2:00PM Water Cooler 6/19/2018

Patient readers, I ended up writing too many little essays and not getting to everything else I wanted to do, so expect a bit more shortly. –lambert UPDATE And then I had a necessary conversation… UPDATE 2:45PM All done.

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“U.S. LNG not included in China’s targeted tariff list” [Kallanish Energy]. “According to [Wood Mackenzie’s head of Asia-Pacific Gas and LNG, Nicholas Browne], China’s announcement last Friday, that it would pursue duties against the U.S. if Washington made effective its tariffs plan on July 6, excludes LNG for two key reasons. ‘Firstly, LNG demand is growing rapidly in China. Secondly, the U.S. will be the key source of incremental supply growth in 2018 and 2019,’ he said…. LNG has played a crucial role in limiting the extent of gas shortages during the last Chinese winter…. The U.S.-China trade war is at a ‘nascent stage’ with an uncertain extent or duration. However, Browne believes LNG is clearly seen as an essential good by the Chinese government… ‘In the event of an escalation, LNG is likely to remain outside the bounds of any additional tariffs,’ he concluded.” So, in a game of chicken, China putting tariffs on LNG would be throwing the steering wheel out the window. And the moreso the more winter nears.

“Staying Ahead of the Electronics Component Shortage” [Industry Week]. “The shortage was caused by a classic case of demand far outstripping supply. Think back about a decade ago to the Great Recession. Suppliers were left with lots of inventory when demand dried up, seemingly overnight. Those same suppliers have operated out of an abundance of caution ever since, not believing orders, or demand, when it appeared. Back to today. We are experiencing a global innovation boom with connected gear in everything from clothing to consumer electronics to automotive manufacturing. This surge shows no sign of slowing. In fact, data indicates that the need for electronic components is growing exponentially. The problem is, they can’t be manufactured quickly enough to keep up with demand. This is not a material shortage; it’s a fabrication shortage…. Soon after the Trump administration slapped tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, China threatened to place duties on U.S. exports including electronics—though they have yet to pull the trigger.”

“Tariffs present different global supply chain situations for shippers” [Logistics Management]. “For nearly 18 months, or even longer, there have been steady gains in United States-bound imports from China, with much of it due to the pending, now actual, tariffs, which have been by viewed by many as protectionist measures. What happens now remains to be seen on myriad fronts, but one thing for certain is that these new tariffs are not catching anyone by surprise…” This paragraph especially caught my eye:

Much of what is driving the White House’s tariff endgame is the need to compete on a global basis, which requires the U.S. being able to grow its global exports, according to Walter Kemmsies, Managing Director, Economist and Chief Strategist for JLL’s U.S. Ports, Airports and Global Infrastructure Group.

‘It is important, as the U.S. [collectively] is not the youngest or most vibrant consumer group in the world,’ he said. ‘While there are a lot of millennials out there, it is going to be a while before they become ‘hard core’ consumers like their parents are. If you are really going to grow, you want to tie your economy to where the consumers are spending and the consumer is global and spending on things like food, where we are really well positioned, clothing, automobiles and appliances. We are also the world’s most efficient plastics producer….we need to leave the markets open for that and also to compete on an equal basis. In the end, what the U.S. really is asking the world is to ‘let our companies compete with yours on an equal basis.'”

Kemmsies is pointing to a deficiency in aggregate demand, even if he’s not using that language. If you want ‘vibrant’ millennial consumers, try a Debt Jubilee. Combine that with an industrial policy to protect the industries behind our newly built tariff walls, and you might have something. Neither political party nor the political class generally will even consider either solution, of course, so if you are “really going to grow,” you need to do something about that. Paging today’s Philippe Égalité….

“The Trump administration’s tough line on trade is reshaping economic alliances around the globe. Japan is finding common ground with China after years of skirmishes over territory and security…, as U.S. tariffs threaten Japanese firms that export semiconductors and other high-tech electronics to Chinese factories” [Wall Street Journal]. “Japan, which exported roughly $137 billion of goods to China in the most recent fiscal year, needs ‘a hedge against Trump,’ says one expert, while Beijing is looking to Japan for investment and expertise in advanced manufacturing as its economy slows. Meanwhile, the European Union and Australia launched free-trade talks Monday as other U.S. allies seek to strengthen economic ties in the wake of tit-for-tat tariffs.”



“Et Tu, Bernie?” [Chris Hedges, Truthdig]. I’m sympathetic to Hedges’ position but not very much; the Hedges’ wing is the very last place I’d look for a political strategist. “Paris is worth a mass,” and if Sanders is getting a million views on a #MedicareForAll Town Hall, then have at it, say I.

UPDATE “Elizabeth Warren can unify Democrats and take back the White House” [The Hill]. “Any Democrat who wants to claim the Democratic standard in 2020 needs to appeal to both the Sanders and the Clinton wings of the party. If the Democratic nominee is poison to the Sanders followers, there will be an ugly scene at the convention, no show voters and some defectors to the Green Party…. Warren could bridge the gap between the two camps and she clearly is one of the frontrunners in the early going in the Democratic presidential sweepstakes…. Warren supported Clinton and unlike Sanders is an ardent Democrat. But there’s not a dime’s worth of difference in the stands between the positions of the two progressive Democratic senators. Warren is a fierce advocate of everything Sanders and his followers stand for. She actively supports his Medicare for All Plan, his comprehensive job program and his stand to negate the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.” Then again, if Warren had supported Sanders outright in 2016, she might be a high administration official today. Just saying.


VA-10: “VA-10: Comstock Moves From Toss up to Lean Democratic” [Cook Political Report]. “Two-term GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock (VA-10) is a tough, resilient campaigner who has persevered as the prosperous Northern Virginia suburbs have zoomed away from her party in the Trump era. In 2016, she won reelection by six points while Hillary Clinton carried the seat 52 percent to 42 percent. But in the current political environment, Comstock is the single most vulnerable Republican incumbent in the House. Last Tuesday, Democratic strategists got what they wanted when state Sen. Jennifer Wexton comfortably won her primary, taking 42 percent to former State Department official Alison Friedman’s 23 percent. Wexton, a former domestic violence prosecutor, is a proven vote-getter in Loudoun County, home to nearly half the 10th CD’s residents (in 2016, Comstock was able to portray her opponent as a wealthy DC carpetbagger).”

IN: “GOP Poll: Donnelly in Position to Win in Indiana” [Inside Elections]. “After defeating a flawed candidate in 2012 and President Donald Trump winning Indiana in 2016 by nearly 20 points, Sen. Joe Donnelly is widely regarded as one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators in the country. But don’t count him out yet, according to a new Republican poll.”

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UPDATE “Trump Escalates Family Separation Featured In Obama’s Deportation Machine” [Splinter News]. A tick tock. “The material outcomes of Obama and Trump’s deportation approaches, and the reaction among Democrats to both, tell us a lot about the circumstances in which incontrovertible violence is deemed acceptable in America…. Trump is adding to a foundation developed by Obama, who aggressively detained and deported undocumented immigrants for nearly his entire presidency. He did so while acting as though he was little more than a manager of the system—a helpless custodian of the law. There seems to be confusion. To be clear, family separation and child detention are a basic feature of American deportation proceedings. They occur on a routine and systematic basis, even if the government in charge isn’t pounding its chest about it…. Obama organized ad campaigns in Central America that used the violent specter of these experiences to try and dissuade people from coming to the U.S. or sending their kids unaccompanied…. Unmistakably, Obama built a massive deportation machine, which involved the systematic detention of children and separation of families. Advocates organized against the administration on these issues for years, warning that it would only get worse if a Republican were to gain control of it. Judging by the discourse on immigration today, they were ignored. Now that Trump has materialized as the nightmare Republican from the future, which activists had warned about, Democrats and liberals avoid culpability and whitewash the past.” Note Obama’s ad campaign, which explicitly uses the threat of taken children to deter parents. So Trump’s unique cruelty, in this example, is a matter of tone policing, not policy.

UPDATE “What’s real, and what’s not, about the U.S. border crisis” [Globe and Mail]. Another tick tock. “Nielsen has muddied the debate by insisting that children will only be separated in narrow circumstances, including if the adult has broken the law. That falsely leaves the impression that only children travelling with gang members or other violent criminals will be separated. But under U.S. law, the act of crossing the border without proper documentation is itself a crime and would trigger a separation. The result is that in the six weeks following Sessions’ announcement, nearly 2,000 minors were separated from adults at the border.” Trump could fire Sessions, killing several bird with one stone…

“Breaking through the administration’s lies on immigration” [Columbia Journalism Review]. “There is no law requiring parents and children to be separated at the border; the administration has made the choice to refer parents crossing the border illegally for criminal prosecution rather than handling the cases in civil court.” “Illegally.” See: “Are undocumented immigrants committing a crime? Not necessarily” [CNN]. “Under federal law, it is a crime for anyone to enter into the US without the approval of an immigration officer — it’s a misdemeanor offense that carries fines and no more than six months in prison.” And: “Is Illegal Immigration a Crime? Improper Entry v. Unlawful Presence” [FindLaw]. “To be clear, the most common crime associated with illegal immigration is likely improper entry. Under federal criminal law, it is misdemeanor… [M]ere unlawful presence in the country is not a crime. It is a violation of federal immigration law to remain in the country without legal authorization, but this violation is punishable by civil penalties, not criminal. Chief among these civil penalties is deportation or removal, where an unlawful resident may be detained and removed from the country. Both improper entry and unlawful presence should be avoided by any immigrant to the United States, but an illegal alien cannot be criminally charged or incarcerated simply for being undocumented.” This is all insanely complex, current controversies aside. Makes me wonder if there’s some sort of existential crisis in the notion of the nation-state (which “open borders” people, at the very least, wish to radically reconstitute).

“Separating Families At The Border: The Hysteria Overlooks Some Key Facts” [Investor’s Business Daily]. “But those protesting family separations should at least acknowledge that there are reforms available that don’t involve returning to the days of ‘catch and release,’ while still keeping families together — which is the ideal solution — such as letting children stay in detention centers for more than 20 days, and boosting funds for family shelters at the border. Getting such reforms done in today’s massively polarized environment, however, is unlikely. The question is, who’s to blame for that?” I rarely quote IBD, but that “ideal solution” is telling.

“On Blue Waves, Red Meat, and Black Outreach” [RealClearPolitics]. “Against this furious pace of boxes checked and promises kept [by Trump], Democrats are accomplishing close to nothing – which is understandable, given that they do not control either house of Congress. But the larger problem is one of messaging caused by that structural reality: With no weapons for hunting, it is hard to produce red meat. In other words, when you hold no levers of power, you cannot generate concrete accomplishments upon which campaign talking points are based. This is the essential component of our current political climate that undermines hopes of a ‘blue wave’ in November. In any environment, Trump’s skill at promotion and larger-than-life persona would consume the lion’s share of oxygen; in this context, it will be difficult for Democrats to make their “Resistance” agenda look like much more than heel-nipping and sour grapes – not least because it amounts to heel-nipping and sour grapes.” The author was a speechwriter for McCain-Palin, so this is effectively written, but do take it with a truckload of salt. I’m filing this with the rest of the #KeepFamilesTogether material for obvious reasons.

UPDATE An important thread on Obama and “border separation”:

UPDATE “If Only Michelle Obama Was Speaking Up for the Children of Flint! #ImmigrantChildren” [Medium]. “The last I checked the children of Flint were still without water, a contamination that culminated under her husbands watch, allowed by a GOP Governor and created by democrats (NAFTA) who ran the entire state, Detroit and Flint for decades. Democrats are now throwing around words like, ‘internment camps’ to describe immigrant housing, words to invoke fear and anger in their electorate but were silent when Obama did virtually the same. If they really want to see an area of children oppression that resembles an interment camp, they should go to Flint and look into the faces of children and babies who are poisoned for life and generations affected as well.”

Lambert here: This brings me to a comment from alert reader MyLessThanPrimeBeef:

Let’s focus on protesting consistently (yesterday, today and tomorrow) and universally (here in this country where we can see, or the manipulators make sure you see, or elsewhere in the world as well, where our MSM cameras often choose not to see).

It has the appearance of virtue signaling (not that we know for sure), if or when we pick and choose.

I mentally flagged their comment because the lack of consistency and universality is what causes me to have such a visceral reaction to the liberal Democrat #KeepFamilesTogether campaign: It’s grossly inconsistent (see above) and not universal. (I don’t want to get up on my high horse too much; who among us is consistent about everything? And my universalism drops off sharply at the water’s edge; see here).

