violence? That would put the focus on violence prevention.

            1. abynormal

              agree…i went to plenty parties in the 80’s and the majority hired cops. i’m thinking colleges don’t want the exposure and if cops were at the frat parties they’d be pretty busy locking up 80% of the crowd. if parents teamed up, they’d have those cops all over frat row!

              as a parent, i always made sure my kid went out with friends…they probably splintered off without a thought, so whats a parent to do? their best i guess…personally i just scared the shit out of my kid heheheee.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      Some random thoughts:

      It’s pretty hard to take the commitment of some of these schools to alleviating this problem seriously when, in the face of it, they institute beer sales at football games because of “profit potential.” Or when the Indiana University Foundation rents a facility to a “powerhouse,” barely off-campus bar that starts serving drinks at 7 a.m., and is known to serve underage students.

      I’m wondering whether daily dosing of mostly boys, from the age of about 5 or 6, with ADD and ADHD “medication” to make them more manageable, has anything to do with this destructive behavior.

      Interesting photo of a white boy being led away in handcuffs by an undercover cop, presumably for some campus alcohol violation. I guess this is what community policing looks like in lighter-skinned, less blighted “communities.”

      I couldn’t help remembering this quote from the link on 10/29 about a Camille Paglia interview:

      Girls would be far better advised to revert to the brave feminist approach of her generation — when women were encouraged to fight all their battles by themselves, and win.
      And this is the way women should be dealing with men — finding their weaknesses and susceptibilities… not bringing in an army of pseudo, proxy parents to put them down for you so you can preserve your perfect girliness.

      1. Optimader

        I think college kids should be taught how to drink responsibly, that starts at home witha pingpong table in the basement/backyard

          1. Hana M.


            Thanks for reminding me about the Camille Paglia interview. Her comments on Hillary Clinton got top billing but I found her insights on what passes for modern day feminism more insightful.

            I wrote a date-rape essay in 1991 in which I called for women to stand up for themselves and learn how to handle men. But now you have this shibboleth, “No means no.” Well, no. Sometimes “No” means “Not yet”. Sometimes “No” means “Too soon”. Sometimes “No” means “Keep trying and maybe yes”. You can see it with the pigeons on the grass. The male pursues the female and she turns away, and turns away, and he looks a fool but he keeps on pursuing her. And maybe she’s testing his persistence; the strength of his genes… It’s a pattern in the animal kingdom — a courtship pattern…’

            How many women, if they are honest with themselves can really disagree with this? I know back in my heyday I had more than a couple moments of just this sort of ambivalence.

            But add alcohol into the mix and it screws up all the subtle signalling. Or maybe it’s just that young people are so detached from non-electronic contact and so distracted even when sober that they no longer know how to interact with others.

    6. Optimader

      Blah blah blah…. Sexual assaults by men used to be something that was usually the ….., now, it’s just expected to happen, mostly because boys are never taught that girls and women are people too…. blah blah blah

      Link please

  6. nechaev

    two interesting stories from friday’s AL Monitor, both overshadowed by the Weiner Affair:

    1) Egypt: Call for revolt on 11/11:

    “In response, a call has been issued for a popular revolt Nov. 11. This call is known among social media users as Thawret el Ghalaba, which translates to Revolution of the Poor. The movement’s Facebook page, which has attracted more than 100,000 followers, urges the public “to overthrow the corrupt regime and liberate the country from those who have betrayed and humiliated the Egyptian people.”

    Read more:

    2) Tunisia: US embassy arranges release of two American wannabee-jihadis, who are currently loose in Tunis.

    “On the morning of Oct. 25, the brothers were sent to El Gorjani detention center in Tunis, the country’s main counterterrorism center, notorious for its use of torture. The brothers, however, were quickly released and driven away in a US Embassy car,….”

    Read more:

    1. dk

      Thanks, beat me to it…

      … it speaks to the greater political confusion of our times, not just of Tor.

      Yes indeed. Patterns of permission to implement control. Not at all new, either.

  7. pretzelattack

    re the treatment of the protestors at standing rock

    ” water boarding hooded prisoners, and forcing at least one young woman to remain naked in jail cell for an entire night.”

    this crap makes me sick. even more when compared to how the malheur armed trespassers were treated. it’s not just because they had guns either, we let them go in and out and let them them have snacks, not to mention dildos. but that only involved a bird sanctuary, not the sacred pipeline.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Wikileaks’ seven days to create a new world: 12-1-2016 to 12-7-2016.

      Including one that falls on the anniversary of the day of infamy.

      1. Jim Haygood

        November (from the Latin root word meaning “nine”) is the 11th month.

        It confuses me too, bro.

        “It’s all the same f***in’ day.” — Janis Joplin

          1. fosforos

            Gaius Caesar Octavianus (alias Augustus) had nothing to do with it. But Cleopatra did. In Egypt Caesar learned how to make an accurate calendar, then modified it to delete five intercalary days and add one leap-day every four years (the Egyptians had refused to do this in order to keep their calendar synchronized to the synodic period of Venus) while keeping the twelve month schema and making the months of roughly equal length. The two new months were put into summer, but their names were added much later. Our calendar, incidentally, would not even exist had Caesar not been elected to the office of Dictator.

  8. Jim Haygood

    Ex-con John Dean takes on Trump’s claim that Emailgate is “bigger than Watergate”:

    Some four dozen Nixon aides and associates were convicted of or pleaded guilty to criminal misconduct, including me.

    Taken together, these investigations revealed astounding abuses of presidential power by Nixon, which included other illegal break-ins and burglaries; illegal electronic surveillance; misuses of agencies of government like the I.R.S., C.I.A. and F.B.I.; the practice of making political opponents into enemies and using the instruments of government to attack them; and then employing perjury and obstruction of justice to cover it all up.

    Whatever mistakes Mrs. Clinton made, her actions bear no similarities whatsoever to Nixon’s criminalization of his presidency, and his efforts to corrupt much of the executive branch.

    It’s too early to make such a judgment. It was revealed over the weekend that Loretta Lynch’s DOJ has been actively attempting to suppress the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation, though the investigation has continued limping along under restrictive rules.

