Links 08/13/17

Pic of the week: Mother Nature displays a hat-trick of beauty over Arizona WaPo

The Turkish city that discovered the key to happiness BBC

Yosemite struggles to find an answer to traffic woes LA Times

Anti-tourism attacks in Spain: who is behind them and what do they want? The Conversation

Elephants unchained: ‘The day has gone by when this was entertainment’ Guardian

American investment banker accused of pushing London woman in front of bus is cleared in investigation NY Daily News (MF). Update from yesterday.

Silicon Valley under attack both from within and without CNBC And about high time indeed.

Google warns 700 publishers digital ads will be blocked by Chrome update NY Post

Police State Watch

Federal Court Rules Citizens Have No Right to Film Politicians & Police in Public Free Thought Project (Jess)

Ex-MI5 chief warns against crackdown on encrypted messaging apps Guardian

Students, Cities and States Take the Climate Fight to Court NYT

New Orleans braces for new flooding as it copes with power outages, failed pumping system LA Times

New York’s Fracking Ban Was Supposed to Set a Precedent — but Governor Cuomo Is Going Back on His Word Truthout

The Madman and the Bomb Politico

North Korea

The War of Words that Could Go Nuclear Der Spiegel

Why a war with North Korea is unlikely Al Jazeera

China reaping rewards of Korea tensions Asia Times

Xi urges restraint from Trump in phone call on North Korea crisis SCMP

Take Cover, Avoid Bomb Flash: Guam Issues Nuclear Attack Guidelines The Wire

Leading Progressive Dem. Congressman: War With North Korea Is Grounds for Impeachment AlterNet. If the US goes to war with NK, impeachment would be the least of anyone’s worries.

Flier’s battery caught fire on Lufthansa A380 with 410 people on board; all safe USA Today. Good thing it caught fire in the cabin and not in the hold.

Drone enthusiast ‘amazed’ as he lands device on deck of £3bn HMS Queen Elizabeth without being detected Yahoo


Confirmed: UK to publish key Brexit papers this week Politico

Hammond and Fox: We will leave customs union during Brexit transition Guardian


Democrats in Disarray

Finally, Democrats are looking in the mirror. That’s reason for optimism Guardian. Thomas Frank.

Class Warfare

Drug industry faces ‘tidal wave’ of litigation over opioid crisis FT

This American Town Was Left to Die, and Suddenly Economists Care Bloomberg

Theresa May under pressure to cut cost of university as public rejects high fees and huge debts Independent


China and India on brink of armed conflict as hopes of resolution to border dispute fade SCMP


If you’re wondering why Saudi Arabia and Israel have united against Al-Jazeera, here’s the answer Independent. Robert Fisk.

Yes Congress, Afghanistan is Your Vietnam American Conservative

Shireen Al-Adeimi – Has The War In Yemen Become A Spectator Sport? Moon of Alabama

War Crimes: Saudi Arabia Should Pay the Penalty for Catastrophe in Yemen AlterNet

New Cold War

Another Russia-U.S. Proxy War Looms Over Afghanistan Cipher Brief. resilc: “how stupid can we be? W, Obomba, Trump, clintoons, all of them.”

Why the Pope ❤ Putin Politico

Union throws wrench in self-driving works Reuters (resilc). This is very important. Despite the hype re cars, trucks would be the easiest place to start with self-driving vehicles.

The Fed Wants to Make Life Easier for Big-Bank Directors NYT. Gretchen Morgenson.


Unusual Deposits of Rs 1.7 Lakh Crore During Demonetisation: RBI The Wire

India is set to become the world’s most populous country by 2024. But is it ready?

Trump Transition

Commentary: Trump’s dysfunctional NSC a threat to national security Reuters (resilc)

Trump Is Ready to Turn Up the Heat on China Over IP Transfers Bloomberg

The next step for EPA to relax fuel economy standards: Public comment period Ars Technica

Even Gingrich is criticizing Trump: “He doesn’t want to take responsibility” boing boing (resilc)

In Wake Of Trump, Liberals Start To Realize They’ve Had The Judiciary All Wrong Above the Law

Commentary: From Putin to Zuma to Trump, voters put personality over policy Reuters  (resilc)

Interest in U.S. diplomatic corps tumbles in early months of Trump Politico


One dead and dozens hurt as white supremacists clash with anti-fascist campaigners in Virginia  Independent

Justice Department opens civil-rights investigation into Charlottesville crash The Hill

In Appalling Speech on Charlottesville, Trump Condemns Bigotry and Violence “On Many Sides” Slate. The violence seen in Charlottesville “has no place in America,” Trump said shortly after the Charlottesville mayor confirmed that at least one person had been killed by a car that plowed into a group of counter-protesters. “What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives,” Trump said.

Resilc: “no place in America but everywhere we touch overseas…..violence is as american as apple pie, since 1492.”

James Alex Fields Jr. Wiki & Bio Everipedia  Includes raw video footage.

Brian C:

“BTW two other things struck me as unusual: 1) why didn’t the airbag deploy in a 40-50 mph head on collision that crumpled the bonnet (was it disabled)?; and, 2) note the impressively straight and fast reverse egress of the Dodge Charger in the video (extreme presence of mind one concentration if the crash was panicked or heat of the moment)”


“The video gives strong indicators of premeditation. The acceleration appeared controlled, as well as the impressive egress. Hard to imagine that egress if the act was from panic or road rage. Note too the hands seemingly calm at 10 and 2 at the impact.

Seemed more like it was the plan to crash then back out. Then there’s the air bag. If it was planned, you would want to disable the system because an air bag can injure you or even knock you out.”

How reducing the number of stressful events in our lives could help beat dementia The Conversation

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Eclair

    Jerri-Lynn, you have a wicked sense of humor! I just did my usual quick read through the link headlines to see which couple I would click on to read in full: looming US police state, climate change flooding New Orleans, impending nuclear war, opioid crisis, racist white supremacist rallies turning more violent …. and then, the last link: How reducing the number of stressful events in our lives could help beat dementia. Hahaha!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Stressful events come to you.

      You can’t (or most people don’t willingly) go chase stressful events.

      Focusing on reducing the number makes it looks like one has control. The victim’s responsible for not reducing the number.

      “Can you not avoid high health care insurance premiums? Are you stressed over that?”

      1. nycTerrierist


        It’s practically gaslighting to tell the non-rich to ‘avoid stress’ when neoliberalism ratchets up the stress and precarity every five minutes.

      2. ambrit

        After Katrina did her damage to the Gulf Coast, which is where we lived at the time, we stayed on in the debris field and tried to pull some order back out of the chaos. (The fact that we eventually moved north to Hattiesburg, inland by seventy or so miles, tells you how successful we were.)
        For weeks after the roads to our environs were opened; several days were required to carry out that task; we experienced the ‘tender ministrations’ of some “disaster junkies.” Several dictinct groups and individuals showed up and ‘toured’ the disaster sites. One man I remember who came and spent several hours in the flooded house taking pictures and keeping a small souvenir, which we didn’t object to, was from Seattle. Another couple said that they were from Pennsylvania. The only ‘legitimate’ “disaster junky” we encountered was the young woman who worked for the “Wall Street Journal.” She was down here reporting on the extent of the damage and sundry other hurricane related things. She spent two or three hours sitting on the porch with Phyl and I, or wandering about the remains of the little town we lived in. She said that most of the journalists from out of town were being put up in the upper floors of a hotel situated in Gulfport. We gave her the contact information for our middle daughters family which was situated in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The journalist shortly afterwards contacted Sundi and her family. Katrina did damage over in the Baton Rouge area as well. People forget just how large that storm really was. The young lady interviewed Sundi and her in-laws, out of which came the infamous, “this ain’t regular mud” quote. This came from Sundis’ husband Joshs’ uncle, who was a cameraman for a local television station for many years. A very well educated man, he came across as “Lester Podunk” with that quote. Oh my, the power of the written word.
        One of the big lessons arising from the Katrina Experience is just how ‘out of control’ the phenomenal world is. We’re mainly along for the ride.
        I just ‘flashed’ on the book “What Entropy Means To Me,” by George Alec Effinger. Something about how nature can hit us from any and all angles, and all that.

      3. clinical wasteman

        Yes! Many thanks, MLTPBeef, this is another one of those fundamental truths that bears repeating any number of times but is hardly ever actually heard.
        “Workplace stress” programs in particular have always primarily been about changing the worker so that s/he becomes “resilient” enough to “cope” with whatever onslaught s/he encounters on the job and in competitive social life at large.
        When France Telecom workers started killing themselves in larger numbers than usual a few years back, with some leaving messages explicitly citing unbearable management aggression as part of the reason, the company and even the government (as part-owner) made a huge issue of “stress”. The main result, after several years of “investigation”, was a shiny new headquarters with reinforced windows on the upper floors and proud claims that it would now be impossible for workers to jump. Plus all the usual: Cognitive-Behavioural counselling and a quite breathtakingly intrusive “stress survey” harvesting all kinds of data on the private life of all workers.
        In one part of the UK NHS around the same time, the number of days of sick leave taken was read as a key indicator of “stress levels”. A regulator said management must do something about employee stress immediately, and so they did: they “cracked down on absenteeism”.
        These cases are too long ago to find links quickly, but we wrote more about them at [] (under ‘S’ for ‘stress’: it’s structured like a dictionary) if anyone’s interested.

      4. What-Cannot-Be-Paid-Won't-Be

        You can avoid the stress of high health insurance premiums by NOT PAYING THEM, as I don’t! Don’t you think having an extra $700 per month will lessen your stress? Of course it helps to not have much in assets to lose.

  2. EndOfTheWorld

    I agree with Al Jazeera that a war with N Korea is unlikely and I agree with their #1 reason: “Nobody wants war.”

  3. craazyman

    How could someone be arrested by UK police and have their reputation tarred in global media when they evidently weren’t even in the country when the action under investigation took place? Good Grief! Is that Law and Order? What is that?

    I suspect the jogger had no idea a bus was approaching — note the bus is well behind the jogger. I bet that woman was walking in a designated bike/jogging lane and the jogger thought “I’ll teach this person a lesson” and gave her a shove. Totally inexcusable to do that — it’s a heinous thing to do and it probably is a criminal violation. But along the East River in New Yawk there’s a walkway shared by pedestrians, joggers and bikers and I’ve seen tempers flare when people get in each other’s way. I’ve had a few nasty encounters with very rude cyclists, and I bet someone with anger management issues could give a person a shove if they were having a really bad day.

    1. John A

      The guy arrested was based on tip-offs from the public. The voracious tabloids are always keen to ‘bribe’ a police insider to get personal details like that to publish. Blame the tabloid culture in Britain (Murdoch leading the way there!)
      To my eye, the perp looks much older than in his 20s. As to his intentions, it was a clear case of deliberate bullying, a man versus a smaller woman. He would probably not have tried to barge an equal sized male in the same way. As the kerb is closeby, there would be a high probability of the victim falling into the road and London roads are pretty packed, a car or taxi would have been equally dangerous for her. It is possible, however, it was a bus only lane.
      I regularly walk along the south bank of the Thames between the BFI and National Theatre to London Bridge and it is full of joggers and pedestrians after office closing times. Somehow they usually manage to avoid collisions.
      The jogger had literally no excuse, unless it was a phony youtube video stunt. If so, the truth will eventually come out.

      1. craazyman

        That’s still shocking. That “tip-offs from the public” could produce the arrest and global media humiliation of a man who evidently was out of the country when the crime under investigation took place.

        Reminds me of the civil war in Liberia a few decades ago,. Evidently one side (or maybe both) in the conflict cut the forearms of so-called enemy collaborators off with machetes. Collaborators included evidently even people such as teachers and health care providers. It got to the point people with grudges against neighbors, love rivals, etc accused their personal enemies of being collaborators — which resulted in their forearms being chopped off with machetes. There were photos in the news in those days and journalism about it.


        This might be a lesson for NC. Don’t be so quick to post salacious and inflammatory Links that confirm your biases unless there’s some clear evidence of factual validity. You play a part in the destruction of innocent people’s lives.

        1. JTMcPhee

          …and of course “our” Imperial military-security-“intelligence” cadres have been happy to have “informants” seeking to kill off rivals or annoying neighbors to point out supposed “terraists” and “insurgents” so the Centurions and Sepoys and Hessians “we” have become could pink-mist them…

          1. craazyman

            well, to be fair, vetting Links for accuracy and fairness would probably prevent ANY link from being posted

            “Any newspaper, from the first line to the last, is nothing but a web of horrors, I cannot understand how an innocent hand can touch a newspaper without convulsing in disgust.” –Charles Baudelaire

            1. ChiGal in Carolina

              I think NC does a fair amount of vetting. Posts are frequently accompanied by qualifiers. This one slipped through, probably cuz the guy was a hedge fundie.

            2. Zzzz Andrew

              Wait, what? NC has posted two links to this story, both clearly including a report of the rather substantial alibi. Your caution is a good precept for craazy and sane alike, but I don’t know that it’s been violated here.

              1. craazyman

                Are you kidding me? NC wants to re-fight the Civil War and finish off the South once and for all. With I95 running south of Maryland you can take several thousand horses, cannons and artillery all the way to Richmond. Line em up on the north side of the James and demand unconditional surrender of all the former Confederate states. And no need to worry about supply lines — you’ve got Highway Rest Stops all the way down the NJ Turnpike and food courts for meals.

                You can stop at the Walt Whitman Service area even. How’s that for deja vu?

                Pot smoking southern stoners layin around after the K-Mart shift watching Sweet Home Alabama on Youtube won’t know what hit them. They’ll be fending off the repo man to keep their Ford Truck, they’ll be 3 months behind on the mobile home payment, their cable subscription is about to be cut — and then they’ll find out they have to go fight Civil War 2. They’ll be “WTF??? What the hell did we do?” Just like the first time!

                I’m hopeful it won’t come to that and saner heads will prevail. How many horses there are in the North these days. It’s not like it used to be. If you tried to organize an Army of Liberation and the Feds found out you were buying 20,000 horses and cannons it might be a problem. How is that for irony? You get arrested by the same people you’re fighting for! Oh man. And the Southern Stoners may not even show up this time. Can you imagine setting up a line of 15,000 cavalary with cannons north of Richmond and nobody took you seriously? What would you do then? It could get complicated. You might find yourself institutionalized and once the insurance money kicked in and the hospital started getting paid they mgiht not let you out. You could try to pretend it was just a joke, but when it’s about the money they won’t be in any mood to laugh except on their way to the bank

    2. Norb

      This incident is a perfect reflection of our times. The jogger feels completely justified in exercising his “right” to the pathway space, and forcefully ejects the hapless woman out of his way, probably feeling self-righoutous the entire time as you note. I believe this is confirmed by the fact that the woman tried to confront the jogger as he returned minutes later, and was rebuffed.

      What makes this incident revealing, is that justification for extremely anti-social behavior is bound in the strict interpretation of rules while ignoring outcomes. Arguments are made that the woman was pushed because SHE was not following the rules. These argument are only possible because her head was not squashed like a mellon by the passing bus. Anyone taking that argument is revealed as a sociopath.

      Sociopathy is revealed every day. It’s about time that it is acknowledged as the dangerous corrupting force that it is.

      Its strange that in the US, cruelty to animals is the quickest way to social censure. People not so much. That alone speaks volumes.

      1. Gaianne

        What rules was the woman not following? (I mean, you are kidding, right?)

        The video plainly shows the woman moving to the edge of the pathway as the jogger approaches. Ignoring the clear way in front of him, the jogger veers at the woman and strikes her with the weight of his body. He seems to push her at the same time. As she falls, the man returns to his former course.

        The idea that the police could name the wrong man–given the video–is astonishing and hard to believe, but let us put that aside. The joggers actions–whoever he was–were plainly deliberate and plainly intended to injure or kill.


        1. clinical wasteman

          Even in a country that created many thousands of new criminal offences, many of them astonishingly petty and the great majority class-centric, in the last 20 years (not to speak of the Innovation known as Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, i.e. offences that are criminal on an ad-hoc basis, just for one person) the are NO rules about pavement precedence (apart from notional ban on pavement bicycles) in the UK, and definitely not in favour of joggers! Why should she, and not he, step aside? Is his jogging more important than her walking?
          A couple of years back ‘British Olympic hero’ Mo Farah did the same thing to someone pushing a baby carriage in an admittedly bus-free public park; so important are such Role Models that he didn’t even feel the need to deny it.
          Did they miss the Running Around Corners module in jogging school, or only the Slowing Down For A Moment part?
          The false arrest and calumny are horrible for sure, but hardly an isolated case here. People of less exalted class who are falsely convicted then cleared after decades in prison are called monsters ever after by the media, and are regularly denied compensation on the grounds that a reverse standard of proof would apply, i.e. to get even a few lousy bucks for 10+ years of their lives they would have too prove their innocence ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, even after the court quashed their convictions. Look up Sam Hallam (life sentence for ‘joint enterprise’ murder in mid-teens on the evidence of one vacillating — was he black or white? Not quite sure — eye witness; out years later just after his father’s suicide) , then Winston Silcott (supposed ‘cop killer’ in Broadwater Farm riot 1980s. Except he wasn’t there. But he WAS a dangerous community activist whose blood the cops craved. So much so that he was set up (a complicated & disputed story, but ‘framed’ is not an outlying opinion) on another murder charge soon afterwards, for which he ‘served’ many years MORE than the full sentence even though two thirds is standard, because to get out he would have had to show ‘remorse’ for something he insists he didn’t do. In newspaperland he is Cop-Killing Monster Silcott to this day, even though the cop-killing conviction was the one overturned by the courts.)
          None of which cancels out the injustice done to the person arrested and vilified in this case, but point is, why is THIS miscarriage of justice in particular all over the newpapers? The papers’ own involvement doesn’t explain it: they’re almost always involved, and normally they recant as quietly as possible, somewhere near the small classified ads, when they spout bile all over a suspect who turned out to be innocent.
          Also, because this story was so ubiquitous in UK media, I didn’t keep track of exactly when it appeared on NC, but my passing impression was that it was on here because of the implications of the actual shove, not because of anything made up later about who it was that did the shoving.

