2:00 PM Water Cooler 2/24/17 Posted on February 24, 2017 by Yves Smith Lambert’s laptop bricked. :-( I am on an airplane and saw his message only now. He told me to tell you: Talk amongst yourselves! –lambert Ben S: “Manzanita from Redwood Park, Oakland, CA.” Post navigation ← India’s “Bold Experiment With Cash”: Debunking Myths Iraq: “Is It Oil?” → Subscribe to Post Comments 164 comments paul Tioxon February 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm http://www.andnowuknow.com/bloom/east-coast-workers-call-strike-docks/melissa-de-leon/52651#.WK-hWW_yu70 https://gcaptain.com/spanish-dockworkers-plan-nine-day-strike/ http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/port-liverpool-workers-set-ballot-12643143 Paid Outside agitators coordinating NATO seaport strikes. See, men can get together and march in the street around the world at the same time for a cause. clinical wasteman February 24, 2017 at 8:11 pm Many thanks Paul for putting these things together. Encouraging and important for a bunch of reasons at once. 1. Even the most zealous Friedmanite (M. or T., does it matter?) or Richard Florida-type cheerleader for the ‘creative class’ (deceased) would have a hard time passing global logistics off as a ‘dinosaur’ industry. With the disclaimer that most of what I’m about to recommend comes from friends/comrades or publications I’m somehow entangled with, there’s serious thinking about the latent global power of logistics workers on the German ‘Wildcat’ site — [http://wildcat-www.de/en/wildcat/100/e_w100_koper.html] for a recent example from a fair-sized English and huge German-language archive — and years’ worth of great writing about much the same thing by Brian Ashton, a 1995-97 Liverpool dock strike organizer and one of the first people to describe coherently the industrial uses of what’s now sold as ‘the internet of things’. See eg. [http://www.metamute.org/editorial/articles/liverpools-docks-dust-and-dirt] (with images by David Jacques), but if you’re interested it’s worth searching that site and Libcom.org — just to start with — for more. And 2.: because right now it can’t be repeated often enough that face-to-face community experience can be a powerful source of class solidarity but it’s not the only one. Cultural sameness is not the only possible basis for collective action for shared interests. It can happen in a meaningful way even over long distances and long periods, as shown by international support for the Liverpool Dockers of 95-7 (and the California port truck drivers of 2012? Please correct the latter if misremebered). Admittedly this a sort of a priori principle for me, but not just because it sounds like something it would be nice to believe. No, it’s because the ‘choice’ between globally co-ordinated hyperexploitation and perpetual petty warfare* between internally close-knit groups (with no way out of those groups for individuals or sub-collectives, thus: conscript warfare) is a recipe for general despair. [*’Warfare’ here applies literally in some cases and figuratively in others. But even when it stops short of physical violence it’s competition, which puts it well on the way to global exploitation anyway. Who knows why it’s not considered obvious that EU-type transnational management institutions and the National Preference revivalists ‘opposed’ to them share the same obsession with national Competitiveness. (And sub- and supra-national Competitiveness too, but it amounts to the same thing because each arena of economic bloodsports is supposed to toughen the gladiators (upscale slaves, remember) for the next one up. Peer-to-peer prizefighting is officially healthy for everyone, because even what does kill me makes “my” brand/parent corporation/city/country/supra-national trading bloc stronger. And one day glorious victory over Emerging (capitalist) Planets will kill the Zero that screams in the Sum.)] lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 1:10 am The supply chain…. Now that’s strategic. Jeremy Grimm February 25, 2017 at 1:18 pm An economy — just like an Army — marches on its stomach. Supply chains for the US economy are long — reaching to distant countries including many countries that aren’t our best of friends — and shallow — often depending on few to as few as a single source for many products and key components. Just-in-time deliveries support local inventories trimmed to within a few days of demand. The US economy has a great exposed underbelly. Pat February 24, 2017 at 3:12 pm Damn. Poor Lambert. Hope he can find an easy fix and it works. Veri February 24, 2017 at 3:13 pm Some people I am acquainted with came up with: The Democratic Party Apology Handbook http://www.byebyedemocracy.org/p/the-democratic-party-apology-handbook.html?m=1 jo6pac February 24, 2017 at 3:42 pm Thanks very funny in a sad way;-) IowanX February 24, 2017 at 7:43 pm Perfect from where I sit. Scotty_Mack February 24, 2017 at 3:43 pm Good stuff. Hilarious. Curious to see what apologies will be added in the Trump era. tejanojim February 24, 2017 at 4:47 pm We can’t filibuster *this* terrible SC nominee, because the *next* one might be even more terrible. nippersmom February 24, 2017 at 4:12 pm The list is too true. JaaaaayCeeeee February 24, 2017 at 6:04 pm Wow, thanks for that post, Veri. Even if you think only a hostile take over of the Democratic party is feasible right now, that is a beautiful and disturbing write up, of the ways that our elites policy makers and their shills are down to mostly just ad hominem and trolling, to justify their policy choices. Cujo359 February 24, 2017 at 8:35 pm Thanks for the link. I’ve bookmarked it, not because I haven’t used most of these arguments when I’m trying to explain to self-styled progressives why I’m voting third party. Mostly, it’s just nice that there is clear evidence that some folks know these excuses are the exact opposite of wisdom and maturity. Especially liked this bit: #A3. The Change the system first and then Greens will be viable “Argument” —The Obamabots continue to live in denial mode insisting that electing and reelecting the same people who are not sincere or dedicated about real reform will somehow “change” out of nowhere. They get it that other nations have a better government yet they refuse to get it straight that putting progressive principle over politics when voting also makes a difference just as much as curbing lobbyists and Big Money influence. Or, as I usually put it, you’re never going to get what you want if you never vote for it. Laruse February 24, 2017 at 3:26 pm Any news on the legal action in re: WaPo? Yves Smith Post authorFebruary 25, 2017 at 1:25 am My pro bono attorney says he is still working on it. However, I’m not happy with the delay but there is not much we can do. shinola February 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm Just a reminder – Daytona 500, start of NASCAR season, is Sunday! (Betcha didn’t think any NASCAR fans read NC);) Peter Pan February 24, 2017 at 3:51 pm Friday (tonight) is NASCAR Truck Series. Saturday (tomorrow) in NASCAR Xfinity Series. Sunday is the NASCAR Cup Series. I’ll watch Saturday & Sunday, but I’d prefer to be watching Formula One (Australia – March 26th). Kurt Sperry February 24, 2017 at 4:52 pm F1 fan forever here, even have a friend who designed and built an F1 car (years ago). jo6pac February 24, 2017 at 5:18 pm F-1 Fan also and please tell us what car he designed. I do hope this season is better and I’m so glad bernie is on permanent vacation. Kurt Sperry February 24, 2017 at 5:36 pm Three of the ancient Fittipaldi cars! But he’s still working in the trade today. jo6pac February 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm Thanks and one my favorite drivers. Jess February 24, 2017 at 3:57 pm Was at last year’s 50th Daytona 500. Awesome in every respect. Looking forward to Sunday and hoping for no rain delays. PKMKII February 24, 2017 at 3:59 pm Politics and NASCAR are fairly similar. Both fast, lots happening, constantly shuffling of position, but ultimately everyone just goes in a circle. Hana M February 24, 2017 at 4:23 pm And the most exciting thing is watching the crashes. polecat February 24, 2017 at 4:45 pm I’d rather see REAL whiskey and rum runners televised doin their thang, as they dodge the Man …. … now That would be a sport worth watching ! RWood February 24, 2017 at 6:55 pm The Ballad of Thunder Road by Robert Mitchum https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdwUpxkfSJw Edward E February 24, 2017 at 4:51 pm It’s the first week of the year that millions of NASCAR fans enjoy watching anyone turn to the left. crittermom February 25, 2017 at 10:12 am Excellent! (still laughing) shinola February 24, 2017 at 4:55 pm If only we could make congress critters wear uniforms with big patches bearing the logos of their paid sponsors… kgw February 24, 2017 at 5:44 pm +1000 Zane Zodrow February 24, 2017 at 5:08 pm Richard Petty was my hero growing up. OIFVet February 24, 2017 at 8:03 pm I am a redneckified immigrant. Still I am not a fan of any of the restrictor plate races. Give me Darlington, Martinsville, and Bristol, that’s fun racing right there! Clive