Links 8/26/18

How Cheetahs Keep Their Heads Still While Sprinting National Geographic

Red Delicious apple cedes top spot to Gala after five decades Philadelphia Inquirer (KW).

Verizon, under fire for throttling firefighters’ data speed, lifts caps for first responders San Francisco Chronicle

Are Superstar Firms and Amazon Effects Reshaping the Economy? NYT. From Jackson Hole.


No-deal Brexit will break up UK, warns Van Rompuy Guardian (KW).

Brexit: China looking at ‘top-notch’ trade deal with UK after EU withdrawal Independent

Brexit: no market for implications EU Referendum

Councils snatch 5,000 homes to pay for care bills Sunday Express

North Korea

Trump Ties North Korea Talks To Trade Deal With China Moon of Alabama. Not agreement-capable?


IMF urges Saudi Arabia to contain spending despite oil price rise Al Jazeera

New Cold War

Paul Manafort’s trial in D.C. to take 3 weeks, probe Ukraine lobbying world WaPo

Mueller’s ‘speaking indictments’ offer clues to strategy The Hill

Why Manafort and Cohen Thought They’d Get Away With It Pro Publica. Because elites always do.

Cannabis activists or ‘dangerous criminals’? Upcoming trials test limits of legalization in Alaska The Appeal

What Happened at Camp Lejeune Pacific Standard

Trump Transition

Trump’s Power to Fire Federal Workers Curtailed by Judge NYT

Sen. John McCain, Republican War Hawk, Dead at 81 Common Dreams. In fairness, McCain was sound on torture, not an easy thing in official Washington.

David Foster Wallace on John McCain: ‘The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys and the Shrub‘ David Foster Wallace, Rolling Stone. From 2000, still germane.

Margaret Thatcher and misapplied death etiquette Glenn Greenwald, Guardian. From 2013, still germane.

Democrats in Disarray

How a Political Machine Works: Candidates Running for 21 Seats, All Unaware NYT. This is extraordinary. A must-read.

Democrats Strip Superdelegates Of Power In Historic Reform Vote HuffPo. Left organizations are careful to frame this as the good first step it is.

Modified rapture (1):

Modified rapture (2):

The Limits of Elizabeth Warren Consortium News

August 28th sees some of the nation’s most-watched contests come to a head in Florida and Arizona Open Secrets

Florida Candidate: My Alien Abduction Does Not Define Me Jonathan Turley (CB).

Future elections may be swayed by intelligent, weaponized chatbots MIT Technology Review

Our Famously Free Press

No, this is not a video of journalists staging migrants drowning Agence France Presse

Bylines on the homepage? Not The New York Times’ priority anymore in the latest homepage redesign Nieman Labs

Is Philly Twitter moving to Mastodon? Technically Philly. Interesting, in that Philly was an epicenter of political blogging, back in 2002-2003.

Harper: Zuckerberg Joins the War Party Continued… Sic Semper Tyrannis

Big Tech Corporations Are Now Banning Iranian Social Media Accounts – A Censored Student Journalist Speaks out Gray Zone

“Conspiracy theorists are in the same league as psychics, magicians, astrologists and gurus” Telepolis. Interview with the Wu Ming collective.

Sex, crystals and compost toilets The Economist

Guillotine Watch

Exclusive: Burning Man, a utopia for guests, was hell for many workers Salon

Pope To US Church: You’re On Your Own The American Conservative. No Cardinals or Bishops get the axe. Who’s running the show, there? Eric Holder?

What happens when a #MeToo victim like Asia Argento is the accused? Guardian

Class Warfare

Having the Hard Conversations Jacobin. Important.

Construction workers are uniquely at risk for heroin overdoses, study finds Philadelphia Inquirer

The Student Debt Problem Is Worse Than We Imagined NYT

A Leader in the War on Poverty Opens a New Front: Pollution NYT. William Barber.

The Nastiest Feud in Science The Atlantic

An Ancient Antibacterial Technique Might Hold the Key to Future Wound Treatment Futurism (DL) (original).

Many Analysts, One Data Set: Making Transparent How Variations in Analytic Choices Affect Results Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science

The macho sperm myth Aeon (CL).

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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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. Wukchumni

    Florida Candidate: My Alien Abduction Does Not Define Me Jonathan Turley (CB).
    I was abducted by aliens who took me to their space, chips y salsa served in a saucer.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Now here is a coincidence. Just a few days ago I happened to catch up with a 1994 episode of “Frasier” on the telly which involved him supporting a political candidate. Here are the highlights-

      And I see that tonight’s Antidote du jour has an image of the latest Australian Prime Minister – another great galah!

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      The first comment below that article is great!:

      Delusions of grandeur? We need more of that in Congress? Are you sure she’s running for Congress on earth? Does she print the Herald newspaper in her basement? She need more makeup………………..NOT! -Joseph Jones

  2. fresno dan

    Florida Candidate: My Alien Abduction Does Not Define Me Jonathan Turley (CB).

    Rodriguez Aguilera claims that at age seven she was captured by aliens and taken up to a spaceship. She describes the aliens as blond beings who strangely resembled the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. So these nordic Christ figures explained that the “center of the world’s energy is Africa.”
    So….my first thought is that this is just like Sputnik and we have a technology gap with Central America because all you ever hear about are those aliens – and now they have advanced spacecraft!
    But: “She describes the aliens as blond beings…”
    Norwegians!!! When we lose to Norwegians, we have to give up our “We’re number one!” and hang our heads in shame. And a wall won’t do it, we need a dome!!! And the Norwegians have to pay for it.

    1. Westcoastdeplorable

      According to well-respected scientists who have studied the issue, perhaps as many as 1/3 of the population of Earth have had encounters with “aliens”. Even Carl Sagan who was not a supporter of the “alien hypothesis” calculated that Earth has been visited by perhaps 1,000 different “alien” civilizations over the years, and that perhaps “Radio” is not the appropriate way to protect them.
      I don’t know this woman or anything about her case. But I can tell you of an abduction which happened in Brooklyn where a woman was take from her apartment to a waiting craft floating above the building; witnessed by many who have come forward, including the then secretary general of the UN and his two bodyguards.
      So maybe we should give this woman a break since this is happening now and has happened for decades if not longer.

        1. Wukchumni

          Seeing as said aliens landed near Wall*Street, may they have uttered:

          “Lead me to your takers.”

  3. allan

    The right wing, of the Church and probably elsewhere, comes gunning for Francis:

    Former top Vatican official calls on Pope to resign amid abuse crisis [Reuters]

    Even Reuters can’t help noting that

    … Vigano’s letter railed against “homosexual networks present in the Church” — the word “homosexual” appears 18 times, while the word “child” appears only twice, in both cases in the titles of Church documents Vigano sites. …

    Sounds nice. File under Never Let a Crisis Go To Waste.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Does Pope Francis still agree with that statement? If not, then he has learned something.

        Replace Pope Francis? With what? A leader of the Kiddie Rapist Conspiracy? Because that’s what will happen.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          In the last conclave, every Cardinal had been selected by John Paul II and Ratzinger (Peas in a pod), and we aren’t in a place where these Cardinals are the representatives of the king and under local control.

          To me this represents a fatal flaw in the Catholic Church that it once didn’t have due to not having inherited positions. There was always some good somewhere that could address problems or be brought in. Its now the John Paul II party everywhere, and the people who might have made greater efforts have secular outlets these last few centuries or less depending on location.

    1. EoH

      The Church’s sexual predator problem predates the day Francis first wore a cassock. Its predators have supporters low and high, lay and clerical. Their reasons are as varied as the conjugations of a Latin verb. Their power is considerable.

      But by all means, let’s blame the guy who diagnosed the problem, who has no ready cure – the readiest are as problematic inside the Church as sexual predation – but who is working harder to find one than any predecessor.

      And what of his opponents, the legions who excuse the Church for actively supporting sexual predators, because, well, authority must remain sacrosanct, it costs too much, it makes recruitment to the ranks too hard, or because God forgives her greatest sinners first – and seems frequently to ignore those most sinned against.

      Other large institutions have parallels. The French Army and Dreyfus come to mind. The army could not apologize or pay recompense for an antisemitic miscarriage of justice. No matter the extent of the pox, France must remain unblemished. So, too, then must its army.

      Its generals fought modernity as much as they fought the Germans. They sent their men into combat wearing red trousers. It lost a generation for want of a military strategy; it relied instead on, de l’audace, encore de l’audace, et toujours de l’audace.

      It would seem more productive to undercut those who oppose Francis’s reforms than to call for his resignation. In a defensive mood, the cardinals are likely to replace him with another Ratzinger, who would set back reform another generation.

      1. Shane Mage

        “The Church’s sexual predator problem predates the day Francis first wore a cassock” Indeed . From the day that the first priest to say mass played with the first altar boy that problem has been ongoing, affecting countless millions of the faithful (virtually none of whom ever complained until quite recently–inspired no doubt by the McMartin preschool scandal).

        1. JBird

          The McMartin preschool scandal? That was a part of the 80s school/daycare sex abuse insanity in which few, if any of the alleged crimes actually happened; I would think the recent Hollywood, Weinstein scandal, and the #MeToo movement are more applicable.

          There some are serious points to be noted. The relatively poor, unconnected, non-influential (aside from the children in their care) and powerless alleged child rapists in the preschool, daycare, and (I think) kindergarten scandals not only were tried, often convicted, and spent years, even decades in prison for sins that they often did not commit, but also was based on frequently really sketchy evidence, whereas the wealthy, connect, influential, and powerful were rarely, if ever, even tried, let alone convicted and sentenced, even though the evidence is often overwhelming.

          The former group was destroyed not only do to sincere, albeit insane, belief in their guilt, but also for political and career advancement of a number of prosecutors, experts, and quite possible some of the police. The latter, the Good People, were protected not only do to sincere, albeit misguided, belief, but also for the political and career advancement of people in the church, entertainment, and the government. There is the further evil of a few people trying to protect the innocent and expose the guilty in both examples being threaten with ruin or at least some consequences, if they continued.

          Money, power, corruption used to destroy the innocent and protect the evil with religious teachings, oaths of office, morality, ethics, simple human decency be damned.

          1. Spring Texan

            Thanks, JBird, it’s obscene to bring up McMartin preschool scandal in this context because bogus episodes of child abuse are not like real ones, but is a reminder that yes indeed there were lots of prosecutors who jumped on that satanic ritual abuse bandwagon, and that innocent people such as in Travis County Fran and Dan Keller had their lives ruined:

            I’d love to get rid of priestly celibacy and power which would do a LOT about the problems. I’m also enthusiastic about deposing bishops and cardinals when appropriate. I’m far more skeptical about changing statutes of limitations and of trials long after the fact because of potential problems with that and with the fact that yes sketchy evidence is fine if prosecutors are out to get people, and that it won’t usually be the powerful and sometimes won’t be anyone guilty who can end up suffering. There were and are some good reasons for statutes of limitations.

      2. Unna

        Sing Oh Goddess, the wrath of the Conservatives, Prelates of Pius XII,
        Ruinous Wrath that brought down countless sorrows upon the Catholics,
        And sent many valiant souls of priests to Hades,
        Leaving their bodies as spoil for Prosecutors, Liberals,
        And other dogs and feasting birds lonely flying:
        For thus was the will of Zeus brought neigh to fulfillment,
        When there stood parted in quarrel asunder
        Conservatives, Benedict’s sons, and the Francis like Progressives.

        1. Oregoncharles

          I think that’s “nigh,” not “neigh.”

          A remarkable feat of wordcrafting. Based on the beginning of the Iliad?

          1. Unna

            Yes it is the Iliad and thanks. I am really bad with words so thanks for pointing that out and spell check doesn’t help. And I think it should be O and not Oh.

            I certainly don’t want to make fun of the misery of these child victims but I don’t think any of this has anything to do with the kids. I suspect this has only to do with a Vatican power struggle. Both conservatives and now most likely progressives knew about the abuse but no one seems to have been morally aroused enough to stop it. So now the issue of the abuse is being used as a means of attack by one side against the other. The political weaponization of child abuse in a power struggle.

            This sort of reminds me of the Mueller Investigation. Former FBI director is shocked shocked to find Washington and New York political operatives and other all around slime balls have been involved in money laundering and tax evasion. Who could have imagined such a thing. Certainly not Mueller when he was head of the FBI.