    The Clinton Foundation’s modus operandi presents the appearance of a vast influence peddling operation. Influence peddling is different in nature from the offenses committed by Nixon, who was motivated by power more than greed. But to claim it’s less serious is rash.

    Having the discredited figure of John Dean pontificate on Hillary’s plight symbolically validates Trump’s Emailgate-Watergate comparison, in a way that would never occur to the NYT’s frayed-collar stenos.

    1. temporal

      If John Dean could reach back and show the despicable deeds that Nixon did before taking office then we would have apple to apples comparison. If Nixon had done even the smallest number of openly corrupt forms of pay-for-play that we’ve seen with HRC and the Clinton Foundation we would be discussing the failings of President Hubert H Humphrey instead.

      Ignoring Nixon’s abuses of power, Nixon’s policies were to the left of every President since Raygun. But with all those lefty Democrats in office it was hard for Nixon to make a lot of headway. Hard to believe there were so many Ds in high places that would make Bernie’s current values mainstream. Back when populist wasn’t interchangeable with being a disgruntled terrorist and bipartisan was interchangeable with turncoat.

      1. voteforno6

        I don’t know…there’s some anecdotal evidence that Nixon & Kissinger conspired to undermine the Paris peace talks in ’68, to end the Vietnam War. That’s pretty despicable.

        1. temporal

          Like you I suspect, I was against the Vietnam war and for that matter Nixon, but I’m quite sure that the fear of the red menace means that if Nixon thought he could win then he must try. Nearly every conservative, including my dad at the time, was certain that the dominoes would fall if we lost. When they didn’t Nixon sent Kissinger to China.

          Compare and contrast that with current mainstream D theology.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Yah, pretty inconvenient that Communist Vietnam today is a major and peaceful trading partner with the US.
            Maybe next time around we can just skip the part where 2 million people lose their lives. Oh, I forgot, Bechtel wouldn’t like that.

        2. RabidGandhi

          No anecdotal evidence would be necessary for a warcrimes conviction.

          Watergate came out the same time as the proof that Nixon/Kissinger were indiscriminately bombing Cambodia (more than all the bombs dropped by the Allies in WWII), with one result being the rise of the Khmer Rouge.

          It is quite the modern parallel with HRC. In the best case scenario (doubt it), this scandal would bring her down as Watergate brought down Nixon. If this occurs it would be an exact parallel: HRC destroys Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Honduras, but that gets ignored in favour of an email scandal.

          1. temporal

            Sadly there aren’t too many recent US Presidents that aren’t in the war crimes boat. Maybe one could argue that was Nixon’s first innovation though I believe it was much earlier. Certainly before Mark Twain reflected on the Philippines.

            If she gets elected it will be the paranoia and pathological lying that will bring her down. Like Nixon before she has stacked so many lies on top of each other that telling the truth is nearly impossible. The circuses will keep bringing her back as many times as it takes to find a few whoopers. Though, like her husband before, I expect that the threat of impeachment to have little effect.

          2. JustAnObserver

            Nixon destroyed Cambodia => Khmer Rouge & “Year Zero”

            Bush destroys Iraq => ISIS/Daesh.

            Obama/Clinton destroys Libya => Al Qaeda in the Magreb gets a new lease of life + a whole load of modern weaponry.

            Clinton destroys (what’s left of) Syria => ??? (France gets Marine le Pen ?, War with Russia ?).

      2. Adam Eran

        Nixon’s problem is one complicated by LBJ’s opportunism. Politicians undoubtedly knew that LBJ stole his senate seat (see Robert Caro’s Means of Ascent for the entire story). They called him “Landslide Lyndon” when he first came to the senate. Never mind the evidence that the first time Nixon ran for the presidency, JFK stole West Virginia.

        So…faced with that possibility of election shennanigans, I’m not sure I can blame Nixon for throwing a spanner into the (then relevant) Vietnamese peace negotiations. Thom Hartmann plays an oval office tape of LBJ advising Everett Dirksen to rein in Nixon’s meddling with Vietnam.

        Oddly enough, Kissinger, who became Nixon’s security advisor, then Secretary of State also ran those peace negotiations…so sabotage was rewarded.

        Still, Chomsky says Nixon–author of the EPA and OSHA–was the last liberal president…so there’s that.

        1. temporal

          I imagine that even a reformed Quaker had to do a few decent things, if only by reflex, so he could talk with his family every once in a while about something besides the weather. Must have been a lot of cognitive dissonance going in there.

        2. Carolinian

          Yes Nixon attaining political vindication obviously worth the price of another 25,000 dead Americans and countless Asians.

          Guess I’m saying that I think we can blame him.

        3. alex morfesis

          well…if you are going to bring up west virginia…you might be honest enough and point out nixon stole california in 1960 which is why ike laughed at tricky dick when he complained about the “stolen” election…especially the voting in orange county…

      3. fosforos

        I remember “Checkers” and the “Republican Cloth Coat.” Eisenhower used his image to let the Dicky One get away with his corrupt behavior. Can Obama use his image to the same corrupting effect? Does he even need to, given Trump?”

    2. Optimader

      Your right!
      Her serial felonious behaviour is just the warmup act to loosen up the audiences expectaions so they can drop even further!

  9. Portia

    Aww. Where’s Dubya to tell these rich dudes and dudettes to go out and SHOP Til THEY DROP?

    Private-Jet Forecast Cut by 600 Planes as Slow Growth Zaps Sales

    1. Sandy

      Wonder how much this has to do with the proliferation of very high quality First Class services offered with international carriers these days vis-a-vis the rising importance of international markets (versus domestic) to large corporations (traditional buyers of private jets). I’ve never been in either, but I bet first class on an Emirates A380 from NYC to DXB is more comfortable than the same route on a G650 (which is the pinnacle of private jets and unattainable to most). Your average American entrepreneur rich guy will probably do a jet share program now instead. Your super rich Sheikh will grab a decommissioned Airbus or a Boeing Business Jet. Interesting.

      1. Portia

        I thought the attraction was freedom to take off and go anywhere at a moment’s notice, and impress clients and potential clients. Having worked in accounting, it seems like a budget thing, where maybe the kill-joy bean counter says no beans for jets this time, suck it up.

