Links 5/30/2017

The Magna Carta was good for humans – but even better for fish New Statesman

Is “I forget” a valid defense when court orders demand a smartphone password? Ars Technica

Eric Reguly on how self-driving cars will kill cities, not save them Treehugger

Band posters of the Renaissance: how medieval music fans showed off their taste The Conversation

The Rock-Star Appeal of Modern Monetary Theory The Nation (phil u)

Sustainable K-fashion finds fans in Korea as Seoul designers adopt eco-friendly strategies SCMP


B.C. Election: Greens to support NDP in four-year government deal Vancouver Sun (martha r)

Class Warfare

Democrats copied the GOP’s politics of ‘personal responsibility,’ and it hurt America WaPo (furzy)

Our obsession with GDP and economic growth has failed us, let’s end it Quartz (Charles)

The Trump Effect on C.E.O. Pay Gretchen Morgenson.

The song that had one British politician wishing for the Sex Pistols’ ‘sudden death The Conversation

Report reveals scale of food bank use in the UK Guardian

The Legacy of Vladimir Lenin Jacobin. Interview with Tariq Ali, about his new Lenin book.

The Biographer With No Regrets About Uncovering Obama’s Sex Life Haaretz. Much here to ponder, with some quibbles. Most seriously, confuses outspoken with smart (w/ respect to the HLS record), yet nails the shameless self-regard, and the consequences-be-damned opportunism. So well worth your time, and more thoughtful than the sensationalistic, salacious headline suggests.

Kill Me Now

YouGov Affluent Perspective 2017: U.S. Spending YouGov. phil u: “Kill me.”


GOP leader tempers ObamaCare expectations The Hill

New Cold War

Senators locked in turf battle over Russia probes The Hill

There Remains No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion Forbes (sid s). From last week, but not stale, and indeed, highly topical.

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall The Kremlin Stooge. phil u: “what a great blog name….. and please kill me If Trump backs Ukraine.”


Unlike ASEAN, G7 leaders send strong statement on South China Sea Philippine Star Global (furzy)

UK Election

May Battles Against Complacency as U.K. Election Lead Slips Away Bloomberg

Between Victoria and Vauxhall LRB. Thoughtful piece by John Lanchester.

Theresa May heckled and laughed at by debate audience over collapse of her manifesto Independent (Phil U)

“We’re an easy target”: how a Tory manifesto pledge will tear families apart New Statesman

Theresa May’s plan to slash net migration to tens of thousands would double unemployment, study warns Independent

The US Bernie Sanders campaigners lending Jeremy Corbyn a hand Guardian (PlutoniumKun)

British youth overwhelmingly supports Jeremy Corbyn The Unbalanced Evolution of Homo Sapiens

Imperial Collapse Watch

What Was Merkel Thinking? Der Spiegel

Old World Order Is Alive But Unwell After Four Months of Trump Bloomberg

Angela Merkel shows how the leader of the free world should act Guardian (furzy). When Merkel’s the best in the show, you know things are bad. Very bad.

Angela Merkel, Donald Trump and the end of the west FT. Gideon Rachman disagrees and thinks Merkel’s blundered: “The final flaw in Ms Merkel’s approach is that it displayed an uncharacteristic deafness to the echoes of history. One of the truly impressive things about modern Germany is that, more than any other country I can think of, it has thought hard about the lessons of history, and learnt them with thoroughness and humility. So it is baffling that a German leader could stand in a beer-tent in Bavaria and announce a separation from Britain and the US while bracketing those two countries with Russia. The historical resonances should be chilling.”

The Real Threat To Europe Is Neither America Nor Russia Ian Welsh (phil u)

German foreign minister: Trump has weakened the West The Hill. Merkel doesn’t stand alone.

Globalization Without Uncle Sam: America First May Mean America Out  I by no means agree with most of this piece, but it includes some interesting insights, from the perspective of an observer in the developing world. Yale Global Online


Millions of Yemenis face hunger during Ramadan Al Jazeera

Le Bloc Québécois dépose un avis de motion pour la reconnaissance de l’État Palestinien (sid s)


Government wants you to believe its cattle slaughter rules are about cruelty. They aren’t

Human Shields, or a New Form of Life The Wire

India’s electricity companies have surplus power – and that’s a big challenge


No Laughing Matter: The Manchester Bomber is the Spawn of Hillary and Barack’s Excellent Libyan Adventure Counterpunch

To prevent another week of terror, our state must not become a vast Isis recruiting sergeant Patrick Cockburn.

Trump Transition

EPA chief puts new spotlight on cleanup program The Hill. Must be more here than meets the eye, b/c I can’t see Pruitt as a sincere fan of the Superfund program.

Trump and the Neocons: Doing the Unilateralist Waltz The Globalist

Trump Submits to Neocon Orthodoxy Consortium News (furzy)

Inside Trump’s war on regulations Politico

Some Of The GOP’s Institutions Have More Reason To Be Loyal To Trump Than Others (Phil U)


China’s shadow banking crackdown shakes markets FT


Why ‘Brexit’ Will Make Britain’s Mediocre Economy Worse NYT

No quick Brexit, says EU Politico

Guillotine Watch

Stunning £10M yacht-inspired Rolls-Royce Sweptail sails into record books as most expensive new car ever This is Money

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. cnchal

    That stunning 10M pound Rolls is stunningly fugly. Like almost all new cars today.

    Keep it in the garage and prevent road blight.

    1. craazyboy

      Well, over the top conspicuous consumption issues aside, I like the start they got on the front end.

      It is a cool retro look of a Silver Shadow. However they went way off the deep end, as the whale tail extends toward the event horizon. Also humorous, the vid never really gives an entire shot of the car, except for the front. Like they knew they had a problem?

      Maybe they are giving a nod to the current trend towards obesity on Earth? Like the Rolls “Boot” is really a metaphor for the customer’s Gluteus Maximus? Are they floating this as a new fashion trend among the elite? Making a Roman-like statement, “Your legion has arrived?” Could be.

    2. MoiAussie

      Absolutely. Ugly like those oversized watches every idiot seems to wear nowadays.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Rolls Royces are always vulgar.

      People of breeding will only be seen in a Bentley.

      1. Expat

        Are you referring to British nobility? In that case, you need to correct your second sentence to:

        “People of in-breeding will only be seen in a Bentley.”

      2. ambrit

        Correction; to be seen at all, in any “superior” town car is vulgar. Sporters are another matter. So, only people of refinement will be suspected of being in a Bentley.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Ambrit.

          I have two Nigerian colleagues. One drives a Ferrari and the other a Bentley. Both often drive them to work in the City.

          1. ambrit

            Colnel Smithers;
            Not to sound too snobbish, but, does one drive ones’ own Bentley? I understand that the Bentley is an exceedingly “driveable” automobile, but, what is the proper etiquette? In defense of the two Nigerian gentlemen; their automobiles should be a joy to drive, and that joy will be excuse enough for flouting whatever “norms” are involved.

              1. ambrit

                That’s real dedication and appreciation of mobile works of art.
                Thanks for this, it’s inspirational.

                  1. ambrit

                    From a long line of tinkerers.
                    Thanks again. Dads’ last project car was a DS-19. Mine is whatever I can afford. Ofttimes, tinkering is a basic survival skill.

                    1. optimader

                      Dads’ last project car was a DS-19

                      Well, he was a plumber, right? I love those cars..

                      Ofttimes, tinkering is a basic survival skill.

                      And a skill beaten out of the younger generations in our disposable society.

                    2. ambrit

                      I have a sense that the “beaten out of them” started when the waste stream began to be financialized. Finding items to repair or repurpose is, perhaps deliberately, being made illegal through various means. The last time I went down to the Parish landfill to scrounge for some bicycle parts to fix a bike, some years ago, I was run off after being threatened with arrest.
                      I remember James Fallows having a piece in the Atlantic titled “Defining Deviancy Down.” That process is well on it’s way to defeminizing and emasculating America. As many here have remarked, the identity politics of modern politicos exploits and victimizes one and all.

                  2. Fiery Hunt

                    Bless ya, optimader!
                    Those who see cars as only things you get in to arrive someplace else completely and utterly miss the glorious truth of the steel beasts.

                    And those who’ve never tuned a carborator…well, woe be you when the corporations say “Pay or don’t travel this way!”

      3. cnchal

        Rolls should supply the tasteless buyer with an executioner’s hood to save him or her the ridicule for driving one of the ugliest car on the planet. Or perhaps that was a 50,000 pound option and the buyer cheaped out, declining the offer to ‘avoid embarrassment while driving’.

        1. craazyboy

          However, Bentley is owned by VW now, and Merkel is no help for that brand.

          Leaving Rolls the opening to position itself in the upper class market as a rebound play.

          Maybe come out with the “Phoenician” model. Production will certainly be limited, and these cars will always be worth their gas guzzling weight in fine British stainless steel.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you.

            Bentley and Mini are owned by BMW. Rolls is owned by VW, making up for the ghastly Phaeton.

            I agree about Bentley being less vulgar. The Continental GT convertible is great.

            Carolinian said that someone who lives near him in SC has one.

            1. craazyboy

              Oh yeah. I knew that too. Neural misfire. Porsches too. Lambos, even, IIRC.

              I always liked the Bentley look. Timelessly cool. But that’s where this Rolls design went awry. The big macho grill and long hood is both a Rolls and Bentley trademark – and nothing wrong with that look.

              Where it went wrong is Bentley sized the “humpback” right, and short of Rolls doing an exact dup, that design territory is off limits. They should have gone with a shorter tail, and Chrysler 300 style gansta rear hood drop. Then it would look like a Chrysler 300, but with the V12 aircraft engine and half million price tag, customers would believe Rolls is just more serious about it?

              1. Colonel Smithers

                Thank you, CB. I like the concept.

                VW has long sought to prise Lancia from FIAT. VW reckons it could do with a marque like that to complement its stable.

                There were many Bentley Continental GTs and Maseratis at Deauville last week-end.

        2. wilroncanada

          Tell me it has a rudder instead of a steering wheel
          It has room to install at least half a dozen solar panels behind the front seat.
          Does it have an attachment built into the frame to mount a sail up through the endless sunroof?
          There must be some claim to environmental responsibility…er, no.
          That’s for the little people.

      4. optimader

        At one time Rolls Royce was at the at the pinnacle of automotive engineering.

        For example Rolls Royce’s foray into “econoboxism”, the 20/25. These are presently multi-baggers, now a better store of value than gold and more fun than forged Masters art work:

        In more recent years, RR have been styled to the sensibilities of ppl with fantastic aesthetic taste. Case in point this car’s stylized cartoon face lifted from some Japanese anime character.

        But this is RRs market now! RR is a reliable component on the European balance of trade claw-back of monies spent on petro-products.

        Revulsion of the evils of Infidel degeneracy has it’s threshold when it comes to Bling, be it gold nugget jewelry, rolling stock, gemstone encrusted analog watches with an assortment of dials w/ spinning needles. And of course all the cash flow from the OEM Service Agreements is what keeps the spinning dishes on the sticks!

        Velocity of money is what makes the world go around!

      5. Vatch

        People of breeding will only be seen in a Bentley.

        Dogs of breeding only care whether they can stick their heads out the windows with their tongues hanging out. Priorities!

    4. a different chris

      Awesome to post, next after the link, a picture of real beauty, as only Mother Nature can deliver.

      1. a different chris

        ….a sentence with three commas is the opposite of beautiful, sigh, it’s early cut me a break…

        1. From Cold Mountain

          There is grammar and punctuation, and there is art and communication. They do not always overlap.

