Links 11/6/17

Australia’s national broadband network under relentless attack—by cockatoos  Ars Technica

Undraining the Swamp Motherboard. The deck: Florida is trying to undo decades of damage to the Everglades.

In Cambodia Town, a community moves from survival to success LA Time (J T McPhee)

Elderly doctor: I lost my license because I don’t know how to use a computer Ars Technica

Taxpayers are subsidizing hush money for sexual harassment and assault The Conversation

Paradise Papers

Paradise Papers leak reveals secrets of world elite’s hidden wealth Guardian

Commerce Secretary’sOffshore Ties to Putin ‘Cronies’ NYT

The UK minister formerly in charge of anti-money laundering has been named in the Paradise Papers leak Business Insider

Paradise Papers: 6 things to know about report exposing tax havens of the mega-rich Business Insider

What are the Paradise Papers and what do they tell us? Guardian

Paradise Papers: Over 700 Indians Identified in Global Investigation on Offshore Dealings The Wire. The deck: While there is no direct evidence of wrong-doing or illegality, the leaks provide an interesting window into the manner in which money is moved, manipulated and hidden behind complex corporate structures around the world.

Kremlin Cash Behind Billionaire’s Twitter and Facebook Investments NYT

Tax “Reform”

Multinationals grapple with Republican excise tax surprise Reuters (furzy). Wowsers. This proves how desperate the Rs are find revenues to satisfy the deficit hawks. This is na ga go over well.

Tax Bill to Run Four-Day Gauntlet on Route to House Floor Vote Bloomberg

Brexit

Brexit: Legatum’s amateur time EUReferendum.com

Rand Paul Assualt

Rene Boucher: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know Heavy

Rand Paul recovering from multiple broken ribs after assault: report The Hill. George P:

“Paul’s injuries are *not* minor.  He has five broken ribs, three with dislocations, the latter being potentially lifethreatening.*

The outcome is sufficiently painful that he is unable to travel, for example back to DC, for an unknown but possibly extended period.

*I had a colleague die of this, well after the breaking.  He contracted pneumonia and was unable to cough to clear his lungs.

Sen. Rand Paul’s injuries far more severe than initially thought WaPo

Health Care

How to Think about “Medicare for All” New England Journal of Medicine (The Rev Kev)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Does Russia Now Have Superior Military Technology? Unz Review

What Is Fat Leonard Scandal? 440 Navy Officials Investigated For Taking Bribes International Business Times

Democrats in Disarray

Four Viral Claims Spread by Journalists on Twitter in the Last Week Alone That are False Glenn Greenwald. Must read.

Brazile’s revelations stir confusion, anger among Democrats The Hill

One year later, neither party can get past last year’s election The Hill

America’s Prosecutors Were Supposed to Be Accountable to Voters. What Went Wrong? Politico

How a fired prosecutor became the most powerful law enforcement official in Louisiana WaPo (Dan K)

Manafort et al Prosecution

Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Bring Charges in Flynn Investigation NBC News

Even If Michael Flynn Gets Charged, It Might Have Nothing to do with Russian Interference LawNewz

Manafort pledges $12 million in assets in bid to avoid house arrest: document Reuters (furzy)

Trump Transition

Jerry Brown’s holy war on Donald Trump Politico

The Swedish ambassador’s searches for answers in Trump country WaPo

Texas church shooting: Donald Trump says massacre at church is ‘not a gun situation’ Independent

Does Congress Have the Guts to Invoke War Powers? American Conservative

Powerful lawmaker wants to ‘invalidate’ the Endangered Species Act. He’s getting close. WaPo

Fentanyl trail leads to Beijing in Trump’s war on drugs Asia Times

Trump in Asia: On the eve of war World Socialist Web Site

What Will Virginia And New Jersey Tell Us About Trump? FiveThirtyEight. Nate Silver.

Asia’s troubles: Trump’s inheritance, not his doing Asia Times

Donald Trump accuses Japan of unfair trade practices FT

Country Of ‘Samurai Warriors’ Not Shooting Down North Korea Missiles Puzzled Trump International Business Times. One of those headlines that makes one do a double take and check it’s nots satirical news site. Nope: just the International Bueinss Times. And not April 1, either.

Trump tells Japan to build more cars in the US ‘instead of shipping them over,’ but they already build millions of vehicles in the states Business Insider

Syraqistan

Trump’s Hostility to Nuclear Deal Could Polarise Iranian Opinion Even Further The Wire

Saudi accuses Iran of potential ‘act of war’ Al Jazeera

Things that go bump in the night in Riyadh Middle East Eye (resilc)

Qatar blockade and Saudi Arabia: could there be a power shift in Doha? The Conversation

Saudi Purge Caps Murky Developments in West Asia that Presage Escalation of Conflict The Wire

Saudi Arabia – This ‘Night Of The Long Knives’ Is A Panic-Fueled Move Moon of Alabama (UserFriendly)

Saudi Crown Prince’s Mass Purge Upends a Longstanding System NYT (The Rev Kev)

Saudi prince killed in helicopter crash near Yemen border. Daily Sabah. resilc: “More blood ahead…” Moi: Holy Shit: These guys play for keeps.

Saudi Arabia freezes accounts of detained corruption suspects Al Arabiya

Crown Prince Mohammed’s Vow to Moderate Saudi Islam: Easier Said Than Done Lobe Log (resilc)

HITTING ERDOĞAN WHERE IT HURTS, NOT WHERE IT HELPS War on the Rocks

Catalonia

Deposed Catalan leader turns himself in to Belgian police FT

Sacked Catalonia leader turns himself in, polls show independence strength Reuters (furzy)

China

‘Disrespecting’ China’s National Anthem Now Carries Three-Year Jail Term The Daily Beast resilc: “trump will discuss how to implement with xi.”

India

Bonn talks: India and China wrest focus back on action by rich countries to prevent climate change Scroll.in

How India’s battle with climate change could determine all of our fates Guardian

Class Warfare

As Wildfires Raged, Insurers Sent in Private Firefighters to Protect Homes of the Wealthy WSJ

Developers will not be allowed to escape promises to build affordable housing, under Labour plans Independent

The Real Story of Automation Begins with One Simple Chart Basic Income

Antidote du Jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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161 comments

  1. visitor

    You CMS must have been subverted by the Russians, no doubt.

    a) The link “The Real Story of Automation Beginning with One Simple Chart” at Basic Income leads to a WSWS article entitled “Trump in Asia: On the eve of war” instead.

    b) The link for “Texas church shooting: Donald Trump says massacre at church is ‘not a gun situation’” at the Independent is missing.

    c) The explicit URL “http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/things-go-bump-night-riyadh-1511882449” supposedly at Middle East Eye leads to an error page.

    Reply
    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Sorry, my fingers must be unusually fat this morning– I’ve fixed these. Please let me know if you have any difficulty accessing any– the new links now work for me.

      Reply
  2. timotheus

    Rand Paul’s ribs: Another possibility is that they pump him full of opiates/opioids to make sure he breathes deeply to prevent pneumonia from taking hold. Speaking from recent experience.

    Reply
    1. Jack White

      Senator Paul might benefit from admission to an intensive care unit, under the care of a thoracic surgeon, and a team of respiratory therapists, and treated with an epidural block. It seems his assailant used his training as an anesthesiologist, and an osteopath, to attempt murder. Such a person is a danger to the community, and should be locked up without bail, and his sanity evaluated.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        And we now are learning (sic) that the perp is a “Leftist,” and that Paul is not much of a street fighter. Who benefits from the debility of Sen.Paul, who has ” gone maverick” against the sorties of the Blob of late?

