Fearing huge liability for wine country fires, PG&E is suspending dividend payments Los Angeles Times. Still germane; see NC here and here.
The Dark Bounty of Texas Oil The New Yorker. Well worth a read, both for the Spindletop origin story, and for how fracking is causing a neoliberal epidemic of health problems.
Net neutrality repeal sets up changes to internet Buffalo Business First. “Until now, companies haven’t been able to break up internet access into packages. ‘Now ISPs are free to modify that in any way that makes them money,’ [said Matthew Pelkey, a partner at Colligan Law LLP] said.” Well worth a read. First article I’ve seen in my travels that mentions the possibility of an injunction against Pai MR SUBLIMINAL It rhymes with Pay‘s order. That’s something an organization like the Internet Association has the clout (and the lawyers) to attempt. I don’t think Schneiderman has the stones.
What could net neutrality’s end mean for you? Futurity. This from Ryan Singel from the Stanford University Law School:
For the average American, what will the real-world effects of this ruling be?
SINGEL: The effects we’re likely to see will affect users secondarily. Verizon, for instance, can now go to a Yelp or a Netflix and say, “You need to pay us X amount of money per month, so your content loads for Verizon subscribers.” And there’s no other way for Netflix to get to Verizon subscribers except through Verizon, so they’ll be forced to pay. That cost will then get pushed onto people that subscribe to Netflix.
So what users do online will become more expensive, we’ll see fewer free things, and thus the internet will become more consolidated. . I like to think of it as the internet is going to get more boring.
Readers, your Congress Critters will be back in the district for the holidays; do feel free to visit their offices and share your view that you don’t want ginormous monopolies to make the Internet work — if “work” is the word I want — like cable. Also consider writing Letters to the Editor, far more effective than clicking on online petition. If there’s a protest at your local monopoly Internet supplier, considering joining it.
What Net Neutrality Really Means For You (And For Us) HuffPo. “[M]ajor ISPs will be able to promote the media companies they own — like this one — while punishing competitors’ offerings. That will force consumers, who often have no choice in internet service providers, into walled gardens of content that the ISPs create.” IMNSHO, the walled gardens are far more likely — and far, far worse — than occasional random acts of political censorship. Those sites like this can fight off — as long as net neutrality is in place.
Brexit’s 2017 buzz-phrases Politico
Culture: The capital offences of Boris Johnson Morning Star. Points for using “lanyard” as a verb!
Turning It Up to Eleven: Belligerent Rhetoric in North Korea’s Propaganda (PDF) Mason Richey, Parameters
China steeling for full-blown crisis on Korean Peninsula Nikkei Asian Review. Read all the way to the end.
Ghost ships: Bodies and boats unsettle Japanese community CNN. The North Koreans sold fishing rights to China.
How to understand modern India Marginal Revolution. I generally don’t find much of value at libertarian sites, but this post may interest J-LS.
Mystery buyer of Asia’s priciest flats on The Peak in Hong Kong is revealed South China Morning Post
Youth in Taiwan embrace Taiwanese language and independent mind-set Nikkei Asian Review
New Cold War
Kremlin’s trolls marched across the Web as U.S. dithered WaPo. “Marched”? Marched? Like the 120,000 Union soldiers in Grant’s Overland campaign “marched”? And numbers? Effects? Couldn’t the FBI sources driving this story have provided their stenographers with any data? Or perhaps they did, and it was too pissant? Holy moley:
You can see the gaslight flickering on the garden walls, at twilight. It’s a warm, comfortable feeling, really.
* * *
Kremlin Sees ‘Unbearable’ Risk to U.S. Ties in New Sanctions Bloomberg. Now would be a great time for Putin to release the so-called “piss tape.”
Whistleblower Guardian for Spies Escorted Out of Intelligence Agency Building Foreign Policy. Hmm…
The Fate of Social Democracy Is Being Decided in Germany Foreign Policy
Imperial Collapse Watch
Defense Department: The War On Terror Has Cost $250 Million A Day For 16 Years International Business Times. Ka-ching.
Puerto Ricans wait in darkness and desperation without power Chicago Tribune. To which NC recently drew attention. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that Puerto Rico is simply being written off. I’m picturing the next recession, and goods gradually disappearing from the shelves in the more marginal areas of the flyover states. And then the fingerwagging: “Can’t they just move?” “Why not use GoFundMe for groceries?” And so forth. Not that I’m bitter or paranoid!
America’s Wars: Yet More Of More Of The Same? LobeLog (Re Silc).
Will the Center Hold? Larry Summers, Project Syndicate. Betteridge’s Law, example one.
The roots of Argentine street violence The Power and the Money
Trump Tells Mar-a-Lago Crowd ‘You All Just Got a Lot Richer’ After Tax Bill New York Magazine (Re Silc). Refreshing! No complex, hard-to-understand metaphors like “I stand between you and the pitchforks”!
Trump’s busy Christmas Eve: calls to troops, talk of Santa AP. “Santa is going to treat you very well.”
Making Midterm Elections About Trump Is A Bad Idea, Rove Says NPR. The headline is deceptive; Rove is saying that rallies “cause [Trump] to be in a frame of mind where he tends to make mistakes.” What Trump should do: “[B]e out there extolling the virtues of that tax plan and explaining it, appearing at events that help demonstrate its value to the American people and American workers and American competitiveness.”
Ayn Rand Helped the FBI Identify It’s A Wonderful Life as Communist Propaganda Open Culture. From 2014, still germane.
How Opaque Healthcare Pricing Mechanisms Rip Off Consumers Wolf Street (E. Mayer).
Our Famously Free Press
Democrats in Disarray
White college grads’ distaste for Trump hurt GOP in 2017. Will it flip control of Congress to Democrats in 2018? Los Angeles Times. Betteridge’s Law, example two. Still, one becomes awfully tired of this catering to aggrieved minorities….
Michael Dukakis’s Last Stand Boston. Even if Jesse Jackson had lost to Reagan, the Democrats would have been far better positioned on policy and with the base had they nominated him (before the Democrat base turned into the 10%, a la Thomas Frank). Instead of Jackson, the Democrat establishment engineered a bloodless technocrat — albeit a nice enough guy — ran against Reagan on “competence,” and ended up with nothing (except, of course, their own power and positions). And here we are!
Tom Morello: Making America Rage Again Portside. Rage Against the Machine was after my time….
Unfairness, not inequality, is the real problem Angus Deaton, Straits Times
Diverting Class Warfare Into Generational Warfare Dean Baker, Truthout
Bonfire of the academies: Two professors on how leftist intolerance is killing higher education Washington Examiner. The role of the administration is interesting.
Diary Alan Bennett, LBR. For 2017.
Ten Silver Linings in 2017 Council on Foreign Relations
Why things may be not be as bad as we think BBC. And then I tripped on the MagSafe-less powercord of my new Xmas MacBook Pro… Kidding!
Antidote du jour (via):
— Åsa Maria Hedberg 🐊 (@AsaMariaHedberg) December 25, 2017
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.