            So I’m speechless except to play amusing word games with long dead poems written about other long dead power struggles among elite players.

            1. Unna

              And to think that people are overwhelmed to discover that the Obama of the Church is, well…Obama.

      3. Loneprotester

        You are incorrect. There is a ready cure, and even Benedict was willing to take it. Why isn’t Francis? These bad apples need to be ejected and a culture of accountability (not CYA) established. It’s not rocket science.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Benedict and John Paul II carefully selected the bishops and cardinals to put their puppets in positions of authority versus say local priests who might have made more sense.

          The Richmond (Virginia) Diocese which was virtually untouched by the priest abuse scandal and opened churches when every diocese was closing them was given one of the fixers when the long time Bishop Walter Sullivan (he hated John Paul II; Walter went to Rome when JPII came to the U.S.; he also said Martin Luthor was right; he and my mom hated each other easily my favorite thing about the man) retired/died despite several sensible replacements. The first thing the new Bishop did was demote the woman who was running the diocese and take a priest out of a church to do that job.

          Its not a few bad apples. They just aren’t all rapists, but they will gladly become enablers because they were all vetted and promoted for characteristics that John Paul and Benedict wanted. Garbage in, garbage out.

    2. JP

      Yes but all major MSM stories only bring up cautions about Vigano in the final paragraphs The American Conservative comments section is all theology and everyone seems to miss the point that this pope is trying to redirect the church away from dogma and towards the light. Many catholics are perfectly comfortable with the notion that only they are going to heaven and everyone else is going to hell. The headlines should read “nazi cardinal leads palace revolt to make things just like they were before”.

      1. Loneprotester

        Plus, Pennsylvania is going to be followed up by Illinois, Missouri, and possibly New York.

        The drip, drip is going to be a flood.

        Francis is the Obama of popes; lots of pretty words, not much in the way of action. Time is up.

        1. EoH

          I would give Francis more credit than Obama. No one in seminary named a consensus meter after him.

          Similar problem at the UN. Secretaries General have been consensus candidates since Dag Hammarskjold was murdered investigating the Congo, after the West’s counter-coup, which murdered Patrice Lumumba. Can’t have someone actually leading in a way that the hegemons disfavor.

          The problem with consensus candidates, as you point out, is that they are consensus candidates. But whose consensus?

          In the case of the Church, the consensus seems to be to avoid more than an inch worm’s worth of change. Francis already seems at the outer edge of that envelope. John XXIII annoyed the hell out of it for advocating too much modernity and change.

          There is nothing about equity and social justice that is inconsistent with scripture. In fact, they come from the original script. Those things do annoy a political hierarchy fashioned on imperial Rome’s. So the first house the Church’s leadership needs to clean is its own. They might start by cleansing themselves of some very Roman excess.

  4. kimyo

    the latest contender for the mantle formerly sported by elon musk / elizabeth holmes emerges: Sebastian Thrun: ‘The costs of the air taxi system could be less than an Uber’

    If you’re in Jersey City in the morning and wish to go to Times Square, Manhattan, that might take you more than an hour in traffic. With an electric flying vehicle you could do it in less than two minutes on perhaps 10 cents of energy costs.

    $0.10 for every 2 minutes of flight? even if the cora is not equipped with a/c or heating, that’s a highly dubious claim.

    Driverless ‘air taxi’ being tested in Hollister

    “Cora will use self-flying software combined with human oversight to make flying possible for people without training,” a company statement read. “Cora is powered by the same kind of technology that helps electric cars.”

    let’s reword that a bit, shall we: ‘the cora is powered by the same type of technology that causes teslas to crash into concrete barriers’.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Thrun is far better versed in the use and application of Markov chains than economics. As am I. But that doesn’t seem to deter either of us. :)

    2. FreeMarketApologist

      “If you’re in Jersey City in the morning and wish to go to Times Square, Manhattan, that might take you more than an hour in traffic.”

      Take the d**m subway. PATH train to World Trade Center, change to the uptown 2 or 3, get off at Times square. But that means using mass transit, which these particular bubble-dwellers think exists only for their help.

      (And I’m deeply suspicious of the costs. Any time somebody has an estimate that is a variation of “too cheap to meter“, my BS alarm goes off. — Probably “too cheap to meter, given the public subsidies we’ll be asking for” [c.f. Amazon’s energy usage])

      1. Marley"s dad

        If your wish to get from New Jersey to Times Square is shared by 10,000 or more other people who are going to use a self flying vehicle, the holding pattern for landing at Times Square will rise into the stratosphere. Forget 2 minutes transit time, the battery for your electric flying machine will have to be the size of the battery for a Tesla.

    3. Carolinian

      That Google plane (second link) looks cool. It has little lifter/propulsion motors all over it and is a plane, not a copter.

      1. RMO

        Even a sailplane launched by winch isn’t going to have less than a dime per minute of costs unless it’s a booming day and you take a fairly long flight. I’m actually afraid of in-city point-to-point personal air travel becoming a thing. Imagine what would happen to ground level infrastructure and living conditions if our overlords were suddenly free of the need to ever go there again. Even Immortan Joe gave his subjects a pittance of water but I doubt the western ruling class would be so generous.

        1. Carolinian

          Yes Google’s suggested use for the thing is probably silly but I like their thinking on the design.

    4. Mo's Bike Shop

      And an autogyro in every driveway! Amazing to see that Air Wonder Stories is still publishing. I wish Gernsback and Frank Paul were still doing the coverage.

    5. cj51

      ah to be a billionaire, bubbling with all kinds of pipe dreams that they can actually waste money on.
      dis-closer: I am a pilot and I would never take a ride in a Cora.
      What is the point of self-flying software?
      Save money by not paying a pilot who makes diddly squat to begin with?
      Help develop SkyNet?

  5. Wukchumni

    Exclusive: Burning Man, a utopia for guests, was hell for many workers Salon
    Kind of a hatchet job, that story.

    I know a lot of Burners, and they’re just regular folks, every last one of them, although its always the Silicon cell-ebs et al that continually dominate the conversation, in the way that celebrities get panned in on while seated in a luxury box @ a Superbowl.

    You’d think nobody else was in attendance aside from them?

    For really obsessive Burners, the other 51 weeks of the year in the
    ‘Default World’ is just a run-up to the next Burning Man, and some leave weeks early to volunteer in building the 3rd largest city in the state. The working conditions tend to be on the awful side on site, as the dry lake bed where Burning Man is held is chock full of a rather endless supply of alkali dust, of which in any given day, one can expect hours of dust storms swirling that gets into everything and them some. I know a few that work/worked for BM itself, and they’re more akin to groupies or roadies, total fanbois in that regard. And as far as the suicide rate goes, lets just say these aren’t some of the most stable people you’ll ever meet in some regards, as potent mind expanding drugs are nowhere to be seen, but used extensively by most everyone @ the burn. A good many partake too often all year long, as moderation is a scare word to them.

    1. Dogstar

      Sounds like a frivolous and immature waste of energy and resources, given our current reality.

      “I know the planet is screwed, but we NEED this..”

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        And this distinguishes Burning Man from most summer leisure activities……. exactly how? I just drove across the continent last week. The highways are thronged with RVs. A large percentage of campgrounds are commonly full every night, and motels are, likewise, booked solid across tens of miles of every major highway, every night. Wasting energy and resources is what we do for fun here in the U S of A.

        The value of this piece is in its coverage of the Burning Man organization’s failure to properly compensate the DPW employee who was blinded 3 years ago. And that incident is only covered in last few paragraphs. The first 3/4th of the article focus on the fact that aging druggies commit suicide at far higher rates than the general population, and that many of the top people in the festival organization are slick, breezy, chill…… jerks. However, if you met them on the playa, it would take you about 10 minutes to recognize this, even if you were under the influence. Their big fishes in small pond arrogance and covert money-grubbing are little different than that observed in similar types who control some of our other festival/leisure brands, like NASCAR.

        The Burning Man festival and organization serve as object lessons in the need for decentralization of many things. Specifically, maybe regional Burns are better uses of most Buners time and energy. Maybe ersatz “festivals” in general should be avoided. And maybe most of us are better off spending our time and energy near home, away from big, organized, overly monied extravaganzas of all sorts. However, these things are true regardless of the ‘hippie content’ of the activity. Mainstream leisure/entertainment businesses and franchises make the hippie Burners look like a bunch of choir boys. NFL anyone? World Cup? Olympics? Rife with far greater self-dealing, egotism and money-grubbing, every one.

        1. Jean


          It’s quite revealing when we see shiny new RV after RV, towing trailer after trailer of ski boats, All Terrrain Vehicles and in between them an Armada of Denalis, *Denials*, yeah, car brands…

          I remember the 1970s oil shocks, 2001, 2007 and wonder how many of those RVs, driven by fresh faced young ‘uns today, if actually paid for, will be moribund housing for homeless people in a decade, stunned by the Invisible Hand made into a fist?

          Perhaps groaf will just continue forever?

      2. Lobsterman

        It’s bad to get together with your friends, share art, and experiment with ways to run society differently while recharging your batteries?


      1. Wukchumni

        We took our then 8 year old nephew and his dad to a Chargers-Bills game about 5 years ago, and one of the teams was destined to break even on the season, as both were sporting 6-7 records, er going nowhere fast.

        Tickets that gave us more of a view of the SD cheerleaders than the actual game itself, were $150 a piece.

        This was when the MIC was paying off NFL teams to allow their dog & pony shows before the contest, and the field had a garrison feel to it with soldiers milling about in uniform, and a flyover with a couple of jets, that would’ve been something you would’ve expected to glimpse @ a 1978 Superbowl, not a meaningless late season game of absolutely no consequence.

        1. Bugs Bunny

          Wuk, you just made the point; regular folks don’t get to go to NFL games anymore. Heck, I wanted to see a baseball game last time I was in the US and even that was too much to justify. I went to a sports bar and watched it there, necking some good beer. I imagine that’s pretty much how regular people entertain themselves these days (on a good day) and I am a pretty decently paid professional…

          1. Wukchumni

            I was told the going rate for a Bud-Lite was $12 @ a SoCal MLB game, and i’m right near the average age (57) of last year’s World Series viewers and i’ve yet to watch an entire baseball game this season, and have caught a few snippets totaling perhaps 5 innings altogether on the telly.

            I’ll get interested when the playoffs start, and will watch about 1/4 of the games played in the postseason.

            I suspect most 57 year old ‘fans’ have a similar schedule to mine, or as a German friend termed an MLB game that to him was cleverly designed torture one had to pay for:

            “Toten Hosen”

              1. JTMcPhee

                In the early 2000s, the New York carpetbaggers who own the MLB Tampa Bay franchise ran a scam to get the public to build them a stupid new outdoor stadium (in Tampa Bay, remember) Now they are getting nearly a billion dollars of public money to build a new “world class” stadium, even though history proves there’s not even close to enough fan interest here to fill the place.

                In prior forays in this effort that ran aground on the shoals of the global financial collapse, one of them said this about baseball stadiums, especially the one they were trying to get Pinellas County taxpayers and the State of Florida to pay for:

                “This stadium will be for the rich to go and be seen. Ordinary people can stay home and watch on TV.”

                I say to you what I said to a lot of people who also “like baseball:” If you like it so much, get together with your fellow mostly comfortable fans who actually go to games, and the business leaders who want a place to entertain and schmooze each other and captive politicians, and pony up the money to buy your team’s owners that wonderful new stadium. The owners won’t be putting much, if any, of their billions into the kitty.

                And do not dare demand that the rest of us, who both don’t give a toot about baseball (and vote our preference by daring not to set foot in the stadiums, despite being told by the team owners that it is our DUTY to support the local team) and are already drowning in paying for wealth transfers to rich sh!ts who scorn us from their Skyboxes and $300 special seats, and don’t mind paying $15 for a watered beer and $10 or $12 for a puny desiccated hotdog.

        2. Procopius

          I’ve never been much interested in sports. Never have gone to a baseball game that I had to pay to get in. I’d like to find out what percentage of the country go to more than one professional game a year. Those are people who have no business complaining about their student debt or stagnating wages.