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          So, it would seem, the rich and/or the powerful, in this case, a senator, don’t get special justice when victimized.

          Reply
          1. allan

            Tell that to the Occupy protesters who were punched, groped, gassed and arrested
            for stinking up Wall Street. For that matter, tell it to Bernie Madoff.

            Reply
        2. Ned

          So, you can physically attack a senator and beat her within an inch of her life and it’s just “simple assault” so long as it’s “not politically motivated”?

          Add this to Guillotine Watch.

          Reply
          1. Ned

            Forgot to add, Boucher, “Butcher” in French, is “retired” at 59?

            So who is providing his income?
            Perhaps it’s not simple assault, maybe it’s protecting his cash flow from Obamacare?, thus meaning it’s an economic crime?

            Reply
            1. cyclist

              The good doctor apparently invented a rice-filled vest that gets microwaved and then worn to provide relief. It was sold on QVC, so draw your own conclusions.

              Reply
              1. Lambert Strether

                That seems to me to be a worthy (if flaky) attempt to provide treatment for back pain without the use of opioids. Reminds me of the concept behind the “dry-eye compress” I had to use once, which really worked; I heated it up in the microwave.

                Reply
      2. fajensen

        Well … It’s a “rich dude on another rich dude”-thing so it will be settled discretely in private.

        Dick Cheney blasted someone in the face with a shotgun. That went away quietly enough.

        Reply
      1. a different chris

        This is the weird thing. Making no “white people” excuses…but in general: Yes people that live in tony neighborhoods are (family blog)-holes. Yes I can see some old rich geezer getting mad enough to shove or whatever some other old rich geezer.

        But these kind of injuries? I suspect a push where Paul hit the ground (or hmmm, maybe his tractor?) as I would be quite surprised to find that the guy brought a baseball bat or such. And the attacker himself is not too imposing. Yes he has a look-alike son that plays Ultimate Frisbee at the professional level. But as much as I love UF I think, if I had to fight a professional athlete and got to pick the profession, that would be the one I pick. Heck I don’t even consider golf a real sport but a lot of those guys are monsters.

        So I think Rand was not in very good shape to begin with, to be so frail. And I’m not saying that in a disparaging way! — I’m wondering what is wrong. So many of our glorious leaders seem well past their prime. Will be interesting to see what comes out.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          I’m thinking a different angle altogether… (pulls on tin-foil hat)

          The light fine might be the giveaway, in that I suspect maybe somebody was having an affair~

          Reply
        2. todde

          I am assuming Rand was on the ground and was on the receiving end of a few kicks.

          Which makes the Class 4 misdemeanor an undercharge for the crime committed.

          But I suppose he could of fell on something.

          But $7,500(not $5k) is large amount to pay for bond on a misdemeanor. When the proles attack each other in Illinois you can get out for $300 to $1,000, unless you are a habitual criminal, which this guy doesn’t appear to be.

          Reply
        3. Jack White

          The injuries described are more than the described assault would cause, barring osteoporosis. A fall from standing is not likely to cause such injuries either. One such injury I know of was pinned against a gate by a bull, another was pinned against a block wall by a payloader. Where are the security cam videos?

          Reply
          1. HotFlash

            A neighbour of mine fell down her front steps. Late 40’s, overweight but not particularly ‘frail’. A friend helped her sit up and called 911 — oopsie! Broken rib went through her spleen, DOA.

            Reply
          2. Todde

            baseball bats, kicks and fists have been known to do the trick.

            Cracked ribs was not a rare occurrence in boxing.

            I will say I was boxing in my 40’s, it hurts a lot more the older you get.

            Reply
            1. wilroncanada

              Is this the conspiracy channel?
              According to the article, Paul was tackled. If the assailant fell partly on him, back or front, ribs could be broken as a result. That’s why football players , who are supposed to be in prime condition, still wear rib protection.
              Ribs have frequently been broken by heavy coughing.
              They are even more frequently broken when applying CPR.

              Reply
        4. ArcadiaMommy

          My husband told me that the senator is quite small. I thought it sounded like his attacker might have stomped on him a few times.

          Reply
  3. Marco

    The 84y/o country doctor losing her license because she doesn’t use a computer is a great capsule piece of our time. When the cloud goes down…or that Russian EMP finally strikes…the grandma doc with her two filing cabinets of patient records will be golden.

    Reply
    1. David

      I don’t know if I’d trust this doctor. From her consent decree (condensed),

      – She treated a patient (18 mo. to 7 y.o.) for asthma with Theophylline, Dexamenthasone, and Albuterol.

      – On many occasions she prescribed Albuterol twice a day or as needed.

      – She rarely noted the patient’s weight when prescribing Theophylline and generally left dosing up to the patient’s parents. She also never tested the patients Theophylline levels.

      – On several occasions, she prescribed aspirin for this patient to help reduce fever and other ailments, even though aspirin is not recommended for children with asthma.

      – Later, the same patient (now 7 y.o.) presented at the doctor’s practice with fever and bronchitis after three days of home treatment by the mother. After examination by the doctor, she noted tachycardia and cardiac arrhythmia, which the doctor speculated was caused by an excess of Albuterol.

      – The doctor discontinued the prescription of Albuterol and prescribed Digoxin 0.125mg po BID #15 along with Theophylline, and Amoxicillin.

      – The doctor failed to confirm her diagnosis by ordering any additional tests, or consulting with a pediatric cardiologist prior to prescribing Digoxin.

      I am unable to evaluate the medical quality of her actions, but it is clearly more than just “I won’t use a computer.”

      According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, there were four separate investigations regarding her practices.

      Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        And yet (also from the Union Leader):

        About 10 patients, a few walking with canes or a stiff leg, showed up on behalf of the 85-year-old physician and happily spoke about their medical problems to reporters on hand for the hearing.

        “How many doctors do you know who spend two hours with a patient if they need to?’ said Kim Borcuk, a Claremont factory worker who said she suffers from arthritis, a lung disorder and osteoporosis.

        Claremont resident Stanley Wright said Konopka reduced his use of narcotics such as oxycontin using herbal and other remedies.

        “She’s a compassionate person. She calls and checks with my wife,” Wright said. Now he has to find a new doctor, and it’s a rat race, he said.

        I suspect one would be hard-pressed to find a physician, still practicing at age 85, without at least some “professional” complaints, especially for being “rude.” Given the way “modern” medicine is practiced, not ordering enough diagnostic tests or specialist consultations would seem to be a pretty easy “charge” to levy after the fact. These days, experience, judgment and intuition are no substitute for data, however unaffordable the data-gathering might be, or how similar the outcome. (We’ve no idea what actually happened, if anything adverse, to the young patient after all.)

        As an aside, your admission that ” I am unable to evaluate the medical quality of her actions….” is what makes a mockery of the contention that people should be good “consumers” of “healthcare” and “shop” for the best “deals.” Dr. Konopka would see any patient for $50. It doesn’t get much more cost effective than that.

