Links 7/4/17

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Amir Shah: India’s ‘Billy Elliot’ takes off BBC

You’re doing your weekend wrong Quartz (Chuck L). Leisure time? Who has leisure time?

CHINA, SUN YAT-SEN, AND THE REVOLUTION OF 1911 — 7/03/17 Delancey Place. Chuck L: “Did Sun Yat Sen anticipate Michael Hudson?”

[A] Procla­mation also explained some of Sun’s specific proposals. ‘Equalization of land rights’ — the means for estab­lishing ‘a socialist state’ — simply meant that the gov­ernment would expropriate increases in land values during the expected postrevolutionary development boom. Sun incorporated the ideas of Henry George — the single tax — and especially those of John Stuart Mill, who had proposed taxing the “future unearned increment in­crease” of land values, that is, increases that did not result from the efforts of individual landowners but from the growth and development of society at large. The idea was to prevent land speculation of the kind that had earned easy fortunes in the West, especially from urban prop­erty. …

The early mathematical education of Ada Lovelace Taylor & Francis (Chuck L)

Echoes of Wall Street in Silicon Valley’s grip on money and power Financial Times. Read the comments. Lotta Kool-Aid drinkers showed up to protest.

The tech industry after Moore’s Law HPE Insights (Chuck L)

China?

US warship in South China Sea is ‘military provocation’: China Reuters

North Korea fires missile towards Japanese waters, officials say BBC

As U.S. Retires From World Leadership, China and Germany Step Up Bloomberg

Emmanuel Macron wants to cut French parliament by third, streamline legislature DW

Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau: when brutal neoliberalism tries to re-brand itself through fresh faces failed evolution

Lobby Planet Brussels – The Corporate Europe Observatory guide to the murky world of EU lobbying Corporate Europe (Micael)

Brexit

Frankfurt welcomes bankers fleeing Brexit — and their cash Financial Times

City of London delegation to press Brussels for free-trade deal Financial Times. Jerri featured this yesterday but I have to pipe up. This is just laughable. A secret blueprint (that the FT is writing about) for the City to get a special deal from the EU? The EU has banks that are in all the businesses that the UK banks are in, and they are perfectly capable of relocating as the new regime requires. As we’ve said, Brexit is an opportunity for the Continent to take a chunk out of London and there’s no reason for the EU to play nice. Banks started working on getting licenses and looking into office space literally the day after the Brexit vote.

Commission’s UK financial services experts sidelined due to Brexit talks Politico. Saw this after mini-rant above…

No hard feelings about that austerity thing, eh? say Tories Daily Mash

Russia and the great land giveaway in the Far East Asia Times

Syraqistan

Russia promises to respond should the US attack Syria Fort Russ (Wat)

The Fall of Mosul is a Defeat for Isis, But It Remains a Deadly Force Counterpunch

Is Israel Preparing for War Against Hezbollah? Defend Democracy

Behind the Scenes at the Saudi-Qatari Pissing Contest Counterpunch

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Fifteen new devices from Technoethical now RYF-certified to respect your freedom Free Software Foundation (Chuck L)

Surveillance without Borders: The “Traffic Shaping” Loophole and Why It Matters Century Foundation. From last month, still germane.

Trump Transition

Scoop: Bannon pushes tax hike for wealthy Axios (UserFriendly)

Court rejects Pruitt’s delay of Obama-era methane rule Associated Press

Marches across U.S. cities call for Trump’s impeachment CBS (furzy). A bit late to this. Need massive numbers for this to have any impact. Not seeing it.

Science division of White House office left empty as last staffers depart CBS (Chuck L)

41 states have refused request for voter information CNN (UserFriendly)

Privacy Rights Group Sues Trump’s Election Integrity Panel Bloomberg

DOJ Corporate Crime Watchdog Resigns, Slamming Trump David Sirota. A podcast interview. Warning: you need to become a paid subscriber, but Sirota, who used to be a radio host, is doing podcasts regularly.

Justice Department Subpoenas The Intercept for Records on Barrett Brown TruthOut

Democratic Party Dead End Consortium News (Altandmain)

Bernie Sanders on Resisting Trump, Why the Democratic Party is an “Absolute Failure” & More Democracy Now (Altandmain)

California invested heavily in solar power. Now there’s so much that other states are sometimes paid to take it Los Angeles Times (Chuck L)

How Nike Resisted Amazon’s Dominance for Years Fox (Chuck L)

U.S. Auto Sales Fall as Fewer Vehicles Go to Rental Chains Wall Street Journal

Amazon and Google share prices were reported down more than 80% after test data went live Business Insider (David L)

Apple, Google and other Nasdaq Stocks Swing Wildly in After-Hours Trading Bloomberg (David L)

Silicon Valley is becoming a commercial real estate disaster Wolf Richter, Business Insider

Investors who back VC funds are worried about Valley culture Axios (Chuck L). Erm, they helped create it.

65% of major US banks have failed web security testing IBS Intelligence

Yellen Hospitalized During London Visit, Released Monday Bloomberg. Hospitalization does not seem indicated given the supposed diagnosis. Any doctors in the house care to comment?

Kill Me Now

Why Some Men Don’t Work: Video Games Have Gotten Really Good New York Times (UserFriendly). Another “underserving poor” framing courtesy the Grey Lady.

Bill Kristol: US reliving decline and fall of Rome under Trump The Hill (furzy). Ahem, we’ve been on this trajectory for a while now…for instance:

New Florida law lets any resident challenge what’s taught in science classes Orlando Sentinel

Podesta: ‘It’s on the FBI’ That DNC Servers Weren’t Turned Over Fox (furzy). Wowsers. A really Big Lie.

Class Warfare

One in seven UK private tenants pays more than half income in rent – study Guardian (Altandmain)

Arianna Huffington emerges as public face of Uber Financial Times. She can’t fix the culture unless she becomes CEO and fires some key people to send a big message and installs ones of a very different type (and I don’t necessarily mean female but you can rest assured that would be her most important criterion). Even then it’s a huge task. And as Hubert Horan explained long form, the horrible culture was key to Uber’s earlier success. A kinder Uber is even more of a loser than the thuggish one.

Meet The “Queen Of The Dark” Who Was Told To Bleach Her Incredibly Dark Skin By Uber Driver Bored Panda

Antidote du jour. Thomas F: “Brother’s mother-in-law’s hobby…”:

Plus a bonus, courtesy Richard Smith:

And some fireworks!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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189 comments

  1. UserFriendly

    I’m not sure if the fact that this makes sense to me means I’m a genius or I’m totally off the deep end…. but if anyone has time to kill this is interesting and at times funny and informative,

    Slavoj Žižek – A plea for bureaucratic socialism (June 2017)

    https://youtu.be/2OYSMWJafAI

    Reply
    1. maria gostrey

      zizek was described in the most recent harpers as the “marxist philosopher gadly from slovenia.” the specific nature of this description i found amusing, as if harpers needed to differentiate zizek from the “marxist philosopher gadly from albania”.

      amusing & hopeful, as i ponder a world of public discourse which includes so many “marxist philosopher gadflies” that this sort of description would become commonplace.

      Reply
    2. Mike

      To be honest, “socialism” was always understood to be the preparation for a LESS bureaucratic society, with some calling that communism, some naming it anarchism, the rest not thinking about it much.

      The bureaucratic period was a transition, with the bureaus acting to inform the public of their rights and responsibilities, and protecting those rights during a period when capitalist and reactionary nationalist ideologies would still be prevalent among the populations. It would be a setup of new assumptions, the new unquestionables, that government was to protect, like capitalism is protected now. The problem is not the bureaus, but the power they give the the fearless leaders. Responsabilisation, s’il vous plait.

      Žižek is provocative, in presentation a 60s radical a la Jerry Rubin, and loves to overstate his cases, so whatever he writes is sure to be “funny”. The little communism in him is affected by his understanding of Slovenia’s bad economic performance during the late stage of Titoism, and with a little German/US/English/Vatican help, that was quickly, if bloodily, settled.

      Reply
      1. Left in Wisconsin

        The point he is making in the talk is that there can be no revolution without being able to ensure that the water system, schools, hospitals, etc. function as people expect. He is criticizing the notion that fundamental change can be achieved merely by putting lots of people in the streets, that the larger the size of the protests, the closer we are to fundamental change.

        And of course he is absolutely right. Here in the U.S., the vast majority of my left-ish friends have one of two mindsets. Either:
        a) everything depends on electing Bernie, or the next Bernie, or some better Bernie; or
        b) that view is incredibly naive; what we need to do is organize all the time (even when elections are far off!) and we need to get a lot of little Bernies elected.

        The faith in democracy is touching, I guess. But the notion that having (some) politicians on our side is the extent of our strategy is a sign of how far away we are. How many accountants, bankers, engineers, etc. do we have on our side compared to how many we would need? Do we have any? I’ve been ranting of late that the other side has literally millions of economists on their side and we have, what, maybe 1000? Who mostly don’t agree with each other? But you can probably run a society without economists. You can’t without engineers.

        Reply
        1. Mike

          His talking points do come under some criticism in the comments from that web page (ignore the comments on his nervous tics – the medium is NOT the message), but he is absolutely right that we must replace the administrative roles under capitalism with a similarly effective system under socialism. My point is that this must be accompanied by a maniacal attempt at restructuring the administrative function, placing it under watch 24/7/365 (sorry, CIA haters, but we will have to use that role to watch the fox-house) even to the point of immediate recall and ankle-bracelets. Any bureaucratic position must be controlled as if a drug gang offered to help you fight off another drug gang, and had taken over your living room. How to do that without debilitating the system itself is the question anarchists repeat, and socialists answer very weakly.

          As to your point on Bernie vs. “small Bernies” , I agree totally. This political system has developed corruption to the “point of know return” (my Kansas religion in summary), and cannot be changed incrementally, despite the strongest wishes of the peaceful and partial “Left” that has no unity and has too many bought “leaders” to be effective. A system that has made legitimate opposition illegal has made illegitimate opposition necessary. This, and the sudden turn of events that can occur during crises, will rule our future.

          My gut feeling is that uprisings of a local or at most regional level will occur. They will be brutally put down, and maybe something will grow from that, or we are headed for a King or Queen. But the growth of opposition will be from the bottom, not the liberal-ish and reformist “Left” as it is now. If not that, then nothing.

          Reply
        2. UserFriendly

          You do have Engineers ;-)

          One other point he touched on was ‘take state power when you can get it’ as in you don’t need to have a full on revolution ready to go at a moment’s notice. If Bernie had won I hardly think we would be reorganizing the state so dramatically that we would upset most people’s daily life in the short term. Hopefully he would lay the groundwork for more dramatic changes but the public as a whole doesn’t have a taste for revolution. They prefer smaller step wise solutions.

