Links 10/16/17

Scientists to discuss new developments in gravitational-wave astronomy National Science Foundation. Sometimes I feel like we’re living in one of those eco-collapse science fiction stories, where brilliant science is being done (generally by the protagonists) at the same time the world is blowing up.

Doctor’s research could buy time for snake bite victims AP (DL).

Calm before the storm? Major central banks must act fast to prevent another global crash South China Morning Post (Furzy Mouse).

Nobody should fear further slowdown in ECB’s asset buys: Villeroy Reuters

Ordinary people Reuters. “IndusInd, a large private sector bank, has agreed to buy Bharat Financial Inclusion – the country’s poster child of niche lending – in an all-share deal for $2.4 billion.”

Climate meetings pose serious test in the Trump era Nature

Severe flaw in WPA2 protocol leaves Wi-Fi traffic open to eavesdropping Ars Technica


Brexiteers fear ‘Swiss Trap’ trade deal Politico

May urges Merkel to end stand-off over Brexit FT. Uh oh, Merkel’s going to another dinner… See today’s post.

Europe Could See Another Brexit-Like Rupture—Beyond Spain Bloomberg

Venezuela vote dispute risks rekindling unrest, sanctions Reuters


Puigdemont doesn’t clarify if he declared independence and proposes two months of dialogue The Local

Catalan leader fails to declare independence before deadline FT

Infighting threatens to derail Catalonia separatists in Spain AP

It’s time to put ‘Austria First’; says its new (and very young) leader Unherd. “The prospect of a centre-right alliance combining smaller, business-friendly economic measures with a nationalistic ‘Austria First’ cultural policy may frighten cosmopolitan elites in Brussels, London and other capitals of influence throughout the world but it is what nearly 60% of Austria chose today.”

Opinion: A right-wing coalition in Austria threatens the EU Deutsche Welle

The Meteoric Rise of Sebastian Kurz Der Spiegel

Interview with Emmanuel Macron: ‘We Need to Develop Political Heroism’ Der Spiegel. Here’s the first question:

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. President, since entering office in May, you have made significant waves around the world. The German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who you read during your university studies, once described Napoleon Bonaparte as “the Weltgeist (“world spirit”) on horseback.” Do you believe that a single person can, in fact, steer history?

Hoo boy. Neera Tanden: “I disagree with some of Macron’s policies but it’s refreshing to see a deep thinker lead a country, at least after these last 9 months.”

Mogadishu blast: ‘We have never seen such devastation’ Al Jazeera


Iran: We will stick to nuclear deal if Europe does Deutsche Welle

Iraqi forces launch operation for Kurdish-held oil fields, military base WaPo

North Korea

Park, Putin agree to restore trans-Siberian vision Korea Herald

North Korea not ready to meet with South Korea in Russia: agencies Reuters

What drives Russia’s Korea policy? Lowy Interpreter


China’s next five years: ‘Only Xi is indispensable’ FT

China places bet on yuan-denominated crude oil futures Asia Times (Re Silc).

New Cold War

Clinton Compares Russian Interference in Election to 9/11 Newsweek. I imagine there are Manhattanites who would take issue with this comparison. And then, of course, there’s the warmongering aspect, since Bush (and Clinton’s) response to 9/11 was the AUMF, and the ensuing Iraq and Afghanistan debacles. Speculating freely: We are getting a sketchy picture of what a Gibsonian stub or parallel universe would look like, where Clinton won…

‘I’m worried’ says Hillary Clinton as she attacks Trump and Putin in Cheltenham Literature Festival talk Gloucestershire Live (also, avocado sandwiches).

Exclusive: Even Pokémon Go used by extensive Russian-linked meddling effort CNN. “CNN has not found any evidence that any Pokémon Go users attempted to enter the contest.”

Trump Transition

U.S. Census ‘Urgently’ Needs Another $3.3 Billion, Wilbur Ross Says Bloomberg

Trump’s Would-Be Weather Czar Tried to Shut Down Free Forecasts Vanity Fair. The looting and corrupton is refreshingly open.

Unsealed Documents Show Voting Changes Sought by Head of Trump’s Voter Commission Governing (KK). On the Commission, see NC here.

As Congress Weighs Debt Forgiveness for Flood Program, Some Want to See it Reformed The Intercept (OregonCharles). How about debt forgiveness for students, then?

Trump Subpoenaed for Documents Related to Sexual-Assault Allegations New York Magazine

Democrats in Disarray

Bernie Sanders Isn’t A Democrat — Thank God Current Affairs. “Political parties aren’t sports teams. Politics are about principles and results, not tribalism.” Joy Reid would disagree; see NC here.

California secessionists think their path to independence is easier than Catalonia’s McClatchy (Re Silc).

President Clinton Looks Back at President Grant Bill Clinton, NYT. Oddly, the Big God devotes no time to Grant’s skills as a strategist; see at NC here.

Downed PG&E power lines investigated as potential cause for North Bay wildfires Daily Californian. Apparently, it’s not Boris and Natasha. At least so far.

Health Care

Trump Brags About Tanking Insurer Stocks With Health Subsidy Cut Bloomberg. Wonder if there was any insider trading on that weird late night announcement…

Partisan clash on Obamacare raises specter of government shutdown WaPo

Despite Trump’s Health-Care Changes, He’s Keeping Obama’s Opioid Strategy Governing (UserFriendly).

The opioid epidemic: How Congress and drug company lobbyists worked to neutralize the DEA WaPo

Police State Watch

How DPS’s Occupation of a Border Town May Have Crippled Its Economy Austin Chronicle (MF). DPS: Texas Department of Public Safety.

Sports Desk

Until youth soccer is fixed, US men’s national team is destined to fail The Conversation

U.S. kids don’t play soccer with bare feet on hardscrabble barrio fields where creativity dominates the action and with few grownups in sight.

Instead, too many American kids play soccer in high-tech cleats on manicured suburban fields, where they stand around quietly until an adult (often paid) runs them through repetitive drills – all to prepare for an expensive tournament three states away.

Commercial components permeate every aspect of the youth game. Research presented in my recent book on college and youth sports shows that family income is highly correlated with youth soccer participation. About 25 percent of American families have incomes over US$100,000 annually, yet they produce 35 percent of youth soccer players.

As the Duke of Wellington did not actually say: “The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.” That idea doesn’t seem to be working out so well for us. I wonder why?

The NFL Protesters Are Getting Their Message Across HuffPo

Colin Kaepernick’s Collusion Claim: Does He Have a Case? Sports Illustrated

Class Warfare

The Mathematics of Inequality Tufts Now (KS). Bruce Boghosian: “Our model, which is able to explain the form of the actual wealth distribution with remarkable accuracy, also shows that free markets cannot be stable without redistribution mechanisms.”

Evaluating the evidence on micro-aggressions and trigger warnings The Economist. Since the shaming tactics used by liberal Democrats have micro-aggression as their theoretical basis, this is a bigger deal than it may seem.

The Barriers Stopping Poor People From Moving to Better Jobs The Atlantic. Poor credit, three months rent, leaving social networks behind, putting Momma in a home, ties to the land….

In the shadow of Disney, living life on the margins Guardian (Re Silc). “The Magic Castle Inn and Suites…”

Dollar General Hits a Gold Mine in Rural America Bloomberg

The Decline of the Midwest’s Public Universities Threatens to Wreck Its Most Vibrant Economies The Atlantic (Re Silc).

Women face creeps like Harvey Weinstein everywhere – not just in Hollywood, writes Anita Hill NY Daily News (and not in the Times or WaPo, oddly).

On the political uses of evil Elizabeth Bruenig, Medium

Richard Wilbur Poetry Foundation (obituary). “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World.”

Antidote du jour (JU):

JU writes: “Here’s some mountain lion photos my friend R. took during his encounter, if you want to use one of em’…”

Good kitty….

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. bwilli123

    Re Richard Wilbur; From “A Baroque Wall-Fountain in the Villa Sciarra” (1957)
    Using shortly-to-be unfashionable rhyme and metrical constraint (much like the fountain is itself ignored) he describes its joyous exuberance.
    In describing the closing scene of the water’s performance, one of my favorite lines of poetry.

    “…And patter on the stones its own applause… “

  2. Robert Hahl

    Re: Women face creeps like Harvey Weinstein everywhere – not just in Hollywood, writes Anita Hill NY Daily News (and not in the Times or WaPo, oddly).

    I think that the amazingly effective secret settlements explain why nothing much changes in this area. It becomes just a cost of doing business.

    1. ambrit

      It’s also a very good stealth argument for restoring Eisenhower Era tax rates. Take away all that money and the creeps will have to think twice, perhaps.
      Sexual assault is one of those “things” that argues for vigilante justice. Unfortunately, that would mean that the Social Contract has broken down. (Uh, what was that on fine print line 39?)
      Somedays, I root for the Apocalypse Team.

      1. tony

        Self-styled vigilantes attacked the home of a hospital paediatrician after apparently confusing her professional title with the word “paedophile”, it emerged yesterday.
        Dr Yvette Cloete, a specialist registrar in paediatric medicine at the Royal Gwent hospital in Newport, was forced to flee her house after vandals daubed it with graffiti in the middle of the night.

        Doctor driven out of home by vigilantes

        Mess with Weinstein, and you get shot, arrested or fed to the hounds.

      2. marieann

        I remember, growing up in Scotland, that a big brother/sister was a great defense against anyone that hassled you.
        Or brothers/ fathers in general when dealing with spousal abuse.
        Such simpler times….now of course we know better?

