Links 8/16/17

Patient readers, Yves apologizes for being short an original post. She’s a bit under the weather. –Lambert

Dung Beetles Navigate Via the Milky Way, First Known in Animal Kingdom National Geographic. A bit stale, but since we haven’t run it before…

Wells Fargo chairman, two directors to step down amid continuing fallout from sham accounts scandal LA Times. They scuttle away, sacks of loot over their shoulders….

Wells Fargo picks Betsy Duke as board chair FT. “Former Federal Reserve governor is first female head of a large US bank.”

Goldman Tops Banks Betting on a New Type of Hedging Bloomberg

AIG shops $2 billion death benefits portfolio: sources Reuters

Text of AP’s interview with NY Fed President William Dudley WaPo

Can an investment pro persuade state workers to let him manage their pensions? Sacramento Bee. Mike Flaherman gets good press for his CalPERS board seat bid, but sadly no promo for the other reform candidate, Margaret Brown. So Californians, please talk both of them up!

Everything Benchmark used to love about Uber’s Travis Kalanick is what it hates now Quartz

Jeff Bezos Should Put His Billions Into Libraries WIRED

Argentina warns US against military move on Venezuela AFP


Yemen’s Cholera Epidemic Continues to Spread The American Conservative (Re Silc).

In Egypt, A Rising Sea — And Growing Worries About Climate Change’s Effects NPR

The Massacre That Ended the Arab Spring The Atlantic (Re Silc).

Azerbaijan: Banking Crisis Gives Rise to Loan Sharks Eurasianet (MT).

North Korea

US-NK tensions will eventually ease: expert Korea Times (MT).

Let Japan develop nuclear weapons to lessen North Korea threat, former US Navy commander says South China Morning Post


Chinese troops armed with iron bars and rocks brawl with Indian soldiers near border, New Delhi source says South China Morning Post

13 activists who stormed Hong Kong legislature jailed following successful appeal by Justice Dept. Hong Kong Free Press

Thucydides’ Ignored Lesson The Diplomat

Falling trees threaten a way of life in Saigon VN Express

Factory farming in Asia creating global health risks, report warns Guardian

Dual-Citizenship Fiasco Down Under Embroils Neighbor New Zealand Bloomberg


The smooth and orderly route to a new customs arrangement: A deal to benefit businesses on both sides of the Channel is vital David Davis, City AM. “The government will publish a series of papers on the new deep and special partnership the UK wants to build with the EU.” Goodness! Will the papers have bullet points?

The government’s customs union plan is an absolute dog’s breakfast Politics (Richard Smith).

Britain says there will be no Brexit bill figure by October Reuters

Macron’s Revolution Is Over Before It Started Foreign Policy

Putin nominates German ex-chancellor Schroeder to Rosneft board New Europe (MT).

Everything You Need to Know About Germany’s Complex Election Process Bloomberg


Read the complete transcript of President Trump’s remarks at Trump Tower on Charlottesville LA Times

For the Trump Internet, the president’s ‘alt-left’ comments were an ‘epic’ takedown WaPo

Newsonomics: Lessons for the news media from Charlottesville Nieman Labs. Very good.

Who was responsible for the violence in Charlottesville? Here’s what witnesses say LA Times

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What is the ‘alt-left,’ which Trump just blamed for some of the violence in Charlottesville? WaPo

Burying the Lie of the “Alt-Left” Jacobin

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Flags and Other Symbols Used By Far-Right Groups in Charlottesville SPLC

What Trump gets wrong about Confederate statues, in one chart Vox

North Carolina Monuments Governor Roy Cooper, Medium

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Stop Telling White Nationalists They “Just Need to Get Laid” Elle

How Women In The KKK Were Instrumental To Its Rise Buzzfeed. A special place in hell, eh?

* * *

Top 10 Misconceptions About Charlottesville Counterpunch (GF).

Beyond a President’s Worst Fears, a Mob With Torches Arrived Chronicle of Higher Education. A university administrator’s perspective…

Durham sheriff arrests ladder climber in Confederate statue destruction: ‘No one is getting away with what happened.’ Herald-Sun

Surviving America’s Political Meltdown Jeffrey Sachs, Project Syndicate (Furzy Mouse).

New Cold War

New report claims DNC hack was an inside job — not Russia NY Post and What if the DNC Russian “hack” was really a leak after all? A new report raises questions media and Democrats would rather ignore Salon. When you’ve lost Salon…

Russia’s biggest war game in Europe since the cold war alarms NATO Economist

Trump and the Allies Foreign Affairs

Julian Assange, a Man Without a Country The New Yorker

Trump Transition

What to watch in the Nafta renegotiations FT

Companies Linked To Mike Pence Seek An Upper Hand In Infrastructure Policy David Sirota, International Business Times

Trump infrastructure push rolls back environmental rules Reuters

They snubbed Trump. But the Koch network has still exerted a surprising influence over the White House LA TImes

Indiana prosecutors want to incarcerate the opioid crisis away Injustice Today

Lawmakers Raise Alarm Over U.S. Census Preparations, Leadership Bloomberg

More than half the country says it will never change its opinion on Trump, no matter what WaPo

Democrats in Disarray

The Neoliberal Record of Kamala Harris: Reckon with it Instead of Attacking Critics Shadowproof (UserFriendly).

It’s the Economy, Democrats, but Inequality Is Not the Issue NYT. So says the Third Way.

Health Care

In major reversal, survey finds 56% of physicians now support single-payer healthcare system Fierce Healthcare

Class Warfare

Grenfell Tower inquiry accused of ‘whitewash’ for ignoring social housing policy International Business Times

Jared Kushner’s company screws Brooklyn tenants out of rent-stabilized leases, suit says NY Daily News

The Social Mobility Lie Stumbling and Mumbling

Broken Real-World Economics Review Blog (MT).

Where the robots are Axios (Re Silc).

Nothing like this has happened in 323 years Martin Wolf, FT. Handy chart.

The Case for Regulating Before Harms Occur The Regulatory Review

Antidote du jour (via):

Readers, I know I ran a capybara Antidote yesterday, but they seem so calm, so preternaturally possessed of sang froid

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Epynonymous

    What a week! Prices for eclipse viewers are … Sky high and a high pressure storm front of crackers coming in from the south east.

    Boston media is just as bad. If not worse. Another attack on the local holocaust memorial, and a perpetrator this time.

    No seven day permit required to hold a rally opposing that. Also a Muslim man kicked their flowers over, seeming deranged. He’s being charged with desecrating a grave site. I hope he lawyers up.

    It’s mass produced chaos, and the Feds are poised to rescue us from ourselves. Trump is being attacked in the media again, who only report on what the wanted to hear him say.

    On the Charlotte vehicular terrorism. Even up north a law was passed allowing road raging vigilantes to hit them with their cars. Trump didn’t build that either, but now someone is dead and the local conservatives in government are squarely to blame.

    I don’t think this calms down or the crisis goes unexploited.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      There seems to be a bit of price gouging with the motels going on in my area. People who made room reservations early for the eclipse at the standard price are finding their rooms are being cancelled because of “maintenance”. Our local TV stations are quite good at exposing them when they hear about it……

      1. katiebird

        We live just outside the area of totally. A month ago or so we started thinking about where to go to get a good view (assuming clear sky) …. after tossing around a lot of ideas ( my favorite being heading to Atchison, Ks on the cliff in front of Amelia Earhart’s house — but I think there will be a crowd) we finally decided to head for a parking lot somewhere. I don’t like crowds

          1. justanotherprogressive

            I wouldn’t worry about parking lots as much as I would worry about the roads being packed…..the highway people in my area are very concerned that the roads just won’t be able to handle the traffic…..and then there is the problem with all those people and fires…..this is the peak wildfire season in my area…..

              1. JeffC

                I read that South Carolina expects 2.1 million eclipse tourists. After looking at a map to estimate how many miles of interstate highways SC has, it appears that number of visitors spread across those miles would be a human every two feet. The traffic implications are obviously profound. Anyone driving into that had best pack a lot of water and TP, because people stuck on packed roads are going to be joining the proverbial bears in the woods for some “regular” activities.

                1. polecat

                  I’d hate to be the guy/gal/whatever to have to ‘ clean-up’ the roadsides after this .. uh .. Wonderous Celestial Diversion !

        1. JoeK

          katiebird I believe you meant the area of “totality.” AFAIK the area of “totally” covers the whole west coast (and is growing rapidly elsewhere).

          I’m headed to eastern OR to avoid the biggest OR crowds, on two wheels in order to circumvent traffic if necessary, and a day early. It will be interesting to see how many people will be in this area, normally one of the least populated of the CONUS.

          1. katiebird

            You are right, I did mean totality!!! Thank you for catching that. I have been so frazzled organizing my parent’s move from their house of nearly 50 years to a one bedroom (even though it’s large) apartment, I Totally missed that!!!

      2. Oregoncharles

        We’re in the path of totality, in the Willamette Valley. One of the better places to see it. Had a bunch of people coming, family and friends, but one couple just cancelled because they didn’t want to deal with the traffic.

        And now we’re warned that the thundering herd is visible in satellite photos, and that food and gas are likely to sell out this weekend, to say nothing of long lines. We have enough rice and beans to last months (this started out as a way to save money, but also covers supply interruptions), so we won’t starve, but need to stock up tomorrow. And I’m not sure we have enough eclipse glasses. Anyway, it’s all over on Monday. Should be an interesting weekend – the local population will more than double.

    2. Carolinian

      On the Charlotte vehicular terrorism

      Charlotte is in NC. Charlottesville is in VA. Maps are often helpful.

      David Swanson, Charlottesville resident, says in his column about the events says he gets lots of sympathy letters from fellow lefties who don’t know Charlotte from Charlottesville. Bubble much?

  2. bronco

    Omg did Trump just make up the term Alt-Left? I bet if I read the daily bezos I’ll discover theres no such thing.

    1. MartyH

      The nice people at Jacobin took care of that for you. The armed play-mates of the nasties in C’ville must have been Martians or something. Couldn’t exist!

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The armed play-mates of the nasties in C’ville must have been Martians or something. Couldn’t exist!

        You need to get that knee seen to. You also might consider learning to read. From Jacobin:

        For months now, as part of the ongoing battle over the future of progressive politics in the United States, members of the liberal center have been warning about what they called the “alt-left,” the alt-right’s supposed mirror image. The term was first used in a Vanity Fair piece by James Walcott in March, in which he claimed there was a “kinship” between the two groups, and proceeded to rattle off a list of its supposed members, all of whom (bar Susan Sarandon) were men.

        It should go without saying that the label refers to something that doesn’t exist. This very publication, for instance, was cited by Walcott as one of the alt-left’s “outlets,” despite the fact that we routinely spend our time criticizing Trump and his cronies and are rooted in a longstanding democratic socialist tradition.

        The term was always intellectually lazy and dishonest, but veracity was never its point. Rather, it was an evolution of the “Bernie Bro” slur, a way to dismiss left-wing critiques of centrist Democrats by claiming those espousing them were racist, misogynistic, white men, even when they were people of color, women, or both. The insertion of the “alt” label was key — without needing to say a thing, the term drew up an affinity and connection between modern, rebranded white supremacists and those campaigning for universal health care and a higher minimum wage.

