Links 10/8/18

The elimination of smallpox showed how humans can work together to solve deadly global problems The Conversation

In a first, SpaceX launches and lands a rocket at Vandenberg base LA Times

Widespread fish kills predicted to continue for weeks in NC, experts say. Here’s why. Charlotte Observer

The Robert Venturi Effect CityLab. Kate Wagner (of McMansion Hell).

Camille Paglia: The Rise of “Strangely Unsexy” Instagram Exhibitionism — And Why It Hurts Women (Guest Column) Hollywood Reporter

Want to live for ever? Flush out your zombie cells Guardian

How the mushroom dream of a ‘long-haired hippie’ could help save the world’s bees Seattle Times (scoff). Hoisted from comments.

Economics of climate change win Nobel Prize for U.S. duo Reuters

Climate Change Is a Major Midterm Issue. Corporate Media Are Ignoring It. TruthOut

Literally no country is doing enough to meet the Paris Accord TreeHugger

A major climate report will slam the door on wishful thinking Vox

Humans, Fish and Other Animals Are Consuming Microfibers in Our Food and Water TruthOut



Brazil’s far-right candidate falls short of election stunner AP


Turkish president calls Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance ‘very, very upsetting’ WaPo

Turkish police suspect Saudi journalist Khashoggi was killed at consulate Middle East Eye

Wife of Israeli prime minister goes on trial for fraud Reuters


Macron makes overtures to UK car firms as Brexit talks enter critical week Guardian

Brexit: internalising the issue

Medical cannabis ‘will be available on prescription within a month’ Metro UK


China confirms Interpol chief Meng Hongwei is under investigation SCMP. Wowsers.

China-U.S. Tensions Flare During Testy Pompeo Visit to Beijing Bloomberg


Democrat Booker, fresh from Kavanaugh vote, makes Iowa debut Des Moines Register

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Feds to judge: We still think we can put GPS trackers on cars entering US Ars Technica

GOP Operative Secretly Raised at Least $100,000 in Search for Clinton Emails WSJ

Bill Clinton keynote speaker at Ripple blockchain event Asia Times. Nice to see Bill keeping himself busy.

Apple Tells Congress It Found No Signs Of Hacking Attack International Business Times

Right to Repair

Apple’s New Proprietary Software Locks Will Kill Independent Repair on New MacBook Pros  Motherboard

Black Lives Matter

Special prosecutor McMahon scores career-defining win with Van Dyke’s conviction Chicago Tribune

Class Warfare

What if we only worked four days a week? BBC

Former Google boss launches scathing Silicon Valley attack urging tech giants to end the delusion that it’s making the world a better place Daily Mail

California’s senior population is growing faster than any other age group. How the next governor responds is crucial LA Times

Wall Street Is Booming Under Trump. But Many of Its Donors Are Embracing Democrats. NYT

America’s teacher shortage The Week


BANISHED Marshall Project


The Life of Labour: Livelihood Losses for Fishermen After Kerala Floods Pegged at Rs 93.72 Cr The Wire

For first time, new iPhones get weak response in India Economic Times

IL & FS and the La-La Land that is Indian Credit Rating The Wire

India’s U-Turn Destroys Trump’s Anti-Chinese ‘Quad’ Strategy Moon of Alabama

With ‘Fishy’ Jet Deal, India’s Opposition Finally Lands a Blow on Modi NYT. The Grey Lady’s rather late to the party– see MOA above.

Trump Transition

Is The U.S. Using Force To Sell Its LNG To The World?

Donald Trump: Crazy Like LBJ American Conservative

US in new global court showdown with Iran Straits Times


Kavanaugh’s first vote could be in Trump executive power fight Politico

Antidote du Jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. fresno dan

    Special prosecutor McMahon scores career-defining win with Van Dyke’s conviction Chicago Tribune

    All the references to the cop convicted 50 years ago, made me curious about that case. Remarkably similar….

    What sealed Nuccio’s fate, Walsh said, was something that no judge would permit today, and certainly not the famously stern judge in the Van Dyke case, Vincent Gaughan.

    At one point, Nuccio (cop on trial) was on the witness stand, explaining to prosecutors how, as he chased Nelson (teenager shot dead…for putting the cop in fear of his life) in that dark alley, the teenager turned and hurled the knife at him.

    Walsh asked Nuccio to step down from the stand. The prosecutor handed the accused murderer a knife. Walsh asked him to demonstrate to jurors how Nelson ran, turned and threw his weapon.**

    “Nuccio tried to duplicate it,” Walsh recalled. “He couldn’t do it. Whenever he threw the knife, it went up to the ceiling or it went off to the side . . . That was persuasive to the jury.”
    When Judge Buoscio handed down a 14-year prison term, Nuccio had only this to say: “I’m innocent.”

    Nuccio would eventually get a break, but not from a judge. Then-Gov. Dan Walker later reduced Nuccio’s punishment, allowing him serve only six years of his sentence.
    ….allowing him serve only six years of his sentence. Everybody is equal before the law….but some are more equal than others.
    * I am glad there was a conviction, but how in the world does the cop not being able to demonstrate how the victim supposedly threw a knife (at the cop) have anything to do with whether the cop shot illegally? The issue is whether there was a knife and whether it was thrown, and the credibility of the police.
    It does show what a crap shoot a trial is….

      1. oh

        Yes, so true. I’d like to see more cops stand trial and get convicted for killeing innocent civilians. But that not likely happen in our country; the majority of the people revere the police because of fear and incessant propaganda.

      2. Procopius

        In addition it should be standing policy at every police and sheriff’s department in the country that an officer is never, never, never to shoot at a fleeing suspect. The risk of the slug hitting an innocent bystander is enough by itself to prohibit the practice. Of course the NRA claims that lead slugs transform into air if a cop fires them at a fleeing suspect and misses, so there’s that.

  2. fresno dan

    Susan Lowry never liked the idea of government social programs. She thought they were for moochers, a term she now says with a cringe.

    But then she noticed her husband, Alan, was forgetting the names of major streets and struggling to find words.
    Soon she was losing the vestiges of their old life together — the boat, the motor home, the yearly ski passes. She sold their home in El Dorado Hills, near Sacramento, so she could be closer to family in northern San Diego County.
    The saving grace, she said, has been the programs she once disdained. Alan was eligible for a special Medi-Cal program for the working disabled, which allowed Susan, 54, to keep their house and retirement account.
    American healthcare – turning the comfortable into the poor.
    It is amazing how many people come into HICAP in desperate straits due to heath costs, and blame their circumstances on poor people on Medi-Cal. Not the CEO’s of heathcare monopolies, profit maximizers at insurance companies, nor the defenders of the “market.” You would think the poor would live better considering all the money they are extracting….

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Thanks, Dan. I saw the same thing when families realized they weren’t going to get free room & board from hospice for their loved ones (unless they were actively dying). Medicaid pays for long-term care!! And those nursing homes that take it aren’t where you want your mom!

      The presumption that people on “those” programs were a completely different category of humanity and that if you worked all your life and had your home paid off, you were entitled to keep your assets to pass on to your children and not use them up to pay for your care was pervasive.

      Yet most of these people didn’t have ltc insurance. Granted health care is a racket and nursing homes have become corporate like hospitals, dialysis centers, etc.

      Still, the disdain for those less fortunate and the fury and shock at finding oneself in the same boat was breathtaking.

      Of course, there is a thriving community of lawyers that specializes in protecting those assets so these folks can plunder the $$ meant for the truly poor.

      And given our crappy for-profit system, most of the programs for the (undeserving) poor spend most of their $$ on administration. Including yes, those CEO salaries of the insurance cos like Aetna, Centene, etc that have now taken over Medicaid.

      Most people have a kind of false consciousness that leads then to identify more with the rich and famous than with their real peers.

      1. False Solace

        It’s more mentally satisfying to self-identify with the rich, even when you have much more in common with the poor.

        As for long term care insurance, good luck. My parents tell me of shocking rises in premiums year after year. And Yves has documented how it’s almost impossible to get them to actually pay out.

        A change is gonna come… but it might not be for the better.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > The presumption that people on “those” programs were a completely different category of humanity and that if you worked all your life and had your home paid off, you were entitled to keep your assets to pass on to your children and not use them up to pay for your care was pervasive.

        Any word from bleeding heart liberal Democrats on Medicaid “estate recovery”? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

      3. Cripes

        Sing it sister.
        ChiGal in Carolina, you really nailed it.

        The Drug, Insurance, Hospital, Elder Care and reverse mortgage Industries will surely Shear the shrinking middle class just as they do the poor. Some people realize it too late, focused as they are on the idea that they’re better than the undermenschen.

        Schadenfreude is a mofo.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Wall Street Is Booming Under Trump. But Many of Its Donors Are Embracing Democrats.”

    Because gridlock is your friend under a Trump administration.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Why would gridlock be a good thing for Wall St? Trump talks like he is the BFF to the working class, but everything he does benefits the Mega-rich, Corps and himself.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Because of the chaos that he is sowing with not only countries like China and Iran but also long-time allies as well. If you had investments overseas you would be fearing the next tweet that would announce tariffs where you have your money invested. He is too much of a loose cannon that cannot be really controlled. Better to hamstring him after the mid-terms so that both parties have to agree before passing legislation – such as yet more tax cuts for the rich or more money for the Pentagon. Both parties are always up for that. It would certainly put a lid on him legislation wise.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          I see your point. But the donors that matter are the 1%ers and they all benefit by Trump. 85% of the taxcuts went to the rich and corporations. Trump increased military spending by about 20% (IIRC) from already insane levels. The MIC wins again. You might find a few deep thinkers in that crowd that think Trump’s recklessness will bring down the house of cards. But I’m betting most of them want more, more, more of the same.

        2. UserFriendly

          The smart money invested overseas left as soon as the fed rate hikes started. At least from emerging markets. And wall street doesn’t care about anything except volatility, if the markets move they make money on the transactions.

        3. Expat2uruguay

          I fail to see how electing more Democrats to the Congress and creating a gridlocked government would reduce Trump Tweets. In fact I think they would only increase from The increased level of frustration that a gridlocked government would bring. So if the rich are worried about the effect of his tweets on their Investments, I’m unconvinced that donating to Democrats is going to help that.

          1. barefoot charley

            Gridlock reduces the possible effects of the tweets. They’re mostly BS now, will be more so when Democrats in the House get to power-tweet right back. 11-dimensional BS!

    2. Jason Boxman

      I assume the Democrats being embraced are in the mold of those who recently voted to deregulate the FIRE sector, yet again. The article makes no distinct between Democrat factions.