But here’s the deal: American slavery was uniquely profitable because, alone among the slave societies who participated in the Atlantic Slave Trade, our slave population reproduced itself. Thomas Jefferson: “In 1792 [Jefferson] calculated that the births of slave children produced capital at the rate of 4 percent per year: ‘I allow nothing for losses by death, but, on the contrary, shall presently take credit four per cent. per annum, for their increase over and above keeping up their own numbers'” (scholarly controversy, in which I have just taken a side). However, today, at a macro level, for large slices of the American population (not the 1% or the 10%) life expectancy is decreasing (which has political ramifications, as it would and should). If this trend continues, our capitalist masters in the 21st Century will have done a worse job with their dependent population than the Slave Power did in the 19th. But oddly, or not, I don’t see any hash tag activism or virtue signaling from liberal Democrats on this issue at all. Ten of thousands of excess deaths (of despair), families destroyed, communities devastated, and…. ***crickets***. One can only speculate why. A whirlwind, apparently, can be sowed in complete silence. Good to know.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Judge Strikes Down Kansas Voter Law, Orders Sec. of State Kobach to Take Classes” [Governing]. “Robinson’s ruling amounted to a takedown of the [Kansas voter citizenship law] that Kobach had championed and lawmakers approved several years ago. She found that it ‘disproportionately impacts duly qualified registration applicants, while only nominally preventing noncitizen voter registration.’ ‘If eligible Kansans’ votes are not counted despite believing they are registered to vote, it erodes confidence in the electoral system,’ [Judge Julie] Robinson wrote…. Robinson rejected Kobach’s argument that the law was needed to prohibit voter fraud. She said of the tens of thousands of people whose voter registrations have been canceled or suspended because of a lack of proof of citizenship, less than 1 percent have been confirmed to be non-citizens…. The ruling was also a slap against Kobach as an attorney. Robinson wrote Kobach had a ‘well-documented history of avoiding this Court’s orders.’ She repeatedly criticized Kobach’s conduct in court, noting that at least once he tried to introduce evidence despite Robinson having excluded it…. Robinson concluded her ruling by ordering Kobach to take six additional hours of continuing legal education in addition to any other hours required for a law license. ‘The additional CLE must pertain to federal or Kansas civil rules of procedure or evidence,” Robinson wrote.” Ouch! Kobach will appeal.

“ACLU sues Kobach over program that exposed voters’ personal information” [Kansas City Star]. “The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach over concerns that his Crosscheck voter program put the personal data of more than 900 Kansas voters at risk… They are asking for penalties, attorney fees and an ‘injunction requiring Defendant to halt transmission of personal voter data until industry standard practices and procedures are implemented.'”

“Ohio’s Dirty Postcard Trick Led the Supreme Court to Approve Jim Crow Voter Purge” [Greg Palast, Alternet]. Summarizing: The postcard, created and distributed by Kris Kobach (see above) is designed to make voters fail to return it, after which they are removed from the voter rolls. It’s legalized voter caging.

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“Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Why Some States and Cities Want to Secede” [Governing]. “Vikki Consiglio wants amenities. To be precise, the Georgia woman wants fine dining, a Whole Foods and an upscale hotel. And she and many of her neighbors are willing to form a new city to get it. Consiglio is the head of the Eagle’s Landing Educational Research Committee, a group that’s pushing to form a new city out of the unincorporated portion of Henry County, Ga. That on its own isn’t especially controversial. But to form a city with a high median household income, Consiglio and supporters of the Eagle’s Landing incorporation want to bite off a chunk of the city of Stockbridge in the process…. In the case of Eagle’s Landing, in Georgia, the newly formed town would take $8 million dollars from Stockbridge’s general fund and leave that city with $13 million in municipal bond debt. Almost all of the 70 census tracts in what could become Eagle’s Landing would have a median family income of more than $74,000, while the remaining 253 census tracts in Stockbridge would have a median family income of less than $56,000, according to Moody’s.” “Eagles’s Landing.” I love it.

Stats Watch

Housing Starts, May 2018: “The good news in May’s housing starts report is centered in the present, less so in the outlook” [Econoday]. “Building in the housing sector, given reports of shortages of construction workers and also construction equipment, may be progressing at the fastest rate possible based on year-on-year rates of growth… The new home market, where sales are up in the low double digits, is a leading sector of the economy but appears to be bumping up against capacity constraints. Showing much less strength than new home sales have been resales which have been surprisingly flat….” And but: “May 2018 Residential Building Headlines Again Mixed” [Econintersect]. “The backward revisions this month were significantly upward.The nature of this industry normally has large variations from month to month (mostly due to weather) so the rolling averages are the best way to view this series – and it shows permits rate of growth improving and completions rate of growth also improving. We consider this a stronger report relative to last month.” And but: “Note the low level of single family starts and completions. The “wide bottom” was what I was forecasting following the recession, and now I expect a few more years of increasing single family starts and completions” [Calculated Risk]. But: “No houses get built without a permit and ‘building permits fell for a second straight month and very steeply in May'” [Mosler Economics].

Commodities: “Soaring lumber prices have U.S. home builders feeling down in the dumps. Homebuilder sentiment sank this month to match its lowest level this year, as tariffs on lumber and other imported materials make construction more expensive” [Wall Street Journal]. “Late last year, the U.S. locked in tariffs of 20% or more on Canadian lumber. While prices have eased some, earlier this month plywood was selling for 43% more than it did last year as U.S. buyers contending with a shortage of domestic supply pony up for Canadian softwood.”

Retail: “Apple Inc.’s decision to produce more iPhones with cheaper screens could end up costing some suppliers. The leading U.S. smartphone maker is delaying its transition to a newer, more costly type of screen called organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, whose main producer is a division of rival Samsung Electronics Co. That’s welcome news for companies that make cheaper liquid-crystal display” [Wall Street Journal]. “while most Apple handsets this year will probably stick with LCD displays, intense competition between suppliers means prices are headed downward.”

Shipping: “Truckers sitting in sweet spot as decade winds down, State of Logistics Report says” [DC Velocity]. “U.S. trucking firms could be in the proverbial driver’s seat by the end of the decade as favorable supply-demand dynamics combine with information technology adoption to generate solid profits and take market share from a railroad industry struggling to keep pace with innovation…. [A]dvanced line-haul technologies such as autonomous vehicles and truck platooning could be widely available to shippers over the next three to seven years… The rosy outlook for truckers seems counterintuitive, given challenges ranging from finding, hiring, and keeping qualified drivers; the productivity squeeze accompanying compliance with the federal mandate requiring most vehicles to be equipped with electronic logging devices; higher diesel fuel prices; road infrastructure problems; and elevated operating costs. For now, the authors said, railroads are sitting pretty as strong demand gives them pricing power—especially in intermodal—and as productivity improvements boost profit margins and the newly enacted corporate tax cuts increase their cash flows.” So, reading closely, the “sweet spot” vis a vis rail is in the future (“five to seven years”) and rail is “sitting pretty” now. Consultants talking their robot truck book?

Shipping: “Are we nearing peak container?” [Splash 247]. “It is impossible to know how different trends, uncertainties and discontinuities will combine together over the next 25 years.”

Shipping: “Companies Spent a Record $1.5 Trillion on Shipping Costs in 2017” [Wall Street Journal]. “Costs for everything–from big-rig haulers and rail transportation to airfreight, parcel carriers and storage–have risen steeply since the middle of last year. And demand doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, according to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ annual State of Logistics report. In 2017, total spending on logistics rose to a record of nearly $1.5 trillion, up 6.2% from the year before, and about $250 billion more than companies spent on logistics in 2008. Rising interest rates, the higher price of fuel and impending tariffs on imports are expected to add to business expenses in the coming year, the report’s authors said…. Leading up to and during the holiday season, demand for workers at e-commerce fulfillment operations and other facilities is also expected to increase, and with unemployment at historic lows that may be hard to accommodate. Mr. Monahan said many logistics and warehousing operations may turn increasingly to automation, using new technology to pick, pack and ship holiday orders.”

Shipping: “Four management strategies for retaining labor” [DC Velocity]. “The study documented specific management practices and provided a measure of where logistics industry leaders are applying them well and where they could use improvement. The results revealed that some practices—such as the 360-degree review and training managers on proper coaching techniques—are widely followed, while other techniques—including developing objective performance standards and continuous improvement—are deployed only occasionally. Further study will be required to track the impact of these trends on companies’ success in reducing turnover.” Wages and working conditions notably not included.

The Bezzle: “Uber Neglected Simulation Testing on Self-Driving Cars, Insiders Say” [The Information]. “The rush to develop a commercial self-driving vehicle had led Uber to de-emphasize computer simulation tests that attempt to anticipate how autonomous vehicles would react in millions of driving scenarios. Engineers at the young simulation program were struggling to thoroughly test the company’s autonomous driving software, in part because of a lack of investment in the program, according to two people with direct knowledge of Uber’s autonomous vehicle unit. That stood in contrast to the process at Alphabet’s Waymo and some other major companies developing self-driving cars, where simulation testing was a top priority.” “Lack of investment.” That’s interesting. I wouldn’t have thought Uber was short of squillions.

The Bezzle: “Elon Musk emails employees about ‘extensive and damaging sabotage’ by employee” [CNBC]. “Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to all employees on Monday morning about a factory fire, and seemed to reference possible sabotage. Now, CNBC has learned that Musk also sent an e-mail to all employees at Tesla late on Sunday night alleging that he has discovered a saboteur in the company’s ranks.” The fire was caused by “smoldering in an air filter in the welding area of the body line.” Sounds consistent with the shoddy maintenance that caused the paint shop fires, so I don’t see the issue. From Musk’s email: “we had another strange incident that was hard to explain.” That’s the air filter. Here’s an analogy: If a dryer caught on fire in Musk’s house because nobody changed the lint filter, Musk would call that a “strange incident.”

The Bezzle: “Elon Musk Allegedly Tells Tesla Staff to Remain ‘Extremely Vigilant’ Amid ‘Sabotage,’ Factory Fire” [Gizmodo]. “Earlier this year, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health named Tesla one of the most dangerous workplaces in the US, following another investigation by Reveal that claimed the company was systemically under-reporting the number of injuries at the Fremont facility and cutting corners on safety to maximize staff time spent on production. (Tesla denies the allegations but says it has responded by making safety improvements.)”

Concentration: “Break up Google” [Editorial Board, Boston Globe]. “It is ironic that the company perhaps most responsible for unleashing a tidal wave of human creativity, learning, and, yes, competition is also stifling it. It is frustrating competition, discouraging innovation, punishing American business, and distorting the free marketplace of commerce and ideas. Europe has led the wider fight over the right to privacy and the regulation of data, but the time is right for the United States to lead on dismantling tech monopolies — starting with the most powerful player. So, how to start? [T]here are several ways to carve up Alphabet, the holding company of which Google is by far the largest and most important piece….” Interesting!

The Fed: “Inflation Policy” [Money and Banking]. “We suspect that the FOMC is engaged in what Alan Greenspan called ‘risk management’ policy. For example, they now refer frequently to the ‘symmetric’ nature of their inflation objective. We assume this means that they are willing to allow inflation to overshoot for a while. How much and for how long? No one can be sure….. It is easy to see why the FOMC now wishes to pick up the pace of normalization: near-term growth is likely to continue to outstrip the trend significantly at a time when there appears to be little slack in the economy. Adding in an adverse supply shock from developing trade frictions certainly won’t help. Bottom line: the FOMC is still managing risks, but some risks have shifted.” But will it work in theory?

Five Horsemen: “On yesterday’s mild market decline the mania-panic index slid to 58 (complacency) as VIX and the put-call ratio rose, signifying rising concern” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood].

Five Horsemen June 19 2018

NakedCap Mania-Panic Index: “After Friday’s mild market decline, the mania-panic index dipped to 63 (complacency) as the plurality of new highs over new lows continued to deteriorate” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood]. (The NakedCap mania-panic index is an equally-weighted average of seven technical indicators derived from stock indexes, volatility (VIX), Treasuries, junk bonds, equity options, and internal measures of new highs vs new lows and up volume vs down volume … each converted to a scale of 0 to 100 before averaging, using thirty years of history for five of the seven series.)

Mania panic index June 18 2018

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 180.


“Looking for signs of global warming? It’s all around you” [Associated Press]. “These days, plants and animals are arriving at Rocky Mountain Biological Lab a week or two earlier than they were 30 years ago. The robins that used to arrive in early April now show up in mid-March. Marmots end their winter slumber ever earlier…. ‘If the climate weren’t changing, we wouldn’t see these kind of changes happen,’ [University of Maryland biologist David] Inouye said while standing on a bed of wildflowers that are popping up on the first day of May as marmots snoop around nearby…. Starting about 30 years ago, the growing season in general around the Northern Hemisphere “rather abruptly changed to a new normal,” with earlier springs and later falls, said Mark Schwartz, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee geographer. In the Lower 48 states, 2012 was the earliest growing season on record until it was edged out by 2017, he said… Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech, has heard non-scientists accusing the government or researchers of manipulating temperature data to show warming. There’s no cooking the books, she said; nature is broadcasting a clear signal about climate change. ‘If you don’t trust the thermometers, throw them out,” Hayhoe said. “All we have to do is look at what’s happening in nature.'” Hayhoe makes an excellent point. Many examples of citizen science in this article. Readers?