        Reply
    2. JTMcPhee

      She’s also likely either be senile or dead. So no gain there. And of course it’s more likely that “Korea” or some other “Enemy” (maybe the Israel-ites?, in a spasm of continued idiocy?) would be the ones pulling that EMP lever. Though don’t discount the principle that the only constants in the human universe are accident and error, Or maybe our very own (sic) Government, since the US military idiots keep messing with the planet in search of that Philospher’s Stone of Full Spectrum Unanswerable Dominance, via activities like “Starfish Prime,” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish_Prime, and other out-in-space nuclear detonations listed in the Wiki article, and messing with the upper reaches of the atmosphere to control weather at the surface (“Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025,” http://csat.au.af.mil/2025/volume3/vol3ch15.pdf). Of course that is all just conspiracy theory stuff. “The Government,” or the particular parts of it that employ the Edward Tellers and Dulleses and J. Edgars would NEVER act to harm us citizens…

      “The military,” and the “core structure” of the US government, are of course thinking they are “hardened” against the effects of a nuclear war, including EMP — https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL32544.pdf

      The mindset of the creatures running the dead-end (as in megadeath dead end) growth of Full Spectrum Dominance, and weapons and power for their own sake, is all too human — chase down everything that might kill and rubbleize ever more effectively, divert ever more of the Real Economy to convert to the war toys and planet-busters that these pure-frontal-lobe-limbic-system-driven Strangeloves so avidly seek. And so many young techs just hope to sign on to advancing the death wish of the neoliberal Security State — “Seventeen federal agencies working to protect the United States of America” — for some definition of America… https://www.intelligencecareers.gov/index.html

      And I think it’s still true that the most persistent principles in human affairs are accident and error, with an insufficient salting, over the long haul, of occasional good luck: “20 Mishaps That Might Have Started Accidental Nuclear War,” http://nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/issues/accidents/20-mishaps-maybe-caused-nuclear-war.htm

      Reply
    3. Fec

      I know lots of older physicians hereabouts who sold out to a group practice, only to be presented with a Byzantine sotware system, effectively removing them.

      Reply
      1. Old Jake

        “Byzantine software system” almost certainly Epic, a poster child for market failure if ever there were one.

        OTOH an MD must be able to learn, if unable to perform then patients will be ill treated.

        Reply
        1. JTMcPhee

          Learning to navigate electronic medical record and billing software is a very different proposition from learning new stuff about physiology and treatments and “gold standards.”
          Lots of noise in the latter that a practitioner of good will and some skill can filter, but lots of traps and distractions and false starts in the former, compounded by “regular upgrades.”

          Like in our local former really good trauma center hospital, that is now, after 4 purchase and sales in the last couple of years, in the claws of corporate greedheads, including “some Chinese guy who made his nut in running casinos in Macao and Shanghai.” Which I hear has just switched, on an instant, from one version of the “comprehensive patient care (sic) system” to another from the same coding monster corporation, without even any beta testing and without ensuring that the patient data would migrate and be available on Day Two after the change. “Has anyone died from that yet?” “We don’t know yet.” Cue the notification to risk management, insurance carrier, and the lawyers…

          Current numbers indicate the formerly sound hospital is running a loss of $XXX million a year, the transactions of course have been debt-financed. Stock price from near $6.00 to a fraction of that… Winners and losers…

          Reply
    4. Oregoncharles

      I suspect they used computer skills as an excuse because they thought she was too old to practice.

      Looks like David might think the same.

      Reply
    1. Lambert Strether

      I listened to it, and all the detail about the prosecution is interesting.

      Her thought is that the Manafort indictment was designed to make it “easy” for him to plead guilty so Mueller could go straight to flipping him (a “nudge,” as Papadopolous (sp) was).

      I may have missed it, but I haven’t seen a lawyer do a close reading of the indictment and come to that conclusion.

      Reply
  4. allan

    Outcome of latest Bundy trial will have repercussions for national lands debate [Oregonian]

    … Last fall, federal prosecutors in Portland suffered a stunning blow when a jury acquitted Ammon Bundy, older brother Ryan Bundy and five others in refuge takeover. Prosecutors in Nevada also were largely unsuccessful earlier this year in two trials of more minor figures in the Bunkerville standoff. Except for guilty verdicts against two of six lesser players, the trials ended with acquittals or hung juries.

    Now as the main event starts this week, prosecutors here face immense pressure to send a searing message that has eluded them so far: that people can’t take the law into their own hands and threaten federal officers with guns, whether they disagree with cattle grazing laws or federal control of public land. …

    Cliven Bundy’s wife, Carol Bundy, who attended much of jury selection, said her husband and sons, who are Mormons, feel “divinely inspired.’’ …

    Zinke and Perdue are doing nothing to support the federal land managers on the front lines
    who have to deal with these crazies.

    Reply
    1. L

      Zinke and Perdue don’t *want* to support the people on the front lines. If you read many of the statements they have been making and you factor in Zinke’s demands for secret phone booths and extra security it is clear that to him and others in the Trump administration the people on the front lines are the enemy. Most of them are not willing to come out and say it like DeVos did when she talked about “moles” in the department but their actions make that clear.

      Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      Caveat: Portland is not full of juries that support people like the Bundies. An interview with a juror who was willing to act as a spokesperson indicated that they considered the prosecutors arrogant fools who had failed to prove the charge they were making – as in didn’t bother. That was before the election.

      The federal prosecutor in Portland should have resigned after that, but didn’t.

      Further caveat: Nevada might well be full of people who support the Bundies, so it’s going to be an uphill battle. Which might be the reason they waited so
      long to prosecute – basically until the Oregon occupation showed that they had to.

      Reply
      1. Anon

        Nevada is not Portland, it’s also not full of “Bundies”. Most of the outlaws on his ranch are from out-of-state. Las Vegas (where the juror pool is likely taken) is a diverse population of people (Blacks, Latino, SEIU members, etc.).

        It’s possible to get a “hung jury” since any one ‘SageBrush’ rebel can hold out for acquital, despite any evidence otherwise.

        Reply
  5. Wukchumni

    As Wildfires Raged, Insurers Sent in Private Firefighters to Protect Homes of the Wealthy WSJ
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Of all the things the well-heeled do that’s exasperating, this is small potatoes in the scheme of things. That said, there’s an interesting contradiction, in that for everybody else here in the state, more than likely prison firefighters will have a hand in protecting your home, should a wildfire threaten it.

    Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I don’t think John Orr is going on ‘field trips’ anytime soon…

        “John Leonard Orr (born April 26, 1949) is an American former fire captain and arson investigator for the Glendale Fire Department in Southern California and novelist who was indicted and later convicted for serial arson and 4 counts of murder.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Leonard_Orr

        Reply
        1. a different chris

          Orr clearly set the brush fires to cover for the actual targets. And he did most horribly kill 4 people (at least).

          An interesting question, though: Did those brush fires, the incidence of which “dropped 90% after Orr was arrested” stave off incidences of the much worse fires we are seeing today?

          PS: I should not have to say it, but this is not in any way a defense, of what he did. It’s a scientific question. Can we learn something useful from this?

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Good question.

            I don’t see asking your question as a defense for him, but as related to the more general question: If someone does something for his/her selfish motive, but that something benefits the people (that is, if they staved off the incidences of much worse fires today), do we still take the results, do we still accept them?

            Reply
            1. JTMcPhee

              A lot of us are getting rich and living our current lifestyles off the prolonged (en)closure of the commons, and all that went with that, industrialization and Empire and all… so who’s gonna decline to accept the results of that?

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I think a lot of us suffer with those results.

                A few are getting rich, if we are talking about empire, commons enclosure, even industrialization (disclosure, I’m a neo-Luddite).

                Reply
                1. jrs

                  some try to make up for enclosure for the commons by getting rich. Well actually only some can and do and they mostly will not succeed, but it’s the motive of those who invest their 401ks in the stock market to try to make up for the lack of much of an old age safety net etc..

                  Reply
          2. Wukchumni

            Orr was a firebug 30 odd years ago, and every fire year is different based on the buildup of flammable materials & weather conditions, etc., so it had no bearing really.

            Reply
    1. Bill

      this comes at a price…

      https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2013/09/30/306563.htm

      Bill Potter wasn’t eager to abandon his high-end house last month during evacuations forced by a massive Idaho wildfire, but he felt reassured when his insurance company sent a team to protect his home near the world-class ski resort of Sun Valley.

