Links 10/11/17

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Woman picks up shark, throws it out of Cronulla ocean pool The Sydney Morning Herald. Yves here. This ocean pool is well known in Sydney, everyone has been there. A major public amenity.

Astronomers say they’ve found many of the universe’s missing atoms Science. Somebody remembered to check under the couch cushions?

Fed Economists’ Stakes in Forecasting Firm Spur an Internal Probe WSJ

NM Governor’s Donors Given $2.2 Billion Total In State Pension Investments International Business Times

Manslaughter charge sought against top Michigan medical executive in Flint water crisis WZZM

Fukushima court rules Tepco, government liable over 2011 disaster – media Reuters

Culture Shock: Precious Microbe Collections Languish in Threatened Bio-Libraries Scientific American. Agnotology…

The thawing Arctic threatens an environmental catastrophe The Economist

Catalonia

Spanish Bonds Rally as Catalonia Postpones Independence Call Bloomberg

Madrid scorns Catalan leader’s independence statement BBC

Spain’s cabinet meets to decide response to Catalan independence claim FT

North Korea

North Korean hackers stole US-South Korea war plans, official says CNN. Probably makes the situation more stable, not less, assuming the plans aren’t chicken feed.

Mattis tells Army to “be ready” on North Korea military options CBS (Re Silc). They’re not?

US bombers overfly Korean peninsula in show of force AFP

Japan’s New Satellite to Help Keep Self-Driving Cars—and North Korea—In Line WSJ

Syraqistan

Democrats brace for Iran deal upheaval Politico

The House of Saud bows to the House of Putin Pepe Escobar, Asia Times

Brexit

Chancellor Philip Hammond says it would be irresponsible to budget for no deal Brexit now City AM

Brexit is not a game, warns Michel Barnier, as fresh war of words breaks out between London and Brussels Telegraph

Theresa May won’t say if she’d vote for Brexit now BBC

Why you should be optimistic about Brexit International Business Times. Everything is fine.

Thousands join French public sector strike against Macron AFP

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico stands ‘on the brink of a massive liquidity crisis that will intensify’ Business Insider. The Fed shipped them pallets of cash, to be sure. And if the cash stays on the docks?

White House requests $5B to ease Puerto Rico fiscal crisis AP

Bolivians protest Morales’ new bid to extend term limits Reuters

New Cold War

“Russia Interfered!” – By Purchasing Anti-Trump Ads? Moon of Alabama. Devilish!

Presidential obstruction of justice: The case of Donald J. Trump Brookings Institute. FWIW.

How Israel Caught Russian Hackers Scouring the World for U.S. Secrets NYT. “… [M]ultiple people who have been briefed on the matter…”

* * *

Russia turns to new friends from China and the Middle East FT

Trump Transition

Inside Trump’s Head: An Exclusive Interview With the President, And The Single Theory That Explains Everything Forbes

Louis Theroux: ‘For all his awfulness, I admire Trump’s shamelessness’ The New Yorker

Trump Embraces the Culture War Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative

* * *

The Trump Effect Reuters. Interactive, useful at least as a starting point.

Here’s How the Trump Administration Is Quietly Undermining Food Safety New York Magazine. Where the action is… And not on Twitter.

Trump tries to weaken federal unions, but membership grows in reaction to GOP actions WaPo

Democrats in Disarray

Manhattan DA Vance Took $10,000 From Head Of Law Firm On Trump Defense Team, Dropped Case International Business Times. Vance is, of course, a Democrat.

Anita Hill on Harvey Weinstein Scandal: Sexual Harassment Knows No Politics (Guest Column) Variety (Kokuanani). Remember the Clarence Thomas hearings? Good times….

Clinton ‘appalled,’ Obamas ‘disgusted’ by Weinstein reports AP

Centrists – Become Marxists Stumbling and Mumbling. “Remember – Corbyn became Labour leader not so much because of his political genius but simply because his centrist opponents were offering nothing.” Seems oddly familiar… And in the words of the ancient political adage: “You can’t beat something with nothing.”

Health Care

Overlooked By ACA: Many People Paying Full Price For Insurance ‘Getting Slammed’ KHN

Why Do Republicans (and Some Democrats) Vilify Single Payer? The Nation (Re Silc). Because ka-ching.

North Country Looks At Single-Payer Health Care Adirondack Almanac. Multiply this patient work by tens-of-thousands, and you see why the political class has found the single payer idea difficult to uproot and destroy.

Sports Desk

U.S. men’s soccer team fails to qualify for World Cup with stunning loss to Trinidad and Tobago Los Angeles Times. In mitigation, Trinidad and Tobago was two against one.

The NFL Has a Secret Plan to Give Donald Trump Exactly What He Wants Slate (Furzy Mouse).

Roger Goodell’s National Anthem Letter to NFL Owners—Annotated Sports Illustrated

The White House says NFL teams should stop getting public money for new stadiums Business Insider

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Persistence of Pax Americana Jacobin

The Secrets of Google’s Moonshot Factory The Atlantic

Welcome to Crypto Valley Bloomberg (Furzy Mouse).

Class Warfare

The puzzling, persistent weakness of wages FT

Building Power before Janus–And After: Lessons from CUNY Labor Notes. Not everyone is puzzled…

Made in America The New Republic (Re Silc). “Reproductive labor is a growth industry.”

The future of mobility: Are we asking the right questions? TechWorld. “Mobility” as in “mobile phones.”

Clickbait and impact: how academia has been hacked LSE Impact Blog

Moral outrage in the digital age Nature (DK).

Antidote du jour (via):

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.

205 comments

  1. Croatoan

    Isn’t “Moral outrage in the digital age” an argument against sites like Naked Capitalism?

    I applaud you for including this article and the opportunity it provides for a deep gave at the ol’ navel.

    People become outraged when they think a moral norm has been violated1. A recent study conducted in the US and Canada suggests that encountering norm violations in person is relatively rare: less than 5% of reported daily experiences involved directly witnessing or experiencing immoral acts3. But the internet exposes us to a vast array of misdeeds, from corrupt practices of bankers on Wall Street, to child trafficking in Asia, to genocide in Africa — the list goes on. In fact, data from a study of everyday moral experience3 show that people are more likely to learn about immoral acts online than in person or through traditional forms of media

    Reply
    1. justanotherprogressive

      You make a good point. A casual reading of that article would imply that “moral outrage” is bad – and something that needs to be controlled. Yes, moral outrage can be violent – but that isn’t because of the moral outrage – it is because those who have power don’t give it up willingly. The history of the union movement in this country proves that……

      The author makes it easy to equate some behaviors like online bullying and undirected anger to “moral outrage” when they are very much different – I would have liked him to define exactly what the words he used actually mean in the context he is using them – so as not to have this article “used” for other purposes than it was intended…..

      But I do agree that online posting may diffuse some of that moral outrage so that people don’t express it where they should to get the attention it needs – in the streets….

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Internet experience is one.

      The world is becoming more outrageous is another. (Relatively speaking. Relative to say, 30 years, or 20 years ago. Maybe not relative to when Roman legions roamed the world.)

      Or maybe not. And we shouldn’t be more outraged.

      Reply
      1. StartWithaQ

        Perhaps the increased access to information has enabled us to see more of the outrageous practices that have been happening forever.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          A friend has an earthquake app on his smartphone, and initially had set it to inform him of all earthquakes larger than 4.0 happening in the world, and the damned thing kept bothering him all the time, as they aren’t that rare, as it turns out.

          So, he upped the setting to 5.0, and it was still bothersome, so he upped the ante to 6.0, where they’re kinda scarce.

          Reply
        2. Anon

          Actually, it’s the video function of a smartphone that has enabled us to see more of the outrageous practices. (Especially the police.)

          Reply
      2. Procopius

        I dunno. 20 or 30 years ago the world seemed pretty outrageous. One site I like to visit from time to time is Whatever It Is I’m Against It. It’s three or four excerpts from the news of the day one hundred years ago. People seem to have tolerated government actions that today would bring out the pitchforks — or at least the voters. It seems more outrageous now because the present always seems more vivid than the past.

        Reply
    3. dk

      This is the dicey part of the paper, it invokes social norms which I think should be better understood in this context.

      “… encountering norm violations in person is relatively rare: less than 5% of reported daily experiences involved directly witnessing or experiencing immoral acts.”

      But a perception of “norm violations” depends on our own attention, and our own judgement, as well as on socially ambient conventions. The Harvey Weinstien disclosures and reactions a case in point: HW’s sexual predation went largely unacknowledged, and therfore often unrecognized, by many for decades, not because they wren’t evident, but because conventions of power and role could suppress their conscious recognition. It’s not a little ironic that some folks found out about HW online, despite encountering the guy themselves in person, even frequently.

      When shopping, for clothing or food (or really, any product), do you consider the meanings of prices and origins of products? Do you read nutritional and ingredient labels recognizing specific ingredients as more or less safely produced / safe to consume? I do, but I know that many don’t. I can spot a drug deal going down because I know what to look for, others might not realize that their own company parking lot is an established meeting place for local dealers and clients. I see a clerk at the convenience store limping, I ask, they can’t afford the insurance copay to treat what looks like a broken toe. And I would suggest that my asking about their limping is functionally similar to clicking on an internet link in a search result.

      Media on the internet (and print/radio/tv/etc) may confront people with things they could see for themselves, were they to look. Conversely, they may also be presented with things they would never encounter in their daily lives, and for that matter, with completely fabricated stories and misconstructed accounts of events.

      The paper does not attempt a more complex analysis of social norms and how they operate on our perceptions and moral evaluation, but such further examination is key to understanding the operating context of moral outrage and other reactions, not just to online media, but in all of our interactive contexts.

