Links 6/18/18

AI Sex Revolution: Robots Gain Ability to Say ‘No’ During Intercourse Sputnik. Chuck L: “But what will it to a guy’s self confidence is he gets turned down by a robot? In worst case can the robot seek a protection order?”

How Native American food is tied to important sacred stories The Conversation

American History for Truthdiggers: The Jeffersonian Enigma (1800-1808) Truthdig. Maj. Danny Sjursen.

The Bats Help Preserve Old Books But They Drive Librarians, Well, Batty WSJ

Why Do Blue-Tongued Skinks Have Blue Tongues? The Wire

Death doulas: Providing comfort for those nearing the end of their lives NZ Herald (mgl)

Stop Trying to Sell the Humanities Chronicle of Higher Education. Stanley Fish.

Messi Walks Better Than Most Players Run FiveThirtyEight

Colombia president-elect vows to unite nation, alter peace deal Reuters

Presidential Campaign in Mexico Gets Dirty Real News Network (UserFriendly)

Class Warfare

Initiative to end limits on rent control headed for November ballot San Francisco Chronicle

Tax Justice Sunday Tax Research UK (UserFriendly)

ECONOMIC, RACIAL DIVIDES CAUSE MORE WORRY THAN RURAL-URBAN DIVIDE Daily Yonder. Better than the headline.

General Electric faces fines over French jobs pledge BBC

The Poor People’s Campaign Is Changing the Moral Narrative of Congress The Nation

Blood Will Out The Baffler

Elon Musk e-mails Tesla employees urging ‘radical improvements’ to hit quarterly targets CNBC

HOW PEOPLE CLOSE TO JOE CROWLEY HAVE GOTTEN RICH WHILE THE QUEENS BOSS HAS RISEN IN CONGRESS The Intercept (UserFriendly)

Congress tackles mounting opioid epidemic The Hill

Bitcoin Could Break the Internet, Central Bank Overseer Says Bloomberg (David L)

Wall Street experts are crying foul on an overlooked yet dangerous signal that a market meltdown is near AOL. Oregoncharles: “Appears to confirm what Jim Haygood has been saying, and implies that LBO activity is seriously destabilizing.”

Hurricane Alley

Some survivors of Category 5 Hurricane Irma want a Category 6 MPR News (Chuck L)

India

Lateral entry in bureaucracy: Is the government of India being privatised? Scroll.in

India hits back at the U.S. with tariffs The Hindu

Syraqistan

Saudi Arabia, UAE conduct air strikes on Yemen’s Hudaida airport Al Jazeera

Coalition Ignores Famine Warnings and Continues Assault on Yemen as Critics Question US Complicity Truthout

US restores White Helmets funding RT America (UserFriendly)

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Police Use of Facial Recognition With License Databases Spur Privacy Concerns WSJ

Health Care

Air Ambulances Are Flying More Patients Than Ever, and Leaving Massive Bills Behind Bloomberg

10 Things I wish I’d known About Gaslighting Medium (Dr. Kevin). Three years old but still germane.

Our Famously Free Press

Visionaries and scoundrels made the Los Angeles Times, which returns to local ownership after 18 years LA Times

A Call to Bring Julian Assange Home Consortium News

Refugee Watch

Angela Merkel calls for special EU summit on refugees: report Politico

Brexit

Why claims of Brexit dividend for NHS will raise Remainers’ anger Guardian

Brexit: misdirection EUReferendum.com

UK cycling is worth more than the steel industry – where’s the strategy? Guardian

Trump Transition

Pentagon Puts Cyberwarriors on the Offensive, Increasing the Risk of Conflict NYT

Kellyanne Conway’s Husband Wants Feds to Look into Alleged Trump Campaign Finance Violations AlterNet

‘Hate to see it’: Melania Trump speaks out against child separations at border Guardian

Laura Bush: Separating children from their parents at the border ‘breaks my heart’ WaPo

White House faces growing outcry over migrant family policies The Hill

Poll: Republicans Approve of Trump’s Family Separation Policy Daily Beast. UserFriendly: “​This country continues to be just as awful as I imagine it is.​”

Donald Trump’s trade tirades show his mastery of the message FT

Instead of Trump’s propaganda, how about a nice ‘truth sandwich’? WaPo

In Trump’s Madness, There’s Opportunity in Korea: Bruce Cumings The Nation

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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111 comments

  1. David May

    Oh sweet joy, a new Morris Berman post. Here’s an extract:

    I’ve been thinking recently about how Americans need to be punished for the way of life they have led, encouraged, and sought to spread around the world. The problem is that the punishment is more or less wasted, since Americans are clueless regarding that way of life—defined by “What’s In It For Me?” They haven’t the faintest notion that they may have done something wrong, let alone inhuman.

    Read the Horror Show.

    Reply
    1. Huey Long

      James Baldwin once wrote that the problem with nasty people getting their karma is that they don’t really recognize it, so the message is basically wasted on them. Consider, he says, a man who is emotionally dead. His karma is that there is no love in his life; not much of anything, really. But because he is emotionally dead, he can’t be made to see that very fact. So he lives out this awful karma in an ignorant fog. This describes a huge segment of the American population, maybe most.​

      Dr. Berman posted a real barn burner this time around! Ooo-boy…

      Reply
    2. freedomny

      Wow. Thanks for the link. I remember the story he tells of the woman dying in the waiting room. It’s incredibly painful to look at what America has become. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself in another country. Sounds like he feels it’s the best decision he ever made.

      Reply
    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Sure. Why not? That way the people-in-command who actually deSIGNED that way of life can get off scot-free, while the no-alternatives-offered draftees-from-birth who were raised up in it get to pay.

      I wonder what intellectual social-class Mr. Berman belongs to on the Intellectual Social-Class Ladder?

      Reply
    1. JacobiteInTraining

      Shhh,an unexpected link to an outlook.com inbox is, itself, gaslighting! ;)

      Actually, it would be better if your link was instead to…say….the NSA.

      BTW, I wasn’t here. These are NOT the droids you are looking for…

      Reply
  2. The Rev Kev

    “AI Sex Revolution: Robots Gain Ability to Say ‘No’ During Intercourse”

    Of course it would be really demoralizing if your sex robot took out a restraining order against you.

    Reply
      1. JacobiteInTraining

        I’ll probably just have to cut to the chase and set aside 50% of my income/assets for the inevitable child support court order. I mean, I’ll grant, the smart toaster and the fridge have my nose….but damn, girl – there is simply no way on gawds green earth that those Alexii nor the Nests are mine!!!

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Hey! That’s how Cuckoos do it! Get over your excessive self-DNA fixation and: “Think of the Childbots!”
          (Is the Singularity the ultimate expression of Libertarianism?)

          Reply
    1. Summer

      But there is a difference between measured responses or responsiveness and actual engagement and caring.

