Links 6/26/17

Supermarkets set to introduce ‘surge-pricing’ in their shops according to demand: Plans would mean ice cream is more expensive on hot days Daily Mail (AMM). AMM: Growing vegetables is a political act.

Uber’s Biggest Problem: Its Business Model WSJ. “Even if Uber fixes all of its current problems, it’s increasingly unlikely that it can live up to the inflated expectations that come with the nearly $70 billion valuation that have made it the world’s most valuable startup. There are barbarians at Uber’s gate, and it’s sorely in need of a moat.” Finally!

Push on with the ‘great unwinding’, BIS tells central banks Reuters

Italy Commits $19 Billion for Veneto Banks in Largest State Deal Bloomberg

Canada Ponders an Unusual Drug Problem: a Shortage of Marijuana Bloomberg


Trump‘s Red Line and „We got a fuckin‘ problem” Seymour Hersh, Die Welt. Important. And finally, a real reporter!

Trump allies push White House to consider regime change in Tehran Politico

Saudi-Led Demands ‘Difficult’ for Qatar to Meet, Tillerson Says Bloomberg


Foreign banks still love City, says lord mayor of London Andrew Parmley The Times. The Thames is a river in Egypt, apparently.

Brexit In Reverse? George Soros, Project Syndicate

Look to Greece for lessons on how to negotiate Brexit FT. Uh-oh…

Britain’s path to hard Brexit revealed in queen’s speech Politico. A little stale, still useful. “A hard Brexit it is then.”

Political and Financial Crises: some connections between the Credit Crisis and the current crisis in UK politics Magic, Maths, and Money

UK Election Aftermath

Labour’s hostility towards a progressive alliance lost Corbyn the election – it won’t be making the same mistake twice Independent (DK).

Government ‘faces £600m cladding safety bill after Grenfell Tower disaster’ Telegraph

Some U.S. States Relax Restrictions On Cladding Suspected In Grenfell Tower Fire NPR


Xi Jinping’s war on the ‘financial crocodiles’ gathers pace FT

Toothpick crossbow craze has China quivering AFP

The Knives Are Out for South Korea’s Robber Barons Foreign Policy


The high-tech jobs that created India’s gilded generation are disappearing WaPo (DK).

How Do Bengaluru’s Working Women Make It Home at Night? The Wire

Trump Transition

Trump may not be the electoral disaster Dems hoped for Axios

Mayors to Trump: immigration orders meddle with cities AP

Under Trump, US foreign policy is increasingly being left to the generals Quartz

Is an Unpredictable Leader Good for National Security? Kellogg Insight (KS).

Analysis indicates partisan gerrymandering has benefited GOP AP

Democrats in Disarray

The fate of the Democrats’ future may lie in Georgia Washington Examiner

Donald Skunks the Democrats Maureen Dowd, NYT. Fun, but quite a bit of revisionist history on 2006 from Rahm, of whom Dowd should really be more skeptical.

Ralph Nader: The Democrats Are Unable to Defend the U.S. from the “Most Vicious” Republican Party in History The Intercept

Where Would We Be Politically If Hillary Clinton Had Won? Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine (Re Silc).

Bernie Sanders: FBI inquiry into 2010 bank loan will clear wife WaPo

Health Care

Premiums and Tax Credits under the Affordable Care Act vs. the Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act: Interactive Maps KHN. Important.

Pro-Trump group’s health care offensive warns GOP senators to get in line Politico

How Trump and Republicans may get away with hurting millions of people Greg Sargent, Star-Ledger. Sargent writes:

Republicans have gone to enormous lengths to obscure the plan’s profoundly regressive features. They have endlessly told the lie that no one will be worse off (because everyone will have “access” to affordable coverage), and they’ve developed numerous cleverly designed talking points designed to create the impression that, by slowly phasing in the loss of coverage for millions over time, this will create a painless transition to . . . well, to a blissful state in which everyone, again, has “access” to affordable coverage. Among these: “Smooth glide path.” “Rescue mission.” “Bridge to better health care.” “Soft landing.”

Good thing the Democrat leadership, after months of preparation, laid such careful groundwork to counter these talking points. Oh, wait… That was the opportunity cost of a solid six months of wall-to-wall Putin Derangement Syndrome, wasn’t it? Well played.

Rival Senate factions push competing agendas as healthcare measure hangs in balance LA Times

GOP Senators Lay Out Demands on Health Bill WSJ

Sens. Johnson, Sanders: No Way Vote Should Happen on Health Care Bill This Week NBC

Health Law Repeal Leaves Nevada Republican Torn Between Lawmakers NYT. “On Friday Mr. Heller said that he, too, was against the bill as it is currently drafted, leaving himself just enough wiggle room to continue his longstanding practice of being the senator in the middle, the man who wants to see the Medicaid program phased out, except when he decides he doesn’t. (Mr. Heller has taken both positions publicly.)”

Kasich on Senate GOP healthcare bill: ‘I am against it’ The Hill

Sanders takes center stage, Trump recedes, as health care fight heats up CNN

Bernie Sanders rallies Pittsburgh crowd against GOP healthcare bill Pocono Record

* * *

Bernie Sanders ‘extremely disappointed’ by stalling of California’s single-payer health care bill Sacramento Bee. Nice timing, too!

Sorry, Republicans, but most people support single-payer health care WaPo

Support Grows for Single-Payer Medicare-for-All Plan Instead of Massive Cuts to Healthcare Democracy Now!

A doctor prescribed so many painkillers, she’s been charged with murdering her patients, authorities say WaPo (J-LS). Never executives, oddly, or not (although the Cherokee Nation sued Big Pharma).

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

German Intelligence Also Snooped on White House Der Spiegel. Hmm. Maybe they have “the tapes”?

The TSA is going to look through your books but promises not to notice what you’re reading The Week (KS).

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Ferguson Will Pay Michael Brown’s Family $1.5 Million to Settle Wrongful Death Suit Riverfront Times

Washington Post: Philando Castile and the questions that remain Concord Monitor

Philando Castile’s killers secretly tried to order Facebook to let them spy on Castile’s girlfriend Boing Boing

Why Did Lincoln Move So Slowly to Abolish Slavery? Because He Was a Racist, This Book Argues. Eric Foner, NYT

Class Warfare

The World’s Worst Countries for Workers The 2017 ITUC Global Rights Index. Handy map.

Wealth should not make health. Period. Medical Economics

In Towns Already Hit by Steel Mill Closings, a New Casualty: Retail Jobs NYT

Trumpmania Cools in This Pennsylvania Town Bloomberg (Re Silc). For Trump voters at the margin, he had to deliver. He isn’t.

How Can a Human Justify Asking to be Paid $15 to Work? MishTalk (EM).

A post-populist playbook for global capitalists FT’

How do you draw a circle? We analyzed 100,000 drawings to show how culture shapes our instincts Quartz

How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists LSE Impact Blog (GlennF).

Guess who uses public libraries the most? Millennials CNN

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. QuarterBack

    Re Surge Pricing on food, I am convinced this is the answer to the question “why did Amazon buy Whole Foods?”.Amazon practically invented the practice of altering prices based on the individual’s profile. My guess is there plan is to marry up their enormous customer profile data to raise product by product, store by store, hour by hour, prices based on algorithms tied to actual purchaser behaviors. Look for price tags to be replaced by price monitors and kiosks so that they can swing prices around on a dime. Whole Foods is a great test bed for this, because their customers are already inclined to pay a premium for service and quality. The Amazon quants will be tasked to find the precise upper limits for all their inventory. Ka-ching.

    1. Carolinian

      And if Amazon did this why would anyone want to shop there? Surge pricing has nothing to do with service or quality. Even Whole Foods has competitors such as local organic markets and Trader Joe’s.

        1. justanotherprogressive

          Because it is the “in” thing for elites? When I lived in Arlington, VA, the Whole Foods store near me was always packed. Here, not so much……

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s always possible the price surges between the time you pick up an item from the shelf to the time you pay the cashier.

            They could even slow down the check out lines, if prices are trending up.

            “More money for our master.”

            Imagine this:

            “It was $2.00/lb 3 minutes and now, it’s $20/lb???

            “Well, the algorithm noticed a few shoppers going after the same item in this store.”

            “Dang, why can’t the algorithm work lazier?”

            1. Sue

              Outrageous! Sickness is hitting new high levels! Article mentions that experts believe this “flexible pricing” model will be applied in the future to electricity consumption also. The every time more frequent heat waves will surf-wash-away the meager incomes from labor. Next is privatizing health care in England and have thugs contracted by the health industry to beat the crap out of pedestrians around gloomy street corners. Anything more satisfying than being an assault and flexible price victim???

          2. Robert McGregor

            If price is no object, Whole Foods can be the best option because it has the widest variety of organic food and the most consistent quality. But you can get less expensive organic food from any number of other sources–Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Earth Fare. Only the truly rich–like those benefiting fro the corrupt D.C. “gravy train” (Arlington)–can afford to make Whole Foods their main food source.

          3. Procopius

            Then, too, there’s the theory that for (some) luxury goods the demand curve slopes upward. That is, people who buy certain luxury goods won’t buy them if the price is low. Rich people don’t want cheap shirts from Costco, they want the most expensive shirts in the world from Gucci. Or from Sulka, buy them by the gross and throw them away after one wearing. See also Thorstein Veblen.

        2. roadrider

          I used to shop there on occasion because they carried some things I couldn’t find elsewhere. If I was careful about what I bought the bill wasn’t really much higher than it would have been at the Giant (which has pretty high prices itself and much worse product selection and service). However, since I avoid doing business with Amazon (except for the occasional e-book I can’t find anywhere else) I will no longer patronize Whole Foods unless the merger is blocked.