        1. Deadl E Cheese

          Considering that a huge portion of rapes/sexual assault come from within the immediate or extended family, I’d say that yes. Yes, we do know better.

          Here’s a tip for you: you will always lose money betting on the superior sexual morality of the older generation against the younger one.

        2. a different chris

          Well the problem is that everybody doesn’t have large relatives around to take care of their issues. And how do outsiders know when somebody “deserves it” or not? How do I tell if your brother is protecting you or if he is just shaking your spouse down, and you – growing up under that sort of abuse – won’t come forward for help?

          Am I just supposed to go by the biggest guy’s word on it?

          Finally, Weinstein can hire a pack of large guys, no matter what size your family members are.

        3. neo-realist

          What if you were an only kid when others hassled you?

          What if the only there is only yourself, the kid, if spousal abuse is going on. Sometimes families with siblings couldn’t overcome spousal abuse if they’re threatened w/ a beating or homelessness for standing up to do the right thing.

          And this was during those simpler times.

          The same song and dance, and the malady lingers, in all generations.

    2. Robert Hahl

      A time limit of 3 years on the enforeability of any and all confidentiality agreements would do it. But I suppose that such a rule might lead to the end of western civilization so we better think this through.

      1. Old Jake

        Hmm, sounds increasingly attractive. Is there really a baby in there or can we not just discard the whole mess and start over?

        Yes, that is indeed the sound of aggravated frustration. And just about every woman I know has posted #metoo.

      2. Procopius

        I wonder how a violent guy like Weinstein gets his early start on becoming a billionaire. I can understand why people are afraid to expose him after he gets rich and powerful, but how about in those early days when he only has a couple million dollars? By the way, did Weinstein inherit money, like Trump? It’s easy to understand how those guys get to feel so entitled and protected.

    3. izziets

      I’m sure the fact that 62,984,825 Americans voted for a candidate after he was caught on tape bragging about engaging in the exact behavior as Mr. Weinstein has nothing to do with the problem.

    1. voteforno6

      I think the problem isn’t so much the quality of the facilities available to the players, as what these children do in their free time. Kids in the U.S. don’t seem to play much soccer in an unstructured, unsupervised environment. That’s how they’re able to develop certain unique skills on their own, something that could never happen through repetitious drills. On the other hand, I see a lot of kids playing basketball and football, which allows them to develop a more creative style of play. Free play has a definite benefit for how children learn how to play sports.

        1. Ivy

          Free-range kid here. So much education took place outdoors with other kids. We learned about construction (tree forts were just the beginning),destruction (use your imagination), tactics (playing Army wasn’t just improvised stick guns), aeronautics (roof, cape, skis, snow, bikes, variants of gravity appreciation), biology (pets, nature) and social interaction (coalitions, negotiations) among countless topics.

          Today’s kids may need an instruction manual along the lines of the Dangerous Book for Boys and the Daring Book for Girls, if only to glimpse a little of what their parents enjoyed.

          1. Wukchumni

            I’m another free range kid from different era, where we had to make our own fun, it wasn’t something you pushed a button to accomplish, we made it up as we went. I remember being bored at times-especially in the summer, and i’m not so sure that kids now are being offered the opportunity to have to improvise their activities. We had a series of forts, both free standing and of the arbor variety, utilizing materials ‘borrowed’ from nearby housing developments when the construction workers were gone. We’d also jump from the 2nd story of partially completed homes into an adjacent 6 foot high pile of sand, little daredevils were we. A large cardboard box from a fridge turned into something we could roll down a hill, with one of us inside it, and yes we earned our share of scrapes, bruises and broken bones, but it allowed us to learn limits.

          2. blennylips

            Apparently it is worse than that:

            Home Depot Panics Over Millennials; Forced To Host Tutorials On Using Tape Measures, Hammering Nails.

            1. jrs

              Well it would be a kind of useless skill anyway beyond hanging pictures in the apartment, as we are told millennials can’t afford to buy houses.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The kids kicking a ball of rags aren’t going to open try outs and joining premier League teams in Europe. Scouts are snatching kids, dispatching them to camps, and letting them play. The good ones move on. The bad kids are hired as scouts. Sons of former athletes are checked on. The best non-USian players played as much structured soccer’s as their U.S. counterparts. Heck, the probably even had meals planned out for an entire year with a focus on transforming their bodies since they were first identified as having talent.

        1. a different chris

          Isn’t that sad? All that to kick a ball for somebody else’s amusement.

          I also find it ironic that soccer – which is no doubt, seriously just a brilliantly athletic sport – derives said brilliance from the fact that all but two guys on the pitch aren’t allowed to use their hands.

          You know, the things that arguably are as much as what make us human as our brains.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      The point, I believe, is not how much money is put into the academy, but who is investing that money. In the US, they seem to be largely funded by charging parents for the training and the opportunity to be spotted by scouts. In Europe and South America, scouts for clubs large and small scour every local park and club for boys with talent. It is the clubs that invest the money, so the childs background is irrelevant. Being poor or from a remote backwater is not a disadvantage for a European or South American boy with talent.

      If you take, for example, someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, its hard to see how he would have succeeded if he was American. He comes from a small island (Madiera) and an impoverished background, and needed an heart operation at age 15 for a congenital heart problem. Lionel Messi also came from a very poor background, and needed expensive treatment (which was paid for by Barcelona) for a serious medical condition.

      1. Timmy

        I believe the disproportionate number of major league baseball players/prospects from the Dominican Republic, and the process by which they are found by scouts, would support your theory.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          In the case of the U.S., our issue is finishing behind Costa Rica and Panama with their total population of 10 million. Honduras is still alive and has 9 million people.

          There is no reason for the U.S. to finish behind most of our group from a population perspective. The travel teams are modeled on the Euro, Central, and South American operations, but the average talent is diluted by rich kids who just like soccer. They might even be crafty, but the good kids will learn tricks. The problem is our good players don’t play in an environment where they play against kids as good or better than them. They might get great coaching, but it’s still basically the local kids sans the athletes who play another sport.

        2. Wukchumni

          I’m not sure how they rate now, but the West Indies were a cricket powerhouse for years, and seeing as the best baseball players come from the same area often, there must be something in the water, as both pursuits have similar eye-hand coordination, combined with swinging a big stick.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        As a result, the talented kids are playing other talented kids at every position. In the U.S., talent can only be drawn from a shrunken economic class and the result is there are kids who aren’t playing against talent at every position in which case they aren’t getting good enough to play against elite players who know all the tricks of crafty players.

      3. A1


        The reason is the best athletes in US go to football and basketball and baseball and soccer last. In Europe soccer first. In Canada it is hockey.

        Look to NFL for stories of rags to riches locally.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Many countries have multiple sports and much smaller populations than the US and yet can still field decent teams. Australia (pop. 25 million) has as much player talent as the US despite soccer being a distant fifth behind Rugby Union, Rugby League, Aussie Rules and Cricket as a pro sport. The island of Ireland can produce two decent international teams with a population of less than 7 million, despite soccer having a much less developed junior structure than rugby or gaelic football and hurling.

          1. blah

            Australia and Ireland aren’t much (if any) better than the US. I won’t pick on Ireland because it’s a little country, but Australia is painful to watch. I for one was disappointed to see them make the playoff–rescued by the aging Tim Cahill who is effective for sure, but is more of rugby player than footballer. Go Honduras! The US barely missed out on qualification this year, and while our soccer still stinks, it’s getting much better.

        2. Left in Wisconsin

          What makes the NFL unique in terms of rags to riches is that you don’t need to have played any organized youth football to succeed as a pro, if you are a good enough athlete. There are a couple of pros that didn’t even play in college, or only one year after giving up on basketball. Can’t do that with soccer.

        3. Bettter bet

          I kindly disagree. Could the best soccer athletes (messi, renoldo,) play baseball, basketball or American Football? Not even remotely, yet are considered the best of the there is something else here…

        4. Punta Pete

          Also, Croatia with a population of only 4.3 million manages to field world class teams in soccer, basketball and water polo.

      4. Alex Morfesis

        The football/$occer mess in these united states…had the displeasure of turning to the sport late in life after a football practice at fordham prep where the non catholic kid got pilled on in practice after being tackled and the left knee had a feeling which required me to grab facemasks and twist necks to get the clowns off me…

        a few weeks later I started learning to dribble a ball, but living in Secaucus left one looking at the kearny machine which along with st louis and san diego, seemed to dominate the sport in america at that time as bogicevic and carlos alberto were doing their swan song across the drainage canal commonly known as the Hackensack river…

        Since Secaucus high had no team a local group formed “the cobras”…probably since at that point in time, the only way we might win was if one were foolish enough to get bit by one of us…

        The “coach” who pulled us together signed us up for the wrong level of talent and by the time we bumped into the mighty Thistle FC in the kearny area, they were running such circles around us, they confused our accidental kicking of their shins(we were trying to get to the balls…we were that bad…) with wanting to kick them on purpose…I probably didn’t help since my job as sweeper was to stick on and shut down their playmaker midfielder…which I did by literally leaning into him and ignoring the game…which was not what they had ever planned against(me was fast back in da daze)…& my tugging down on his shirt when the refs were not looking got into his head and he eventually took a few swings at me and got red carded…(a babies gotta do what a babies gotta do…)

        They still won by an american football score and after the game it became a bit of a rumble…with them insisting “the cobras” were not fit for taking the field against these “glorious” players…probably true at that moment except…

        Out in the wild, as ferel players, we became angry…and really good…and within 18 months we could take on anyone in the state…we had a core 8 who had worked through all our deficiencies and learned to breath as one…at which point no one wanted to let us go back up the ladder…it would be an embarrassment that a bad news bears team could adjust so quickly…

        Looking back, it is not that we became so good…it is that by not having any real competition and harvesting the “betterers” & helping them win…the “chosen ones would not mature”…

        as it became obvious when the better version of us would be “slowed down” by refs calling mystery off-sides on “kim”…our giorgio chinaglia…no power but pure precision…

        Obviously, nothing has changed 30 plus years on…siloing of talent leading to limited expansion of talent…the expansion of my capacities were helped by the good fortune of being able to afford a vcr and being able to record the actions of bogie, learning to conserve energy and learning to place the ball at the feet of a striker softly and in stride…as bill walsh taught montana to do with the niners…

        Kim should have been on those wheaties boxes, along with john cerny…

        they had become that good…

        But…we did not bow down to the bundesliga style of play demanded by the clowns that be in north jersey…

        It still is what it is…

        1. polecat

          I say we just dispense with the pretense of being civilized, and bring back the Coliseum of old, replete with chariots, tridents, and lions …
          In this age of imperial debauchery and decline, who wouldn’t pay to see that ?!!