      2. Lord Koos

        That’s not much more costly that the price of a rock concert ticket these days, and plenty of “regular” people go to those.

        1. jrs

          or Disneyland/World, and it’s usually more than that. Sure you go there more often if you are in those parts of the country, although many families fly for it. It’s more a middle class thing.

          And then there is the cost of cable, which can easily be that in a month or two. Sure cord cutting is a thing, but it doesn’t mean plenty of people don’t still have cable.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Per day, not including parking, food, accommodations and all the crap made-in-China branded merchandise you can carry…

          1. anon

            Thank you, I can’t remember the last time I thought a concert was at an affordable price for the average person, or family.

            The last time I considered going to one was around 2013, on a National Holiday™ – I think it was a Labor Day concert — in a Publicly Owned™ Local Park [1]. That Local Park should have made sure to first affordably accommodate all residents and their kids. But nope, when I looked up the pricing, the concert was something like minimum of over $90 per adult — with special gated and chaired seating for the elite crowd who paid even more — and the kids weren’t let in free unless they were in someone’s lap.

            I came away with the horrid sense that, increasingly, average single people, couples, and families with kids are being shamed into spending money they do not have extra (which will then put them deeper into debt holes) in order to celebrate National Holidays™ so they, and their children (if they can even afford to have them) aren’t psychologically crippled.

            Then again, Wukchumni [2] and Lord Koos, clearly have a different concept of regular people than being ‘the average person,‘ perhaps some of us are irregular?

            [1] If I recollect properly, someone at this website made a comment, a short while ago, implying that Local Governments were loaded with the worst aholes running them. I happen to agree with that, its certainly been my experience where I’ve lived for over a decade.

            [2] Whose postings have indicated someone able to early retire well before retirement age, or someone considered ‘unretired’ while they continuously go on days long camping trips while someone tends their apple orchard and multiple properties — neither of which seem regular, or average, to me — but apparently I’ve missed something.

            1. Bugs Bunny

              I’ve noticed the same and wondered why this person leaves such resentment building comments. Do they not realize what the average working person lives through? And to call the Salon article about lower class people clearly abused by the upper class Burning Man management a “hit piece” was a bridge too far. La gauche caviar merci mais non.

              1. anon

                I’ve noticed the same and wondered why this person leaves such resentment building comments.

                Indeed, dear, and you and I aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed it, and been emotionally and psychologically blindsided by it.

                1. ambrit

                  I’m in that number. However, I’ll cut Wuk some slack.
                  Wuk is useful in that he fulfills several necessary functions in any forum aspiring to ‘full inclusiveness.’
                  First, he shows the mindset to be encountered among the “lucky ones” of our culture. I see it as not being malicious, but subconscious. That I will be put upon to deal with his apparent ‘elite’ status is more a measure of my own resentments and (socially programmed) feelings of inferiority. One of the biggest social control successes the present system has managed is to have convinced the mass of humanity that they are not ‘good enough’ being ordinary. Further social manipulations follow on from this.
                  Second, he engenders hope for the future in that he displays the ability to view general problems as such, general. People here have argued that the main hope for substantive reform lies in splits within the ruling elites. Wuk chose to drop out of the rat race when he had reached some level of wealth. This demonstrates an understanding of limits. Too many of the ‘Masters of the Financiverse’ know no such restraints and continue on the paths of acquisition and maleficence to their dying days.
                  So, even if he rubs some of us the wrong way, Wuk is still welcome in my world.
                  (I’m not even going to try to unpack the psychology of the above until after my nightly drink.)

      3. ArcadiaMommy

        Exactly. BC, my husband went a few times with some of his more right wing friends. They loved it, but it was basically a time for them to dress up in goofy outfits and get high as kites for a few days. The ladies lingerie department at Walmart took a big hit in their plus size lingerie inventory.
        They also destroyed my new car with all the dust and filth. No idea what the attraction to this event is.

  6. dcblogger

    In 2020 there will be two Democratic candidates for President, Bernie and Not Bernie. It might start with a dozen candidates, but after Super Tuesday it will be down to 2 candidates. The others will not be able to raise the money to sustain them until the convention.

    It might be Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, and Someone Else, but it will not be a dozen candidates after Super Tuesday.

    Watch the endorsement primary, how many people actually want Eric Holder or Biden to campaign for them?

    1. dogg

      I think Bernie’s age will become an issue. He will be 78-79. (Trump will be 74-75, which is not young either.) I expect many candidates will try to position them as Bernie’s spiritual successor, but few if any will have the track record to support that. Kamala Harris has made moves to coopt some of Sander’s positions, but her track record suggests she is more in line with Obama on policy and temperament.

      1. Octopii

        I like Bernie but he’s too old. It is a shame that there seems to be nobody coming up who walks the walk the way Bernie has for decades.

        1. Wukchumni

          We go over potential candidates with a fine-tooth comb looking for flaws and find none, and then end up with some of the most flawed examples of humanity leading us down the primrose path of politics.

        2. Lord Koos

          Perhaps Bernie is looking for a younger person to take on what he’s started, and then either endorse them or perhaps run with them on the ticket as V.P. (or the other way around).

        3. Darius

          OK. So then what? Kamala Harris? Bernie could be 109 if he has the right program. The status quo is going to throw the kitchen sink at him but they would do the same to anyone of any age who advocates positive change. Look at Corbyn in the UK.

      2. WheresOurTeddy

        Kamala Harris is a neoliberal private prison advocate. She’s closer to Bernie Madoff than Bernie Sanders

        1. dogg

          Oh, I fully agree. I had meant that Harris is trying to falsely position herself as Bernie’s successor. One example is her claimed support of Medicare for All

          Yet when the California legislature was considering single payer legislation, her and the rest of the California Democrat Party leaders lent no support and let the bill get silently killed through procedural maneuvers without a vote.

        2. Lorenzo

          That was the comment of the day! I almost choked on my sandwich from the involuntary chuckle.

      3. Jean


        Kamala’s track record consists of choosing the right parents for a category check off fest, giving herself, body and soul to the main Democratic stalwart, Willie Brown, assemblyman, S.F. mayor and later Speaker of the California state legislature, in spite of annoyances like his being married for decades, and most importantly of all, serving as a totem for every kind of shallow knee-jerk race-based SJW identity politic.

        As to co-opting, I’d say it’s more like Eric Holder than Obama:

        “Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is defending a decision she made as California’s attorney general not to charge President-elect Donald Trump Treasury secretary nominee with violating state foreclosure laws.

        Steven Mnuchin, from 2009 to 2015, ran OneWest, a California-based bank, where he oversaw more than 36,000 foreclosures. Harris was California’s attorney general from 2011 to 2017, when she joined the Senate.

        A 2013 internal memo from the California attorney general’s office, first published by The Intercept, alleged Mnuchin violated state foreclosure laws and recommended filing charges against him. The memo, the result of a yearlong investigation, claims Mnuchin violated notice and waiting period laws, manipulated legal documents and rigged foreclosure auctions, but Harris declined to charge him.”

        Later Mnuchin, a Republican, donated money to her campaign.

      4. John k

        IMO most will conclude as I do that it’s better to have an old guy past his prime with the right policies than a younger in the prime person with the wrong ones.

        Besides, too old for who? Its the young uns that pack the venues to hear him speak, wouldn’t you think the young would be most concerned on this issue? It’s the old guard that will be most loudly moaning about his age. Who says that clinton or Biden is too old?

        IMO he is next pres if his health holds.

        1. Felix_47

          He has to stick to his truth. When asked if he believed in open borders his response was. “No. That is a Koch brother’s idea. That would mean no country.” But that was before the last campaign. He seemed to pander to the open border people in the campaign. If he does that again and abandons the concept of a social safety net (which requires a controlled border) it is Trump one more time. I hope Sanders figures that out. Sahra Wagenknecht of the Linke in Germany figured that out and often quotes Bernie.

        2. Spring Texan

          He’s the best person for next president and could win, but there will be a ton of people and interests fighting to prevent his candidacy. He *is* too old in my opinion, but absolutely it’s better to have an old, trustworthy guy with the right policies than some fake younger person you can’t trust an inch.

          He does have amazing energy and really lives up to the “Energizer Bernie” tag!

          I would love to see a Warren/Sanders or Sanders/Warren ticket either way because although their policies are not the same and mine are closer to Sanders than to Warren, they are both trustworthy people who are not going to sell out to bankers and that is very rare! And both care about ordinary people and do NOT care if they are in the “in crowd.”

          Of course, either, if elected, would be fought tooth and nail and would have hordes of people trying to prevent them from being effective, but that would still be a step forward to have those battles to fight.

          The comparison to Jeremy Corbyn is apt, every lie is slung at Jeremy Corbyn and the same will happen to Bernie, but they are both fine people.

      5. drumlin woodchuckles

        Bernie’s age won’t be an issue to me. I will take a careful look at anyone who tries to make Bernie’s age an issue. I will sniff them for traces of Clintonosis.

    2. emorej a hong kong

      after Super Tuesday it will be down to 2 candidates.

      That certainly was true before the new rule that “super-delegates can vote in round 2”. This rule could easily change the game, by making the top priority to keep Bernie below 50%+1 delegates in first round. Remember the tag-team resistance to Jimmy Carter’s candidacy in 1976? Part of it was “native sons”. IIRC Frank Church won his home state.

      Most obviously, for so long as a Warren candidacy can peel off even a handful of delegates who would otherwise go to Bernie, then her continued campaigning would be useful to the anybody-but-Bernie campaign.

      The same is true for a Biden candidacy, and of course a Kamala Harris candidacy.

      To complete their line-up of peeling-off vehicles, they only need one to target Latinx voters (exhume Bill Richardson?) and one to target Jewish voters (Ben Cardin might like to go national to escape the Maryland insurgency led by Ben Jealous).

      They could supercharge this strategy by lowering the vote percentage necessary to obtain any delegates in a primary. This might be far enough down in the inside-baseball weeds for them to get away with it.

      1. johnnygl

        So….we’re looking at the repub party strategy of 2016 primaries, again?

        For those who would try to force a ‘no mandate’ by division of votes among a dozen candidates, the problem is that voters 1) want to win and 2) because of ‘unity’ among voters (not among elites) they tend to gravitate towards the front runner, especially when it’s clear the party strategy is one of disruption.

        Do recall how trump surged when there was talk of coordination between cruz and kasich. Also, rubio and jebbie couldn’t pull their own weight in their home state of FL, which helped cripple the never-trumpers.

        1. Bridget

          I think that you are exactly right about the “no mandate” strategy of the 2016 Republican strategy, and that JEB! was the intended anointed one. If you were looking for it, you could see the strategy and manipulation unfolding with each primary contest. And it was the voters who ultimately defeated the strategy, but I’m not so sure it would have happened but for Donald Trump.
          Interesting thought that the powers that be in the Democratic Party, stripped of their super delegate status, might concoct a similar strategy to predetermine 2020.

        1. Mel

          Probably a spelling mistake. I think they meant “Latinə”.

          Yeah, I understand the derivation from a math-y “x is a variable” principle, but phonetically it’s just wrong.

    3. Bugs Bunny

      I’m wondering aloud: what if Trump makes it through his term (pretty likely) and then doesn’t run again but backs someone else? It might give him even more attention than being president.

    4. Hepativore

      Bernie 2020 will only be a possibility if the Democratic party leaders do not find a way to sabotage him in the primaries and even if he manages to make it to the general election, you can bet that there is no way that the Democratic party is every going to let him win. The Democratic party would rather lose to a Republican than ever let a candidate like Sanders become president as both parties are often funded by the same big name donors. The fact that the Democrats just put Hillary Clinton in charge of fundraising considering how unpopular she is in average opinion polls shows that the Democratic party leadership has learned absolutely nothing and remains completely unrepentant about 2016.

      Besides, if Trump wins again in 2020 the Democrats can keep beating the dead horse of Russia-hysteria in the hope that it will be a distraction from policy issues or internal reform.

      1. dcblogger

        the fishwives are never welcomed into the palace grounds. it is up to Bernie and his supporters to knock over whatever barriers are place in our path.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        If the Clintonite Obamacrat Party wants to rig Sanders out of the nomination yet again, let them do so in the full light of day. Let the nation smell them for what they truly are.

