Links 10/10/18

And the fattest bear in Alaska is … 409 Beadnose Reuters

Nameless no more! Toronto Zoo’s baby hippo dubbed Penelope CBC

The bird voice box is one of a kind in the animal kingdom Science

Florida Panhandle Bracing for Category 4 Hit from Michael Weather Underground

Fortresses of mud: how to protect the San Francisco Bay Area from rising seas Nature

Response to the IPCC 1.5°C Special Report Kevin Anderson, Manchester Policy Blogs

Building A Global Democratic Movement to Counter Authoritarianism Bernie Sanders, Medium

How to avoid the next financial crisis Martin Wolf, FT

State says Tesla owes more than $650,000 in unemployment taxes; company blames ‘clerical error’ Nevada Indepedent. Totally on-brand for Tesla.

Some advertisers are moving half of their search budget from Google to Amazon, say ad industry sources CNBC

Is Manhattan on the edge of a prime housing precipice? FT


Bad news from Newport Paul Mason, Le Monde Diplomatique

Ultra-rich shift assets as fear of Labour government mounts FT

U.S. Threatens to Block U.K. From Global Procurement Pact Bloomberg

Revealed: The Run on Banks in Catalonia after the Independence Vote was Fomented by Madrid Wolf Street

Future of Western Democracy Being Played Out in Brazil Pepe Escobar, Consortium News

Hidden History: The US “War On Corruption” In Brasil Brasil WIre. From January, still germane.

How Brazil’s presidential election could eff up the planet for everyone Grist


Mnuchin warns China on currency devaluations FT

China’s Small Farms Are Fading. The World May Benefit. NYT

Why protests are so common in China The Economist

Leaked Transcript of Private Meeting Contradicts Google’s Official Story on China The Intercept

The Cybersecurity World Is Debating WTF Is Going on With Bloomberg’s Chinese Microchip Stories Bloomberg. “Show us the chips” does seem like a reasonable request, given anonymous intelligence community sourcing.

New Evidence of Hacked Supermicro Hardware Found in U.S. Telecom Bloomberg

I lived in a Tokyo coworking space Curbed

Trump Transition

Nikki Haley Stuns Washington by Announcing Resignation From U.N. Post Foreign Policy

Kavanaugh settles in, hires 4 female clerks, joins court for first day of arguments CNN

LAWSPLAINER: No, Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Won’t Free All Of Trump’s Crimimous Minions Through An Obscure Double Jeopardy Case Popehat

How Trump’s FDA is advancing Obama’s food policies New Food Economy

Analyzing the Effects of CFPB Oversight Liberty Street Econmics

Million public servants counting on broken PSLF program Credit Slips

Democrats in Disarray

Sanders set for multistate midterm campaign trip with notable stops in Iowa, Nevada The Hill

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Checkpoint Nation Texas Observer

Treasure hunters doubt FBI’s word on dig for Civil War gold AP

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange Is Stepping Down. Here’s Its New Editor Fortune. From September, still germane. See also on Assange’s status (Google translation).

Health Care

Effects Of Minimum Wages On Population Health Health Affairs

Medicaid Expansion and the Opioid Epidemic Health Policy Sense

Industry Involvement in Clinical Trials Huge, Often Downplayed MedPage Today


Lawmakers buy industry fix to protect schools from guns AP. A domestic self-licking ice cream cone.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Weapons Systems Cybersecurity: DOD Just Beginning to Grapple with Scale of Vulnerabilities (PDF) GAO

Class Warfare

Punya Prasun Bajpai: ‘India is witnessing social collapse’ CJR

Beware thought leaders and the wealthy purveying answers to our social ills WaPo (CM). Watch the parking meters.

Driving across the US gave me a different perspective on the American economy Larry Summers

Key Facilitation Skills: Managing the Obstreperous Grassroots Economic Organizing

Multiple uses for empty plastic bottles during disaster relief and beyond Science Daily (EM).

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote. Don’t try this at home!

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. emorej a hong kong

    Some advertisers are moving half of their search budget from Google to Amazon, say ad industry sources CNBC

    Buried lede:

    “Every company I know that sells on Amazon is basically moving budget to Amazon because they have no choice,”

    In other words: Amazon’s market power over retail sales of many items has already become extreme.

    Related observation: Bezos cheerfully announced a $15 minimum wage (with sneaky cost-reduction side tweaks) within a few weeks of Bernie Sanders’ directing of political spotlight to connection between Bezos’ personal wealth and the underpayment, and broad reliance on government benefits, of many Amazon workers. This contrasts starkly with the typical scenario of big companies and institutions tendency to delay concessions until much image damage has been inflicted.

    >1. Political smarts in a man this rich could lead to the unthinkable consequence of a tycoon jumping from business into the USA’s political leadership.
    >2. Good thing Bezos doesn’t own the Washington Post, and Amazon does not have operating relationships with the National Security State — oh wait!

    1. Louis Fyne

      I wish I could throw up on every pundit/journalist who champions Jeff Bezos as some sort of progressive icon.

      Every day thousands and thousands of delivery trucks plow through the America’s subdivisions and sidestreets delivering Amazon’s goods.

      It’s easy to mock Walmart cuz they’re ubiquitous. And you can connect the visuals of unhappy employees that big ugly blue box.

      Amazon is more insidious…its fulfillment centers are 1 hours drive outside of town, its distribution centers are 30 minutes away in some non-descript industrial park, and most people never have any interaction with an employee or Amazon-contractor.

      So of course everyone at Amazon must be happy enjoying their $15 or sipping lattes at Amazon HQ. Never mind all the outsourcing or cost-shifting.

      And Amazon’s great if you own a cardboard box factory.

      1. Monty

        …Also, they should step in and regulate the heck out of Netflix, in order to bring back all those great Blockbuster jobs!

          1. Kim Kaufman

            Reed Hastings is one of the biggest spenders on charter schools, anti-teacher unions and everything else to destroy public education.

        1. cnchal

          . . . at least get Netflix customers to pay for the bandwidth they gluttonously consume instead of someone that doesn’t use Netflix at all paying the freight for the Netflix load.

          As for Amazon, try not to let it eat you, after being so heavily subsidized by all governments, large and small, USPS, and the cheap power rates they wring out of the power companies, paid for by it’s closest neighbors.

          Amazon is the biggest tax suck and predator this side of the military.

      2. Wukchumni

        If we hate on Amazon enough, then the fallback position of going to big box stores instead is our backup?

        Much as i’d like to go to the mom & pop stores, they don’t exist anymore for the most part.

        1. Carla

          Well, let’s at least do our best to support all the remaining mom & pops we can — those of us who can afford to, I mean.

          1. Carla

            P.S. A friend of mine owns a local, independent bookstore in our town. People regularly come into her store, browse the shelves, take photos of books they are interested in and say, right in front of her, “I can get this for less on Amazon.”

            If I want to order books online, I shop where I can order from our local bookshop and they will email or call me to pick up the book when it comes in. Very convenient!

            1. Wukchumni

              Again, this Amazon discussion always breaks down to a favorite book store, either brick & mortar or online.

              It never addresses the plethora of consumer goods for sale in which there are basically no mom & pop stores participating any longer.

          2. 10leggedshadow

            Strolling through the King of Prussia mall, there were signs showing how mall shopping has a much lower carbon footprint that buying online.

      3. Jason Boxman

        In Cambridge, MA I see the non-description white vans around all the time. My apartment complex usually has mountains of packages delivered, often with Amazon branding. And the mystery of why I’ve seen the postal truck driving around on a Sunday back in Florida — Amazon — was answered recently too.

        1. Louis Fyne

          In most metro areas, Amazon contractors deliver 7 days a week for Amazon Logistics (amzn’s shipping arm).

          UPS, USPS, FedEx had to respond with weekend delivery too. But the weekend workers are contract, /at a lower tier, even at USPS. To keep costs down.

          Race to the bottom.

  2. emorej a hong kong

    Weapons Systems Cybersecurity: DOD Just Beginning to Grapple with Scale of Vulnerabilities (PDF) GAO

    The two-year lag to this headline, from the allegations that Russia had committed cyber Pearl Harbor to destroy our 2016 Presidential election, may be the single data point most emphatically proving that “Imperial Collapse” has reached the ‘free-fall’ stage.

    1. SoldierSvejk

      Could it be that this was not taken seriously because those in charge knew there was no truth to “the allegations that Russia had committed cyber Pearl Harbor to destroy our 2016 Presidential election”?

      1. emorej a hong kong

        no truth to the allegations

        This is likely part of the explanation. Perhaps another part is that it is easier to profit from fixing foreign sabotage than from preventing it.

        1. Skip Intro

          And faking then fixing foreign sabotage is even better, a cross between self-licking ice cream cone and protection/extortion racket!

      2. The Rev Kev

        But, but, Bernie said that the Russiansdidit in one of tonight’s links! And he would never lie to Americans on a matter of such importance, would he?

        1. polecat

          But to too many, “Bernie” is a ‘god’ .. and without sin !

          I’m sooo tired of political deities, of what ever stripe.

          1. The Rev Kev

            The Links get loaded up here about 9 pm local time while Lambert’s Water Cooler links load up in the wee hours of the morning. It’s a big planet.

        2. barefoot charley

          I was pleased to read in Bernie’s speech this morning that he’s integrating his recognition of American reality with what’s happening across the world, and even mildly suggesting that America is modeling the global authoritarian movement. In order to say such things he also has to mouth the usual absurdities about RussiaRussia, to prove that he’s a Democrat after all, just like Liz Warren does. And he has to play down what he clearly understands, in order to help others understand anything. Previously he avoided any engagement with foreign affairs. Now he even mentions Palestine! Guarded wow from me, so far.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Not directly related to Sanders, but this reminds me of a famous sushi chef who famously posted this on his eatery: Omakase*.