      Reply
  3. Huey Long

    RE: British Cycling Industry

    Although the cycling jobs in this article are primarily service in nature (tour guides, bike shop employees, etc), I’d just like to point out that the excellent Brompton folding bike is made in the UK.

    https://us.brompton.com/the-bike/made-in-london

    They may not sell as well as Dahon, but the small fold of these bikes and the build quality is unmatched.

    Reply
    1. Phacops

      Inspired Cycle Engineering in Cornwall produces some of the finest recumbent trikes that I have ridden. Outstanding build quality and a well thought out design. I’m finding that with a 26″ rear wheel and some good Schwalbe tires the ride is comfortable even without suspension. ICE also uses Sturmey-Archer hubs (I think they were located in Nottingham) which are bombproof. On my old ICE a car hit one of my front wheels from the side . . . it bent the axle but did no damage to the hubs or bearings.

      Reply
    2. Synoia

      Each bike is hand brazed by a skilled craftsman at our London factory. This makes every bike incredibly tough and unique. Each brazer is trained by Brompton for 18 months and has a ‘signature’ which they stamp on the parts of the bike that they work on.

      Not good, not good at all.

      Brazing is generally weaker than welding. I’d be more impressed if they were using MIG welding.

      Reply
      1. John Wright

        Silver brazing can be quite strong as the two metals joined retain their characteristics as they have not been heated as much as they would be during welding.

        As welding melts the joined metals, they can be weakened/softened (annealed) in some areas.

        From:https://www.lucasmilhaupt.com/en-US/knowledgebase/faqs/

        “Joint strength also depends on the gap between the two metals being joined. When the gap is increased the joint strength decreases. Often times, under the correct conditions, the braze joint strength will be equal to or greater than the strength of the base metals.”

        Coupled with the lower heat, compared to welding, applied to the joined sections, brazing could result in a more reliable joint.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Another point is just how much ‘strength’ is needed to get the job done. Silver brazing, which I’ve done to copper pipes and fittings, is very strong indeed. Additionally, silver brazing gives a consistently smoother finish when compared to welding. When joining I beams and plates, final finish is not such a big deal. A bicycle however, can be a conveyance, and a work of art.

          Reply
        2. RMO

          Brazing, either in the lugged and brazed method that’s common on steel bicycle frames or in the integral fillet method (which requires a lot of skill making the joint close tolerance and was used for ages with alloys such as Reynolds 531 on everything up to 500cc GP motorcycles because that alloy couldn’t take the heat required with welding) is a perfectly good way to build a steel bike frame, light, more than strong enough and repairable. If you want to weld the frame TIG is the method that is preferred, not MIG.

          There are a number of other bicycle manufacturers in Britain was well from small custom operations to good sized ones. The manufacturing consists mostly of frame building and some component manufacturing. Most of the components are sourced outside the country though. Even Sturmey-Archer nowadays!

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I’m just recalling how good England was at making things, before de-industrialization

            Reply
            1. RMO

              An EE friend of mine worked at Quantel until the end and with the ghost of it that survived the restructuring until a recent round of layoffs. He’s worked for HP, Cray, SGI and DEC over his career and he said the equipment manufactured at the ex-Spitfire factory by Quantel was some of the best he’s ever seen and the manufacturing employees were extremely skilled.

              Reply
          2. Synoia

            If you want a nice finish, then explosive welding is the way to go.

            It was used on certain pressure vessels at Palindaba in the ’70s.

            Reply
    3. PlutoniumKun

      As the owner of a hand made lugged British bike, I’d very much agree. It is a shame though that the great British bike companies were mostly destroyed by… guess what, private equity. The old brand names are just traded now to stick on Taiwan made frames.

      Reply
    4. Anon

      Yes, the Brompton’s are nice bikes. They are somewhat pricier than Dahon, but a much better bike. I’ve been riding a Dahon Helios (20″ wheel) folder since 2001; evolved into a 24″ IOS in 2015. Folding bikes are becoming more popular where I live, but the Brompton remains in the minority. Dahon, Bike Friday, and Tern are more prevalent.

      Reply
  4. Frank

    About separating families at the border:
    Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen
    @SecNielsen
    We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.

    Just another example of policy and practice not being the same.

    Reply
    1. marym

      It’s policy.

      Miller (Link):

      Sessions: (Link)

      Kelly (Link):

      Screenshot of notice from her own department: (Link) As noted in the tweet ”it only guides on how to locate a kid, not how to reunite.”

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the Guardian link:

      Elaborating on her statement that “we do not have a policy of separating families at the border”, she tweeted: “DHS takes very seriously its duty to protect minors in our temporary custody from gangs, traffickers, criminals and abuse. We have continued the policy from previous administrations and will only separate if the child is in danger, there is no custodial relationship between ‘family’ members, or if the adult has broken a law.”

      Reply
      1. marym

        They’re now treating everyone who crosses the boarder, including asylum seekers, as having broken the law, and therefore taking their children. I gave several links from administration officials stating the policy. They continue to say it:

        In the past, people caught crossing the border illegally were simply returned to Mexico after pleading guilty and being briefly detailed. Under the new policy of “zero tolerance,” Sessions said the goal is for “100 percent” of all illegal border crossers to be referred by DHS to federal prosecutors and charged with “improper entry by an alien,” facing up to six months in prison. Families who are caught will be separated, with children sent to juvenile facilities.

        (Link)

        and they continue to acknowledge they are using the children as a bargaining chip in negotiating the Trump/Sessions/Miller agenda.

        “We do not want to separate parents from their children,” Sessions said. “If we build the wall, if we pass legislation to end the lawlessness, we won’t face these terrible choices.”

        (Link)

        Journalists and politicians have gone to the detention facilities and confirmed with workers that places originally detaining unaccompanied minors were unprepared for the influx of all the separated children.

        There’s strong indication that the “protections” being offered by the solicitous secretary don’t include keeping adequate track of the children or that they have any process to reunite them with their families.

        Republican Senators Sasse and Collins are criticizing the policy, not planning to do anything to stop it so far, but not denying it’s happening.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Yes, the incarceration regime for domestic crime is cruel to families, and we should change that too.

          I hope it’s not just ‘we should change that too.’

          If not changed first (and the domestic cases are not new), at least at the same time with the same public awareness.

          Reply
        2. Lord Koos

          Detaining people rather than simply deporting them (which is obviously cheaper) is a blatant giveaway to the corporate prison industry. I’ll bet Sessions is invested in them somehow.

          Reply
    3. FluffytheObeseCat

      The upper echelons of the bureaucracy are made in Trump’s image. Sec. Nielsen is his appointee. So outright false statements, presented in a tone of great certitude, backstopped with an unspoken willingness to get huffily offended when questioned….. are kind of to be expected.

      It’s handy to have the old Medium ‘gaslighting’ link up today. Kind of helps in putting this bureaucratic bullsh*tting in perspective.

      Reply
      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        Yep, handy. Thanks Fluffy. A brief overview of this topic in Wikipedia also discusses how this psychologically abusive technique at covert control has been used politically. The post references psychologist Bryant Welch’s book, “State of Confusion: Political Manipulation and the Assault on the American Mind”, and other sources.