      Reply
  2. Stephen V

    Assange on Catalonia:
    But I wanted to speak about significance, because most Americans will think, “Well, it’s Spain. It’s some regional issue involving Spain. Why does it matter?” This is the most significant change of relationship between population and state in Western Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall. And its effects will spread all over Western Europe and into the United States and, because it’s Spain, also substantially into Latin America, Spanish-speaking Latin America.[snip]

    https://www.democracynow.org/2017/10/10/as_catalonia_plans_independence_from_spain

    Reply
      1. B1whois

        I have a question regarding the comment policies. They say to criticize ideas, not people. The policies also say to be constructive. The comment above by basil pesto could seem to violate these directives, it depends on how these comment policies are interpreted. So my question is do these comment policies exist only in relation to how we treat other commenters, or are they also to be observed when commenting on posted news articles? I could go in either way on this myself. On the one hand comment policies are a way to maintain civility within the commenting population. On the other hand this comment biases the reader against Assange with criticism that is 1) personal, 2) has no bearing on the ideas presented, and 3) does not appear to be constructive. Please advise.
        Perhaps I am overthinking this, as I do have a tendency to be anal, but my reaction to the above comment was that it was negative fluff that really wasted everyone’s time and provided nothing useful. A bar too high? Am I guilty of being insufferable? (Not the first time!)

        Reply
        1. JohnM

          i agree with this. while i don’t have a problem with criticism of a public figure, i find it irritating when it is totally unsupported. at least give me the basis for your opinion.

          Reply
          1. Bugs Bunny

            Seconded.

            Assange tends to glom onto conspiracy theories a little too quickly for my taste but considering the situation he finds himself in, and the things he’s received in the Wikileaks inbox, I’ll give him benefit of the doubt.

            I’ll bet many of us here would be even more “insufferable” If similarly situated in a small room overlooking Harrods (with no way of getting out to peruse the wine and spirits aisle).

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              It must be me, because I find the quoted passage OK.

              Maybe I want to see if elsewhere in the article he backs the assertion up, since he’s saying the event in Catalonia is significant and important (perhaps, or perhaps not).

              Reply
              1. B1whois

                MLTPB, I was responding to basil pesto comment “God he’s insufferable”. Living now in South America for a year and a half, I tend to agree with Assanges assessment, at least as to its effect on Latin America.

                Reply
                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  I agree with you, though I wasn’t sure if I was replying to your comment.

                  It’s all good, though, as the world is like that…non-linear.

                  Reply
            2. Mark P.

              John M wrote: ‘at least give me the basis for your opinion.’

              I think it’s obviously a purely emotional reaction to Assange on Basil Pesto’s part and to explicate it is making a mountain out of a molehill.

              Personally, for instance, I consider Assange’s existence more of a positive than a negative on balance, and am pleased by how he sets off TPTB. But plenty of people honestly find him insufferable, and if you and I actually had to spend time in the same room with Assange, listening to him, we might too. See this forex —

              https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n05/andrew-ohagan/ghosting

              Reply
        2. Outis Philalithopoulos

          Hi B1whois, so to answer your questions:

          The policy on “criticizing ideas, not people,” applies with particular force to other commenters – trying to analyze one another’s personalities is in general not helpful. However, it isn’t irrelevant when criticizing more public figures – while in that case there can be a role for trying to understand patterns of thought and behavior, it’s still better for this to be focused on the figures’ ideas/policies, and not how likeable they are. So we tend to disallow, for example, comments focusing on the personal appearance of particular politicians.

          The comment that you responded to did not express anything besides emotional distaste. It would not have been published if a moderator had seen it, but many people have responded to it and so it seems better to leave it at that.

          Your question was a good one. The one critical note I would add is that your comment does criticize the comment multiple times (8 by my count) and fewer might have sufficed in this case.

          Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    Re: Manslaughter charge sought against top Michigan medical executive in Flint water crisis

    To quote Paul Newman from the movie “Towering Inferno”
    “What do you call it when you kill people?”

    Reply
    1. Procopius

      I think a judge is going to say he has sovereign immunity, but IANAL. I’m glad he’s being held accountable, even though he’s probably only going to suffer some personal worry and large financial expenses. I’m glad old Darnell Wossisname is being investigated, too. It appears he spreads harm wherever he goes while prospering from it. It’s unfortunate that the worst that looks likely to happen to Rick Snyder is that he won’t get another term as governor

      Reply
  4. ebr

    On the Weinstein mess: look I enjoy a good shit-show as much as the next person but outrage is not a solution (a fact we should remember when Trump says something stupid on a day that ends in -Y) So what is a good solution? Well, what about unions? Hollywood is one of the few places in America with a union movement, or at least it seems to be. Does anyone in the commentariat have any Hollywood or union experience to explain why unions are so ineffectual at dealing with such problems? At the very least a basic code of conduct for the manner in which producers & actors meet (as in, always in a formal office or studio type setting, not a restaurant over drinks or god forbid a luxury hotel bedroom for christ’s sake)

    Reply
    1. Croatoan

      The people that are in the unions are ineffectual, hence, ineffectual unions.

      To all the actors who say that they were “afraid to do something because they loved acting”, well, they were ineffectual individually. So what makes you think a bunch of them getting together would do anything that would be effective?

      My grandfather helped start coal miner’s unions in Pennsylvania. And those workers would speak out publicly about outrageous actions WHEN they happened, not twenty years later. They had self respect and dignity and would rather strike and starve than let outrageous acts continue.

      These actors held self preservation and greed as a greater good, and that is what keeps Hollywood filled with creeps.

      Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Not everyone is as strong or as brave as your grandfather. I’ll give the women a break, having never walked in their shoes. However, I have walked beside victims of sexual abuse when they sought help. Let me tell you, COURAGE is a young woman who has been raped walking through a crowd of screaming fundamentalists to the front door of a woman’s clinic.

        Matt Damon? Russell Crowe? Ben Affleck? Other enablers (looking at you, DNC)? Not a chance.

        Reply
        1. Croatoan

          Agreed, I was (mostly) referring to all the others, like Brad Pitt, who heard first hand of the abuse and decided it was better to keep their career than act.

          Reply
      2. Steve H.

        The artist is the magician put among men to gratify — capriciously — their urge for immortality.

        : Stoppard

        Three are only single winners for roles in movies, and the payoff extends to eternity (perhaps). Particularly for women, who notoriously wash out of Hollywood at a young age.

        How can there be collective action for single-winner scenarios? Boxing is another notorious for corruption.

        Reply
      3. ebr

        No offense Croatan, but that sounds a lot like blaming the victim. Still, I would love to make modern labor a lot more like your grandfather’s coal union. I generalize these statements about Hollywood from office work.
        Two generations ago (and in some part in American still) work was more local. You worked beside the people who were your neighbors & you could take each other’s measure. In the film industry your work ties are more diffuse as various craftsmen (now just the actors but all the film & set people) move from project to project. That can (but not always) create a social dynamic in which you worry as much about how other people judge your work as how you do the work itself. Modern office work has a performative aspect, in which we both must do the work & be seen doing the work. One of the great, valuable traits of blue collar work is how much easier it is to evaluate work by the actual thing you build. Either the damn roof leaks or it doesn’t, either the car has a defect or it doesn’t. Croatoan, you argue that it is ‘self-preservation and greed’ that keep Hollywood filled with creeps, but I argue that it is the precarious nature of work itself that promotes creeps. That precariousness is more than just the poor state of the economy, but that no one has the full confidence of knowing their work’s worth in the modern world. Creeps flourish by exploiting that insecurity. Carpenters, plumbers, welders especially (the poets of the trades) don’t experience that ‘evaluative insecurity’ For them the thing speaks for itself.

        As for unions, maybe instead of asking that they fight only for their workers against ‘the man’ but also that help create ‘virtuous cycles’ through constant professional education and links directly between workers, not merely as an intermediary between workers & ‘the man’

        Reply
        1. Croatoan

          I do not consider it blaming the victim since it was so well know by both male and females who were not affected yet seemed to still want to profit from his influence.

          Capitalism makes all this possible since it provides authority from wealth instead of it being granted voluntarily.

          Reply
      4. TK421

        So what makes you think a bunch of them getting together would do anything that would be effective?

        You don’t think people can do things together that they can’t do on their own? That’s an unusual perspective, to say the least.

        Reply
        1. Croatoan

          I do not think ineffectual individuals getting together will make an effective group.

          If I get together with seven ineffectual economists…

          Reply
              1. Wukchumni

                For whatever reason, there’s a couple of fasces on the wall, where our politicians in the highest positions in the land, hang out in Humordor.

                Reply
              1. Ian

                Considering the massive sc**w job these ineffectual “scientists” enabled to come about and perpetuate, I’d say, much to our horror and tragedy, that these people were plenty effective.

                Reply
      5. whine country

        The key to understanding the difference between the coal miners and Weinstein’s victims is in the punch line of an old joke: “We already know what you are, we’re just haggling about the price.”

        Reply
        1. pricklyone

          This kinda presupposes that the purchaser of a service is morally superior to the provider of same.
          If you are haggling over the price, you are a buyer of said service, and no better (or worse).

          Like arresting the hooker, and letting the ‘John’ go scot-free.

          Reply
        2. WobblyTelomeres

          Man, o, man, whine country.

          I grew up surrounded by coal miners, went to school with their sons and daughters. My dad worked at a UMWA clinic (and ran the WPA hospital across the street where my Mom worked). I would dare you to repeat that statement surrounded by miners.

          Suggest, for your own good, that you work on your presentation.

          Reply
    2. Jane

      The people with the power to enforce any such rules are probably the same people setting up the meetings in bars and expensive hotel rooms.

