Links 9/3/17

Blind children should be allowed to learn to echolocate like me New Scientist

This Algorithm Tracks What Australia’s Central Bank Is Really Thinking Bloomberg

Put Them in Prison Charles Pierce, Esquire (Furzy Mouse). Wells Fargo executives.

Pension Fund Problems Worsen in 43 States Bloomberg

Heckler & Koch quietly becomes world’s first ethical gun-maker Deutsche Welle

Hurricane Harvey

AP EXCLUSIVE: Toxic waste sites flooded in Houston area AP

Harvey’s aftermath raises health risks for the region. Here’s how to avoid them. Texas Tribune

While Lobbying Against Safety Rules, Arkema Warned Its Investors Of Chemical Storage Explosion Risks International Business Times

Hey, Texplainer: Can Texas lawmakers tap the Rainy Day Fund to help with Harvey relief? Texas Tribune. Apparently not. Because nine trillion gallons wasn’t rainy enough?

Surviving Harvey: The Hurricane in Pictures Bloomberg

AP Exclusive: Flood insurance policies plunged before Harvey AP

How Washington lobbyists fought flood insurance reform Politico

Houston: A Global Warning Rolling Stone

San Francisco hits 106 degrees — shatters all-time record San Francisco Chronicle

Assessing ExxonMobil’s climate change communications (1977–2014) (PDF) Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes, Environmental Research Letters. From the abstract:

[A]ccounting for expressions of reasonable doubt, 83% of peer-reviewed papers and 80% of internal documents acknowledge that climate change is real and human-caused, yet only 12% of advertorials do so, with 81% instead expressing doubt. We conclude that ExxonMobil contributed to advancing climate science—by way of its scientists’ academic publications—but promoted doubt about it in advertorials. Given this discrepancy, we conclude that ExxonMobil misled the public. Our content analysis also examines ExxonMobil’s discussion of the risks of stranded fossil fuel assets. We find the topic discussed and sometimes quantified in 24 documents of various types, but absent from advertorials. Finally, based on the available documents, we outline ExxonMobil’s strategic approach to climate change research and communication, which helps to contextualize our findings.

Somebody should ask Rex about this.

Worst Floods to Hit South Asia in Decade Exposes Lack of Planning The Wire

How Much Is the Future Worth? Salon (Re Silc). “Social discounting.”

North Korea

5.6 magnitude ‘tremor’ hits North Korea, could be nuclear test South China Morning Post

North Korea ‘has missile-ready nuclear weapon’ BBC

Trump Says He’s Looking Into Future of South Korea Trade Accord Bloomberg


Chinese ship making first voyage through Canada’s Northwest Passage Globe and Mail

No Joke: China Is Building 285 Eco-Cities, Here’s Why Forbes

What South China Sea rivals can learn from the Doklam border dispute South China Morning Post

Russia refused to toe China line on Doklam: Envoy Times of India

Cambodia opposition leader arrested for alleged plot FT

Almost 40,000 Rohingya refugees forced to flee Myanmar Channel 4


Cable raises doubts about Brexit ever happening FT. If there’s a second referendum….

UK opposition to push for soft Brexit changes to EU repeal bill: The Times Reuters

Brexit is not an excuse to tame parliament FT. Oh?

Italian populists propose income for all New Europe. Beppe Grillo.

Far-right German candidate promises to get rid of Arabic numerals Politico. Not The Onion!


Is Trump trying to use the IAEA to kill the Iran deal? Middle East Eye (MT).

How Media Obscure US/Saudi Responsibility for Killing Yemeni Civilians Lobelog

Monopoly Power

How to Educate Yourself on Monopoly Power Matt Stoller. “A list of books and articles on the history of monopoly power and its effects.”

Yes, Google Uses Its Power to Quash Ideas It Doesn’t Like—I Know Because It Happened to Me [Updated] Gizmodo

A Serf on Google’s Farm Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo

President Zuckerberg Is Personally Responding to His Facebook Trolls Vanity Fair

Trump Transition

US foreign policy as bellicose as ever Le Monde Diplomatique (MT).

Jim Bridenstine to Be Nominated by Trump to Lead NASA NYT. Pro-SpaceX.

When Political Scientists Legitimate Torturers Corey Robin

I’m Sick Of Busting My Ass Doing Neo-Nazi Stuff Only To Have Some Masked Antifa Dweebs Get Credit As The Real Fascists Clickhole

Democrats in Disarray

Unnecessary Expenses Charged to the Hardest Hit Fund (PDF) SIGTARP. “[T]he need for a temporary safety net to save the homes of unemployed or underemployed Americans and demolish blighted homes remains so critical that in 2015 Congress added $2 billion to the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF), one of the primary homeowner relief programs.” From one of the many headings in the Table of Contents: “The Nevada Agency Contractor, NAHAC, Which SIGTARP Previously Found Had Wasted $8.2 Million, Charged TARP $43,497 for Bonuses, Almost All to the CEO Who Was Later Terminated.” Nevada, eh? I get so tired of liberal Democrat preening themselves on the “scandal-free” Obama administration. In housing alone, HAMP — remember “foam the runway”? — was a debacle, and now this.

How Identity Became a Weapon Against the Left Black Agenda Report

Time to give up on identity politics: It’s dragging the progressive agenda down Salon

Did Kamala Harris just become a Bernie Bro? The Week (DK). Lol, no. Better than the headline.

How We Can Organize The South To Save The Country HuffPo

The Way Forward for Labor Is Through the States The American Prospect

If Hillary Had Won Paul Street, Counterpunch (Re Silc).

Health Care

The Left Has Made Medicare for All a Mainstream, Democratic Policy New York Magazine. Great! Now how about a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubillee?

Why ‘Medicare for all’ is the best health care plan for Syracuse women Daily Orange. See on Gillibrand.

Bipartisan Governors’ Group Shares Plan to Shore Up Obamacare Bloomberg

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The Spread of Mass Surveillance, 1995 to Present Center for Political Studies

Disney’s Next Movie Could Be Watching You, Too Fast Company

More than four million Time Warner Cable records exposed in leak Reuters

Police State Watch

Philly Police Union President Calls Black Lives Matter Activists ‘A Pack Of Rabid Animals’ HuffPo

Autopsy: Charleena Lyles shot 7 times by Seattle cops; no drugs in system Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Also, Lyles was pregnant.

Class Warfare

Fentanyl Overtakes Heroin as Leading Cause of U.S. Drug Deaths NYT. “Drug overdoses killed roughly 64,000 people in the United States last year, according to the first governmental account of nationwide drug deaths to cover all of 2016. It’s a staggering rise of more than 22 percent over the 52,404 drug deaths recorded the previous year.” Glad to see… Wait, is any political entity at all addressing Case-Deaton’s “deaths of despair”? Republicans? Democrats? DSA? GP? (Bullet points and virtue signaling don’t count.)

Home Health Care: Shouldn’t It Be Work Worth Doing? NYT

Poverty, illness, homelessness – no wonder McDonald’s UK workers are going on strike Guardian

The Case for a Millionaire Tax The Atlantic

The Solution to Our Housing Crisis Is to Let Communities Own Property The Nation

Insurance n+1

Dr Con Man: the rise and fall of a celebrity scientist who fooled almost everyone Guardian

The US celebrates Labor Day because of a bloody clash over 100 years ago that left 30 people dead and cost $80 million in damages Business Insider

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus canine:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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