      “I was more than impressed,” he said of the water tanker truck and crew privately contracted by his insurer to patrol his road and keep watch over his family’s home, custom-crafted from parts of antique barns.

      Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      I have personal testimony that prisoners consider fire-fighting duty a privilege, because it gets them out of the prison and allows them to do some good. Similarly, we’ve actually met a prisoner detail working on trails; they were pretty cheerful.

      Reply
    3. Craig H.

      I don’t know if he still has it, but the last time I poked around on google maps George Lucas had his very own fire department. Also there was a ten acre man-made lake dug out next to his mansion in case the county water line would lose pressure.

      Reply
  6. Livius Drusus

    Re: The Real Story of Automation Begins with One Simple Chart, it is interesting that the article mentions the issue of alternative work arrangements such as the gig economy and micro-jobs while promoting basic income which would be a major support to the gig economy. UBI will be used as an income support for people as they float from one awful, low-paying gig to another. And that will be the situation for those of us lucky enough to even have work. For the rest I fear that they will likely suffer through lives of social isolation and mental and physical illness. As bad as jobs can be they offer opportunities for socialization and dignity hence why people clamor for jobs and not welfare. UBI will be a subsidy for low-wage employers and further the creation of a rootless, atomized and powerless working class.

    Paul Cockshott has discussed this and other problems with basic income.

    https://paulcockshott.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/what-is-wrong-with-the-idea-of-basic-income/

    https://spiritofcontradiction.eu/rowan-duffy/2013/02/06/interview-paul-cockshott-on-econophysics-and-socialism

    If automation is really going to cause a job apocalypse (and I am not sure if it will as Futurists have been claiming this for generations and have been proven wrong time and time again) then the answer is to expand public sector job creation to bring the economy to full employment. UBI is a right-wing policy recommendation and as Cockshott discusses in the first article I linked to, the popularity of UBI on the Left is a sign of the Left’s surrender to neoliberal issue framing.

    Reply
    1. Livius Drusus

      Also, here is a good piece by Dean Baker discussing a Washington Post story that also references the Michael J. Hicks and Srikant Devaraj study referenced in the Scott Santens article linked to today.

      http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/david-ignatius-lies-about-trade

      As Baker points out we have had automaton for generations and yet no job apocalypse. In fact we had rapid productivity growth in the post-World War II era and also low unemployment and rising wages. What changed around the year 2000 was the explosion of the trade deficit.

      Fixing the trade deficit would be a much better policy proposal than UBI, but sadly these days talking about trade gets you labelled a deplorable and a Trumpist by many people including many liberals and left-wingers.

      Reply
    2. Henry Moon Pie

      A couple of questions:

      1) The post on the Cockshott website presents a “it will raise taxes too much” argument. Won’t providing jobs for folks–at a living wage and with sick leave, etc. , right?–be more expensive than a UBI?

      2) With a Job Guarantee, who will decide what sort of jobs they’ll be doing? Our war-mongering, Earth-despising elites in DC? No thanks. I don’t want a “job” that supports this system, nor am I hankering for a “bullshit job” designed only to keep me under a boss’s supervision for 40 hours a week. i can make better use of my time.

      3) What will have more adverse impact on the environment, a UBI or a Job Guarantee that requires commuting to work?

      4) What punitive measures will be in place in case someone declines on of these jobs? Loss of food stamps or Section 8?

      UBI puts a big dent in wage slavery. It also might be feasible if the Sane Rich figure it buys them some peace, and they can prevail politically over the Insane Rich.

      Reply
      1. JEHR

        One way to decide which jobs could be guaranteed by government is to ask the people who live in their own communities what needs to be done. They would know whether garbage cleanup was needed (god knows there is a lot of stuff thrown out car windows), or bridge building and repair, or road building and maintenance, or affordable housing, or educational opportunities, or environmental preservation, or animal care, or transportation requirements, library facilities, etc. There are myriads of jobs that could be made available and, when these are identified, the government could invest in training for those jobs that are perceived as necessary. The people should have input about the jobs that are needed then the government could provide the means for providing them. There are always things that need to be done in every community where people live.

        Reply
        1. JTMcPhee

          This older guy, who as a nurse has seen what a huge deficit there is in basic care for old atomized folks and people with disabilities, would add “supportive home care” to the list, for every place I have ever lived (about 13 at last count).

          Reply
        2. skippy

          JG is democratic in conception and administration, where UBI is a market based ideological work around to remove or diminish both labour and citizens rights.

          disheveled…. one removes NARIU and all it enables… the other does not… here little kids have some UBI sticky candy… sigh…

          Reply
        3. jrs

          since it’s a call for socialism (and I don’t use that as a slur or anything, socialism is just alright with me especially if somewhat decentralized and democratically or otherwise accountable). But merely … it would be an entirely different economic system. So wow how to accomplish that.

          Reply
        4. nihil obstet

          I’m quite jealous of the communities in which most people seem to live, where democratic decisions and administration sprout spontaneously and in a timely manner. In my city, and in the local governments I’ve worked with, there’s a lot more divisiveness and much more gridlock about what needs to be done and how the people who do it should be treated. There’s a meanness surrounding public jobs — everyone extols teachers, for example, but imposes quite dispiriting conditions on them. But granting most people a share of the 30% or so of national income that derives from capital rather than labor would apparently cause them mental and physical illness.

          I’ve lived my whole life in a different world.

          Reply
      2. todde

        Instead of a FMLA you could get paid to provide care during a family emergency.

        Stay at home mom, also could get paid.

        Lots of things could become jobs that aren’t now.

        Reply
      3. Saddam Smith

        I’m with Henry Moon Pie but want to add the end of growth to his list.

        UBI needs to be part of a raft of changes, each of which will be required with the others to alter the current madness of perpetual growth to steady-state economics. I find it sad that so many want to believe that “jobs” are needed almost at the biological level to ensure self-esteem. Sure, if the only change implemented is the introduction of some shoddy UBI programme attached to forced labour as part of desperately keeping perpetual growth hobbling along for another few years, that would be horrible. But as one part of a multi-faceted shift to think-global-act-local governance; more fluid and transparent education systems and processes revolving around the forming of mature relationships, critical thinking, empathy, etc.; permaculture and its ilk; and other similarly radical changes across the board, UBI is a very needed component.

        We’ve got to think in terms of necessarily interlinked, radical ideas that are each part of learning how to accomplish steady-state economics and thus steady-state civilisation. It’s a tall order, but the alternative is horrifically dystopian, and only the most psychopathic “elites” want that. If “want” is even the right verb.

        Reply
    3. cnchal

      That one simple chart is too simple.

      After describing the type of work the newly developed automated “roughneck” does, a dangerous and dirty jawb for people, but in my opinion ideal for machinery, the loss of those horrible jawbs is lamented.

      Not counted on the jawb creation side is all the work developing and making that equipment, ie jawbs that are not inherently hazardous to one’s limbs and health.

      Automation is not the enemy. It’s been going on for centuries and is what provides a higher standard of living for all. If we wanted full employment, simply passing a law outlawing backhoes could do it.

      Reply
  7. timbers

    Imperial Collapse Watch

    Does Russia Now Have Superior Military Technology? Unz Review

    The company I work at recently had an LGBT day awareness event. Fliers where passed out encouraging people to wear purple, and purple and assorted cupcakes where passed out at the entrance to the cafeteria by folks dressed in somewhat unconventional clothes and styles.

    That gave me an idea: to contact HR and suggest a Russia Defeated The ISIS Head Chopping Terrorists That Spooked America In Just 2 Years With Only 35 Air pilots Day.