    3. Daniel K FitzPatrick

      This is a prevent defense move – suck up to anybody who might want to unwind the recent ‘gains’

    4. JB

      Wall Street isn’t concerned about Republicans, they’re in the bag, they’re concerned about the “wrong” Democrats winning elections and raining on their parade.

  4. Watt4Bob

    @Fresno Dan;

    A combatant that throws his weapon is instantly an unarmed man.

    In the moment between turning and throwing, the cop might be in fear of being hit, but that fear would be unfounded once the weapon fails to hit its target.

    So did the policeman shoot at that moment of fear, or perceive the momentary threat as a carte blanche justification for homicide?

  5. UserFriendly

    Here is the full IPCC report on climate change. We are so screwed. The FAQ’s headlines and summary for policy makers are relatively readable. At least the NYT had an appropriate headline, not the the TV channels will cover it at all.
    Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040
    If the species wants to have any chance of surviving past the end of the century this needs everything and the kitchen sink thrown at it. Like much much greater than WWII mobilization of everything to build out solar and nuclear with some wind. Which won’t happen till too late, In other words I would put money there are people alive today that will see the complete collapse of society and quite possibly the extinction of the species. Unless someone manages to assassinate and dismantle the oil barons empire’s. They would rather see us all die than lose market share.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Must be why I have a pervasive sense of futility everyday. Living to see the end of the world ought to be such great fun. For some reason I can’t convince myself to blow my savings on travel and vice and then end my life on my terms.

      1. In the Land of Farmers

        Yes. In 2040 I will be in my 70’s, and it seems like I am in the middle of a movie waiting for the drama to unfold while playing a small hero part in the complex narrative.

    2. Llewelyn Moss

      Yeah it ain’t looking pretty. Rather than total extermination of the human race, I envision a Mad Max world where all structures of government and society stop working. Survival of the fittest ensues, a true SHTF scenario. There aren’t many countries left that are not fully under control of Neoliberals (higher profits at any cost). Neoliberals will speed this prediction right along.

      1. perpetualWAR

        That’s why I stopped watching sci-fi movies. All the Star Trex movies depict fancy futuristic modes of travel, dress, gadgets……but I just think: nope, it’s gonna be Mad Max.

      1. barefoot charley

        And the Peshtigo Fire killed 3 times as many people, some 800 across two counties as I recall. But cutover timberlands had no marquee value . . .

    3. Wukchumni

      MIT predicted the end of the world in 2040, while Newton thought 2060 was when it’d go down, so just don’t make any plans after 2050, mmmm’ok?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            If it was done 1,000 years ago, to be off by 20 years implies an error of 2%, which is not too bad, and 1%, if it was predicted 2,000 years ago.

            1. Wukchumni

              The Jehovah Witnesses predicted the end of the world in 1914, 1915, 1918, 1925 and 1975.

              They gave up, it would appear.

        1. Carey

          I’ve been looking at the rest of nature as much as possible lately, and taking
          some solace in what you’ve pointed out. Maybe time to watch von Trier’s
          ‘Melancholia’ again…

        2. Anon

          Actually, the world will NOT go on just fine. Habitat disruption will likely eliminate many vertebrates and invertebrates alike. The current ecological juggling act will likely be dissimilar to what it is now. The planet will continue orbiting the Sun but there will be many discordant harmonies. Many of them wholly unrecognizable.

          1. The Rev Kev

            A coupla hundred thousand years and the worst of the effects will be likely gone. And for a planet, that is nothing but an eye-blink. I wonder how long till the next dominant species comes along? And how long will it be until they suspect that there may have been an earlier dominant species?

          2. Procopius

            The world will go on just fine. We’ve had mass extinctions of maybe 90% of species before. There are bacteria that live in thermal vents where the water temperature is well above boiling. Ecological disruption is what evolution is for. Discordant harmonies is what humans call arrangements that don’t please them. If some ecological niches become unoccupied, there are variants of other species that will move in and over time will become new species. Mother Nature DOES NOT CARE!!!

    4. Phillip Allen

      Given that reality has consistently been exceeding the worst-case scenarios of the best models for many years now, there is every reason to believe that 2030 or 2025 would be far more likely timelines for what the IPCC crowd think is the point of no return. Personally I think the point of no return was passed decades ago. There is utterly zero chance that the necessary, world-wide political and economic will will be brought to bear to even somewhat mitigate the catastrophe unfolding. Unfortunately, absent that effort, almost everything about ‘life as we know it’ will in all likelihood cease to exist in no time at all, historically speaking.

      I am grateful I am old enough now to have a relatively limited life expectancy, and am fairly sure – barring a black swan event – I will miss the truly horrific stuff. I pity beyond measure any child born today.

    5. ChristopherJ

      Thanks UF. I think the IPCC stuff is all about extending hope.

      They cannot publish the truth, that we won’t be able to grow anything outside soon. Or live ‘outside’ for that matter.

      If you knew you only had months or a year or two left, what would you do?

      1. knowbuddhau

        Same as I’m doing right now: live like every breath might be my last.

        Living in constant awareness of one’s own imminent death induces a heartfelt love for every infinitesimal moment. There’s no time to waste.

    6. Lambert Strether

      A few comments on IPCC:

      1) I think it’s what one might call an evolutionary choke point*. I think our goal should be to get “the many” through the choke point, so far as is possible. As opposed to the 1%’s goal, which is to get as few through, i.e., themselves. Hence the bunkers in New Zealand, the rockets to Mars, etc. All insane and delusional, as one might expect.

      2) I think comments like “we’re all screwed” are unhelpful in the extreme.

      For one thing, “in the short run, we’re all alive.” As KnowBuddhau says: “Living in constant awareness of one’s own imminent death induces a heartfelt love for every infinitesimal moment.”

      This attitude is not only good in itself, it leads me to my second point: Only collective action can mitigate what’s coming. Much as I love the Mad Max series (after the first one, yuck), has it not occurred anyone that there’s a reason that sort of imagined future is the one being presented to us? Like a conjurer forcing a card? “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Which invention the 1% are busily funding. (Interestingly, the most recent Mad Max envisages collective action, at least thematically.) “We’re all screwed,” it seems to me, implies moving from a low-trust present to a no-trust future, with small bands hunkering down with their water sources, fortified dwellings, and, of course, women (for breeding. Yuck). Hence, individual actions performed in community settings are erased, things like permaculture, collective management of commons like watersheds, and so on.

      Third, while I hate to deploy the meme “collective ownership of the means of production”** (operationally, democratic control over capital allocation), there’s no getting around the fact that the means of production are where the carbon-belching is done, and if the elites who own them won’t solve the problem, others will have to, if the problem is to be solved. “We’re all screwed” erases this possibility, too.

      3) I also hate to deploy the “It’s just like Trump!” meme, but the idea that we should simply belch all the coal possible because “we’re all screwed, so why not?” is Trumpian.

      4) I also believe that plants as a collective are very smart, as are animals. If — since — we’re the problem, they’re gonna work to take care of it. We can display adaptability, or not. “We’re all screwed” does not incentivize adaptability.

      NOTE * I have two models for this. One is the the myth of the single band of 200 or so homo sapiens that made it out of Africa and from whom all humans descent. The second is the Abbey Library of Saint Gall.

      NOTE ** It’s interesting to see which catchphrases migrate from liberal to conservative. “Fake news” and “deep state” did, for example. I would argue that’s possible because both have no conceptual integrity. “Means of production” does not migrate. It seems to be quarantined. Why, one might wonder?

      1. vidimi

        good points. the only visions of the future that we have been presented with for the past several generations have been dystopic in the extreme. david graeber wrote how capitalism is a system that cannot imagine its indefinite continuation and argued that that’s what gives it its resiliance.

      2. Llewelyn Moss

        Lambert, I sure hope you are right, because the Mad Max alternative is scary sh1+.

        “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
        I look at movements like Occupy Wall Street that tried to invent a future. The movement was crushed in a violent and bloody spectacle under a Democrat president (thanks Obama for doing nothing to stop the crackdown). The OWS leaders were surveiled and harassed by the FBI using the pervasive surveillance state created by the NSA. Message received. Trump’s neo-fascism adds a whole new layer of uncertainty.

        We live in interesting times.

        1. Odysseus

          As a peripheral member of Occupy, the fact that participants were allergic to actually making decisions had more to do with their failure than police surveillance.

  6. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Camille Paglia: The Rise of “Strangely Unsexy” Instagram Exhibitionism — And Why It Hurts Women (Guest Column) Hollywood Reporter

    Emphasis mine:

    Given our rising concern about sexual harassment, it’s time for a major rethink and recalibration of women’s self-presentation on social media as well as in the workplace. The line between the public and private realms must be redrawn. Be yourself on your own time. The workplace should be a gender-neutral zone. It is neither a playground for male predators nor a fashion runway for women. Men may sometimes read literally what women often mean only symbolically. But complaining to and weaponizing a paternalistic Human Resources bureaucracy is not the path to women’s true liberation.
    If women want respect in society, they must do their part to raise their own value. Stop throwing it away on empty display.


    PS. Having inhabited a female body for very nearly 66 years now, the apparent pride in having, and willingness to display, such gigantic asses simply defies comprehension.

    1. Carolinian

      We males have been alternately bemused and delighted by the recent trend toward skimpy attire. Does it portend the beginning of the end times or just the latest fad? But for sure it’s not for everyone although everyone seems to be participating. Needless to say out here in the heartland everyone isn’t fashion model slim.

      1. polecat

        Don’t know about you, but if things warm up as much as is predicted, environmentally wise, the last thing I’ll want to do is wear a #@$%#& suit and tie !!
        And if/when things get hinky, I seriously doubt there’ll be many folk carrying too many excess pounds .. except for a few coveted ‘neo-paleo venusii …
        Hey ! Maybe Kimi K was on to something .. ‘;]

    2. Tinky

      Well, it’s safe to say that a rather healthy percentage of, minimally, the younger male population in the U.S., responds positively to such displays.

      I’m not defending the use of social media in this manner, but why more than a few women engage in such behavior certainly shouldn’t defy comprehension.

    3. ChiGal in Carolina

      In many cultures the booty is fetishized over the boobs. As Amerikkka continues to appropriate aspects of Black culture, what is sexy evolves.

      Maybe it’s Future to the Back though, remember bustles were a thing… They certainly emphasized the derriere!