      2. Paid Minion

        It has nothing to do with the seat on the airplane, and everything to do with the “airline experience” before and after the flight.

        And the fact that airline service to small and midsize cities is pretty crummy, or requires a half day or better drive to get to the airport.

        The reality is that most of these airplanes are flying with several seats occupied. The airplane costs look a lot better, when you compare it to the costs of flying the same number of people to (say) Boise by airline.

        In one of my former jobs, we would run regular trips from the Midwest to Sacramento. A one day, out and back by company airplane. A three day trip by airline

        At some (lower than you think) salary level, it makes sense to buy an airplane, than pay people to sit around in airplanes, or wait in lines at the airport.

        I know an airplane salesman who flies the airlines frequently. When he sees a pizzed off guy wearing a suit in an airport terminal, he introduces himself and gives him a card

        1. Jim Haygood

          People Express, a long-ago discount airline operating out of EWR, advertised “We paved a highway in the sky.”

          Quite so: commercial airlines are Greyhound buses with wings.

          No impatient, alpha-dog entrepreneur or corporate warrior is going to put up with that crap for one second.

          Plus concealed carry — one would think — is a lot simpler flying private.

      3. PluntoniumKun

        Business jet sales have always been something of a leading indicator for economic trouble. Its the first thing to get cut when it looks like profits will be down – no CEO wants to report disappointing quarterly results at the same time as the bill comes in for a Gulfstream. I think it could be a reflection of the problems hedgies and and so on have been having.

    2. Paid Minion

      The forecasts over the past few years have had a few “hopieom” injections.

      Since 2009, the number of sales in the “low end” has tanked. No small businesses buying their first airplanes. The high end market was pretfighter ty much unaffected. The reality now is that even the G-650 market is starting to tank. In a “no growth for the 99%” economy, it seems that there are a finite number of people that need, or can afford a G-650. The “trickle up” theory.

      For various reasons, most of these airplanes are leased. Since 2009, financing has been pretty tight.

      1. GF

        The problem is not enough new billionaires and facebooky startups. The market is saturated. Time to cut some more taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

  10. jhallc

    This Washington Post Editorial from Holder this is quite a mouthful. You may want to wait an hour after eating to read it.

    Here are a couple of gems:
    “Director Comey broke with these fundamental principles. I fear he has unintentionally and negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI.”

    Because both he and Lanny Bruer did such a good job at raising the bar?

    “This controversy has its roots in the director’s July decision to hold a news conference announcing his recommendation that the Justice Department bring no charges against Hillary Clinton. Instead of making a private recommendation to the attorney general — consistent with Justice Department policy — he chose to publicly share his professional recommendation, as well as his personal opinions, about the case.”

    No menton of the little discussion on the tarmac Loretta Lynch and WJC had to talk about the weather. Why wait until months later to bring this up? Please! What a useless AG this man was.

    1. Sandy

      Every where I turn in this cycle, I am profoundly embarrassed for The Establishment of this country. They’ve all been exposed. I’m happy to see it, and I hope they keep making fools of themselves in front of us, and I hope the rest of the world realizes we’re a country of petulant idiots who can’t even figure out email and yet we’re entrusted with the protection of the rest of the world. Isolationism can’t come soon enough.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Just look at the link above where Harry Reid is chastising the FBI claiming they are holding back info on Trump and the Russians while at the same time and I’m assuming with a straight face on no sense of irony accuses Comey of breaking the law by influencing an election by bringing up details of an investigation.

        Um, wouldn’t mentioning that the FBI is sitting on a Trump/Russia investigation right before an election also be influencing said election and ergo breaking said law?

        What a bunch of hapless idiots all of these people really are.

    2. sid_finster

      Oh please, if the FBI opened a last minute investigation of Trump, Holder and Lynch and every MSM talking head would be falling all over themselves trying to outdo each other in their praise for Comey.

    3. petal

      Not useless as AG-he did what he was put there to do. It just doesn’t match what a lot of people hoped he’d do.

    4. polecat

      Just another ‘white shoe’ lawyer spewing shit through his forked tongue …hoping some of it will stick to the plebes !

    5. temporal

      Eric “I never met a while collar criminal in my life” Holder says that when he was AG people understood that he wouldn’t let certain investigations go forward and now it’s Lynch’s turn at the wheel. Lynch says “No search warrant for you mister Comey. Wiener knows a gal that knows a gal.” and that is supposed to be that.

      It’s terrible when people don’t understand how things are supposed to work.

  11. Mbuna

    There is just so much stuff on the FBI/Clinton emails that pretends, no insists, that no one knows what’s in those emails and so the warrant is needed. This is completely moronic and exposes the press and so many pundits of being nothing more than political shills- well yeah we knew that but this circus still offends me.
    There are more than a few people that know what those emails contain and you can bet it’s not good for Cinton.

    1. NYPaul

      I’d like to know more about the folder, “Life Insurance.” Did it belong to Abedin, Weiner, or, both? Since it indicates, “protection,” was it restricted to Abedin, Weiner, Abedin/Weiner and, did it include Clinton? Finally, was it protection from the Government, or, from the Clintons?

      650,000 freaken emails, Holy Schit! it’s the whole freaken Holy Grail.

      Gotterdammerung, at last.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    As concerns grow over falling yuan, China’s rich eye property abroad – report.


    Or is it, aren’t they already?

    It’s similar to, China to stimulate economy with trillions, wait, to curb bubbles, by order from Beijing to banks.

    1. PluntoniumKun

      Yes, its an odd little report. China’s rich have been buying property abroad for years of course. I think what it means is that China’s rich and maybe not so rich are liquidating their domestic property holdings in favour of foreign holdings as a hedge against the falling yuan. I suspect though that only the really smart have already done it – there is plenty of evidence that while the bubble hasn’t burst, sellers are rapidly running out of buyers in China.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China (Chinese?) banks in stand off with regulators over something.

    Over there, in China, don’t regulators always prevail?

    1. Cry Shop

      It’s never Regulator vs. Bank, it’s Cadre Chan’s power base vs. Cadre Wong’s. In this case the bankers have more princling power, so until some deals are struck to protect their interest, the regulator can’t do crap. The Chinese consider putting the human factor ahead of the rule of law a virtue.

