Links 8/17/17

Dear patient readers,

I have a bug! :-(

I am a bit better than yesterday but dealing with Charlottesville comments took a lot of time and I had another non-posting but blog-agenda-related issue to deal with, so the result I’m behind on Brexit and other topics.

Long-lost engagement ring found decade later wrapped around carrot ABC (YY)

SC ‘Warns’ of Possible Lizard Man Sightings During Eclipse WLTX

Public Enemy Harper’s. Trust me. Read this. You’ll be glad you did. And as Lambert said, “The public does pay attention.”

Greenland is still burning, but the smoke may be the real problem Minnesota Public Radio (Chuck L)

Netflix Plans To Spend $7 Billion On Content In 2018 Streaming Observer. I have no time but still prefer to see movies on the big screen. I will miss movies as we once knew them.

How the Chicken Industry Got Hooked on Antibiotics Atlantic (resilc)

Deadly drug-resistant fungus sparks outbreaks in UK—and it’s stalking US ars technica

Nanoengineers Made Antibiotic-Carrying Micromotors to Treat Infections Motherboard (resilc)

Travis Kalanick’s text messages with former employee Anthony Levandowski reveal an obsession with Tesla and Google Recode


Occupy activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow jailed for up to eight months South China Morning Post

North Korea

What exactly is Sweden doing in North Korea? The Local (micael)

Moon’s economic policies draw concern Korea Times (micael)

Uproar in Australian Parliament after firebrand anti-immigrant MP Pauline Hanson wears burka to question time Telegraph. A good short video.

Germany sends ECB to European Court New Europe (micael). Holy moley! Is the ECB gonna tell the ECJ that QE is just an asset swap?


Brexit threat to London’s reputation as legal services hub Politico

Britain says there will be no Brexit bill figure by October Reuters. This is an EU red line. Not a smart position to take.

Simon Coveney: ‘Ireland will not be a pawn in Brexit negotiations‘ The Journal (Ireland)

What does respecting the referendum result mean? Mainly Macro (micael).

Brexit: No customs posts on the Irish border EuroNews

The UK government’s border proposals for Ireland are absurd Guardian (PlutoniumKun)

Ireland refuses to collect Commission’s 13 billion tax bill from Apple EuroNews (micael) The deal was tailored for Apple. The claim otherwise is a complete fabrication. See the layperson’s explanation of Apple’s tax deal here and the EU ruling here.

Venezuela Brings Forward Regional Elections as Pence Vows More Intervention Venezuela Analysis (micael)


How Saudi Arabia trapped itself in Yemen Middle Eastern Eye

The 16 Year War in Afghanistan: Headlines Tell the Story Ralph Nader, Counterpunch

Russia’s foreign minister described U.S. unilateral sanctions on Tehran as “unacceptable in principle” especially if used for self-serving purposes. Telesur

When is USA not a problem for another state? Middle Eastern Eye (micael)

‘The bodies were lying on the roads like leaves’: My partition story BBC

New Cold War

Publics Worldwide Unfavorable Toward Putin, Russia: But few see Russian power and influence as a major threat Pew. Politico’s e-mailed daily European newsletter had this as its only comment:

Here’s a stark figure: when it comes to doing the right thing on world affairs, the majority of people in 22 countries including Germany, France, Greece and Italy, trust Russian President Vladimir Putin more than Trump, according to Pew’s 2017 spring survey. Trump was more trusted in 13 countries, including the U.K., Poland and the Netherlands.

Trump Transition

Trump’s Business Councils Disband After CEOs Defect Wall Street Journal

German Vice-Chancellor Was Shocked Trump Did Not Condemn Charlottesville Racists BuzzFeed

Jewish Trump Staff Silent on His Defense of Rally With Anti-Semitic Marchers New York Times

Steve Bannon brands far right ‘losers’ and contradicts Trump in surprise interview Guardian (Lt. Columbo)

Banish Bannon? Trump weighs his options as top aides feud Reuters

Trump Blasts Critics Who Judge Neo-Nazi Groups By Most Extreme Members Onion

Trump Is Ready to Go Down in Flames Vanity Fair (resilc)

Republicans Must Tell Trump to Go – Now Rolling Stone (resilc)

Is Sessions Already Botching the Charlottesville Investigation? Vice (resilc). They only arrested, what, four guys? There isn’t even that much to botch.

The Myth of Jared and Ivanka Meets Charlottesville Vanity Fair (resilc)

Israel’s Silence on Charlottesville LobeLog

Apologies, the evil New York Times rolled into a second video, not the one I wanted, so sorry to you early readers! And I can’t readily locate it and need to turn in, so here is the story instead: Heather Heyer, Charlottesville Victim, Cannot Be Silenced, Mother Says

Fox News Quietly Deletes Article Cheering ‘Plowing Through Protesters’ Daily Beast (resilc). Wowsers.

Confederate monuments taken down in Baltimore overnight Baltimore Sun (furzy). From yesterday but germane.

Southern Comfort New York Review of Books (resilc)

Democrats Have Their Own Challenges In Talking About Racial Issues In The Trump Era FiveThirtyEight

Peter Van Buren Says Thanks, and Goodbye Blog (resilc). I’m sorry to see a fellow blogger go. And notice it was the nasty comments that did it. But notice how he equates antifa with progressives. And I saw another post today that equated the left with identity politics. Thanks, Democrats.

Cleveland Now Leads U.S. Cities for Seriously Underwater Homes Bloomberg

The Single Biggest Bullish Catalyst For Oil OilPrice

Uber Gets a China Ride It Can’t Cancel Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Conservatives’ Blind Love For Corporate America Must End American Conservative (resilc)

Putting an End to the Rent Economy Counterpunch (Chuck L). Interview with Michel Hudson.

How Insane Home Prices in Silicon Valley & San Francisco Trip up Jobs Growth Wolf Richter (EM)

Antidote du jour. From Bob H: “This is a picture of Buddy, a foster dog rescue, just after waking up from dental surgery to remove 17 rotten teeth. He has 17 teeth left.”

And a bonus from EM: “My sister sent this photo from their Austrian holiday of my nephew with a huge gimpy toad he found by the roadside and moved to a safe place where it can hopefully heal up.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. makedoanmend

      I should clarify. I don’t mean he has dentures but that one could surmise that he could use some. Lovely face as is.

  1. bronco

    Confederate monuments taken down in Baltimore overnight ……

    If they are worried about finding a place for them they could always load them into the back of police vans and give them the Freddy Gray “treatment” . Then a dustpan and brush would take care of the issue.

    1. Tomonthebeach

      In Sofia Bulgaria, the USSR monuments that got removed (maybe 50% still stand), we put in a single museum that is rather fun to to visit. By herding the statues and facade pieces into one arena, the message, speaks decibels about how such stuff is used to promote propaganda.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Can it be a park-like open-air museum, or even just a park?

        All the statues in one park?

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Public Enemy Harper’s. Trust me. Read this. You’ll be glad you did. And as Lambert said, “The public does pay attention.”

    This had me nearly falling off my chair laughing! Brilliant! Love the final line.

    1. Democrita

      Yes, I trusted you on that and was indeed glad. Laughed until my fellow commuters looked askance.

      Re Netflix : the big screen can add much to a film, but we’ve stopped going to movies because the prices are ridiculous given how crappy most of the movies are. We give time for public reaction, then decide.

      Plus, they start advertising a year before release! By the time it’s out, I feel like I’ve already seen it.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I don’t remember the last time I went to the movies. And no, I don’t have a Netflix subscription.

          1. Poopypants

            Not to mention the advertisements prior to the film starting. I was thinking of going to see a movie this week for the first time in over a year, and then remembered the ridiculous amount of advertisements prior to even the previews. It honestly makes me feel like I’m in an Orwellian forced propaganda facility. No thanks.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I last went a few weeks back…my once in a year or two habit.

        I remember noting to myself, before getting myself lost in the movie, that I was in a dark room with a bunch of strangers whom I had never met before in life, except my brother who was there with me.

        Thinking back now, I am somewhat shocked at my naive trust of fellow humans for a brief couple of hours.

        I think if I have done it more often, I wouldn’t have been shocked at all.

        “It’s OK. The place is dark and full of strangers. That’s OK.”

        We don’t get that kind of exercises often these days.

        Soon, you don’t even have to squeeze honeydews in the grocery store with other strangers. They can be delivered to your mansion by robots and drones.

      3. neo-realist

        Re Netflix and the decline of movie houses, mixed feelings: As a youth in the 70’s and the 80’s in NYC, I used to go to school, so to speak, by going to the art houses such as the Elgin Theater, The Thalia, the Cinema Village, the St. Marks Cinema, and Waverly Place. Savored the pleasures of Bergman, Godard, Fellini, Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Ken Russell, Lindsey Anderson, Fassbinder, and various independent and foreign film classics. Today, you simply can’t find many (or any for that matter) movie houses that will show edgy foreign and independent films and that void has been filled for the most part by the various streaming and dvd rental services such as netflix. After all, where else can you see a classic 12 hour film, at your stopping and starting convenience, e.g., home cooked meals and pizza delivery, like Rivette’s Out1 except for one of the streaming and dvd rental services?

        While it is more fun to watch films blown up on the screen as opposed to a TV, with exceptions, I don’t lose much in visual pleasure since many films presently are shot by directors and cinematographers for the TV—more close ups and medium shots and fewer long shots, which I appreciate and miss, that give you a better perspective of environmental, emotional and psychological context for characters, plot lines and themes.

        I don’t believe movie houses will go away—Hollywood still makes blow em ups and shoot em up films that people will still pay to go see in movie houses. You also have the exceptional directors and films that will blow up their films to enhance the visual quality—Tarantino’s Hateful Eight in 70mm–his best film IMO. I look forward to the Blade Runner sequel blown up to big screen size.

        What else is an art house snob gonna do other than stream?

    2. fresno dan

      August 17, 2017 at 7:54 am

      The Shkreli trail is remarkably instructive. Essentially every juror tells a story of how harmed they or someone they know is by the price gouging of Shkreli for medically necessary drugs. Cathartic, undoubtedly….
      YET the trail has nothing to do with the FACT that so many people were harmed by the RAISING of drug prices – indeed, IRONICALLY Shkreli is in the dock for cheating investors i.e., well off people.

      So, less well off people are in GRAVE danger because of Shkreli – and BECAUSE of the SYSTEM that allowed such high pricing, AND CONTINUES TO ALLOW SUCH PRICING, under America’s vaunted FREE ENTERPRISE system remains UNADDRESSED, but less blatantly obvious ONGOING screwing of millions upon millions of patients is lost in the indignation kerfuffle.

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        Shkreli forgot Carlin’s adage about the Big Club.

        You can stick it to people not in the Club as much as you want (this is actively encouraged), but do not stick it to investors (fellow Club members).

      2. mpalomar

        Shkreli’s the perfect poster boy for medical/financial malfeasance and he’s getting posterized. Yet you’re right, whatever happens to Shkreli the screwing will likely continue unabated.
        My thought (having been called for dreaded jury duty) on reading those jurors statements was these were people that all understood they had the perfect get out of jury duty excuse.

  3. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: the Vanity Fair article “Trump Ready to Go Down in Flames”—-was Trump making a false statement when he said there were very fine people on both sides? No. Some of the protestors were probably just history buffs or they really liked that statue. It was supposed to be a peaceful protest. The ACLU defended the group’s First Amendment right and they won their legal permit to have the protest. They came with shields. Antifa, in contrast, came with feces, urine, pepper spray, clubs, etc.

    We don’t know what the speakers would have said because they weren’t allowed to speak. I still don’t know specifically what groups comprised the “unite the right” rally, perhaps because the MSM considers even the utterance of the names of these groups taboo. When these guys are allowed a few minutes of air time, they actually don’t say anything hateful or even controversial. Is it possible they say different stuff in private meetings? Yes. Of course, HRC and her ilk are 100% straightforward and transparent and never do anything secretly.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, there are plenty of photos also showing the right wing protestors had guns and bludgeons, both of which are meant to inflict serious bodily harm. The neoNazis made it clear that this was not about free speech but an open display of brownshirt style intimidation. Many reports also said they had practiced paramilitary moves and were executing them. And you defend that?

      You conveniently omit that all of the serious injuries and one death were inflicted by a comparatively small group of right wing thugs. A black man was nearly beaten to death and that was caught on tape. I have not doubt the antifa attacks inflicted some nasty bruises, but that is bupkis compared to what the neo Nazis did and were armed to do and in fact did.

      I deplore the antifa tactics and think baiting thugs was bound to end with people hurt but saying what they did was equivalent to what the neo Nazis did is nonsense.

      1. skippy

        Is it not curious that the neoNazis proclaim to be defending a space in society they deem property, how they arrive at that conclusion is the interesting part

      2. RenoDino

        Where were the cops during all this? Standing aside and letting it all play out. Later they said, they didn’t want to make matters worse. WTF?

        No national leaders from either side have criticized the lack of police presence, yet that is the most obvious reason this protest turned really ugly. Apparently, honoring men and women in uniform must never be compromised by the facts on the ground.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I agree — that is the right question — “Where were the cops during all this?” It were as if they condone the violence.