      1. HotFlash

        Japanese men, at least in earlier times, had their breath taken away by a glimpse of neck (probably safe for work, unless you are a 150-yr old Japanese). Now it’s all, urm, all bust, all the time, preferably on underage girls (viz, anime, and do your own search if you need examples). Tastes change. But that animals should have a drive for procreation, however it expresses itself, should not seem strange. One of the things that humans deny the most is that we are animals. Pack animals, herd animals, social animals, hive animals, with complex and extensive instincts. Why is it that we are happy to believe that butterflies have innate maps to specific trees in Mexico, but balk at the idea that *we* also have complex patterns that are hardwired? Doesn’t mean they’re inevitable, but they are a force, and need to be honestly reckoned with.

        To paraphrase Santayana, those who do not understand their instincts are doomed to be ruled by them.

          1. knowbuddhau

            Yes, thanks for mentioning this. Hadn’t myself made the connection to porn.

            Regarding the sexualization of workplaces. It has come to my attention (won’t say how) that quite a few women are taking graphic photos of themselves at work and posting them online. I suspect the same is true for men.

            I’m so old I can’t imagine doing that, ever, let alone at work.

            But I want to emphasize that the importance of the supernormal stimuli and the innate releasing mechanism can’t be overstated. They amount to the icons on the control panels of our minds. We have buttons, my dear friends, and they’re being pushed by propagandists of all sorts.

            Just read this, the first two sections of Primitive Mythology, and imagine PSYOPing psychos taking it to mean: how to hack humans.

            The Masks of God: Vol. 4: Primitive Mythology
            Part 1: The Psychology of Myth
            Chapter 1: The Enigma of the Inherited Image, pp. 30-49.


      2. Roger Smith


        Are you implying that preference for large buttocks is somehow “racist”? I sincerely hope we aren’t dragging this there.

      3. Lambert Strether

        Our horrible and unhealthy corporate diet encourages the booty. Might as well make the best of the situation, I suppose. As usual, in any foreign locale where tourists gather, it’s quite easy to spot the Americans.

    4. Roger Smith

      Paglia is a really interesting read or watch amongst all the other trash in today’s “intellectual” sphere.

      1. Plenue

        I’m replying to this again because the mention of watching reminded me of something:

        It’s pretty impressive. You get over a hundred minutes of two idiots talking to each other in which virtually every sentence contains a lie or logical fallacy.

        Maybe today’s academy is a trash dump, maybe not. But Paglia isn’t within a hundred miles of any worthwhile part of it.

    5. ewmayer

      It occurs to me that ‘Camille Paglia’ is interestingly close to being an anagram of ‘callipygian’. Hmm…

    6. False Solace

      In every era there are young women and men who flaunt what they got. And in every era there are old people harrumphing and telling them to button up to their chins. Sorry Camille. Nothing new, novel, or especially interesting about any of this.

    7. Enquiring Mind

      Selfies represent only one element of a diabolical plan to enslave a generation to dopamine fixes. (see also stories about webpage design, if you can stand it) Constant cell phone checking is unhealthy for any number of reasons:

      Physical: just what waves are emanating from that device and what are their effects, and would anyone tell us if they knew?

      Psychological: is there some type of dependence or surrender of what remains of self to the whims and caprice of those imagined viewers and upvoters? My cantankerous reply is to say “I got yer upvote right here”

      Sociological: some overlap with above, and group dynamics, othering and many dysfunctional behaviors may be exhibited even before getting to whether there is any honesty or truth among any players or conveyors of whatever information may be contained. Cui bono?

      Safety: for your own edification, stand at a street corner, preferably by a turn, where you may observe drivers and their devices. I have done that numerous times, and have seen routinely at different times of day that about 20% of drivers are checking their phones while driving and turning a corner at speed. Of that golden 20% the vast majority are young women. I think that there is a huge story to be told about how women in particular are being manipulated by such devices.

      Security: who else is watching, listening, searching, monitoring and otherwise typically being invited in to probe lives. Remember all those masses of EULA text that you skipped on the way to the bottom of the page to accept your shackles?

      Those flip phones look better every day!

    8. Plenue

      “Given our rising concern about sexual harassment, it’s time for a major rethink and recalibration of women’s self-presentation on social media as well as in the workplace ” […] “Men may sometimes read literally what women often mean only symbolically.”

      Uh…no? Get men to stop thinking rape or lesser forms of sexual harassment are acceptable, it’s that simple and straightforward. Paglia is basically making the same argument defenders of the hijab make: that it’s there to protect women because men can’t restrain their urges. It would be bad enough saying this in regard to environs like bars or clubs (I know there are some sticks in the mud who think explicit consent undermines romance and seduction or whatever, but plenty of young people get along just fine with it), but it’s downright asinine in terms of a workplace where by definition people shouldn’t be engaging in flirtation to begin with, regardless of how anyone is dressed.

      So I would agree with her to the extent that should be a line between public and private, but it doesn’t at all follow that the onus is on women to suppress, or at least not draw attention to, their womanliness. The onus is on sexual harassers to stop harassing. Respect other peoples bodily autonomy, and only do anything when you’re given permission to do so. This isn’t complicated.

      I should probably add that yes, HR departments are abused at times. Someone complimenting you on your dress is not sexual harassment, but unfortunately some people think it is. I see this as simply an overcompensation; an over-correction of the rudder. The rudder shift on sexual harassment has been a long time coming, and at times it goes too far. I hope with time this will mellow out to a more reasonable level.

    9. Stephanie

      Having been a fan of Paglia since “Sexual Personae” came out, I have nevertheless found her to be an enormous snob- in fact, she pretty much admits to being one in Sexual Personae, when she admits to hating the folksiness of Mark Twain and Charlie Chaplin. So of course she would hate a lowest-common-denominator phenomenon like the Instagram booty shot: she can’t ruthlessly curate it. Yeah, she’s pro-sexy, but pro the hard-edged Apollonian sexy that’s all refusal and exclusion and high art and Emily Dickinson and not so much how anybody outside a Woody Allen movie ever actually gets it on.

    10. Cripes

      Au contraire, display of broad shoulders, large breasts or gigantic asses, or skinny ones, are all ancient and biologically derived markers of partner suitability, expressed through sexual attraction.

      Not in themselves inherently bad. I agree it does pose a rather awkward conflict between those biological drives and the legal / social constructs we have currently erected, so to speak.

      I suppose, if we don’t end our so-called civilization during the course of this century, that we will muddle through somehow. Gigantic asses, or not.

    11. Procopius

      Ah. I live in Thailand and have never seen a “reality” show. From the photos of them I see occasionally, I cannot conceive how men could find the Kardashians attractive, although I know that for every woman most men consider unattractive there will be some men whose idols they are. I saw a picture of Kim Kardashian recently that must have been taken without giving her a chance to get “her angle” right, and it looked like she was at least three feet across the hips. Her nose is too big, too. Oh, I’m so old I’m allowed to be a sexist pig.

  7. allan

    Apropos of today’s not-quite-the-Nobel Prize in Economics, a blast from the past:

    The Politically Incorrect Guide to Ending Poverty [The Atlantic]

    In the 1990s, Paul Romer revolutionized economics. In the aughts, he became rich as a software entrepreneur. Now he’s trying to help the poorest countries grow rich—by convincing them to establish foreign-run “charter cities” within their borders. Romer’s idea is unconventional, even neo-colonial—the best analogy is Britain’s historic lease of Hong Kong. And against all odds, he just might make it happen. …

    1. John

      That Atlantic article is a great example of neoliberal fluffing. Romero and Eric Prince should get together and form a new East India Company using Amway MLM Ponzi rules.

  8. How is it legal

    RE: California’s senior population is growing faster than any other age group. How the next governor responds is crucial

    A nitpick, I wish the piece had discussed the rampant and outrageous age discrimination in California. For the life of me, don’t understand why California’s Age Discrimination issues are never discussed by the Fourth Estate. There are so many falling into poverty as a consequence, well before retirement age, as a sole consequence of age discrimination in California.

    Nonetheless, those employers discriminating contribute millions to State and Federal Politicians well over retirement age; Politicians who have themselves refused to address the issue, despite rising suicide rates as a consequence. It’s so sadistic – at a time when the fourth estate keeps increasingly blathering about how to live longer and longer – I can barely wrap my mind around it.

    1. Duck1

      I hear you, having been let go in very early sixties with little prospect of landing a similar jawb.
      Another factor I wondered about was how much effect Prop 13 had on the demographic of the aging population. A lot of olds hang on to their house with fairly low taxes while the youngs can’t afford and a certain number out migrate.
      Been out of Cali about 4 years, but this seemed to be my anecdotal observation in SF.

      1. How is it legal

        A lot of olds hang on to their house with fairly low taxes while the youngs can’t afford and a certain number out migrate

        I’ve lost track of what age bracket olds represent, since every non Ivy Leaguer over 35 (and even 9 years less now) in Silicon Valley has been treated as if they are in their declining years since that horrid zuckcreep (following Bill Gates, et al’s lead) announced it.

        I will say that thousands and thousands of ‘olds’ Boomers (particularly the: disabled; African Americans; Hispanics; Pacific Islanders; decades long Chinese and Japanese American citizens; single females, historically making far less on the dollar; age (and earned wisdom) discriminated against engineers; and non unionized (and even many (‘sweetheart’) unionized) non coders of all races, and genders; were never able to afford a home in Silicon Valley but stayed – and rented – for the jobs unavailable elsewhere (and, because moving from one’s decades long ‘home’ is, so many times, for the non wealthy and connected, a traumatic and frighteningly expensive experience -particularly when their local and vulnerable family members had been relying on them for support – to yet another stranger Boss, and Landlord owned property in a place where one has no local support system, or knowledge of the predominant economic ‘culture’ and unspoken Power Structure.

        Also, many of those non greedy, non rentier home owning ‘olds,’ with far less property taxes (many of whom likely voted against Prop 13), can’t afford the cost of living, and why should they be forced to sell their homes to do so, via unaffordable and unrealistic property taxes, and leave their lifelong homes and support systems; especially when the state of Nursing Homes and Assisted Living/Senior Housing (particularly in California) is an utterly criminal Capitalist Disaster which affords no human dignity at the end of the day, and bleeds even the most basic of financial resources dry.

        At any rate, dear, I’m very glad you were able to escape this hell of inequality and homelessness, and I’m sorry for the length, and likely typos, of/in this response. Not your doing, or fault, but I’m utterly exhausted, saddened, and outraged at the amoral powers that manipulate and destroy anything worth being alive for; pitting all in fear – without desperately needed resources and support – against ‘others’ in fear – without desperately needed resources and support.

    2. ChristopherJ

      Yes great comment, it is the same here.