        According to Wikipedia, the tools being used that are identified with this particular technique include persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and repeated lying. Unfortunately, over the Holidays on December 29th, 2012, Obama signed the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act which reportedly nullified the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and made government propaganda legal within the U.S. and on the American people, thereby legalizing this and other related psy-ops practices.

        Not particularly conducive to building a relationship of trust. But I did appreciate No. 8 on Fett’s list of suggestions about how to deal with those who engage in gaslighting us: Non-engagement; i.e., Reality is not up for debate.

        Reply
    4. cocomaan

      I’m going to play devil’s advocate. I don’t necessarily believe this but to me it’s a potent counterpoint:

      What’s the expectation here, exactly? That we house them together without question? What if we’re wrong about who and who isn’t a parent? Could that put a child in danger? Or what if the parents are violent offenders? I feel like this sorting of people at the border is already chaos as it is. My guess is that the migrants lack any kind of identifying information at all. We probably have no idea who is and who isn’t a parent.

      Plus if we’re apprehending people breaking the law in other circumstances, the children aren’t housed with the parents. If I steal a car with the intent to sell it to get cash for my hungry family, I don’t get to see my kids when I’m locked up. Do people want to make provisions for that, too? If you do, that’s great, let’s get started. Put the kids in prison with the parents and we’ll have less broken families but much more responsibility by the state. But if you don’t think citizen-criminals should be housed with their hungry, desperate families, I don’t see the difference between a citizen and a non-citizen.

      Reply
      1. marym

        There’s certainly a danger that the response to objections to indefinite separated detention will be indefinite family detention. A boon for the private prison/prison labor industrial complex, but terrible for humans.

        There’s reason to be concerned about trafficking and abuse. The mitigation for that is lawyers, social workers, translators, and health workers at the border. Separating the children, not having a tracking and reunification process, and detention camps without adequate staff or accommodations further the chances of abuse.

        Adding: the idea that an administration that has done nothing to further the cause of child and family well-being even for white citizens is particularly concerned with abuse of little brown immigrants is not credible.

        Yes, the incarceration regime for domestic crime is cruel to families, and we should change that too. There is activism around developing alternatives to bail, sentencing, and prison policy. Many children of incarcerated people no doubt end up in terrible situations, but they’re not put into indefinite detention, and there’s opportunity for parents snd social workers to arrange care by another family member or oversee foster placement. Even that minimal care isn’t being afforded to these separated children, and there does not appear to be any reunification process.

        Reply
        1. cocomaan

          I see your counterpoints, I think they’re good ones. The indefinite detention part is what gets me the most. Then again, that’s what happens when you subject yourself/forced into statelessness. It’s a problem Hannah Arendt pointed to a long time ago about the nation state system and it’s never ended. Refugees caused WW2, in her estimation. Refugees are causing all kinds of social instability in Europe, too. https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-right-to-have-rights-and-the-plight-of-the-stateless

          But this humanitarian crisis at the border, where it’s scattershot people running up against a real and understandable American interest in having concrete benefits for US citizens (a matter of finite time and treasure tied to citizenship), is going to be a disaster, no matter the administration. As far as I can tell, this is all a continuation of the same 20 years of policy at the border, right? And we’ll face another 20 years of this as well. Central America isn’t getting any better with our awful drug war.

          In reality, I also doubt that sending more lawyers and social workers down there will really “solve” anything, per se. Alleviate some suffering, perhaps, but this is a problem way beyond aid workers. It’s a problem of nation state theories of organization, where citizenship is tied to natality.

          Anyway, I wish I had more time to write a better post, but I see your points and thank you for the follow up

          Reply
            1. cocomaan

              Arendt’s argument is that the league of nations caused the creation of minority groups, splintering europe into ethnic enclaves and inciting racial animus. The jews were a refugee group “par excellence”, that is, they didn’t receive a state under the league and as a result could become an easy target of ethnic cleansing.

              im simplyifying but she does a good job of explaining in Origins of Totalitarianism

              Reply
              1. rd

                Its odd how many “refugees” were living in homes their families had lived in for generations.

                I think it is more likely that the transition from the aristocracies and caste systems to more egalitarian societies with economies in decline due to a massive war rankled people who perceived they were not getting what they were owed.

                The high degree of inequality in the “Gilded Age” played a role in the rise of Jim Crow laws. That was expanded in the 1920s and 30s in the Roaring ’20s inequality and subsequent depression. Countries like Germany were in abysmal economic shape in the 1920s which led to the rise of the Nazis. It’s not an accident that we are seeing a rise in racism and bigotry today with highly elevated inequality.

                Reply
        2. Procopius

          Funny, I could have sworn that jails and prisons had procedures for family members to visit prisoners, even prisoners convicted of crime, and certainly people imprisoned in lieu of bail.

          Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Thats a magnificent rant, really required reading. Sadly the same thing is happening to many great cities, from San Francisco to Paris.

      Reply
      1. Roger Smith

        Very long (still at it) but incredibly valuable. New York is a microcosm of what is happening all around the country. There are so many good highlights in here.

        Reply
        1. PlutoniumKun

          Yes, very long (I thought I’d just glance through, but I ended up spending my entire lunch break on it, its fascinating). I lived briefly in New York as a 19 year old student in the late 1980’s, and visit every few years, so the changes seem particularly stark to me. It is of course vastly cleaner and safer than the NY of 30 years ago, but its lost so much of its soul (or at least, Manhattan has, some parts of Queens are wonderfully vibrant).

          Reply
        2. Carolinian

          This is the link of the day (although the one on Jefferson is also good). I lived in NYC during the late 1970s–just before the big change–and haven’t been back since the 1980s. Much was made of the crime although I was never bothered. With 8 million people perhaps it was a question of odds.

          But when you reinvent something then the old thing goes away and surely the funky, chaotic legacy of history is what makes cities interesting. When I went to Europe London was by far my favorite city. Now parts of it are crammed with bizarre skyscrapers and there’s a ridiculous Ferris wheel sitting in the Thames. Cool Brittania indeed.

          I’ve also lived in Atlanta which has the “tear it down” disease to the max. However NYC’s legacy is so much richer than that of Atlanta, many of whose black citizens would just as soon forget the past. Theme park NYC sounds horrible. I guess I should go there and see for myself.

          Reply
        3. Lord Koos

          I was just in southern Idaho for a short visit. The local TV news had a story about significant rent increases in the state making it really hard for people to stay in their homes.

          Reply
      2. JBird

        Couldn’t a case be made that that is happening to the entire United States? I know it’s almost completed to the nine counties that comprise the San Francisco Bay Area. It has gone from a varied economy including agriculture, electronics, manufacturing, banking, fishing, and shipping shipping all heavily unionized, all paying enough to live on.

