Links 6/22/17

Mattel Introduces New Diverse Ken Dolls; Hopes To Reverse Sales Slump NPR. One with a man-bun. Truly, we are doomed.

A World Record Low Humidity? 116°F With a 0.3% Humidity in Iran Weather Underground. Dry enough for ya?

The BVI’s dirty secret is worth $1.5 trillion Tax Research UK (RS).

The Barclays case is rooted in the bank’s long-held ambitions FT

Why I’m sad to see Barclays in the dock, and astonished to see John Varley there The Spectator

Uber Ouster

Don’t Cry for Travis Kalanick Vanity Fair. “At the end of the day, Uber is the culture Kalanick created.” No. At the end of the day, Uber is a company that’s never going to make any money.

Kalanick departure leaves scandal-hit Uber’s top ranks vacant FT. Not a word on profit problems. The closest: “rocket-like growth trajectory.” Reminds me of the old programmer’s proverb that performance is never a problem if you don’t have to worry about bugs.

Experts: Uber faces daunting challenge without Travis Kalanick San Jose Mercury-News. Not a word on profit problems.

Kalanick’s departure gives Uber a chance for a reset Politico. Not a word.

Uber’s Lesson: Silicon Valley’s Start-Up Machine Needs Fixing NYT. Ditto.

Kalanick is out, but Uber’s VCs royally screwed up, too, say industry watchers TechCrunck. Ditto. So, aren’t we really saying that Silicon Valley venture capitalists have a big problem allocating capital competently?

Uber Can’t Be Fixed — It’s Time for Regulators to Shut It Down HBR. “Uber’s business model is predicated on lawbreaking.”


May facing revolt over Brexit laws The Australian

Soros Says U.K. Is Approaching ‘Tipping Point’ as Brexit Bites Bloomberg

Our National Hodgepodge LRB

London fire: Flats acquired for Grenfell Tower survivors BBC. Well done, Jez.

Looking to Germany to Protect the World Order Handelsblatt


The US seems keener to strike at Syria’s Assad than it does to destroy Isis Independent (J-LS).

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Mr. Everything’ Is Now Crown Prince, Too Stratfor

Gulf woes resound across south Asia as worker remittances drop FT

This Economic Model Organized Asia for Decades. Now It’s Broken Bloomberg


Indian Farmer Protests Show No Signs of Abating Foreign Policy

Wells of Despair: The Desperation for Water The Wire


This Chinese Conglomerate’s Secret to Success? Leverage, Leverage, Leverage WSJ. Sounds legit.

Trump trade tsar warns against China ‘market economy’ status FT

China’s Mistress-Dispellers The New Yorker

Chinese songs of dignity Le Monde Diplomatique

North Korea begins journey from feudalism to crony capitalism FT. So we can make a deal, then?

New Cold War

Inside the West Wing Tug-of-War Over Russia and Ukraine Defense One

This Is How Great-Power Wars Get Started Foreign Policy

The Latest: Former Homeland boss outlines Russia threat WaPo

Penetrated: Today’s Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing on Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Elections EmptyWheel. I’d welcome (thoughtful, extended) reader critique on this piece.

Explainer: how Britain counts its votes The Conversation. Paper ballots, hand-counted, in public. That’s the institutional solution to a systemic problem, not whatever empire-building DHS has in mind to protect electronic voting machines.

Ossoff Loss

Karen Handel beats Jon Ossoff in Georgia: A major setback for Democrats? Salon

Let’s Play The Democratic Blame Game! Politico

Democrats, reeling from Georgia loss, face 2018 reality check McClatchy

Michael Moore: Dems have ‘no message, no plan, no leaders’ The Hill (Re Silc).

Sanders sent $100,000 to DNC in May Politico. Wrote his ticket for the “Unity Tour.” Smart move, to owe Perez nothing.

Trump Transition

“All we do is win, win, win,” says Trump at campaign-style rally in Iowa CBS

Trump rides high into Iowa stop after Congressional wins Des Moines Register

Gergen: Special election victories show Trump could beat Dems in 2020 CNN. Three years is a long time in politics.

CBC Declines Meeting With Trump: Our Concerns ‘Fell on Deaf Ears’ NBC

Trump, Russia and a Shadowy Business Partnership Bloomberg. Bayrock.

Health Care

Medicare Advantage Associated With More Racial Disparity Than Traditional Medicare For Hospital Readmissions Health Affairs

Putting Profits Ahead of Patients NYRB

McConnell: Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare coming Thursday USA Today

Senate health-care draft repeals Obamacare taxes, provides bigger subsidies for low-income Americans than House bill WaPo

Abortion Adds Obstacle as Republicans Plan to Unveil Health Bill NYT

GOP Might Buck Senate Rules to Pass Health Care Overhaul Roll Call

Imperial Collapse Watch

Wall Street Journal fires Jay Solomon over involvement with arms dealer Politico

Retiring General Starts Mail-Order Anthrax Delivery Service Duffel Blog

Guillotine Watch

The new, subtle ways the rich signal their wealth BBC

Class Warfare

For thousands of U.S. auto workers, downturn is already here Reuters

Truck-driving is a modern form of indentured slavery Boing Boing

Do People Matter Most Or Does Property? Ian Welsh. On Grenfell Tower.

SCOOP! Flood of ‘scoops’ dilutes value of real exclusives CJR

You Do Not Think Alone Scientific American

Is American Childhood Creating an Authoritarian Society? The American Conservative

I moved my kids out of America. It was the best parenting decision I’ve ever made. The Week

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


    1. Yves Smith

      I don’t see how that is possible. I see them all in Feedly. That means they are being delivered to Feedly. The problem is with your RSS reader.

  1. abynormal

    always wanted to see Sound Garden, fortunately did weeks before Chris passed.
    A small venue for his range…he talked about research he’d done for videos on climate and war. Here’s The Promise

  2. ambrit

    The “dog that didn’t bark in the night” for the Uber soap opera is that no one has called for “clawback” of funds from Mr. “K.”
    The looting economy is still enshrined.

  3. Bunk McNulty

    Re: I Moved My Kids: I’m just back from a couple weeks in northern Spain. I cannot remember the last time I saw so many children unaccompanied by parents on the streets of a city (in this case San Sebastian/Donostia). One evening, as we were walking through Constitución Plaza in the Old Town, there was a group of a dozen or so kids, ages 9-12 (guess) kicking around a soccer ball. It began to rain. While the grownups looked for shelter, the kids took off their shoes and made a contest of sliding on the wet paving stones. Then a woman called them over to her and said (my Spanish is not so good) something like “Let’s make a movie.” They gathered around her. She asked them who their favorite runner was, and they all screamed “Usain Bolt” and began posing like sprinters. Then they ran off. At first, we thought she must be the mother of one of the children. It became apparent that this was not the case. She wasn’t a teacher, either. She was just somebody from the neighborhood.

    Try to imagine this scenario playing out in any US city.

    One more vignette: Standing by the sea wall near the west end of the Zurriola beach one morning, we saw a small boy yelling for his mother. Nobody paid attention. He kept it up. Finally, his mother walked up to him. The boy smiled up at mom. She kissed him on the forehead, and off they went together.

    In my whole time in Spain, I never saw an adult yell at a child. I never saw an adult hit a child. (I saw a few kids hit each other, playfully.) I know many Americans who like to talk a lot about “family values.” I’d love to transport them to San Sebastian so they could see what that really means.

    1. fresno dan

      Bunk McNulty
      June 22, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Kinda hard not to speculate and contrast against the US obsession/sensationalism of crime and terrorism –
      and leads to all fear all the time….and maybe who gets elected…
      And by sheer serendipity, I hadn’t seen your comment when I posted my 7:41 am comment – but certainly along the same vein…

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Or 8 year old schoolgirls on the subway alone in Singapore. Admittedly an easy and prosperous place but it’s the attitude that’s different too. Here in Sydney I routinely see young kids in the park or on the train by themselves

        1. Carl

          One of the jaw-dropping sights in Korea was a small child walking alone down the sidewalk around 9 pm. Apparently a common sight, as were the kids bikes in bike racks out on the sidewalk in front of the elementary school, sans locks on the bikes. In a city of 1.5 million.

    2. Anonymous2

      I remember walking through the streets of Gerona with a Spanish friend of ours in years gone by. Every third person we walked past stopped us to say hello to her. It turned out that they were friends or relations. She was one of a family of ten and had, it seemed, hundreds of cousins living there.

      A great contrast to other places – and an obviously far more cohesive society.

      1. Bunk McNulty

        One of our guides gave this explanation: In many parts of Spain, certainly in the Basque country, from childhood you have your cuadrilla, your gang. The kids in your neighborhood you grow up with. When you are small, it includes boys and girls. Somewhere around puberty the boys and girls separate. Later on, he told us, as they become young men and women, they may marry, and may choose a different cuadrilla, but the concept remains with them for their whole lives.

        1. OIFVet

          Sounds just the way things were growing up in Bulgaria. Lifetime friendships forged by staying out playing in the street till past midnight during the summer vacations, friendships that survive to this day despite being separated for decades and by a continent and an ocean. Getting roughed up a bit for hitting on girls from the gang three blocks down, then becoming fast friends after they have a crush on a girl from your block. Neighbors inviting the kids in for a lemonade and slice of bread with butter and honey, just because, even if they can’t stand your parents.

          What a horrible way to grow up, and such neglectful parental bodies! The horror!!! The horror!!!

        2. Oregoncharles

          That’s the way I grew up, in a (privileged) neighborhood in southern Indiana. But there is no continuity – I’m not in touch with any of them. That’s partly because I went away to high school; don’t know how many are in touch with each other. But very few still live in that area – my mother still hears from some of them.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      So, just curious. How did those kids protect their iPhones when they were playing soccer and sliding around in the rain? You know, from water and cracked screens and all. I hope they were all wearing helmets and pads and had good medical insurance–somebody could get hurt, their parents might miss a mortgage payment and the whole family could be out on the wet, slippery street!

      And why didn’t that little boy just pull out his iPhone and text his mom instead of standing there and “yelling” for her?

      Dunno about this moving to Spain thing. Those people don’t seem very “smart” to me.

      1. Bunk McNulty

        Yes, of course. It is easy to see the crippling effect of lack of technology on these kids. And yes, such daredevils, how do they survive? Now, on the other hand, they do have good medical insurance. Everybody there does.

        1. curlydan

          My son broke his arm last month at a trampoline park–a minor break and his cast is off already. We live in the USA. The bills have started arriving. So far, we owe about $2,000.