          1. ambrit

            To be somewhat “precious;” this relationship is best symbolized by a Zenn Diagram. The area of congruence would be, advertising.

            1. Oregoncharles

              Not to quibble,but do you mean “Venn” Diagram? Zen would be something else, I think.

              Or am I missing the joke?

              1. ambrit

                An expanded exegesis appends below.
                It is a feeble attempt at humour I agree. (Sometimes I worry about myself, really.)

            2. Anonymous2

              Some multi-comma sentences which I contend are among the finest ever written:

              Let us consider, too, how different young and old are affected by the words of some classic author, such as Homer or Horace. Passages which to a boy are but rhetorical commonplaces, neither better nor worse than a hundred others which any clever writer might supply, which he gets by heart and thinks very fine, and imitates, as he thinks, successfully, in his own flowing versification, at length come home to him, when long years have passed, and he has had experience of life, and pierce him, as if he had never before known them, with their sad earnestness and vivid exactness. Then he comes to understand how it is that lines, the birth of some chance morning or evening at an Ionian festival, or among the Sabine hills, have lasted generation after generation, for thousands of years, with a power over the mind, and a charm, which the current literature of his own day, with all its obvious advantages, is utterly unable to rival.


            3. ambrit

              To explicate, Zenn Diagrams are pictoral representations of the relationships between subjects, classes, and other subjects or classes. Two or more “Big Empty Circles” (TM) are superimposed to show degrees of intersectionality. The areas of mutual overlap are Emptiness Squared, or Tried, or Quadded, etc. depending on the number of overlaps. The borders between singular “Big Empty Circles” and Concentrated Nullities can form actual Event Horizons. This property of Zenn Diagrams can explain the purported disappearances of many quantified “things.” Of particular interest to an economics site such as this, is the role Zenn Diagrams play in “adjusting” the finances of a large corporation via said corporations’ annual report.

                1. ambrit

                  Or, conversely, the dark heart of the Zenn Diagram prefigures and guides the attentive Bhikku to the empty core of existence. As the Desert Mystics are wont to say; “Two go in, none come out.”

                1. ambrit

                  Yes, it does sound like a subject taught at the Magonia School of Economics and Experimental Philosophy.

      2. crittermom

        “… a picture of real beauty, as only Mother Nature can deliver.”
        I couldn’t agree more! (To hell with the grammar and punctuation. Your msg came through clearly)

      1. funemployed

        I want to a wealthy liberal arts college (as a token community college transfer). Priuses were very popular. Remarkable how many were driven home and parked in the heated garages of grossly oversized homes.

        1. clinical wasteman

          Seriously, heated garages?!
          Pardon my ignorance, but there are no garages at all in this part of Hackney and even home heating isn’t a given for everyone, although there are quite a few of what I suspect might be Craaazyboy-spec Bentleys around. Whereas in NZ in the 1980s any available space was likely to be lavished on garages, but the cars in them (often three or four per working-class household, congenially sharing parts but not necessarily going anywhere) tended to be older than I was, or sometimes even older than I am now. And upscale garageholders would probably have opted for refrigeration over heating given the choice (this was Auckland, not Invercargill).

          1. ChrisPacific

            Yes, heated garages are weird, but I would add that New Zealand should not be quoted as exemplary in any kind of heating conversation. In fact it should not be quoted at all until the situation here improves to the point where it wouldn’t make us an object of horror or ridicule. Many years and many bulldozers will be required before we reach that point.

            1. bob

              Heated Garages

              I’m in a cold part of the US Most reviews of “electric” and or hybrid cars assume a heated garage.

              Heat, is a HUGE drain on a battery. So is storing the battery at low temps. Performance drops off big time at not unexpected temps.

              So, now another part of the cost of ownership is assumed away by “environmentalists”. Externalities, you say….

              Heated garages are not common at all. Less than 1% are heated, in my estimation. Garages in general are far from common. Even having garage doesn’t mean it’s used for a car.

              I just laugh at the people who write reviews about “it’s not that bad, I have to wear a sweater to get a few extra miles”

              That’s assuming the car starts the trip at over 50 degrees.

              1. bob

                Defrosters/defoggers etc are also HUGE users of electric power. They’re far from “optional” in cold weather. They can easily eat half the range of the battery.

      2. jawbone

        I have a 2013 Prius Plug-In and was attracted to the new higher mileage for the Prius Two ECO. Great mileage, more miles until a fill up needed. And my Prius has the rear camera, but with no markers of any kind showing how close the objects being caught on camera actually are, so improvements there seemed like a good thing.

        However, the front grill is so large and aggressive it makes the friendly jelly bean lines turn into some kind of multi-toothed monster ready to devour and shred you.

        Plus, the color I wanted came only with a pearlescent white interior which, for me, is so tacky looking…and would require a whole lot of constant cleaning and upkeep.

        What were they thinking??

        1. Fiery Hunt

          You bought a Prius.
          What were you thinking?

          My Ford is now 20 years old, has 247,000 and doesn’t need a damn back-up camera…that’s what a driver is for!

          1. jrs

            in a consumer capitalist society people define their identity by their possessions and what they buy I guess.

            1. ambrit

              To quibble a bit; in a consumer capitalist society one is often defined by what one possesses. The baleful influence of “other centerdness” will warp ones’ decisions. The degree to which one relies on the opinions of others to define ones’ self will limit ones’ identity. It sounds like a shallow generalization, I know, but this formulation admits of a necessary degree of engagement of the individual with the surrounding culture and society. Humans have always been a collective, out of necessity. The balancing of individual over against the collective is the real scene of the existential struggle. Hence, those of us who revel in the appreciation of older and more “worn” objects are staking out a position that gives greater weight to, for want of a better term, traditional, or basic survival values. The Cult of Youth is congruous with a Cult of the New. Newness presupposes the replacement of older and more “settled” ideas and things with something new, whether the new is an improvement or not. This change for changes’ sake encourages “innovation” that all too often engenders chaos. As with all cult thinking, the bedrock philosophy of Newness is irrational. A simple faith in the ultimate beneficence of churn abandons thought and the perception of objective reality. Many times, that “Leap Into the Unknown” ends up in a sickening splat on the sidewalk many floors below.

    5. samhill

      We finally know what $10M worth of ugly looks like.

      Stunning £10M yacht-inspired Rolls-Royce Sweptail sails

      Doesn’t look like it floats.

    6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Just the price tag is provocative enough.

      At that price, you’d expect the car to be biological and able to mate with another to give more thoroughbred cars.

      1. samhill

        Funny, I sent this to younger friends and they liked it, a lot. They grew up with Transformers.

      2. Dead Dog

        I saw program recently from UK about people who still make things. One episode was about a coblers and you can go into this shop in London and, for around 50 grand, get a pair of bespoke shoes made. They measure every aspect of your foot and then say, come back in 12 months…
        I thought how ridiculous at the time, but still marveled at the craftsmanship that went into the construction of each pair of shoes. I thought, what sort of person has the money to pay that much? A lot it would seem, as most bought more than one pair.
        At least an expensive shoe is non conspicuous in comparison to this car. Yet, you have to admire the people that can still build one spectacular car from scratch. If there weren’t people with the money to commission a whole car, their craft would disappear overnight.

    7. crittermom

      I, too, agree it’s ugly. (IMHO, if I were to have a V12, I’d much prefer a 1960-’62 Jaguar XKE convertible. I still think they’re the sexiest car ever made).
      In addition, if that glass isn’t bulletproof, they better not p*ss off anyone behind ’em in traffic. They would appear to be an easy target!

      1. CD

        Re — XK-E

        “But officer I have to take it out once in a while and do 120 so it stays tuned.”

        Old story. True?

    8. River

      I wonder how hot it gets inside if left in the sun. Also, if the curved glass roof magnifies the sun. I’d laugh if the interior caught fire if parked outside on a sunny day.

      Imagine driving into a sunset with that. Hope the passengers have sunglasses.

      Well, at least with the glass roof you’ll know instantly if bird left a present while flying over head.

  2. Abigail Caplovitz Field

    Re Pruitt & Superfund

    Few (no?) people oppose the mission of Superfund–cleaning up toxins–and wanting to do the job more efficiently is classic R rhetoric. There’s no downside for Pruitt in putting on this focus, and potentially much good in polluted places. But Pruitt will not support the polluter pays principle of taxing toxins, using taxpayer funds only which sharply limits what can be done. It’s classic externalization of costs. Then there’s the responsible party issue–will Pruitt make it easier for the clean up burden to be on taxpayers? Then there’s the thoroughness of the clean up required. Also, how much effort will be put on identifying new sites? And where will those be? In short, more energy and visibility for superfund is good. Will it be close to optimal? no.

    Of course, the most cynical possibility is that Pruitt’s friends run clean up companies that could get inflated contracts, etc., but I don’t know anything about that.

    1. ambrit

      The Superfund site problem has taken over a century to “mature.” We passed on moving to a town in Alabama due to chemical pollution from a factory site that went back as a polluter to the 1920’s and earlier. This particular problem has already extended its’ toxic tentacles for miles downstream in the groundwater. Another problem site we encountered, in Tennessee, was in a town next to an ammunition plant active from WW2 to Vietnam. The town was ordered to stop using its’ groundwater source. Local private wells were contaminated, again in the area of dispersal downstream of the site.
      I agree that a switch to “economic” measurements to determine the strength of remediation efforts will weaken the “protections” offered the public. When groundwater is involved, there are no simple or cheap solutions. If the now dissolved companies responsible are not able to cough up funds, then the taxpayer will have to step into the breach and pony up. Anything less will result in pockets of “Slow Suicide” throughout the country.
      Finally, to climb on one of my hobbyhorses, what will be done about toxic waste sites that are inundated by sea level rise? In a hundred years, the new coastline of America could be ringed with “Dead Zones.”

    2. Vatch

      It takes money to clean up Superfund sites, and that money should come from the polluters. From the Wikipedia Superfund article:

      Approximately 70 percent of Superfund cleanup activities historically have been paid for by parties responsible (PRPs) for the cleanup of contamination. The exceptions occur when the responsible party either cannot be found or is unable to pay for the cleanup. Until the mid-1990s, most of the funding came from a tax on the petroleum and chemical industries, reflecting the polluter pays principle, but since 2001, most of the funding for cleanups of hazardous waste sites has come from taxpayers. Despite the name, the program has suffered from under-funding, and Superfund cleanups have decreased to a mere 8 in 2014.

      So nowadays, it’s usually the taxpayer to pays to clean up other people’s pollution. From the linked article in “The Hill”:

      The Trump administration could make the funding problem worse. President Trump’s budget proposal this week sought a $327 million cut – or 30 percent – to Superfund.

      For the most part, the EPA uses the program to supervise cleanups funded by the companies responsible for the contamination. But if those companies are bankrupt or cannot pay, the EPA occasionally pays for the process, using taxpayer money, since the tax has expired.

      Pruitt can talk all he wants about Superfund. But if the polluters aren’t taxed, and the Congress doesn’t appropriate the money, nothing will be cleaned up. Pruitt is a liar.

      1. bob

        “The exceptions occur when the responsible party either cannot be found or is unable to pay for the cleanup.”

        What about when the polluter pays itself to do the cleanup?

        It’s a very effective, profitable tax dodge. Buy some capital equipment (if possible, buy that from yourself too) and run lot of energy thru it. Tack 20% on, for profit, and you’re in the superfund game.

    3. PKMKII

      There’s also a question of which superfund sites they focus on. Wouldn’t be surprised if we see them emphasizing sites in more well-to-do areas (think gowanus canal) rather than in flyover country.