        Today, it’s just internet anything finance, and tourism with most jobs paying to little to actually live. Not enough real jobs, housing, transportation, real stores, or even just variation. Even those places that have not been destroyed by over rapid growth, like the South Bay, but retain the old appearances, which are more facades than walls, have been emptied of much that makes urban and even suburban areas good places to live in.

        The variety of specialty stores and of services, seems to have reduced. And not just because of the internet. Books, clothing, shoes, furniture, electronics, watches, stationery,(fountain pens!), repairs of anything, bakeries, butchers…

        I know that change happens but my ability to buy anything from that list has just about died. If I seriously looked, I can find a shop, a store, a business that might not be a chain with limited choices, overpriced and/or poor quality junk, or an upscale, super expensive store with often too fancy merchandise. In other words, what a working, or middle class person will want to need, see, and buy. Even a poor person previously could walk in and buy something that might be cheap, but it would not be complete junk.

        Reply
      1. RMO

        Vancouver hasn’t gone that far (yet?) but the city sure has become a lot more generic, expensive and less lively and interesting since the 90’s.

        Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    “Stop Trying to Sell the Humanities”

    There is one way to solve this problem. Have the universities can their sports programs. Get rid of them, especially the football and basketball, and get rid of all the coaches and staff as well. It’s expensive and I understand that a good college can spend million on just the coach alone. Tell the NCAA to take a hike while they are at it too. Use the money saved to fund, say, education and by that I do not mean more goodies for the admin.
    Sport is supposed to be a hobby, not a major reason to have a university. If the students want to play football or whatever, let them set up a club or something. Give them a hand but make clear to them that their sports are only a hobby and that they are at university for an education.
    This whole idea of getting rid of the Humanities is another level of stupidity. You do that for a country and you have only specialists and no real generalist to help you put it all together. If your university does not offer Humanities, then it is only a trade school.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      The problem with your post is that the big college football teams *do* make money. Now it seems like it mostly just goes to other money-losing sports, for 2012 as an example they came up with only 8 colleges that netted from all sports, anyway lots of stuff here: https://college.lovetoknow.com/campus-life/does-college-football-make-money.

      The link is detailed but not that important, it does indicate that football for sure and basketball in many cases is cash positive.

      The problem is this is Ameruca The Great, and if your college sportsball programs aren’t making money, the type of psychopaths that run everything aren’t going to say “the heck with it”, they are going to try to “win” and get themselves on the list. So they spend (sorry, “invest”) more money on stadiums, etc.

      So although I said “the problem with your post”, it isn’t really what you said is wrong, it’s just that it doesn’t matter. If somebody makes money, then the alphas think they are going to somehow make money, too. I don’t know how to disabuse them of that notion. BTW, they’re yet again expanding the college bowl count so that overwhelming majority of guys who aren’t ever going to make a dime professionally can spend even more time away from classes..

      Reply
    2. Amfortas the Hippie

      the sports thing irritates me to no end, too…and it ain’t just College. Our little ISD spends boatloads of cash on sports, from high coaching salaries to fuel costs and insurance to drive through ice storms to get to the games.
      But sports, and especially football, is an almost religious endeavor. Few I know ever even question the worth of these expenditures, and regard heretics like me as dangerous and weird.

      On the broader question…this:”a conviction that only what can be measured is worth knowing”…is the root of the problem.
      The Cartesian Bias, exploded in the Anglosphere by the Logical Positivists and other reductionist myopias, dismisses anything that can’t be touched in some way…even if that “touch” is some esoteric instrument of high energy (LHC, LIGO, etc).
      Fish is right that attempting to justify Humanism on the ball court of antihumanism is a fools game, and I don’t know either what to do about it.
      Humanities are my wheelhouse, although I have no degree, and am entirely self-educated…and I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without them.
      30 years ago, I was laughed at by registrars and admission deans when I said I wanted to study Philosophy. I imagine that it’s much worse, now.
      But in the years since, somehow, numerous lost people have come to me for advice(!) and the book I have given away the most has been Marcus Aurelius…and if those folks were able to overcome their fear of opening that book*, they have come away as better humans.
      I cannot quantify this phenomenon, but I know that it’s there, regardless.
      We are worse off, as a country…a civilisation…a species…without this “other side”…this unquantifiable side…of Being Human.
      I’ll stand by that outlook.

      {* this fear of even trying was a shocker to me. so many people are afraid of philosophy, fearing that they “can’t understand it”….and I find Aurelius to be pretty easy, compared to bad german translations of Heidegger,lol.)

      Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth — more than ruin — more even than death…. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
      Bertrand Russell

      Reply
      1. ChrisPacific

        Is that the Meditations? I’ll add it to my list.

        After getting a Kindle and discovering it’s just a loss leader to get me to buy Amazon’s stupid proprietary ebooks, I’ve been trying to get some residual value out of it by going through the classics on Project Gutenberg. This has been unexpectedly rewarding.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          yes. the Meditations.
          i give it out for xmas and weddings,too, to often befuddled looks.
          and I love the classics.
          I’m currently(since last october) rereading Gibbon’s “decline and fall of the roman empire”, after revisiting everyone from Livy to Seutonius.
          but i still much prefer actual books to the electronic version.(i always lose my place)
          I’ll allege, barring evidence to the contrary, that I have one of the most comprehensive classics libraries in the hill country, but I seem to be the only one so inclined,lol.
          Prolly not the best method of finding a spouse.

          Reply
          1. ChrisPacific

            For classics I’m including authors like Dickens, who has been a revelation (several of my early teachers disliked him and were not shy about saying so, so I never got round to reading him until now). The only actual classic I’ve read so far is The Republic, which reminded me of the conversations I used to have with my fellow students in grad school when we were looking for excuses not to do work. It’s interesting to imagine a time when that was considered an activity for civic leaders. I can’t say I find the current model an improvement.

            I like actual books better too, but ebooks use less shelf space and don’t draw overdue fines.

            Reply
    3. Craig H.

      Most schools lose money but some schools rake it in. Alabama stopping football would be self-destructive. Since a bunch of schools rake it in, the losers are all vulnerable to some marketing genius coming in with some plan to make a bunch of dough N years down the road by investing in sports. What the schools really need is due diligence and a handy blacklist of the people who have the lost the most money for their school making a horrible investment in the sports industry. The people at Baylor for example must be furious. They just spent tens millions on a football stadium and they are now penalized into football oblivion.

      The man who managed that fiasco should never get a top job again.

      Reply
      1. sleepy

        The University of Alabama is now such a brand that the majority of students are from out of state and paying hefty out of state tuition.

        Reply
    4. curlydan

      Somewhat tangential, but I believe the real reason the United States is fairly inept at soccer is…college soccer. Most soccer youth in this country are steered to pay $2K+ per year in a pay-to-play system that only the wealthy can easily afford and constantly have the “college scholarships” and college exposure dangled in the parents’ faces.

      New flash…compared to the rest of the soccer played by 18-22 year old men in the world, NCAA soccer stinks. While the NCAA is an effective (but likely exploitative) farm club for football and basketball, it is fairly ineffective for young soccer players. Yet our best soccer players are constantly sold on NCAA soccer and scholarships.