        3. Nick

          fwiw We like about 5-10 items that only they carry and I stop in to the one close to my work from time to time to pick something up. So it’s generally pricy per item but not bad if it’s limited to just a few “luxuries.” If they ran good sales like Amazon does (on these items) and notified me via text (i.e. not an app….) I’d likely go more often–and thus probably also increase incidental spend marginally.

        4. hreik

          Because they sometimes offer something my local grocer does not. And for where I am the fish there is fresher. I don’t eat it, but hubby does. My local grocers organic produce is very expensive, more so than WF.

        5. Pat

          Spices. Two dollars can get you a small package of a spice to test out a recipe. Their bulk section here in NYC is fairly extensive and decently priced.

        6. Olga

          Organic meat – seems to be of good quality. And when I’m there, I’ll check other stuff, too. They’ve actually lowered prices some… It is not totally hopeless. On the other hand, now I understand why they installed those remotely controllable price tags everywhere… they can be changed w a click (oh so convenient for that surge pricing!). I guess will shop there only 5-min-to closing!

        7. Duquois

          Because the people there genuinely seem to care about their jobs and are actually helpful/knowledgeable about helping one out with a question or finding something. Most of all because they do not have self-checkout.

      1. fajensen

        And if Amazon did this why would anyone want to shop there?

        Because, once Amazon gets this fully debugged, *Everywhere* one goes there will be prices “Especially for you, Sir”, similar to those adds following you all over the internet. They already have the electronic price signs in place everywhere, updated over wireless or IR. They will just need some “smart” e-paper stickers on the goods too, how hard is that?

        People will in the future have to photograph all of the advertised prices to prove that the stores changed it between the customer picking up the product and arriving at the till.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          *Everywhere* one goes there will be prices “Especially for you, Sir”

          If that happens and the price you pay is determined by some algorithm deciding what you can individually afford, the next big industry will be renting out poor people to go shopping with.

        2. ginnie nyc

          I used to go there every quarter to buy the organic meat. But in the last year, the price per pound for everything has become so prohibitive, I almost cried in front of the meat counter. The last time I was in Whole Foods, I looked at the meat prices for 10 minutes, went around and put back all the other items in my cart, and walked out without buying anything. That was it for me.

      2. optimader

        No kidding, if one can justify shopping at whole foods, one has no problem with paying too much for food. So why shouldn’t WF try and extract more revenue from their clients, that is until they find alternatives to WF!

        Personally I couldn’t care less if someone chooses to be subject to WF pricing practice. It is a mutual consenting relationship.

        Interesting this practice is regulatorly prohibited with vehicle fuel

    2. PlutoniumKun

      This is an important reason why anti-trust regulations needs to look very closely at retailing. Surge pricing can be used not just to raise prices for non-price savvy customers – it can also be used for predatory pricing – for example, lowering the prices of staples for people who are seen as non-regular shoppers, so encouraging them to move away from competitors (needless to say, the prices will jump when the competitors are put out of business.

      1. fajensen

        Yup and, If someone for example don’t like too many Spanish-speaking people in their store, an unfortunate bug in the proprietary, black-box, algorithm could, of course quite by accident and in any case easily deniable, overcharge that segment of the population.

    3. John A

      In Britain, if a product is incorrectly priced too low on the shelf, the retailer is obliged to honour that price in line with trading standards legislation. Even in stores where prices seem to have disappeared, you can usually find the price by scanning the barcode either with a shop reader, or a smartphone.
      So, what price would legally apply? The price when you put the product in your basket/trolley, or the surged price when you finally reach the till?

      1. Mel

        Particularly when the “surge” was just you picking it off the shelf. Didn’t Michael Lewis describe this in stock trading systems in Flash Boys?

    4. Toske

      I think surge pricing is one of those things that will at first be universally hated and criticized, but one day not long thereafter you’ll find that everyone has accepted it as being perfectly normal and reasonable, just like most other unfair aspects of society.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Food price increases cause revolts and protests. People buy food too often to not notice. Given the state of the economy, surge pricing will cause problems.

      2. roadrider

        I will never accept surge pricing price gouging as “being perfectly normal and reasonable”

      3. Olga

        It may be kinda like time-of-use electric rates (i.e., wash your laundry at 10PM!).
        So maybe we’ll shop at local stores after midnight! Just one more thing to make our lives simpler!

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Yes, one thing that makes me sceptical that surge pricing would work in supermarkets is that it will be easy to game by clued in consumers – it won’t be long before there are apps out there that track surge pricing to show people when and how to get the best deals. Retailers might well quickly realise its a game in which they don’t necessarily have the upper hand.

          1. Toske

            Even if the prices were uniform for everyone, there would still be a lot more people paying more than paying less, since most people are overworked and don’t have much choice as to when and where they shop, or can’t be bothered punching their entire grocery list into an app every time they need to shop. However, the endgame model is one where prices are tailored to each customer’s account.

            Much like how all the big chains offer store cards that let you take advantage of cardholder-only sales, you’ll *want* an account because posted prices will be much higher without one. Once you have an account and have shopped there a few times, the algorithms will learn when you tend to shop, what you tend to buy, how often, how regularly, and when you choose to buy something given its price. It’ll be like having an all-seeing haggler watching each customer and figuring out what they’re willing to pay for something. It’ll learn that you regularly buy lettuce about once a week, and when you come into the store a week after your last lettuce run, it knows that you probably want some lettuce pretty badly and will try charging you a few cents more. Etc.

            It’s not like the algorithms will ever deliberately sell at a loss. The only time they’ll appear to do so is when they lower the prices of soon-to-expire or overstocked goods, but that’s just the same thing as having a sale.

      4. Robert McGregor

        It might soon be that you will just look at a Phone App to compare the current pricing on Ice Cream. Whole Food/Amazon might have a 25% surge, while Sprouts only has a 5% surge. This is what I do now with Uber and Lyft.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Just curious – why not call a cab? It might actually help someone other than Travis Kalanick make a decent living.

          1. robnume

            I agree completely. Several of my Muslim neighbors are real Yellow cab drivers and I use their services as often as I can.

          2. Elizabeth Burton

            Exactly, and thank you on behalf of my husband who is our sole source of income. Cab companies have apps, too. Unfortunately, they don’t have Uber’s and Lyft’s billions to hire professional PR flacks to make them seem more “with it” than those nasty, dirty cabs with their creepy drivers.

    5. IHateBanks

      I attended some automotive industry meetings a couple of years back. One of the training seminars had to do with pricing repair work to the client. The speaker brought up “surge pricing”, charging more for a job late in the day, etc., using the airline model as justification.

      “Hey, Mr. Shop Owner, once your technician has stood around for an hour, it’s no different than a plane taking off with an empty seat. The airlines charge more for last minute passengers, and you should, too.”

      I quickly imagined the blowback from 2 of my clients, at a BBQ, discussing the cost of their brake jobs, and discovering there was $200 difference, in the same week.

      I told the speaker that it was important to me to have my business held in higher regard than the airline industry, and left the room.

      I was really happy that the bartender didn’t size me up, and charge me extra, because I looked really pissed off.

        1. footnote4

          Robot bartender assesses your vital signs, cross-checks with your credit card data, health records and recent internet searches …

          Every purchase becomes a game with asymmetric information. Fun!

      1. flora

        “it was important to me to have my business held in higher regard than the airline industry”

        great reply!

        1. flora

          adding: If independent repair shops adopted surge pricing I think that would make the dealership set-price repair services more attractive. Of course, if the dealerships go to surge pricing and the independents keep set-price, the independents are going to look better and better to customers, imo.

          1. IHateBanks

            I don’t see surge pricing gaining traction in the independent auto repair industry. Our appeal to customers has a lot to do with a better price point than the dealerships, who, IMO, are on “surge pricing” 24/7.

    6. Cat Burglar

      Surge pricing has completely blindsided me; I must have fallen behind the times.

      But last winter I decided to go downhill skiing for a day, and went on the web to look up the price of a lift ticket, and no prices were shown. So that’s the deal? Make price discovery impossible except at the last minute? Create a tiny, pressured instant where a decision is forced? Create a class of surprised buyers?

      Coming next will be an entire new industry of surge price analysts who will tell you when to buy and when not to buy. A lean and mean class of savvy surge-price gamers will emerge, priding themselves on their superiority to morons who don’t pay the “smart” price for carrots. Next will be the advent of a youth subculture that calibrate their purchase times and product choices using random number generators — they will say that they are truly free and spontaneous.

      1. Bobby Gladd

        LOL. Michael Lewis’ book ” Flash Boys” comes to mind.

        I go to the supermarket, pick up a dozen eggs near the dairy section in the rear of the store, and the price of my carton changes twelve times by the time I get to the checkout.

        1. Olga

          I don’t get it… (well, except, greed, of course!).
          Isn’t having the same information on the part of the seller and buyer one of those things that define the “free market?” (In addition to being able to walk away from a transaction, having more than one supplier/buyer, and a host of other theoretical “tenets?”)
          What has this world come to….?

          1. Toske

            Hey now, telling a seller that he isn’t free to change his prices at will doesn’t sound very “free” to me!

            Such a funny word. For practically any conceivable dispute, there exists at least one (ostensibly) rational way to spin Side A as being pro-freedom and Side B as being anti-freedom, AND vice versa.

          2. Carla

            Olga, you’ve heard of the Easter Bunny, right? You learned somewhere along the line that the Easter Bunny didn’t exist, and had never existed.

            The Free Market is exactly like the Easter Bunny, only, uhm — a lot less fun.

            Maybe, just maybe, the world has come to, or is coming to …. a reality check.

    7. kurtismayfield

      According to most state retail laws they cannot do this on the shelf, because the lowest price a person sees has to be honored. Expect no prices to be displayed at all, and only accessable via email/app/tablet. The laws are more grey on electronic pricing.