          1. Dead Dog

            Thank you Dan. Now that’s a good reason to keep US kids off the streets and on the couch.

            I really don’t know how anyone in the US tolerates that sort of shit. The health care costs you bear, unaffordable insurance, have to pay the excess first, corrupt clinicians and their enablers, and your insurance doesn’t cover the full cost? ffs!!

            If I break my arm tomorrow, it will be fixed, with great skill and I won’t have paid a dime.


            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              I was going to say “send Pelosi and Schumer and DiFi to Australia so they can see how reasonable health care can be under single payer like we have here”. But the Horse>Water>Drink analogy comes to mind.

              1. Kfish

                Do not send those people here. Our public health care system is already under attack from money-grubbing, cold-blooded vampires who want to turn it into a US-style system for their own profit.

    4. Huey Long

      Sadly, many folks I know openly state that children need to be beaten harder and yelled at more because they have “no respect for authority” anymore and are turning into “snowflakes.”

      Glad to hear things in Spain are different.

    5. fred

      “Try to imagine this scenario playing out in any US city.”

      you should visit a few and report back.

      1. perpetualWAR

        My neighbor refuses to allow her 8 yr old child the privilege of walking ONE block to the corner local market by herself. She also doesn’t allow her kid the privilege of walking there with another neighbor girl who is 12 yrs old. I live in a very safe part of Seattle.

          1. Gaianne


            The news source is Baltimore, but the incidents occurred immediately north of Washington, DC. Silver Spring MD was mentioned, and as I remember the family lives in or near Takoma Park MD (which is not a contradiction: Silver Spring is a US Postal region, not an incorporated town.) The region might be described as “outer city”–former suburbs that have long since been enveloped.


    6. Dale

      I moved to Latin America ten years ago. Probably what most struck me as different from home was the way children live here. They are wild and free. When school lets out, the streets fill with hollering, hopping, jumping, running blue and white clad kids. Beautiful. Sometimes a mother or father or sibling would be waiting to walk with the tiniest ones, always holding hands. The older girls who weren’t with boys walked together, arm in arm, holding hands, talking close, giggling.

      In my neighborhood in Atlanta I never saw any kids at all, even though there was a grammar school a block and a half away. What I did see every afternoon around three o’clock was a line of cars, motors running, from the grammar school all the way to my house, parked waiting to pick up the students. I made a video of the school kids in Nicaragua and showed it to my mother. She loved it. She would watch it at least once a week and laugh and laugh. She was a school teacher who missed the old days.

    7. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      I spent a semester abroad in Dui Santi, Italy, which is about 20KM outside Rome. One night we went walking outside the bar around town around midnight, and lo behold, we hear this group of 12 year old kids yelling “FUCK YOU” at us and laughing.

      We all looked at each other in amazement, then promptly began teaching the kids other American curse words.

      Def changed my perspective on “fear”

    8. adrena

      I had a similar experience in Spain some time ago. I noticed how much the Spanish love kids for being kids. It’s a “kid-worshipping” society, for sure.

  4. fresno dan

    Is American Childhood Creating an Authoritarian Society? The American Conservative

    It was a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. But what the parents saw as a moment of independence for their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, they say authorities viewed much differently.

    Danielle and Alexander Meitiv say they are being investigated for neglect for the Dec. 20 trek — in a case they say reflects a clash of ideas about how safe the world is and whether parents are free to make their own choices about raising their children.

    “We wouldn’t have let them do it if we didn’t think they were ready for it,” Danielle said.
    Police picked up the children near the Discovery building, the family said, after someone reported seeing them.

    Police on Wednesday did not immediately have information on the case. But a spokeswoman said that when concerns are reported, “we have a responsibility as part of our duty to check on people’s welfare.”

    The Meitivs say their son told police that he and his sister were not doing anything illegal and are allowed to walk. Usually, their mother said, the children carry a laminated card with parent contact information that says: “I am not lost. I am a free-range kid.” The kids didn’t have the card that day.
    When I lived in Maryland this was a big kerfuffle for a while. When I was 6 or 7 it was not unusual for me to be left alone all day – I operated the gas kitchen stove and fixed my own spaghettios…..hmmm, pasta in an orange colored sauce. I’m on a low carb diet now….you know what? To hell with it! I’m getting me some spaghettios! WITH THE LITTLE MEATBALLS! I’m not getting off this planet alive….

    1. ambrit

      Yay independent kids!
      I walked two miles each way, by myself, to grade school on “the Beach.” It must have warped my mind because I don’t thank random “uniforms” for “their service,” or demand the Red, White and Blue Spaghettios at the store.
      What those police forces that are persecuting the parents of the “liberated” children are really saying is that they, (the Police,) cannot maintain safety and decency within the community. It’s a sign of the Apocaylpse! s/

          1. Oregoncharles

            If you climb a hill, there are anywhere from 3 to half a dozen volcanoes visible on a clear day. From an airplane, twice that many. there’s a decent chance of an eruption before I die, though those downwind would not enjoy it. We were here when St. Helens blew, but at the coast, too far away to see it or get much ash.

            When I came to Portland from Indiana for college, the most amazing thing, even more than the beach, was Mt. Hood rising at the end of the street.

          1. ambrit

            I dunno. Algogators were burned badly when they, as a group, invested in footwear manufacturers. So, to feel the Bern, they are being perfectly logical in investing in volcanoes. And yes, I echo WTs’ plaint, volcano?! All I had were the alligator infested water hazards in the Beach Municipal Golf Course I later had to walk across to get to High School. (The alligators were all right. It was the duffers you had to fear.)

    2. Dead Dog

      Thank you, Dan. Life is too short not to, occasionally, get the things we want.

      Walking was only option for me as a child in UK (1960s). All the kids walked to school. And we played outside all the time – imagine only two channels of crap on the telly… If I was a child of today, there is so much more you can do at home to entertain yourself, incl maintain friendships – requiring face to face interaction in my day.

      Not all children here have a stay at home parent, so I see walking children daily (Cairns) and of course the school buses.

      I would not want to live where ‘free ranging’ kids were picked up by the police as it shows even they don’t think their city is safe for children

    3. Oregoncharles

      My little brother tried operating the gas stove; blew his eyebrows off (actually, his face was red and hairless) and woke everybody up. No major harm done, though.

  5. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Readers may be interested in this summary, A friend, former colleague and Tory activist has summed up similarly. He said that he sold his Boris shares in late 2015 as he felt the blond bombshell was just not interested in and up to the (day) job. He thought the Tories would try to hang on as no one wants the poisoned chalice yet, the troops are exhausted and party coffers need replenishing. This would also allow the Labour’s momentum to slow and the Blairites to organise against Corbyn (as one former shadow chancellor’s wife is doing, including with funding from a well known children’s author).

    Javid is an interesting character. He was at Chase in the 1990s, including advising the Mexican government to take a “tough” line against protestors as a sign that it meant business (about “reforming” Mexico), and Deutsche (in HK, selling toxic waste minibonds) for much of the noughties.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Paul.

        I have not come across Spanner, but will check later.

        I am staggered how said author gets away with it – and makes money from such drivel. Her connivance with the anti-Assad mob, including white helmets, was a disgrace.

        1. John D.

          Rowling is no great writer by any means, and the Harry Potter series runs out of steam well before the end – I don’t think any of her fans were happy with the last couple of books – but she tapped into a winning formula (“young people band together to fight evil”) and came up with some appealing characters and genuinely imaginative concepts. And she always seemed like a pleasant enough person…until recently.

          I daresay it’s naïve of me, but I actually find it a little shocking that JK Rowling’s turned into such a nasty piece of work. A significant part of her rags-to-riches story is that she truly started at the bottom, only managed to survive because she was on the UK version of social services, which in turn allowed her to write her over-rated books & become a huge success. That such a person unashamedly leaps onto the neoliberal bandwagon definitely smacks of pulling the ladder up behind her once she no longer needs it, and to hell with everyone else.

          1. paul

            It’s not exactly a rags to riches story, more a nice middle class to insane wealth story. She lived in a nice part of central edinburgh, she wasn’t pushing a pram up a multi in pilton.

            Making 30 odd applications a week for jobs, as people in her previous position now have to do, would robbed the world of her books.

            Watching a student across the railway carriage table, headphones in and devouring both a harry potter book and a battenburg cake was,for me, a sign of the apocalypse.

            Good luck to her and all that, but she has slightly too high an opinion of her own opinions.

          2. paul

            I would suggest they did not run out of steam, but the author felt no need of diligent editors.

            To prove her worth, she knocked out a pseudonymous ,ropey crime novel.

            As it stuck resolutely to the shelves, as firm as uther pendragon’s sword, one of her functionaries inadvertently revealed the true author, and lo and behold, she is now a leading crime author!!

            Nota bene: If I suggest this was not a terrible accident, I would be prey to, as she puts it, “A small island of lawyers”

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Thats an interesting link – I assume from the calibre of the writers that the website is giving a bit of an insiders view. I’d assumed that the Tories would want to wait for a couple of years to see how things pan out with Brexit negotiations before giving May a shove out the door, but if she has really lost her appetite for the job, then I’d imagine they would want as quick and clean an execution as possible. But I would assume that its almost inevitable that either Hammond or Davis would be very divisive internally by those on the opposite side of the Brexit divide. Maybe Javid would be able to sneak in then as a compromise candidate, as John Major once did.

      I couldn’t help wondering how interesting it would be if Javid was PM – then any negotiations over the future of the Irish border would be between two PM’s of Indian/Pakistani ethnicity (the Irish PM, Leo Varadkar, is half Indian). That would certainly confuse Trump.


      I think it’s dawning on people about Boris. His shtick is getting old and doesn’t suit high office. To put it bluntly his wife can’t trust him, his friends can’t trust him and his colleagues can’t trust him, why should the country?

      1. paul

        Boris(alexander de pfell johnson) is symptomatic of the current tories.
        They all read some shit hagiography of w churchill and saw themselves.
        No further reading necessary

  6. WeakenedSquire

    “I moved my kids out of America”: the smug naïveté of the author leaves one’s jaw on the floor, but also helps explain why liberals keep losing. Too many of them are are bored flaneurs who have fled the US, mentally and/or physically. To them, the working class exists to add color and a sense of authenticity to their consumer lifestyles. This US working class, however, has fallen down on the job, having sunk into drugs and depravity. So it’s off to some remote “unspoiled” location like Ecuador!