        2. perpetualWAR

          Yet, the cops were out en masse when Occupy Wall Street peaceful protests were happening. The cops in Seattle were violent to an 84 yr old woman and a clergy in robes.

          It was so unbelievable and something I will never forget.

      3. EndOfTheWorld

        If they had loaded guns then it’s to their great credit no shots were fired. You could argue that if attacked by clubs and pepper spray you could legally shot the attacker. What are you supposed to do? Politely succumb to torture?

        They had a permit to speak. The law is on the side of the “unite the right” group. They were legal. They should have been ushered in to speak by the cops, like the Skokie march. The city government wanted a riot; they got what they wanted.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          They showed up hours before the time they were allowed to occupy the park. They violated the permit.

          Charlottesville was an incitement to riot. And the “slippery slope” argument is bunk. 1) Germany and France have outlawed hate speech and there still exists lively debate, including hard-right and hard-left politicians; Marine LePen just came in second (she was clobbered in the final election, but even that had nothing to do with speech restrictions: she badly lost a debate), and 2) Inciting a riot is and remains a federal and state crime. I don’t like prohibitions on speech but that wasn’t “speech” – they were not trying to make a point. They were there to intimidate and incite violence.

    2. fresno dan

      August 17, 2017 at 7:57 am

      “….was Trump making a false statement when he said there were very fine people on both sides? No. Some of the protestors were probably just history buffs or they really liked that statue”

      I would think if I am walking along and I find myself surrounded by swastikas and people chanting “blood and soil” (you say they are history buffs, so they should know what that means) I would choose to leave their company….

      SARC/ It does remind me of how when I was a young man I wandered into some “adult bookstores” in The Block (the notorious porno enclave in Baltimore) looking for a bible, or perhaps the writings of Emmanuel Kant, or some similar writer – after all, you can’t get more adult than that. Instead, I was shocked and appalled to find NOTHING but soft cover publications of exterior female anatomy, although there were also an inordinate number of publications devoted to penises. Unfamiliar with such publications,I perused them for a few hours, uh, er, just to update my knowledge of the human form and familiarize myself with the diversity of publications available….., nothing to do with wanting to gaze at naughty pictures, nothing at all…./SARC

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        What you are doing is called “guilt by association.” Yes, I will repeat that some people felt strongly about the statue being removed and merely wanted to peacefully protest. The so-called “nazi movement” in the US today really has no resemblance to 1938 Germany. This movement has not power in the US and never will, and everybody knows this.

        I worked for many years in the same building with a guy who said he was a “nazi”. Yet he was well-liked in a group of people that was perhaps 40% black. He never hurt anybody, but for some unknown reason dabbled in this activity. Other people invested in gold coins; he bought some gold Hitler dolls. He admitted to me that he had brain damage from many concussions—maybe this had something to do with it.

        We have nothing to fear from neo-nazis. That’s my point.

        1. David Creamon

          “We have nothing to fear from neo-nazis.”

          Where does one even begin? I just cannot fathom how a person could make such a preposterous statement. Do you know who Timothy McVeigh was? There are a lot more like him out there as well.

            1. todde

              12 months ago the Democrats didn’t need the whole of the ‘white working class’ to win an election.

              Now, all of a sudden, the white nationalist are a threat to our very existence.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I try to compare that to ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’

            What did FDR mean?

            Did he mean to work hard to achieve our goals, and to not let fear interfere?

            Can we work hard to diffuse a pending civil war situation, and to not let fear get in the way?

    3. dcblogger

      EndOfTheWorld, if you are carrying swastikas and the confederate flag you do not need to open your mouth. You have already spoken. These are horrible people, every single one of them, not just the murderer in the Dodge Charger.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Trump said ‘fine people.’

        Kennedy said, “Ich bin ein Berliner” in front of many of the same ‘banality of evil’ Deutsche frauen, fraeudleinen und maenner not too many years back.

        Did JFK forget what some of them might have likely done?

        Or was he politically opportunistic by conveniently skipping over their banality of evil and claimed he was one of them?

        Did he mean he was one of the few fine, good Berliners, who might have lived, quietly (silently, without speaking up) during the war in the heart of the reich?

        But could these few have been fine and good, if they were there in the 30’s and 40’s and did not speak up? Was it morally impossible for JFK to say “Ich bin ein Berliner?”

              1. Terry Humphrey

                I don’t think there is any difference in the two jelly-filled pastries save the Bismarck may be sweeter,

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          Yes, I have pointed out that this was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration protesting the removal of a landmark statue. To properly assess the whole incident, the “journalists” would start by reporting just what groups were represented on each side and in what percentage: eg. 31% KKK, 21% oath keepers, 15 % history buffs; 32% antifa, 22% BLM, 5% crackheads…or whatever it actually was. This they made no attempt to do.

          The MSM just taints everybody who wanted to peacefully protest as violent crazed Nazis. It’s called “guilt by association.”

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            This is complete and utter bullshit. There is a video up by Vice where they followed the NeoNazis around before and during the protests. This was not “peaceful” This was an open effort to intimidate and inciting a riot, which is against the law. They also engaged in hate speech, another felony. They did not have a permit for their torchlit neoNazi display (including deliberate use of Nazi chants) the night before. And they violated the permit by coming to the park hours early.

            I have no tolerance for lies on this site, particularly promoting Nazis.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    What exactly is Sweden doing in North Korea? The Local (micael)

    I think its an important point that North Korea is nowhere near as isolated from the world as its often painted in the media. I know a hydrogeologist who regularly consulted for NGO’s on water issues – he had several trips in North Korea in the aftermath of the famine in the 1990’s where he said he had a surprising amount of freedom to travel around – the only condition on him (and his NGO) was that they were never to state publically that they were ‘helping’ the North Koreans. If asked, he was engaged in scientific work with North Korean scientists. So there are far more routes for engagement if there is the will to do it.

  5. JTMcPhee

    Re “Public enemy:” looks like the yeoperson jury pool “knows” about Shkreli pretty much from the stories that have gone out via the MSM. I would not take this set of reported reactions as any indication that the Great Public is paying attention,e.g., to the range of evils covered here at NC. Note the one comparison to Madoff, a very particular sort of bandit, infamous for stealing from the filthy rich. No mention, in this snippet of voir dire, at least, of Dimon or Blankfein or Geithner and notorious others, (how many know who is CEO of Lockheed Martin or Monsanto?) as comparables to Shkreli, little evidence of the wider impacts of the grand looters’ actions.

    One might applaud the judgment of the crowd, if it were more aware and universal. But of course this is a small sample only, maybe people who learn from general sources like FOX and CNN and MSNBC are somehow, interstitially and by osmosis, becoming aware of their predicament and who has tricked and defrauded and forced them into it? From my own random encounters, in checkout lines and such, where I tend to try my own bit of awareness- raising next to the magazine rack (“Self,” “Time,” “Cosmopolitan” behind its plastic modesty panel, “National Enquirer,” crosswords and Sudoku and racks of impulse purchase candy and chips and Slim Jims) I don’t see much evidence of awareness. But we can hope, right? Because these are just snippets and small samples.

    1. ambrit

      If you are referring to the magazines in the racks, rather than the people shuffling by the racks, I’d hazard the guess that the magazines are “anti-awareness” plague vectors.

    2. Butch In Waukegan

      One potential juror has been paying attention.

      juror no. 77: From everything I’ve seen on the news, everything I’ve read, I believe the defendant is the face of corporate greed in America.

      brafman: We would object.

      juror no. 77: You’d have to convince me he was innocent rather than guilty.

      the court: I will excuse this juror.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Someone must chosen to carry many heavy sins and receive punishment to quell the thirst for justice. Madoff served this purpose in the past and Martha Stewart. Shkreli is a new offering. He will carry the sins of Dimon, Blankfein, Geithner and so many many others who hide behind publicity shedding Corporate walls. But even while he carries many sins Shkreli must be punished for oblique crimes to avoid exposing his greater crimes and the greater crimes of those whose sins he carries to too much scrutiny. The blood offering must quell without raising uncomfortable awarenesses.

  6. Livius Drusus

    Re: Democrats talking about race in the Trump era, in some areas running a socially conservative/economically liberal candidate could be effective. Socially conservative/economically liberal voters (sometimes called “populists”) are the people the Democrats need to target since they are in play and they are numerous. The old strategy of trying to win over socially liberal/economically conservative voters doesn’t work since there are too few of these people to really make a big difference and they tend to be concentrated in certain metro areas where the Democrats are already competitive anyway.

    The Democrats have no choice but to appeal to white populist voters because right now regular Democratic voters (non-whites and white liberals) are too heavily concentrated in certain states and metro areas. You cannot be a national party without winning more often in the red states and rural areas and that means appealing to white populist voters.

    1. RenoDino

      Socially conservative people don’t buy into identify politics and that’s all the Dems have on offer. Dems have not been economically liberal since Lyndon Johnson. The Democratic Party you describe doesn’t exist. Cynically changing the message for the purpose of acquiring votes will not work on rural America.
      Contrary to what the Party thinks, people out here are not stupid.

      1. Altandmain

        The rising popularity of the Sanders faction may very well swing things in terms of economics.

        AT the very least, it will force some very contested primaries. The issue though is the Democratic Party is in bed with the donor class. That’s what is driving these problems.

        A lot of Republicans had a soft spot for Sanders, as did Independents. The problem is, that’s not what the donors want, which is a neoliberal plutocracy.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Regular voters are much more partisan than they let on. Chasing them is a waste of time. The issue is non and sometimes voters. Ossoff saw sharp declines among renters who have less than stellar voting records and questionable registration status. Given the actual margin of his defeat, the votes were out there, but he wanted Mitten fans.

      There is no reason to play to “social conservatives.” After all, we aren’t far removed from when civil unions was an example of wacky Vermont, and now gay marriage Is everywhere. Society has not fallen apart because of gas marriage, and women voters, although abortion. Isn’t the only issue, aren’t going to be turned off by a pro-choice candidate. Then of course, the bi-racial Hawaiian, Barack Hussein Obama didn’t have problems turning out non-governmental after his “cling to guns and god” line.

      The Democratic party is too reliant on women to ever consider an anti-choice candidate outside of a position where they can’t make too many important decisions on the matter.

      1. none

        The Democratic party is too reliant on women to ever consider an anti-choice candidate outside of a position where they can’t make too many important decisions on the matter.

        Here’s Hillary Clinton in 2015, saying she could get behind a Constitutional amendment restricting abortion, as long as it had medical exceptions:

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Did Clinton’s compromised position help her win in November? Its an unclear line, but I meant the Democratic party will lose with compromised candidates on the matter of abortion, probably the Iraq War too. They can nominate anti-choice candidates in 435 congressional districts, and they would all lose if the position came out, a few safe districts…maybe.

          Trump is an open misogynist, and Hillary ran a campaign where she claimed to have been a fighter for women over the years. She saw declines in women voters compared to Obama partially because the trust issue which is exemplified by her openness to banning abortion.

      2. Elizabeth Burton

        Notice how that narrative morphed from “anti-abortion” candidates to “anti-choice” candidates? They aren’t and never have been the same thing, and yet those clever folk at the corporate media have aroused all the pro-choicers such that any progressive candidate who dares say he or she doesn’t approve of abortion is now a non-starter.

        This is the excuse the Dems gave for not supporting Thompson in Kansas, despite his clear record of doing everything he could to mitigate the draconian anti-abortion legislation passed there within the limits of his conscience. And made sure his “pro-life” stance was broadcast far and wide to stir up those same purists who don’t understand that not being in support of untrammeled abortion availability is not now and never has been the sole possession of “right-wing religious fanatics.”

  7. Bunk McNulty

    Republicans must tell Trump to go? Why should they, when the Democratic leadership won’t say it? Where are Pelosi and Schumer now? Where are Sanders and Warren? What circus stunt must Trump perform before they say “Enough is enough?”

    1. Democrita

      Is it wrong of me to not want Trump to go? As long as he’s in, Republicans own the poop-pile, are in disarray, constantly embarrassed and, despite all that’s happening while Democrats fret about Putin, are relatively ineffective. Pence seems way more dangerous.

      But Donald’s encouragement of the hate-right is very very bad. So….I am again conflicted.

        1. Bunk McNulty

          Pence will doubtless be the More Effective Evil, but The Donald seems to have cemented his position as International Embarrassment #1. So we’re still wallowing in “least bad” choices.

          Politics makes strange bedfellows. I’m now rooting for Mitch McConnell to come up with some diabolical means of giving Lord Dampnut (remember that one?) the shiv.

          1. flora

            Would Pence continue blocking TPP and TTIP?
            If not, that would be a win for neoliberal big corp. dreams.
            Not that that would be a win for most people, imo.

  8. RenoDino

    SC ‘Warns’ of Possible Lizard Man Sightings During Eclipse

    Lizard Man is really No Sun Screen Man. Only natural it would appear during an Eclipse.