          Give us a damned daily bread !

    3. JohnnyGL

      For all you soccer fans, the World Football Phone-in is one of the best in the business.

      Tim Vickery is on every week and he’s a wonderful expert on S. American soccer. This week, they have’s North America editor, Jon Arnold on, too.

      Just listening now, but I already know it’s good.

    4. Sid Finster

      But a lot of the best European prospects aren’t European, in the sense that they didn’t grow up in Europe.

      In the US, soccer, for better or worse, is mostly a rich kids’ sport.

  3. Terry Humphrey

    In my view, the best way to counter Trump is to flip the House in 2018. It is far more important than 2020. Bernie, Our Revolution, DAS, etc. get it. They also understand it will be won through retail politics. However, the Democrats’ pity party goes on unabated, in fact HRC seems to be getting more active, taking the mic from her Neera, Joy and Peter guardians. Ms. Gray correctly compares HRC’s harridans as “mean girls” with their vacuous “he’s not a Democrat” refrain. They are blowing a golden opportunity.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Yes, getting the House is certainly important. We can definitely win 2020, but we’ve got to build up to it.

    2. Sid Finster

      Even if Team D were to flip the House, they would do nothing of substance with it.

      Google the Iron Law of Institutions. If change is to happen, it will be necessary to destroy the institutions and build over the wreckage.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Exactly. From the article:

        It’s about guaranteeing people the basics in life: healthcare, education, well-compensated work, and making sure a tiny cabal of rich people doesn’t control the lives of everyone else. Unless the Democratic Party doesn’t stand for those things, it’s hard to see what they could possibly object to about Sanders’ agenda.


        If Bernie Sanders, the most popular politician in America, is not a Democrat, it is the Democrats, not Bernie, who need to consider redefining themselves.

        Articulation of principles FIRST. Election / votes SECOND.

      2. Vatch

        You are probably correct, but there is a slight chance for change. This is why it is so important for people to participate in the primary election process. If most of the Democratic party’s candidates in the 2018 general election are the equivalent of Stepford Wives, nothing will change. Voters need to be willing to vote out the establishment Democrats in the primaries — get rid of the politicians who are so obsequious to billionaires.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      “They are blowing a golden opportunity.”

      The Democratic elite are at best a center-right party by the standards of the world. They aren’t blowing a golden opportunity because they don’t want to advocate for policies such as single payer. California is a perfect example. The voters did their part, and suddenly, all those single payer advocates in the legislature know its not yet time despite running on the issue for years.

      Besides, Donald Trump was just the GOP nominee. Blowing opportunities to make political and policy advances is the Democratic calling card. Until there is a whole sale purge, not merely challenges to Republicans, Team Blue will never change.

      1. Anon

        Germany is very different than the U.S. Of course, they ID talent early and refine it in high quality coaching/playing environment. The suburban soccer system doesn’t ID talent early and then coach it up to high level competition.

        However, my local Parks dept. has set up a special soccer field that is used to showcase local talent in Sunday games with high-level out of town talent. The skill level displayed in the games is top notch. The competition to get into the game is fierce. That is how you improve game of soccer in the US.

  4. David May

    Harvey Weinstein gets away with it not because he is a man, but because he is a powerful man. This is also an issue of class and power.

    For a depressing article in the all men are rapists vein:
    Harvey Weinstein is just a man being a man
    Written by Jasmin Alibhai-Brown (who is just an idiot being an idiot).

    1. jCandlish

      The story of a salesman selling the commodification of entertainment, a luxury of no intrinsic value that is at its best when spontaneous and free.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Spontaneous, free and homemade.

        (Each of you is a star, the greatest artist of your life when you unlock your innate creativity).

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Spontaneous, free and homemade.

        (Each of you is a star, the greatest artist of your life when you unlock your innate creativity).

        But the modern man has given up his own journey of discovery, and is, instead, addicted to saturate his mind with its virtual replacements.

        For example, playing football on a Sunday afternoon, even with not the fiercest tackling or fastest running, is more meaningful and healthy than watching strangers on TV playing it, making them into gods and concentrating a whole bunch of wealth into a few hands.

      1. Carolinian

        A friend says there are some factual errors in the above link (i.e. Shirley Temple never contracted with MGM) so just ignore as anything more than gossip. Also Fatty Arbuckle was falsely accused of rape (the link says he was acquitted) but the scandal wrecked his career.

    2. Bill

      all manner of men “get away with it” in all walks of life. They are in positions of power relative to their prey. They can be a school bus driver, a church deacon, a teacher, anyone with insulating people around them who do not want to share or admit their shame and find it more convenient and comfortable to enable adolescent male behavior. And not just men.

      If a man wrote this article, would he be an idiot being an idiot???

      1. neo-realist

        I suspect you really mean all manner of white men “get away with it” in most walks/classes of life whether its wall street bankers committing crooked dealings or bad cops who kill unarmed black men.

        White versions of Kalief Browder and the Central Park Five are quite rare in America.

        1. JBird

          By comparison maybe. In absolute numbers, I suspect not as just being poor, or working class, can get you those white versions of Kaleif Browder and the Central Park Five

    3. JBird

      Anyone who thinks it is just being male that make people do these things are clueless. I’ve seen some slimy Weinstein-like women in my time; It’s just that the male gender has the greater power, and therefor the greater opportunities for abusing others.

      It is depressing to see someone with wealth, talent, and social standing throwing it away because he had to rape others, or destroy their careers, because what, small-souled, evil, stupid, cruelty?

  5. Will Eizlini

    “Sometimes I feel like we’re living in one of those eco-collapse science fiction stories, where brilliant science is being done (generally by the protagonists) at the same time the world is blowing up”

    Don’t you sometimes look around and think, well, we know that as a population collapse is natural and likely…Why can’t people just be classy about it? Why do we have to stoop so low, clawing our way to scrape the bottom of the barrel, making it worse for everyone

    1. JTMcPhee

      “Suicide is painless…”

      And VC and PE guys are already moving in on hospice, and taking positions in states that have liberally adopted assisted suicide “laws…”

      As to brilliant scientists in sci-fi (b-movie style) doing great science while the asteroid hurtles toward the planet or the enormous nuclear-or-pollution-mutated sludge worms consume whole cities and continents, a lot of that science is about even better ways to render humans still more vulnerable, and about even more compendious ways to slaughter them. Lots of “brilliant scientists” at DARPA and the Lockheed Skonk Works and General Atomics and Monsanto and such, and more still competing to grab “funding” from the MMT pile and those corporations that see profit in deadly diseases and a warmer planet and autonomous killing machines because Markets! and Future!

  6. funemployed

    re: the soccer article. As a white kid who grew up playing streetball in mostly black neighborhoods, I have strong anecdotal evidence in confirmation of this hypothesis. We never had much respect for “basketball camp kids” who’s general lack of ability to engage in the creativity and deception that are the core of the sport (not to mention general pouting and complaining and blaming when they got fairly schooled), earned them much contempt on the courts where the future greats truly learned their trade.

    They’d often start out really well, then the opposition would figure them out and adapt after a few plays, and they’d be totally lost.

    The camp kids also, for the most part, never really develop the sacred “love of the game” that only true ballers will every really understand.

    1. ArcadiaMommy

      Agreed! Another thing I have noticed is that most kids in the US don’t grow up with an emotional connection to soccer. More anecdotal here, but my boys love tennis, lacrosse, college football and college basketball – guess what Daddy LOVES to play/watch: tennis, lacrosse, college football and college basketball. They are completely immersed in these sports as players and spectators. They tried soccer but there was no joy in it – they had to be dragged to practice. My oldest is begging me to play flag football next year, promising he won’t play tackle (yeah right).

      1. Jack

        Just about every kid with a modicum of basketball talent is ensnared in the web of the AAU which is completely interwoven with high school and college basketball “programs” (I hate that euphemism). It is a corrupt environment that grabs kids as young as 8 years old and takes over their lives. It has been so successful that other sports are emulating the process. High schools are starting to lose their top tier tennis and ice hockey players; baseball and, yes, softball players join ‘travel’ squads at 12 years old. Non-public schools are becoming dominant in football by recruiting in wider geographical areas than public schools are permitted.

        The major hand-wringing over our national soccer failures seems to come from the press and those who are invested, monetarily and otherwise, in soccer’s success.

        The plus side of this derangement: more rock climbers, hikers, recreational runners, bicyclers, etc.