    2. Praedor

      Why not? What would you call Antifa? Or violent BLM groups that join in with Antifa? Concerned citizens? “Right thinking individuals”? The “good” kind of violent people?

      The Alt-Right includes neonazis and white supremacists. The Alt-Left is made up of anarchists, anarcho-communists, straight up communists (Antifa is made up of all three), some radical feminists, and radical BLM members. Both sides have blood on their hands.

      1. bronco

        I was being facetious, I thought everyone has already known there was an alt-left . The MSM acts like its a new idea that literally no one had ever considered such a thing.

        1. Praedor

          Whew. Sorry.

          I thought you were serious (and I was thoroughly disgusted by the gasps and outrage of the “reporters” at the new conference where Trump mentioned the alt-left. Pointedly, the one reporter refused to define alt-right too. So they do not recognize an alt-left and cannot define alt-right, thus they can accuse ANYONE they want of being “alt-right” when all they are is right of them.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            One difference is that the “alt-right” embraced the term. Those putatively in the “alt-left” did not. All part and parcel with the false equivalence of the two.

          1. Praedor

            Then you must provide a name for the LEFT thugs like Antifa and Black Block (not same thing, but often allied). Or is it better to ignore their existence the way the MSM does so it is not possible to demonstrate that the thugs populate both sides of the political spectrum.

            Alt-left works. It can be used as a container for the far far left crazies just as alt-right does the same for the right.

            1. Outis Philalithopoulos

              The problem I have with “alt” as a pejorative is that it identifies nonconformism with deviance, and deviance with evil.

              To some extent, this ship has sailed (considering how pervasive “alt right” has become). But it’s still helpful to be conscious of how the words influence thought patterns. For example, when you speak of “far far left crazies,” there are two assumptions there. One, that the people you’re criticizing are “far left,” i.e. more consistently or more radically “left” than others. Two, that they are “crazy.”

              Both of these assumptions are debatable. They are “far” left only in the sense of being more morally dualist (more ready to see their enemies as absolutely evil) and so more scornful of engaging with others not like them. In what meaning of “left” does it make sense to say that this is “more” left than someone else? Their tactics (violence, covering faces, doxxing, etc.) have the predictable and probably desired effect of ramping up tension. They are therefore accomplishing at least some of what they set out to do. That can be judged in various ways, but it is not straightforwardly “irrational.”

              1. marym

                The term alt-right was invented by the alt-right presumably (my presumption) to pre-empt the use of white supremacist, nazi, or fascist labels. Although the ideas, words, and symbols of the latter movements are part of their politics, apparently they correctly understand the negative PR that would result.

                This naturally and justifiably gave alt an evil meaning to the left and liberals. It was then used by establishment liberals, as Lambert points out above, to smear any people, policies, and movements to their left.

                1. Outis Philalithopoulos

                  Actually, the term was first coined in 2008 by Paul Gottfried, a paleoconservative philosopher. I don’t know much about him, but in the speech in question, reprinted here, he positions “alt-right” in opposition (explicitly) to neocons, (explicitly) to movement conservatives, and (implicitly) libertarians.

                  However, in 2010, Richard Spencer started using the term, and since then it has gotten more and more associated with white nationalists and similar, probably through a confluence of interests between the white nationalists themselves (eager for a more positive branding) and mainstream liberals (happy to blur the lines between the categories “nonconformist conservatives” and “racists”).

                  As you say, there has been one recent push to try to use “alt left” as a pejorative for leftists criticizing mainstream liberals. Praedor seems to be proposing to repackage the term as a pejorative for self-described “leftists” with strong “us vs. them” mentalities and an easy openness toward violence. Is this repackaging feasible? Is it desirable? These seem to be the questions at issue.

                  1. marym

                    If Praedor wants to argue that the term be used to describe us-them violence prone leftists, the place to do that would seem to be Democrat/liberal sites that are using the term to apply to people and movements that are none of those things.

                    1. bronco

                      So he or she has to leave then? How would you suggest he argue that on a liberal site since his comments would never post and he would never be allowed to post under that name again?

                      The liberal sites you are thinking of don’t allow dissenting opinions to see the light of day.

                    2. marym

                      Reply to bronco@August 16, 2017 at 2:39 pm

                      Didn’t say Praetor had to leave. If the liberals who invented the term to smear people left-of-Clinton won’t allow discussion, retract the smear, and forge a productive alliance, as the Jacobin article suggests, with the non-violent, non-extreme, non-irrational left, then that answers Outis Philalithopoulos’s question about the feasibility of re-defining the term.

                      The people being smeared aren’t the ones who need to redefine alt-left or invent a name for antifa other than antifa, a faction which speaks for its own tactics, not those of anyone else on the left that doesn’t promote those tactics.

                      The name of the left is the left.

                  2. Oregoncharles

                    ” a pejorative for self-described “leftists” with strong “us vs. them” mentalities and an easy openness toward violence. Is this repackaging feasible? Is it desirable? ”
                    That group clearly exists and clearly is very much involved in recent violence. They call themselves “Antifa”, as far as I can tell, and often use Black Bloc tactics. Originally I thought the Black Bloc were anarchists (I’ve met some), but their tactics have been more widely adopted.

                    They’ve been in fact attacking extreme right and racist rallies. They’re very much the reason the fascists (I prefer this rather vague term) are carrying shields and preparing military maneuvers; they’ve been throwing stuff at the fascists, a good reason to carry a shield, which doubles as a signboard.

                    It’s a fairly small category of people, but hopefully the “alt-right” are too. Still, recent events strongly resemble the buildup to the Nazi takeover in the 30s. Let’s hope the numbers stay small – although I’d like to see much larger numbers involved in effective peaceful resistance. like the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

                    I see enough of a parallel between the two groups – as someone else noted, they look like street gangs at a rumble – to justify parallel terminology. But we can’t expect Trump or most other political types to use it carefully.

                    The gang fights have a ritualistic element, but twice now some nut case has gone ballistic with it – the knife attack in Portland, and the car attack in Charlottesville. There are always a few people like that around. Once things get heated, they will appear.

              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Are there many people absolutely evil? That’s one question I keep working on.

                The other is, are we all a bit evil, just different in time, circumstance and amount.

                And, do we try to understand the root cause and change those not on our side?

                1. Antifa

                  “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
                  ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    Thanks, Antifa.

                    I also puzzle over this: Does one become infallible by joining an infallible cause?

                    Say, you join a progressive party, does it make you will stop making mistakes or being bad, here and there, now and then?

                    Is it automatic that a left wing person is always, inherently better, or worse, than a right wing person?

                    Conversely, does a negative act by a follower always, all the time, reflect the one he/she follows (a political leader, a spiritual leader, etc)?

            2. Plenue

              “Then you must provide a name for the LEFT thugs like Antifa and Black Block”

              Police academy graduate.

            3. lyman alpha blob

              I’m sorry, but Black Block are not left, they are cops. I’d wager so are a ,lot of the other provacateurs no matter what label you are trying to give them.

              Alt-left is a very poorly defined and useless term IMNSHO.

              1. kareninca

                Yes, Black Bloc must be cops. The uniformed cops just stand around while Black Bloc is violent. Why would that be, if Black Bloc weren’t also cops? Or perhaps federal agents?

                Whoever is running this s*** show does not seem to realize that this is making the upper middle class no longer trust police officers to do their job. People expect cops to step in and arrest someone when they see them commit a violent act. They don’t expect cops to just stand around with their heads up their family blogs. This loss of trust in the police to do their job is going to have real social consequences; it is not a good thing.

            4. Lambert Strether Post author

              Any term that would throw anti-state anarchists — anarch, get it? — into the same bucket with Sanders who support state power for things like, say, #MedicareForAll is so tendentious that’s it’s impossible for anyone to use it in good faith. As we indeed see from the operatives who invented it.

              Incidentally, I loathe the black bloc, as long-time readers know, and I’m not so enthralled with antifa (so-called) either; the history they appropriate is, after all, one of losing.

              1. Mark P.

                Any term that would throw anti-state anarchists … into the same bucket with Sanders … is so tendentious that’s it’s impossible for anyone to use it in good faith.

                Sure. But get used to it, because they’re going to.

              2. RabidGandhi

                Wow. The long history of anarchism– from Kropotkin to Catalonia’s CGT to today’s Argentine cooperativists– has entirely featured extreme forms of community control. State=community. To follow your #MedicareForAll example, revolutionary Catalonia not only guaranteed free healthcare for all, but education, food, employment and housing as well; so by no means were they anti-state, quite the opposite.

                I’m used to terms getting co-opted, and it’s predictably disturbing to see today’s junk nihilists rebrand themselves anarchists, but I’m surprised to see you coalesce to the term being coopted.

            5. Lambert Strether Post author

              > Then you must provide a name

              “Must,” forsooth. What a silly argument. Nothing compels one to group incommensurables except bad faith or ignorance.

              “You must provide a name for balloons and elephants, since they are both large rounded things!”

      2. EricT

        “Both sides have blood on their hands.” is such a BS statement. I missed the reports of dead white supremacists. I missed the part where the liberals were driving cars into the white supremacists, or liberals packing weapons subjugating racists free speech rights through intimidation. These people were human beings standing up against another group of people that would of rather seen them dead. Violence was destined, but who brought the matches.

        1. Praedor

          Oh yes, the MANY dead lefty protesters…oh wait. There’s ONE. ONE incident with a car.

          Meanwhile, Youtube centrist poster Baked Alaska has permanent eye damage due to Antifa pepper spray attack in his face. The guy at Berkely who got his skull cracked by the Antafatard with a sock containing a bike lock that he used to pop his head. THAT’S OK because the vic is still alive.

          OOOPS, the (thankfully) incompetent mass shooter wannabe LEFTIST who tried to gun down a bunch of Republicans practicing baseball. THAT’S OK because he’s a lefty…or it was somehow some rightwinger’s fault. Nazis made that guy shoot up the ball practice!

          1. JoeK

            So, ramming a car into a group of people–twice when you include the back-up–is no different from dirty street fighting amongst combatants (as I’m safely guessing the “guy” in Berkeley was)?

            I normally don’t waste a millisecond on the first three, um, news outlets you linked to, and today’s no different. Send a link to the claim you made about the bike-locked sock.

            The Right in the US is mostly Right-wing with a Vengeance. So any alt-right is going to be in National Socialism territory almost by default.

            The Left in the US, OTOH, is overwhelmingly what the rest of the developed world would call centrist. So there’s plenty more room to the left of that before you get to those espousing or committing violence.

            The power apparatuses in the US are nearly all right-leaning, and the majority membership in both our LE and military are right-leaning. So the money and the bullets are mostly on one side of the left-right divide.

            It’s simply not an equivalence, but since such false equivalences are crucial to the weltanshauung of whole alt-right/neo-nazi/white supremacist movement, debating it is likely a non-starter.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        Read the Jacobin article before opining.

        Alt-left was coined and propagated by liberal Democrats to throw Sanders supporters, DSA into the same bucket as the black bloc (for example) and then draw a false equivalence between them and neo-Nazis (using “Horseshoe Theory,” that both “extremes” are really the same.

        It’s a completely tendentious and disingenuous smear adopted after Bernie Bro, another such smear, passed its sell by date.

        Read the article. You need to get that knee seen to. It’s jerking.