      So, go to the store without a phone and try to pay with cash. I am guessing no one will be able to shop there without an Amazon account.

    8. different clue

      Trying to buy things when the prices are always changing is like trying to play checkers when the squares are moving around as well as the checkers.

      If I were faced with ever-changing prices I would suspect there is a “real price” which the grocery store knows, and that they are just playing games to see if they can cheat me without my knowing the difference.
      I would suspect that they can, and I would therefor stay out of that store.

      Does that mean that I am just not meant for this modern world? Maybe the cool hip digital young people will enjoy this playing Twister with the prices. Maybe the uncool people like me will retreat to stores where “the price is the price” and we don’t have to play “what will it cost next?” with an ever-changing algorithm. Perhaps enough people like me might be able to keep a parallel system of “stable price” stores in existence.

  2. jsn

    I can’t tell if the frog video is just a parable about economic justice or a deeper critique of the Democratic Party.

    1. craazyboy

      The Frog, codename Deep_Throat, is an independent Security Analyst employed by CrowdStrike.

      He uses the popular small biz model, “You Eat what You Keep.”

      The DNC hired him to keep server room bugs in check. “Complaints of Flies” filed, then lost. Maggots blamed. But the rumors remain.

      Apparently, Frog don’t “grasp” the “Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds You” methodology.

      That’s a dog thing.

      Trump may not be the electoral disaster Dems hoped for Axios

      “Trump not the Huuuge Bomb Democrats desperately need!”

      This could be the critical messaging signaling a shift in sentiment Dems need to navigate a soft landing for the Titanic. The next 6 months are critical.

      1. jsn

        I admire your subtle reading of this thing!

        I was naively think the D’s were all thumbs and treat their voters like that frog.

      2. fresno dan

        June 26, 2017 at 8:40 am

        “Apparently, Frog don’t “grasp” the “Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds You” methodology.”
        Yeah, but the frog actually wasn’t fed anything….kinda like the ersatz prosperity of “free trade”
        maybe a warning – – DON’T F*CK WITH THE FROG….
        Am I the only one who thinks the human got what he deserved? You promise ants, you deliver ants!!!

        1. frog friend

          I completely agree. Fooling the frog was cruel. And the humans were laughing at the frog’s inability to tell a real insect from the screen image of one. The prankster absolutely deserved to be bitten.

        2. craazyboy

          I think the Frog went thru a rapid shuffle of feelings like, first, antipathy…then antagonism[mostly] and animus, and finally animosity.

    2. polecat

      Shouldn’t that frog be catching bugs, or perhaps copulating with a he/she frog … for fun and progeny, instead of doing stupid amusements …. with a piece of I- $hite, for stupid humans ??!

  3. Emorej a Hong Kong

    Ed Kilgore: “while restive populists would be watching HRC closely, at this point there’s no reason to think Democrats would not have remained relatively united.”

    This is the stupidest comment I’ve ever seen from Kilgore.

    In real life, Obama would have passed the TPP through a lame duck session with just enough bought-off Democratic and more Republican “rotating villains”, and Hillary’s related triangulating would have infuriated most Bernie supporters and would have embarrassed some major Hillary endorsers, starting with Sherrod (“I believe Hillary’s TPP opposition is truthful”) Brown. Deterrence of Progressive legislation at the federal and state level would be well underway by the TPP’s ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) mechanism.

    Hillary probably would not have lit a match to the Saudi-Qatar relationship, but she probably would have shot down more than one Syrian government aircraft. Meanwhile, Trump might be claiming that Macedonians hacked the election to install Hillary, but nobody would believe him.

    1. XXYY

      Kilgore ignores the issue of wars.

      Warmonger Clinton and her drinking buddy Henry Kissinger made no secret of the fact that they had additional wars teed up. Certainly she would have gone full bore on ramping up the war in Syria. Her creature and likely SoS, Victoria Nuland, was fully embedded in the US-backed coup in the Ukraine, and there’s an excellent chance we would be sending the US military in there, too, to “retake Crimea” or whatever.

      So millions may end up being alive under dictator Trump that would have been killed under dictator Clinton. I’m no fan of Trump, but I’m certainly no fan of Clinton either.

  4. Roger Smith

    RE: The TSA is going to look through your books but promises not to notice what you’re reading The Week

    I saw this popping up in my twitter feed yesterday and I do not understand why just now this is making rounds. I experienced this in Detroit last year. TSA wanted me to remove the book (Foucalt’s Pendulum), they skimmed through it and I believe they asked me what it was about.

    Going to California in a few weeks, maybe I should take along some of my books about El Che…

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Does anyone know what “Foucalt’s Pendulum” is about? Besides that Umberto Eco wrote “Name of the Rose” and can write whatever he wants as a result?

      Anyway, yep, there is nothing to see in “Foucalt’s Pendulum,” nothing at all, nothing to do with any kind of grand plan and nothing to do with the Knights Templar. Not a thing.

      1. Roger Smith

        Exactly! I am still not finished with it and the more I read, the less of a description I have of what it is really about.

        1. fresno dan

          Roger Smith
          June 26, 2017 at 10:30 am

          I would have said its about an oppressive totalitarian government that intrudes into every aspect of people’s lives, including the books*** they read, to search for and punish thoughtcrime….

          But of course, you probably didn’t want to spend another 18 hours at the airport defending that anti-security document, “The Bill of Rights of the United States”

          ***I very much doubt 99.99% of TSA gate agents have ever read Orwell, or maybe any book, so you are safe giving whatever synopsis you want…

        2. jsn

          It’s about a guy who seems like a total rube at first, but after unraveling a centuries old, multi-institutional, intergenerational global conspiracy, turns out in the end to be a total rube.

        3. Emma

          It’s a little bit about what happens when a bunch of silly men get together and wind one another up, to the extent they’re no longer masters of their own minds…..

      2. footnote4

        True story:

        Decades ago my parents met a man who had given a copy of “Gödel, Escher, Bach” to his boss, leaving the (false) impression that he had read and enjoyed it himself. A few weeks later the boss said he was looking forward to discussing it with him. The guy actually left town and was afraid to go back.

        1. Susan the other

          that’s like my car tape of Chomsky – I started listening to him driving to Salt Lake and would have to stop the tape at about 20 minutes in… during the course of a few days I got the tape all out of sync by rewinding parts of it and finally I just gave up – it was that or permanent brain damage! And I really like Chomsky. Oh well.

        2. Mo's Bike Shop

          I remember feeling dumb when everyone around was talking about GEB, and I was still only a third of the way through.

          Then I realized no one else was doing the math.

      3. polecat

        If any of these TSA folk actually HAD an education, they wouldn’t be ruffling through one’s books …. because, in all likelyhood, they’d be in a different line of work !

        1. diptherio

          Nice elitism, dude. Real classy. Someone works at a crap job so you assume they’re dumb, and mock them for being uneducated….sigh….

          The problem is the a-holes setting the rules, not the poor buggers enforcing them.

          1. ambrit

            Interesting thought crime there diptherio.
            How does one manage to “remove” oneself from an “evil” job? Without starving? The entire system undergirding the worker employer relationship must go.
            “Starry Messengers” only come by when someones have had enough and do something.

          1. Emma

            ……which is perhaps why, unlike Polecat (as it would so appear), you HotFlash, don’t judge a book by its cover! ;‑)

        2. different clue

          Really? What work? Where?

          If “no money” = “you die”, then any work is better than no work.

          What if millions of air travelers were to take this opportunity to put Bernie Sanders’s ” Our Revolution” in their carry-ons and suit-cases? Thereby exposing millions of TSA workers to Bernie Sanders’s book? The reeling mind boggles.

      4. lyman alpha blob

        Does anyone know what “Foucalt’s Pendulum” is about?


        One of the few books I couldn’t finish – still on my shelf 25 years later half read. Rather than a novel, it seems more like a vehicle for Eco to showcase how many languages he speaks and his grasp of esoterica.

    2. allan

      Giving new meaning to “Show us your papers.”

      This is a consequence of airline luggage fees leading to more carry-on only passengers,
      leading to carry-ons that are harder to scan
      (not to mention the horror show these days that is boarding and deplaning).
      Privatize the profits, socialize the losses (of civil liberties).

      1. Bunk McNulty

        Easy, I’m just going to start carrying a copy of “Art Of The Deal.” And a Kindle.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          So, with a Kindle, Bezos knows what you read, when you read, what page you are on, what sentences you highlight to share, and which words you’ve had to look up. He’s also got a $600 million contract with the national security state. Meaning, they already know. So, they have no interest in your Kindle. Brilliant!

          1. Blennylips

            with a Kindle, Bezos knows what you read, when you read, what page you are on…

            Only if you have wifi on. Not had mine on for years. Even buying from Bezos, you can dl and xfer via usb.

            1. carycat

              Just how much of your electronics do you think you really control? The students in the Lower Merion School District in PA thought their webcams were off when they were getting spied on. Free kiddy porn for all and all it cost was a $610K settlement that the taxpayers swallowed.
              You need a tin foil hat for your kindle :-)
              Even removing the batteries may not be enough if there is another smaller battery or super capacitor hidding somewhere to send covert signals out. Probably not engineered in today with fairly cut throat mass market consumer electronics, but it may not be CT if the FCC starts mandating this as part of its certification, because terrorism.

              1. Blennylips

                Good points & reminder, thank you.

                Another reminder. We learned a few days ago via Wikileaks: The CIA can remotely hack into computers that aren’t even connected to the internet.

    3. Lamont Cranston

      In 1966 after being drafted, trained, and advanced trained, I arrived at my duty station in S. Korea assigned as a clerk in an artillery battalion headquarters. My first day on the job the Colonel handed me a sheet of paper marked TOP SECRET and asked me to type up a copy (pre Xerox days indeed). I explained that my security clearance had not yet come through and he said “I asked you to type it, not read it!”