          Reply
  2. Yan

    Re: Yellen Hospitalized.
    My mother had a UTI on a trip and did not take care of it in time with antibiotics. It developed into a nasty bladder infection and later into blood poisoning that warranted hospitalization for 2-3 days with wide spectre antiobiotic treatment via IV. If you don’t take care of it in time it can have serious consequences.

    Reply
    1. Dr Mike

      If she was admitted it was likely a kidney infection (pyelonephritis) rather than a simple bladder infection. Both are urinary tract infections although one is much less common than the other.

      Reply
    2. Spring Texan

      An elderly neighbor had a UTI a week and a half ago and was hospitalized overnight. Her only symptom was that she literally lost her mind, one day she texted her son about a bunch of wild things that didn’t happen and the next day a neighbor and I found her in her house sobbing and although saying “I want to go home, I want to go home” (when she WAS home), could not answer any of the EMTs’ questions but just shook her head. This went on for hours but once they diagnosed a UTI and gave antibiotics she quickly regained her normally sharp mentition. (Great relief, the neighbor and I thought she’d had a stroke or something.) So yes, a UTI can be a BIG deal and absolutely can warrant hospitalization.

      Reply
      1. Chris

        Most (all) ‘news’ outlets seem to be missing the real story here:
        Was Yellen treated in the public (NHS) system or in a private hospital?
        How good was the timeliness and quality of the care she was given?
        What were the charges (to Yellen, to her travel insurance provider, to her U.S. insurer, and to the provider)?
        Please remind me, I’m having trouble keeping up. What is the problem with single payer healthcare again?

        Reply
    3. howard nyc

      I’m a physician, but not my specialty (anesthesia). But I am well aware that hospitalization for a UTI in a 70 y.o. woman is not at all unusual. Even without any preexisting or accompanying medical condition or problem. Particularly in this era of antibiotic resistance. i.e. failed oral outpatient treatment with a broad spectrum antibiotic >>> hospital for stronger stuff intravenously.

      As Dr. Mike said, it could be a uti spread to or located in the kidney, which would warrant hospitalization at any age or state of health.

      Another example of what is nearly always a mild, easily treated illness for a young person is often much more dangerous in old age. I can’t do more than guess at what percentage of simple UTIs in otherwise healthy 70yo women result in hospital treatment, ( 10%? 20%?), my guess is that it is well above zero. And I have no idea if Chairwoman Yellen is otherwise healthy. (I won’t speculate on the basis of her policy pronouncements.)

      Reply
    4. Moocao

      Agreed with Dr. Mike. 70 YO F with signs of pyelonephritis (fever, flank pain, altered mental status, dehydration, etc) may be an indication for an admission, especially with a person of her stature.

      Reply
  3. Bill Smith

    “Is Israel Preparing for War Against Hezbollah?” Hasn’t that been going on for at least a decade?

    How old is that article? It talks about the upcoming election and Hillary Clinton. It talks about who she might appoint to SecDef. Is it from last June?

    If so it is interesting in what the article said might happen but hasn’t.

    Reply
    1. s.n.

      yes, lots of speculation about Michelle Flournoy’s intentions. Rather stale news, but perhaps the Delphi Initiative prefers that to fake news. And certainly Israel still has the hots for war on Iran and its perceived proxies, and is in passionate embrace with the Sunni sultanates to achieve that….

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        “Israel still has the hots…”: Do Likudniks = Israel? Just because they have control of something between 200 and 600 nuclear warheads, and the means to deliver them over thousands of moils, and a long history of murderous deception and all that…? A lot of Israeli citizens are distressed and fearful and voiceless, like the US mopes, when it comes to zero control over the corruption and “policies” of the Likudniks…

        Interesting how much the Empire resembles the Israel ites, and vice versa, and how close the ties and mimesis between that reification, that “staunch democracy ally of ours,” and South Africa as it used to be… And the Israeli military is operating a fleet of German-built (!) U-boats, paid for by our generous transfer of billions of US dollars, apparently equipped with nuclear-warheaded cruise missiles with pretty significant range and anti-ship capabilities — does that give our great Navy war planners any bit of anxiety about gaming out conflict in the Med and nearby areas?

        And as things get more interesting, let us not forget the “Samson Option…”

        Reply
  4. PlutoniumKun

    Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau: when brutal neoliberalism tries to re-brand itself through fresh faces failed evolution

    I’m trying to work out which one is the worst, especially as my own Prime Minister is apparently a huge fan of both and is modelling himself on them (even down to his socks).

    Based on little but gut instinct, I think Trudeau is the worst. His cynicism on climate change is breathtaking, even by modern neolib standards. I doubt after his actions on Keystone XL, etc., his word can be trusted on anything. Even the Guardian, that great bellwether of faux liberalism, seems to be having second thoughts about their adoration of his cute looks.

    I have no doubt that Macron is also bought and paid for by bankers, but I do hold out hope that at least he is aware of the stupidity of German style ortho austerity and the need for fiscal expansion across Europe, and at least he seems willing to put words into action on climate change (easier for a French government of course, as they always preferred nuclear power to fossil fuels). I suspect though that his fiscal expansion preference will be via increasing private debt to compensate for public sector retrenchments. The thing about French leaders is that they tend to put French nationalism above economic ideology, so if he follows the pattern, his main focus will be on strenghtening France relative to Germany, which is no bad thing for Europe as a whole.

    Reply
      1. Edward E

        Happy Independence day everyone, all you sky watchers out there enjoying the fireworks.

        In case of a super duper colossal explosion do not look at the fireball and seek shelter immediately.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Oh no, this is the second worst day of the year for my cats, after Halloween. They hate Halloween. The front door opens and closes.

          Reply
          1. JTMcPhee

            The vet prescribes Xanax for my two poor little rescue dogs, terrified of all the random explosions. To think that I used to hit the floor when that noise started! The marvels of modern science, and the beneficial effects of the passage of time and fading of memories…

            And for anyone who cares to “thank the troops for their service,” let us remember what that “service” was “in service of:” https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/04/on-american-revolution/

            America the Effing Beautiful!

            Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Trudeau is a Canadian Obama. Canada is always a few years behind the U.S.

      Macron like so many other neoliberals likely buys the idea that deregulation and cutting taxes on the wealthy will make France more competitive and attractive to international business. Don’t out faith in patriotism.

      Reply
    2. David

      After spending the last year or so worshipping the dandruff on Macron’s collar, the French media has now suddenly started pointing out – quite fairly – that he’s as likely to be as much of a puppet of Berlin and Frankfurt as were his predecessors. The various dismissive remarks made in both capitals about his plans for reforming Europe have been extensively covered. But I don’t think it matters to Macron. He and his backers want to dismantle the few remaining economic and social protections in France, and the best way to do this is to blame it on somebody else. His enthusiasm for Europe and the Franco-German axis is partly instinctive (a generational issue) but also partly because he can say, hand on heart, “they made me do it.” And anyone who criticizes decisions made in Europe is obviously playing the game of the National Front ….

      Reply
  5. vlade

    I’d like to know whether the incorrect price on tech stocks triggered any automated margin calls..

    Reply
  6. Jim Haygood

    Ill-nose [as a sixth grade classmate valiantly attempted to pronounce it] is spared from a junk rating:

    The latest tax hike measure calls for raising the personal income tax rate from the current 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent, which would generate roughly $4.3 billion. An increase in the corporate income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 7 percent would bring in another $460 million.

    The surplus revenue could be used to cover the cost of borrowing to pay down unpaid bills, Democrats said. The accompanying budget would have the state spend a little more than $36 billion, about $4 billion more than it currently takes in from taxes.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-illinois-legislature-budget-met-0704-20170703-story.html

    It’s a classic Depublicrat compromise: don’t tax you, don’t tax me; tax that dude behind the tree (the hapless “constituents” who aren’t present to watch the legislative sausage-making).

    Raising taxes, of course, is a tightening of fiscal policy. Spending will increase, but a portion of interest payments on $6 billion of new borrowing will go to out-of-state lenders.

    A near-identical tax hike in 2011 kicked off Illinois’ population bleed. Let’s rewind the video:

    “The purpose of this bill is to raise enough money so that we can continue to pay our pensions without borrowing the money, to pay off our debt, to have enough money to pay the interest on that debt.” —Senate President John Cullerton (Jan 2011)

    How did that work out for y’all? Today the Chicago Tribune hints that some kind of pension secret sauce is incorporated in the tax hike bill, but they aren’t divulging what it is. Suffice it to say that when you’re $200 billion in the hole, there is no magic wand to fix that.

    The rain of pain falls mainly on the plains …

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      And just in case people are unaware, the property taxes in that state are off the charts, and have been for years.

      Reply
      1. Jim Haygood

        Property tax hall of shame: Illinois ranks no. 2 in the nation, after chronic offender NJ:

        https://files.taxfoundation.org/legacy/docs/property_taxes-01.png

        Funny how the two states which grab the most in property taxes (the main source of public school finance) ALSO have a couple of the most underfunded state pension plans, which are were supposed to pay for teachers’ retirement.

        You’d think some of the tax take is being raked off or something … :-0

        Reply
        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Funny, too, how high those deplorable states that put Trump over the top are:

          WI #5

          MI #8

          OH #12

          PA #13

          Hard to believe that 70,000 “racists” in those states had enough of a bone to pick to kick management to the curb for anything else. Not.

          Reply
          1. Left in Wisconsin

            Once upon a time, WI was a high-tax, high-quality public service state. But our “leaders” have been cutting taxes, esp corporate and income taxes, in recent times, pushing even more of the tax burden onto the property tax while the quality of public services declines. (In a complete role reversal, you can tell instantly when you cross the border from IL by the quality of the roads.)

            Reply
          2. Mike

            Much of the shortfall in these states has to do with the non-payment into the system by corporations and states, who took advantage of the great interest returns during the fat years to deny payment. Of course, fat years over, they also refused payment, and then blamed the result for the “sadly, we must cut benefits” or the “we must invest in bigger gambles” tacks taken after the debacle. That worked well.

            There is a short-term fix that could fund and rejuvenate the pension systems, but how long would that last before the next financial crisis? When do we start to think long-term, and see this as part of the larger political economy? If you jail this part of the leadership while leaving the periphery free to repopulate the prison administration, what will happen?

            Reply
        2. georgieboy2

          And lest there be any doubt as to which party is responsible for the financial sinkhole there, Chicago is so traditionally Democratic that the only possible contests are the rare contested PRIMARIES within the party.

          Likewise, uber-corrupt Michael Madigan and cronies have run the state legislature for all but 2 of the last 30 years. Madigan collects his cash by having his law firm “represent” big-time real estate developers in pursuit of lower assessments for their projects, foisting the higher taxes on the little people he purports to represent.

          Before the current Republican governor Illinois had a semi-honest former seminarian named Pat Quinn of the Democratic party. Michael Madigan openly made fun of the governor from his own party for being a “goody two-shoes.”

          This is the party of Mr. Obama, with an iron grip on the proverbial punchbowl.