        1. ArcadiaMommy

          Yep, my 10 yo is getting “attention” from tennis “reps”, at tournaments. The professionalization of kids’ sports is bizarre! We haven’t seen anything big at this point but he loves to play and I would hate for him to get caught up in the cycle of feeling like he needs to play for these trinkets or that it could lead to the tour. He is a talented player and loves competing, but I can’t imagine that he would be a pro on the tour and I wouldn’t sacrifice his academic success to go to one of the tennis academies instead of high school/college. Plus, I work and honestly I am too lazy to turn my life upside down for some vague expectation of monetary success. His tennis teacher said to keep participating in other sports at least until high school – it’s healthier for them physically and mentally.

        2. Masonboro

          “major hand-wringing over our national soccer failures”

          The Women’s national team is the best in the world almost every year and represents the same culture as the Men. I subscribe to the theory that boys prioritize other sports as youths. You could probably build a world class team from Little League shortstops if they were redirected at an early age.

        3. Deltron

          Just a nitpick, the meteoric rise of the non-school related “travel” youth sports team is a relatively recent phenomenon in the U.S. (15-20 years). However, the recruitment of public school athletes by private schools has gone on for 50 years, arguably longer.

          In the case of AAU basketball, as you noted, there are shoe reps, agents, coaches, “handlers”, etc. that “invest” in players in hopes of hitting pay dirt. These are the people who essentially sponsor the up-and-coming basketball players so they can participate on travel teams. There’s nothing like that for youth soccer in the U.S., so there’s an issue of scouting (or lack thereof). That’s not the primary problem though, it’s a symptom. The primary reason is the lack of player development, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Say what you will about Jurgen Klinsmann, but I think he was right that the U.S. needs to establish better opportunities for inner city kids to play soccer. You go to cities like Detroit and there’s a basketball court in every neighborhood. From what I understand, that’s not the case for soccer fields in Houston, L.A., San Antonio, etc.

    2. neo-realist

      The camp kids usually received better education than the inner city kids who love the game, but also go all in to be great and become pros since their crappy education hasn’t given them the options for careers in life that the camp kids got.

  7. Craig H.

    I read the spiegel interview with Macron and it was uncanny valley. First, it was surprising from the guy who said he is going to be Jupiter and just sit up on Mount Olympus and not tweeting out everything he thinks. And the tone of this interview was like Kim Kardashian on the Oprey Winfrey show. What was that line where the interviewer was commenting that he almost sounds like he is in love with Merkel or something?

    At least they didn’t ask him if he talks to his shrink about Oedipus complexes. Or maybe they edited that part out.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Don’t know why they couldn’t make it simpler, without getting into what a college student studied way back when:

      the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who you read during your university studies, once described Napoleon Bonaparte as “the Weltgeist (“world spirit”) on horseback.” Do you believe that a single person can, in fact, steer history?

      How about, do you believe that a single person can, in fact, steer history, like Siddhartha, Julius Caesar, or Xi?

      1. Vatch

        Who’s Xi? Certainly not the current Chinese leader, because we don’t yet know what his effect on history will be.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Xi was asked in order to make Macron look good, by correcting the Der Speigel interviewer.

          He could then say, “Well, Xi is trying, but I can do more than him,” or something like that.

      2. Harold

        Machiavelli said the great men “grab fortune by the forelock” — that is, they know how to seize the occasion (right moment or Time Spirit) — and he gave as an example Moses in the Bible leading the children of Israel into Canaan. But no Italian was able to do what Machiavelli recommended until Garibaldi came along 400 years later. One could say that in matters of “great-man-type luck the greatness is a matter of post hoc ergo propter hoc. In any case, I don’t remember any cases of great men giving press conferences about their intended great deeds before having accomplished them. Even De Gaulle. Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems an unpropitious error on the part of Macron.

  8. The Rev Kev

    Re: ‘I’m worried’ says Hillary Clinton as she attacks Trump and Putin
    This is never going to end, is it? It has been nearly a year since the election and Clinton and her cohorts are still rabbiting on about the evil Russians buying the election for Trump. Just to put the boot in, they treat Americans like idiots and say that the Russians spent 100 grand on Facebook ads here and 5 grand on ads on Google there. And pocket change like this turned over the 2 billion that Hillary spent on the elections?
    I can see the secret meeting held in the Kremlin back in 2016 now.
    ‘Mr. Putin, we have found how to stop Clinton being President of the United States with a few hundred thousand dollars of ads.’
    ‘Forget it. The budget is too tight.’
    ‘Mr. Putin, fortunately we have found the few hundred thousand needed in a line item in the budget we can use, under the Dacha fund.’
    ‘Hey, I was going to use that money to renovate my weekend dacha. It was just enough to cover it! Very well, you can use it, but I still want my weekend dacha renovated out of next years budget!’
    ‘Da, Comrade Putin. It will be done’

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It will end, but it’s like Carl Sagan’s point about how holders of bad ideas die out, they don’t change. The Clinton candidacy never made sense except to avert a Democratic primary where there was room for voters to interact with candidates and push them left. Hillary has enough sycophants to silence dissent. Outside of this, her candidacy never made sense on paper in 2016, so in a sense it was always rooted in belief. Delusion is a helluva drug.

      Even now Clinton fans will say they are worried a shift leftward will lead to election defeats. These people are incapable of learning.

      1. flora

        The leftward shift is slowly, slowly happening – even in surprising places. Hillary and the Dem estab turned their back on the working class assuming, I guess, they were turning their backs only on white high school degreed men. Turns out moving those factory jobs to Mexico (hello, NAFTA) put a lot of high school degreed white women and black men and women out of work, too – the very people the Dem estab claim to champion. Good story in the NYTimes recently.

        “Becoming a Steelworker Liberated Her. Then Her Job Moved to Mexico.”
        It’s hard to be “liberated” if you can’t pay the rent.

        And this from Leonard Pitts:
        “Democrats need to move left”

        1. makedoanmend

          ….”Democratic Party needs to move left.”

          How about:

          “The Left needs to move the Democratic Party….”

          a. to the working class
          b. towards democracy
          c. a & b
          d. over a cliff

          1. Kevin

            It’s all re-arranging deck chairs until we get the $ out of politics – at least as much as we can. Our public servants are not doing our bidding, but the bidding of their donors.

            1. Vatch

              Yes, but this problem is getting a lot of attention. If enough people get involved in the Democratic primaries in 2018, some changes are possible — maybe not very likely, but possible.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Its happening, but in 2008 and 2016, Hillary had virtually no primary support among people who weren’t old enough to vote for Al Gore. Her support among people who weren’t old enough to vote in 1996 represented a precipitous drop. Obama’s perceived betrayals and Sanders slap dash campaign meant Sanders had a steep climb in early states.

          The Clinton element is dying. After all the “new Democrats” came in during the wake of Water Gate. They’ve been around for over forty years now. Even by generational standards, Hillary has been a national figure since 1992 representing the white flight yuppie. Now, they gentrify after making sure to evict the locals. The nature of wealth inequality and the remaking of the Democratic Party in the Clinton image has left no bench or structured way to support candidates.

    2. Sid Finster

      And yet according to russiagate logic, these same alleged masterminds could have elected a Russia-friendly Congress for less money than it costs to run a couple of moderately-priced House races, but didn’t bother?

      And why isn’t every advertiser in the land calling “Russia”, if these guys have such superpowers? For a couple hundred grand, your brand could be the next Coca Cola! Oh, but it’s Russia. We couldn’t do that!

      The whole theory is so asinine to not be worth discussing, but russiagate partisans won’t let it go.

    3. John D.

      So. Is she gearing up for another shot at the White House?

      I know Hillary has publicly stated she’s not going to attempt another grab at the brass ring, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything, does it? It’s pretty damn clear the centrist neolib crowd within the Democrats are hedging their bets on Trump being so hated by the end of his 1st term that they’ll be able to waltz right in and take over without having to actually do or change anything. That appears to be the plan (such as it is) no matter who ends up running in the next presidential election.

      With that in mind, I can easily envision a scenario where Clinton’s supporters “spontaneously” beg her to run when the time comes, to “save” the party – and the country, of course! – if no one else even remotely palatable decides to throw his/her hat into the race. This is what she’s been scheming towards for decades now, after all, and I can’t see her giving up quite so willingly as all that. If she truly has had enough, she’s sure going about showing it in a funny way by refusing to gracefully withdraw from public life like every other presidential candidate in history, wouldn’t y’all say?

      Think about it: (1.) This would get the big ol’ Money Machine up and running again, which seems to be her raison d’etre in life, (2.) Ego would finally be satisfied by being the 1st woman Prez (and an all-the-more dramatic story for the history books by dragging her self-promoting campaign through not one, not two, but three elections before she was able to force the grubby peasants to give in and accept her, and (3.) revenge must be a concept that is a particularly sweet temptation right now. Not just against Trump – and how satisfying all by itself it would be to kick his fat ass out of the White House, am I right? – but against that filthy commie Sanders and his crazy FDR/New Deal way of thinking, and especially against an ungrateful electorate that refuses to shut up, do what its told and vote for their natural superiors as God and the 1% intended.

      The only strikes I can see against this theory are (1.) she’s said she’s not going to try another stab at the White House, and (2.) she’s no spring chicken. But I don’t trust her on (1.) – her word alone certainly isn’t good enough – and as for (2.), all of the current Democrats in a position to attempt a run at the Presidency suffer from the same problem. They’re all old and tired and useless. That being the case, is she really at any more of a disadvantage than the rest of them, at least on this front? If she runs for President again, she gets to keep herself in the spotlight for years yet, and if she runs and wins, she’s able to advance the glorious neoliberal/Third Way, “sensible,” “centrist” agenda that is the only political process she has any real loyalty towards. And if she runs again and loses, she can simply do what she did last time: Blame everyone and everything but herself and the smirking technocrat brain trust of preening self promoters she’ll no doubt surround herself with again. A win/win. no?