      2. SpringTexan

        So agree about strict interpretation of rules. You see the same grotesque thing with immigration – “but they broke the LAW.” Here’s another example, in Austin a woman’s car crashed off a parking garage months after the same thing happened to a man’s car, the cables were old and useless. The garage had been inspected after the first instances but the cables not remedied. Yet, so many people in the comments say oh the woman’s getting hurt was all her own fault because only an idiot could make a mistake that would propel their car off the garage. Sociopathy.
        It’s been propelled by the “no excuses” stuff in some schools. Twenty years ago, a friend of mine knew a woman whose family were victims of a home invasion at gunpoint. After the invasion, their private school pointed to a no-excuses policy and did not allow the girl to make up the exams she missed while this happened. Her family ended up sending her to another school. Insanity. And cruelty.

    3. JamesG

      Not a lawyer but a guy who pays attention.

      in the USA “arrest” means you have been charged with an offense.

      In the UK it means you might be charged with an offense.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        in the US being arrested does NOT mean you have been or will be charged with a crime. You might have been, if a judge issued a warrant for your arrest which the police are carrying out.

        but mostly arrest means just what it says: you damn well stop what you’re doing and accept the “invitation” to accompany the cops down to the station! What happens from there depends on the circumstances.

        1. UserFriendly

          Haven’t you ever watched a police procedural? They have 72 hours (48 in some states) to file charges.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          And what about the fact that you can now be arrested just for “resisting arrest”, even absent any current or later-proven crime. It’s civil asset forfeiture, but in this case the asset being forfeited is your right to exist as an innocent citizen

    4. Harry

      I will bet you London Bridge doesn’t have a designated running or biking lane on the sidewalk. Biking on the pavement/sidewalk is against the law in London.

  4. JTMcPhee

    Good thing the crash driver wasn’t a Muslim or A-rab. Imagine the reaction if he was.

    Nihilist individuals in the past have shown how individual bad acts (and acts disguised as such) can bring the melting pot or gaggle of nations to a cheery boil…

    My best history prof thought historians ought to bend their efforts to strip away the face paint and comfortable veneers of “Americanism” and spotlight exactly what we really have been and are. I had to ask him what comes after the myths that loosely “unite” us are burned away…

      1. JTMcPhee

        He was all rectitudinal about This Great Country being actually a pretty awful set of invaders and colonialists and looters — he was personally and professionally more concerned with intellectual honesty, and ok with leaving the cleanup detail and “reform” to others, rather Quixotically hoping that seeing ourselves as we really are might foment change for the better…

        Not that there is a snowball’s chance that this set of 300-plus million humans could ever be brought around to even an approximation of the mythology — “rule of law,” “Equality of Opportunity and Persons,” “due process,” “We are NOT a violent people,” “our Rulers Government represents us and protects us,” add your own. Let alone to a “just society,” or mass behaviors that pointed away from the environmental collapse he dimly perceived in 1970-72. He was well aware that looking at the Big Picture, what ‘we” got is “of the Rulers, by the Rulers, and for the Rulers,” with some high-sounding language and chimaerical forms to divert and sucker us, and little drippings for the mopes to waste their “power of the masses” fighting over…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Next, it will be self-driving kamikazi cars.

      “For the cause. I offer you a cup of sake, my dear self-driving car.”

    2. jawbone

      I’ve been listening to the news briefs and some longer coverage, waiting to hear about how this guy’s actions were terrorism.

      White guys who kill large numbers are not usually referred to as “terrorists,” no matter how egregious the crime is.

  5. Jeorg Hapthorson

    “If the US goes to war with NK, impeachment would be the least of anyone’s worries.”

    Not sure that’s right. Seoul could be flattened by NK artillery, NK could explode a nuclear bomb (on the ground or maybe from a sub) in the face of incoming US forces. The US would flatten the country with bombing runs. Russia and China would get involved to make sure the US doesn’t install a puppet pro west leader on their doorstep.

    Even after all that, I’m pretty sure impeachment would still be the top story in the US short of a world war – the rest is just business as usual.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The most likely scenario, I think, is that we re-convene the collapsed-towers commission to investigate first.

      “Act after we find out what happened. An inside job or an outside one? Impeachment of not. Towers don’t go down that quickly…maybe. Let’s investigate.”

  6. Terry Flynn

    re Turkish city and happiness

    Ugh -I’m willing to bet they used a category rating scale (like most ‘happiness surveys’). These scales were thoroughly discredited by 2001. Furthermore the US and UK and Australia have all displayed the “we have no idea wtf older people are doing when answering these” effect. Turns out you can’t even compare WITHIN countries, let alone between them. Oldies give ridiculously high scores which can’t be explained by any of a zillion factors that should (and DO) reduce their quality of life. Whether it’s a cohort or temporal effect is not yet clear but even Kahneman (who proposed them) these days has distanced himself from the “overall life” scores in favour of health/wealth/etc specific ones….which then run smack bang into the problem they were meant to solve in the first place – how to aggregate these in a theoretically acceptable way. But the meeja love their happiness stories…

    1. Altandmain

      Although imperfect, it is very likely that the Nordic nations doing well on these is probably very accurate. A few other nations have done well. The Dutch do well, as do the Swiss. Amongst the Anglo nations, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia do well.

      Note of course that these are nations that are all more egalitarian and although capitalist, lean toward social democracy. I just hope that they all reject this neoliberalism that is infecting the world.

      1. Terry Flynn

        If you have a spare 55 minutes (!) I debunk the Aussie case here:

        re neoliberalism – I agree: I even detected the particularly malign effect of neoliberalism in Sydney compared to Melbourne – something all my native-born colleagues swore to qualitatively but could never back up with numbers. Differences within countries are *huge* and although I’m very open to the possibility that *quality of life* is indeed better in the Nordic countries, happiness/life satisfaction scales will never convince me. Did you know that people espousing traditional Chinese values avoid using the number 4? It has connotations with death. I believe there are two numbers below 15 (8 and 11 IIRC) that in Cantonese are slang for a, how shall I put this, standing upright and an at rest part of the body. That’s just one example. The biases in these numbers are phenomenal and (among older people unexplainable).

    2. Lee

      What do you think of the study this article is based upon? The aging paradox: The older we get, the happier we are

      And then there is Wordsworth:


      THE little hedgerow birds,
      That peck along the roads, regard him not.
      He travels on, and in his face, his step,
      His gait, is one expression: every limb,
      His look and bending figure, all bespeak
      A man who does not move with pain, but moves
      With thought.–He is insensibly subdued
      To settled quiet: he is one by whom
      All effort seems forgotten; one to whom
      Long patience hath such mild composure given, 10
      That patience now doth seem a thing of which
      He hath no need. He is by nature led
      To peace so perfect that the young behold
      With envy, what the Old Man hardly feels.

      1. Terry Flynn

        It quotes Stone (see my article in reply to HotFlash) – who has done much better work and indeed (politely) points out that their results are rubbish. We don’t understand why older people report these scores full stop. It most certainly does NOT reflect any realistic or remotely believable “aggregation” of the dimensions of life that we know how older people perform on. The study is correct that “worries about the future” do appear to be lower among older people, but for the instrument I co-developed (the ICECAP-O), when you plot the life-course for each of the 5 dimensions, there’s no mathematical way for this dimension to explain the “high happiness” unless older people place absolutely no value on (1) relationships, (2) independence, (3) ability to do things that make them feel valued and (4) enjoyable activities. The weight attached to these must be zero, implying things like loneliness and poor health have zero effect on you. Totally bonkers and at odds with the clinical and other literature.

        Unfortunately a large branch of psychology has become detached from its theoretical roots, which show the outcome measures they use are a nonsense – it’s bad (but in a different way) to economics, that the mainstream is totally out of sync with reality.

        1. Lee

          Have you read Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal? I’m reading it now and finding that I am in agreement with his views on de-medicalizing old age, terminal illness and death. The trade-off between quantity and and quality of life is a central focus of his concerns and the age of the patients seems to account for a great deal in the choices people make. The amount of suffering and the costs incurred for minimal gains in time in the final months of life are staggering.

          1. blennylips

            Just finished it! I also like Atul’s approach, very much.

            The Laura Carstensen (director of the Stanford Center on Longevity) in the LaTimes articule also gets a passage from Dr. Gawande. She was convinced by experience:

            It was 1974. She was twenty-one, with an infant at home and a marriage already in divorce proceedings. … Coming back from the show, they piled into a VW minibus, and, on a highway somewhere outside Rochester, New York, the driver, drunk, rolled the minibus over an embankment.
            Carstensen barely survived.

            I was twenty-one. … “All of a sudden, it was like I was stopped dead in the tracks. … She didn’t instantly recognize how parallel her new perspective was to the one old people commonly have.

            Quite a story, started college course while legs in air traction and ends up a Stanford prof.

            As I get older, I certainly hope she is right, and, have to say, so far she is:)

          2. Terry Flynn

            No I hadn’t but thanks for the recommendation!

            I’ve also done choice experiments among people regarding end-of-life decision-making and it all is entirely consistent with what you said – the medical profession feels “obliged” to throw resources at keeping a person alive (even if induring horrid QoL via ICU/ITU machines etc) but only around 10% (max) of the general population (Aus) want that.

    3. Oregoncharles

      “we have no idea wtf older people are doing when answering these”

      I know: they’re answering “considering my age.” Just as IQs are adjusted for age, so are “happiness” scores, BY THE PEOPLE TAKING THE TEST.

      Plus, everything gets toned down with age; energy expenditure is less, and normally, so are passions

      I have a personal example: my mother is 100. She has a long list of deficits, uses a walker, tires very easily. But she’s still there mentally and gets around, so she’s doing very well – considering her age.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Yeah I made essentially that point elsewhere in the conversation. Older people (and various other subgroups in society) use a different frame of reference, which is why these scales are ridiculous.

        Plus a conclusion from our team’s (and other teams’) research that if you use *older people’s OWN values that reflect how well they do relative to their expectations of life as an older person*, quality of life generally falls after a brief jump after retirement….first gradually, then much more precipitously in the mid 80s, whilst stated happiness scores from the same people are continuing to rise. Now this means that older people are not achieving what they themselves expect to achieve (given their age) in the countries we’ve researched….and since some governments (UK said it once) mused that decrements in happiness define need, it means older people should have even less of a claim on resources than at present. Something the now falling life expectancies creeping up the socioeeconomic scale in the US/UK/etc show (see past NC articles) is blatantly rubbish.

    4. HotFlash

      Oldies give ridiculously high scores which can’t be explained by any of a zillion factors that should (and DO) reduce their quality of life. Whether it’s a cohort or temporal effect is not yet clear

      As on Old Person (official!), with many Old Friends, let me take a WAG. Old Pollyannas will fill out the survey. Really, really miserable people have already miserabled themselves to death, but surviving miserable people will not fill out any damn survey.


      1. Terry Flynn

        Unfortunately no. I probably should have made it clearer that a given (older) person has a significantly lower quality of life (often pretty awful) than the happiness score they report – this has been shown in internet surveys and mailed questionnaires from official sources (follow-up work to, together with a US study by some eminent people in the field:

        Now, there is a subtle variation on your point that I’ve long had in mind to explain the difference. I suspect older people consider ‘happiness’ and ‘life satisfaction’ to be the product of their achieved lifespan and given well-being over time – so the fact they’ve just “got to age x” means they feel they must give a high score. But the fact remains that in the US/UK/Aus, a whole battery of questions has established that (across various types of studies) most older people that happen to be in awful health/wealth/loneliness/etc do have awful quality of life – and are, in essence very miserable – when a measure that is invariant to these ‘rating scale biases’ is used, even though they continue to say “9 out of 10” to happiness/life satisfaction questions.

        1. UserFriendly

          Is a sampling error possible? Old people who are pessimists might just be harder to get to fill out a survey…. don’t answer the phone, respond to mail from strangers, aren’t willing to talk to researchers. Life is such shit they try to shut out the world?

          1. Terry Flynn

            I’m not sure I’m disagreeing with people here – if there’s sampling error and more pessimists are “missed” among the oldies (boosting happiness) then that means we haven’t found a single way of getting the “proper” scores from this group – the “high score” phenomenon is seen across all manner of types of survey/location. In which case happiness is a dangerous statistic to use and compare.

            So the question becomes “might sampling error be irrelevant to happiness in old age but be artificially depressing QoL?” If it’s the pessimists we’re “missing” then why would they have much higher QoL? It’d have to be pretty much 100% QoL to offset the difference in the people we *have* recruited. Yet that violates our assumption that these missing people are pessimists! You’d have to argue that in “having low expectations – which they met”, they could get 100% on the ICECAP-O instrument. But in the UK and Australia studies, as people get more pessimistic their QoL *falls* not rises, and after adjusting for everything you could think of.

            So, it’s possible but as I indicated above to OregonCharles, unlikely to affect our Quality of Life measure whilst if it is the reason for high happiness scores then it just increases the justification for QoL. The people we’ve recruited *already* are in a sense pessimistic, in that their stated quality of life is falling way behind what they expect/want it to be…they also give answers to a variety of questions on attitudes that are in line with “hard” statistics (like distance to nearest GP/hospital) yet they also report 9/10 happiness. So these people, and just in case I wasn’t very clear, have given us both QoL and happiness data, so we’re comparing like with like.

  7. The Rev Kev

    The flash-point for Charlottesville seems to be the demand that a statue of Robert E. Lee be removed from the park where it was set down about a century ago. Removing statues seems to be a big thing these days. Countries like Poland and the Ukraine are pulling down any statues left by the Russians, including those commemorating the soldiers killed in WW2 taking back those countries. There are other examples – the Taliban blasting the Buddhas of Bamiyan back in 2001, the destruction by ISIS of Roman and other works in an attempt to erase the past, Israeli archaeologist bull-dozing dirt layers with Arabic occupation to get to Jewish levels so claiming there was nothing else there.
    I’m sorry but trying to erase the past like that and removing any reminders of past events just leaves a hole in history. God knows then what will fill that hole for a lot of people. When you silently agree to not talk about past events and pretend that stuff never happened, that is how atrocities get covered up and justice remains denied. I have seen that happen in my own country’s history and some dark deeds get hidden that way. Out of sight, out of mind only gets you so far and can leave you on some very shaky historical foundations. Just because your many times removed ancestor did something bad does NOT mean that you are responsible for his actions. You examine and understand the past so that hopefully you do not do the same damn fool things in the present
    I know that all this may seem an esoteric point to others but you have to think things through about where it can all go. That statue for example. This is part of a campaign to erase a big chunk of America’s past and we saw the semi-banning of Confederate flags just last year. How long in this day and age before Google drops references to the Confederacy in its search results? Or books and the like go missing on Amazon? To demand of Americans that they be patriotic about their fathers service as a grunt in ‘Nam, their fathers as dogfaces in WW2, their fathers as doughboys in WW1 and so on but when you come to your relative that fought as a reb in the 4th Virginia Infantry in the Civil war you are suddenly supposed to ignore him and not talk about him but feel shame for him? That only creates its own tensions and that demonstration by the right in Charlottesville may be a sign of how these things boil to the surface. Guaranteed that there is more to come of this down the track.

    1. Bunk McNulty

      The big chunk of history that Southerners are always trying to erase is that Civil War was not about slavery. It was. All those statues of Lee and other Confederate “heroes” are meant to reinforce the false story of “The Lost Cause.”

      “The Legend of the Lost Cause began as mostly a literary expression of the despair of a bitter, defeated people over a lost identity. It was a landscape dotted with figures drawn mainly out of the past: the chivalric planter; the magnolia-scented Southern belle; the good, gray Confederate veteran, once a knight of the field and saddle; and obliging old Uncle Remus. All these, while quickly enveloped in a golden haze, became very real to the people of the South, who found the symbols useful in the reconstituting of their shattered civilization.”