      1. wilroncanada

        I see opportunity here.
        Set up more 3P’s, where the public part pays 98 percent.
        The sites to be chosen specifically for future development in areas where real estate can be exploited.
        The new environmentally clean real estate is than transferred to the two percent “donor”.
        The two percent “donor” can then build another Trump Tower, having arbitraged that two percent well.
        One could even forsee the new ‘trumpish’ owner getting further tax breaks from any organized municipality or state for greening the (former) commons.

  3. allan

    Blackwater founder’s FSG buys stake in Chinese security school [Reuters]

    Hong Kong-listed Frontier Services Group (FSG), co-founded by former U.S. military services contractor Erik Prince, said it had acquired 25 percent of a Chinese security training facility, the company’s latest move to tap into China’s Belt and Road development plan.

    Security experts say Chinese firms face mounting risks as they expand along President Xi Jinping’s modern-day “Silk Road” initiative to connect the world’s second largest economy with the Middle East, Europe and beyond through infrastructure development. …

    Skills taught will include close protection, defensive driving, counter carjacking and cultural awareness, the company said in a statement sent to Reuters on Tuesday. …

    Cultural awareness. That worked out well in Nisour Square.

    1. craazyboy

      “counter carjacking”?? Is this like negotiating prisoner of war trades among captured self driving cars and trucks? Will their AIs run for political office as “war heroes” after their release, both here and in the West??

      That has never ended well. We’ve already had years of experience with our 13 wheel dump truck, John McCain!

      “Transformers” is just a feel good movie for kids. It’s only a movie!

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hong Kong listed? Why?

      Don’t the Chinese have their own security expertise? It would seem that there are bigger players behind this.

    3. VietnamVet

      China is facing the same problem as the current hegemon, America. Everything is run to the benefit of corporations and the connected. Little people exist to be exploited. All pipsqueak countries that don’t bow low enough to the ruling Regents are destroyed. This creates no man’s lands inhabited by bandits and fanatics. How do the credentialed protect their resource extraction properties with the disappearance of sovereign countries? They hire mercenaries; i.e. Betsy DeVos’s brother.

  4. HBE

    MMT rockstars article.

    Great article of the origins of MMT with a shout out to NC as well.

    1. craazyboy

      Well, dunno how long they will breathlessly announce the 1913 news. Probably until everyone hears about it.

      We created the Fed. They printed up a quarter billion or so in Greenbacks and bought some new Treasury bonds from the Treasury. Then, they do it again, whenever they feel like it, to increase circulating money supply to accommodate real growth and their fictitious 2% inflation “target”. [whoopee for users of the currency]

      This money has been passing thru the wrong hands and going the wrong places ever since.

      On to the next century, please.

      1. craazyboy

        Britain may have to amp up their MMT, now that they may actually have to do Brexit, Irexit, Wales-Be-Gone, and Kiltexit.

        Just tried “Kilt Lifter” Scottish “smoked” beer. It’s made with peat moss to give a hint of smokiness. Some export potential there. Britain has Russian Imperial Stout – a strong World Class Powerful Beer, but can beer exports support an entire country alone?

        This is where Rolls can step in and take charge. Rolls has always been famous for their $500 hubcaps. Machined from stainless on a NC mill, they literally shout out quality, and that the passengers have arrived!

        However, money is stationary and makes the world go around. So…Rolls can mill in Pound and Euro symbols into their hubcaps! I’d suggest an equal number, making the exchange rate an easy to figure 1-1 ratio. I know Krugman has other ideas on this, and will issue a paper soon.

        But Milton Friedman likes simple, and I’m with him on that one.

        So then, you drive all the Rolls slowly around London! Try and avoid getting stalled in traffic and don’t stop for stop signs. This would be taken as a forward recession indicator. The public can view the pounds and Euros happily and harmoniously circulating – underscoring how the economy is going and giving everyone comfort that all is well in the world. If we can refrain from speeding in our Rolls Royces, then we are signaling inflation is well contained, too. [in the back seat bar and rumpus room]

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, CB.

          Speaking of Scotland and Rolls Royce, at a by election in Perth (and Kinross) in the mid-1990s, it was reported that the constituency had the highest proportion of Old Etonians and Rolls Royce owners outside London.

        2. Reader

          I’ve heard of the Kilt Lifter that’s made by Four Peaks Brewing in Tempe, AZ but I can’t find anything about a beer of the same name made in Scotland.

          1. craazyboy

            That’s correct. It’s where my 12 pack came from in Tucson here.

            The only brown ale import around here is Newcastle Nut Brown Ale, and that’s from Canada. (good stuff!) Canadian Breweries have been known to be connected with the Old country, there is a place that brews Belgian Trappist Monk beer for something different, but I don’t know the deal with Newcastle.

            I’m not aware of any Scottish beer around. The smoky ale is a niche market.

            We do have plenty of great Imperial Stouts from many craft breweries scattered around the country. My next door craft brewery usually has a good one on tap, along with a milder mannered Porter.

            IMHO, Guinness isn’t stout, it’s light beer fermented with old gym socks for flavor, color and bouquet, and I refuse to drink it.

            1. ChrisPacific

              I once tried the Rex Attitude from Yeastie Boys which might not have been the best introduction to the style. It smelled (and tasted) like a tire fire in a peat bog. I thought it was fascinating, but was glad when it was over and felt no desire to ever drink another.

        3. skippy

          So you cotton a bag man for the developer lobby that was taken to task by congress and a monetarist to boot aka one of the people directly responsible for the mess were in – ?????

          Figure head of the infamous Chicago school.

          Disheveled… he makes Greenspan look like a genius in comparison….

      1. Jonhoops

        Perhaps Rohan Grey? Who is mentioned in the article as leader of the MMT blogging army

        1. clinical wasteman

          From that description I thought maybe Bob Black, but not now that I’ve seen the picture with the Nation article.
          Reason “the guy with the beard” gave me that idea is this:

          B.B. appears against a backdrop of great animations by Zanny Begg, and director Oliver Ressler* was making sense of the financial and ecological crises before most of his artworld ‘peers’ even noticed those things, but the most remarkable thing about the film is its other star, whom readers may recognize as she ‘steals the show’.

          *Disclaimer: I’ve spoiled some of Oliver’s more recent films as ‘co-writer’, but nothing so long ago as this.

  5. oho

    Typical FT throwing out platitudes when it suits them…”[Germany] has thought hard about the lessons of history, and learnt them with thoroughness and humility…”

    which is why Merkel rubber-stamped Qaddafi regime change.

    1. LT

      If you’re feeling sickened by that article, the other post “The Real Threat to Europe is neither Russia or America” by Ian Welsh makes a good antidote.

    2. aletheia33

      thank you. i was going to say, perhaps germany has not thought quite hard enough about the lessons of history, and not learnt them with quite enough thoroughness and humility.

      i had a student from germany at my college tutoring job around 1990. she had no idea what had happened before she was born. when she discovered the truth, she was shocked. she then began to confront everyone in her family and the town where she grew up, poking around in the local archives, etc. she met with stoney faces; her interest was not appreciated. this shocked her further. i remember her because i enjoyed watching her grow into understanding and her boldness in charging forward to destroy the darkness she had not known she’d grown up in.

      learnt them with thoroughness and humility, my @ss.

      1. sporble

        I take umbrage with your “my @ss” because the vast majority of Germans I’ve known here (moved to Berlin 21 years ago) are noticeably more thorough and humble than most of the US-Americans I grew up and lived with in California.
        Did you consider that your student back in 1990 might’ve been an exception (and not the rule)? And was she from the ex-West or ex-East?
        Every pupil here in Germany learns about this country’s past – every one visits concentration camps on school outings… If anything, I wonder if they start too early with such education, but that’s another debate.
        All this said, I imagine we would both agree that Merkel’s comments didn’t reflect thoroughness or humility. And for the record: I am not at all a fan of her politics. Extrapolating one comment of hers & your experience with one student 27 years ago to 82 million Germans, however, is neither fair nor wise.
        Or should Germans assert that all Americans are boors like Trump?

        1. Lynne

          Or should Germans assert that all Americans are boors like Trump?

          In my experience, Germans DO assert that. One of my German cousins who came to visit frequently lectured all of us, repeatedly and with great earnestness, on just that fact, as did my German classmates when I attended college there. Of course, most Germans they met were also rude to my sister and her husband when they came to visit, until they learned that she was a US citizen and he was not in the US Army. That couldn’t have had anything to do with the fact that he’s African American, of course. /sarc

          1. sporble

            It’s too bad you had bad experiences with the Germans you met (no sarc).
            I’ve been an intercultural trainer here for some time, and I can tell you: Germans and Americans (not to mention British, French, etc.) definitely tick differently. And I’d be the last to claim that all Germans (or Americans, or British…) are thorough, humble, or anything else.
            I just don’t see how spreading stereotypes – according to, “an often unfair and untrue belief that many people have about all people or things with a particular characteristic” – is going to help ANYone understand one another better.
            The topic of the FT article is Merkel’s words, and I happen to agree with all the above commenters: what she said was neither thorough, nor humble – nor wise. The fair way to discuss – and to me, the only way forward – is to discuss words and actions. Maybe we can try to keep it at that, and not spend time or energy asserting how awful the Germans/Brits/Americans/Chinese/whomever are. There are probably other websites for that.

        2. clinical wasteman

          If I had any assets I would stake them all on a bet that the student came from the “ex-West”, or rather simply the “West” if the student was already a student 27 years ago. Or to put it another way, from the past and present BRD, not from the former DDR, which for all its many ugly faults not only started much sooner on education about “the past” but also largely avoided restoring the managerial/proprietorial class of 1933-45 to its former glory. (Not restored by the BRD, meanwhile, were those outstanding Leaders and Innovators who were Paperclipped for US service by the OSS/CIA — see Aly/Heim, ‘Architects of Annihilation’, Cockburn/St.Clair, ‘Whiteout’).
          The “West German” record of combining official displays of penitence with actual business as usual (no, not ‘usual’ as in more extermination camps, but certainly as in economic and political power in left in some very old and soiled hands) was pretty dismal, though arguably not as bad as that of Austria, which couldn’t always be bothered even with the ‘official penitence’ part (for furious railing against that particular national whitewash, see anything by Elfriede Jelinek or Thomas Bernhard).
          But I mention these things partly because I do agree with sporble that ‘national’ characteristics can’t be read into entire populations of states, least of all at individual level. Not even undeniable popular complicity in historical crimes is a direct source of insight into individual psychology: not just a few but a lot of people everywhere are profoundly and honestly hostile to official crimes committed in their ‘national’ name, and they do try seriously to do something about it, but they (we) still mostly lose. If that wasn’t the case there would be far fewer NC readers/commenters in places like the UK/Europe/US, or anywhere really.
          Sergio Bologna deals systematically with the myth that the German working class never tried to resist the Nazis in this crucial essay (which also has a lot, implicitly, to say about present-day social management/surveillance): Turns out they died trying in huge numbers.
          And in the postwar decades, especially from the 1960s onwards, “West”-German proletarian, left-wing and “countercultural” hostility to the Economically Miraculous whitewash-statelet was a furious, huge-scale reality, sufficiently feared by CDU/CSU and SPD social Polizei to be largely outlawed — more strictly so than anywhere else in “Western” Europe except Spain and Portugal — long before the Rote Armee Fraktion raised the curtain on its stupid, self-serving “propaganda of the deed” sideshow. There are traces of this in now-famous “West German” cultural artefacts like Fassbinder’s films or those of Christoph Schlingensief, writing by Arno Schmitt or Heiner Goebbels (to name only two politically polarized examples, and no, HG is no relation to Josef), artworks by Martin Kippenberger, Hans Haacke and KP Brehmer, or the music of Can, DAF and best of all Einstürzende Neubauten (up to 1989), but more importantly in small but still apparently indestructible movements like the Socialist Patients Collective (SPK) or the Wildcat group ( Too few women in this list? For sure (apart from Wildcat). The BRD was by most accounts a breathtakingly patriarchal place, counter-culture included, at least until reunification.
          By way of partial counterbalance, I have mostly women in mind when I say that I see the same rebellious seriousness (& correspondingly wild sense of fun) in the sensibility of many of the best people I’ve ever met, who grew up in the BRD, reached adulthood around the time of reunification or in the two decades after, and have spent their entire lifetimes bristling with indignation against the state that claims them as citizens, without mistaking the rest of the population for that state. As mentioned above, not unlike the “in and against” attitude towards various institutional “fatherlands” (mostly in the anglosphere) that’s so admirably maintained by so many people commenting here.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


      That view strikes me as odd, as well, remembering what they more recently did to Greece.