      1. False Solace

        It’s not really the case that “every other presidential candidate in history” withdrew from public life, grew a beard, showed up on SNL in a hot tub, etc. Henry Clay ran for President 3 times and failed, Nixon ran again and won, etc. So I’m not really perturbed by HRC’s antics. They seem par for the course for a power-hungry narcissist. I mean what else would you expect really?

        I do think it underscores the tremendous bullet we dodged as a nation.

        1. Vatch

          To add to your list of post-Presidential election activities: John Quincy Adams became a member of the House of Representatives, Andrew Johnson (briefly) became a Senator, William Howard Taft became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Jimmy Carter helped to build houses for poor people. Carter’s post-election activities are more useful than Clinton’s.

    4. John A

      On her current book pushing tour of England, Clinton was one hour late for the avocado sandwich session at Cheltenham, and so late for her scheduled appearance on BBC Radio Woman’s Hour it was cancelled. Dear old Vlad is obviously mind mastering the traffic jams in England to thwart la Clinton yet again.

    5. Anonymous

      Assange on Clinton — yesterday:

      There’s something wrong with Hillary Clinton. It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement. Watch closely. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen.

      What does he mean by this? Might she really be reptillian? He’s never been wrong so far…

    6. uncle tungsten

      Thank you rev kev I had a good chuckle over that one. The good news is the the antidote to the Russian paranoia is to be found at redpillblack on YouTube which I only discovered a day or so ago. there are lots of antidotes for all manner of democrat afflictions at that site. ND commenters will all get a laugh and the antidote lasts at least 24 hours.

  9. Carolinian

    Re Dollar General. These stores are what many no doubt imagine Walmart to be–a limited selection of mostly mediocre merchandise. It’s hard to see why anyone would go there unless they had no choice but the company’s aggressive expansion means the stores are easy to find and therefore convenience may have something to do with it.

    That said the notion that stores appealing to low cost shoppers are the growth segment seems hard to deny. Locally the current price war between Lidl and Aldi has produced some almost ridiculous prices (sample: a dozen eggs for 30 cents). For those of us who have been Aldi shoppers as much for the convenience (the stores are small) there’s the question of whether the two German food store colossi are going to bump each other off.

    1. cocomaan

      It’s hard to see why anyone would go there unless they had no choice

      I am extremely well off compared to other customers, but I go to the dollar store in our area a few times a year. You can’t beat the prices on things like wrapping paper, trash bags, paper towels, and other items like that. I found a copy of Stephen King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams at one a few weeks back for three dollars, and I needed a short story book. Back when we were poor graduate students, we went to a Dollar General for food.

      The other thing we have in our area is a bump and dent grocer run by a Mennonite family. We’re there every month or so buying (often) expired food. You can’t beat four cans of campbells soup for one dollar.

      “Essentially what the dollar stores are betting on in a large way is that we are going to have a permanent underclass in America”

      These stores have thrived in my rural area. They’re not betting on a permanent underclass, they’re sure of it happening. I think NC readers should go into one of these stores sometime and take a look at the people shopping there. It’s a hell of an experience. I’d love to have some of our national politicians touring these places, but they wouldn’t be caught dead in one.

      1. RUKidding

        I agree with you, and I, too, shop in Dollar General (or similar) on occasion to purchase certain types of items at greatly reduced prices. Why not?

        And frankly, where I shop many of the customers look like me or similar. It’s people being thrifty and buying stuff at discounted prices.

        In CA we have a chain called Grocery Outlet. Their prices aren’t always as cheap as Dollar General, but they are less than the regular grocery story. They big plus is that they sell good quality (and often organic) produce for much less than even the local farmer’s markets.

        I do have friends who’ve been on limited budgets who relied on Dollar General’s groceries to get them through tough financial times.

        Our Overlords could give a stuff about us in the rabble. Even if one or more of them visited a Dollar General, I’m sure that they’d learn absolutely nothing from the experience.

        1. Jim Haygood

          It’s people being thrifty and buying stuff at discounted prices.

          Thinking only of their self interest, these bargain shoppers undermine our common social goal of achieving 2 percent inflation … for the greater good.

          Frank Roosevelt knew how to handle these insidious price chiselers:

          The Robinson-Patman Act, amending the Clayton Antitrust Act in 1936, aimed to protect small grocery stores from price competition offered by A&P, King Kullen (“World’s Greatest Price Wrecker”), and other chain stores.

          Because they bought goods in large volume, [chain stores] obtained quantity discounts and passed savings to consumers. Less efficient small stores wanted to maintain high prices.

          The bottom line was that the law made it illegal for big stores to cut prices. [Whereas] if private stores had conspired among themselves to maintain high prices, they would have invited prosecution under the antitrust laws.

          Struggle against the price wreckers, comrades. ;-)

          1. jsn

            FDRs policy was high inflation, high cost, high wage: everyone won and it created the middle class.

            Maybe low inflation, low prices and low wages work great for you, for going on 40 years they haven’t for most people.

      2. Kurtismayfield

        I shop at a local Dollar tree.. and yes it is an enlightening experience. Their stuff is all disposal, and in very small portions. If you are living paycheck to paycheck they are great for getting a few things under five dollars. I know the stuff is crap but I really don’t care.. I am buying it knowing that it will not last.

        The shoppers and employees are both from the same class usually, which is a good thing. No one is looking down on anyone, unless it’s a soccer mom in the store being a tourist like I am

        1. Carolinian

          I prefer Dollar Tree to Dollar General or the other dollar stores. If you are going to go to a dollar store then you might as well get some real bargains and they have some being sold at their “prix fixe.” Example: led light bulbs.

      3. Dale

        They all have dollar in their names, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc. They’re nothing new, except their names. A long time ago, maybe fifty years, they were all called Five & Dimes, or just the Dime Store. Same cheap products mixed in with a few good deals. Instead of dimes now it’s dollars. Someone the other day here noticed the growing similarities between Amazon and Sears. Maybe only a few retail business models exist and the actual change we believe we see is merely a recycled version.

      4. Mike Mc

        Dollar General and paycheck advance stores are instant neighborhood economic indicators (even more so than tattoo and nail parlors in my book). Throw in pawn shops – esp. the modern chain versions – and you know what’s going on in the pocketbooks of the locals.

        We can talk about the majority of young families I see shopping for clothes in working and middle class department stores being minorities in this large Midwestern city some other time. Mostly Hispanic but certainly other more recent immigrants – many church groups here including mine help resettle refugee families here. Don’t know what this means, except that I’m not seeing similar aged young white American families shopping there too.

        1. CalypsoFacto

          Don’t know what this means, except that I’m not seeing similar aged young white American families shopping there too.

          The lower income white singles and families I know shop at thrift/’vintage’ stores for clothing (Pacific NW). Either because as a hipster/cool person since the ’90s shopping used has been seen as fully socially acceptable, or for genuine budgetary reasons. But of course not all lower income whites are cool hipstery types, and those certainly shop at Dollar stores out here. There is a lot of snobbery associated with where you shop among whites but they don’t usually think to call it classism.

          Another aspect is car/no car; no car, low income whites tend to skew hipster*; Dollar stores are often in locations accessible by car, which are usually not the same residential areas hipsters live. Forgive my rampant generalizing but I’ve noticed the lack of cool kids in the Dollar stores and wondered why, doesn’t everyone need cheap paper products and batteries? But I have a car, and do a lot of casual erranding with it, and so Dollar stores are places I see (but didn’t at all during the years I did not have a car and shopped exclusively in the 2sq mi I could reach on foot).

          *: there are low and high income hipsters it’s not all avocado toast and dwell all the time, also, making a basic tribal group generalization

          1. CalypsoFacto

            I probably should have used ‘front row urban-dwelling cool kids’ instead of hipsters since nobody will ever self-identify as one and everyone hates them but wanted to point out that some low income whites shop at Dollar stores, just not all of them, and those that don’t go elsewhere (thrift stores) because of class/snobbery/tribal reasons

      5. Oregoncharles

        There are two or three dollar stores in my very high-rent town. They’re where I buy reading glasses; I need to have them scattered everywhere I might be, so $1 is a lot better than $20. And I found some interesting books there – one was [Edward] “Steichen in Color,” an art book.

        We get everything possible in thrift stores and garage sales, or we couldn’t afford to live here.
        It’s also fun, a treasure hunt.

    2. Anonymized

      I’ve been told that the dollar store chains buy their goods from more upmarket stores with unsold inventory. This is apparently why the items in stock can vary so widely between visits and store locations. If the item you’re looking for isn’t there, either check back in a few months or go to other locations.

      I like going to Dollarama. If you stay away from the food aisle, it’s like a Skymall for poor people. There’s always something that might be useful that I think about buying.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Does it depend on which system? And will you live long enough to see it ‘eventually?’

    The Mathematics of Inequality Tufts Now (KS). Bruce Boghosian: “Our model, which is able to explain the form of the actual wealth distribution with remarkable accuracy, also shows that free markets cannot be stable without redistribution mechanisms.”

    When the solar system was being formed, almost all ‘wealth’ was concentrated to the Sun and the eight or nine planets.

    Of course, one day in the future, it will get ‘redistributed.’