      Frankly, a player forgoing his/her amateur status and moving up the ranks in paid soccer would produce better players for the national team.

      Reply
    5. Jeremy Grimm

      It’s hard to believe this defense of the Humanities was written by a skilled rhetorician, and I would not enjoy a criminal defense endowed of similar impact and insight. I think the author of this piece is standing a little too close to a few of the trees and missing the forest entirely. And this he mourns is the last best hope for the Humanities?:
      “The only hope (and it is a slim one) resides in the efforts of senior administrators, administrators with a firm and unshakable understanding (modeled on the understanding of Oakeshott, Newman, Aristotle, Max Weber, Immanuel Kant) of the academic enterprise and a resolve to protect it no matter what forces — political, budgetary, cultural — are arrayed against it.” He might as well find a seat next to David the robot-boy in AI and wait for help from the Blue Fairy.

      The author might dig himself out of the dusty writings on rhetorical style and try delving into a one of the Humanities he identifies as a target: sociology. And if he can step back from concern for the Humanities he might notice they are not the only victim of the ongoing wanton deconstruction and destruction of Education and the University and all they were and all they could have been. The Humanities will be strangled, drowned in the bathtub, but who really believes the STEM fields are in any way the victor. They may survive as slaves to the Market but Science will die in chains. The Market does not value Science. It values control over Science and the stature our dessicated culture attributes to the pontifications from Science. But have no fear that any R in R&D will impact current investments in a future of D&r. So instead of pointing to the futility of utilitarian arguments for the Humanities, which are both ineffective and accept without question the criterion of the Market, attack the Neoliberal concept of the Market, its innate insanity, its inhumanity, and its evident intent to destroy all that holds “real” value to human life.

      [I can’t help making a dig at the way the Humanities have worked so very hard to destroy themselves through arcane jargon, and pointillist focus on a specializations so that many papers published in the Humanities journals have tiny audience and few who are able to read and understand the thought, and I often suspect, the lack of thought, dressed in meaningless words and dry analysis. Ever deconstruct a sentence of Dickens from “Great Expectations” to find the meaning of his book? One high school English teacher who taught my son to hate all reading and writing of any sort actually “taught” Dickens using this technique.]

      Reply
    6. nihil obstet

      Fish’s argument appears to be that the humanities have only intrinsic value — the experience itself. I’m not sure how one would then distinguish the values of reading the humanities vs., say, playing video games, or roaming the beach with a metal detector, or any of the many other hobbies that human beings enjoy. He’s just wrong.

      The basic issue, of course, is not just that the humanities have lost their compelling reason for inclusion in university curricula, but that the universities themselves have no compelling reason for most of the things they do. After WWII, they embodied the promise of upward mobility for the population. Get a college degree, and you will enter the middle class of white collar prosperity. So virtually everybody headed for college. And the colleges and universities became credentialing institutions, selling students a lottery ticket for the good jobs, because now, employers started demanding the credentials. In fact, most jobs could be better prepared for through apprenticeships than through classroom training, but the college degree also imparted social class markers to the aspirational.

      We need to rethink the educational enterprise, starting with primary school and going up through graduate schools. What we have now is wasteful, and appears to have become unpleasant for all except the newly rich and comfy administrators.

      Reply
      1. Jeremy Grimm

        You make a good point about college education and education in general: “After WWII, they embodied the promise of upward mobility for the population. Get a college degree, and you will enter the middle class of white collar prosperity.” I think that used to be true for some of the GIs returning to take advantage of the WWII GI bill for education. But now we have the “skills gap” — not just an education gap. And these old dogs don’t hunt no more.

        Would you agree the old Democratic cure-all for the economy “Get educated to be an American success” plays nicely into the more openly Neoliberal Republican assumption that education is a commodity best provided through a Market. One plays harmony to the other’s Neoliberal melody. While I agree “the universities themselves have no compelling reason for most of the things they do” — especially as they sell themselves to the Market — I have real trouble with the idea “that the humanities have lost their compelling reason for inclusion in university curricula”. Without knowledge of our history, an understanding of our society, without an inner sense and understanding of what we believe and know, without the skills to express our thoughts well in writing and speech to many peoples, without creating and feeling the beauty of art, without our literature, our myths and deeply felt truths — what values do we have and of what value our lives? I hope I have value and my life has value that adds up to more than the sum of my pay-stubs.

        I hope we might rethink education for more than a fine tuning to the ever changing needs of our fickle employers.

        Reply
        1. Jeremy Grimm

          [ I stole that argument from an old Greek I had to read as an undergraduate. I graduated as a STEM student.]

          Reply
        2. nihil obstet

          Would you agree the old Democratic cure-all for the economy “Get educated to be an American success” plays nicely into the more openly Neoliberal Republican assumption that education is a commodity best provided through a Market.

          Yes.

          And I agree totally with your defense of the humanities. I was addressing the institutional biases of the university. The university sees itself as a place of original scholarship as much as, or even more than, a teaching institution. This is a problem for disciplines that don’t “advance” or don’t use the experimental method for adding knowledge. So we get tighter and tighter specialization within the humanities, and that’s a problem. The compelling reason for the humanities has to be something other than that it will produce lots of new interpretations of Shakespeare’s plays or of WWI or philosophical questions. That’s not a compelling reason for studying the humanities. That’s why I see the reasoning supporting humanities as dependent on reasoning why we have universities in their current form in the first place.

          Reply
          1. Jeremy Grimm

            As you point out Market discipline applied to our universities manifests in part as a Managerial Demiurge driving to count and control knowledge and wisdom as though its production could be measured in units of so many widgets called journal publications. The hyperspecialization you describe afflicting the Humanities along with the journal article counts and impact scoring mechanisms has also greatly degraded the quality of research — such as there is — in the Sciences. I would add to this — the kind of thinking which counts students as though they were a product rolling off an education production line. [Strange how these production models for education and knowledge skimp on quality control just as is done on too many of the products of Neoliberal Market based industry.]

            Reply
  6. Carolinian

    Re the air ambulance story

    Wealthy investors lured by the industry’s rapid growth have acquired many of the biggest air-ambulance operators, leaving control of the business in the hands of private-equity groups. American Securities LLC bought Air Methods for $2.5 billion in March 2017. Rival Air Medical Group Holdings, which includes Air Evac and several other brands, has been owned by New York private-equity firm KKR & Co. LP since 2015. Two-thirds of medical helicopters operating in 2015 belonged to three for-profit providers, the GAO said in its report.

    That pretty much tells you all you need to know, eh? One patient was billed $34,000 for an 18 mile flight.

    Reply
    1. JacobiteInTraining

      A distant relation was with me and a friend years ago, in the middle-of-nowhere Alaska doing some logging things. It wasn’t for private industry, just work being done on a private property enclave on one of the innumerable islands in SE.