      It makes one wonder if they have resolved all the issues, after having thought hard about them.

      “Think harder!!!!!!”

  6. dontknowitall

    On “British youth overwhelmingly supports Jeremy Corbyn”

    Theresa May is increasingly the butt of jokes and there is nothing more corrosive to a politicians reputation than that.

    The latest news on that front is that a song portraying May as a liar is now number three in the UK charts, forcing the broadcast regulator to remind the media that a non-partisan balance should be maintained. How they are going to achieve that short of removing the song from the radio and download sites is an interesting conundrum. May’s constant attacks on internet freedoms has gained her many enemies among the young and not surprisingly they are paying her back for years of bad decisions.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’d caution about reading too much into things like that. The core Tory vote doesn’t bother about such things – if anything, it can harden the vote (all the mocking of Trump by smart youngsters was almost certainly counter productive). And of course the type of people who swap stuff like that on social media are notorious for forgetting to go out and vote. The real issue for the Tories is whether May’s blunderings has weakened support among older people and working class right wing voters.

      1. dontknowitall

        I agree. It is too thin a reed to rely on. Corbyn has been strong on TV lately but not exactly brillant but comparatively May’s performance has been relatively poor. Not being British and not being in the UK I cannot say how the actual Tory voters may be responding. I can say though that the recent relaunching of the May candidacy sounds suspiciously like the frequent resets of the Hillary Clinton candidacy as she realized the voters were not buying what she was selling. Not surprising that the same people are in charge of May’s electoral efforts.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We all mock at one time or another.

        But it’s not a good idea to mock the other side before a big battle. It suggests, coming at such a critical juncture, you are as mean as those you mock.

        “Once in power, we will be as corrupt – as shown by what the communists in China have become once the KMT was routed to an island province.”

        The pessimistic take from history (a few here have commented they are pessimistic about the world) is that no generation is all that exceptional, and youth is just grass over the fence.

        Beware of politicians going after social-media-frequenting voters on the younger side – there is a lot of peer-pressure there, with a lot of them susceptible (and many exceptions). One is never sure what one will get…who is going pressure/friend/unfriend whom, that kind of surprise.

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Between Victoria and Vauxhall LRB Thoughtful piece by John Lanchester.

    Nice article, and an elequent reminder of just how depressing so much of modern London is, thanks to the depredations of capital. The Thames waterfront should be one of the worlds great city environments. Instead, its nothing but a grim collection of terrible architecture, existing solely as a repository of value for every corrupt oligarch from Russia to Africa.

    Lanchester’s memories of voting reminds me of one of the things I found so perplexing in the UK – ordinary peoples acceptance of a rank and demoralising electoral system. Coming from a country where multi-seat constituencies and multiple choice voting means that every single vote genuinely matters, the contrast was all too apparent. Millions of UKers (just as in the US) have no opportunity to make a vote count as there is no real choice of candidate, and if you in a ‘safe’ constituency, any vote is largely irrelevant. Voting systems matter – the UK’s one is terrible and contributes to the decay of democracy.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you.

        If ever you get the chance, please watch the episode of (the UK’s) Blackadder dealing with such matters. It may be on You Tube. British humour may take some getting used to, but it’s worth it.

        1. vidimi

          speaking of british humour and modern london, Catastrophe is, for my money, the funniest show in production.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, PK.

      This is why neither my parents nor I vote. I have never voted in my life despite being eligible for 28 years.

      What is the point in true blue Buckinghamshire? There has been no Labour councillor in my district, Vale of Aylesbury, for thirty years, coinciding with the decline of (light) manufacturing industry.

      1. a different chris

        Thank you, Colonel Smithers.

        But… Is there no way you can find a protest lever to pull? I voted for Jill Stein for chrissake’s – now that wouldn’t surprise you on the surface, knowing how nearly First Earther I am, but in seriousness she would make a less effective president than *I* would. In fact I’d rather see Barry in office again instead of her, if just for the yuks to see if he would ever close the deal on even one real change. Yet, even given Barry on the ticket, I would still pull the lever for the Green Party nominee just to send the message.

        Sanders is the only guy I would be comfortable voting for directly. The better is the enemy of the good only when you have good available. He would be “good” at least.

        I’ve not been sure I’m doing the best thing under our (family blog) system, but I have felt a lot more comfortable with that decision given Hillary vs Trump. We may be stuck with the two-party system, but show them where the votes are and they will move at least somewhat, maybe. Sure the essence of that motion was best captured in the movie the The Blob, yet even more sluggish and disgusting, but it might move.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Which policies?

      -agent orange
      -rampant arms build up
      -tax cuts for the wealthy.
      -huntin’ Reds. This was more Bobby.
      -reappointing Hoover

      It seems like Jack was a test run for future Presidents. The positive advancements made in the 60’s didn’t come out of the White House but were forced from the outside. The problem is everyone searches for a hero to save them instead of demanding accountability.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Timmy.

        Speaking of agent orange, dad, a former Royal Air Force doctor, wrote a paper on defoliants for the UK Ministry of Defence and Oxford University.

        Further to orange, a horse called Big Orange won at Sandown Park recently and is heading to the Gold Cup at Ascot next month. The time of orange has come!

        1. ambrit

          Thanks for bringing this up Colonel. As shown in the short piece appended, Superfund sites are not restricted to America. Much of Vietnam still suffers from dioxin contamination, a substance which, as your dad surely knows, has a long effective life and accumulates in fatty tissues.
          Sorry if I’m stepping on toes here.
          By the way, any ideas on how Brexit will effect the turf world? Any veterinarian issues in horses crossing the “new” borders? Will a surtax be imposed on Continental winnings by UK citizens abroad to make up for the inevitable “Brexit Tax” (ie. British payment of arrears into the EU coffers,) shortfall?
          I haven’t seen any wag refer to the Trump White House as “The House of Orange” yet. Hillary as “The Old Pretender?”

      2. Montanamaven

        Hear! Hear! I’m rewatching Oliver Stone’s “The Untold History of the United States” on Netflix. I had a young bartender (32) tell me he had just finished watching it and couldn’t believe all the lies he’s been told and he was fascinated with Henry Wallace. No hero either, but the bartender thought it would have been a different world if Wallace had been elected. A glimmer of hope that young people are searching out alternatives. And Oliver Stone is one of my heroes. And in my small way I’m pointing to alternatives. I’ve made it known that all this anti- Russia stuff is a lousy way to pay them back for winning WW II and that they are not the Soviet Union anymore. So I am somebody in this small town in upstate NY where young people can ask me if I knew about things like 27 million Russians dying in WW II. “Yes, I knew that, Dave. A little later than I should have but better late than never.” And the night before I met a person who had traveled from St. Petersburg across Russia to the Pacific during the terrible 1990s and saw terrible scenes of starvation. He was glad to talk to somebody who had read “The Shock Doctrine.” Little moments of comraderie around truth.

        1. Jess

          Saw where Stone is doing a four hour special on Showtime of his interview with Putin. A week from Monday, June 12th.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          It’s all additive, and the result will not be what the 1% want. The hippies always said the first step was “raising consciousness”.

          We can start with a re-write of the myths of past history and then start to work on the myths of the present. Like The Myth Of Bezos, who is seen as a shining stalwart. In reality he’s a carpetbagging monopolist making $126 million *per day* by bankrupting local Mom and Pop book and retail shops, all while massively trying to swing elections his way through his blog Washington Post. Forget Putin, get mad about that guy.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We should be mad.

            I imagine he starts his day with a couple of yoga and meditation. Probably a personal chef preparing the freshest organic food from his garden and ranch. Maybe a young blood transfusion if he so desires.

            Furthermore, I can see him never get mad. Soft spoken orders are obeyed unquestionably. Never has to deal with stupid drivers on the road.

            Living so peacefully, never draining himself energy-wise by being mad, he could easily be still making that much, or more, in the next 100 years.

      3. olga

        All I can say to your comment (rant?) is that it is seriously misinformed. What does JFK have to do w agent orange? For edification, you may want to read JFK and the Unspeakable. He stopped the generals from nuking Cuba during the Oct. crisis… and from carrying out a unilateral atom-bomb strike on USSR. I do not want to be impolite, but your comment is seriously ignorant. The link also has a video of his “peace” speech in June 1963 – it was not much heard in the US, but was very popular in the USSR. Please, oh. please, learn a bit about your own history…

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          What does JFK have to with Agent Orange?

          You do realize he authorized the use of Agent Orange, right? Its an industrial pesticide he dropped civilians. What a classy guy! I bet he was real cool too.

          And as far as those generals go, who hired them or promoted them? Hmmm…gosh…was it the President? So Jack Kennedy? You might try an internet search for the “missile gap” and read from there. There was a huge defense build up which rightfully worried the politburo.

          Then of course there was the barbaric Cuban embargo and the Bay of Pigs.

          1. Olga

            As I said before, you may want to learn a bit about the man before repeating nonsense. Has it ever occurred to you that the parts of deep state that killed him are quite happy to let you believe this misinformation. If you thing he is useless you won’t clamour to know who killed him. Compare his inagural speech to the peace speech embedded in the article I posted. To start with… he went through an evolution.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              This misinformation?

              I don’t know where you are from but the “missile gap” was part of the 1960 campaign. Bobby and Jack’s career destroying the lives of civil parts is part of the Congressional record. They were observed serving the ilk of Joe McCarthy.

              Those Domino theory nuts were all promoted by JFK. Im sorry you like your friend, but Jack Kennedy is not your friend. He’s a man people liked and created a mythology around.

    2. funemployed

      His death also incidentally made possible the passage of the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965.

            1. ChiGal in Carolina

              And occasionally the people in power do the right thing. Although a racist, LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act and enforced it by sending in the National Guard.

              1. LT

                See post below:
                Social networks not mediated by corporations, intelligence agencies, and governments are needed to produce the pressure for that kind of change.

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              I blame television. In a way, activists and the sympathizers understood Jack wasn’t their cool, Catholic friend. What is the long term effect of seeing Jack on tv during the televised debate on young minds. Eventually popular myths grow up around them that were not based in fact. Look at Ted Kennedy. He roared like a liberal lion and gave us HMOs! What a swell guy? I bet that girl who drowned had hope he was going to swim to her rescue!

              Conversely, we mock social media and millennials, but who is cutting the cord and voting for the likes of Sanders and Corbyn? Millennials. We mock mistakes, but the efforts such as the Civil Rights movement are multi-decade efforts. They didn’t just happen.