      You have the same thing in the USA, but We you don’t consider it a virtue, so it’s far more opaque.

    1. Beniamino

      Yeah but were those Trump documents subject to FOIA? Did they involve classified government info? More specifically, did they involve classified government info that had been e-mailed back & forth via a private server that had been set up in Trump’s bathroom with the deliberate, premeditated intent of concealing evidence of massive-scale influence-peddling? Like most people, I have limited time & energy for moral outrage so I try to prioritize and focus on the larger-scale abuses.

  14. human

    James Comey, Hillary Clinton, and the Email Investigation: A Guide for the Perplexed

    Harvard and Brookings … just another bi-partisan whitewash of the affair.

    1. Carolinian

      An example of the author’s close attention to verifiable facts

      Unlike the Russian government, the FBI does not just do document dumps of people’s emails.

      Wittes works for Brookings, nuff said.

  15. Paid Minion

    “…..650,000 e-mails……”

    Do these people actually do anything like the wretched refuse refer to as “work”?

    Or do they spend their days as “idea” people, telling each other how much smarter they are than everyone else.

    OTOH, If this includes Spam, its believable. Carlos Danger probably gets plenty of of, for discount boner pills.

  16. JSM

    Re: Islamic State v. al-Qaida

    How many of these statements, from the BBC’s version of Robert Siegel (who’s been misreporting on Syria for years) and books with no limit for (Western) propaganda purposes, can have real validity? A good deal of them, delivered in such sober earnest, sound laughable.

    *The arguments were so sharp that the al-Qaida leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, eventually said he no longer recognised the existence of the Islamic State in Syria.

    *Al-Qaida worries that establishing a caliphate too soon risks its early destruction by Western forces.

    *Very little is known about Islamic State’s internal workings…It’s clear that IS has always relied on having former Baathists in senior positions.

    *Assad’s idea was to scare either the Americans or the Russians into defending his regime. Putin took the bait.

    *Assad…believed that, having used the violent jihadis to further [his] purposes in Syria…

    *governments complained that the UK offered sanctuary to Islamists in the hope that London would not be attacked. (??)

    *papers captured in Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad hideout revealed [anything that wasn’t fabricated].

    *Maybe the future will be brighter for the caliphate.

    *Before 9/11 the idea of establishing a caliphate would have been written off as a fantasy. (!)

    *The failure of Bush and Blair’s ‘war on terror’ is well established…It’s hard to disagree with Rogers’s prediction that these wars will carry on for decades…The former US defence secretary Leon Panetta predicts thirty more years of conflict, which is another way of saying there is no end in sight. [Right on schedule.]

    Reads like more wishful thinking from Samuel P. Huntington’s manual on How to Engineer Perpetual Religious Warfare.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Jim.

      I watched SOTU and GPS on CNN and MTP on CNBS yesterday. (I live in England). There was change of tone and skepticism away from HRC on SOTU and, to a lesser extent, on MTP, but GPS was its usual appalling self. However, British channels and ‘papers continued shilling for HRC, seemingly tone deaf. Your comment is interesting and addresses a question that I have long wanted to ask US readers on this blog, foreign media reporting and their unprecedented investment in this campaign. My parents and I thought Zackaria was typical of many immigrants (which my parents are), trying to outdo the local establishment in order to fit in. Zackaria did not mention that Radek Sikorski and Anne Applebaum are married. This is one of many unmentionable couplings in the MSM, the Greenspans being the most prominent.

    2. Colonel Smithers

      Further to your comment about the FT, I know a dozen or so journalists, including a handful at the FT. The ones at the FT and BBG can understand the rise of Sanders and Trump and think there is a hidden Trump vote similar to the “shy Tories” in England. They sort of admit that there is a limit to what they can report and slyly convey. They think Trump can win and the polls are narrower than being reported. As a regular visitor to the US, it would not surprise me. If it’s not this year, I fear the elections in the 2020s could be a lot more divisive and heated.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Despite appearances, the FT isn’t even British. Japan’s Nikkei bought it last year:

        The biggest media group in Japan, Nikkei doesn’t have a stellar reputation among journalists: It’s said to be too soft on the Japanese corporate establishment.

        You can get a flavor of its kind of business journalism from its English-language Asian Review. Many of the stories read like press releases, and the FT probably wouldn’t have run them.

        Although Nikkei President Tsuneo Kita says the “philosophy and values of the FT are exactly the same as ours,” he must be aware of the quality difference.

        Nikkei bringing the FT down to its level of press release journalism: well done, chaps!

        1. craazyboy

          I wouldn’t expect much “unslanted” reporting…hahahaha…sometimes I crack myself up… from the neolib Samurai Masters.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Polls are narrower…

        Of course, the morning, I saw one (post Friday’s big news) at Markewatch that claimed Hillary was still maintainng her 3 point lead.

    3. cocomaan

      I don’t understand these paper endorsements and their glowing outlooks on the candidates, or this idea that there is any hope in the next four years. Look at some of these statements:

      Yet Mrs Clinton has much to prove…

      Mrs Clinton has a sound programme, though she would have to face down [insert opponents here]…

      If elected, Mrs Clinton must work out how to heal the divisiveness …

      In the national interest she must show a determination…

      There is no indication that she can do any of these things! Why bother endorsing her? Why bother endorsing either candidate?

      What I’d really like to see is some backbone grown and for the FT to endorse nobody. How about a:

      We believe that this year’s slate of candidates do not act in the best interest of American voters, regardless of their experience and pedigree. It is our responsibility to encourage voters to seek redress for grievances through alternate means. The future is in the hands of people who will struggle to make a difference…

      1. Jim Haygood

        “It is our responsibility to encourage voters to seek redress for grievances through alternate means: cancel your subscription. And kill your TV.”

      2. temporal

        “Mrs Clinton has a sound programme”

        Yeah but her floor routine and balance beam suck.

        “Yet Mrs Clinton has much to prove”

        That should be left up to a court of law to determine.

        The FT like all the other neoliberal information centers only care about protecting the needs of the few from the great unwashed. If Cruz or Bush were the R candidate there would be no need to choose sides.