            *meaning, I understand, in Japanese, Trust Me (and My Sushi…it’s safe…I washed my hands).

          2. Ernie

            I disagree that Bernie “has to mouth the usual absurdities about RussiaRussia, to prove that he’s a Democrat.” Perhaps attacking the absurdities would be a bridge too far, but his point about authoritarianism would have had just as much impact without having to gratuitously add claims about the supposed Russian hold over Trump. I stopped reading at that point.

            If Bernie lacks enough insight to see through the bogus RussiaRussia claims, or is so compromised that he feels he needs to give such full-throated support to them . . . [exasperation]. As someone who knocked on doors, and bought the t-shirt, and donated a lot of money I couldn’t really afford in 2015 and 2016, I can’t tell you how disappointed I am.

            1. pjay

              I completely second your sentiment. Bernie does NOT have to support this BS. Trump didn’t (in his campaign, anyway) and it didn’t hurt him any politically. And I’m willing to bet that the Democratic base (what’s left of it) is less war-mongering than the Republican base. The U.S. and its NATO lackeys have *weaponized* “democracy”; such uncritical comments about “democracy” vs. “authoritarianism” without specific historical or geopolitical analysis plays right into their hands.

              Does Bernie realize this? Like most readers here at NC, I agree, often strongly, with most of what Bernie said above. But the most successful disinformation skillfully blends truths with false or misleading statements that play on emotion. Bernie does this here. Does he know what he is doing??

              I know this has been discussed at length here (and among many progressives). But “disappointed” is not strong enough to express my feelings on this issue.

              1. barefoot charley

                I feel you all. A lifetime on the fringes of politics has taught me well how to stay there. I think Bernie’s going a step beyond, and I don’t begrudge it, because I know how powerless it is to be right all the time. He has to speak outside our echo chamber.

              2. Big Tap

                Unfortunately Bernie does need to support some of this Democratic nonsense or the party will remove him from the 2020 primaries. I believe he knows this and is playing along. The Democrats can always say he not a real Democrat but is only saying so to get on our primary ballots. I’m not taking Sanders seriously till he’s on the primary ballot and can’t be removed than I’ll listen to him.


                1. polecat

                  I think the time has come for Sanders to either fish, or cut bait ! Perhaps it’s time to go Full Independant, and flush away the skin of the Donkey. I’d bet, sure as carts to horses, that millions of plebes, from Both legacy parties, will pull the lever for a full-on Independant candidate, enough to really upset the sclerotic, and fossilized, duopoly.

                  1. John k

                    Not if he’s not on the ballot.
                    The duopoly controls ballot access. You gotta play with their ball or go green.

                2. dcrane

                  But does he have to pretend that there is some reason behind Trump’s “unwillingness to say that Putin intervened” other than the very simple and obvious one that Trump’s entire (quite successful) schtick is based on relentless dominance/bullying, and that suggesting that his victory could have been, in any way, increased by Putin would be the opposite of that strategy? In other words, it’s just Trump’s pure personal and political selfishness. None of the three reasons Bernie offered mention this.

                1. Andrew Watts

                  I’d say the act of deifying individual politicians is an even bigger mistake then anything Bernie has said. Jesus, so much about American society is Christianity without Christ.

                  1. knowbuddhau

                    You said it. I like how Alastair Crooke has been treating the subject.


                    We live in a moment of the waning of two major projects: the decline of revealed religion, and – simultaneously – of the discrediting of the experience of secular Utopia. We live in a world littered with the debris of utopian projects which – though they were framed in secular terms, that denied the truth of religion – were in fact, vehicles for religious myth.

                    The Jacobin revolutionaries launched the Terror as a violent retribution for élite repression — inspired by Rousseau’s Enlightenment humanism; the Trotskyite Bolsheviks murdered millions in the name of reforming humanity through Scientific Empiricism; the Nazis did similar, in the name of pursuing ‘Scientific (Darwinian) Racism’.

                    The American millenarian ‘myth’, then and now, was (and is), rooted in the fervent belief in the Manifest Destiny of the United States, and is, in the last resort, nothing other than one particular example in a long line of attempts to force a shattering discontinuity in history (through which human society would then subsequently, be re-made).

                    In other words, all these utopian projects – all these successors to apocalyptic Judaic and Christian myth – saw a collective humankind pursuing its itinerary to a point of convergence, and to some sort of End Time (or End to History).

                    Well … we do not live these myths now: Even secular utopia will no longer ‘do’. It will not fill the void. The optimistic certitudes connected with the idea of linear ‘progress’ have become particularly discredited. So, by what will we live? This is no esoteric debate. These are questions of history, and destiny.

                    It’s Jung’s crucial, essential question: by what myth(s) are we, collectively and singularly, living?

                    If one of my chosen Völkergedanken, the church of Science can’t come up with a narrative toute suite that, while staying true to its Elementargedanken conveys the hyper-diaper urgency of immediate radical action to decarbonize now, it’d might be best to start planning on what to call the new Dark Ages.

                    But cheer up; they weren’t that dark, you know. I highly, and in case of failure of literally mythic proportions, very highly recommend the BBC series The Dark Ages: An Age of Light.

            2. Roger Smith

              Should Sanders run, or someone like him in terms of the domestic economic policies, they will never win the bipartisan votes necessary if they keep stupidly parroting this tired, unfounded, bogus Democrat party nonsense. Whether it is about Russia, or the Electoral College, the new Authoritarianism of Trump (seriously what the familyblog), or the Federal Debt and it works the same if the person parrots GOP talking points like Iran or “ermagherd socialism/Venezuela”… The Democrats will not beat Republicans and this is part of what it will take to beat both parties.

            3. Andrew Watts

              The only reason Bernie has succeeded to the extent that he has is due to the fact he’s chosen his political battles wisely. It isn’t worth fighting about Russian electoral interference when Guccifer2.0 allegedly logged in to a social media account without using a VPN. He doesn’t necessarily have to over-hype it, and I don’t think he has, because this is all fairly normal foreign intelligence gathering.

              Although I’d absolutely love it if Bernie got up in public and asked people what they think the NSA does under similar circumstances. There’s a reason why the NSA was only “moderate” confident about election meddling.

              Har, har!

              1. The Rev Kev

                I can understand Bernie folding and spouting the Russiadidit meme but I always thought that he could have done it in a way that played to his strengths. He could have said something like this:

                “By golly, the Russiansdidit. So let’s take them to the International Court and show them up before the whole world what they did. We’ll simply marshal all the evidence that we have put together the past two years and present it for international scrutiny. Anything that is classified a sitting President can have de-classified and I am sure that President Trump would be keen to help here with all the evidence. Let a team of international judges and jurist examine our case and confirm all that we have.”

                I believe that in Poker terms, Bernie here would be telling the deep state “Call!”

                1. Young

                  I knew Bernie was a loser when he dismissed the e-mail issue.

                  Then, he double down with the endorsement.

                  It is time for him to collect speaking fees.

                  1. John k

                    You don’t go to war with the army you want.
                    You go to war with the one you’ve got.
                    Bernie is by far the best we’ve got.

  3. emorej a hong kong

    Key Facilitation Skills: Managing the Obstreperous Grassroots Economic Organizing

    Very valuable link.

    It can get pretty messy… [when] …others can’t imagine that Person X is oblivious to how much the group struggles with their behavior and therefore posit that it’s purposefully chosen

    … which flags the necessity, in any context related to electoral or other organizing related to public policy, to keep in mind the facts that:
    1. many people commit intentional sabotage (for a pay-check, or for perverse psychological reasons), and
    2. many other people are unintentionally more destructive than the most intentional of saboteurs, but
    3. over-quick exclusion of such people creates an atmosphere non-conducive to mass recruitment.

    1. JTMcPhee

      There is an explanation for a lot of this behavior in this little ‘study:’ “The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity,”

      I took part in a “Democrat” protest event a couple of years ago. (I was a “war protester” back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, a “movement” that some still claim was effectual in “ending the Vietnam war,” as opposed to the kind of exhaustion-after-huge-wealth-transfer that is now getting feathered and bruited as “time to negotiate with the Taliban:” , and from the Serious Press,

      It’s interesting to search on “time to negotiate with the Taliban” in DDG. The notion has been raised repeatedly (quashed by the Imperial Consensus time and again) since what, 2001? There are reasons, this among them, that people increasingly have a sense of futility when it comes to the Dance of the Elephants — and the best we wee beasties can do is to try to be quick and agile and somehow avoid being trampled by the Brobdingnagians like the Seurity State/Bezosians/Big Money…

      1. JTMcPhee

        And what I really wanted to mention was that at that little Main Street intersection/Intesectionality protest, over some identitarian issue (not a word about universal concrete material benefits, and sidelong glances at me and the friend I was there with for re=writing the signs to push Medicare for All and an end to imperial wars and a living wage and stuff. there were these little snakes with clipboards and cameras going around asking for Personally Identifying Information and snapping pics, trying to look all Journalist when you knew from long experience they were just the little wimps who are attracted to the miasma of power that being a Secret Operative confers…

        1. Eureka Springs

          Ran across this yesterday.

          FBI records shed light on the agency’s impersonation of journalists and documentary filmmakers

          with link to:
          the specifics of the agency’s guidelines for impersonating members of the news media in undercover activities and operations.

          1. JTMcPhee

            We know it’s happening, maybe nothing to be done about it since this is how corrupt empires and states always work. Except (and this is very hard for dainty liberals and progressives) confront the likely suspects, do a little backgrounding on them too, show up out front of their residences, place stickers on their vehicles identifying them as Stasi types, things like that. Nice people get screwed because they are mostly aghast at the notion of playing hardball, even up against the little weasels and big skunks who are stomping their faces and stealing their children’s futures… because we are just not “wired” for it? Somehow the Fifth Columnists and agitprop Red Squad types manage to overcome the nominal reluctance…

    2. diptherio

      The whole (on-going) series is excellent. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in any type of collective action, imho.