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Why celebrating Juneteenth is more important now than ever” [Vox]. “Ironically, while Juneteenth has become the most prominent Emancipation Day holiday in the US, it commemorates a smaller moment that remains relatively obscure. It doesn’t mark the signing of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, which technically freed slaves in the rebelling Confederate states, nor does it commemorate the December 1865 ratification of the 13th Amendment, which enshrined the end of slavery into the Constitution. Instead, it marks the moment when emancipation finally reached those in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy.”

Notable omission:

UPDATE “How Ceiling Fans Helped Slaves Eavesdrop on Plantation Owners” [Atlas Obscura]. In the mid 19th century, slaves throughout the American South pulled at ropes and chains nonstop during summer mealtimes, to make plantation dining rooms bearable in beastly humid heat. The slaves would swing wooden panels or fringed fabric rectangles that were mounted on the dining room ceilings. The arduous labor created breezes and flicked insects away from the food and the guests’ flesh. The fans were called punkahs—the same name was applied to their counterparts in India, which servants waved above British colonists. For American slaveholders, assigning people (usually boys and men dressed in brown and red livery) to work the punkah cords during parties was a way to flaunt wealth.”

Class Warfare

“Disembowel Enoch Powell” [Dissent]. From April, still germane: “Powell was the first mainstream politician in Europe to claim that an out-of-touch, weak-willed liberal establishment had wrought upon the (white) working class the calamities of immigration and multiculturalism, and that only decisive, urgent action could save the nation from this crisis before it was too late….. The influence of Powellism rested on a populist media infrastructure of letter-writing and opinion polls—in effect, the social media of half a century ago…. Powell was disavowed by establishment politicians even as they accepted much of his agenda…. Powell was not only the first significant politician of Britain’s populist right; throughout the 1960s, he was also the country’s most prominent advocate of neoliberalism, an aspect of his politics that has since been forgotten. In 1958, Powell resigned as Financial Secretary over the government’s refusal to end increases in social spending. This was the opening salvo in the campaign waged by neoliberal think-tank activists such as Ralph Harris, Arthur Seldon, Diana Spearman, and John Wood against the Keynesian social and economic policies constituting the postwar consensus. Under their influence, Powell began to make speeches criticizing public ownership, economic planning, and social security, and espousing floating exchange rates and legal restrictions on trade unions—what he called the ‘doctrine of the market.'”

“Tesla Fights State Rules Linking Car Rebates to Labor Practices” [San Jose Inside]. “Tesla opposes a pending state rule that would require the manufacturer to certify its Fremont factory as a ‘fair and responsible workplace’ for customers to qualify for a generous discount on electric cars. The rebates—which take up to $7,000 off the price of a new plug-in battery-run or fuel-cell-powered transportation—are the centerpiece of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to put 5 million clean energy vehicles on California roads by 2030. But the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the Air Resources Board want to withhold the incentive from companies hit with complaints about unfair labor practices. Elon Musk’s Tesla released a 16-page letter earlier this month describing how the order would specifically undermine the company….”

“‘Commie cadet’ who wore Che Guevara T-shirt kicked out of US army” [Guardian (JG)]. “Top brass at Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division accepted Rapone’s resignation on Monday after an earlier reprimand for ‘conduct unbecoming of an officer.’ Rapone said an investigation found he went online to advocate for a socialist revolution and disparage high-ranking officers and US officials. The army said in a statement only that it conducted a full investigation and ‘appropriate action was taken.'” Nice to have that clarified. More: “In addition to classic socialist theorists such as Karl Marx, Rapone says he found inspiration in the writings of Stan Goff, a retired special forces master sergeant who became a socialist anti-war activist.” More on Goff here and here.

“Our Instinct for In-Group Loyalty” [Splice]. On tribalism:

While the evolutionary basis of tribalism is clear, we’re capable of developing institutions and structures that help us suppress our tribal impulses. And evolution has equipped us with tools that allow us to question and modify our behavior. As Peter Singer puts it in the 2011 edition of The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress: “It is now generally accepted that the roots of our ethics lie in patterns of behavior that evolved among our prehuman ancestors, the social mammals, and that we retain within our biological nature elements of these evolved responses.”

These elements include a tendency to engage in reciprocal altruism—the willingness to do someone else a favor with the expectation that the favor will be returned in the future. Singer points out that this inclination binds people together almost as powerfully as family ties: “Though kinship is the most basic and widespread bond between human beings, the bond of reciprocity is almost as universal.” From productive trading relationships to mutual defense treaties, reciprocity can extend far beyond national borders.

We’ve also evolved the capacity to reason, which gives us the ability to recognize that there are people just like us in other parts of the world with interests and rights that must be respected.

These are both core components of Singer’s argument that our ethical concerns have shifted to encompass larger and larger groups of people over time (hence the title of his book). He also notes that we now even include animals in our ‘sphere of altruism.’ Even though our world remains carved up by borders and riven with tribal pathologies, it’s impossible to argue that the circle hasn’t expanded.

News of The Wired

From the Department of At Least It’s Not COBOL:

This is real Snow Crash stuff. It’s like YT’s Mom worked on the F-35…

On metadata, a useful thread:

“Welcome to Onion Social.” [Onion Social]. “Onion Social is the next generation of the social networks, paving the way for users fed up with lesser social media websites to gain access to unfettered information, unparalleled reportage, and unmatched connectivity to friends and family without regard to the consequences.” Line up, sign up, and re-enlist today!

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (IME):

IME writes: “Yesterday at the bookseller fair in Retiro Park (Madrid) went to the rose garden and took some pics with my not so good cellphone.”

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Roger Smith

    This is all insanely complex, current controversies aside. Makes me wonder if there’s some sort of existential crisis in the notion of the nation-state

    This is the exact type of day dream thoughts I’ve been having on the issue. I mentioned a few days ago how there seem to be no real solutions and that I wasn’t sure this country has ever successfully managed immigration, just more or less was able to ignore it. The swirling arguments and unsure grounding this all seems to have makes it seem like something deeper is being debated… mostly unconsciously perhaps. I find it so strange that people who are not citizens can be charged in a court, under laws to which they as individuals do not subscribe. It would seem to me that, by charging anyone in such a manner, you are either wasting tons of time and money, or effectively granting them citizenship.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I hate the immigration issue because I don’t see a happy resolution (absent, speculating freely, worldwide minimum and maximum wages to prevent labor arbritage).

      Unfortunately, the volume on the issue has grown so great — and the inconsistency and lack of universality by the liberal Democrats doing the generating so gross — that I can’t ignore.

      Leave it to the Trump administration to catalyze everything.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Can we ban coups and election meddling by our government and cut the number of visas issued for students, H1-B and tourists? How about restrictions on bringing in fat wads of cash from overseas and throwing it at local real estate, driving up prices/rents and making cities harder to live in?

        Seems we could go some way towards making lots of people happier and it doesn’t involve waterboarding 8-yr olds from Guatemala??

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It reminds of the story of the Japanese Zen master, Hakuin, who raised a child and never defended himself, while villagers accused him of giving in to lust and having an illicit affair with a woman.

          My mind was bombarded with charges of racism as i read your comment.

          And that happens often when going up against Democrats and their henchmen in the main stream media.

          You have to have faith in what you believe.

        2. Olga

          Hear, hear… it’s amazing how little discussion there has been of the underlying reasons for all this immigration (which has now shifted to mostly folks from Central Am., apparently). Obama’s first weeks in office were marred by yet another coup d’etat in Honduras, enthusiastically supported by his Secretary of State. Or we can go back to Reagan’s wars against CA’s states. Or the 1954 coup d’etat in Guatemala… or 1915 actions against Haiti and Nicaragua. There’s no end to the destruction the US has wrought on those countries. It’s a bit late to cry over spilled milk…

          1. bassmule

            Exactly. Amidst the crying, screaming, and rending of garments, has anyone paused to wonder why people are trying to bring children across the border? Regarding the Honduras example, of course, Democrats can’t talk about it, because Mrs. Clinton supported it; and by extension would require acknowledgement that St. Barack was in error. Not much chance of that.

            1. anonymous

              Recommended reading on the immigration crisis:

              “A Voter’s Guide to Hillary Clinton’s Policies in Latin America

              Support for coup regimes, militarization and privatization, trade deals that wreak economic havoc—they reveal the failure of Clintonism”


              Separately, is there an explanation for this seeming sudden surge of migrant families at the US border? (Confess I haven’t been paying strict attention to the issue of late.) Have overall numbers increased or were there always this many seeking amnesty or admittance? Was there some catalyzing event that created the uproar?

      2. Summer

        The immigration issues are foreign policy and trade issues. That’s why it’s so frustrating.
        Most people want to live in the land of their family and friends. The types of migration in the world today are in a large part forced migrations, with a good dose of exploitation built into it and not “immigration” (I like to associate that word with choice without fear).

      3. clarky90

        “Obama, who aggressively detained and deported undocumented immigrants…”

        The increasing use of euphemisms is freaking me out. Not, “undocumented immigrants”, but rather “illegal aliens”. Who, here at NC, has ever entered another country illegally? Slipped across a boarder without a visa? Or wandered into a stranger’s unlocked house? No-one

        Is a burglar an “an undocumented flatmate”……? A murderer an “un-requested euthanizer”? and so on

        The misuse of language is powerful gas-lighting. It is driving the world crazy.

        Nazi Germany. “Abbeförderung – dispatching, removal; euphemism for killing.
        abgeräumt – cleared away; slang expression for “murdered”….”

        The Bosheviks. “Wreckers, rootless cosmopolitans, parasites….”

        USAians. Regime change, collateral damage..

        The clear, concise and honest use of OUR language is how “our word” is expressed and shared with other people. and vice versa. It is Logos

        When the meanings of words and phases are cynically manipulated, in order to gas light (create confusion/discord), we are inviting Khaos, the abyss.

        1. pretzelattack

          they weren’t stealing from us, and employers tacitly encourage them to come here, as they always have, because they can take advantage of them. obama jailed kids. and his main concern with that was his image and his legacy.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I wonder why they don’t just jump over the US embassy fence in Mexico City.

            That’s US territory.

          2. clarky90

            I do not understand the “right, in-between, or wrong” of the situation. I don’t live in the USA.

            However, when our words lose their meaning, how can we understand other people, and be understood in return?

            We all have valid Points Of View. And our POVs change as we move, as we age, as we lose or gain health. All fortunes change. Anicca anicca anicca

            So, concise words and ideas are important!

        2. 4corners

          Yes. Honesty and accuracy in the language would be a good start. It’s as bad on the left as it is on the right. “No human being is illegal” makes a catchy sound bite but is patently absurd in context.

          I guess it’s too much to hope for that we could have a national debate on the economics of immigration policy. And even here there are bound to be winners and losers, and therefore no optimal solution.

          And if we consider our moral obligations, on individual humanitarian grounds, or even regionally as a result of foreign policy, then it becomes even more complex. And add to this a heavy dose of ethnocentrism on both sides.

          I love the exchange of ideas on NC. But I have to object when people start throwing around phrases like “waterboarding 8 yo Guatemalans” or parroting mainstream news descriptions of “violence” and “cruelty”. I agree with Lambert about the complexity and trickiness of the issue. But, yeah, let’s be consistent and fair in our criticism.

          1. Odysseus

            “No human being is illegal” makes a catchy sound bite but is patently absurd in context.

            Only if you don’t care about grammar. Actions are illegal. If you want to talk about visa violators, you’re free to do so. But no human being is illegal.

          2. johnnygl

            I was trying to make a parody of the media coverage and mock all the emotional grandstanding by both parties. It’s getting hard to make a hyperbolic kind of onion-style joke.

        3. audrey jr

          Actually, I was an illegal alien in Canada during the late 1970’s. I had a Canadian boyfriend. I could not get a job and I came home to the U.S. after about 8 months of unemployment. I must say that I did worry about being caught and deported.

        4. prx

          Well, scare-rhetoric aside, it’s not a criminal offense to enter the country without a visa.

      4. DJG

        Lambert Strether, Johnny GL, and Summer: I generally agree with your line of reasoning. Get rid of “muscular” U.S. foreign policy. (Wasn’t that a Hillaryism? Maybe an Albrightism? Ginahaspelism?) No more coups (Honduras, Brasil, most of Latin America), disruption of enemy “regimes” (the whole Syria, Iran, Iraq bloodbath), and war to serve business interests (I can hardly wait for China).

        Being opposed to war will secure the borders. And I do believe that borders are okay, since there is no alternative. The no-borders types strike me mainly as upper-middle-class people speaking Mexican Spanish to the nanny. Wowsers: Multiculturalism. Conversely, borders protect smaller countries against the U.S. Do Mexicans want gringos to buy up all of San Miguel de Allende as summer homes?