      When I emigrated with parents in 70s, the ‘old age’ kicked in, without means testing, at 60 for men and 55 for women. You could go to the dept of social security at age 15 and receive the dole – not a full adult payment, but if you didn’t work in Australia in the 70s, you had that as a backstop. You could still buy a block of land for 5 to 10 thousand and pay off a mortgage on one salary. There were a lot more varied careers and it was easy to find a job. Universities had people who wanted to learn and if you didn’t have a career in mind, students studied humanities and literature. Education was seen as a public good and was free if you had the aptitude. Different time.

      All been eroded. Can’t recall now, but they’d slip the changes into legislation at the same time as they gave you a pay increase.

      First the age threshold for women came up to be the same as men, equality you know.

      Then, they argued, we are living longer and the ‘bill’ is getting large and un-payable given we only have a limited amount of those ‘taxpayer dollars’.

      So the threshold shifted to 65 over a short time span and now is 67 years before you can claim the aged pension. It is also means tested and very hard to live on, particularly if you are renting.

      There was even a push to move it 70, but they’ve pulled back on this for the moment, not because they don’t want that and higher as a target, but it is politically impossible at present.

      So we sucked up the unpleasantness, I mean we’d just been given superannuation, paid by every employer. As a distraction so that we don’t see what has been stolen from us.

      Oh yes, you can’t touch that superannuation until you reach retirement age. Lot of my mates in their 50s and 60s who are working way beyond what their bodies and minds can handle. Those that haven’t been able to find regular work, I watch them wither without support.

      1. How is it legal

        Who knew that being raised to respect and support elders only meant respecting homogenous monsters of a handful of amoral elites, versus billions of older humans far more desperate and deserving of support.

        A warm, tight embrace to you, ChristopherJ.

        1. ChristopherJ

          and to you, friend.

          We’ve just had a Royal Commission into our banking and insurance sector and the fraud, lying and criminality has been very revealing.

          I care for 84 yo uncle who is in a Nursing home. He has it good compared to many, just short of money for some ‘extras’ which comes from me of course. We are just about to have another RC into the aged care sector and I am confident it will reveal the predation that is commonplace within our corporations and the senior people who run them. Keep you and all in the loop, although I am sure links will come through without my assistance.

    1. James Graham

      “Insofar as this day is still called “Columbus” day, let’s remember the horrors of 16th century imperialism/mercantilism.”

      By all means. But let us ignore the fact that Howard Zinn was a supporter of one of history’s greatest killers:

      In the late 1940s and early 1950s, as Joseph Stalin entered the final years of his reign of terror in the Soviet Union, twentysomething Howard Zinn served as a foot soldier in the Communist Party of the United States of America—this according to recently declassified FBI files. Zinn, the Marxist historian and progressive hero who died in January, may also have lied to the FBI about his Communist Party membership. Is it at all surprising that someone who got history so wrong stood on the wrong side of history?

      1. Carolinian

        Should we ignore the fact that your “proof” doesn’t even prove that Zinn was a member of the Communist party much less a “foot soldier” for Stalin. He did fight in WW2 for this country, not the USSR, so given that your referred author no doubt thinks FDR was also Stalin stooge that may be damning.

        But thanks for the time machine visit back to the 1950s. Those J. Edgar Hoover days sure were swell.

        1. James Graham

          “Should we ignore the fact that your “proof” doesn’t even prove that Zinn was a member of the Communist party much less a “foot soldier” for Stalin.”

          I know that reading comprehension is difficult. Maybe this will help.

          Perhaps it is unsurprising, then, that the FBI files also note “a photograph of Zinn taken in about 1951 which showed him instructing a class in Basic Marxism at the Twelfth Assembly District, CP Headquarters, Brooklyn, New York.” Were Stalin-era Communists in the habit of inviting “liberals” to teach them about Marxism? That, after all, is how Zinn described himself to the FBI agents: “Zinn stated that he was a liberal and that perhaps some people would consider him to be a ‘leftist.’” He insisted that he joined the International Workers Order, a Communist-controlled front group, “entirely for the insurance benefits.” And what about that Communist Party convention that he allegedly attended as a delegate in 1948?

          He joined (during the Stalin years) a communist organization “for the insurance benefits.”



          (Credit where credit is due: the man had a sense of humor.)

          1. vidimi

            i read zinn and he has condemned stalin, not least in his magnus opus people’s history. your attempt at character assassination needs work

          2. Carolinian

            Miffed that my snark is having so little effect.

            Nobody cares whether Zinn was a member of the CP. Except you, apparently.

          3. Olga

            On the other hand, some folks’ reading comprehension may be in over-drive. Teaching Marxism does not a communist make – only a well-rounded individual. And I agree, who cares? Many people were drawn to different ideas after the devastation of the 1929 crash, Great Depression, and WWII. Back then, the Soviet Union had a lot of moral authority (guess why?). Subsequently, the west (part. US) did a thorough job in destroying any positive perception of the USSR. Obviously, it is still working.

            1. Wukchumni

              We had a socialist utopia here in the Sierra foothills in the mid 1880’s, and their heroes were Marx & Engels, they had figured out the largest living tree, and aptly gave the name “The Karl Marx Tree”.

              Now in the midst of the Cold War, if it’d kept that nom de bloom, and wasn’t renamed The Sherman Tree, that might’ve been a little tricky!

              The Kaweah Colony was a utopian socialist community in central California founded in 1886. Located in the Sierra Nevada range, they lived near groves of giant sequoia trees. The colony officially disbanded in 1892. The establishment of Sequoia National Park in 1890 contributed to the colony’s demise. Some of their descendants still reside in the area.

              This colony based its economy on logging. Membership cost $500 with $100 payable upon application and the remainder in installments of cash or labor. Estimated nationwide membership peaked at 300-500 individuals, many of whom were non-resident supporters. The colony published the local area’s first newspaper.

              Kaweah Colony was noteworthy for its exploration of giant sequoia groves. The colony originally named what is now known as the General Sherman tree the Karl Marx tree. The only remaining structure from the group’s tenure at Sequoia is the Squatter’s Cabin, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


                1. Wukchumni

                  It’s a little disingenuous having pesky little humans naming trees after themselves, why it’d be like your hamster naming a 100 year old human after another gerbil.

                    1. Wukchumni

                      Most felines don’t live up to a few thousand years and are the largest living things, but they’re more fun.

                    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      The cat was a god or goddess once, in ancient Egypt and other places maybe.

                      Not sure if the goddess called herself Bastet, or humans just presumed the name to be so.

          4. Elizabeth Burton

            Extrapolating from someone’s being a member of the Communist Party of the US to that person’s being a supporter of Stalin is blatant FBI/ CIA-generated Cold War propaganda. It was the kind of thinking that brought us Tail-gunner Joe and his ilk.

            Furthermore, anyone who still thinks the Soviet Union was some ugly example of socialism and/or Marxism knows nothing about either except for that same propaganda.

          5. knowbuddhau

            “FBI files.” Really? And how’d they go about spying on people exercising their rights? Nice source you got there. Is it true that birds of a feather, flock together?

            Zinn did fight in WWII. He was a bomber, and deeply regretted it. To imply that he was a “foot soldier” of Stalin is doubly offensive.

            What Carolinian and vidimi said.

          6. Procopius

            I consider anybody accused by the FBI of being a Communist as being ipso facto proven innocent. Especially back in the days of The Old Queen. So he was teaching a course on Marxism? That was actually incredibly brave of him, because in those days no school or town librarian dared to stock any book that even discussed what real Communists said, much less what they believed. My high school library had two copies of Mein Kampf and not one book about socialism. Thanks to people just like you. That’s exactly why I regarded the John Birch Society as a bunch of grifters, goniffs, and nuts. It’s also why I consider the current Russia, Russia, Russia hysteria as a confidence game.

        2. James Graham

          Reading comprehension is a challenge so I’ll put “proof” in bold.

          Perhaps it is unsurprising, then, that the FBI files also note “a photograph of Zinn taken in about 1951 which showed him instructing a class in Basic Marxism at the Twelfth Assembly District, CP Headquarters, Brooklyn, New York.” Were Stalin-era Communists in the habit of inviting “liberals” to teach them about Marxism? That, after all, is how Zinn described himself to the FBI agents: “Zinn stated that he was a liberal and that perhaps some people would consider him to be a ‘leftist.’” He insisted that he joined the International Workers Order, a Communist-controlled front group, “entirely for the insurance benefits.” And what about that Communist Party convention that he allegedly attended as a delegate in 1948?

          As for his ‘insurance benefits” remark, I give him full credit for the humor.

          1. Wukchumni

            “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.”


            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Plus, some mistakes you may not live through making them.

              Better let others do them.

              “Yes, they don’t make land anymore, except in Holland. So, go ahead, buy now.”

              1. Synapsid


                “…some mistakes you may not live through making them.”

                Excellent. I shall keep an eye out for opportunities to use this. Thanks.

        3. James Graham

          To aid in understanding I’ve used the “bold” key.

          Perhaps it is unsurprising, then, that the FBI files also note “a photograph of Zinn taken in about 1951 which showed him instructing a class in Basic Marxism at the Twelfth Assembly District, CP Headquarters, Brooklyn, New York.” Were Stalin-era Communists in the habit of inviting “liberals” to teach them about Marxism? That, after all, is how Zinn described himself to the FBI agents: “Zinn stated that he was a liberal and that perhaps some people would consider him to be a ‘leftist.’” He insisted that he joined the International Workers Order, a Communist-controlled front group, “entirely for the insurance benefits.” And what about that Communist Party convention that he allegedly attended as a delegate in 1948?

          .. and his sense of humor. (He joined for the insurance benefits.)

          1. perpetualWAR

            After the THIRD posting of variations of the same damn thing, we *get it* even without the bold attributes.

            1. Llewelyn Moss

              It’s a rule. ALL CAPS is proof that a statement is true. I read it in “Hitchhikers Guide To The Internet”.

          2. flora

            The McCarthy purges of academia. That’s your source? I took a class on Marxism at my uni, taught in the business school no less. Since I’d always heard Marxism is wrong, I wanted to find out what Marxism was. Ergo, taking a class.

            But really, 1951 McCarthy era purges of leftist scholarship in academia and the MSM (and people wonder why what is called the “left” in today’s academia is now reduced to arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin – see ‘radical constructivists’) isn’t a credible source in my opinion.

            As far a joining an organization for insurance benefits, that fire-breathing, anti-govt-benefits programs, objectivist Ayn Rand applied for Social Security and Medicare health care benefits when she could. Does that make her a liberal? ha.