    We could encourage everyone to wear red and handout red cupcakes and assorted others. It’s purpose would be to promote peace understanding diversity acceptance and awareness of Russia and it’s contribution to humanity. So as to work together in greater harmony and productivity with fellow Russian colleagues.

    Full disclosure: I’m gay

    Reply
  8. Merf56

    While I feel badly on a personal level for the 84 year old doctor losing her profession – but….. good grief…! It isn’t not like computers and classes for using them were invented last year!
    I took a couple of free evening courses at our local community college to get up to speed well more than a decade ago and a refresher a short while back to keep up with new tech in case I would ever need to get a job requiring up to date skills. We do everything on the computer now – it is pure head in the sand stubbornness to refuse to learn how.
    This woman was busy- I get it but so are we all. We insisted my father and mother in law while in their early 70s do the same when they kept asking us and our kids do do all their paper work for home insurances and Medicare. They also took a couple of classes and our kids ran a few ‘seminars’ for them as well. They are now in their late 80’s and fully capable of using the computer for all their needs and enjoying being competent.
    If her mind is agile enough to practice MEDICINE it is agile enough to learn the basics neede to comply with the new rules. If you cannot grasp simple computer useage I don’t want you prescribing me potential lethal drugs. She should have realized the need to be computer literate many years ago. A person needs to keep up with the world. It isn’t 1850 anymore….

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      This is not that simple. The doctor has years of experience in her field. Computers are tools, subservient in theory to the end user, not masters. Demanding that she conform to usage that does not directly affect her core function smacks of a control issue, not a competency issue. Gatekeepers always try to make their function look indispensable.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Technology is like that.

        A dictator or a Faustian bargaining offering seducer.

        “You learn, or you starve.”

        “Look at the pot at the end of that, say, for example, Calculus 101 Rainbow.”

        How many of us eagerly looked forward to getting intimate with derivatives and integrals, but for that shining money-making (hopefully, but don’t be disappointed if not) degree?

        “Yes, yes, I know you made a killing with buying and selling it, but you don’t know how bitcoin works? Let me show you how smart I am.”

        Without the ulterior motives, the conflicting interests, how many technology lovers are left? Beside the true aficionados, I mean.

        Reply
      2. Merf56

        I’m sorry but basic computer literacy IS indispensable in 2017 and as don’t see that changing any time soon. It has nothing to do with whether you,I or that physician like it or not or whether we even feel it is the right way to go. Does this blog get published as a newspaper? I don’t think so. Why not?……
        As to her being able to access and use the opiate registry – in case you haven’t heard we have a very serious opiate issue in this country. Helping to develop ways to track prescriptions and useage better might just be a good idea…

        As is mentioned in my original comment my inlaws are now computer literate and have been for a decade plus. My parents – in their early nineties, had the first home computer in our neighborhood and are up to date on all skills as well they manage their investments, prescriptions, insurances and shopping by themselves ON LINE. I sometimes call them to help me when I hit an issue with my computer….

        Reply
        1. a different chris

          Yes and the sad thing is we phrase it as “computer literacy” like you need to be able to take the cover off and tweak things when it “isn’t running right”.

          You still have the same QUERTY keyboard you used to type in the old forms (or if you didn’t then you were weird 75 years ago). You click on programs with a mouse and it brings up forms, the concept of which dates back to the Romans I believe. What is so hard?

          We’re not asking people to compose Perl scripts. We’re not asking people to partition their hard drive. We just are not asking that much and this woman sounds like a PIA.

          Reply
        2. Lambert Strether

          > computer literacy

          These “literacy” phrases (financial literacy) very much accept imply acceptance of things as they are.

          For example, I think those who are truly literate in computers recognize that much of the UI/UX experience has deteriorated from even a decade ago, through a process known at NC as crapification. And as for the enormously powerful computers that people carry about with them — cellphones — the impacts are only now being looked at, and I’m sure they’re not all positive. For example, would “cellphone literacy” imply acceptance that enormous corporations and the government were tracking and recording your every move with a view toward manipulating your future behavior to their benefit? I don’t think it would….

          Reply
      1. Old Jake

        The one’s still living? My mother’s parents insisted on remaining with an elderly doctor long after his incompetence was apparent to my mother, an RN. Ot was not helpful, to say the least.

        Reply
    2. tegnost

      The last time I went to the doctor was for a supremely nasty cold a few years back. At the time I was working for a physician who insisted I go to doc for a Z pack, apparently a very effective, cheap treatment option. So I reluctantly trudge to the “health center” (reluctantly because I know it’s going to cost me) and am treated by a pleasant physician, but am troubled to see and she comments to be not overjoyed by it either, that the computer approved the treatment, as in computer required her a list of questions which she dutifully asked and the computer spit out a prescription which unsurprisingly was not a z pack, but something much more expensive (kind of like with student loans…”oh no we don’t do it that way any more…”, now it’s all about what’s billable and the attendant chains of debt) So while your computer may assist the bureaucracy it does not necessarily assist the patient.

      Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        From the article, she was in trouble with the agency charged with tracking opiate prescriptions. She could most likely have kept her medical license, just give up her schedule 4 privilege. Apparently, she didn’t want to do that.

        Note: this is how it could work in Alabama. I do not know the licensing procedures for New Hampshire wrt schedule 4 drugs.

        Reply
        1. sd

          NH is the Live Free or Die state. The doctor is opting to live free of a computer. Folks up there are going to be pissed that authorities are saying she can’t.

          Reply
        2. WobblyTelomeres

          I retract my post. The above information about her Albuterol prescriptions is sufficient grounds imho. She’s agonna kill someone like that.

          Reply
        3. tegnost

          Thanks, I agree with regulation of aging and all other physios in licensing and understand that things like bar coding patients so that the right subject gets the proper treatment is a reasonable use of technology, my point was more regarding computer controlled diagnostics, I’d like to think the computer is the tool and not the physician.

          Reply
  9. Wukchumni

    Texas church shooting: Donald Trump says massacre at church is ‘not a gun situation’ Independent
    ~~~~~~~~~
    How many rounds can you load in a cerebral cortex?

    Have we really reached this point where we just deny the facts, and embrace evasiveness?

    You have both ends of the spectrum now in the Sandy Hook and Texas massacres…

    …on one hand 26 mostly 6 year olds were murdered, and on the other hand 26 very religious people of all ages met their maker sooner than later

    Of course nothing will happen aside from perhaps a percentage of the population wearing “Sutherland Springs Strong” badges, in the aftermath~

    It’s what we do…

    Reply
    1. Chris

      thank you Wukchumni, getting a bit tired of even bothering to comment from over here in Australia. Becoming more and more commonplace, but I will persist, as there are some wise heads reading and commenting in this place.

      I listened to your P lament about the tragedy and then says (essentially) you can’t defeat us (those that seek to do such acts) as we stand strong together.

      What does this fluff phrase even mean in face of such tragedy, when your country has been so weakened by its war on terra???

      As you say, it’s what you do, it’s enabled and encouraged and worse, because (iirc) the man was tackled by the public, there are no doubt calls for more people to be carrying so that such attacks can be more easily thwarted…

      help me here… anybody?

      Reply
  10. Anonymous2

    Pretty common among older folk I suspect. The synapses get reinforced by repetitive use and can become almost physical in their resistance to change, I believe. Which is why it is important to keep one’s critical thinking skills active.

    Reply
    1. Terry Humphrey

      If he didn’t see it on Fox & Friends—it didn’t happen. I doubt today’s Donald is much different than yesterday’s.