  9. craazyman

    I don’t watch TV or read much news — because nearly all of it seems propaganda for somebody who’d be happy to run me (or you dear reader) over if it served their ideological ambitions the way the poor woman was run over in Charlottesville. So I looked up the transcript of President Trump’s comments in his press conference to see what he actually said rather than what the Op-Ed and Link headlines say he said.

    Facts and words don’t seem to matter to people with the bloodlust of virtue psychosis and ambition for power and self-promotion. This is incredible:

    Trump: OK, good. Well, are we going to take down the statue? Because he was a major slave owner. Now, are we going to take down his statue? So, you know what? It’s fine. You’re changing history. You’re changing culture and you had people, and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists because they should be condemned, totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats. You got a lot of bad people in the other group, too.

    Reporter: Who was treated unfairly? Sir, I’m sorry I don’t understand what you were saying. You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? I just don’t understand what you were saying.


    Are the facts even relevant? I supported Bernie Sanders and gave him money. But this is sickening. This is a white house reporter and he can’t understand an English sentence? How did he (or she I’m just reading the transcript and it says “reporter”) get the job? Can they think? Can they reason? I would not appear so. Unless they sincerely somehow mis-heard a plain statement at a press conference. One can’t rush to judgment too quickly!

    Joe: I hate broccoli
    Reporter: So, Joe, you’re saying you love broccoli?

    Joe: I don’t feel like going to a movie today.
    Reporter: So Joe, you’re saying you want to see a movie today?

    Joe: If somebody made me hit the floor and do 1000 push-ups, I wouldn’t like it.
    Reporter: So you actually want to hit the floor and do 1000 pushups Joe? I don’t understand? Who do you think you are, Tom Brady?

    Joe: 3+5=8
    Reporter: So Joe, you’re saying 3+5 = 987,989. That seems way too high. Where did you learn to add? I don’t understand.

    Whatever one thinks of President Trump larger policies, the feeding frenzy surrounding his so-called “statements” about the Charlottesville events seems one more bit of evidence that Virtue Psychosis is a dangerous mental health condition.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You should not be analyzing the transcript if you don’t have the facts, as you admit.

      First, Trump is wrong in saying both sides were similarly armed. They were not. I haven’t seen anyone save Trump say the antifa types had bludgeons. The right wingers were heavily armed, carrying guns openly and carrying bludgeons. The most I’ve heard attributed to the antifa types are throwing rocks, bottles with urine, pepper spray and (only one report) feces. You can badly bruise someone but unless you manage to throw a rock in someone’s eye or knock them down in a way that cracks their skull open, you are not likely to inflict permanent damage. By contrast, that’s almost guaranteed if you beat them with a bludgeon. Bludgeons are illegal in New York City precisely because they are more deadly than a gun in close quarters.

      The confirmation is that a much smaller group of right wingers inflicted traumatic injuries on a lot of people and killed a woman. They also beat a black man nearly to death. Nothing even close done by the antifa types despite the many clashes.

      So this is what people recoiled against, Trump insisting they were equally bad. That is bogus. The antifa types did engage in violence too but the degree of arming shows a complete difference in intent, and that was confirmed in who was hurt and how severely. And the neo Nazis were also far more costumed than the protestors opposing them.

      And the guys dressed in black and carrying shield were one of the neo Nazi groups. so Trump is blaming the opponents for stuff the neo Nazis did. You can see them in this video when you don’t know who is who:

      And then the NYT video shows the marking on their shields was the symbol of one of the neo Nazi groups.

      And see this:

      Look, even Kelly was undone by what Trump said. From Axios:

      White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, exhausted and dismayed, was shown in iconic TV shots with his head hanging during Trump’s blast.

      1. craazyman

        Didn’t most of the armed people with guns disown the white nationalists and Nazi types? I thought I saw that — that they said they weren’t intending to protect that sort of thing and won’t do it again.

        I think most of the white nationalists and Nazis weren’t armed. I think they were largely the torch marchers without arms. I may be misinformed, but that’s the impression I get. Evidently they did have a legal permit to assemble. Sadly, if people were able to ignore them completely that would be the fastest way to neutralize any support they might get. They represent only the lunatic fringe of the fringe and any attention they get just makes it worse.

        One of them had a Star Wars style baton and he was doing battle in the photo you posted with a Rasta-looking dude with an aerosol can lit up to project a flame. Probably both those guys could work it out over a beer — if somebody could figure out how to make that happen.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Are you denying what you saw in the videos? The right wingers had shields, helmets, and some had bludgeons. There were numerous reports of guns on display. The guy who used the spray paint can did so 1. because it had been thrown at him earlier and it was the only weapon he and and 2. The guy he used it on had shot at him! Supposedly at his feet but Jesus Christ.

          I do not understand why are are defending neo Nazis. What is wrong with you? Not standing up to them in Germany led to them running the place.

          1. fritter

            he only said he didn’t think the armed group of people were neo nazis. It would explain why there where no pictures of them taking part in any confrontations (and no shootings).

            Actually Germans died standing up to the Nazis. It’s historically inaccurate to say that Germans were passive about it, but if you want to feel good about fire bombing civilians then you pretty much have to tell yourself that so that’s the story the victors went with. The difference here is this a fringe group, not in charge of the apparatic of the state. Its not unreasonable to think that some of the many groups that went found it not to their sort of taste.

            You may be taking this too personally, that just because trump didn’t to the right virtue signaling he might have a point. I’m sympathetic to the cause of not removing the statue, for a lot of different reasons. I could see myself there in that crowd thinking who are all these crazy people? Lee refused to kill Virginians because kith and kin were more important. Why would you celebrate that by spreading hate. I’d then leave disgusted. A Yankee who viewed Southerners as deplorables might not be able to relate so easily, so it worth pointing out I think.
            Its just like when someone asked me to name one Southerner who wasn’t a racists backwater hillbilly and I said Martin Luther King, Jr. It never occurred to them that he was from the south and thus a Southerner that slaves suffered under reconstruction just like everyone else isn’t brought up for the same reasons we don’t talk about the Germany who tried to do the right thing or we just trying to survive another day.

          2. craazyman

            You must be having a bad day. Get some rest and don’t put the burden of the world on your shoulders. It’s not anyhere near as bad as you’re making it out to be. Really. It’s not worth letting yourself go nuts punching out walls and slaying dragons.

            In no way at all am I or would I “defend neo-Nazis”. That’s just ridiculous and it’s disappointing to be interpreted that way. In fact, I said they’re the lunatic fringe of the fringe and the attention they get just makes it worse. This isn’t Germany in 1930s. There’s a real world out there from coast to coast beyond the magic-land of the internet and media. Real people living real lives and basically getting along and not giving a damn about somebody’s ethnicity. I’d guess 99+% of the US thinks these neo whatever white nationalist people are goons with nothing to offer but the worst and most rancorous propaganda (that happens to be my opinion of them, by the way). They pose no threat whatsoever, unless they engage in criminal acts.

            I’ve written thoughtfull stuff about this phenomenon, very thoughtful and intelligent. These torch light and neo whatever individuals are lost puppies in search of their souls, they have an illness of mind and consciousness. It’s a human illness seen in many societies the world over and throughout history. Here its just a special case of that more general phenomenon. If one approaches this like a pyschiatrist in a mental institution, I think that’s the better framework of perception for understanding.

            For years there’d be occassional gatherings of these types and people would laugh at them. Nobody thought they were anything but a bunch of crazed wackos — and nothing ever came of it. Nothing will come of it now either, because there’s nothing there but delusion and emptiness. And 99% of Americans have no intrest in their madness.

            There’s probably a subset of them who could be turned around in one day if they were forced to just sit down with real people and have a heart to heart conversation and see the common interests and common humanity that binds everyone in the end. Others are perhaps are too far gone for that, to be sure. Not everyone can be rehabilitated.

            People can take arguing back and forth in comments and maybe reaching a higher understanding through it. But negligently mis-stating where someone is coming from — whoever that someone is — that’s a bit painful to take and it doesn’t make for honest discussion.

            This is actually a topic that deserves really thoughtful analysis, well beyond the virtue signalling and sloppy Manichean condemnations that we all feel but that just clouds it up and leads to little but heated invective. It’s a difficult topic and it really demands intellectual and emotional discipline to frame and interpret it thoughfully. It’s not entirely surprsing that few are able to do that.

            1. Butch In Waukegan


              I’d guess 99+% of the US thinks these neo whatever white nationalist people are goons with nothing to offer but the worst and most rancorous propaganda (that happens to be my opinion of them, by the way). They pose no threat whatsoever, unless they engage in criminal acts.

              David Duke received over 58,000 votes last year in his run for Senator of Louisiana.

              Ignore them and they’ll go away?

              1. craazyman

                He’s been around forever and he’s not gone anywhere politically since 1990 and is barely an afterthought at this point. Roy Nagin got elected mayor of New Orleans ((although he had some legal issues after ) and Bobby Jindal, an Indian-American for those who care, was Governor of Louisiana for 8 years and a congressman. So who’s winning in Louisiana — white nationalists or humanity? This is Louisiana mind you! And humanity is still winning!

                1. Butch In Waukegan

                  craazyman and vatch:

                  Do you think the danger of white nationalists like Duke is primarily at the ballot box?

                  How many of his 58,000 voters, in the years to come, as conditions deteriorate, will take part in white nationalist direct actions? Direct actions like Charlottesville. The Nazis in the ’20s were electorally weak and never were an electoral majority, and there were lots of Germans who early on dismissed them.

                  So ignoring Nazis/white nationalists is the best strategy?

                  (craazyman, it’s funny/weird that you think Bobby Jindal is a victory for “humanity”.)

                  1. Vatch

                    Oh, the white nationalists pose more of a threat than their electoral numbers indicate, so we can’t ignore them. But for now, they are not a major force. I think it’s more important to focus on the more traditional Republican harm that Trump is doing. Here are two recent NC articles about this:

                    Financial Regulatory Rollback Proceeds

                    In First 6 Months Under Trump, Polluters Already Paying Lower Fines to EPA

                    Trump is an awful President, but a lot of that is because he is closely following the standard Republican playbook.

                    Focus on what Trump is really doing, and keep the crazies in our peripheral vision, just in case. . . .

                  2. craazyman

                    Well he certainly isn’t a white nationalist is he? That was the point of discussion. I’m not arguing his politics here and I don’t even know what they are.

                    The best way to neutralize the neo-wackos is to embarras their ideology with a vibant, diverse, energetic society that nourishes the human condition and puts wacko point of views to shame with the repudiation of undeniable facts — economic opportunities, jobs and careers, and a successful culture that inspires life and creativity and community regardless of ethnicity. Many of the less mind bent among the wackos will defect and join the real world over time because they’ll see it as a better way than the path their on, and they will change their views and repudiate them when they meet their fellow man and woman outside their bubble. The last groups of hangers on will dwindle down to nothing, since they will have nothing to offer but a mythical and fictional nostalgia lacking economic opportunities or the fun that people will experience living in the real world with real people of all kinds, and theyll shrink down to a sad minor footnote to history before they disappear completely.. I think they’re close to that point now, in fact.

                    Screaming in their face won’t do it, even though it might feel good and virtuous for a few hours. They’ll just scream back and feel even more justified in their beliefs and delusions.

                    Teaching by the force of example is always more effective than abstract lecturing.

                    1. mpalomar

                      “Well he certainly isn’t a white nationalist is he? That was the point of discussion. I’m not arguing his politics here and I don’t even know what they are.”

                      If you don’t know his politics how do you know whether or not he’s a white nationalist? Not that I think he is.

                      What I wonder about it is your perception of the world we live in if you think we “can neutralize” the haters because we can, “embarrass their ideology with a vibrant, diverse, energetic society that nourishes the human condition and puts wacko point of views to shame with the repudiation of undeniable facts …” you do recall the recent advent of fake news reverberating in our echo chambers — “economic opportunities, jobs and careers, and a successful culture that inspires life and creativity and community regardless of ethnicity. ” Which planet are you living on because I’d like to move there? The one I’m living on is dominated by a rogue superpower nation equipped to decimate the planet or specifically drone target your home should you or your relatives be deemed politically disagreeable.

                      Since the century began the US has invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and been involved in killing hundreds of thousands? a million? and that’s not counting the wars of the second half of the previous century.

                      We’ve also got the largest prison population in the world and more heavily armed citizens than any other country. The US recently entertained torture as acceptable technique for intelligence gathering and we’ve got a militarized police force that has been popping citizens on tail light checks.

                      Trump is a mile marker on the way, perhaps not to fascism or nazism but it seems likely something quite malevolent. To what depths we sink is debatable but I’d say the trend is downward. Trump would not have popped up as el presidente if the country remotely resembled what you propose as antidote for this current crop of haters.

                      Since film is a theme in the thread today I’ll offer one you’ve likely seen but may not remember.

                  3. todde

                    Did the white nationalist cause Libya or syria?

                    Or economic strangle Greece?

                    Crack the heads of the Occupy proteators?

                    Poisoning Flints water supply?

                    Messing around in Ukraine?

                    Wanting war with Russia?