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Honest Abe was in no way a civil rights activist and considered shipping all slaves back to Africa. He was just trying to keep the Union together.

        1. Jim Haygood

          He kept the Union together at the appalling cost of 500,000 lives. The Union was a political abstraction; the bloody slaughter was all too real.

          Somehow it never occurs to the statue removers to start with the marble monument to Lincoln, who ushered in the toxic cocktail of total-war imperialism and messianic American exceptionalism which characterizes bloody-minded US global dominance to this day.

          A memorial to Lincoln is no more or less frivolous than a statue lionizing H Rap Brown, who accurately quipped that “Violence is as American as cherry pie.

          1. Moocao

            For all the people under the yoke of slavery, as well as their children and their children’s children, Lincoln’s gift is all too real. For this reason, Lincoln deserves his statue. Even if this freedom wasn’t Lincoln’s first goal, it became fact due to the Union’s victory.

            For whom would you dedicate a statue to Jim? Mao doesn’t deserve a statue, nor does Stalin, yet they have theirs.

            1. Massinissa

              “For whom would you dedicate a statue to Jim? Mao doesn’t deserve a statue, nor does Stalin, yet they have theirs.”

              So we should keep the Robert E. Lee statues up too? I agree with your first paragraph, but I’m not sure what exactly you’re getting at with the second.

          2. EricT

            The South fired first. The war broke out based upon differences regard slavery. Why would you vilify Lincoln?

          3. Lambert Strether

            > ushered in the toxic cocktail of total-war imperialism and messianic American exceptionalism

            It’s hard for me to accept the claim that Lincoln is responsible for American exceptionalism; I’m sure the threads on that go way back.

            As for “total war imperialism,” (a) I think you’re wrong on “imperial,” if by imperial you mean, as is typical, projects like taking over Cuba and turning it into a slave state. Or the war against Mexico, which Lincoln actually opposed. On (b) total war, indeed he did (or rather Grant + Sherman did). Was it worth it to get rid of slavery? I think it was. I think a world with a Confederate States of America would be a far worse world. And I don’t buy for a minute the argument from Confederate apologists that slavery would have died out naturally.

        2. John Wright

          I don’t understand why there was a need to “Keep the Union together”

          American business has posited that to ostensibly increase shareholder value, divestiture/ breaking apart corporate entities is a “good thing”.

          For example, I work at a company that was split off from the original company around 2000 and then split off again a few years ago.

          Preserving this (corporate) Union was not viewed as a requirement and the two corporate splits were handled with no loss of life (AFAIK).

          The assumption, by many in the USA, that preserving the (American) Union was a righteous goal, in itself, seems questionable to me.

          Maybe if Goldman Sachs had been around in 1860 (it was founded in 1869), they would have visualized a lot of fee revenue from implementing the North-South split and pushed “Honest Abe” in a different direction.

          And the EU did not see a need to invade Britain after Brexit to “preserve the European Union”.as the EU lets Britain proceed with the separation.

          1. Carla

            In the corporate realm, is divestiture really the predominant trend? Monopoly seems more prevalent to me, but admittedly I am without the whole picture.

            1. John Wright

              Perhaps the mantra is “focus on the corporation’s core competency”.

              This leads to outsourcing and divestiture of “non-core” business operations as the corporation pursues the “pure play” that is supposedly prized by Wall Street.

              Perhaps this “pure play” divestiture is an attempt at achieving monopoly pricing power but in a smaller company footprint?

              And the executives at both pieces frequently get bonuses for all the additional work involved in the divestiture.

              In any case, divestitures or acquisitions are good for financial industry.

          2. JBird

            Looks like I went waaaay overboard. I just keep expanding on my thoughts. There is reason I’m a Poli Sci major. :-)

            The South, or more accurately its wealthy Elite along with Northern financial and shipping industry, was trying to not only maintain, but expand “with the Peculiar Institution” into, they hoped, Cuba, México, and Central America. Not only was slavery profitable in cotton growing, it was used in growing other crops,and in manufacturing in the nascent Southern manufacturing. Imagine the poor, often hungry and destitute workers in Dickensian England as slaves. No need to pay them although their owners might have fed them better.

            The Abolitionist Movement had been active for at least fifty years before, which is why the British outlawed earlier in the 19th century even though it was very profitable for the Empire and very expensive to ban it. They had to pay all the owners for loss of their “property.” The United States government under the effective control of the richest part of the country, that being the South, supported the continuation of slavery in Haiti, Cuba, and Brazil.

            The problem for the South was several fold. First, the growing wealth and population of the North. Second, the growing international and domestic anti slavery movement. Third, and tied into the first two, is the need to expand the slave states because the agricultural practices in growing cotton and tobacco wore out the soil, and it was the growing slave Trade that went along with the new plantations and factories that was the most profitable. You can think of it as the housing industry or the stock market only with human beings.

            Now there was an Aabolitionist Movement throughout America, which is one of the reasons it disappeared in the North, but in the South the movement’s leaders either became exiled or died. Often violently in either.

            So, you cannot expand slavery, or at least very easily, Bloody Kansas and Missouri being examples. Your control of the national government is likely to end in a generation, perhaps two. The North, as a why, is willing to maintain, but sentiments throughout the country, including the South is slowly turning. Then Abraham Lincoln surprised everyone, including himself, becomes President. He is a noted decades long opponent of slavery although he is not an abolitionist, nor does he in anyway advocate equality. (Which John Brown did and it was used as an example of his “insanity.”

            The Southern leadership freaked. They assumed that President Lincoln was going to push for abolition, which was not his intention. He just loathe it, and aimed to prevent its expansion. The President’s most important goals were first to prevent a war, second to preserve the Union, and third let the South fire the first shot. But to paraphrasing him, he would have kept all the slaves, some of the slaves, or freed all the slaves to keep the country together.

            So of the just under thirty-two million Americans living in the country in 1860, upwards of one million died from all wartime causes. (Determinating the number is very difficult, but in the past few decades research has bumped it upwards. Some Day it might go down.). Do not forget that the rule of historical thumb injuries are twice or more of the dead in war. So low estimate, 500 thousand dead with one million plus injured. High estimate is one million dead with two million plus injured. The South went from the richest to the poorest.

            Also, General Lee is the one who effectively ended the Civil War. His officers recommended that the Army of Northern Virginia split up, go past the Union Armies, and regroup as guerrilla units. There were also 2-3 other Confederate armies still around. Considering how good the Confederate troops were, the war could have lasted for decades. Scary thought that.

            Anyways, Generals Grant and Sherman’s generous terms of surrender was following what the they knew of President Lincoln’s desires, and plans, although not his explicit commands. Then that fool Booth assassinated the greatest advocate for national reconciliation, the Republicans botched Reconstruction, and due to political shenanigans with a heavy dollop of corruption, Reconstruction was ended early also. Oh by the way up into the 1920s the Ku Klu Klan was just as big in the North as it was in the South. Also various forms of Jim Crow laws were also popular throughout the country as was lynchings. It just was more entrenched and longer lasting in the South.

            And a small part of the reason many in the South fought the was not just because they were great dupes of the rich elites (which they were) was because they didn’t like people sending in armies to tell them what to do.(as well as the fact that people were often more loyal to their State rather than their country. For example Lee)

            1. Ancient 1

              Thank you for your comment. The most honest and history based that I have read today. Especially this paragraph:
              And a small part of the reason many in the South fought the was not just because they were great dupes of the rich elites (which they were) was because they didn’t like people sending in armies to tell them what to do.(as well as the fact that people were often more loyal to their State rather than their country. For example Lee)”
              If anyone has visited the cemetery at Vicksburg, you understand as well.

            2. Lambert Strether

              > growing cotton and tobacco wore out the soil

              I’m not sure about the argument; I don’t think it’s supported by recent scholarship, though I’m too lazy to find the link. But it’s implausible. Southern planters were dedicated agriculturists and soil science was advancing even then. No reason slaves couldn’t be used to add mulch….

              The larger point, however, is that slavery — whether breeding slaves or appropriating their labor — was immensely profitable. It was good business. That’s why the slaveholders wanted to expand it.

              1. Jessica

                At least in the newer regions of the south (what is now the Deep South), there was a strong speculative element. The primacy of financial factors over agronomical factors resembled grain farming on newly sod-busted prairie right up to the Dust Bowl (which it was a major cause of).

            3. John Wright

              To me this makes a case for the North to simply say to the South, “leave, don’t slam the door on your way out”

              If the South wanted to expand slavery, they NEEDED the industrial North to help with this effort.

              If Lincoln had simply said, “SOUEXIT is fine, go ahead and see how it works out, we will embargo Southern assets in the North and return them when compensated for Northern assets in the South,

              The broken off South, assuming it wanted to expand slavery, could not receive any help from the North with any attempt to expand/reintroduce slavery into Central America (it would be the re-introduction of slavery into Costa Rica and El Salvador after it had been abolished in 1824).

              I still don’t see the need to preserve the Union, let the South go and have the North attempt to captitalize on the newly acquired West (CA) and Northwest (Oregon, Washington).

              I guess I have a small stake in the actual civil war outcome in that a great grandfather fought for the North, and took a bullet in his arm. If that bullet had been better aimed, I wouldn’t be writing this.

          3. Montanamaven

            I still wonder what would have happened if the South did break off and there was no war. How long would slavery have really lasted? Or I heard of a plan to just pay off all the slave owners which would have cost less money and saved 500,000 lives. I have thought for about 10 years now that the USA is just too darn big. If the South had split off and then the West split into North West and South West. Or the North west merged with Alberta and BC. And the Southwest with upper Mexico. More manageable.
            One can dream.

            1. Louis

              There are plenty of other hypothetical: e.g. what would have happened if Robert E Lee wasn’t able to get the faction, wanting to turn to insurgency and guerilla warfare and keep fighting, to stand down?

              Would the Union have prevailed?

              Considering that the Union had superior resources, they probably would have prevailed but it would have taken years and would have come at great cost. Furthermore the terms of surrender would probably not have been as generous as they were in 1865–Lee and others would have gone to gallows, lower ranking officers imprisoned, and a lot of others disenfranchised or outright stripped of citizenship.

              1. JBird

                Lincoln, Lee, Grant, Sherman, and others feared just that sort of multi decade(generation perhaps) guerrilla war with all its horror. The South probably would have not won, but it was not completely impossible. Regardless, it would have been Kansa, Missouri squared with people like Cantrell having a great time, but throughout the South. Add in Sherman’s style of total war. Yeah, no thanks. I like reading counterfactual stories but I think I would pass on one based on that nightmare fuel.

              2. Jessica

                The North had already started arming African-American soldiers. The South surrendered when it did because the alternative was the probable extinction of Southern elites as a class and the full implementation of “40 acres and a mule”.

            2. JBird


              The problem is that the Southern Slavocracy really wanted to expand their system to as much of the Americas as they could and maintain it where it already existed. Central America, Haiti, Cuba, and Brazil would have been the start. They could easily have failed as the British Empire was trying to stamp out slavery, but they would have tried.

              May I suggest reading about William Walker and his Central American adventures? Interesting history. Those Southerners had some serious plans.

              1. Lambert Strether

                > the Southern Slavocracy really wanted to expand their system to as much of the Americas as they could and maintain it where it already existed

                See This Vast Southern Empire. The ruling class of the Slave Power was quite confident. In fact, they reacted to their loss of control over what today we would call “national security” when Lincoln was elected makes The Blob’s reaction to Trump look mild.

                “Nothing in it for us any more. We’re outta here.”

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Just a hypothetical question.

          Which is least desirable:

          1. indebted serfdom, with no health care


          2. Federal government sending in inspectors to enforce $25/hr min wage for slaves, and passes law the all shall be provided free health care, and clean living quarters at no charge. Moreover, physically abusive owners and overseers are imprisoned for at least 10 years. Such laws can be passed without a civil war, involving no state rights.

          Neither is good. Which is lesser evil?

          And one more question, less hypothetical.

          Are there people today talking about re-establishing antebellum slavery again here? These guys should be called out and denounced. Are we in danger of these people existing among us?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Under the second hypothetical situation, additionally we can ask: does the slave market collapse with all those laws that can be, theoretically, passed?

            What if Lincoln had passed them? What basis for complaint would the South have?

            Hindsight speculation here, of course.

          2. Propertius

            There certainly are people who talk about the existence of a minimum wage being a burden to economic growth. One assumes that, deep in their heart of hearts, they believe reducing the minimum to 0 would be beneficial. They won’t say “slavery” outright, but that’s really what they’re advocating, isn’t it?

            1. Fiery Hunt

              As a small business owner who remembers being underpaid and underappreciated, I am intimately aware of the struggle to live on “not enough”. But the cost of employing someone (here in CA, the cost is easily 2X the employee’s wage!) is not related to their worth or the business’ need solely…it has to include the state’s Bezzle! (look up taxes on CA business..).

        4. Bunk McNulty

          The Confederacy, however, was all about slavery and the racism that validated it.

          “Our new government is founded upon exactly [this] idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

          –Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy. The Cornerstone Speech.

          1. Fiery Hunt

            A government and its people are not the same…neither are their views.

            Should you be judged by Trump’s words?
            Set down your overly broad brush.

            See America; anytime since its birth

          2. Aumua

            A pretty damning and final nail in the coffin of any opposing arguments along those lines if you ask me.

      2. Ancient 1

        You did not hear that kind of talk from the part of the South where my family has lived for generations. An area of small farms and hard working people. Three of my ancestors perished in that War and one came back from battle not knowing who he was. People forget that War was brought on by the wealthy politicians. Poor farmers fought because they were paid to do so by those who did not want to fight and to protect their families. After the war all that was important was for families to survive as there was hunger and war injuries to live with. A lot loss their land and became sharecroppers. Their heirs only escaped their poverty through FDR and the New Deal. I think it is important to remember that poor people pay the cost always. But you can’t erase history. It lives on in memories from those who lived it

        1. Massinissa

          It would be one thing if the statues were of the common soldiers. But the statues are of the elites, generals and other officers, many of whom were plantation owners. If anything, the statues of those officers further pushes the experiences of the rank and file soldiers from historical public view.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I agree with what you say Massinissa. Trouble is, if an offer was made to replace those statues of Confederate officers with statues of ordinary Confederate soldiers, it still would not be tolerated. Things have gone too far for that to be a workable answer anymore.
            What happens next is that the statue eventually gets replaced with a piece of ‘modern’ artwork which says nothing about anything so – mission accomplished? That would only stick in a lot of people’s craw on a daily basis and would only make things worse. They would serve as rallying points for conservatives by their insulting nature.
            Personally I have always thought that a statue made from the photograph at would make an interesting statue. Sort of like the The Three Soldiers memorial at the brilliant Vietnam Veterans Memorial. However I am not an American so not my call.

            1. Fiery Hunt

              Gotta say…your insight is keen. Enjoying your views…even if they’re not “Mur’can! :)

              And the non-descript “public art”? Fodder for Lambert’s Bezzle!!!

          2. dale

            In Macon Ga there is a monument honoring the Women of the Confederacy and many small towns in South Ga and Lower Al have statues of common soldiers.

            1. Ancient 1

              Statues of common soldiers are found on most all county courthouse squares in Southern States and most of the common people had ancestors who fought in that war, except those who made fortunes off of the war. Don’t talk about that.

          1. mpalomar

            Any Greek would know histories were narrative first, Homer’s war book and the dramatist Aeschylus’ “The Persians…the only surviving classical Greek tragedy concerned with contemporary events … and source of information about its period. Aeschylus’ epitaph commemorates his participation in the Greek victory at Marathon.”

            Herodotus too, the scholar “Aubin said…Herodotus was ‘the author of the first important narrative history of the world.'”

            Thucydides commanded at Amphipolis in the Peloponnesian war and was exiled for his failure to arrive in time to prevent its fall, “I lived through the whole of it, being of an age to comprehend events, and giving my attention to them in order to know the exact truth about them. It was also my fate to be an exile from my country for twenty years after my command at Amphipolis.”

          2. UserFriendly

            And unfortunately tribalism makes people idolize their ancestors. How many people admit their ancestors owned slaves and don’t try to rationalize it away?

        2. jrs

          In short: War Is Hell. But war is ever and always hell no matter the cause, and great injustices to actual human beings are always done in war no matter how just the cause (of course one can’t even say that about most wars as most wars are 100% unjust and pointless). Slavery was hell as well.

    2. cocomaan

      Removing statues seems to be a big thing these days.

      Always a big thing, I’d argue. For instance, idols and statues of Marduk or other Babylonian era gods – these were not just statues, but considered the actual gods themselves – were stolen by conquerors, destroyed, held hostage, etc. I think the Assyrians were particularly known for their cruelty when it came to foreign gods.

      This kind of thing just goes on and on. We worship idols, whether in words (offensive terms) or in marble (statues) or most often in cloth (flags), and fight each other over them. It was stupid then and it’s pretty stupid now.

    3. dcblogger

      How can you compare those glorious statues of Buddhas to statues celebrating the service of traitors? unbelievable.

      and the subtext seems to be if you take down statues of traitors white people will kill you, so don’t try it.