  4. Darius

    Scratching my head over the NYT piece celebrating the demise of small farms in China. In America, this has benefited the big processors, not the farmers.

    1. Pat

      The NYT being a neoliberal corporate cheerleader, my reaction is of course it does. You never know what American multinational corporations will benefitN.

    2. JTMcPhee

      It’s said that those small farmers, with practices like living close with pigs and fowl, produce increased jumping of nasty diseases from species to species. Leading to Swine Flu and Avian Flu and stuff like that. Not that concentrated corporate breeding, feeding and slaughtering operations don’t act as vectors and fomites in the Great War of Biology that old Mother Nature operates — may the best adapting species win…

      The neoliberal explanation and prescription for “fixing China’s farms:”

  5. Watt4Bob

    I hope you’ll forgive me from posting this again, but I came late to yesterday’s links;

    I have a colleague who was military trained in cyber security.

    I asked him yesterday, what he thought of the China hardware-hack story?

    “You know why, right?”


    “It’s because Dell and HP have been shipping all their computers through the government for back-door installation.”

    Long story short, it’s a tit-for-tat move, probably designed as a shot across the bow of our security services.

    The empire has gotten to the point in its decay where the military has been experiencing a massive brain-drain that has now come to negatively effect our intelligence services.

    The stupid, greedy, and amoral have crowded out the folks, upon whom we the people have traditionally relied, those with both intelligence, and a moral compass.

    The dummies at the top of America’s intelligence services seem bent on making profits of different sorts off of cyber-warfare.

    I’m talking about Gen. Keith Alexander, Gen. James Clapper, and Gen. Michael Hayden, all cyber-hawks, of the “bring-it-on” school.

    Cyber-warfare entails way too much collateral damage, so it’s stupid to even pretend to want ‘total-spectrum-dominance’ in the cyber realm because the cyber-arms-race that then ensues is in no way less impactful than the nuclear arms race has been, and continues to be.

    The smart and moral have abandoned the ship of fools that is our military, and left the stupid and amoral to rise to the ranks of General Staff, and now our presidents are naming them to positions they are in no way qualified to administer.

    “Our guys” decided to back-door every PC made in America, and so, China decided that they too could play that game.

    All that CPU power, and all that RAM is busy servicing spies of all sort, Facebook, Google, Amazon, the NSA, CIA, the FBI, and the Chinese.

    It’s spies all the way down, and on our part at least, stupid, greedy spies.


    I’ve purchased between 1-2 thousand computers over the course of my career, so I’ve witnessed the evolution of the PC at virtually every step.

    What I think I see now is the opposite of what I expected 25 years ago, rather than an increasingly flexible platform that enables users to more easily, and economically follow their creative passions, we’re getting computers in strait jackets, designed to enable shopping, social media, and spying of all sorts.

    ‘They’ have gradually turned the personal computer into a phone.

    Creative types, and other demanding/concerned users have begun hoarding older less ‘crapified’ equipment.

    Businesses are starting to understand that all those connections to the ‘cloud’ come with a high price in terms of bandwidth, uncertain security, and of course rent.

    Employees and customers routinely use 10x the internet bandwidth that our business processes require. Our networks would be literally swamped, bandwidth saturated with employee and customer devices if I didn’t corral and isolate them.

    The first ten years or so of the internet was fascinating, the last ten years have seen the internet turned into a sewer, and now the combination of surveillance and advertising has come to dominate the environment.

    A world full of dummies swimming in a sewer, herded by the stupid, greedy, and criminal folks we’ve allowed to loot all the rest of our common spaces.

    I don’t know why I ever thought the internet would be different?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Thanks, great rant, hard to disagree. I keep telling young ‘uns that the best desktop ever made was an Apple, circa 1988-95. It did everything most everyone would want a pc to do, and it did it with style and elegance and reliability.

      We have a new computer system in my office. One of our administrators said that they’ve calculated that its tripled the amount of man-time it takes to carry out basic administrative functions. Its only obvious merit is that it allows senior managers to create attractive looking bar charts showing individual work outputs (which are, incidentally, childishly easy to game so nobody is worried about this).

    2. Llewelyn Moss

      Great comment. Windows 10 has become a spy OS and advertising delivery mechanism. There are background jobs that pop up frequently (many times an hour) and drain a significant amount of CPU and send/recieve unknown data to/from gawd knows where. These are Microsoft processes, not some malware. I finally gave up trying to configure windows to just stop it and wrote my own program to watch for these spy processes and kill them when they start up. Plus windows phones home with Telemetry data and will not disclose what they are collecting (probably sharing it with the NSA). This Big Brother Sh1+ to the extreme. If I didn’t need Windows for software that I support, I would have WinExited years ago.

    3. Amfortas the hippie

      and here I had suspected that my tech difficulties were the result of terminal Luddism.
      I miss Windows98SE…but Win7 sufficed, until my 9 YO laptop started trying to brick itself.
      Everything available from an actual human salesperson was preloaded with Win10(i ain’t savvy enough to order custom online)…which I have loathed since my mom’s machine was thus hijacked.
      Mercilessly herded into Bill’s private enclaves, disallowed from tinkering much with the automata without a coding class, and much of my favorite freeware is disliked by my own machine…..(which reminds me of the john deere phenomenon of tractor owners not owning their tractors)…
      Took me a week to get rid of/turn off(I hope) the numerous hogs that come with…mcafee, especially. I hate that guy and all his works.
      and the damned update everything “feature’ keeps turning itself on.
      The next week will be devoted to seeking out all the crap that’s connecting itself to the internet(for my convenience)…something I don’t look forward to.

      It’s ontologically and teleologically different from win98.
      “Innovation” must mean something else in Redmond.
      and “user friendly”, too.
      It shouldn’t be this way.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Using Windows 7 myself and will like hell migrate to Windows 10. I don’t know if this will work for you or not but have you thought about installing Virtualbox in Windows 10? That way in your Virtualbox you can run hopefully Windows 7 or maybe even Windows 98SE. You will have to ask someone much more knowledgeable than myself if this is a viable option. Below is an article talking about this-

        And here is a YouTube link as well-

        1. vlade

          I’ve upgraded to 10, because MS, breaking its own end-user-agreement, refused to provide any Win7 updates (including addressign the critical Intel vulnerability) to Win7 running on a newer HW. They used an extremely lame excuse, but I was really left with little choice, as I have to be on MS ecosystem to be able to work.

        2. Louis Fyne

          I bought two used backup/spare parts laptops from ebay just so i can keep running win7 ($50 each today, $999+ 8 years ago). Add in a modern SSD, an image your current hard drive and you’re set

          This approach isn’t for all, but works great for me.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I’m not familiar with this topic, but one concern for me would be if the the used computers have been ‘hardware hacked’ by the sellers.

            Is that too much or unnecessary worrying?

            1. Louis Fyne

              short answer, probably. IMO, hardware hacking a random person is a supreme waste of talent and time.

              There are free network monitoring tools that you can use to watch/block outgoing traffic to suspicious web addresses (nearly always that’s adverts though)

              One laptop bought off of a school district’s IT dept, surplus in pristine condition. One laptop I bought from a IT recycler. again very good condition.

              If you’re patient, you’ll find what you’re looking for. And save a lot of money—-as long as your CPU needs are in the bottom 75%—-no high-end gaming, no serious video editing, no high-end number crunching.

    4. Laughingsong

      As a server admin myself, I couldn’t agree more! We have steadily watched the compromising and crapifying of hardware, software, and service…. all of which cost a premium in the server realm. We still have a few old ProLiant G4 and G5 servers and they are miles away in quality compared to Gen8 and Gen9, so much so that we’ve left HP for good. This was truly disgusting to me as I have worked with HP equipment since my first computer related job in 1984, operating an HP 3000 series 44 minicomputer in 1984.

    5. JacobiteInTraining

      “…The first ten years or so of the internet was fascinating, the last ten years have seen the internet turned into a sewer, and now the combination of surveillance and advertising has come to dominate the environment….”

      Same experience here. Got into computers in 7th grade at the very tail-end of the paper-printing dumb terminals connected to the central ‘time share’ mainframe. Hobby and occupationally devoured all things computer from early Apples, Macs, the first PCs, game consoles, the first hints of the Internet through college, went ballistic with my energies before and during the dot-com boom with MSFT as a blue-card, supported so much cool stuff and fascinating technology whilst troubleshooting and fixing things.

      Then, a certain distaste…malaise…fear…appeared in the mid 2010’s. Then came Snowden and the gut-punch realization that TPTB – whether stasi or corporate – truly had turned what I dearly loved into a crack-smoking burnt-up whore….to put it bluntly.

      Now, though I use small judicious amounts of technology mainly for work….my hobbies and loves have returned to all thing pre-digital-tech. mechanical devices from the 19th and early 20th century. Analog radios and devices….blacksmithing….animal husbandry….farming. And at least I’ve found a new love. :)

      I guess if the fascists and stasi want me to zig…..I’m gonna have to zag…..

      1. Wukchumni

        I find i’m most attracted to doing things, computers can’t.

        Ever see a laptop walking on a dusty trail, yeah, me neither.

        1. JacobiteInTraining

          Heh, as a side note – I used to be a backpacker all the time, up and around the Cacades, Coast Range, SE Alaska…but haven’t done much of that at all in the last 15 years. You specifically – and all your cool little vignettes of the Sierra hikes you do – reawakened that hiking/backpacking itch in me.

          Took a 5-mile hike last weekend up around the (now out) Hamma Hamma fire area, beautiful…a few slugs & salamanders seen. getting my winter camping stuff dusted off & upgraded for when the snow flies, and a friend & i scheduled for an overnighter up around middle-of-nowhere Quinalt way soon.