  7. dcblogger

    Bernie proposed legislation to force Amazon, Walmart, et al, to cover the cost of all the benefits their employees receive is brilliant political theater, and that is what it is, political theater. Bernie is focusing public anger up. Bernie is demonstrating the billionaires are the cause of our problems.

    1. macnamichomhairle

      Bernie has been focusing on and doing things about this kind of issue as an elected official for almost 30 years.
      Is that political theater?
      I also don’t see how it is blaming billionaires for all our problems.

      1. dcblogger

        In the past Bernie attached his legislation in the form of amendments, and must more modest stuff. Now he is putting stuff on the table, shoving the Overton window to the left. That is the purpose of political theater, to define the terms of debate. The kleptocracy is not responsible for ALL our problems, only most of them.

        1. JCC

          People that were paying attention knew who he was.

          Unfortunately politics is like ML Baseball in the US, most don’t pay attention, as mentioned above, until the playoffs start.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Lol reminds me of Hamlet- ‘The Play’s the Thing that will Catch the Conscience of the King.’

    2. Spring Texan

      I agree, dcblogger. That’s what’s going on and it’s brilliant.

      Not a real plan like his Medicare plan — and that’s absolutely fine. But it’s helpful in getting people angry at the right people . . . those who don’t want workers paid a living wage.

  8. Wukchumni

    Of all the shitty apples, Red Delicious is paramount in that regard.

    If it went away, what other sort of mealy orb would replace it?

    An amazing apple now just coming onto the marketplace is called ‘SnapDragon’, and it somewhat resembles a Red Delicious in looks, but tastes more like a Honeycrisp, albeit a bit crisper, if that is possible.

    I noticed an apple tree in blossom @ around 6,000 feet on Mineral King Road in Sequoia NP this spring, and if it hadn’t been expecting, i’d have never known the scraggly tree was there.

    It’s got a crop of about 100 crab apples, none of which are lower than about 10 feet from reach, and no bigger than a gumball you’d procure for a quarter from a coin machine in a supermarket. I’d guestimate the tree is well over a century old.

      1. Wukchumni

        A well known starship captain has a ranch in town here, although he’s very seldom seen, and when we had our black bear invasion in the fall of 2015, here’s what went down in regards to his apple orchard:

        There’s no doubt a bear invasion is afoot in this town of 2,200 that is home to an eclectic mix of park employees, cattle ranchers, hippies, yuppies and artists. It is also a retreat for Hollywood types that include Anjelica Huston and William Shatner.

        They did a number on the apple orchard at Shatner’s Belle Reve ranch, said caretaker Sal Natoli…

        The trees look “just like Venus de Milo,” the armless ancient Greek statue, Natoli said.

      2. Wukchumni


        I’m going to plant 6 of these next year:

        The Harrison cider apple is one of the most famous 18th-century American cider apples, primarily used for the production of apple cider. Grown in New Jersey before and after the American Revolution, it became obsolete by the 20th century.

        The Harrison cider apple was considered lost until it was recovered in Livingston, New Jersey at an old cider mill in September 1976.

        1. JCC

          These people are about 10 miles from my home in NY and have really nice orchards with Harrisons.

          If I could figure out a way to grow a couple of Harrison Cider Apple Trees and a Mac or two, east of the Sierras here in the Mojave, these would be my Go-To people (I’m working on it – there’s a small Orchard on the southern end of Death Valley, so it could be done in the past, and maybe still).

          1. Wukchumni

            I figure Harrisons won’t be easy to grow, so i’m allowing for some casualties to happen, ha!

            Any idea in that new orchard off of Hwy 395 just past the Ridgecrest turnoff, what it consists of?

            There must be a few thousand trees, and it was a bit of a shock to see it earlier this winter, all of the sudden.

            We stopped @ the Manzinar Relocation Camp NM last year, and until Mulholland et al drained out Owens Valley, there were quite a few thousand apple trees in the general area of where the camp is, that were planted in the 19th century or thereabouts.

        1. RMO

          And the tangier the better. The one and only time the tree we had at our old house produced apples they were small but they were the best, tangiest Macs I have ever tasted.

      3. Craig H.

        At my old grocery store they had a big poster in the produce section which rated all the apple varieties on a sweet -> tart scale. Granny Smith is the tart end member. Since the day I saw the chart I have been a Granny Smith enthusiast.

        It was like this one.

    1. perpetualWAR

      Actually, the best apple I’ve ever tasted is “Smitten.” It is the newest release from the people who released Honeycrisp. Smitten allows you to cook with it without additional sugar. It keeps its crispness for weeks. Exceptional!

      1. beth

        All of the newer apples that are coming out in recent years seem to be sweeter and sweeter. I like Braeburn. I also like Rome apples. Both are harder to find now as tastes change.

        There is more sugar in everything now if you don’t cook at home. In liking vegetables, I am going against the grain. I get almost all of my sugar through fruit so even milk tastes sweet and it is with 12 grams. I bought a prepared meat dish recently and the sugar taste was very present.

        1. perpetualWAR

          I liked Braeburn too until I had a Pink Lady…..but Smitten is by far the tastiest apple yet!

          1. beth

            I love Braeburn but recently they have not had as much flavor, maybe because it is the end of the season(Oct-April). I have tried Smitten but not Pink Lady. What I am shooting for is slightly sweet with some tartness.

    2. Eclair

      Here in Chautauqua County, New York, there are probably 1,000 apple trees within a one mile radius of our house. They are on the borders of old pastures that have been left to re-wild, in the yards of decaying farmhouses, and some, I think, were actually small orchards. Some people have taken to planting new trees, that must be carefully fenced in to protect them from the hoards of deer who are swarming over the land (where are the wolves when you need ’em?). We have two neighborhood black bears, with cubs, so they must be busy storing winter fat.

      This is a banner year for apples, due, I am told by the local farmers, to a May without a frost. So all the trees, loaded down with fruit, are highly visible as we drive or walk along the back roads. The ones along the creek at the bottom of our road have started to fall and are fermenting. The cidery fumes are heady enough to cause inebriation by sniffing.

      1. barrisj

        And let us not forget the legendary Gravenstein, at one time grown copiously round Petaluma, CA…seasonal, not for winter storage, and always a marvelous treat to eat. Sadly, many orchards plowed under for replanting with wine-grape varietals, or building houses and the ubiquitous malls.

        1. Wukchumni

          Have a Red Gravenstein and so far the apples have been bleh, not sure they can take the 100 days of 100 degrees.

        2. jonboinAR

          When I was a small child in Mendocino County (60’s) they grew Gravensteins, made great cider. Went back, it was, indeed, all vineyards.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        I remember reading that some of the Indian Nations used to fire-manage huge land-areas as open-air deer gardens. They would hold periodic deer roundups/ dear kill and butchery sessions. The meat would be distributed among all the community members.

        Perhaps the Chautauqua County people could do the same with their deer today, and divide up the harvested meat. Turning the deer from a problem to a resource.

        1. Mel

          Interesting book The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing.
          It’s a theoretical description of the supply chain from mycelium to plate of Matsutake mushrooms, without dissociating the description from the ecologies and societies that implement and support the supply. A take-away is that people have been messing with the environment for as long as there have been people; we’re faced with good choices and bad choices, but we won’t avoid choices, no matter what.

    3. Inode_buddha

      I can highly recommend upstate NY Cortland apples. Small, absolutely snow-white inside, crisp and sweet.

    4. Spring Texan

      Wow, I’ll have to try Snapdragon.

      Agree about red delicious, it is indeed mealy and just not in any way worth eating.

      1. KLG

        John McCain graduated something like fifth from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy. Because he was the son and grandson of Admirals (4-stars) he was “selected” for aviator school. The rest is a history predetermined by this simple fact.

        1. Darius

          As I said last night, I think McCain would have been more Keynesian than the timid Obama and thus a more successful president. Still a hot mess, though.

    1. Pat

      Main stream media as well.

      While I would not go out of my way to piss on his grave, good riddance to bad rubbish.

      One of the things that will make me know America has come to its senses is when the McCain’s reputation is in the trash bin of evil and damaging where it belongs. Unfortunately since George W. Bush’s is on the upswing that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

          1. Shane Mage

            A certain corporal originally named Schickelgruber was an authentic war hero, unlike his fanboy McCain.

        1. Plenue

          He bombed villages in an illegal and immoral war. He wasn’t a ‘war hero’ (as if such a thing exists to begin with).

        1. Plenue

          I have no doubt McCain was a douchebag, but I’m very dubious of the credibility of that article. It claims that McCain admitted to being a war criminal on 60 Minutes, but ignores that this was in the context of what McCain claims was a coerced confession.

          I also don’t find the supposed war stories of Valentine’s father credible. A sergeant executing a lieutenant with the full knowledge of the men and just getting away with it? Not likely. The Japanese dropped ‘concussion grenades’ on a patrol? Flashbangs weren’t invented until the 1970s. Note that none of this undermines the core point he’s making that as a pampered flyboy McCain had little knowledge of what real war is like, a point I agree with.

    2. perpetualWAR

      How about McCain on-the-take in the S&L crisis? I continue to be amazed that McCain was able to bury Keating 5 label. He was political sludge.

    3. Olga

      Funny, this; “US president Donald Trump hasn’t been invited to John McCain’s funeral at Washington’s National Cathedral, The New York Times reported on Saturday.”

      Also, Pat Lang weighs in on the passing (and he is a military man):

      ” In a short but to-the-point piece. Sputnik summarizes McCain’s extreme Russophobia and his love for the Nazi regime in Kiev. Vladimir Putin was being charitable when, as Sputnik recounts, he told Oliver Stone that McCain was a patriot, but one who couldn’t accept that the world had changed. “People with such convictions, like the Senator you mentioned, they still live in the Old World,” Putin said. “And they’re reluctant to look into the future, they are unwilling to recognize how fast the world is changing.” That Putin was able to say that says more about his genuine humanity than it does about McCain, who gave up whatever humanity he had a long time ago. Anyone fighting for a genuine peace in the world will not mourn the passing of John McCain.”

    4. Elizabeth Burton

      He was awful, but that doesn’t mean his family doesn’t mourn him. Yes, the sudden flood of admiration and, in some cases, worship fails to reflect reality, but trashing him at this point is cruel. The desire here to do so is disturbing, given the usual tone is at least polite and reasonable.

      Save the snark and expressions of disgust for next month.

      1. Pat

        I would be fine with that if only today was not filled with glowing tributes to the man. A simple obituary and the truth could wait. Unfortunately, the damage will not be mitigated by an article or two in a month pointing out that McCain was an abysmal public servant with hideous judgment and little respect for others outside his circle.
        I feel for his family, grief is grief. The well-being of our society and this country trumps that for me.

        1. Plenue

          Given the anecdotes about how he treated his staffers and even his own wife, I not think he had much respect even for people in his close circle.

      2. Olga

        You may want to read this then – Margaret Thatcher and misapplied death etiquette Glenn Greenwald, Guardian. From 2013, still germane. (today’s links)
        Unfortunately, his misdeeds did too much damage to the world to adhere to false politeness…

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Save the snark and expressions of disgust for next month.

        First, see Glenn Greenwald on Maggie Thatcher. He’s directly on point, here, which is why I posted it.

        Second, do you really think the discourse policing will stop after a month? Given that the Democrat strategy is to appeal to suburban Republicans, I’d day it will continue through November, at least. And the hagiography and sentimentality is just bad history, besides being grotesque.

      4. The Rev Kev

        I understand what you are saying and I used to think that way once but no longer. When Margaret Thatcher died the UK establishment tried to turn the occasion into the celebration of an ideological hero. The people that lived through the devastation and impoverishment of their communities felt different and when her coffin went by sang ‘Ding, dong. The witch is dead’. Disrespectful? Yes. But that was OK as Maggie hated them when she was still alive so it worked out even.
        Let me tell you a true story. There is a town in outback Australia where the custom was that when the funeral car left the service to go to the funeral it passed by the local pub. If people went out to the verandah and raised their beers to the late departed the car would make another circle of the town to go by that pub again and this would continue until there were no longer people coming out to the verandah. A popular and respected person would have the funeral car make circuit after circuit but if that person had been a b- in their life, then the funeral car would leave the parlour, go by the pub with no-one there and be whipped straight up to the cemetery.