      ALL the statues of confederate traitors need to come down, the streets need to be renamed and all celebration of the pro-slavery traitors needs to be wiped from the face of the earth.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It depends.

        After Buddhists monks fought on the street of old Nara (while it was still the capital for the Yamato clan), people didn’t feel so great about Buddhist statues.

        There are plenty of symbols, religious or otherwise, that inspire some, while invoke fear in others.

      2. jrs

        “How can you compare those glorious statues of Buddhas to statues celebrating the service of traitors? unbelievable. ”


        but also the history is very different, the Buddha statues were thousands of years old. They dated before Christ. That’s what was destroyed, thousand year old religious statues. Most of the Southern statues weren’t even put in closely after the civil war but more recently for propaganda purposes, Berney’s sauce if you will. The southern status are closer, but of course darker, to say historical memorabilia for Coca-Cola than to the Buddhist statues.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          What about images of Christopher Columbus?

          And some people collapse at the sight of a crescent, a star or a cross…due to recent traumatic events.

          In some places in the world, parents proudly name their kids Genghis, if I understand correctly.

          What do we do with all the marble statues of Popes of the past?

          Do we ask how Native Americans feel about George Custer’s flag?

          1. HotFlash

            Are they now? Don’t personally know any Ghengis’s, although I do know several Attilla’s.

          2. polecat

            I’m a gonna chisel away that thar Mt. Rushmore from the facebook of this here Terra … cuz I juz don like it … they be all rich ol’ white dudes ! .. not like them honest youngins .. like zucker, or holmes …

      3. sin nombre

        i had the chance to spend a few days touring cambodian temples last year. Large numbers of them have the heads of their statuary defaced or completely hacked off: either buddhists defacing vishnu-ite shrines or vice-versa, from the various invasions and retreats over the millenia….. ’twas ever thus.

    4. Moocao

      I’m sorry, but the Liberal belief that all causes, no matter how unjust, deserves equal representation smacks of stupidity. These statues do not represent a memorial to the sacrifices of the unknown soldiers or to the idea of states vs federal rights; their presence serves as a reminder of bigots and racists that there was a time when being a white supremacist was acceptable and respectable.

      Grant, in my opinion, by agreeing to the overly generous terms at Appatomax for the sake of preserving American life, did this country a disservice: the Civil War should have ended the discussion of slavery and the unequal rights of colored men vs white men. The fact that this problem exists still today and that this country will still bleed over the existence over a Traitor and Slaver’s statue should tell you a lot about America.

      White America has been left behind through the faults of our overly stupid rapacious 1%ers, and deserve sympathy. I only hope this event will not be exploited as a wedge for race relations. Unfortunately I think it might be too late.

      1. JTFaraday

        People are calling these commemorative memorials– not “history”(!) — “altars for the alt-right.” Is this NOT what Charlottesville demonstrates? Because “altars for the alt-right” looks pretty accurate to me.

        Also, it is apparently the case that many of these memorials were erected alongside the erection of Jim Crow laws at the turn of the century, the period I consider to be perhaps the ugliest in American history.

        So who is erasing “history” here? Historically speaking, many of these memorials were erected as deliberate objects of intimidation. They were conceived with that purpose and then placed before court houses (but of course, no justice) and in other public spaces. This was not just about some “Lost Cause,” it was about the future and the cause that was Not Lost.

        And as “altars for the alt-right” it is still about the future, the one we’re going to have to live in.

          1. JTFaraday

            It’s a big holocaust museum. These people don’t realize that taking that down is actually other people being nice to them in a round about way, an attempt to try to allow the past to be the past if only the Darwin Award crew that thinks this is and should be “white history” would just let them.

            But, in general, I think liberals made a big mistake by taking the quick and dirty “white privilege” route instead of actually teaching history, which promotes understanding– as in mere intellectual comprehension– and gives people a little psychological space by making it more about the past than moralizing about the present (and future) to other people whose backgrounds and attitudes they don’t actually know anything about. Granted, this is because we don’t value anything that doesn’t immediately produce a buck, and so who has time for that.

            So, I’m okay with the open air holocaust museum, if it comes to that. But we shouldn’t limit that to the South where these monuments are, because there’s lots of hidden history all over the country.

    5. FluffytheObeseCat

      Statues of antebellum cavaliers* are not and were not erected to honor the common Civil War soldier. It’s soggy sentimentalist claptrap to now claim otherwise. They were thrown up during the “Lost Cause” revisionism push of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were and are propaganda pieces. Like every massive bronze of Lenin in every SSR, they went up as propaganda…… and they should come down to restore respect for our real history.

      This is not an identitarian issue, although it is currently favored by the worst doyens of the academic ‘cultural left’. Their love of it is beside the point. These statues should have come down 45 years ago. They should never have been erected. They are propaganda pieces, and were a key part of the whitewashing of the Confederacy that occurred after most of the Union leadership died off c. 1900.

      Should a few be kept in museums, as documents in evidence of a part of history? Yes. But they should be removed from their positions of honor in public places. They are not the same as silent cenotaphs honoring vast numbers of doughboys.

      *(This descriptive term is from the opening words of the movie “Gone with the Wind”, one of the last and most powerful expressions of the Lost Cause propaganda campaign.)

      1. Ancient 1

        Your comment is very true. In Spring Place, Tenn there is a burying ground with one small Cenotaph marking the resting place of one soldier who fought in that war. The others are plain stones with no markings, but hundreds of others with markings. This place is in the country surrounded by rolling fields and pastures. On the Third Sunday in May , Decoration Day, there is a memorial service and a collection taken for upkeep. The people keep in touch.

      2. mpalomar

        I agree substantially with everything except that taking them down might, “restore respect for our real history.” The statuary are indeed propaganda, a very real part of our history and removing them wipes the slate clean and the United States of Amnesia can march onwards without ever facing its false construction of history through propaganda and convenient half truth.

        The US is perhaps the most successful propaganda state in history, it is so successful that many Americans are not aware that it is the atmosphere we move in. Not just the media/state political propaganda from the wurlitzer that is piped at us 24/7 over cables, airwaves and print but also the even more prevalent commercial propaganda, the advertising that permanently shades our retinas and is the background din on the soundtrack of our lives.

        What should happen, if we were a self aware society interested in locating our history, would be a creative project to mine these artifacts for what they reveal about the events that produced them and how it reflects on current events, like the perception that North Korea is threatening us instead of the obvious inverse. Take General Lee and his cavaliers down and we never begin that discussion, the deeply sublimated and repressed discussion that produced the violence yesterday.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Since the “Lost Cause” types put those statues up, they certainly must have considered them important, and since their project was successful, it makes sense to contextualize the statues, even if they are just symbols.

          I’m worried too about erasing history, rather than contextualizing it. I understand the natural political instinct to “make the problem go away,” but a program of revising historical plaque wording (starting out “General ___ was a slave-owner,” or “General ___ owned __ slaves,” would be a good start) and modifying or defacing the statues in some way might be better (though I don’t know if it’s politically feasible). I was picturing brands of some sort on the statue’s foreheads, carved into the marble. One might also initiate a program of slave statuary next to the slave-owner statuary.

          1. Moocao

            Or we can just ship these statues to a museum.

            More poetic justice for the American public to gaze upon the faces of these slavery defenders within a museum, a museum that condemns them and their actions for generations to come.

            1. JTFaraday

              Yes, where in the US is the US holocaust museum.

              Although the somewhat broader National Museum of African American History and Culture does contain an exhibit dedicated to the Tulsa race riots of 1921, which just goes to show that the Jim Crow era in which many of these memorials were erected was indeed effective:

              “Tucked into a corner of Power of Place, an exhibit curated by alumnus Paul Gardullo, one of 15 curators at the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., is the story of a race riot that took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Your eye is immediately drawn to a panoramic photograph spanning three walls: block after block, buildings have been decimated, as if hit by a bomb.

              “It’s the remnants of one of the wealthiest black neighborhoods in America in the 1910s,” says Gardullo RC’90. “In 1921, over the course of two days, it was reduced to rubble—hundreds of businesses destroyed, an untold number of people killed.”

              …“In the early 20th century,” he says, “white mobs going into black neighborhoods, burning them down, lynching, and destroying life and property was the order of the day. And, often, they were tied to a perceived injustice perpetrated by a black man against a white woman. That’s what happened here.””


          2. HotFlash

            One might also initiate a program of slave statuary next to the slave-owner statuary.

            I like that, and it would provide a good New Deal project. Slave statuary. Or maybe graffiti.

          3. mpalomar

            “and modifying or defacing the statues in some way might be better”
            -Yes something subtle, like old Hickory, Lafayette Park, flourishing hat on dancing horse with a Steve Martin arrow through the head.

    6. Antifa

      @Rev Kev — don’t worry overmuch about anyone creating holes in our history. There are already so many there that you could never begin to count them all. In a lifetime of effort, Howard Zinn barely scratched the surface of all the myths we Muricans like to tell one another. The really fun part is tracking how the same myths change their origins and their moral lessons from decade to decade.

      The Klu Klux Klan used to be the cat’s meow right across America. My, how their fortunes have faded of late.

      The blatant domestic terrorism of Charlottesville yesterday is the alt-right truly screwing the pooch. Going forward, the great mass of Americans will not extend patience, permission or permits for such gatherings in their towns, based on the high likelihood of violence. It’s like inviting people to shout, “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Nobody gets a fair chance at doing that, because it’s exceedingly dangerous, and that danger is predictable.

      Arguments about God-given First Amendment rights to assemble and shout about Jews and furriners and mud people don’t hold much weight when all the free speechers arrive carrying shields, batons, helmets, pepper spray, Nazi flags, and make obvious plans on social media to foment a huge riot — and run up a massive bill for police and EMS overtime charged to the town, county or state that issued the permit. Nobody needs that.

      David Duke and Richard Spencer and friends have a whole lot of free speech to explain to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. They won’t do well under this examination, since Nazis take profound issue with the civil rights of a white person being extended to the untermenschen.

      1. Butch In Waukegan

        “David Duke and Richard Spencer and friends have a whole lot of free speech to explain to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.”

        That would be Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III’s Justice Department. Don’t hold your breath.

      2. djrichard

        “The blatant domestic terrorism of Charlottesville yesterday is the alt-right truly screwing the pooch. Going forward, the great mass of Americans will not extend patience, permission or permits for such gatherings in their towns, based on the high likelihood of violence. ….”

        Yep, yesterday’s activities minted a bonafide terrorist. Congratulations to us.

        Sure makes it seem like the alt-right has overplayed its hand. Vice versa, seems like the antifas have the run of the playing field for a bit. In fact, if they amplify the messaging that these marchers are evil I’m sure it will yield even more terrorists. But you need the proper kindling so need to let the marches continue, and just keep poking them with a stick.

        Then after enough of these incidences, we can take the global war on terrorism and aim it inwards. After all, evil must be called by its proper name – because evil can not be tolerated and must be eliminated.

      3. The Rev Kev

        I agree with most of what you say here and yes, they did screw the potch here. I have recently wondered, by the way, if the resurgence of the KKK that you mentioned nearly a century ago was a result of the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson – the original neocon – who segregated the departments of the American government by race to remove “friction” between the races. It is about the same time period.
        I should note that the Moon of Alabama site had a nasty dig about Charlottesville in their latest post though. Check out their post at to see what I mean. What is encouraged overseas eventually makes it way back home.

      4. JBird

        Arguments about God-given First Amendment rights to assemble and shout about Jews and furriners and mud people don’t hold much weight when all the free speechers arrive carrying shields, batons, helmets, pepper spray, Nazi flags, and make obvious plans on social media to foment a huge riot — and run up a massive bill for police and EMS overtime charged to the town, county or state that issued the permit. Nobody needs that.

        I do not what to support the crazy here, but part of the problem is that the alt-right as well as just some seriously John Birch style conservative groups think it is the alt-left who are violent ones, the people who are going to attack them.

        Now that is the crazy talking, but some of the lefty safe zone creating protesters have gone seriously overboard to the point where free speech is the problem and the alt-right ilk should be attacked. If anyone wants to challenge me on which side can be violent, or not, start reading.

        The Weimar Republic would be a good start. If that doesn’t do it, you can read about the Spanish Civil War, or the Chinese Civil War, or the government/business elites death squad of Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Paraguay (sorry I don’t know anything about the other countries in the Americas :-) ). In most of those countries the leftist revolutionaries had their death squads and atrocities. You can also check out the German and Italian terrorists of the 60s and 70s. The American Weather Underground, and I better stop my rant.

        The point I am over making is that this time it was alt-right, next time who knows? Furthermore, the extemists on both sides are convinced that they are the ones being persecuted and attacked.

        Do not validate the extremists on either side. Do not physically attack them, do not threaten violence, do not call for the suspension of the Bill of Rights especially the First. For God’s Sake do not do any of this. You will be doing what their leadership wants you to do.

        1. Aumua

          A lot of these guys are just plain brainwashed. Look at the pictures of them with their tiki torches. Many are victims of a concerted, coordinated online campaign to grab the minds of (especially young) people on the Internet, and turn them toward this obsession with race. These predators, organized white supremacist groups with a lot of experience doing this, start with the “I’m a reasonable guy” kind of arguments and points, and then they move inexorably towards their conclusions that people of other races are not human, or not fully human, and that whites are in danger of being extinguished. This is then reinforced by constant drum beating and repetition, framing everything in terms of race; making race and racial differences the focus of every discussion. I’m saying this is an active recruitment of impressionable minds, and it’s been going since before Trump, but especially since Trump has given legitimacy to.. xenophobia at the very least. I’ve been poo-pooed a few times for pointing out the significance of this in the past, but it’s going to keep turning up, like a bad penny.

    7. oh

      Not only do the right wing publishers want to teach revisionist history through school history books but pretty soon they’ll deny that Bushie’s forces orchestrated the pull down of Saddam’s statue in Baghdad.

  8. Carolinian

    Re Yosemite–I recently visited Zion where you are now required to use the shuttle for most of the park. By the time I arrived–late morning–the shuttle parking lot was full and I then had to drive back out to park in Springdale just outside the park entrance and walk back in. The process was a bit chaotic but surely better than thousands of cars chasing those 400 parking spaces inside the park. Yosemite is similar to Zion since the major attractions are confined to a not very big valley without a lot of room to roam. I had been under the impression that Yosemite also requires shuttle use in the summer but sounds like from your story that’s not true. Surely it’s time for those California politicians to get on board and stop pretending that these are still the good old less crowded days (which some of us remember). Freely driving the parks is the ideal but reality must intrude.

    1. annenigma

      I live outside of Glacier NP and it’s a real nightmare this year. The parking lots fill early, sometimes just after 8am. Even the large parking lot at the Visitor Center to catch the free shuttle buses get filled, so you can’t even park your car to take the bus. Lines of cars are so long to get into the Park that they have to ‘flush’ the system periodically and let everyone in without checking for a pass or paying. They do use Twitter to keep people informed about fill times at parking lots and campgrounds and for announcing temporary closure of some of the roads which has never been necessary before this year.

      I suspect some of it is due to the impact of Baby Boomers who are now starting to retire in massive numbers. Free time, free (soon to become a one-time cost of $80) National Parks lifetime passes allowing free entry and half price for camping for everyone 62 yo and older, lots of money to own a comfortable RV with a towed vehicle hitched on for sightseeing, and plenty of dough to travel, especially with the current low gas prices.

      1. polecat

        Might see quite a drop in those RV-towing, ‘formerly comfortable’ sightseeing Baby B00Mers, after their pension proceeds drop like a Nork missle into the sea of Japan, due to underfunding issues ….

      2. Carolinian

        Judging from recent trips I’d say two thirds of park visitors are from overseas–Asia and Europe especially. And that’s fine. Given that American citizens via their representatives are barely paying to maintain our great heritage perhaps we are getting what we deserve. Still it must be frustrating for the current generation who are only now visiting for the first time to deal with this. There are of course lots of National Parks that aren’t nearly as busy as Yosemite or Zion or Yellowstone. Indeed driving through the more scenic parts of the West it often seems as though the whole thing could be a national park.

        1. polecat

          Back in the day, I and my buddies would backpack at least once every summer, to various destinations within the Sierra Nevada, and have thus enjoyed scenic every bit a majestic as is Yosemite, and without the crowds .. and all that entails, but one has to exert one’s self to get their/that ! And, as and aside, generally, while packing into the high counrty, one doesn’t run into too many of societies miscreants … which makes the effort to get there all the more rewarding !

  9. timbers

    North Korea

    It’s been suggested Trump is focusing on North Korea to bump Russiagate off the top headlines.

    Now there are a few Dems (Susan Rice, others) saying Trump is focusing too much on North Korea and it’s not really a threat anyways. A few rumblings from Dems about how we should stop meddling in Venezuela, too. If Dems are not careful, they might even start to sound almost vaguely anti-war.