      Reply
    3. annie

      a relative is a cameraman and in ‘the union.’ problem is that hiring on each movie, on each tv show, happens as a film or show goes into production. sometimes one needs to get hired, or re-hired, every couple of months. the union itself does not do hiring (as far as i know–certainly in most cases). it would be easy-peasy for the director, the head this-or-that, not to hire anyone who makes waves.

      also: the union guarantees health-care but only if one works a certain number of months in a given year. our relative’s wife is not working because they have small children. if he were to get ‘sick’ and was unable to work (or if he weren’t hired for a few months), he–they–would lose insurance.

      it is a very very precarious line of work. nuf said.

      Reply
      1. Off The Street

        The biz is one giant Survivor (or insert some other so-called reality show name here) episode. The prospect of being voted off, or ejected, or black-balled (“you’ll never eat lunch in this town again”) is ever-present. There is some similarity to the social media model with its quick feedback where bad stories travel halfway around the world before good stories get rebooted.

        Reply
      2. Jess

        Spot on. And to complicate matters, in virtually all cases except some really, really, really talented special effects guys, the decision on whom to hire is totally subjective. Sometimes it’s clear before a film starts that they’ve cast someone who is wrong for the role but are perceived to have box office drawing power. But usually the parts are pretty interchangeable, and even more so for women’s roles because they rarely have to carry the picture. (The absence of “carrying” roles is a subject for a separate discussion.)

        For example, the movie the Accountant, starring Ben Affleck. Anna Kendrick was terrific as the female lead. The producers needed Affleck to get the picture made; they could have plugged in any number of other actresses, including Emma Stone, Kate Mara, etc., in the female role. In fact, it is entirely possible that Kendrick was cast partly on availability. The producers may have initially wanted Stone but her schedule wouldn’t fit. Or she may have declined the role.

        Tough spot for actresses to be in. One big break can make a career. At least in the stories reported so far, none of the actresses actually had to submit to the casting couch. (Not counting those who contend that physical assault took place. Being assaulted is not the same as having to submit to the indignity of prostituting one’s self for a role.)

        Reply
        1. roxy

          Last night I watched the film “Jackie” and my first reaction was that Natalie Portman certainly did “carry the picture”, and how rare it is that a woman gets that chance. My further reactions-sorry, gotta get a tissue.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Natalie Portman was amazing in V For Vendetta, and the male lead was great also, even if we only saw his face if only for a heartbeat, in the movie.

            Reply
          2. Jess

            You’ll get no argument from me there. Natalie Portman is extremely talented, as are a number of other actresses. In fact, I have a gut feeling that there are more talented actresses than actors. (Jeez, just look at the cast of Downton Abbey, for example.)

            The big question is the overall scarcity of roles in which women carry the picture. That’s one reason that Hidden Figures was such a monumental achievement: ALL the key characters except Costner are not only women but black women, and they definitely carry the film. There was a time not that long ago that this would have been unheard of.

            Reply
      3. Ouroboros

        This is true. I know someone who spent a decade or so building sets for Hollywood and it was boom or bust– precarious work. He supplied the talent with PEDs as s sideline to help get over the dry patches.

        Reply
    4. begob

      Maybe those guidelines are in place, but by its nature the abuse tends to take place in private. I think that creepy audio of the producer and the actress in the hotel shows how insidious it is.

      Reply
    5. GlobalMisanthrope

      Rational. The problem is it ignores context.

      Weinstein isn’t a Hollywood problem. Sexual predation is accepted as normal male behavior as long as it stays within certain (moving & fungible) bounds or behind closed doors.

      The Assistant General Manager at a restaurant I worked for systematically attempted to seduce every young woman hired, every young woman regular, every young woman sales rep.

      He would sleep w them (often luring them w cocaine) and then dump them as soon as they professed affection for him.

      He would real drag it out sometimes w ones proving hard to get. He even went so far as to invite one young woman to move in w him and as soon as she got rid of her apartment & most of her stuff, he tossed her out on her ear.

      When I took it to our bosses, they said it was his/their personal business. They actually couldn’t grasp the HR ramifications. He was just a successful womanizer. Good for him!

      I’m long gone. He works there to this day.

      Reply
        1. GlobalMisanthrope

          You truncated my statement to create a straw man. Please familiarize yourself w NC’s rules of engagement.

          Reply
              1. Croatoan

                Googled TK421:

                TK-421 was the designation of a male stormtrooper who was stationed on the Death Star. TK-421 was guarding the Millennium Falcon when it landed to rescue Princess Leia Organa.

                Reply
        2. ArcadiaMommy

          Seriously you have no idea what you are talking about. Every workplace I have worked in (except for mall clothing stores as a teenager) has one or more of these weirdors wandering around. I was married fairly shortly after college, so that probably helped me avoid any really awful physical overtures, but there was/is lots of staring, “compliments” on clothing and appearance, overly familiar touches, and everyone shuts up the second you walk in the room. At my age now, I have a lot of coping mechanisms and am perceived as having some degree of authority/power but it still goes on. I have a very good situation so I roll with the punches so to speak, but it’s annoying and draining. Men – please don’t touch your female colleagues where you wouldn’t touch a male colleague, umm kay? Also don’t say anything about how they look.

          Reply
          1. Bugs Bunny

            *In France* we compliment each other (male and female) on our clothes and more generally our ‘look’ at work – “you’re very elegant today” for example. Hope we continue to do it. It just seems silly to not be able to when it’s part of work culture to dress nicely.

            When I’m in the US I now feel very uncomfortable in male / female professional interactions after all I read. Sometimes I just avoid talking about anything at all but work. Used to not feel that way. It’s very sterile and frankly, sad.

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              We’re an odd duck, us.

              When Janet Jackson showed us 1/2 of what you’d find on the 3rd page of an English tabloid, we went apeshit over it.

              Political correctness here is a mindfield to traverse, and what you think might be the ‘right’ thing to say, can be construed in other ways, a poisonous portent.

              Reply
            2. ArcadiaMommy

              Perhaps you compliment everyone on their appearance? I don’t compliment men on their appearance/physique because men (in my experience) perceive that as flirting. Personally, I don’t see men commenting on how other men look, and I have worked with North American, European and Asian colleagues. It’s completely unnecessary and has nothing to do with work product. Staring, inappropriate touching and gossiping does nothing to make the work environment more functional. In fact it has caused me a lot of hassle because co-workers believe that you are getting “special treatment” from the higher-ups. And I have a fairly high degree of authority with colleagues. Just don’t do it. Why not give a compliment based on what the colleague is accomplishing? Seems a lot more egalitarian to me and takes the focus off of superficial qualities.

              Reply
                1. Bugs Bunny

                  Bingo.

                  And I guess Arcadia figured out that I am a man though I intentionally avoid mentioning my sex.

                  Yes, I compliment men and women equally on their style and hair etc, and receive the same. Why even dress up for work otherwise? If it doesn’t matter how one looks but you invest time in it anyway, then it’s truly turned into some bizarre Kabuki theatre.

                  We don’t work in a hermetic environment all dressed in white formless smocks but it sure seems like that’s where America is going.

                  Perhaps they’ll be grey formless smocks. “Woke” smocks.

                  Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Sexual predation is accepted as normal male behavior as long as it stays within certain (moving & fungible) bounds or behind closed doors.

        Moving and fungible indeed.

        I can only hope that some of those so “outraged” by weinstein recognize the similarities between this behavior and the restrictions on personal control of their own reproductive destiny under which women, even in 2017, are forced by powerful men to live.

        “It’s not about sex, it’s about power.” That it is.

        Reply
        1. David

          Is this a male problem?

          Female sex offenders reveal cultural double standard

          The decadelong wave of sexual offenses committed by women — teachers in particular have exposed a cultural double standard: The public is more willing to accept the female abuser’s claim that she had a “relationship” with the victim. And in cases in which the male is a teenager, the sexual abuse is more likely to be dismissed as a rite of passage. The questionable, yet overriding assumption, is that women predators are somehow different from men.

          “Men are demonized, women are diagnosed. Men are beasts, but women are troubled or mentally ill,” said media scholar Matthew Felling in an interview with Fox News. In fact, accounts of women sexual offenders are often more titillating than harsh. Felling calls the news coverage of young, attractive teachers involved with their students “part crime drama, part Penthouse letter.”

          You wrote:

          “It’s not about sex, it’s about power.” That it is.

          Agreed.

          Reply
          1. GlobalMisanthrope

            Oof! Quite the logical quagmire on display in the passage cited.

            This is the old “reverse racism” chestnut applied to sex. It ignores systems of power.

            Reply
            1. pricklyone

              I have been whacked on the head here, and taken to be a Hilaryite, (I am not), and have always defended feminist points of view, when things like “feminazi” were being hurled about. The inappropriate touching thing, I can understand. I always tried to see these issues as if it was happening to my own daughter.
              “Systems of power” are only in play in one of three of your examples,though.
              If I were to try to initiate a relationship with someone who was under my control, of course I could be seen as predatory, (even if my motives were innocent.)
              Everyone in your workplace is not in that category, though.
              Who, exactly, is one allowed to flirt with? Or date? Should one approach strangers on the street? I did a little informal survey some time ago among my friends and their parents. Of 7 married couples, 6 met at work!
              “He would sleep with them” also could be written “They would sleep with him”.
              They have no agency, here? You say he dumped them when they professed affection for him, which of course implies that they indeed were part of an affectionate relationship, even if that was only from their viewpoint. Same with luring them with cocaine, seems as much their character fault as his.
              Given the rise of internet dating services, is the takeaway that you would rather seek out strangers, instead of looking among your colleagues?
              Myself, I would prefer people with whom I associate, and know something about, to random people on social media.
              I guess I just think male/female interaction will always be much too complicated to reduce to formulaic prescriptions. Witness how much goalpost-shifting has gone on among writers about these topics.