              Bill Clinton is supposed to be a great politician. Yes, he became President which is an accomplishment, but he destroyed the Democratic Party at every level, saw his wife and VP lose (3 times now), and only won in ’92 with 43% of the vote and a third party candidate who probably took a good portion of the Republican vote. I wonder how did the Good Morning America interview affect people when Bill and Hillary more or less announced the co-Presidency.

              Going back to JFK, a President dying in office is a big deal. Yes, our youthful President died at a campaign event in our new shining city of Dallas (this was the imagery they were going for). He has a great voice.

              Now going back to friends, we believe our friends which is why we need those truisms of never talk god, money, or politcs or don’t loan your friends money (gifts are okay, but if you do anything else, you will poison that relationship). You shouldn’t vote for them either.

              Television has convinced us these people (politicians) are our friends. Wow, did you hear Hillary is great in small groups or in person? Really? Gosh, I would have thought someone in politics for decades would be flat out nasty and rude in person. I bet those Bernie Bros are just racists for not loving Hillary because she likes the Sopranos just like me! Ill confess I’ve always liked Hillary in person and believe her closing speech in 2008 would have made her President if she had given that speech all along in the 2007/8 season. To be fair, I don’t recall reading it. I just knew I liked it. I saw it on TV.

              On tv, Obama and MLK are the same. Oh, the soaring rhetoric, Do you think he was referring to Jesus when he said, “the Almighty”? Wow. The bible! I know of that book.

              On paper, I felt like Obama owed me money after I read both of his books which fortunately I merely borrowed from a friend. If they came from a library, I would have been annoyed about misappropriation of funds.

            3. LT

              I don’t want to sound flippant. So I’ll be more specific with my take on it: They had social networks that weren’t mediated by corporations, intelligence agencies, or the government.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Wasn’t there an old joke about half the attendees of a Society of Friends meeting being undercover agents investigating the suspicious members unbeknownst to each other?

                1. Enquiring Mind

                  Wonder if they went to KKK meetings when on R&R, to investigate the 50% non-infiltrated memberships there?

                2. LT

                  I could be even more specific and say the real social networks were successful in changing the status quo when they avoided mediation from corporations, intelligence agencies, and the government.
                  Of course, they will infiltrate or try to, but I thought that went without saying.

                3. Mark P.

                  NTG wrote: Wasn’t there an old joke about half the attendees of a Society of Friends meeting being undercover agents investigating the suspicious members unbeknownst to each other?

                  There’s an old Donald Westlake novel based on exactly that.

                  And you’re absolutely right about JFK. He was a rich kid whose gangster father bought him the US presidency. Even Nixon and Kissinger were more enlightened on foreign policy.

    3. Mark P.

      Olga wrote: He (Kennedy) stopped the generals from nuking Cuba during the Oct. crisis

      Pfft. You’ve bought into the patriotic American horse manure, Olga, wherever you may live.

      J. F. Kennedy was responsible for escalating the Cuba crisis into the potentially apocalyptic confrontation it became in the first place, because he was butt-hurt by looking like he’d been outmaneuvered by Kruschev earlier (Bay of Pigs fiasco and conservative Republican attacks during August ’62 US elections), and figured he had to look tough.

      Yes, maniac US generals like Curtis LeMay tried to push Kennedy into a preemptive first strike against the USSR once the crisis was on and Kennedy resisted that.

      Nevertheless, the Cuba crisis was entirely unnecessary in the first place, as even Robert McNamara told the Kennedy brothers at the time when he pointed out to them that it really didn’t matter where the Soviet ICBMS were based — in Cuba, on Soviet nuclear subs off the American coast, or in the USSR itself — once they were launched towards the US.

      How we can know that the Cuban crisis in 1963 was entirely unnecessary, even though the Kennedy brothers themselves admitted there was an approximately 33 percent chance that WWIII might have been triggered as a result?

      Because of the Cuban missile crisis of 1969-70. Never heard of it, have you? And that’s because when the Soviets started basing nuclear forces — subs and bombers, firstly — at Cienfuegos Bay in Cuba at that time, Nixon and Kissinger had enough sense to ignore it so as not to have a replay of the entirely unnecessary Cuban crisis of 1963.

      Soviet nuclear forces were based in Cuba from then through to 1990-91, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. That was the whole basis of the special relationship — and the resulting financial, trade and military support — between Castro’s Cuba and the USSR.

      And Soviet nuclear forces based for twenty years in Cuba made not one bit of difference in the end. So what does that say about Kennedy escalating the whole Cuban affair into a nuclear world crisis in 1963 in the first place?

      1. Oregoncharles

        I have a personal theory about the Cuban Missile Crisis: I think it was partially responsible for the culture of rebellion in the later 60’s. I was a senior in high school, so I remember it very well. We were terrified.

        Whatever you thought of Kennedy’s actions, what we FELT was a beloved President playing chicken with our lives at stake. Seriously, we were talking about what we’d do if we knew the bombs were coming. That cultivated a deep cynicism about government and leadership, and when my cohort (just a year older than the Boomers) got to college, all hell broke loose. My class were rebels even in high school.

        It wasn’t the only factor, but I think it was a big one. (The Civil Rights Movement, which inspired the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley, was the other big influence – a more positive one.)

        And incidentally, that experience is one reason I don’t agree with Lambert about generations. It sure felt like ours had agency.

    1. Dead Dog

      Thanks Olga needed that. Still too much black stuff to read through here and elsewhere…

      That said, I don’t think I’ve seen a sitting PM stuff up an election campaign like this woman has. She is just terrible and reflects badly on the people who thought she was the Right Stuff for Britain.

  8. DJG

    From today’s NYTimes e-blast of news, in which we discover that the irrational and rudderless Italians will suddenly abjure four thousand years of history and link up with the Russkies.


    With Italy No Longer in U.S. Focus, Russia Swoops to Fill the Void
    Russia has made a concerted effort to build ties with Italy, which many officials believe is creating a slow but certain tilt toward Moscow.

    [Someone please send me a couple-a pounds of whatever it is that the NYTimes editors are smoking.]

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Italy’s military industry already has close relationships with Russia – its new submarine and its main supersonic trainer jet are joint-productions. Ironically enough, the latter is a contender for the new US supersonic trainer – so if it won US pilots would be training on a Yakovlev design. A nice rich seam there for conspiracy theorists.

      1. dontknowitall

        Thank you PlutoniumKun, I did not know about this surprising bit of military/industrial collaboration between Russia and Italy. The Yak130 is a really nice piece of kit, it seems.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          No doubt if it won the T-X competition the resulting US aircraft would look just like the Yak but somehow cost the US taxpayer 20 times as much per plane.

      2. craazyboy

        Hopefully the greedy Rooskies won’t adopt a US Med system pricing regimen for spare parts from China. Plus Silk Road infrastructure destination charges. That sounds expensive!

        The $200 office visit and consultation would be the straw that breaks the last mile camel’s back too, IMHO. Can Italy really afford to run the Middle East? They’ve had serious problems with Jerusalem in the past?

        But I hear Exxon has an embassy there. Maybe they can help?

      3. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, DJG and PK.

        I got back today from a week in Normandy.

        It was interesting to see the French Obama grandstand about gay rights in Chechnya (a la Obama in Kenya), give asylum to some gay Chechens and warn Putin of red lines over this, that and the other (presumably in advance of another false flag in Syria). The French MSM were cheering the empty suit, even over something as mundane as a hand shake and for the master stroke of holding the meeting at Versailles, as if the location would overawe Putin. (This asylum lark got me thinking about a Brexit parachute from dear old Blighty. I could pretend to be gay and seek asylum from persecution. My French ancestry goes too far back, mid-18th century, to qualify for French nationality.)

        French farmers have lost access to the Russian market. That is not helping an industry in crisis. At no time was this issue raised by the MSM et al. It’s as if the French metropolitan elite does not care about la France profonde.

        Macron is being fed neo-con lines like his hero. For those of us from former French colonies and / or French descent (part Alsacien, Breton and Limousin in my case), it’s always funny to observe French leaders talk tough. Will Macron’s march on Moscow rely on Franco-Francais footsoldiers or will, as usual, tirailleurs from the former colonies have to save the day? There’s no need for France to say thank you for or even teach how Marianne was saved from feasting on choucroute, foret noire and religieuse bleue daily.

        Further to Russian involvement in Syria, at Sunday morning mass and an exhibition at Rouen cathedral, the plight of Christians in the Middle East was highlighted. It was made clear who was saving them from genocide. The Bishop of Rouen and Chaldean Catholic priest will talk about that at Pentecost.

        France once prided itself in keeping its distance from les Anglo-Saxons and steering clear of their imperial adventures, but that changed under Sarko (related to the Wisners) and Macron’s mentor.

        Macron was rabbitting on une moralisation de la vie publique, especially after allegations surfaced about his consigliere Richard Ferrand’s interests. If this campaign is anything like John Major’s Back to Basics campaign, it will be entertaining.

        Further to France becoming more Anglo-Saxon, another Macron consigliere, Mounir Mahjoubi, was wittering on about the Russian threat. He reminded me of the likes of Sajid Javid and Pritti Patel. They feel that they have to be more Catholic than the Pope in order to be accepted by the natives.

        1. MoiAussie

          Was pleasantly surprised to see the following headline in the local MSM yesterday:
          Vladimir Putin is misunderstood, says director Oliver Stone.

          Stone’s 4hour doco The Putin Interviews debuts in the U.S. on Showtime next month.

          Throughout the documentary, the Russian ruler discusses Trump, Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election as well as topics such as NATO and turmoil in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere. Putin, who became President of Russia in 2000, also touches on his relationships with former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barak Obama.

          The project is a real coup for Stone as The Putin Interviews marks the first time any Westerner has spoken as (sic) such length with the Russian President since he came into office. Interview sessions were held throughout the Kremlin, Sochi and Putin’s official residence outside of Moscow and no topics were judged off limits.

          Salon is frothing about it already.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Aussie.

            I will have a look.

            That’s good about Salon. Hopefully, the other MSM will go ballistic, too. As Viet Nam Vet said a couple of days ago, when the reality no longer fits the MSM propaganda, the times change.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Leaders of countries tend to become foreign policy leaders when things aren’t looking so good on the domestic front. “Politics stops at the water, you traitors!”

            Macron’s electorate in the first round was people over the age of 65/70 and minorities he conned, partially due to the racism/nationalist sentiment found in elements of working class society who should be voting for the Communists. Given France’s relatively homogeneous makeup, the kind of multi-cultural messaging we make here isn’t second nature (wow, look at the Protestant who marched in the St. Patty’s day parade. Once a huge deal.)

            His policies aren’t going to lead to any kind of renewed prosperity. His minority voters will drift away, and the elderly will die. He might be young, but young people who look like Macron voted for someone else in the first round. He’s already a shrinking President, and he hasn’t been on the job a month.

      4. Bill Smith

        The “new submarine” was “suspended indefinitely” a few years ago. In addition it was a private project with an Italian company that had no orders. It appears it was aimed at export to 3rd world countries.

        As to the Yakovlev / Italian partnership for making a jet, it wasn’t it dissolved in 2000?

  9. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    I couldn’t agree more with the Ian Welsh article, which sums up my prime concerns about the direction of the EU. I would add Draghi & the ECB to the mix…….Schultz knows where the real power lies.

    1. Darius

      I joked last year that they should post signs at European airports saying Welcome to Greater Germany. That was what I took away from events in Greece and apparently UK voters agreed. The federal republic is accomplishing what Ludendorff didn’t. The conquest of Europe.