      Reply
    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Thanks for this– fyi, Yves linked to it on 11/4, calling it “Today’s must read.” Otherwise, I would have linked to it. Glad you mentioned it and I encourage anyone who’s not yet seen it to read this.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Yes but when do people reach the FED UP point? When do they finally decide that living in a NAKED KLEPTOCRACY sucks, and they’d much rather have a REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY?

        Reminds me of the Monty Python skit where the knight gets hacked to bits but pretends he’s still doing OK. “It’s just a flesh wound!” he says as the other knight hacks off his last limb. “I can just get a third job, move in to Mom’s basement, drop my health coverage, and give up doing anything for fun any more”. Meantime the world added 146 brand-new billionaires last year. That’s billion with a B, as in one thousand million.

        Reply
    2. Expat2Uruguay

      Thank you so much for liking this article. I saw it the other day and identified it as one I wanted to free later, and then forgot which article it was I wanted to read later. And here it is!
      I’ve noticed that naked capitalism occasionally repost articles the same day or the next day when water cooler comes out. This would be a good article to receive that treatment.

      Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    Re Does Russia Now Have Superior Military Technology?

    I wonder if the question here should be ‘Does the US Now Have Inferior Military Technology?’ instead. For technology employed or due to be employed by the US (and thus the west), here are a few examples.
    We have the F-35 which whenever it is mentioned on this site is rightly lambasted as inferior to 1970s technology; the new Zumwalt-class destroyer has stability problems in heavy seas and the long-range attack-projectile shells it was supposed to use were cancelled as too expensive; the Littoral Combat Ships being built are not fit for combat due to their weak design and have had problems breaking down at sea; the M1 Abrams tanks are no longer the best tank around and I do not think a replacement is in sight; the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System for carriers has yet to work operationally although it is being built right into the carrier. These are ones just off the top of my head.
    Now there are signs that the Russian have pulled ahead in EM technology as well as advanced technology. It was reported, for example, that an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer sailing towards Crimea had its electronics shut down rendering it helpless to Russian aircraft. When Trump shot off 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syria most never made it and there was the suspicion that those that did were let through for political reasons.
    US battle doctrine has for decades been built on the principle of over-match i.e. if your enemy sends a battalion, nail it with fighter bombers and artillery in massive amounts so that follow on troops are only sweeping up the remains. This will no longer be possible and the Pentagon knows it. It remains to see how this plays out.

    Reply
    1. Thor's Hammer

      The key metric in this question is not whether the US military ships and aircraft designed to project and enforce Full Spectrum Dominance are ineffective. (because they have been compromised by graft during the design and procurement process?)

      More importantly, has the US abrogation of the ABM treaty come back to bite them on the ass? Russia’s history and geography has always favored a defensive military posture in contrast to the Monroe Doctrine, expansionist, One Global Superpower role sought by the USA. It may well be that Russia’s defensive emphasis has resulted in a much more functional missile defense system than that of the US. The ineffectiveness of Trump’s Patriot missile temper tantrum in Syria may (should) be a reality check for the deep state war planners who hope to launch an attack on Russia.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        Wasn’t Patriots, it was cruise missiles. Different animal altogether…

        Israel has nuclear-armed cruise missiles, no doubt benefiting from what might be called “technology transfer” or maybe “industrial espionage” from nominally US war industries, all loaded up in the torpedo rooms of those U-boats we gave the German shipyards the money to produce and which are now floating around in the Med and who knows where else…

        Lots of other doofus “US” military-equipment fails — the Bradley Fighting Vehicle , the Sergeant York Division Air Defense System, the “game-changing” XM-25, anything that has ever appeared on the cover of Popular Mechanix, rolling or flying over the landscape spitting fire from every gunport and barrel…

        Reply
    2. fajensen

      The Russians use very good engineers, physics people and even mathematicians for their military designs and the ressources go mainly to the design, unlike “here”, where the quality of a weapon system is mostly about The Pork it provides and the distribution of The Pork, of course. They don’t have the same technology as we have in volume, but they compensate well enough by being very clever with what they know how to build and maintain.

      It would not be very surprising if they were ahead on weaponised EM technology or HEMP, there are Russians at these IEEE conferences too.

      Back in the day, I worked with radar systems. At that place they had a recent radar of a MIG-29 – courtesy of the German Reunification. The Russians clearly did not have the digital signal processing chips that we have, however, they used a clever combination of mechanical frequency sweeping, analogue signal processing, phased array antenna, and digital logic to track more than 10 simultaneous targets with two “actives” – the ones one shoots missiles at. Which was about equal to NATO at the time (as far as I know, only few people have the exact specs for these things).

      Reply
  12. vlade

    The first part of North’s article is not that great – Mutual Recognition Agreements aren’t “a relative latecomer”. EU has MRAs with Australia, NZ, Japan, US, Canada (it is part of the FTA I believe), Swiss and Israel. Australia and NZ ones are the oldest, from 1998 – I’d not call anything almost two decades old a “latercomers”.

    That said, his main point that a requirement for “any agreement must allow regulatory divergence” is rubbish is spot on. The whole point of MRA is not just to agree on standards, but also agree on processes around how standards are set, changed, and governed. I.e. to ensure that the standards won’t run off in some direction.

    Reply
    1. vlade

      Now that I think of it, he might be making a subtler point too – that MRAs are about how you ceritfy, not what you certify. I.e. the US certification lab can certify a certain US export to be conformant with the EU regulations (which may be by actual testing, or it may be because it’s conformant to a US regulation that is equivalent or stronger etc as set up in the MRA). But the EU regulations are still entirely EU’s to set, change, and enforce – which is the point all those “no more ECJ” seem to miss…

      An interesting thing on the hard Brexit is not only the flows, but the stocks. Say, assuming hard brexit, what will happen to a car part that entered EU as authorised, but the manufacturer lost the authorisation? Would it have to be recalled? Would a recall cover final products (sold or unsold?), or just the existing unused stock? I don’t know, and I’d invite someone who may know more to make a comment..

      I assume for example that all GSK medicines which are registered in the EU under the UK entity would have to be recalled immediately, since they are registered under the EU law which would cease to operate. If a junior minister forgot to do that in the UK (i.e. to cover the EU registered medications – and not just from the EU manufacturers, but anynone – by the UK law, and UK relevant agencies – which don’t even exist yet), NHS would have a choice of withdrawing a lot of its medications, or open itself to being sued for providing unauthorised ones.

      The more I look at a no-deal situation, the more I see madness lies that way.

      Reply
  13. Ernie

    The Paradise Papers confirm again Leona Helmsley’s enduring observation that “Only the little people pay taxes.”

    Reply
  14. el_tel

    Yeah – incompatibility of PC systems is definitely an issue but on the other hand you *should* be using one to note drugs etc…. They typically flag bad interactions etc.

    I’ll do feel empathy for such a doctor but in this day and age, despite IT issues, you really should be using some sort of system. Otherwise you must rely on all patients to be like me and themselves flag up issues with “old” drugs like MAOIs.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether

      One complaint that patients have with the new EHR systems is that the doctors spend all their time clicking boxes on the screen and looking at the computer, as opposed to looking at them.

      My default assumption is that the IT firm that designed the UI/UX did a miserable job, and that’s why that happens (I’m assuming it’s a good thing for doctors to look at patients, both for the diagnosis and because a human connection, however fleeting, is good for people). Perhaps if the software were well-designed, even this doctor would not reject it.

      Reply
  15. Annieb

    I’m not a conservative supporter of Rand Paul, but I have supported his adversarial questioning of the war machine, unlike anyone else in congress (except Kucinich) or the executive branch. I hope he makes a full recovery.