        Further, rather than blaming immigrants, let’s blame the U.S. and its endless desire for cheap labor–all the way back to the slaves. And currently all of those signs in Spanish on restaurant windows for cheap and docile help.

        And visas that are all about money, the equivalent of buying citizenship or buying your kid a slot at Wellesley or Brown, should be abolished.

        And the rule of law. That would help, too. (Sometimes, I’m just a utopian, eh.)

        Hmmm. I detect class. Class. The rapacious, protected couple-a percent that is willing to do anything to get its way in the U S of A.

      5. Kevin

        Issues these days become politicized. Once that happens; it’s like the tower of babel, rationality goes out the window. We are currently unable, as a country, to agree and move forward on anything.
        (Infrastructure should be a slam dunk…why hasn’t it happened?)

        1. sinbad66

          (Infrastructure should be a slam dunk…why hasn’t it happened?)
          Because the politicos haven’t quite figured out how socialize the expense of building it, then privatizing it without being nailed to wall (both figuratively and literally).

    2. Goyo Marquez

      You’re assuming their non-citizenship when that is the issue of the criminal trial.

      How can the government prove you’re not a citizen in a criminal trial where you have the right to not incriminate yourself?

      The difficulty of a criminal prosecution is, I assume the reason these have been historically handled as civil matters. A judge can compel you to testify against yourself in a civil trial.

      A lot of these issues would be solved if the U.S. required people to have a national identity card as most countries do.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When Putin parachutes a division of plain-clothes paratroopers over Cape Cod, I think the government will try to catch them, and ask them to prove their citizenship, and not the other way around (prove they are not citizens).

        I can’t imagine a judge telling the government to let them go free in the Northeast, if the government can’t prove they are non-citizens.

        1. pretzelattack

          seems as about as likely as putin hacking voting machines to help trump. but if those parachutees were willing to work really cheaply i’m sure the govt could turn a blind eye in non election years (assuming there still are “non election years”).

        2. Goyo Marquez

          You’re begging the question. You’re arguing in circles. This is extremely common in these discussions. If you start with, the government arrests an illegal alien, you basically assumed your answer at the beginning.

          Here’s a better hypothetical:
          A border patrol officer riding his horse through the desert near Jacumba California, comes across a man, a woman and a child walking. They look like they need water, they’re dressed in manner that seems somewhat unfashionable. They are dark skinned and do not speak English. If he wishes to treat this as a criminal matter, he can arrest them, but he must inform them of their rights as criminal suspects. Including the right to not incriminate themselves.

          The trial proceeds. The officer testifies he found them walking through the desert a few miles from the Mexican border, they were dressed funny, looked thirsty, and were dark skinned and did not appear to speak English. He informed them of their rights after which they refused to speak. That’s pretty much it for his evidence. The defense is not required put on any evidence, the prosecutor has the burden of proof.

          Has the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they entered the country illegally?

          Now if you start by defining them as illegal aliens, the case seems easier but it’s not.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think the officer would check if they are OK, and if they have to be taken to a hospital, the people there would ask for insurance information. They might have to wait a while in the ER if they don’t have any. Not sure who pays the bill if transported on an air ambulance.

            If not, they might be asked information about themselves. If they are citizens, they will be asked to demonstrate that. If not, the officer might suspect they are crossing illegally and ask them to prove they’re not.

            Further inland, the officer might not suspect such.

            It’s like a lot of places in the US. If a police officer suspects you’re doing something unusual, he or she will ask you to prove you are not doing something illegal. I think some people say they will refuse. But that’s USA. And perhaps Mexico is a better place in that regard.

            The going around in circles hinges on the judgment of the officer (police officer or border patrol agent). If they suspect, they will ask you for proof.

            I know that clashes with innocent until proven guilty, but that’s not how it is accepted in America.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              So, if they suspect you’re smoking marijuana while driving, they will ask you to prove you’re not.

              Or if a bank was robbed by a man with 3 cats, and you (a man) happen to be walking around with 3 cats, they will pull you over and ask you where you were an hour ago. And you will have to prove that an hour ago, you were at a pet shop.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                In the robbery case, you become a confirmed suspect, from a suspected suspect, if you can’t produce an alibi.

                But you’re still not guilty in this case.

                Now, if you’re on a train, and you can’t prove you have a ticket, you’re assumed to be boarding without permission. The burden is on you in this case.

                And in another case of you’re found in your friend’s house, while he’s away, when a window is broken, and the officer asks you for proof (if they suspect something) you have to prove it, not the state. You can do that by calling your friend.

            2. Goyo Marquez

              The border patrol officer will ask you for proof of citizenship?

              What would that proof be? I know I rarely carry my passport with me.

              So they respond in spanish, “No tengo.”

              How does he use that to prove they entered the country illegally?

              When suspected illegal immigrants are treated as in violation of a civil statute they are routinely asked, “Where are you from?” Which reminds me of a story apparently true. Seems a guy was crossing in El Paso and the border official, may have been a customs guy, a white shirt, as they were called, in those days, asks, “Where are you from.” The Mexican guy says Michoacan, the officer says, really I’m from Michigan too. Go ahead.

              Anyway… when the immigration matter is treated as a civil violation the most common type of proof is the accused’s own admission. Can you see how changing it to a criminal matter changes all that? Now the accused has a right to an attorney paid for by the state, he has a right to not testify against himself, he has a right to be free from unreasonable searches, and he has a right to a jury trial.

              The political right, and I have friends like this, are insistent that illegal aliens be referred to as criminals, I assume that’s why Trump is emphasizing this. “See I enforce the law of the land.” “See I just call things what they are. None of this namby, pamby, undocumented stuff.” Their insistence on criminalizing illegal immigration is going to leave them stuck to a tar baby of U.S. criminal law. “Please Mr. Fox do anything but don’t call me a criminal.” If there is any karma in the world it’ll end up a lot harder to deport illegal aliens than it was before.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                I see now the point about the difference between civil and criminal demands on the state. I wasn’t aware the difference before.

                How would a national ID card make any difference, if you are without one near the desert? How would that be different from having to produce a driver license, a birth certificate or naturalization paper? All of them , or even a water bill, for example, would take time, but eventually show that you’re not new to the country.

                1. Goyo Marquez

                  The difference is, that in those countries that require it, the crime is not having it on your person, like driving without a license.

      2. Mo's Bike Shop

        A lot of these issues would be solved if the U.S. required people to have a national identity card as most countries do.

        I have a national identity file. But my government won’t admit it, and I will get put on a list for any evidence of tracking it down.

        Oh wait, did you say card, oh, well that’s fine as long as there is no file.

        Talk about a non-starter.

    3. MK

      Similar to the prison sentences for any foreigner that breaks the law in many Asian nations, they should just be sent back home instead of subjected to the laws of the nation they are in at the time.

    4. fresno dan

      Roger Smith
      June 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm


      Over 20,000 children a year are put into foster care because their American parents are taken to jail, 10 times the number of those separated when illegal immigrant parents try to sneak into the U.S. but are caught, according to a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

      However, unlike the congressional outcry over President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy targeting illegal immigration, there has been no mass protest of or investigation into the separation of children from those in jail.
      He took note of the lack of protests in the past over children of incarcerated parents. Kirsanow told Secrets, “The fact that the media and open borders advocates have never expressed outrage that incarcerated American parents have been separated from their children demonstrates that it doesn’t serve the political narrative of the day (the twin objectives of which are open borders and attacking President Trump/ Republicans). Occasionally, some prison reform advocates will lament the effect black incarceration rates have on black families, but there isn’t the outage we’re currently witnessing about illegal immigrants.”

      I wasn’t going to bring this up, but as no one else has (that I have seen) I think it is worth a mention.
      Despite the article I link too, I am not nearly as sanguine as the article is about people being able to apply for asylum – I think the asylum process is being manipulated not to function properly. Also, repubs just believe in locking anybody WORTH LESS THAN A BILLION if they are even looked at cross eyed by a cop, so the idea that repubs would ever be concerned for black children of incarcerated people is laughable (and ANY poor people of ANY race – I didn’t mean to imply repubs are racist (SARC) And I would point out that most immigrants are NOT convicted nor guilty of serious crimes.

      STILL, the emphasis on immigrants and the silence with regard to the home grown tragedy of children of the incarcerated seems….purposeful.

      1. a different chris

        > there has been no mass protest of or investigation into the separation of children from those in jail.

        And this is why Democrats come off so badly. I don’t think it’s totally Deplorable to get upset when somebody is parading their heart on TV for a foreigner whist ignoring the problems of your cousins kids, right down your crumbling street.

        Oh, and secondly, the Dems will do next to crap for even the families they are screaming about. Just all grandstanding.

        1. fresno dan

          a different chris
          June 19, 2018 at 4:11 pm

          Hard not to get the impression that anything that stops the underground nannyroad or gardnerroad is bad (dare I say it – reserve army of the unemployed), but once the people are in the country they are on their own as far as health insurance or living wages or any protection from exploitation – just like most ‘Mericans… And if immigrants want higher wages, they can do what the natives do – get a college loan and put yourself into debt for the rest of your life.
          In America, if your not in the 1%, your Soylent Green – don’t matter if your native or imported.

        2. Elizabeth Burton

          The only response you’ll get if you mention the fact there are, and have been for decades, people who are natives of the US who are suffering and have suffered what’s happening to the immigrants is the charge of both-sideism. You’ll get an equally negative response if you try to point out the problem isn’t TRUMP!!! but rather the system that has been happily churning along for decades while those now screaming in outrage were busy making other plans.

          For most of the time I’ve been on social media, especially Facebook, not a day has bone past when someone didn’t post an appalling photo of an injured animal in conjunction with a demand everyone sign a petition or forward the photo to ensure a sufficient level of outrage. I finally had to block that kind of thing because it was awful.

          Now, we have politicians leaping to show their progressive credentials by trudging off to detention centers and making speeches who were deathly silent when the previous president was tossing families into hellholes where some are likely still languishing and paying for scare-ads to broadcast to their countries of origin threatening to do what TRUMP!!! is doing now in an effort to discourage them. And the photos that are starting to turn up remind me of those animal ones; even the instructions are the same.

          What is happening to those children is wrong. Or more accurately and to use the words of the Rev. Barber a lot of people in the liberal establishment object to, it’s immoral. When I think of it, I want to hurt someone. Perhaps one of the smug people who keep saying “This isn’t what America is.”

          Because it very much is what the US is. And has been. And will continue to be if we don’t wake more people out of their cult-sleep and get them to see that.

      2. Tim

        First of all 2000 kids in a couple of weeks have been separated, those numbers will be astronomical by the end of the year.

        Second the core of the argument of the democrats is that it has been discretion of ICE whether to prosecute first time offenders as criminals, and family units were previously rarely prosecuted that way. Sessions removed that discretion, so the real affect is a near 180 in policy from what the laws had forced before.

        And Trump is doing it for pressure to pass an immigration law they don’t want because it gives too much away for enforcement. So he is using families as pawns. Think that’s tin foil hat? Headline on CNN right now “Trump urges GOP lawmakers to pass immigration bill now” subheadline: “The President told leaders in the meeting that the public is watching and acknowledged photos of family separation are not good”

        As somebody who prides himself on logical arguments, I’m having a tough time finding any defense from the right that warrants any consideration. It’s all finger pointing and false associations.

        Lastly the whole assylum thing is being handled terribly poorly by the current administration. While assylum is processed families may be separated, and also the standards of asylum have been so tightened that it is almost impossible to qualify let alone prove you qualify.

        Hence the news today that the US has pulled out of the UN Human Rights Council.

        A “City on a hill” no-more.

        1. marym

          This is a definite “next step” in the US decline into sheer cruelty as the single response to every issue.

          As we get more information, especially about the youngest detainees, the lack of “defense from the right that warrants any consideration” will be greater. Will it matter to the right this time? Will there be a recognition from “both sides” of how we got here?

      3. Roger Smith

        This kind of thing is worth mentioning, as is Flint or the idea of Lambert’s general statement following his update above. There is no sincerity here. This is a time for political gain, so these people hammer down on one issue that data analytics tell them gets people flared up. Democrats still have no interest in doing ANYTHING to serve people, and the GOP will still do its own thing. It is all optics.

        1. Berto

          Speaking of fake sincerity and optics, anyone remember the old joke the NRA used to tell about “fighting the tyranny of the government” with 2nd Amendment rights?

      1. Fiery Hunt


        But that’s just it, isn’t it? Why should we be different? I can think of really strong answers on both sides of that question. ..
        But no one is really talking about what a Gordian knot immigration is…

        Except here on Naked Capitalism.

    5. djrichard

      I think Trump has a good knack for trusting a knee jerk response to political attacks, which is to not defend yourself and to go on the counter attack. Never give your enemies authority by conceding the ground rules that they’re operating from.

      But in this case, the policies precede him, so it would have been easy for him to distance himself from the policies. Concur that the policies are wrong (at least for separating families) and the moral high ground territory is removed as a playing card, at least on this particular front.