              Reply
              1. GlobalMisanthrope

                I have been too busy to give your comment the response it deserves. So I know it’s unlikely that you or anybody else will reach back to read this. Yet, I think there is a very powerful misconception at work in your well-meaning exploration of what strikes you as a complicated issue and I want to spell it out.

                Back in the early nineties a good friend left an all-night dance party at a bar to run to an ATM to get cash to buy Ecstasy. As he was leaving the ATM he was mugged at gunpoint and shot despite having surrendered his wallet. The bullet punctured his lung. He almost died. Was he a victim or was he a drunken fool? By placing himself in harm’s way, did my friend tacitly agree to be mugged and shot?

                The mugger/shooter doesn’t get a pass because my friend went out drunk alone into the night for cash. He doesn’t get a pass because it was my friend’s intention to make an illegal purchase with the recklessly gotten funds. He gets no passes.

                Likewise in the situation I described, albeit perhaps inadequately. The intentions of the young women may indeed have been idiotic, even sinister, but they are beside the point when discussing the behaviors and motivations of the older man for whom this was and is an established pattern. One from which he has never strayed in almost a decade of my observation.

                He is a serial high-stakes (for the women) seducer and abandoner of women 10+ years his junior, many of whom are also employees he supervises. You’ll need to explain to me what your talk of collegial flirting and dating and what-not has to do with that.

                Reply
          2. Katniss Everdeen

            Not sure about the “cultural double standard.” In this day and age, there are so many “double standards” it’s hard to keep track.

            My feeling is that there’s plenty of mental illness to go around, but only one side is willing to concede the point. The other prefers to claim biblical and biological privilege.

            At any rate, one thing’s for sure. “Titillating” is the only adjective that will do.

            Reply
            1. David

              The other prefers to claim biblical and biological privilege.

              Example, please?
              Who has justified their sexual offense by claiming biblical and biological privilege?
              Thanks!

              Reply
              1. Katniss Everdeen

                Seriously?

                I’m pretty sure the term “the weaker sex” wasn’t invented by a woman. Or the garden of eden, apple and snake for that matter.

                As for an example, I don’t have one. They all claim that the sex was “consensual.” Just before they sign the check.

                Reply
          3. Darthbobber

            Well, not really sure what to make of the (2007) article.
            It seems to rely on statements by the women and by their attorneys (whose job is to put the best possible face on the behaviour), and doesn’t seem to get into how the justice system felt about those arguments. If you check the eventual dispositions of several of the handful of cases named, you’ll see that most of those women in fact received substantial prison sentences.
            The use of the term “wave” to describe sexual offenses by women begs for quantification. But none is offered.

            And there seem to be no examples of women successfully pursuing such activities for years as a more or less open secret and getting a wink and a nod from associates/coworkers/authorities.

            Reply
      2. a different chris

        This is a problem, though: We are talking about predators as different as a hawk and a snake. (unfair to both species, to be sure)

        The hawk, Weinstein-like, is a very straightforward problem. But the seduce/move-on thing is a totally different issue, and how do you “control” that without infantilizing women? “Hey don’t sleep with him because you are immature (unlike me!) and do not see that he is just a predator”.

        How often is that attitude displayed by the real creep, who subconsciously wants that partner for himself?

        Sometimes he (back to Predator A here) is just somebody that can’t hold a relationship together, and he is doing proactive dumping because he is so insecure he can’t stand the thought of his partner figuring it out themselves.

        Reply
    6. Jim

      It will take something more than a basic code of conduct to change this situation.

      As Charles Hugh Smith indicated yesterday:

      “The reactions coming to light about Hollywood Oligarch Harvey Weinstein perfectly capture the true nature of our status quo: a rotten-to-the core predatory, exploitive oligarchy of dirty secrets and dirty lies protected by an army of self-serving sycophants, servile toadies on the make and well-paid legal mercenaries…Should the worst happen and some sliver of the truth emerge despite the best efforts of the thugs, corporate media, legal mercenaries and PR handlers, then the playbook follows the script of any well-manage Communist dictatorship: the oligarch is thrown to the wolves to protect the oligarchs’ systemic predation and exploitation of the peasantry/debt serfs….What is truly noteworthy here is not the sordid allegations and history of payofs–it is the 27 years of intense protection the Hollywood/media/D.C.status quo provided, despite hundreds on insiders knowing the truth.”

      Reply
    7. Oregoncharles

      A couple of things, by way of background:.

      First, “casting couch” behavior, notoriously, used to be the norm. An anecdote: back in the 60s, a friend’s sister, a very pretty girl, told me (and the whole table) that she wasn’t pursuing a singing career because she didn’t want to sleep with all the producers. I think she was in high school. Most of HW’s offenses were a couple of decades ago, during the time when it was changing – assuming that it did. That doesn’t mean it was OK, of course; the present scandal is a good sign.

      Second, Weinstein wasn’t just powerful; he helped produce a lot of good movies, including a high proportion of the truly excellent ones. That earned him immense credit among those who cared about movies and made him very costly to criticize.

      I think both of those factors cast light on the long silence.

      And a footnote: that’s a remarkably ugly man, in an industry that’s all about personal beauty.

      Reply
  5. Wukchumni

    Goooooood Mooooorning Fiatnam!

    The Fiat Cong were ruthless adversaries that could live on a bowl of rice if the galley ran out of all other foodstuffs in a Gulfstream V, but like that was ever going to happen?

    The Sobriquet Union held piece talks in Davos in an attempt to reconcile with the countless billions barely getting by-highlighting the need to heed greed, but little came of it, because the sides were too far apart…

    Reply
  6. Jane

    Re: NFL anthem dispute

    How is it that a country that expresses belief in a text that says there is a time for every event under heaven never thinks there is a right time or place to discuss race or gun control?

    How can you “move past a controversy” by enforcing silence on the subject even to the point of demanding a specific posture? The US was founded on a protest against unfair treatment; how can it’s institutions now demand players “stand” and deny their right to protest centuries of even worse treatment?

    Reply
    1. whine country

      Sadly, you are forgetting a couple of the bedrock principles of business. Number 1, the customer is always right. Second, when any rights that a business owner and/or those employed by him or her lead to customers voting with their feet, see Rule Number 1.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        Just a note: don’t be sure of all the things you read trying to tie the dropoff in NFL to the “lack of patriotism” by the players. The “highly patriotic” and very white NASCAR is suffering way worse.

        http://www.espn.com/racing/nascar/story/_/id/19301641/nascar-burning-questions-attendance-woes-worse-other-sports-dale-earnhardt-jr-make-playoffs-driver-best-chance-win-first-title

        People have more and new distractions, plus the choices placed on them by today’s harsh economics means they just aren’t interested.

        Scare quotes:
        “lack of patriotism” = actually caring about your countrymen
        “highly patriotic” = meaning waving Confederate flags at every opportunity.

        Reply
        1. bronco

          Part of it is league stupidity . For instance , I cut the cord a while ago with cable tv . I use an antenna and I have a roku that I use to watch streaming services. Now I can’t watch Monday or Thursday night games because they are on ESPN or NFL network.

          The Red Sox were in the playoffs but all the games were on the MLB network , even when I had cable I didn’t have that. I live in the Boston area but I can’t see my own home team play. Regular season baseball is about as exciting as watching paint dry so I don’t see any reason to pay extra for the MLB network just to see 4 playoff games.

          Reply
      2. B1whois

        The customer is always right? If only that were true. We have ongoing crapification that shows that the customer matters not one iota to the Elites.

        Reply
    2. Pookah Harvey

      From a 2011 CNN story on the death of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il

      Since Kim Jong Il’s death was announced on Monday, many people have marveled at the mourning scenes featured on North Korean state television, made viral on the Internet: North Koreans prostrate, weeping, hitting the ground. Many have asked whether the anguish is genuine. How could citizens mourn the passing of a totalitarian, such a gross abuser of human rights?
      The answer may be found in the human rights abuses themselves.
      It is a lamentable characteristic of totalitarian regimes that they often demand acts of deceit from those they oppress. Often it is a matter of simple survival. Those who hate the regime are obliged to demonstrate patriotism. To fail is to risk persecution.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        What made for most interesting timing, was the idea that Kim Jong Il and Václav Havel died within a day of one another, and they couldn’t have been more diametrically opposed in terms of outlook whilst living.

        Reply
      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There are those who live in an economic totalitarian state.

        And while culturally they don’t publicly wail, they still immerse themselves in their ‘Banality of Greed*.’

        Here, everyday workers dutifully go about their business of mass-murdering the planet, and many living beings within it.

        And they see it as normal, even though bumble bees are dying in their backyards.

        But hey, it’s matter of survival, of putting food on the table for one’s family.

        *(The Banality of Greed also can be seen in, say, Hollywood, or news organizations, where some acts are deemed ‘normal,’ so as to make sure one can feed one’s children).

        Reply
    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      No one can enforce silence.

      Any player is publish an op-ed, self publish on the internet, or contribute to a progressive candidate, just to name a few options.

      Reply
      1. Jane

        That’s somewhat naive; people can and do end up being forced into silence when their livelihoods are threatened. The NFL owners are likely counting on that especially given what happened to Karpernick this season.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Players can also have protest slogans on their team jerseys when they play.

          They can even advertise for corporations they believe will save the planet…like Tesla or whatnot.

          But the league will probably say it’s a uniform violation.

          Is that censoring? Is that silencing?