    4. neo-realist

      For future plane trips, I may have to leave the deep politics at home and stick to sport and non-political fiction books. Politics and dark skin could make for TSA hassles and not getting my plane.

  5. Carla

    “A doctor prescribed so many painkillers, she’s been charged with murdering her patients, authorities say WaPo (J-LS). Never executives, oddly, or not (although the Cherokee Nation sued Big Pharma).”

    Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has also sued Big Pharma, and I believe the AG’s of several other states have, as well.

    On another subject, many NC antidotes and plantidotes appear very elongated and distorted on my screen, including the first antidote today, but not the bonus one. This was also true of the photo of Lee Camp in the featured post by him today. This has been occurring for a few months. I use Firefox.

  6. Alex Morfesis

    According to the people in the fawkes mask, nasa will announce abe lincoln was an alien…goodness…another author revisiting the subject known as abe lincoln to try to make a buck…

    But considering our current reversal on race relations, with lbj and his great “de-emancipation” society having disrupted those “unappreciative” serfs who had the comeuppance to insist on the “act” of voting(for actors)…

    hardly anyone wants to hear the first child slave freed by lincoln, william henry costley, was acquitted in 1870 by an all white jury just 5 years after the civil war, for shooting an unarmed white man who was beating up a white woman in public…william was the baby of nance legins-costley in the case “bailey v cromwell”

    You might think the nra would be reminding folks…except that “r” seems to not always mean rifle…

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Trump‘s Red Line and „We got a problem” Seymour Hersh, Die Welt. Important. And finally, a real reporter!

    Wow, amazing articles. They really do show up most ‘reporters’ these days. And the situation as set out by Hersh does seem to match the known facts much better than alternative narratives – not least the lack of any motive whatever for Assad to have used chemical weapons in those circumstances. Its interesting though that the CIA has kept silent about knowing no sarin was used – it seems there are only some things they know that they will use against Trump, others they prefer to keep to themselves.

    I know some blogs (e.g. MoA) and commentators btl here were speculating that the Russians had successfully ‘spoofed’ the cruise missiles, but the explanation here, that the failure of the strikes was down the the gasoline stores being hit first (causing smoke and debris that interfered within incoming missiles sensors), and the fact that nobody on the US side really wanted it to do damage is more likely.

    The one query I would have about the article is that it seems to portray the US military on the ground as being universally happy with Russian co-operation and baffled by Trumps insistance on striking at Assad. But more recent events, not least the downing of the Syrian Sukhoi, would indicate that there are plenty within the military establishment who are very happy to pursue a very aggressive anti Assad and anti-Russian policy, without needing to be urged on by Trump or Bannon. I suspect the attitude of the various agencies involved in Syria falls into a very wide spectrum. Its probably only the ‘moderates’ (for want of a better word) who are leaking things to reporters like Hersh. The rest are feeding junk to the NYT and WP.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The “CIA” as in the people empowered to speak for the CIA or the thousands of CIA employees. Given Obama’s crackdown on whistle blowers and the employment situation, there isn’t much stomach for leaks from within. Chelsea Manning was tortured for years. Snowden was exiled. The other guy who’s name escapes me is in prison.

      The people empowered to speak are Presidential appointees, political critters. With an organization as large as the CIA, there is always someone willing to tell the boss what they want to hear.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        What I meant was that since the CIA seem determined to pressure/remove Trump by ‘leaking’ (or inventing) stuff on his relations with Russia and the supposed Russian interference in the election, it doesn’t make sense to me that they would overlook the opportunity to damage him by leaking true information about what a mess he made in Syria. If nothing else, it would give them a lot of future leverage over the White House.

        1. a different chris

          Do they want to remove him our just bring him under control, I wonder. They have to be looking wistfully at the Generals being given pretty much carte blanc militarily.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Yes, I’ve been trying to think out the game theory side of this – perhaps they thought it was dangerous to make Trump look too stupid if they let the MSM know he had blown it in his first big foreign policy decision. Or they may have thought that it would interfere with their ‘Trump is in Putins pocket’ narrative.

            1. integer

              It makes sense if one works from the hypothesis that the CIA’s hostility to Trump was/is premised on his stated goal of nomalizing relations with Russia. Thus, the CIA will do everything they can to undermine Trump insofar as he works towards achieving that end, and support him when his actions towards Russia increase tension between the two nations.

              Personally, I think it is highly likely that the CIA’s modern day Operation Mockingbird was the driving force behind the change in tone of the corporate media towards Trump once he gave the orders to fire the Tomahawks into Syria. Conditioning via corporate media, if you will.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          Your comment is very perceptive. I missed that.

          Our government seems beset with intrigues but reading what I believe is a credible account of the events which took place raises all sorts of questions about the hidden mechanisms and players in our political drama. What or who triggered Trump’s apparent knee-jerk decision about Syria and Sarin gas? Why is death by Sarin gas so much worse to Trump than slow death from being crushed under the weight of your destroyed home? What or who drives our media? Who is pushing for regime change in Iran — and why? I cannot identify the players or make sense of their actions and motives. This is government in a Looking Glass Wonderland.

          Might the Russians find any amusement in comparing the events leading to Trump’s air field bombing to the exploits of their Lt. Kije?

    2. Eureka Springs

      Suggestions Trump/ a president may be leaving much decision making up to the military itself seems to an abrogation of Commander in Chief duties. Isn’t it unconstitutional? Certainly a break in the chain of command and total acceptance of rudderless chaotic wars. At any rate this would be particularly troubling if our system had any rule of law/accountability at the top.

      I’ve been surprised at how little discussion of this I’ve run across on the web.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Trump is the CiC. All this means is the generals work for him. He’s merely empowered the generals to act on their own accord. Trump is responsible, but CiC doesn’t mean “Terror Tuesdays” or even leading troops into battle, a distinction last held by Madison.

        FDR didn’t hold sessions with Ike and Marshall about every operation. He actually empowered them to act. Grant and Pershing were empowered. Do you think Shrub went to meetings? Condi would occasionally coach him on relevant terms so he wouldn’t have to ask what the “EU” was at a press conference.

        The story is Putin believes he is rubbish at being CiC and has the relevant Duma committee serving in a more active capacity over Syria. The military guys report and take orders within reason from the committee, not Putin.

        The legality of the strikes is the more serious question, but the bipartisan support for acts of war against Syria has certainly destroyed the standing of Dems to push this narrative.

        1. Whine Country

          Not so sure about your Shrub claim. I remember reading that W was briefed once when 12 Brazilians were killed in a skirmish and Bush replied: “Remind me again, just how many zeros is a brazillion anyhow?”

          1. John k

            Pretty funny. Maybe a little sad if true, too.
            Which school for pres did he grad from?

          2. wilroncanada

            And when told they were killed by bazookas, he replied,”Wow! I didn’t know big boobs were lethal.

    3. tgs

      As Tim Kaine, of all people, points out, the strikes on the Syrian airfield were completely illegal according to domestic law. If Hersh’s report is correct, there is a case for impeachment.

      Does anyone think the ‘resistance’ would follow up on that?

      1. Eureka Springs

        NTG, Thanks.

        tgs, Isn’t the US base on Syrian soil illegal as well?

        When the white helmets manufacture a video/ or rumor of said video of Assad groping a Syrian woman we know the resistance will get serious.

          1. tgs

            Creating a military base without the permission of the Syrian government and shooting down Syrian planes flying in Syrian airspace is an act of war. It amounts to an invasion of Syria. Trump does not have the authority to commit an act of war – violates the War Powers Act and the constitution.

            There are grounds for impeachment. But Trumps illegal war crimes are the only thing DC likes about him.

      2. Roger Smith

        No way, they want that “regime” changed just as bad. Wouldn’t want to set an honorable standard now….

      3. different clue

        No. Because the ‘resistance’ is really the Clinton Restoration. And since Clinton supported war against Assad, the ‘resistance’ also supports war against Assad. The ‘resistance’ admires Trump’s little bombing of the Syrian airport as a Clintonianly statesmanlike act.

    4. Judith

      Ray McGovern’s meta-analysis on Counterpunch

      includes this paragraph about why the London Review of Books would not publish Hersh this time:

      According to Hersh, the LRB did not want to be “vulnerable to criticism for seeming to take the view of the Syrian and Russia governments when it came to the April 4 bombing in Khan Sheikhoun.” So much for diversity of thought in today’s West.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Its pretty shocking the way such important investigative work is, and will continue to be, ignored. If they don’t think Hersh is reliable, then they should counter his arguments. But they won’t even do that, they’ll just pretend it doesn’t exist. I found this quote of McGoverns very revealing:

        Yet, what was interesting about the Khan Sheikhoun case is that was a test of whom the mainstream media detested more. The MSM has taken the position that pretty much whatever Trump says is untrue or at least deserving of intense fact-checking. But the MSM also believes whatever attacks on Assad that the Syrian “activists” post on social media are true and disbelieves whatever Putin says. So, this was a tug-of-war on which prejudices were stronger – and it turned out that the antipathy toward Syria and Russia is more powerful than the distrust of Trump.

      2. a different chris

        But the Counterpunch article is all wrong because there is an error in it!!!

        >President Trump rashly deciding to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian airbase

        He launched 60!

        /sarcasm, if you didn’t get it

        One didn’t quite go where it was supposed to, a continuation of my other lonely thread on how suspicious we should be getting about the US’s supposedly world intimidating military capabilities.

      3. lambert strether

        I remember remarking, at some point in the last few months. that LRB had gone squishy.