            1. Procopius

              Remember, too, David Koch tried to persuade von Hayek to come teach in the United States. Von Hayek declined, because he wouldn’t be able to work enough quarters to qualify for Social Security. Instead of offering to buy him an annuity (which Koch could have done out of his pocket change) Koch suggested a way to defraud the government. Von Hayek sensibly chose to stay in Austria where he was legally entitled to much better old age benefits. Also, his aristocratic ancestors gave him a certain cachet there, which would not have transported to America.

          3. HotFlash

            Hello, reading comprehension back atcha. Stalin is not equal to communism or Marxism. By your logic, Martin Luther, who taught Christianity, or so I have read, and who was a “Spanish Inquisition era” Christian, would be a footsoldier of Ferdinand and Isabella? Well, I guess it’s appropriate for the day.

            A tyrant is a tyrant, whom any excuse will serve, as Aesop aphorized so well.

          4. pjay

            “Daniel J. Flynn, author of A Conservative History of the American Left…” [author of the article cited]

            “City Journal is a quarterly magazine published by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research…” [Wikipedia]


    2. Hamford

      Zinn in Ch. 24: “The Coming Revolt of the Guard”, A People’s History of the United States:

      In the early nineties, the false socialism of the Soviet system had failed. And the American system seemed out of control-a runaway capitalism, a runaway technology, a runaway militarism, a running away of government from the people it claimed to represent.

      If you can only read one Chapter in this long book- make it this one:

      Zinn lays it all out well before Bernie Sanders, Thomas Frank, NC readers, et. al, did:

      He summarizes the establishment- even using the term frequently long before pundits made it so mainstream, the 10/20% serving as the guard for the 1%, elite tactics for dividing the masses (now called identity politics), how the elite trickle scraps to keep us divided, manufactued resent between the “middle” and lower class, and the deterioration of America’s “middle” class. This chapter is jam-packed with insight. He truly predicted the post 2008 world.

      Please read this chapter before you dismiss him on account of a photo.

    1. Quentin

      Susan Collins has always been a ‘maverick’, almost a John McCain in drag. She often puts on a public show of doubting and seriously contemplating issue when in the long run she’s just a house-and-garden repugnant. She must be good on abortion, somehow, until she isn’t. Maybe she’ll come out in walking shoes leading the huge demonstrations she will organise on the Mall against the most right-wing, reactionary Supreme Court in living memory. Remember back when Mrs. Clinton tried to blackmail us into voting for her to the presidency be raising the spectre of this outcome. Or was only about abortion because postpartum mother and child have proven their mettle to the neoliberal world, even if the fathers haven’t.

    2. Ted

      Ah, blob things. Rice, born and educated in D.C. at an elite private girl’s school then scampered of to the University of Maine (?) Bodoin College (?) Bates College (?), any place in Maine really, where she fell in live with the state and its people, setting up lifelong residence there before one Barry Obama recognized her skill at promoting liberal wars and brought her to Washington, forcing her to reluctantly leave the state she so loved.

      Um no … After graduating her elite girls school and bidding daddy farewell (at the federal reserve) our plucky war monger was off to Stanford (that west coast school for elites) and then, following in the footsteps of one Bubba Clinton, was off to Oxford for a Rhodes fellowship. She then returned to DC, started in the mailroom of some staffer of a senate staffers and then worked her way up through sheer grit and hard work to the white house. Or some such biography that led her to the heights of blobdom. I am sure it had nothing to do with family connections though, not one thing to do with it.

      Anyway, sure she would do great representing the good people of Maine in the senate. I hope she runs and the good people of Maine vote her in.

    3. JCC

      Whoops, I got my Susans mixed up… I meant to say

      It looks like Sen. Susan Collins may be toast as far as her job is concerned.

      1. edmondo

        I’ll take that bet. You have to be a Democrat to think that some outsider is going to come into the state and beat the incumbent 4 term senator whose family has lived there for ten generations.

        OTOH isn’t there $3 million in grift that has already been raised for Collins’ opponent? – follow the money.

          1. Wukchumni

            Timing is on Collins side, remember the all-important op-ed in the NYT from around 3 weeks ago?

            Everybody has just in time memory, as they only remember it for a few days.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Susan Collins is the last straw.

          And of all the other senators, they are picking on a female one?

          Because ‘more is expected from a woman?’

          1. Procopius

            Yeah, I kind of wondered why that was a thing. I was really gobsmacked that Murkowski voted “present.” I fully expected her to vote for confirmation. I was never in any doubt that Collins would vote to confirm, just as she voted to abolish Obamacare. The excuse she gave was ridiculous. Nobody but a Democrat could believe she really believed the written guarantee McConnell gave her.

    4. Nax

      Susan Rice was Obama’s Ambassador to the UN 2009-2013 and then National Security Advisor 2013-2017.

      During this time she pushed for intervention in Libya, and was deeply involved in the Syrian fiasco.

      Thumbs down from me.

      1. Olga

        Samantha Power, HRC, and Susan Rice were the three witches of R2P. Their joint actions helped the situation so much that Europe is now drowning in migrants (whose chances there are less than limited).

    5. Big River Bandido

      I fail to see how a MILO candidate (in this case, a former national security advisor) would represent an improvement. That’s just substituting one blob hack Susan for another.

      1. HotFlash

        For ‘MILO’ I read ‘Deepstate’. But humans being what they are, I expect that the Deepstate has factions. Interesting times, and climate change to be dealt with. Guess we should all just kiss our fundaments goodbye*.

        *Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada-land.

    6. Lambert Strether

      Running Susan Rice for Senate in Maine is the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard in my life, and therefore the Democrats will probably do it. A national security insider from out-of-state? Really? Back in the day, we had electeds of our own, of national stature: Muskie, Mitchell. We didn’t have to look to carpetbaggers for assistance.

        1. Lambert Strether

          The dude’s Canadian. Is the idea that Rice is almost a Mainer because of that?

          Of course, when Rice is parachuted in, runs, and loses, liberal Democrats can then cry racism and sexism, and exclude Maine from the glorious Blue States of America when secession finally takes place. So there’s that.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “India’s U-Turn Destroys Trump’s Anti-Chinese ‘Quad’ Strategy”

    The ‘Quad’ Strategy sounds really great when you put together the US, Japan, India and Australia. It could be the beginning of an Asian NATO, especially since SEATO kinda fizzled out. There is only one problem with it though if you were Indian. When you stop and think about it, the US, Japan and Australia are all protected by seas and oceans from China. Not so with India. In fact, the entire Sino-Indian border is 4,056 kilometers (2,520 miles) long and India does not have the military to defend it right now. So in case this ‘Quad’ stirred up trouble with China, guess which country China would be making a move on first.
    With India too, perhaps they may remember the time that the US sided with Pakistan back in ’71 and sailed a huge Task Force ( into the Bay of Bengal which might potentially side with the Pakistan Air Force against Indian forces. The Soviets sent their own Task Force which put a block on that force at the time. Point is that a lot of Indians would remember that little episode and so would wonder how steadfast US loyalty would be to India if the balloon went up.

    1. vidimi

      this was one of the three big stories in today’s links. we are starting to see eurasia coalesce in an anti-american economic alliance, spearheaded by china, russia, india, and turkey, with iran fully integrated within. with the US being the main obstacle standing between a korean rapprochement, it isn’t impossible to imagine even south korea joining this block, especially since their archnemesis japan remains staunchly pro-american.

      the two other big stories are the climate nightmare unfolding in slow motion and brazil’s impending decennial setback. i despair for what the country will become and for all the horrors the poorest will suffer.

    2. Procopius

      Well, SEATO kind of fizzled out because of the expertise of the State Department experts who believed in the Domino Theory. All the nearby Southeast Asian countries the U.S. wanted to join were well aware that North and South Vietnam were not separate countries, that China and Russia were not “a worldwide Communist Conspiracy,” and that the victorious NVA would not be a threat to them, only to Cambodia which the U.S. had already devastated.

  10. Jeff W

    Re: How the mushroom dream of a ‘long-haired hippie’ could help save the world’s bees Seattle Times

    Meanwhile, [Paul] Stamets has designed a 3D-printable feeder that delivers mycelia extract to wild bees. He plans to launch the product, and an extract-subscription service next year, to the public.
    “What rivet will we lose that we’ll have catastrophic failure? I think the rivet will be losing the bees,” he said. “More than one-third of our food supply is dependent on bees.”

    Maybe I’ve been listening to too much Richard Wolff but, in order to avoid the possibility of global “catastrophic failure,” involving “[m]ore than one-third of our food supply,” we’re relying on a “product launch” and an “extract-subscription service” by a single private, presumably profit-driven (and revenue-constrained), company? I’m not blaming Paul Stamets here—if he’s right, he’s done some brilliantly creative, invaluable work and he’s operating within the constraints of our current economic system—but there’s got to be a better way—or at least an alternative way—of handling things like this.

    1. DJG

      Jeff W: What is striking about the story is that Stamets is a well-known advocate of mushrooms and their health benefits. You can go to his website, which is interesting. Yet when he called scientists to tell his story of bees harvesting something from mushroom mycelia, they wouldn’t listen, even though it is commonly known among foodies and the health conscious that fungi have all kinds of antivirals, a highly digestible protein profile, and vitamin D (in some species) in prodigious amounts. Sure, they can kill you, too.

      Scientists couldn’t figure out that a bee’s behavior might be deliberate? That’s what worried me.

      1. Jeff W

        I didn’t know that Stamets was a well-known advocate of mushrooms and their health benefits—that is interesting—but even I knew that mushrooms have some anti-pathogenic (e.g., anti-bacterial) properties and I’m no mushroom maven. I was struck, too, by how some of these scientists treated him like he was some kind of crackpot. And, yeah, a bee’s behavior might have some evolutionary advantage? That’s not too far-fetched. (I’d think it would be the default assumption, actually.)

        1. barefoot charley

          Stamets has well-earned cult status in the Pacific Northwest (where mushrooms rule). He’s best known for propagating oil-eating microbes, which were supposed to clean up oil spills. Dunno what happened with that. He’s an out-of-the-box thinker, so it’s no wonder career-cultists steer clear of him.

    2. divadab

      Your objection seems to me to be purely ideological. You focus on the form of organization, which is clearly secondary to its objectives and means. Do you really think that a not-for-profit or some form of government organization would do a better job than a company run by the creative force behind this brilliant idea?