      5. integer

        Do NOT Let Them Make A Saint Of This Asshole Caitlin Johnstone Medium

        If you want to see a world with more and more John McCains, with more and more US wars of aggression and regime change interventionism, then by all means play right along with his public beatification. If you want to see a world where neoconservative war whores are treated with the revulsion, disdain and rejection they deserve, then now is your chance to help create that world. Refuse to be shamed and guilted into polite silence and move in the exact opposite direction from where the establishment shepherds are herding you.

      6. drumlin woodchuckles

        Your advice feels right and humane. But here is the problem . . . if the McCain record and legacy is not truthfully analyzed and discussed while many people are paying attention, the “revere McCain” crowd will move on to their longer range goal , which is trying to get people to “support McCainism”.
        And “McCainism” should not be supported.

      7. freedomny

        Immorality should NEVER be celebrated. Besides….criticizing him now is the more polite thing to do as we can be reasonably assured his feelings won’t be hurt.

    5. Edward E

      The warmongers have taken part in the biggest US mistake ever… pushing enemies and allies together to take a shot at the dollar, they helped shock Russia and China to get together. Kissinger warned about that. The world is a changing…thanks to them

  9. Wukchumni

    We in the Palinstinian Movement credit McCain with allowing the evangs to worm their way into the political picture.

    He realized the awful mistake he made posthaste, but the damage was done, and an odd ‘prosperity-gospel-theocracy’ in charge of things, will be his legacy.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “What Happened at Camp Lejeune”

    I am willing to bet that the military officers that made those decisions about base pollution knew exactly what was happening. But that they made sure that the consequences did not come up until those events were long past in their military careers – if they were still in it that is. Or they tried to make sure that the consequences fell to people that were of not much consequence.
    A case in point. The RAAF used to fly F-111s and thousands of their personnel over the years were tasked with fixing leaks inside the fuel tanks by climbing inside. Turns out the toxic chemicals led to spikes in cancer rates and a national scandal ensued. One Australian officer asked a US Air Force officer how they dealt with the problem as they also flew F-111s. He was told that they just got Mexican contractors to go inside the fuel tanks for that sort of work.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      One reason militaries can be very reluctant to give up bases long after become superfluous is precisely the worry of what will be found. Just as an example, after WWII vast amounts of stored mustard gas was simply thrown into pits on air bases in the UK and incinerated and covered over.

      1. Lord Koos

        It is seldom mentioned that the US military continues to be one of the biggest polluters on the planet, in war and peace, at home and abroad.

    2. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

      In how many ways is militarism poisonous?

      Mind, body and soul seems to be the main ones. ‘Body’ includes the body politic.


  11. Wukchumni

    A friend is a birder and i’m guilty of not noticing the feathered ones as much as I could, but she doesn’t miss a thing, and related that one bird in particular, Lazuli Bunting, had gone from being in the thousands about 5 years ago, to being in the hundreds a few years ago, and now she hasn’t seen one this summer, all in the same location. She told me this is happening a lot as of late among all species.

    Mother Nature’s clients are being raptured, perhaps?

      1. Carey

        On the Central Cal Coast, I am seeing more birds of more types this year than
        I have in a long time. I welcome that, but don’t understand it.

  12. Bill Smith

    Mueller’s ‘speaking indictments’ offer clues to strategy

    I think at least a part of the reason for so much detail in the indictment is that a bunch of it had already been reported in the media. That includes reports in the Dutch and British newspapers. And Reality Winner tied some of it together with her leak.

    Something I wonder about is this: the Judicial Watch FOIA of Steele contacts with the FBI show that he had been admonished (hired) on 02/02/16 by the FBI, months before the DNC / Clinton Campaign via Porter Coie hired Fusion GPS who then hired Steele (“in May or June of 2016”). What is the story there? What led up to the 02/02/16 decision? What happened between February and May/June that landed Steele at Fusion GPS?

    1. Alex morfesis

      the more things change…”America is no longer a free country in the old sense and liberty is increasingly a mere rhetorical figure…No thinking citizen, I venture to say, can express in freedom more than a part of his honest convictions…everywhere, on every hand, free speech is choked off in one direction or another.”…Katharine Elizabeth Fullerton Gerould (Harper’s Magazine1922)

    1. nippersdad

      “In October, he lambasted the President’s foreign policy as a “half baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.” And last month, when Trump refused to back his own intelligence agencies over Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, McCain described it as “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American President in History.”

      And there, in a nutshell, is what was wrong with McCain all of these years. He projects his own half baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by those who find it profitable to find scapegoats rather than solve problems and then claims that anyone disagreeing with such policies is a disgrace.

      One might call that kind of thing mavericky if it hadn’t worn thin by the time he discovered it.

    2. RUKidding

      There’s loads of things to loathe McCain for but inflicting Palin on the USA tops my list. I knew the minute I first saw that horrible boorish dumb lazy grifter that she was a huge mistake that would & did open the door to much worse. Talk about Pandora’s box!

      Ironically I have yet to see anyone commenting on how Russia obsessed Palin was – which she used to state that Obama didn’t take the threat of Putin seriously enough. Palin could see Russia from her back porch in Wasilla! Putin routinely reared his big fearful head over Alaska! Russia! Russia! Russia!

      Now Republicans can’t get enough of manly WHITE Christiany Putin, but then Putin was the devil incarnate who would totally dominate weakling Kenyan Obama. Etc

      I’m not at all “into” this decade’s Roooskie fear mongering by Big D, but I do find it highly ironic how swiftly the worm turned for Big R.

      Thanks for nothing Johnny Mac, aka Mr Keating 5.

      1. Pwelder

        Keating played on McCain’s lack of experience in and knowledge of the domain in which Keating was operating. It was highly educational for McCain.

        Whatever you like or don’t like about McCain, there’s one important might-have-been that you can take to the bank: Had McCain been elected in 2008, the suits who brought us the financial crisis would not have skated.

          1. Craig H.

            McCain was destroyed by Obama at Clinton v. Dole levels. Anybody who considers for one minute a McCain victory counterfactual is fantasizing.

            There is one legitimate hindsightful nitpick where the article is flat wrong. Bill Ayers is a terrorist. He is Obama’s pal. Obama did pal around with terrorists and on that one point Palin was dead straight. As for the other stuff, well Tina Fey would have been a better candidate.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              McCain was within striking distance of Obama until Lehman went belly up, at which point Obama pulled away. (I posted on this at the time, citing to Krugma, though I’m too lazy to find the link just now). Presumably voters thought Obama was “better on the economy,” because of lingering good will on the Democrat balance sheet. Which Obama promptly squandered, of course.

            2. pretzelattack

              obama was far more of a terrorist than ayers ever dreamed of being. all our beloved warmonger political figures are terrorists.

              1. Anon

                Yes, Bill Ayers was not a terrorist like the drone assasinating Obama. While Obama associated with Ayers (counter-cultural radical of the 60″s), Ayers has much more intellectual substance than Obama.

                You can look it up.

  13. Eric Blood Axe

    It is more likely, that the asteroid caused the volcanic eruptions, otherwise what a coincidence.

    1. JacobiteInTraining

      To be pedantic: The Deccan Traps were doing their thing for quite some time before the Chicxulub asteroid hit – so I don’t think any argument can be made that *that* asteroid kicked off the Deccan volcanic eruptions. By my read of the article, thats kind of the point:

      Whatever may have triggered the originally Deccan eruptions, if it happened over hundreds of thousands or even a million years….the climate impact could have been spread out over a long enough timeline that it was not the kind of drastic change that leads to a full-on extinction event.

      If it instead happened over a much shorter period of time – its principal output occurring within tens-of-thousands of years or less….well, much harder for Earth’s climate to have adjusted and recovered.

      I took the Geology 101/2/3 series in college (the sum total of my expertise, lol) and in the context of the Columbia River flood basalts, I recall the Deccan Traps being mentioned. It was a wonderful series of lectures as the prof went over various theories and continued on into a much later era’s ‘great flood’ (look up the ‘channeled scablands’ of eastern WA state)

      In its limited nerdy scientific way….those lectures and Q&A times were about as close as I expect geologists ever get to ‘hushed conspiratorial discussions of conspiracy theories’….

      1. nippersdad

        For anyone interested, there is a fantastic book on the five great extinctions by Peter Brannen called The Ends Of The World that covers a lot of this.

        One interesting theory that hasn’t got much press, even in Brannen’s book, is that the fallout, itself, from Chicxulub heated up the atmosphere over the days and weeks after impact to just incredible temperatures very quickly; essentially roasting everything above ground worldwide. Being closer to the equator, the fallout from Chicxulub would have had greater dispersion into the atmosphere than impacts like the one at Charlevoix, at a much higher latitude, would have done. Given this theory, both the “nuclear winter”/starvation and gradual global warming from increased carbon release aspects of the Deccan Flats and the asteroid strike would have had little to do with the death of the dinosaurs, because they were already dead.

        1. Shane Mage

          If all the dinosaurs had been dead we would now have no birds at all.
          Now let them tell us how horses and camels became extinct on the North American continent.

          1. nippersdad

            The way I read it, they theorized that those creatures who could submerge themselves or dig themselves into holes clearly survived, so some of the smaller genera did live to evolve into modern birds. It was all of the larger creatures that one usually thinks of, the ones that couldn’t get out of the heat, that died. That the high temps generated by superheated fallout would be short lived was further to the point that not everything would have died.

            I’m sorry if I put that badly, but when I think of “dinosaurs” it is not usually the tiny ones which come to mind. It is estimated that the Cretaceous extinction left about half of the species alive to continue evolving. I just thought it a fascinating theory.

            Further to the N.A. megafauna collapse, those have largely been correlated to the incursions of humans onto the continent and subsequently hunting them into extinction. Nothing to do with the Cretaceous die off.

              1. Wukchumni

                I like to watch tiny dinosaurs in the guise of lizards, who are often seen doing push-ups, working out in
                between going fly squishing.

                Saw one last week and yelled at it:

                “Drop down and give me 10 mister!”

                It was only good for 6, and I could’ve sworn the cold blooded one gave me a lip snarl as it gazed up.

            1. Shane Mage

              Do you really think that native American men (unlike the current crop) were so stupid that they exterminated really useful animals and that Native American women were so stupid that they didn’t even think to raise (domesticate) the orphans?

              1. nippersdad

                Stupidity is not necessarily the word I would have used. There are notable distinctions between the settled lifestyle that ultimately generated the domestication of those animals capable of domestication and the hunter gatherer lifestyle which would preclude it.

                See Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs and Steel. The parallels on every other continent are striking.

              2. NotTimothyGeithner

                Not every animal can be domesticated. Only 14 mammals have been domesticated. There are some tamed animals from time to time, but they aren’t reliable and their offspring won’t be reliable.

                Then of course there is practicality. The dearth of wild horses (elkhorn grain) in the Americas has been attributed to the differences between civilization in the New and Old worlds because clearly, the native American cultures were quite intelligent and innovative. Compare wild horses in Mongolia to white tailed deer. One is simply more suitable for work.

                Those 14 mammals have a gene thats similar that is linked to their arrested development. Their wild counterparts often have it, but wild mammals with no domesticated counterparts tend not to carry a similar gene.

              3. Oregoncharles

                They were brand new to the place, faced with naive animals that had no idea people were predators. “Stupid” has nothing to do with it. “All too human” is more like it.

                Being omnivorous can work in two different ways. In a new environment, using plants can enable you to keep hunting even as the game gets scarce. In an old one, like Africa, you get co-evolution, where the game animals evolved to be wary of humans and people made up the difference by eating plants.

                At least, that’s the theory. Big climate changes were happening at the same time, the end of the Ice Age, so it was a double whammy.

            2. ambrit

              All this is dealt with by the Younger Dryas Impact Working Group.
              See, I linked to this a day ago:
              Even the dating of human habitation of the New World is being pushed way back by new discoveries.
              In essence, like the Cretaceous Extinction controversy, everything we thought we knew was wrong. Over and over again. How long ago was it that Bishop Usshers date for the Creation was the Common Knowledge?