          You have positive impact on us remotely! :)

          1. Wukchumni

            You know what it’s like to be in the embrace of wilderness, and i’m glad to have rekindled it for you, and it’s pretty much the same as it ever was, in a world bent on change.

        2. Monty

          … But won’t you think about all the Best Buy employees you’re cheating out of a living wage by making this kind of selfish decision!

        3. WobblyTelomeres

          Yes, yes I have. Well, it wasn’t that dusty seeing as how it was quite green here at the time.

          Some students of mine were having trouble getting an embedded motherboard working on their robot (summer project, August, running out of time), so they pulled the board and zip-tied one of their laptops in its place. They then sent it out into the field behind the lab for the afternoon.

      2. knowbuddhau

        That’s about how I felt in the late 80s when, studying psychology to learn how brains work, which actually was the The Thing I Wanted To Know ever since I was 9 and pegged the needle on the 1973 standardization of the Stanford-Binet (not much on neuroanatomy in a grade school library, btw), I found out it was both in a foundational crisis and the bastards had been using it to torture.

    6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thanks for the informative comment.

      If our government also hardware hacks, can or does it go all the way and get every bit of information from one’s computers?

      Is it possible the intelligence gathered this way is more useful from, not necessarily you or me, but from senators and other politicians, for the deep state/blob?

      The other question is, if this is what the government does, should we be comfortable with the current monetary setup where the government can spend as much money as it wants? Is there a slightly different MMT, where it’s the people who spend money into existence, and not the government? In that alternate theory or model, the government runs on a strict budget.

      1. Watt4Bob

        Something that should be remembered is that if they collect everything, and that has been clearly stated, and archive it in such a way that it can be searched, that means if you run afoul of the deep state in the future, they could search your past to find something to charge you with.

        Also you’d have investigations of one person leading to ‘accidental’ discovery of crimes by folks who might be somehow related.

        This sort of stuff obliterates our constitutional rights in every which way, lack of probable cause, illegal search and seizure, privacy rights.

        I have no doubt it would turn into prison pipeline eventually if we keep moving in the direction we’re going.

      2. Oregoncharles

        I think that version of MMT would be more than slightly different, and we’d have to create it more or less from whole cloth.

        Sometimes there’s no way around the government; ultimately, it rests on the monopoly on force.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    Future of Western Democracy Being Played Out in Brazil Pepe Escobar, Consortium News

    Hidden History: The US “War On Corruption” In Brasil Brasil WIre. From January, still germane.

    How Brazil’s presidential election could eff up the planet for everyone Grist

    With all the other things going on, Brazil hasn’t had as much attention as its due. The media tends to paint Bolsonaro as a sort of local Trump or Duterte, but he is by any standards much, much, worse. He is straight out of central casting as the worst form of South American totalitarian fascist (I don’t usually like throwing around the F word, but it certainly applies here). The potential damage he can and will do to Brazil and beyond if he winds is horrifying. And as the links show, it was the neoliberal right (and US interference) which has brought him to the verge of power. They would clearly prefer this to even a moderate progressive like Lula and Haddad. We can only hope Haddad can pull off a miracle, but it doesn’t look likely.

    1. Judith

      Escobar discusses the relationship between Bannon and Bolsonaro as well as Bannon’s activities in Europe. His article is far-reaching and well worth reading.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes – even though they disagree with each other on many things, the far right worldwide are clearly organising in a way beyond the left, and they are learning from each other. Combining the anger of the dispossessed with religious radicals (as Bolsonaro has done) along with a greedy and desperate neoliberal establishment which foolishly thinks it can control people like him is potentially a potent mix for winning power and doing lots of damage with it.

        1. pjay

          This brings up a question as to who, or what, represents the “neoliberal establishment”? Certainly there would be a lot of hand wringing at the New Yorker (such pundits, like Bernie in the address linked above, obfuscate by lumping Bolsonaro with Trump and Putin as one big right-wing tribe). But do you think the real powers that be are worrying about the “damage” the pro-Western Bolsonaro will impose on the population of Brazil? For a hint at what I mean by the real powers that be, I strongly recommend the ‘Hidden History’ article.

        2. Mel

          It would seem like people who believe in decentralizing power will have trouble going up against people who believe in centralizing power. I haven’t figured out how to make that work.

      2. Olga

        Pepe E wrote it before this came out
        “The French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has said that Donald Trump’s former aide Steve Bannon would not play a leading role in a nationalist drive to “save the real Europe” as he is “American, not European.” Speaking during a joint press conference in Rome with Matteo Salvini, the Italian interior minister and leader of the far-right League, Le Pen said she wanted to clarify “lots of conjectures” about Bannon’s plans to set up a Europe-wide network to boost the chances of populist parties ahead of elections to the European parliament in May 2019.”
        Who knows what is really going on…

        1. pjay

          Amen to your last sentence! But I am skeptical about the MSMs attempts to link (and demonize) all of the world’s right-wing or nationalist political movements through the personae of Bannon. Not a particular fan of these movements (or Bannon), but…

        2. Unna

          Very skeptical of any long term alliance of Bannon and and Europeans like Le Pen, Salvini, Orban, etc. Of course, the perpetually freaked out about Russia Poles are a different story.

          For me, Bannon is the sheepdog of American neo liberal economic and military-political world Hegemony. These Europeans are for preserving their national independence and social systems. Their particular food systems and craft industries, their modes of production, as well as national-ethnic cultures. They are fundamentally “anti American.” Just ask Wall Street.

          Bannon and these nationalists do have opposition to the EU in common. But whereas Bannon wants to weaken the EU to clear the way for increased American control over the individual European states, the European nationalists want to weaken the EU in order to reassert their own national sovereignty. National sovereignty is both anti America and anti neo liberal capitalism. All of these nationalists, except the Poles of course, are open to friendly relations with Russia which is contrary to American business and military interests which are clearly represented by Trump, no matter what he said during the election.

          Contrary to the Europeans Bolsonaro is Bannon’s kind of guy. In the bag for Wall Street, neo liberal poverty for the people, America, Mike Pence evangelical Brazilians, all dressed up in faux patriotic word blather.

          Of course, my opinions are subject to change without notice. But that’s the way it seems to me right now.

          1. knowbuddhau

            Thanks for the Euroview, very informative. I don’t know anything about it first-hand, by travel or daily acquaintances, that’s why I hang out here.

            Have to disagree here though: “all dressed up in faux patriotic word blather.” From what I gather, ain’t much “faux” about Bolsanoro.

            People like a real killer. We’re social primates with maybe 300,000 years of being human earthlings in the DNA of every cell of our bodies (except gametes?). It’s visceral. The recurring themes of being human in society are just as much a part of our psyches.

            The kind of narrative too easily dismissed as blather worked rather well when it played in Nürnberg. Riefenstahl’s work shows it plays just as well on the big screen.

            What’s the Left’s story? In a world where corruption is everywhere, why turn Left? The other guys are sounding notes that resonate deep into our primal past. If we play on intellect, no emotion, we’ll ring like a toy xylophone.

            And remember, if it don’t move people, like now, it’s crap.

    2. WobblyTelomeres

      Our civilization is organized around slaking the whims and thirsts of sociopaths; Bolsonaro, Le Pen, Koch (pick two), Clinton (pick two), Bannon, Trump (the entire multigenerational lot), Adelson, Thatcher (dig ‘er up), the list is long and goes back thousands of years. One of the questions that bugs me is whether this is the nature of our species, that sociopaths always seem to rise to the top. Capitalism, communism, totalitarianism; it appears that only in the small is it possible to keep the malign at bay. OTOH, maybe I need to get away from the news for a bit.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        There have been intuitions about flaws innate in humankind for more than a thousand years, from Original Sin to Thanatos and Eros, Wotan, to Arthur Koestler’s Ghost in the Machine. There is ongoing controversy about the evolution of language, intelligence, and consciousness suggesting a relatively sudden mutation around 70 thousand years ago resulted in the present state of the human species and there’s been too little time for the slow exclusions of evolution to weed out all the ‘bugs’ in this innovation. Perhaps there is a genetic component to human flaws. I suspect there is also a social component. Our societies can and have evolved magnifying our flaws. Perhaps the ‘Jackpot’ will eliminate these genes, their carriers, and their impacts on and by human society. The humankind that passes through the ‘Jackpot’ — assuming there are any — might be cleansed of at least some of the flaws that brought about the ‘Jackpot’.

    3. Carolinian

      The Brasil Wire piece is a meaty read and many thanks for the link. Here’s the nut

      it can already be established on the basis of what is available that despite denial and obfuscation, Sérgio Moro has, in collaboration with various wings of the US Government and its expanded apparatus, aided the removal of an elected President, convicted a former President, and future candidate – all of the same party – and with that significantly contributed to a change in Brazil’s political direction, away from social democratic, mildly redistributive developmentalism, and towards discreet re-colonisation as authoritarian client state or neoliberal viceroyalty. This comes combined with a new US Military presence on Brazilian territory which was simply unthinkable just a few years ago.[…]

      Post-coup recipient of military honours, Sérgio Moro is reportedly planning a move to the United States once the Lava Jato investigation is concluded.

      The United States–beacon of democracy–is still going around the world overthrowing governments but now we use the color revolution playbook as courts and the media overrule the country’s voting public. Lawfare rather than warfare is the new field of imperial conquest with the additional advantage that warriors can do it sitting in front of their computers rather than strapping on combat jackets.

      1. Judith

        I assume the US military presence in South America is not just in Brazil.

        And this from today’s FT:

        The dramatic surge in Brazilian markets is not the only factor lifting animal spirits among senior business leaders and financiers in São Paulo this week.