          Reply
          1. Pookah Harvey

            IMHO Yes. Players are paid to play football, and in that respect they are in our capitalistic totalitarian regime. They are told how to play, where to play, when to play. The “owners” do not have ( I should say ought not to have) any other rights over another human being even in this neofeudal society. If the economic dictators start to encroach on any of our constitutional rights they should legally be held responsible. We should not be serfs, and our legal system should support that.

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              What about

              1 When cities regulate where or when one can have political or campaign signs?

              2. Can a worker engage in political work or free speech during working hours? Does the company ‘ban’ that until after one gets off work?

              3. Can a waiter kneel to serve food to all his customers and kneel back to the kitchen, as his way of protesting?

              There seems to be a lot of work to free ourselves of this economic totalitarian state.

              Reply
              1. Pookah Harvey

                The answers for these is fairly straight forward:
                1. The city (supposedly) is a democratic organization not an economic dictatorship. Therefore laws are democratically enacted and not dictatorial mandates.
                2 If such work impedes the job that is being paid for it can be banned, if not no.
                3 Same as 2 ( But personally feel that he probably will not be performing up to par, but It would be interesting to watch him if he could. Probably would increase customers with right publicity)

                Reply
                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Say, if the customers start booing at a worker in (2), who sings “Wish I Was In Dixie” every time before taking a bank deposit at a bank, would that be considered impeding work?

                  As well, that wouldn’t be free speech protected, would it?

                  Reply
                  1. Pookah Harvey

                    Depends on how well they could sing it. Knee walking waiters and singing bank tellers would make for an interesting world…..weird but interesting.

                    Reply
                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      What would have been weird would be if a football player exercised his freedom of speech and wore a ‘I am with Hillary’ sign on his jersey last October.

                      Would that have been freedom of speech? Taunting? Unsportsmanlike conduct? Uniform Violation?

                      I think I would be OK if a barista did that in a Expresso place in Santa Monica, but kind of weird at a football stadium.

    4. Montanamaven

      How can you “move past a controversy” by enforcing silence on the subject even to the point of demanding a specific posture? The US was founded on a protest against unfair treatment; how can it’s institutions now demand players “stand” and deny their right to protest centuries of even worse treatment?

      I’m going to use this. I have been uncomfortable with the whole pledging and standing for the anthem for many years. I find the militarization of sports appalling and fascistic. And now I find out that since 2009 the taxpayers have been spending millions to stage these military events with flags that now cover the whole field.
      I was thinking that it’s intended to be a huge military recruitment program.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That’s adding one more issue – the militarization of sports.

        There is nothing wrong with that.

        But here, I think we have to also address the violent nature of the sport of football itself. That might also take care of the militarization issue.

        Should we ban football? Should heading be banned in soccer?

        Then, there is the nationalism issue relating the Olympics. They play anthems all the time.

        Reply
        1. bronco

          The Olympics don’t count , those are just a gigantic grift . Think NFL owners getting a new stadium paid for by taxpayers times a thousand.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think it’s the Olympics that the young learn to boo other nations.

            “Beat those Russians.”

            After a successful humiliation, we then all stand for the anthem.

            Reply
  7. Edward E

    Jimmy Carter wants to talk peace with Kim Jong-un as Trump threatens military force | South China Morning Post

    http://sc.mp/mS4SGG

    As I recall back about May Trump was saying he’d be honored to meet with Kim Jong Un ‘under the right circumstances’. Jimmy Carter was successful at peace on the Korean Peninsula in 1994. Why not just agree to let him try?

    Reply
    1. RabidGandhi

      Sure would have been nice if Carter had scaled back US military presence on the Korean peninsula when he was in an office with the power to do so. Or, just spit-balling here, he could have not supported South Korean dictator Chun Doo-hwan in the 1979 coup, or condemned the subsequent Gwangju massacre.

      Not sure whether to file this under “better late than never” or “day late and a KRW short”.

      Reply
      1. Bugs Bunny

        IIRC Carter as president did moot moving troops out of South Korea and Reagan effectively used it against him in the ’80 election.

        Reply
        1. RabidGandhi

          Not sure what you mean by “moot”. In the 1976 election Carter did indeed talk about full withdrawal from South Korea (and it even got written into the Democratic Party Platform[!]), but when push came to shove he went to Seoul in ’79 (in the wake of the Iranian Revolution) and saw what nice anti-communist chaps the South Korean junta really were. After that, Brzezinski said they were postponing further withdrawals until 1981 (IBGYBG), and the US sent moar arms in the wake of the 12 December coup d’état and the Gwangju Massacre.

          It’s the story of the Democrats’ lives: faking left and ploughing right.

          Reply
    2. RUKidding

      Why not just agree to let him try?

      What would be the fun in that??? Seems like all Trump wants to do is be a bully-boy taunting Rocket Man on Twitter.

      It appeared that maybe Rex Tillerson was making some diplomatic headway, and Trump tweeted out insults at Tillerson, Trump’s choice for SoS, and told him to stop.

      Added to that is that Trump wants to severely reduce the budget of the SoS, while increasing the Military/Pentagon budget quite a lot.

      IOW, Trump wants to fund gunz ‘n warfare (contrary to what he said on the campaign trail), whilst severely limiting diplomacy.

      Why would Trump want Jimmy Carter or anyone negotiating with one of Trump’s favorite whipping boys, that also translates into whipping up his base into a frenzy of approval of Trump (they apparently agree with their Mercer Overlords that somehow there can be “limited nuclear warfare” with limited damage to people, the planet, etc)?

      Let’s get real.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        “why not just agree to let him try?”
        Um, because it would violate the very basis of American foreign and domestic policy, i.e. the continuous production of armed conflict and the tools required to pursue them. Can’t have Ol’ Jimmy breaking the entire American rice bowl now can we…

        Reply
    3. bronco

      There is no peace with the US. The military- industrial- spook- complex will murder him if he gives up his nukes.

      Join the empire or die is all that’s left for North Korea , meanwhile the Empire is rotting from its putrid core .

      Reply
    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Peace is good.

      But peace should not be possible just because the other guy has big guns.

      We should also be peaceful towards weak players.

      Reply
  8. RabidGandhi

    On Evo Morales and re-election.

    There’s a tad of back story missing from the Reuters article. The 2016 referendum was hotly contested and a main determining factor in pushing the “no” vote over the top was a media campaign where Morales’ ex accused him of having an illegitimate child– a child that she later admitted never existed. Now that the story has fallen apart, Morales’ MAS party is attempting a sort of do-over by other means. Thus the debate about what the referendum actually said about the “will of the people”.

    For what it’s worth, my own personal visits to Bolivia confirm the polling data that he remains quite popular.

    And lastly, if I see another “We Are Not Venezuela” sign I think I’m gonna hurl, as the people carrying them show a decided ignorance of the words “We” and “Venezuela”.

    Reply
    1. johnnygl

      ‘we are not venezuela’ has become a kind of battle cry of the latam elites as they pursue their reactionary rollback of even the mildest reforms.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Irony isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit nowadays, but back when every last South American country was a financial basketcase, Venezuela was a shining example of just the opposite, funny that.

        Reply
        1. Anon

          Care to elucidate? Give a timeline on “every last SA country was a basket case”?

          Venezuela wasn’t a basket case because it had access to the worlds largest pool of oil reserves. With oil price collapse and Chavez’ attempt to widen the benefactors of that resource (and US intervention) times are now difficult.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Sure,

            Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, et al, experienced severe hyperinflation in the 1970’s & 1980’s, as Venezuela was financially stable, and now the worm has turned.

            Reply
            1. Anon

              Well, interesting that you should mention Chile. The 60’s and 70’s in S. America was the height of the Cold War, which destabilized many nations, including Chile. Remember Allende? The Socialist president of Chile whom the CIA helped assassinate in 1973. If Chile had hyperinflation in the 70’s and 80’s it’s likely due to American intervention, and the Right Wing military dictators we helped install.

              As for Peru, it was coming out of a military government in 1980. The struggle between the Shining Path and miitary was devastating.

              Reply
  9. Mel

    Ebr,
    Don’t know why I don’t suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome from filling out the feet deep thick paperwork beginning of each film job. Among those many sheets, read only to find the boxes to initial, are reams of paragraphs regarding harassment.

    Reply
  10. johnnygl

    As i was watching in disbelief as the USMNT crashed out of the world cup before it even got there, i saw on twitter, “this feels like election night all over again”. My knee-jerk reaction was to scoff at out of touch liberals who think like that and didn’t see it coming.

    But then, i got thinking about the parallels and they are much stronger than i first thought. What a disaster!

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      “We believe that we will win”

      This chant is basically the Democratic elites campaign strategy. If Russia didn’t win the bid for hosting and America did (because the World Cup needs to be in the U.S. all the time due to raise awareness of our failing infrastructure), TeamUSA would automatically qualify. Putin screwed us again!

      Reply
      1. Anon

        It looks like hosting the WC of Soccer will be the easiest method qualifying.

        The leadership of US Soccer is getting lambasted in the media.

        Reply
    2. RabidGandhi

      The hometown team squeeked by last night, but one friend lamented pre-match “our only hope is that the US makes good on its plans to bomb Russia”.

      Reply
    3. Wukchumni

      Wouldn’t the US soccer team losing to perennial powerhouse Trinidad & Tobago, be akin to us losing a war to North Korea?

      Reply
  11. Wukchumni

    Woman picks up shark, throws it out of Cronulla ocean pool The Sidney Morning Herald
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    My first thought was, what is a shark doing in Sidney Ohio?

    But then I remembered the dorsaled ones from the late 70’s in SNL skits, landsharks.