      An equipment failure in a cable – properly maintained as far as I could tell – led to it snapping under great pressure, and inevitably it boomeranged around and caught the guy’s head…fracturing his skull, we found out later. After staunching the blood flow & stabilizing him as best we could…then boating to where the marine VHF radio could connect to Angoon, and thence to the Coast Guard, a chopper was dispatched to evacuate him to Bartlett hospital in Juneau.

      Didn’t look good, and he was life-flighted from Juneau to Seattle’s Harborview for what in effect was brain surgery. So hmm, lets see – in the TommorrrowLand of the future where all this is outsourced to private companies…and using the above statistic for reference that would be ~$1900/mile. Total distance in this case was somewhere around 950 miles, so that works out to be….$1,805,000.

      I think in that world we would have just finished the job the cable started….pop the guy with a nice sharp axe to put him out of his misery…and then consume the bottle of scotch in the boats emergency supplies, after first pouring a dollop to the memory of the Dear Departed…..

      Maybe frequent flier miles alters this equation, though….

      Reply
    2. Jim Haygood

      In our rural town, serious injuries or a heart attack will get you airlifted to the regional trauma center 100 miles away, rather than the community hospital 15 miles away. One of the air ambulance companies offers imposes a $19,998 liftoff charge plus $290/mile.

      Air ambulance companies sell individual insurance policies for about $100 a year. But two of them serve the area and there’s no guarantee which one will be dispatched to an emergency.

      It’s another absurd “health coverage roulette” reverse lottery, where if your lucky number comes up, you lose big. Murica!

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I broke my scapula when an ice bridge collapsed underfoot in Sequoia NP 20 years ago, about 20 miles in the backcountry. I was able to walk out a few miles and ran into a ranger and she got me a helicopter out down to the helipad in the front country of the NP, and best of all NO CHARGE.

        That said, I was forced to take an ambulance from the National Park to the hospital in Visalia, and any old car would have done the trick, but whatever.

        I then had to wrestle my insurance company to pay the $700 bill for that, ha!

        Reply
      2. Amfortas the Hippie

        yup. since they closed the little 1960’s ER here, in what’s now a “clinic”, but what used to be a hospital(wife was born there)…just about anything even sort of serious get’s a helicopter called.
        it’s 38 miles from the clinic to the modern hospital in fredericksburg…100+ to the big fancy hospitals in San Antone or Austin.
        it would likely be cheaper, over all, to maintain a basic ER here, at least for stabilisation before transport(stabilisation is now performed in the EMT Bus on the side of the road). The local operators of this system insist that they would need millions of dollars in fancy equipment to make that happen, and put much blame on the threat of being sued(in spite of 30 years of “tort reform”).
        I’m on the Grayson Plan…”don’t get sick” and barring that, the Indian Way..”put me on the mountain and leave me”.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=93PBNHXXWWs

        Reply
  7. Phacops

    Re: UK Cycling

    I have a recumbent trike from ICE (Inspired Cycle Engineering) made in the UK. Previously I owned their Trice Explorer since 2001 but decided to move up to their Sprint model. Both are well made and competitive with the recumbent trikes made in various other countries, including the US. Alas, because of a lack of adequate lanes/trails in the US, I had never used it for commuting, especially with the wide and low footprint of a tadpole-trike presenting unique safety issues.

    Here’s hoping that the powers that be in the UK recognize the benefits of promoting a winning industry.

    Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    “Blood Will Out”

    This whole thing about the demented Elizabeth Holmes has been on my mind today as the whole story reminded me of something that I had read elsewhere. The same total disregard for lives over the fast bucks and then it hit me where I had seen something similar – the fake bomb detectors. People may not remember this scam but some people assembled what they called bomb detectors from Chinese golf ball finder kits in a back yard garden shed. This was back during the Iraq war.
    These were then exported around the world, especially Iraq during the fighting and it was only two years ago that they were withdrawn from there. The whole bizarre story is at https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-29459896 but for a more detailed, analytical story there is the Wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADE_651
    God knows how many people died because of these things or how many scores of millions were made from them. The point of this all is that the couple involved and all the people that enabled this all had a total disregard for other people’s lives and the consequences of their actions, just like Elizabeth Holmes and all her enablers for she could never have pulled this off alone. God knows what goes through their minds.

    Reply
    1. Ed Miller

      “God knows what goes through their minds.” Oh, please. You know: Ka-Ching!!!!

      On reflection I wish to add my opinion of how the minds involved actually envision their role in society. This is based on my seeing such thinking in SV companies for many years. As members of the ruling class their job is to create and support innovative ideas. The Magic of Capitalism (Yes, they actually believe that. Reminds me of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.) will work out the bugs so everything will be good. This creative input justifies lots of Ka-Ching Ka-Ching for them. The system at its best. /s

      Reply
    2. Elizabeth Burton

      I confess that, after reading the sort of people who sat on her board, I’m now wondering what the real purpose of those machines was to have been.

      (Removes foil hat)

      Reply
  9. crittermom

    I just received information I’d requested regarding ‘helicopter flight’ coverage to supplement my Medicare.

    I know of a vet who has insurance, suffered an aneurysm that required a flight for life, & received a bill for $60,000 for that flight.

    He’s still fighting with insurance to cover the cost of the flight as they insist it was ‘unnecessary’–despite the fact the Drs said he would have undoubtedly died with any additional time taken for transport by ambulance.

    Meanwhile, he continues to make a small monthly payment on the bill to keep from being turned over to a collection agency, until it gets straightened out (if ever?).

    In speaking with the helicopter insurance company I was told they still won’t cover all of the bill, but can’t tell you how much they will cover. Just that ‘you’ll be left with a smaller bill’.

    Apparently, transparency only exists nowadays in regards to what the govt finds out about our personal lives. It’s not a two-way street.

    I cringe when I hear the helicopter go overhead (with the little local hospital where it departs from just 2 blocks away), knowing someone who suffered a major medical emergency will probably need a resuscitator when they receive that bill.

    “Two-thirds of medical helicopters operating in 2015 belonged to three for-profit providers…”
    Yes. That pretty much says it all.

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      A few if those flights and you could buy your own helicopter for the same outlay. They are expensive machines to fly and maintain.

      Perhaps one of our Silicon Valley futurists will give us drone ambulances.

      Reply
  10. Randy Graham

    Not sure if readers at NC would be interested in my response to the article ‘Why Do Blue-tongue Skinks Have Blue Tongues?’ — but maybe. There seems to be a lot of animals enthusiasts here. Personally, I love animals a lot more than I do bankers:

    As someone who has kept and bred blue-tongue skinks in captivity (as well as having observed several species in the wild), I found the article fascinating.

    A couple of things that I would note. The Czech study that suggests the tongue display is primarily directed at rivals makes little sense to me. Males (and sometimes females) will fight over territory — particularly during breeding season — but there is rarely any sort of tongue flashing, rather they attack rapidly and with hyper aggression.