        The prospect of rightwing congressman Jair Bolsonaro winning the presidency and implementing a liberalising economic programme has kindled hopes among many that decades of Brazilian statist policies are about to be reversed.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      (Slightly related.)

      Will future GOP supreme court justice nominees, seeing what Justice K went through, have second thoughts?

      Do we consider that thinking (and succeeding) long term, (i.e., patiently like wise men and women around the world, when the immediate environment is not favorable)?

  7. Livius Drusus

    Re: I lived in a Tokyo coworking space.

    These alternative working arrangements always seem terrible to me. The campaign for work-life balance has been a big failure and has likely made work worse. It has given employers cover for various experiments that mean more domination over workers. At least traditional workplaces allowed you to have your own life once you clocked out. Now many employers expect you to be on call 24/7. Decades ago it seemed like only a handful of professions like medical doctor had to deal with that but it seems much more common now. Whenever I hear terms like “work flexibility” I get nervous. A good example of “be careful what you wish for.”

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Employers have a lot of leverage here and they know it. A key problem I’ve found is that while most workers want a firm delineation of work and private life (and in countries like the Netherlands and Germany this type of delineation is still very firmly embedded in the culture), there are many people – mostly younger ones I’ve noticed – who insist on the merits of more casual working arrangements for their own benefit. They seem oblivious to the reality that while, yes, having flexibility is good, with the power imbalance at work, this will inevitably be turned around to the employers benefit.

    2. Craig H.

      The thing that made my stomach turn was the communal employee kitchen. American office refrigerators can be as filthy as sewers. If the boss doesn’t feel like washing his dishes who is going to nag him? Also: it is a good article!

      (maybe that is how poisoning as a career advancement tactic got started)

    3. Arizona Slim

      Slim here. I’m a member of the only remaining co-working space in Tucson. And I distinctly remember signing a contract saying that sleeping overnight was prohibited.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    Bad news from Newport Paul Mason, Le Monde Diplomatique

    Interesting and depressing read.

    Both in Newport and Merthyr, Labour activists expressed concerns about racism and xenophobia colonising closed, local ‘news’, Facebook groups. In small town communities, where the physical public space is effectively deserted after six in the evening, such bulletin boards have become an important online space for transmitting prejudice and disinformation. More than 17,000 people follow the closed Facebook group ‘Merthyr Council Truths’. Its influencers consistently peddle the narrative that job losses in the Welsh Valleys were caused by membership of the EU, that EU funding for infrastructure actually sucks economic activity out of Wales, and that the Labour establishment is corrupt.

    In Newport it’s a similar story. Nicola Davies told me: ‘I choose to engage in a group called Newport News. It has 5,000 members. The divide is extreme. I go on and challenge the racism but I know what’s driving it. Their attitude is “I’ve got bugger all so I am terrified someone else will take it from me”.’ Though support for UKIP has declined since the Brexit vote, UKIP itself has swung towards the far right, welcoming the blogger Milo Yiannopoulos, courting Steve Bannon’s international alt-right network, and adding antisemitism to its traditional mix of Islamophobia and hostility to migrants. When Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the fascist English Defence League, was jailed for contempt of court, UKIP mobilised its followers for a demonstration in London to support him; it turned into a riot. UKIP is currently considering whether to allow Robinson into its ranks. Nicola Davies said: ‘My biggest concern is that if Tommy Robinson gets allowed into UKIP he has a huge following: he could pull 10,000 people on the streets of Newport.’

    We’ve focused a lot here on discussing the political and economic aspects of Brexit – but its the social impact that could be most profound. The potential for a bad Brexit to create havoc on the streets is very real. The political implications could sweep both the Tories and Labour away. It would be nice to think that this would create space for a new politics, but history says that these situations rarely result in good outcomes. There is a lot of anger building up on the ground in many places across the UK.

    1. begob

      The bit about push-back from communities on changes to health services doesn’t square at all with the article on the US threatening to block the UK at the WTO on procurement.

  9. Steve H.

    > Fortresses of mud: how to protect the San Francisco Bay Area from rising seas

    “Don’t Drain the Swamp, Restore It!”

    Buried lede: “Human development has trapped sediment behind dams and levees, leaving the bay, like many deltas around the world, without enough raw material to keep up with rising seas.”

    So human development is interfering with the development of human development. Which is really what the article is talking about protecting. Most human communities have developed at the waters edge, and upstream development expands their length of edge at the expense of downstream communities. The wellspring feeds the mouth, until it don’t.

    1. Lee

      If they are going to charge for the procedure they should at least provide a diagnosis and health insurance should cover the cost.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Can’t remember whether that article covered it, but there’s been very serious pushback against the doctors/hospitals, including big lawsuits and payouts. The whole thing was utterly illegal, and the hospitals won’t be going along with it any more.

        Of course, that may mean the agents themselves doing the medical stuff.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Driving across the US gave me a different perspective on the American economy”

    Gawd! How I despise this man. If he really wanted a different perspective on the American economy then I have a suggestion. He should organize a Conference in San Franciso of he and all his colleagues. Then what they should do is walk out the conference center and spend the next several hours doing a walking tour of the streets of San Francisco. See what people like them have enabled.
    And when he says that the concerns of the coasts are remote to those in the interior, well of course they are going to be. These people don’t live on the coast. They have livings to make and bills to pay right where they live. Essentially those on the coast could not care what happens to the heartlands either so it all works out even. Certainly “Lightbulb” Larry couldn’t care less.
    As for his brazen claim that “the free market had little to do with the settling and economic progress of the American West. The economy of many of the places we visited was the creation of the U.S. government.” Why didn’t he just come out and say: “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that”. Who exactly does he think raised the cattle and grew the wheat to feed the major cities and towns in America. Artisanal farmers? Can’t he just go away.

    1. tegnost

      yes I was hoping for some minor epiphany, but no…there’s just nothing out there in the heartland but, well nothing…
      Much of the land we saw not only was uninhabited but also seemed to be put to little economic use — valleys too arid to farm or even to support ranching; mountain ranges too rugged to support year-round economic activity. We drove past some romantic ghost towns but more abandoned cafes, gas stations and hotels.

    2. Brindle

      Summers observes that people engage in activities and put up signs that tell others about the activities–what a moron:

      “In many places, signs for church suppers, hunting clubs and local fairs outnumbered political signs or even signs for commercial goods, which tells a cultural story.”

      1. Carolinian

        Yes his insights aren’t too insightful but plaudits for the effort. Israel gives Jewish students “Birthright” tours during summer months. Maybe all those coastal prep schools and high status universities should do the same for American students. This could be more useful for our future rulers than trips to Europe.

    3. RUKidding

      Summers & his ilk & toadies & sycophants, including politicians (looking at you, Obama) strive to remain as clueless as possible, I suppose, in order to continue wreaking havoc on the proles and the peons and the environment and on natural resources in order to enhance and enrich themselves.

      That freakin’ article. As bad, or worse, as any POS scrawled out by Dame Pegginton of the Nooningtonhampshire. I’m just surprised he left out some “heart warming” convo with some local “workers” who shared some valuable “insights” into their “human condition” ala some of Nooners’ alleged convos with Spanish speaking Bodega owners.

      No wonder we’re so screwed. With numbskull idiots like Summers helping to the run the show, the dog help us all.

      And sadder to say, it’s clear as day that nothing on that “journey” served to enlighten Summers in the slightest… other than that he was appalled to learn that he maybe couldn’t buy Iphone accessories within 2 seconds of desiring to do so. The horror… the horror…

    4. James

      That was my first take as well. But considering who his audience was (other self-affected upper crust neo-libs like himself), I’ll at least give him credit for making a half-hearted effort. I think that’s likely as good as it will ever get from this crowd.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There are experiences that are not fully appreciated by being through it just once.

        For example, nagging.

        Being nagged once in a lifetime is completely different from being nagged two or three times everyday.

    5. Jean

      “See what people like them have enabled.”
      Sorry, RevKev, as a native San Franciscan I have witnessed a veritable feed bag of services, goodies, rights and money offered to travelers from everywhere who come to the city and lodge on the streets. Almost none of the homeless seen downtown are from the city. Their stories are similar, they came here “to start over”, “flee Katrina”, “escape abusive parents,” “live their true identities”, “join a punk band”, or simply take advantage of what they learn are the most generous benefits for homeless people in the nation.

      Over 2 billion dollars spent on homeless so far. The origin of this is the board of supervisors and the activists who control them, or become them, thanks to district elections that have fragmented the common interests of the city into a series of clutching paws fighting for their own slice of the pie.
      While Summers’ and friends economic policy misery may sever people from the Rust Belt, the magnet of totalitarian tolerance has attracted those human discards to San Francisco.

      1. Wukchumni

        How do we know where all the homeless in California hail from?

        I doubt anybody has ever done any research on it…

        1. Jean

          “All California?” Where do you see that in my post?

          It’s the homeless in downtown San Francisco that I have talked to over the last 30 years on my way to work or those arrested by a neighbor who is a police sergeant. That’s my sample. What’s yours?

          1. False Solace

            Cool anecdata. It must be mentally reassuring to choose to believe that homeless people in your town are outsiders who are homeless by choice.

            Wikipedia has an entire article about homelessness in SF. Let’s see what data it can provide:

            > As of 2015, approximately 71% of the city’s homeless had housing in the city before becoming homeless, while the remaining 29% came from outside of San Francisco.

            > Reasons cited for homelessness in the 2015 survey commissioned by the City of San Francisco include job loss (25%), alcohol/drug use (18%), eviction (13%), argument/asked to leave by friend/family (12%), and divorce/separation (11%). Reasons for coming from outside San Francisco at the time of homelessness include seeking a job (25%), LGBTQ acceptance (11%), to access homeless services (22%), was visiting and decided to stay (17%), accessing VA services or clinic (5%), and family/friends are here (13%).