    Reply
    1. Meher Baba

      it is spelt Sydney. And, some of the beaches have pools cut out of concrete in the rocks alongside the beach shore that fill with surf and swell. tremendously refreshing. that is how a shark got in
      ( horrible place to live though!! it is very different to the rest of the country. it has a reputation).

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        As usual, I was torturing the words…

        I was in Aussie quite a bit in the 80’s, and went to Manly Beach and others often, usually taking the hydrofoil to get there.

        I haven’t been back in donkeys years, and wonder what it must be like now?

        The one memory that’s strictly sensory, was the overpowering smell of brake pads of choo choo’s arriving @ the central railway station in Sydney…

        Reply
        1. Meher Baba

          thanks! the story i tell. is of a lonely planet coffee table book ‘500 best travel places’. big thick book with two pages to a location (city). as one would imagine, every single location gets a positive spin. the negatives are framed in an appealing light. Well, Sydney was in the top ten. top five actually. But it was the ONLY placewhere there was no attempt to disguise the negatives! they were really forthright about it. ‘ Narcissim. Expect locals talking loudly into their phones about how busy they are’. and worse

          Reply
    2. Norm de plume

      The pool was in Cronulla, home of the rugby league team Cronulla Sharks. Maybe the locals have a special sharkbite immunity.

      Reply
      1. Another Anon

        The nice thing about Cronulla is that there is a ferry that one can take to Bundeena
        which is a really pretty place. By train and ferry, it is about 80 to 90 minutes
        south of central business district.

        Reply
  12. Wukchumni

    Talking movies killed vaudeville back in the day, and about the only ace in the hole Hollywood has now is CGI, in terms of exclusivity. Not to mention how bankrupt the industry is of new ideas for making movies. They’ve mined just about every old tv show’s tailings in hopes of finding a little bit more paydirt, but it ain’t working. Not to mention movies went from being a giant fish in a small pond, to being just another form of entertainment in an ocean of opportunities for the public.

    I’d be typical of what’s what, in that I used to go to the movies once every couple weeks religiously if not sooner, and now i’ve gone to perhaps 10 movies in the last decade. It isn’t part of our zeitgeist as it once was, a conversation starter that you could share with others after seeing a film, maybe influencing others that hadn’t seen the movie yet, to do so.

    This latest scandal of frankly an ugly guy in the upper echelon of Hollywood (I thought ugly people went into politics?) that turned out to be a sexual predator, is only going to exacerbate the industry’s downfall.

    Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        re: film content

        Then why can’t Hollywood make a movie like Twelve Angry Men now, with an amazing plot and about $947 worth of set decorations?

        Reply
        1. JustAnObserver

          ‘cos they used to have actors. Now all they have are stars.

          Crappification is everywhere, all industries, all the time.

          Reply
    1. Meher Baba

      Wukchumni, don’t know your specific situation but when people make statements along these lines they are referring to their knowledge/ experience of hollywood and mainstream films. they are not aware of the thriving and diverse independent cinema and all the non us-north american films and non us-north american cinema industry. basically people think hollywood equals cinema culture when it most assuredly does not.
      ( interestingly, Weinstein Co. is rogue and independent by hollywood standards in terms of what they produce. but thrn are really quite mainstream compared to the rest if the world or even sinply local us-north american film makers)

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I’m aware of independent cinema, certainly…

        …but tend to focus on the 800 pound gorilla in the room. We seldom hear about the weekend take on a Serbian chick flick, for some reason

        Reply
  13. Arizona Slim

    So, Trump favors ending public subsidies for NFL stadiums. Be still my beating heart. Because I agree with him.

    Reply
    1. Vatch

      It is kind of weird. But a sense of normalcy returns when I realize why Trump wants to end the subsidies; it’s not because they are a waste of public funds that benefit billionaires and hecto-millionaires, who clearly don’t need assistance. It’s because Trump is upset by the pre-game demonstrations during the playing of the national anthem. Trump wants the black people to “stay in their place”, and not to be so “uppity”.

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        I’ve noticed since Trump’s campaign caught fire many months ago, he’s picked up a strong track record of advocating for something good for all the wrong reasons. It’s really something.

        Reply
        1. Higgs Boson

          There was an episode of Gilligan’s Island where Russian cosmonauts accidently splashed down in the lagoon. They were convinced the Castaways were American spies. But who was the ring leader? They agreed it had to be Gilligan.

          “He is too stupid to be stupid.”

          “Yes, he must be cleverest one of all.”

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            They didn’t choose leaders based on energy, bravery, persistence, shamelessness, popularity or other traits?

            They saw a person and only noticed his IQ?

            Reply
        2. RUKidding

          Agreed but unfortunately Trump rarely follows through on the “good thing” for all the wrong reasons. So count me in the crowd who won’t hold our collective breaths waiting for Trump to somehow get public subsidies for NFL stadiums to end. Too many of Trump’s backers/funders are those self-same billionaires & millionaires who benefit handsomely from public funding of stadiums.

          Money talks.

          Reply
          1. jrs

            +1

            if he actually did any good “for all the wrong reasons” I could cut him some more slack, but of course this pretty much never happens.

            Reply
      2. bronco

        No , you have no idea why he wants to end the subsidies in fact its entirely possible he may have no idea either.

        If it happens then it will be a positive for everyone so lets not protest a good idea purely because he may agree with it.

        Thats just silly

        Reply
        1. Vatch

          From the article:

          “While the NFL may have given up its tax-exempt status a few years ago, it’s been well documented that billions of dollars continue to subsidize the construction and renovation of professional sports stadiums,” said [Sarah Huckabee] Sanders. “If this industry is going to use money from American taxpayers to build the very fields they play on, then is it really too much to ask that they show respect for the American flag at the beginning of the game?

          It was pointed out that many of these subsidies come from state and local government, not the federal government. Sanders said that the president isn’t telling local governments what to do, but was simply mentioning a correlation.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think it’s about guessing that Trump wants the black people to ‘stay in their place.’

            It would be great to catch him saying that or writing that.

            Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I think, the question is, in this instance, how is he putting black people in their place, wanting players, all players, to stand?

                Reply
            1. marym

              https://www.sbnation.com/2017/9/24/16354916/nfl-protest-national-anthem-donald-trump

              He referred to a protesting player as an SOB who should be fired; said if players want the “privilege” of making a lot of money as football players they should not be allowed to protest. He also complained that NFL rules are spoiling the game by not letting the players get hit hard enough. It seems pretty clear the role he thinks these men should have in our society.

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I believe there are a lot of players (white, black, maybe Asian) who are kneeling.

                Is he putting those SOB white players (for example) in their place as well?

                Reply
                1. marym

                  He’s objecting to people peacefully protesting racism. He doesn’t acknowledge their explanation of the form of their protest. He doesn’t acknowledge their cause. If the knows that diverse players are participating in the protest against racism, then it seems likely he thinks they’re SOB’s too.

                  Anyway, reading through the thread it’s not clear now if you’re arguing that he hasn’t said enough racist things in general to be considered a racist; or that calling people who protest racism SOB’s and “privileged” to be employed isn’t racist.

                  Short of using the n-word in public what do you propose as criteria for considering their position on an issue as racist?

                  Reply
                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    If he thinks they’re all SOBs, then he’s putting everyone in their place, not just the black people in their place.

                    I think that would be a more inclusive argument (this also addresses the what-am-I-saying-the-entire-thread question).

                    The counter argument to that is still whether kneeling during the anthem is the more effective way, without getting mired with many other issues.

                    And whether it’s time to take more concrete actions.

                    If anyone wants to kneel, kneel after a touch down or an interception. No one can say anything about insulting the flag then.

                    Reply
                    1. marym

                      Oh, it’s a pretty sure bet that whatever form black people choose to protest racism someone will say something about why it’s the wrong time or place or method.

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      Yes, some will always react that way, but not to the same degree getting mixed with insulting the flag.

                      Maybe players can wear uniforms that say ‘Power to Hillary Southern Fire Wall!”

                      And some will counter protest with jerseys that says ‘Drain Black Mis-leadership!”

                      You have to bring a lot of signs to a protest.

                      This will also expose rich white ownership’s black and white exploitation of making them wear uniforms.

                    3. marym

                      I admire the players for using the platform they have, as well as those among them who speak out, donate, raise money, and actively work in their communities. I believe if we’re to build solidarity it will be by showing it.

                      Maybe the people who need to be presented with creative alternatives are those standing to salute at a paid military recruitment ceremony; or those using their own platform to misrepresent the message the players are trying to send.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When do we question a person’s motive and when do we not?

        Hillary: “Forget how BiIll acted. It’s a right wing conspiracy to get my husband, the president.”

        Do we say, why do you vote this senator? Is it because you hope to run for the White House in the future?

        That would not be in accordance with senate decorum.

        Reply
    2. marym

      According to this from TPM the subsidy he’s referencing is a tax exemption the NFL stopped receiving 2 years ago. I’m opposed to public subsidies for professional sports, but agree with Vatch’s summary of Trump’s intent. Today Trump tweeted that maybe “NBC and the Networks” should lose their licenses.

      Reply
    3. Wukchumni

      It’s an odd juxtaposition the NFL & our Armed Services…

      We know now how harmful football is to not just the body, but the mind as well, and yet celebrate it vis a vis the violent aspect of it all (kickers largely get a pass, they’re patsies for the most part) and the terms we use: Offensive Line, Defensive Line, Bomb, etc, are militaristic in a way no other professional sport in the land can compare.

      I remember a quote from an NFL player years ago when asked what it was like on the body, playing the game?

      He replied something like “Imagine getting into a serious car wreck every week for 3 months straight?”