February 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm Phft, oh, Lambert, deepest sympathies! I’d enter this under “Internet of Shit” and it is mild by comparison but last night I could have hidden under a rock when I woke up in the middle of the night (hey, I’m male and over 40, you get used to it…) and said — seasoned Naked Capitalism readers will be muttering about I brought this on myself after reading it) — “Hey, Siri, turn the ‘Clive’ light on”. I have, unwisely you might feel, installed Phillips “Hue” internet and HomeKit enabled lights and named the one on my side of the bed sitting on the nightstand “‘Clive’s’ Light”. “Is that ‘Clive Smith’, ‘Clive Jones’, ‘Clive (all the ‘Clives’ from my contact list were read out)’?” asked Siri. “Yes, ‘Clive'” I replied. I was a bit surly. At which point Siri, in a disastrous misunderstanding, dialled one of the ‘Clives’ in my contact list. Who, seeing my number come up and then thinking “oh, I’d better pick up, he wouldn’t call at this time unless it was something serious” answered only to then listen to my sleepyhead, disorientated rambling apology. I’m going to join a Cistercian order, just to get away from it all. (Jerri-Lynn has had her own tale of woe too, battling Indian creaking internet infrastructure; let’s all just file it as “misery loves company”) Katharine February 24, 2017 at 4:15 pm Clive, with all due respect, what on earth possessed you? It seems like importing mice or ants into one’s home. Clive February 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm I know, I know. You’re right, of course. I might as well invite cockroaches into my kitchen for a slap up meal. I’ve got really bad eyesight and the table lamps we have here in England have the most ridiculously fiddly small on/off switches usually on the lamps themselves or on the power cord. So I struggle to find them. More than once, I’ve ended up knocking the lamp off the nightstand trying to switch it on. It is either that or wondering around in the dark and stubbing my toe on the mattress frame. So it all seemed like a good idea at the time. I only hope I talk nonsense in my sleep and the NSA think I’m Vladimir Putin’s illegitimate love child or something. Katharine February 24, 2017 at 4:55 pm It sounds as if what you need is one of those lamps that can be switched by touching any part of the base. I’ve never bought one but occasionally encountered them in friends’ houses and abandoned my original skepticism. When reaching is hard or fumbling risky, they have definite merits. Has no one made them for your specs, which I vaguely know are different from ours? Meanwhile, good luck fuddling NSA! MtnLife February 24, 2017 at 4:55 pm I think they still make The Clapper. Hands free (well, in a sense) light control with no danger of accidental dialing. polecat February 24, 2017 at 6:34 pm … but does it lie, on … and on, like a rug ?? Kokuanani February 25, 2017 at 3:34 am There’s also this remarkable device called a “flashlight.” lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 1:13 am Thanks, Clive. I have never had a Mac laptop die instantly with no warning symptoms. One moment I was typing away, the next moment the screen was dark. I rebooted, and it went down for the count when I was typing in my password. Odd. Oregoncharles February 25, 2017 at 1:25 am I encountered that – not on a Mac. Make sure the heat exchanger fins aren’t mashed and the hot air can exit. That was the problem on mine. All it takes is one bump in the wrong place. skippy February 25, 2017 at 1:34 am Macbook Pro logic board repair; not turning on, step by step fix. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDjwYf_GzK0 disheveled… one wire or reflow…. dontknowitall February 25, 2017 at 2:28 am I have a 2011 MacBook Pro that suddenly died on me and would go to sad Mac face when I tried rebooting. After a lot of searching on the internet it turns out the model has a design error where a paper thin $15 data cable connects the hard drive to the motherboard by snaking under the hd and then over the mb rubbing in all the corners against metal as I moved my laptop from place to place. Eventually microscopic cracks develop in the data cable and dead Mac. After replacing the cable twice the effective solution was taping electric tape under the cable at all spots where it rubbed and removing the two tiny screws that held down the cable at one spot but only worked to create stress on it. No more crashes. Good luck on your fixit adventure Lambert, it can be strangely fun sometimes. Ernesto Lyon February 24, 2017 at 3:35 pm I’m using a Windows laptop now for software engineering after years of Macs. It’s OK after to get used to it. The bash shell is nice, if not perfect ( it is a real Ubuntu VM ). Apple UI is still better, but the experience continues to degrade for power users as they converge on IOS for their PCs. If money were no object, Apple still is better, but you get a lot more for the money with Windows machines, as always. I wonder how much longer Apple will be ae to charge steep premiums for their product line. I ditched iPhones for cheap Androids a couple years ago with no regrets as well. lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 1:08 am I’m thinking I need to go the PC laptop/Ubuntu route for redundancy. All I really need to do is browse and write in a text editor, although I’d have to put up with an inferior outliner. Readers, any suggestions for a rugged Ubuntu-friendly laptop for, say, $500? And does Ubuntu essentially run on anything, or do I need to check the model number? dimitris February 25, 2017 at 2:50 am 2-gen old thinkpad (2015 vintage), like my daily driver, X250. X series or T series, says the consensus on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/), are still not quite crapified. Avoid non-Intel graphics and non-Intel WiFi for better Linux compatibility. Ubuntu has itself had signs of crapification lately (Amazon search integrated by default), so maybe Fedora? likbez February 26, 2017 at 10:36 pm It’s a difficult choice. They are all crapified now. Fedora with her GUI is a mixed blessing May be OpenSuse is a better deal. Chris February 25, 2017 at 5:01 am I’ve just spent a month loading Ubuntu (natively) on a MacBook Pro 5,5, and getting set up the way I want it. Seems to be working OK so far. Took a bit of Googling. AskUbuntu (a StackExchange site) has been a great help. Parker Dooley February 25, 2017 at 8:22 am Thinkpad T420. Runs Ubuntu just fine. Can usually be found for $250-300 off lease or refurbished. Usually comes with WIN7 Pro. May be a good idea to replace HD with an SSD. philnc February 25, 2017 at 9:36 am 2x on the SSD idea. We extended the useful life of my wife’s old Thinkpad E ( a budget model with just an i3) by swapping one in. ilpalazzo February 25, 2017 at 2:55 pm This. The last T with a good keyboard. If you stick in 8 GB RAM and an SSD it runs like new. If I were to get something for myself it would be this. My heavily modified T61 doesn’t want to die though. likbez February 26, 2017 at 10:32 pm I would recommend Dell Latitute such as E6440. Works well at a reasonable price. https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Latitude-E6440-DVD-Writer-Graphics/dp/B00JH11ITU It is compatible with Ubuntu (actually most of Latitude models are compatible) but it is OK with Windows 7 too, if you use it only for browsing. It is now very easy to reinstall windows from Image if something went wrong, so it you do not do any scripting or processing, why bother. SSD disk would be a great upgrade, as somebody here already suggested. Even 250GB is OK for most needs. You can also get a dock for it Dell E-Port Plus Advanced Port Replicator with USB 3.0 for E Series Latitudes, 130W AC Dell Latitude E6440 – Core i5 4200M / 2.5 GHz – Windows 7 Pro 64-bit – 4 GB RAM – 320 GB HDD – DVD-Writer – 14″ 1366 x 768 ( HD ) – Intel HD Graphics Gman February 25, 2017 at 3:15 pm I hear ya, particularly regards iphones and the experiences of many people I’ve met who own them. Into my fourth year with blackberry OS10 phone. Updates come along once in a blue moon, phone never freezes, it’s robust, typing experience still unrivalled, OS a seamless dream, phone reception and network and wifi connectivity, in the UK anyway, a dream. Only drawback is the battery life if you use the Internet (easily last all day + easily otherwise) but it looks like iphones aren’t exactly all that on this front either. Anyway I can swap out the battery if I ever need to and carry a spare charge bar too. jo6pac February 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm As some one here pointed out. It’s Friday time for some Jeffery St Clair. http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/24/roaming-charges-exxons-end-game-theory/ Mike Whitney has a good article there also. geoff February 24, 2017 at 5:59 pm Agreed– Whitney believes that Flynn’s defenestration was the end of Trump’s vaunted (around here anyway) reconciliation with Russia policy. New National Security Advisor McMaster is a Petraeus follower, and has repeatedly called out Russia as an aggressive power which must be contained and deterred with US and NATO