  17. Pat

    Just wanted to say that the last days of antidotes have been a wonderful balm from the beautiful cat to the seemingly blissed out polar bear to this miraculous photo of a bat. Thank you.

  18. Pat

    I always find Emptywheel interesting even when I do not agree with her. She comes at things from a lawyer’s POV. And very often the law and common sense or justice are not the same thing.

    I do understand her point about Comey’s letter to the various people who had either had him testified or might have him testify. But I also feel that she has missed a few pertinent facts.

    1. From the moment Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton on the tarmac AND made that vacuous but far reaching declaration about taking the recommendations about indictments from others she pretty much eliminated SOP from the whole equation. Her failure to recommend an independent prosecutor and to put them in charge of anything to do with the Clintons, their aides and their foundation, made it clear that there was to be no independent investigation of this, but that nobody wanted to be SEEN putting their thumb on the process.
    2. The sitting Congress made it clear that THAT was not acceptable and that they would not tolerate anymore ‘foaming of the runways’. And that Comey’s head was on the line (Lynch’s too although I’m pretty sure she thinks she is better protected.)
    3. Considering points 1 and 2, who does Comey report to anymore? Quite obviously, it is Congress – as in everyone who might remotely want an explanation about FBI actions who heads a committee. Hence his inclusion on the list or recipients even those who haven’t had a hearing yet.
    4. The process of these investigations have been so outside the norm that they are a disgrace. And you can lay that at the feet of both Comey AND Lynch, but most particularly Lynch. Largely once again for refusing to understand this was NOT going to be swept under the rug. Comey took on too much, Lynch did too, and then tried to pretend she wasn’t. The mess was well out there long before HRC was the actual nominee, and it wasn’t just Comey’s mess.

    Did this interfere with the election – clearly. My problem with this limited viewing of it is that it fails to recognize that this entire investigation has been so fubared and doing so was clearly meant to interfere with the election by protecting Clinton from real investigation.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Totally concur.

      At this point, Comey is in so deep that he’s a guy with nothing to lose.

      He can either go down swinging, or exit in disgrace.

      Really the only thing that can salvage him now is a smoking gun in the 650,000 emails.

      Given the Clintons’ forty-year track record, this is a bet well worth taking — considering Comey’s alternative of slithering out of office like a defeated dung beetle.

      1. pretzelattack

        it’s not just the slithering, his future share of elite bucks is at stake too. at this point hes pissed off the democratic elites and most of the republican elites who seem to want clinton to win. so future political appointments and cushy think tank jobs may already be out of the question unless clinton gets taken down, and the republican party implodes.

      2. Anne

        The more we learn about the so-called investigation, the less credibility I think it should be given and the less respect we should have for those nominally or actually in charge. The flip side of that is, of course, is the question whether this represents near-total incompetence on the part of the FBI, or the stringing along of competent investigators whose work was constantly being undermined by higher-ups who had already decided that this was all going to come to nothing.

        I think I’m going for Door No. 2 (it’s the one with the big poop emoji), and that would explain the rumors of near-revolt from within the rank-and-file, and Comey’s as-usual, ham-handed efforts to get ahead of it by more or less saying, “hey’ I’ve already completely bungled this thing, so what I’m doing now is pretty much in keeping with that theme.”

        All of this Clinton/Clinton Foundation crap is exactly the reason I was hoping Hillary would toddle off into the sunset with Bill and the rest of their grifting, corrupt family, and we’d never have to see or hear from them again. Because if she’s elected, if she once again escapes the long arm of the law, it isn’t going to chasten or humble her into behaving and acting better – it is going to empower her and Crooked Bill to even deeper/higher levels of greed.

        Congratulations, Jill Stein – I’m voting for you.

        And for Margaret Flowers for MD Senate.

        I think I’m done with the two major parties for the foreseeable future.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          About that near-revolt from within the rank-and-file, the Wall Street piece yesterday about what went down btw the DOJ and FBI, it was said (not sure it was the writer or someone being quoted) that – here I think the massaging message is at work – that the people on the field are always more aggressive.

          That is, the near-revolt is nothing. Nothing to see here. It’s routine.

          Nice rearguard action.

    2. abynormal

      she’s getting desperate. means she is Scared:

      from zh: Joining a similar letter penned by Harry Reid on Sunday, the letter said that “Justice Department officials are instructed to refrain from commenting publicly on the existence, let alone the substance, of pending investigative matters, except in exceptional circumstances and with explicit approval from the Department of Justice officials responsible for ultimate supervision of the matter.”

      In a letter sent by Hillary Clinton’s campaign on Sunday night, former Attorney General Eric Holder as well as dozens of former DOJ officials slammed FBI director James Comey’s decision to reopen the FBI prove into Hillary Clinton just days ahead of the election. Comey wrote a letter to members of Congress announcing the decision, prompting criticism from Democrats and former high-ranking Justice officials, now including ex-Attorney General Eric Holder, suggesting a major ideological and political schism has formed between the DOJ – which as the WSJ reported last night stifled a similar probe into the Clinton Foundation – and the FBI.

      1. pretzelattack

        looks to me like holder is trying to influence the result of the election by hindering the fbi director from doing his job. so far, i haven’t heard any calls for him to be prosecuted under the hatch act.

    3. craazyboy

      The Clintons have been interfering with this election since 2008. That’s what future Russian and Chinese history books will say.

  19. bmeisen

    Private jet forecast
    Thanks! Aviation’s current business model is a massive circle jerk – fly those jets till there ain’t no more jet-8! Talk about private planes as a part of a successful national transportation strategy was Koch-ite porn. Ditto for the solar-powered circumnavigation. There is no alternative to kerosene to shoot 100 tons at 500 mph from Dallas to New Jersey. Too bad that our grandchildren will end up having to pay the bill.

    1. fosforos

      Who needs 500 mph? A zeppelin (powered by the sun, the wind, and its own lift-hydrogen) would make the trip in comfort at half the speed.

    2. Paid Minion

      And the “let them ride wagons” and “we all need to be farmers” crowd contributes……..