      Oddly enough, when I was a kid in the middle of the Vietnam War, the NFL was down the line in terms of sports, MLB held sway in a big way. Only the loser kids played Pop Warner, everybody else played little league. Soccer didn’t exist.

      Reply
    4. jrs

      they are seldom federal money anyway are they … so Trump favors something he can do little about, meanwhile municipalities want their own teams (and if the citizens object they don’t complain loudly enough, I expect because a lot of people like having a team), so yea good luck with that.

      Reply
  14. Jim Haygood

    For all his awfulness, I admire Trump’s shamelessness.

    Me too. Though a squad of fetching cheerleaders with pom-poms would provide welcome punctuation to epic rants like this morning’s:

    Stock Market has increased by 5.2 Trillion dollars since the election on November 8th, a 25% increase. Lowest unemployment in 16 years and if Congress gives us the massive tax cuts (and reform) I am asking for, those numbers will grow by leaps and bounds. #MAGA

    It would be really nice if the Fake News Media would report the virtually unprecedented Stock Market growth since the election. Need tax cuts
    6:31 AM – Oct 11, 2017

    Yeah … why won’t the curmudgeonly WSJ publish another ‘nothing but blue skies ahead’ lede so we can make our way on up to Dow 25,000? Damned footdraggers. :-(

    Reply
  15. Vatch

    Inside Trump’s Head: An Exclusive Interview With the President, And The Single Theory That Explains Everything Forbes

    Basically, the article seems to indicate that the single theory is that Trump likes to exaggerate, and when he submits a bid for something, he either demands that others pay too much to him, or that he pay too little to them. After negotiation, he’ll agree to accept less or to pay more, but he’s still going to get too much or to pay too little. But that doesn’t explain why he abuses his underlings or insults anyone outside his organization who disagrees with him.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but I think it’s worth repeating. The only theory that I’ve seen that comes close to fully explaining Trump is that he has a severe case of narcissistic personality disorder. Sad!

    Reply
      1. jrs

        it really does kind of, but a lot of people who inherited businesses and have never worked for a living as an employee are the one’s running them as well. They seem to make the biggest *hole bosses ever in most cases.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I have said NO to all his hotels, resorts and casinos.

          And eve if I could afford them, I would not go. Anything over $100 a night is stretching it for me.

          So, likely I can enforce that Niet!

          Reply
  16. Foppe

    This is a pretty insightful article on Weinstein and how he protected himself:

    One of the refrains you hear today from media experts and journalists is that they’d known about Weinstein’s transgressions for a long time. The problem, they say, was that no one was able to nail down the story.

    Nonsense. Everyone had it, not just Waxman. Sure, reporters hadn’t been able to get any stars to go on the record. But that means the story journalists were pursuing wasn’t really about Weinstein’s sexual depredations. It means that what they wanted was a story about actresses, junior executives, or assistants who had been humiliated, maybe raped, and chose to remain quiet in exchange for money and/or a shot at fame.

    Of course no one was going to get that on the record—very few journalists would even want to publish a story like that. But journalists always had the actual story of how a Hollywood producer humiliated and sexually assaulted women. How? Because he victimized journalists.

    The reason no one wrote it is not because the press wanted to get Weinstein, but couldn’t prove the story. No, it’s because the press was protecting Weinstein.

    Why wouldn’t they? He made terrific movies and he was a big mover in Democratic party politics, raising millions for local and national campaigns, including the Clintons. (Hillary, some readers will recall, was on the cover of Talk’s first issue.)

    Thus his fortress was quarried from the misshapen material of human vanity, ambition, and greed. Writers and journalists—the intellectuals, in his mind—were nearly as contemptible as actors. They wouldn’t dream of crossing a guy who could turn them into culture heroes with a phone call. Hey, I just optioned your novel and I already know who’s going to make the movie. And oh yeah, please confirm that you don’t, like I think I may have heard, have a reporter looking into a story about me.

    A friend reminds me that there was a period when Miramax bought the rights to every big story published in magazines throughout the city.

    That’s why the story about Harvey Weinstein finally broke now. It’s because the media industry that once protected him has collapsed. The magazines that used to publish the stories Miramax optioned can’t afford to pay for the kind of reporting and storytelling that translates into screenplays. They’re broke because Facebook and Google have swallowed all the digital advertising money that was supposed to save the press as print advertising continued to tank.

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Also from that excellent article:

      Rebecca Traister says the stories are coming out now because “our consciousness has been raised.” Between Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, and Donald Trump, argues Traister, people are now accustomed to speaking and hearing the truth about famous, sexually abusive men.

      This is wrong. It has nothing to do with “raised consciousness”—or else she wouldn’t have left off that list the one name obviously missing…..

      A thought experiment: Would the Weinstein story have been published if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency? No, and not because he is a big Democratic fundraiser. It’s because if the story was published during the course of a Hillary Clinton presidency, it wouldn’t have really been about Harvey Weinstein. Harvey would have been seen as a proxy for the president’s husband and it would have embarrassed the president, the first female president.

      With the thousands of words that have been written about this story over the last several days, one grossly overused one from the last 18 months is conspicuously absent–misogyny. Democrats used to be so familiar with that one that just about every american could actually spell it correctly. I wonder what happened.

      The shoe looks so much different when it’s on the other foot.

      Reply
    2. TK421

      Very good catch. I can easily picture Hillary Clinton with her white noise machine blocking out any attempt to gain information about Weinstein’s crimes, since he keeps those big checks coming.

      Reply
    3. RUKidding

      I heard just part of a story about Weinstein on NPR a couple of days ago. One point being made was that Miramax, not too long ago, was quite the powerhouse in the “industry,” and the Weinstein brothers were known to pick winners and have had quite a few money-making hits.

      Apparently more recently, their luck has run out for various reasons, and the hits just aren’t coming anymore. So the speculation in that NPR report was that this also contributed to Weinstein’s downfall. He just wasn’t as powerful anymore, so the sharks smelled blood and went in for the attack.

      That’s also plausible about at least part of the reason why this is all coming to light now.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Vance story about Ivanka and Don Jr. appears to predate the Weinstein story. I don’t know how long the story was out there or whispered, but with the anti-Trump hysteria (OMG Putin or his mindless tweets), I don’t think its possible to sit on a real story about Trump for too long especially when it involves bribes. So it would only be a matter of time before someone noted the unusual donation patterns like Sirota and his fellow reporter (I can’t remember the co-reporter). With that story and one relatively well known actress willing to put her name on it, it would blow up in light of Cosby and O’Reilly’s fall.

        NBC dismissing Farrow’s damning report on Weinstein is not playing well for NBC.

        Then of course, Republicans have no shame, so accusations of hypocrisy don’t bother them. They will run with it through their smaller outlets in light of FoxNews in recent months..

        Reply
    4. mcdee

      Hollywood liberals reaction to the Weinstein scandal reminds me a bit of Capt Renault in Casablanca: ” I’m Shocked! Shocked! to find that sexual harassment is going on in here.”

      Reply
  17. Foppe

    Just ran across this article from july, very relevant/important; on the WaPo’s ‘new’ policies:
    http://www.mintpressnews.com/washington-post-staff-banned-criticizing-advertisers/229821/

    In the face of controversies concerning the use of anonymous and often inaccurate sources and the publication of false news in order to foment anti-Russia hysteria, the Post is now set for another scandal thanks to a new Bezos-approved company-wide policy that seeks to prevent employee criticism of the newspaper’s corporate backers and advertisers.

    The policy, which took effect in May, now prohibits Post employees from using social media in such a way that “adversely affects The Post’s customers, advertisers, subscribers, vendors, suppliers or partners.” According to the policy, the paper’s management team reserves the right to take disciplinary action against violators “up to and including termination of employment.”

    A clause of the policy cited by the Washingtonian also encourages employees to rat out other employees for potentially violating the policy: “If you have any reason to believe that an employee may be in violation of The Post’s Social Media Policy […] you should contact the Post’s Human Resources Department.”

    Reply
  18. Vatch

    Here’s How the Trump Administration Is Quietly Undermining Food Safety New York Magazine. Where the action is… And not on Twitter.

    Thanks for this valuable link. Since before Trump was inaugurated, I have considered Scott Pruitt’s actions to be among the worst of the worst, and this article helps to confirm that conclusion. The article also provides evidence that the actions of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who usually manages to fly under the radar, are also among the worst of the worst. Unlike some Trump nominees, who were narrowly confirmed by the Senate, Perdue was confirmed by a vote of 87-11. We need to pay more attention to the harm that Sonny Perdue is causing.

    Reply
    1. RUKidding

      Yes, agreed. And sadly, of course, the bulk of the “media” is insanely focused on Trump’s every tweet with the attendant outrage meter set to high, but we hear very little about these issues. I certainly don’t see any Democratic politicians discussing it, albeit I could have missed something.

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Definitely.

      Pay attention to Perdue.

      And moreover, pay attention to those 87 senators.

      Mr. Perdue will leave his office long before those 87 (or most/many of them) leave theirs.

      Reply
  19. Wukchumni

    Book tip: My Adventures With Your Money, by George Graham Rice

    Rice hung out in Nevada mining boom towns of the early 20th century, and chronicled goings on there…

    This is the first paragraph, to give you an idea of the flavor on the contents within~

    “You are a member of a race of gamblers. The instinct to speculate dominates you. You feel that you simply must take a chance. You can’t win, yet you are going to speculate and to continue to speculate—and to lose. Lotteries, faro, roulette, and horse-race betting being illegal, you play the stock game. In the stock game the cards (quotations or market fluctuations) are shuffled and riffled and STACKED behind your back, AFTER the dealer (the manipulator) knows on what side you have placed your bet, and you haven’t got a chance. When you and your brother gamblers are long of stocks in thinly margined accounts with brokers, the market is manipulated down, and when you are short of them, the prices are manipulated up.”