    Reply
  16. Lee

    One year later, neither party can get past last year’s election The Hill

    Hell, I can’t get over the 2000 election or, for that matter, the Nixon “secret plan to end the Vietnam war” election scam. The list could go on.

    Reply
  17. Louis Fyne

    A President Rand Paul wouldn’t have invaded Iraq in 2003. (not that Rand ever had a chance of being president).

    And I’d bet a President Hillary Clinton would’ve found some reason to bomb Iraq between 2001 and 2005.

    Reply
  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Knowing what is being disrespected.

    ‘Disrespecting’ China’s National Anthem Now Carries Three-Year Jail Term The Daily Beast resilc: “trump will discuss how to implement with xi.”

    The Chinese national anthem is called March of the Volunteers.

    From Wikipedia:

    The “March of the Volunteers”,[5][6] is the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China, including its special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Unlike most previous Chinese anthems, it is written entirely in the vernacular, rather than in Classical Chinese.
    Its lyrics were composed as a dramatic poem by the poet and playwright, the Japan-educated Tian Han in 1934 and set to music by Nie Er the next year in Japan for the movie Children of Troubled Times. It was adopted as the PRC’s provisional anthem in 1949 in place of the Three Principles of the People of the Republic of China and the Communist “Internationale”. When Tian Han was imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, the march was briefly and unofficially replaced by “The East Is Red”, then played without words, then played with altered words. Restored to its original version, the “March of the Volunteers” was raised to official status in 1982, adopted by Hong Kong and Macau upon their restorations to China in 1997 and 1999, respectively, and included in the Chinese Constitution’s Article 136 in 2004.

    And about the movie, Children of Troubled Times:

    Children of Troubled Times, also known as Fēngyǔn Érnǚ, Children of the Storm, and several other translations, is a patriotic 1935 Chinese film most famous as the origin of “The March of the Volunteers”, the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China. The movie was directed by Xu Xingzhi and written by Tian Han and Xia Yan. Yuan Muzhi plays an intellectual who flees the trouble in Shanghai to pursue the glamorous Wang Renmei only to join the Chinese resistance after the death of his friend.

    Do you disrespect the politics you see and the politicians, or do you disrespect something that might mean a lot to some or many people?

    Reply
    1. Vatch

      The only “disrespect” that is occurring is that tyrannical Communist party officials are threatening to put people in prison simply for expressing their opinions. As usual, the Communist party is showing a lack of respect for decent human values.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        And the proper targets for disrespecting are those tyrants and the system they have erected.

        A song is a song.

        Reply
        1. Vatch

          A song is a song.

          And nobody should be imprisoned for a song. Nobody: This. Should. Never. Happen.

          If people are to be imprisoned for “disrespecting” a song, then politicians should be imprisoned for glorifying that same song. When a politician hides his corruption and oppression behind emblems of patriotism, that is extremely disrespectful, too. Remember, patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s just a song. There is no need to disrespect a song.

            It’s the system and the politicians you have to disrespect (and more). That is where the focus should be.

            Now, destroying or defacing money, an act of disrespecting, that’s prohibited. Politicians can get away with that.

            Reply
            1. Vatch

              It doesn’t matter whether there is a need to disrespect a song or not. Those government idiots want to put people in prison for doing so. Because of that foolishness, disrespecting the song becomes virtuous, and defending the song becomes a defense of tyranny. Russia no longer has the Soviet GULAG system, but China still has their Laogai forced labor prison system. Don’t defend a law which would condemn people to that system.

              Reply
              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                That’s the point – criticize their forced labor prison system and their politicians, and it doesn’t matter whether there is a need to disrespect a song or not.

                If a politician is responsible, go after him, not his infant baby, not his dead ancestors, their tombstones, or the walls on his/her/church synagogue/temple, or the songs sung within.

                Reply
                1. Vatch

                  No. You’re expressing support for psychopaths who want to put people in prison for exercising freedom of speech. There’s nothing wrong with criticizing a nation via its national anthem, especially if that nation has a long history of oppressive mass murder. In fact, it’s a great way to get people’s attention, which is probably one reason why it frightens political leaders.

                  Reply
            2. JBird

              The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the American Constitution exist, and is about the only amendment that is still intact, unlike most of the others, is because of the need for a democracy, a functioning democracy, to have freedom of expression. Claiming patriotism as the need to censor speech is often due to politicians, especially authoritarian ones, to gain power, or influence metaphorically waving the bloody flag. Once successful, the speech being censored always increases in amount.

              Patriotism, true patriotism, worthy of the name, does not need such “protections”.

              Reply
        2. HotFlash

          Well, maybe “Killing Me Softly”. I would recommend prison for that. Possibly that Umbrella song, too. Crimes against humanity, you know. No link on purpose — I don’t want to be responsible for putting that in your ear.

          Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        No lyrics on the Wiki page. If anything, I imagine it has to do with resisting the Japanese invaders.

        From Wiki:

        The song’s lyrics are held under copyright of the State[46] and thus may not be reproduced without permission on Wikipedia. Original Putonghua (Standard Chinese) lyrics and music are published on the website of the Ministry of National Defense, People’s Republic of China.[47] Translations can be seen on the Wikisource page.

        Perhaps, it can be reproduced here, so we can find something specific to object to or disrespect.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          The lyrics are on the youtube link, and living a life of danger, I reproduced them tapping out morose code with my little fingers.

          Reply
        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          There is this entry in Wikipedia, Historical Chinese Anthem.

          This is the first Chinese anthems, written in 1896:

          金殿當頭紫閣重,
          仙人掌上玉芙蓉,
          太平天子朝天日,
          五色雲車駕六龍。
          With a golden palace above his head, and fold upon fold of purple pavilions,
          Like a jade hibiscus on the palm of an immortal,
          The Son of Heaven of Perfect Peace pays homage to the sun in the sky,
          Riding on a five-coloured car of cloud pulled by six dragons.

          I find that hard to disrespect…maybe the bit about golden palace (betraying the author as a gold bug perhaps).

          Reply
  19. Matthew G. Saroff

    I am dubious of ever quoting the Unz Review it’s a cesspool of bigotry.

    As to the basic question of Russian vs. American military tech, with a few exceptions [heavy titanium fabrication for example], the tech is not superior, but the cost and development time for GOOD ENOUGH is better than the US model of development and acquisition.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You don’t see this often – are they trying to be consistent, and hurt themselves at the same time? You don’t see that happening with the Democrats, who hurt themselves all the time, but rarely when trying to be consistent with their election slogans.

      Multinationals grapple with Republican excise tax surprise Reuters (furzy). Wowsers. This proves how desperate the Rs are find revenues to satisfy the deficit hawks. This is na ga go over well.

      Reply
    2. Yves Smith

      Ad hominem. Unz publishes critics of Israel, so is that your beef? And he published one Pizzagate story which he regrets.

      And we waste our time and money on tech boondoggles like the F-35, which is good for no particular application, and requires a custom $50,000 helmet for each pilot and delivers info in a non-intuitive manner, which means it probably can’t even be flown well. So if all our supposed tech prowess does not lead to better weapons, what good is it? This is the technological version of intellectual masturbation, except a lot of people make money they shouldn’t in the process.

      Reply
  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Fentanyl trail leads to Beijing in Trump’s war on drugs Asia Times

    The trail of opium in 19th century China led to the west, specifically London. Do people in Beijing remember that and the current reversal?

    Reply
  21. Lee

    Saudi prince killed in helicopter crash near Yemen border. Daily Sabah. resilc: “More blood ahead…” Moi: Holy Shit: These guys play for keeps.