    Usually this can only be accomplished in short bursts during holidays, but this family has managed to live the dream as semi-permanent tourists. Yes, they have to do without online shopping, big-box stores and Disneyland, but the parents make up for it by turning their children into “consumers of experiences” such as organic farming and mountaineering. Of course, this family has no intention of residing indefinitely together in such a backwater. The parents know very well that this sojourn will help give the kids a leg up on elite-college applications.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I’m not so sure they “fled the US” rather than created a new one inside the Clinton Archipelago:

        This is what will make the next Civil War so messy, maybe they can do what India did, tell Muslims to “head West” (into newly-created Pakistan) and Hindus to “head East”. 1 million died.

    1. craazyboy

      Until of course they cut college funding for the Lib Arts Dept. and you can no longer major* in unisex, bi-cultural, mountaineering whilst balancing a potatoe on your head. Unless you’re good enough to make the cut for the semi-pro college team.

      * a minor in hydroponic gardening, at commercial scale in a drought environment and private equity holding all the water and waste treatment facility rights, is now unavailable as well.

      Monsanto has developed an e. coli resistant strain of corn which can be grown using untreated wastewater and lots of tall, wooden support stakes. But it’s expensive!

      It’s a rough world, out there.

      1. Brian

        craazyboy is finally unmasked. He was clever about it, and maintained that anonymity but alas, those memories come back in his writing and he forgot that no one but Dan Quayle spells that famous tuber “potatoe”.

    2. Mike

      Sadly true – escapism in this case is slightly above a holiday at Atlantis –

      The economics of being a citizen of this country, but spending your “wealth” elsewhere, is for the professional upper middle and above. Those who most need escape from this prison house of impoverished TINA cannot afford it, and would not have any less a tightrope life. Get your papers here…

      That being said, I support the export of all current politicians to the Sahara, where they could enjoy many days of sunshine.

    3. Roger Smith

      Eventually my boys will return to the U.S. to attend college and build their adult lives.

      Picks up and moves to South America, can still afford U.S. College, must be nice! If it weren’t those welfare degenerates and the deplorables.

      I read through this expecting some interesting reflections, instead what I got was a shallow, “soccer mom’s” guide to parenting for elite liberal minds in the Age of Trump (my chronological reference, not the authors–though maybe on the mind of the publisher).

    4. frosty zoom

      and why wouldn’t they flee the u.s.?

      i lived for many years in such a “backwater” and only returned for my ailing mother. now, i can’t return to my “backwater” as it has been turned into a chaotic mess by the idiocy and greed of u.s. foreign “policy”.

      i am raising a child here in my non-u.s. “frontwater”, thankful that the lessons of kindness and generosity learned during my time in the “backwater” have helped me guide my child into becoming a confident teenager uninterested in online shopping, big-box stores and disneyland, and truly interested in organic farming and mountaineering.

      i don’t know the people who wrote that article, nor do i have special insight as to their intentions. i will say, however, that i would feel far more at ease raising a child in most parts of ecuador than in most parts of the u.s..

      it is truly sad that the land and people that has given us jazz, bluegrass and gumbo has become a place where kids shoot up high schools and xanax has replaced love.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Frosty The Snow Man, and well said, especially about jazz and gumbo.

        This Mauritian Creole loves visiting the cousins in Louisiana.

        As Marcelle Bienvenu asks, “Who’s your mama? Are you Catholic? Can you say the Rosary in French?” None of us was fooled by Piyush becoming Catholic. He should have gone the whole hog and learnt French.

        1. ambrit

          Oh my Colonel Smithers, “Our American Cousins!” I laughed out loud at that. It covers America from Abraham Lincolns’ shooting to the “Company,” to memories of a stand up po-boy restaurant off of Baronne Street in new Orleans.
          Now most of the Chalmatians reside in Slidell. The world turns.

    5. Cool Joe

      Right there in the article they intend to send the kids back for college. Ecuador not good enough for that apparently. Disgusting all around.

    6. clinical wasteman

      A fine summing-up of why I couldn’t bring myself to read that article. Did the writer really write “consumers of experiences”?! Convulsive shudder. Even if those weren’t the exact words, it’s all too easy to believe that’s what s/he had in mind, because it’s been a fixation of marketing sociology (think tanks, consultants, market research, ad agency “creatives” for a while now: truly “sophisticated” (see also: “ethical”) consumers supposedly don’t buy “stuff” any more, they buy “Experiences” instead. (Note the plural: i.e. they really do hallucinate that each little shred of experience is self-contained, access code-protected Thing): whitewater rafting in the Maori-free parts of Aotearoa/NZ, a guided Favela Tour in Sao Paulo or Mumbai, a year of Missionary work — sorry, Volunteering — someplace poor, a Branson Inc. spaceflight (boom!), getting stabbed at a squatted rave in Tottenham; 100 Things to Die Before You Do…
      Any kind of “experience” so managed and circumscribed that it makes sense to speak of one, two, three such “experiences” is Peak Alienation, mostly sold to those who don’t have to spend most of their lives performing alienated labor. Or to put it another way, any “experience” you can consume can also be vomited right back into the colourful local toilets at no great spiritual cost. Thing about “experience” in any meaningful sense is, it’s mostly unpleasant at the time, or if not actually unpleasant, definitely not something you can choose to “have”, let alone book in advance, because experience is continuous, it’s not open to cutting & pasting or opting in/out.
      The only point on which I respectfully disagree (assuming I read you right, Squire), is that I really don’t think mental or physical flight from a territorial state or the “national identity” attached to it is always or even all that often the sort of insufferable elite jetsetting we’re talking about here. In particular, no way does it always mean running away from working/service/general proletarian class status. Historically, those classes have always been on the move. I’m aware that the US, like much of the UK, stands out for relatively low rates of prole [positive, self-identifying sense as always] emigration compared with the number of the super-Entitled born there who do swan off somewhere, but the same really doesn’t apply even in western Europe or other parts of the “developed” anglosphere, let along in the so-called “developing” world. Actual workers do leave all these other places in large numbers, and many never return. And those of us who stay on in places like London are NOT expats: the once-new city becomes our only home, and its “multinational” (incl. locally born) non-elites become our natural friends, comrades and sources of knowledge or actual experience.

    7. sid_finster

      Brutal comment. Brutally accurate.

      But this sort of article is par for the course at the Graun.

    8. Marco

      If I had the dough I would leave the US permanently in a heartbeat but I must confess that your reaction was exactly how I felt reading the piece. Although for some people the only work they can find is abroad. I was without work for a stretch last year and the only decent paying job available was in Germany (Berlin metro). Very sobering experience as an aging IT professional having to compete with much cheaper Eastern European talent. Germans seem less ageist and they are very eager to speak English. Berlin is relatively cheap to Bay Area / NY with excellent public transit. Trying desparately to go back.

    9. Dita

      I agree with the author about rampant consumerism’s corrosive effects and can understand the desire to live elsewhere. But am I really to believe that her peers – presumably other well-heeled professionals–didn’t know where Ecuador is? Rilly? And the way it’s written struck me as using people in what used to be called the developing world so that people like the author get to feel authentic feels, from the safety of their money. She may have left America, but it hasn’t left her.

    10. jrs

      “For example, over the last six years, my children have experienced childhood without viewing the world through a privileged first-world lens. Though we live comfortably here in Ecuador, my sons are surrounded by families that work hard and live simply.”

      wow you could live comfortably and be surrounded by poor people in America too you know …

      1. McKillop

        The comments written about the article roused my curiosity enough to have me read it. I found the article to be rather inconsequential and much too sunny for those of us who regularly expect the worst of anyone who sees the world as less than sharptoothed and sharpclawed – light in tone and similar to, say, a church presentation or community centre event or any neighbourly social event. The author certainly didn’t spend much effort presenting her life as a nightmare.
        The criticism made of the story does seem a bit harsh – somewhat similar to being admonished and reminded of world wide suffering for cheerfully wishing a “Good morning!” to a teenaged Goth.
        Was the article meant to be juxtaposed and compared to the depiction of childhood as a prep for police state authoritarian society? I’ll kill my curiosity before reading that one.

    11. Bunk McNulty

      Smug naïveté, sure. And clearly, the advantages that money brings. But also a certain amount of courage.

  7. craazyboy

    Mattel Introduces New Diverse Ken Dolls; Hopes To Reverse Sales Slump NPR. One with a man-bun. Truly, we are doomed.

    Where did the other bun go?

    Also, Mom and baby ducks vid. Too cute. Opened my door yesterday to walk to the gym in 115F heat (I’m tough) and right outside the door was a baby woodpecker! Sat there looking a bit huffy over the heat. Still had the energy to waddle away, out of my path.

    1. Eclair

      Ha, craazyboy, I glimpsed that headline yesterday and read the label as “man buns,” plural. Visions of a Callipygian Ken danced in my head and I briefly considered returning to playing with dolls.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Barbie’s figure is already inhuman. I’ve seen repeated complaints about it.

    2. diptherio

      My little sister was probably about 4 or 5 when she got her first Ken doll, to go along with her Barbies. It was Christmas, and as we all sat around the tree in familial bliss, she proceeded to strip all the clothes off her new doll, and then turning to our mother complained loudly, “Mommy, he’s missing something!”….classic.

      1. Roger Smith

        I demand a Ken Doll that reflects me! A “cis male” with a complete set of genitalia! This whole time they’ve only been catering to eunuchs, so offensive.

        I might have to settle with the new Dad-Bod Barbie.

        1. polecat

          Which genitalia … one .. the other .. a complete set of both ??

          Dolls : we’ve come a long way baby !

          ‘Sigh’ …..

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        When I was young my Mom was convinced by Dr. Spock to give me and my brother dolls so we could decide which team we were on by ourselves, as I recall by noon Barbie had no head and a string around her waist so she could ride behind us on our bikes

  8. fresno dan

    This week, a senior administration official working on the strategy explained some of them and made the case that this time the Afghanistan strategy has a chance for success where others failed.

    One stark difference is that, according to this official, Trump has no intention of “telegraphing” an American troop withdrawal. Obama took the opposite approach on the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, making it known to friend and foe that 2010 was the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq and that all U.S. troops were supposed to be out of Afghanistan by 2016.

    For years, the Taliban concluded they could wait out the Americans, a perception bolstered by Obama’s insistence on setting withdrawal dates. Trump’s advisers also say Obama’s approach shaped the calculations of other regional actors who would fill in the void left by a premature U.S. exist, like Pakistan, Russia and Iran.