            That doesn’t sound anything like what you’re describing. The article does say the numbers have gone up. Maybe things were different decades ago, before housing prices skyrocketed.

            1. tegnost

              same in seattle, if I remember correctly something like 80% of the homeless had local housing before becoming homeless

    6. jhallc

      I’d have been more impressed if he had taken a bus across the country. Of course gettng off of the interstate can provide some interesting interactions. Wonder if he stopped for any of those “Bean Suppers” he saw the signs for?

    7. rd

      This is one of the most stunning pieces I have ever read. And the Democrats struggle to figure out why the Republicans have control of the government. With intellectual leaders like this, it will be astonishing if they ever win anything back. If they do, it will be by default because the Republicans will have doubled-down and done something monumentally stupid (they are working at that quite hard).

      The most amazing part of this is that it sounds like Larry Summers actually drove across instead of being chauffeured. I wonder how many valuable insights he picked up on the common man at the Hyatt Regencies he probably stayed in.

      The piece does have something of a flair akin to “Jack Kerouac: On the Road in America on a budget of $2,000 per day”. I think De Toqueville is still more relevant two centuries later than Larry Summers’ observations today.

  11. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Driving across the US gave me a different perspective on the American economy Larry Summers

    It’s always so heartwarming when a “Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University” who “served as the 71st Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton and the Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama” “discovers” the country he’s spent his life effing up with bogus “knowledge” and clueless, elite-enabling “policies.”

    Although his travel musings did get a bit stilted (“uninhabited”???) in a terrifying sorta way: ” Much of the land we saw not only was uninhabited but also seemed to be put to little economic use……”

    We all might be better off if this guy stayed confined to a plane at 30,000 feet with a bottomless martini and a copy of Hard Choices.

    1. flora

      Economists like me see the world through the prism of models, fit to statistical data and tested against market realities. – Larry Summers

      Well there’s your problem right there. heh.

      1. JB

        I almost stopped there at the end of the first sentence, but I thought I should at least give it a paragraph before bowing out. I had to close the page after this line:

        “I have used them to argue that, had the economy been left to itself and policymakers not heeded the lessons of history and theory, the 2008 financial crisis might have led to another depression.”

    2. whine country

      Were Plato alive today, he might well write the Allegory of the Airplane with Larry as one of the cast. A little late in life for Larry to learn this age old lesson.

    3. Massinissa

      Pretty sure Summers thinks that forests that aren’t cut down for timber are ‘put to little economic use’.

      These parasites will destroy the planet in order to keep the global GDP ponzi scheme going for as long as possible.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You know, that is not so far off the mark that comment. Read once of a guy that as he was going through America on business (late 19th century) that when he saw a forest, he would be solely calculating its value in board-feet. And he had the money to carry out his calculations too.

    4. Llewelyn Moss

      If Summers went on a whale watch, he would gaze in awe wondering how many street lamps the animals oil would light. These Neoliberals are a cancer on the human race.

    5. jhallc

      Larry would have been better off if he’d spent the time on his private jet reading William Least Heat Moon’s “Blue Highways” . MIght have made more of a dent in his elite cultural bias.

      1. Wukchumni

        One of my favorite books…

        I’m still on the hunt for a cafe with 5 calendars on the wall~

        One last look at the country before the corp’se pretty much took over.

        1. flora

          I’m still on the hunt for a cafe with 5 calendars on the wall~

          If you find such a cafe what will that confirm?

          1. Wukchumni

            Please read the book and you’ll understand, it’s a masterpiece.

            The plot is this, a fellow decides to go on a road trip around the USA, and it’s almost entirely on ‘blue highways’, i.e old secondary roads, and he judges eateries by how many calendars are on the wall of the establishment, 5 being the ne plus ultra.

            That’s just a tiny part of the adventure of finding America and all of the characters he meets along the sojourn.

  12. a different chris

    20 years of schoolin’ and they put you on the day shift

    Nowadays the kids would say, per Samir, “It would be nice to have that kind of job security”. An actual fixed-schedule manufacturing job. Wow they would exclaim, where do I sign up?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I am of 2 thoughts about schooling.

      One is, knowledge for knowledge’s sake. “That poetry class was enjoyable. I am a better person now, though it has nothing to do with getting a job.”

      The other is that schooling helps with getting a job. But if our schools are to provide corporations with ready-made workers, then, it makes sense that they should pay for it, or train the workers themselves (from when the kids are 6 years old, for example).

  13. Olga

    Driving across the US gave me a different perspective on the American economy Larry Summers
    This is an amazing piece of writing. Seeing the headline, I thought Summers may have finally come closer to understanding the plight of an American worker. How naive! He starts out by bemoaning how much of the land is empty and not serving some economic purpose (read: exploitation). The rest of the article manages to dance around the issue of the declining quality of life for most people, although – Hallelujah – he does come to the realization that so much of the west was built through the efforts of the federal government.
    “Americans want to live in very different ways” is probably the strongest acknowledgment we’d be able to get from him on the unwelcome uniformity of globalization.

    1. tegnost

      yeah he also leaves out the part, when he claims the “free market” didn’t settle the west. Much western migration happened because the “free market” had suffered a collapse an so people threw everything in the prairie schooner and hit the road. Some people actually walked the oregon trail. These guys from maine did it the real way…
      maybe not nobel prize worthy, but an interesting travel back in time.

      1. JBird4049

        Destitute and often starving immigrants from everywhere and their descendants built the United States and all businesses and farms in all those States, counties, cities, and towns. Larry Summers’ class profitably turned all of it, the work of generations into an economic wasteland. Then he has the gall to talk about the lack of economic use?

    2. Plenue

      That was my biggest reaction as well. He has nothing to say about how the people he saw actually seem to be doing. Oh, you drove to Portland Oregon, Summers? Anything you have to say about how many f–king homeless people there are there?

      Of course, people like Summers are so out of touch, he might just assume large numbers of homeless and tent cities are the way things have always been.

      1. Todde

        He would probably be awed by all the people minimizing their housing costs.

        And then his awe would turn to anger as he realized the effect it has on GDP.

  14. Wukchumni

    Treasure hunters doubt FBI’s word on dig for Civil War gold AP
    Most everybody loves a buried treasure story, this one was more fun than the usual bunch of lovable losers that inhabit such sagas.

    As far as money goes during the Civil War, the Union struck over 20 million ounces of specie in the form of all that glitters, whereas the CSA never issued not even one gold coin, as they were completely fiat based aside from a tiny amount of silver half dollars issued early in the war.

    What I find interesting about the CSA, is the Confederate Dollar waxed and waned in value against the Union $, depending on the outcome of various battles, early on it was strong like bull (run) and towards Appomattox and afterwards, it was sometimes used as wallpaper in the south.

    Interesting enough, all denominations of CSA paper money from $1-$20*, are worth more than their stated face value today as collector items, so in essence, yes the south will rise again!

    * When I was a kid, you could buy brand new 1864 $20 CSA notes for a few bucks.

    1. begob

      For lovable losers check out the BBC’s Detectorists.

      I was once well paid as a student by a County Clare butcher to transcribe 16th century MS documents at the British Museum. His dream as an amateur diver was to discover the Armada wreck that popped up in the local folklore of his childhood. It does exist, but remains hidden to this day.

      1. newcatty

        Those lovable losers are just so endearing. British TV is my kind of humor and almost never cruel or sly, unlike what passes for most American “comedy “. Don’t watch American made comedies, so FWIW.

    2. jonhoops

      Damn I guess I should have bought a bunch CSA bucks off the back of the comix. All I have now is a useless set of of X-Ray specs.

      1. Wukchumni

        I always wanted the $19.99 submarine advertised in comic books, but twenty bucks was all the money in the world for a 8 year old.

        1. Mel

          Lucky for us, the daily newspapers came to town in bales tied up with copper-plated steel wire. We could scrounge the wire after the delivery boys/girls/whoever had undone the bales and taken the papers away. We could use the wire to stitch cardboard boxes from the grocery store together, and make reasonably big facsimiles of subs, tanks, whatever. Maybe not exactly as pictured in the ad, but they never are, are they?

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Nikki Haley Stuns Washington by Announcing Resignation From U.N. Post”

    I think that it is pretty much guaranteed that Haley will have a lucrative career all set up for her. Maybe a stint with a rich think tank like the American Enterprise Institute, maybe be on the board of Raytheon or Lockheed Martin. Quite possibly a few consultancy-ships here and there with a few lucrative speeches to be given. A few political campaigns to help contribute towards for the Republicans followed by a few stints in Federal service until the big ones comes along. Either Secretary of State Nikki Haley or maybe even the big one – President of the United States Nikki Haley. She could be the first female President since Hillary flames out. Then god help America.

    1. Carolinian

      George W. Bush became president with the help of the Supreme Court so perhaps the similarly thought challenged Haley could do the same with the help of Sheldon Adelson (if he’s still around). But I wouldn’t bet on it. Her unprincipled ambition is a little too transparent.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Thinking about Adelson and other GOP sugar daddies, I wonder if Haley has a random nutter in her ear promising her the White House especially a Republican donor who spends time in NYC or Boston, expecting a challenge to Trump to pay off. Cruz (and a host of others) would never be President, but it didn’t stop a donor from dumping money on them in exchange for a promise of being ambassador to the UK or possibly Australia.

  16. Carolinian

    Ted Rall has some interesting things to say about Kavanaughgate.

    #MeToo is a kind of revolution. Because revolutions follow years of resentment piled upon eons of abuse, their imperative to destroy what’s broken and evil necessarily leads to intemperance. Nowhere is the revolutionary impulse toward careless imprecision more evident than in rhetoric. So it is with #MeToo — what began with an uprising no reasonable person could oppose, against bonafide monsters like Harvey Weinstein, inevitably cast its net wider into the gray area of Aziz Ansari.