        1. djrichard

          I have a theory that this is another nice byproduct of the mass media. The amount of churn produced by the mass media is really unrelenting. It’s like a firehose. It’s training us to operate in knee jerk reaction mode, whether they want that or not. And the more I think about it, the more I think that that’s what they want.

          And with our behavior thus trained, it’s hard to revert back to how we like to behave when the independent media pieces cross our fields of vision.

          1. polecat

            djrichard … I would wager that this stuff is by design, as you imply in your ending paragragh sentence. We are all looking at the spots on shiny ladybug, while the dull, slowly deliberate stick insect ambles on, to scheme another day ! Same with re. to the whole ‘KIM JUNG UN GONNA NUKE US ALLL !!’ bs …. just another pretty beetle !
            Meanwhile, the clintons, the mccains/grahams, the pelosies/feinsteins/schumers, DNC/sp’00’ks/DONOR class/HIGH-financers of this fine earth continue the Great American CONfidence Scam … otherwise known as ‘to Divide & Subject to Our Will’ you stupid little marks !!
            I can Smell the desperation !

        2. craazyman

          I liked “Bernie Bro”!

          They might have meant it as a smear, but it’s pretty good, Reminds me of the time in college I was out drinking with a buddy and we ended up at 1 am at a Subway-style sandwich shop.

          I was too drunk to order so he ordered for me. I took a few bites of the sandwich and said “Wow this is good!” He started laughing and I looked confused. Then he told me he put all sorts of crazy shlt on the sandwich to try to make me throw up. hahaha hahahahahaha hahahahahah. I ate the whole thing and didn’t throw up. It was good.

          I like Bernie Bro!

      4. Lord Koos

        Oh please, give us a break with the “alt-left” meme. There is hardly any real left-wing that remains in this country. You couldn’t fill a football stadium with members of the antifa or BLM, but you can’t say the same for white nationalists, there are plenty of them.

    3. uncle tungsten

      I am waiting for the day when the alt right rebadges as the alt Palestinians. That will be an exciting shift.

  3. skippy

    Hi YS…. just defective myself here… it takes a toll doesn’t it.

    Especially with age, both physical and mental, trying to sort out both the larger perspective and those at home, the latter diffidently puts things in to perspective and hints at our own demise. It is an arduous under taking without much profit, tho who knows what passage it might offer in our passing.

    Disheveled… for what its worth, I got to share a piece of you and the value of that is something I will always appreciate.

  4. Livius Drusus

    The whole “white nationalists need to get laid” thing is an example of how clueless people are about the white nationalist movement. For one thing, I notice that many people seem to think that this is a new phenomenon, like online white nationalism started with people posting Pepe the Frog memes. Stormfront, the oldest and probably the largest white nationalist forum on the Internet, was founded in 1996 and white nationalist bulletin boards have been around since even before that.

    There was plenty of far-right activity in the 1990s and not all of those people fit the Alt-Right nerd stereotype. Some were macho skinhead types (think Edward Norton’s character in American History X), some were big into race science and IQ and looked and spoke like middle-class academics. Others were into the fascist music scene and looked indistinguishable from other heavy metal or punk types. And yes, there were women involved in white nationalism too and they often dated and married men who were also in the movement.

    I would be willing to bet that things have not changed that much. Even the use of bawdy humor is not new to the far-right. It is disappointing that some liberals and left-wingers seem to brush this movement off as “guys who can’t get laid.” It really speaks to the left’s inability to seriously analyze things, sort of like the dismissal of working-class Trump voters as dumb, racist hicks and nothing more.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      For “liberal” elites, it’s easier to pretend fascists aren’t their neighbors but poor people or outsiders they can avoid.

      Current #resistance hero, John McCain, supported Apartheid and and voted against making MLK day a federal holiday. The resistance icon of yesteryear, Reagan, who’s name is invoked to discuss a “better” sort of Republicans made use of numerous dog whistles such as “young bucks” and “welfare queens.”

      Here is “respectable, intellectual” conservative, Bill Buckley:

      Centrists like to pretend white nationalism started recently with the advent of Donald Trump, but DLC style Dems, the heart of the #resistance, are the same people who have demanded bipartisanship and sacrificed issue after issue to appease Republicans.

      1. Livius Drusus

        Good points. Yes, I have noticed that affluent liberals are especially reluctant to admit that fascists might have good jobs with degrees from fancy schools and work and live around them. It is easier to believe that all fascists are ignorant hillbillies or ugly losers who can’t get laid. They don’t want to admit that the nearest fascist might be the handsome guy in their marketing department or the pretty girl next door.

        Many liberals seem to think that the world is like a Disney movie where the bad guys are easy to spot because they always wear black and have pointy beards and shifty eyes. I suspect that this at least partially explains why so many Democrats fell in love with characters like Obama and Macron despite their policies being garbage.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I blame television.

          Lets just be honest, the Presidential election of 2016 was between two candidates with significant histories of racism. Who really wants to deal with this?

          I wouldn’t even limit it to people the “centrists” know but their own behavior.

          The organizers of the “Unite the Right” rally tend to come from well off backgrounds. One of the torchbearers unmasked is the President of a Pac-12 school young Republicans.

        1. Bugs Bunny

          Wow this is getting out of hand. Is Antifa (the movement) really that awful? I thought they had a mission of fighting the extreme right?

    2. Anonymous

      White nationalism is the province of the white underclass who still remembers their privilege. They are the whites bearing the brunt of neoliberalism, i.e. Trump voters.

      Most of them are not Nazis or retro-racists, but labeling them as such makes their genuine concerns ( economic disenfranchisement) easily dismissable.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Err…the election may have been swung by the victims of neoliberalism. Trump voters were rather well to do for the most part.

        I know they are supposed to be “moderate suburban republicans” who always say please and thank you, but outside of the journalist class which believes its much more liberal than it actually is, wealthy America favored Trump. Hillary won the working classes who voted. They might not like her, but they voted for her.

        The whole narrative of “deplorables” echoes my point about elite liberals refusing to recognize many of the grossest people in society are in their very own social circles, possibly even friends or spouses. Joe Scarborough, #resistance hero and a man who once voted to shut down the government and stop social security checks from being sent out, lamented Trump has changed from the reasonable guy he was just a few years ago when Trump was leading the birther movement.

        Yes, most people do have the memories of goldfish. I do believe the “deplorable” narrative was necessary for Clinton Inc to explain to well-meaning but doofus Democrats why the DLC sellout was necessary and didn’t seem to be leading to certain political victory. They had to create a myth of being betrayed but swore every poor white person they lost would be replaced by two rich, white moderates.

    3. tongorad

      Greensboro Massacre

      In 1979, the Communist Workers Party organized a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina. The results were devastating as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) arrived to the rally armed and killed five marchers. Scandal and confusion quickly ensued as no gunman were sent to prison and the police were accused of colluding with the KKK. Donna, a survivor and eye witness of the events, recounts her memories in this documentary.

      1. Harold

        We were in the next town when this happened. Police left town and KKK shot 4 doctors in the street. Later the town paid a fine of $250,000 to be divided up between the widows and orphans of the four doctors from Duke University who had been assasinated in cold blood at 12 noon on a public street. Nobody in NC batted an eye, because they were communists.

  5. EndOfTheWorld

    The whole thing in Charlottesville was staged by the city gov’t to result in violence. Normally, and common-sensically, the cops separate the opposing factions to prevent violence. In this case, incredibly, they did the opposite. They pushed them together!

    Kessler, the leader of “Unite The Right”, was formerly an Occupy protestor and Obama supporter. He says he will sue the city now, but I’m pretty sure he will be bought off, and the suit will not go forward. Quite possibly he was an agent provocateur from the git-go.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        What I read was some woman who knew him from Occupy recognized him and started to greet him, and he scurried away. This was on Zero Hedge. Even David Duke described Kessler as a “recent convert”.

        When you say “evidence”, I don’t know where you would check. Was there a formal “sign-up sheet” for all Occupy protesters? What kind of documentation do you require?

        1. marym

          There’s tons of photos, tweets, personal memoirs, news stories, interviews, etc. of Occupy participants. Occupy groups had their own twitter accounts, facebook pages, and websites, in addition to individual participants, supporters, and media reporting. One would expect at least some of the right wing websites making reference to Kessler’s participation would have done the research, and also interviewed Kessler himself on his experiences, which can then be compared to other recollections of the locations or activities.

          I’ll also point out that there were Occupy locations all across the country. Many of the local sites included concerned participants and supporters of varying political opinions within an overall critique of the status quo. If someone dropped by or even actively joined the discussions or local rallies, you need more than some vague reference to Occupy to characterize an individual’s relationship to the movement, or the extent to which they subscribed to the general principles of the movement.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            All I said was he was formerly an Occupy protester and Obama supporter. Quite possibly he was merely looking for chicks.

        2. Goyo Marquez

          – Photos/video of him at both events
          – testimony of witnesses who saw him at occupy
          – background information about him, where’s he from, who does he work for, how long has he worked there, military background, high school etc.

        3. ChrisPacific

          That’s the problem with Occupy – because they never took control of the message and clearly defined what they were (and equally importantly, what they were not) everyone involved was free to make it mean whatever they liked. That meant that the Occupy brand was quickly bastardized and came to mean all kinds of things that had minimal or no connection to the original mission.

          The most obvious example is Occupy Democrats, whose founder reportedly was involved with Occupy Wall Street (again, not sure if it’s verifiable). His takeaway from that experience was apparently that the angry 99% represented a market opportunity and there was good money to be made delivering left-leaning, bias-confirming clickbait content to them via Facebook (See “You are the product” in yesterday’s links for a longer form discussion of this phenomenon). I’m sure there are other examples.

          1. marym

            OWS started on September 17, 2011. Within weeks encampments were established all over the country (I recall 150-200).

            The Zuccotti Park encampment was violently destroyed by police less than 2 months later on November 15, the other encampments within a few months.

            Within those few months, the NYC group issued a declaration* that formulated the problem. Many other Occupies adopted or modified it for their groups. They were infiltrated. Democrats tried to co-copt them (Occupy Democrats for example). Because they provided food and shelter for anyone, they faced the challenge of dealing with homeless and mentally ill people from their communities, and did their best. They were arrested and pepper sprayed. Their clothes, food, electronics, first aid supplies, libraries, shelters, sleeping bags were destroyed in the raids.

            Many participants then moved on to other activities – sometimes directly related to the Occupy experience, like Occupy Sandy, Occupy SEC, and Strike Debt. Other activists resumed previous activist work or became involved in other projects. Wealth inequality and “the 99%” are now a given in talking about politics and economics.

            It’s really irksome, after all these years, to still hear complaints that a national uprising of people from all different backgrounds came together, got to work, was almost immediately violently destroyed by the state, yet nevertheless changed our discourse, inspired action, and reverberates in activism that is on-going didn’t get it together to create a brand.

            * Link:

            1. ChrisPacific

              Fair enough, sorry. It’s not really fair of me to blame OWS/Occupy for what happened, or suggest that it would have been possible to do better given the conditions at the time. Looking at my original post it seems I did do that, and I apologize.

              I agree that Occupy was one of the main factors behind inequality and the 99% going mainstream, and that the idea it represented is what was important. While it’s annoying that the name is cynically exploited by so many for their own ends, I guess the fact that they are doing so is evidence that it did capture the public mood. (And on reflection, protecting the message would likely involve legal actions and an army of lawyers, which would arguably not be the best use of resources even if it was feasible).