    It will take a regional approach to the thorny problems of America’s longest war.
    That’s important because U.S. generals have recently accused the Russians of arming the Taliban.
    That’s important because U.S. generals have recently accused the Russians of arming the Taliban.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Shooting down drones is a cheap way to make a point – no dead heroes.

        But it makes another, more awkward point: any country with an air force or decent anti-aircraft can shoot them down. That limits their usefulness, and also illuminates their use in Pakistan, a country with a real air force. The Pakistani government complains, but doesn’t shoot them down.

    1. sid_finster

      I’m sure that Russia really wants to encourage jihadis so close to their sphere of influence. Let me guess, they’re armed with AK-47s. That means…..RUSSIA! /sarc/

      The Pentagon spokescreeps must really think that we will believe any nonsense they spout, however little basis in reality.

    2. Skip Intro

      When will those silly Taliban learn? They can’t win, they should just go home…
      oh wait..

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Incredibly under-noticed was the handing of war decision-making straight to the Pentagon with no for further need for that Constitution thingy or any of that pesky “representative government” stuff when making the most important decision a nation can make.

  9. russell1200

    How cats do it:

    From “You do not think alone” Scientific American article

    “The deliberative mind is designed to work with other people. When we’re crossing the street, we have to think about what oncoming drivers are thinking, and we often make eye contact with them in order to confirm that we’re on the same page”.

    One of my cats sits out on our road. If the car slows up and approaches, and the driver makes eye contact, ….he continues to sit there. He knows they won’t run over him, and he feels like they are now paying the appropriate level of attention to him. If they don’t slow up, or make eye contact, he runs off. He sufficiently dislikes the noise from honking, so that gets him to move along as well.

    1. Susan the other

      You Do Not Think Alone. It sounds like an old Boris Karloff movie. I thought the article was pretty good but it didn’t do animals justice, as usual. I’m sure animals share intentionality and read each other’s minds all the time. Dogs, cats, crows, ducks, ants, bees – you name it. It’s like human intuition is just more pervasive – maybe why we invented written language – clearly we need to keep things straight to some degree. I think the author avoided the subject of professional knowledge – because that does exist and continues to be refined. Science. Also not mentioned was good old hands-on experience. We all remember experience fairly accurately. But OK – politics is capricious.

      1. abynormal

        even Tree’s do it

        Treasurer to catch you STO

          1. abynormal

            Too Funnee…damn autocorrect

            Ive always treasured your post…but then you’ve known THAT.
            Hope the wind is at your back!

            1. Susan the other

              i wondered if you were sending me an encrypted message! and i love your comments too…

      2. annenigma

        I suspect humans used to read each others minds very effectively but invented language in order to lie and deceive, intentionally casting doubt on our trusty intuitive knowledge.

        Can you imagine how people would react, and how they would treat you, if they thought you could read their minds and know their true thoughts? They’d shun, ostracize, and figuratively, if not literally, burn you at the stake.

        Kids sense the deception. Too bad they can’t know the truth about how humans really operate. There is hope though. They and many, if not most, adults intuitively know the truth when they hear/read it. It strikes an inner chord. That being the case, the coin of the realm in politics now would be to quench strike that chord with the public by sharing some hard truths that everyone knows to be true but is not politically correct to admit, such as the few shocking nuggets that Bernie, Corbin, and even Trump have voiced.

        The person who can deliver that on a consistent basis will lead the way out of our darkness. The public will intuitively know what they say is true and apolitical and rally behind them. Then they need the best security detail. The rest is history.

    2. craazyboy

      That’s also the accepted method of crossing road in Mexico. hahahaha.

      They still do it that way here!

  10. RenoDino

    Uber Ouster

    Reverence for the Uber business model in the Valley is so entrenched because every startup in the last ten years began their pitch with “This is the Uber for _____.” Every journalist, VC and entrepreneur have done nothing but drool over Uber’s monumental rise in private valuation so much so that they cannot and will not admit that anything could be wrong with the business mode since so much of the Valley’s “investments” derive their funding value from the exact same model.

    I was listening to Cory Johnson on Bloomberg radio yesterday go on and on about the magical black box Uber business model created by Travis that no one could understand except Travis, as if that were a good thing. It was embarrassing listening to him as he recounted a chance meeting with Travis at a lavish VC party. It sounded like a scene right out of that great HBO sitcom “Silicon Valley.”

    Cory went up to Travis at the party and Travis said to him “Don’t speak.”

    Cory said he had only two questions.

    Travis said you may only ask one so make it a good one. Cory asked him some question about the fair differential between regular and black car service. (Cory had been trying for a year to crack the secret to Uber’s profitless success.)

    Travis smiled and gave a him a number right off the top of his head. “Now you know everything.”

    Cory said he will never forget that night as long as he lives.

    1. paul

      Will he still be introduced as ‘billionaire’ Travis.
      To actually have 2.8bn (or whatever his net worth) he would have had to take out 20 odd % of total funding.
      I noticed the lady from theranos disappeared from the forbes list this year.

    2. Stephen Gardner

      Ahhh, hero worship by members of the press. Ain’t it wonnerful! Personally I can’t imagine why Johnson didn’t turn on his heels and walk away when “Travis” treated him so dismissively.

    3. clinical wasteman

      Every mention of some creature or another as “a VC” makes me think quite sincerely for a fraction of a second: “really? Viet Cong?!” So imagine the momentary effect of “a lavish VC party”.
      For similar reasons, always disappointing when it turns out not to be Public Enemy buying out my job, or the Rote Armee Fraktion operating the helicopter gunships cavorting over London.

  11. craazyboy

    Special Bonus today! Had bad dreams again. I realized that no one has mentioned the Giant Asteroid in the news lately, and I began getting worried maybe everyone forgot to watch.

    We’re having a solar eclipse today! [of course it is. ha.]
    I didn’t even know, but the timing works out horrifically stellar!

    So here is the Asteroid Song.

    Tune: “Cosmik Debris”, Frank Zappa.

    The Asteroid Song – Yahweh

    [Baptist Choir Girl Chorus]
    “Look here Yahweh – Don’t you see we’re all Cosmic Debris?
    Look here Yahweh – Don’t you waste your time on me!”

    Now look you idiot bastards
    It’s clear as the nose on your face.
    Yahweh intends to kill us
    The Asteroid is coming from space.
    It’s big and rocky and giant
    Horrifically terrifying too
    Like the Golem of Olde World lore.
    That we all know already.
    That’s what is fo sure.

    The “when” is what’s debatable
    The “why” is spun like a planet.
    The truth is what they want it
    You sheeples just can’t be sure.

    [Baptist Choir Girl Chorus]
    “Look here Yahweh – Don’t you see we’re all Cosmic Debris.
    Look here Yahweh – The Earth is the problem, not me!”

    You’d think there would be a black shadow
    Extending from east to west.
    But that would be much too late
    To dress in your funeral best
    With pocket square and matching pinstripe vest.

    Astronomers gotta telescope
    Towards Outer Space it sees.
    They’ll give us ample warning
    Then we all can drop to our knees.
    All bow Thy heads to Yahwah
    He can do whatever He please.

    [Baptist Choir Girl Chorus]
    “Look here Yahweh – Don’t you see we’re all Cosmic Debris?
    Look here Yahweh – It’s too late and the freeway is here?”

    Zappa tune – A Classic!

  12. RenoDino

    “Republicans blew through millions to keep a ruby red seat and in their desperate rush to stop the hemorrhaging, they’ve returned to demonizing the party’s strongest fund-raiser and consensus builder,” he said. “They don’t have Clinton or Obama, so this is what they do.” –Pelosi spokesdeputy.

    Republicans are sore winners.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Speaking of democrat “leadership,” from yesterday’s Politico Playbook Power Briefing:

      — DEM OPERATIVE QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We no longer have a party caucus capable of riding this wave. We have 80-year-old leaders and 90-year-old ranking members. This isn’t a party. It’s a giant assisted living center. Complete with field trips, gym, dining room and attendants.”

      Enough said.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My guess is the complaints about the Dem courtier class represent a threat to the leverage anyone attached to the Democratic Party actually has.

    2. JohnnyGL

      Desperate rush to stop the hemorrhaging? Wow….3 spectacular problems with that statement.

      1) What the spokesperson refers to as “hemorrhaging”, Trump calls “winning”, and so would the rest of us, I suspect.

      2) It sounds like this person believes there’s some kind of financial war-of-attrition going on in the political sphere that the Dems are slowly beating the Republicans at. Very revealing of priorities!!!

      3) strongest fund-raiser….not vote-winner! Big difference!

      I hope they oust Pelosi, I see her previous challenger, Tim Ryan is bringing out the knives, and he’s got others singing from the same sheet of music. I’m going to interpret this as progress. The Dem Party has spent WAYYYY too long united, together, with 1 voice, heads buried deeply in the sand.

      I’m going to paraphrase that quote about progress coming one (political) funeral at a time?

    3. MLS

      Holy disconnect from reality, Batman.

      Yes, it’s accurate to say the Republican candidate spent millions to win (roughly $3 million). It’s also accurate to say that the Democrat side spent 7x that amount to lose.

      So who’s trying to stop the hemorrhaging again?

    4. nippersmom

      Email received yesterday from Stacey Evans, who is running as a Democrat for governor of Georgia:

      Last night, Jon Ossoff came SO CLOSE to winning the Georgia Special Election.

      It was a long and tough election. Republicans spent MILLIONS to buy the results they wanted, and used every dirty trick in the book.

      Now Republicans are counting on us to feel discouraged by the results.

      But they are WRONG. We proved that Democrats are fired up and hungry for a win.

      And if we came that close to flipping Georgia’s Sixth District, we can definitely WIN the race for Georgia governor.

      We need your help to make it happen. Chip in $5 now to secure a Democratic victory >>
      $5 >>

      $35 >>
      $50 >>

      $100 >>
      $250 >>

      Other >>

      Jon’s race was NEVER supposed to be that close, Christi.

      But because of hardworking Democrats like you, he put a solid-Red district on the defensive.

      We can keep up his momentum, Christi. We can still keep the hope alive that his campaign inspired in so many Georgians.

      In my email asking to be removed from her mailing list, I reminded her that the Democrats spent considerably more money on the District 6 race than the Republicans did. I also suggested her party might have more success if they ran a candidate who a) actually lived in the district he was running to represent; and b) wasn’t yet another business-as-usual corporatist shill.

      I don’t think that was the response her campaign was hoping for. But then, I’m not a “hard-working Democrat”.

      1. Ernesto Lyon

        I enjoy reading their pathetic emails.

        I love receiving DNC phone calls asking for contributions too. I get to explain to them
        exactly why I won’t be giving them money this time.