    Rivals will often flee as quickly as possible — if not an extremely brutal melee will erupt. They are capable of seriously injuring each other in these biting attacks. (In captivity, some species can be kept in groups but the more commonly bred species such as Tiliqua scincoides should always be housed separately and only introduced briefly during breeding season.)

    Females in breeding season have a subtle movement — a slight swaying of the head and tail — that they display to onrushing males to signal that they are a female, not a rival male. (I have observed this repeatedly in Tiliqua scincoides intermedia in captivity — I am not sure of other species.)

    The male responds to this by tongue flicking along the female’s torso, probably seeking some sort of olfactory confirmation through pheromones that this is indeed a female and receptive to breeding.

    Adults and especially babies open their mouths wide and flash their tongues when startled by something looming over them. (My adults just produced 10 babies this month — they are live bearers.) Babies are far more likely to present this display than my adults, which are tame and used to seeing me. Babies in the wild would be highly vulnerable to predation from several species of birds swooping down on them.

    However, ALL adult specimens I have approached in the wild to observe and photograph have reacted with tongue flashing, hissing, and defensive body contortions. This includes Tiliqua nigrolutea, T. multifasciata, T. scincoides scincoides, T. scincoides intermedia, and T. rugosa (the shingleback blue-tongue). (And while my UV vision is not so good, the bright blue is eye-catching.)

    The fox is an introduced species (1871 for sport hunting!) and blue-tongues would not have evolved a defensive mechanism specifically for this predator. So it seems irrelevant whether a fox can see UV or not. The dingo is also an introduced species but dating back several thousands of years. The birds such as the kookaburra and large monitor lizard species (Varanids) are probably their main predatory threats along with snakes such as the black-headed python. The evolution of the cobalt blue tongue (with UV reflectivity) could have been keyed to these specific threats, but now appears as a generalized defensive response.

    Reply
    1. crittermom

      I must now make time to read the link, but I must say, I found your observations of them very enjoyable.
      Thank you!
      And yes, I am one of those animal lovers here on NC & appreciated your response.

      Reply
  11. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: White House faces growing outcry over migrant family policies The Hill (Emphasis mine.)

    “It’s going to be very difficult to get a comprehensive immigration bill on an election year, on any year. So let’s not tear these families apart in the meantime,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on “Meet the Press.”

    Could someone please explain to me what “in the meantime” means in the context of NEVER gonna do anything about this?

    The desperate quest for democrat election year traction grinds forward.

    Reply
    1. whine country

      Yogi Berra was discussing remodeling his home with Joe Garagiola long ago and he remarked: “You know how long I waited for those new windows that never showed up”. Maybe Shiff has some Italian in him. In the mean time…..

      Reply
  12. Eldot

    “American History for Truthdiggers: The Jeffersonian Enigma (1800-1808)”

    Sjursen romanticizes Jefferson’s motivation for championing the “yeomanry.”

    In “The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry, Ned & Constance Sublette explain how Jefferson saw the burgeoning “empire of liberty” as a huge market for domestic slave-trading:

    “Virginia had been slave breeding since the seventeenth century. It had the oldest, most deeply rooted African American population, and the largest. With far more slaves than any other state, and with much of the land already burned out for tobacco farming by the time of the Declaration of Independence, the agricultural productivity per laborer in Virginia was low. The most profitable thing for Virginia planters to do with their growing slave population was to sell young people to traders for shipment down South.”

    Jefferson ending the importation of slaves was not a humanitarian act; it was a gift to Jefferson’s best constituents, Virginia slave-breeders, whose profits soared as the supply of cheap imports vanished.

    Reply
  13. Brindle

    Re: Elon Musk…

    I’m sure the exclamation points gave workers a warm and fuzzy feeling. He sounds like a total a**hole.

    “It’s getting very exciting! All parts of the Model 3 production system are now above 500 and some are almost at 700 cars already. Congratulations to all on making so much progress!”

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      But the left should support Lord Elon, one of the few ‘true socialists’ amongst the kleptocracy, if only in his own mind:

      By the way, I am actually a socialist. Just not the kind that shifts resources from most productive to least productive, pretending to do good, while actually causing harm. True socialism seeks greatest good for all.
      — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 16, 2018

      He seems to have had to truncate the ending due to length limitations, but by ‘for all’ he surely means ‘for all of my personal fiefdom’.

      Reply
  14. Expat

    Re: Helicopter ambulances

    Improved emergency services and ER treatments have led to large increases in survival rates from accidents and shootings. Of course ,there is a massive cost because these areas are ripe for abuse, much like funeral services. And there is the added benefit of reducing death stats while shootings increase. This is something used by the NRA and gun advocates who point to stable or only slightly increasing death rate despite population growth and consequential larger number of guns out there. It’s like the wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan; the VA system is overwhelmed because battlefield trauma treatment and evac have advanced to the point where just about anyone can be “saved”.

    But no one measures the cost. Yes, that sounds cruel, but there is a massive cost to the individuals and the country for these kinds of treatments. The US cannot afford it because it has the highest health care costs in the world. Go ‘Murica.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Another common dilemma of cost and cruelty (from https://www.agingcare.com/articles/i-promised-my-parents-i-d-never-put-them-in-a-nursing-home-133904.htm), involving, in this case, caring for one’s parents:

      So, with some guilt, we start looking at other options. For some people, this means having your parents move in with you. If there is enough room so everyone has privacy and the personalities blend, this can work. However, before making such a move, make sure your head is as engaged as your heart. While you are considering this option, you also may want to read “Living With Elderly Parents: Do You Regret the Decision?”

      For me, I don’t mind giving up my privacy.

      And I am curious how any of us would act, when faced with having to decide take one’s parent(s) to a nursing home or not.

      Reply
      1. Expat

        It’s not simply a matter of privacy. Having your aged parents living with you is not like have friends stay for a few weeks. If it’s a choice between a nursing home and living with you, it’s nearly a twenty-four hour job. Cooking, cleaning, medicating, Unless you have the money for nurses and aides which will cost you several thousand dollars a month on top of the rest.

        My mother is in a nursing home which costs something like $10k per month. Thankfully, she has insurance that pays for it which is not something people have any more.

        Frankly, I don’t think there is a choice to be made for most Americans. They can’t afford to put their parents in a home.

        I am happier and happier every day to be European.

        Reply
  15. Wukchumni

    Interesting theya culpa from the L.A. Times.

    Frankly, the fishwrap can only improve @ this point after being thoroughly hollowed out…

    Reply
  16. Wukchumni

    About a decade ago we were in NZ and ran into an Australian couple that had been in NYC and he had a minor heart attack, and related how 3 ambulances showed up and almost got in a fight with one another over who had the right to transport him…

    …only in America

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      In the old days in America, before there were fire departments, there were private companies that would fight fires and it was not uncommon to have a few different outfits fight to be the one to put out a fire or just let a house burn down since they were not one of your ‘customers’. I read about one mob in either New York or Chicago that employed this big Irish guy. On word of a fire, he would run out the fire-house with a wooden barrel. Upon reaching the scene of the fire, he would put the barrel over the fire hydrant and then fight off with fisty-cuffs anybody from another fire fighting company until ‘his’ engine arrived. Apparently a true story.