    Of course if Dems applied the same logic and critical analysis, they’d long ago have said the same about Russia posing no threat and the false accusation Russia hacked the DNC, Ukraine, Syria, etc.

    So I’m starting to take the idea that Trump is using North Korea as a diversion from Russia a bit more seriously. We can sell a lot more U.S. military hardware to our European vassals in NATO based on a non existent Russian threat than we can sell to Japan and South Korea based on a non existent North Korean threat.

    The Dem establishemnt knows this and may be starting to act to get back on script i.e. “Russia! Russia! Russia!”

    1. hamstak

      The idea might be expanded from “Russiagate” (which to my mind is bogus — an effort to simultaneously dethrone the king and fuel the fire of a very lucrative and politically useful Cold War II) to the increasing odds that Trump will be unable to fulfill campaign promises and thus face the prospect of losing support from his base. The jobs will not materialize in time, despite whatever public-private infrastructure grift the admin can hack together, if it can do so at all given the “resistance”.

      During the Obama administration (and perhaps dating as far back as Bush) a news pattern or cycle seemed to emerge where there would be a rotation of reported threats from a small set of countries: Russia hacking! Iran misbehaving! China commercial hacking! North Korea nuclear crazy! Russia hacking! Iran etc. Now Venezuela has been added to the mix — seemingly, as I avoid the MSM like I avoid rabid animals. But maybe it is not so cyclical now, and instead we have established holding patterns, like tropical storms which set in one place and just rain and blow and rain. Perhaps the more intrepid (or not-yet permanently disgusted) can offer insight into whether or not this impression has any merit.

      1. djrichard

        It’s been strange to see VZ added to the mix. One would think we didn’t have a dog in that fight (their internal fight) down there, but I guess we do. Who knew?

        To your point, maybe this is a “call option”. As in, “we’re not sure if we want to get our hands dirty down there, but we’re putting our marker on the table at this point in time just in case. Stay tuned as we debate further if we want to escalate. And if and when we do, note that this marker isn’t arbitrary; it will be part of the narrative on how we rationalize our escalation.”

        1. hamstak

          “Humanitarian intervention” seems the likely rationalization as the term “humanitarian crisis” has been bandied about in this case. Venezuela does not pose a significant military threat, does not “harbor terrorists or promote terrorism” (code for having a significant Muslim population), and since the “dogs” (real motives) for intervention can’t be revealed (skimming off the oil wealth, imposing “market discipline” aka granting Western financial institutions the privilege of skimming off the economy, and punishing a weaker nation for daring to not follow the hegemon’s rules and act in its interest, perhaps others), some contorted humanitarian justification seems to fit the bill.

          How this would go down militarily, I do not know; special ops supporting militias, establishment of a no-fly-zone, and insertion of international peacekeeping forces have been used elsewhere in the past (though not necessarily successfully, but hegemon has a learning disability), so they seem likely candidates. Full-scale invasion, to my mind, seems highly improbable.

          1. djrichard

            Yea, except for those dogs, lol.

            What’s fascinating to me is how the media is more than willing to be the “conduit” in these campaigns. It’s been clear from the VZ campaign in particular that VZ officially doesn’t have channels to the WH; Trump won’t accept Maduro’s calls. Instead, they’re left interpreting what’s being published in the US media. Not only that, they’re likewise responding via the US media. I wonder how the media feels about being an instrument of US foreign policy. Silly me, obviously they wouldn’t have it any other way.

          2. djrichard

            Can you also imagine what’s going through VZ’s heads when they realize they have to plead their case through the media? Somehow I have this impression of them with a french police captain on the other side of the table, the captain saying (with a french accent, after taking a long draw on a cigarillo), “if it were up to me, I would do something about it. But unfortunately it is out of my control”.

            At least in NK’s case, they have other channels they can work through.

            1. hamstak

              I suppose they could work through the U.N. — err, maybe not.

              This from CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Fox News Sunday today:

              Venezuela could very much become a risk for the United States of America. The Cubans are there; the Russians are there, the Iranians, Hezbollah are there. This is something that has a risk of getting to a very very bad place, so America needs to take this very seriously.

              I guess I was wrong about there being no terrorists in the country. [/sarc]

    1. GeophRian

      While those are funny segments they’re also incredibly dishonest. They could just as easily edit a similar video about how smart Americans are with the unused interviews. I’ve shot similar “man on the street” videos and most likely for every one that says something dumb you get one who says something smart (and many who don’t want to be on camera).

      Also, he’s doing the interviews on Hollywood Blvd. If they were smart they wouldn’t go to that cesspit of celebrity idolatry and scammers. There’s a reason Scientology has their recruiters on every corner there.

      1. montanamaven

        Yes, I was going to write that these are all heavily edited. But even editing out the smart ones, there were still plenty of dumb ones to make the bit work. What is sad is that these young people think bombing North Korea is a good thing.

        1. makedoanmend

          The result of the video would not be unique to the US.

          As you point out, the more worrying result of the video is that there are voting age adults who want to launch bombs to kill people, not knowing where these people live, nor, I would presume, are they very cognizant of why the “establishment” may want to bomb North Korea. What are these people basing their decision upon?

          Again this is not unique to the US. One has to wonder what impulse we ordinary punters follow when we decide that our governments are correct to decide to rub out ordinary punters in other countries.

          And when did diplomacy become a four letter word?

          1. polecat

            Well, what does that say about our civil education, as it’s been, for say, the last 30 years, or so … ever since the neoliberacon treadmill got dialed to 11 ??
            ‘Idiocrasy’ was a survival manual … for the future !

          2. gordon

            “And when did diplomacy become a four letter word?”

            Sometime after 1994, because that was the year that the US successfully negotiated a deal with the N.Korean Govt. to abandon its nuclear weapons programme, stay with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and accept help in building light water reactors in exchange for relaxation of sanctions and bridging help with conventional fuel supplies.

            But later the US walked away from that deal, leaving the N.Korean Govt. turning in the wind.

            It’s a pity that Americans don’t like the current tense and dangerous situation, because it didn’t have to be like this. But they have only themselves to blame.


    2. UserFriendly

      God I wish someone would bump into me with that question because my response would be how about I label every country in asia for you? But of course that would never air.

    1. Gaianne

      An amazing shift.

      It has been developing for the better part of a year.

      Putin is smarter than we think: He saw this possibility from the get-go, even when the Turks were shooting down a Russian bomber while it was fighting jihadis.

      The turning point was surely the (seemingly CIA-directed) coup attempt against Erdogan.

      The CIA’s plausible deniability was not very plausible even to by-standers, let alone the Turks. You really gotta wonder about that! Seems sloppy.

      Turkey could be out of NATO any week now!


  10. Carolinian

    Re Charlottesville violence.

    about 50 members of a North Carolina-based KKK group travelled there for a rally, where they were met by hundreds of counter-protesters

    Must be the same NC klaven that sent protestors to the SC statehouse Confederate flag removal. It’s getting hard to populate a good Klan rally these days without out of towners. Many of the pro-removal protestors in SC were also from out of state.

    The truth is that the South is changing and has changed and those who prefer to make it the scapegoat for all ills might want to rethink. I recently viewed I Am Not Your Negro–an excellent movie about James Baldwin–and Baldwin talks about how long ago he and a blonde white woman friend would have to walk separately in public in NYC to avoid trouble. These days in my Deep South town interracial couples are so common as to pass without notice and while there are still plenty of cranks–in a poor neighborhood there’s a house with a line of flagpoles sporting Confederate, “Don’t Tread on Me,” and Israel (go figure) flags–that’s not the main tendency. Nobody wants to be left out of Facebook Nation.

    Lee should go from that park but you do get the impression that some liberals are almost nostalgic for the Bull Connor days just as they are nostalgic for the Cold War. It was so much easier back then to know who your enemies are.

    1. JTMcPhee

      One of my favorite bits of Change in the South is head hair. When I was training as a GI in Missouri, Alabama and Virginia, any male with long hair and a beard was a target for the “less tolerant” among the populace. Starting just a few years later and leading to that TV series Duck Dynasty, the “white sidewalls” and butch cuts and flat tops gave way to pony tails and various formations of beards. Manliness redefined, consistency of thought and image confirmed to be another fad thing… kind of like when I was younger, the phrase from those so erroneously called “the Right” was that they would “rather be Dead than Red,” and now “red-ness” is a badge of pride. (Of course back then the Stupid Left responded that they would “rather be Red than Dead,” a limp-wrist comeback if ever there was one…

      1. fresno dan

        August 13, 2017 at 10:38 am
        “One of my favorite bits of Change in the South is head hair.”
        Yup. I can remember country music stars like George Jones with his flattop. Than San Francisco went from long haired hippies to razor cut gays, and set the trend back to short hair….except in the “red neck” south.

        The only person who immediately comes to mind who contradicts their “tribe’s” uniform is Bruce Jenner.
        but even though I’m a curmudgeonly contrarian, even I’m not gonna get a sex change to confound political expectations….

    2. Dan

      I wonder about the hysteria over statues. I understand how raising and lowering a flag that is a symbol of the Confederacy suggests continuing support of Confederate values. But moving a statue? What’s accomplished? Should we scour the countryside for statues to Tories? Or symbols of the British Empire?

      Seems to me it’s a lot more appealing to some people to fight the last war than face the challenges of today.

      1. KidPsych

        Perhaps a more apt analogy would be – what would it feel like to be Jewish living in a German town with statures of Nazis still in the local park? While that not be temporally similar, thanks to suppression of civil rights, massive inequity and mass incarceration of African Americans, the remnants of slavery are still felt today in the US. While removing the statues does not erase the stain of slavery, it seems odd and callous to celebrate people who defended it. Out the statues in a museum, where they can be framed as a part of our history, rather than in a public park. With that in mind, I have no great algorithm for determining which statue should be removed. George Washington was a slave owner. Should we change the name of my current state or remove his statue at the local university?

        1. Fiery Hunt

          So here’s my take…
          The only real response to the legacy of slavery and it’s continual re-expression in our neoliberal world (minority employment rates, incarceration rates, general income and wealth inequality, minority (or white) homeless levels etc et ad nauseum) is to provide some DAMN CONCRETE BENEFITS! (sorry for the mod-triggering, my hosts!)

          Removing a statute or 300 won’t change our society for the better.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I am curious to find out if parents take their children to the park and say

        1. Look, he caught slaves and imported them from Africa. Let’s remember him for that
        2. Look, he fought the Northern invaders
        3. Look, he inspires even today for us to re-establish slavery
        Look, he was the top general for the South
        That is, what sort of propaganda is being propagated there.

        Also, how many people visited the general in the last 25 years? Has there been an annual pilgrimage going on?

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          A couple of years ago there was an effort in the UK, on the part of what you might call Liberals, to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes from a university which caused much uproar – but I believe that the statue stayed in situ. I can recall wondering how many people knew of it’s existence & indeed who Cecil actually was before the controversy kicked off. I also imagine that reasons could be found for removing the vast majority of statues in the UK which are tied to it’s imperial past – perhaps then the paintings from the National Portrait Gallery would also bear investigation.

          The exercise certainly appears to produce focus & open old wounds & I am somehow reminded of the Simpsons episode when Bart decapitated & stole the head of Springfield’s founder.

          1. fresno dan

            Eustache de Saint Pierre
            August 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm

            Actually, as an insufferable, supercilious, and euphuistic cognoscenti of the Simpsons, I believe the episode where Lisa Simpson discovers that Jebediah Springfield was in fact a cutthroat and a pirate, and that episode more precisely makes your point that people don’t like their heroes feet of clay being exposed…


            “Lisa the Iconoclast” is the sixteenth episode of The Simpsons’ seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 18, 1996. In the episode, Springfield’s bicentennial approaches, and Lisa writes an essay on town founder Jebediah Springfield. While doing research, she finds a confession revealing that Springfield was a murderous pirate named Hans Sprungfeld who never cared about the people of Springfield. Lisa and Homer decide to get the message out but instead anger the town council.
            Just as Lisa is about to share her discoveries with the parading townspeople, she realizes that Jebediah Springfield’s good image means too much to the town, and decides to keep the truth a secret, knowing they will lose hope and morale if the truth is revealed to the public.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              Consider the case of Christopher Columbus. I doubt Howard Zinn made many friends in the Elite by telling the history of Christopher Columbus as best it could be learned from the sources of the time.

              We need heroes to inspire. Many of the heroes lauded by history are monsters when examined too closely. Strange what we celebrate of the past and present. I am mystified. But I am also convinced we must have heroes — real or imagined — to inspire us.

      3. Jeremy Grimm

        Given the very limited expressions of public art I immediately oppose removing any stature and favor erecting any statue or mural or other expression of some art within our culture. All art needs far more expression in our dreary world. I am loathe to too closely tie the allowed expressions of art to the nature of its inspiration. That knife cuts more than two ways.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What was the trigger here?



      Or Woman?

      What if she was a bald, or gray-hair, out-of-shape Caucasian lady? Could they have walked not separately?

      And was she a natural blond or not? If the latter, was that a case of a woman brainwashed, peer-pressured or a case of someone expressing her genuine sense of beauty that coincided with the Austrian corporal’s ideal ?

      1. Alex Morfesis

        And would james baldwin have gotten any much different reaction if he had walked with her in harlem…humans are easily annoyed as an excuse to not reflect on their own shortcomings…

        have been an equal opportunity kisser (only natural born females need apply) and found myself either shuttled around certain situations or parties of the other persons ilk to avoid explanations or confrontations…

        Peaceful co-existence is not practiced by most of humanity…nor by much of anything that breathes as many confuse domination and subservience and “acceptance” of ones “station” as “harmony”…

        Conforming non-conformists(as JTMc points out above) are an amusing “in situ” sight…

        James Baldwin had a great publicist and management who were incentivized to continue his narrative…

        that is why we are “privileged” to experience his indignities and lament the choices he made and the reactions which we are told led him to seek fame and fortune on the continent…and eventually to the south of france…

        where in what may be sometimes atacked as typically evil american “contract sale” of the home he was “purchasing” found itself derailed by an apparently actually common estate scam…

        the live in maid of the woman he was buying his home from claimed she was to be paid an additional payment of the entire estate beyond her regular pay with room and board..

        and then ate the property…and then sold it for a bunch of bux…or euros in this case…

        Happens often in ellas…the fake maid bequeath…

        The simple evils of life come full circle all too often…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          A lot of shortcoming-ful people, who could be your neighbors who are more or less are like you, get uptight when they see those just-like-you guys walk down the street with mainstream media-proclaimed Barbie-type beauties.

          “He is like me, no better than me, but how is it possible he gets that trophy-girl friend/trophy-mistress, and I don’t?”

          The women-as-trophies issue is quite problematic.

    4. sleepy

      I’m a native southerner living in a northern Iowa town of 25,000 for close to 20 years and have seen more confederate and don’t-tread-on-me flags, and more “Fergit, Hell!” bumper stickers than I did down south. And no one makes a fuss about it. The discrepancy is probably due to the fact I lived in large southern cities where sporting those particular symbols would have been challenged.

      But in any case given the fact that Iowa had some of the heaviest per capita casualties in the Civil War there must be more than a few Iowans turning in their graves at the specter of their great, great grandchildren celebrating the confederacy.

      I wonder what would have happened to someone up here who flew a rebel flag in 1875?

      1. Jerry

        Do you live in Fort Dodge? That’s in the Congressional district that elects Steve King. Some fuss has been made about him and his Confederate flag.

        1. sleepy

          No, I live in Mason City which was reapportioned into King’s district the last go-around when Iowa lost a congressional district. This county is 95% white and resolutely working class and democratic, having voted for every dem presidential candidate beginning with Mondale in 1984 and ending with Obama in 2012. In 2016 it went for Trump. These are lifelong dem voters and hardly “Trump’s base” as the MSM proclaims, though enough switched from Obama to Trump–in Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, etc. to throw the election to Trump. Trump’s base is the 90% of his voters who also voted for Romney–the affluent suburban folks like in Georgia’s 6th district.

          Anyway, to make a long story short, King got 52% of the vote here in 2016, the first time he carried the county. Outside of Story County–Ames–that was his lowest in the district.

    5. neo-realist

      I recently viewed I Am Not Your Negro–an excellent movie about James Baldwin–and Baldwin talks about how long ago he and a blonde white woman friend would have to walk separately in public in NYC to avoid trouble.

      In my experience in NYC, it was difficult in the outer boroughs to walk in public as an interracial couple, but it was pretty easy, for the most part, in Manhattan—At least as far back as the 80’s. I think I would attribute it to neighborhoods in the outer boroughs being much more defined, more nationalistic and more parochial, ethnically and racially. Manhattan was/is a bit more culturally sophisticated and a bit more international, so that may have something to do with the tolerance.

  11. QuarterBack

    My read on Trump v Clinton: My read on the nearest history of this Country is that we are all being taken for a ride, and that central to its intention is that we embrace the fallacies of identity politics; mainly, the false premise that the political parties, Super-PACs, Trump, Clinton, et al are the forces and issues driving our destiny’s agenda and narrative.