      2. justanotherprogressive

        Give it a couple of days. From some of the news articles I’ve read, people are chasing down that lead right now. Southern Poverty Law Center also noted that they’ve heard the stories that he may have been with Occupy – this coming from white nationalist forums.

        He may be an “agent provocateur” or just someone who wanted his 15 minutes of fame and didn’t care how he got it…..

        1. Eureka Springs

          A lot of Ron Paul types participated in OWS. Young, isolated, angry, often ill-informed by right wing media, Alex Jones etc., suspicious of gov’t in the socialized sense, libertarian. I could definitely imagine them being or becoming provocateurs or sincerely falling into supremacist group trappings.

    1. fritter

      It does appear that way. I’m not sure what is up with the anti-racists groups that are using violence. There was a story about a peaceful white supremacist rally in CA that was attacked and I thought this won’t end well. I suspect Charlottesville didn’t realize the Right would show up so organized and ready to fight back. They probably thought they would get the crap beat out of them and go away (obviously they don’t know any hard core racists).
      Let them express themselves peacefully. Even if they’re stupid, and there is plenty of stupid around, its better to let the crazies blow off steam every once in a while so we can all go back under the thumb of the 1%. All that (Right vs Left) violence accomplishes is splitting the 99% further and taking away from the only fight that will help either group.

      1. Praedor

        You can name the violent left group just like you can the right. Antifa. Say it with me, Antifa. They are uber violent in Europe, where they started (in Germany) and in America, they are playing catchup to their European brothers.

        If Antifa shows up, there WILL be unprovoked violence, property damage (burning/overturned cars, broken store windows). They do not meet peaceful with peaceful, they show up to be violent. Every time.

    2. dcblogger

      Kessler, the leader of “Unite The Right”, was formerly an Occupy protestor and Obama supporter.

      and the evidence for that would be? link please.

    3. Jomo

      I have no criticism of the way the police handled the situation in C’ville. Armed militants came to fight and the police granted their wish. Those fighting were not peaceful protesters. Why should the Police risk injury in this situation? They were outnumbered. The police seem to have effectively protected private property. They almost made it through the events in C’ville without loss of life until a nut with a car did ram into peaceful protesters. Without this horrific event, the media would have quickly moved on from the events at C’ville. As for the, “Go get laid” chant, I believe the request is for young white nationalists to divert their testosterone energies into loving relationships and other activities instead of promoting a repugnant view that will get you beat up on most streets in America.
      My fiery mother would have beaned anyone carrying a Nazi flag through her town with a castiron skillet. It’s still the correct response.

      1. Praedor

        The police intentionally pushed/forced the opposing side together. They ringed them and forced Antifa and the hard right protesters together. Antifa is violent. The hard right are violent. You do NOT push them together, you keep them apart.

        Fact: the right had a permit to be there. Antifa didn’t

        Fact: New Jersey has officially labeled Antifa a domestic terrorist organization and it is highly likely that more states will follow suit. Being violent isn’t a vice ONLY if you are rightwing. It is a vice if you are left too…and Antifa is EXTREMELY left (they like to fly the Soviet flag as well as their own Antifa flag at these events).

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        The police did not separate the opposing factions, which is the normal SOP. If they had done this there would have been no bloodshed. This was noted by many attendees and journalists. The police follow orders. Their orders come from city gov’t.

        The police don’t go full retard unless they are ordered to do so.

  6. Darn

    On the NYT and inequality, I will say I think workers usually think in terms of getting ahead and not getting even, I’m sure a lot of the punching downward of benefit claimants, ethnic minorities, immigrants is a belief or suspicion they are holding them back i.e. preventing them getting ahead. Otherwise why does CEO pay etc get ignored by them. But, this chimes perfectly well with Lambert’s desire for universal concrete material benefits rather than means testing. And when ppl want a rise rather than a reduction in inequality for its own sake, that’s fine since that is the point… and taxing the rich is now popular too.

    1. Summer

      It’s the Economy, Democrats, but Inequality Is Not the Issue NYT. So says the Third Way.
      “There is much that makes sense in Third Way’s approach. Mr. Cowan argues that the battle for redistribution of wealth that shaped Democratic politics over the 20th century culminated with the Affordable Care Act — the last missing piece of the social safety net, offering health insurance to all.”
      The last missing piece? “Offering” insurance?
      Then this:
      “It is hardly surprising that government — not Wall Street or big business — gets the blame. As noted in another study by economists at Princeton, the University of Chicago and the University of British Columbia, it is the government that mediates the competing interests of creditors and debtors.

      Banks got a bailout after the financial crisis of 2008. Homeowners whose mortgages were underwater got next to nothing.

      “From this selective intervention, additional economic inequality and political polarization may ensue, compounding and amplifying the initial political effects of the crisis,” the researchers wrote…”

      Yet this is the Third Way solution for wages:

      “But wage subsidies and a regional minimum wage adjusted for the cost of living might do the trick. To bolster retirement finances, employers could be required to contribute a minimum to workers’ private retirement plans.”

      I’ll bet this would somehow become a subsidy to corporations to “trickle down” to employees…who wants to take the bet???

      The problem with government interventions is that all the interventions fund banks and corporations.
      TRICKLE DOWN interventions that do not work are what have accelerated inequality. That’s why government programs can’t be trusted.

      1. Darn

        I’ve seen conflicting conclusions about the effect of wage subsidies on workers. If your point is that stronger unions with easier organising are preferable then I agree with you.

  7. Corbin Dallas

    A little bit of Internet antidote to “””#fakenews”””:

    A Wikipedia page displaying “President of the Confederate States of America” was edited on Tuesday to include President Donald Trump.

    The addition of Trump, alongside Confederate President Jefferson Davis, has since been taken down. However, a screenshot shows him listed as serving starting from August 15 (today), to “unknown.” The edits showed Trump as having been elected in the “Confederate States Accidental Election” of 2017. Mike Pence was listed as his vice president.

    The picture is good too, if you click the link.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Ironically, many who oppose him in DC and in New York own serfs.

      Lots of debt-laden* serfs.

      *likely impossible to pay off in any life time. Essentially indentured for life.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      I’ve always thought that if Japan wanted nukes they could probably whip them up pretty quickly, with their highly advanced industrial base and all that enriched fuel.

      1. Plenue

        They’re a defacto nuclear state. If they wanted them they could have them within about a year. All they’d need was the go-ahead from the US. If they really, really wanted them they could probably do it in secret, given how atrophied our bloated intelligence apparatus is these days.

    2. Mark P.

      What Plenue says. Japan has for decades been the textbook example of a state that could achieve nuclear breakout within a few months — or even weeks, possibly — when the foreign policy and arms control talk about such things. This is not news.

      1. Darn

        Afaik it was widely known that Japan had the knowhow to enrich fuel and assemble a bomb, making it “a screwdriver’s turn” from the bomb, but not that if had actually manufactured a stockpile of weapons-grade material yet.

  8. financial matters

    In major reversal, survey finds 56% of physicians now support single-payer healthcare system Fierce Healthcare

    Looking at it from a monetary perspective I think in the 80s and 90s physicians were against single payer because they benefitted from the way the insurance companies were set up. Administrations at that time were not that strong.

    Starting with managed care, insurance companies and administrations started forming stronger bonds with the physicians becoming more and more like commodities.

    So at this point monetarily I don’t think they see single payer as being any worse than the current situation.

    From a social standpoint there is also more questioning that a capitalist based system can provide superior medical care. And much evidence that spiraling insurance prices aren’t helping physicians or patients. More physicians are being put on salaries while profits are going to insurance execs, pharmaceutical execs, administrations, structural facilities etc.

    A well done single payer would put limits on physician income but would also cut out the insurance middle man and tame administration and pharmaceutical costs etc.

    1. JohnnyGL

      I think the healthcare landscape has changed a lot since the 90s, and it impacts the balance of forces on where powerful groups line up. Here’s a few:

      1) Yves has pointed out that doctors aren’t really organized into private practices nearly as much as they were in years past. There’s been a lot of managed care consolidation among providers and most doctors are employees now.

      Plus, they’ve got a lot of medical debt, too. I’m not surprised to see them swing towards reform advocacy. I don’t think the current system works particularly well for them anymore, even if they’re still well compensated.

      2) Not nearly as many people have employer-provided plans that are good plans that are worth defending. My employer has a really horrible one. The trend of employers crapifying benefits plans really stepped up into high gear after the crisis hit, and most new jobs created don’t offer anything better.

      3) There’s been a ton of consolidation among insurers, providers, and drug companies. They may be powerful cartels, but they’re also creating a lot of opposition to their behavior, if not inspiring outright hatred, among the public.

      1. Synoia

        They may be powerful cartels, but they’re also creating a lot of opposition to their behavior, if not inspiring outright hatred, among the public.

        The railroads enjoyed similar public acclaim, which is why the US Citizenry eagerly supported the Federal Highway System. A single payer program of the day.

    2. Synoia

      If Medicare for all replaces big Med,
      free college tuition will have to eat big Ed,
      fix the under-funding of little Ed,
      and reform farming, else we’ll all be Dead.

  9. justanotherprogressive

    Gawd! Even the Jacobin?

    “The Left are neither supporters of white supremacy, nor supporters of Trump, and they never have been. But if liberals join the Left, they can help take the fight to the far right and end the seemingly neverending string of political violence committed by white supremacists. Uniting around this issue is a moral imperative.”

    Dear Jacobin: I hate to tell you this again, but apparently you’ve forgotten. The “liberals” in this country don’t “stand together” with anyone – they co-opt. And they are using Charlottesville to their own advantage to try to bring defectors back into the fold based on a “virtuosity test”, the same “virtuosity test” they used to call everyone who opposed them “racists” and “misogynists”…….

    Have you also forgotten that the economic policies of those people you now want to “stand with” caused a lot of the anger and despair in this country that has led to events like Charlottesville? Have you forgotten what their “identity politics” have done to us in the past? Do you think their use of Charlottesville is somehow “new”? That would be odd to me, because it reeks of their former policies, the policies they used against Bernie Sanders and anyone else that opposed them…….

    Perhaps when the hyped up emotions of Charlottesville ease, you will be able to see this clearly for what it is…..but until then, PLEASE SPARE ME the rule of the “virtuous”……

    1. nowhere

      I think there is an important paragraph upstream of your quote:

      It is neither tenable or acceptable to smear leftists and progressives who oppose corporate Democrats as analogous to neo-Nazis. While those of us on the Left will continue to battle against the policies of the center — policies we think not only cause harm in the here and now but will do nothing to stem the rise of the Right — we should stand united with those liberals who want to stand with us against racism and hatred.

      I take this to mean that the Left will not stop standing against Democrat’s centrist policies, but that if liberals want to stand on the front lines against racism and hatred, that they are welcome to do so.

  10. Hana M

    I’m not a Southerner but it makes me very sad to see calls for cemetery monuments to be removed. Many of those who fought and died on the Confederate side had no choice in the matter and no desire to fight. Three years ago I read Eric Foner’s Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877. The South was far from united. As the Civil War started, sharp divisions began to arise between plantation owners, who could dodge the draft by sending slaves, and up-country subsistence farmers who were forced to go to war themselves and leave the farming to their women and children. One Alabama small farmer had no illusions about the planter-dominated Confederacy: “’All tha want is to git you to…fight for their infurnal negroes and after you do their fightin’ you may kiss their hine part for o tha care.’”