  20. Goyo Marquez

    Son suggested the other day that Peter Thiel and Zuckerberg may know who’s going to win the election, they have the data, they have the ability to produce the algorithms, which, he suggested, might explain their recent defense of Trump.

    1. jrs

      I don’t what they know (whether it’s Trump or Clinton), but they probably do know, and they can probably predict the next recession as well (though not necessarily enough to short stocks, that’s a different thing).

      1. hunkerdown

        Perhaps you missed the implied position on the non-bourgeois party candidates notable by the absence of any mention.

        Leadership, my bottom. This is bet-hedging.

  21. dk

    New Clinton ad revisits famous ‘Daisy’ campaign as Democrats try to move past damaging FBI news

    Joe Scarborough on the voiceover: “… what safeguards are there, for any president, who may not be … stable…”

    It’s okay if they’re stable though, yep, good ol’ stable Hillary, with a steady finger to depress the button…

    1. Pat

      I’ll have to look at the ad, but there is now a Trump ad playing fairly regularly in my market surprisingly. Personally I find it quite effective. It is all about how Clinton has been part of the government for thirty years AND how much has stagnated or declined in the last thirty years. And then asks do you want more of the same moving on to Trump will change things.

      We’ll see.

    2. Pat

      Wow, having now seen the ad you really do have to ask the question “have any of them bothered to look at Clinton’s record?” Trump has asked questions. And made some somewhat reasonable statements about nuclear weapons. Admittedly when you have people like Clinton who fully expect to be allowed to run wild but expect other nuclear powers to back off, they might not seem so reasonable. But here is the thing, if you don’t think Japan or Saudi Arabia or yes, Iran should have nuclear weapons, you also should be of the opinion that no one else should starting with Israel, Pakistan, India, and not stopping until the US doesn’t have them either. As for the ‘why don’t we use them?’ question, why are we building new and more compact transportable ones if we don’t want the real threat of ‘using them’. Similar to saying out loud what Republicans have hinted at for years, Trump says out loud what bullies like Cheney/Bush, Obama and Clinton just hint at.

      It will work on some. Many who don’t understand that Obama and Clinton have both advocated nuclear weapon advancement and what that implies will think there is a difference worth considering.

    3. jrs

      Yea the whole government system is entirely messed up and let’s just torch it all and start over from square one, if the only safeguards there are is the character of the President. Hate the game and not the player.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Well, Hillary is more like the one who has ‘nothing to lose’ with the G men on her tail.

  22. Lee

    And now these guys have what I’m sure they think are two victories: They just won this case, and the Feds backed down at the Bundy Ranch. They also have a martyr in Robert “LaVoy” Finicum. So it will be interesting to see what their next move is.

    Join the Standing Rock demonstrators?

      1. johnnygl

        That’s my secret theory of why such differential treatment from the feds. The last thing they want is a proliferation of wildcat civil disobediance from all across the political spectrum.

  23. Jim Haygood

    In fine fettle, James Howard Kunstler takes a victory lap:

    Over the weekend, the astounding news story broke that the FBI had not obtained a warrant to examine the emails on Weiner’s computer and other devices after three weeks of getting stonewalled by DOJ attorneys. What does it mean when the Director of the FBI can’t get a warrant in a New York minute? It must mean that the DOJ is at war with the FBI. Watergate is looking like thin gruel compared to this fantastic Bouillabaisse of a presidential campaign fiasco.

    One way you can tell is that the NYT is playing down the story Monday morning. Columnist Paul Krugman calls the Comey letter “cryptic.” Krugman’s personal cryptograph insinuates that Comey is trying to squash an investigation of “Russian meddling in American elections.”

    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid chimed in with a statement that “it has become clear that you [Comey] possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers and the Russian government.” How’s that for stupid and ugly? It’s the Russians’ fault that Hillary finds herself in trouble again?

    Trump, of course, is playing the escapade up in his usual idiotic way. It would be unfortunate if it ended up getting him elected — but how would it NOT be unfortunate for Hillary to wind up in the White House under a cloud of possible indictment? She will be doing Chinese fire drills with a special prosecutor the whole time she is in office, tempted at every moment to start a war with the Russians to divert attention from her legal problems.

    What a fine mess. And anybody who thinks that any of it might be resolved before November 8 will be disappointed. This story has so many legs, it looks like a Amazonian centipede compared to the lumbering cockroach that was Watergate.

    How do you like The Long Emergency now?

    The long emergency? Needs more cowbell …

    1. OIFVet

      The Putin is omnipotent. Is there anything in the world that’s not his fault? Anywho, I don’t care who wins on November 8th, because we the people are the predetermined losers either way.

    2. craazyboy

      Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid chimed in with a statement that “it has become clear that you [Comey] possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers and the Russian government.”

      This has me wondering what the benchmark is for libel nowadays?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is he, Senate Minority leader, not private citizen Reid, using the authority of his office to interfere with the election?

        Maybe the question is, who is not?

    3. Carolinian

      Jeff St. Clair no less has defended Reid as a straight shooter but my lying eyes tell me he’s a complete goofball and always has been.

    4. RMO

      It’s good to be reminded to visit Kunstler’s site now and then. I had forgotten how unintentionally hilarious he can be sometimes. Looking back at the predictions in older posts you can find pure comedy gold. He’s made a good point about the economy as we’ve known it for the past century being dependent upon cheap oil (and the ability to burn massive amounts without regard for the costs) but otherwise he can’t even manage to match the stopped-clock standard of being right twice a day (or once a day if a 24 hour clock). I love his suggestion about solving all of America’s racial problems by giving black people elocution lessons. It immediately gave me a vision of Mrs. Howell at the front of a Detroit public school classroom.

  24. allan

    Clinton aides in leaked emails: Axelrod a ‘headache’ to be ‘neutralized’ [Chi Trib]

    It’s no secret that despite his support for Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama’s former campaign chief David Axelrod also has been, at times, critical of her.

    In the last few months alone he’s complained on Twitter about her “unhealthy penchant for privacy” and mocked her as a “bobblehead” for her habit of nodding repeatedly when she is being praised.

    But newly released hacked emails from 2014 and 2015 show just how deeply wounded the Clinton campaign has been by Axelrod’s comments.