military power. http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/24/mcmaster-takes-charge-trump-relinquishes-control-of-foreign-policy/ EndOfTheWorld February 24, 2017 at 8:31 pm He’s just an advisor. MacMaster will not make policy. But Trump is finding out, as many presidents have before him, that to a large extent the Pentagon runs itself. The military plans things way ahead of time. As president it’s difficult to buck heads with the PTB on foreign policy. The best Trump may be able to do for the time being is stay out of war. I would prefer an outright lovefest with Russia. I like their anti-GMO policy. Maybe in a few years. Foppe February 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm For those of you who are interested in a brief, but quite penetrating introduction to Marx’s overall project (I realize this may seem like an acquired taste), as understood and elaborated upon by Harvey, might I suggest watching this lecture? It includes a (newly developed) visualization of how capital circulates through its various moments (resources, labor power, commodities that then have to be sold, etc.), analogous to how water goes through the various stages listed in the water cycle: David Harvey, Visualizing Capital. Main problem with it: ‘taxes funds govt spending’ — he should really talk to Michael Hudson about this. Peter Pan February 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm So Lambert had a flu virus. Does this mean there’s a new strain of influenza virus that can infect and brick a laptop computer? If I read 2:00 PM Water Cooler can my laptop become infected and bricked? Can my infected laptop computer infect me with this new strain of influenza virus? Human to laptop viral vector is probably the result of an AI experiment gone awry. (Yes, I’m wearing my TFH for protection.) Katharine February 24, 2017 at 4:25 pm Can you immunize your computer by spilling coffee on the keyboard? polecat February 24, 2017 at 6:42 pm You have to gulp, and then spew the coffee ALL over the keyboard first, for any immunization from digiflu can occur !! kgw February 24, 2017 at 3:42 pm Go to Linux, young man! Switched to Ubuntu 16.04, and haven’t looked back… WJ February 24, 2017 at 4:20 pm Can you run linux on any kind of machine? and how hard is it to install and run if you’re not super computer literate? If these are silly newbie questions (I’m sure they are), feel free just to refer me to a website or two. I’ve been using Mac OS X for the past few years, but every new iteration leads to a weaker Preview application and more bugs. xformbykr February 24, 2017 at 4:37 pm i bought a windows laptop, and then removed and replaced its hard drive with a blank one. I installed linux from a DVD (obtained by purchasing a linux magazine, e.g., “linux format” or “linux user/developer”) following on-screen instructions. It has been smooth sailing ever since. Meanwhile, the original hard drive with windows 8.1 sits in my spare parts box. voislav February 24, 2017 at 4:43 pm It’s the same as installing Windows in terms of difficulty and better for installing software. Typically, it will install out of the box with a full suite of software and all the drivers. For your Windows needs, running a Windows virtual machine inside Linux is a good option, most productivity software runs seamlessly, the only issues are for 3D graphics heavy games and applications. I would recommend Linux Mint for newbies as the installation process is the easiest, it comes with all the necessary media drivers, and it gives you a Windows-like UI. Personally, I am not a big fan of the Ubuntu’s native user interface, but that comes to personal preference. Kurt Sperry February 24, 2017 at 4:57 pm I’ve got Mint on a dual-boot set-up and it’s pretty easy and intuitive. That said, I almost always fire it up in Win10 because the software ecosystem is sooo much broader and VM is a kludge. Ruben February 25, 2017 at 2:28 am A broader software ecosystem, apt analogy. It includes a lot more parasites, infectious diseases, and predators. Anon February 24, 2017 at 10:49 pm > For your Windows needs, running a Windows virtual machine inside Linux is a good option, most productivity software runs seamlessly, the only issues are for 3D graphics heavy games and applications. With KVM or Xen and capable hardware (VT-d or the AMD equivalent), you can pass through a PCIe device such as a graphics card to a VM. This allows you to run 3D applications at near-native performance. Foppe February 24, 2017 at 4:45 pm Yes, pretty much. See here for instructions: https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-macos (While booting, you can choose the ‘live’ option, which runs the OS from USB. WJ February 24, 2017 at 8:18 pm Thx! lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 1:20 am I want the simplest and laziest solution possible. Can I buy a UBS stick with Ubuntu on it? Or should I go the route of buying an Ubuntu book with a CD, and making sure the laptop has a CD? The last time I ran Linux, a good decade ago, the WiFi drivers were awfully fiddly. How are they today? Anon February 25, 2017 at 1:34 am You can buy a USB stick or CD from various sources (just Google for that), but there’s not much of a reason to — it’s really easy to download the ISO and make one yourself (I’m assuming you have access to another desktop/laptop besides the broken one and aren’t just posting from a phone; sorry if I’m wrong). The link Foppe provided has workable instructions for doing this on OS X using UNetbootin, but personally I just use ‘dd’ like: “sudo dd if=ubuntu.iso of=/dev/diskX bs=1m”. But there’s nothing wrong with UNetbootin, and there’s also a Windows version if you happen to be using that: http://unetbootin.github.io. My experience with Linux Wi-Fi drivers a decade ago sounds similar to yours, but today I find Ubuntu and other modern distros “just work” in this regard. Irrational February 25, 2017 at 9:36 am Agree on the USB and driver points. The only things we seem to have problems with is devices using proprietary software like the iPhone (seems to be very roundabout to get it to recognise photos) or GPSs (updating maps only works under Windows). Hubby thinks Mint runs pretty nicely, but there is a new distribution out there called Elementary OS, which looks very similar to Mac OS and is apparently getting rave reviews. Good luck Foppe February 25, 2017 at 5:53 am 1. What anon says. Personally, creating a USB stick using that guide is less effort than searching for a store + having to wait, but YMMV. 2. USB installs faster than DVD, so not necessarily. I don’t really see the need for a book — googling will tell you all you need, usually faster. 3. much better. Zane Zodrow February 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm My experience: Bought Ubuntu Linux CD for about $5 (latest LTS version), put it in, followed instructions, that’s it. Follow instructions for dual boot to start if desired, computer asks if you want to run Windoze or Linux on startup. After finding I seldom chose the Windows option, I switched to straight Linux. This was about 8 years ago. If I want to play video games, I play on Playstation or Xbox. I’ve been using Open Office for all word processing and spreadsheets for about 12 years, with good results, Linux seems to do fine on any video / graphics I run into. Not be smug, but I manage to practically avoid dealing with Microsoft, Apple, and Google. kgw February 24, 2017 at 5:51 pm Need I say more?….. ;~) Contrary to what Kurt says, I find that the “software ecosystem” is more than adequate for all purposes. Did anyone mention that it is free, including most of the “ecosystem?” Chris February 25, 2017 at 5:21 am One minor caution for those in academia. The open source Linux word processors (OpenOffice, LibreOffice) can save as either open document format (odt) or MS Word format (doc, docx). BUT! Saving in a Word version will remove all your citation fields (EndNote, Zotero). Keep the working version in odt, and only save in Word format when you’re ready to submit. visitor February 24, 2017 at 6:20 pm Can you run linux on any kind of machine? I once saw a presentation held at one of those conference for hackers, where a guy managed to install and run linux on a hard disk. Not running linux from, but on the hard disk. There are sufficient electronics — processor, memory and ports — to run an operating system on a hard disk nowadays… More seriously: a) If the machine is very recent (say less than 18 months old to be safe), linux is highly likely to run poorly on it, or not at all if it is extremely recent; you must give some time to the linux community for porting the system and developing the necessary drivers for new computer models. b) If the machine is somewhat old (say more than 6 years), the usual mainstream linux (such as Mint, Ubuntu or OpenSuse) may no longer run on it because these systems set requirements on the hardware (typically the capabilities of the graphics card, or subtle features regarding virtual memory) that old computers do not fulfill. It is not really a problem to install linux on such hardware — provided one selects carefully the version of