      2. The Rev Kev

        I have often thought that the development of the Chicxulub extinction theory may have saved humanity. I remember that era back then when Reagan had surrounded himself with draft-dodgers that spouted how the world ‘could survive a limited nuclear war’. Anybody else remember that line? Star Wars was all about launching a nuclear attack against Soviet Russia and being immune against a nuclear response.
        Than Alvarez came out with his theory which showed how the world went into nuclear winter through that impact and wiped out the bulk majority of life, including the dinosaurs. It was not long before people noted that the effect of a nuclear war would trigger the same exact response and I had a book once that outlined what they would be. I think that the word got back to Washington that this also meant them.
        If a nuclear war broke out, Washington insiders realized that they would be spending the rest of their lives in an underground concrete bunker (if lucky) under military rule with no bright career prospects, no board seats, no jetting off to the Caribbean or Aspen and no stock dividends. And that is when things started to cool down.

      3. ewmayer

        [Sorry, 2 days late to the dino-extinction-controversy-thread, spent the weekend moving]. Given the overlap in time, my druthers has always been that even if the Chicxulub impact did not trigger the flood basalts – which after all require the pre-existence of a major mantle plume – its effect on cracking the lithosphere might ‘supercharge’ the basalt flooding. Just had a gander at the Wikipedia entry on the Deccan Traps, and it indeed points to this as a strong possibility:

        Work published in 2014 by geologist Gerta Keller and others on the timing of the Deccan volcanism suggests the extinction may have been caused by both the volcanism and the impact event.[10][11] This was followed by a similar study in 2015.[12][13]

        There is some evidence to link the Deccan Traps eruption to the asteroid impact which created the Chicxulub crater in the Mexican state of Yucatán. Although the Deccan Traps began erupting well before the impact, argon-argon dating suggests that the impact may have caused an increase in permeability that allowed magma to reach the surface and produced the most voluminous flows, accounting for around 70% of the volume.[19] The combination of the asteroid impact and the resulting increase in eruptive volume may have been responsible for the mass extinctions that occurred at the time that separates the Cretaceous and Paleogene periods, known as the K–Pg boundary.

    2. Wyoming

      The timelines given in the article say otherwise (assuming all the various dating is accurate). Since the volcanism started well before the asteroid hit it seems impossible that the asteroid triggered it. And given that the asteroid hit on the far side of the world it is pretty unlikely it could even have made the volcanic eruptions worse.

      Not having a dog in the fight (I am not that concerned about the cause of the extinction) I still note that looked at impartially and scientifically the problem for the impact theory is that it becomes untenable quickly if one shows records of events which lie outside of its timeline. The data strongly indicates that a die-off was happening before the impact – so this is an issue for the impact theory. This is not to say that the volcanism theory is a final answer either – but it stands are more solid ground at this point.

      One could sort of predict at this point that this argument (after all the big egos have left the scene) will eventually settle towards the conclusion that the volcanism theory is more likely the main event and, ‘by coincidence’, the steroid came along at a great time to assist in the extinction event. Such coincidences are actually quite probable over periods of several billion years.

        1. fresno dan

          sunday susan
          August 26, 2018 at 3:37 pm

          And of course, prehistoric cigarettes were unfiltered. But most scientists believe cigarette filters do nothing to ameliorate the cancer causing potential of cigarettes, and may even exacerbate the cancer causing affect of cigarettes.
          The theory in vogue now is that dinosaurs were herd animals – even many predators were pack animals – and if one cool dinosaur smoked, all cool dinosaurs smoked.
          And displays, either anatomical or behavioral, were an important driver of dinosaur evolution, one could posit that in a very short period dinosaur smoking could increase to 50 or 80 packs a day!
          And of course, dinosaurs unwillingness to give up smoking. Dinosaurs are infamous for originating the phrase, “Hey, an asteroid could hit me tomorrow”

      1. Donald

        The Atlantic article was one- sided and misleading. The author was more interested in the gossip ( though leaving out the gossip that makes some of the volcano advocates look bad) than in trying to explain the issues. For anyone still reading, I am going to post links.

        First one of the papers given a sneering mention in the piece —

        1. Donald

          Btw, personally I think the extinction was probably caused by both the eruptions and the asteroid. The asteroid clearly coincided with many of the extinctions, despite Keller’s claim, but that doesn’t mean it was the sole cause.

      2. ewmayer

        “…given that the asteroid hit on the far side of the world it is pretty unlikely it could even have made the volcanic eruptions worse.”

        If you’ve ever seen computer models of the kinds of crustal-displacement waves circling the globe as a result of such an impact you might think differently. (And see my 2-days-late note above quoting Wikipedia.) I once had a pet hypothesis that since the Deccan Traps are kinda-sorta on the opposite side of the globe from the impact site, the kind of geometric wave reconvergence that occurs at the impact’s antipode might have shattered the crust there, triggering the flood basalts. When I later had opportunity to see a plate-motion reconstruction of 65Ma ago that went out the window, as at that time the relative positions proved to be very far from antipodal. But the combination of impact-resulting lithospheric fracturing – picture comeone rolling a hard-boiled egg on a table surface to crack up the shell – with a pre-existing but non-catastrophically large-volumetric mantle plume eruption could do the trick.

  14. timbers

    North Korea

    Trump Ties North Korea Talks To Trade Deal With China Moon of Alabama. Not agreement-capable?

    Huge shocker (for me at least) towards the end – We’ve built a huge military complex in Taiwan years ago in preparation to recognize it and deploy the military in China’s face.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Sen. John McCain, Republican War Hawk, Dead at 81”

    John McCain was a great American, even though he was not actually born there. It should be remembered too that he had a lot of impact on a lot of people’s lives, mostly at the nose-tips of Mark 80 series aerial bombs. Representatives from both the neo-Nazi movement in Ukraine and Al-quada in Syria stated today that they were very proud to have had their photographs taken with the late Senator as he helped arrange, finance, weapons, munitions and support to both movements. In a joint statement they said that he will be sorely missed.
    It is regretted that a lot of Iranian men, women and children will now be able to sleep more soundly at night knowing that an ardent demander of bombing them has now fallen silent. The Jihadist group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (with the aid of a team of foreign specialists) has already issued a public statement that the false flag chemical attack being arranged in Idlib in the next coupla days will be done in his memory while the White Helmets have promised a performance worthy of a second Academy Award. Each of the eight chlorine tanks delivered to Idlib already will be marked with the name of a country that the late Senator helped destroy.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Confronting the “truth” of mccain’s “public service” will eventually happen, probably when hyphenated vietnamese and muslim, identity-politics-enabled americans gather together in public places to tear down the statues erected to celebrate the man and his “accomplishments.”

      Whether there are “good people” to be found on both sides of the mayhem will be hotly debated.

    2. Carolinian

      The press are sucking up to McCain’s memory because he was nice to them. They are that shallow. If Trump would give them all nicknames and treat them as equals they would like him too–or at least go a lot easier.

    3. Olga

      There was a great piece around the time of the 2008 election – if I recall, it was in the Rolling Stone magazine, and may have been by Matt Taibbi “Make Believe Maverick” (taken down at RS if you try to look for it). What I remember was a comparison with w-shrub “except much worse” – partly on account of his crashing not one, not two – but five planes. The first one would have gotten a normal person kicked out of the AF forever, but not this privileged scion of a military family.

      This is an approximation

      As for his being “good” on torture, here is an excerpt:
      “Then there’s torture — the issue most related to McCain’s own experience as a POW. In 2005, in a highly public fight, McCain battled the president to stop the torture of enemy combatants, winning a victory to require military personnel to abide by the Army Field Manual when interrogating prisoners. But barely a year later, as he prepared to launch his presidential campaign, McCain cut a deal with the White House that allows the Bush administration to imprison detainees indefinitely and to flout the Geneva Conventions’ prohibitions against torture.”

      1. Wukchumni

        What I remember was a comparison with w-shrub “except much worse” – partly on account of his crashing not one, not two – but five planes.

        Add ‘Fighter Ace’ to his plaudits…

      2. Off The Street

        It wasn’t just the planes that irked people. He was also known as Wet Start (a jet trick, of sorts involving a lot of fuel, bad in an enclosed space with people around) for his, ahem, antics that led to a horrendous fire and casualties. But for that last name, linked to Dad and Granddad the Admirals, he would’ve been in Leavenworth IMO.

        1. JacobiteInTraining

          I like conspiracy theories as much as the next guy, and dislike McCain for his often warmongering stances….but be that as it may….the whole ‘McCain caused the Forrestal Fire with a Wet Start’ is pretty fringey/cringey. Its premise is that McCain did the ‘wet start’ as a prank to scare the ‘pilot in the plane behind him’, which then caused the ‘targeted’ F4’s Zuni to cook off & launch.

          McCains A4E was positioned waiting to take off for the strike…but not yet in a line positioned in front of any other plans against which a ‘wet start’ would have been directed, even as a prank.

          As seen in the diagram linked, McCains plane (#416) has its tail pointed out over the ocean. Plane positioning at the point of the disaster unfolding supported, of course, by the actual video of the incident:

          The F4B from which the Zuni fired – #110 – was way over on the other side of the flight deck…and decidedly NOT behind McCain’s plane, nor in fact anywhere near it.

          Another good source:

          I mean, you can berate the guy all day long for warmongering attitudes without making sh*t up.

      3. RUKidding

        Yeah thanks for the timely reminder about alleged MacMaverick’s “wonderful” stand against torture except not really. Johnny Mac talked a lot against torture but so what? Talk’s cheap. What matters is what happens where the rubber meets the road.

        Guess those 6 years in the Hanoi Hilton mattered little when it came to power & money.

        As always watch what they DO not what they say.

        Hence when I hear McCain praised for his anti torture WORDS I’m like: pfffft.

        As the kids say: fcek that guy.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I noticed that too, when I went to hunt for something else. I wonder why they did that. Did they run out of money? Or is it an early experiment in digital bookburning by the authorities to see if anyone notices?

          It goes to show why Real books remain important. One wonders what else can be erased or taken down or access-denied as time goes on. And if people can’t find it in a Real book, they just won’t be able to find it at all.

      4. Edward E

        Olga, it was Tim Dickinson, this is the piece republished as it originally appeared. It is a memorable read about him, as you brought up.
        A ‘Maverick,’ Revisited
        Tim Dickinson’s 2008 profile of then-presidential nominee John McCain

        Then there’s torture — the issue most related to McCain’s own experience as a POW. In 2005, in a highly public fight, McCain battled the president to stop the torture of enemy combatants, winning a victory to require military personnel to abide by the Army Field Manual when interrogating prisoners. But barely a year later, as he prepared to launch his presidential campaign, McCain cut a deal with the White House that allows the Bush administration to imprison detainees indefinitely and to flout the Geneva Conventions’ prohibitions against torture.

        What his former allies in the anti-torture fight found most troubling was that McCain would not admit to his betrayal. Shortly after cutting the deal, McCain spoke to a group of retired military brass who had been working to ban torture. According to Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former deputy, McCain feigned outrage at Bush and Cheney, as though he too had had the rug pulled out from under him. “We all knew the opposite was the truth,” recalls Wilkerson. “That’s when I began to lose a little bit of my respect for the man and his bona fides as a straight shooter.”

      1. Olga

        Yes, thanks guys (non-gender-specific!) – what i remembered was this:

        “In its broad strokes, McCain’s life story is oddly similar to that of the current occupant of the White House. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. Both struggled with booze and loutish behavior. At each step, with the aid of their fathers’ powerful friends, both failed upward. And both shed their skins as Episcopalian members of the Washington elite to build political careers as self-styled, ranch-inhabiting Westerners who pray to Jesus in their wives’ evangelical churches.

        In one vital respect, however, the comparison is deeply unfair to the current president: George W. Bush was a much better pilot.”

        It was a great piece of writing (“rebelled into mediocrity” – what a perfect phrase!).

  16. Olga

    Verizon, under fire for throttling firefighters’ data speed, lifts caps for first responders San Francisco Chronicle
    Yes, disaster capitalism at it finest, but it also gives me an idea about how the natural-world calamity we are all headed to will inevitably put constraints on the run-away train of neoliberalism. (At least, that is the hope – albeit, coming at a very high price!)