          In fact, the only reason Obama made it to the US Senate was a corrupt Democratic judge decided to open up a sealed divorce settlement in order to damage the then-deservedly-risible Republican candidate.

          Referendums to bust the gerrymandering routinely get stopped by Democratic judges there before a vote can take place, including by the wife of the longest-tenured fop in the Chicago City Council, Ed Burke. Mrs. Burke sits on the Illinois Supreme Court.

          Reply
          1. Alex Morfesis

            In chicago, the politicians are too dumb to know how stupid they are…but please don’t believe the notion democrats and republicans in cook county are not in bed together…25 years ago, Chicago had a chance to absorb back a huge part of the population that had left…the outer suburbs had no water and had never budgeted for it…no problem…just hook up to the chicago water system for free…said the Dailey machine…who magically did not disclose all the land they purchased in between the pig and dairy farms…detail details…

            Classic chicago politics…many wondered why richie boy moved towards downtown…no one claiming to be an “investigative” reporter asked any real questions…if they had bothered they might have noticed certain members of the Dailey clan had beneficial interests in a land trust that owned the property across the street…

            Politicians are just criminals who are not brave enough to just pull a gun on someone in a dark alley…

            criminals just the same…

            Reply
            1. Mike

              Chicago is not alone. In Pennsylvania, you had two different responses to graft:

              1- Philadelphia doubled down, and now many Dems are being jailed for being too obvious.

              2- Pittsburgh almost killed both parties, and ran “independents” who won for many years – all instituting similar policies to the Big-Wigs of Bad. Left the back door open.

              Is it door #1, door #2, or door #3? Which lady or tiger have we won?

              Reply
        3. Katniss Everdeen

          Jim, here’s a story I think you’ll appreciate regarding the Illinois Teacher’s Retirement Fund. You know, that grossly underfunded one.

          I was 59 in 2011 when my Mom died. She’d been retired for about 25 years after 30 years of teaching in Illinois. I had already been retired for several years myself. Upon her death, I received a check for about $2100 from the fund–“survivor’s benefits.” My two sisters, both professionals, received the same.

          Them Illinois teachers sure is good ne-gotiators. Pay up you fighting illini. Oh, and thanks a bunch. I couldn’t have “survived” widout cha.

          Reply
  7. WeakenedSquire

    If being forced to buy shoes online isn’t crapification, I don’t know what is. Normally it takes me at least two hours of trying on shoes in a store to find a single pair that is both comfortable and attractive. Whenever I try to shortcut the trying-on process and just buy something in my size that looks decent, I end up with an uncomfortable pair that quickly becomes unwearable and useless. I suppose the ultimate goal here is to turn us all into Imelda Marcoses so that we need never wear one pair more than a few times. But thanks to the obscene price of real estate, I don’t have that much storage space.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      It’s still possible to buy shoes at locally owned and independently operated stores. Try on as many pairs of shoes as you need to. And keep local money in your community.

      Reply
      1. neo-realist

        It’s possible, but most stores don’t have what you want. Furthermore, in looking for and trying on shoes, you are harassed by the retail clerks to the point of feeling like a de facto shoplifter. You can, at the least, find what you want online w/o the pressure of store employees and if you don’t like the look of what you’ve bought, you can return it in most cases and get your money back.

        Online shopping is a refuge of sorts from a world, including that of in person retail shopping, that is becoming increasingly hostile to our fellow human beings.

        Reply
    2. IHateBanks

      My shoe needs are few. Because Thoreau. “Beware of enterprises that require new clothes”.

      There is a certain New Balance model that my podiatrist recommended years ago to help with my plantar fascia concerns. For years, I marched over to the New Balance store, bought 2 pair on the spot. I was good for a year.

      The past 2 years have been marked by out of stock merchandise. Initially, they picked them up from another store nearby, and I got them in a day or two. Recently, it took them 10 days to order them up from wherever. Two trips, and 3 phone calls.

      Sorry, next time, I will search Amazon for them, purchase if possible, and apologize to no one for doing so. I normally support bricks and mortar establishments, whenever possible, but lately it has become a huge time suck. Shelves aren’t stocked like they once were in many establishments.

      I am certain there is some ironic “chicken or egg” joke, low hanging fruit, surrounding this subject. Have at it, I am feeling lazy today.

      Reply
      1. Tully

        have your cake and eat it too (and reject the detestable Amazon – my opinion).
        I, too, am a NB fan. I (in OK) buy online from A Perfect Dealer (a NJ brick and mortar). They have great prices and easy return (for any discontent). I am only a happy customer and benefit in no way from this referral.

        Reply
      2. kareninca

        Here is the very, very best exercise for plantar fasciitis. I had PF for a year; it was horrible. The exercises the podiatrist recommended did not help. Expensive New Balance sneakers helped, but not enough, and besides I don’t like spending $120 on a pair of sneakers. Doing this exercise, I can wear old, cheap worn-out sneakers if I wish. I learned it from my aunt in Michigan, who learned it from a sports doctor. I have not seen it described anywhere online:

        Stand flatfooted, barefoot or not, with your feet parallel at a normal “standing” distance from each other. Go up on the balls of your feet 20+ times.

        Then, stand (flatfooted) with your feet forming a V; with the heels together. Go up on the balls of your feet 20+ times.

        Then, stand flatfooted with your feet forming an upside down V (a teepee, with the big toes touching each other). Go up on the balls of your feet 20+ times.

        Do as needed, in frequency and duration. It should help a lot almost instantly.

        Reply
        1. clarky90

          Thanks for this info! I am doing the exercises as I type this. I’ve had PF in the past. It is awful.

          My friend is a caregiver for the very old. I asked her what her best advice for us Rookie-Old-People? (the wannabe ancients). She said, “Take care of your feet.”

          Reply
    3. marieann

      I am the same when it comes to shoes. However I wear Birkenstocks mostly and I could order them online . But with runners it takes me months the find shoes that fit, that is why I walk around wearing old worn out shoes for months on end.
      The last pair of shoes I bought at a small local store, made in the USA

      I can’t imagine ordering any clothing online. In Canada shipping is exorbitant so what do you do if it doesn’t fit or doesn’t look good.

      Reply
    4. Annotherone

      Weakened Squire ~ I sympathise! As well as the frustrations involved in the return/refund exercise, when buying online, the shoes themselves have mostly been crapified – China-style crapification usually. I discovered this years ago via Sperry’s, whose deck shoes were the first shoes I bought during my first year in the US – lovely soft suede they were, so comfortable. I wore them to bits, tried to replace a few years on with same model same size and… yep crapified to the nth degree. Tried again later – same result. Gave Sperry’s up as a bad job.

      Eventually, I remembered a brand name I’d trusted back in England, a Danish firm, Ecco, found them on line and by lucky accident found a really comfortable style and fit at my first try. I’ve bought several pairs of the same, recently at good discount prices via Amazon (ugh!) and 6pm – because, it seems, this style is being discontinued. The “C-Syndrome” as we call it in our house, strikes again. Find something good, a fit, a colour, a style, a taste, a flavour, buy it often – and they stop making it!

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether

        On shoes: I’ve noticed the same thing, and I don’t buy Sperry either, for exactly that reason. For several years now I’ve bought Sebagos at my locally-owned shoe store. At first, they could really match the shoe to my measurements (which they took). But now Sebago is gradually discontinuing the wide sizes, and the Sebagos don’t fit as comfortably as they used to.

        On discontinuance: I forage for a light-night snack at a 24-hour chain store, and I since I’m very regular in my habits, I tend to buy the same items (and I don’t want most of what they sell anyhow). Over time, I’ve noticed the chain will discontinue my favorite item, or replace it with an inferior version, so I shift to a new favorite, and they do the same thing again. This cycle has occurred at least three times. I’m thinking the logic of the algorithm is that my purchases cause a spike, and that means that I, as a customer, am getting too good a deal, and so they pull the product and replace it with a worse one which, as a more or less captive customer (there is only one such store in the town), I will have to buy instead. And then things even out… I can only applaud the inventory control system the chain has… Has anyone else noticed a pattern like this?

        Reply
        1. cgeye

          Ask broads about lipstick and underwear, and the same thing happens — if you get too good a deal, it will go away.

          For me and my house, I stock up when I can, and hope they’re late, to notice.

          Reply
        2. Pat K California

          Well, I have certainly noticed a variation of the discontinuance pattern at my local grocery store. I’ve happily shopped there for years. But lately …

          Most stores selling Bigelow teas carry a fairly good variety of flavors in both decaf and regular. Imagine discontinuing only the regular kind of one particular flavor … and leaving all the other as is, with a choice of decaf and regular. Of course, the discontinued flavor, French Vanilla with caffeine, is my all time favorite tea. Does that make any sense to you at all?

          Or take the spray-on daily shower cleaner I use. The store continues to sell the refill bottles … but refuses to carry the spray bottles that you would refill with the refill bottles. Again … makes no sense whatsoever.

          Even when I several times pointed out the weirdness of these discontinuances, the store could not get those items back in stock. “We only get what our warehouse carries.” GAH …

          Reply
          1. JerseyJeffersonian

            Bigelow sells their own tea online at their own shop, but you must buy in case quantities. If you favor a particular blend enough, this may present no impediment, however.

            Another tea line that has a US online presence is Taylors of Harrowgate (also includes the wonderful Yorkshire teas). This store also carries Tiptree Preserves which are awesome. The store also carries some good sounding mixers from Fever-Tree (get it – quinine) that I have not yet tried, along with a couple of other lines.

            Another standby, through which you can obtain blends and types not always encountered in stores, is Twinnings tea. Their store online is a good source.

            Day behind, hope you see this comment…

            Reply
            1. Pat K California

              Ohhhhhhhh, my goodness but that British Tea Brand site looks wonderful! Especially the preserves. Thanks for the tip!

              Heh … and yes, I now buy my French Vanilla caffeinated tea by the case direct from Bigelow, who are excellent to deal with. It’s the grocery store’s loss …

              Reply
        3. wilroncanada

          We seem to be fortunate on Vancouver Island, about 80 minutes from Victoria. Both my wife and I have very wide feet, but there are at least 2 or 3 stores in the Victoria area that carry the full range of shoes in terms of width. We don’t Walmart, and almost never Amazon.

          A woman I know divorced her husband because of his flat feet–he kept getting his feet into the wrong flat.

          Reply
        4. Oregoncharles

          Even at our co-op, we seem to be a jinx: the stuff we really like goes away.

          However, I’ve ascribed this to how very superior our tastes are. I’m an owner; I could ask the manager whether there’s an algorithm involved, but it’s the suppliers doing it.

          A real factor, I think, is that the supply system is so unstable and, increasingly, so concentrated – even in, say, organics. It may be that NO quality product lasts very long.