    3. lyman alpha blob

      Despite the hyperbole of the title, my takeway wasn’t that this would reverse climate change and environmental degradation. Ever read Margaret Atwood’s “MaddAddam” series? The bee/mushroom relationship seems like something that would be useful to know after the Jackpot hits (apologies for mixing up the dystopian scifi themes).

      1. Jeff W

        My impression was that the “catastrophic failure” that Stamets refers to was the collapse of the food supply, not climate change or environmental degradation.

      2. polecat

        Honestly, if people would just let the bees be themselves, they will, as other creatures have done through millennia, evolve to deal with bio/physiological issues !
        It’s beyond hubris to think we hominids have an answer, and can cure all that ails ..
        Now, if collectively we could reduce our use of herbicides, fungicides, pesticides .. and the plethora of other manmade chemicals ‘created-for-better-living’ .. Ha ! … then the bees would have a greater chance of success, where viability is concerned.
        Don’t get me started on all the ways beekeepers, over the last 50 years or so, both corporate, AND small-time, have done, either through ignorance, or greed, much harm to bees .. well, honeybees anyway ..

  11. John Beech

    I think it’s wonderful news for Apple to implement proprietary software limiting independent, or 3rd party hardware repairs. Why? It’s because the resulting hue and cry will spell the end to manufacturer’s attempts to limit right of repair. Thus far, farmers have been taking it on the chin as the likes of John Deere screw them over because they’re such a tiny minority almost nobody notices their plight. However, if Apple follows suit, the scope of those affected is more than an order of magnitude larger. Remember the words of Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller when referencing the Holocaust when he wrote, “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out . . .”. because once a much broader spectrum of users’ right to repair are impinged, Congress will get involved in a more substantive way. Bottom line? Rejoice because sometimes things have to get worse before they become better.

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      Couldn’t that be considered restraint of trade, since Apple (with perhaps one or two chosen affiliates) would thus become the only source of refurbished Apple products?

    2. Lord Koos

      It seems to me they are totally shooting themselves in the foot with this. There are a lot of places where an “Apple Store” isn’t handy. I know musicians who used Mac audio workstations for years who have abandoned the brand because of all the proprietary BS. This will just cause more of them to switch.At any rate the company is now more focused on iphones than they are on laptops since that’s where the profits are.

    3. Geo

      Unfortunately us Apple consumers are a docile breed that will bow down before the glowing apple and give sacrifice to appease it so we can remain in its grace and not be banished to the hell that is Windows. Plus, we’ve invested too much into our apples to turn away now. They own us and they know it.

  12. Musicismath

    Excellent article on the myths of Brexit in the new LRB from James Meek:

    Reckless, hypocritical, deluded, mendacious and chauvinist as they are, the Brexiteers found a real set of circumstances, and misapplied a popular, off-the-shelf folk myth to it. By simply rejecting the Brexiteer myth, without offering another, better one, the Remainers appear to deny the underlying changes. ‘Look,’ the Leave voter says to the Remainer. ‘Look at the abandoned coal mines, the demolished factories, the empty fishing harbours. Look at the old people lying sick on trolleys in hospital corridors and how there aren’t enough school places to go round and how you can’t afford a roof over your head. Look at my debts. Look at the low-wage work that’s all that’s left. Look at the decent jobs that have gone abroad. Look at the foreign workers we have to compete with, where did they come from? Who are all these strangers? If the problem isn’t the EU, what is it?’ The Remainer struggles to answer. Why?

    James Meek, Brexit and Myths of Englishness, LRB (11 October 2018).

    1. Lee

      Hmmmm. Sounds like the UK Remainers have the same problem as our Democrats. Lot’s of objections to the disruption of the current order but little in the way of effective solutions to the problems inherent in the status quo.

      1. pjay

        Right, since the problems are not a bug, but a feature of neoliberalism. And for those at the very top, these “problems” were not unintended consequences.

        1. Hepativore

          While the EU started off with noble intentions, is not the EU largely a vehicle for multinational corporations and Europe’s 1% to push austerity and neoliberal ideology? I think that the characterization of Brexiters as being anti-globalist, isolationist, right-wing nationalists is far off base as the EU seems to be a tool of Europe’s FIRE sectors and wealthy elite.

    2. Keith Howard

      Thank you for pointing out James Meek’s very interesting rumination. It resonates with the US situation. I’ll forward the link to several friends, and I’d suggest hoisting it into the leading NC articles.

    1. Judith

      The Ars Technica report also notes this:

      Compounding this issue is that Microsoft’s rollout of version 1809 was already unusual. For reasons unknown, Microsoft didn’t release this update to the Release Preview ring, so the most realistic installation scenario—someone going from version 1803 to 1809—didn’t receive much testing anyway. And all this is against the longer-term concern that Microsoft laid off many dedicated testers without really replacing the testing that those testers were doing.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Camille Paglia: The Rise of “Strangely Unsexy” Instagram Exhibitionism — And Why It Hurts Women”

    Some of those a**** on that page look huge and the girls seem to think just flashing them makes them automatically “sexy”. Uhhh, no. I am thinking of some of the women that I saw in films growing up such as Gene Tierney, Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth that could radiate sexiness just through the projection of their personality alone.
    And they weren’t bubble heads like the present spoiled brats. Read up on the Wikipedia page for Hedy Lamarr some time. Want to know about one of the most sexiest women that I ever saw? It was years ago in a TV doco about the early days of TV in America. Some unknown actress from the early 1950s was shown in a cigarette ad for several seconds and she was calm, confident and her voice purred like a female tigress. No comparison with today’s present stock and it showed you what was possible without ever having to flash some flesh.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      The Millennials I know actually do find those looks a turn on. It’s a generational thing. Times change, tastes change.

        1. Summer

          They’ll be game for all sorts of “gravity defying” products from beauty industry huscksters.

        2. polecat

          That goes for other parts, appendages of Both .. uh .. ‘sexes’, regaredless of identity affiliation …..

    2. begob

      Check out The Lady From Shanghai – Rita Hayworth’s close-ups are amazing. After watching that I read up about her and found she was quite a strange person.

    3. Mel

      Remember the things I used to see back in the day? Back when my brain chemicals were running riot?
      Now that was sexy!

  14. John Beech

    In reference to Donald Trump: Crazy Like LBJ I can’t help but chuckle. After all, as Heller wrote in Catch 22, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

    Anyway, count me in the camp buying the notion of leftist overreached vice Kavanaugh as righteous indignation reverberates amongst the right. If it dampens November’s ‘blue wave’ then Shakspear’s, ‘hoist by your own petard’, will be apropos, don’t you think?

    1. Quentin

      Yes especially when so many other aspects of the man show him to be not a very desirable choice for Supreme Court justice: to mention one, torture. The sex victim schtick has become stale and destructive by now, ruining lives and, at most, only improving the bank balances of some high-profile women. Has an accuser every been uncovered as a liar or delusional and compelled to compensate the man she falsely accused, I wonder? To cover my back I’ll add the most accusations need to be considered seriously. Okay, can I go home now Mrs. Brown?

    2. marym

      Unless it’s a new synonym for right wing, there was nothing “righteous” about the right’s response to Kavanaugh.

      If they cared about abuse victims in general, or even clearing K’s reputation, they would have allowed an actual investigation. After the vote some of them think they’re saving face by saying they think Ford was likely abused, but managed to misremember the main thing abuse victims always remember, because science and history are less important than power and control. They were dismissive and insulting toward other abuse victims who came forward to beg them to reconsider. They claim they care about their own (of course) sons being wrongly accused of sexual assault, but they don’t care about other people’s sons being wrongly accused of anything, held without bail, shot by the cops, or tortured by the government. In fact they want a judge who will exacerbate all that harm, and who shares their belief, whether he attacked Ford or not, that women do not have the right to decide what happens to their own bodies.

      One doesn’t need to think Democrats chose the right issue, or handled it effectively to see that despite the right’s donning of the usual mantle self-righteous rage (which doesn’t go away no matter how many elections, appointments, decisions, and votes at every level of government they win) no amount of control is ever enough for them, and no values are pursued other than the power to control, oppress, and exclude.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Many, and more likely will in the next few weeks, on both sides, see the November elections as their chance to vote on this.

    3. Otis B Driftwood

      So leftist baiting has made its way into the comments section of NC? Thought we had a higher standard for discourse here.

      1. flora

        oh, I’m sure they’re just trying to “correcting the record”. Conflating ‘left’ with ‘liberal’ or ‘Dem party’ is pretty convenient. /s
        It was the Dem estab that pushed ‘victim abuse’ angle instead of the Bush era torture memos, stolen documents, and perjury in the K hearings.

        1. flora

          adding: the Dem estab would love to see AOC and the few other DSA candidates lose without having their fingerprints on the loss, imo.

          And, it was Dem Sen Manchin that voted for K to give him the confirmation. The D party wanted this outcome, imo.

          What used to be the center is now considered ‘leftist’, which shows how the govt in both parties is now to the right of what was once the center.

    4. HotFlash

      notion of leftist overreached vice Kavanaugh

      Not sure I comprehend this phrase properly, grammar seems a little off, but the *real* leftists I read, heard, and talked to were more concerned about his judicial record than his frat-days BS.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think the debate is if ‘real’ leftists should be more concerned, or equally concerned.

        There is a third possibility that the victim issue should not be of less concern, but more.

        1. flora

          Be nice to see the serious problem of abuse of women and children not used as something like a red herring for other political ends. see: “We have to invade Afghanistan, think of the women and children.” or “talk about assault to rile up the voters and so we don’t have to talk about torture or perjury.” When the real objective is achieved the ‘women and children’ are quickly forgotten or dismissed; for example the lieberal NYTimes printing a bat-sh** editorial from a Dem estab figure as ‘the voice of enraged women’ that undermines trust in women’s sense and decency.

        2. barefoot charley

          To be ‘fair,’ K’s unhinged script blamed ‘leftists’ for his high-tech lynching. By leftists of course he meant those polite interlocutors who kept asking him what ‘boof’ meant. You know, leftists.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think that is the question – should that, including complaining about high-tech lynching, of less concern?

  15. Craig H.

    > Bill Clinton speaking to the blockchain people

    Not bad but the writer didn’t answer my questions. (1) what is the current going rate to hire Bubba for a day in 2018? (2) did the security detail put everybody through the medical detector-purse shuffle treatment?

    Has he done a porno convention yet? If I’m Bubba I definitely want to do a porno convention. I’d give ’em a discount.

  16. Edward E

    How Badly Is Trump’s Trade War Hurting China?