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Natural-world calamities as constraints on Neoliberalism. What an unpleasant outcome you contemplate. I hope better solutions might be found … soon.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        What an unpleasant outcome you contemplate

        Apologies if I’ve read that incorrectly, but perhaps messenger of likelihoods fits better than dream weaver of contemplations.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I think you read me correctly. Natural-world calamities as constraints on Neoliberalism is the outcome I think most likely. It’s also one of the least pleasant of many unpleasant outcomes for the future. I do admit to some dream weaving of contemplations in that what I hope will remain an unlikely outcome constraining Neoliberalism, Nuclear War, remains a worst case event I wish I could eliminate from consideration.

          Are you regarding me as a Pollyanna? If so, that is a most unlikely outcome of my comments.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            Pollyanna? No, not at all. I was just saying don’t blame the messenger and I think I did read your comment incorrectly.

  17. Hamford

    So if one of McCain’s few redemptive qualities was his objection to torture, maybe a fitting way to honor him, is a bill to close Guantanamo. President Trump can sign off on it, provided it is called the “I like my soldiers not captured” bill.

  18. Wukchumni

    David Foster Wallace on John McCain: ‘The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys and the Shrub‘ David Foster Wallace, Rolling Stone. From 2000, still germane.

    Because we’ve been lied to and lied to, and it hurts to be lied to. It’s ultimately just about that complicated: it hurts. We learn this at like age four – it’s grownups’ first explanation to us of why it’s bad to lie (“How would you like it if … ?”). And we keep learning for years, from hard experience, that getting lied to sucks – that it diminishes you, denies you respect for yourself, for the liar, for the world. Especially if the lies are chronic, systemic, if experience seems to teach that everything you’re supposed to believe in’s really just a game based on lies.


    You can only walk so many miles in a day, and it takes about 10 minutes to set up camp once you get there, so the majority of the rest of your time on a backpack trip is bullshitting with friends, all w/o the use of any electric tether as an aid. Everything emanates by word of mouth, such as in the old days.

    We got talking about liars in our lives and everybody knew a few. my favorite being a fellow named “mister 10 percenter” as you could only believe 10% of what he uttered. We all agreed it was a horrible trait and those liars were more part of the social tapestry of our lives and not friends, who’d want to be associated with people like that, yikes!

    Why do we tolerate spinocchio?

    1. Tom Doak

      Because Trump’s in politics now, and in the time since 2000 we have been totally conditioned to accepting the fact that “all politicians lie”.

      1. Oregoncharles

        That goes back at least to Nixon. Of course, Johnson did, too, to build up the Viet Nam War.

  19. Big River Bandido

    The Limits of Elizabeth Warren:

    The new “third rail” of Democrat politics is Israel. Speak out against Israel and you’ll get the horse head in the bed from AIPAC, the DSCC and the DCCC — the neocons who “lead” the Democrat “Party”.

    It’s quite understandable why Sanders and Warren are trying to delay taking on that nasty, corrupt lobby — doing so will launch a much-needed purge of the Democrats. But launching that attack too early will invite a coordinated wrath that could destroy the nascent left.

      1. Olga

        Yes, hardly new

        Written around 2005-06, about events 25 years prior:
        “All that year I tried to navigate the district’s Jewish politics. The solid historical liberalism of the Westside was a favorable factor, as was the strong support of many Jewish community leaders. But the community was moving in a more conservative direction. Some were infuriated at my sponsorship of Santa Monica’s tough rent control ordinance. Many in the organized community were suspicious of the New Left for becoming Palestinian sympathizers after the Six Day War; they would become today’s neoconservatives.”

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        Seems like there isn’t much that is new. If Twain was composing a quip on his death bed about con artists of the era he could finish it upon reincarnating today without loosing a beat or changing a word at least as far as relevance is concerned; other restrictions such as the umbilical cord might get in the way.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      I’ll repeat here what I said at Consortium News, which on the surface sounds like foil-hat material until one ponders history.

      Does anyone here not consider that taking on the establishment in the blatant confrontational manner many seem to consider the foremost criterion could result in the confronter’s suffering a shocking “accident” or “fatal illness”? Can we truly fail to accept that those in power will go to any and all lengths to preserve that power? Or do people still think it was just unhappy coincidence that Robert Kennedy and M. L. King were murdered within months of each other? Does the name “Karen Silkwood” ring any bells.

      There were more than a few of us who feared for Bernie Sanders when he began making serious inroads against Clinton.

      The plutocracy has private-security armies at its beck-and-call; indeed, one of them is now trying to persuade the Trump administration to let them take over in Afghanistan. Chuck Schumer warned the intelligence agencies have “six ways from Sunday” to address those who take them on, and was smart enough to frame it as referring to Trump.

      These days, a little paranoia is vital.

      1. Olga

        At your second sentence, I thought of Karen…. fully agree with you. On the other hand, someone said “they cannot kill us all.” So the main issue is numbers (as in many bodies – alive, let’s hope).

  20. Alex morfesis

    Snowflake Nation…end of an empire…#meof10…

    sadly…I too was a “victim” at age 17 of beautiful women in their thirties (& 20’s & 40’s & 50’s too) just letting me force them upon me…so devastating…

    Ah the good old days…

  21. roadrider

    Re: Are Superstar Firms and Amazon Effects Reshaping the Economy?

    Well, doh!

    Amazing how long it took these dipshits to realize what any one living outside the sheltered world of think tanks, political and academic sinecures and presstitute encalves already knew.

    What would be interesting is a study of how much stock these people own in those “superstar firms”.

    Not that they would be influenced by such crass considerations of course. /snark

    1. Mo's Bike Shop


      I’m probably going to spend some time thinking about the appropriateness of that typo. Thanks!

  22. Tom_Doak

    Thanks for posting the Rolling Stone piece on McCain’s 2000 campaign, which I’d never read at the time. It’s a long and challenging read – and funny at the same time – but for me it did a fantastic job of highlighting how easy it was to both hate many of his policies and at the same time grudgingly respect him, as many people did.

    At the same time, the article is a prescient analysis of the forces that have conspired to turn politics even more repellent in the 18 years since the 2000 campaign … and how all of that conveniently favors the incumbents, the status quo, and the right wing. [It even causes me to wonder if South Carolina’s place in the primary calendar is not an accident but a calculation.] I wish I could get my kids to read something that long.

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      The Overton Window has been pulled so far to the right that standard 1950s FDR New Deal Democrats are now “socialists” (Sanders), moderate republicans are now “liberals” (Warren), Reagan-era republicans are now “right wing”, and the right wing are now lunatics.

      I am a democratic socialist who likes Bernie’s policies ok enough until we get to the water’s edge, which means I have no representation whatsoever and am told the social safety nets present in all other representative countries of the West are unaffordable. Meanwhile more billionaires live in the US than anywhere else and we have 11 aircraft carrier battle groups.

      Yeah this seems sustainable.

    2. Carolinian

      It even causes me to wonder if South Carolina’s place in the primary calendar is not an accident but a calculation

      Since you asked it was because the local Republican party was dominated by Bush family stalwarts. That same local party was quite cool to Trump in 2016 but the Repub primary voters thought otherwise. In our recent primary anti-Trumpers got shelled.

      The state is dominated by business Republicans who at the moment are quite worried about the tariff situation.

      1. Tom Doak

        The same thing that happened to McCain in S.C. in 2000 happened to Sanders in 2016 … the opposition campaign “going negative” on purpose, which turns off the young voters and energizes the establishment base, as David Foster Wallace astutely observed, with the help of the cameramen and technicians covering the 2000 campaign.

        But that, of course, was the Democrats, even if WheresOurTeddy is correct that the Overton Window has made them more conservative [and more like conservatives in their tactics] in the meantime.

        1. nippersdad

          It was often postulated during the 2016 campaign that the Super Tuesday Democratic Primaries were specifically full of conservative Southern states so that mainstream Democrats could weed out the more liberal candidates early in the process. Such was the case with Sanders, who never really survived Super Tuesday as a likely candidate for the Presidency. By the time he got to California he was pretty much mortally wounded; after the refusal to count the provisional ballots there he was pretty much dead in the water.

          I agree, the process is rigged all the way down the line.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            One wonders what would happen if a nominee-wannabe simply by-passed Super Tuesday altogether and focused on enough other states which, if won, would earn enough delegates to out-number the Super Tuesday delegates.

            So if Sanders won enough primaries and caucuses in enough other states to outnumber the delegates Super Tuesday awards to the ConservaDem which Super Tuesday was designed to select for; he will have survived that Darwin Trap by evading it. The Corporate Feudalist MSM would try to spin it as all kinds of political cowardice and etc. The Sanders forces ( in this scenario) could counterspin it as political Darwinian survival and success

            1. UserFriendly

              Impossible with proportional allocation. Since every state gives every candidate that gets over 15% at least some delegates writing off any state is just stupid. The only state that gave all their delegates to one candidate was VT to Bernie because Clinton only got 13% of the vote their. Writing off an entire section of the country is just asking to lose. Bernie’s worst state in 2016 was Mississippi, where his 16.5% of the vote still got him 5 delegates.

          2. UserFriendly

            It’s a nice conspiracy theory and the democrats certainly didn’t object to the south going first, but the reason they didn’t object is because they thought that would result in a GOP nominee that was a bible thumper who wouldn’t be able to win a swing state. By the time they saw Bernie coming the dates had been long set. And since those states are controlled by the GOP it was entirely up to GOP legislatures and SOS’s to move the primaries. It was actually a plan that the Republican SOS from Georgia was pushing. The only counter would have been getting Dem states to also move to super Tuesday as a counterweight. And now that Cali is officially on super tuesday any state having a primary after super tuesday won’t have any effect.

  23. Chris

    Head’s up for future Democrats in Disarray topics, today’s Doonesbury is openly fantasizing about a President Biden…

    1. flora

      That would be a better poke at the Dem estab: “…come to believe that lying is truth, losing is winning, and weakness is strength.”

    2. John k

      Saw that. Sad.
      Used to be left, strip has joined the dem elites… when not on vacation.
      Or is it poking fun at them? Too deep…

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Wouldn’t it be pretty to think so ( though not to me). But the chances of a President Pence are better than the chances of a President Biden. That’s if we get the removal of President Trump which Mr. Trudeau so desperately hopes for.

      And of course, if Trump wins term two, we will probably get President Ivanka after that. Imagine the Doonesbury strips that Trudeau will write if that happens.

  24. DJG

    Wu Ming interview. Wu Ming represents a side of Italian culture that is unique and goes to explain certain things about Italian behavior that are mysteries to Americans. Wu Ming started out as a five-man writing cooperative in Bologna, Italy’s reddest city, home to its most venerable university, and a gastronomic center. All of which are typically Italian concerns. Wu Ming used characters and tones in Chinese that meant Five Persons.

    Later, one member left, so they became Wu Ming, meaning No One (change of character and tone). They give interviews collectively, and they sometimes appear publicly as Wu Ming 1, Wu Ming 2…

    They are devoted to developing an ideological yet esthetically highly pleasing historical novel. Q, written as Luther Blissett, is a page turner, although it is about the Reformation, theological disputes, Q’s missives (which may or may not be reliable), Q’s orthodoxy (also questionable), sex, the peasantry, Anabaptists, massacres, and murders in the name of religion. It ends in Venice, which was Europe’s most wide-open city in the early 1500s. Altai is the sequel, which is somewhat more romantic, and the person who may be Q may be identified. Altai is also a study of anti-Semitism, because one character flees to the safety of Istanbul. The ending of Altai isn’t pretty. Think: Cyprus at the end of the Venetian era there, under siege.

    54, mentioned in the article, includes Marshall Tito, leftwing Bolognese workers, Cary Grant, and spying. You put it together.

    Wu Ming represents a side of Italian culture that brings together left-wing ideas, pop culture, and activism in almost light-hearted way. They have also been highly effective, as the interview attests. Other distinctive Italian political movements are the Sentinelli di Milano (and Catania), human-rights activists who stage public protests, as well as the Tagliatelle in Piedi, the guerilla-theater arm of the Italian Pastafarian Church, which strongly supports the church-state divisions.

    U.S. culture might consider these things pranks: They aren’t. They are a form of commedia dell’arte that no longer exists in the U. S. of A., I suppose.

    A hell of a lot more amusing than McCainisms like “Bomb, bomb, bomb / Bomb, bomb, Iran.”