    As for math of inequality, the earliest one a child learns is this:

    “My daddy makes more than your daddy.”


    “My daddy’s take home pay > your daddy’s take home pay.”

    Today, it should be updated to:

    “My mommy’s take home pay > your mommy’s take home pay.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Another early life math inequality:

        “I am older than you.”

        Or, mathematically:

        “My age > your age.”

  11. vlade

    On the maths confirming the redistribution – I run models like that what, five years back? And the resolution is, yes, the wealth gets concentrated – unless you have a quite high level of a hard floor (i.e. if you drop below a certain level, it automatically replenishes the wealth to be at that level again).

    Basically, the “problem” is that the more you have, the more you can afford to lose w/o a sever impact. Poor gets killed of quickly, just by bad luck, rich survive bad lack incomparably better. Which compounds overtime.

    1. Bill

      is predatory behavior on the part of the “rich” part of the the “bad luck” that kills off the “poor”?

      1. vlade

        The point is that even under the BEST possible circumstances (i.e. entirely fair free markets, which doesnt and is unlikely to ever exist), the wealth will concentrate. So while raising tide may lift all boats, ebb is likely to leave some of them stuck in mud.

        And once stuck in mud, any rising tide may be way too late.

        1. Bill

          And once stuck in mud, any rising tide may be way too late

          especially if one’s head is being held under the mud as a support for the wealth hierarchy–comparatively speaking, of course.

    2. Louis Fyne

      With when you only have labor, wealth grows linearly. When you have capital, wealth grows geometrically—especially when the every central bank in the world is loaning out cheap money.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Seems to me that “wealth” grows the same way a cancer does — by diverting and depleting the resources of the rest of the body, by profligate un-regulated overgrowth, ending in the death of the body.

        So whether it’s individual labor-(work)-generated wealth, or the stuff that the extractors and looters and rentiers do, that “wealth” thing is by and large ME > YOU. To the point that we humans are where we are at — plastic bits in all the water, hotter and hotter, garbage everywhere with people living on the bits “recoverable” from the garbage dumps, war everywhere, all the time, the Rich ever Richer, add a favorite here… Seems to me that wealth as a notion is part of the Big Problem of “survival of the species,” which of course is not necessarily a given in an apparently indifferent universe…

        Query: what can everyone (mostly) agree on doing to change the vectors?

        1. Wukchumni

          This fellow, with so many a scheme
          And roguery, will every day
          Be in full swing, at money aimed,
          Of course, he’ll not escape unharmed,
          Lying and cheating are everywhere,
          Bad bargains, good words put on display,
          Soul and body many a man will pawn
          If only his project does not fail,
          He offers his neighbor a sale that’s faked,
          Then hell opens its maw up wide.

          From a contemporary 1622 German broadsheet entitled:

          “When The Needy And The Greedy Meet, The Devil Is The Middleman”

          1. Wukchumni


            What I can’t convey on here is the artwork in original woodblock print that is in the book along with the original words in German.

            The words i’ve quoted could be inserted into our current financial situation quite easily, but imagine the lendscape by Bosch?

            These would’ve been posted around town, for all to read.

      2. vlade

        Again, doesn’t matter that much really. Say you have extremely rich even in Scandinavia, but majority are comfortably off.

        The problem really is the other way – that it takes actually relatively little (even in an entirely fair – in sense of probability fair, not human fair) world to pauperise most people, while it’s very hard to impossible to pauperise the super rich.

        I believe this is a much stronger argument, because it does not at all depend on human preconceptions (like hard work pays – or not, whether the society is or isn’t corrupt etc.).

  12. Vatch

    ‘I’m worried’ says Hillary Clinton as she attacks Trump and Putin in Cheltenham Literature Festival talk Gloucestershire Live

    What strikes me about this is that Hillary Clinton traveled across the “pond” to the UK to promote her book, yet she was unable to make a single trip to the U.S. state of Wisconsin to promote her Presidential candidacy in the general election campaign of 2016. Priorities!

    1. petal

      Looks like she’s having some issues:
      “The former First Lady failed to show up at BBC Woman’s Hour, ITV’s This Morning show and at the London Studios to record an interview with the BBC’s Graham Norton Show.
      Sources said her fall had followed her appearance at the South Bank Centre last night and the twice-defeated Presidential candidate had been exhausted after a lengthy book promotion tour…..Mrs Clinton was undergoing an x-ray this afternoon to examine the extent of her injury before deciding whether to continue her tour or call off her UK commitments.”

      1. Bugs Bunny

        Thanks – haven’t seen this anywhere but here and the internet is abuzz over her Russia squeaks.

        I wonder how many accidents like this one Ms. Clinton has that are never discussed?

        Yves was speculating on exactly what her health problem is last year around the Sept 11 fainting incident and I was sceptical about it (I’m really sceptical of any conspiracy theories, even involving the Clintons) but I guess there is something really wrong there. HRC does look really tired lately.

        1. petal

          She is blaming this on running down stairs in heels with a cup of coffee.
          “Hillary Clinton hobbled away from filming a British TV show interview on crutches Monday after breaking her toe falling down some stairs.
          The former presidential candidate arrived wearing a surgical boot to the BBC program The Graham Norton Show, as she revealed she took a tumble in high heels while holding a cup of coffee.
          The embarrassing fall forced her to pull out of a series of scheduled TV and radio appearances earlier today including ITV’s This Morning and Woman’s Hour on Radio 4.
          Recalling her tumble, she said: ‘I was running down the stairs in heels with a cup of coffee in hand, I was talking over my shoulder and my heel caught and I fell backwards.”

        2. Harold

          I discounted the speculations about epilepsy but now, after a relative was diagnosed with late-onset epilepsy I am beginning to entertain the possibility. Extreme irritability comes with the condition for some people.

    2. RUKidding

      No kidding! Of course, Empress Clinton spent almost the entire month of August 2016 hobnobbing with movie/pop/athletic stars and going to very expensive fund raisers and did no (or very very few) campaign rallies the whole entire month!

      Then she sought to get votes from white suburban Republicans.

      Couldn’t be bothered to campaign in clearly declasse areas like rural PA, MI (except for one very brief trip to Detroit) or WI, despite her husband and others urging her to do so.

      Nay verily it was more important to campaign in TX and NM.

      But but but… PUTIN!!11!! Evil Putin STOLE the ‘lection from her.

      I do wish she and her sycophants would STFU and go far far away… England is not far enough.

  13. Wukchumni

    “The Decatur store is one of 1,000 Dollar Generals opening this year as part of the $22 billion chain’s plan to expand rapidly in poor, rural communities where it has come to represent not decline but economic resurgence, or at least survival.”

    DG wants to come to our town and nobody desires it here, as all it will do is duplicate other offerings in town in stores that have been the mainstay of the community for a long time. We’re hardly poor, but we’re definitely rural, as it’s more than 20 miles to the first set of stop lights barking orders from on high. Luckily our plucky little burg has scant available land for such an enterprise, and the only 2 places where it could be built are locally owned and although both spots are currently on the market for sale, no way will either owner allow it to happen, they sense the danger to the community.

    Other locales aren’t so lucky in that regard, down the road a piece in Woodlake, DG built a store on the outskirts of town, and it’s an eyesore that doesn’t fit, and seeing as that community has 4x the population of our town, it’s needed even less than it would be here, which is to say not much.

    The strategy by DG from what i’ve seen isn’t so much about making a profit by placing their stores in ‘needy locales’, but more an ever increasing amount of them, as if there’s strength in numbers somehow.

  14. Bill

    can weather denial be far behind? Just think how pesky it was for Trump when people could find out the truth about Puerto Rican devastation.

    For obvious reasons, leaders of N.O.A.A. have historically been scientists; Myers is a businessman and a lawyer who supported a 2005 bill introduced by then Senator Rick Santorum to curtail competition between the National Weather Service and private providers. More recently Myers, who in the past has served as an adviser to N.O.A.A., has expressed interest in cooperating with the agency, but critics remain skeptical. “I fear that he’ll do irreparable harm to an agency whose primary mission is to save lives,” Daniel Sobien, the president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization, told Politico. “There seems to be a huge conflict of interest considering his business background and belief system.”

  15. Bugs Bunny

    Re “Iran: We will stick to nuclear deal if Europe does”

    Trade between Iran and the EU has increased by 94% since signing the deal.

    The US don’t matter.

  16. JTMcPhee

    What does a “just and sustainable society” look like? What are its politics and political economy and organizing principle(s)?

    We got lots of analysis and observation about the pathologies the species is displaying, and about the details of the inventiveness and toxicity and morality of the cancers and parasites.

    And yet, there’s a peek into the notion of “concrete material benefits” as a touchstone of something-or-other, a step toward “something better.” How does that extend? Can it extend, when so many of us are still about getting a little edge, “a little more for me than the other person,” if I just get a little more for ME I can be happy and it’s such a little bit in the great looting that’s going on, nobody will really feel it… While it seems so much of progressive discourse is about finding ways to pretend and extend the current modus vivendi, with some exact bits of change (solar panels, electric cars, urban agriculture, better insulation, drinking “reclaimed water” maybe) so as not to have to ‘sacrifice” or ‘do without.”

    My grandma’s Depression formulation, borrowed from still earlier ages of Troubles:

    “Eat it up.
    Wear it out.
    Make it do.
    Do without.”