    It is also striking how much of what’s wrong in American race relations has roots in the failed effort at Reconstruction. Foner’s book ought to be required reading.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      I’m glad you mentioned Foner. I agree with you – Foner’s book does deserve reading – Reconstruction certainly was nothing like what the current revisionist histories try to make it out to be…..but then, the deeper I get into the study of history, the more I find that nothing we are taught in high school or basic college history is really all that accurate…..

      1. Hana M

        More from Foner on the Union side: “For the Union as well as the Confederacy, the Civil War was a time of change. The policies of a national government whose powers were magnified each year offered unparalleled opportunities to some Northerners. Railroads thrived, meat packing boomed in Chicago, woolen mills made blankets and uniforms, agricultural machinery replaced workers gone to war. The Northeast was becoming industrialized.”

      2. Mark P.

        @ justanotherprogressive:

        What would you recommend as the best four books on the true history of Reconstruction and its failure?

        1. justanotherprogressive

          Foner is good, as is John Hope Franklin. I also believe Frederick Douglas also wrote some good things on the subject.

    2. JohnnyGL

      Fair point about a lack of Southern unity on Secession.

      But the flip side is that there was nothing like unity among the Northerners, either. There were draft riots in NYC, most famously.

      It’s almost like war is a tool of the elites to discipline the lower classes? Who’d a thunk it?

      1. Hana M

        Yes! Another great Foner quote: “Like the inner civil war within the Confederacy, the 1863 draft riot in New York City underscored the class and ethnic conflicts that bedeviled the North. The many divisions in both societies would shape the political debate for a generation and vastly complicate the process of post war Reconstruction.”

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > It’s almost like war is a tool of the elites to discipline the lower classes? Who’d a thunk it?

        I think that’s reductive and overly cynical.

        1) When the Republican Party was founded, its goal was abolition.

        2) Lincoln was elected as a Republican, on that platform

        3) When the Civil War ended, slavery was abolished. I don’t much care that the ideological tool to that done was “The Union,” or that Lincoln was a child of his time (but so much better than Stephen Douglas, let alone the Jeff Davis’s and Robert E. Lee’s of this world!).

        Slavery was a great evil. I’m glad it was ended in the United States. If it took the Civil War to do it, then so be it.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Were slavery re-established today in the South again, it can be ended without shots being fired in the name of state rights – the North congressional people can just legislate and mandate free, universal medical care for all slaves, and the economics of slavery will end it.

      None of those subsistence farmers would have to fight.

      That’s how powerful economic weapons can be, and why NakedCapitalism is so importance (apologize in advance for my unsolicited advertising).

    4. Carolinian

      If you want to see elaborate and even quite kitschy Confederate memorials try the National Battlefields. Shiloh comes to mind. I don’t believe anyone is proposing taking these down (yet?).

    5. nowhere

      I’ll take a look at the book.

      I was wondering about the “sad to see calls for cemetery monuments to be removed.” I think the majority of the statues and symbols that people want removed are in public spaces, and in the case of South Carolina (another site of recent violence), it was over the Confederate Flag that was put on top of the State House in 1962 as a protest against desegregation. As others have said on this site, many of these were placed 50+ years after the end of the war as reminders to those who were now living there of what to expect from their local government and fellow citizens. The erasure of those symbols, now, is but one tiny step in the morally correct direction.

      1. Hana M

        I was speaking very specifically about cemetery monuments, for example this one in California:

        Since 1925, the 6-foot monument has stood in the Confederate section of the cemetery, where more than 30 Confederate veterans, along with their families, are buried. The monument will be taken to a storage site within the next 24 hours, cemetery officials said, but the grave markers will remain.

        This week, Hollywood Forever was fielding as many as 60 calls and emails a day from people requesting the cemetery get rid of the monument, said Tyler Cassity, the cemetery’s president and co-owner. A petition calling for its removal drew more than 1,300 signatures.

        On Tuesday, someone vandalized the granite boulder monument, Cassity said, using a black marker to write “No” across its bronze plaque.

        1. nowhere

          Just some interesting timeline bits:

          “The cemetery, the only one actually in Hollywood, was founded in 1899.”

          So, unless the remains were moved over thirty years after the war, this cemetery doesn’t have anyone that actually died during the war. Then, in 1925 the Daughters of the Confederacy placed a monument.

          “In 1896, the organization established the Children of the Confederacy to teach the same values to the younger generation, through a mythical depiction of the Civil War and Confederacy designed to rewrite history. According to DuRocher, “Like the KKK’s children’s groups, the UDC utilized the Children of the Confederacy to impart to the rising generations their own white-supremacist vision of the future.”

          The communications studies scholar W. Stuart Towns notes UDC’s role “in demanding textbooks for public schools that told the story of the war and the Confederacy from a definite southern point of view”. He adds that their work is one of the “essential elements [of] perpetuating Confederate mythology”.

          With this additional source.

          They celebrated the Lost Cause by organizing fraternal and sororal organizations such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), whose members decorated the graves of Confederate soldiers, funded public statues of Confederate heroes, and preserved a romanticized vision of the slavery era.


          The national appeal of these stories made clear that white racism was not just a southern phenomenon. There as little northern reaction to the lynching of black me in the South in the 1890s.

          I think I agree with Monique Edwards: “If you remove it, place it in a museum so that all of us can see and use it as a teachable moment.”

    6. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Eric Foner’s Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877

      One more book to read.

      It also brings some sorely needed scholarship to this discussion. Thank you!

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Jeff Bezos Should Put His Billions Into Libraries WIRED

    Basic physics – when you send a photon to probe an object, you move that object…you change it.

    When you look at your virtuousness, you move it similarly. You change from being virtuous to something else.

    So, a person never self-reflects on his or her own virtuosity. You don’t go, ‘This is my money and it will go into a good or virtuous cause. I’m good.’

    Right there, you’re not good anymore (it’s very demanding, to be good).

    Instead, it’s better to think, ‘This is not my money. Uncle, please take it from me. Please, Sam.”

  12. timbers

    New Cold War:

    Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin said Wednesday that Russia’s national currency, the ruble, should be supported because a “big trend toward the de-dollarization” of the country’s economy is growing at a steady pace.

    “There is a big trend toward the de-dollarization of the Russian economy. The Central Bank made some very important steps so that fewer foreign currency loans were issued,” Oreshkin said.

    He added, speaking at a session on the development of transport infrastructure in Northwest Russia, that the increased role of the ruble “is such a trend that should be fully supported.”

    “And we should move away from, among others, foreign currency loans. Because we see what foreign exchange risks can lead to,” the minister stressed.

    The talks about the reduction of Russia’s dependence on US payment systems have intensified after US President Trump signed a new round of sanctions on Moscow.

    Valery Vasiliev, the deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on Economic Policy, said that the use of the US dollar in transactions should be reduced gradually so that the Russian economy would not be harmed while recovering from the outcomes of the crisis.

    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said prior to that the cutting dependence on US payment systems has “become a necessity,” adding that Moscow plans to intensify the work on the issue.


    Paul Craig Roberts says one step the Russians should do is get borrowed rubble interests rates below foreign rates. If this is correct – If interest on borrowed USD is lower than what the Russian government offers vs the rubble, those who can will opt to borrow USD thus helping to keep the USD the world’s currency. Of course Russia could pile up USD debt then default on it, maybe causing an international financial crisis, but IMO weening off the USD altogether is the way to go in the long run.

    Funny thing is at the rate the US is imposing sanctions on nations, the US might be it’s own worse enemy as it seems an increasing portion of the world economy has reason to quit the USD.

    1. Mark P.

      the US might be it’s own worse enemy

      Oh, the incompetence and stupidity of its elites is staggering. That’s neoliberalism — good, competent people don’t get near public office.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Love to hatred turned…

    Everything Benchmark used to love about Uber’s Travis Kalanick is what it hates now Quartz

    When they love or adore you too much, as a savior or pop star, be careful, for in extremes lurk those mental or emotional lynching mobs.

  14. Praedor

    There IS an alt-left that is just as nasty as the alt-right. The alt-left is made up of Black Block and Antifa, all of them violent anarcho-communists. They have started more riots and done more property damage since the election of Trump than any alt-righters. They show up at all left protests to shut down free speech (Berkely Riots, similar at other institutes of “higher education”) whenever a speaker they don’t like is scheduled to appear. They directly attack free speech and physically attack anyone, including leftists who are not left enough for them…and the press (and even NC!) gives them a free pass.

    Remember the bike lock attack? Guy got his skull cracked by an Antifa member (who was also a public school teacher!)? People being pepper sprayed in the face for the crime of being conservative or not liberal enough? Sucker punches of speakers or protesters from the other side? They literally call free speech “hate speech” and claim “offensive speech is violence” that calls for actual physical violence in response.

    Antifa? Ring any bells around here? Their slogan is “punch a nazi” or “punch a fascist” with the problem being that anyone who is even slightly right of them is a “nazi”, including Sargon of Akkad (a liberal), Murray from the UK (a gay liberal), ANYONE who isn’t buying their (literally) communist manifesto nonsense. I’d be a nazi to them even though I’m pro-choice, pro-singlepayer, pro-tuition-free university, and pro-basic income because I oppose their insane gender denial crap, their worship of Sharia and pro-Islam insanity, their direct attacks on Western civilization, their claims of “white privilege” or “male privilege”. Those areas of disagreement means that I am EXACTLY like Hitler (like most other classical liberals) and need a nice bike-lock massage to my skull.

    The alt-right has their neonazis and white supremacists, and the left has Antifa crazed anarcho-communists. The former is baaaad but the latter is A-OK, apparently.

    I call bullshit. In MY America, it is “I may not agree with what you say but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”, not “I disagree with what you say so you are a nazi and your speech needs to be outlawed, and you need to be beaten”. That’s the left today. I don’t recognize it as legit OR left.

    1. nowhere

      It’s also interesting that during some of the Occupy actions and the NATO summit in Chicago, one of the only voices on the Left opposing Black Bloc was Chris Hedges. But now that they are against an easily visible right-wing group the scorn rains down.

      Maybe I am misremembering. Anyone have other recollections during that time?

      1. tommy strange

        Hedges railed against certain black block tactics, he then proceeded months later to do a great interview with a black bloc person in jail, praising him. Please don’t put him in a box, anymore than you should put all antifa or black bloc in a box. Black bloc has different members all the time. And have from the beginning been criticized by us anarchists, or damned in certain situations, and then praised, whether in quebec city, or parts of Europe. I assume you don’t read real left stuff that much. Graebers’ Direct Action book is a great start, …PM press and AK press are also great places to buy books. The real left , though sadly not mass organizing in the way of the CNT, or zapatistas (without guns here, yes the USA is different), but STILL, for 20 years the real left has been constantly criticizing itself, its tactics, and always on the look out for agent provocateurs, of which many of ‘us’ have had direct contact with. Scott Crow’s Windmills book is great on this on the ground experience. This is real time for us to do mass organizing face to face…via councils, disciplined organizing bottom up now. And stop finding facts on online about the ‘left’. Or the ‘people’. Not the time to let progressive/liberal writers ‘filter’ any info to us, as a primary source anyway. Reach out. You might be very surprised how many anarchists are all around you, and that you should embrace them, and argue tactics with them. It’s tiring, but fun and enlightening at the same time.