  25. DJG

    From Glenn Greenwald’s article on death, etiquette, and the shuffling off the mortal coil of the loathsome:

    Former Tory MP Louise Mensch, with no apparent sense of irony, invoked precepts of propriety to announce: “Pygmies of the left so predictably embarrassing yourselves, know this: not a one of your leaders will ever be globally mourned like her.”

    Ahhh, yes, and here I am, still mourning the death of Madame Nhu.

    Somehow, I think that there are too many media and too much access.

    Finally, I come to bury McCain not to praise him. Whatever moral authority he had acquired as a prisoner of war he squandered as a self-regarding not-too-bright miles gloriosus.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Sorry, but I am having a hard time squaring this particular circle. Was reading a story about McCain and they were really putting the boot in-

      But embedded in it was a tweet from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (

      Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
      ‏Verified account @Ocasio2018
      21h21 hours ago
      US House candidate, NY-14

      Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Retweeted Washington Post

      John McCain’s legacy represents an unparalleled example of human decency and American service.

      As an intern, I learned a lot about the power of humanity in government through his deep friendship with Sen. Kennedy.

      He meant so much, to so many. My prayers are with his family.

      The one from Bernie Sanders was almost as bad-

      John McCain was an American hero, a man of decency and honor and a friend of mine. He will be missed not just in the U.S. Senate but by all Americans who respect integrity and independence. Jane and I send our deepest condolences to his family.

      Even I could make up a tweet where it sounds like I am being respectful of the guy and his family but those two tweets seem to be going over the top. And yes I know that Cortez’s tweet is a retweet, but still.

  26. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “Having the Hard Conversations”
    This discussion of unions and organizing clearly explains what needs to be done if people who make their living working at a job can ever hope to get a fair shake. I would make this link a must read. What Jane McAlevey says about union organizing also applies to political organizing.
    “Not talking to workers and having a strategy that fundamentally avoided workers for several decades is what we need to change and what we can change.”
    “Or by heavy left rhetoric that’s inaccessible to people! I agree with you on this, but, first, we need to worry less about how we talk and worry more about listening. We stopped listening to workers and that’s part of disregarding the intelligence of ordinary people.”
    “The development of the corporate campaign has been a colossal disaster.”

  27. Oregoncharles

    No-deal Brexit will break up UK, warns Van Rompuy”

    Lays out some of the considerations, but Van Rompuy is Belgian, not British, let alone Scottish. (In reality, the most impacted is N. Ireland.)

  28. Wukchumni

    Finally got around to reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, this past week.

    She really unraveled the future in 1985, a persecuting theocracy run amok.

  29. Jason Boxman

    No bylines at NYTimes — it hasn’t been on mobile for awhile, the article mentions. We can chalk this up to crapification that Yves and Lambert speak of so frequently. There’s plenty of space on desktop/laptop screens to keep the bylines, so why not keep them?

  30. Wukchumni

    Life imitates art of violence…

    At least four people were killed in a mass shooting at a video-game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday afternoon — with announcers’ audio capturing the gunshots, according to reports.

    Emergency responders shut down the streets around Jacksonville Landing, where the Madden 19 Tournament was being held at the GLHF Game Bar, and are urging people to steer clear of the area.

    1. Wukchumni

      This of course will bring up the prompting that all video game players must be armed, whether playing @ home or in a tourney.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I can attest to what the article discusses. At Google, there are quite a few contractors performing routine work. In my case, I had a “google manager” that for all intents and purposes was my boss, but my actual boss worked at Accenture. Meanwhile, I was on the payroll of a tech recruiting company. Many layers of indirection. At Google, they limit these engagements to 2 consecutive years, perhaps to shield the company from claims that contractors are really just employees in many cases.

  31. Oregoncharles

    “How a Political Machine Works: Candidates Running for 21 Seats, All Unaware NYT”
    (It’s a bit unbecoming for members of a rival party to dwell on this, but I will anyway, because it’s one of the reasons there IS a rival party.)

    And we thought big-city machines were gone. This is so very 19th Century. Note the extent of barriers to entry, or to doing anything about patent corruption. Makes me appreciate living in a “clean” state, though I’ve attended a meeting where the Democrats effectively boasted about what a machine they have here – quite effective, too. (Long story: basically, a couple of ex-Dems asked me to go because one was busy chaining herself to the White House fence and the other is too nice to say what she really thought. Ultimately, it was sort of discouraging.)

      1. JTMcPhee

        You don’t get it! Putin is BEHIND that performance!!! He has sent his deep-cover agents to infiltrate and dominate the borough party offices, starting in the 1920s and even before!!!! There’s a Red under Every Bed!!!!

    1. marku52

      It’s just appalling that the party that calls itself “Democratic” is anything but. It is clear that the idea here is that these “candidates”, once they discover they were “elected”, will resign, and then the party gets to pack the positions with insiders to ensure that nothing like “democracy” might possible ensue.


    2. djrichard

      From the article

      On paper, the committees’ duties include vetting candidates for judge and for legislative openings that must be filled by a special election, which happen often. A 2017 study found that a third of New York City’s state legislators entered office via special election.

      How nice, a machine that spews out flunkies.

    3. Conrad

      Press ganging retirees to serve without their consent just to block enthusiastic volunteers who have more progressive policies? Heckuva job strategists.

  32. Oregoncharles

    “Sex, crystals and compost toilets The Economist”
    Tidewater, OR isn’t far from here, on the way to the coast, but I didn’t hear about that festival, even though the Economist did. However, I’m not that attuned to the spiritual community, let alone costumes. It sounds like a reboot of the Oregon Country Fair, which we’ve gone to in the past and is now both old and hugely popular. Not exactly spiritual, as it’s fairly expensive and mostly about selling stuff. Quite a party, though, and apparently this fairyland festival is, too. I think the Rainbow Gathering, another survival from the hippie days, still happening, too.

    Almost any excuse for a party will do.

  33. Oregoncharles

    Wu Ming on conspiracy theories:
    ” Stating that the US government staged 9/11 and blew up the Twin Towers is moronic to say the least, but it has long been proved that the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which you mentioned in your question, was a fake enemy attack which the US staged in order to start the Vietnam War. It has also been proved that in 2003 general Colin Powell presented the UN Security Council with fabricated evidence on Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, and so on. The US government lied very often about its enemies’ actions, and sometimes the US literally attacked themselves in order to create a case for war. If you debunk those absurd theories on 9/11 without exposing their kernel of truth, you only strengthen the belief in that conspiracy theory.”

    Which is exactly what Wu Ming just did in that paragraph.

    “Conspiracy theory” is itself a scam, based on the pretense that conspiracies are implausible. They’re actually quite common, especially if you include legal ones like, say, Congress. The PTB have and take many opportunities to get together in comfortable “rooms” and make plans fo rall of us. I have a whole book full of them.

    That said, some “theories” are thoroughly implausible, though the official versions aren’t necessarily MORE plausible. And some are obviously untrustworthy, like the official narrative of 9/11, which comes from the Bush Administration, one of the suspects based on cui bono. But if you say it’s implausible, you obviously are obligated to make a case; that’s what the “conspiracy theory” meme is designed to avoid. In reality, it’s just a way to dismiss unofficial theories without actually addressing them.

    So at this point, I’m not real impressed with Wu Ming’s interview; they seem to be in the business of mystification. there’s a lot to be said for that, but not for taking them all that seriously.

  34. Oregoncharles

    “According to a study by researchers from the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University, Oregon blue clay can kill bacteria in wounds ”

    But they’re uninformative on WHICH Oregon blue clay. If you dig down about a foot on our land, you encounter….blue clay. Maybe I’ll try it; I get wounds all the time.

    1. JacobiteInTraining

      WAIT – HOLD THE PHONE — Be sure to patent/trademark/copyright it ASAP before anyone else does!!!! And, of course, establish an app/site that will totally ‘disrupt’ the antibacterial economy!

      Then, you can nix any charitable/free use of it, and ultimately sell out to a megacorporation and finally retire to that island in the Caribbean that you have had your eye on. Negotiate bigly, and you can even buy the current residents of the island as well, and have your servant/peasant needs taken care of to boot!

      Here’s a slogan for you: “See this one weird trick from Oregoncharles that infections simply HATE…”

      You are very welcome. (I’ll take my cut of profits in papayas and rum, please)

  35. none

    Re the Nieman Labs article about NYT dropping reporter bylines on news stories: I bet it’s because pretty soon they will eliminate reporting altogether, with the stories written by bots instead of by people. Getting rid of bylines now makes the coming transition smoother.

  36. integer

    This opinion piece by former Australian PM Kevin Rudd has caused quite a stir in the Australian media landscape, for obvious reasons:

    Cancer eating the heart of Australian democracy Sydney Morning Herald

    But on top of all the above, while manipulating each of them, has been Rupert Murdoch – the greatest cancer on the Australian democracy.

    Murdoch is not just a news organisation. Murdoch operates as a political party, acting in pursuit of clearly defined commercial interests, in addition to his far-right ideological world view…

    What’s unique about Australia is Murdoch owns two-thirds of the country’s print media. No other democracy has anything approaching his effective media monopoly…

    Murdoch saw a threat to his monopoly Foxtel cable entertainment empire – his cash cow cross-subsidising his loss-making print mastheads. The latter were critical as the pillars of his political power. Murdoch feared our NBN would make it easier for Netflix to become a real Foxtel competitor. Murdoch despatched his leading henchman from New York, Col Allan, to run the Murdoch campaign in the 2013 election to destroy the government.

    An incoming Labor government should consider a full royal commission into the future of Australian media ownership, with particular reference to News Corp. It should also consider the proposed Nine takeover of Fairfax Media, as well as the future role of the new media. The terms of reference should also include Murdoch’s role in the destruction of the $43 billion NBN. And it should make recommendations for the future.

  37. witters

    “Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, “Right now I’m just heartbroken. I think America’s in tears about the loss of this great man.” Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted, “John McCain was an American hero, a man of decency and honor and a friend of mine. He will be missed not just in the US Senate but by all Americans who respect integrity and independence.”

    … Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “John McCain’s legacy represents an unparalleled example of human decency and American service. As an intern, I learned a lot about the power of humanity in government through his deep friendship with Sen. Kennedy. He meant so much, to so many. My prayers are with his family.”

    I have nothing to say.

  38. NotTimothyGeithner

    I think America’s in tears about the loss of this great man.”

    Of all the out of touch things Nancy Pelosi has ever said, this has to be in the running for the top spot.

  39. XXYY


    Good interview with an experienced organizer (not a mobilizer!).

    Her point is that “activism” is like building and training an army that can then be used going forward for long-running large scale campaigns. “Mobilization” is like rousing a crowd to storm a castle. The castle can be an important objective and capturing it a big win, but being able to whip up a crowd doesn’t do you much good in the larger sense, and the mob is likely to disperse once the castle is taken. Therefore, her point is, we should all focus on activism.

    I think she is discounting the fact that most people who are doing activism didn’t wake up one morning and say “I’m going to become an activist.” Their initial experiences were with marches or protests or building occupations or whatever (“mobilization”), after which, sometimes years later, they realized the potential, and perhaps that they enjoyed it or had a talent for it, and started to make more of a commitment. Pro baseball players start out playing sandlot ball. So I think we need to realize there’s a synergistic relationship between mobilizing and activism.

    She’s also disparaging of “Facebooking and tweeting”. I understand her point. But I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that a period of vastly increased popular mobilizing and activism is coinciding with the widespread availability of the internet and social media. One of the ways elites really clamp down on activism is by isolating people and making them think they have no allies in society, so they feel hopeless. This is how it was with traditional print and broadcast media in the US, where the perception of society was totally controlled by elites. Conversely, if people can see daily evidence that millions of other people feel the way they do, they start to feel hopeful and are very much encouraged to work for change. So things like FB and Twitter, for all their problems and superficiality, are (so far) excellent at letting people perceive the reality of their society and what other people are thinking and doing. (This, BTW, is not lost on elites themselves, and explains the energetic efforts to corporatize and lock down the internet, sometimes blatantly as in China and other times by gradually shifting the content to unaccountable private platforms and whipping contrived panics about Nazis and “fake news” and so on to justify banning certain content as in the US). So obviously we should *use* social media, but not *rely* on it as a substitute for deeper activism.

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