    Reply
  20. cyclist

    The NYT article about Russian intelligence using Kaspersky software to steal our precious secrets is awful.

    So it is alright when Israel and the US hack into other countries systems, but not when the evil Russians do the same to us. And if the Israelis really were able to sneak backdoors into the Kaspersky software, can we trust them to tell us what they were really up to? Furthermore, if the US government switches to another brand of anti-virus software, not made by Russians, we will know for sure that there are no backdoors! It is all pretty much spy-vs-spy; I say screw them all.

    The comments are even worse: how could anyone ever consider using software from the Russians (or China, which gets lumped in there)? I personally don’t have Kaspersky anti-virus, but when I trying to choose one to install, I recall Kaspersky was quite highly rated, and better than some US competitors. Could that be why? And on China, maybe those people should open their computers up and read the country of origin on the internal components?

    Reply
    1. Foppe

      The Russian operation, described by multiple people who have been briefed on the matter, is known to have stolen classified documents from a National Security Agency employee who had improperly stored them on his home computer, on which Kaspersky’s antivirus software was installed.

      Conclusion: this is how the NSA rolls too? Or were the “documents” actually infected (NSA-developed) materials that were automatically uploaded to Kaspersky’s servers because they were tagged as suspect? Who’s to say.

      Reply
    2. pricklyone

      “Among the targets Kaspersky uncovered were hotels and conference venues used for closed-door meetings
      by members of the United Nations Security Council to negotiate the terms of the Iran nuclear deal —
      negotiations from which Israel was excluded. Several targets were in the United States, which suggested
      that the operation was Israel’s alone, not a joint American-Israeli operation like Stuxnet.”

      “Investigators later discovered that the Israeli hackers had implanted multiple back doors into Kaspersky’s
      systems, employing sophisticated tools to steal passwords, take screenshots, and vacuum up emails and documents.”
      ——————————————————————————————————————–
      So, while the Israelis were busy performing Cyber warfare in Russia, and in the US, they provided US with info about
      how Russia could maybe use one of their companies to spy on the US. OMG! Hold the presses!
      Of course, US antivirus companies are not compromised, by the Blob, no Sir!
      The comments on NYT are rich. Thanking the Israelis for their ‘service’ to the US!
      Yeah, thanks for ‘servicing’ us, friends!
      Note also, that this was Israel hacking PRIVATE sector company in Russia.

      Reply
    3. Elizabeth Burton

      After hearing multiple friends and others complaining about the way the two major US security suites bollixed up their computers, I opted for Kaspersky. I run it on all my devices except the iPhone, because Apple insists their little wonder doesn’t require outside help.

      I’ve lost count of the number of nasties Kaspersky has identified, quarantined and zapped, and I will not be a happy camper if I am suddenly deprived of their excellent care because Hillary Clinton lost.

      Reply
  21. Craig H.

    The Atlantic article on secrets from Google really did have at least one. Some manager named Teller wears roller blades around the office most of the time.

    I am afraid I had to stop reading at that point. I am too stupid or too square to read further with an open mind.

    Reply
  22. Wukchumni

    Hollywood being Hollywood…

    How do they spin a tawdry tale of an out of control sexual predator, into a reality show that gets good Nielson ratings?

    …and what would they call it?

    Reply
  23. Jeff W

    Louis Theroux: ‘For all his awfulness, I admire Trump’s shamelessness’ The New Yorker

    The New Yorker’s looking an awfully lot like the Grauniad these days (not that that’s a bad thing).

    Reply
  24. allan

    GOP lends Puerto Rico a helping hand. Literally:

    Puerto Rico Relief Bill Cancels $16 Billion in Debt — But Not for Puerto Rico [David Dayen@Intercept]

    House Republicans unveiled a $36.5 billion disaster relief supplemental package on Tuesday night, intended to pay for relief and rebuilding efforts for the floods, hurricanes, and wildfires of the past several months. It includes money for Puerto Rico’s ongoing struggle with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, though only a fraction of that headline number. In fact, $5 billion of the funds earmarked for Puerto Rico comes in the form of a loan, increasing the amount of money the island will eventually need to pay back.

    And in a cruel irony, the bill also contains $16 billion in debt relief – just not for Puerto Rico’s crushing debt. …

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Cancel.

      If they canceled Puerto Rico debts, as opposed to the government assuming them and paying them off, a lot of the little people would see their money gone.

      From a CNN Money article (http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/27/investing/puerto-rico-debt-who-owns-trump/index.html):

      In reality, most of that money is owed to everyday investors. Less than 25% of Puerto Rican debt is held by hedge funds, according to estimates by Cate Long, founder of research firm Puerto Rico Clearinghouse.

      The rest of the debt is owned by individuals and mutual funds that are held by mom-and-pop investors.

      Reply
      1. cyclist

        The rest of the debt is owned by individuals and mutual funds that are held by mom-and-pop investors.
        Maybe mom and pop need to understand what it means to be a rentier?

        Reply
          1. witters

            Just not for Puerto Rican Americans. (I love this kind of altruism – “Abolish hanging? But what about the little people who depend on the souveneirs?”; “Abolish slavery? But Mom and Dad have all their money in it!”).

            Reply
            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I think it depends on who dies first.

              The old lady who invested in such securities for her survival or the people having to pay the loans.

              A greater kind of altruism (I hope you would love as well, if not more) is then not cancellation, but the government assuming, taking over those loans, a distinction pointed out in the 1:31PM comment.

              Reply
      2. todde

        I’ve been telling people for a while now that is why you have a 401(k) and IRA’s. They don’t need DARPA mind control.

        Just get you in the financial market and now your interests automatically line up with your economic betters.

        Reply
        1. Jen

          I’m ten years closer to retirement than I was during the financial crisis, and when the next one comes, I will tell my congress critters to burn it all down – let the banks fail, let the stock market tank, and send these buggers to jail – my 401K be damned.

          Reply
  25. Wukchumni

    What if a cabal of younger generations named XYIS took over the country, starting in the boonies of flyover, making their way to Bankhdad back east?

    Reply
  26. Wukchumni

    A friend was over today and we were talking about complexity and Tainter, and halfway through the conversation I pointed towards an empty 30 pound plastic kitty litter bucket and pointed out that if his life depended on making one of these, he couldn’t do it.

    …and virtually everything we use falls into the same category

    Reply
  27. ewmayer

    o “Anita Hill on Harvey Weinstein Scandal: Sexual Harassment Knows No Politics (Guest Column) | Variety (Kokuanani)” — But the MSM reporting (or as in this case, multidecadal nonreporting) on such certainly “knows politics”. More to that point, I find the AP headline following that interesting in the choice of words:

    o “Clinton ‘appalled,’ Obamas ‘disgusted’ by Weinstein reports | AP” — Note, not appalled, disgusted by the alleged *behavior*, but by the *reports* of same. Hmmmm … possibly a mere glitch in the quotees empathy-simulator AIs, but would seem to fit with Dem elites mind-set of “there is no problem unfixable by better PR”. But hands-down today’s winning elite-pearl-clutching headline for me is unrelated to the casus Weinstein:

    o “The puzzling, persistent weakness of wages | FT” — LOL guys, pull the other one.

    Reply
    1. HotFlash

      o “Clinton ‘appalled,’ Obamas ‘disgusted’ by Weinstein reports | AP”

      There are so many shoes to drop here that if it ever gets going it will seem like Imelda’s closet in an earthquake. Many of the old lions are getting weak. Mrs. Clinton, you should probably order in several cases of Chablis. Methinks, too, that it will be gratifyingly bipartisan.

      Reply
  28. Karen

    Re “Manslaughter charge sought against top Michigan medical executive in Flint water crisis”:

    I read that headline and what immediately popped into my head was, I wonder if this is a woman? I clicked through to the article and discovered to my dismay – but not surprise – that, yes, indeed, it IS a woman.

    Maybe this woman is really the only public official who deserves criminal charges over the Flint water crisis. Just as the other women who’ve been thrown under the bus following other scandals might have been the most guilty and deserving of punishment in those instances. I haven’t dug into the details sufficiently to be sure, one way or the other.

    But I hope someone does dig into the details to see whether women are fairly treated when the public is baying for blood – or are instead used as sacrificial lambs to spare those most responsible, who are also the most powerful.

    Reply
  29. Rod

    Re: Why Do Republicans (and Some Democrats) Vilify Single Payer?

    Refreshing simple truth about pay to play.
    The Nation can’t say it any plainer or bolder.
    Single payer is so much more than just healthcare in the big picture.

    Reply
  30. Oregoncharles

    From “Centrists – Become Marxists:” ” that a decade long stagnation in productivity (which is almost unprecedented since the start of the industrial revolution)”.

    The Law of Diminishing Returns, perchance? Resource limits? I would question whether that’s really causing stagnation in wages; power relationships cause that. But if we’re up against Limits to Growth, this is th e picture you’d expect.

    Reply
  31. Expat

    Re: Health Care
    Right-wing Americans have an odd notion that individuals must act christian, and they laud themselves effusively over solidarity and charity in the aftermath of disaster. A passer-by who does not stop to help an injured child, for example, is vilified.

    Yet, the nation itself is not supposed to act in a christian manner. Helping a sick child is evil and communist. Even today, assisting victims of disaster has become undesirable (think of the racist reactions to Katrina, Maria, and Jose).

    So, while politicians are corrupt and align their health care views with their pockets, average Americans are ignorant and brain-washed into believing being healthy and debt-free is evil and anti-American.

    I really, really don’t get Americans any more. I suppose it comes from having now lived more than half my life on the outside.

    Reply

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