    I believe that the true force is yet to be revealed, but the sentiment is as old as empire. I would refer you to the great work of Rudyard Kipling in “The Man Who Would Be King”, and the movie by the same name.

    “It’s a place of warring tribes, which is to say, a land of opportunity for such as we, who know how to train men and lead them into battle.’We’ll go there. We’ll say to any chief we can find, ‘Do you want to vanquish your foes?’ ‘Of course’ he’ll say, ‘go to it.’ We’ll fight for him, make him king, then we’ll subvert that king. We’ll seize his royal throne and loot the country four ways from Sunday.”

    1. fresno dan

      August 13, 2017 at 10:15 am

      God’s holy trousers!
      What is that?
      They’re savages here, one and all.
      Leave them to slaughtering babies,
      playing stick-and-ball with heads…
      and pissing on their neighbours.

      He wants to know where you come from.
      Tell him we tumbled from the skies.
      He wants to know, are you gods?
      Not gods, Englishmen,
      which is the next best thing.
      I ofttimes tell Ootah
      about Englishmans.
      How they name dogs,
      take off hats to womans…
      …and march left, right
      with rifles on their shoulders.
      Bringing enlightenment
      to the darker regions of the earth.
      He wants to know how rifle works.
      Show him, Peachy.
      We are not gods, exactly,
      but we are heaven-sent…
      …to deliver you from your enemies.
      Enemies all around.
      The Bashkai are the worst.
      All town comes out and pisses
      downstream when we go bathing.

      Politics – pretty much convincing people all their problems are caused by the people upstream urinating in the river….

      1. polecat

        “the people upstream urinating in the river….”

        You mean like the good folk living upstream on the Potomac … Those People ??

      2. makedoanmend

        In many old walled towns of medieval Europe that sat upon slopes, there was a definite pishing order. Those at the top drained downwards until it reached those at the bottom. This hygiene regime worked for all human and industrial waste products. Those at the bottom lived in the @FamBlog* of their social betters. This was considered the “natural” order.

        Our problems may not all come from the top but their problems always become the problems of those at the middle and the bottom, and these days their solutions also become our problems.

        Alert: they used a nonFamblog word in the following vid – but mildish word.

        Monty Python’s – He Must Be a King (Bring out Your Dead)

        1. Propertius

          In many old walled towns of medieval Europe that sat upon slopes, there was a definite pishing order. Those at the top drained downwards until it reached those at the bottom.

          This is, of course, the origin of “trickle down” economics.

  12. s.n.

    i assume that these two pieces have already been linked to here on NC, but just on the off chance they were missed:

    Blowback from staffer scandal burns Wasserman Schultz
    ‘We wish she would go away and stop being so public by doubling down on negative stories,’ said one Florida DNC member.

    The Tale of the Brothers Awan
    Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in the middle of a new scandal

    [ps: I have no idea as to the veracity of Philip Giraldi or of the unz site, so caveat emptor….

  13. fresno dan–tops-list-of-drunkest-us-cities-boston-is-last/1#.WZBdxlGGNPY

    Fresno, Calif., tops Men’s Health magazine’s list of America’s “drunkest” cities while Boston, home to the “Cheers” bar where everyone knows your name, was deemed the “least drunk,” besting even Salt Lake City.
    1. They say that as if its a bad thing…
    2. If you lived in Fresno, you would be drunk too
    3. Boston is the least drunk……???

    I’d say more, but I’m down to 15 boxes of wine, 24 cases of beer, and 5 quarts of whiskey, so I have to hit the Total Wine Warehouse, The Beerganza market, and Whiskey aGo-Go to stock up to make it to this afternoon…..

    1. griffen

      Your scheduled delivery by auto-beer-matic trucking is due to arrive at any time now!

      I think that’s east coast bias.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      In regards to Boston, what is “Boston”?

      Many of the Boston area colleges are out of town, and others are commuter schools or have significant commuter populations. The day night population is well over a million versus a night time population 660,000.

      1. fresno dan

        August 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm

        For the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, that includes declaring marijuana a public health hazard, and taking emergency measures to ensure their tidy little corner of California remains free of legal cannabis.

        Fresno County has long been off-limits to medical-marijuana cultivation operations and dispensaries. To find either will require a long drive south to L.A., or a longer drive north to somewhere close to Sacramento. And Prop. 64—which legalized up to an ounce of marijuana for adults over 21, and allows for the opening of retail recreational cannabis sales in the state—won’t change any of that.

        Prop. 64 lost in Fresno County and in nearby Kern, Tulare, and Madera counties, in some cases by more than 10 percentage points. Compare that to the rest of the state, where voters approved legalization by nearly 15 percentage points—or the rest of the country, where 60 percent of Americans are sick of marijuana prohibition—and you can easily see Fresno is a place apart.

        and they wonder why we’re so drunken….because we can’t get high!

        1. polecat

          Maybe you’@ll could secede, and become the new found republic of ‘Greater Bakersfield’ … as a sort of ‘yang’ .. to the Duchy of Marin’$ yin !!
          A counter-balance in the west-coast Force, if you will … with the political favela of Sacramento to muck it up on occation

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Get a 3 or 5 gallon carboy — buy some local honey [or Costco Honey works well] — some yeast — little packets of yeast food and yeast energizer and cut way down on your liquor bill. And don’t forget the many sources of fresh and highly sugared fruit in California — even available in Fresno I suspect.

      I guess Fresno remains outside the 420 regions of California? Good to mix and match a little to save the liver.

      Been to Fresno — and I would definitely drink if I lived there — especially given the access to so many fine and inexpensive California wines. I now live in NJ and find it too easy to want to drink here too. Trade you governors!

      1. polecat

        An ice-cold barkshack ginger mead is really nice on a hot day ! Have added blue and raspberries to path batches, that finished-off nicely ! … dry and ligthly effervesent.

        It’s not hard to do : be clean/keep things sanitary, follow the recipe, DON’T let your wort boil over, and Don’t EVER overadd the sugar !
        Oh, forget to mention the wait did I ??

        Patience, young padawan bunnie slipper ..

        1. polecat

          Sorry mr. Grimm, the above was in reply to the se~nor fresno dan, and in no way infringing•into•your•brewspace/knowledge … as it were.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I readily defer to your greater knowledge. I just make the simplest of meads and too often fail in following your excellent advice to have patience.

            1. polecat

              It’s not an easy thing to wait, falling into the well of anticipation .. much guilty of imbibing too soon myself at times ! .. ‘;]

  14. a different chris

    The guy didn’t even plan to land the drone on the ship, it just happened that way. So we get another example of why surface ships are beyond obsolete at this point. But the image in most USians head of war is the pomp and circumstance, and big ships do that better than anything. So on we go, can’t waste money fast enough.

    *That’s* my problem with MMT — we are already doing it, which actually proves the theory, but we print the money only for stuff we shouldn’t do.

    1. Bill Smith

      Hopefully the anti-drone feature will be activated when it reaches ” initial operating capability” next year. :)

    2. skippy

      MMT and Debunking AMI: Positive Money: LIVE with L Randall Wray

      Highly recommend reading the comments starting with Gill Oteane5 months ago, highlighted by deficit owl.

      Again as YS is want to say… thing started with the increase in main stream economists staffing many of the institutions both public and private that some have dramas with.

      disheveled…. the reverse of your argument can be said, all the good things that were done, as such one would consider the human agency before all other things…. eh.

  15. Corbin Dallas

    Waiting patiently for Jim Haygood and Foppe to blame Hillary or the appalling “SJW”s for the white supremacist Trumpkin using his car as a terrorist bomb yesterday…

    1. Foppe

      I’m afraid I don’t follow. Just because some people who self-identify as white nationalists are capable of murdering others without state sanction, finding virtue-signaling on the internet useless/counterproductive equals “blaming Hillary or SJWs for the actions taken by a 20yo tool not deployed abroad”?

      Forgive me, but too many people are murdered by western imperialists and capitalist firms and their lackeys for me to get *more* worked up when some other asshole comes up with some other, equally problematic pretext for (attempted mass) murder. It’s all horrible, but imo the double standards (i.e., the ease with which we — very much including Hillary and most twitter-based SJWs — shrug off the murder of the marginalized and non-nationals) at this point are just as much of a problem as are the acknowledged-as-racist murders by “deplorables”.

      Can you see how such a stance differs from “blaming Hillary,” etc.? Because if you can’t, I am willing to try again, though it would be helpful if you could indicate why you find it hard to swallow if so.

      1. Massinissa

        I’m not a fan of haygood, and i’m not really sure who you are, but I love this comment. +1

          1. Massinissa

            I mean, Haygood’s posts are a real mixed bag. Some of his posts are interesting, but many of them are just weird and bizarre.

            1. ambrit

              Just look at his (inferred) ecosystem.
              Consistency is not a pure “good,” in the sense of homogeneity.
              And thanks for the “not a fan” meme. The only ‘fanning’ going on, that I can see, here at NC is the process of “fanning the fires of vigourous discourse.” (Not to be confused with Private Eye Magazines “vigourously discussing Uganda.”)

            2. Carolinian

              Actually complaining about other commenters who aren’t part of the thread is kind of weird. If you don’t like what people have to say there’s a reply button.

              We are all just giving our opinions. JH does so with wit.

              1. Massinissa

                I’m not complaining about anything. I have no problem with Haygood at all. He seems personable enough. I was just saying that I find some of his statements… Unorthodox. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just that his unorthodoxy is not to my personal taste. I don’t actually have a problem with him, and I am not complaining about anything, and I am not suggesting he stop commenting or change his views. So I’m not quite sure why you are accusing me of ‘complaining’.

      2. jrs

        I’m not sure the basis for attributing beliefs to posters on this site that I see no strong evidence they have, I mean disagree with beliefs they actually have yes but …

        The only validity to the point at all is the fact that there IS a political faction in this country, definitely some Republican voters, who will blame this on SJW etc.. Right wing radio might go that meme etc..

        Of course I also wouldn’t think most SJW do favor imperialism as is argued above, I mean aren’t many of them pretty hard left? And left is anti-imperialist. Long has been. I always think of SJW as pretty far left, fighting the good fight, even if some are spending too much time on twitter activism, and parsing nuances of identity politics, and really academic exercises as it were, than is really strategically useful considering the state of things in this country and the world.

        As for voting … well people do the LOTE thing, like it or not.

        1. Foppe

          I wish, re ‘most are [what I would call] hard left’.

          To clarify, though, I’m using ‘sjw’ more to point to ‘woke’ Vox through MoJo-reading (mostly) males in their late twenties through thirties who think they are making the world a better place by shutting down conversation.

          1. Lambert Strether

            There are times when politics seems to me to be nothing but a long train of category errors.

            Alt-right… Alt-left… SJWs… Snowflakes… Do any of these terms have meaning? Or are they just counters in conversation? It seems to me that the common factor in all of them is that the erase power relations. Regardless of what one might think of some of the categories I use, like “The Blob,” or “Clintonites,” or the “Black Misleadership Class,” at least I do make some sort of vague gesture toward situating them institutionally, as opposed to going the “ascriptive identity” route based on verbal and cultural markers….

            1. Foppe

              While I agree, I would point out that I did situate them institutionally — ‘twitterati’. ;) Which is to say, people whose idea of engaging in political&/moral-educational activity consists in calling others names, and who otherwise don’t seem all that comfortable having substantive discussions about what is going on, and who are quick to start spouting bromides as soon as you try to get them to better understand those power relations you mention because ‘thinking about politics tires them’.

              (But more broadly, I hardly ever use those terms precisely because they tend to distract, either because people’s idiosyncratic meaning differs from mine, or because they take offense (and/or start virtue-signaling). Engaging people in conversation is hard enough, etc.. Though I wouldn’t call ascriptive identity meaningless — it’s very important in understanding the motivations of those who aspire to join the professional/affluent class, as Corey Robin’s The Reactionary Mind shows, esp. in his remarks about Burke.)

          2. Massinissa

            To sort of follow up Lambert’s comment, how much power do these so-called SJW’s actually have? They seem to me to be more a symptom of the way the Democratic party has utilized identity politics rather than any kind of force in and of themselves.

            1. Gaianne

              “They seem to me to be more a symptom of the way the Democratic party has utilized identity politics rather than any kind of force in and of themselves.”

              A key point. If the SJWs are doing strategy, they are very, very good. Because they never betray any hint that they even know what strategy is, never mind why you should do it if you wish to win conflicts.

              We saw the same thing in the 1930s (in Germany) and the Nazis walked right over them. It was pathetic in the extreme.


      1. Lambert Strether

        Idea: Let Haygood speak for himself.

        And whether you support or oppose, in whole or in part, an idea that you think Haygood might or might not have, why not simply comment on the idea itself, rather than imputing it to an individual not present?


    2. Lambert Strether

      > Waiting patiently

      Really? Because call-out culture has been so effective?

      NC is not a fan site, and it’s perfectly acceptable for you to wait — follow me closely here — and respond to what a commenter actually says — before waving your pom poms and projecting your own views onto them.

      UPDATE Kudos, however, for the excellent collection of strung-together trigger words. Clearly a value add meant to stimulate discussion.

      1. HopeLB

        Beg to differ/vehemently disagree; I am a Huge Fan of Yves/of you, Lambert, and of many of the Commentariat. This place is like a links/watercooler/posts forest through which the commentariat bushwack meandering paths. A place where you take not only both roads not taken, but usually many more. Infact, NC should fully embrace its fandomness and sell mugs with your names, and great quotes from NC’s lovely Commentariat (A Craazyman poem? in the shape of his subject?). It would make a great Christmas gift! I mean, how much do you have to give to get a mug from Public Radio? And that forces you to wade through propaganda to get to the good stuff.

    3. David

      Maybe the guy didn’t have control of his Charger?
      From 2015,

      Jeep parent company FCA has issued a recall of 1.4 million cars — including such popular vehicles as the Jeep Cherokee, Dodge Charger, and Chrysler 200 — following revelations that hackers can take over a multitude of car functions, including disabling the brakes and engine…

      It’s important to note that these weren’t any old hackers, this was a team that had a grant from DARPA assigned to find vulnerabilities in vehicles,” he said. Miller –a former NSA hacker — and Valasek — director of vehicle security research at the consultancy IOActive — had to start physically tearing though at least 24 cars of various brands before determining that the Jeep Cherokee was the easiest nut to crack…

      DARPA looking for remote access to vehicles? Nothing to see here.

  16. fresno dan
    With all the recent hoopla about California’s record-low unemployment rate and the heady prospect of its becoming No. 5 in global economic rankings, it is easy to lose sight of another salient fact: It is the nation’s most poverty-stricken state.

    So says the U.S. Census Bureau in its “supplemental measure” of poverty that is a far more accurate than the traditional measure because it takes into account not only income, but living costs.
    By the measure, just over 20 percent of Californians are living in poverty. The Public Policy Institute of California has devised its own measure, similar to the Census Bureau’s, that not only validates the 20 percent figure, but tells us that another 20 percent of Californians are in “near-poverty,” which means they struggle to pay for food, shelter and other necessities of life.

    Another indicator of California’s impoverishment is that more than a third of its 39 million residents are enrolled in Medi-Cal, the state-federal program of medical care for the poor.
    Our soaring housing costs are one factor. It’s not unusual for a low-income family to pay more than 50 percent of its income for housing, if it can find it. California has very high automotive fuel prices and utility rates, which weigh heavily on the state’s poor, particularly the so-called “working poor” who don’t qualify for many public benefits.
    Its because of all those mean republicans!
    WHA??!???…..It has a democratic governor and a democratic house, and a democratic senate……

    It also has more billionaires than any other state….but only a sickle and hammer fuzzy bunny slipper wearing commie thinks there’s any correlation…..

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Dems are terrified of bringing up the real state of the economy as it might crush the spirits of their most ardent supporters who have put a great deal of faith in the trickle down nature of Wall Street. The targeting of Mittens voters was really just a naked attempt to go after the people helped by rising wealth inequality. Of course, the enclaves which benefited the most are solidly blue districts and probably Republican voters in those districts (meaningless at election time).

      1. barefoot charley

        California leads the nation in poverty because its traditional ag economy lives off of exploiting its conquered population, while shipping more back and forth over the ‘border’ as desired. Some slip their harnesses but, whatever their legal status, retain their social status. Coming from Chicago I used to advise my black friends to run not walk to California, where they’re too busy hating Mexicans to bother much about blacks. White Californians have long lived better than average whites in ‘wealthier’ states where privilege isn’t as stark.

        1. newcatty

          I have a close family member who is one of the “working poor” in Orange County, CA. She works a job where she is available to care for her children after school hours. It used to be because childcare cost would have been too much of an expense, if she also wanted to pay for basic necessities such as food, clothing for kids, rent and medical bills(such as co-pays at doctors’ offices, etc.) Now, her youngest is in school sports, etc, after school. She needs to share in carpooling. She just had to move to another rental. What could she find close to kid’s school and her work? I will let you guess, first…a small, two bedroom, one bath so called condo. Old, needed deep cleaning, to be totally painted, no garage or storage, a tiny “front porch”, no dishwasher and some basic repairs. Owner did some of nèeded work. So, its small…blah, blah, blah. She is paying have of her income for this great place. She looked for months and this is “cheapest” rent she could find.