    Not a bit in there about Groaf or financialization…

    Of course, she and my grandpa lived in the upper floor of a duplex with no mortgage, had a summer house they operated as a bed and breakfast, and after he retired from his 40 years in a company that manufactured shoe care products (almost Depression-proof, everyone was careful to make their well-made shoes last with dressings and polish and new heels and half-soles), and he did a little investing in outfits like Brown&Sharpe, a surviving “brand” in a post-national overcorp…

    From a time when there were fewer humans “competing” for patently limited resources, and competing they were, with islets of comity here and there…

  17. B1whois

    The article on Venezuela was informative but a bit hard to follow. It starts out by saying that the government won 17 of the 23 governorships. Later it says that the government previously held 20 of 23 governorships, and then goes on to talk about 2 governorships that they won back. So it would seem in this election that the government lost three governorships net. But there is zero discussion regarding the three plus two governorships that turned to the anti-government forces.
    I have been living in nearby Uruguay for most of the last year-and-a-half and have seen first-hand the Venezuelans who are emigrating. I know of one civil engineer and one dentist, and several others with professions I don’t know. The dentist is now working as a waiter. Also, it seems that several of these Venezuelans who are coming to Uruguay are gay men.
    Venezuela is now the second most common country for new immigrants to Uruguay, after nearby Argentina per this link.
    For anyone interested in finding out more about Uruguay, this is an excellent source of information for possible immigrants.

  18. dcblogger

    The Barriers Stopping Poor People From Moving to Better Jobs The Atlantic. Poor credit, three months rent, leaving social networks behind, putting Momma in a home, ties to the land….

    If we had worker-owned co-operatives the jobs would stay put and the whole question would not arise.

  19. Jim Haygood

    Doctor Copper — the only metal with a PhD Econ — is on a ferocious tear today, hitting a new 12-month high of $3.24 a pound. Chart:

    Estimated GDP groaf for the just-ended third quarter was a sprightly 2.7 percent according to the Atlanta Fed’s GDPnow model. We’ll get the first official estimate on Oct 27th, probably accompanied by a presidential tweetstorm touting the GDP’s greatness, as prophesied by Dr Copper.

    You hardly ever saw Grandaddy down here
    He only come to town about twice a year
    He’d buy a hundred pounds of yeast and some copper line
    Everybody knew that he made moonshine

    — Steve Earle, Copperhead Road

    1. Wukchumni

      My grandfather in Alberta was an accomplished moonshiner, and apparently his hooch was so good, that he counted the local RCMP mountie as one of his many happy customers.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Might be a good time to sell the copper scrap I’ve been sitting on; I missed the last high.

      It is useful for deterring slugs, though.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    California secessionists think their path to independence is easier than Catalonia’s McClatchy (Re Silc).

    We have to make sure some Swiss-wannabee, peacenik Californian politicians don’t demand, involving the threat of force, that Uncle Sam immediately pulls out his nuclear bombs and his troops from all the forts here.

    “Don’t give them an excuse to preserve the union.”

  21. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The opioid epidemic: How Congress and drug company lobbyists worked to neutralize the DEA

    eric holder was the attorney general. obama signed the bill. Now blackburn is running for the senate and marino is nominated for “drug czar.”

    One thing seems to be for sure–if you’re waiting for the cavalry to save you, it ain’t comin’. Every man, woman and child for themselves.

    Ridiculous as it sounds, it appears that “just say no” to the prescription is about all that’s left.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Colin Kaepernick’s Collusion Claim: Does He Have a Case? Sports Illustrated

    From the same Sports Illustrated:

    Ray Lewis: Tweet Kept Ravens From Signing Colin … – Sports Illustrated…/ravens-ray-lewis-colin-kaepernick-girlfirend-tweet
    Sep 6, 2017 – Ray Lewis: Tweet from Colin Kaepernick’s girlfriend was the reason the … are in the back office about to try to get this guy signed,” Lewis said.

    The linked Sports Illustrated article doesn’t mentioned the Ravens, Ray Lewis or the girl friend’s tweet.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Women face creeps like Harvey Weinstein everywhere – not just in Hollywood, writes Anita Hill NY Daily News (and not in the Times or WaPo, oddly).

    Everywhere, and from the beginning of time, or civilization.

    So yes…although…although not too many, or not all of them, are or were in a position to make movies, or have made movies, about how a desirable modern male should respectably treat women.

    “Yes, we know the conservatives have always been evil, but you Democrats said you were virtuous, progressive, or whatever you’re denying now.”

    So, additionally, we have hypocrisy and/or betrayal.

    Thus, the outrage is squared or cubed.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      The big issue no one seems to be talking about is all Harvey’s enablers. Who are still in their respective positions of power throughout Hollywood. All those ‘aides’ who disappeared from the suite when (more than one) starlet came in, thinking she might be safe enough to chance meeting with the guy. Or the CAA blackballing that Courtney Love reportedly dealt with after merely making an oblique observation about the guy on camera in 2005. The women in Hollywood – even the really big names – weren’t mouthing off about him at all. Other than her, the “earlier signs” came from male comedians, MCs at awards shows, etc, who were making cracks in carefully confined roasting venues.

      Notice how many of those who’ve gone on the record now, during the ritual stoning of Weinstein, are impressively tight lipped about peripheral people and organizations? Individual and business names have been kept quite out of the news. He didn’t engage in his little reign of error all on his own however.

      1. jsn

        Sociopathic cultures tend to endure unless there is some fundamental, sustained trauma forced on them.

        I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have been part of court ordered desegregation in my childhood until I moved to Brooklyn in 86 and saw the enormous opportunities that had been missed in New York by not pursuing the same policies foisted onto the South.

        But even in Texas, within a decade of my leaving the sociopathy was back on top.

  24. Meher Baba

    Yves how do you feel about the Spiegel Macron piece?

    Wish to recommend a film. French film with title in english The French Minister. ( subtitled). just a few years old. About literally a minister in the Palace. It is a farce and a satire, very very funny and uplifting. But the dialogue is surprisingly sophisticated – its even more clever in french- , definitely aimed at more mature audiences for its word play and inventiveness.

  25. Fool

    As a Manhattanite on 9/11 I would take issue with Clinton’s comments. But hey, far be it from me to take umbrage; I, unlike Clinton, was not on literal Wall Street at the time.

  26. Wukchumni

    Doctor’s research could buy time for snake bite victims AP (DL).

    We call our neighbor’s luckless lassie “the $19,000 dog” as it’s been bit twice by a rattlesnake on the neck and face, which set them back $5200 for anti-venom, along with a host of other maladies not related to the bites making up the difference. A friend is a vet and she tells me that it’s pretty common for a host of canines to come into her clinic after being bitten in the spring, and sometimes they swell up so much, their lips fall off. She told me it’s rare to see a bitten cat, as they’re a bit more careful when on the prowl.

  27. Fec

    The Dollar General story is especially galling to those of us in NC, who see them pop up in remote places, preying on marginalized locals. Art Pope grew rich doing this here, went to Raleigh and wrote the budget for the Libertarian Visigoths who came to power in 2010.

    The fascism of austerity and blaming the victim submits citizens to unnecessary cruelty and suffering, as hospitals and other vital public services are privatized or withdrawn in the name of fiscal accountability.

  28. Jeremy Grimm

    Re: “Climate meetings pose risk”
    Given the way most scientists and scientific writing “explain” what’s happening on the Global Warming front I believe the scientific community should be pleased they can still obtain funding to attend their summit meetings. They hold neither the ears of the public — and more importantly — nor the ears of policy makers.

    However I was deeply disturbed by one sentence — casually tossed off in the first paragraph at the link — describing the content of some of the meetings.

    “In Berlin, experts are meeting to discuss the potential and risks of various geoengineering technologies intended to counteract the effects of climate change.”

    The evidence for human caused Global Warming is solid but I see no evidence that climate scientists have such fine understanding of global climate systems that they should be discussing geoengineering technologies. Geoengineering is a crass appeal to find a quick easy fix for Global Warming so we can all carry on with business as usual — and someone can make a nice profit on some snake oil. Besides — we already know of a geoengineering project with lots of past success and many opportunities for application to our current problem. We can plant more trees — especially trees suited to the best guesses at the local climate those trees might see for the next 20 – 50 years. We could actually manage and care for the forests we have instead of letting lumber companies “manage” our forests. [I mention trees but there may be other plants which offer geoengineering possibility as well — bamboo, other grasses, mosses …?]

    1. Mark P.

      Geoengineering is a crass appeal to find a quick easy fix for Global Warming

      And lifeboats are a crass appeal to save some lives when the ship is sinking. It’s going to happen.

      Growing more trees will be a part of it, but I suspect some of them will be genetically modified to absorb more carbon and for general survivability.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Lifeboats are a well known quantity. Geoengineering is not. Further — geoengineering implies some type of control action on a complex system with possibly chaotic responses to whatever control inputs we might attempt. Are you really that comfortable with efforts to tweak such a complex and poorly understood system? Trees are more like lifeboats than some of the schemes suggested for geoengineering.

        As far as using GM trees modified to absorb more carbon and for general survivability — I hope someone might be working on that. Right now I’m not sure how much money and effort is invested in GM modifications to plants to deal with Global Warming.

        1. wilroncanada

          Mr. Grimm
          I echo your Grimm forecast of the probable side effects (corporations consider them benefits) of geoengineering, but I would include geoengineering trees in that same category. So much damage has been done now just by turning them into plantation fodder already, damage not even close to being acknowledged.
          Forests are communities, some scientists are discovering, with relationships among trees, even different species, ground plants, insects and worms and grubs, and fungi. Scatter-gunning a little chlorophylic BGH into the seedlings could have massive unknown repercussions to the biosphere. But of course any corporate, or corporate-sponsored university researchers will obey the dollar signs and get it out to, they claim, SAVE THE DAY.
          Wall Street will applaud, and legislators and the public will be soylant.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I’m afraid you’re right.