  13. andyb

    RE: the Haldermann election hacking piece including the IC claim that no votes were changed.

    First of all, only the totally cognizantly dissonant believe that Russia hacked the elections in any meaningful way; the Dems had to have an excuse on their loss. Secondly, both parties have been involved in election chicanery whether it be the scandal over absentee ballots or the grossly anomalous results from 19 precincts in Ohio or the 3 in Philadelphia in the 2012 election that together included some 3 million voters that went 100% for Obama. That’s right; not one vote for Romney. What are the odds? This is the most egregious example, but there are many more over the past 4 election cycles.

    The comment, in testimony, by Jeh the omniscient, claiming no vote changing by the Russians is an obvious inference that if Russians can’t change the vote, then nobody can; ridiculous on its face. Nice deflection, though.

    1. Eureka Springs

      What about possible ‘vote changing’ by DHS?

      Georgia asks Trump to investigate DHS ‘cyberattacks’

      The state of Georgia wants President-elect Donald Trump to investigate what it calls “failed cyberattacks” by DHS on Georgia’s networks.

      In a letter sent to Trump on Dec. 13, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said DHS has made multiple attempts to “infiltrate our network,” including a “large attack” on Nov. 15 — which DHS disputes — that prompted him to send a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.

      Kemp, who oversees Georgia’s elections, said several of the alleged DHS attempts came at “very concerning” times that suggest they may have been political retaliation.

      Jus sayin’.

    2. Carolinian

      Princeton’s Ed Felten has been talking about this issue for many years.

      While he does buy into the Russia meddling narrative in the above post he is surely right–and always has been–that our electronic voting systems are deeply insecure. That’s what Wheeler is talking about as well. Indeed the Halderman Medium article she links also says the vote itself was probably not hacked.

    3. voteforno6

      Sure, votes can be changed. Cheating has been going on as long as there have been elections (just read Robert Caro’s books on “Landslide” Lyndon Johnson). The cheating is just more high tech now. The problem, though, is that cheating can only really be effective if the election is close enough to steal (like in Florida in 2000). Has there been any evidence that there were voting irregularities in the really close states? Has anyone bothered to check?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Like in Florida, the goal is control “what is intent” of the hanging chad. It’s amazing but Democratic hanging chaos were often machine errors, and Republican hanging chads represented intent. Clearing voters off the roles. Accidental re-registration of party preference.

        The risk of disrupting the ballot total is too high for the power brokers as they already are power brokers, and the only people who might risk the change are usually stupid.

        Going back to Rove’s Nov. 2008 meltdown, Rove didn’t buy the GOTV operation of Team Blue, a common sentiment among GOPers because they hate the lower class and believe them too lazy to vote*. Rove was facing a reality of the Democrats turning out non voters and creating a permanent GOP rump party. He must pray to Obama every day now. The GOP doesn’t have an audience among the non-voters and is old. The fear of a permanent Democratic majority was very real for Rove.

        *the GOP doesn’t make it easy, but Obama was right about people who want to vote will be able to vote. It takes a bit of effort, but it happens. The poors don’t vote because there Is no one worth voting for usually.

    4. David

      Three things here which are not the same.
      First, the US is major world player and so a major intelligence target. Lots of people would like to know more about the inside of US elections than is publicly revealed. This is what intelligence services are for. If the Russian intelligence services were not trying to penetrate the various candidates’ IT systems they were not doing their job.
      Second, many states (usually but not only western ones) overtly and explicitly try to affect the results of elections in other countries, and many also do so covertly. But to the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever claimed that this has been done from abroad, by trying to manipulate voting tallies. It would take an almost unbelievable level of organisation and a small army of people to make that possible.
      Third, from what I read the US system is no shambolic that, if there were vote counting problems, then Occam’s Safety Razor suggests they were more likely to be the result of accidents and technical errors. A good principle is never to postulate a complex, difficult and speculative explanation when a simple one is available.

      1. Anonymous2

        On small army, I am told by some one I think a good authority the Chinese have a million IT specialists dedicated to hacking.

        1. David

          They may well have, but if you’re actually trying to change data in thousands (?) of different places, without leaving obvious clues behind and trying to ensure that particular results happen in particular states, you’d need a huge number of people with detailed knowledge of American politics at grass roots level, speaking fluent English and somehow all coordinating. China’s a big place but even so ….

          1. Anonymous2

            I was not suggesting they were trying to hack the US elections, but I was told that they are causing the West problems because, although their technical expertise is not the highest quality, the sheer number of attacks they can launch is a real challenge for Western anti-hacking defences.

      2. Andrew Watts

        The NSA document that Reality Winner leaked mentioned American Samoa being targeted which has no electoral votes. Rigging the vote tally for the presidential election is impossible in this specific instance even if that was the goal. I don’t believe there was any dates associated with that attempted hack but imo it sounds like an intelligence-gathering operation aimed at the Democratic primaries on Super Tuesday.

        It’s purely speculative on my part but Bernie’s primary win in NH probably sent intel agencies ’round the world scrambling to figure out what is going on. Nobody knew who Bernie was and all they probably had was some youtube videos. I imagine electoral systems will be increasingly targeted in a post-Brexit world to deliver certainty in an uncertain world.

        Or at least that’s the ambition for the world’s second oldest profession and less respectable one imo.

  14. efschumacher

    Paper ballots, hand-counted, in public.

    It used to be, back in the 70s, ballot counters were selected from volunteer Bank Clerks, who were deemed to be the best qualified at counting piles of about currency sized paper ballots. I did this for a couple of General Elections.

    We all turned up at the constituency count, generally a local elementary school. The ballot boxes were driven in by local authority staff, and police, from all over the (weirdly shaped, gerrymandered) constituency. Tables were arranged in a horseshoe, with the counters on the inside, and ‘observers’ on the outside. Observers were selected from volunteer members of the various political parties, and their job was to watch the counters count, making sure that ballots were not sorted into the wrong piles. Observers were absolutely forbidden to touch any ballots, or the boxes.

    Each ballot box was emptied onto a table. We roughly sorted ballots into piles. We filtered from the piles into groups of 50, according to votes for each candidate (or spoiled ballots). The groups of 50 were stacked at the head table, and counted in aggregate.

    When there was a recount, we took back all the bundles of 50, carefully recounted and checked that each one was marked for the same candidate. At the end when the Returning Officer was ready to announce the result, all the candidates were assembled, and the result announced. In good weather, the announcement was made out in the school yard, so that all the assembled public, who were not allowed into the counting room, could hear it.

    Segments of the whole town (the largest town in the constituency) were involved in the count or the organization in some way. So of course their whole families would turn out too. People stayed up till 2 am – about when our count usually came in – to be there in the school yard to hear the announcement.

    The community spirit in this whole event was absolutely electric. You got a real sense of being included in a democratic event. You also got a fairly direct feeling that the whole thing was an honest and true result.

    The ‘count by computers’ method not only lacks the _feeling_ of assurance of it being ‘squeaky clean’, it also lacks the excitement of community involvement. I prefer the hand count method, no question.

    1. oho

      you British are so quaint. How are IT campaign donors supposed to make any money if everything’s handed counted on paper?

      And by volunteers? Where’s the profit in that!

  15. grayslady

    Why no mention in the press of Uber’s lack of profitability? For the press to admit that the gig economy is a third world approach to full employment means that we don’t have a viable national economy–and that is something no one in the press wants to write about. Also, Uber is seen to be part of the “can’t fail” Silicon Valley set, even though its model is based on achieving monopoly, not on technological brilliance. If Uber were headquartered in Iowa City, people wouldn’t be nearly as starry-eyed about its prospects, I suspect. Uber is Theranos all over again; but I don’t see anyone from the Wall Street Journal pursuing an investigation this time.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Commercials and the other problems with the msm being a glorified stenographer corp. If they don’t get a press release, is it news?

    2. RenoDino

      Tesla loses $30,000 on every car it sells. I know, they will make it up on volume…or go out of business if funding dries up. This is what success looks like today.

    3. Stephen Gardner

      I like your reference to Theranos. I think there are lots of Theranos/Uber/etc. companies waiting to go out in a blaze of glory when the PR stops working. There was once a time when high tech companies had some integrity. I think of HP back when H and P still had some influence. Then the Wall Street driven grifters moved in to transfer the wealth and benefits upward and now we have a bunch of shells, mere dried out husks of companies being propped up by press releases and “greater fool” strategies by the VCs to cash out of the dried husks. Wait until all those hundreds of thousands of computer savvy and talented young engineers become disgruntled. I can’t wait to see the ranks of Anonymous grow.

  16. Watt4Bob

    Re “Penetrated;

    If you aren’t at least mildly panicked after watching the second panel’s testimony and reading Halderman’s statement, you’re asleep or dead, or you just plain don’t care about the U.S.’ democratic system.

    As an IT professional who has watched the inexorable march of wholesale electronic election fraud, perpetrated via every conceivable vector, and at every turn, witnessed, exposed, and documented by experts of unimpeachable character, and impeccable qualification, I’d say that as a culture, we’ve long ago chosen the comfort of deep sleep as our primary coping mechanism to deal with the horrific reality in which we find ourselves immersed.

    Technology has allowed the “perfection” in a sense, of the age-old practice of electoral manipulation, in that the possibility now exists of changing the vote after the fact, secretly, and leaving no evidence.

    Re yesterdays ‘special’ elections in Georgia, and South Carolina (from the Brad Blog);

    In both cases, the Republican candidates are reported to have narrowly defeated the Democratic candidates in very Republican districts. In both cases, the computer tabulated results are based on votes cast on 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems. In both cases, the results may be absolutely right or completely wrong. In both cases, absolutely nobody knows for certain either way. And, in both cases, if anybody tells you otherwise, they are either lying or don’t know what they’re talking about.

    In particular;

    We do know, according to the state’s reported results, that Democrat Jon Ossoff defeated Republican Karen Handel in GA-06 by a nearly 2 to 1 on the only verifiable ballots used in the race, the paper absentee mail-in ballots. Or, at least we can know that, if anybody ever bothers to check them against the computer tallies. But the rest of the race, run on 100% unverifiable touch-screen systems, will remain 100% faith-based, despite the fact that, as we reported in detail on Monday, the folks who program all of Georgia’s voting and voter registrations systems (Kennesaw State University’s Center for Election Systems, which is paid $750,000 a year to do so) left the system passwords online, unprotected, at their website since last August and perhaps much longer and then covered it up. Moreover, the Republican candidate in GA-06, the state’s former Sec. of State Handel, also personally covered up security failures at at Kennesaw’s Center for Elections during her term as the state’s chief election official.