          Reply
  8. Antoine LeBear

    Regarding video games eating work time, on paper it makes no sense but I think we’ll have a different discussion a few years from now. I’ve read numerous studies describing the effect of TV, and especially video games on the brain and most seem to conclude that it directly stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain and short-circuits the parts responsible for self-awareness. In other words, like a drug.
    And some games are really getting good at the stimuli/reward thing.
    I’m father of a 13 yo and we have to limit his VG time, and when we stop him he’s 2/3rd of the time really stressed like a mini-withdrawal. Some games affect him more than others and I had to forbid one family of games. We took a different route with the other kids who have a drastically reduced screen time available and we’re seeing less issues with it (although when you see a 5yo scream like mad after you stop the TV even though you had her warned, it’s always weird especially since she rarely ever shuts down the social relationship to just scream like that).
    So my guess is that we’re seeing the first generation that has the possibility to have VG available 100% of the time (with mobile screens) from an early age and may encounter an epidemic like the opioids.
    Or at least parents need to realize the TV nanny is having serious scary side effects.

    Reply
    1. HBE

      In my experience, and I’m young enough to have lived my whole life around games. I’ve found (myself, past roommates, friends) that consoles and computers always sit unused and neglected, when there are other rewarding things to do, they do not have some magical drug like hold in normal circumstances.

      However most of society is suffering and exploited, thus looking for an escape. In the 1st great depression the escape was often alcoholism, today it’s opiates and or video games. Let’s not lose the forest focusing on a tree.

      Another factor is that most games today offer social interaction with others during play, in today’s society, which lacks community and is often socially isolating these social interactions in game are often used to fill that void.

      Collective dysfunction (whether it’s social or economic) is often a foundation for individual dysfunction.

      Reply
    2. sid_finster

      I have overheard conversations between business owners, mainly small manufacturers, indicating that absenteeism among young male employees spikes when a new game comes out.

      Just saying.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        A generation earlier they would have complained about people going to a concert or vacation.

        There was a Dilbert where the secretary told the boss 40% of all sick days were taken on Mondays and Fridays. The boss was outraged.

        Reply
        1. Enquiring Mind

          Didn’t they track all those Saturday and Sunday sick days? Silicon Valley must need to tune up the HR software! That would change the math. ;p

          Reply
        2. sid_finster

          Interesting point.

          I was too much of a goody two shoes to skip work for concerts or video games, but the difference is that a concert is harder to schedule at a mutually convenient time, at least if you are on my budget.

          I mean, I think it is possible to pause and save most games. Concerts, not so much.

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            This excuse is employers and economists trying to explain why they don’t have happy and productive employees while paying a pittance. They blame games. They blame rap music. They blame rock and or roll. They blame the colored people music. They blame the allure of the city or that rabble rouser Sam Adams. Other times it was booze, and we needed temperance. Unions had an easier time attracting members with free booze.

            Its always the same complaint from employers who simply want more for less. The employers who don’t pretend their employees are their friends but pay fair wages don’t make these complaints.

            I recall something about Aristotle noting that the generation that lost Athenian sovereignty complained the most about the youth, even more than the elderly complained when he was a kid. He wondered if it was just a natural development of old age or whether complaints about young people were directly related to how crummy the powerful really were.

            Reply
            1. a different chris

              The awesome thing about economists* is that they use numbers for their “personal”, for lack of a better word (ok professional but that word gets stuck in my craw), life: writing papers, having classes, delivering lectures to other economists.

              But when asked a question about real life they seem to abandon that (hey even they know it’s useless, at least on some subconscious level) and answer with as much thought and apparent exposure to the world as your father-in-law.

              If you have a couple of dozen people, then more weeks than not somebody is going to not be there. If you have hundreds of people, every week. Get close to 1000, and every day somebody will be taking off.

              Yeah the Super Bowl and et. al. do make a difference, but more of a time shift than a real loss of work.

              But I base this only on about four decades of working for multiple companies of all sizes, from less than a dozen to hundreds of thousands, so what do I know.

              *Dean Baker, Max Sawickly, Jamie Galbreaith and a few others excepted from the above rant of course.

              Reply
          2. hunkerdown

            > I think it is possible to pause and save most games.
            Many new video game titles are of the online multiplayer variety, which are more or less social networks with combat. Even when there are no players, time continues to pass. The non-player characters continue to execute their routines. The combat in progress continues, with the strength of the player who drops out denied to the party. Also, for a decade or more there’s been a trend in adventure-type games to increase the size of the success “hit” by allowing saves and resupplies only at designated checkpoints, each of which has a gauntlet of battles between them requiring ten minutes to hours of combined effort to pass. So it’s considered impolite at the very least to drop out of a campaign to attend to the real world, even if it’s just an accident of network connectivity.

            Reply
      2. HBE

        I’m not trying to say video games are good, quite the contrary.

        However do these small manufacturers pay a living wage, and offer any form of benefits?

        Or are they like every small-mid manufacture of heard of, who churn and burn employees at just over minimum wage, with no benefits and in demeaning conditions (one step above the Amazon workhouse)? I think I might be looking for an unhealthy escape if I had to work in those conditions as well.

        Maybe collective social, work, and economic conditions play some role, but it’s easier to blame it on those “youngins” who just don’t appreciate their position, not coming in to their shite job in favor of a temporary escape. The gall.

        They should work for nearly nothing and like it. /s

        Reply
        1. tegnost

          yes to this, and the last video game I was passingly adept at was centipede…All the people I know who get paid vacations are mba’s or in the health care racket, or both and not uncommonly 6 WEEKS of paid time off + of course cadillac care. Me I get zero paid days off, and if I did there would definitely be a discussion among this aforementioned managing class regarding why lowly me should get it…

          Reply
        2. Plenue

          “I’m not trying to say video games are good, quite the contrary.”

          I find this to a be a bizarre statement. They’re a medium like any other. I’m assuming you don’t think film for example is an inherently bad medium.

          Anyway, the article has it exactly backwards. People aren’t not working because of video games; they’re playing more video games because they can’t find work. Video games keep increasing exponentially in sophistication and immersion, making them an ever more appealing way to spend your free time. If people had freaking jobs, they would have less down time.

          Reply
      3. skippy

        There was actually a figure of how much productivity losses were incurred in the IT sector, due to a new Star Wars movie coming out mid week. That was in the 90s.

        Reply
    3. polecat

      I think the last time I played a video game was when Donkey Kong was released … I never really saw the appeal of vid games !

      Reply
    4. Uahsenaa

      I would say it’s a mixed bag, and depends a lot on the temperament of the child. In my own daughter’s case, she has always had a hard time dealing with frustration and not freaking out. Video games have actually helped her with that, by introducing obstacles that gradually ramp up in difficulty, and provide the needed motivation to overcome those difficulties, i.e. the desire to keep playing and see where the story/level goes. It has also spurred her creativity a great deal. She’s always been artistically inclined, but the Pokemon and Mario properties in particular have sent her into overdrive learning to draw (her 2D design has improved immensely in just the last year), to make figures out of quick dry clay, and she’s even started making her own plushies (with some help from us in the sewing dept).

      At the same time, it does pretty clearly anesthetize them, though TV seems to be much worse in this regard, due to being more passive. Though I played video games and watched TV quite a lot when I was a kid, and somehow still managed to grow up to finish a Ph.D. I’m also self-motivated in a way my daughter is not, so that worries me a bit. Again, a mixed bag.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        That’s pretty awesome. There is nothing in the world quite like watching a child learn, is there?

        Reply
    5. ChrisPacific

      I had to laugh at this bit:

      Instead of looking at why employers don’t want young men, this group of economists considered a different question: Why don’t young men want to work?

      This has to be one of the silliest questions I’ve ever heard from this crowd (and they are economists, so it’s up against some stiff competition). Of course people don’t want to work. People want to have sufficient financial resources in order to live a comfortable life and achieve their goals (home ownership, marriage/children, travel, etc.) and work is a necessary evil in order to make that possible. Granted, some people have goals that can be achieved most effectively in a work setting, and that’s great for them, provided they can actually get said work. But for every one of those, there are many more that don’t find their work particularly interesting or fulfilling, and just do it to pay the bills. This is inevitable as long as (for example) the number of toilets needing to be cleaned in the world exceeds the capacity of the set of people who consider toilet cleaning to be a wonderful and rewarding activity.

      So my question about these young men would be: are they financially secure and achieving their goals? If so (as the happiness results would seem to suggest) and if they are choosing to spend less time working and more time on personal or leisure activities, I say good for them. If not, then while it may well be true that video games can act as a prophylactic against the kind of ennui and mental issues resulting from long-term unemployment by providing a work-like social framework (as I’ve seen argued in similar articles) it would be stupid to focus on that instead of looking at how to address the real problem. In fact ‘stupid’ might be charitable as it could also be a distraction. Sure, we have stagnant real wages, rising debt levels, declining rates of home ownership, political disaffection, and massive and rising inequality. But hey, people are totally cool with that, because they have video games!

      On the other hand, if employers choose to interpret this finding as indicating that they need to make jobs more fun and compelling so that they can better compete with video games for people’s time, then I’m fine with them reaching that conclusion, even if the argument that leads them there is poorly structured.

      Reply
  9. glmmph

    ‘Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau: when brutal neoliberalism tries to re-brand itself through fresh faces’. Neoliberalism is the practical realisation of a theoretical construct, and is therefore testable. So regardless of the current wave of implementers (establishment or nouveau arriveste), the policies they propose will work or will not, and if they don’t, then their regimes will be liable to the same increasing backlash against failed economic paradigms that their predecessors suffered. I see a lot of articles (including, for example, in the Guardian), that say if Trump gets his tax cuts and revitalises the US economy then what will the left do? Well, if tax cuts revitalise the economy (in a meaningful way, such as better work and pay for the majority of workers) then neoliberal trickle-down works. But all the evidence after thirty years is that it doesn’t, at least not when taxes are below a certain threshold, which Reagan probably breached right at the start of the whole experiment

    Reply
    1. wilroncanada

      Unfortunately, you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time. Good-looking fortyish men are chick magnets for many men and women. In the absence of honest policy, politiporn still works. Put him in a boxing ring for a fake match, dress his hair like a 50’s rock & roll star, show him how to do the droopy lip. It works, with my 95 year old mother-in-law, and my 65 year old sister-in-law. If you told them what their attraction really was, they would deny it vehemently. They’re ‘good Christian women.’

      Good Christians, men and women, are often the victims of the smooth con.

      Reply
  10. NotTimothyGeithner

    Arianna didn’t pay her writers, so maybe, she will solve Uber’s cash issues by not paying drivers.

    They could volunteer for good routes in hopes of getting platinum status where they can be tipped. How glad would you be to be picked up by a double platinum Uber?

    Reply
    1. Ted

      I once met a fellow academic who contributed to HuffPo. He was all about “the exposure” (tenured academics crave invitations to fancy parties). Maybe she could combine the two and have all of the academics who are underemployed in adjunct jobs also drive for Uber for free and try out their new material on their passengers. Who knows, one lucky driver might land a tenurable job as a result of driving around some full professor or university president in town (tenured academics also love them some Uber!) Someone get me Arianna’s number!