    If Trump’s trade war is hurting China so much, why are its exports up by $25 billion this year compared to last year

    Trump tries to cut China out of trade deals with partners

    Basically extending US secondary sanctions architecture through trade agreement: if you play with us you may not conclude FTAs with countries we don’t like.

    If this desperate attempt to start a cold war backfires?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Short term, should China ask, if not publicly, for more from Trump?

      Then, there are medium and long term results. Will exports continue to go up?

  17. The Rev Kev

    “US in new global court showdown with Iran”

    I always regard stories like this as being ominous for the long term stability of the United States. The law is being abused seven ways to Sunday and the US is earning itself a reputation as a legal backwater on the international stage. It was only a few months ago that an US court found that Iran was, get this, responsible for 9/11 and thus had to pay US$6 billion in compensation to the victims. Attributing the 1983 bombing of a US Marine barracks in Beirut and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia is more bad judgements as Iran was responsible for neither.
    With the US withdrawing from courts that make judgments against it as well as threatening ICC judges if they investigate any potential US war crimes you can forget the principles thrashed out at Nuremburg. Remember too that there is a law that says that the US has the right to invade the Netherlands to free any US or allied prisoners held by the International Criminal Court which is just stupid on a stick. Over time I think that the US will find itself more and more marginalized through acts like this and the process is already well underway.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China confirms Interpol chief Meng Hongwei is under investigation SCMP. Wowsers

    I understand he is or was also a deputy minister, or some high official position, in China.

    The new CalPERS fund manager is said to be also another current or former Chinese official.

    It seems to me that this kind of arrangements is risky for the persons involved as one side (or both sides) would try to use you, against the other.

  19. tegnost

    re: cali’s senior population… what you mean that outsourcing your labor pool from your citizens to low cost tax free foreign workers has led to only oldsters who by the way cash in massively from both prop 13 and qe has left the state with no residents with the resources to bear the burdens of their ageing? Say it ain’t so…

    1. Wukchumni

      It swings both ways with aged seniors. My mom is in an assisted living facility full of 90+/- year olds, and they all have one thing in common, they bought a home/s in L.A. in the 50’s or 60’s for a pittance and seldom if ever HELOC’d on it and most sold theirs before arriving, and the facility which is more of a cruise ship that doesn’t go anywhere, caters to their money.

      It would take 10 years of residency to strip the average senior living there of the return they made on their abode that enabled them to live in a very nice lifestyle during their golden years now, but most don’t make it.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Many in their 60’s, 70’s or 80’s don’t have a home, or have one (and live in it and that 1% max. annual increase in prop. taxes is helpful in not losing the house).

      2. Lee

        My mom had dementia in her 80s for the last three years of her life. During that time she was well cared for in a private facility and passed just a few months before her life savings ran out. Probably a blessing.

      3. Robert McGregor

        Yes, since the average stay in an assisted living facility is 26 months (according to an assistant living marketing director). After that, the resident is either transferred to a nursing home, or dies.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          My 86 yr old mother lives with me and my brother. She doesn’t want to go to any other places.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Prop. 13 covers individually owned and corporate owned residential properties, and commercial properties.

      I don’t know if the focus should be on oldsters. If one of them owns a house and lives in it, he or shee sees no benefit from QE and the rising valuations of it. Where will he or she live by selling it? He or she should be very careful to borrow against it, if there are no ways to service the loan.

      The income, after retirement, is likely to be more or less fixed and with the low interest rates of the last decade and half, that 1% maximum increase annually means the expense for that can be projected.

      Our current governor is a senior.

      But not all seniors here are going to be governors.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    America’s teacher shortage The Week

    A robot teaching assistant was in the news a while back.

    Will they be ready in time to alleviate the shortage?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They should actually move around during the PE period (the body is as important as the mind), and have a chance at organic gardening during at least one recess period.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      That article focused on urban centers, which are impossible to live in for a teacher. Out here in Suburbia we can find teachers, it’s subs that are impossible to find. The bench is getting slim.

  21. Wukchumni

    In our 17 years of continual war, never has anything needed to be rationed, if anything we were implored to go out and buy more stuff, be patriotic!

    Hard to imagine that from July of 1942 through to the duration of the war, drivers were only allowed 3 gallons of gas per week.

    And new tires to replace the baldies on your axles?

    Good luck with that!

    1. sleepy

      According to my mom, who worked for the war department at Ft. Snelling, there was of course a small time underground market for rationed goods. She got an extra 3 gallons a week because she was a war dept employee working overtime. She just took the bus and swapped the gas tickets for things like perfume and stockings–she was after all a single 22 yr. old female in a world full of 2nd lieutenants, lol.

    1. flora

      Thanks. Do those Dem strategists believe this stuff or is it an effort to bamboozle the reader?

      ‘Chris Lehane, a Democratic strategist, told me that what’s happening is actually bigger than Trump. A new pattern has emerged whereby voters respond less to economic winds than to a tribalism fostered by demographic changes, social media and more.

      ‘“Identity politics has really become the ecology you’re operating in,” he said. “Economics aren’t as dispositive as they used to be.” He added that many voters evaluate the vigor of the economy in terms of whether the person or party responsible for it is aligned with their tribe.’

      Maybe I should call the NYTimes columns “Letters From the Bubble.”

      1. sleepy

        The only group that would not welcome substantial and equally rising income and asset levels for all is the elite. No one else would care if the raise benefited everyone equally.

      2. johnnygl

        To the degree that there’s truth in what the strategist says, it’s because the party leaders, strategists and consultants have been doing their best to make it true. They’ve been clear that when dems are in charge, austerity/pay go is the rule to follow. Norms fairly ensures no legislation that would really help can get implemented.

        All that’s left to cheer for is tribalism.

          1. The Rev Kev

            And you’ll be in their Tribe until they don’t need you any more. Then they will snuff out your flame and intone the words “The Tribe has spoken!” And they won’t even need Jeff Probst for that one.

  22. How is it legal

    Thank you for: Former Google boss launches scathing Silicon Valley attack urging tech giants to end the delusion that it’s making the world a better place

    Looking further into the author, Jessica Powell, I found this essay by her: Why I Left My Big Fancy Tech Job and Wrote a Book – I love Silicon Valley, but it’s deeply flawed

    From the essay, Zuck?

    Should I start with the early stage companies? Like the time I was at a startup and the founder I was working for — a guy who owned a hundred shirts in the same color and quoted Steve Jobs on a daily basis — asked me whether we should hand out dildos as company swag or consider converting our social media platform into an anonymous sex club. (We even whiteboarded it.)

    Loved this part too:

    You can’t buy up a big bookstore and then a big diaper store and a big pet supply store and, finally, a big grocery store, national newspaper, and rocket ship and then act surprised when people start wondering if maybe you’re a bit too powerful.

    And you can’t really claim that you’re building for everyone in the world when your own workforce doesn’t remotely resemble the outside world.

    When I wrote this novel, I eliminated almost all women and people of color from the story to make a point. It’s an exaggeration — the book is satire, remember — but it’s also true that the Valley has a diversity problem.

    Would Uber have had such a toxic internal culture, rife with sexual harassment, if there had been more women on the management team helping to drive the company’s culture? Would the Google Photos app have labeled the image of an African-American woman an “ape” had there been greater representation of African-Americans on the engineering, product, or quality assurance teams — someone who might have questioned whether the data pool feeding into the algorithm was sufficiently diverse? Would we see more funding for technology tackling problems affecting lower-income communities if venture capitalists were not graduating from just a handful of elite institutions?

    Those parts of it are priceless. I confess though, I was disappointed that the horrid age discrimination and way too many Visa workers who’ve been increasingly replacing those same minority and female residents she discusses, weren’t noted. You can only import so many workers without replacing citizens. There’s also a lack of acknowledgment that Silicon Valley has rapidly turned into one vast unaffordable, exclusive, monolithic campus – with frightening amounts of unsheltered homelessness, and horrific rates of suicide for stressed out teenagers.

    Lastly, I particularly disagree with her take that:

    Despite how the industry is sometimes portrayed in the media, I don’t really think the management teams at Facebook, Google, Apple, Uber, or Amazon wake up each morning thinking about how to steal more user data …

    And which media is she referring to? It’s certainly not California’s Fourth Estate Editors and Journalists. They never even discuss those huge problems unless something like Cambridge Analytica happens, and then it was only because Trump and Russia™.

      1. How is it legal

        The legalized tax evasion, for Multinational Corporations, is so repulsive and criminal.

        As to the Diana Ross song, I stopped watching and listening to audio-visual, on the internet, quite some time ago, but I think I might know which song you’ve linked to.

    1. Geo

      I don’t really think the management teams at Facebook, Google, Apple, Uber, or Amazon wake up each morning thinking about how to steal more user data

      Yes they are. Not all their employees but the ones tasked with profit generating tasks are because that’s where the money is.

      I worked for a really small startup for a year and every meeting was about how to get access to user info. It was all about a “more engaging” and “personalized” experience. They were convinced data mining was for the benefit of the users. And, in a way, they’re right. Users get “free” (or cheap) applications that tailor their experi nice to their tastes and habits. Most don’t seem to care they have become the commodity because they get what they want for cheap/free. Just look at th le popularity of Chome/Google. People like free stuff. In ththe old days they’d drop their business card in a jar or fill out a form to “win” a raffle or contest. Now, they give out their online identity for free apps and platforms.

      The problem isn’t in what’s being given but in what is being lost: their is no understanding of value anymore. The value of the products we consume (cost of labor, resource extraction, etc) and the value of our selves (our sovereignty, our identity, our property).

      The trade off is merely “I have what I want and don’t know what I gave up” and out of sight, out of mind.

      So, yes, they think about extracting data every day, they merely temper it with what they want versus what they can get away with for now and what may have to wait until tomorrow when the goal posts have moved once more.

      1. How is it legal

        Thank you for the validation, so sick of hearing the trope of: They Mean Well,™ particularly about Zuckerberg; who seems to get more passes than any of them, when it comes to intent. They are all horrid, greed ridden, destructive megalomaniacs, in my thoughts.

    1. John k

      Some criticize Bernie for not fighting dems harder, or not railing against foreign wars. I defer to his political savvy, far greater than mine.
      He frecord of successes speaks for itself.
      I predict Bernie tulsi will overcome in 2020

  23. bruce wilder

    Romer and Nordhaus — and the PR relates the prize to work on economic growth and responding to climate change.

    The climate change angle is easy to relate to Nordhaus, but not so easy to relate to Romer.

    Nordhaus was a pioneer in creating the integrated assessment model approach to policy work on climate change, developing a model dubbed DICE (and a sibling model, RICE). Have these highly abstract numerical models done any good in the world?