    In a nut-shell, we’re long past the point of no-return as concerns election integrity, which of course goes hand-in-hand with the integrity of our systems of finance, and of course our famously “free press”.

    In short, we as a people cannot know anything that the MOTU have decided we may not know, and conversely, we “must know” anything they decide we “will know”.

    There are millions of IT professionals witnessing the virtually unopposed perpetration of a myth, that there is incontrovertible evidence that “the Russians” hacked our otherwise reliable election systems, when in reality we know that the politically powerful had designed those systems to allow exactly that sort of hack, and they did so emboldened by the fact that they’d been assured by the designers that they couldn’t be caught.

    What our rulers never seemed to fully appreciate is that if ‘they’ could hack our elections and never be proved to have done so, then someone else could hack those same systems and they too could never be proven to have done so.

    Our electronic election systems are vulnerable to absolutely anonymous hacking, they were intentionally designed that way, we can never know who was the last one to log-on and change the numbers, that’s in irrefutable fact, it’s also something that the MOTU have decided we “must not know”.

    And now our masters have decided that we “must know” that “the Russians” are attacking the “integrity” of our election systems, and that there is irrefutable evidence to prove it.

    This is total BS, disinformation, but because collectively, we’ve chosen the comfort of sleep over the discomfort of facing reality, we either stick our fingers in our ears, or allow the MSM to do it for us, and we accept the “wisdom” that the MOTU decide we “must know” and ignore the facts that they’ve decided we “must not know”.

    I am assuming that NC readers will forgive me for saying how tiresome it is to spend years, explaining over and over that the Emperor has no clothes, to people who have their fingers embedded deeply in their ears, or who accept “It’s always been this way” and “TINA” as mature, and serious responses.

    1. Vatch

      It would be amusing if Jon Ossoff or Archie Parnell were to demand a recount, which is technologically impossible in their districts.

      It is interesting that in every one of the special elections to replace a Republican Representative, the winner of the special election in 2017 won with a lower percentage of the vote than his Republican predecessor did in 2016. In some cases, the margin was razor thin. Even though the Democrats are losing these elections, they are losing them by narrow margins.

      The one election to replace a Democratic Representative is hard to analyze. In both 2016 and 2017, a Democrat defeated another Democrat. In the 2017 primary, the Republican got 3.2%, and there was no Republican in the 2016 primary. In 2012, a Republican go 14.4% of the vote.

  17. justanotherprogressive

    Do People Matter Most Or Does Property?

    Can you really even ask that question any more?

    If you are poor and you kill a person, you go to jail – or worse. If you are rich or a corporation, you let the courts decide a “value” for that human and you just pay up. This is just one of the perks the “elite” set in place for themselves……..

    Honestly, do you think anyone will go to jail for the people killed in Grenfell Tower?

  18. Katniss Everdeen

    Sounds like it’s not only displaced midwest manufacturing workers who are having to scrounge around for extra income. Lawyers appear to be having a bit of a rough time as well:

    “Home Depot, Menards face lawsuits over lumber size description”

    As Turin described it, all three men in the lawsuits wanted the lumber for home-improvement projects, got home and measured the pieces, felt they had been deceived and then turned to the law firm.

    Asked whether it was coincidence that three different men found the same sort of issue with lumber first at Menards and then at Home Depot, and then all decided to go to McGuire Law, Turin said he couldn’t comment.

    “It’s kind of attorney-client privilege in terms of how the clients were retained, and the circumstances of our retainer of them,” he said. “They did freely come to us.”

    Don’t know what kind of “improvements” these plaintiffs were planning, but their ignorance of the actual size of a 4 x 4 does not suggest the requisite technical expertise, shall we say. If they think that all those construction tradesmen are so dumb that a monkey could do what they do, I’d recommend hiring the monkey.

  19. Stephen Gardner

    Re hacking the election:
    “When asked if it was possible Russia could change votes, Halderman told the SIC that he and a team of students demonstrated they were able to hack DC’s voting system, change votes, and do so undetected in under 48 hours.”

    Clearly these were not live voting machines (were they machines in the lab like the pacman stunt?) or he and his students would be under indictment. I can’t figure out what “undetected” means in this context. I read his written statement and it was full of “coulds” not actual assertions of fact. More PR nonsense.

    1. Watt4Bob

      Clearly these were not live voting machines

      Actually they did hack into the live system,they were dared to do so by its developers, who were sure their system was “safe”.

      And it doesn’t consist of “voting machines” it is a web-page intended for early, and absentee voting, where voters log in and place their votes.

      It took Halderman and his students 36 hours to do so, and they proved they were successful by installing code that played the University of Michigan’s fight song on the home page.

      Not PR “nonsense”, but a real-world demonstration that electronic voting systems are vulnerable to tampering.

      Reason enough to return to the gold-standard of election security, paper ballots, counted in public.

      1. Watt4Bob

        BTW, I’ve seen the communications logs of a colleague who was defending a small, Mom and Pop grocery store from a ransome-ware attack by a Mexican mafia member located in Southern California.

        He showed it to me by way of explaining why you can never nail-down the physical location of the attacker.

        It consisted of over a dozen emails, each coming from a different server located in a different country.

        So this mafia guy was able to absolutely cloak his location while communicating/negotiating the price for decrypting the customers hard drive.

        The point is that all talk of smoking guns point at “the Russians” are BS, PR nonsense as you would say.

        1. Byron the Light Bulb

          I would say attribution has nothing to do with the physical location of the terminal used. It’s amazing that your colleague is somehow is able to attribute the extortionist as Mexicanos Mafioso [I’m skeptical of the Mex-Italo connection, but who knows what the Camorra are up to these days.] using only “PR nonsense”.

          I would also say that if the US election system hack was surreptitious, it would defeat the purpose. The USG election organs’ integrity would still be intact in the minds of the electorate if the hacker’s hand remained hidden. It doesn’t matter who wins the election; it only matters that the winner is the legitimate heir to the throne. Russia’s election tampering was not subtle. On the other hand, it does not seem much effort was put in to fix the election for one candidate or the other. The penetration seemed to focused on contaminating as many election nodes as possible. Much in the same way DJT seems inundated with compromised associates of very low calibre and nil influence.

          Doesn’t anyone remember the Russian coquette that popped up in HRC’s circle in 2011 and sent home in a very public manner? You could park a Humvee behind that duck blind of a debacle.

          1. Watt4Bob

            My colleague is capable of identifying the culprit because of direct communications with the individual for the purpose of unlocking the customers hard drive.

            The negotiations went on by email, and the culprit even apologized for injuring what he described as “a little guy” but that apology didn’t extend to foregoing payment. ( about $2000 )

            Another employee got excited and said “we should find this guy” and that’s where the discussion started about the inability to locate a physical location.

            You’re right attribution has nothing to do with location, but neither do the snippets of code that are being touted as “proof” of Russian involvement. It is entirely possible for an American hacker to impersonate a Russian hacker and visa versa, in fact due to the recent hack, and release of our NSA’s tool kits, I’d say half the planet is right now impersonating American government hackers, if only by accident.

            Russia’s election tampering was not subtle. On the other hand, it does not seem much effort was put in to fix the election for one candidate or the other.

            Your statement assumes facts not in evidence. There is no evidence that “proves” Russians hacked our election systems at all, just a bunch of hysterical bluster by politicians interested in diverting attention from actually important issues staring the nation in the face.

            The penetration seemed to focused on contaminating as many election nodes as possible.


            Our election systems are as contaminated as possible already, as I’ve already pointed out, we wouldn’t be talking about Russian hacking if our political parties hadn’t degraded the systems in order to allow them to manipulate the results.

            The one thing that has been proven, and we have been very busy ignoring, is that our election processes are designed to be hacked and now, only because the folks who pay for the hacks have been embarrassed by Trumps win, we’re talking about it.

            Hilary lost because she is Hillary, and a vast number of the electorate hates her.

            Trump won because he’s not Hillary, and because Hillary and her DNC crew screwed Bernie Sanders, and by extension, the nation, out of the nomination.

            The uni-party, for many reasons considers Trumps win a big loss, and blaming the “Russians” works for so many people that it’s become the only game in town.

            BTW it’s a game that hardly anyone believes is what it pretends to be.

            1. Byron the Light Bulb

              Burning six different 0-day exploits in a single year without any economic benefit implies some serious state sponsorship of a collective just doing their patriotic duty.

              Russian plausible deniability is being flouted for the purposes of applying real politik pressure to lift sanctions. It was kind of hard to maintain that non-military personnel could acquire the fruits of a sustained military-grade espionage program. No matter who actually won the US election, Moskva intended to apply heavy post-election pressure in the form of a illegitimate election.

              Putin’s political strength is a myth. Had the Kremlin’s power structure been secure, there would have been no reason to return after Medvedev’s reign. But the power structure became fractured [see Aleksandr Litvinenko affair] to the point of a very public power struggle between’s the President’s KGB-FSB-SVR and the military’s GRU, brewing since the second Chechen conflict. Putin is a obyvatel [“everyman”] colonel serving at the pleasure of some very powerful silovoki. The economic sanctions krimp the styles of some serious folks that would rather not have to summer on the Black Sea.

        2. WobblyTelomeres

          “The point is that all talk of smoking guns point at “the Russians” are BS, PR nonsense as you would say.”

          I dispute this. It would be BS if your colleague said it, as he doesn’t have access to the resources of the various national security agencies.

          For example, consider TOR. If TOR nodes are compromised (recurring rumors), then if your Mexican Mafia Member is using TOR to access and transmit email, then his actions could be traced.

          If other means to cloak one’s location are used, such as VPN, then their access logs may be accessible via National Security Letter (depends upon the service provider). If they ignore the NSL, the access points to the VPN are well known (DNS) and can be tracked that way. Assuming the one attempting to track has a very large budget and access to much of the internet backbone. Five Eyes.

          All fairly straightforward if a bit onerous to put into practice. But, hey, that’s what computers are for.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Yes let’s all focus on the precise camel count as they pass through that needle’s eye, and pay no attention whatsoever to the actual policies that would get Dems elected in landslides.
            But of course TOR nodes are compromised, have a quick glance at who funded TOR in the early days

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Saudi Arabia’s ‘Mr. Everything’ Is Now Crown Prince, Too Stratfor

    Not quite a Chinese precedent to follow – Taizong of the Tang Dynasty. From Wikipedia;

    Taizong is typically considered to be one of the greatest emperors in China’s history and henceforth, his reign became regarded as the exemplary model against which all future emperors were measured.