    One down and only 15,000 to go.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is this tweet evidence of Saudi election interference? Was it just an individual, or was it more, involving more royal members?

      الوليد بن طلال ✔@Alwaleed_Talal
      .@realDonaldTrump
      You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America.

      Withdraw from the U.S presidential race as you will never win.
      11:02 AM – Dec 11, 2015
      7,149 7,149 Replies 32,379 32,379 Retweets 19,187 19,187 likes

      Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I see a foreign prince telling someone here to quit running for the White House.

          That’s what we say (and do), all the time. Not sure if anyone has ever said that to us.

          Reply
  22. Matthew G. Saroff

    Actually, that excise tax is about the only bit of good policy in the ‘Phant’s bill.

    It would hit the various tax havens, Caribbean bank havens, Ireland, etc., hard, but that is a good thing.

    Reply
  23. Meher Baba Fan

    few friends here were discussing learning russian, and chinese. hope it’s okay for a second post regarding a product. simply to share some really cutting edge way above the grade experiences I know others will appreciate in line with the ethos here. anyway. a language learning methodology.
    Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner. its a book. and his website has heaps of free resources. and explains exactly why his approach is so effective. it is unique and very very popular all around the world. in fact its an excellent book. i defy anyone to source a more effective means. very articulate friendly and organised man, i love his approach to teaching. ( is also an academic an opera singer) i wont explain any further that should suffice. Its actually very exciting. He debunks heaps of myths we all believe about language acquisition.

    Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Your efforts to learn the Russian language have been noted, they can only be regarded as an effort to converse with agents and other citizens of our bitter and sworn enemy. If you turn yourself in today, surrender all of your computers, and immediately provide the identities of all of the contacts in your cell then you may still be able to avoid rendition.

        Reply
        1. Arizona Slim

          LOL! I can’t wait to warn my mom, who was my initial inspiration for learning Russian.

          Happened during my childhood. Mom decided that being fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese wasn’t enough. She had to add a fourth language to her repertoire. And Russian was it.

          So, that’s what I get for being the offspring of a high school foreign language department head.

          Reply
  24. dcrane

    In case this hasn’t been included yet…the AP has an article out with the results of their own investigation on the DNC hacks, supposedly showing how Russians were definitely behind them. But soon after beginning to read it I become confused about the distinction between the Podesta phishing episode and the DNC server hack. I’m not sure what is new here.

    Is it possible that the “hack” of the DNC server was accomplished via a phishing email, as with the raiding of Podestas’ account? If so then it becomes easier to see all of these events as being driven by one actor, at least.

    https://www.apnews.com/dea73efc01594839957c3c9a6c962b8a/Inside-story:-How-Russians-hacked-the-Democrats%27-emails

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether

      This paragraph:

      The AP’s reconstruction— based on a database of 19,000 malicious links recently shared by cybersecurity firm Secureworks — shows how the hackers worked their way around the Clinton campaign’s top-of-the-line digital security to steal chairman John Podesta’s emails in March 2016.

      I’m probably to counter-suggestible, at this point, but why do I trust the database of a private security firm? It’s CrowdStrike all over again. This isn’t really an “investigation.” Secureworks did the investigation.

      Reply
  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Kremlin Cash Behind
    Billionaire’s Twitter and
    Facebook Investments
    Leaked files show that a state-controlled bank in Moscow
    helped to fuel Yuri Milner’s ascent in Silicon Valley, where the
    Russia investigation has put tech companies under scrutiny.

    How is that different from other sovereign wealth fund investments?

    Would it have made any difference had Milner”s money came from Russia
    s Sovereign Wealth Fund, or China’s Sovereign Wealth Fund?

    Reply
  26. Meher Baba Fan

    Arizona Slim

    delighted to hear it! I am enthralled by the method. if you search ‘ Tim Ferriss blog Gabriel Wyner’ you will find an essay Wyner wrote explaining the entire system in one go. Its an impressive explaination which I usually use to introduce people. throw the words language learning in the search if you need to but you should be fine with the above. dated late 2014

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I’d like to learn the Tangut script someday. I have an ancient metal ingot with something that looks like that on it.

      Reply
  27. skippy

    Ref – “Paradise” thingy…

    Apple, the world’s biggest company, swapped one tax haven for another, shifting the management of its Irish subsidiaries to Jersey, the Paradise Papers reveal, just days ahead of Irish government moves to close a loophole which allowed companies to claim they were stateless and not liable for tax.

    Leaked documents from Bermuda law firm Appleby show that Apple started to revise its Irish structure in March 2014, two weeks after The Australian Financial Review detailed Apple’s secret Irish profits.

    Apple had built up a cash pile of more than $US246 billion ($321 billion) from profits booked to Apple Sales International and Apple Operations International in Ireland, which were not taxed because the companies have no tax residence anywhere in the world.

    In August last year the European Commission ruled that Apple must pay €13 billion ($20 billion) tax to Ireland, and last month announced court moves to ensure Ireland enforced the EC tax demand. But Apple was already a step ahead. – snip

    http://www.afr.com/technology/technology-companies/apple/paradise-papers-apple-moves-to-jersey-in-new-tax-loophole-20171105-gzffbd

    Reminiscent of super trawlers looting 2nd – 3rd world fishery’s, then the locals have to buy western food to eat, next thing you know you have health and product affluence dramas, no worries some roads were built and a little hospital, oops no one to staff the hospital nor maintain it, then everyone has to relearn everything they knew before…..

    But hay… it was a fun ride… albeit short…

    disheveled…. The logo of taking a bite out of the old apple seem apropos…

    Reply
  28. ewmayer

    Re. Texas church shooting — So the shooter was targeting the in-laws … perhaps the Dear Cheetoh is right that the weapon of choice was secondary, it was really all about those annoying in-laws. The obvious solution is a nationwide law banning in-law-dom, but I can hear the NRA nutters’ sloganeering against that now: “when in-laws are outlawed, only outlaws will have in-laws”, and “you can have my annoying mother-in-law when you pry her from my cold, dead fingers”.

    Reply
  29. knowbuddhau

    Q: How was Putin inserted in this chart of the relationships behind the Manfort indictments?

    A: “It doesn’t matter. No one cares. This is intended for the mass consumption of the populace representing the electorate and is aimed and [sic] the next elections.”

    No, not yours truly. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova. IOW, the “facts” are being fixed around the policy. (@9:17 in this RuTube video. Via Pepe Escobar’s Facebook feed. The only time I go there, so spare me. Apparently, according to the Saker, Russian media interests are so jealous of their rights that they’re on par with Disney when it comes to preventing sharing. They’d have the clip pulled if it was on YouTube.)

    She treats the chart explicitly in terms of the psychological effects of propaganda. What a breath of fresh air! That’s how you respond to a blatant effort to psyop the populace.

    Wouldn’t it great if the upshot of all this was pretenders to POTUS that cried “Russia!” even before they ran absolutely the worst campaign evah and lost to the somehow even worse candidate, were shown to be the real election meddlers, provoking the mass defenestration of the Clintonite, Wall Street, and corporatist Dems, making Sanders or his successor a shoo-in, and then we get a real, improved Medicare for All?

    Reply
  30. RudyM

    This report suggest the possibility that Saudi Arabia may actually switch to not meddling in the Levant:

    http://theduran.com/breaking-saudi-regime-orders-arrest-called-syrian-opposition-leaders/

    Of course, it could always just mean that one phase of meddling is over and a new one is beginning.

    If Hassan Nasrallah himself has expressed uncertainty as to what is actually going on in Saudi Arabia at the moment, I don’t expect to have any grasp of it any time soon (if ever).

    Reply

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