              1. craazyman

                That’s not true and if you think it is you’ve mis-read my intentions and even the words themselves. I’m expressing a thoughtful point of view in an exchange of ideas about a very serious and difficult topic that’s gotten lots of Links action and a few posts. It’s a hard challenging topic. Disagree with my point of view if you wish, that’s your priviledge, but you don’t persuade me or anyone with one liner insinuations that have no basis in fact. I would just ignore your comment completely but out of respect for the blog and for the editorial standards that should apply even in the comment section I feel a wish to respond.

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  You did and I’ve banned you. Your comments above are the reason I’ve shut down comments. If I ever reopen them you are no longer welcome. You’ve been denigrating women for years and it’s gotten worse in the last six months, and now this. I could pass it off as a sort off off-kilter joke but no longer.

        2. skippy

          Good grief…

          What is the only thing Trump has done in his life… project a brand image and have an eye on how that effects ratings and market share. He is a commodity and as one likes to surround himself with other commodities that increase his value – market share.

          How the unwashed react to this is just narrative seeking or conditioning response e.g. fear of the mental vacuum.

          disheveled… you do know when you stare at the wall… its you…

        3. EndOfTheWorld

          The “Oath Keepers”, I believe, is what these guys call themselves. It’s amazing that nobody fired any shots. If am maced and I have a small revolver in my pocket, can I legally shoot the assailant? I’m not a lawyer; maybe somebody can enlighten me.

          I think what the city gov’t and the governor really hoped for was gunshots to be fired. Then the gun control advocates would have some red meat. (literally)

    2. Eclair

      Lordy, craazyman, I always hesitate to tangle with you because you are, you know, crazy, but, while I agree with you on the total craziness of the press in their dealings with Trump, the veritable word salad of his off-the cuff verbal statements would confuse anyone. Whether the jumble of thoughts actually reflects the disorganized state of his mind, or perhaps is a deliberate ploy to keep his opponents off-guard, is debatable.

      But, Trump rambles. He could use some training in rhetorical techniques, and here I bow to Lambert as the master of rhetoric, because I can never remember the names of any of them. But, there are ways, when speaking, to emphasize and highlight the important points, to link together the thought that you want to be linked and to separate those points which you consider different.

      “You’re changing culture and you had people, and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists because they should be condemned, totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK? ”

      In two sentences, he repeats the phrase, “neo-Nazis and white nationalists.” These are loaded words and they have impact. That’s what the listener hears. The weak work, ‘people,’ is lost here.

      Then he states that ‘the press has treated them unfairly.’ So, a listener hears “neo-Nazis and white nationalists” and then, press treats unfairly and … boom … those two phrases are linked together in the listener’s mind.

      One may fault the skill of the ‘reporter’ in not being able to decode Trump’s ‘real meaning.’ But, what really is Trump’s ‘real meaning?’

      1. whine country

        At the risk of enraging too many here, I will posit that it is impossible to understand Trump when he speaks (or Tweets). Recall that Trump has never ever worked for anybody in his life. He has always been the sole arbiter of his words and actions and, I would argue, mostly because of blind pig luck, he has been very successful in terms of whatever it is that matters to him. What Trump reminds me of is what I see almost every day from those whose words are never carefully measured and who I usually describe as people whose brains and mouths have become disconnected. Fortunately in every day life (which Trump is unable to distinguish from his present position), when these types of people are faced with having said something outlandish or even outrageous, they will say: “Of course that’s not what I meant to say…you know what I mean”, and that’s the end of it. This is something that, given Trump’s background, would be extremely difficult for him to change and it is clear that he would not give a second’s thought to even trying. It is true that “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” The choices are two: (1) Remove him from office (not likely) or (2) Pay no attention to what he says and only focus on what he does; while doing what you can to see he is not re-elected.

        1. Vatch

          Pay no attention to what he says and only focus on what he does; while doing what you can to see he is not re-elected.

          Yes, thanks. Some of the bad things that he’s done: he nominated Scott Pruitt to the EPA, Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Betsy DeVos to the Education Department, Jeff Sessions to the Justice Department, Jay Clayton to the SEC, and he renominated Ajit Pai to the FCC. He has signed numerous Congressional Review Act regulation nullifications, which will cause problems for millions of Americans for years to come. About the only good thing he did: he said no to the TPP.

          As for stopping him from being reelected: well, the Democrats need to learn from their mistakes over the past decade or so. Obama threw his middle and working class supporters under the bus by his pandering to the wealthy, and Hillary Clinton made it clear that she would do more of the same. Have the leaders of the Democratic Party learned that lesson yet? I doubt it.

          1. Darius

            Full employment with rising wages and benefits would take the air out of the alt right’s tires. More identity politics just feeds them. That’s ground on which they’re comfortable. They hate socialists because socialists take away their oxygen.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I am of the camp that most people can change and can be persuaded to change…that that is possible.

              Here, there are two immediate goals:

              1. Diffuse the situation…at least don’t make it worse
              2. Find out how we can approach them, and that requires thinking and seeing the way they see the world

              The other camp is that all of them are absolute evil. We must resist them…though in all likelihood, the ideas they are attracted to, that were born decades and centuries ago, will not go away. Here, the question arises again – do ideas persist, themselves unchanging, but people can change?

    3. Mike S.

      No, the words literally don’t matter.
      You’re a credulous dolt if you think any objection or nuance Trump raises is done in good faith.

      1. Carolinian

        There’s a lot of that credulous dolt thing going around. Some, for example, think Russia defeated Hillary Clinton.

        Name calling is not an argument.

    4. lambert strether

      The #UniteTheRight groups were clearly militarized: you can see uniforms, hard hats, the shields, plenty of guns. (Open carry is one thing, but a column of people with guns, marching, is another.) Leaders were also giving orders, like “advance” or “retreat.” And it wasn’t mere “Nazi re-enactors,” given the beatings, the synagogue stakeout, and the death.

      Their opponents, who were DSA and BLM besides antifa, and also random good citizens (like those protecting the synagogue, or like Heather Heyer), were NOT militarized.

      So the two sides really are not comparable.

      As for the other players, the press is what it is; in the main, vile. Trump on this topic is like Reagan without a script or a bridle on this mouth. Of course, the Democrats rehabilitated Reagan long ago, just like Bush, so whatever they’re doing has nothing tomdo with principle.

      1. Carolinian

        Bannon in that Prospect interview.

        It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”

        “These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.

        Yes they are clowns with real weapons but for a lot of people (you’ve said it yourself) guns are also a fantasy toy. Before we all start talking about “it can happen here” I’d say there needs to be evidence that this is more than just a fringe element.

        Regardless I’d say CNN may have more to do with what happened in Charlottesville than Donald Trump. If the rightwingers were seeking attention with their protest they certainly succeeded. There’s way too much hysteria right now from all sides.

      2. hemeantwell

        Yes. So far the “the left attacks property vs. the right attacks people” observation is holding. It directly reflects the critical axes of their politics, with the left emphasizing impersonal structures and the right emphasizing “degenerates.” But then, how many killings will the left endure without retaliating in kind?

        Part of paying our respects to Heather Heyer should be to keep in mind that she was an IWW member. I have to dig into google to find the connection, the MSM is erasing it. There are far too few Wobblies, and I’ve never met one I didn’t like.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          Correction, per the DSA this morning: Ms. Heyer wasn’t an IWW member. She had accompanied friends who are to the protest.

          1. hemeantwell

            Ah, thanks for the correction. I’d seen Richard Seymour make the claim and then found some corroboration via google.

            Ok, some elaboration re who attacks what: when on the initiative, guided by its orienting theory, the left attacks symbols of capitalism. On the initiative, fascists do go after people. What todde and fritter are citing were responses to threatened attacks on people.

            Look at contemporary Germany: Almost all the violence against persons stems from attacks by the right on the refugees and immigrants.

            Right-wing ideology, particularly that of the far right, is very prone to personification, to embodying problems in “bodies,” whether in the form of personal traits like irresponsibility or physical features (presumably related to personal traits). That’s how ideology works, it’s a misdirection away from the real sources of misery. For that reason Left theory tries to scrupulously avoid personification.

            As an example, read Ross Wolfe’s recent decimation of George Ciccariello-Maher. It would likely be a slog, but after a lot of theory work there’s a postscript wherein Wolfe brings down the hammer, and much of the force comes from the way in which Ciccariello-Maher’s convoluted position allows him to be pleased with the slaughter of whites in the final phase of the Haitian revolution. For C.L.R. James and Wolfe, even revenge is off limits.

            Ciccariello-March, fwiw, recently figured in a New Year’s farce set off by talking about how all he wanted for the holiday was white genocide. It’s fine example of the stupefying potential of identitarianism. If you read the Wolfe article you can see how that core commitment, in a gussied up form, wracks the rest of his thought.

      3. fritter

        They differ in degree, but not in kind. What are the facts? One person killed and many injured by a single individual. Bloody skirmishes otherwise. That’s it. It looks ugly on video but its not worth the amount of news time it got. Plenty of evidence both sides started different altercations. The people with guns seem to be the most level headed. In fact, no one got shot. Reports of shooting, but no injuries.
        Regardless, you, I and everyone else should be able to express their opinion without facing violence. the left groups were clearly looking for a fight as much as the ones with hard hats and shields. That makes them the same in my book. If the armed guys were actually looking for a fight there would be a pile of bodies of all shapes and kinds and the national guard would still be recovering them.

    5. Roger Smith

      Did you catch the part where one reporter shouts at him, asking if he’s “against the Confederacy?”

      True madness.

  10. Carolinian

    NY Review and James McPherson: this is a good summary of the Lost Cause myth most recently espoused by Paul Craig Roberts. For the South the war was of course about slavery.

    However what McPherson doesn’t say is that the country as a whole eventually came to embrace the Lost Cause myth as seen in the popularity of Gone With the Wind–long the highest grossing movie of all time and it may still be in constant dollars. White supremacy became the ideology of the nation as a whole and the difference between the regions was more one of degree. New Yorker James Baldwin says this quite clearly in I Am Not Your Negro.

    The North fought the war for union, not slavery, and it was for union that they tolerated and even sympathized with the Jim Crow South. The attempt to place all the guilt on the deluded secessionists is another myth. Prior to the civil rights era there was plenty of guilt for all.

    1. fresno dan

      August 17, 2017 at 8:46 am

      “However what McPherson doesn’t say is that the country as a whole eventually came to embrace the Lost Cause myth as seen in the popularity of Gone With the Wind–long the highest grossing movie of all time and it may still be in constant dollars.”

      And one of my bugaboos – the myth of Hollywood as a liberal cultural bastion.
      One of my favorite movies of all time is The Outlaw Josey Wales and when I saw it as a young man, it was only from the standpoint of a good western with great action and some pretty funny stuff as well (is there anybody who does deadpan reaction better than Eastwood? e.g., the look on Clint’s face when he sees the old Indian chief bedding the young Indian woman….)

      Anyway, the actual movie story of murdering Northern troops slaughtering surrendering confederate soldiers belies the stereotype of “liberal” Hollywood. Of course, the movie does not address whether Josie owned slaves. And if Josie didn’t own slaves…if he was fighting to keep those bad Yankees from interfering in the free commerce of ….human chattel?

      1. Carolinian

        Judging from interviews the great John Ford was likely a Southern sympathizer even while defying McCarthyism and directing the iconic populist manifesto The Grapes of Wrath. There are famous novelists like Thomas Wolfe and F. Scott Fitzgerald have passages of negro bashing. Perhaps only Faulkner had what we would call a modern attitude on race.

        But H’wood is probably the best barometer of the racial attitudes of the “greatest generation” and it’s not a pretty picture. Spike Lee made a documentary about it.

        1. voteforno6

          John Ford also directed The Searchers, which is rather ambiguous in its attitudes towards racism. Does depicting an unrepentant racist tacitly endorse those views, or is it a criticism of it? When it comes to art, it can be very hard to tell at times.

          1. horostam

            have you seen the searchers?
            John Wayne, in his best performance ever as an unheroic asshole, spends years looking for his niece kidnapped by natives. When he finds her, he almost kills her on the spot for converting to their ways.

            i cant imagine an interpretation where that impulse is tacitly approved

            1. mpalomar

              “i cant imagine an interpretation where that impulse is tacitly approved”

              I can.
              John Wayne who pretty much only played hero roles could easily be viewed as heroic in The Searchers. One interpretation would be the hero of the lost cause brigade. It’s what makes that movie approach greatness, the ambiguity of the deeply flawed piece of humanity JW plays.

              A veteran officer of the defeated Confederacy who would go on fighting the war, (somewhere early in the movie that point is made). Wayne returns home to a dirt poor ranch in Texas (doubly stolen from Mexico and native Americans) after the war, only to hit the trail again hunting Indians with his one inseparable companion, (his conscience) what he refers to as a ‘half breed’ a relative who battles Wayne about his intentions.
              The ambiguity of the character helps makes that movie, Wayne is both heroic and a white racist.

          2. Oregoncharles

            Years ago, I saw a documentary on the Hells Angels, presented by the film maker. The film drew an interesting visual parallel between the Angels and the motorcycle cops.