    The modern Chinese historian Bo Yang opined that Emperor Taizong achieved greatness by enduring criticism which others would find difficult to accept whilst trying hard not to abuse his absolute power (using Emperor Yang of Sui as a negative example), as well as through his employment of capable chancellors such as Fang Xuanling, Du Ruhui and Wei Zheng.

    That’s like, er, freedom of speech…in China…1,400 years or so ago.

    Here’s the interesting part about his becoming the crown prince:

    As Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji approached the central gate leading to Emperor Gaozu’s palace, Xuanwu Gate (玄武門), Li Shimin carried out the ambush he had set. He personally fired an arrow that killed Li Jiancheng. Subsequently, Yuchi killed Li Yuanji. Li Shimin’s forces entered the palace and, under the intimidation of Li Shimin’s forces, Emperor Gaozu agreed to create Li Shimin crown prince. Li Jiancheng’s and Li Yuanji’s sons were killed, and Li Shimin took Li Yuanji’s wife Princess Yang as a concubine. Two months later, with Li Shimin firmly in control of power, Emperor Gaozu yielded the throne to him

    They call that the Xuanwu Gate Coup, where his two brothers (Li Yuanji and Li Jiancheng) were killed.

    As crown prince, he later forced his father’s abdication.

    That’s some powerful crown prince…as dramatic as Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood, and the Bard’s Macbeth.

    1. jw

      Used to read the Root…till they lost their damn minds. It’s also owned by Haim Saban by the way. Plus, I love how “get out the black vote” as strategy is touted in the lost (!) SC election, where ex-Goldman Sach’s alum Parnell (!!) was defeated by Republican. Not saying money and emphasis shouldn’t be placed on GOTV, but I find it distressing the example cited is of a Goldman Sachs/Exxon parasite.

      1. JohnnyGL

        So….Ossoff burned through $20-$30M but couldn’t be bothered to spend anything substantial on GOTV in the key democrat constituencies?

        As Lambert often concludes, “They don’t want those voters. They want affluent suburbanites.”

  21. DJG

    Ken. Man bun. Decline of civilization.

    We all know that the gold standard for man buns is Toshiro Mifune. The rule is this: If you can’t exceed Toshiro Mifune in man-bun dash, aplomb, and appeal, forget it.

    Lambert: Don’t try this at home unless you can surpass Mifune.

  22. allan

    Miss McConnell’s coming out ball is about to start.
    And for today’s fashionable debutantes, Medicaid is so last year:

    …The proposal from GOP leaders will retain some core features of the House bill: steep cuts to Medicaid that limit its spending in future years and a ratcheting back of Obamacare’s open-ended tax subsidies.

    But the differences are significant. The draft bill would restrict Medicaid’s spending to a slower growth rate than the House-passed bill. It would cap program funding at the rate of inflation starting in 2025, as opposed to the higher rate of medical inflation plus 1 percentage point used in the House bill. …

    How’s that working for you, marginal Trump voters?

    Edit: Full text of bill is now posted:

    1. Carolinian

      Also an end to the mandate. I think that might be very popular with Trump voters. And while many red states have lots of poor people getting Fed help through Medicaid it’s debatable how many medicaid recipients voted for Trump.

  23. CD

    No profits at Uber — Wouldn’t it be a kick to the economy if Uber went non-profit? They’d be the economic heretics of our time. They’d be the but of jokes on Wall Street.

    However, capital purchases and leases have already been made so that’s behind them.

  24. Mike

    RE: Penetrated: Today’s Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing on Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Elections

    During my last days as a local liberal (1995-1998), hoping to change the “system” from the inside, I worked with several researchers interested in voting tallies and the new digital machines being placed to count the vote. I was privileged to know Lynn Landes, and corresponded with activists from Black Box Voting and Bob Fitrakis’ Ohio group, who were better-known due to scandals they brought forth. At that time, the fear was two-fold. First, did the machines keep records of the vote in ways that were recountable and verifiable? Second, was there a possibility that the vote and its storage were accessible to someone who could change the tally, should they desire?

    The answers were no and yes, and the evidence for such accumulated over both national and local primaries and elections. Several goals presented themselves to those involved. One was to go after the Republican-leaning voting machine firms that were used in Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere where the vote was crucial to election outcomes. The other was to emphasize paper balloting as the answer regardless of who was guilty of past scams. Both efforts were defeated by the concerted efforts of both major parties.

    Key to the findings was the basic fact that machine votes could be turned in two ways; 1) pre-rigging machines to turn out votes according to desired results, and 2)”maintenance” demands that allowed removal of counters so that crucial verifiability was lost as the “trail” of access was muddied. It did not take “Russians” being blamed to ascertain this was a home-grown, domestic effort to change votes for one party versus the other. It also did not take “hackers”, as there was no connection between machines that was digital at the time. A high school education was not necessary to play with such systems, although someone with certified special knowledge had to coordinate efforts across many locations and hundreds of machines.

    As computerized networking advanced, government support for the digital count grew, and both parties saw gold in this rainbow, where local party apparatchiks could determine outcome. Critical to this process was both vote changing as well as voter suppression. Stalin’s dictum about counting was accomplished, but no blame was put upon any nation outside the US. For this reason, both parties worked to suppress such findings and isolate/marginalize the researchers. The wolf remained in sheep’s clothing. Parallel to this, hacking worldwide developed the ability to mask the origin of such actions and thwart the discovery of the actors. The CIA itself has programming ability to attribute hacking to any source they desire

    Where are we now? We do not, and probably cannot, know with precision exactly how voting systems were hacked, who hacked them, and to what purpose such hacks were aimed. The hacks could have come from China, South Africa, Nigeria, Ukraine, Russia… or Georgia, Nebraska, Illinois, Montana, etc.. The entire globe has people with such talents and, thanks to the CIA and other “security” branches, they have access to the software to do it.

    The media blitz and daily pummeling of Russia has obviously spun the US citizen into seeing fire where the smoke is pointed out. The senate saves their own bacon by pointing outward, and the Demo-publican elites can make money galore out of media campaign time and scandal after well-controlled scandal. It’s a win-win for them, and poor citizens can chant “USA, USA” in the hope of gleaning a buck or two from an obviously corrupted game

  25. Alex Morfesis

    Penetrated and too drunk to notice…about cybersecurity and election hacking…not to burp out a huge rant…but it seems the nc peanut gallery and emptywheel didnt read the submitted testimony of one certain expert professor…

    on page 5 & 6…

    wait for it…wait for it…
    drum roll please…

    Paper ballots…

    Not the global clear box count in the open type exactly…but he seems to insist doing more rigorous audit of the paper scanned ballots…

    “They may seem low tech, but they are a reliable low cost defense”

    He advocates replacing direct computerized voting with a paper trail

  26. Altandmain

    File this one for class warfare: richest 1% will control 70% of wealth by 2021:

    Let the Democratic Party freakout begin: Opinion

    The NYT article in question:

    Nina Turner gives her opinion on the RNN:

    Finally … The Daily Kos has started to ban people like crazy again:

  27. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    American childhood, authoritarian society.

    More so than any other generation, parents and educators have instilled in millennials the idea that, as Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt put it, “life is dangerous, but adults will do everything in their power to protect you from harm.” Indeed, strong social pressures have so hardened against parents who believe in the value of a free, unsupervised childhood that psychologist Peter Gray likens them to past Chinese norms on foot binding.

    Hard numbers illustrate these trends:

    The amount of free time school-aged children enjoyed plummeted from 40 percent in the early 1980s to 25 percent by the mid 1990s.
    The time young children spend in school jumped from 5-6 hours in the early 1980s to almost 7 hours beginning in the early 2000s.
    By 2006, some 40 percent of schools had either eliminated recess or were considering doing so.
    So too, do more qualitative indicators. Recent studies supported by the Alliance for Childhood found that kindergartens have “changed radically in the last two decades.” Exploration, exercise, and imagination are being deemphasized and play has “dwindled to the vanishing point.” Instead, kindergartens are introducing “lengthy lessons” and “highly prescriptive curricula geared to new state standards and linked to standardized tests”—curricula often taught by teachers who “must follow scripts from which they may not deviate.”

    1 That reminds of East Asia’s cram schools.

    2. More education is not necessarily good. Play time is good for kids.

    3. History is written by the victor. And books are authored by those who can read (and write). People who are happy but can’t write – you don’t read about them. And you assume learning to read is key to happiness.

    Not so.

    What reading does is get you closer to the power of civilization. You read, and you can get a degree. Then you can work for powerful organizations, public and private. For a plant or an animal outside our civilization, unless it’s favored, human civilization is dangerous. It requires resources, living or otherwise. It needs that plant or that animal to sacrifice itself to keep ‘growing.’

    If you are one of those humans whose happiness is not traditionally viewed as ‘happy’ or ‘successful’ within our civilization, you can still be happy without knowing how to read. Those whoo don’t understand that happiness, perhaps with a bit of Dunning-Kruger, will write that you are not happy and successful, and circulate or circle-read that fake news among themselves approvingly. “You’re a victim of progress. Going forward, your tribe, your nation needs…development.’

    Education enslaves, in that, it prepares you to climb the ladder within the system, which doesn’t, but should free you, so that you may live freely outside of it, by gathering organic berries, wild honey, etc. But it doesn’t. Besides, other humans educated and succeeding within the system will likely drive your clan into extinction.

    So, you join those lost souls, get educated to help keep the system going.

    “Hey, nothing wrong with putting food on the table.”

    1. inhibi

      The Baby Boomers didn’t necessarily lie, but they sure didn’t have anything meaningful to say either. They themselves were greatly deceived about the health of the American economy, about the true drivers of the US political shitshow, and about the affects of constant media brainwashing. As a consequence, Millenials thought life was going to be, for lack of a better word, awesome: we were going to live longer, drive better cars, live in bigger homes, and have the technology to travel, read, watch, talk to anyone with ease. We were going to eat better, healthier, and were going to live life ‘smarter’. We didn’t just form this collectively on our own: it was engrained in us, repeatedly, by our parents, media, school, etc.

      Little did we know, that our value to society would be completely marginalized (by our own parents generation nonetheless – offshoring, credit bubbles, etc), and that we would actually live more stressful lives, never own a home, and have more gatekeepers and fees and other restrictions to personal freedoms. I’m not saying we have it hard, in the sense of war, famine, disease, or anything that plagues the 3rd world. But I don’t understand when past US generations talk about the ‘laziness’ of Millenials when compared to themselves. The competition in today’s world is many times fiercer, at all levels and across all disciplines, than it was back in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.