      Instead he’s now doubled down and wedded himself to the policies. I’m guessing that he felt he couldn’t even concede ground rules on this front. In which case, his view of the “resistance” is so negative that there’s no room for common cause – there’s to be no deal making with them. Consider that Trump could do a deal with North Korea and he couldn’t bring himself to do a deal with the “resistance”.

  2. hunkerdown

    According to Andrew ‘bunnie’ Huang, the tariffs on electronic components and test equipment are being levied by the US, not China. https://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=5349 (emphasis mine):

    The new 25% tariffs announced by the USTR, set to go into effect on July 6th, are decidedly anti-Maker and ironically pro-offshoring. I’ve examined the tariff lists (List 1 and List 2), and it taxes the import of basic components, tools and sub-assemblies, while giving fully assembled goods a free pass. The USTR’s press release is careful to mention that the tariffs “do not include goods commonly purchased by American consumers such as cellular telephones or televisions.”

    Know your station, consumer!

  3. sleepy

    Regarding anecdotal evidence of climate change, I grew up in Memphis in the 50s and 60s where the nearest alligator populations were over 100 miles south. For the past 10 or so years, alligators have been spotted in the city and in the surrounding rivers and swamps in nearby areas of west Tennessee fairly regularly. While some of this may be due to the expansion of their range as a result of legal protection of the species, I suspect climate change is also responsible as alligators were historically virtually unknown in the area.

    Also when I was a kid in Memphis, folks grew banana trees but they were short and spindly and were normally dug up and kept inside during winters. Nowadays, they are grown outside year long. They die down after a frost, but come roaring back in the spring and reach up to 12 ft in height with 8 inch trunks and produce bananas.

    1. Arizona Slim

      When I was a youngster growing up outside of Philadelphia, the grade school bus would occasionally take me and my fellow students through the Bamboo Forest. This was an actual stand of bamboo near Media, Pennsylvania. And that was back in the mid-1960s.

      As for alligators, I was warned about them while I was bicycling around the country. Never saw any, but the locals in Louisiana were on hyper-alert.

    2. Olga

      Definitely warmer in Europe, SW US, and even Canada – warmer, the heat comes sooner, and/or the weather is more extreme. The growing season seems to have shifted, too.

    3. 4corners

      My (very sweet, conventional, elderly, Mormon) mother is causing a stir in her Salt Lake City planned development community by growing a banana tree amongst her tomatoes. Not only does it overwinter in zone 6 but grows taller each year. Who knows, maybe she’s doing a small part (unwittingly) to call attention to climate change.

      I find the increasing volatility and severity of weather events most troubling. But there will always be those naysayers who claim it’s ever been so. And worse, those who think it will bring about a welcome change like milder winters in Albany or somewhere. One phrase that has always stuck with me is “we are running an uncontrolled experiment on the only home we’ve got.” I like that because it allows for uncertainty while emphasizing the stakes.

    4. Mo's Bike Shop

      North Central Fladida, 20 years ago you turned off the AC in late September, then back on in March/April. AC is on all year now when we don’t have a cold blast.

      Had a tweed great coat from my twenties that was just great everyday wear in winter. I discarded it ten years ago. Now a pullover or two handles everything but the cold blasts. But the cold blasts are now multiple, week-long subfreezing. I don’t bother with putting sheets on things any more.

      Impatiens won’t grow here anymore. (Bog standard impatiens, the New Guinea (?) things are OK.)

  4. Roger Smith

    Wow! The Hedges article is appropriately ruthless and hits on so many of the important criticisms of Sanders’ complete failure and capitulation to the fundamentally broken political game we currently play.

    He missed his historical moment, one that should have seen him denounce a corrupt, corporate-dominated party elite and walk away to build a third-party candidacy. Sanders will never recover politically. … His “political revolution” slogan has been exposed as another empty public relations gimmick.

    This to me is the ultimate take away of Sanders 2016. Much like Obama took everyone’s desperation and lied with that sneer on his face, Sanders fed off of the same energy only to squish it like a bug, although I don’t think his variation was as particularly malevolent as Obama’s. He had the attention and the opportunity, and he blew it big time. There are some good, relevant quotes from Debs in there too. I always got a bad vibe from Weaver and part of me thought he’d be gone after 2016.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      2020 will be the test. As I said, Chris Hedges is the very last person I’d look to on politics. As you will note, Hedges article is a counsel of despair, because what he wanted to happen hasn’t happened, and now nothing can be done (except preach, which Hedges, being an Episcopal priest manqué, is good at).

      1. JohnnyGL

        I worry Dems are getting very comfortable with their scorched-earth virtue signalling, even if it causing them to lose in 2018, 2020, etc.

        They seem hell-bent on driving Trump’s approval ratings to new highs no matter what they have to do!

        Are they going to create an environment where Sanders can’t win and they get to blame it on him?!?!?! This is a real danger.

        1. Detroit Dan

          Well said. I agree 100% regarding the scorched-earth virtue signalling, and the effect it will have on Trump’s approval ratings. The only good news is that it’s kept the dangers of Russia out of the news for a week or so.

        2. Sid Finster

          Were to God that Team D choose some different virtues to signal.

          Far as I can tell, yo, the only virtues Team D cares about (other than the one identical to Team R virtues) are tokenism and an addiction to absurd conspiracy theories.

      2. zagonostra

        Whether you look to Hedges or not, his criticisms are valid and at some point you have to take a stand. It is not despair to look at reality in the face. And what is the problem with a priest criticizing the social order (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Rauschenbusch)?

        From Hedges essay:

        “Those who support Sanders’ capitulation, including his high-priced establishment consultants, will argue that politics is about compromise and the practical. This is true. But playing politics in a system that is not democratic is about becoming part of the charade. We need to overthrow this system, not placate it…”

        “The Democratic Party is neither democratic nor in any real sense a political party. It is a corporate mirage. The members of its base can, at best, select preapproved candidates and act as props in a choreographed party convention. Voters have zero influence on party politics.”

          1. zagonostra

            Yes, you are right, but tautologies are certainly less helpful than Hedge’s valid criticisms.

            I sense a reticence to acknowledge or downplay the significance of these criticisms based on your feelings toward the author more so than the content of his writings, and miss the importance of everything that will be necessary to reach, if we ever do, an “until they do.”

          2. johnnygl

            Post-2012 loss repubs decided the only change they needed to make was to be nicer to immigrants.

            Trump gave repub primary voters another option, and they took it.

            1. Kurtismayfield

              That was because their Masters want cheap labor. If this was not true then the nativists would win on the GOP party platform.

        1. Mo's Bike Shop

          at some point you have to take a stand

          Politicians have to do this? Citation Needed.

          1. zagonostra

            Everybody has to do this, citation: Howard Zinn, “You can’t stand still on a moving train.”

      3. Left in Wisconsin

        2020 will be one kind of test. But I think we are all deluding ourselves if we think a Sanders presidency will result in some kind of fundamental change in this country. What it will do is galvanize the “anti-human” opposition/power structure and we will get much more clarity on the task in front of us.

        I would argue the meat of Hedges’ piece is the comparison with Debs. And he struggles to articulate the point, which the cheap digs about Sanders being a lapdog take away from. According to Hedges:

        If we are to defy corporate power, which is vicious when it feels threatened, we need leaders with the fortitude to withstand the onslaught. Debs never sold out. He was sent to prison in 1919 and ran for president in 1920 from his prison cell. If we are not willing to pay this price we better not play the game.

        But according to Debs:

        “I never had much faith in leaders,” Debs said. “I am willing to be charged with almost anything, rather than to be charged with being a leader. I am suspicious of leaders, and especially of the intellectual variety. Give me the rank and file every day in the week. If you go to the city of Washington, and you examine the pages of the Congressional Directory, you will find that almost all of those corporation lawyers and cowardly politicians, members of Congress, and misrepresentatives of the masses—you will find that almost all of them claim, in glowing terms, that they have risen from the ranks to places of eminence and distinction. I am very glad I cannot make that claim for myself. I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks. When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks.”

        We don’t need leaders until we have a movement. Until then, all we have is policy entrepreneurs. I give Sanders credit for articulating a vision and putting himself out there for us. I fully support him but I don’t expect him to walk on water.

      4. Roger Smith

        You have a point about the counsel of despair present here. It would be helpful if he at least entertained us with his rumination on strategies forward.

    2. JohnnyGL

      “Sanders’ capitulation in the face of the overwhelming evidence of the rigging of the nomination process was political and moral cowardice. He missed his historical moment, one that should have seen him denounce a corrupt, corporate-dominated party elite and walk away to build a third-party candidacy. “

      I disagree with this sentiment whole-heartedly. Sanders really wants to legislate. He’s spent most of his senate career getting good provisions tucked into bills to help people out. Even he was surprised at how close he came to winning. He planned on deploying that additional political capital into legislative influence. That’s why he took the platform so seriously. He wanted to say to (expected) President Clinton, “Keep your word!” and probably figured he could get a min wage hike, some fracking restrictions or maybe an improved health care law.

      If Sanders had come out and said, “I wuz robbed”, then he’d have been labeled a self-centered whining jerk by the media (even if he was right) and he’d have been effectively Nader-ized in a 3rd party, jus tlike Nader was.

      Hedges and other Greens always yearn for the purity tests that establishment dems accuse the Sanders supporters of. Sanders brought a much more hard-nosed pragmatism to the game….and it was SORELY needed.

      Now, Sanders is in position to have a 2nd crack at the presidency in 2020….all because he bit his tongue, stayed focused on what was important, and didn’t burn those bridges in that awful den of snakes that is DC.

      If Sanders can’t win in 2020, it’s because Dems refuse to stop helping Trump.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is Sanders in position to have another crack at the Democratic presidential nomination?

        Can he fool those neoliberal D’s twice, as they chant “shame on you, Sanders, for fooling us oonce,” until 2020?

        1. JohnnyGL

          Sanders doesn’t need to fool, or try to fool, anyone, ever. They underestimated him in 2016, they won’t do that again.

          But like, N. Korea, Sanders has the ‘nuclear option’ of an independent run for Prez. It’s not an attractive option, it’s probably Mutual Assured Destruction (of a Trump re-election).

          Sanders only has to sit down with the Dems and say, “if you don’t let me run again in your party, I’m blowing it all to hell, and taking you with me!!! Go try and fundraise off that!!!”

          Dems want to fundraise, Sanders wants to govern….there’s a compromise to be had, here. Or are Dems too stupid to take it?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s not about what he does need to do or not to do.

            The occupiers of the D party rely on that chant to defend their fortress from being taken over.

            It’s still up to those who believe the road to salvation goes through that party to evict those occupiers.

          2. Roger Smith

            What of anything Sanders has done makes you think he will do that? He didn’t do it before, how is his position stronger in 2020?

          1. DJG

            Peut-être: He is descended from three royal lines.

            Wiki sez:
            Henry IV (French: Henri IV, read as Henri-Quatre [ɑ̃ʁi katʁ]; 13 December 1553 – 14 May 1610), also known by the epithet Good King Henry, was King of Navarre (as Henry III) from 1572 to 1610 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, another branch of the Capetian dynasty (through Louis IX, as the previous House of Valois had been through Philip III). He was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, and was succeeded by his son Louis XIII.[1]

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I’m midway through the film La Reine Margot with Isabelle Adjani, just about the time after the St. Bartholowmew’s Day Masscre when he converted.

              That would be something he might have said.

              1. Harold

                Henry of Bourbon, King of Navarre, converted back and forth from Protestantism to Catholic and back and then back to Catholic. The first time was in the aftermath of the St. Bartholomew Massacre in 1574. Obviously, that was to save his life. Thousands of other Protestants did the same.

                Then there was the war of the Three Henris. The other two were Henry of Guise (Duke of Lorraine) and Henri III of Valois, King of France.

                Guise, the uncle of Mary Queen of Scots, was a Catholic hardliner who wanted to replace the reigning Valois dynasty with that of Lorraine, using religion as a wedge. King Henry III of Valois, the legitimate king, had Guise assassinated, and, before being himself killed in revenge by Guise’s followers, he named the Protestant Henry Bourbon of Navarre his successor. However, the Parisians were fanatically Catholic and wouldn’t allow a Protestant entry into the city. So Henry of Navarre converted (opportunistically, many thought) and became Henry IV, France’s most beloved monarch. As king, he appointed Protestants to important offices, issued a proclamation of religious toleration (the Edict of Nantes), built canals and other public works, and encouraged silk weaving among other industries. He was supposed to have said that he wished to see every French peasant prosperous enough to have a chicken in every pot on Sundays. Too bad, his grandson, Louis XIV, revoked the Edict of Nantes and bled the peasantry in useless wars.

      2. RUKidding

        I agree.

        It’s so easy to play the Purity game and diss Sanders because he coulda shoulda woulda.

        Sanders is far from perfect. And so is everyone else.