            The filmmaker said something that stuck with me: that the best parody or expose is so true that the subjects will like it, even though others see it as critical. That’s a hard line to walk, but reflects directly on your point.

            in the particular case, a true, vivid portrayal of racism – or other evils – will repel most viewers, even if no explicit judgement is expressed. It becomes a sort of litmus test.

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      There has been plenty of guilt for all since the Civil Rights era as well. But, you are right about the pervasive impact of the Lost Cause through the mid-20th century. It effectively warped the views of middle class whites throughout the nation, not just in the South. I don’t think any Southern rehabilitation effort was as effective as Gone with the Wind. No stuffy memorial statues in front of a county courthouse had near the effect that movie did.

      They were related, mutually supporting things however. The Foghorn Leghorn edifices and the magnolia-scented movies worked together to gloss over the brutal mistreatment of working people that kept the whole show running, even after de facto slavery was over.

      I think some of the statue sentimentality that still exists today among middle aged, professional class white people comes from the extreme success of early 20th century Lost Cause propaganda. We get to study the “Progressive era” in school…… but never read about the regressive social forces that existed along side it. The Klan. The lynching terror. The erection of antiquated (even then) memorials to the Confederacy. Jim Crow reached its peak in and immediately after the time of all this memorializing.

      I think that is why I so dislike these statues. They are the living remnants of a pernicious whitewashing. They stand around looking so pure, orderly and proper. Concrete lies about who and what our ancestors really were, back when they were young and randy, and in need of money.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Did Jim Crow reflect the failure of Reconstruction?

        How was it that Germany went from their Year Zero, the soviet occupation of Berlin before it was divided to being a key member of NATO, an important ally in Europe and a prosperous nation, in a few years, but the South still reactionary, even today, over 150 years later?

        It is not, I am positive, that they are superior to Americans in the South.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          In regards to West Germany, Prussia was the base of Nazi electoral strength despite the start of the brown shirts in Munich.

          Churchill didn’t give simply give Stalin land on a napkin. He also put the Nazi electoral strongholds under Soviet control. Class was more important to support than religion because there is a good deal of protestant/catholic discussion around fascism.

          1. Vatch

            Interesting! The Nazis did get a lot of votes in Prussia, which became East Germany and part of Poland, but also in Schleswig Holstein, Hamburg, and Bremen, which would become part of West Germany. All in the north.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Without working too hard or going to my parent’s to go through my old stuff, there was growing strength for fascist style parties in areas of Eastern Europe, the Western powers might have seized or demanded such as Czechoslovakia. The British and French threw down an ultimatum over the country and then just gave it away.

              I didn’t look too closely at the link, but my memory is the Communist party strength was also in the same areas we gave to the Soviets where as the West kept the more moderate “liberal” parties (or ones averse to political violence) we are familiar with in the West.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            On the one hand, we have ‘how could anyone not know’ banality of evil.

            On the other hand, we have stronger and weaker electoral areas. Perhaps some 90% committed, some 100%, still others at 50% or whatnot.

            It’s the same with how people talk.

            Some like to throw words like, beautiful, just beautiful or fine, around.

            Some just say, ‘well, it’s not so bad…not so evil.’

  11. JCC

    I never quite understood the relationship of Sweden and N. Korea. Besides the Volvo story, though, there were other problems in the past and I assume there still are.

    I was stationed near the DMZ back in the eighties and while there a Swedish negotiator successfully bolted across the line in the Pamunjom (the DMZ town where negotiations take place). Essentially he “defected”. Why? We never found out. It seemed to make no sense.. But it did erupt in a gun battle where one S. Korean soldier was killed.

    An American soldier that I worked with took a bullet through the face, in one cheek and out the other. It bled profusely and the Korean soldier died while standing over the American defending him (needless to say,the Korean soldier got a hero’s burial). The Swede survived.

    The big question, of course, was why would a Swede who was there voluntarily and working for North Korea decide to suddenly and without warning bolt into the arms of South Korea in the middle of one the the weekly rounds of negotiations? Anyone who has read John le Carre and others can come up with multiple plausible reasons, of course. My feeling is that Sweden is not neutral at all and is there at the behest of the West and is probably very well compensated for the risks involved.

  12. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    PlutoniumKun & Colonel Smithers might find this article interesting from Dr. Richard North’s blog, on the possible very negative effects of Brexit on both the British & Irish horse racing industry – no Irish at Cheltenham ?.

    Lots of other criticism within other articles, featuring the general government utter balls up, which are issued on a regular basis.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Thanks – I get confused with the Richard Norths out there, there is more than one of them writing blogs and books.

      The bloodstock industry is one of many which could be thrown into chaos, although I suspect it would effect the UK industry more than the Irish one – its even possible some British stables could move to Ireland to avoid the problems of moving horses for races or breeding purposes.

      As regards Cheltenham, I’m old enough to remember when Irish customs would frisk everyone taking flights to south England before the Cheltenham Races to stop them taking out too much hard currency. But it never seemed to make much difference, they still spent a fortune. It used to be said – only half jokingly – that the Irish Central Bank used to pray for a good festival for Irish forces because otherwise the hard currency outflow would result in higher interest rates.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        Not quite the same thing & recalled with perhaps rose tinted glasses, I remember my trips across the Irish Sea before the days of the Stena Explorer, particularly the 10.30 pm from Dun Laoghaire to Hollyhead as a foot passenger, which I think was 5 hrs. Some of the best times I ever had in a bar which I could not cope with nowadays – the ‘ Dubs ‘ with their loaded sack trucks of duty free which on rough crossings they had to mind constantly is another fond memory.

        As to Brexit – North does I think really highlight the incompetence, the title of his article ‘Fantasy Island’, sums it up on it’s own.

  13. Dikaios Logos

    re: “The Myth of Jared and Ivanka Meets Charlottesville”

    I’ve one trusted associated who’s been on a first name basis with Javanka for a while and I’ve been, and still largely am, sympathetic to the view that they are moderating influences on the President, especially given the other influences.

    The big catch is that I see Javanka as painfully representative products of elite schools, especially the wealthier products of them, and that akin to most monied liberals, so often proud of their elite educations, the usefulness of their goodness ends very suddenly when their comfort, great as it now is, is at all threatened.

    So if you are a monied and/or elite school liberal and find Javanka a disappointment, I will not work to disabuse you of that perspective. But I will ask you to consider that your ethos is problematic in similar, though perhaps less extreme, ways to their ethos.

  14. Peregrine

    Peter Van Buren is the canary in the coalmine for the Democrats and left. Identity politics, intersectional nonsense, and the whole divide and conquer tactic of the Democratic left has created Antifa and its extremist tag-alongs. You can’t do the former without creating the latter and now Van Buren, like most reasonable people, equate Antifa and their ilk with the left.

    They must be disavowed unequivocally.

    1. todde

      Antifa has been around for a while and cut it’s teeth rioting against the WTO. Not part of the Democratic left IMHO

  15. funemployed

    Just took a part-time job adjuncting. University conducted a background check through a private company. I thought it would just be a typical check for criminal history (which I’m fine with, you don’t want convicted rapists teaching undergrads). Apparently they’ll also be reporting on my “character” and “reputation” (alongside credit history and a bunch of other stuff no employer of part-time adjuncts needs to know).

    1. Enquiring Mind

      Those background checks need to have some (more?) regulation attached, similar to the ongoing hard-fought rights of consumers relative to credit files. Credit is still a problematic area given how far companies stretch to apply some bit of inference, and how many errors creep in along the way. Back to the background checks, imagine that you and yours are subject to the effects of some anonymous vindictive person. What practical, viable recourse do you have?

      At what point is there some type of structure to provide some modicum of objectivity and accountability so that lives are not derailed or outright ruined? Of course, a counterargument is that people may be more candid in an anonymous setting. Perhaps so, as long as there remains a mechanism to pierce the veil of anonymity in event of slander or libel. Maybe there is already some truth in referencing law that helps?

      1. voteforno6

        The government has been doing even more invasive background checks than that for years. If these other ones follow roughly the same procedures, then part of it does involve them sitting down with the subject. That offers the opportunity for the subject to provide explanations for any adverse information that comes up during the investigation.

    2. jrs

      how do they even know these things? Serious question. I mean criminal background is easily knowable, and one can argue it reflects character or not (depending on the crime I guess) but regardless of it’s meaning real data exists there, the same with credit rating, but the other stuff … how do they even pretend to know? Where would they even gather data? Old bosses? (frankly in many cases probably hard to even track down though Linked In and the like make it easier). Facebook? Online personality tests one took once? Or what?

  16. Ancient 1


    So sorry to hear that you are ill.

    Please take care of your health. It is very valuable.

    NC is valuable and commenters need to be more circumspect in these times. They need a jolt to bring that about.

    Thank You for everything. You would be sorely missed.

    1. Darn

      Agree. Online discussion also became hysterical during the shootings of police during the election campaign (maybe not at NC).

    2. Tully

      NC was late to my mailbox this morning; made me more fully realize how important NC is in my life. Thanks to all, and a special ‘get well’ to Yves.

    3. Lord Koos

      Yes Yves, please take care of yourself as a top priority above running this site. You can’t carry on the good work if you’re not strong.

      Thus sayeth the lord…

  17. Lee

    Steve Bannon Called ‘American Prospect’ To Talk About Politics

    Listen· 6:25

    Interesting interview with Robert Kuttner in which talks about Bannon disavowing “ethnic nationalists” as “losers”, and highlights issues such as economic nationalism on which the left and right can find agreement. Bannon claims to be sympathetic to rainbow politics of the Democrats but that their failure to address the negative effects of globalization, particularly trade with China, is a political loser.

    Once again, I am reminded of Robert Reich’s hypothetical synthesis of left and right.

    The platform of the Independence Party, as well as its message, is clear and uncompromising: zero tolerance of illegal immigrants; a freeze on legal immigration from Latin America, Africa and Asia; increased tariffs on all imports; a ban on American companies moving their operations to another country or outsourcing abroad; a prohibition on “sovereign wealth funds” investing in the United States. America will withdraw from the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund; end all “involvements” in foreign countries; refuse to pay any more interest on our debt to China, essentially defaulting on it; and stop trading with China until China freely floats its currency.
    Profitable companies will be prohibited from laying off workers and cutting payrolls. The federal budget must always be balanced. The Federal Reserve will be abolished.
    Banks will be allowed only to take deposits and make loans. Investment banking will be prohibited. Anyone found to have engaged in insider trading, stock manipulation, or securities fraud will face imprisonment for no less than ten years.

    Robert Reich: 2010 Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future

  18. howard nyc

    I’ve enjoyed the comments section, sorry to see it go. But so many people have lost they damn minds over the past year. I don’t blame Yves one bit, and I fully support her decision, despite my ironic method of expressing said support (I’m sending a donation today, as unironic support.)

    I am sorry the bs here has so adversely affected you Yves; feel better soon.

  19. The Insider

    This comments section still open?

    I’m sure you’ll hear this from a lot of people, but I do enjoy the comments. I realize moderating them is a lot of work, and so I’d totally understand if you disable them, but it would definitely be a loss.

    It’s a particularly divisive time in politics, but there is a silver lining: the severe partisanship is a very small part of the general public. On my social media feed, there is an ongoing struggle between the pro-Trump and anti-Trump factions, but it is only a very few of my friends who are actively involved, and I suspect many of my other friends have quietly put the activists on “ignore”.

    The social hot button issues of the moment are, in many ways, a distraction from deeper and more serious issues that cut across political and demographic lines (though they do follow class structure to a significant extent). This blog has done an outstanding job of following many of the deeper issues; it seems like the comments section only becomes a nightmare when it comes into contact with the hot button issues, which is relatively infrequent (though sometimes, for better or for worse, necessary).

    Thanks again for your work on all of this.

    1. Lord Koos

      Is it possible to run the site as a membership-only type of forum, where anyone could read the articles and links, but you’d have to be a member to post? At least that way it would be easier to ban certain commenters.

      Regardless, I really valued the comments and have learned a great deal from many of them.

  20. Bernard

    yes so sad to see comments go. I rarely did comment, mostly because I always felt like an idiot afterwards.
    amazing comments at times, and will miss the commenters and their links/recommendation/thoughts

    1. flora

      This happened once before, during the 2015 coverage of the Greece debt crisis. Several readers pushed for what they thought would be an easy step for Greece to take: simply reintroduce its own currency. It got crazy, with people who don’t know how modern currency and credit and computer financial coding work suggesting “no problem”. Then Clive would helpfully explain all the details and realistic time frames. Then people who didn’t read the explanations, or didn’t understand them, or believed wishful thinking conquers all, or something else, would come right back and say converting to a new Greek currency was a quick and easy way out for Greece. It turned into a food fight. Comments were turned off for some time.
      Comments were eventually turned back on. I hope they eventually will be this time, too.
      But better no comments than a food fight, imo.
      In the meantime, you’ll be spared my “all tinfoil had, no cattle” comments. ;)

      1. PlutoniumKun

        It also happened during the POTUS election when some normally level headed commentators lost their heads over HRC and started posting ridiculous conspiracy theories. Yves rightly cooled things down.