  10. Carolinian

    Spiegel article:

    many see the German chancellor as the leader of the free world

    At last a country even nuttier than our own. Leaving aside the antique “free world” rhetoric, one wonders what will happen when the rest of Europe has finally had enough of their Teutonic overlords. Will Merkel roll out the Panzers? Meanwhile it’s a safe bet that most Americans don’t even know who Angela Merkel–our Free World leader–even is. Clearly it’s not just DC that has a reality problem.

    1. Lynne

      Not to be a Trump apologist, but taken a little aback by how pathetic this all is. All the people criticizing Trump for the cars tweet Now think Volkswagen’s emissions frauds was fine? What about the Deutsche Bank (pathetically small) fines?

      When Obama’s administration raised the issue of NATO spending, they did it “politely,” so it could and would be ignored. The only rational reaction is to raise it impolitely and it may have sunk in. Easy for Germany to tut tut at the US but of course it’s time for them to step up to the plate and start spending on their defense. Why is it so shocking for Merkel to frame it in a way that sells to her voters?

      1. Carolinian

        From what I’ve read the German voters are less than enthused about spending more on defense or becoming “leaders of the free world.” Merkel and her press boosters may be playing to their global comrades.

      2. Mo's Bike Shop

        This. Recklessly throwing out strawmen that, when easily unraveled, validate il Douche’s position.

        Makes me wonder how resilient HRC’s team are against moles. If a Clinton accuses you of doing X…

    2. inhibi

      Ever been to Germany? Probably, the least free of the ‘free-world’ – if by ‘free-world’ you mean 1st world. Funny how money all of a sudden makes countries ‘free’. I always thought about why that is, since 1st world countries usually have way more laws. I guess its all just relative.

      1. Carolinian

        I have, actually, but a long time ago. The Germans I’ve met seem amused/annoyed by American ignorance about the rest of the world and they’re right. Which is why the notion that Americans would care what Merkel thinks of Trump is delusional.

        1. jrs

          some do, but on a practical level it is often telling people who can’t even get health care (many Americans) that they need to keep sending money to countries where people are able to actually have their illnesses treated without bankruptcy (not to mention many other benefits that Americans don’t get). Some might even think: let them pay for their defense and let us be able to see the doctor!!!

          Now, there may be plenty of strategic reasons for the U.S. to pay for military spending in Europe and some of them might even make sense in terms of a greater good (maybe), but if we’re talking how it will play to the American public, whose health, well being, happiness, etc. is obviously not a strategic concern of the U.S. government to any degree, that might be a different story.

        2. Elizabeth Burton

          Which is why the notion that Americans would care what Merkel thinks of Trump is delusional.

          Oh, I think you’d be amazed how many people are currently complaining that Trump has humiliated the entire country because of what Merkel thinks. You have to keep in mind that the majority are conditioned to react reflexively to anything anti-Trump by this time, and the oligarchs have known how to manipulate the ingrained sense of US exceptionalism for centuries.

          I considered asking some of them what, exactly, was the problem with having allegedly “adult” countries assume responsibility for themselves instead of letting the US do it, but I wasn’t in the mood to be called a “Trump supporter.”

          1. Lynne

            Kind of in the same boat. I was taken aback by the glee with which the BBC reported on how the “adult” leaders made a point of snubbing Trump and making sure he knew he had transgressed. Honestly, it sounded more like mean girls in junior high than the “leaders of the free world.” Surely we already knew people think the guy’s an ignorant jerk, without the rest of them descending to his level?

            1. witters

              “without the rest of them descending to his level…” You missed the last 30 years?

  11. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: No Laughing Matter: The Manchester Bomber is the Spawn of Hillary and Barack’s Excellent Libyan Adventure Counterpunch

    But a lot of American liberals and lefties, including Berniebots, still like to imagine there’s a political space they can inhabit called Progressive Except Imperialism. There isn’t. Imperialism with Social Security and Medicare and Obamacare—even single-payer healthcare—is imperialism, and it’s reactionary and supremacist. Equal-opportunity imperialism is imperialism. African-American, women, Latinx, or LGBTQ presidents, generals, and drone operators do not make it any less criminal, or dangerous, or any less inevitably erosive of all those cherished progressive domestic programs.

    Imperialism and colonialism do not and will not “stop at the water’s edge.” It’s just the boundary where they become ever so much more exceptional.

    1. funemployed

      I’ve conducted a brief experiment where I have my browser replace “globalization” with “imperialism.” Seems to add to rather than detract from clarity in most cases.

      1. RabidGandhi

        As the largest military power and a founding member of NATO, the United States has led the West in protecting freedom, peace and security around the world. However…

        Who said that? Victoria Nuland? Brian “Beautiful Bombs” Williams? Lindsey McGrahamCain? No, it comes from today’s Yale Global Online link, in the “perspective of an observer in the developing world”. It’s a great thought exercise, funemployed, since for the global élite (which clearly includes this author), imperialism, globalisation, neoliberalism, TINA… are the natural order of things, and any challenges to that order shall be harshly repressed.

        1. Carolinian

          The Yale author suggests that Trump is trashing America’s brand and fewer international students may attend Yale–a shocking outcome to be sure.

          Always fun to visit the bubble.

            1. Carolinian

              It does say that. It also says

              Disinterest in international affairs will erode preeminence of the US system of higher education. With perceived rising xenophobia and proposed cuts to US research funding, more scholars from developing countries – representing the bulk of more than 4 million students studying abroad – are looking elsewhere. English-speaking countries like Canada and Australia are obvious beneficiaries of America’s retreat, but so are China and Russia which have grown their share of international students from almost nil in 2001 to 17 percent in 2016, according to data collected by the Institute of International Education.

              Since Americans of course attend Yale in New Haven they risk being out of the global networking loop. The article also has silly complaints about Hollywood losing its global influence–something many movie fans would see as a positive benefit.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                If it’s anything like here, the poor are handicapped to achieve academically, and have a harder time getting admitted to free colleges (a benefit they can’t enjoy then), and even more difficult to go abroad (America, Canada etc).

                But hey, it pays for the college’s salaries, never mind it will make inequality worse when (or if) the foreign graduates return home.

            2. dontknowitall

              Also by attending ‘Yale’ at Singapore they are not in danger of being exposed to any free thinking which goes wonderfully with extra time for shopping and eating.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                It’s not the only way, but to-sir-with-love, a good teacher can turn problem students into good ones.

                So can a good university.

                They can turn C- high school students into smart Yale graduates.

                Now, is it because there are not enough C- American students, who, nevertheless, are willing to work hard, left in the USA that Yale has to go Singapore, or is it because there is money to be made there?

              2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                LOL these days I would match the “free thinking” that is condoned in Singapore with the “free thinking” that is condoned in New Haven. I think you’d be surprised which would win. Ever been there?

    2. LT

      Great excerpt. I made a similar statement a few weeks ago.
      In a changing world, hopefully countries can get universal benefits and equal opportunity without imperialism.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s quite unforgivable really.

        Imagine a new hegemon, be it from across an ocean or from Mars, by pacifying its base from time to time when the system back home or back homeland is stressed too much, can continue to make more orphans in America or mothers cry over their dead kids.

  12. LT

    Re: Obsession With Growth and GDP.

    It is a main cause for the growing lack of trust. The money is to be made in creating turning up the speed on the hamster wheel for any wage earners. The neoliberal era is the GDP of the rentiers: insurance, mortgages, privatizing public services and areas, rent, other high interest loans/credit.
    When you have an economy that thrives on paying the most people as little as possible and flat out calling that “ideal,” the strongest investments are putting profit gaining between needs that are a matter of life and death – costs the people can’t easily cut.

    Another obsession killing us: the preoccupation that everything needs to be done fast. The need for speed is directly related to the desire for increased quarterly profits for the rentiers. Very little in the business world is extremely urgent once you remove pleasing the numbers runners.

  13. dontknowitall

    Theresa May just got hit a few hours ago with a new pair EU policy documents on Brexit. One document on EU citizens in the UK and vice-versa calls for directly enforceable rights of EU citizens living in the UK up to the Brexit date including right to acquire UK citizenship if residing more than 5 years. Another document on the financial obligations of the UK states the UK will be “required to pay a percentage of the EU obligations calculated at the date of withdrawal” with a methodology to be negotiated.

    The noose is getting tighter. The text of the documents and the comments on it can be read at the UKpolitics subreddit at:

    1. Oregoncharles

      Judging by what’s been reported here, I don’t see how those are any great change. Perhaps they formalize what had already been said.

      In any case, anything at this stage is just positioning; actual negotiations haven’t really begun. They’re still arguing about the ORDER of the issues – and might never get beyond that.

    1. Altandmain

      I think that in the coming decades, India will face some very serious water shortages, along with China, and much of Southern (and in the case of China Eastern) Asia. The ice caps on the mountains will melt – a boon at first, but when they dry it will be a big problem.

      My lame joke: Maybe they can find a way to “disrupt” their need for water. That word seems to be the rage as of late. Necessity is the mother of all innovation.

  14. fresno dan

    I have been using this site

    to read Trump’s tweets. So I read in a variety of sources that Trump tweeted:
    “I suggest that we add more dollars to Healthcare and make it the best anywhere. ObamaCare is dead – the Republicans will do much better!”

    That supposedly happened Sunday night (May 28) but I cannot find that tweet. Does the facebook page not contain all the tweets? Does anyone have a link to ALL Trump tweets?

      1. fresno dan

        May 30, 2017 at 10:42 am

        Thank you! What is the difference between the two sites?

        1. Linda

          You’re welcome. I’m not really sure of the difference. “realDonaldTrump” is the account Trump used during the campaign before he was prez, and he continues to use it a lot. This is where most or maybe all of his tweets go. All of his personal comment type tweets are here.

          I think the POTUS one may be posted to by others in charge of it for him, and maybe by himself also. It has more of the official announcements and stuff. There is a lot of crossover with the same things being posted to each account.

  15. dcblogger

    If Trump had any sense (he doesn’t) he would appoint Coleen Rowley director of the FBI.

  16. Kokuanani

    “Biographer With No Regrets” article re Obama is behind an unscaleable pay wall.

    Why list such items if we can’t get to them without $$$ ?

    [No, Googling the headline is not effective as a work-around.]

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      “Biographer With No Regrets obama”

      This worked for me in google. I did let the ad play before blindly clicking this time.

      Obama going anywhere other than seeing Netanyahu ranks among the best things hes ever done.

      1. DJG

        Also worked for me as a search in Google. This description of Obama’s ideas about race indicates a lack of subtlety in Obama’s thinking. But that lack of subtley, lack of moral complexity, is always fairly obvious with Obama. Along with the bouts of pissy-ness.

        From the article, and hhhmmmmm:

        “Only when he moved to Chicago during the ’80s [does] he get to know a significant number of urban black Americans, and those years in Chicago incredibly strengthen his black identity. One of the women in the community group whom he’s very close to is a woman named Cathy, who is white. She was a single mom who raised two biracial children, and Cathy always identified her kids as half and half. But Barack’s argument with Cathy is the same he had later with Jager – that you have to choose a racial identity, you can’t be half and half. Back then, he was choosing to identify himself as black rather than biracial, and embracing that opened the path to a political future.”

        1. DJG

          Jager is half Dutch and half Japanese, so her “argument” with Obama isn’t just critical race theory.

      2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        Sorry you had a problem. Clicking again on the link I supplied as well as the “Biographer With No Regrets obama” google option mentioned above works for me so I don’t understand what the problem is for you. Wish I could help b/c it’s an article well worth reading.

    2. Craig H.

      It loaded for me with the “cached” arrow on the google search page. There isn’t anything new in the article. It’s that story that was going around about the woman he was hooked up with before Michelle. Calling that “dirt” is not accurate if you ask me.