        Seems like they’ve moved on from squish to outright pooling and running. Too bad

        1. witters

          LRB is following the NYRB (again). As with the old Guardian I was a longterm subscriber to both – the days of Gore Vidal and a before-all-the-alcohol-did-it-to-my-brain Christopher Hitchens. These days all three are like a bright shiny toy “for concerned” mebers of the FIRE sector. The decline of the LRB is perhaps the hardest to take.

    5. Xihuitl

      What struck me was that they knew all those toxic chemicals — fertilizer, bleach, whatever — were stored in the bottom of the building and they blew it up anyway, apparently creating a lethal cloud that killed a lot of people. Maybe they should have thought twice about that?

      Also, why didn’t the bad guys notice the drones flying around watching them while they had regular meetings at their known headquarters?

    6. VietnamVet

      Sy Hersch is a real reporter. Except, we are Immersed inside a propaganda wonderland where everything isn’t what it seems to be. The narratives are not real. All one can do is reference history and speculate what is plausible. The one sure thing is that corporate media news is fake.

      He takes the Russia position that there wasn’t a Syrian aircraft attack with a sarin bomb. An attack with a chemical weapon would be against the best interest of Syria. To be true it means that Syria held back stock of precursor that wasn’t incinerated, escaped inspection and was then transported to an airbase shared with the Russians. The airplane was armed and the weapon delivered without Russian detection. Otherwise, Russia is complicit in the chemical attack.

      He reports that the President took the Islamist videos of the massacre at face value and couldn’t be swayed otherwise by the intelligence community. If true, this means that the coup against him led by corporate media to elevate Mike Pence will be successful. He is the senile incompetent person that glares down from the picture on the wall at the entrance to the VA hospital. The other possibility is that the President knows exactly what he is doing and defused a serious confrontation by blowing up 59 cruise missiles to provide more jobs at Raytheon.

      Clearly, the President does not trust the intelligence community. That is scary.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    Labour’s hostility towards a progressive alliance lost Corbyn the election – it won’t be making the same mistake twice Independent (DK).

    There seems to be a very deep cultural belief in the Labour party in the UK that it cannot make any common cause with other progressive groups – they are an enemy to be denied. This attitude continues to cost them seats, and if this article is even half right, it allowed the Conservatives to stay in power. I think its yet another malign impact of first past the post electoral systems – it encourages the belief that politics is winner takes all and that electoral alliances weakens, rather than strengthens, broader movements. We saw this too in France, where Melanchon would surely have gotten through to the second round instead of MLP if other left wing parties had stepped aside.

    Hopefully, some rational number crunching will convince Corbyn that Labour can only benefit from doing deals with the Greens and SNP in particular, and maybe even the Lib Dems in the right areas. It would be tragic if the Conservatives continue to gain power because of progressive vote splitting. Now the UKIP is more or less gone, they have the right wing field all to themselves.

    1. Anonymous2

      Absolutely agree. Labour has been its own worst enemy in refusing to work with other progressive parties. The whole The grester part of Thatcher revolution could have been prevented if
      Labour had been more flexible. I do not know what lies behind it: the view that only Labour could deliver true socialism might have been behind it once upon a time but I suspect once the Blairites were in, it was more a reluctance to share the spoils of office. Either way it has enabled the most right wing 20% of the electorate to dictate the agenda and drive the country to the right for most of the last 40 years. Pathetic, really.

    2. Terry Flynn

      I think (hope) that both main parties secretly recognise that tribal politics is dead or dying. Whilst I agree that the Conservatives have been best at exploiting the left’s inability or unwillingness to recognise the need for change, they too may conclude change is needed if Europe is not to fracture them like progressive issues have fractured the left.

      I think there are enough faultlines exposed in the election that more Tories will be considering whether a change in voting is required. The Conservatives’ ethos of party before all else is enraging some members (Anna Soubry has a colourful reputation for starters) and I wouldn’t rule out big changes. Things are happening a lot more suddenly and quickly than they did historically. Traditional predictions are being violated surprisingly quickly.

      Of course this may be me putting hope before reality……

      1. Terry Flynn

        I am very curious as to whether a relatively small change to the electoral system (like most – least voting) which preserves what Brits like whilst forcing out extremely divisive figures would do to the electoral landscape.

        Without change Labour, even with an overall majority in the UK as a whole, will struggle to get a majority among English MPs (and thus enable policies that have not been devolved to non-English regions)

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Yes, with all the excitement over the surge at the last election, there will eventually be a cold, hard, look at the figures, and these show that the long term loss of so many Scottish seats makes a Labour future majority a very difficult target. This is more so since, so far as I can tell, the Lib Dems are likely to go more left wing, as they’ve been so badly burned by their coalition experience with the Tories (although it is possible they could form a refuge for more moderate, anti Brexit Conservatives). The paradox is of course that the scenario that sees Labour taking a full majority is an economic calamity caused by the Conservatives and Brexit, and in such a situation their hands will be tied in terms of what they can do for economic justice.

          But so long as the Conservatives and Labour think that first past the post is the only way to guarantee them the sort of absolute control they dream of, they will oppose even the most moderate electoral reform. The only way I think it would happen is if there was a formal progressive anti-Tory alliance and the Greens, etc., pushed it on Labour. But Corbyn is old style labour to his fingertips, I don’t see him as having any appetite for this.

          1. Terry Flynn

            Indeed I agree almost entirely. Though I think Corbyn has learned to compromise to some extent…… I think he knew that his potential huge surge would have been jeopardised had he “been the Corbyn of old” and taken a very strong anti-EU line. His brief deviation from Labour Party script (as the Independent reported) when he appeared to give “wriggle room” to REMAINers showed he was willing to get his hands dirty as a party leader to guarantee turnout among the young etc and (I think) paid off.

            Of course he can’t continue to have his cake and eat it and it will be interesting when single market membership becomes the crucial issue which (I am fairly sure) divides him from his new base.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how willing Corbyn has been to learn since he became leader. I don’t know what happened, but in his first period or so of leadership he seemed determined to ‘be himself’, which meant not actually recognising that leadership requires separate skills from being a full time ideologue.

              The way in which he subtly used his slightly eccentric image to present a more positive profile was impressive, and the manner in which he has (for now) neutralised the Blairites is even more so. Lets hope he keeps listening and learning.

              1. Terry Flynn

                Indeed! Me too.

                My fear is that even he will run into severe trouble over Europe. It’s important to recognise that his ‘movement’ hold views that are simply anathema to Old Labour: they are wedded to the Single Market when core Labour voters outside the metro regions have seen what cheap labour has done to real wages, GP waiting lists, etc.

                His attempted compromise in terms of job creation etc if we preserve single market access as a result of a Tory cockup on negotiations will have to show immediate benefits if traditional supporters are to be kept on side. Mansfield shows what can happen if Labour take for granted strongly Eurosceptic seats.

                1. PlutoniumKun

                  Yes, I don’t really know what his inner circle think about Europe. Its no secret that he personally was always mildly anti Europe, on the basis that a UK within Europe would have more legal impediments to a more socialist economy.

                  But with the new wave of Momentum activists are, in my experience, the more pro-EU the younger they are. Its not so much the single market thing, its the freedom to move and work wherever they want that they want to keep, but that can’t be separated from the single market.

                  It will be a very difficult circle to square – one he can keep avoiding up until its unavoidable (most obviously if he wins power). I suspect the strength of the youth vote will pull him in a much more pro-EU direction.

                  1. Terry Flynn

                    I suspect the strength of the youth vote will pull him in a much more pro-EU direction

                    Yeah I think I agree but now he is perceived as a PM in waiting expect much more scrutiny from the tabloids which will hurt him in Labour traditional strongholds. He has a difficult line to tread and he really will have to show how a less eurosceptic line will be offset by jobs, health care etc in the Midlands and North if UKIP isn’t to start biting into Labour votes (once again). Labour MPs round here are desperate to kick BREXIT into the long grass.

    3. paul

      While Corbyn has not dismissed the SNP out of hand, the Scottish branch has committed itself to being one of the 3 parties defined solely as anti SNP.

      They have shown an unhealthy appetite for a regressive alliance with the other 2 unionists.

      As the SLAB leader has been less than supportive of Jeremy, her objections might well be overruled. Who would replace her is hard to say, there certainly isn’t anyone worse, but noone any better either.

      I am sure a labour/SNP agreement will remain far less palatable to the mainstream press than the con/dup shambles.

  9. B1whois

    Wow, Uruguay really stands out on that map of “world’s worst countries for workers”! My new home country makes me so proud!
    And the children are very happy here. There was a lot of criticism here recently about that article of parenting in South America, but I can tell you I see the truth everyday in how children are treated here in Uruguay. They are never yelled at by their parents. They are loved and indulged all the time. Yesterday I sat in the park and watched a screaming toddler be allowed to have her fit without interference. She gradually calmed down and rejoined the family play. It reminded me of the techniques out of the book Parent Effectiveness Training. Children’s hands are always held and they are lifted up on parent’s shoulders. But they are also allowed to play freely. I never imagined such happy children in my life. I’m actually quite jealous of the children of Uruguay. I wish I could have grown up here. I wish I could have raised children here. I hope I can convince my children to raise their children here.
    I really can’t describe it, the culture here is just so much more civilised in comparison to the US. I invite any who want to check out Uruguay for themselves to do so and I would be happy to show them around

    1. Olga

      In my experience, Slavic, Spanish-related, and Arab (too) cultures are most indulgent of their kids…
      Anglo-Saxon – not so much
      It certainly shows in other areas
      As for the map – Russia was better than US… amazing.

      1. JTFaraday

        “In my experience, Slavic… cultures are most indulgent of their kids…”

        Bzzzt. Wrong. I’m not going to offer a counter proposition because I suspect we could be here all night.