      2. Carolinian

        This is the only blog where I read the comments and I read a lot of websites. I’ve always thought NC’s openness to comments was one of the things that made it unique. There are a lot of brilliant people here.

        So here’s hoping comments will re-open. While some of us see commenting as contributing we’d gladly desist if that’s a problem. Everyone understands that commenters are just guests here. But in my as always humble opinion NC would be greatly diminished without the comments.

        1. clinical wasteman

          Yes to every word of that, Carolinian (especially: “the only comments worth looking at, let alone adding to, among countless sites seen”), which nohow contradicts the sympathy/solidarity for Yves declared above.
          What seems unique here to me is not just openness to comments as such, but actual ongoing conversation between people who have much in common in some ways but definitely don’t all dwell in the same ideological silo. (Is “dwell” even the right verb for what happens in a silo? Does it make a difference whether the silo contains grain or rockets?)
          That and the way quite sharp disagreements can be resolved when mutual misunderstanding was the problem, or else — in at least some other cases — set aside, for want of a better expression: the disputants notice what might be a huge difference of perspective but continue to read and reply to one another thoughtfully on other things.
          Also close to unique is the range of regular voices from across America in particular and the world in general. The comments section here is the first place I would send certain Europeans & anglo-English to be cured of their insufferable, colonial delusions of superiority.
          And the occasional kind word from people whose writing and reasoning I appreciate every day has made those days several times over.
          I’m tempted to name people I’ll especially miss for as long as comments are (understandably) closed, but for fear of accidentally leaving someone out I’ll restrict that to: thanks Carolinian for this exact expression of what I wanted to say right now, and thanks JTMcPhee for repeatedly nailing things so precisely & with such acute feeling for human suffering that I don’t think I’ve ever found anything to append. (I had been meaning to say that for a while now; sorry it finally happens under such unhappy circumstances.)
          The rest of you — dispersed from Argentina & Australasia all the way across North America and Europe to Ireland, France and even England — know who you are, I hope. You’re welcome in Blake’s “Spiritual Four-fold London” any time.
          End of sentimental effusion.

    2. HopeLB

      Without the commentariat there is no NC community. There are often brilliant discussions/insights/knowledge/jovial fueled banter and interesting points of view. At my daughter’s grade school gym dance someone put 100 dollar sneakers in a boy’s toliet. I suspect it was this 7th grader who was the Principal’s snitch and who happened to been the one to have” discovered” the soaked sneakers.When I worked playground duty he was constantly trying to get the other kids into trouble or correcting them himself. Well, the Principal canceled all dances and fun days for the entire year until the culprit was found.No one came forward. This seems like that, a mass punishment, only we are adults who can ignore the free speech of those with whom we disagree or we can debate them openly.

      1. Carla

        We don’t see all the hard work that goes into maintaining the best comments section on the Internet; Yves and Lambert have to do that work. Sometimes they get sick and tired of it.

          1. clinical wasteman

            Yes, and the author of articles, link-glosses and comments like no others I’ve ever seen. Thanks again Outis, Jerri-Lynn, Lambert (such a pleasure to meet you in London!) and Yves.

        1. cocomaan

          Exactly this. Maintaining a comment section this large is time consuming and probably incredibly frustrating. There’s probably tons of spam, tons of weird stuff, and then sorting through what the auto moderator tags is a job in itself.

          This isn’t the only place that needs to cool down. The entire country needs to cool down over this incident. It’s frightening.

  21. freedeomny

    Thank you so much for the Public Enemy article – it Made My Day!!! I actually think people are paying attention more than ever…and for that I am glad.

    1. voteforno6

      Indeed…I was particularly amused at the jurors who were offended that Shkreli was the guy who won the auction for that Wu-Tang Clan album.

  22. Kurt Sperry

    If comments are discontinued I probably won’t be around here much any more and certainly won’t be contributing as a donor. Anyone have any alternative sites where we can have a conversation rather than be treated as passive consumers whose voices are unwelcome?

    1. Lee

      A temporary respite, I assume. The comments section here is one of the few available online worth reading and is one of the reasons I keep coming back. Perhaps we haven’t seen some of the more vile comments to which Yves is referring.

      1. Vatch

        Perhaps we haven’t seen some of the more vile comments

        That’s a good point. There may have been some unusually bad comments that the software automatically directed to moderation, and after one of the adults saw them, the comments were rejected.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Given the generally excellent standard of comments I assume that the moderation software does its job, which means that unfortunately Yves and Lambert are left to wade through the sort of sewage that you see on other sites.

          I really wish there was some way in which the moderating job could be shared among more people, it really is asking way too much of our esteemed hosts to do what is essentially a full time job of moderating in addition to producing the amazing quality of output we see here. I know there are sites who have found ways to outsource moderating among volunteers, but I’m no expert on the topic so I’ve no idea how difficult/expensive this would be.

          I would hope that sometime Yves and the others could explore this as a way of keeping the site going without inflicting burnout on themselves.

      2. jrs

        yes hopefully. I started losing it regarding the most recent news also, and posting stuff like: “enjoy being an idiot”, but deleted that 2 minutes later thinking: no really not fair to our hosts. True, I lose sympathy for some views where I don’t think good people can disagree or even be all that innocently misinformed, but it’s still not really adding much.

        I think a lot of non-regulars have shown up for recent “debates”.

    2. justanotherprogressive

      I’ll stick around. I’m not a huge donor (I am currently facing my own austerity problems – they are temporary….) but I am a huge fan (I know, this isn’t a “fan” site…..).

      NC gives me something no other site does – and that is good solid information that I can trust on a variety of subjects, including the financial markets, something I don’t really know much about. So even if there are no comments, I’m still going to be coming here, reading the articles…….and donating when I can!

      1. Arizona Slim

        FWIW, Barry Ritholz used to allow comments on his Big Picture site. No more. He got tired of the food fights.

        However, Wolf Richter still has a lively commentariat on his Wolf Street blog. The food fighters erupt on occasion, but they’re quickly ruled out of order by other commenters.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          This site is a blessing, and I have been and will always be grateful to be able to post comments and read others’ as well as linked articles, whatever decision is rendered.

          It’s like a Thai Buddhist monk with an alms bowl…you eat whatever is put in there, meat or no meat, and are thankful.

      2. shargash

        I too am sad to see the comments section closed. I don’t post a lot, but I do find the comments interesting and I read them frequently. Even so, I completely understand. That the comments are generally so good is a testament to your moderating effort and skill. And the content is more important to me than the comments.

        Maybe things will calm down soon, and we can have comments again. However, we seem to be getting crazier by the day, so I’m not optimistic.

        Get some rest if you can and feel better.


    3. tegnost

      If comments are disabled I’ll still be here every day because the content of the posts exceeds the content from comments. Read today’s uber article, where else will you find that? The bickering gets out of hand and I value yves health over my ability to spout my opinions regarding things I know little about, and generally that little was gained by reading the posts. My order of consuming NC continues to be read posts, read links and water cooler, then comment if I really can’t stop myself. I’ve been involved in arguments here where the moderators felt they needed to remove the reply button which has led to some self reflection about constructive engagement. Be well, yves and lambert, and I for one will remain on the same contribution schedule I have established.

      1. tegnost

        which is not to say I don’t admire many commentors encountered over the years here, thank you all as well, too many to list…

      2. kurtismayfield

        #1. Yves I do hope you get better

        #2. The content here is fantastic. Thank you to Yves, Lambert, et al. for all the work you continue to do. Comments are secondary, and if they are causing the site owners grief shut em down!

        1. clinical wasteman

          I agree that the opportunity to comment is secondary, even though I prefer writing in the comments section here to writing for publication anywhere else.
          And I agree above all that whatever the editors decide is right for the site and for them personally is how it should be. In a slightly oblique sense it’s a matter of workers’ or producers’ autonomy: why should they allow the product of all their work to be alienated to such a degree that they no longer recognize it?
          But I can’t honestly say that I personally see the writing of some regular commenters as ‘secondary’ at all. At least for the unF*cebooked among us, dread of being permanently cut off from the trains of thought and turns of phrase of certain comments authors here is a genuine “Cause of Distress or Alarm”.

      3. dcrane

        Fine post but I can’t agree with the phrase suggesting that only a “little” is gained by reading the comments. There are many intelligent and informed posters here who often provide important counterpoints to the arguments made in the main posts (especially when we’re not all focusing on Trump or Hillary).

        As someone else noted, I’m guessing that Yves and others are wading through a real mess that we end up not having to see here. The comments here have their bad days, but overall the quality is good. Admittedly, I’m a recent arrival, and some here have referred to a time in the past when comment quality was better, so I may not have the best perspective.

      4. B1whois

        I also want to show my appreciation of Yves, Lambert, Otis and Jerry Lynn in keeping this site open and the comment section of the high-quality that it has been. I hope that the comment section will return in the future as I will miss it dearly. I will continue to read the posts here daily as I have done for over 2 years. I will also continue my donations as scheduled. Yves and Company: enjoy your rest granted by the closed comment section and recover your fine graces quickly, I hope to see you again in the comment section. Namaste

    4. LarryB

      It’s almost impossible to keep up a good comments section. Most of the sites that still have a comment section are just flooded by trolls and “idiot-logues”. The only other comment section that I know of that is worth reading is the Archdruid’s and he only posts once a week and prescreens all comments. I’m kind of surprised that Yves and Lambert were able to keep the high quality as long as they did.

      1. jrs

        it might help to remember that we don’t even know if the trolls that flood many places, and they do, are even real (very annoying) people or just troll bots.

    5. Dead Dog

      If they were turned off permanent, I’d be with you Kurt, but I think this will be temporary and a chance for people to reflect and rethink when they seek to write stuff here. Respect is what we all seek, but we need to give it too.

      I haven’t commented about NC, not sure I have anything original to say. Like many overseas, I have just stood aghast at the images. Its like Manchester United and City fans turn up for the final and the cops go ‘sit where you like’. We just can’t imagine, here in Australia, people protesting when they are obviously armed and hiding faces. Just would not be allowed to happen.

      Yet, Aussies aren’t immune from this racial hatred – we had our own moment a few years ago –

  23. Lil'D

    Have been a daily reader for a decade
    Comments have been informative but it’s not Yves’ responsibility to spend hours moderating
    Another tragedy of the Commons

    Let’s ask Google to build us a comment filter, yeah, what could go wrong??

  24. Mike

    Sometimes it is better to breathe and observe, and it seems this respite of comment is such an opportunity. Yves has posted enough comment of rough sensibility here to make any thoughtful person blush. We should all consider the type of website and the type of insight it was meant to present. I am , as I’m sure many who post here are, neophytes in economics, with little professional status. Since our material life is of paramount importance to the elites of this society, it is there that true change will be effected, so let us consider.

  25. Hugh Daley

    Thank you for all your efforts in the production and moderation of Naked Capitalism. I have absolutely no idea how hard it is to monitor comments, especially with an eye towards having the comments maintain the same quality as the posts themselves. I imagine it’s very draining and time-consuming

    I am hopeful that comments can return in the future. I enjoy the commentary and think it adds not just depth but breadth to the posts.

    To be honest, if the discussion area was only a certain subset of commenters, those that you think consistently add expertise or viewpoints borne of experience, I would still enjoy it.

    Best of luck and I hope you feel better!


    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      OK I’ll venture into the cauldron.
      I just find the entire thing a grand showcase of hypocrisy, America flings fascism (mil./corp/gov’t) on countries around the globe but then has a giant hissy fit when a fringe flavor of it arrives back on her own shores.
      But it’s so easy to yell about this particular flavor of domestic fascism, the kind that is conveniently clothed in white hillbilly deplorable garb. But where were these people when Occupy encountered true state fascism? When one Dem after another codified the creeping fascist surveillance state? When their Patron Saint Dem rained fascist death by missile on impoverished Yemeni and Libyan and Syrian civilians?
      No, I’m not a Republican, OMG no. I’m 100% for opposing fascism but it seems to me singling out a few crazy hillbillies is nothing but virtue signalling.

      1. Lord Koos

        That’s certainly a valid observation IMO. However, this is at home, not abroad, and these guys aren’t simply a bunch of crazy hillbillies. The neo-Nazi/facist/white supremacist movement is actively recruiting young people, and they aren’t all rednecks. The other thing is that the media are running the Charlottesville incident like crazy. Yemen, not so much… censorship by omission.

  26. PKMKII

    Understand on the comments shutdown. John Gabriel’s G.I.F.T. hypothesis and all. Hopefully it’ll repel the trolls and they can be brought back down the road.

    On the Southern Comfort article: Another driving factor was Lincoln’s containment, non-expansion policy on slavery and slave states. The boom created by the cotton gin created a giant demand for cotton, with an associated bubble. That demand led to some greedy, short-sighted forced farming that wrecked much of the eastern cotton farms. So bubble plus forced farming meant that the cotton industry, and slavery with it, needed to keep moving west into new territories and states in order to keep the growth going.