          Why not move to cheaper area to live? Would love to, she related, but kids’ father has some child custody and insists on living in sunny, cool So Cal. He has a great job and “extra income”. Oh, yeah, he does not live in a crappy apartment, goes on lux trips and excellent grifting lawyers have blocked any attempts to have his miserly child support payments raised since his yearly salary of more than ten years ago was a lot less! Something has to give in this selfish, greedy, rentier exploiting, class and economic inequality in America.

        2. John Wright

          I wonder if barefoot charley’s advice for blacks to migrate to CA is still valid.

          Per this blacks are leaving CA.

          “Where else are black Americans moving? One destination dominates: the South. A century ago, blacks were leaving the South to go north and west; today, they are reversing that journey, in what the Manhattan Institute’s Daniel DiSalvo dubbed “The Great Remigration.” DiSalvo found that black Americans now choose the South in pursuit of jobs, lower costs and taxes, better public services (notably, schools) and sunny weather for retirement.”

          Compton,CA, of “Straight Outta Compton” fame is now 2/3 Hispanic.

          “Compton, circa 2015, is far from the Compton of the 1980s and early to mid-’90s.”

          “Even as it still struggles with poverty and unemployment, crime — especially homicides — has plummeted. Large retailers that once shunned the city have moved in. Even the demographics have changed, with Latinos now making up about two-thirds of the city.”


  17. DJG

    The article about mass tourism is fascinating because it represents another side of globalization that Americans don’t think about much: cultural flattening and destruction of languages.

    First, though: The situation in Venice is peculiar. The geography of the city, a cluster of islands in the middle of a lagoon, made it a safe place and great for international trade. Those days are over. Around 1300, the islands had a population of 200,000 or so. Current estimate is 50,000 and dropping. The typical tourist to Venice does not stay for a whole day–they arrive in droves in the morning, hang around Saint Mark’s Square and the Church of Saint Mark’s. By evening, most are gone. (And Venice at night is still a marvel, ironically. And in the winter, with those big winds and clear skies–a revelation.)

    According to articles that have appeared here at Naked Capitalism, an inordinate number of apartments in Venice and in Barcelona are controlled by people now linked to AirBnB. As is the case with Uber, you have a gray market that skirts municipal taxes and municipal ordinances.

    The feisty Catalans who show up in the article represent a still another gravamen. Besides the AirBnB scandal, you have the problem that the enormous crowds represent Castilianization: People assume that everyone in Spain speaks “Spanish,” which means Castilian or, to Americans, Mexican Spanish. So the Catalans have to adapt by learning English (and Castilian and an ear for Mexican Spanish), much as Italians and Greeks have adapted by learning English (and, maybe, French). If you speak a one-country language in the era of globalization, you have to protect the language.

    The Catalans are luckier than the Basques in that Catalan is a Romance language, so it is easier to pick up, especially if one knows French and Italian. To me, Catalan sounds like Italian with a strong northern Italian accent. So I was able to utter some sentences and questions in convincing Catalan in Barcelona: I was treated as if I were some kind of freakish genius. (Just using the word “tallat,” a kind of milky coffee, meant that people in a cafe would look me over twice.)

    So there are economic issues, including loss of control over the city or town. There are cultural issues, in that mass tourism is largely a herd of English-speaking Americans, Brits, and Canadians (and English-speaking Scandinavians and Russians).

    Even at the most basic level, globalization hurts: How many articles have tried to explain that Barcelona is pronounced Barthelona? Not so: In Catalan, it sounds very close to the English: Barsselonah.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Paul Theroux, a veteran traveller if ever there was one, said that “tourism is a mortal sin”. Can’t say I disagree.
      In Manon du Printemps the protagonist says he tries to “cultiver l’authentique” (“cultivate the authentic”). Very difficult to do if everywhere you go is Gap stores, Apple stores, and Uniqlo clothing stores. There’s nothing left that’s authentic.
      I was devastated to visit the Ile St. Louis in Paris several decades after I had lived there, the medieval buildings were populated at street level by chain stores selling make-it-yourself dolls. It was horrifying, and depressing. At least the old brasserie was still there, and I could signal my insider status by ordering “un pot”, a ceramic mug filled with Alsatian beer.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Union throws wrench in self-driving works Reuters (resilc). This is very important. Despite the hype re cars, trucks would be the easiest place to start with self-driving vehicles.

    Bus routes are pretty fixed.

    Would they be as easy as trucks, or easier?

    Maybe trolley cars as well.

    1. Edward E

      Trucks are already plenty tricked out with crappified systems and malfunction junction electronics. Please just Carrington Solar Flare me now!

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Picture of the week.

    That looks like a rainbow main sail, with the cactus as the back stay of a boat.

  20. DJG

    The issue isn’t so much removing or preserving statues. The issue or the tinder is that both parties are white-supremacist parties. The Republicans enjoy braying their prejudices or wrapping them up in moralizing about poverty or worshipping the Golden Calf of the Free Market. The Democrats just have that Southern Wall of Primaries.


    I sent this to Lambert a few weeks back, and he graciously posted it in Water Cooler. Recognize any of these politicians? And Stone Mountain, that’s pretty big statue of some traitors, now isn’t it?

    1. jrs

      In order for the Southern Wall in the primaries to actually be white supremacist wouldn’t it have to be largely white people? Seems so and I’m not so sure it is. Aren’t there a lot of minorities (mostly blacks?) voting Dem in the south?

      I’m not questioning whether it pushes the country in a conservative direction but whether it is actually white supremacist.

    2. Jim Haygood

      both parties are white-supremacist parties

      Thank you. Nixon and Agnew articulated quite clearly that their War on Drugs was intended to target minorities, without explicit racial language in the statute.

      This it has done, and there is no discussion of ending it in its 47th year of abject failure.

    3. Lambert Strether

      > Southern Wall of Primaries

      I’m not sure of the abstraction, there. The term of art I am familiar with is “the firewall,” that is, the primary votes (meaningless in the general) delivered to the Clintonites by the Black Misleadership Class, especially in South Carolina. It is true that the “firewall” is how “the South” was won, but as other readers have urged — too lazy to find the link — I’m not sure how useful “the South” abstraction is as an abstraction. (For example, I think of DC/Arlington/Alexandria as being in “the South” but “real Southerners” laugh at me.) Sometimes, in the sense of “the former Slave States,” I think it does (meaning that border states like Kentucky and Tennessee are not in the South (?). Hmm). Other times (“the South shall rise again!”) I don’t think it does (because the South is not a monolith, and wasn’t even in the Civil War).

      1. DJG

        Lambert: Yep, I messed up something that was much discussed here, in the sense of the Democratic Party nomenklatura running Clinton through a series of state primaries in the South in which both the white and black voters are highly conservative (or willing to vote for Democratic conservatives, having been brought up on the likes of Sam Nunn). This produced a kind of skewed plurality, although I’m positing that it is the DLC’s Southern Strategy.

        Yes, the South is not uniform: What we often forget is that for most of Southern history, New Orleans was the great emporium and center of education–Catholic, creole New Orleans with its unique style of England and French and many universities. Further, North Carolina fractured during the Civil War, with the western mountainous part of the state at odds with the slaveholding lowland. (And southern Illinois was an extension of the South.)

  21. crittermom

    Wow. The pic of the week from WaPo taken in the AZ desert is incredible!
    Thanks, Jerri-Lynn, for including that today.

  22. flora

    re: Fed Wants to Make Life Easier for Big-Bank Directors

    whaaa???? After spending the last 10 years covering up for or otherwise protecting the big banks and bankers from any accountability for, you know, the financial crash, now this?

    “After a multiyear review, the regulator concluded that excessive regulatory duties are hobbling bank boards and distracting directors from the more important work of guiding bank strategy and adopting effective governance at their institutions.

    “And it proposed guidance to fix the problem. Unfortunately, this proposal — which could go into effect after a 60-day comment period — is very likely to reduce crucial interactions between bank examiners and bank boards, current and former bank regulators say.”

    Cossetting the big-banks since 2007. (and earlier) (mumbles bad words…)

  23. Livius Drusus

    Re: Charlottesville, am I the only person who seems worried about efforts to expose some of the far-right guys online and ruin their lives/careers? I am definitely no fan of Nazis and of course those who engage in violent acts should be prosecuted under the law but I am dismayed by the enthusiasm that some liberals and left-wing people are displaying for publicly outing some of the people at the far-right march. Some of these people are young and will eventually grow out of their far-right phase so is it right to possibly brand them for life as fascists?

    I understand that a lot of people on the left have zero sympathy for the Alt-Right types, especially because they engage in harassing and doxxing campaigns against their opponents on the left so there does seem to be a bit of a revenge factor going on here. But I don’t know if two wrongs make a right. These tactics can easily be deployed against people on the left. Would a socialist want their employer to know that they are interested in left-wing radicalism? Would they want to possibly be branded as a left-wing radical by HR departments?

    I am starting to worry as much about vigilante surveillance by private citizens as much as government surveillance. We might have to update labor law to include stronger protections for political speech if this becomes a trend because many people seem to have zero regard for the privacy of others. Nowadays if you dislike somebody’s political beliefs or even just have a personal issue with them it is OK to try to ruin their lives by promoting online witch hunts.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > These tactics can easily be deployed against people on the left

      By “horseshoe theory” as propagated by liberal Democrats like Joy Reid, it can and should be; Reid and other commenters of that ilk explicitly equate (so-called) alt-left and (so-called) alt-right, hence, to them, tactics and attitudes appropriate for the one are appropriate for the other. IOW, they put Sanders supporters and Richard Spencer supporters in the same bucket.

      That’s why it’s important to note, before the hagiography overpowers everything, that Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed, was a Sanders supporter:

      So much for horseshoe theory, so you can assume that liberal Democrats will erase Heyer’s bio to preserve the theory.

      1. Annotherone

        I didn’t know about horseshoe theory, thanks for the enlightenment. I have, though, occasionally thought about the ouroboros symbol in relation to a similar idea. I’ve worried about myself being at the far end of the creature’s tail, meeting its head, when in recent months I’ve sometimes felt there can be more sense written by conservatives than by the establishment centre-left. But that’s really more like extreme-ish left meeting the mild right, not extreme right. Can’t think of a suitable symbol for that. :/

            1. polecat

              I see it as more like a Klein Bottle, because you’ll never be afforded the pleasure to see what the DNC adds into it, to be swilled by us mopes !

              1. Annotherone

                I keep on livin’ & learnin’! Had to look for a pic of one of those – oh my! Yes, I see what you mean. :)

        1. montanamaven

          I find myself continually perplexed about what to call myself. The whole left and right terminology doesn’t work for me. I want my freedom more than almost anything. I don’t like to be in a box; a cubicle, a voting box, a classroom… But I do want others to have freedom too and that involves not having any poor people and not invading and enslaving others. Too bad that the people who showed up in Charlottesville couldn’t have sat around a circle like we are doing here and debated the pros and cons of statues and what “freedom” means to each of them. I had never thought much about statues until yesterday. A teach-in would have been really cool. Maybe they would have discovered that one of the things they have in common is not liking bosses of any kind whether it’s a slave owner or a general or some guy in the corner office. In Peter Marshall’s “Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism”, he says that “anarchism is like a river with many currents and eddies, constantly changing and being refreshed with new surges, but always moving towards the wide ocean of freedom.” I find that talking about freedom with my neighbors yields more fruitful discussions than talk about rights.

          1. Annotherone

            On freedom I agree wholeheartedly. On the statue issue, I spent a long time earlier today trying to find a poem I recalled, without remembering the poet’s name – about gazing on the statue of some war hero then drifting into various thoughts on pros and cons. Didn’t find the poem, but did find one by Billy Collins “Statues in the Park”. Interesting lines about the horse’s foot positions.

      2. montanamaven

        “If a white man wants to lynch me, that’s his problem. If he’s got the power to lynch me, that’s my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it’s a question of power. Racism gets its power from capitalism. Thus, if you’re anti-racist, whether you know it or not, you must be anti-capitalist. The power for racism, the power for sexism, comes from capitalism, not an attitude.”

        ― Stokely Carmichael

      3. marym

        Did you see this yesterday from Neera?

        We have actual fascists marching with torches. Maybe everyone on the progressive side could focus on the enemies of progress in front of us

        Don’t know if any of her side of “us” were there, though DSA was. Indivisible was calling for vigils today though.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Hate speech of course is not protected unless you’re the one doing it, “Seig Heil Trump”, “Trump is Hitler” etc.flung around by alt/lefties with abandon (I wonder if the Europeans would automatically jail anyone trying to deny that Trump was Hitler?)

          If we’re going to utterly abandon the First Amendment (Google & FB censorship but all this too) it would be great at least to have an open discussion about it. Oops there’s that word again, “open”.

          As we close the chapter called The Enlightenment, that replaced the received ultimate truth of the church with the free expression of new ideas (especially on college campuses) I wonder if anyone notices.

    2. albrt

      You think these folks have an expectation of privacy when they travel across the country to participate in a highly publicized rally while decked out with Nazi insignia and and a riot shield? Do you have the slightest idea what privacy means?

      I hope they all get ten years in prison for provoking a riot resulting in death and bodily injury. The very least consequence should be having their conduct exposed to their families, communities and employers.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Do try to stay on point.

        The issue isn’t the expectations “these folks” have. The issue is the precedent set, and the effect on others. One of those “be careful what you wish for” things.

        Also, the issue was framed as doxxing, not whether “they” should go to prison.

      2. Antifa

        Doxxing is an extremely vicious form of vigilantism — the taking away of someone’s personal privacy, personal spaces, freedom of movement, income, career possibilities, and then there’s their family and relatives impacted as well. You have no real idea or control over what the consequences to the victim will actually be, only that they won’t be good.

        You’d best not do it unless you truly are unassailable, or what goes around will come around, real quick. Most often, it’s like you and your neighbor burning each other’s house down — you can only claim victory in the sense that your house was smaller than his.

        Was. Back when you had a house, and all the things that made it possible, and made it a home.

        1. Gaianne

          Doxxing doxxers may be unsafe, may be unwise, but is not otherwise immoral. Beyond that, doxxing becomes ethically murky very, very fast.

          At any rate, don’t expect sympathy!


        2. Aumua

          Yes it’s a nasty business all around, and I’m not impressed by the vitriol on either side. But on the other hand, “Welcome to the Information Age!” guys.. if these impressionable young minds are going to have to learn a hard lesson here, then so be it. The real world is not the one you surround yourself with in your Internet enclaves. Actions have consequences, and people aren’t going to tolerate this B.S. this time around. So deal with it, and realize you’re going the wrong way, you’ve been lied to. It’s not too late to turn around.

        3. relstprof

          Identifying participants in a public march isn’t doxxing. They petitioned for the public access.

    3. makedoanmend

      “These tactics can easily be deployed against people on the left…”

      If your beliefs are such that you demonstrate or attend rallies for given causes, are you not publicly declaring your beliefs? One is essentially outing themselves anyway. (And does this not also go for the so-called neo-Nazis who parade their beliefs in public, often with overt symbols and dress? Are they declaring their hate and prejudices in public but don’t want the public to notice who is doing the declaring?)

      I’ve never come across a left wing activist who would give a fig about someone knowing their leftwing viewpoints.

      If anything, some of the more enthusiastic leftists would bore one senseless with their theories of everything.

      [Never have nor will associate with the so-called radicals.]

      1. Fiery Hunt

        I suggest you google Black Bloc tactics, Guy Fawkes masks…Antifa routinely wear masks and do their best to avoid public scrutiny.

        1. makedoanmend

          No thanks. That’s why I explicitly stated I do not associate “with so-called radicals” nor have time for them.

          The vast, vast majority of the Left are very fine with being identified. Some, I would posit, would be most offended if they could not be identified.

          1. Fiery Hunt

            Absolutely agree.
            But there are a lot of Hard Left activists (in the Bay Area they routinely riot and break stuff)..

            Just think it is important to recognize the large web of complications with outing/doxxing people. Trump got a lot of grief including Antifa groups in his comment yesterday about the violence coming from a lot of directions…

        2. makedoanmend

          And another thought: Who designates that Black Bloc, Antifa or people wearing Guy Fawkes masks means that they are all Leftists? Being Black Bloc, opposing Fascism or wearing a mask do not necessarily make one a Leftist. For example, many ordinary democracy oriented people would actively oppose Fascism and would be loathe to be called a Leftist.

          In fact, I would be very surprised if many of the individuals in these groups are seriously concerned and focused on class politics and the attendant problems of power relations.

          Most so-called hard left people I know are planning on the revoution, and many have been planning on the revolution for decades.