    As the targets of #MeToo expanded from the undeniably disgusting to garden-variety piggishness, the slogans of the movement became more militant, more thoughtless, further out on a limb.[…]

    “Believe women” doesn’t make sense to a society whose core judicial fiction is the presumption of innocence. In America no one, neither men nor women, neither accusers nor the accused, earns the right to be believed by virtue of their gender. Being believed is a zero-sum right, one that inherently comes at the expense of another person and so must be earned by a combination of corroborating evidence, witnesses and the intangible social currency of credibility.

    Rall says that it was the scenes of protestors verbally assaulting legislators in elevators and restaurants that really turned it around for Kavanaugh.

    Nothing unites a party like a common enemy. That goes double when the adversary allows itself to be framed as scary and unreasonable.

    Whether or not one agrees with Rall the political verdict should be in next month.

    1. todde

      Nothing unites a party like a common enemy. That goes double when the adversary allows itself to be framed as scary and unreasonable.

      And yet Republicans march around with guns talking about watering trees with blood…

      the Left doesn’t have the stomach to do what needs to be done.

      1. Carolinian

        And what is that? Don’t keep us in suspense.

        I think the point Rall is trying to make is that all of our political factions have become unhinged whereas ordinary voters at this point may just want calm and reason. I believe “undecided” is now our largest political party. These cage match battles between the factions of the elite may not engage them.

        Left militancy–bombs etc–was a big set back to the antiwar movement mid last century. Americans have always been more interested in money than revolution including, perhaps, during the actual Revolution.

        1. todde

          Left militancy–bombs etc–was a big set back to the antiwar movement mid last century.

          And this century’s anti-war marches accomplished what exactly?

          Shall we all stay in our designated ‘free speech’ zones?

          Pain is a wonderful tool for behavioral adjustment.

          I say chase them through the halls everyday, if you so choose. It’s part of the feedback loop.

          1. Carolinian

            Phil Giraldi:

            October 21st there will be a Women’s March on the Pentagon hosted by the Global Women’s Peace Action. My wife and many of our friends will be going and even I will tag along in support in spite of my gender. We participate with some reservations as we have only demonstrated publicly twice since 9/11, once opposing the then about to start Iraq War and once against the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). All too often demonstrations morph into progressive exercises in flagellation of what are now referred to as “deplorable” values with little being accomplished either before, during or afterwards, apart from the piles of debris left behind to be cleaned up by the Park Service. And such events are rarely even covered by the media in Washington, where the Post generally adheres closely to a neocon foreign policy tactic, which means that if you ignore something distasteful it will eventually go away.

            If you are going to chase someone then let it be media tycoons or Wall Street oligarchs–in other words the people who are actually running the show. Attacking Republicans just plays into the duopoly food fight where one side pretends it’s not on the same side as the other side. That’s particularly true of antiwar.


          2. Oregoncharles

            I remember the period vividly, and I question the quoted premise.

            The war ended because there was a serious threat to social order. Partly, that was reflected among the troops in Vietnam, where there was a slow-moving, veiled mutiny, but that was at least partly because of the domestic breakdown and organizing addressed to the troops – admittedly easier because they were conscripts. The bombs were part of that; so were the violent street demonstrations – far less orderly than anything we’ve seen recently.

            It doesn’t matter what the politicians and PTB SAY; it matters what they DO. They withdrew the troops and gave up on the war.

            They won the peace in other ways, both abroad and domestically, so the aims were framed far too narrowly. But it is not the case that left militancy set back the antiwar movement. That was done by the Democratics, starting with the Kerry campaign.

            1. Carolinian

              Nixon said he had a “secret plan” to end the war and did begin “Vietnamization” so the troop draw down was in the works before the left militancy kicked in. This is a complicated subject–just ask Ken Burns–but some of us would argue that the violence did more to discredit the antiwar movement than to end the war. Nixon won a landslide in 1972 and polls never showed a public majority in favor of immediate withdrawal. Still the Tet offensive did break the back of establishment consensus so lets give credit where credit is due–to the Vietnamese. A somewhat freer press also played a role.


              1. VietnamVet

                Dick Nixon took the warnings that the US Army was falling apart seriously and quietly withdrew the troops from Vietnam; fast enough, that I got an early out in September 1971. After seeing the Washington Post’s globalist coup against nationalist Donald Trump; I am convinced that Watergate was a successful Intelligence Community/Media operation against Nixon for breaking their rice bowls and, also, a warning to future Presidents not to trend on the CIA. As collateral damage, since Deplorables were no longer needed as conscripts; American working families were thrown under the bus. The primary facilitator to the decline of the middle class and the emptiness of the midlands, Larry Summers, can’t see the fatal consequences of his actions. How so typical of the elite new world order. The unwinnable war in Afghanistan just started its 18th year.

                1. John k

                  During the draft many elite kids went to Vietnam. Or Canada.
                  The deplorables, with few options, are the volunteers that now fight our wars.

                2. gepay

                  My parents were Nixon voters. So I grew up a conservative. I was naive.Studying the Vietnam war as it unfolded changed that a bit. I realized the government lies – the mainstream media gives you the status quo propaganda. I was thrown out of college for anti-war activism. They were hoping I would get drafted. I avoided that by not getting my college deferment when I went to my state university. I was seeing a psychiatrist at the time. The army didn’t want me when I went to my induction physical. I was not impressed with most political activists at the time. So I became apolitical.
                  I did notice that the Vietnam War stopped when “they” were ready to stop it. The deterioration of the army had as much to do with that decision as the antiwar activism at home. The television coverage and the bodies coming home even to middle class families did the rest. By that time destroying the possibility of Vietnam becoming a successful communist society had been achieved.Over 30 years of warfare tends to have a devastating effect.
                  “They” learned some lessons. The military became voluntary to avoid having a draft – confining the grunts to poorer segments of society in Chris Hedge’s throw away zones.. Journalists were drastically reduced access to war zones. Military Keynesian economic stimulus was spread throughout the US economy.
                  Dick Nixon forgot who he really worked for and fired a CIA director so he was toast.

      2. James

        Or are they actually one party behind the scenes, united only in serving their oligarchic masters, while serving the rest of us some “harmless” entertainment under the guise of hyper-partisan “representation?” As they said in the sixties: “tune in, turn on, and drop out” might very well be the best advice these days.

        1. Todde


          But the anger is real for a lot of people.

          Let them be angry.

          We sit here and talk about politicians sh!tting on people time and time again.

          Who cares if they got screamed at? Why should they garner any respect?

    2. marym

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      Republicans have been united around authoritarianism and misogyny long before a few protestors yelled at them.

      “angry mob” and apparently “verbal assault” seem to be current Trump/Republican descriptors when they take a moment’s break from ignoring or making excuses for “nice people” in Charlottesville and riling up their due-process-loving rally crowds to holler “Lock her up” about every woman politician they don’t like. It’s very disturbing.

      It’s not the fault of the protesters that instead of telling their constituents to sit down and shut up, Senatorial snowflakes are unwilling to sit down and listen.

      1. Carolinian

        Perhaps the problem is what the angry mob chooses to be angry about. As Rall says above they are crying injustice in the Ford case over a case not proven.

        Charlottesville may not be that different although we’ve had that discussion here before. As someone who lives in the south I can assure you that nobody other than a few cranks gives a rip about Confederate statues. Left violence over symbolism and abstractions is not likely to succeed.

        “We’re no worse than them” is not a strong argument IMO.

        1. marym

          I don’t think I made that argument, but if I were going to make one it would be that marching and shouting at elected officials to demand rights, or demand to be heard, or demand an investigation is better than sporting nazi insignia and running people over with cars; and much better than elected officials demonizing the speech and assembly they’re sworn to protect if they disagree with its content.

    3. Arizona Slim

      And then there’s the murder of Emmett Till. A classic example of where unquestioned accusations can lead.

      BTW, Till’s accuser recently said that he never whistled at her.

      1. Polar Donkey

        The lady that accused Till is the aunt of the current governor of Mississippi. History is not that far past.

      2. Todde

        I think kavanaugh is going to be ok.

        And while i dont want people to tell sex abuse victims to be angry, i certainly dont want to tell them not to be either.

        As for the politics of it all, politics has always been bullshit.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The political verdict next month…

      I read the Democrats are running on impeaching Trump and Kavanaugh.

      I hope they don’t and disown it, unless they like setting unnecessary high goals for themselves which could undermine themselves in some cases.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If the goal is to impeach, not reaching 67 senators would be considered a big-time failure, and a rejection by the voters to impeach, unless you are counting on the opposition.

          But if you’re counting on the opposition, you might as well do it now…needing 16, from across the aisle, is as likely as needing 25 (for example).

          So, if you get, say, 55 in the senate, the other side would claim you lack mandate, if you run the election to impeach.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            They just want as much free press as Orangezilla gets. And they intend to get that by have hearings every day for 2 years. At least, in the house. It is obvious Schumer hasn’t the belly to push for impeachment (or apparently much of anything else).

  17. Wukchumni

    Road trips are great for discovering things, but Larry couldn’t figure out that the inner middle was hollowed out by the likes of him and his ilk, which is tragically funny.

    When satire becomes so commonplace, it threatens it’s very existence.

  18. tricia

    Both Pepe Escobar’s and the Brasil WIre pieces are excellent must-reads. Escobar is always good (often reading him is like going on a fun, wild ride) and the Brasil Wire filled in important details I didn’t know- helped in understanding the big picture. Thank you for these.

  19. Bridget

    The Penn article about Medicaid expansion overstates its case. Even given the accuracy of their premise that Medicaid expansion results in fewer deaths from opioid abuse due to better access to treatment, it begs the question as to whether or not Medicaid expansion results in higher levels of abuse to begin with due to greater access to opioids to begin with. It’s a false equivalence that the authors did not satisfactorily address.