  10. Alex Morfesis

    Mushtalk…do psychologist deserve $15 per hour and will automation force people to actually talk to each other instead of past each other…

    will computer games, priests and actually taking a moment for some simple peaceful reflections eliminate the need for the psychology industry…

    The psychology industry was created by bernaze to help his uncle, ziggy Freud cover up his uncles “confused” & possibly “improper” relationship with his own daughter…

    No no no…
    no one is touching you at an improper age…
    you are just “dreaming it”…
    it is just your very vivid imagination…

    actually you want it don’t you…

    guessing that is how woody explained it to his daughter/wife…

    A good gypsy will tell you people reveal themselves if you just sit and observe…

    When quoting some self styled “expert”…mishman…maybe you could do a little bit of digging…

    MeHave a few simple rules…one is a persons pet dog will tell you everything about what is really going on behind closed doors…

    and if one takes a good look at the poor white kritter being forced to be sitting next to the quoted source and his fellow psych wife in various photos findable in that big giant reflection commonly known as dasveb…

    Second…this brilliant fellow must have had some deadline and no article and as such had his own wife interview himself in “psychology today”…a sad marriage…two professionals talking past each other…she wishing he would slow down so they can finally spend some time together…with her not realizing after all these years he will do pretty much anything not to spend time with her…

    And this is to whom we are to concern ourselves and their “thought leadership”…

    Automation of food…where did that…sounds familiar…hmmm…oh yeah…

    automat….horn & hardart…

    Next week marty helps mishman explain the coming return of bell bottoms and his “vision and long term brilliance” in cashing in on never having cleared out that box in the attic…

    Will the psych industry be eliminated by automation…???


    1. Paid Minion

      Around here, it seems that $8.50/hour jobs aren’t being replaced by automation.

      More like the serfs have realized that an $8.50 job is a slow-motion ticket to absolute bankruptcy, and refuse to work them, even at the risk of “lazy” accusations.

      And/or because of labor shortages and language issues, an “English speaker” defacto minimum wage is now $11-12/hour

      Hence the proliferation of self service checkouts in stores who service the “poors”, and the “scraping of the bottom of the barrel” look of the staff at Mickey Dees. Including the elimination of the “English speaking” requirement at drive up windows

    2. jrs

      A lot of people who sought out productive work doing something of use, or at least tried to, will be unemployed I guess. But therapists who do nothing that anyone has ever proved to be useful will still have jobs.

      Occasionally it’s someone to talk to for those who have few other supportive options, but the scientific evidence that it works for adults is very little. Meanwhile as they gleefully accept potential mass unemployment they know their services will be needed for all those whose problems are not primarily personal but social. Living in a dog eat dog society without enough jobs CREATES mass psychological problems, which lacking solutions that actually work, people will futilely spin their wheels on in therapy. Prostitution is considerably more honest than psychotherapy. It is pretty straightforward about what it offers and what it doesn’t, not lost in mystification.

    1. Mike

      This won’t gain any credence until one of the lawyers for the class action ends up shark food, and then the “lone nut” theories will wash upon our shores.

      Judge seems open to some of the arguments supporting the case, but with Bernie not supporting the legal effort, it will not go far. Limited tort will prevail.

      All hail, Justice League… now, go and shoot some blacks, will ya?

  11. George Phillies

    Why Did Lincoln….

    Because he had a campaign promise not to change slavery where it currently existed? He was very specific on that point, and the southerners made the mistake of not believing him.

    Contemplate the issues of ownership of slaves who had escaped prior to the emancipation proclamation to the Union Army.

    1. Carolinian

      The southerners who voted to secede (hangs head as a Carolinian) were not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Mark Twain blamed the whole thing on Walter Scott and romantic notions of feudalism and aristocratic “honor.”

      1. lambert strether

        If you thought Lincoln was bad compare him to Stephen Douglas in the Lincoln- Douglas debates.

        And be sure to read the artivle sll the way to the end

      2. optimader

        what’s left of Native Americans

        When asked how she refers to all Native people, Thomas said, “It’s changing, too. I’m using ‘indigenous’ and ‘Native’ more, and before that I used ‘Native American.’” She also states she is comfortable with using ‘Native American,’ but as she said: “It is a name that has been given to us.” She also states that “Native American” can be anyone who is born in the United States

        The few American Indian acquaintances I have prefer American Indian generally, or more intimately, by their tribal nationality. I suppose if I were a Lakota and into it I would want to self identify by my tribal roots.
        As for me, I am a Indigenous American, or Native American if you prefer, of Western European extraction. The particular ethnic flavors are fairly irrelevant to me, unless of course I were offered tax free or at least a tax abated advantage for injustices dealt to my exploited ancestors. I would surely then become an ethnic activist.

    2. cj

      “southerners made the mistake of not believing him.”

      The ascendancy of the Republican Party on the basis of its Free Soil/Homestead policy meant the end of the expansion of the slave system to western states. That was the real issue that the Civil War was fought over — and with it the whole longstanding regional political balance.

  12. craazyboy

    Special Surprise Song today!

    Another One Gone – Queen

    Another one gone – The goose has got yer Duck!
    Payin’ attention is critical
    For 6 months whether or not!

    While you’re playing with Mama there,
    Bouncing in back the truck..
    The Goose is smart, it got your Duck
    But why we’er in the dark.
    No good reason why, but
    The Goose thinks yer Duck be druck!

    Gone, gone, gone – The goose has got yer Duck!
    Popa’s been wangin’ Mom in the truck!
    Another one gone
    Another one gone
    – The goose has got yer Duck!

    Ye…ah eh eh ah eh, Up shit creek.

    Truck goes bouncin’ up and down
    Moma gonna scream
    Tries to honk the horn.
    Thinks the Goose will hear his mate
    Leave our duck alone!

    Quack, Quack, Quack
    The Duck quacks on her own

    Slap, Slap, Slap
    Web feets are hitting home!

    Honk, Honk, Honk…

    The Goose fights back
    Breaks Duck’s back
    With Honking of his own!

    Butt, Butt, Butt

    The Goose bit Moma’s Butt!
    This story, it should end
    So terrifyingly…………..

    But no

    Butt, Butt, Butt
    The Goose bit Moma’s Butt!

    Moma says………….. [guitur – rising electronic slide effect]

    “We’re Rednecks!”
    “We’er The Best!”
    “We plays Footbal better than best!”
    “We learn from our mistakes..

    Papa got his shit together
    And I mean literally!
    Flung it at the nasty Goose
    The Goose let Mama be!

    Lemme tell you
    some philosophy
    “If it ain’t painful, It ain’t gainfull!”
    “Our official ehnic history!”

    “New Orleans!”

    Butt, Butt, Butt
    The Goose let Moma be!

    Butt, Butt, Butt
    Papa makes history!

    “Ye…ah eh eh ah eh, Our Shit Do Stink!”

    This is were the story ends
    On a happy note…

    But no.

    The Moonshine Still suports us both [patented “twofer beat”]
    This episode demolished it
    Reduced it all to scrap.
    Worst thing… that can happen
    To a Redneck Survival Kit!

    Truck and Still

    Another one gone
    Another one gone
    Gonna need another new Truck and Still.

    Worst day evah since Rap
    The Lord just hands us crap.

    Rap is Crap
    A Trucker don’t need no Rap!

    Duck, Duck, Duck…
    Gonna shoot me another Duck!

    Duck, Duck, Duck
    That old duck outta luck.

    Mama says…”Gonna cook that Duck”
    “Soon as you shoot it down!”

    Truck, Truck, Truck
    Get a used one with no wheels…

    Truck, Truck, Truck
    “On the Rut”, Moma says
    We’ll tie it to the tree!

    Hump, Hump, Hump……..

    [The South – It never fades…]

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The peroxide sector of the economy is similarly Fata-Morgana-ish.

      “The beauty inside does the trick as well.”

      This way, we encroach on Nature unnecessarily on too many occasions.

      What is the real, bare-essential-to-true-happiness GDP? Is that GDP even 50% of our current GDP?

      “Are you happier, healthier, more satisfied with life after consuming that movie? Was it necessary?”

  13. WobblyTelomeres

    Re: How to read scientific papers

    Also to note when reading: given that tenure and salary are often tied to the quantity of papers produced and published, the concept of the Least Publishable Unit needs to be understood. Specifically, on new work, the number of papers published depends upon how well the supervising academic (of a lab full of graduate students) can slice and dice up the research.

    If you get annoyed having to track down 14-30 papers, all 5-10 pages long, all with just a tiny tidbit of information, a sliver of the whole, regarding a research project you find interesting, blame the LPU.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        And a supervising academic with an endowed chair, 7 figure income, and 20+ page vita (packed with LPU papers). I do understand. Pirsig’s quest for “Quality” comes to mind.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s a lot – 7 figure income for a supervising academic, motorcycle maintaining or not.

          So, i’ts not just those highly paid administrators who are getting rich.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            That’s a lot – 7 figure income for a supervising academic

            Depends on the field. Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Robotics, Petroleum Engineering, et cetera. Art History, not so much.

            1. a different chris

              Also I suspect Wobbly is including all the outside compensation you can jigger when you have a Professorship. Hey painting houses in the summer is for loser school teachers, whereas you can tap Exxon Mobile for 6 figs and expenses.

              1. optimader

                Hey painting houses in the summer is for loser school teachers
                Who else gets summers off to exercise the option of painting houses?

        2. FluffytheObeseCat

          Criticisms of the contemporary scientific publishing rat race are needed and valid, and don’t benefit from bullshit falsehoods about “7 figure remuneration of academics”. There are 7 figure salaries at the big universities, going to head coaches, presidents, provosts, and vice-provosts, in exactly that order. That is where the money is and where it stays. It never reaches the bank accounts of even the most gaming-the-system aggressive players in the actual, productive side of the business.