linux and the kind of graphical user interface to run, and is ready for some tweaking. I have done this several times with Debian, for instance. c) With a really old (2000 vintage or older) or really exotic machine, then it will require serious system knowledge and dealing with a version of linux like Arch, Gentoo or Slackware. d) If your machine is standard fare, between 18 months and 6 years old, linux is not an issue at all. how hard is it to install and run if you’re not super computer literate? There are linux variants — Mint, Ubuntu and OpenSuse come to mind — that have an easy installation CD/DVD-based program with reasonable defaults. The result is a fully functional system with a graphical user interface and lots of standard software packages coming pre-installed, with the result comparable to a common Windows environment. clinical wasteman February 24, 2017 at 8:56 pm If the machine is very new, more than likely everything will run poorly or not at all, and unless it’s Linux it won’t get much better because corporate software ‘development’ is more an annex of Brand Value than a thoughtful process. (See also corporate-led economic ‘development’.) I detest Apple gadget-worship (no phone/tablet at all, though I get why some people like them), but can still recommend secondhand desktop Macs, which suffer forced obsolescence eventually but not too quickly: staying about 5-7 years ‘behind’ the latest, replacing the fairly reliable hardware only when really necessary, has always worked for me including for music production (don’t get me started on the superiority of chrome tape & Tascam analog multitrack machines, but a computer is useful for storage, post-production and proliferating submixes. And crucially, the ‘Mini-Mac’ of c.2010 is unusual in that it has a direct audio input, so no need even for Midi control, let alone wireless anything, which would leave years worth of analog studio equipment instantly helpless.) Secondhand — wiped completely clean after purchase by someone who really knows what s/he’s doing, of course — means no need for any ‘Apple Account’ or other direct interaction with that baleful organization whatsoever, and good open-source software of just about every kind (can’t speak for video or image-heavy ‘social’ media, admittedly) is now readily available, ,which wasn’t always the case. I’m well aware of many people’s nightmares with Mac laptops of the same generations & similar software though: have never been able to figure out why the relative reliability should be so different between box types, except where those dreadful all-wireless, design-prizewinning ‘lite’ Macbooks (or whatever they’re called) are concerned. Praedor February 24, 2017 at 6:48 pm After you install Linux, you can then install a VM and install any Windows of your choice on the VM, be safe from viruses, and ruin any Windows software you might have to use without reboots. oho February 24, 2017 at 7:12 pm That (running a secondary virtual machine) should be standard for anyone who’s paranoid about viruses or has been burned once by losing a half-day’s worth of productivity because of virus/malware. best of all you can do it for free—linux + VMware virtual box player. Praedor February 24, 2017 at 8:07 pm Besides installing and using windows on a VM (I’ve used VirtualBox (easy) and, more recently, the built in KVM hypervisor system to run windows and Whonix, a really nice, secure version of Tor. Run a Tor gateway and a Tor client in separate VMs and even if your Tor session got compromised, it is still separate from your actual system. It presents a fake MAC address AND a bogus IP. No way to ID your computer or IP address. Altandmain February 24, 2017 at 3:45 pm How crapified these days are new laptops? Seems like many people these days are having IT issues. They don’t seem to be very upgradeable these days. Everything is soldered. Last year, I bought a 4 or 5 year old used Dell Precision M4600 for cheap on eBay and upgraded it with an SSD. I had to replace the battery and am going to ghetto rig an IPS display (I screwed up and destroyed the delicate LVDS cable, so waiting for replacement). Upgraded the RAM too to 16 GB (it supports up to 32 GB of DDR3 in 4x 8GB SODIMMs). There isn’t much room for upgrading the GPU – I was leaning towards seeing if I could get an old M5100 Firepro for cheap. The thing is, the Dell Precision is Dell’s top of the line workstation laptop and because it was so old, I could get it for cheap. Performance wise, with the end of Moore’s Law, Sandy Bridge is only 20% slower than Skylake (the current latest generation – actually Kaby Lake now with the fresh, but that’s still Skylake, only a couple of hundred MHz faster). What about new laptops these days? The quality seems to be so-so at consumer prices. Getting used workstation grade laptops seems to be the way to go. I’m thinking: – Dell Precision – HP Z series and the older workstation grade Elitebooks (new ones are now just consumer stuff and Z Books are now their workstation books) – Lenovo P70 seems good too, but not as much room for upgrades (apparently their BIOS is very restrictive) Some of the gaming laptops like the MSI GT7x seems to be decent as well. I’ve heard negative things about the Apple OLED Macbook, which apparently has fewer ports than what is needed. Apparently iFixIt didn’t rate it very well. On my desktop, I dual boot between Linux Mint and Windows 10. oho February 24, 2017 at 4:09 pm >>How crapified these days are new laptops? I’ve been thinking that since 2010. i bought used Dell Precisions for under $100 each over the past year from eBay. As I hate the chiclet laptop keyboard and don’t need Intel Core i7 level processing. And would rather take my chances w/a used laptop 1 w/a new SSD for use and 1 for spare parts w/ a tablet if I really need to be mobile. If anyone knows/wants to learn intermediate-level DIY computer skills, I recommend trying used over new. Altandmain February 24, 2017 at 6:29 pm The upgrades I think are worth it: 1. SSD (big time!) 2. Perhaps an IPS display if you care about good viewing 3. If you need it, enough RAM Most people don’t do things that stress out the CPU these days. If you wait, you can often buy used with an IPS display nowadays. OIFVet February 24, 2017 at 8:10 pm Second the SSD upgrade. My Kirabook is a joy. Came refreshingly free of bloatware out of the box, too. Anon February 24, 2017 at 10:44 pm I agree with your list as a baseline set of requirements, but I’d add a HiDPI display (and IPS too, as you said; the only thing a TN panel is good for is punching). I have an rMBP and can’t stand to use my standard-res (~100 ppi) external monitor. There are non-Mac laptops with HiDPI displays these days. Software support for HiDPI is most mature on OS X (perfect, in fact), but I’ve done cursory testing in VMs and Windows 10 and Ubuntu’s Unity seem to be getting there. There will probably be issues with certain third-party apps on those platforms, but I’d consider the upside to far outweigh the downside here. Regarding keyboards (mentioned in the parent comment), it’s totally subjective. I’m in the minority that loves chiclet keyboards. Besides the MBP keyboard, I use an Apple chiclet keyboard on my PC. I feel I type faster and more accurately on them (~180 wpm). funemployed February 24, 2017 at 4:20 pm I spent a while shopping for laptops not too long ago. I don’t do macs, so I can’t comment on them, but after spending way too much time researching I realized there’s way better value and customization available if you just skip to the business-class models (and way fewer costly “features” you’ll never use). Shopping for them online is a less aesthetically pleasing experience, as their sales folks are more concerned with reps establishing relationships with business customers (specifically IT dept heads who are not going to be impressed by the wonders of, for example, touch-screen PCs that raise support costs, laptop weight, and provide little to improve productivity). Still, if you know what you want computing-wise, you can buy it in a business-class model. Otherwise you’re going to be stuck with an overpriced flavor of the month, in my opinion. The other virtue of business-class laptops is that basic things like durability, flexibility, and not crashing are a huge priority. Employees almost universally treat their work laptops as badly as humanly possible. Because businesses buy in bulk and the good IT admins keep track of costs, you just can’t make money on laptops with high upkeep costs and noticeably more-frequent-than-peer breakdowns. In the consumer market, durability is less important than selling expensive service plans and nudging people with means to re-up their computers more often than necessary, and basic functionality takes a back seat to appearing innovative and cool. All that said, Dell, etc. don’t want retail consumers going to their website and actually comparing business-class laptops to the retail models, so sometimes you have to dig or do creative google searching (I went with Toshiba partly because their business-class stuff is easy to buy online). Very happy so far. bob February 24, 2017 at 9:40 pm The biggest difference between “consumer” and business laptops seems to be screen resolution. 