      The American middle class was hollowed out, for the most part, in a decade. A single decade. To me, a Millenial, this was a massive wakeup call. I had been told, throughout my life, of the steadfastness of the American middle class, the ones that bought all the goods that kept the economy in shape. In fact, I would never have thought the American middle class would disappear WITHOUT A REVOLUTION OR A SINGLE RIOT OR PROTEST.

      In more ways than one, it illuminated how unstable the foundations of America were to begin with. It also illustrated how ignorant Americans are. I mean incredibly ignorant – as if history never would repeat itself and would no longer be cycles of rhymes but rather enter some golden trajectory to some teleological point of modern history. As if human nature had somehow irreversibly changed for the good.

      It’s not quite their own fault: the media had completely brainwashed multiple generations into believing the exceptionality of America. There was, in every instance of foreign war or social unrest shown on CNN or MSNBC, the idea that ‘this would never happen in America’. There were 0 debates on growing inequality, the impervious banking cartels, regulatory capture, industry consolidation, the things at the core of the degradation of the US empire. Instead, I was spoon-fed crap (for years) about the Iraq war, how bad of a president Bush was, how good of a president Bush was, how racism ‘still exists’, how LGTBQ are ‘people too’, basically a bunch of nonsense, in the sense that all of it, when ranked on a scale of ‘impact to US society’, would exist on the bottommost rung.

      College was another massive wakeup call in how such an unbelievably large scam can be perpetrated for decades on a complacent populace without a peep of organized resistance. I didn’t really quite realize until after college, when I got my first real job (I grew up privileged and economically stupid). After my first what-I-thought-was-large payecheck, I knew right away that even though I was making quite a bit, if tuition would continue to increase at a rate of 4-6% a year, that I would NEVER EVER be able to afford college for any future child of mine. NEVER EVER. I also quickly realized that the standard raise of 2-3% at most firms is, in actuality, 2-3% less than true inflation I see at a grocery store, or going to the doctor, the two major staples of civilized life. Its no wonder our generation is known to job-hop: its the only opportunity to get an actual raise & real vacation at the same time.

      Then came the realization of the aftereffects of QE, namely massive asset price upswings all across the globe, and a further consolidation across all industries (mergers and acquisitions). The lack of civil cases also basically signaled, to our entire generation & the US populace as a whole, that if you have money, you can do literally whatever the f*** you want. Problem is, the money went to the 0.01%. Does anyone find it surprising Bernie/Marxism is so popular among us? My generation might be delusional in the sense that communism is a far cry from the society we live in today. But that’s the rub: in an age where education is ridiculously expensive, healthcare is ridiculously expensive, and taxes keep going up, socialism sounds like a godsend. At least then you’re not getting screwed from both ends of the stick.

      The great boon to our generation was the internet & cellphone, akin to television for Baby Boomers. Of course, the internet has quite the negative side as well. Sometimes I think the main intergenerational conflict between Millenials and their parents stems from the internet and all the good and bad that came with it. However, our generation was and might be the last to have played outside during our childhood. I remember, quite well actually, when the Nintendo ended our impromptu tag football games forever. In fact, I barely remember playing outside after elementary school at all unless it was, you guessed it, for school.

      However, the ‘less free time’ I think is really across the board. That is, even adults right now have less free time than they did in the 90’s. Average hours worked a week, at least for the working populace, has gone up to all time highs.

  28. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump trade tsar warns against China ‘market economy’ status FT

    One would expect to have heard more from the Trade Tsar by this time.

    At this point, I doubt the ‘bigger pie’ (more trade, more GDP) speculative solution to the domestic wealth inequality.

    On the other hand, ‘the bigger pie’ might just work with progressives moving to another party…you get even just a percentage of Sanders voters (13 million) in 2016, to say, a small party, you might excite enough of the non-voting citizens to vote again (thus the bigger pie)…growth is good here.

  29. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Sanders sent $100,000 to DNC in May Politico. Wrote his ticket for the “Unity Tour.” Smart move, to owe Perez nothing.

    Per DC speak, unity is no unity.

    And to me, this seems as if each side is paying its own share for the marriage/divorce consultant cost.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Quoting from the Politico story:

      “Sanders and Perez embarked on the nine-state ‘unity tour’ earlier this year after Sanders’ endorsed candidate, Rep. Keith Ellison — who supported Sanders in the 2016 presidential race — lost the race for DNC chairman to Perez. Sanders moved the money from his presidential campaign account to the DNC to help pay for the tour, according to campaign finance records and Sanders spokesman Josh Miller-Lewis.”

      So, Bernie, you took money from your campaign coffers and sent it to the DNC. Now I’m really done with you. For good.

      And you know where I’m going to send my money now? Not to Our Revolution, Brand New Congress, or to that Draft Bernie group. Uh-uh. I’m sending it to Naked Capitalism. That blog is really worth my time and money.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        $100k for the plane ride.

        Like Jill Stein and her recount, the Democratic elite will attack anything they can blame who can’t fight back. Putin so to speak is a bald, non-native English speaker.

        If Bernie didn’t pay them back, Perez would launch attacks about Sanders’ using the DNC to raise his brand. The Team Blue elite have absolutely no shame. Sanders is trying to reform Team Blue (a fool’s errand in many way), but he will need the support of many people who pay passing interest who might hear what was said about Sanders on Maddow’s latest Glenn Beck impersonation.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Don’t go.

          Don’t pay.

          What is is. When there is no unity, there is no unity. Cease and desist this fatal attraction or obsession.

  30. Cujo359

    Gergen: Special election victories show Trump could beat Dems in 2020″ CNN. Three years is a long time in politics.”

    Unless something fundamentally changes, it won’t be nearly long enough. Maybe losing in 2018 will finally make the Democrats realize they need to change, but I don’t think even that is going to stop the money train for those in power.

    As long as that’s true, success or failure won’t matter to them.

  31. aletheia33

    bbc grenfell towers residents relocation:
    68 flats being made available in nice new development nearby.
    according to wikipedia,
    grenfell contained 127 flats, 227 bedrooms total.

    1. Huey Long

      By my back of the envelope math, this leaves about 236 residents of the towers with no flat to move into, assuming they’re still with us here on earth.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Big assumption; yesterday’s discussion suggested that that’s about how many died, and that the Tories are sitting on the number for obvious reasons.

  32. barrisj

    Re: Senate “healthcare bill”…Ali Velshi, speaking on MSNBC this a.m., called it: “This is not a healthcare bill, this is a financial bill, it’s a tax-cut/tax credit bill…just read the title of the bill”, which he proceeded to do. Senate aides of “moderates” from both parties dutifully brought out the fainting couches, whilst their bosses intoned the “I can’t accept this as written..,we’s regusted…”, until they can, of course. Huge show of Kabuki, shameful, revolting spectacle.

  33. Oregoncharles

    “Looking to Germany to Protect the World Order”
    What could possibly go wrong?

  34. zer0

    “Putting Profits Ahead of Patients”
    Isnt that the entire underpinning of the current American economy, ya know, profits over everything, including the law? And who couldnt see this coming? Just in the wording of the ACA, was this clear: it equates healthcare to healthcare INSURANCE, and then forces people under penalty to buy into it.
    Sometimes I wonder, if insurance didn’t exist, in any form, would society be any worse off? At least services would be forced to charge realistic amounts for the services rendered. Sorry, turning on a machine for a few minutes and consulting your computer for which prescription drug will treat my symptoms (which, if anyone hasn’t noticed, always seem to include opiates/painkillers of some kind), isn’t worth 25% of an average families monthly paycheck. And that is if you HAVE insurance, which is another 25% of the average families monthly paycheck.
    US worse off than all of Europe these days. Taxes may be less, but education and healthcare EASILY makeup for the difference.

    “Truck Driving is Modern Form of Indentured Servitude”
    Another addition to the growing list of what were once decently paying jobs that are now nothing but scams, in one form or another.

  35. Andrew Watts

    RE: Wall Street Journal fires Jay Solomon over involvement with arms dealer

    Why’d they do that? Their new byline would be all the news the CIA (the government) wants you to hear. Think of all the lost promotional content and advertising for CIA-related business, private contractors, and “private” intelligence outfits.

  36. Andrew Watts

    RE: This Is How Great-Power Wars Get Started

    We’re in this situation because Congress banned any military cooperation with Russia. The opportunity for forging some kind of deescalation agreement was partnering with Russia, Assad, and Iran. Obviously any cooperation with Iran/Assad wasn’t going to happen but they by not choosing Russia they chose the uncertain chaos of the present situation. This has led to the avoidable clashes in a complex battlespace that might have major political reverberations somewhere down the line. They also made the mission open-ended by not authorizing a new AUMF in 2015 with a 3 year sunset clause.

    Instead the author talks about strategy as if he actually understands what that entails. He further invokes “vision” as if a prophet will descend from the heavens to lead America out of the many disasters of it’s own making. Just another sign that America’s in decline. When the ruling class is incapable of basic problem solving they rule not through their leadership skills/abilities but through the force of inertia.

  37. ewmayer

    Trifecta of headline rewrites for ya:

    o “Michael Moore: Dems have ‘no message, no plan, no leaders’ The Hill (Re Silc)” — More accurate would be to say “Dems have leaders with ‘no message, no plan” … beyond fellating Big Donors and kicking the left, that is.

    o “Do People Matter Most Or Does Property? Ian Welsh. On Grenfell Tower” — That’s easy: the people who own most of the property matter. It’s the golden rule, rentier-style: Whoever has the most gold, makes the rules.

    o “Is American Childhood Creating an Authoritarian Society? The American Conservative” — Suggest “American Authoritarian Society is Creating an Orwellian Childhood and a Generation of Compliant, Totalitarian-Tolerant Kids.”

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Disagree with M.Moore, the Dems have a consistent message, a consistent plan, and very able leaders.

      1. Message: “We will protect your corporate oligarchical interests while bamboozling the locals with flowery platitudes”;
      2. Plan: “We just need a steady stream of your corporate dollars to get our (fake platitudes) message out”;
      3. Leaders: “The same crew that has consistently delivered for you for decades, ensuring Permanent War, limitless spying, and health care rent-seeking by pharma and insurance billionaires”.

  38. different clue

    Imagine 116 degrees at 100% humidity. People would steam-baste to death within a half hour. Maybe less.

Comments are closed.