      Reply
        1. a different chris

          But you can stuff your face and pockets with Arianna’s expensive catering, maybe staving off the hounds for another day.

          Reply
      1. Mike

        Love it, Ted. However, both driving for Uber and writing for HuffPo take gobs of time during any day, so those “structured” writers who need AM/PM schedules would be out. You wouldn’t want them writing while driving, unless they’re using an untested Tesla with Toyota driver assistance, especially one that moves pedestrians out of the way while running them down.

        As for those fancy parties, they’ll have to wait for a day off. The call is forthcoming.

        Reply
  11. ahab

    re: Bloomberg on Yellen

    Agree with your question Yves. It is hard to imagine her being sent off for a trans-Atlantic trip if she was truly septic. In any case, the blood cultures would not have been ready by the time she was discharged. Typically we like to have some negative cultures in hand as well so we know we are sending the patient out on the correct antibiotic. Either extreme cautiousness or there is something else here.

    Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      He wrote her a prescription; he said you are depressed
      But I’m glad you came to see me to get this off your chest
      Come back and see me later – next patient please
      Send in another victim of Interest Rate Disease

      — Dire Straits, Industrial Disease

      Reply
      1. Mike

        What say you that the case is mental, and she went in for her “adjustment” to prepare the next round of silly walks…er, explanations?

        Reply
      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        “Les simulacres d’or & argent enflez,

        Qu’apres le rapt au lac furent gettez

        Au desouvert estaincts tous & troublez

        Au marbre script prescript intergetez”.

        (The copies of gold and silver inflated,
        which after the theft were thrown into the lake,
        at the discovery that all is exhausted and
        dissipated by the debt.
        All scrips and bonds will be wiped out.)

        – Nostradamus

        Reply
    1. Mike

      Wow! Hits on many themes that I have said, although not as eloquently, in the past. As long as our so-called revolution was led by property and profit concerns, it was no real revolt. And, along with that continuity, we continued to think about the rest of the world in the same way as our British enslavers, and our efforts went to taking over and enchaining those parts of the world ruled previously by merry old England. No wonder that the UK conservatives look to us to support their hubris and carry on the tradition of Atlanticist empire.

      Reply
    1. Cujo359

      That was great! Thanks for trying to link. Here’s a link with all the punctuation.

      Are there any young music acts like Pink Floyd these days? I notice all the young people in that audience, and while everyone loves the classics, I just wonder if there’s anything like the Floyd these days – musicians who work the tone of their music until it matches the theme the music is about, and who tend to write long, multi-song works.

      Reply
      1. which 1 z pink?

        Dave Kerzner
        RPWL (began as Pink Floyd cover band)
        Airbag

        not all YOUNG, but still making music in the Floyd mold

        Reply
  12. Carolinian

    Daily Mash

    Prime minister Theresa May said: “It was entirely necessary at the time. The fact that it fitted in 100 per cent with our deep ideological hatred of public services and lazy dole people was just a weird coincidence.

    “Yes, a few libraries closed down but who wants to read manky books covered in other people’s bogeys?

    When I was a kid our library had a sign showing a book surrounded by condiments: “Read me, please don’t feed me.” Who says e-books don’t have their uses?….

    Reply
    1. ChrisPacific

      I loved this part:

      Voters need to ask themselves if they want a government that’s dogmatic and inflexible, or can respond quickly to changing events like being on the brink of getting chased into the hills by an angry mob.

      Reply
  13. timbers

    Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau: when brutal neoliberalism tries to re-brand itself through fresh faces failed evolution

    This also describes Obama’s presidency very closely as well. So France and Canada might follow a similar path as the one we had with Obama? That might mean a resurgent real left candidate in France/Canada aka Bernie Sanders?

    Looking back, IMO Obama is the all time recent master of deception when it comes to repackaging neoliberalism in ways to attract/fool those who genuinely support economic left policy….and being the first black President also might have helped to blur his true neoliberal self, and IMO made him more electable than nearly identical on policy Hillary because he had a slice of the electorate very loyal to him. Where he not black, he might have done only as well as Hillary in terms of attracting votes, maybe a bit worse because he is male.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama seemed like an easy answer. His speeches never ask people to think. The speeches asked for prayer…hope. “We aren’t red states or blue states. We are the United states.” Okay…I’m inspired. I suppose it’s like Christians who have constantly trying reminders of their religion. If people don’t chant “USA” at the Olympics, they will forget.

      Unlike Edwards’ “Two Americas” which naturally predict social collapse (Trump is the result of gross wealth inequality) requiring changes to avert, Obama’s solutions required prayer (“the hope of slaves sitting around the fire”? 600,000 people died in a conflict that ended slavery, an already violent institution. He simply waves it away as “hope” without meaning. It’s fitting “hope” was found in the box with all the evils of the world. It’s by far the most seductive. The “Two Americas” narrative is scary because it means the underclass is growing and becoming more desperate and many of the upper classes are only hanging on. You might not like Edwards, but the message remains the same. The next step from Two Americas is a decline of the trust that builds society. Institutions are dependent on popular support, not some institutional magic. When institutions break, all the “hope” in the world will become meaningless.

      Obama appealed to our shallowness and sloth, a search for easy answers. We could solve racism by electing our very, safe black friend. Oh, he learned to like Jay-Z from the kids. Whoa, he’s a rebel.

      Trudeau Jr appealed to nostalgia for his old man who isn’t that far removed from a period where Canada wasn’t such a great place for French-speaking types or Indians. My mom’s family didn’t leave Canada for the U.S. because it was too nice or to make syrup.

      Reply
      1. oh

        When Lord O found out about the two Americas, he knew which one he wanted; that was the turning point and he promptly threw the Black Reverend under the bus!

        Reply
      2. Jane

        “Trudeau Jr appealed to nostalgia for his old man who isn’t that far removed from a period where Canada wasn’t such a great place for French-speaking types or Indians.”

        While there are still some Canadians that are nostalgic for Pierre Trudeau there are just as many who came to hate his fuddle-duddle ways.

        Many Canadians voted for Justin Trudeau because he stole alot of the NDP’s agenda and Mulcair (leader of the Federal NDP’s) decided to start behaving like a small-c PC. Justin has broken a number of key election promises: fixing First Nation education, housing, health and water issues, electoral reform, scrapping plans to buy the F35, dumping Harper’s awful C-52 security bill, promising no more omnibus bills, etc,, etc., etc., … If the NDP can get back to being the NDP I doubt the LIberals will pull off a majority in the next election.

        Reply
  14. Chris

    Re: you’re doing your weekend wrong.

    I ran a bunch of errands yesterday and the past Saturday to make sure I had everything my family needed for various 4th of July events. I was saddened to learn that I shouldn’t have worried: every place I needed to go that was associated with a national chain would be open normal hours. I talked to one of the clerks about it and he said, “blame Safeway and Target.” In our area, those two stores did it first and now no one who works those jobs has any kind of holiday or weekend relief. Not even over Christmas.

    I think blue laws are dumb. As a parent, I love convenient shopping hours on weekends. But when people in retail can’t stay home with pay on any holiday, we’ve gone way too far.

    The Quartz article is offensive to the nth degree. The people who fought for these aspirational jerks to get a weekend weren’t middle management spreadsheet jockeys. They were clerks and shop people and line workers. Anyone who’s days consist of SORT and WEEKDAY functions wouldn’t have the guts to walk a line for a benefit like weekends. For anyone to care if these hollow people are doing their weekend wrong while so many don’t have anything like a day off for leisure is disgusting.

    Reply
    1. jrs

      blue laws not so dumb afterall? They were usually only Sunday off weren’t they? Nothing unreasonable about that (yes of course emergency personel etc. still have to work) Even if one is not religious at all, capitalism is much worse in what it does to human beings.

      I think a lot of people spend their weekends doing chores if anything, the house still needs to be cleaned, the cooking done (maybe for the whole week), the clothes washed, the groceries bought, not going to do itself …

      Reply
    2. a different chris

      I don’t know anything about the franchise ownership, or even the local ownership, and they might well be butt-heads of the Chick-Filet level: But I went to Ace Hardware today to get something and discovered that they were closed, and I actually gave them props for that. And put off getting that thing.

      (My wife made me fix her tractor NOW, which sent me to the auto parts chain store which was of course open. Ace was nearby, that’s the only reason I was even bothering)

      Reply
  15. Jim Haygood

    Kansas or Cali? ask a couple of Cali-based authors (Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca) who exhibit no home state bias whatsoever [/sarc]:

    [In] Kansas, tax cuts signed by Governor Sam Brownback in 2012 have utterly failed to deliver growth. California raised taxes for top earners in 2012 and has since enjoyed one of the strongest growth rates in the country.

    California is also one of 21 states that raised its minimum wage this year. By 2022, its statewide minimum wage will be $15 per hour – the highest in the country. Kansas, by contrast, is one of a handful of states that still adheres to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

    http://tinyurl.com/ybxrhcry

    Hubristic chest-thumping is a telling indicator of a pending trend change. Kansas, whose ag sector is a larger proportion of the state’s economy than Cali’s, has been undermined by a six-year depression in commodity prices.

    Meanwhile, Cali has been buoyed by a tech bubble that propelled Apple, Alphabet and Facebook to some of the largest market caps on the planet. State revenues are swelled by capital gains taxes on thousands of option-compensated employees.

    While no one knows when commodity prices will recover, it’s a reasonable bet that Bubble III (Peace Be Upon It) won’t last another five years. When it goes, Cali’s revenues will slump. It will be right back in the soup, with Calpers gasping for air while the state lacks any capacity to hike its already astronomical 13% marginal income tax rate.

    Cali as an economic model? Ah ha ha ha … help, I’ve fallen on the floor laughing and ah can’t get up.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Those authors may be mixing correlation with causation.

      But that is not to say the cause is bad, even should the effect turns out to be negative, measured by ”economists.’

      That is to say, if $15/hour leads to lower growth (as measured by economists), we would still support that ’cause.’

      Maybe you want both

      1. higher min. wages
      2. lower GDP (fewer trees cut down, less miles flown, etc)

      Reply
    2. Left in Wisconsin

      State revenues are swelled by capital gains taxes on thousands of option-compensated employees.

      Do you have data on this or is this conjecture?

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether

        Here’s from the Los Angeles Times:

        Income growth is slowing for the highest-earning Californians.

        That’s the single biggest driver of the $1.6-billion deficit projected on a $179.5-billion overall budget by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday…..

        The top 10% of earners — who made an average of $404,184 in 2014 — paid 79% of all personal income tax revenue that year, up from 70% two decades ago.

        The state doesn’t yet have data on how much personal income from the highest earners declined last year. But it does track income from sources other than salaries, which captures the money that the highest earners get when they, for example, sell stocks or cash in on options to buy shares. That type of income dropped 4% in 2016 compared with 2015.