1366×768 is where consumer stuff has been stuck for almost 10 years now. Want better? Gotta go “business” HP non big box models are still pretty good. There’s huge variations in quality among most lines. Irrational February 25, 2017 at 9:39 am And the possibility of getting non-reflecting, non-glossy screens in my experience when I last looked around two and 6-7 yrs ago, but maybe it has changed. Kurt Sperry February 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm I got a Dell XPS 13 for about half of retail used from a highly motivated university student seller and it’s a pretty damn nice piece of kit. Grebo February 24, 2017 at 6:38 pm Used business machines are totally the way to go. I favour the Dell Latitude E6500. It is just old enough to have a 16:10 1920×1200 screen (matte!) and just new enough to have an Nvidia graphics card with vdpau support. Be sure to get those specs, some are lesser beasts. They cost $2000 when new so they tend to be lightly used by top execs rather than hammered by code monkeys, and you can get good ones for ~$140 on ebay. Business machines also have dockability, a massive bonus if it’s your main machine but you also want to take it out and about. Parts are cheap and plentiful. The Latitudes are so easy to open up you’ll laugh. thoughtfulperson February 24, 2017 at 9:23 pm I have an Elitebook and it works fine for my needs. I use it as a desktop replacement as well. I replaced the HD with a nice sized SSD and upgraded the memory. After my wife borrowed my computer to take to work at a local private school, I found 6 people had logged in on my machine to their online accounts! I decided to get her her own Elitebook after that. I guess they are about 4 years old now, but with the extra memory and SSD’s they are pretty decent… Also, I installed ubuntu linux on my old laptops the Elitebooks replaced. Works fine. And free as pointed out above. jo6pac February 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm dnc bash has a vid from hillabillie and the fans go ? https://www.yahoo.com/news/hillary-clinton-calls-for-resistance-and-persistence-from-democrats-190228905.html sleepy February 24, 2017 at 6:22 pm Is this a rollout? What’s next, a listening tour? Big River Bandido February 24, 2017 at 7:19 pm Apparently it was a 3-minute video but the transcript only took about 15 seconds to read. The actual text is a void, there’s nothing said of substance. Probably this is more about the timing and venue of the release, which would indicate it’s just a routine warning to her faction at the DNC meeting tomorrow. No matter who wins tomorrow, the Clintons will still control all institutional fundraising. Having one of their own installed (yet again) as chair would simply make that job easier for them. beth February 24, 2017 at 8:08 pm The trouble with LibreOffice/OpenOffice is when someone tries to share a MS word document with you and you are unable to open it and sign/or make changes. Do you have a work-around for that? clinical wasteman February 24, 2017 at 9:01 pm There’s bound to be a better way of doing it, but having both installed and copying/pasting as necessary still works, at least with Open Office on an ageing but not superannuated copy of Mac OSX. Chris February 25, 2017 at 6:06 am Current versions of OpenOffice/LibreOffice should open and save doc/docx files just fine (although some complex formatting might break). The online version of MS Office is another option. beth February 24, 2017 at 8:11 pm Clinton calls for resistance. Scary. I was so hoping she was over. No time to re-evaluate. So sad. lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 1:38 am Nice to see Clinton hijacking #TheResistance branding, the vile Neera Tanden having paved the way. I may seem overly foily on Democrat co-opting, but let’s remember that the Democrats decapitated #BlackLivesMatter effortlessly. A couple of TFA celebrity leaders — DeRay is now openly hawking product on his Twitter feed — and boom, done. And that was a movement driven by cops whacking black people with impunity; a good ceal of grassroots power, there. Which was not, of course, addressed. The Democrat establishment is perhaps too overly adapted — rather like the the panda, which can digest the shoots of certain bamboos — to its ecological niche of retain power within the Party. But at that, they are superb. Two lines of defense against Ellison with Perez and (sp) Buttegeig. That’s cute, though perhaps not so cute as a panda. PKMKII February 24, 2017 at 3:58 pm White House barring NYT, BuzzFeed, Politico, CNN, others from press briefing Reporters from The Associated Press and Time magazine were allowed into the gaggle but refused to attend. Press should follow the AP and Time’s lead on this. The WH press conferences and briefings have always been a way for the WH to use the press to disseminate their propaganda. The difference now is just that the Trump administration’s target for the propaganda is the Trump base, not the very important people and groups in DC. So, stop being a prism for propaganda. If they hold a press conference and no cameras show up, did it ever really happen? WJ February 24, 2017 at 4:31 pm Haven’t all those entities published high-level leaks from the famous 9 ex- or current intelligence officials that have it in for Trump? Interesting if so. Trump might be sending a very particular message here. And PKMKII, I regard the Trump propaganda as less dangerous than the Serious People propaganda. Do you? PKMKII February 24, 2017 at 4:43 pm All sound and fury, signifying nothing (on both accounts). A press not doing its job with regards to covering the government is the most dangerous thing here. EndOfTheWorld February 24, 2017 at 8:36 pm Trump should have done this long ago. No law says he has to cater to decrepit news organizations. And yes, sometimes leaks are criminal acts. Robert Hahl February 24, 2017 at 4:39 pm A musical interlude may be in order: Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Up Above My Head https://youtu.be/JeaBNAXfHfQ Eva Cassidy – Wayfaring Stranger https://youtu.be/4C1_oNzhU7U Alexandra Stan – Mr. Saxobeat – Live@NRJ Radio Paris https://youtu.be/-6Jtu-j3uOU I always wondered if she could do this without autotune. Heidi Joubert – Cajon box & Hang drum 3 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=K0s6sxxNG-I Those having an eye for a pretty knee cap may enjoy. Long John Baldry – “Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock & Roll” https://youtu.be/Bj_lZ4hkJd8 Soul Coughing – The Incumbent https://youtu.be/e7_h09VPEjw How to “speak” in odd time signatures (5/8). First time I ever understood what this is all about. https://youtu.be/_K6_kPKtix4 Dave Brubeck – Take Five . Count it off (1 2 3 4 5) like the bass player does in the video above. https://youtu.be/vmDDOFXSgAs Hobbs February 24, 2017 at 7:17 pm Speaking in odd time signatures was a great piece! I’m bookmarking it. clinical wasteman February 24, 2017 at 9:13 pm The loveliest of all time signatures is the the nine-beat Zebekiko (various spellings) bar used in Greek/diaspora Rebetika (many spellings of that too). Endless subtle variations on 4/4/1, 4/5, 5/4, 2/2/2/2/1, 2/2/2/3* etc: elusive and strangely intuitive at once. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vctBbS7-jU *slashes in those strings of numbers refer to beat-length of phrases within the bar, not numerator/denominator as in west-European notation. Robert Hahl February 25, 2017 at 9:52 am That file is incomplete, here is the whole song. https://youtu.be/xPLj_6NSbvU Thanks very much, btw. Youtube really is amazing. Here is another one. https://youtu.be/KAp01GgsoLk bob February 24, 2017 at 9:52 pm odd time- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uev2J_cBHjQ Robert Hahl February 25, 2017 at 10:06 am I think that is what a groove in seven beat bars is like, but I can’t really feel it yet. Paul Boisvert February 25, 2017 at 11:43 am Pink Floyd’s “Money” is the quintessential (and almost only well-known) pop/rock song in non-standard time signature, 7/4 time. It does switch into 4/4 at one point, then back and forth again. If you add two more sort of obvious beats (of your choice, melody-wise) at the end of its main riff, you’ll have a nice 9/4 riff. Coltrane’s unparalleled Equinox is 4-4, but suggestive: make each of the first 3 beats triplets, and make the 4th one a doublet (with each of the pair equal in length to each triplet beat) and you get a very nice 11-beat groove: 1-da-da, 2-da-da, 3-da-da, 4-da, repeat. I hum to myself various melodies set to that groove as I go walking, very relaxing… (The “Money” extension to 9/4 above is also a good mental-music walking groove…) Robert Hahl February 25, 2017 at 2:30 pm Moondog – Lament I, “Bird’s Lament” (19:47) is 4/4 but sounds like it might be something else. https://youtu.be/aK0yv9ME-h8?t=1184 bob February 25, 2017 at 1:31 pm The drums keep pulling a sort of ‘triplet fill’ at the end which smooths it out, to almost 8. It’s just a bit off, which is how I “feel” it. I am not a musician, so terms may not be correct. Robert Hahl