      Reply
  17. LS

    Re: Initiative to end limits on rent control headed for November ballot San Francisco Chronicle

    Unfortunately, in some of the hardest hit areas where the turnout would be higher, like Silicon Valley/Santa Clara County – where in most cities except San Jose (which will be ‘catching up’ via the new Google ‘Campus’) there are more renters than home owners residing in their homes – there are a significant amount of H-1B Visa renters who would otherwise vote for rent control but can’t vote. This is a huge issue, never addressed in the local Mercury News, which utterly destroys the power in numbers that renters would otherwise have. I have no doubt whatsoever that the powerful business groups opposing the November Affordable Housing Act Initiative and caps on H-1B Visas (which are predominantly males under 30), such as the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, The Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce (which sneakily renamed itself The Silicon Valley Organization, interestingly, no Wiki page came up for me under either name), and the Bay Area Council, consider this a twofer for their partners in Meritocracy: lower wages and inhuman profits from rents.

    Reply
      1. LS

        Indeed, I imagine the Bay Area Council’s Shanghai, China Office (that’s the only out of state office they note) VIPs as having provided and currently providing tips to Ultra Millionaire Chinese Free Marketer Capitalists on previously resident owned homes and condos for sale in Silicon Valley, which will then be rented out based on the outrageous market, plus the 500K+ paid (all in cash) over the asking price, and then ‘flipped’ on the lives of the hapless Kafkaesque renters when the market changes significantly.

        Reply
  18. Ford Prefect

    Manafort was caught “foldering”: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/manafort-accused-of-foldering-but-what-is-foldering-2018-06-15

    I am assuming we will soon start seeing litigation from Manafort claiming that being held without access to Dom Perignon and fine Bordeaux wines is cruel and unusual punishment. The DoJ under Sessions will probably provide briefs supporting the plaintiffs as they wish appropriate conditions to be in place by the time Administration officials take up residency.

    Reply
  19. precariat

    re: The Poor People’s Campaign and Congress

    This comes across as superficial and patrozining. The “poor people,” a special interest group for whom progressives must make a show of concern. Not anywhere in the article is there an sense of “we” or ”There, but for the grace of God, go I.” So, how about *not* a poor people’s campaign but a _people’s_campaign_? Social mobility has ossified. Neary half of American cannot afford an emergency $400 bill. Working people need food assistance. Basics are unaffordable. Jobs are low paying and uncertain. People are considered prey to be extracted from and then literally left to die (see the 60 Minutes repeat last night on the DEA ‘whistleblower? ‘ That is a case study on policy in the US.) . And everybody let it happen, icluding the DEA.

    To “The Nation”: if patronizing is not the reaction you were going for, the I suggest a reframing of the story is in order.

    Reply
    1. Elizabeth Burton

      The name of the Poor People’s Campaign was adopted from Martin Luther King’s infant organization of the same name, which he was just getting set up when he was murdered, so I don’t see them changing it anytime soon.. And The Nation, based on observation, became a tool of The Resistance ™ quite a while ago, so condescension is only to be expected.

      And the PPC knows full well it’s not going to accomplish anything with “this Congress.” Don’t you find it telling when articles alleging to be empathetic to the downtrodden act as if any group fighting for justice expects to get instant results? In other words, are full of overly optimistic dreamers who don’t understand the complexity of the issues involved?

      Reply
  20. precariat

    re: The Poor People’s Campaign and Congress

    Not anywhere in the article is there an sense of “we” or ”There, but for the grace of God, go I.” So, how about *not just* a poor people’s campaign but a people’s campaign?

    Reply
  21. ewmayer

    o “Elon Musk e-mails Tesla employees urging ‘radical improvements’ to hit quarterly targets | CNBC” — At the same time he extorts laid-off workers to stay mum about safety violations.

    o “Angela Merkel calls for special EU summit on refugees: report | Politico” — It is to be presumed that the agenda for any such summit will conspicuously exclude any initiative for Europe to stop supporting the campaigns of US imperial slaughter which are responsible for said refugee crises. But let’s talk about unsere Gefühle!

    o “Instead of Trump’s propaganda, how about a nice ‘truth sandwich’? | WaPo” — “And by ‘truth sandwich’ we of course mean our own execrable establishment propaganda.”

    Reply
  22. John k

    Tsla
    Meanwhile, a new all time high threatens…
    Signaling real profits in sight?
    Or another market excess, to be remembered with nostalgia?

    Reply
  23. Chauncey Gardiner

    Not being at all knowledgeable about the Mexican presidential election on July 1, I appreciated the Real News Network post. Given the deep Big Data dive behind the targeted phone calls to ordinary citizens and the high murder rate of politicians and candidates described in the post, many of whom held or were candidates for local offices, it appears someone is concerned about losing control. I hope the UN has some influence on the electoral process there.

    Reply
  24. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” Survivors of Hurricane Irma want a Category Six”.

    Well yes, actually. I have long thought that the measuring scale for both Hurricanes and Tornadoes should be open ended. It should be viewed as an analytical and nomenclatural ladder with rungs of equal distance apart, and each further rung up the ladder being given a further number.

    How would it work for hurricanes? Well, what is the average “distance” between each of the categories from 1 to 5? How much of a miles-per-hour increase does it take to get from a lowest Category One to a lowest Category Two? And then from a lowest Category Two to a lowest Category Three? And then to lowest Four? And then to lowest Five? Well, when a hurricane has sustained winds faster-by-the-same-amount over what gets a hurricane promoted to lowest Five, that hurricane should be promoted to lowest Six. And if the hurricane blows another ladder-rung-of-separation speed increment even more faster yet, then it should be promoted to lowest Seven. And so on up the rungs of increasing speed.
    This would help us understand some more details about the hurricanes we are talking about.

    The same should be done for tornados. What is the length of the speed-increase increment which gets you from F1 to F2 to F3 to F4 to F5? Well, don’t stop measuring at F5.
    Keep adding Fnumbers as the speed of tornados keeps going up by equal-sized increments.

    Make the number-scales of hurricanes and tornados open-endedly increasable to preserve our ability to measure and assign values to their power.

    Reply
  25. The Rev Kev

    “Instead of Trump’s propaganda, how about a nice ‘truth sandwich’?”: ‘President Trump declared the news media the nation’s worst enemy.’

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day and Trump is right but not the way that he thinks. He is saying that as the media is always attacking him, that they are therefore attacking the country (L’état, c’est moi). The media is the nation’s worst enemy but for other reasons.
    For giving totally distorting ‘news’ on other countries such as Russia and Iran, for ignoring the stories of over half the country – the deplorables – as being not newsworthy, for siding with a corporate oligarchy and against the average citizen, for not serving their primary purpose of enabling an informed citizenship, for all these reasons and many more the news media is indeed the nation’s worst enemy.

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