    1. RUKidding

      Shhhh! Don’t let Trump’s sons hear about bison and buffalo. Apparently, according that Dolt, Summers, the “Heartland” is officially now as mysterious and unknowable and weird and sorta exotic as “darkest Africa.” Les Trump Fils may wish to venture into the Rust Belt in order to “hunt” and kill as many bison and buffalo as possible.

      1. voteforno6

        I’m not sure how well that would go over…he seems like just the type of a**hole that would do one of those canned hunts, that real hunters just love to mock.

      2. crittermom

        My thoughts exactly! The buffalo (American Bison) is my favorite critter. I’ve had the pleasure of hanging around them in the past.
        Don’t give ’em any ideas about hunting them! They’d see $$ in the venture (& probably don’t even realize nor care they were brought back from the brink of extinction & no longer wandering ‘free’).

        1. Wukchumni

          Larry strikes me as the type that would hunt mice, and claim that because they had 4 legs, it was the same as hunting a white rhino.

      3. crittermom

        Not to nitpick–just to inform–that American bison and buffalo are the same animal. Just two different names.
        The scientific name is Bison bison.

  20. Wukchumni

    I hope by writing this I have not forced the hand of the earthquake gawds locally, but isn’t it appropriate that 2 of the biggest climate change deniers as far as states go, comeuppance see them sometime.

    1. polecat

      How is what you say any different than what that feminist prof tweeted last week regarding tramping on the dead bodies of castrated-for-old-senators !?!
      Many people, who are guilty of only living in an area run by political pyschopaths are about to be ruined, if not dead .. and you make snarky fun outta that !
      Put the guilt on the real offenders, rather than the lowly shlubs !

      Be you on firm ground when that Califronia 9er comes your way.

      1. Wukchumni

        Leaders are elected to show the direction that the populace would like to go, and in both states, their voice was heard.

        Sad, but there you have it, a couple of Ostricharchies now paying the bill for trying to hide the truth they didn’t want to have the light of day see.


        Should be ok in a temblor as we are nowhere near a fault zone, but the bulk of the California population on the other hand…

        1. JBird4049

          I hope by writing this I have not forced the hand of the earthquake gawds locally, but isn’t it appropriate that 2 of the biggest climate change deniers as far as states go, comeuppance see them sometime.

          Should be ok in a temblor as we are nowhere near a fault zone, but the bulk of the California population on the other hand…

          Dude, that’s thirty million out of forty million people, many of them poor, and who very often do not support the current neoliberal regime. I can understand dark, bitter humor, but that’s kinda harsh, don’t you think?

    2. rd

      The state policical beliefs in climate change are inversely proportional to the impact climate change is and will have.

      There is a simple reason for this. Much of their current economy, especially real estate development and property taxes depends on denying that they may not have livable land in a half-century in many areas.

  21. crittermom

    What an incredibly beautiful photo in today’s antidote, capturing a (Humpback?) whale at that precise moment! Gorgeous…

  22. How is it legal

    Re Beware thought leaders and the wealthy purveying answers to our social ills

    Among the denizens of MarketWorld are so-called “thought leaders,” the speakers who populate the conference circuit, like TED, PopTech and, of course, the Clinton Global Initiative. (When you pause to think about it, “thought leader” is appallingly Orwellian.) Giridharadas argues that the rise of thought leaders, whose views are sanctioned and sanitized by their patrons — the big corporations that support conferences — has come at the expense of public intellectuals, who are willing to voice controversial arguments that shake up the system and don’t have easy solutions. Thought leaders, on the other hand, always offer a small but actionable “tweak,” one that makes conference-goers feel like they’ve learned something but that doesn’t actually threaten anyone.

    I believe the whole, historic (eg. Carnegie, who’s also mentioned mentined in thereview) Thought Leader propaganda has been the whole backdrop behind age discrimination; which has grown to deadly proportions since the repulsive Thought Leader tag itself became increasingly blatant since the early 2000’s (where, historically, when a far larger labor force was needed, I don’t recollect the idea being near so blatantly put in writing).

    Companies do not want someone with a mind of their own who’s not in elite management or a Professional Politician straight out of DC. Companies want someone inexperienced in life who: hasn’t yet personally witnessed how the MarketWorld brutally operates (defying all human kindness and rewarding arrogance, avarice and human disregard); hasn’t had to survive on their own yet; and conveniently, may still have some typical young person issues with their parents which can be used by the Company to further solidify turning younger generations against older generations.

    Thank you for the link, sounds like a very good, yet unfortunately very depressing (though the validation, from what I’ve read so far, is bleakly comforting), book.

    1. Massinissa

      On the topic of age discrimination… Has anyone else noticed the advertisement on Youtube where a sucession of old people tell the viewer that they are responsible for trump and don’t want young people to vote for some reason?

      I find that terribly concerning. Some group is literally spending money trying to spread generational warfare… Divide et impera…

      1. How is it legal

        I hope you don’t think I ignored your comment, I know, personally, that it’s very validating to receive responses. I had responded early yesterday morning. I think it got caught up in spam, trying again:

        Those that have power get more predatory by the minute, way too often I find myself wishing an asteroid would just take out the whole rot, misery, and suffering, glad I stopped using youtube.

    2. rd

      The real thought leaders are the people who are actually leading in thought, so nobody realizes it for quite a while. A case in point was the woman physicist who recently couldn’t have her own Wikipedia page until she won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

      1. How is it legal

        The real thought leaders are the people who are actually leading in thought, so nobody realizes it for quite a while..

        Frighteningly, many times, not until after they die; having been impoverished and maligned by the Power and Profit (above life itself) seekers.

  23. Wukchumni

    I wish somebody would board an airplane with a plethora of emotional support cockroaches that somehow get loose en route.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Wouldn’t a box of emotional support fleas be a better idea? Fleas are much more affectionate than cockroaches and could readily find places to live in the carpets and storage areas while waiting for new persons to whom they could share their love. Fleas would be more sustainable too because every flight brings them a banquet.

  24. John Beech

    Larry Summer’s article regarding his brief travels by road through flyover country blows me away because I sense he finally gets it. It’ll be very interesting to see how this experience colors his brilliant mind going forward.

    1. jhallc

      Larry Summers is “Clueless” about what goes on in the lives of 95% of America. Just because he finally got out of his “Net” Jet doesn’t mean a thing. Did he actually talk to any of the “invisible” inhabitants of those great unnihabited spaces?

      1. cnchal

        > Did he actually talk to any of the “invisible” inhabitants of those great unnihabited spaces?

        No, but I bet that he paid anyone that held the door open for him and his wife $5 bucks, thereby generating another $5 bucks of GDP for every altruistic act performed for him.

    2. Craig H.

      After dinner, “Larry leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice,” Ms. Warren writes. “I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people — listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders.

      1. todde

        So are the people chasing politicians thru the hallways ‘insiders’ or ‘outsiders’?

        Or, is sex related issues a ‘criticism’ allowed to happen between ‘insiders’?

        Like ‘guns’?

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “Be the arrow,” or ‘be at one with something.”

        When in archery, you become the arrow, and when you fight for the poor, you become one with poverty.

        That will take more than one trip, I think.

        One place to start would be to give up his pensions. Then, poverty comes a lot closer.

  25. Louis Fyne

    Especially in Asian nations, there seems to be a great civic pride in their public facilities (rail stations, airports, even public toilets are better in Asia)….there is a palpable sense of communal pride in their public facilities.

    Maybe America was like this during the hey days of the Penn Central Railroad? dunno, i wasn’t around back then.

    I guess Americans take civic pride in the purported “full-spectrum dominance” of the military.

    Or maybe many Americans are nihilist and don’t care about our public buildings, regardless of political leaning.

    Or maybe local politicans see public infrastructure as a paycheck for their campaign donors.

    maybe all of the above.

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Is Manhattan on the edge of a prime housing precipice? FT

    I believe the question has always been when, not if. In fact, to some people it is long overdue.

    So, if it is on the edge, to them, it’s in fact late.

  27. Not From Here

    China Protests
    Article missed long historical impact of Confucianism, including right to written petition directly to the emperor, which required individuals (and allowed) large groups delivering the petition to 1st proxies of the emperor. Qing Dynasty, the last dynasty, asserted their right to rule in place of Ming in part by paying serious respect to this right, particularly the first 4 Qing emperors. Similarly the CCP asserted their right to rule in place of KMT by respect to same “democratic” institution.

    1. JBird4049

      . Similarly the CCP asserted their right to rule in place of KMT by respect to same “democratic” institution.

      One of the advantages of actual democracies is the ability of the many to influence the whole society rather than just an elite as a matter of routine. Any functioning society, over the long term and regardless of its form, uses and respects the opinions, desires, and especially the needs of all members of that society. The mechanisms differ, but without those mechanisms, things start to go wrong. One can use the blocking of such mechanisms as a definition of corruption.

  28. Plenue

    >Ultra-rich shift assets as fear of Labour government mounts FT

    Someone said here, yesterday I think, that the US left shouldn’t use the term socialism, and should reclaim patriotism from the right. I completely disagree with the first point, but the second one is correct.

    The same goes for the UK. These people aren’t patriots. They don’t want to pay taxes, they actively push for policies and politicians that are objectively detrimental to the well-being of the majority of the populace, and, as shown here, they’re perfectly willing to just up and leave a country they pretend to be citizens of at the mere prospect that some of their toys might be threatened.

    I’d go so far as to say these people are in some sense outright traitorous, which I know is a loaded term not to be used lightly. If a nation is its people, what do you call a minority of citizens who spend every day attempting to screw the bulk of the population for their own gain?

  29. JBird4049

    If a nation is its people, what do you call a minority of citizens who spend every day attempting to screw the bulk of the population for their own gain?

    Currently, job creators.

Comments are closed.