February 25, 2017 at 10:13 am Dave Brubeck Quartet – “Unsquare Dance” (7 beats/bar, possibly 1 – 2 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 1 – 2 or 1 – 2 – 1 – 2 – 1 – 2 – 3) https://youtu.be/NDB4K5zCcfk lyman alpha blob February 25, 2017 at 11:05 am More odd time signatures – 11/8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjH9SppRRnc Get a haircut hipppies :) nobody February 24, 2017 at 5:07 pm Justin Erik Halldór Smith is becoming one of those scolds he used to despise: For many years I was working on a book, never completed, which I conceived as the lost Kantian Critique treating not aesthetics but ‘gelastics’: experience not of the beautiful but of the funny. I made up a whole symbolic system, a ‘formal gelastics’, intended to analyse whether and how various statements lived up to Kant’s definition of the joke as ‘The sudden transformation of a strained expectation into nothing’. The work was itself a big joke. That was the whole idea: a pseudo-serious pretext to revel in obscenity, absurdity, and sacrilege. In 2015, after some cartoonists who made me laugh were murdered for drawing cartoons, I went on a year-or-so-long tirade about how humour is the highest expression of freedom and the thing most to be defended in society, a tirade that culminated in the annual Pierre Bayle Lecture, which I gave in the Netherlands in November, 2015, on ‘The Gravity of Satire’. This had given me new impetus and motivation to bring my gelastical project to completion. And then, circa June 2016, I, a late-coming normie, learned of the existence of dank memes. They scared me, they put me off, though I couldn’t yet say why. By August 2016 I was scouring the dirtiest parts of the Internet trying to understand Pepe the Frog, and knowing, in my heart, as I witnessed the ebullience of his followers, that Donald Trump was going to win this damned election. And now someone who is literally a joke is doing everything he can to destroy the world as we knew it, and for the first time in my life I find that nothing is funny. I find myself echoing the scolds I used to despise, who would conflate offensiveness and unfunniness every time they judged of something, “That’s not funny!” But now it turns out they are right: the enormous, singular joke of our epoch is not funny. We can see that it is a joke, we can discern its formal-gelastic structure, but it is horrifying. nobody February 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm Russia Russia Russia. Putin Putin Putin. Boy, Smith’s picture of the geopolitical present and the looming future sure looks different than it does to people here. I have been skimming through his posts on politics over the past few months. In his first post after the election (so, before the current wave of McCarthyism got going in earnest), dated November 12… In the best-case scenario, the one that enables us to avoid total war, Russia will soon be the world’s only superpower, and the United States its venal underling. Why on earth American ‘conservatives’ wanted this is something I will never, ever understand. Putin is the only world leader at present who is getting what he wants, who is riding the historical wave in the direction of his own goals… [T]he citizens of Estonia, Georgia, even Finland, are terrified… What Trump’s election likely means, within the next few years, is a full restoration of the Russian Empire at its maximum historical reach, with no check on its treatment of the nations it engulfs. Is it still ‘red-baiting’ to bring up this scenario? Is it ‘red-baiting’ even if we consider Russia from the perspective of the longue durée as a single continuous entity from the Tsarist era to today? Europe will, likely, continue to disaggregate, with minor nations producing minor authoritarian leaders, as has already happened, or appears ready to happen, in Poland, Hungary, France, and elsewhere. Whether these leaders will be vassals of Russia, or whether they will become fixated –the more implausibly the more insignificant the nation– on their own exceptional historical destiny, is uncertain. But what is certain, now, with the collapse of the Atlantic order (which is practically the same thing as to say the collapse of the United States), is that European states will not see themselves as part of a transnational community bound together by ideals like liberty and equality, or by anything more noble than fear. I can already hear the criticism: Europe was always maintained by fear, and this was because of the brinksmanship and aggression of NATO. A Clinton regime would have prolonged this miserable arrangement, so good riddance. But here is where we need to consider other scenarios than the one I’ve identified as the ‘best case’ under a Trump presidency. Even if you don’t care about things like the sovereignty of Latvia, or about sovereignty in general, you still must take seriously the scenario in which Putin does not continue to get everything he wants, but is foiled by the fact that one of his vassal states, across the ocean, for all it has done to self-destruct, still finds itself with a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons and with an unstable and petulant child-president who thinks they are his to use. Just like Putin consolidated his leadership through a long war in Chechnya, an eventual and inevitable expansion into Ukraine, and, finally, a bold return to the world stage with his massacre of Aleppo, so, too, Trump is going to need some wars. This is how authoritarian leaders maintain their legitimacy, by definition and without exception: they start wars. Whether Trump’s wars will be carried out in subordination to Russia’s interests, or in opposition to them, remains to be seen. Again, the best-case scenario is subordination, because the only alternative is total war between the previous century’s two superpowers. Respectful, cautious détente of the sort we might have had under Clinton is unthinkable… While the year of Hitler’s rise to power gives us a strong rhyme, I’ve been detecting at least a rhymoid in the coupling of 2016 with 1989. The current transformation in the United States, I mean, is fruitfully comparable to the collapse of the Soviet Union. This event was called by Putin the worst disaster of the 20th century, while Reagan and some of his Republican successors considered it their own greatest accomplishment. The Russian empire contracted, and the US gloated. Now we are seeing the reverse. The collapse of the Soviet Union was followed by some years of chaos, which I witnessed first-hand, before a strong-fisted leader imposed order. That person’s American homologue, on this reading, is not Trump, but, perhaps, someone for whom Trump is now opening up the way. Trump is, rather, the American Yeltsin, a ridiculous muzhik who happened to show up at the right historical moment, who didn’t stand on a tank, exactly, but at least stalked menacingly behind Hillary Clinton at a town-hall meeting in a way that parodies courage, and who, we may expect, will soon, on some ’state’ visit to his boss, be picked up by the secret police while trying to catch a taxi in his underwear on Red Square at two in the morning, sleepless and in need of pizza. Obama is Gorbachev, the decent man who couldn’t hold the empire together. Putin is Reagan, on top of the world. It’s not so much a rhyme as a palindrome really. Everything is unfolding enantiamorphically, as in a mirror. The empire is collapsing though. Something will emerge out of whatever’s left over. But any American Republicans who helped to bring this on, and who claim to have any sort of loyalty to the legacy of Reagan, simply do not understand what is happening, they lack any shred of historical consciousness, either of the recent past, or of the present… That they brought this on themselves, and still don’t have a clue about what has happened, may turn out to be the greatest tragedy of the 21st century. Wow. visitor February 24, 2017 at 6:41 pm I am not sure such extensive quotes respect the netiquette (a link to the original would suffice), but anyway. I had read occasionally articles by Justin Erik Halldór Smith, and he seemed to be a cultured and well-travelled individual. Apparently, he is just another academic comfortably living in a North American bubble which, inevitably, distorts everything he sees through it as a convex surface is bound to do. Russia will soon be the world’s only superpower, and the United States its venal underling. Respectful, cautious détente of the sort we might have had under Clinton Does he really believe all that nonsense? Or perhaps he should let us know what he smoked — it looks like truly premium quality. lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 1:43 am Not clear to me how a country with an economy the size of Sweden’s becomes the world’s only suprepower, but wev. What are we, 19% of world GDP? Quentin February 25, 2017 at 2:40 am After WW 2, 50%. What a comedown, no matter what the percentage will keep decreasing. The American Dream balloon deflates faster and faster. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL February 24, 2017 at 7:58 pm Reminds me of the stuff the CIA ginned up about the Soviet Union to make them appear unstoppable, GDP calculations etc, to urgently justify even more bombs. In reality however the S.U. economy was about the same size as “Belgium plus vodka” as one economist put it…which was a big reason they folded so quickly in the end sleepy February 24, 2017 at 8:49 pm Yes, to paraphrase the author—France a “minor” country? Its GDP is twice that of Russia’s. aab February 25, 2017 at 1:27 am I only read the last two grafs. Him calling Obama a “decent man” discourages me from reading more. I realize there is thinking of value coming from people unwilling to see who Barack Obama really is, but having swum in that fawning sewage for eight years, I just have no patience for it at this point. nobody February 24, 2017 at 6:12 pm More on the shape of the world, and the shape of the world to come, according to the gestalt of Justin E.H. Smith: In the spirit of ‘know thine enemy’, a principle I wish more of us were willing to adopt, I’ve been reading Dugin, and translating parts of his work, for the past few years. His basic argument is that political power may be classified as either thalassocratic, which is to say sea-based, or tellurocratic, land-based. Anglo-American power, as consolidated in NATO, is the world’s great thalassocracy, while the Russian Empire, whether Soviet or not, is the world’s great tellurocracy. Germany and France, Dugin says, have elements of both, and can be swung either way. You might see where this is leading: Russia’s historical destiny is to draw Germany and France into its own orbit by drawing out their own innate tellurocratic character. I’ve also been reading Stormfront, V-Dare, and similar propaganda sites since long before Trumpism was on the radar, and I started noticing some years ago a clear surge in Russophilia, which was in part based on enthusiasm for Putin’s new assertions of machismo, but also on a lot of arcane discussion among white-supremacists of the need to move beyond the now-outdated ‘Nordicist’ theory that made Germanic peoples into the paradigm of whiteness, while holding Slavs to be somehow second-tier whites… A clear shift occurred in white supremacist ideology, which corresponded, presumably, to the rise of post-Soviet Russia in the first decade of the present century as a powerful illiberal nation, and to the simultaneous post-war accommodation of all of Germany, reunited in the early 1990s, within the Atlantic order… The American left is still complaining that any expression of concern about Russia’s role in this election is just pro-Hillary ‘red-baiting’. I have seen no shortage of memes in the left-wing social media showing, for example, a tinfoil hat photoshopped onto Paul Krugman’s head for his supposedly outlandish belief that Russia has actively intervened in the 2016 US presidential elections. These low-information critics seem not to be decided on whether they think it is not true that Russia has intervened, or whether they think it is true, but are glad, thus trading on a crucial ambiguity we know very well from the Holocaust deniers… In fact…the perplexing question of Russia’s new role in American politics is closely connected with the domestic issue of the resurgence of white nationalism. The best hope for the growth of the tellurocracy to its maximum extent, which would involve Western Europe falling into the orbit of Russia by force or by persuasion (at this very moment, Bannon is publicly offering help to the campaigns of the National Front in France, a party that has recently also taken a generous loan from Russia), is to reduce the US to a white nationalist vassal state, happy to gaze admiringly and passively from afar at “the most powerful white power there is.” These are the ideas that are currently filtering, though of course indirectly and in garbled form, into the lizard brain of the president-elect of our country. This is perhaps a useful talking point when you are calling your local representatives to pressure them to somehow pressure Trump to scrap Bannon. Whatever you think of this notion, it presumably still means something to elected officials: Steve Bannon is a traitor. Rabbit… rabbit… duck-rabbit duck-rabbit duck. voxhumana February 24, 2017 at 6:25 pm “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh” – Voltaire MyLessThanPrimeBeef February 24, 2017 at 6:47 pm Not being a sadist, presumably, the Omnipotent One will try to tell funnier jokes. Isolato February 24, 2017 at 8:45 pm Like that bet he made on Job PhilM February 24, 2017 at 7:40 pm Yeah, fragile, much? I can’t believe how fragile so many of my extremely intelligent friends turned out to be. Like a Ming vase in the hands of a mobster. Sad. tegnost February 24, 2017 at 10:19 pm deconstruct? Patricia February 24, 2017 at 5:39 pm Like a recurring nightmare, Hillary has appeared in a new vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNsTuvoNnaI Democrats are fully and irretrievably psychotic. Patricia February 24, 2017 at 5:50 pm Hillary says: “….Let resistance plus persistance equal progress for our party and our country. Thank you to the leaders who have already done so much, beginning with Barack and Michelle Obama. Thanks as well to Donna and the DNC leadership, and to the outstanding bench of Democrats stepping up to lead us forward. As long as we stand together and work together, with respect for our differences, strength in our conviction, and love for our country, our best days are still ahead. So keep fighting and keep the faith and I’ll be right there with you every step of the way.” She’s an effin’ zombie! MyLessThanPrimeBeef February 24, 2017 at 6:05 pm When I picture her uniquely robotic delivery of the above, I start to wonder if she’s a robot. “Let’s be frank. Those politician jobs are not coming back, for humans.” Elizabeth February 24, 2017 at 6:29 pm Hillary is psychotic – I can’t believe this. Will she ever go away permanently? Help me, Lord. By the way, what are “shared values”? Patricia February 24, 2017 at 6:50 pm She shares her values with us and we love them wholeheartedly because that’s how perfect they are. Hers and Donna’s and Barack’s and Michelle’s. And Perez’, too. I’m supposing this is about the DNC vote tomorrow. Gah. beth February 24, 2017 at 8:39 pm That’s what I keep asking……. polecat February 25, 2017 at 1:18 pm The Hillary ‘Mark IV’ …… ever more psychotic with every model change ….. ! …. the previous model having those funky ‘seize-up’ issues …. lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 1:47 am Donna’s a crook who passed debate questions gotten via Black Misleader Roland S Martin on to Hillz. So naturally, she gets a shoutout. Starting to think #NotMyDNCchair is gonna get traction…. I wonder if there will be chicanery in the vote count? They would. Just to show who’s boss. aab February 25, 2017 at 3:01 am They have followed the rest of the primary fix playbook, including using the AP to float a fake vote majority. Since they seem spectacularly lacking in creativity or self-awareness, I presume tomorrow there will be some version of: calling for the vote before the non-Perez voters are in the room, calling for a new vote after locking the Ellison voters out of the room, changing the vote tallies after confiscating cell phones, or perhaps they’ll fly in some of those gang members from Puerto Rico to stand over DNC members, weapons in hand, watching them vote and checking to make sure they vote “correctly.” I didn’t follow all your links. Did you include the exciting news that Valarie Jarrett has been personally calling DNC members to get them to vote for Perez? I wonder if she’s using the Chicago Way. Resistance February 24, 2017 at 7:42 pm is that woman multi-drug resistant? Like a gonorrhea that just wont go away. Lost to obama, would have lost to sanders if not for manipulations, lost to her pied piper figure trump… when do you die politically? EndOfTheWorld February 24, 2017 at 8:41 pm If she continues to remain medically alive, she might become the 21th Century’s Harold Stassen, continuing to run for prez every four years just out of habit. LT February 24, 2017 at 5:45 pm Re: CPAC: Alt-right is left wing conspiracy – article on Salon. The old “left wants more instrusive government” trope is thrown out there. Then I remember things like the left promotes things like unemployment benefits, gov’t subsidized housing, but leave it to the conservatives (some with “R” after their names, some with “D”) to make it instrusive with things like drug testing. Ta-da! Self-fulfilling prophecy achieved. freedomny February 24, 2017 at 6:35 pm Just in case anyone missed this gem from 2 days ago. Mika on Morning Joe is complaining that Trump is undermining journalists and trying to control what people think…and “that’s our job”. http://heavy.com/news/2017/02/mika-brzezinski-msnbc-our-job-is-to-control-exactly-what-people-think-youtube-video/ If someone already posted…apologies MyLessThanPrimeBeef February 24, 2017 at 6:49 pm No greater sin than that. To come to his support against those thought-controllers would be a small moral victory for Trump, and too many moral one-percenters seem reluctant to share the moral mountain top. WheresOurTeddy