        But Sanders is a long-time mostly astute politician. His back was pushed against the wall by the Clinton juggernaut. I feel it’s likely that Sanders knew exactly what was going on, but did the best he could with what was available to him.

        Duly noted that he never stopped for an instant with his Town Halls on a variety of topics that flowed from his campaign. He’s still doing them. While the media does it’s damndest to completely ignore Sanders, the word does still slip out now and then.

        Had Sanders gone off to try to start his own party, he would have been kicked into the dustbin of history & reviled just like Nadar was.

        I think Sanders is doing the best he can under very difficult circumstances. Certainly out there talking about important issues way more than most Democrats, imo.

      3. roadrider

        I disagree with this sentiment whole-heartedly.

        And I disagree with yours just as vehemently. The Democratic Party is beyond repair. It is totally and irredeemably corrupt, dysfunctional, hypocritical and spineless in equal measures.

        The Dems were never going to give Sanders any legislative victories worth having. Clinton, Schumer and Pelosi would have pulled the football away from him at the last minute just like Lucy did to Charlie Brown. They were only interested in using him for their own ends and if Sanders believed any differently then he was a sucker.

        Hedges and other Greens always yearn for the purity tests

        LOL – like the “centrist” Dems don’t have their own purity tests: unquestioning fealty to Wall St, billionaires, large corporations, the MIC, the surveillance state, etc. I just love it when other folks label their own ideology as “pragmatic” and anything that veers even a degree from it as being a “purity test”.

        Now, Sanders is in position to have a 2nd crack at the presidency in 2020

        I’ll believe it when I see it. Fool me once, shame on me ….

        If Sanders can’t win in 2020, it’s because Dems refuse to stop helping Trump.

        What makes you think that the Dem establishment wouldn’t torpedo Sander’s candidacy for the nomination or in the general election? I sure wouldn’t put it past them.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > that the Dem establishment wouldn’t torpedo Sander’s candidacy for the nomination or in the general election? I sure wouldn’t put it past them.

          And if they do, are you arguing that the prospects for a third party run are better in 2016 than they would be in 2020? Seems counterintuitive to me, especially if there’s a downtown that year.

          1. roadrider

            are you arguing that the prospects for a third party run are better in 2016 than they would be in 2020?

            Did I say that? There are no present prospects for third-party runs as long as the duopoly is allowed to run roughshod over the “democratic” process by putting up unreasonable barriers to ballot access through their office holders at the state and local level and their media buddies shut out any non Dem/Repub voices.

            However, IMNSHO the prospects for reforming the Democratic Party are equally bad.

        2. johnnygl

          The Dems were never going to give Sanders any legislative victories worth having. Clinton, Schumer and Pelosi would have pulled the football away from him at the last minute just like Lucy did to Charlie Brown.

          — I beg to differ. Sanders was much less powerful in 2010, but he wrangled 11bn or so for Community Health Centers. My wife worked at one for years. They’re a big asset to struggling communities.

          I suspect he could have delivered quite a bit more post 2016 with a clinton presidency and a dem congress. He may yet get some more wins.

          1. roadrider

            Community health centers are a good thing but what did it really cost Obama to give them to Sanders?

            You’re engaging in wishful thinking if you really think that the Dems PTB would be willing to give Sanders anything of value (that is, that cost them with their plutocrat donors) after he had outlived his usefulness to them.

      4. pcraig

        Very well said JohnnyGL . There’s a reason Sanders sits so high on the popularity polls and millions more people are aware of the issues he has raised. He has skills and coming across as honest and genuine helps much.

      5. Sid Finster

        Team D already blames Sanders, even though he capitulated and did everything he was told to.

        Hell, if Sanders were to beat his breast on national TV and then commit ritual seppuku to atone for having challenged The Anointed Queen, Team D loyalists would complain that he didn’t go far enough and besides, the sword should have been duller.

      1. JohnnyGL

        if Sanders isn’t good enough, then no one is and we may as well just surrender now.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think Sanders has said repeatedly, ‘it’s up to all of you.’

          You, me, all of us, have to be good enough, if he’s not. Let that not be the end of it.

    3. macnamichomhairle

      Talk is easy from armchair theorists and online experts and reporters who can sit back and tell others how those others have fallen from grace.

      Bernie was just a guy like tens of thousands of others in the late 60s, except he actually ran for office in a big town, got elected, figured out ways to actually enact the stuff that theorists sat around and said somebody should listen to them and do> he figured out how to do stuff that made a difference in ordinary people’s lives. He learned how to work with political power and the fact the people who didn’t agree with him were not going to disappear once he pointed out the error of their ways. What he achieved in Burlington for ordinary people has not been duplicated almost anywhere else.

      He got elected State Representative when the Democrats ran a weak candidate, and did the same thing on a state level. He was a completely lone voice in the wilderness when everybody else was swooning over New Democrats or continuing to maintain their ritual purity. He got things done for Vermonters. He made working people who originally loathed socialists, flat-landers and college boys, and would swerve their pickups onto front yards to mow down Bernie signs; he made them his biggest fans, by being completely honest and consistent and persistent. He enlarged the parameters of national debate. He got elected Senator by overwhelming margins. He changed Vermont.

      He changed America too, He galvanized and changed the national political climate and enlarged possibilities, when he ran for president. Yeah, I was heartbroken and utterly disgusted when he endorsed Clinton, but in retrospect, he took the hit for all of us. If he had done a third party, he would have lost and the New Dems would have been feasting for another 50 years on the fact that he had caused Trump. Socialism and the rest would be radioactive for another 50 years. It could not have been easy to stand on the stage with Clinton etc and smile, but he got through it and we did too. And now single payer, a $15 minimum and all the rest is something that is within the realm of possibility. He and others have been working constantly to build a stronger base for a run in 2020.

      Bernie believes in what he has been fighting for all these years, and he has learned how to be effective in politics and administration without compromising his beliefs. He is not the Second Coming, but he knows what he is doing.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I agree with most of your comment, especially paragraph four. But this:

        > Talk is easy from armchair theorists and online experts and reporters who can sit back and tell others how those others have fallen from grace.

        I don’t think it makes sense to denigrate “armchair theorists” like, say, Thomas Frank. We want scholars doing scholarship, which they are good at, and not doing things they are not good at.

      2. Byron the Light Bulb

        “[…] he actually ran for office in a big town.” Big? Burlington has a population of 42,000. My neighborhood alone has 52,000 people living it [my neighborhood…the city has 20 times as many people, the county 40 times]. Vermont has a population of 623,657 and ranks 50th in state GDP. The politics of Vermont is small if not the smallest. People move to Vermont to flee the corpus politicum.

        The crux of the issue is that Sanders is great at making statements. But making decisions? Actual leadership on the global stage. Sanders hasn’t had to make decisions. He represents the outer steppes in a political body designed to avoid making decisions. Sanders might as well be from Birobidzhan.

        Power flows in the gov’t regions, the Mega-States, where the money is made and spent, measured and treasured in the US: 1) NY 2) CA 3) TX 4) FL. Capture and hold hostage two to become president. This view won’t be popular here, but as Mao Zedong said [but not did], “Seek truth from facts.”

        1. Fiery Hunt

          My mother, 70 year old, staunch Democrat, of the generation of women who took so much shit in the corporate America of the 70’s and 80’s, who was a absolute supporter of Hillary, who identified Hillary as a stand in for herself and voted for her and still shakes with rage at the mere mention of Trump…

          My mother now, 2 years later, says Sanders was right. And says she’ll send him a check for $27 if he runs.
          And she’ll vote for him. And she’s in California.

          That’s what Sanders has achieved in these last 2 years.

          If he runs, he’ll win.
          In a landslide.

      3. makedoanmend

        Nice post m-comhairle.

        re: Senator Sanders standing on stage with Mrs. Clinton and taking one for the team, so to speak.

        It flummoxes me that so many people find this episode so “distasteful” and somehow suggest that it negates the positive aspects of Senator Sanders’ accomplishments. For many of us, this situation is a daily exercise such as when we confront bosses whom we do not like, and so forth. Us citizens are always being asked to conform to social-economic norms not of our making and just mindlessly play the game in which we are meant to lose. Yet we despair when a politico, whose policy platform is at odds the the system and mechanisms that ensure the system remains in tact, deigns to compromise to get some of his policy objectives talked about, or better, enacted.

        In fact, that Senator Sanders said he would endorse Clinton reveals two things about him: he knew that he had to play by the Democrat Party play book in order to run in their primaries, so he played their game and almost won anyway. And he kept his word. The latter is something I want in a politician. S/he don’t have to be super and certainly not perfect – just show some integrity once in a while. Senator Sanders did and does.

        And he’s got good policies, imo.

        1. JTFaraday

          He may have done it to play ball with the D-Party, keep his promise, etc. But I think he also did it for the D-Party voters who supported HRC. Sanders is and has been playing the long game, and there was absolutely nothing to gain by deliberately alienating people he needs in order to win the future.

    4. Arizona Slim

      Sanders campaign volunteer here.

      When I first got involved, back in the summer of 2015, the campaign was a marvelous grassroots affair that offered all sorts of ways to support Bernie. Yes, you could make contributions via those e-mails that kept coming and coming and coming.

      And you could also do things like print up a bunch of flyers, go somewhere with lots of people, and hand them out. Or you could create your own event. My personal favorite was from the LA area: A Republican debate watching party with an open-mike comedy night included.

      Here in Tucson, I organized a Honk for Bernie event at one of our major intersections. People came from as far away as 20 miles away, and they brought their own signs. We got a TON of honks. That was in mid-November 2015.

      Then the campaign solidified, and word came down from on high that we were to be phonebankers. This during a campaign that had heavy support from Millenials with mobile phones, aka call screeners. Good luck with getting them to take your call.

      I did a few phonebanking sessions, and quickly realized that the people I was reaching were middle-aged or elderly Democrats who were already in the tank for Clinton. Why were we wasting our time even trying to talk to them?

      Then came the campaign’s video update watching party. That was at the end of January 2016 in union hall on South Tucson Boulevard. The Iowa Primary was days away, and the video featured Bernie. He was talking about how things were going.

      At the end of the video update, a lady came on screen. Behind her was a room full of phonebankers in Iowa. She exhorted us, the audience, to begin our own phonebanking parties.

      In Tucson, Arizona, the union hall emptied.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Given some of the reports I read during the campaign, I’m still wondering how many county and regional Sanders campaign offices were taken over by Clintonite/DNC infiltrators. Which could account for the sudden switch from effective on-the-ground campaigning to “suitable methods” like phone-banking.

        We have to keep in mind that the people we’re dealing with are BFFs with the intelligence community, and so have access to any number of handy tutorials on things like infiltrating the enemy. I heard of at least half a dozen instances of the above, where an active local Sanders leader was replaced by someone who shut down everything except minimum outreach.

    5. Rojo

      I wanted Sanders to go third-party in 2016. And seeing as how we ended up with Trump anyhow, that doesn’t look like a bad take.

      However, if we did do a three-way race and Trump won, the Team Dem types would point the finger even more than they do now (that they do now is absurd). It probably would’ve shored the Establishment up more than ever.

      As it happened, they lost to a game-show host and have zero cred.

      Having said all that, Bernie — should he be denied the Dem nomination in 2020 — absolutely needs to go third party.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We are concerned that the Team Dem types would ‘finger point.’

        As well, we are concerned that they shout ‘Shame on you to fool us once.’

        Though, I rather we do what we believe, and ignore what they would say, or do, and do not under-estimate them, for they will do this – make it hard for Sanders to fool them twice (in their lingo).

    6. Elizabeth Burton

      Or maybe Sanders has just been a politician long enough to know his walking away to build a third party at that point would have totally undermined his personal integrity, the most important reason he appealed to and still appeals to so many people. He promised he would support Hillary Clinton if she won the nomination. To have done otherwise would have made him look like a petulant child. I don’t understand why so many people find it impossible to understand that.

      1. Eureka Springs

        To have done otherwise would have made him look like a petulant child

        This, and cries of “purity” really stick in my craw. There ought to be a Godwins type of law for those who throw the purity flag.

        Made him look like

        No doubt pundits would have tried. But what “looks” better and what is actually better is a person who sticks up for their own stated principles. When the other side lies, cheats and steals you don’t have to take that sitting down, that deal was broken by the cheaters, not Sanders. This is so basic i am amazed. It’s elementary school all over again when this comes up. You go all Trump and kick every table over if you have to… Sanders has the ability to fight and the ability to call B.S. on people who put him down (make him look like) for calling theft of the nomination a deal breaker – gloves off, etc. I’m sorry to disagree so vehemently but what he didn’t do during the run up to and in the convention preserved and protected the very core problem people of the D party/ the corruption of the entire system.

        And they have clearly demonstrated each and every day since then that it worked for them and they will continue to act the same way.