        1. nowhere

          Thank you for such a thoughtful reply! I’ll look into Graeber’s book.

          Being in the Bay Area, I don’t think I’d have a problem finding any…

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Hedges railed against certain black block tactics, he then proceeded months later to do a great interview with a black bloc person in jail, praising him

          Here’s Hedges on “Black Bloc: The Cancer in Occupy.” I’ll leave it to readers to decide whether the article is (a) “railing” or (b) about (mere) tactics. As for “a great interview,” I searched on “‘hedges interview “black bloc”” for the year following, and didn’t find a hit three pages in, so I’ll need a link from you on that. The name of the person interviewed would have been a help.

          My own personal view is that the best way to view the black bloc is as a herpes flareup on the body politic: It appears only under stress, it’s not curable, and it’s not good for anything. It’s also very unpleasant. Oh, and I do remember Graeber on the black bloc in Philly. Bill Buford covers the same adrenalin-drenched territory, but at least doesn’t try to make the rush into more than it is.

          Oh, and half of ’em are cops. The masks, ya know. They work both ways.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > now that they are against an easily visible right-wing group the scorn rains down.

        Hedges was February 6, 2012. NC, November 7, 2011.

        Try to pay attention. I’m sure that there are plenty of other contemporaneous examples to be found; this was the result of a cursory search.

        Pro tip: “It’s interesting….” is a concern troll tell.

    2. TK421

      Great post. I’ve seen ANTIFA throw cherry bombs into crowds of people. They’re punks. To hell with ’em.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Or, better yet, throw cherry bombs over the crowd, at the cops, to get the cops to charge the crowd. Just the sort of people one wants in charge after the state withers away.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The alt-left is made up of Black Block and Antifa, all of them violent anarcho-communists.

      This is sloppy and wrong.

      1) Anarchism and communism are entirely different tendencies. Ask an anarchist about a communist, or ask a communist about an anarchist. It will be like asking a capital-P Protestant about a capital-C Catholic and vice versa. Strung together words do not a coherent concept make.

      2) If Black Bloc is around under that name, I’ve missed them. I think they rebranded as Antifa.

      3) As used by its inventors — this is documented in the Jacobin article, with plenty of examples, many of which I have seen — alt-left applies to Sanders supporters, Our Revolution, the DSA, and many other enemies du jour who are neither conservatives nor liberals.

      I think you’ll be happier somewhere like Reddit or Facebook. Go there.

  15. Damon Harris

    RE: Indiana prosecutors want to incarcerate the opioid crisis away….

    Indiana has already proven itself too incompetent (or unwilling) to manage chemical dependency. The defunding of Planned Parenthood and needle exchange programs in Scott County, Indiana, led to a completely preventable HIV outbreak. More precisely, Governor Pence’s morality based response to opioid addiction resulted in 200 new cases of HIV in just one rural county. This is low hanging fruit on both the state and national level.

    1. Steve H.

      Indiana is a special snowflake due to the presence of Eli Lilly. But the problem is deeply systemic in America. One Afghani theoretician called heroin “the poor man’s nuclear bomb.” Look at what we do to ourselves (from Mercola):

      “More than one-third of American adults were prescribed an opioid drug in 2015, and opioid overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50

      Back pain, wisdom tooth extraction and pain during pregnancy are common reasons for receiving an opioid prescription. As a result, many young adults and infants are unduly affected by drug addiction

      Drivers killed in car crashes while under the influence of opioid drugs rose sevenfold between 1995 and 2015.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That seems to me is the real problem – 1/3 of American adults being prescribed an opioid drug in one year (2015).

        Will we see 1/2 or 2/3 soon?

    1. justanotherprogressive

      Interesting article! But work will always be there. Someone has to make sure the sewers work, that hospitals are fully staffed, that the electric grid works, that goods get transported to where they are needed, etc., and that is not something robots can do. Our survival depends on people who do the “survival work” for us and who get paid very little (don’t disagree with him on that!). But, look at it from a corporate point of view – why should they pay people to do that survival work (that they need too) if there is a guaranteed income out there – wouldn’t they consider people’s work free money? Wouldn’t they then just consider labor “profit”, courtesy of the government?

      As for the condition of work these days? Yes, it is bad, and it became bad when managers started buying into all those “pop management” theories that see people as widgets to move around instead of humans. Wouldn’t it be better to change management than eliminate work? I’ve had jobs that I truly loved, not because of the work, but because I had great bosses (until management decided that those bosses had to go in favor of some new guy who sold them on his pet management theory….and then those jobs turned into Dante’s vision of the Inferno…..TQM, Sigma 6, etc…)…..

      I’m thinking this author should be careful what he wishes for…..

      1. Enquiring Mind

        “The meek may inherit the earth, but someone has to drive the big trucks.”

        Not my original quote, read it somewhere and don’t recall where, but I like it.

        1. Mark P.

          “but someone has to drive the big trucks.”

          I agree with the sentiment. But that’s really a wrong, naive example.

      2. Praedor

        Yes, the sewers et al will always need workers…until better robots…BUT they should be paid MUCH better because they are such shitty jobs (pun intended). Crap work should offer higher pay than pleasant work.

        In any case, the fact remains: jobs are disappearing into automation while the population continues to grow. Just as it is impossible to have perpetual growth (in economies, in population, etc), it is impossible to have perpetual growth in jobs. The rate of job creation is lagging human self-creation OR the jobs are switching to automation. A paradigm shift is necessary, preferably before disaster rather than out of disaster.

        Basic income. Yes. Work doesn’t define anyone’s worth or value, and should not be required in a world where jobs are disappearing.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Basic Income and Living with Dreams.

          Without dreams, a human would die.

          And one of the dreams is one day, robots will work for the betterment of humanity, including doing all the work required, dirty or otherwise.

          In that world, Basic Income is the way to go.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            And who will train, program, and maintain the robots?

            It’s a silly argument (and more to the point, not salable to the working class).

            Work put crudely is force over distance. It’s how human beings get stuff done, exercise their bodies and brains, produce objects of beauty and utility, and so on.

            Unless being serviced by robots in a soma haze is your dream, of course (it’s certainly Silicon Valley’s).

    2. JohnnyGL

      I’ll bite.

      I gave it a quick scan. It gets a lot right and a lot wrong. Yes, there’s not enough work to go around and yes, jobs have been crapified. But that doesn’t mean we should look to scrap work entirely. That also doesn’t mean that all of people’s needs are being met, either. If I need daycare for my kid and can’t afford to pay because my job doesn’t pay me enough….that’s a job that isn’t getting created, so crapified jobs and insufficient numbers of jobs are connected. Big surprise, this is wrapped up in problems of inequality and resulting inadequate demand.

      The automation theme seems a bit overhyped to me. I’ve been hearing about jobs getting automated away since the 90s. I’ll defer to others who know better than I do to comment further.

      Also, the article side-steps power relations (channeling my inner-Lambert). Working means gaining skills, knowledge and experience and those things mean power. The history of strikes and labor activity is connected to more widely distributed political power. Strikes mean labor has a veto power on a functioning society. The history of many countries shows you don’t get anything like real democracy without labor getting organized and saying, “we’re not going to let this country function unless we get a voice in how things work”.

      There’s some good stuff in there, too, regarding racist, sexist history of labor markets, critique of financial industry, and about how taxing corporate income won’t mess things up. I just found the premise wrong-headed.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        You make two points that illustrate the fallacy of the traditional economic (supply-demand, productivity = wage) analysis of work:

        1. If I need daycare for my kid and can’t afford to pay because my job doesn’t pay me enough….that’s a job that isn’t getting created As with K-12 public education, (Lambert: I need something like a double comma here to avoid confusion), child-care, health-care and higher ed are areas where supply and demand makes no sense. We need more (substantive) care-giving jobs (and less care industry administration) yet clearly those who need it most can least afford it.
        2. Also, the article side-steps power relations Auto manufacturing jobs were terrible jobs until the UAW made them better jobs. Department store jobs used to be good union jobs. While some jobs are distasteful, there is no inherent reason why any job has to be a bad job.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        With Basic Income, and without work, one can still have power…to boycott, to not consume.

    3. cnchal

      So the impending end of work raises the most fundamental questions about what it means to be human. To begin with, what purposes could we choose if the job – economic necessity – didn’t consume most of our waking hours and creative energies? What evident yet unknown possibilities would then appear? How would human nature itself change as the ancient, aristocratic privilege of leisure becomes the birthright of human beings as such?

      We need a new good in the form of minimized consumption. Economists can be employed to figure out the optimum ratio of non consumers to consumers and jawb holders, with the intent of minimizing the harmful effects of capitalism on the planet. In other words, you apply for a jawb where the main purpose is to do nothing useful, except enjoy your day.

      First though, a debt jubilee. This insane thrashing to keep a half step ahead of the debt monster is killing the planet.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I have one quibble. The author claims the right hates Hillary because the right is sexist; although the right is sexist, I believe the tribal nature of the right and politics means they despise Hillary because she Is a Democrat (and a former Goldwater Girl, hence a blood traitor for Republicans).

      Many of the claims about Bill, Gore, and Kerry, not as crass for obvious reasons, remain bizarre and boil down to the status as Democrats.

      1. TK421

        Exactly. They don’t hate Hillary any more than they hated her husband, or Dukakis for that matter.

        Also, Hillary’s supporters are just as sexist. “Bernie Bros” anyone?

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      A charge of plagiarism is a serious matter. If you are going to make the claim, then you must respect the NC commentariat enough to show or cite to the parallel passages of text. Otherwise, you’re just trolling (and link-whoring on top of that).

  16. Synoia

    Trump Transition

    Excepts from USTR statement (Reads as if it should be integral to the Democratic Party’s platform).

    We cannot ignore the huge trade deficits, the lost manufacturing jobs, the businesses that have closed or moved because of incentives — intended or not — in the current agreement.

    The numbers are clear. The U.S. Government has certified that at least 700,000 Americans have lost their jobs due to changing trade flows resulting from NAFTA. Many people believe that number is much, much bigger than that. In 1993, when NAFTA was approved, the United States and Mexico experienced relatively balanced trade. However since then, we have had persistent trade deficits – in the last year totaling nearly $57 billion. In the auto sector alone, the U.S. has a $68 billion deficit with Mexico. Thousands of American factory workers have lost their jobs because of these provisions. In recent years, we have seen some improvement in our trade balance with Canada. But over the last ten years, our deficit in goods has exceeded $365 billion.

    The views of the President about NAFTA, which I completely share, are well known. I want to be clear that he is not interested in a mere tweaking of a few provisions and a couple of updated chapters. We feel that NAFTA has fundamentally failed many, many Americans and needs major improvement.