February 24, 2017 at 8:02 pm Average age of cable news viewer is 60+ so maybe she felt the need to be more explicit in telling the baby boomers who have been getting their news from GE for 50 years what to think. Next week, involuntary volume increases at key phrase-planting intervals between pill commercials. And they wonder why they lost the minds of the people. Distrubed Voter February 24, 2017 at 8:30 pm Yes, Mika is the daughter of the brain child of Henry Kissinger. Can’t get more Dark than that. freedomny February 24, 2017 at 6:59 pm Wow – a guy who writes about politics and The Walking Dead…. http://linkis.com/pastemagazine.com/Tzw25 Harold February 24, 2017 at 7:27 pm Sounds like Dugin is warmed over Halford Mackinder. Dead Dog February 24, 2017 at 7:54 pm Those of us who feel deprived can devour a good set of topical links and comments (mainly from Aussies) on Macrobusiness: http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/02/weekend-reading-25-26-february-2017 Lambert, here’s hoping you get a better laptop out of this… Altandmain February 24, 2017 at 8:05 pm Funny – the DNC is still chasing Bernie Sanders for his list: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/02/democrats-want-bernies-email-list-but-not-his-poli.html If you want to see something ridiculous, here’s Hillary Clinton trying to take credit for uniting the Democratic Party: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNsTuvoNnaI Now here is something equally as ridiculous – the conservative response to the Bernie Sanders movement: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/24/14716104/socialism-bernie-sanders-cpac?yptr=yahoo Mel February 24, 2017 at 9:39 pm “… still chasing …” Damn. It’s like Glengarry Glen Ross out there. allan February 24, 2017 at 8:21 pm Trump Is Off to a Slow Start on Trade Promises [NYT] President Trump keeps firing verbal broadsides at Mexico and China, but so far his new administration has not acted to keep specific campaign promises about trade policy. Mr. Trump did not declare China a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office, as he had vowed, nor has he after his first month. Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said on Thursday that his department was conducting a standard biannual review of the currency practices of China and other trading partners. … No mention of a certain three letter acronym until the 7th paragraph. Weird. Dear NYT, if you want people to side with you in the current war on the press, don’t do stupid sh*t like this. Glen February 24, 2017 at 11:19 pm Please, dump that f$%king $hit you call an operating system and get linux. Enough of this horse $hit about bricking stuff… lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 1:56 am OS X is BSD under the hood. No doubt the iOS people now running the show will manage to destroy that, too; iOS is also getting worse and worse, at least if you want to domserious work. Chris February 25, 2017 at 6:00 am Amen to that… Darthbobber February 25, 2017 at 12:11 am Looks like the South African shoe has dropped on exchange rate rigging. Recognizable players. “South Africa’s Competition Commission said last week that it had found more than a dozen local and foreign banks had colluded to coordinate trading in the rand and the U.S dollar using an instant chat room called ZAR Domination, a reference to the rand’s official currency market code. It recommended fines amounting to 10% of the banks’ South African revenues in a scandal that has also piled political pressure on the four banks, which have around 90% of the national banking market.” http://www.theafricareport.com/Southern-Africa/south-africas-barclays-africa-ceo-qdeeply-regretsq-role-in-fx-rigging.html lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 1:54 am See The Intercept; squillionaire Saban gave the DNC to actually build it’s headquarters building (!), and he hates and has smeared Ellison on Israel. So ka-ching. Next time, don’t occupy Schumer’s office; occupy the DNC. lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 2:00 am And see TNR: The question that will be answered on Saturday is whether Democrats have more urgent priorities than denying power to the left. lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 2:06 am NPR: Democrats in all levels of office are processing how to respond to the surge of motivated — and often angry — liberals who have taken to the streets and filled Republican congressional town halls. Engaging those folks in the political process and steering them to the polls in future elections will likely be the key to success for Saturday’s winner. Ugh, “folks.” What a horrible Beltway tell. Shorthand is the Perez is (more) #SaveTheACA, Ellison is (more) #MedicareForAll. But yes, the issue is either how to empower those “folks” on policy, where the left really is the only new game in town, or herd them into the veal pen. Foppe February 25, 2017 at 5:58 am better than folx. ;) But yeah, “steering to the polls” really is the problem — it’s not that they no longer care/believe, it’s that they didn’t know the elections were on, or where the voting booths are. lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 2:20 am The Vox explainer. After explaining that the DNC chair doesn’t matter all that much, we get this: But that doesn’t mean the position is insignificant either. Hopkins says there are two main functions of the party chair: 1) raising money for its candidates, particularly on state and local races, as well as deciding how that money gets spent; and 2) setting the rules for the Democratic presidential primary. 1) Raising money. Oddly, Sanders’ ability to run a national campaign without making service offerings to big donors like Saban has been erased from polite discourse. 2) Setting the rules. Look, we’re all friends here, so we can assume that the rigging-happy Democrat establishment isn’t going to run the same kind of screw job they ran in 2016 against Sanders 2.0 (which might not be Sanders). No big issues in this race, no sirree! lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 2:31 am The Hill: National Nurses United President Jean Ross, who also traveled the country stumping for Sanders, helped lead the Ellison cohort. Ross similarly declined to commit to backing Perez if he wins DNC chair. “Keith is the better guy,” she said. “We would have to take [Perez] back to our members and talk about it. We’re at this point we have a known commodity [in Ellison], and it’s very hard to trust someone else, especially when they’ve been in positions before that would be considered establishment.” “I wish [Perez] had not run when Keith threw his hat in the ring,” Ross continued. “We have to take it back to our members, because we’re that ready for a big change and that’s why I won’t say we’ll support [Perez]. We gave the same answer with Hillary, and we did tell our members to do what they feel is right. We didn’t oppose her but it did dampen.” Those remarks came on a day that the DNC intended to focus on party unity. Of course, Clinton, in her crude way, blew all that nonsense about unity out of the water by giving a shoutout to Brazile in her last-minute video, Brazile being a crook and a loser just as bad as DWS. Unity to the Clintonites is “my way or the highway,” and always has been. Nothing wrong with that if the Clintonites were sound on policy or even competent to win a national election against the “Pied Piper” candidate they schemed for, a reality TV buffoon they then proceeded to lose to, spending a billion dollars doing it. lambert strether February 25, 2017 at 2:48 am A-a-a-a-n-d Brazile deploys the Blame Cannons against the Russkis. The epistemic closure is terrifyingly complete, as is the self-aggrandizement, the self-pity, and the eyewateringly intense stench of entitlement, that the Democrats are the natural party of government, and that the professional base they represent is a permanent and dominant faction within the ruling class, both certainly debatable, the first on the electoral record (horrid), the second on moral grounds (life expectancy). https://twitter.com/gdebenedetti/status/835154956965593090 http://www.businessinsider.com/donna-brazile-interview-russian-hacking-it-transformed-me-2017-2 https://yhoo.it/2ljkTpt Donna, this may come as shock to you, but your job was to win. Period. Get off the goddamed pity pot. Nobody ever showed that any of the Podesta mails were untrue, and as it turns out, the truth hurts. If Putin is the guy who got DWS fired, he did the party a ginormous favor, so far as I’m concerned; Democrats who rig elections and crawl into the seamy pockets of the payday loan industry shouldn’t be in leadership positions, or any position. Shorter Brazile: We lost our billion-dollar election because Putin, vote for Perez. Is there any logic to this at all? polecat February 25, 2017 at 1:33 pm Donna is still a going ‘concern’ because she benefits from holding a git-out-of-irrelevance free id/race card !! H. Alexander Ivey February 25, 2017 at 9:30 pm talk among yourselves Does talking to yourself count? Bummer about the computer. Comments are closed. Tip Jar Please Donate or Subscribe!