  27. barefoot charley

    May Yves and the body politic both get well soon. The lockdown is understandable and I hope temporary. Yves has assembled the finest commentariat I’ve ever enjoyed, reflecting the quality of what she brings (and that includes you, Lambert).

    1. makedoanmend

      I’ll second that (and add Jerri-Lynn and Otis to the worthies).

      Tomorrow, TGIF, and maybe the mayhem might abate a bit. And then a placid Saturday of solemnity, self-reflection and a sip or two of the purple, salubrious grape to unwind and recuperate.

    2. Xihuitl

      I agree. A lot of brilliant people here from all over and all walks of life. I often skip to the comments to see which articles I want to read.

      Much gratitude to Yves, Lambert, and everyone else for a hugely demanding and vitally important website.

      Thank you, and let’s hope this too shall pass.

  28. Jess

    Have no way of knowing if this will post, but want to say that while I will miss comments it won’t deter me from coming here daily for the best news and analysis available, on the web or otherwise. To me the great loss from closing comments will be the input of people like Clive, Jim Haygood, etc., who have lived or currently live in other parts of the world and can give local insight.

  29. mk

    Public Enemy Harper’s. Trust me. Read this. You’ll be glad you did. And as Lambert said, “The public does pay attention.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ hilarious, thank you!

  30. Arcadia Mommy

    Yves, I am so sorry that you are not well. It’s tough to cope with other people’s crap when you can barely take care of yourself. I sincerely thank you and your team for all the work you do – it’s needed. Please keep yourselves well and know that you are much appreciated and are important to keeping us all sane. Take care of yourself before you worry about the rest of us.

  31. patrick

    I have learned so much from NC’s comment section and I’ll miss it a lot. I noticed a lot of weird (inappropriate and useless) comments recently and I found it strange. I can’t disagree with your decision. I blame Trump. I mean since when does the klan have a rally and leave their hoods home? Since now- and it’s more than ‘sad’. NC is by far one of the best and thank you all for it.

    1. Deltron

      I noticed a considerable increase in odd and troll-like comments during the primaries and election…and it tends to reappear following certain types of newsworthy events. Perhaps we should have registered usernames and passwords for the comments section, along with a not-a-bot verification. That would decrease some of the noise, but most likely not all. My fear is the trolling of NC is a component of the larger censorship effort. NC has credibility, which Yves, Lambert, Jerri, and Outis have helped to create (hand clap!). If the objective of certain factions (whether it’s David Brock or Roger Stone as the conductor) is to stifle dissent and drive false narratives, NC has to be high on the list of targets since it drills down and calls out the BS from the legitimate information.

  32. Huey Long


    I’m sorry to hear that you’re not well and that you’ve had to ax the comment section for the time being.

    I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed interacting with the community here via the comments section, but if it’s gumming up the works I understand why comments need to go.

    Get well soon, and I will continue being a daily reader. Comments or not, the insights I get from the material posted here are priceless.

    Truly yours,

    The Kingfish

    P.S. For you declinists in the commenteriat looking for a place to comment, I highly recommend Morris Berman’s blog:

    Moon of Alabama has a sweet commenteriat too.

    For the food fighters out there, I recommend It’s the best food fight in the game IMNSHO ;-P

  33. Irrational

    Will miss the comments of some people, but needs must.
    Take care of yourself, Yves. Hopefully not expending energy on comment moderation will help recovery.

  34. Buttinsky

    Thanks for the Peter Van Buren adieu. As I wrote here the other night, very discouraging, very discouraging times.

  35. Cancyn

    Hi Yves – Not sure if this will get through or not but I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all I have learned from NC since I discovered your amazing site a few years ago. The commentariat has definitely been a part of my education but I absolutly do not blame you for shutting ‘er down right now. I will live in hope that given time and space, the trolls, etc. will move on and you can re-open the discussion.
    Take care of yourself.

  36. Lupemax

    so sorry you’re not feeling well. Hope you are better soon. Also sorry to see the wise comments go. Won’t miss the trolls. Perhaps they will migrate elsewhere and the real discussions can continue. I will miss them.

  37. Kurt Sperry

    I’ve been a moderator/admin at a site that probably had a similar comment load as NC does, and one that had more than its share of not only a lot of commercial spamming, but trolls out to take the site down out of pure spite. It ain’t easy dealing with it and it can be a real drain on one’s finite time and resources as well as one’s sanity, that’s for sure. I’d probably limit comments to people who had made monetary contributions to the site and thus created accounts, you’d keep almost all the valuable contributors, and the time required to do the job of moderating comments would be *massively* reduced. I can’t even imagine trying to moderate a system where anyone, even without an account, can post. That’s a heroic effort to undertake.

    1. 905

      “I’d probably limit comments to people who had made monetary contributions to the site and thus created accounts, you’d keep almost all the valuable contributors, and the time required to do the job of moderating comments would be *massively* reduced. “

      Speaking as someone who hasn’t donated (though I did try without success to contact TPTB to offer anecdotes), I think this makes sense, though it can get awkward if some people start thinking pay to play affords them freedom from moderation.

      This is one of the few sites I come to every day, in large measure because of the quality of the commentariat (my only contribution, of a sort, being to help maintain that quality by largely refraining from commenting).

      1. dcrane

        “This is one of the few sites I come to every day, in large measure because of the quality of the commentariat”


        (and the quality of the moderation)

        I think I also second the idea of allowing comments only from people who go to the trouble to contribute something, and the proviso that this would only allow for the potential to comment – all posts would remain at the full discretion of the moderator.

        This is, of course, assuming that the financial benefactors aren’t contributing most of the low quality stuff.

  38. Pat

    Yves, sorry about your health taking a stumble and the comments erupting. Do what you have to do for your health and well being. As someone who has benefited from your site both as an educational tool and as an island of sanity, I must thank you profusely. I do admit to hoping that this is once again a temporary closure of the community as I have learned so much from your comment section as well, but if not I thank many of the regulars as well.

    Thank you.

  39. EGrise

    Sorry Yves. When the comments here are good they’re very good, but when they’re bad…

    Hope you get well soon!

  40. Oregoncharles

    Take care of yourself, Yves. Your contribution is invaluable.

    And the comments, useful as they usually are, are not worth wrecking your health over.

  41. Lupemax

    I too noticed the awful comments and stopped reading. May I humbly suggest that you take a week off? or what time you need? As much as I would miss NC I would miss it and you more if you were no longer here. I start my day everyday with NC – but wouldn’t mind just thinking of you getting better and feeling better every day for a week?

  42. Elizabeth

    Yves, I’m sorry to hear that you’re ill. I hope you get well soon. I’ve always loved the commentariat because I’ve learned so much – so many good commenters. Your posts are always educational and informative. Of course, I’ll continue to come to your site and read, but I will miss the comments.

    Thank you all for the hard work you do every day to bring light to this very dark place.

  43. Altandmain

    For those in Canada, head’s up, today is the last day to sign up to vote for the NDP leadership.

    The NDP for those who don’t know is the closest thing we have to a left wing party in Canada, although unfortunately they’ve moved to the right over the past few decades (most social democratic parties have … sigh).

    1. HotFlash

      Thanks, A&M, dunno if my vote will help, since the candidates seem to be long on smiles and short on policy. However, I’ve been fulminating since Mulcair, and as I always say, if you don’t vote, you can’t bitch.

      BTW, I can’t make the Mtl meetup tomorrow, got two gigs, but perhaps we need a TO meetup? If tomorrow, perhaps we could raise a glass in solidarity w/our confreres? Or tweet at them?

      1. Altandmain

        Niki Ashton would be the person that I am going with, as she has been a pretty outspoken admirer of Bernie Sanders.

        That is, if I can get my vote in. I just found out about this recently myself and I’m in the process of relocating. The job market in Eastern Ontario is pretty awful. The market in Southern Ontario seems better.

        I can’t make it either to Montreal. It’s a 3-4 hour trip at least and 3-4 hours back for me, probably longer.

      2. HotFlash

        Anybody who can’t get to Mtl but can get to Toronto, Parkdale actually, we could have a meetup Fri nite @ 6-ish Mojito Cubano on the patio. Gonna be there anyway. General area, west ‘downtown’, Jamieson exit from the Gardiner, near the CNE grounds. Would love to talk to any NDP-ish people about the upcoming leadership election, or, well, anybody about anything.

  44. Elizabeth Burton

    First, I, too, wish you a return to health and urge you to take some time away so your entire system can work on that task.

    Second, as I monitor a lot of sites aggregating news and op-ed, I have noticed there seems to be a sudden increase on many sites that, like NC, have comment sections that are informative and adult in tone, of the exact kind of vitriolic snarling and drooling you seem to have implied erupted here. It’s no longer foil-hattish to embrace the idea that sites like NC that seek to inform with facts are all too likely to become targets of well-funded campaigns to destroy their quality. Perhaps, as Kurt Sperry suggests, it will become necessary to limit those who can comment using some form of screening.

  45. Dpo

    Another lurker here. Also making a donation. Don’t know what I’d do without NC! Thanks to Yves, Lambert, and others for all you do. I definitely can understand about the comments– the commenting section is a garden, and a garden is a lot of work. But I hope to see it back soon. Quick recovery, Yves.

  46. phaedras

    These friends speak my mind. Naked Capitalism is like a deep clean well whilst walking through a wasteland. Whatever you need to do to protect you is the best and right thing to do. Sending you light and love in your recovery.

  47. Oregoncharles

    “Simon Coveney: ‘Ireland will not be a pawn in Brexit negotiations‘ The Journal (Ireland)”
    I think there are some words missing from that statement, because as it stands, it’s, well, counterfactual. Of course, if I were in his shoes, I might say something like that, too.

  48. Kim Kaufman

    I apologize for my inappropriate comment on, I think, Monday by posting a link to an alt/Nazi blog which Lambert scolded me for. Of late I like reading NC and other stuff on my phone or now a tablet. It’s not good for commenting, especially with links which is what I usually do with the hope of putting out something others haven’t seen which might be of interest. By the time I get to my laptop, it’s usually late. But for some reason I got into it on Monday. I’m sorry I contributed to your and Lambert’s stress.

    At any rate, here’s something, in what may be my last opportunity to comment, from David Dayan’s newsletter from an off the beaten path site.

    Eliot Spitzer: The U.S. Never Had the Will and the Ability to Hold the Most Powerful to Account

    I guess Spitzer is lucky he only got busted for what he did instead going down in a mysterious small plane crash.

  49. Jeremy Grimm

    Regarding comments which breach reason, common sense and too often — all proprieties — would it be inappropriate to segregate some link postings to their own separate post with comments blocked? Not all topics elicit the same degree of intemperance. SkyNet could preemptively block comments in the normal channels attempting to discuss the difficult subjects. At some point when it becomes more clear what truly happened in a given event — as much as that is possible — and after tempers and emotions had settled — as much as that is possible — perhaps a hot topic might — emphasize might — be opened to comments. At such time it would be provident to have many comment proctors available and treat comment rejections as a learning experience. If one or two iterations of learning experience fail to impart lessons — keep some topics off-comment … period … or until their topicality is exhausted. This is NOT advocacy for censoring. True advocacy on all topics — of its nature requires some modicum of reason and restraint — reason and restraint — categories of which too many of us have proven unworthy.

    Yves — you expect too much of us. We are human, full of faults, and we suffer from a dark ghost in our machine. Do not take our trespasses to heart. They reflect human weakness. Please be well. Please forgive us our trespasses.

  50. Annotherone

    Feel better soon, Yves. I shall miss the comments here, but will remain a reader. I’ve learned a lot from you, from Lambert and from most of the regular commenters. As a comparative newcomer to these shores, its history and its political vagaries, there’s an awful lot to learn, even more to understand (or try to). My thanks to everyone here.

  51. JBird

    Yves, I wish to give thanks for the blog, and my sympathy your experiences in the past week. People are sensing the unraveling of the normal, which is making them fearful, then angry, then stupid and mean. Spewing this stupidity and meanness through the screen onto strangers is a result. I suspect many will regret what they have said. However, that does not change the fact that you have had to wade through the verbal sewage. It is not something I could have done.

    1. notabanker

      Very well said, and I echo your thanks to Yves and the team that have made this site what it is.

  52. Pookah Harvey

    Public Service Announcement: Thanks to our Republican Congress, lifetime Senior National Park Passes will go from $10 to $80 on August 28. If you are 62 or over get your pass now.

      1. Pookah Harvey

        Thanks for the correction, I guess what I meant to say was: Thanks to our Republican and Republican-lite Congress and our Republican-lite President ( who all have allowed our Park system to deteriorate to a point where remediation is required) have decided to fund repairs using the good old neoliberal method of public-private partnerships and fee increases that will include raising the price to seniors for seeing the wonders of this country, that they own, by 700%.

        1. marym

          Agree totally. What I meant to say, also, was thanks for reminding people about getting passes before the price hike.

    1. Lord Koos

      This is a pet peeve for me, that people now have to pay to visit national parks, and here in WA we also have to pay a fee to visit national forests and state parks. I find it infuriating that public parks which were once supported by taxes, are now fee based. So much fun for poor folks… but hey if you’re rich you can buy your own park.