    Here are some of the examples of what I believe needs to be changed. We need to assure that huge trade deficits do not continue and that we have balance and reciprocity. This should be periodically reviewed. Rules of origin, particularly on autos and auto parts, must require higher NAFTA content and substantial U.S. content. Country of origin should be verified, not “deemed.” Labor provisions should be included in the agreement and be as strong as possible. The agreement should have effective provisions to guard against currency manipulation. The dispute settlement provisions should be designed to respect our national sovereignty and our democratic processes. We should include provisions to guard against market-distorting practices of other countries, including third-party dumping and state-owned enterprises. We should assure that there is equal access and reciprocity in government procurement and agriculture.

    I wonder what the Trump Administration will do with TISA. All those lofty goals can be undone if TISA continues on its current path.

  17. Antifa

    The news out of Reno, Nevada is that young Peter Cvjetanovic will neither lose his job of work at the University of Nevada, nor his status as a student there, despite driving across the whole of this country to wholeheartedly take a place in the white supremacist ranks last at UVA last Friday night. He claims — despite marching in uniform and in rank with Nazis and racists, carrying a torch and shouting “Blood and Soil” and “Jews will not replace us” for hours on end — that he is not the angry,young racist shown in the viral photo of him circulating all around the world.

    Nope, he says he is merely an Identitarian.

    Which is a made up word for an avid enthusiast of white, European culture, and heritage, and ethnicity. (Note that there are no people anywhere calling themselves Identitarians except huge fans of white, European culture. You know, racists and Nazis.)

    Except Identitarians are not willing to stand up and be racists and Nazis. Like when your Grandma puts so much milk in her tea that you can’t really call it tea anymore, Identitarians are milquetoast cowards who put so much distance between themselves and what they really identify with that you will hopefully have trouble calling them what they are — racists and Nazis.

    If you run across one of these creatures who is mostly milque, take a moment to ask them which aspect of European culture and heritage they most admire. Is it the ageless jurisprudence of Numa Pompilius, the lyrical beauty of Chanson de Roland, the bronzes of Cellini, the Inquisition, what?

    As if they can tell European history or culture from a Bugs Bunny cartoon. These shrinking cowards will uniformly launch into a tirade about how very, very white European culture used to be, before all those damned immigrants came over here and started talking funny and dressing funny and scaring the bejeepers out of them.

    Methinks the President of the University of Nevada, Marc Johnson, is putting too much milk in his tea.

    1. LarryB

      I hope he likes his current job, it’s likely it will be his last. From here on out a Google search of his rather uncommon name is going to pull up those pictures at the top of the list. Nobody outside of the KKK is going to hire him, and he’s too much of a wimp for them.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Doxing is error-prone and risks an endless cycle of blowback. Don’t do it. I didn’t much like it when Neera Tanden tried to take Matt Bruenig’s job, and I don’t like it when you try to take Peter Cvjetanovic’s.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    They snubbed Trump. But the Koch network has still exerted a surprising influence over the White House LA TImes

    Somehow, they don’t say, “We don’t talk to you.”

    They say (to themselves), ‘we will influence you.”

    If you say, ‘It’s beneath me to talk to him,’ well, that’s your choice.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    More than half the country says it will never change its opinion on Trump, no matter what WaPo

    What are the numbers on Amazon? How many will never change and how many will?

  20. dcrane

    Anyone really know how this “antifa” term is pronounced?

    (yeah, I don’t watch enough TV/Youtube)

    1. Praedor

      I’ve heard it two ways, but don’t know which, if either, is THE accepted version:




      1. Vatch

        I’m not disagreeing, but isn’t the word an abbreviation of “anti-fascist”? In English, this could be


        That pronunciation seems cumbersome to me, though.

        1. dcrane

          Yes, funny, and thanks for the ideas. This is about as far as I had gotten…2-3 possible ways, none of which satisfy. I think I’m leaning toward AN-teefa (with a weak emphasis on the last syllable).

  21. John Beech

    I enjoy reading NC but I’m disturbed by the occasional hypocrisy. For example, ANTIFA (Anti First Amendment) is a left-leaning group that covers their faces at public protests. Worse, they engage against the speech of people with whom they disagree. Fair enough to protest, but why cover their faces? What are they hiding? Personally, I don’t believe it’s – ever – OK for a legitimate protester to hide their identity. Not in America.

    Anyway, I referenced hypocrisy on NC. Here’s the thing; why is it OK for black people to be proud of their race, or Mexicans to be proud of their heritage, but at the same time it’s totally unacceptable for white people to express the same pride? Frankly, while I am disgusted by their message, I totally support their right to make their political appeal. Thus, I remain perplexed by those who would bar them from having their say because either the 1st amendment holds true for all citizens, or it’s just a farce.

    Ultimately, this one-sided anti-Republican take is what seems hypocritical about the new NC. And quite frankly, I wonder why politics has become the new foundation of Naked Capitalism’s website. Is it really about the eyeballs? Anyway, when there are so many other sites for slanted politics I wish this site would concentrate on naked capitalism, instead.

    1. Yves Smith

      First, you don’t know what you are talking about. Antifa = Antifascist.

      Second, NC has always deplored violent leftist tactics, like those used by the “black bloc” which is similar.

      Third, saying the KKK and NeoNazis are about white pride is complete and utter bullshit. The KKKs lynched blacks and continue threaten them with violence. The thugs in Charlottesville tried to beat a black man to death and came heavily armed for a fight which they got.

      Third, there is institutionalized racism, and it’s particularly prominent in the police. See this comment:

      As a middle American born white male, I have been privy in my life to the kinds of things white people say to other white people, who they either assume are like them, or simply don’t care. As a one-term military enlistee, I found a similar saturation of racial bigotry in those ranks. It had already been abundantly clear to me from my upbringing that those who tend toward the police force likewise harbor racial animosity and wilful ignorance of the history that would inform the reasons behind some of the superficial observations made by those who don’t bother to get to know black or brown people if they can avoid it.

      In short, the military and police forces have a white supremacy problem, so institutionalized, it would explain how it is that even minority officers engage in brutal tactics against “their own”. I hasten to add to your bit about Nixon’s war on drugs the fact that someone in the Reagan/Bush realm also knowingly created the crack epidemic in South Central Los Angeles, something we now know is fact, thanks to the late Gary Webb. The culture that grew out of that era is paradigm shifting.

      So whenever we are tempted to say that law enforcement failed in such situations, we should quickly reassess and remind ourselves of the proverbial “feature not a flaw”. The authoritarian impulse in America has its own dynamic, but even here in Berlin, where there are plenty of ultra-right demonstrations, none of which exist without a counter demo that includes an antifa presence, the police don’t fail as demonstrably, but it’s pretty clear where their sympathies lie. The first such demo I attended was where I first heard the taunt out of the ranks of the right: “Sie schützen uns! Sie schützen uns!” (They [the police] ‘re protecting us! They’re protecting us!”) And they were in no way implying this meant they needed protection from the counter demonstrators; it was a taunt that clearly meant that the cops were on their side

      Fourth, as Lambert regularly points out, neither of us has seen concern trolling done in good faith. And we have nearly a million comments on this site alone as our base for this view.

      If this is the sort of reasoning you engage in, you aren’t up to the standards of this site. Had you bothered reading our About section, this site above all is about promoting critical thinking using finance and economics as the medium. You are failing that test, big time.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Top 10 Misconceptions About Charlottesville Counterpunch (GF).

    I want people to get on board with the idea of taking down all racist monuments and all war monuments, and this one is both.

    Presumably, war memorials like the Vietnam War Memorial in DC are different from war monuments, and can stay.

    As well, a simple solution presents itself based on the above – Congress passes a law to take down all of them nationwide, all war monuments.

    No Grant, no Sherman. No Lee, no Jackson. No Washington, no Eisenhower.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the same link:

      7. The answer to racist violence is not anti-racist violence or passivism, and the idea that those are the only two choices is ridiculous. Charlottesville’s and the United States’ resistance to racism would be far stronger with disciplined nonviolence. The behavior of a few anti-racists in July allowed the corporate media to depict the KKK as victims. There is nothing the alt-right crowd longs for more in this moment than some act of violence against them that would permit pundits to start trumpeting the need for liberals to be more tolerant of racists, and to proclaim that the real problem is those reckless radicals who want to tear down statues. We need nonviolent activism, and we need a thousand times more of it. We need to initiate the next rally in Charlottesville ourselves.

      Gandhi was asked about the Wehrmacht around the time of WWII.

      How do you deploy non-violence in the face of such?

      I don’t remember exactly what he said. I think he said, non-cooperation. I think that’s the only consistent option.

      Would non-violent non-cooperation have worked, short term, or long term, to defeat the Axis powers?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > We need nonviolent activism

        In general, I agree with you, I agree with you, for a few reasons. First, non-violence has a reasonable track record (see at NC here). Second, optimizing a movement for violence means producing leaders who are expert in that field who stay on top even after victory; is that what we want? Third, I think that, on the ground, violence advocates are either (a) cops or (b) ego-driven (since violence is thrilling, after all; ask a soccer hooligan). Neither is a good look.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Let Japan develop nuclear weapons to lessen North Korea threat, former US Navy commander says South China Morning Post

    Trojan Horse Diplomacy – Japan should just gift North Korea her aging nuclear reactors.

    That’s a ‘non-violence’ (supposedly), the-other-cheek solution (You threaten me with bombs, I give you reactors).

  24. bronco

    Why is the word fascist even used here? If you look it up in the dictionary its not about white or black. Its about industry /military tightly integrated with an authoritarian government.

    I should think the fake news media would be wary of the term for people might look it up and find out the US has been a fascist country for some time.

    Business here has captured government , the military soaks up a huge share of the budget even though we have no real enemies and both republicans and democrats are piling more and more laws that restrict freedom on us as fast as they can.

    Is obamacare an example of fascism? if not explain why?

    1. TK421

      Fascism is usually racist, but not all racism is fascist. And you’re right, America is much closer to fascism than otherwise.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Fascism has to respect the national character. Nietzche wasn’t a fascist, but he was appropriated. Half of the “whites” (non-slave/indians is probably a better term) in colonial America weren’t English in origin, and English immigration had ceased around 1700. The other side is the U.S. is huge and geographically diverse which prevents the develop of a singular new people.

        In recent years, the twisted marriage of evangelicals, right wing catholics, and AIPAC is a shining example of this bizarre American character.

        “Homeland” and focus on “American exceptionalism” have definite undertones.

      2. bronco

        My point being that white supremacists may not like black people but that doesn’t mean they desire to have corporate overlords.

        It’s probably safe to assume they don’t march in favor of corporate overlords , what would be the point since we all ready have those?

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The CSA was a fascist government. Jeff David entwined authoritarian government dominated by the plantation class with an obvious focus on the military. Davis even engaged in monument building.

      Admittedly, I do believe fascism reflects the national identity, and I would say the U.S. became a fascist empire in 1981. The U.S. national identity as a melting pot and focus on elections means they can’t be done away with the way they could be removed in Europe, but at the same time, the U.S. Senate has a lower turnover rate than the Soviet Politburo. Our elections are almost performance art and little else. Except for 41, every successful President since Reagan has run on a theme of renewal and proceeded to strengthen the military/police state while empowering corporations.