    3. H. Alexander Ivey

      Placing my comment about Obama & his biography here, ‘cos…, well, it’s the first mention of it. (and I signed up for 6 free issues to read the post…)

      The article is an interesting read, but the PoV is one of a 10% enabler; not a hagiography, but not a truly deep look at the man either. Remarks like:

      “I’m a professional historian, so my ‘feelings’ don’t loom very large at all: it’s the factual record of what he said and did…

      set off my buttons. WTH?! A true professional historian should know that history is not ‘objective’, as in just the facts, ma’am, Joe Friday remembering. The historian chooses what he or she thinks is important to remember, especially since Garrow spends time trying to guess what Obama is ‘truly’ like, rather than only focus on the actions of Obama.

      And, when asked about any comparison between Obama and the subject of another biography of his, Martin Luther King, he seems to say that comparing the two is not what professional historians should do (“I had spent nine years trying in my own mind to avoid comparing them.) and gives the standard 10%er answer about King:

      So, for example, when King so forcefully attacks the American involvement in Vietnam in 1967, he does so knowing full well that this is going to do great harm to his political reputation.

      Bing! there goes another button. “American involvement?!”, like it was just some little thing back then (and therefore now)? It was the Vietnam War (American version) or the American War (Vietnamese version). And King really wasn’t a ‘politician’, he didn’t hold an elected office. His position was between an elected official of a political institution and a leader of a social movement. If Garrow doesn’t see that (I haven’t read his book on King), he really misses what King and the civil rights movement of the 50s & 60s were about – go read Howard Zinn’s, A People’s History of the United States for a truly non-establishment’s PoV.

  17. dcblogger

    Portland Republican says party should use militia groups after racial attack
    County GOP chair James Buchal says security forces may be appropriate as tensions rise after two people died in a racial attack on public transport

    Wayne Allyn Root: Conservatives Must Hire Special Forces Operatives Who ‘Have Killed People’ To Destroy The Left

    Trump is turning us into a failed state with nukes.

    1. Ernesto Lyon

      The assailant was known to be mentally ill.

      He had an episode on the train. If you ride public transit in urban areas this is a fact of life. There
      are crazy people on the train with you and sometimes they go off. Sane people know that you
      do not confront them, as they have nothing to lose and are not in their right mind.

      The white knights on the train decided to corner the guy however and he responded with violence.

      Trying to treat this as anything more than a tragic expression of insanity is politic profiteering.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think you are giving Trump too much credit for something that was already accomplished before he got there.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Wow….Cohen kept his poise reasonably well. Chotiner was good, in a sense, but only for a disrespectful Russia-scare mongering type. At least he dug in with specific questions. Most of them usually only get as far as “OMG PUTIN’S EVIL”. At least Chotiner tried to make a case for why he think’s Putin’s evil and let Cohen try to refute it where he disagreed.

      Imagine if the media treated Roosevelt like this every time he had a meeting with Stalin while WWII was ongoing?!?!?!?!?

  18. nechaev

    from the tariq ali interview The Legacy of Vladimir Lenin

    They could use Lenin, especially in the Stalin years — rebuild him as someone he wasn’t, forge photographs with him.. Stalin in particular did this. He of course met Lenin quite a lot at Politburo meetings, but to show that they were friends, a lot of photography was faked. Fake paintings were done to show that there’s a total continuity between Lenin, his thought, and what existed in the Soviet Union in the thirties.

    Ali is of course the world’s leading surviving Trotskyist, so his take on Lenin comes with a significant inbuilt bias and perhaps should be taken with a very large grain of salt. A useful antidote on the precise nature of Lenin’s relations with Stalin would be Simon Sebag Montefiore’s remarkable book Young Stalin, which uncovers Stalin’s role in running the entire underground black and wet aspects of the illegal half of Lenin’s legal & illegal struggle, including, but by no means limited to, what was then the greatest armed robbery in world history, and an extortion racket in the Baku oil fields that generated millions for the early Bolshevik treasury. To make a long and enthralling story very short, no Stalin without Lenin. And no Lenin without Stalin.

    Furthermore, Ali’s interview is littered with dubious assertions. For example:

    Lenin knew this. He grew up in it. His brother had mistakenly got involved with a tiny anarchist group when anarchism itself was collapsing. He only wrote the leaflets

    It’s a well-known fact that Aleksandr Ulyanov was the chief chemist (bomb maker in the plot to blow up Tsar Alexander III) of the Narodnaya Volya organisation.

    Lenin, growing up in this milieu, knew it all, and one of the first things he did was go and see a lot of these anarchists and old anarchist militants

    One of Lenin’s first acts in power in the second half of 1918 was of course the execution of about 800 members of the self-same old anarchist militants of the Social Revolutionary Party

    and so on and so forth. Regret that i have limited time to go further in detail. As with all of Ali’s work, always a well written and highly entertaining read ….but caveat emptor!

    1. a different chris

      You have me completely confused… in the first excerpt you quote, it seems like Ali is trying to sever Lenin from Stalin, which would be an undoubtably good thing for anybody’s reputation! But then you say Ali is a Trotskyist, and that’s about as far from a Lenin fan club as you can get. So not clear why he is making what you consider a mistaken effort.

      And “going and seeing” people that you later execute is pretty much par for the course for those sorts of thugs, so not seeing how that is illuminating anything.

      Must be the contradictions inherent in the system!

      1. Massinissa

        ” But then you say Ali is a Trotskyist, and that’s about as far from a Lenin fan club as you can get.”

        What are you talking about? Trots love Lenin. Its Stalin that they hate. They regard Trotsky as Lenin’s legitimate successor and Stalin as a counter-revolutionary usurper.

      2. Harold

        They conflate Kropotkin with Bakunin, and the Nihilists who were the real forerunners of the Bolsheviks. For one thing. Nobody admires Lenin. Funny no one remembers World War 2 and the role the Soviet people played in defeating Hitler.

        1. Massinissa

          “Nobody admires Lenin.”

          Not true. Many socialists and communists still admire Lenin. I know this because I’m a socialist myself (though I don’t particularly admire him, or to be fair, hate him that much), and interact with different kinds of socialists, commies, and to a lesser extent, anarchists (who, as you can imagine, like him much much less, for obvious reasons)

          As for run of the mill Russians liking Lenin or not, I’ve never been to Russia so I cant claim to know.

          Anyway, technically it was Stalin not Lenin that defeated Hitler. Lenin had been dead for two entire decades by that point. Not that I’m saying Stalin was a great guy or anything, he definitely wasn’t. Or you could just say that Russia defeated Hitler, I mean, even if you replace Stalin with someone like Trotsky or whoever, I’m still not certain Hitler could have actually won.

          1. Harold

            I don’t particularly admire Lenin, either. He was a brute, as was Stalin, a more thoroughgoing and crazy brute, if you will. I don’t admire Robespierre, or St. Juste, either, for that matter. You know who admire Lenin? The Neocons, that’s who.

            If the Russians admire Stalin now, it is because he was their leader during WW2. The self-described “Lenin lovers” are strangely silent about WW2.

            1. clinical wasteman

              Sorry, “self-described”? Which ones? Slavoj Zizek plus few neo-Bolshevik micromicroparties in Western Europe (a sub-niche in which Trotsky is by far the bigger name)? Still too few and too small for you to hear it if they did say anything about WW2.
              Count me entirely out of that lot anyway, when I point out (in answer to Donald below) that in order for the comparison to be meaningful — in terms of the stakes as perceived at the time — “the Whites were just as bad” would have to be modified to: “the Whites plus all the military and political commanders of WW1 were just as bad”. Just as bad and no worse? No, they and their war were worse, and for worse or worse they won. Whether that happened in 1919, 1924 or later or was inevitable because of the Jacobin-Bakuninist-Bismarckian element built into Bolshevism from the outset is a matter for the sort of tedious intra-ultra-left polemics that are mercifully absent here, but Stalin certainly made the defeat irreversible, not just by killing every Bolshevik he could find (see Victor Serge), but above all by hallucinating that there could be such a thing as ‘socialism in one country’.* The name for that, as CLR James liked to point out, is “National Socialism”. James is also good on the degree to which successive ‘third world’ anti-colonial movements astonished the world by adopting ‘Leninist’ (or Leninist-Toussaintist) insurrectionary tactics and winning, then sooner or later imploded under the Bismarckian ballast once they ended up in charge of that doomed enterprise: “one country”.

              *Which is why Stalin is loved by Russian ‘patriots’ and hated by socialists.

          2. Oregoncharles

            Russian history is, well, baroque. Just watch some Eisenstein movies. In that context, Lenin was one of the saner czars. Stalin was more like Ivan the Terrible. (But all of them, sane or not, expanded the empire.)

            I don’t remember which of them crushed the original Soviets, which were worker-owned enterprises. Not compatible with authoritarian government.

        2. clinical wasteman

          A sentimental aristocratic anarcho-paternalist confused with an anti-semitic plotter of a sort of armed freemasonic conspiracy? Perhaps it wasn’t worth remembering the difference.
          Whereas two very different and actually admirable (human lapses notwithstanding) protagonists of the Russian revolution were genuine class-struggle anarchists (and as such, lower-case communists), which for both meant fighting for a while alongside the Bolsheviks against counter-revolution, but NOT unconditionally.
          Namely: Nestor Makhno (apparently betrayed by Trotsky) and Victor Serge (definitely persecuted by Stalin). Then again, by some definitions neither was strictly “Russian”, so they were never likely to do very well under “socialism in one country“.

        3. vidimi

          giving the USSR too much credit for ending the world war always gives me a bit of a chill as there might not have been one were it not for the molotov-ribbentrop pact.

          1. vlade

            It’s not inconcievable that USSR would lose the war but for Lend-Lease – that basically allowed USSR to take an otherwise inconcievable manpower from its industry onto the front line, especially after the first year of war – and to switch the remainder of the industry into pretty much entirely arms manufacture.

            I’m now not talking about tanks/airplanes etc. (the quality and impact of those can be discussed ad nauseu w/o any real result). I’m talking about tons of strategic materiel (such as copper, explosives, rubber, food ) and support equipment (cars, both lorries and jeeps, telegraph wire, radios, trains – cars, locomotives and rail tracks).

            Basically, all the logistics stuff in Soviet army was run and supported by Lend Lease, while the Soviets did the fighting.

            Would Soviets win on their own? Remotely possible, but I doubt it.

            Would US/UK win once USSR was defeated? A somewhat more possible – especially if the US managed to get nukes before Germany, which is likely, but the result would then be a radioactie Europe. I’m not sure I’d call it a victory.

    2. Donald

      Thanks. I was rolling my eyes a little over that piece. I realize that we get a biased view of everything in the US, but all the same, I have read too much about the cruelty of the early bolsheviks and don’t think it was all invented. Of course the Whites were just as bad.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A young sapling can’t grow…has no room…with all the bigger trees around.

        Just because someone is yelling ‘down with injustice,’ it doesn’t mean we will get justice.

        It could be ‘Down with you dispensing injustice. When is my turn?”

        The same with ‘The wealthy have too much money.’ It could be ‘The wealthy have too much money. I want mine.’

        1. Massinissa

          Yeah, and Stalin even wrote poetry!! Surely poets are never bad guys, right? Right? /s

          For that matter, Hitler was an artist, though except maybe for his buildings, he was pretty bad at it, definitely not as good an artist as Stalin was a poet.

          1. ambrit

            The German raised public speaking to an art form. He had no tolerance for criticism though.

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Trump Submits to Neocon Orthodoxy Consortium News (furzy)

    The neocons may come to rue the day Trump came over to their side due to the penchant of TPTB for impugning all things Trump.