    7. Mo's Bike Shop

      He missed his historical moment

      This idea that some particular stand on some issue, in some venue is going to be the key to the new eschaton is really, really, famblogginxly annoying. I wanted to go on about Sanders, but let’s just deal with the trope. That doesn’t happen. Has everyone been taken in by ‘The Life of Emile Zola’?

  5. John

    Well, it may be insanely complex, but I think a good start would be to wind down the empire and quit screwing with the internal and external affairs of every country around the globe.
    With the US to help you, who needs an enemy?
    It would be interesting to count the amount of immigration around the planet that is the result of our insane paranoid grifting imperial policies since the end of the 19th Century. We have screwed with so many countries and in doing so set off so many waves of refugees.
    It should be interesting when mass migration of internal climate refugees starts in the US. Based on how we are doing so far, it’s gonna be pretty ugly. We are definitely using the model perfected in Russia, Germany and Israel.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Well, it may be insanely complex, but I think a good start would be to wind down the empire and quit screwing with the internal and external affairs of every country around the globe.

      It would be indeed! I couldn’t quite figure out what to add to MyLessThanPrimeBeef’s comment, but it was something to do with thinking in systems, and the idea that you can only do that if you take history — change within the system — into account. Hence the litmus test for good faith analysis of immigration is putting today in the context of past administrations.

    2. J Sterling

      Immigration and emigration is not blamable on foreign policy. If it was, Nigeria and Bangladesh would not have emigration, and Sweden and Australia would not have immigration.

  6. diptherio

    File under: Socialism for the Rich

    There is some very painful news from Hastings, where the community benefit society running Hastings Pier was forced some months ago to go into Administration. Funds raised through the high-profile community share issue were lost.

    That’s bad enough, but what’s really upsetting is what has just happened now. The community dusted itself down, rallied round, used crowdfunding, and came up with a very strong rescue package for the pier. New hope for a really good end result, you’d think. Yet what has transpired is that the Administrator has disregarded the community’s rescue proposal and has made a deal to dispose of the business to an entirely commercial operator. Administrators can, of course, do this.

    I would strongly encourage you to read the moving blog which Jess Steele from Hastings has just posted. What I think is particularly important is Jess’s comments about the need for a different process of Administration for community benefit societies. As she says, “It is wrong to use a commercial administration process for a civic/community asset, applying private property sector ‘solutions’ to a civic problem that the community is capable and willing to solve for itself given half a chance.”


    Here’s her final thought: “The two Battles for Hastings Pier (2006-13 and 2017-18) stand in deadly stark contrast to each other. In one a very active community was eventually empowered by public funds to achieve the renovation of a derelict structure. In the other, the fully-restored asset was removed secretly from 5,000 shareholder-owners and then subjected to a commercial process that led, unfathomably, to where we are now.”


    1. ewmayer

      I find fútbol much easier to watch en Español than in English … my Spanish is rudimentary but I know enough sports lingo to follow the action, and the announcers’ enthusiasm is infectious. Maybe having 2 exclamation points (one upside one, one regular) around every exclamatory utterance makes things twice as exciting. :)

  7. JTMcPhee

    Toward a notion of an organizing principle that might redirect human energy in the direction of “better for all,” rather than the current “more for the few,” see the link on reciprocal altruism. Add in a drive toward resilience and sustainability, and start measuring “policy” and business activity and “trade” against those as necessary standards, and maybe the species has more likelihood of a survivable future with almost everyone’s NEEDS being met, by something other than predatory cannibalism. Or some massive die-off due to greed and unenlightened self-interest.

    A massive undertaking, undoing all the countervailing drives and depowering the SOBs who drive the current off-the-cliff bus, but consider the alternatiiiiiivvve…

    Hardly new ideas: “Do unto others as you would be done to” is a fundamental tenet of most religious and ethical traditions.

  8. JerryB

    For the last year my wife and I have bird feeders on our patio. Our townhouse and the patio backs up to a small forest area so we get many birds and all types. As the post mentioned I started seeing Robins in mid March this year. I looked online for the type of bird food Robins like and several articles mentioned that Robins do not come to bird feeders but feed off of insects and worms. But once the weather warmed up which for us in the far nw burbs of Chicago was late this year (late April) we started getting Robins at our feeders and they kept coming until the last week or so when their visits have tapered off. So that tells me that the Robins natural food source was late or is dying off that they were desperate enough to eat seed and peanuts.

    I am also not a fan of the focus just being on global warming. There are many other factors having an effect on Earth and it’s living creatures such as environmental toxins(plastics waste, lawn chemicals, etc.) nuclear fallout, air pollution, deforestation, etc. Many climate change deniers love to dismiss CO2 and global warming. But humans are destroying the ecological balance and the biodiversity of earth in many other ways that mainstream media needs to discuss as well. As the post mentions, “All we have to do is look at what’s happening in nature”.

  9. A Farmer

    RE: rail in sweet spot

    The most recent Fortune 500 showed the 3 publicly traded Class I railroads with 50% profit margins!!!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Can our high-tech giants of today boast that in another 150 years, considering railroads first became the future in the 19th century?

      1. JTMcPhee

        “Became the future,” facilitating looting the continent, gifting huge parts of the conquered land mass to the Railroad Barons, stuff like that. http://www.perryville.org/2010/02/the-us-government-and-the-railroads—a-tale-of-bribery-and-corruption/ So yes, you can anticipate that Big Tech will own the landscape, realreal and virtual, 150 years hence, barring one of the many other calamities Big Tech is co-facilitating, like the kinds of stuff that ‘engineering” biological systems can do. And how about those “robots” that have all kinds of potential applications that end up with dead humans, like the autonomous killing robots that are already on line, stuff like that. And one can bet that lots of little smarta$$ humans are figuring how to loot huge chunks of the world’s wealth and resources by application of Big Tech, whether it’s some final Giant Hack that scoops up all the digital money and locks everyone out of their little personal accounts, like current malware has done to hospital and bank records, until a ransom is paid. I don’t doubt that’s a gleam in some code generator’s eye…

        One wonders what the triumphant organizing principle will be, come five or six human generations from now…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I see triumphant robot soldiers from Moscow will one day march down the Champs-Élysées.

          And when they capture Berlin, their general allow them to indulge their robot libido for three days.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I read somewhere that Putin is ahead of us in the field of robot soldiers…again!

        2. polecat

          As our collective trajectory of running ever faster towards that big environmental brick wall shoots past the point of no deposit no return, the only ‘triumphant’ organizing principle(s) I see come five or six human generations from now is the mass sharpening of sticks .. and the gathering of flaked stones .. eating some porrage-like goop derived from god knows what !

  10. Wukchumni

    “All we have to do is look at what’s happening in nature.’” Hayhoe makes an excellent point. Many examples of citizen science in this article. Readers?

    A friend is the dean of the backcountry in Sequoia NP, where he worked on trail crew, maintaining the foot interstate system within the park, and every summer from the early 1970’s until he retired 6 years ago, would shift camps every 2 weeks to a month to another locale somewhere deep in the back of beyond, always repeating the same cycle of camps, so as to get to know a place intimately, and one night over a campfire I asked him what was the most profound aspect of climate change he’d encountered, and he thought about a bit, and told me that high country meadows would stay wet until August in the 1970’s and now they were dry by July, sometimes later in June.

  11. a different chris

    Kris Kobach got told to take a class, huh? Well that seems to be all he ever did before his political gigs… this is, yes, again my hobbyhorse of how freakingly bad our Ivy Leagues actually are. Send your kid to Indiana University or somesuch, for god’s sake. The goal of elite universities seems to now be to take raw talent and shape it into complete stupidity. I don’t care which side of the political divide you are on, Hilary shows the same weird issues.

    BTW, I carefully separate “dumb” and “stupid”, dumb is lacking mental horsepower, smart is driving your internal ZR1 right into the guardrail.

    PS: note Oxford is also part of this, explains the morons running Brexit…

    In 1984, Kobach graduated from Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Kansas, where he was co-valedictorian with Bill Allen, and class president. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Harvard University, graduating summa cum laude and first in his department.[30] It was there that he came under the influence of the director of the university’s Center for International Affairs, Professor Samuel P. Huntington. As Kobach’s mentor, he theorized that the United State suffered from a surfeit of democracy, and that diluting the power of the establishment would lead the country to ruin. In 1975 Huntington authored a pessimistic report entitled The Crisis of Democracy, about the challenge to the dominance of white Protestants by Hispanic immigrants. In his 1996 book, The Clash of Civilizations, he warned that “Mexicans pose the problem for the United States,” simultaneously predicting and bemoaning the growing influence of Muslims in Western Europe.[31] From Harvard, Kobach went on to earn an M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics at the University of Oxford, attending having been granted a Marshall Scholarship. Returning to the U.S., he studied at Yale Law School, where he earned a law degree in 1995

      1. The Rev Kev

        You should read the rest of his Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris_Kobach) entry – it’s a doozy. He also played a major part in drafting Arizona immigration laws. Kobach should ask for his money back from Yale Law School if a judge is demanding that he undertakes what amounts to remedial Court Procedures 101.

  12. blennylips

    “Are we nearing peak container?” [Splash 247]. “It is impossible to know how different trends, uncertainties and discontinuities will combine together over the next 25 years.”

    Hoocoodanode? Over to gCaptain:

    Container Line Profits Will Be Wiped Out By Rising Fuel Costs
    June 19, 2018 by The Loadstar
    By Mike Wackett (TheLoadstar) A leading shipping analyst has drastically cut its 2018 ocean carrier profitability forecast from $5bn to “breakeven at best”.

    Remember the Bunker Oil apocalypse we discussed here before?

    Confidential Shell Oil Report Prompts Lawsuit: They Knew About Climate Change Decades Ago

  13. blennylips

    > Many examples of citizen science in this article. Readers?

    After the devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck eastern Japan on March 11, 2011, and the subsequent meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, accurate and trustworthy radiation information was publicly unavailable. Safecast was formed in response, and quickly began monitoring, collecting, and openly sharing information on environmental radiation and other pollutants, growing quickly in size, scope, and geographical reach.

  14. Enquiring Mind

    An important thread on Obama and “border seperation”:

    My third-grade teacher taught the word and spelling during a spelling bee. She had us repeat There’s a rat in separate.

    Maybe Obama was going for suppuration. ;p

  15. roxan

    I see almost no flying insects this year. No bees, one lonely bumble bee queen, one cabbage butterfly, several flies, and of course, mosquitoes. That’s it. I pollinate everything myself. We feed the birds. I don’t know what they find to eat.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I see rabbits in my backyard in the last couple of drought years.

      I think the the very dry conditions higher up (the regional park next to my community) are driving them down to the slightly greener and wetter (landscaped) neighborhoods.

    2. pretzelattack

      i’m not even seeing mosquitos. i used to get bitten pretty regularly, but i can’t remember the last time that happened.

      1. RMO

        Plenty of insects in the Fraser Valley this summer compared to recent years – just going from my shaky memory though. Strangely though, out at the Hope airfield we’ve been inundated with tiny “noseeums” that bite. I’ve never seen this before in nearly 50 years around Vancouver and twenty years of summers at that airfield.

        I remember being at a lavender farm on Saltspring Island a few years back. There were countless bees flying around the blooming plants. We lay on the grass and listened to the humming. It was magical.

        It terrifies me that we’re playing crash and burn with the whole planet in service primarily of the short term insatiable greed of a handful of psychopaths.

    3. petal

      Where I live(NH), I think am seeing more insects this year-at least it feels like it. More mozzies than last year(if you stop for a second, they’re all over you), more insects over at the garden, lots of bees of various types, more fireflies than last year, and I even saw a Luna moth last week. Seems to be a small increase in bug splat(and also more that are carried safely over the car). Fingers crossed its legit and keeps going.

    4. Phil in KC

      Went collecting lightening bugs with my grandson this evening at dusk. There sure seem a lot fewer than when I was his age.

      Despite planting butterfly friendly plants this year, have seen no swallowtails and just one lone Monarch. Other bugs seem in short supply as well. Where are the millers that used to flit around the porch lights? There even seem to be fewer flies, and I’ve hardly seen much in the way of ant activity.

      I theorize that bugs are waning in my subdivision because of pesticides. If the bugs are in trouble, then so are birds. I haven’t seen big flocks of birds hardly at all for some time now, and said the same to my sister who lives in rural Missouri. She reports the same.

      This year I haven’t seen the cardinals who normally take up residence in my yard. Something is wrong.

  16. JTMcPhee

    Anyone needing some support for the “theory” that the world’s weather is getting more extreme can add this reference to their pile: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080417105456.htm

    I also just read an article in SAIL Magazine (at the dentist’s office) that’s behind a paywall, but the story is that sailors who, just the for challenge, or for pay and fame (there’s this thing called the Volvo Ocean Race, where pro sailors actually race sailboats in the 60-70 foot size, capable of 30+ knot speeds in the right conditions, around the whole world, South of the two great Capes, Horn and Good Hope, and deep into the Southern Ocean to follow the strongest winds and currents). The reporting from those who have been doing this for the last 30 years or so is that there’s been a massive increase in the amplitude of winds and waves.