          Top science department full professors with +15 grad students and a paper every 2 weeks still do not get near that amount.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            a different chris has it right. And, please, spare me your outrage. I personally know several who meet that criteria through board memberships and consultancies. The frothiness that consumes silly valley gets spread all over the place; Idaho to Arkansas to Georgia. THAT is how an ambitious administrator attracts a vanity intellect to endowed chairs, funded by extremely wealthy alum who want their names on a lot of things.

      2. HotFlash

        Least Publishable Unit

        O000h, like the Milliken Oil Drop Experiment! But is LPU a discrete unit, or a minimum value? (should be able to get at least two papers out of that).

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Supermarkets set to introduce ‘surge-pricing’ in their shops according to demand: Plans would mean ice cream is more expensive on hot days Daily Mail (AMM). AMM: Growing vegetables is a political act.

    Canada Ponders an Unusual Drug Problem: a Shortage of Marijuana Bloomberg

    Most likely there is a price-surge happening now in Canadian marijuana.

    Less unpredictable, that is, the Force helps those who help themselves, when it comes to ice cream shortage – pay attention to the weather forecast!!! Stop with impulsive buying. Then, supermarkets may surge like Obama, but you can make them look just as impotent.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      I think my French supermarket already does this. They have those LCD price indicators on the shelves and I could swear that around 6PM or so, the wine prices increase by 20%.

      Maybe David has seen the same? The name of my shop begins with “Super” and ends with “U”.

      1. David

        I know the one you mean, and there isn’t a branch near where I live, so I only use them occasionally. But of course with LCD technology, and centralised inventory control, I take it that it’s theoretically possible. A lot of French supermarkets have these displays now … you’ve got me worried. I shall start buying wine first thing in the morning ….

        1. JustAnObserver

          … and then, of course, this info is sent directly to your doctor/employer/spouse and a stern letter arrives demanding you appear at your nearest rehab clinic.

      2. optimader

        I could swear that around 6PM or so, the wine prices increase by 20%.
        HAHa.. exploitation of the low time preference buyer..
        so the french consumer needs to buy an extra bottle of box and put it in the pantry when they go to the liquor dept on sunday morning

    2. oh

      With customer loyalty cards, they already introduced surge pricing. Allow us to track you or prepare to pay more!

  15. disc_writes

    I am flattered to see Italy as a safe country on the map from 2017 ITUC Global Rights Index.

    Apparently as good as the Scandinavians and better than the Swiss and Canadians. A rare positive comparison for my downtrodden country.

    However, I am not exactly convinced by the results:

    – Large sectors of the economy (textiles, agriculture) run essentially on undocumented slaves.
    – Controls by the authorities have declined steadily over the past 20 years.
    – The legal system is basically not accessible to the average worker, so there is no way to enforce whatever regulations may be in place.
    – Stories of ill-treatment have spread in the meanwhile.
    – The miserable salary “growth” of the past 30 years means that people prefer to keep their job and shut up about violations.

    I do not know what methodology was used, but I am skeptical.

  16. Bugs Bunny

    Re Ralph Nader: The Democrats Are Unable to Defend the U.S. from the “Most Vicious” Republican Party in History

    A fantastic rant from Nader. I sometimes have issues with his arrogance but this interview is just perfect. Perfectly accurate takedown of the past 30 years of the Democrats.

  17. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: WaPo says “sorry Republicans, but most people favor single payer.” Why did the writer single out the Republicans? The Democrats as well as the Republicans ignore the peoples’ will on this, and many other issues.

    IIRC, Obama’s great legacy bill (known colloquially as Obamacare) made no attempt at single payer. Who cares what the people want?

  18. allan

    Funeral for the filibuster: GOP will likely lay Senate tool to rest [The Hill]

    The legislative filibuster is dead; it is a fait accompli. The Republican majority has already gutted what remained of the judicial filibuster, and now both President Trump, via Twitter, and Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) are floating the idea of nuking the legislative filibuster.

    Both leaders are currently contemplating moving forward without the legislative filibuster because it is becoming more and more clear that the only viable path to pass both the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and tax reform is through a simple majority legislative process without restrictions on adding to the deficit. …

    So, arcane Senate rules to frustrate the (claimed) policy preferences of the majority
    are only operative when the Dems are in control.
    It’s almost as if they were used as an excuse. Nah, couldn’t be.

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    “Takata files for bankruptcy following air bag recalls and lawsuits”

    Some key bits:
    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    The company’s bankruptcy filings cleared the way for a $1.6-billion takeover of most of Takata’s assets by rival Key Safety Systems, which is based in Detroit but owned by a Chinese company.

    “It’s likely every automaker involved in this recall will have to subsidize the process because the value of Takata’s assets isn’t enough to cover the costs of this recall,” said Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.

    More than 70% of the airbags recalled in Japan have been replaced, and 36% in the U.S., said Hiroshi Shimizu, a Takata vice president. He said progress of the recalls in other countries was unknown.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s like Back to the 50’s when Made-In-Japan didn’t connote quality (See Doc Brown, in Back To The Future, I).

      I don’t know if Key Safety Systems, owned by a Chinese company, does or not.

      1. a different chris

        But better than the 50’s because the rich have less responsibility than ever! Their shares go to zero but they walk away from any liabilities and it’s all smeared in holding companies and what have you and…uh, hmmm… just to make a point I looked at their stock.

        It freaking just went up, way up percentage wise? WTF? There is no hope for this world.

  20. allan

    Private citizen Jim Messina, reporting for duty with The Resistance:

    Being home reminded me why it’s so important to fight for what you love and believe in.
    I cant let Trump take it all away.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Be fair, I think he did an outstanding job for the progressive/left cause in the UK election.

      1. JohnnyGL


        New investment strategy: Go to bookies during next political campaign and bet against whatever party hires Jim Messina! :)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Homeless college students

      Food and shelter are among basic human needs; less is a college education.

      Is it not pervert that kids should have free college but not free, humane shelter (more than a tent on the sidewalk, which is, I guess, free)?

      Free (state funded) shelter would benefit exorbitant-rent-extracting landlords, if we don’t demand some kind of reform.

      Free (state funded) tuition on the other hand benefits highly paid administrators, if we don’t change the current cost structure.

      1. newcatty

        The spector of even contemplating being homeless. This is a canary in America’s coal, copper, mines and fracked and pumped out lands; clear cut forests; damed rivers; factory farmed animals; factory farm’s sh** purposely poured into other rivers, streams; pipelines to carry what will be stranded assets of energy souces , but not until more disasters occur and it again will be our lands annd waters that will be sacrificed for the benefit of a few pockets. One can go on…How long will we split ourselves into factions, identity tribes, and hide our fear under rocks of despair, and a basic human need and desire to live that is being smothered as days go by.

    2. allan

      You can add the soaring price of college textbooks:

      SUNY partnership encourages use of free online textbooks

      A new partnership at SUNY colleges and universities is encouraging the use of free, peer-reviewed textbooks.

      The cost of textbooks has skyrocketed an estimated 800 percent over the past 15 years, according to Alexis Clifton, executive director of the Open Educational Resources program at SUNY Geneseo. She says that financial burden has taken a measurable toll on students.

      “About a quarter of students try to buy no textbooks and just rely on borrowing versions or using library resources as a way to try to get by, but of course we understand that they don’t have nearly the same chance of success in the class if they don’t have consistent study access to the textbook.” …

      1. Massinissa

        By the way, as a current college student, theyre also making it so you often need online materials that come with the textbook. That way you have to buy an overpriced new one, instead of being able to rent or buy an older version. Pure rent collecting.

        1. allan

          Students Criticize New Ec 10 Textbooks; Mankiw Defends [Harvard Crimson]

          For the first time, students in the College’s introductory economics class must purchase a $132 access code to an online textbook and set of online materials—a course requirement that many have criticized as making the class too expensive. But the course’s professor and the textbook’s author, N. Gregory Mankiw, said the new system is worth the pricetag. …

          There is evil in the world.

            1. optimader

              I remember not buying the books for certain elective classes,that were expensive, I would read them at the bookstore

        2. Louis

          Don’t get me started on Cengage–you have to buy an access code and then the materials disappear after 3-6 months so you can’t keep them as a reference guide.

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Do you have teachers who require you to buy textbooks written by him or her?

          1. Massinissa

            “who require you to buy textbooks written by him or her?”

            Close: This past semester a professor in a literature class I was in made going to see a performance of John Webster’s “The Duchess of Malfi” (a 17th century Elizabethan tragedy) that he directed as part of the course. And I had to buy the ticket, which was $20. Does that count?

            It was a professional performance, with career stage actors, not students, but still.

        4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Do you have teachers who require you to buy textbooks written by him or her?

  21. fresno dan

    Youtuber Nick Moore (whose other pursuits involve supersonic ping pong balls and finding the fastest way to chill a cold one) revealed in the comments that he slid some dry ice under his microscope on a whim, and what he saw surprised him: Water was condensing and freezing on the surface of the much-colder dry ice. When the dry ice melted, the crystals collapsed back into water.

    Speeding up the recording, we see in detail how ice crystals form, springing into geometric feather-like shapes. It looks like a tiny icy forest, or a bed of blue ferns. Watch it enough times and it starts to get soothing in a deep, subliminal way. Watch it too many times and you’ll start to wonder what the point of anything is. We’re all just built to form and grow and create something new before dissolving back into the puddles we came from, and I swear to god I’m not even high right now.

    Watch it too many times and you’ll start to wonder what the point of anything is. We’re all just built to form and grow and create something new before dissolving back into the puddles we came from
    He says that as if it were a bad thing…

    1. a different chris

      Neat. Sortof surprised that he was surprised by “water…freezing on the surface” of the dry ice???? Did he think he was at 0% humidity?