        “It’s not growing as fast as expected,” said Irena Asmundson, chief economist at the state Department of Finance….

        A sluggish market for new technology stocks could be tamping down the incomes of the richest Californians, Asmundson acknowledged.

        Only 21 tech companies last year took the plunge to sell stock for the first time. Those initial public offerings, or IPOs, often generate large payouts to employees and big capital gains taxes for the state.

        So, it remains for Haygood to quantity the capital gains taxes :-)

        Reply
          1. JustAnObserver

            ….. what California has lived on – tax-wise – since Prop 13 demolished the local property tax base ?

            Discuss.

            Reply
    3. a different chris

      >Kansas, whose ag sector is a larger proportion of the state’s economy than Cali’s

      Uh, yeah. That’s like saying my balls are a larger proportion of my body than an elephant’s. True, but not a useful comparison. When the tech bubble pops, *if* ag also rises, then California will still be in better shape than Kansas. And California has other lifelines, Kansas really doesn’t.

      California’s tax rate may or may not be mistakenly high. But it isn’t playing by the same rules as everybody else.

      Reply
    4. John k

      I’ve noticed a large amount of road work in Ca over the past few years, infrastructure spending, which I assume is a part of the growth story. Plus we just approved a major bond issue for more more infrastructure, more growth… as I understand it, Kansas has been cutting state spending in a weak economic environment, less growth, likely negative… and negative growth does not compeNsate for low taxes.

      Regarding Calpers, as a recipient I’m pissed that there is dirt for yes to dig up, nevertheless her recent find they’ve been stealing copyright material want cost more than .03% of assets, and publicity they even stole from sacramento bee might just bring some welcome changes, though probably not. Nevertheless, our pensions are probably funded around 80%, far higher than most states, likely including Kansas.

      Reply
    1. Alex Morfesis

      Certainly the gr8 cadillo, generalisimo fox spends many hours meditating at the rotunda of illustrious persons standing by the grave of one certain ricardo flores magon…amazing how the “global hard left” & “extra special anarcho-communists” never evah talk about the taking of baha by joe hill and the rest of the crazy magonistas…the intrigue…the southern California landed gentry..the casinos and other “touristy” ventures in tijuana…americans paying and being led in tours to the “front lines”…america allowing 1500 mexican troops into california to be able to “invade” & retake baja…

      Quite an interesting movie it might make…but people might end up asking too many questions about the questionable acts of certain historically important California “upright citizens”….

      Yo vincente…stick to being the carnie act you are and stop trying to help your publicist get you a new book deal…

      And for those disturbed by their perceived reflections of an orderly world…cadillo is bur…an apt descriptive…

      Reply
  16. Ebr

    “New Florida law lets any resident challenge what’s taught in science classes”

    You all do realize that if this law passes someone can use it to challenge how economics is taught, and the claim that economics is a science? This could be so much fun!

    Reply
    1. Brucie A.

      Actually, despite the headline, the law isn’t specific to science. So off you go!

      Perhaps the more troubling aspect is the requirement to hire a complaint czar, who will have the authority to remove material from classrooms. This provides both more distance from the elected school board, and more opportunity to install a single person with certain axes to grind. Perfect.

      Reply
  17. Enquiring Mind

    Raccoons are part of the local fauna here in SoCal, along with coyotes and way too many rabbits (the Coñejo Valley is nearby). The raccoons have preyed upon the few koi that were in backyard ponds, while the coyotes have driven cat and dog owners to become indoor pet keepers. The rabbits continue unabated as the occasional missing cat or dog sign brings out the coyote suppression.
    Humans make plans and God laughs.

    Reply
    1. perpetualWAR

      My property used to be a racoon highway. When my dog got bit, I stopped that by acting literally crazy with a broom every time I saw one on my property.

      It’s been years since I’ve seen one! Hurray!

      Reply
    2. polecat

      I find the Antidote du jour neither cute nor humorous, as it reminds me of the time raccoons, being drawn to the neighbor’s cat’s food (which was left out in their garage …. with the door open, day AND night !) completely masserated, and killed a litter of very young kittens being housed there by said idiot neighbors !
      Raccoons are bad juju in the city !

      Reply
      1. Vatch

        I agree. Raccoons should not be encouraged to live near human residences. Their cute appearance is misleading; they can be very nasty.

        Reply
        1. wilroncanada

          Perhaps humans should not be encouraged to invade raccoon territory, leaving their garbage as a trail of breadcrumbs to the source.

          Reply
  18. Michael Hudson

    The tragedy of Sun Yet Sen, of course, is that he backed Chiang Kai Shek, who based his power precisely on the gangsters and landlords, and murdered the Communists and left Kuomintang in the Shanghai massacre.
    This tragedy was largely the result of Stalin’s policy directing the Chinese Communist Party to ally with Chiang. Even in the 1930s, Stalin continued to fight against industrial communism, insisting that Mao and others support Chiang — mainly because of the war with Japan. Only after China broke from Soviet financial subsidies and direction (that included forcing China and North Korea into war in 1950 to distract the United States from potential military force in Western Europe) did China really take off with its own socialist success.

    Reply
    1. RGC

      Would you agree that the incorporation of markets into central planning by Deng Xiaoping was the start of the success?

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And through Chiang’s wife, Song, American American money, not just Chinese American money that supported Sun.

      Probably setting a precedent, Sun relied on American military assistance, in the person of Homer Lea, who is described as an American adventurer, author and geopolitical strategist, in the Wikipedia.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I think the roots are a bit deeper. The Manchus were Tatars, not “original Chinese”, with some missionary encouragement Hong Xiuquan (who said he was the brother of Jesus) comes along and appeals to Chinese against the Manchu emperor. So it’s Christianity against Confucianism. The hapless British and French step in and smash the emperor and set him to flight; but also refuse to align with Hong. Between 20-40 million die. Enter SY and CKS, who needed a power base. The peasants are exhausted and don’t much care whether peace is under Confucians or Christians, so CKS chose gangsters and landlords and he and his wife do their best to get America onboard. Had he won the argument that defeating Japan should be based from China things may have gone differently. Meantime Mao and the bloodthirsty Chou En-Lai appeal to the peasantry with agrarian communism, show incredible tenacity with the Long March, the gangster and landlord base of CKS dissolves, Soviet support for CKS ends, and Mao wins.

        Reply
        1. Alex Morfesis

          Truman allows secty of state george marshall within his first week as secty to withdraw from the committee of three and cut off all arms to cks while allowing mao and company to “$eize” certain japanese surplus arms…the forces of mao retreat from yenan, but the arms embargo eventually forces history…

          truman was under extreme pressure as his attempts to reduce military spending was crushed…

          the Marshall plan for europe goes into effect…

          ussr and uk had fought against us mandate over japanese islands…

          soviets retaliated by “events” in hungary…

          nazi underground partisans rounded up in Frankfort feb 23 1947…

          the jewish refugee vessel, exodus, was denied access to haifa and forced to go to germany by the british, disembarking in hamburg on sept 7…

          the world banks first two loans are to france and the netherlands for reconstruction loans…

          henry agard wallace is attacked by the us senate for not denouncing stalin and “interfering” in us foreign affairs…

          150 thousand people die in punjab within weeks of the british withdrawal and independence of india/pakistan…

          Reagan testified he is not now and never was a goodenoff actor…and neither a red either…

          yeager breaks the sound barrier…

          Elizabeth marries her cousin(as nobilz and muslims are apt to do) that greek dude, the duke of earl…err…edinburgh…

          the russians make a bomb…

          Australia nationalizes its banks

          and

          ike is made president of columbia

          (& gramps gets the contract to maintain ikes car)…

          1947

          We have always lived in interesting times…

          Reply
      2. Alex Morfesis

        One loved money, one loved power and one loved her country…

        We three queens of orient are…
        bearing gifts we…

        So soo(ng) me…

        Reply
    3. Mike

      The reference to “industrial communism” was of course someone else’s description of development during this period, no? We must be careful to not call anything Stalin did or opposed as “communism”, because even a rat can call itself Henry Kissinger, and Stalin used the Soviet system to incorporate a dictatorship, pure and simple. The capitalist loves to call that communism, doesn’t he? Stalin never wanted to go beyond his bureaucratic build, as that would threaten the personal fiat he had cemented, and squashed any drift toward socialism, let alone communism. We need to call the spade a weapon here.

      Also, the excuse of Japan as prime enemy to be handled before breaking with Chiang has all the earmarks of Bernie’s non-break with the Democrats to fight Trump. Seems we never get beyond those posts in the road.

      Reply
    4. Vatch

      Only after China broke from Soviet financial subsidies and direction … did China really take off with its own socialist success.

      When did China experience socialist success? Certainly not during the Great Leap Forward (1958-1962), when tens of millions of people died of malnutrition, and not during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), when the country was on the verge of civil war for several years. I guess they achieved some success after Mao died in 1976…

      Reply
      1. witters

        Whether you count this as success or not, but China’s GDP gowth over the Maoist years averaged 6% p/a.

        Reply
    5. Moocao

      From a family exiled into Taiwan, and learning history from the colored lenses from the KMT, I do believe this statement is fairly biased against Chiang Kai Shek.

      After the Chinese Revolutionary war from SYS’s inspiration, as a result of how the revolution happened (province by province), there was never a strong central state. In fact, SYS basically had to fight multiple battles to even claim to have a single Republic of China, as evidenced by his multiple exiles from Guangzhou. No one backed SYS, with the exception of CKS. SYS’s ultimate goal of a single ROC was eventually accomplished via CKS, although with a large cost: CKS had no choice but to acquiesce using the “gangsters and landlords” strategy to hold China under a single state as the “surrendered warlords” will work under the banner of a single central state, but in reality had their own fiefdom. CKS never had a strong army to begin with, and it is with both cajoling as well as “demonstration of power” with as little as he had that he can still claim China as a single state. Add to the fact that China was woefully backwards in industrialization, when the war vs Japan started, CKS had very little cards in his hands to start with. Not to forget CKS needed to continuously put down rebelling warlords from time to time (either as a result of his pig-headedness, or as a result of true rebellions)

      With regards to the rampant corruption in China as a result of the slow reformation of the penal code and civil code: transformation from an initial state of complete feudalism (Ching Dynasty) into a modern civil code takes work and time, assuming no “outside” influence. During this entire time, the British/French/German/Russian/Japan influence was continuously exerting its colonial pressures. Hard enough to overhaul the entire civil code, much harder when 5 empires are messing with the Chinese central government via subterfuge. Worse, the KMT can’t kick them out, for fear of a massive retaliation (see boxer rebellion). As a result, corruption was a matter of fact, as provincial warlords ran rampant as the civil code was hard to enforce. Ergo the warlords rebellion and CKS needing to send the central army to quash them.