    Calling him a “headache” who needed to be “neutralized,” Clinton aides even attempted to psychoanalyze Axelrod, suggesting he was finding it “frustrating” that he had not received an appropriate level of public acclaim for helping to elect Obama. …

    Abedin added in a follow-up email that the Clinton team “shouldn’t be under any illusions that he will start saying only positive things. He’s not looking for a job in 2016, he sees himself in a different role now and feels he needs to say what he thinks.” …

    … which is the greatest crime of all.

    Axelrove, truth teller. Who knew?

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Calling Axelrod a “headache” who needed to be “neutralized,” Clinton aides …’

      When the Clintons talk this way, it is not a figure of speech.

      Neutralize … like with a silencer-equipped 9 mm or something?

        1. Pat

          Too soon. What are they going to say if there is a trial and either Abedin and/or Weiner disappears before testifying for instance. Frankly I say that because I think until this last week he was seen as a decent fall guy/distraction and her loyalty was unquestioned.

        2. Jim Haygood

          They can’t afford to take him out until 11/9.

          Carlos Danger’s new handle under the Witness Protection Program will be José Peril.

          Oops, I wasn’t supposed to say that …

        3. ewmayer

          Re. Making a stiff out of the Weiner — given that HRH (presumptive, or was it presumptuous?) HRC has not yet been officially coronated, perhaps she and her team are hoping that a lesser remedy of Hide the Sausage will suffice to bury their latest e-mail-related boner.

        4. hunkerdown

          They “proved” a negative. What innocent prattle.

          Of course, we are dealing with American liberals here, who apparently are stuck in the concrete-operational stage of problem-solving and can’t conceive of moving more than one thing at once.

    1. fresno dan

      October 31, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      That guy getting his beard kneaded by the cat is LOL! And of course the guy who takes the cat off his lap and the cat just walks in a circle right back to the same spot on the lap…humans are just cat sofas….

  25. Waldenpond

    Looks like smug MY deleted his smug tweets so people couldn’t point out his smugness to his smug self. Too bad he can’t delete his smug writings.

    I expect other sycophants to do the same so their record on Iraq, Syria, Clinton etc can’t be called out.

    1. KurtisMayfield

      When will these morons realize you can’t delete the internet?? These are the “smart meritorious elite” that understand nothing.

  26. Cat Burglar

    Hard to see how synchronized cow herd behavior can be compared to large-scale financial market behavior. The only finding the researchers seem to have come up with on the part of their abstract cows is that imitatively motivated behavior breaks down as herd size increases, so there is less synchronization. It is an interesting investigation — though I don’t have the math to follow it — but it seems to have the basic problems of any reductionist model trying to render complex social behavior.

    Their abstract model of a cow that only lies down, walks, and eats lacks a good observational basis, just like the “robinsonades” of 19th-century political economy that Marx criticized. An example: their cows don’t drink! Cows usually drink either alone, or with a small number of associates. Trips to the spring or the water source may involve quite a distance, and are often the occasion when mothers will leave their young calves in the care of a babysitter cow until they return: an instance of complex social cooperation. If you work with cows — my field of expertise as currently declared by the economy — the major problem is how to get a bunch of them to do what you want them to do!

    Cows only mass together under a few conditions: confinement, privation, affinity, and fear. During the winter, when there isn’t much to eat, they congregate to be fed by humans — which is about hunger, not imitating each other. True, they may get a hint from watching other cows that the hay has just showed up, but that seems more like a cagey ability to read other cows, or to know what it means when the truck with hay comes. Assembling and moving a bunch together requires using their aversion for people (well earned, I hate to say), dogs, four-wheeler engine noises, and hooting and hand-clapping to steer them toward what the cows see as their only route to get away. Smart cowboys rely as much as possible on the cows remembering having done the same thing once before, and try to get the experienced cows to leisurely walk toward the right gate, for example. In this case, the only thing the other cows are imitating is trying to get away from people.

    In an unconfined area, cows will follow their own inclinations to find water, sniff out good grass, shady trees on hot days, sheltered spots out of cold winds, and lots of other things. They usually, though often not, are part of small groups that pal around together. Cows that have been raised in a specific area display a detailed knowledge of the geography, trails, and places to eat and water — and can make them impossible to herd! They approach any confinement with a roguish ingenuity at finding holes in fences, identifying weak spots to push down, or overleaping them entirely.

    The model entirely leaves out the affinity between cows and calves, the strongest affinity and motivation for cows.

    So the idea of a bunch of dumb beasts all imitating each other together seems like an ideological cartoon to me, even though I can see it might be necessary to abstract in order to have a simple model that can give some precision of results. (It might have been better to try modelling sheep, but even there, they need more observation.) To me the project looks kind of familiar: remove all affinities, local knowledge or resources, and room for free activity, place the subjects together in a state of dependency and fear, and study their behavior — a place that sounds a lot like a feedlot. How that compares with financial markets, I don’t know — it is not my field of expertise.

  27. alex morfesis

    about standing rock…sadly the 1st nationers are working this badly…the pipeline is being overlayed on top of an existing natural gas line right of way…when the gas line was put in there were archaeological studies done and it appears that back then the argument was it was not a danger due to a gas leak not effecting the grounds….those need to be brought to light…secondly…the pipeline could be run east at glen ullin via existing pipeline right of ways and track thru bismark and then branch south thru a new pipeline right of way via road 83…considering the length of the pipeline it would add some costs but not project ending costs…third, they need to show the pipeline will be in an area that has had massive flooding and would bring to question the construction and its capacity to handle the flooding, which from what little i see…a pickup truck could drive thru the pipeline and cause damage…a flood would just be a total disaster…

    so said the krazy white buffalo….

  28. KFritz

    The Washington Post article on the Bundy Occupation trial is next to useless, and ignores the main reason the defense prevailed–a brilliant attorney, Marcus Mumford of Utah. His early career was in corporate litigation in NYC. After returning home, he won a complete acquittal for a financiopath named Jensen, and a (possibly temporary) technical dismissal for another named Koerber. He’s counsel for Utah’s Republican Party. Criminal law isn’t his specialty, but he showed that a good attorney is a good attorney. Recognizing the weakness of the Feds’ case and the attorneys presenting it, he attacked those and played to a jury of half-smart individuals. I’d bet a risky amount of money that his victory stems in good part from jury “deselection”–using the selection process to get rid of jurors who didn’t fit his strategy.