    2. ewmayer

      “Watch it enough times and it starts to get soothing in a deep, subliminal way.” — ITYM ‘deep, sublimational way.’ These ad hoc experiments prove that science may not exactly repeat, but it does rime!

      (Ha, ha, thank you, I’ll be here all week, and please make sure to generously tip the waitstaff.)

  22. Uahsenaa

    So, millennials are killing chain restaurants and bringing back public libraries. How is it that they get no end of [family blog] in the press? Shouldn’t we be praising them as saviors of the Republic?

    1. Lord Koos

      They could be saviors, if only they would organize against the system that strangled them.

      1. Andrew Watts

        Yeah, I’m not so sure that’s going to happen.

        My generation was taught that their emotional outbursts, parades, and minor traffic violations were going to “change the mother-(expletive deleted)ing world ya’ll!” It’s proven to be a cruel joke that is lost on the so-called “Resistance” that arrogantly compares itself to the many laudable movement(s)/organization(s) that have bled and sacrificed lives for a greater cause. I would further hazard a prediction that many among the currently under-35 age bracket will conclude that there isn’t anything worth saving. Is it not better to see the whole edifice collapse when you have nothing invested in it?

        I’m not necessarily convinced of this viewpoint, nor do I harbor any illusions about how messy this would be, but it may be necessary to free up resources previously allocated. Our banking system would be a lot healthier if it was nationalized or had it’s operations severely curtailed since the collapse of ’08. The societal benefits of economic growth have been unevenly distributed. As a result the disparity in the distribution of wealth has only worsened alongside the prospects and lives of the young.

        Meanwhile our political system in the US only seems capable of bailing out existing power centers and the only change it offers are attempts at perpetuating a failing status quo which doesn’t work for our benefit anyway. So if you want to save the current system stop looking for superheroes and attempt it yourselves. Don’t look for others to do the hard work as they may not have an interest in doing so.

  23. Brindle

    Interesting how twitter is always trying to direct me rightward as to who I follow. They “suggest” I follow people like Maddow, Yglesias, Frum etc.—never anyone to the left of my Adam Johnson, Emptywheel, Matthew Stoller staple of twitter reads,

    1. Massinissa

      The problem might be that people to your left just are not popular on Twitter. People to the left of Maddow are basically ignored, oftentimes even by many more moderate progressives, to say nothing of liberals.

    1. RUKidding

      I always avoided the Rape-i-scan machines and opted for pat-downs every time. Better to have someone feeling up my crotch than go through that ordeal, plus who knows how much you were being irradiated.

      But that was a big old money-maker for Heckuva Job Brownie, former FEMA Director under W, Michael Brown. Brown was behind the Rape-i-Scan machines. I always knew they were useless.

      The only thing that TSA is good for is providing jobs for US citizens. Other than that, it’s a huge waste of time and money.

  24. fresno dan

    I believe this National Review article gives a more nuanced and complete rationale for why the Castile shooting was so bad:

    If you watch carefully, two salient facts should emerge. First, Philando Castile was quite literally following the police officer’s instructions when he was shot. The officer asked for his license and told him not to reach for his gun. Castile reached for his license while verbally assuring the officer that he was not reaching for his gun. The officer shot him anyway. The second fact overwhelmed the first. The officer panicked. His terror is palpable. The man went from conducting a relatively routine traffic stop to shrieking and firing in a matter of seconds. Part of this is understandable. Life can change in a flash, and when we’re in a state of ultimate distress, few of us can be as composed as SEAL Team Six. When I saw that palpable panic, I immediately knew why he was acquitted. The unwritten law trumped the statutes on the books. The unwritten law is simple: When an officer is afraid, he’s permitted to shoot. Juries tend to believe that proof of fear equals proof of innocence.
    We trust juries to make these distinctions, even though they’re hard — even though they can send otherwise-good men to jail for split-second mistakes. But these are split-second mistakes with fatal consequences, and juries simply can’t presume that all fear is reasonable fear. We trust juries to make these distinctions, even though they’re hard. Last year, I wrote that cops are rarely convicted in part because the legal standards rightly don’t ask police to prove that they were in actual danger when they pulled the trigger. Officers aren’t omniscient, and they can only react to the facts as they perceive them. Absent corruption, incompetence, or malice, most officers are going to make reasonable choices in high-stress situations. Some, however, will fail, and it’s imperative that juries understand that not all fear is reasonable, and some officers simply (and wrongly) panic. Perhaps some have unreasonable fear because of racial stereotypes. Perhaps some have unreasonable fears for other reasons. Perhaps some have a brutal habit of escalating force too quickly. But every officer must uphold the rule of reason, a rule that compels a degree of courage, a measure of discipline, and a tolerance for risk that is inherent in the job that they’ve chosen.

    1. fritter

      Listen to the audio without the video. I don’t hear Castile say he is not reaching until after he is shot. He says (clearly to me) that he is “going to have to” reach for it. Probably because its between him and his wallet. The officer panicked but I’m sure the jury spent a long time on exactly what was said during that 1 or 2 second time frame.

      I’m not sure why the transcript on some news casts shows that he said wasn’t reaching for it when he clear said he was going to have to.

    2. HotFlash

      But every officer must uphold the rule of reason, a rule that compels a degree of courage, a measure of discipline, and a tolerance for risk that is inherent in the job that they’ve chosen.

      Yes, but how do we enforce this? A jury of whose peers? The defendant? The victim? Why do fearful people take up work as police officers? That sort of work involves so much stress — weekly, daily, hourly. Perhaps the time to pension is too long?

  25. a different chris


    >Evans, in contrast, is running a campaign based on a story — an important economic story that appeals to the blue-collar white voters that Georgia Democrats lost to Donald Trump.
    The question is, will that story work? Or do Democrats merely need to turn out more of their urban and ethnic base?

    “[B]lue-collar white voters” are the only people that have any experience with broken homes? Doesn’t happen in urban areas? Urban black women and their children don’t have any experiences like this, I guess.

    Just keep splitting up the 99% by color and creed and location and you can be sure to never win.

      1. nippersmom

        As did I. Norquist only makes it worse when he jumps in and tries to defend himself, too.

  26. Alex Morfesis

    T-n-T fuse is lit…trump & theresa get enuf rope 2 hang themselves..trump gets boxed into his short term review of his temporary ban and theresa gets to hang out with larry the chief mouser for a little while longer…

    The university industrial complex gets to wave in all the radicals they want and every muslim can come to america as long as they have someone here from their village(since many muslims tend to marry their cousins, “neighbors” will be related)…

    And in vampire news…captain bunga bunga has once again risen his wrinkled (family blog) from the dead with italian municipal victories…also rising from the dead seems to be a new mafia war in sicily…

    Will ceases never wonder…

      1. alex morfesis

        didn’t cameron leave larry behind at number 10 ?? figure Larry the cat is the only person not talking back at PM May…

      2. Mo's Bike Shop

        Look it up, it’s great. Then there’s the cat train station master in Japan.

  27. fritter

    On the Philando Castile case. I finally listened to the dashcam recording.

    Castille says. “I just want to tel you know I have a firearm”
    Officer says “well don’t pull it out”
    Castille says “I’m gonna havta pull it out”
    Officer reaches in and grabs at castille with empty hand and pulls gun with right hand. After brief struggle officer starts shooting.

    It sounded like Castille couldn’t get to his wallet without getting past the gun. I think the jury was probably right on this one. If he had a gun in the car he should have had his wallet out and his hands on the steering wheel, per my friends who carry.
    Castille sounded a little dazed so maybe he wasn’t thinking clearly.

    1. Alex Morfesis

      Because the officer was in a wheelchair and a backbrace and couldn’t just disengage…couldn’t just use his feet and go backwards…

      because…well…just because

    2. marym

      Transcript from the court documents (PDF) differs from what you heard.

      PC Sir, I have to teil you I do have a…
      JY Okay.
      PC …firearm on me.
      JY Okay.
      PC I (inaudible)
      JY Don’t reach for it then.
      PC I’m, 1,1 was reaching for…
      JY Don’t pull it out.
      PC I’m not pulling it out.
      DR He’s not…
      JY Don’t puii it out.
      DR You just killed my boyfriend
      PC I wasn’t reaching …
      DR He wasn’t reaching. ..

      (formatting of L’s and I’s a little confusing in the cut and paste)

  28. Oregoncharles

    “AMM: Growing vegetables is a political act.”

    What about ice cream? You can make it yourself; growing it is more of a challenge.

    1. jrs

      it may as well be, making ice cream is a political act. It’s pretty silly to think everything that is not a political act is, or else the list is endless: buying organic is a political act, buying green energy is a political act, recycling is a political act, donating to the homeless guy on the corner is a political act, living close to work is a political act, donating to the goodwill is a political act. Now it might be being a good person in some ways and that is important perhaps, but doing something because it’s a good thing to do Is Not The Same Thing as claiming it’s way more political than it actually is. Most of what one does in one’s personal life is NOT a political act even when it has a moral dimension.

  29. Oregoncharles

    ” „We got a fuckin‘ problem” Seymour Hersh,”
    Sorry, that’s exposition, not a real field conversation, and I’ve read enough science fiction to know the difference. The content makes sense, but the presentation is questionable.

  30. Oregoncharles

    ” That was the opportunity cost of a solid six months of wall-to-wall Putin Derangement Syndrome, wasn’t it? Well played.”

    Or was it just that they don’t actually care? As was demonstrated by their suppression of single payer and by the ACA. Once you insist on a Republican “health” plan, you don’t have much basis for critiquing slightly-more Republican health plans.

      1. Plenue

        Oh man, that ‘Progressives’ chart could only have been drawn by a centrist. Coops aren’t ‘reasonable’, apparently.

Comments are closed.