      With regards to the Shanghai Massacre: unless one already has sympathies with the Communist activities within China, the Chinese Communist Party’s predominant effort during this time is the undermining of SYS’s vision of a single China democratic socialist goal, and the CKS’s Shanghai Massacre’s effect is to quell the CCP influence. Obviously, this did not work and divided much of China, which became ripe for the Japanese invasion. If, however, the CCP had its way, the eventual turning of China into its communist state would have been far easier and faster: the CCP never tried to implement SYS goal, and was under the effects of the Russian Soviet Communist Party receiving money, training, material, as well as had its own civil code being enforced within its own territory (proto state within state). China already had a war waged between Russia and Japan on its own soil, and CKS would probably remember that instance when China’s civilian population was the one suffering under both Japan and Russia. Stalin cared little for Chiang, his ultimate goal was the transformation of China into a communist state, which is doing just fine until the CKS attempted to kill off the CCP and forced the Long March.

      After the Long March, the CCP had no compunction on enforcing any KMT rules within their territory, as it never cared for a single China policy under the KMT. It enforced the Communist code and bribed the peasantry with “join us and you will have your land”. The CCP held its territory and “semi-obeyed” the KMT. During the Sino-Japanese war, it has hardly ever engaged the Japanese via the CCP army, instead using guerrilla warfare within its own territory. The CCP never mobilized. CKS viewed this as the CCP’s ultimate betrayal: for the CCP to claim it cared about the well-bring of the Chinese State, this act of betrayal ultimately confirmed his belief that the CCP only cared about a communist state, and SYS vision will never be realized unless the CCP is completely eliminated.

      The Japanese Invasion of China was the one huge last straw of the KMT’s camel’s back. the defeat of the KMT army at Shanghai, although exacted a cost on the Japanese Army, still forced China to hold off any possibility of modernization until after WWII.

      After WWII, the Japanse army in Manchuria was attacked by Russia right before the peace treaty, which promptly allowed for the Russians to appropriate Japanese war materiel and give it to the CCP. The rest is history.

      Finally, China’s success is not a result of China breaking from the Soviets. China is China, and makes her own decisions. After Mao’s death the power consolidation is loosened, and Deng Xiaoping’s better intellectual management can finally initiate the proper economic development SYS wanted to do all along since 1930s. China’s breakneck development was a result of several things, all missing during 1915-1980s

      1. A single state under a strong central government.
      2. revolution of the civil, penal, and military code from feudal -> modern
      3. cessation of warfare within mainland china
      4. economic development
      5. corruption investigation to prevent excessive unrest

      China in its current form is far from socialist. In fact, it emulated the United States so well that currently Xi needed his own anti-corruption initiative to tamp down on CCP excess. The CCP should remember its lessons – China’s most fearsome enemy is not from outside, its always from within. The KMT had very little to work with, the CCP has no such excuses.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether

        > China’s most fearsome enemy is not from outside, its always from within.

        And this is what we know nothing about, and (so far as I know) have no reliable proxies to measure. Thoughts?

        Reply
  19. Lee

    Echoes of Wall Street in Silicon Valley’s grip on money and power Financial Times. Read the comments. Lotta Kool-Aid drinkers showed up to protest.

    I accessed the article by using the cut and paste search. The comments icon indicates there are 154 but clicking it produces none. Is this normal for non-subscribers or have they been removed?

    Reply
    1. Anonymous2

      I was having problems accessing FT comments earlier so it may have been a temporary glitch? Worth trying again?

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether

        I just accessed the comments. If you sort them by Recommended you will find your view of the world brightened. Nevertheless, from Nella Nagrom (hoping the Sharing permalink works):

        I’ve lived in Silicon Valley for 37 years. Surprisingly, it’s a lot like real life, with similar flaws and similar laudable aspects. There are misogynistic jerks here; there are wonderful people here. Same as everywhere else in the professional world: corporate executives, entertainment, law, accounting, medicine, news media, etc., etc., etc. To the extent there’s any navel-gazing, it’s by the overwhelmingly liberal, Democratic culture of Silicon Valley, not the tiny sliver of it that is libertarian. The media focus on the libertarians (e.g., Peter Thiel) works because few people in Silicon Valley have the same views as Peter does, so his (very-well-articulated, BTW) views are exceptions, not the rule (compare and contrast: Mark Zuckerberg,Sheryl Sandberg, Reid Hoffman, Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, Sergei Brin, Marc Benioff, Ron Conway, Tim Cook, et al.).

        Reply
  20. makedoanmend

    Happy Independence Day to our American friends.

    A few choice quotes from American Revolutionaries for your delectation:

    “A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”
    ― Samuel Adams

    “Let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarcy, that in America the law is King. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other.”
    ― Thomas Paine

    bbq bon apetite

    Reply
  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Sun Yi-Xian

    Sun incorporated the ideas of Henry George — the single tax — and especially those of John Stuart Mill, who had proposed taxing the “future unearned increment in­crease” of land values, that is, increases that did not result from the efforts of individual landowners but from the growth and development of society at large.

    Another ‘unearned’ wealth:

    Say you made a good painting. When economy grows, the rich get richer. They will be willing to pay more for that painting. Is that increase unearned?

    Or this one:

    You play professional basketball. Twenty years, there were this many people watching. Against population-control, there are more humans watching the game now, and for playing not as well as players 20 years, or even slightly better, you’re paid much, much more. Is it another instance of unearned income?

    And the list goes on, opera singers, models, pianists, calligraphers etc.

    So, the strategy may be, if you can’t collect those humans, if you can’t collect plots of land, you collect things, especially those that can’t be made any longer…old things, from thousands of years ago.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      Huh? If I played professional basketball, 20 years on I would not be able to play it anymore. You’re, if I’m reading you correctly, missing the entire permanent capture of something that really isn’t yours, as it existed before you did and will after you die.

      I’m really unsure of what you are trying to say here, obviously.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You’re right. Very few play more than 15, much less, 20 years of professional baseball.

        I was trying to show ‘unearned’ wealth, in the sense that, players 20 years ago put in the same amount of training, plus or minus 10% or 20%, or something like that, yet they made order of magnitude less.

        This, all because there are more humans, more spectators, more fans, or in case of land, more intensive use of land, due to population growth.

        Reply
  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Emmanuel Macron wants to cut French parliament by third, streamline legislature DW

    Relax. He is not another Napoleon, who was an emperor, not just a king, first of all.

    Secondly, Bonaparte closed down the Council of Five Hundred, not cutting it by a third. Being the First Consul, he did streamline government work quite a bit, though, even while busy in love with an older woman who was taller than him.

    Reply
    1. clinical wasteman

      He could afford the time off because: Thermidor. Trying to restore Caribbean slavery did keep him somewhat busy, but there he had his martial hind quarters handed to him by Toussaint (briefly) and Dessalines.

      Reply
  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Russia and the great land giveaway in the Far East Asia Times

    From Wikipedia, Chuang Guandong:

    Chuang Guandong (simplified Chinese: 闯关东; traditional Chinese: 闖關東; pinyin: Chuǎng Guāndōng, literally “Crashing into Guandong” with Guandong being an older name for Manchuria), is descriptive of the rush into Manchuria of the Han Chinese population, especially from the Shandong Peninsula and Zhili, during the hundred-year period starting at the last half of the 19th century.

    Coincidentally, the Japanese Army occupying that same part of China, Manchuria, before and during WWII, was the Kwantung Army, named after the Chinese term for Manchuria, which lies to east of the easternmost gate (关, or in traditional character, 関) of the Great Wall, Shanhaiguang. It has nothing to with the toll gate that marks the western Japanese area Kansai (関西), see Wikipedia.

    The sparse population of the Qing Empire’s northeastern borderlands facilitated the annexation of the so-called “Outer Manchuria” (the regions north of the Amur and east of the Ussuri) by the Russian Empire, finalized by the Treaty of Aigun (1858), and the Convention of Peking (1860). In response, the Qing officials such as Tepuqin (特普欽), the Military Governor (jiangjun) of Heilongjiang in 1859-1867, made proposals (1860) to open parts of Guandong for Chinese civilian farmer settlers in order to oppose the conquest of Russia.[9]

    And today, Russian needs more settlers in the Far East, thus perhaps the land giveaway, if they are smart, to the proletariat, and not absentee landowners.

    This gives the total positive migration balance of 8.7 million people over this half a century period.[10] This makes the scale of the migration comparable to the westward expansion in United States, the advance to Siberia in Russia, or, on a smaller scale, the move to Hokkaido in Japan.

    In the three instances, it was said ‘come over to this empty place,’ as if the natives did not exist, whereas the ruling Manchus reluctantly asked the Han Chinese to move to their ancestral homeland.

    Reply
  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    New Florida law lets any resident challenge what’s taught in science classes Orlando Sentinel

    In theory, our critically thinking students can decide for themselves, whatever that has been decided to be taught in the classroom, what is good and useful and what is a waste of time, and not good.

    If they can’t do so at grade school, certainly by the 12th grade, just before they graduate and become voting citizens.

    And the real world is a lot like that – full of misinformation, fake news, and facts, all mixed together.

    But if 12th graders can be easily influenced, then, 1. there is little hope for democracy, and 2. we should protect them by teaching them subjects experts largely agree on. This is perhaps closer to the situation we have….little immunity to fake news.

    Reply
  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Democratic Party Dead End Consortium News (Altandmain)

    Bernie Sanders on Resisting Trump, Why the Democratic Party is an “Absolute Failure” & More Democracy Now (Altandmain)

    Is the D party like the Catholic Church – the only possible way to salvation? The other ways are not possible?

    And so it’s an absolute failure; maybe we try the Reformed Church, or the Reformed Party.

    Others might disagree, and want to become Protestants…or atheists.

    Reply
    1. Altandmain

      The only question that remains is:

      1. Is it easier to take over the Democrats through aggressive Primaries?

      2. is it easier to start a third party? Draft Bernie might be a good starting point.

      Reply
      1. HotFlash

        The question of whether to (try to) reform the Dem party or to (try to) start or join a third party is one that as individuals we do not need to answer now. Anyone interested in whichever route should work to that, while supporting those who take another way.

        One of the ways will work, that is the time you have to decide which way to vote.

        Reply
      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Today being Independence Day, perhaps history offers a clue.

        To work within the British empire and reform the colonial situation, or to plot a new course? Was the question, which is easier, asked? Or was the question, which one choice is the right one, given that the leaders at top (in London) did not bother with those lowly little people, across the Atlantic, whatever they might vote.

        The fact remains that many in the 13 colonies wanted to remain, to be loyal to the king, but that was not what fate had in store.

        Looking back, can we say, today, which would have been the ‘easier’ route? It’s not like we can conduct experiments. So, we don’t know the answer to that 200 plus year old question. And we don’t know the answer to our own question of which is easier.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          Canada provides a “natural experiment” – and suggest that we might have been better off remaining with the Crown. Sorry about the blasphemy on Independence Day.