    No country for old men, although in an earlier version of the race, a wealthy Dutch businessman industrialist named Cornelis “Conny” van Rietschoten continued to race even though he experienced a heart attack in mid-ocean:

    It was at the height of this competition when Conny van Rietschoten showed the steely side of his character. He suffered a heart attack when their yacht was deep into the Southern Ocean, en route to Auckland, New Zealand. Van Rietschoten swore his crew to secrecy, and would not even allow the Flyer II doctor Julian Fuller to call a cardiologist aboard their rival yacht Ceramco for advice. “The nearest port was 10 days away and the critical period is always the first 24–36 hours,” he recalled later. “Ceramco was already breathing down our necks. If they had known that I had a health problem, they would have pushed their boat even harder. When you die at sea, you are buried over the side. Perhaps those Ceramco boys might then have spotted me drifting by. And that I was determined would be the only thing they would see or hear from Flyer II on the matter!” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conny_van_Rietschoten

    High tech aluminum and now composite “ships,” and iron men.

    1. petal

      When I lived in Boston, the Volvo Ocean Race made a stop in town. I went down to watch/see as much as I could. It was mindblowing to look at those boats and imagine them on the open ocean. Those guys must be tough as nails. It will always be one of my favourite times taking photographs-got some wonderful shots.
      Here are some pictures collected by the Globe.

  17. Lambert Strether Post author

    Adding, on immigration, I’m wondering how much of this is privatized, especially the “cages.” Another topic that does not figure largely in the discussion.

    1. marym

      Child migrant shelters LA times 6/2018

      According to Kenneth Wolfe, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesman, the government contracts with 100 shelters in 17 states. The facilities now house 11,313 children.

      Twenty-seven of those shelters in Arizona, California and Texas are run by Southwest Key. It is among the largest child migrant shelter providers nationwide, having served 24,877 children last year.

      ICE detention centers 8/2017 Houston Chronicle

      GEO Group and CoreCivic … own and operate nearly all of the largest ICE detention centers, sprawling prison-like facilities that hold as many as 2,000 and are located in far-flung cities and towns from Tacoma, Wash., to Adelanto, Calif., to Conroe.

    2. marym



      ..by reviewing publicly available contracts data, Yahoo News was able to identify five companies that are participating in the operation of the shelters, including two companies that have not previously been tied to the program.

      [Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Children and Families (ACF)] said 11,786 children were being held as part of the “unaccompanied alien children program.” …While this program was designed for “unaccompanied” children, who are typically teenagers driven out of their homes in Central America by poverty, abuse or gang violence, since the beginning of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, there have been widespread reports of children as young as toddlers being taken away from their parents and brought to shelters.

  18. zagonostra

    Refer: It is important, as the U.S. [collectively] is not the youngest or most vibrant consumer group in the world,’ he said. ‘While there are a lot of millennials out there, it is going to be a while before they become ‘hard core’ consumers like their parents are.

    The U.S. has cannibalized its youth. There won’t be much demand coming from them anytime soon when so many are enslaved in student debt. Older workers that would love to retire early, like myself, and open up some jobs for those who are younger, can not because of the lack of affordable healthcare insurance.

    It’s a perfect storm for a future of diminishing collective/effective demand.

  19. ewmayer

    “The F-35 software was written in C++, with Bjarne Stroustrup as a lead technical consultant”

    So the F-35 is to an actual well-designed, cost-effective aircraft of yore like the A-10, as Stroustrup’s massive, turgid, eyeball-fatiguing and nonworking-in-real-life-code-filled C++ tome is to K&R’s C programming language book? One self-licking-ice-cream-cone paradigm deserves another!

    1. MartyH

      But I do object to the At least it’s not COBOL slam! The billions (trillions?) of lines of production COBOL that keep our financial institutions running still work!

  20. Carolinian

    Re the Jefferson controversy–surely this whole notion of combing through archives and trying to determine whether historical figures are “good” or “bad” is pointless and done mostly to create talking points for present day controversies. They were products of the mores and accepted ethics of their day and that context can’t simply be waved away. If, by some chance, those historical persons were able to jump into a time machine and judge us they might find much 21st century behavior unseemly–particularly when it comes to personal honesty and “honor,” which was considered a big deal among the “gentleman” of that time.

    What matters is their ideas and some of Jefferson’s have proven to be rather important. If he had other ideas that were less than savory that doesn’t discredit the rest.

    1. Synoia

      I managed a group who’s job was to write a LAN router in C++. We could find no C++ structure which could handle in on A, out on B, and in on B out on A.

      In C it is easy.

        1. Synoia

          A structure for each port hardware definition, completely interrupt driven. One binary for the complete router.

      1. blennylips

        For heaven’s sake, next time use Python and write your C++ extensions using SWIG.

        My praise, back in the day:

        So, I’ve use SWIG to:

        Wrap a commercial serial communications DLL.
        Wrap a commercial frame grabber interface
        After prototyping in Python, I move compute intensive routines into DLLs.

        Our apps are running under Win95. I thought it was pretty cool to be able to control a frame grabber, display live/acquired images, all from within Python, within the same day I received the frame grabber SDK, never having dealt with such hardware before!



        1. Synoia

          I don’t believe python existed than. Performance was a key requirement.

          Windows? DLLs? The router was on the bare metal. No OS.

          1. blennylips

            Synoia, I wrote the below before seeing yours.

            The first edition of Bjarne’s “The C++ Programming Language” came in 1985. Below took place over a decade later.

            I first programmed experiments in a graduate chem lab on a Terak 8510/a and the PDP-11 laboratory version in the early 80s, these kids these days cannot imagine that limited environment!
            But, by gum it was satisfying.

        2. blennylips

          So, we should use the strengths of our tools and replace the weak parts with something else.

          From experience I learned that C++ was great at interfacing with hardware and number crunching, not so much user interfaces or fancy algos & data structures.

          These were handled much more adroitly in python (or any other of a plethora of similar scripting languages-chose your own religion;).

          I was given a frame grabber/camera and an automatable microscope, you a LAN router.

          Each of these we bought came with an SDK (software development kit) that consists of a set of libraries suitable for your computer, a manual explaining the interface (sub routines in the library), and a file you include in your own projects that defines the data types and entry points.

          The ϟ tada ϟ comes when you run that include file through the SWIG (Simplified Wrapper and Interface Generator) and it spits out a .py that you can then, in your python interactive interpreter type “import camera” and start playing:
          img = camera.grab(chan, duration, flags)

          I had some complicated algos from Woods Hole biologists to implement. First coded in python (appallingly slow) to tweak to the scientists/unit tests satisfaction. Using SWIG, the C++ produced was easy fill in with the debugged python code….which then ran like lightening.

          My opinions and could well be wrong.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Here is an interesting thought experiment. Can you imagine the U.S. Constitution but written up as software? The mind boggles as to the different versions that might appear, depending on which programming language was used. COBOL anyone?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps it’s easier to re-do the Constitution that way… then, it doesn’t seem so sacred and what has been done to it in the last 18 years or so is not so disturbing.

      “A shaky document written by faulty men.”

      1. The Rev Kev

        I wonder if Presidents seizing the power to start wars from Congress would be because of syntax errors then. Or would that be a logic error?

  21. Sid Finster

    “Paris is worth a mass” – if that means sacrificing the lives of people around the world to the demands of Empire, if that means kowtowing to the Deep State and Cold War II so we can get some incremental changes to domestic policy, even Medicare 4 All, well then [FAMILY BLOG] that noise, cause I ain’t playing.

    Forgetting even the monstrous lack of principle, haven’t we been down this road before, as Good Progressives(R) made excuse after excuse for Obama and Clinton before him (and HRC and Kerry when they were candidates), even as they sold those Progressives out with nothing substantive to show for it?

  22. Synoia

    Musk & Tesla:

    The fire was caused by “smoldering in an air filter in the welding area of the body line.” Sounds consistent with the shoddy maintenance that caused the paint shop fires, so I don’t see the issue.

    Needed to blame someone other for Must for the lack of production…..

    Musk is ‘n recte poephol

  23. Daryl

    > From the Department of At Least It’s Not COBOL:

    Personally I always expected to die in front of a terminal dump that says “SEGMENTATION FAULT,” but not in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wouldn’t worry about that as you might never leave the ground. There was an exercise of a flight of six F-35s and only one of the fighters could successfully boot up his aircraft to leave the ground.

  24. Steely Glint

    Perhaps under Trade or Health Care:
    The U.S. holds more pharmaceutical patents and other intellectual property licences than any other country. But that strength could become a vulnerability if Canada took action to suspend American patents on Canadian soil. Canadian companies would then be able to produce those drugs.

    “You hit us on tariffs, we hit you on patents,” he said.

    Same goes for China, and would benefit all of us.


      1. RMO

        It would be nice… the only changes made to Canadian pharmaceutical patent law in the last few decades went the other way. We did get a promise of a large investment in R&D facilities from the big pharma companies in exchange for granting a longer monopoly… but it was a promise, not a legal obligation. Three guesses as to what happened to that promise.

  25. a different chris

    Ok wrt the “Dow always goes up!!! Invest invest invest!!!!” — GE has been unceremoniously dropped in favor of Walgreens. Anybody remember International Harvester?

    Of course the Dow only goes up. That’s its basic, pretty much only algorithm. They like never mention this — what, I wonder, is the vig on everybody dumping their GE stocks and buying Walgreens? It’s like a double-double! First GE stocks tank while everybody divests, then brokers charge everybody for divesting, then Walgreens soars while everybody buys, and of course brokers charge everybody for *that*, too.

    Nice racket. I stupidly grew up with this vision that actually making things was something to be respected.

    (Oh, and I didn’t even notice when I wrote that sentence that a former heavy-duty, and still quite busy, “maker” was replaced by a do-nothing middleman. Awesome. Gotta wonder what the Chinese think).

  26. dcblogger

    American society has been degenerating for some time, it could be argued that that is the subject of Naked Capitalism. Trump has forced all of its contradictions to the surface such that they can no longer be denied. It was just a question of time before all those opposed to Trump, which would be the majority, coalesced around one issue, and that issue may be ICE and the abuse of immigrant children. Just take a look at this reddit thread, these people, assuming that they are not government provocateurs, are getting ready to storm the Bastille:

    revolutions rarely have happy endings, so I am less than thrilled with this, but this may very well be where we are at.

    1. Carolinian

      Didn’t that “revolution” happen back during the period before the inaugural? I’d say we’ve been here before.

  27. dcrane

    UPDATE “Trump Escalates Family Separation Featured In Obama’s Deportation Machine” [Splinter News] …. To be clear, family separation and child detention are a basic feature of American deportation proceedings. … Obama organized ad campaigns in Central America that used the violent specter of these experiences to try and dissuade people from coming to the U.S. or sending their kids unaccompanied…”

    The ads shown at the link don’t refer to a child-separation policy. They show teenage immigrants dying in the desert of thirst or being bilked by “coyotes” (I didn’t understand the Spanish). But the “Splinter News” article quote implies the former.

  28. Brumel

    Sorry guys, but is the decreasing life expectancy of your flyover Americans something the rest of the world should worry about? If so, why? And who cares if you still can’t get over your parochial moral pangs about “American” slavery? And then complain about lack of “universalism”, a universalism presumably also “American”? I mean, there’s a world out there, get real.

    1. JBird

      My people are dying in increasing numbers due to despair in every state. Our economy is slowly collapsing because of the neoliberal ideology being used to push an ever increasing amount of the wealth, resources, and power. Said accumulation is being used to reinforce the process of impoverishment including the creation of a growing police state. We have a probable effective national unemployment rate of greater than twenty percent, 2.5 million homeless children as well as a growing homeless population, millions of people actually living on around two dollars per day. The two incredibly corrupt political parties whose solutions are more of the same that created this with bonus wars.

      It looks like we might have civil unrest, maybe even a civil war, because of this; this statement might seem hyperbole, but when I was a child these large encampments of homeless and mass unemployment did not exist. Now they do exist and it is accelerating along with the corruption and dysfunction.

      Call me parochial if you think it accurate, but I think I should be concerned that too many people consider the majority of Americans as unimportant at best and disposable at worst. Perhaps, maybe we are going to change that.

      If what I say is unimportant why is that? Do we not matter? Or is universalism unimportant?

      BTW, after three centuries of slavery, one century of mass violence and murder with frequent lynchings including extrajudicial murders and even assassinations by the police that can be said to have never stopped, I would not tell the eleven-thirteen percent of the Americans that are Black that we Americans should get over our “parochial moral pangs.” Especially in places like Alabama or Mississippi. They have never stopped being poverty stricken third world style states. Nice people though. Just be sure to wear shoes as some of the counties have hookworm infestations. They could be said to be the possible end point of neoliberalism.

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