          1. Fiery Hunt


            Kinda makes labels and tribalism useless. Personal example: I get grief for not voting for either Hillary or Trump (don’t vote anymore…) I’m against Antifa and Alt-Right. Against corporations and Obamacare. For gun rights and keeping the Civil War statues. Against empire and war. Against religion but for the religious (if they do it well-:) Against bigotry and identity politics…

            Labels have no use to me.

            1. makedoanmend

              Interesting set of views. (I’m nearly there on not voting but find it hard to fight the habit of a lifetime.)

              “if they do it well” – thanks for the chuckle.

              The whole identity thingy is getting interesting because the anti-identity theme may become politically identifiable in itself : anti-identity becoming identity.

              1. Massinissa

                I vote. I just don’t vote for republicans or democrats, or at least not important ones. I get accused of ‘vote wastage’, but hey, at least I get to vote on things that matter, like state referendums.

            2. montanamaven

              Okay, I’m using your list to explain myself especially “against bigotry and identity politics.” Brilliant.

      2. justanotherprogressive

        I think the question is that if you engage in a protest over something you believe in, does that give “the other side” the right to “dox” you and destroy your privacy? Sorry, but I don’t think it does……

        This new form of “groupthink” vigilantism has just gone too far…..

        1. Biph

          The issue isn’t about what is right, it’s about what will actually happen. I’m certainly not in favor of doxxing, but if the right is going in engage in it e.g. gamergate or going back further anti-abortion groups posting the home addresses of doctors who preform them they shouldn’t be shocked when these same tactics are used against them. I don’t favor these invasions of privacy, but I hold the political right more responsible for their rise and do feel a little schadenfreude that it’s being used against them even if I think it’s a bad and dangerous road to go down overall.

          1. Fiery Hunt

            Very, very reasonable.
            Helps to understand context and history about doxxing; makes the “two wrongs makes no rights” saying all the more poignant. Principles, not tribalism, matters most…

            A pox on both wrongs.

        2. makedoanmend

          I believe I know where you’re coming from, so to speak. People should not be persecuted for their beliefs and how they decide to practice them in public. This is common decency in my book. People need to practice a social perspective, especially on the web.

          And the web does provide an anonymity to those who might abuse the benefits that the web can provide. Not saying this isn’t problematic.

          But…how are they destroying someone’s privacy? One can’t get private information on anyone unless they have made it public themselves, usually via social networks. Are the people who have engaged in overt actions, such as the so-called neo-nazis marches, upset that their personal social media information might be highlighted? If that the case, I would suggest they don’t publish this information. Otherwise, they aren’t exactly keeping it private.

          If someone has hacked into a database with information that is not publicly available, they are committing a crime in nearly any jurisdiction in the world and would be subject to grave prosecution.

          Certainly people shouldn’t necessarily be subject to any abuse for their beliefs that they manifest in marches or protests, and this applies to the alt-right (or whatever nomenclature they use). However, if they have previously released their information to public media, hence making the information no longer private, and assuming no illegal gathering of information, do you really expect others not to highlight their information when events such as yesterday’s occur?

          I believe the news media routinely use social site information, interviews with associates, and access to other public records to profile and surmise why people engage in a given activity when events spiral out of control.

          It seems to be more evident in every passing day that the ordinary punter really should be doing as much as possible to think about what information they want to make public. Or not, as the case may be.

          And there is the case to be made, as I did above, if I believe in something like class politics and an equilibrium in power, I shouldn’t and won’t be worried about my profile.

          1. JTFaraday

            They don’t even need factual personal information. They can just make it up and put it out there. We are all skating on thin ice.

            1. makedoanmend

              True. However, there are legal remedies for this.

              Also, such behaviour predates the introduction of the web. In Ireland it was standard procedure in the past for people to write anonymous letters to the Garda Síochána (Irish police – “keepers of the peace”) accusing neighbors and others of unfounded transgressions. Often these poison letters followed on the heels of some petty dispute or from plain spite. Quite often the perpetrators of such callous acts were identified over time when the Guards followed up on queries. The authors of poison were not very well liked nor trusted afterwards. (Trust is a prized commodity in small, intimate communities.)

              We have libel laws and we need to use them to regulate improper behaviour.

              If a social service provider allows false and unverified information to remain unchallenged, one should pursue remedies, and furthermore one should refuse to use that service.

              Again the issue is real and a problem. I know someone who has been falsely accused of doing something. No one else believes the bs, but the person remains very upset nevertheless. No denying the hurt and potential damage that can incur from some people and their bad intentions.

              However, do we want big brother to prohibit rather than regulate? And will we let the vast majority of decent ordinary users of the net succumb to the few rotten apples? It’s up to the many to regulate the few.

    4. GeophRian

      Normally I’d be on your side but this is one instance where I’m conflicted. Being a self admitted Nazi or Klansmen is intentionally associating yourself with groups responsible for the most notable acts of mass slaughter in modern Weatern history. I feel like joining those groups is no different than someone joining Al Qaeda or ISIS. They are admitted terrorists and traitors.

      I’m not a patriotic person and feel anyone should be able to openly criticize and challenge our nation and it’s policies. I think targeting fringe groups with counter ideologies is wrong. But, these are groups with a proven record of mass killing and terrorism. They are different. And, since our government doesn’t seem to be too bothered by white terrorists, maybe it is up to the people to do something about it.

      Again, I’m conflicted. But, we know if these guys, or the Bundy clan, or Dylan Roof, had been black militants or Hispanic militants there would be SWAT teams raiding the inner cities right now and mass arrests going on. How many were arrested protesting in Ferguson versus Charlottesville? Again, our government is apathetic about white terrorism. So, who will keep it from flourishing?

      1. Lambert Strether

        My understanding is that most of the white supremacy groups have been heavily infiltrated by law enforcement (one reason they are so factionalized and splittist). It would be strange if that were not so for these newer group.

        That said, I’d like better understanding of the “law enforcement community” and its actions here. The non-action on the night of the Tiki torch parade seems odd, and certainly in great contrast to actions for Occupy and at Ferguson. It looks to me like law enforcement stood back and watched it happen, and the state of emergency was only declared on the second day. So many people seeking to gain advantage out of the confrontation; perhaps law enforcement had the same idea.

        1. wilroncanada

          I would guess that all groups, even the most benign ones, church groups for example, have been infiltrated by police, or “informers” employed by police, through contracts, bribery or threats and intimidation.

          After all, electronic spying is so banal.

    5. RudyM

      Some interesting suggestions here on limiting corporate power to punish (including fire) employees for expressions of political opinion online (among other topics):

      The idea of new constitutional amendments is always a bit frightening (to me anyway), given the risk of something else slipping in that I wouldn’t want to see.

    6. relstprof

      This isn’t doxxing. This is public speech. It is public by nature.

      There are no privacy rights for showing up and speaking publicly.

      This isn’t a revenge cycle. There are wikis collecting info on DSA leadership members just as there are wikis collecting info on Neo-Nazi members. This has been happening for decades. The internet makes it quicker, but it’s nothing new.

      The DSA is very aware of this (and has been), as are other leftist groups.

      Really, American politics has to get rid of the idea that what we should be shooting for is all getting along together in bipartisan happiness. That isn’t politics, it’s a comfortable ideology that serves power.

      1. relstprof

        That said, if you think you’ve been discriminated against due to your political views, take it to the courts. Sue. But if you showed up at a public rally on a side and then claim that action as private, you’re probably not going to get anywhere. Free speech? Maybe, but corporations aren’t on your side. Pay attention to what you sign.

  24. flora

    Honore Daumier was a French artist and political cartoonist in early-mid 19th C. Paris.

    In July 1835, Louis Philippe survived an assassination attempt, and the French government used this as a pretext for banning political cartoons.

    plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

  25. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “New York’s Fracking Ban” — I am troubled by the anti-fracking groups opposition to the the CPV power plant in Dover, New York, intended to provide 1750 megawatts to offset closure of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Even without consideration of fracking’s impacts on Global Warming its impacts on fresh water are more than adequate to support its widespread and vehement condemnation. But knee-jerk condemnation of any and all new power plants because they will burn natural gas seems extremely counterproductive to addressing the very large and long ignored problems of “… how to replace the nukes, [and develop] … a plan that replaces the nukes, shuts down all the gas fired plants, and keeps us from freezing in the dark.” Building more solar and wind power plants hardly begins to answer that problem. We have plenty of short and long term crises to deal with. I am far more concerned to shut down nuclear power than fuss over every new power plant because it burns natural gas.

    The fix is already in for natural gas. Even the once venerable Sierra Club received their share. Frontal assault on an enemy stronghold seems a strategy doomed to fail. And worse — without a more comprehensive plan than solar power and wind power for dealing with our high energy usage such assault offers more than a small probability of backfiring. I believe it were a far wiser strategy to use the natural gas push to fuel power plants as a means to close down and dismantle our nuclear power industry and its political support. [I suppose the trick would be to avoid accepting any money from all energy cartels.] The closing of the nuclear power plants should be coupled with a strong push to sequester the spent fuel where it might do the least harm in the future and I’m not convinced we have a good plan for how to do that.

    Global Warming worries me extremely. But more immediately I am extremely worried about our nuclear power plants — especially those proximate with the rising seas. And after that I am extremely worried about our profligate use of energy and the current plan to ride that train at full speed right into a brick wall of crisis at a moment in the future which promises to be fraught with many crises of possibly similar magnitude.

    1. UserFriendly

      God no. If anything we need more nuclear plants.
      There is absolutely no way this planet will be habitable in 2150 if we try and phase out nuclear. It takes over a full year before a wind or solar power system has generated more power than was required to produce it. More people die from falls installing wind and solar than from nuclear waste and there are new nuclear reactors that are fail safe and run on nuclear waste. If Nixon hadn’t jumped on the water boiling plants just cause they finished first the public wouldn’t be so bugged out about them because meltdowns would never have happened and we would probably be off greenhouse gasses by now.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Sorry — while I share your pessimism about solar and wind power as solutions to our energy needs I cannot share your optimism about nuclear power. Even if the new reactor designs really were fail-safe — a claim I find difficult to accept after so many similar claims have proven false — I would oppose them because of the new life they could breath into the existing water boiling plants as they breath new political life into the nuclear power industry. I want those old reactors gone, dismantled, and the spent fuel parked where it can do the least harm. When that’s done — then I might consider fail-safe nuclear reactors — although I have grown extremely skeptical of anything the nuclear industry claims. They have less cred than Monsanto or Dow Chemical.

        How much fissionable material is there in the world? Is there enough to replace oil as a source of energy — or do you advocate for “fail-safe” breeder reactors of some sort? And can you promise new reactors have no ties with the Military Industrial Complex. They may be anxious to make more plutonium to build bigger and better warheads for our “defense.”

        I don’t believe we have an answer to the coming energy crisis and its quite clear the answer to Global Warming is to ignore the problem and continue with business as usual right to the cliff and over. Like solar energy and wind power — I view “fail-safe” nuclear power as just one more boondoggle to suck up money.

        1. UserFriendly

          I’m not optimistic about anything. I have such little faith that the right thing will ever get done by anyone that it takes every ounce of strength I have to not jump off a bridge. We are on the express train to massive human death and suffering. New nuclear is just about the only way I see of even tapping on the brakes but it will never happen because the public is rightfully jaded from years of misleadership. I honestly wonder if nuclear holocaust wouldn’t be more humane.

        2. Felix_47

          Any idea how much litigation figures into overall cost? At some level litigation makes any large project impossible. After reading the link it looks like we might be outsourcing the development to China.

  26. Anon

    RE: Pic of the Week

    This photo, on close inspection, is actually a four-play. The rainbow is actually doubled (the second is located outward of the primary in the area known as Alexander’s (band) Dark Side. It’s faint, but the broader, reversed order (blue on the out-side) color band is there.

  27. skippy

    I just find it curious that in a region chocker block with church steeples… that idol worship is so rampant…

    1. Edward E

      That’s a special bird because the Mauritius kestrel barely escaped extinction. Northern harriers like my homestead on the mountain, they are becoming more threatened unfortunately.

  28. flora

    Noted without comment:

    From: Finally, Democrats are looking in the mirror. That’s reason for optimism -Guardian.

    “Since the Reagan years, both American parties have come together, DC consensus-style, to suppress antitrust enforcement, and the results are a thousand awful transformations of this country in favor of concentrated wealth.

    “That bipartisan consensus has permitted the destruction of small-town America, the wasting of family farmers, the suppression of small business, and the rise of an all-powerful industry – Silicon Valley – where the business model is, simply, snuffing out competition.

    “The apparent ambitions of outfits like Google and Amazon make John D Rockefeller look like a conniving child.”

    From: Google warns 700 publishers digital ads will be blocked by Chrome update – NY Post

    “Google has warned about 700 publishers that their current digital ads would be blocked from reaching consumers under the new Chrome browser system set to be introduced next year that will have much tighter ad-blocking software.

    “Among the 700 sites that are deemed to be in danger of failing the new standards are Forbes, the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine and others, according to Digiday, which first reported that Google had sent notices to 700 publishers.”

    1. ewmayer

      I wish I could share Frank’s optimism, but even though he strikes an early pose to the effect of I-will-no-longer-fall-for-mere-virtue-signaling-messaging-absent-concrete-policy-initiatives-to-back-it-up, he quickly succumbs to one ‘surprising’ passage in the Team D manifesto:

      But there’s also something about A Better Deal that gives me a sharp jolt of optimism for our Democratic party. It is this: the Democrats have committed themselves to a war on monopoly.

      Evidence of an actual commitment to such a thing, as opposed to mere high-flown verbiage about getting tough on the very same monopolies the Dems have done so much to help midwife, and which provide so very much of their campaign funding? Nil. Sorry, Mr. Frank, heard all the hopey-changey soaring rhetoric™ before, at this point you really gotta be some kind of masochistic “I know there is good inside you, father Darth Dems” latent-but-ever-hopeful team D tribalist to fall for that kind of shtick.

    2. Foppe

      Fascinating, re the ads. Could this choice to add an ad blocker to Chrome be Google wanting to force others to use their ad system?

  29. Altandmain

    RE: The article on stress:

    It’s not that we don’t want less stress. We all do. It’s that the rich are waging class warfare on us, which is causing a far more stressful world.

    – Unstable jobs
    – Low pay that does not cover living costs
    – Higher costs of living
    – Unpleasant work conditions
    – Focusing on short term profits over all else

    That was bound to lead to stress.

    Class Warfare:
    Only 0.1% of US minimum wage workers can afford a 1-bedroom apartment, report finds

  30. RudyM

    Re: the Alzheimer’s study: Couldn’t some of the stressful events (like dropping out of school or unemployment) be caused by limited cognitive function, to begin with, at least in some cases?

  31. marym

    Police Stood By As Mayhem Mounted in Charlottesville

    State police and National Guardsmen watched passively for hours as self-proclaimed Nazis engaged in street battles with counter-protesters. ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson was on the scene and reports that the authorities turned the streets of the city over to groups of militiamen armed with assault rifles.

    Governor defends police inaction because the nazi white supremacists were better armed

    Governor McAuliffe also defended the police response, saying, “It’s easy to criticize, but I can tell you this, 80 percent of the people here had semiautomatic weapons.

    “You saw the militia walking down the street, you would have thought they were an army,” he added. “I was just talking to the State Police upstairs; they had better equipment than our State Police had,” he said, referring to the militia members. “And yet not a shot was fired, zero property damage.”

    Police protecting nazi white supremacist organizer from unarmed people

    Actual brave people

    1. Biph

      Makes one wonder if we will start seeing anti-fa and other progressive/leftest groups coming to these counter protests armed.
      One does wonder what the response would be (especially from police) to a group of heavily armed New Black Panthers showing up as a reaction to heavily armed right wing white militias.

  32. Richard

    I have a question about threads. There is a thread from yesterday that I am still responding to, and was able to earlier today, but now the ‘reply’ option isn’t available. Does anybody know what might be going on?

    1. ambrit

      How far over to ‘the right’ have the comments been indented? I’ve found that after a certain percentage of the page width has been eliminated due to successive indents, the thread can continue as a straight column by using the “reply” ‘link’ at the head of the column.
      For example,

      1. ambrit

        Blast!!! I formatted the comment to spatially display the point being made. Some [family blog] algorithm sent all of my indented word lines to the right margin.
        Well, I hope that I explained myself clearly.

        1. ambrit

          I am discombobulated. The margin employed as a stop is obviously the left one.
          It’s late and I’m for work tomorrow.
          Nighty nite all.

  33. Sluggeaux

    Agree with Brian C about the airbag. I was a criminal prosecutor for 30-plus years. You can’t drive a car into a crowd at that speed and not intend to kill. It’s a miracle that only Heather Heyer has died (so far). Disabling the airbag is strong evidence of the planning of a willful, premeditated and deliberated killing. When such a killing is perpetrated during the commission or attempted commission of an act of terrorism, it is subject to capital punishment in the state of Virginia.

    I’m a death penalty skeptic, but the evidence here is quite strong. I hope that this pasty-faced polo-wearing terrorist gets the lethal needle.

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