    In the end, the outcome is a testimonial to Mumford having superior skills and intelligence, compared to the Oregon federal prosecutors. It also shows that someone in the Bundy camp had the brains to hire a very good attorney.

    1. KFritz

      Afterthought: the outcome also says something about a particular strain of credulousness in the American people–as demonstrated by the jury. I don’t have enough experience to compare our credulousness to the same or similar traits in other peoples.

    2. pretzelattack

      it’s also occurred to me that the prosecution didn’t vet the jurors competently, for whatever reason.

      1. KFritz

        They didn’t do anything very well. That said, I wonder if the US Attorney’s office has de-selection experts on staff. Is there a budget for it? Mumford very likely hired an expert to advise him.

  29. cenobite

    > Hillary Clinton faces intense animosity as she approaches White House Toronto Star. Canadian reporter ventures out beyond the Acela corridor.

    There is a whole lot of CDS in the commentariat. I feel compelled to point out that Donald will not be president.

    The 9/20 Field Poll (California) has Clinton/Kaine at 50% and Trump/Pence at 33%. That, folks, is a shellacking, and California is entirely removed from the Acela corridor.

    She’s not my favorite either, but you have to consider the only alternative.

    1. pretzelattack

      yeah the orange haired racist who is less likely to start ww3 and may not roll back the new deal as completely as she will, and may even oppose the trade treaties. i’m calling the corruption issue a wash, and i don’t believe her on protecting the environment.

    2. Waldenpond

      I believe the CA numbers. Remember, my state, are the ones who are so politically astute they recently voted to make it harder to get rid of convicted politicians.

  30. ewmayer

    o “Video: A Pack Of Wild Pigs Is Wreaking Havoc In Riverside LAist. Hedgies in the Southland?” — Nah, I think its gangs of feral washed-up reality-TV and p0rn stars.

    o “Protests erupt in Morocco after fishmonger crushed to death | Reuters” — Web rumor about this is that the fishmonger was selling, among other things, eels. So he’s holding up a fat juicy toothed eel, the kind the scuba instructors tell you to stay well away from when they’re alive and you’re in their backyard, prospective customer asks, “What kind of eel is that?”, fishmonger replies “It’s a moray!”, prospective customer thinks he is being made pun of and takes it ill, and things go downhill from there. Can any of our Italian/Moroccan readers confirm?

    o “China as Factory to World Mulls the Unthinkable: Price Hikes | Bloomberg” — Wait – I thought one of the eternal promises of globalization was that rising wages in the emerging economies would be a good thing. Apparently the geniuses who foisted this meme on the global economy forgot that gutting the wage base of the resulting goods-importing ‘wealthy’ nations might make it hard for their former middle class to afford all those imported goods, even at those wonderfully low prices, leading to persistent price-deflationary pressures which make it difficult to raise wages in the exporter-sweatshop nations. It seems ‘people with no money can’t afford to buy much stuff’ is too subtle a concept for the globalist’s economic models.

    o “Inaudible Soundwaves Expose a Spooky New Pathway for Hackers | Fortune” — Didn’t click because Fortune articles don’t render in Firefox for me, but isn’t the title a contradiction in terms along the lines of ‘military intelligence’, ‘corporate ethics’ and ‘smart money’?

    o “How to Make Conservatism Great Again | Washington Monthly” — Perhaps I’m way out in left field with this, but I consider e.g. “no one should be above the law” and the Precautionary Principle to be fundamentally conservative principles. *That* kind of conservatism would be a highly salutary change for the nation and the world.

    o “The Myth Behind the First Cleveland Indian: Louis Sockalexis | Daily Beast” — I’d be interested to hear readers’ takes on which they find more offensive, the cartoonish grinning chief use by Cleveland, or the fierce-warrior-stereotypes used by multiple other sports teams. Folks not from NE Ohio will likely have trouble understanding how beloved Chief Wahoo is there – note Cleveland is gradually reducing the visibility of the logo, e.g. via reintroduction of the old-style ‘C’ caps (and note the TV coverage now also use the C as the team logo in their various graphics), but from a for-profit-franchise perspective, it makes sense to phase it out over time.

    1. craazyboy

      The synchronized Chinese price hike.

      Yuan falling. Import factory input price increases by the same amount. Chinese factory network yuan prices based on 50% bill of materials increase by 50% of the falling Yuan.

      Dollar price goes down by 50% of the yuan decrease.

      Black Friday approaches. I see buying another RC airplane in my immediate future.

  31. LT

    “The Consequeces of a Trump Shock”

    For the financial sector, they’ll never let a good crisis go to waste. He would be the perfect scapegoat for a crash they can only fake around for so long.
    The wealthy would just have another asset fire sale.

    With Clinton, they’ll keep faking the stock market bubble in defiance of all previous economic fundamentals.
    There is a reason the professional middle class of college educated are such willing tools of neoliberalism – the stock market bubble and their 401ks. They have to keep the fantasy alive.

  32. Dave

    “The next year, in a news release, the company {Monsanto} said that its new gene for seeds, named Roundup Ready, “can reduce overall herbicide use.””

    The plants are tolerant of drenching in Roundup. How does that reduce the use of Roundup? It does reduce the use of other companies pesticides though. Herbicides are classified as pesticides.

    Any biochemists out there that can refute the following common knowledge?:

    Roundup chelates or binds the nutrients in the soil so that the weeds die of malnutrition and plant disease.
    Roundup residues in your stomach bind the nutrients so your body can’t absorb them. You eat and eat and eat, get fat and are malnourished.

    This is different than the neurotoxin residues of pesticides that poison all life, including your children when you feed them food with pesticide residues on it.

    And that is different than the pin holes that are caused by GMO proteins created by your own stomach flora that are tricked into making them after consuming GMO corn that makes proteins that create holes in bug’s systems and kills them.
    Got Crohn’s, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, “ulcers”, allergies to corn from predigested mash entering your blood stream?

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