  53. p Fitzsimon

    Unfortunate that you have to do this but I sympathize. Our local newspaper had to do the same thing a couple of years ago when every nutter in the country jammed the system in response to an article in the paper regarding the government shutdown.

  54. Eclair

    Dear Yves, I noted your comment this morning that you had a bug and it seemed that you have been feeling under the weather more often in recent months. I value NC and its comment section and its commenters. It is a little island of sanity and humanity and courtesy (obviously I don’t see the most obnoxious comments). Take time to care for yourself because your body is telling you that you are abusing it. And, stop apologizing for; posting late; not posing ‘enough’ links; not writing ‘enough’ original posts. My native american friends would say you need a good session in the sweat lodge.

  55. Jack Lifton


    I commiserate with you both in being under the weather and second with putting up with the moral cowardice of the vicious commentariat who hide behind the anonymity of email “handles.” President Trump is the first plain talking man who has been POTUS in my lifetime (77 years). I , for one, have no difficulty in understanding him, although I don’t always agree with him. He does not know, or perhaps, even better care for the niceties of diplomatic bullshit and can evolve or not evolve as he sees fit. I suspect that the cruel dictators of this world, such as Kim, Putin, Castro, and Maduro are much more worried about Mr Trump than they ever were about Obama or would have been about Clinton. The 30 and 40 year old adolescents of this nation are finding out that having never defended it nor cared one bit for those who need defending their unexamined lives are indeed meaningless and worthless.
    We now have two American cultures; those who are worth defending and those who are not. Its really moral earned income versus rent. The interview with Michael Hudson should be a real eye -opener for those whose vision is still functioning.

  56. skippy

    It was discussed ad infinitum, what would probably happen in parts of, or social segments of, America years ago on naked capitalism.

    The meth problem proceeded the opioid, the increasing cog dis associated with the slow realization that exceptionalism was just another kind of opioid, and the likelihood that the unwashed would go each other rather than those that created the mess in the first place. Sort of a slow burn Rwanda unraveling.

    disheveled…. Yves when you feel better go get lost in some museum for a bit, let your mind go blank, just feel everything you see, then go lay down on some grass and look at the sky, without focusing on anything and lastly breathe….. Btw is it just me or are people sighing every other moment.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Skippy, you are correct … many people … are sighing. I am sighing.

      Yves might visit the show of Calder’s works at the Whitney. I have a visit there with my daughter planned. I also hope they might have DVDs of Calder’s Circus.

      No better beautiful whimsy than a fine Calder mobile. He remains an inspiration for our age and for the ages.

  57. cek

    I comment rarely but I’m a years-long reader. Over those years I’ve stopped regularly reading other blogs and sites until NC is pretty much it for me. I couldn’t have made it through 2016 without the NC community. This year is shaping up to be the same.

    Stranger in a strange land? Come to NC and you’ll feel less alone. Links and Water Cooler are incomparable and invaluable. The commentary is the most interesting, inspiring, adult, articulate, helpful — except when it’s not. Every once in a while there’s more “not” than otherwise, and I find myself skipping the discussions altogether. But if disruption is the underlying goal, if there are paid or unpaid trolls who just want to blow everything up, I certainly hope they don’t get their way and that comments will be restored after some kind of reset, as has happened in the past.

    Above all, I support whatever will keep NC the online oasis it is. Thanks, Yves et al., for everything you do.

  58. Karl Kolchak

    I haven’t commented much on NC, but I will definitely keep reading as yours is one of the very few news aggregation sites I trust. The C-ville tragedy strikes me as a domestic Suez moment for America, and I fear things will only get uglier from here.

  59. D

    For anyone considering a cumulative post or website regarding Zuckerberg’s (horrid person, in my opinion, having lived in Silicon Valley for decades) possible run for president, a quite relevant blast from the past (meaty piece, a small excerpt):

    Monday, December 12, 2011 You and Mark Aren’t Friends

    Timeline is the story of your life.

    (Mark Zuckerberg)

    Nine beef consommés, one iced cucumber soup, one mussel soup…

    (Georges Perec, ‘Attempt at an Inventory of the Liquid and Solid Foodstuffs Ingurgitated by Me in the Course of the Year Ninteen Hundred and Seventy-Four’)

    As of last week, New Zealand is again the site of an experiment. I’m not sure why Facebook decided to launch Timeline here, four months after Mark Zuckerberg first introduced it to the media. I guess we’re a relatively small control group, and we speak English, which is nice. We’re also marginal enough to be unlikely to become an international centre of outrage, as it so often the case with the company’s innovations once it becomes clear that they are the place where your privacy goes to die.

    This is not literally the case with Timeline, at least not since a couple of notable problems were rectified. However what the profile does is to fundamentally reorganise your information and make it vastly more searchable, albeit by the same people whom you have given permission to view the information in the first place. This is no small difference. Previously Facebook worked as a diary that couldn’t be browsed except by turning its pages backwards one by one, in an extremely laborious and time-consuming manner, meaning that for all intents and purposes your old data wouldn’t be accessible except by somebody who took an inordinate amount of interest in it. Now Timeline places the things you have shared with Facebook along a chronological axis that can be navigated quickly and intuitively, allowing users to, say, jump back to somebody’s life in 2008, or view all the information they have put up in a particular category over time.

    The easiest way to make sense of the change is to understand that your Facebook profile is henceforth no longer your (public) diary: it’s your biography. To underscore this point, Facebook invites you now to fill in the time before you joined the site. Consider my timeline: ….

    Remember that fairly recent viral twitter pic of Zuckerberg walking down an isle – Oculus™ Free!, in that infamous t shirt which no one wearing the same to a job interview would be considered for a livable wage job – of at least one hundred, likely far more, Oculus™ headset wearing ‘sheep’, sans grey t-shirts? This is earlier on and analogous:

    The cover of Zuckerberg’s life story is the quintessential ingratiating device of digital social networking: a pet’s photo. Rather more surprisingly, however, and contrary to the f8 presentation, the CEO hasn’t really bothered to fill in his life before Facebook. He writes that he was born in 1984 in the helpfully geolocated town of Dobbs Ferry, New York, but without posting a baby picture. Then nothing until 1998, when he ‘started school at Ardsley High School’. Then, in 2000, the first picture, from his time at the Phillips Exeter Academy. In 2004 he starts work at Facebook, with the intent of ‘making the world more open and connected’. Finally, on 11 February 2004, he joins the actual Facebook, and the rest is, well, not quite history, apparently, because even from this point onwards Zuckerberg’s profile appears uncreditably sparse. Did he not use his own network? Has he purged it for public consumption? And if so, when, and why? Remember, this is the person who wants you to share more, and for whom ‘having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity’. So what happened? One clue may be in the wonderfully pointed reminder right under the Timeline cover.

    You and Mark Aren’t Friends. Subscribe to Mark to get his public posts in [ – D]

    You and Mark aren’t friends, and furthermore you cannot become friends with Mark seeing as he is one of those super-users (ordinary users can’t have more than 5,000 friends. Zuckerberg has over ten million), therefore feel free to subscribe to his updates but be mindful that’s how far as it will ever go. ….

  60. Dita

    The sheer volume of comments and analysis from every outlet has already exhausted my frail ability to keep up. In fact I want to hide. I did read one take on Trump’s meltdown that was strikingly good though, that is, I agree with it.
    And also Greg Palast’s account of Zach Robert’s video of the beating of De’Andre Harris. Zach Robert’s interview with Harris is also on the site.
    I hope comments return, normally I greatly enjoy reading them.
    Take good care, and hope you get well soon Yves

  61. oh


    I’m not surprised that you’re disabling comments. NC has become more of a political blog with comments such the ones I’ve seen of late. I hardly want to read anything about Charlottesville. I’d rather read about the economy and finance.

    1. Dead Dog

      Certainly so during the election, Oh. But there is balance too.

      I agree about not wanting to immerse myself in Charlottesville (and now Barcelona), but these are symptoms of how finance and the ‘economy’ are being run for the benefit of the few.

      Unfortunately, I am too curious to dismiss important events and must suffer as a consequence.

  62. montanamaven

    Going to NC is the first thing I do every morning. I am far more informed than anybody I know because of that. But it is also the only sane conversations I have about anything of substance all day. It really is the best site for news that really matters and big picture thinking combined with commenters with a great love of history. Immensely well read, I have got some of the best reading list advice in my lifetime. I had also reached a state of exhaustion last night from the media hysteria. The corporate media seems this week to be winning. So maybe it’s best we all rest as we must continue the fight to expose the misdirection and downright lies of the corporate news.
    My thanks to Yves, Lambert, and Jeri-Lyn.

  63. Arizona Slim

    Count me as someone who came here to get away from all the news about Charlottesville. This place has been an oasis of sanity.

    Now, here’s a suggestion: If we want to continue being the commentariat, let’s do so in person. How about meetups far and wide? I’d be willing to host one in Tucson. Anyone else want to represent for your hometown?

  64. ChrisPacific

    Sorry to hear about your illness and the comment shutdown. I hope you find a way to bring them back at some point – I’ll miss them if they are gone permanently – but please take as long as you need.

  65. ewmayer

    @Yves: Hope you feel better soon!

    For my own part, I’ve found exceedingly helpful to my sanity to simply stay the heck away from media-amplified hot-button stuff like Charlottesville – no offense to the mor-thoughful commentors on such, but I’ve just been spacebar-scrolling right through most of the resulting comments sub-threads. Obviously not an option for Yves et al. Perhaps consider slashing the number of Links devoted to such noise-overwhelms-signal-resulting issues?

    Re. the Wolfstreet piece on ever-more-insane SF/SiVal housing prices (thanks for ‘successfully’ reflating that and multiple other asset bubbles, Fed!): The crazy home & rental prices have knock-on effects by hitting fields such as teaching, thus high-paid tech professionals who pay crazy prices partly justified by the idea of raising their kids in areas with great schools are finding those same schools having staffing problems because the teachers can’t afford to live in-area based on their much-lower salaries. Have any of my fellow Bay Area dwellers, specifically those with school-age children, encountered this?

  66. flora

    re: Conservatives’ Blind Love For Corporate America Must End -American Conservative

    Thanks for that link. The conservative writer arrives at a conclusion about monopoly power shared by most people who aren’t monopolists, conservative or not, imo.

  67. ambrit

    I absolutely agree with skippy above. Since ‘burn out’ is a real problem, as a result of excessive moderation duties, how about “Commentless Days” once or twice a week? Give yourselves all a real ‘weekend’ from comments.
    Caveat; since I do not host nor moderate a blog, my suggestions deserve the ‘respect’ you all accord them. Why not change “Your Comment Is Being Moderated,” to “Your Comment Does Not Meet Site Standards, Try Again.” This way, a self teaching system will be engendered. “Serious” commenters will try to decipher the moderation ‘tripwires,’ while the truly venal and vacuous villeins will vamoose in high dudgeon.
    I assume that troll bots and spam bots are by and large being deterred by algos within the NC server farm.
    The acrimony that “hot button” political events produces is a side show to the original and still central purpose of this site; Economics. Insofar as public policy effects economics, politics is germane. Otherwise, a segregation of non economic political discussions into ‘Oblivifakt’ (TM) might lessen the rancour and generally uncivilized behaviour sometimes displayed.
    Finally, despite what some of us might have vainly hoped, a comments section on a serious blog is not a ‘coffee klatch.’ Personalities are disruptive of the free exchange of ideas.
    Sleep well and enjoy watching the clouds.

  68. VietnamVet


    Please rest and get well. I will keep coming back. But, the comments are the reason I love Naked Capitalism. These are traumatic times for those who lived through the first Cold War and see the signs of impending unrest. The sources of truth are so rare today we cannot afford to lose even one. You, Outis, Jerri-Lynn and Lambert seem like people who find solutions to problems. Registration should eliminate bots and trolls.

  69. nowhere

    To the NC staff and fellow commenters, like many of you I have been reading and learning (only a sometime commenter) from this blog since the financial crisis, and I would be sad to see the comments go permanently. But I can’t imagine the work load of trying to manually edit (I know there are tools to help against bots and such) the flow of comments that pour in, especially in Links and Water Cooler. And really especially during a major news event. Hats off to all of you that make NC a special place on the web.

    And not to impose in how things are run, but just a comment that one of the other few sites that has a very active, knowledgeable commentariat is Ars Technica. Have you considered allowing up/down voting on comments? This seems to help the community do the vast amount of the policing and allows the moderators to only have to step in on egregious violations. It, also, has the benefit of providing feedback to commenters. Just my 2¢ (which I’m sure I’ll need to contribute much more if this approach is taken).

    Again, a huge thanks to all at NC!

  70. Edward E

    Take a vacation, maybe rent a cabin around Ponca and soak up the delicious Buffalo National River and Big Piney for, hmm however long you wish. Grab a guide book or two, (you can borrow mine) from Tim Ernst and explore. Recharge

    My job is driving me bogazeetee too, stressful, no sleep and burnout. Heck, I’ll quit for a while and join you! You can stay at my cabin for a while and do whatever you like as I battle kudzu.

Comments are closed.