            I am ambivalent about GM because I wanted some new fruits and vegetables [not poisonous potatoes or round-up ready corn] new kinds of crosses like pluots — but crosses not possible without GM. I thought genetic engineering might be a tremendous advance over the slow processes of selection and cross used to invent our existing food plants — a speed up of the processes the peoples in the New World used to invent their cornucopia.

            The making of profit seems to pollute the produce of every new capability even to the point of polluting the stream producing new capabilities as it strangles our Science.

            1. Anonymized

              I’m hoping CRISPR will make it easier for small-scale, non-corporate biologists to engineer useful organisms like drought-resistant and more nutritious crops, bacteria that produce important biological medicines, or dogs that shoot bees out of their mouths.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s more like planetary or space engineering; one idea that has been bugging me is about moving the Earth’s orbit back a little further away from the source of warmth.

      F (centripetal) = m x (V x V) /R

      F (centripetal) = F (gravitation between M-sun and M-earth) = G x M1 x M2 / (R x R)

      As we move away, R is a little bigger, and F (centripetal) is exponentially smaller.

      So the square of V needs to slow down to account for the increase in R.

      The year will get a little longer.

      1. Anonymized

        Didn’t they try that in Futurama? The frozen head of Earth President Richard Nixon declared the additional days “Robot Party Week” since it was robot farts that caused the warming but, when carefully coordinated, also moved the planet away from the sun.

  29. sebastian milbank

    if the ‘russian hacks’ are ‘worse than 9/11’, shouldn’t the blame rest squarely on Obama?
    it happened on his watch, no?

  30. Wukchumni

    Downed PG&E power lines investigated as potential cause for North Bay wildfires Daily Californian. Apparently, it’s not Boris and Natasha. At least so far.

    Well, the Russians did have a piece of the action in California once upon a time, until they sold out to John Sutter, sort of. Could there be a Russianschluss in the future?

    Serfs up, dude!

    “it was sold to John Sutter, a Mexican citizen of Swiss origin, soon to be renowned for the discovery of gold at his lumber mill in the Sacramento valley. Although the settlement was sold for $30,000 to Sutter, Russian historians assert the sum was never paid, therefore legal title of the settlement was never transferred to Sutter and still belongs to the Russian people.”,_California

  31. Wukchumni

    The financial world it is explodin’, free money flarin’, bonds loadin’
    You’re told enough to make you ill, about all the floatin’
    You don’t believe in fiat, the mouse clique is toting
    And even the feel is that of much foreboding

    But you tell me over and over and over again my friend
    Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of debt obstruction

    Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
    Can’t you see the fear that I’m feeling today?
    If the button is pushed, there’s a massive giveaway
    There’ll be none that matters with the world in a grave
    Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy

    And you tell me over and over and over again my friend
    Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of debt obstruction

    Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’
    I’m sittin’ here just contemplatin’
    I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation
    Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation

    And largess alone can’t bring elation
    When human respect is disintegratin’
    This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

    And you tell me over and over and over again my friend
    Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of debt obstruction

    Think of all the trade there is in Red China
    Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
    Ah, you may leave there for another state
    But when you go there all the goods come from the same old place

    A coterie of old chums, the pride and disgrace
    You can bury your debt but don’t leave a trace
    The Unabankers say don’t forget to save me a place

    And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend
    Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of debt obstruction

  32. John k

    Math of inequality…
    I certainly agree with the premise.
    However, the decreasing number of billionaires that equal the bottom half of humanity is not a good guide given he compares the present with the early stage of the equity bull market, and the bottom of the housing market. If, as some think, a crash is coming, much of this wealth will disappear. Certainly at some point the record margin debt will turn to surplus, likely just as some overly indebted corps go bankrupt.
    Better to compare present with last market top in oct 2007, or compare 2002 bottom with mar 2009 bottom, to establish trends.

  33. Wukchumni

    It is thought that the Car Go Cult will construct faux gas stations in a crude attempt to bring back the exuberant lifestyle that they had become accustomed to, once supplies of go juice run out.

  34. Jeremy Grimm

    I can’t find the article at the Korean Herald “Park, Putin agree to restore trans-Siberian vision.” Is there a better link?

  35. Jess

    Mountain lions love to attack from above, pouncing on prey below. So this majestic critter is probably thinking, “Ah, lunch”.

    1. Wukchumni

      4 or 5 people have been killed by mountain lions in California in the past 30-40 years, and they were either running or riding mountain bikes, as they had turned themselves into prey.

  36. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    It will never happen in America.

    It’s time to put ‘Austria First’; says its new (and very young) leader Unherd. “The prospect of a centre-right alliance combining smaller, business-friendly economic measures with a nationalistic ‘Austria First’ cultural policy may frighten cosmopolitan elites in Brussels, London and other capitals of influence throughout the world but it is what nearly 60% of Austria chose today.”

    The min age to be the supremo here is 35.

    thirty five Years
    No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident

    1. JustAnObserver

      As a fraction of the expected lifespan in 1783 I wonder what would 35 equate to today – 50, 60, … ?

      Seen in that light maybe Bernie @74 should not be considered such an outlier … with Trump and Clinton mere striplings in their (late) 60s.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I hope they don’t further move back the retirement age.

        “You’re 65, but that’s the new 40.”

  37. Oregoncharles

    “Sometimes I feel like we’re living in one of those eco-collapse science fiction stories” – because we are; why do you think it’s a genre?

  38. B1whois

    Regarding sexual harassment, apparently women are coming forward on Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo.
    I was sexually harassed as a construction inspector working for Caltrans on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Project. As a woman engineer I’m used to being around men and putting up with sexual harassment, but this was very different. I was harassed not by the construction workers, but by an all-female group of my coworkers: other inspectors also employed by Caltrans. They told everyone, Caltrans and contractor alike, that I was sleeping with the contractor’s employees. As you can imagine, this created some difficulties for me while carrying out my job duties.
    My most vivid memory was when my boss called me into his office to caution me that my co-workers had complained to him that my butt wiggled too much when I crawled under obstacles during inspections. I was outraged. I wanted to know if he had counseled them to do their jobs and to quit watching my butt for god sakes! He had no good reply.
    I eventually went to the human resources department in District 4 headquarters to complain of the hostile work environment. They counciled me not to file any complaint. (That is not what they are supposed to do, ever.)
    In the end I did not file a complaint, mainly because I was leaving the job assignment in less than a month and didn’t think that it was worth the effort or that I would get support from my other co-workers given that I would be long gone when they had to deal with the aftermath. Also, I didn’t think that the same thing would happen to another person. It was a situation unique to that group of women and me: our differences in age, race, and sexual confidence.
    This story goes to show that the sexual harassment of women is so prevalent in our society, that it can actually be performed by women who wish to shame/injure another woman for being more sexually confident than they are.

  39. Annotherone

    Vale Richard Wilbur!

    A favourite poem of his – always relevant:


    Securely sunning in a forest glade,
    A mild, well-meaning snake
    Approved the adaptations he had made
    For safety’s sake.

    He liked the skin he had—
    Its mottled camouflage, its look of mail,
    And was content that he had thought to add
    A rattling tail.

    The tail was not for drumming up a fight;
    No, nothing of the sort.
    And he would only use his poisoned bite
    As last resort.

    A peasant now drew near,
    Collecting wood; the snake, observing this,
    Expressed concern by uttering a clear
    But civil hiss.

    The simple churl, his nerves at once unstrung,
    Mistook the other’s tone
    And dashed his brains out with a deftly-flung
    Pre-emptive stone.


    Security, alas, can give
    A threatening impression;
    Too much defense-initiative
    Can prompt aggression.

  40. Wukchumni

    Where I grew up in the hills east of LA, we were one of the first subdivisions built and somebody forgot to tell the rattlesnakes to beat it, scram kid!

    …so as a result, I got to know them pretty well by the time I was 10
    The standard way to off them was a shovel to the head, and I probably dispatched a couple dozen that way by the time I was 12, and then one day I was hanging out with friends, and the biggest rattler i’ve ever seen showed up, about 6 feet long. So scary was this monster, that we went and got somebody’s dad to do the deed with a spade, and when it was over he dug a hole about a foot in the ground and buried it, and we were all about the rattles, about a dozen on this critter, and then about 5 minutes after the head was dead and gone, it made it’s way up and was quite pissed off at us, mouth agape to the max, fangs glaring.

    The stuff nightmares are made of.

  41. KTN

    Re: The opioid epidemic: How Congress and drug company lobbyists worked to neutralize the DEA

    With the recent Newsweek cover story on the VA & the 60 Minutes report, it’s clear that the ‘opioid crisis’ is only one manifestation, somewhere downstream, of the corruption crisis.

    This level of mechanized diabolism was practically the hallmark of later Nazism.

  42. JBird

    >>This level of mechanized diabolism was practically the hallmark of later Nazism.<<

    The Deplorables=Eugenics? I don't know about the social welfare programs of the Nazis, but they seemed determined to find those not productive members of society and kill them. They had a campaign of explaining that the handicapped were gosh darn expensive to care for. The programs of killing the mentally, and physically, handicapped were used to test methods of extermination. A gas chamber truck was popular. On those not slated for death, sterilization was often done.

    The process was never finished due to the angry family members, and even a few medical personnel, protesting, often after some disabled were killed and given fake death certificates.

Comments are closed.