      I think the little people at the “unite the right” are the American brown shirts for the fascists. At some point, the brownshirts outlive their usefulness which is somewhat occurring as Republican elites try to distance themselves from these groups because governments still rule by the consent of the governed. Most people have little if any knowledge of the events over the weekend. I noted Joe Scarborough in another comment, but he’s a “respectable” republican because he wears Tina Fey glasses implying he can read. When he goes on MSNBC, does anyone note he’s a pro torture, Iraq war hawk, and a guy who has consistently supported deregulation. No, he yuk it up with Mika. On the other hand, Trump resembles a brown shirt and raises awareness of how awful these people are. Trumo does not wear glasses and trashes SNL. Do we know if he can read? What isn’t being reported on the msm is Mike Pence’s privatization schemes as covered by Dave Sirota. At the end of the day, Mike Pence’s unreported actions will have a greater impact than what statues go up and down.

      Based on youth voting patterns, I do think the GOP and corporate America does want to distance themselves from the Southern strategy they embraced for years, even embraced by the Democrats through the DLC and focus on winning the South by running losing campaigns.

      1. Vatch

        The CSA resembled fascism in many ways, but I think that their central government was too weak to be considered fascist. Etymologically, the words “fascism” and “fascist” come from the Latin “fasces”, the bound bundle of wooden rods that represents collective strength. One rod by itself might break, but when they’re all bundled together, they are much stronger. A confederate form of government consists of multiple metaphorical rods, but they are not bound together for strength.

        Yes, I know, I’m being pedantic.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The irrational nature of fascism has to be reflected. The Nazis had to simultaneously push their need for breathing room with their need for an orderly society or how the Soviets were everywhere but would be done by Christmas kind of thing.

          The CSA pushed states rights and pro-America hoorah stuff along with its need for a trans-continental slave power dependent on European support. In the case of the CSA, they needed something to find in the writings of the Founders to make their claim for legitimacy, and since they were appropriating the ideas of the self determination of the colonies based on the colonial charters they couldn’t simply do away with the states even though the plantation owners ran everything.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > The CSA resembled fascism in many ways, but I think that their central government was too weak to be considered fascist.

          That’s an excellent argument. On the other hand, we might regard the CSA as an early iteration or prefiguration, as it were. So many other phenomena we consider of the 20th C were invented in the Civil War: Trench Warfare, total war (Sherman’s March), the role of rail and telegraph, and so on. We might put the KKK vs. the Brown Shirts into the same frame, as well as the Jim Crow laws; the Nazis regarded us as state-of racists…

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > the US has been a fascist country for some time.

      At the level of grand strategy, I agree with you — if we’re not there, we’re sliding there, and not due to the actions of only one party, either. For those who missed it, see The Supermanagerial Reich in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

      > its not about white or black. Its about industry /military tightly integrated with an authoritarian government.

      I disagree. In addition, history tells us that there’s a strong tendency toward Othering based on ascriptive identity, and killing the other, too. Hitler and Mussolini othered the Jews, Franco and Pincochet othered the left, Jeff Davis and his successors othered the blacks.

      I’m not sure, structurally, why that is, but it seems to be so.

  25. Vatch

    Factory farming in Asia creating global health risks, report warns Guardian

    Thanks for posting this link. I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat meat every day. Articles like this remind me of the need to continue restricting my consumption of meat. I hope others will do the same. Some vegans (definitely not all of them) can be very enthusiastic and sometimes cause irritation to meat eaters. If this happens to you, please don’t let your irritation prevent you from having a healthful diet that’s based primarily on vegetables. The threat of bacterial resistance to antibiotics is real, and the international meat industry should not be rewarded for their terrible behavior.

    1. Anonymized

      The majority of people in rich countries could stand to eat less meat. It’s better for your health, the environment, and your wallet (if you stay away from expensive fake meats or packaged foods).

      I’m mostly vegetarian but I don’t call myself that since I still eat fish, eggs, and even meat on occasion. If asked, I’ll say I’m a half-assed vegetarian.

      1. newcatty

        I appreciate the nice assesment of some vegans( and the helpful defintion of “some” clarified as definitely not all of them). I guess any one who follows any kind of diet can be “very enthusiastic”…I am thinking that you are alluding to how a vegan may gladly follow a vegan diet and share that fact with others. The facts about it being a healthy diet, when thoughtfully followed, being aware of how animals are factory farmed and how that includes often toxic feed and hormones and antibiotics, the devastating effects of the so called farms’ waste and odors on the environment and communities are some reasons some vegans choose to be vegan. Same can be said for vegetarians or the people cutting back on meat, egg consumption. Yeah, do not let enthused people of wanting to do what they believe is a good thing to irritate you. If that is all it takes to prevent one from eating a mostly plant based diet, than perhaps its an excuse or rationale to keep on eating meat. I have dear loved ones who are not vegan or vegetarian. I do not project my beliefs on them. I love and respect thier own points of view. I also do not shove tofu scramble and yucky fake meats at them either (ha)!

    2. Carl

      Factory farming is a disastrous way to feed people, whether it’s corn, wheat, chicken, beef or anything else. Please don’t use it as an argument to not eat (your favorite scapegoat). Find local food producers (“farmers,” “ranchers”) and the problem goes away.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think meat is best thought of almost as a condiment.

      One of the nicest things about learning to eat (as opposed to simply feeding), which I did in Montreal, years ago, was that in Quebec the meat and the vegetables were treated as equals, both equally delicious, and equal care was lavished on each. The whole noxious concept of “sides” didn’t exist. Portions were smaller, too.

  26. Goyo Marquez

    Re Martín Wolf, Nothing Like This Has Happned in 323 Years.

    “Prior to January 2009 the Bank had never lowered its lending rate below 2 per cent. But it was then lowered to 1.5 per cent, on its way to 0.5 per cent in March 2009 and 0.25 per cent in August 2016. This ultra-easy policy was further buttressed by a huge expansion of the Bank’s balance sheet, which now contains £435bn in UK government “gilt-edged” securities and £10bn in corporate bonds.”

    A monetary deflation would also result in apparently low interest rates. If you decrease the supply of money the price of money goes up, and debts must be repaid with money which is dearer in the future rather than, as is usual, cheaper. A nominal interest rate of .25% could be a real interest rate of 2% if money was to be worth 1.75% more in the future.

  27. D

    In a sane world Jeff Bezos should give his vast fortune to those he Legally™ stole and swindled it from, be forced to make restitution to those whose livelihoods he’s deliberately destroyed, and be served with a Restraining Order to permanently stay away from those Public Institutions he would love nothing more than to destroy also, such as the Post Office, Public Libraries, and Public Schools:

    08/06/13 Jeff Bezos’s Other Endeavor: Charter Schools, Neoliberal Education Reforms – Will Bezos’s interest in changing education policy affect his control of the Post?
    There’s one area where Bezos has been hyper-active, but it is largely unknown to the general public: education reform. A look at the Bezos Family Foundation, which was founded by Jackie and Mike Bezos but is financed primarily by Jeff Bezos, reveals a fairly aggressive effort in recent years to press forward with a neoliberal education agenda:

    • The Bezos Foundation has donated to Education Reform Now, a nonprofit organization that funds attack advertisements against teachers’ unions and other advocacy efforts to promote test-based evaluations of teachers. Education Reform Now also sponsors Democrats for Education Reform.

    • The Bezos Foundation provided $500,000 to NBC Universal to sponsor the Education Nation, a media series devoted to debating high-stakes testing, charter schools and other education reforms.

    • The Bezos Foundation provided over $100,000 worth of Amazon stock to the League of Education Voters Foundation to help pass the education reform in Washington State. Last year, the group helped pass I-1240, a ballot measure that created a charter school system in Washington State. In many states, charter schools open the door for privatization by inviting for-profit charter management companies to take over public schools that are ostensibly run by nonprofits.

    Other education philanthropy supported by the Bezos Foundation include KIPP, Teach for America and many individual charter schools, including privately funded math and science programs across the country. ….

    But then again, in a sane world Jeff Bezos wouldn’t have the power and vast holdings (such as being one of the largest landowners in the state of Texas, for one rarely noted example) he has. As has been said, likely for centuries, behind every great fortune lies an even greater crime.

  28. artiste-de-decrottage

    A question that may have been asked and answered, or may not be prudent to answer, but still:
    how to read content from the links that is behind a paywall for which one does not have subscription? Clearing the browser cache for example doesn’t help with FT.

    Tip for CA residents: LA public library membership (open to all CA residents) allows you to read unlimited NYT articles.

      1. artiste-de-decrottage

        LA city library. I don’t live in LA, but LA city public library membership is open to all California residents and, as one, I was able to get a card.

        They also have other nice free services, among which is Kanopy streaming (10 free movies a month with a participating public library membership or a university library membership), where you can watch many independent and art movies that are not available to the same extent on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Including some movies from behind the Iron Curtain, that are pretty good – rare experience. NBC I think recently had an article on Kanopy and how the NYC public library now offers Kanopy too.

        So while on the topic – urge your local public library to sign up with Kanopy. I did.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks, I am going to ask the local LA county library about Kanopy (though my Luddite computer is too meek to handle movies).

    1. Anonymized

      With NYT or other sites that give you a limited number of free views, you can open an Incognito tab or whatever the privacy thing is called in your browser. Doesn’t work if you have to log-in to view content, though.

      1. artiste-de-decrottage

        Yes – whatever sticks to your shoes. Very loosely, life as the practice of decrapification.

  29. ChrisPacific

    Wow, those links on the customs position paper for Brexit are scary. From the Politics article:

    This stuff is so unrealistic you might as well file it under sci-fi. It is a pamphlet of desperation. And then, at the end, comes the punchline, as the Brexit department announces its consultations with businesses and trade groups on the new arrangement. “The government would particularly welcome views on…. whether [it] should consider any additional or alternative proposals”.

    In other words: We don’t know what we’re doing. Please help us.

    I’m still not convinced that Davis, May et. al. actually know that they don’t know what they are doing, because they are still trying to do it, even though it’s becoming clear that they don’t have the first idea where to start. If I were them, I would waste no time in building a team of people who knew WTF they were doing, give them some general principles and objectives to work with, then get out of their way and let them get on with it. I would then expect lots of conversations of the “we can’t have nice things, so which of these things we can have is the least horrible” variety, which would be painful and probably politically costly, but which would at least provide a path towards an actual agreement. Instead they continue to dwell in Cloud Cuckoo Land and avoid taking hard decisions, considering the EU position, or acknowledging any reality-based constraints. It’s like they are captains of the unsinkable Titanic.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > building a team of people who knew WTF they were doing

      Perhaps there is no such team to be had, government having been so degraded under Thatcher- and Blairism.

      1. ChrisPacific

        That could be it (and we know the bit about the government being degraded is true) but I suspect it’s more than that. The whole thing is eerily reminiscent of a certain management style I’ve seen in big IT projects, combining a kind of generalized optimism and belief that everything will work out OK in the end with a firm avoidance of anything that might challenge that view. People who try to raise the alarm are told to shut up and fall in line, and repeat offenders are either marginalized or removed from the project entirely. Generally it stems from having people in charge who are ignorant of the finer details, complexities and risks of delivery, and who often don’t know enough to understand that they should be scared.

  30. nothing but the truth

    the problem became acute once the “google firing” took place.

    Corporations are rapidly becoming TPD (Thought Police Department).

    This is about power and has disturbing implications.

    At some point we will have to stop discrimination by commercial entities based on political opinion. Who decides if a person is inciting violence ? The courts.

    Also i don;t see many people upset about the American lady who was crushed to death by Israeli tanks.

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