    I haven’t heard as much trash talk about the saudis–from human rights violations to state sponsorship of terror / isis–in the last several decades as I have since Trump waved the sword and felt the orb. bibi may not be particularly pleased either.

    What’s going on with the 9/11 families’ lawsuit?

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Self-driving cars will kill cities.

    The first dubious assumption is that driverless cars will be shared.

    People nowadays don’t even want to share a bathroom with family members (not at the same time of course).

    Once when we were young, previous generations looked to us as the hope of their future. They should have known better.

    “No, I am not sharing.”

    1. Carolinian

      I’m recently back from Atlanta where I once lived and the traffic there is much much worse. The reason for this isn’t hard to fathom. There is new multistory housing everywhere but the roads haven’t gotten any bigger in the years since I left. It would be nice to think that those drivers are going to get on bikes but in a hot, hilly city like Atlanta that’s unlikely. And while there is a limited subway system it lacks the number of lines and the capacity to really make much of a difference. As a practical matter Atlanta is going to have to undertake a massive highway expansion or the cars themselves are going to have to change. While self drive may be dubious on surface streets, it makes a great deal of sense on freeways where the carrying capacity could be increased along with the safety.

      So get ready for your Jetsons future. It may not happen but it’s just as likely that it will. Otherwise what can be said–at least in the case of cities like Atlanta–is that we won’t need self drive to kill them off because as a practical matter that’s happening right now.

      1. Darius

        You can’t make the roads big enough without turning the city into an exurban mega mall. Cities must have transit. There’s not enough room in a city for all the cars. Google Human Transit.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        This worrisome bit from the article:

        The advent of driverless cars threatens to upend this progress. Their success could send cities back to the multilane, car-park hell of the 1950s and 1960s.

        What does the author mean by ‘could send cities back?’

        I see multilane, car-park hell all the time.

        1. Carolinian

          I think it’s a question of what we should do versus what we’re gonna do. Like you say Americans are not into riding around with strangers–the essence of mass transit. If the automated driving thing can be made to work in any fashion then it’s likely some form of it will emerge.

          1. different clue

            I don’t see any of the strangers riding on the buses with me appear to mind riding with all the other strangers.

        2. craazyboy

          That reminds me. Last weekend at the flying field a saw a guy that built himself a full blown autopilot enabled RC airplane. It had a 6t wingspan and with the 6000mah Lipo battery pack may be able to stay airborne for an hour and a half. He used all high end parts, especially the flight controller.

          He made a ground control station with a 22 inch monitor with a real time map showing the GPS path and visual stream from the onboard camera. He also had goggles connected to the flight camera. I was present when he “maidened” it and flew within a quarter mile radius. He tried all the autopilot functions including automatic failsafe return to home (if the radio link goes out) and GPS programmed position following. I watched the cam output on the screen and all was well. He had OSD telemetry output indicating battery voltage, current draw and remaining range. Radio control signal strength, altitude and airspeed.

          He said last time he took it up, he lost it and it crashed only half a mile away. All telemetry was reading good and he was in manual control range and flying “line of sight”. Then it just crashed. He concluded the flight controller must have failed. (He’s been a pilot for 20 years)

          He went looking for it for it, but it was gone before he got there. Had to assume someone found it, and decided they found a new neat toy.

          $1000 gone.

      3. Oregoncharles

        The capacity of most roads could be greatly increased if the cars would just act “like molecules” – really, as if they were rail cars. Maintain precise distance and speed, move in unison. People don’t do that; only automatic systems do. (I actually saw this one night on the 5-lane freeway between LA and San Diego. Lots of room, but the cars were in clumps. I found this out because I was speeding through them. Much younger then.)

        But what’s needed is more like cruise control combined with sensors, probably lasers (radar might not be healthy). Overall radio control would be much more complex and subject to disastrous failures.

    1. Oregoncharles

      He doesn’t LOOK very healthy – way overweight, for one.

      This could be the real reason he doesn’t finish his term.

  21. Carey

    What I see in the ‘styling’ of thar new Rolls:

    1) The front end speaks only of brutality, sheer dominance, and
    2) An exhausted culture, utterly out of ideas.

    If I saw one of those things I’d point and laugh.

    1. RMO

      I can’t help but wonder if the design was intended as a joke by the stylist who was then horrified to find that someone flush with money but short on taste absolutely loved it. I bet those responsible for it wish that there was an equivalent of Alan Smithee for car designers.

    1. Oregoncharles

      From a discussion of Michael Hudson’s ideas, in the above review: ” This would suggest that crises could be solved if capitalism returned to its previous role, as Adam Smith envisaged it, as expanding production through division of labour and competition.” I hope that misrepresents Hudson (or Keen), because it’s flat wrong. Pre-New Deal capitalism was prone to one collapse after another, on a fairly short cycle, of which 1929 was merely the last and biggest. That’s one reason for the drive to the West in this country: the economy was disastrously non-functional, so many people were desperate to escape it. (The other side of this coin may have been that a large part of the populace were practicing essentially subsistence farming, hence insulated from the financial cycles.)

  22. Jim Haygood

    Turning Lone Star Japanese:

    AUSTIN — A shoving match and war of words nearly turned into a fistfight on the Texas House floor Monday. Rules flew out the House door when a group of protesters crashed the chamber’s gallery Monday, chanting opposition to the so-called sanctuary cities ban.

    As they protested, Latino Reps. Ramon Romero and Cesar Blanco, both Democrats, waved to the noisy crowd. Republican Matt Rinaldi of Irving said he called ICE officials to report the protesters who held signs that declared they were unauthorized immigrants.

    The Democrats were enraged. A shoving match ensued, and lawmakers accused one another of making violent threats. Rinaldi said a Democrat eventually threatened to “come get” him. Rep. Justin Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, who didn’t witness the initial altercation, said he later heard Rinaldi say, “I’ll put a bullet in your head,” to the Democrat he alleged was menacing.

    “I made it clear that if he attempted to, in his words, ‘get me,’ I would shoot him in self defense,” Rinaldi said in the statement he shared on Twitter. “I am currently under DPS protection.”

    Yee HAWWWWWWWW … arm the clueless! You don’t earn no points in Texas unless you put ’em in the hospital.

    Greg Abbott escucha …estamos en la lucha!

    1. Carolinian

      This could be a sidebar to yesterday’s Caning of Sumner piece. Time to bring back dueling.

  23. Jim Haygood

    NATO is busting apart at the fringes:

    Turkey was infuriated when Germany, citing security concerns, banned some Turkish politicians from addressing rallies of expatriate Turks ahead of the referendum. Ankara responded by accusing Berlin of “Nazi-like” tactics.

    Turkey’s foreign minister said on Tuesday it is not possible to allow German lawmakers to visit troops stationed at Turkey’s Incirlik air base now, although Ankara might reconsider if it saw “positive steps” from Berlin.

    Turkey has prevented German lawmakers from visiting the roughly 250 troops stationed at Incirlik as part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, saying that Berlin needs to improve its attitude first.

    “We see that Germany supports everything that is against Turkey,” Cavusoglu told a news conference. “Under these circumstances it is not possible for us to open Incirlik to German lawmakers right now … If they take positive steps in the future we can reconsider.”

    Excellent … one way to bring NATO crashing down is to start a shooting war between two of its “allies.”

    Frau Merkel escucha … estamos en la lucha!

    1. alex morfesis

      prince erdogan should just point his german language version of his foreign ministry website to some free online russian language tutoring apps…since erdo has 5 times the number of tanks as russia has west of the urals, and 20 times the number available to mutti/germany…

      even tiny hellas could have its fearless leader tsipras take frankurt in 48 hours with 10 times as many tanks as the man in the wheelchair has at his disposal currently…

      and someone should remind these brilliant photo-oppers in the bundestag that poland could take frankfurt and berlin in 12 hours with its 5 to 1 tank advantage over mein dummkopf land…

      methinx watching the history(hitloree) channel too often has convinced these kyffhauserites they actually could hav vun da var…if not 4 reality…

      elmer season…

      1. Oregoncharles

        Was I the only one who thought of this when the Greek debt crisis was at its height (and likely to come back, any day now)? One reason for the Greek deficits is that they actually met their NATO obligations. Of course, the real reason is Turkey, and that’s where the guns are pointed. They’d have a little trouble reaching Berlin – though they do own a lot of shipping. A seafaring tradition all the way back to the Bronze Age and the Odyssey.

  24. Oregoncharles

    On the Spiegel article on “What was Merkel Thinking:”

    How much beer had she had?

    And about ” the NATO goal of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense. Thus far, only the U.S. and a couple of European countries meet this target, while Germany lags behind at 1.2 percent.” – and everybody else in Europe likes it that way. How short can memories be? There are still a few WWII vets alive.

    Of course, Merkel was absolutely right: it’s long past time that Europe stood on its own. They can pretend to be babies only so long. The Soviet menace is long gone, despite all efforts to make Russia (greatly shrunken) into one. And Trump was right, too: NATO is obsolete. A good, solid security treaty with Russia would be an ideal substitute. Russia can go back to being the barrier between Europe and East Asia.

  25. Pat

    Love the duck (?). that is one brightly colored beautiful bird. Cheers you right up to see it, it does.

  26. Lynne

    Re Politico’s piece of regulations:

    Consider by contrast this piece on regulations, and what happened when a reporter tried to follow up on Obama’s 2011 condescending lecture to an Illinois farmer about proposed environmental regulations and trying to seek guidance on what farmers are allowed to do. The short version: nobody could tell the reporter anything or give any guidance at all about what might be allowed or how to get permits. Then consider also this piece on a farmer now facing a $2.8 MILLION fine for plowing his field because he used a ripper rather than a “plow”. Rippers, by the way, are an accepted way of dealing with compaction and other soil issues, as evidenced by myriad articles on their use put out by extension services and studies from land grant colleges.

    Back in 2011, I recall CNN, ABC, et al pulling out all the stops to ridicule the farmer who raised the issue of regulations with Obama. Funny, but the only articles I see on the Redding story are from the local paper, a few right-wing sites, and — oddly enough — RT. ;-) Politico can’t be bothered to mention it.

  27. Pkenue

    >Millions of Yemenis face hunger during Ramadan Al Jazeera

    No mention that Qatar is part of the ‘Arab coalition’ systematically starving Yemen.

  28. robnume

    That is the most beautiful duck I have ever seen. What kind of duck is it and where is it from?

  29. robnume

    Never mind. Copied the image and it is, indeed, a Mandarin duck. Amazing looking gander. Thanks for that antidote, Jerri-Lynn. And for a fine links page today.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s a popular motif in Yuan dynasty blue and white porcelains – pair of Mandarin ducks in a lotus pond.

    2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Glad to see readers enjoyed the mandarin duck– and the links. And thanks as well for the info about the porcelain.

      1. craazyboy

        I’ve seen pics of them before, but they just don’t register as being real with me. I think they are porcelain. Maybe I’ll see a real one some day.

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          I’ve never seen one either– but if you find yourself in North America, both harlequin and wood ducks are also pretty (and I have seen each of those).

  30. JTFaraday

    “Early in his presidency, Barack made a calculated decision that he can’t be a ‘Black President’ – that to be a black president would harm him politically. Certainly after he was [re]elected in 2012, he could have done more for the black community of America. But Barack’s history of not being a ‘black politician’ was so deeply grounded that even when he finally had the political freedom after 2012 to be more politically black, he didn’t do so.”

    I got news for Obama. There is no possible way to both be and not be the first black president. Things that were never there and things he never did, the racists hallucinated into existence anyway. Almost anybody could have told him that.

Comments are closed.