          Reply
          1. WobblyTelomeres

            Perfidy. It seems to be in our blood and like some unidentified gooey mass stuck on our finger, no matter how hard we try to shake it off, we can’t get rid of it.

            Reply
  26. Adelle Chattre

    Before they got caught on the wrong side of the Saudis and the UAE, I would’ve said “Middle East Eye” was a Qatari, Saudi, British Tory news outlet with murky funding and it wasn’t reporting, but distorting they seemed to be after. What I saw of theirs mostly was a fish-eye lens propaganda focus on the war privations of a tiny resort town in Syria, smaller than Sedona, Arizona. Lately, though:
    http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/worst-kept-secret-syrian-war-1083404612

    Reply
    1. Mike

      It looks like this will devolve into a he said, she said over the statements made during the loan process for the college, unless the overvaluations she supposedly made are discrepancies in writing.

      ‘Twas a poor college without a donor class to rely upon. Banks are not a preferred Santa Claus.

      Reply
  27. craazyboy

    Yellen Urinary Tract Infection

    Certainly serious, but nothin’ a hospital can do about it, except fatal accident.

    Bad for us because it’s caused by Candida yeast, and in spite of the granny sweet name, it multiplies unrestrained, uses needed vitamins and minerals, and destroys all the good, beneficial microbes, especially the one’s involved in high level economic decision making.

    But at least it doesn’t smell bad, important to public people trying to remain inoffensive.

    Reply
  28. Oregoncharles

    “US warship in South China Sea is ‘military provocation’: China”

    Yes, it is. So are China’s claims in the area. My past comments on this subject have been a bit cranky, because of my priors (Tibet, in a word), but I’m very much of two minds about it. On the one hand, it’s unfortunate that the US is projecting force in the area. That’s an extension of US imperialism, and to some extent the agent undercuts the point being made – that it’s international waters, as the World Court in fact found.

    OTOH, China’s claims to the S. China Sea, all of it, are just as imperial, in this case in the literal sense of depending on prior dubious claims by Imperial China. “Red” China has asserted every conceivable imperial claim, thus revealing that it’s really just another dynasty. Unfortunately, none of the neighbors, besides Russia and India, are strong enough to offer effective resistance. (Also unfortunately, this is a reason for Japan to remilitarize.) Russia and India have no obvious stake in the S. China Sea – though it might behoove them to defend the principle of free passage in international waters.

    That leaves the other Big Dog to push back against China’s imperial impulses. In this case, the nuclear standoff gives both sides a degree of license to jockey and posture. (This was one of the main themes of “Dune,” incidentally.) That makes the world a bit nervous, but I don’t think either country will lose it over a patch of ocean, oil or no.

    Reply
  29. Lambert Strether

    FT:

    City of London delegation to press Brussels for free-trade deal

    Alternatively:

    Lambert to press side of house until it falls down

    Let me know how that works out….

    Reply
    1. Altandmain

      The UK would have to make large concessions if they want free trade.

      The amateurish way this UK Brexit negotiating is going on convinces me that they really have no clue what to do. The Cameron government never planned a what if Brexit succeeded scenario and laid out appropriate contingency plans.

      Reply
      1. Mike

        More like they never took seriously the intent of poor voters outside London to not take orders. Once that happened, they attempted to brazen their way through it, inflating the importance of Britain to the EU and the world.

        One wonders how much the financial world of London thinks the USA will ride to the rescue. We did bail out our dead banks, so what’s a little island group!

        Reply
  30. Kim Kaufman

    Recommended by David Dayan on Twitter this morning:

    Google’s battle with the European Union is the world’s biggest economic policy story
    Regulators are bringing a new way of thinking to digital antitrust.

    Updated by Matthew Yglesias on July 4, 2017 9:00 am
    https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/policy-and-politics/2017/7/4/15891274/google-eu-antitrust

    and this fron NY Times

    Op-Ed Contributors
    A Way to Own Your Social-Media Data

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/06/30/opinion/social-data-google-facebook-europe.html?_r=0&referer=https://t.co/3UQTXxjiTi?amp=1

    Reply
  31. Kim Kaufman

    Apologies if anyone’s posted these earlier.

    podcast from Sam Seder
    Nancy Maclean: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

    “Nancy Maclean, a Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University and author of, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, explains the extremist property right origins of far right politics. James Buchanan’s connections to slavery practicing, southern politics. Why libertarians never want to look at how power and wealth are created. The Koch donor network and the threats over healthcare. What is public choice economics? The bizarre world of libertarian “morals”. Why libertarians are anti constitutional. The Mont Pelerin Society and the global assault on democracy and social equity. Why does the extreme right want “big bangs” in public policy. James Buchanan and Milton Friedman in Chile. Why libertarians are on the verge of killing American democracy and how the Left can resist.”

    https://majority.fm/2017/06/27/627-nancy-maclean-democracy-in-chains-the-deep-history-of-the-radical-rights-stealth-plan-for-america-m/

    and fron Democracy Now (transcript if you don’t want to listen):

    Historian: Republican Push to Replace Obamacare Reflects Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America
    https://www.democracynow.org/2017/6/29/republican_push_to_replace_obamacare_reflects

    Reply
    1. CD

      I’m reading Democracy in chains now.

      The author writes about the work that James McGill Buchanan did that isn’t mentioned in Wikipedia or his Nobel prize. Seems he was pretty busy pushing a strong neo-liberal philosophy and providing a theoretical basis for it. He doesn’t come off as a nice guy.

      The author is also afraid of the Koch brothers since they’ve been using their money for years, and Buchanan’s ideas, to advance their hard neo-liberal politics. Very likely, she is right to sound the alarm. They are a very worrisome pair. I hope her book does that.

      Reply
  32. Altandmain

    Possible Paywall from FT – Why US big business listens to Bernie Sanders
    https://www.ft.com/content/7ad2e8dc-5838-11e7-9fed-c19e2700005f?mhq5j=e1

    ‘Don’t take away our healthcare’ says Trump country
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40485357

    ‘If you criticize policy, you are anti-American. That only happens in dictatorships’ – Chomsky to RT (Interview)
    https://www.rt.com/op-edge/394960-chomsky-criticize-american-policy/

    Wikileaks Calls Out Democratic Party Member Who Threatened Assange
    http://disobedientmedia.com/2017/07/wikileaks-calls-out-democratic-party-member-who-threatened-assange/

    Why Tesla Is Worth More Than GM
    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/607954/why-tesla-is-worth-more-than-gm/

    All the price discovery mechanisms are messed up.

    How bad are things in Italy?

    85,000 people apply for just 30 banking jobs in Italy
    https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2017/07/04/85000-people-apply-for-just-30-banking-jobs-in-italy

    Reply
  33. ewmayer

    “DOJ Corporate Crime Watchdog Resigns, Slamming Trump | David Sirota” — Right, because the dog which so famously did not bark during the ‘epidemic of mortgage fraud’ years culminating in the GFC and went after not a single megabank CEO in the wake of same is now being prevented from doing its job by Evil Trump! Pull the other one, guys.

    Reply
  34. Propertius

    If only I were still a Floridian. The first thing I’d do is try to get the phlogiston theory reinstated in the public schools. This whole “oxygen” fetish is just a fantasy of decadent French chemistry, unsuited to God-fearing, red-blooded Americans. After all, belief in “oxygen” just leads to belief in”carbon dioxide” – that, in turn, leads to a belief in “greenhouse gases” and “global warming”. The end result of this is communism, the metric system, devil-worship, promiscuity, and dancing. It’s a threat to the American way of life.

    Reply
  35. Jen

    For the first time in a long while, I went to a 4th of July parade today. I live in a cow town north of Hanover, NH. Despite having maybe 2000 year round residents between us, my town, and the neighboring Vermont town manage to put together a parade that goes for just over an hour. It is everything that a small town parade should be. Fire engines (from volunteer squads who have spent the past 2 days dealing with hurricane Irene level flooding in our area), antique cars (including a Cady convertible filled with Elvis impersonators), tractors, stock cars, oxen, cows, horses, various home- made floats, and pretty much anyone who wants to strut their stuff. There were boy scouts, kids in flag costumes on bicycles, skateboards, and Segways. There were septuagenarians on skateboards. There was a whole group of people wearing elaborate flower costumes – hats, masks, entire outfits, some of them walking on stilts, to celebrate the owner of a local nursery who passed away earlier this year. He was a great source of cheap annuals and perennials, but the highlight of the year was his day lily dig. For $5 a “stem” he would give you hardy clumps of lilies from his garden, and he had an amazing collection. I have them all over my yard.

    There was grilled chicken on the green. Ice cream and pie at the congregational church. Young people, old people, dogs, Dixieland music, and in the middle of it all, a float with a slightly askew red white and blue layer cake that reminded me of Animal House, with a bunch of kids in white t-shirts throwing candy to the crowd while a loudspeaker blared John Mellencamp’s “Little Pink Houses.”

    This country often drives me to despair, and yet, there are moments like these.

    Reply
    1. petal

      Jen, it’s funny you brought this up-I had the same experience today in Hanover. I’ve avoided the holiday like the plague as the parades of my childhood were so rah-rah/militaristic and full of alcohol/drunks. It left a sour taste that has lasted 30 years. I’ve lived here 7 years but have avoided the holiday celebration. However, this morning I met a couple of friends and their toddler for the Hanover parade and fair. The parade included the local scouts, bike clubs, the historical society in antique cars, some environmental activist folks, a person walking a hang glider down Main Street behind a person in an inflatable moose costume, a very well-done float warning people to secure their trash in order to save the bears, a guy dressed up as Daniel Webster, and then finally the firetrucks from Hanover and one from Norwich. Then the fair was great-a band playing, pony rides, games for the kids like running a race holding an egg in a spoon, face painting, and the FD was giving people a ride in the ladder bucket way up high. The whole thing was so community-oriented and pleasant. No drunks that filled the July 4th celebrations of childhood, no militarism, no in your face USA-USA. I got a hamburg and a pop from the Rotary and sat underneath a tree watching all of this and thought to myself “Wow, this is how it should be”. It sounds silly, but it was mind-blowing. It was such a nice day and a break from all of the bad stuff. The Hanover Bubble lived up to its name today and I’m so grateful. Sadly, the fireworks have started in neighbouring towns(probably some yahoo as it’s still light out) and my dogs are going nuts. That’s the only thing ruining the day.

      Reply
  36. John Day

    Janet Yellen was hospitalized for a urinary tract infection. These are often confined to the bladder (cystitis), but may work up to the kidneys, infect the meat of the kidneys (pyelonephritis), and spread to the bloodstream (urosepsis). There may have been fever or an elevated white blood cell count, causing concern for urosepsis in an elderly female patient, weakened by the stresses of travel. She was probably treated with IV antibiotics long enough to make sure she was getting better, not worse. John Day MD, Austin

    Reply

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