    I think it is hard to see how Nordhaus’s work was, on balance, a good thing. Integrated assessment models, for economists, have been an invitation to engage in a maximum of esoteric math and a minimum of critical thinking about fundamentals.

    The only takeaway from DICE and similar models is that you are supposed to see the wisdom of policies that focus on carbon-pricing as the key fulcrum of policy-making — a point of neoliberal orthodoxy that markets should drive things. In practice, it seems like carbon-pricing has been a formula for political paralysis and procrastination.

    Climate change ought to call attention to the true fundamentals of economics: what generated the industrial revolution and put the world onto this trajectory toward catastrophe?

    A “model” that explained the course of the industrial revolution might have some credibility in explaining its further trajectory. But, I do not think that is what either Nordhaus or Romer has produced.

    It is bothersome because these are mainstream experts, now further legitimized by the faux Nobel from the Swedish central bank. And their expertise really doesn’t amount to much more than math and numerical methods no one understands and the ability to make the right kind of “serious” noises. Paul Romer, in particular, has been a TED talk favorite. Nordhaus has been wringing his hands over global warming for 30 years.

    1. knowbuddhau

      >>what generated the industrial revolution and put the world onto this trajectory toward catastrophe?

      An excellent question, I’ve been wondering the same. The answer depends, of course, on from within what universe the world and the IR & its trajectory are viewed by economists.

      How many have updated their models of the universe we’re being to include at least consideration of Einstein and maybe the Copenhagen Interpretation, for starters?

      Like most people, they’re not even in this millennium. But most people aren’t posing, and getting paid, as scientists. Their prose clanks and grinds with the outdated and discredited tropes of 19th-century mechanism and Social Darwinism. Are they preaching to the choir, or just playing the tune they’re paid to play? Either way, that ain’t science.

      And that’s another reason I so love the work of Michael Hudson. He doesn’t shy from calling the narratives of mainstream academic economics what they are : cover stories.

      ISTM using ever more refined statistics will get you far in content-free psychology, too.

  24. Unna

    Camille Paglia is one of those maddeningly complex out of the box thinkers who challenges everyone’s conventional ideas, right, left, whatever. Anyone who’s read her major work, Sexual Personae, will already know this, and some of what’s in there, as far as certain artistic depiction of female sexual power and its psychological significance on the male mind, makes me personally uncomfortable. But so what.

    Her main point as pertains to the article presented today is that, in the main, male and female sexuality are different and that those differences need to be recognized and respected. She sees our civilization as being engaged in an epic experiment, which is, mixing men and women in the workplace, including blue collar, white collar, and “professional” as equals, in a way that’s never been done before in the entire history of “people-kind” and that’s beyond enormous.

    As a feminist she is very much in favour of this, but she insists that it be done carefully by male and female individuals and with great circumspection otherwise it could come to a swift end in an institutional cultural reaction of enforced Victorian style prudishness or a far worse repressive fundamentalist religious/political reaction which ends our experiment with equality in a dreary relegation of women back to “Kinder, Küche, und Kirche” courtesy of Mike Pence. Or even the rise of Muslim female fashion enthusiasm in the West and all of which that would represent, hinted by her at the end of the article.

    She believes that sexual display is a form of, and means to, individual sexual power no matter whether it’s done by men wearing swords, feathers, and cod pieces, or by women with an equally generous display of curves, flesh, and well, whatever. In her view, sexual display, both in humans and animals, can be/is a demonstration of power and/or mating signals designed by our biology to produce interest and arousal, all of which are inappropriate in today’s workplace for obvious reasons, including that they make both men and women uncomfortable and confused. And it’s disruptive for business.

    As for women, this is not slut-shamming just as it’s not man-shamming to demand that men leave their cod pieces at home and not wear them to the office.

    1. ewmayer

      Re. leaving one’s codpiece (a word which always brings to mind the hilarious Blackadder episode in which Edmund B, on being pressured to take a wife by his father the king, decides to frighten off his father-selected mate by first-meeting her while wearing his most intimidating codpiece, his “Black Russian”) at home – can I still wear my Crakows to work? Or on casual Fridays, my Papuan penis gourd?

      (In, um, point of fact, those 2 particular fashions have a lot in common – from the above-linked Wikipedia entry:

      The arrival of this fashion in England is traditionally associated with the marriage of Richard II and Anne of Bohemia in 1382. An anonymous ‘monk of Evesham’ recorded in 1394: “With this queen there came from Bohemia into England those accursed vices (English Cracowys or Pykys) half a yard in length, thus it was necessary for them to be tied to the shin with chains of silver before they could walk with them.”

      Just as penis gourds must be held in place via a thong about the waist. To quote Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel, “Wot’s wrong with being sexy?” We’ve got armadilloes in our gourds ‘ere…

      1. Unna

        Modesty compelled me – for a very brief moment – to hesitate making reference to those “accursed vices” on a family blog, but then my dirty mindedness won out. So now I have to go find that BlackAdder episode!

    2. False Solace

      There’s nothing “out of the box” about saying men and women traditionally operated in separate spheres and that hey, this is a new thing where women want to compete directly against men. To hang a warning flag over it (“it could come to a swift end!”) is also pretty unoriginal. The patriarchy has been warning feminists about that for decades. I think they get it by now.

      But here’s the thing. Capitalism is also a revolutionary idea. Gating all resources required for survival behind the market system is also untried and, historically speaking, brand new. And the fact that it’s necessary to participate in capitalism to live and reproduce means that, hey, traditionally shut out groups like women have a survival need to participate in the system. And if “revolutionary thinkers” like Paglia want to warn us about that, fine, but maybe go talk to the capitalists who designed the system first.

      > In her view, sexual display, both in humans and animals, can be/is a demonstration of power and/or mating signals designed by our biology to produce interest and arousal, all of which are inappropriate in today’s workplace for obvious reasons, including that they make both men and women uncomfortable and confused.

      This whole argument is full of [family blog], because what one person views as “producing interest and arousal” is another person’s “OMG she revealed an ankle, stone her!” Old women and men have always tried to control what the youth wear, pretty successfully at times. But to say that dressing modestly will somehow prevent men from having uncomfortable thoughts is a bit optimistic, to say the least. If you keep going that route you end up with women in burkas. And no, it doesn’t prevent the men from having dirty thoughts — and blaming women for them. History shows that it’s better to live in societies where women are allowed to choose what they wear, even if those choices sometimes expose them to ridicule.

      And since when do men wear “cod pieces” routinely in their social lives? Talk about a red herring. The only clothing anybody wants to censor is women’s. I guess we should ban skinny jeans?

      1. Unna

        Capitalism is a recent system and so may be vulnerable. Agreed and let’s hope so. Contemporary feminism is vulnerable too and as Paglia is a feminist, she wants to preserve it. She has a valuable point of view worth examining. But it’s not the standard conventional view, to be sure.

        Sexual display in the workplace by either sex brings tension and possibly conflict. That’s the dichotomy. Equality of opportunity while managing the tension which sexual beings can bring along with them. Not to recognize this problem is not to manage it intelligently and in a realistic manner. Too much idealism can bring first ruin and then reaction. And we don’t want that. Thresh holds of arousal may be culturally conditioned. And so Culture too must be accounted for. That’s why one standard may not fit all.

        And yes. In my experience, most men do wear cod pieces…figuratively at least…from time to time. Otherwise we’d have no children. So of course, in today’s world codpieces are worn only figuratively. If that weren’t in fact the case, you can be sure there already would have been numerous HR memos issued to everyone, of both genders of course, about wearing them both to the office as well as to any company sponsored functions.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > And since when do men wear “cod pieces” routinely in their social lives?

        Depends on how literally you mean quote “cod pieces” unquote. See e.g. . Of course, one doesn’t want to confuse the pointing finger with the Phallus as Almighty Signifier, either.

  25. Wukchumni

    If Columbus hadn’t mistakenly called the locals “Indians” what would they have been named instead?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If he had landed in Japan, or China, he would have called by the wrong name still…for, say, the Chinese in 1492 were likely to call themselves not Chinese, but Han or Ming people…and certain the empire was not named Cathay, for the Khitay was conquered by the Jurchens about 400 or 500 years earlier.

      1. John k

        Amerigo (Americus) Vespucci did not demonstrate the America’s are a new land mass and not Asia until 1502, a decade after Columbus first sailed west.

    1. Carey

      Yeah, I thought that was an interesting choice of adjectives. Watching the shills try to
      sell us these weightless-but-malevolent entities is kind of funny, at least.

  26. Unna

    Stunning secret video just released an hour ago by England’s MI6 showing definitive proof of Putin’s wild and crazy GRU guys celebrating their mission success in a cheap Salisbury hotel with booze, prostitutes, and Red Hot Russian Music from Mussorgsky’s opera, Boris Godunov.

  27. Jean

    America’s teacher shortage.
    They talk about San Francisco, where numerous foreign languages are required to teach students?
    Most of their problems come from a lack of say, Vietnamese or Hebrew speaking social studies teachers.
    Every few years they come up with a new school assignment program for “balance and diversity”.

    The San Francisco Unified Public School District has been a politicized controversy riddled disaster for over half a century. It’s the reason that there are more dogs in San Francisco than there are children.
    “San Francisco, population 865,000, has roughly the same number of dogs as children: 120,000. In many areas of the city, pet grooming shops seem more common than schools.

    Our granddaughter was assigned to a school halfway across town for “racial equity” or some such horseshit even though there is an excellent school a block away.

    Since there are no school buses, here’s the city she was expected to traverse on her way to school on public transit: San Francisco is now the number one city in America for property crime, with 36,000 car break-ins a year. Downtown streets are full of tents, human feces, needles and raving lunatics. The more the city spends, the more homeless arrive to take advantage of that money and the services it provides.

    Private school was the only reasonable alternative, so we bit the bullet and paid the price.

    1. False Solace

      It’s a shame about those homeless people cluttering up the most expensive city in America… they really make the inhabitants of San Francisco look like entitled, callous snobs.

      1. Wukchumni

        1%’ers on the down low, living cheek by jowl next to 1%’ers on the up high.

        San Favelacisco

  28. Oregoncharles

    From “The Robert Venturi Effect CityLab. Kate Wagner”:

    ” I came from Anywhere, U.S.A., far, far away from any great works of architecture. ”
    In contrast, I came from a place that should have been, but isn’t. I grew up in Columbus, Indiana, an industrial small city on the freeway between Indianapolis and Louisville, deep in flyover country. However, a wealthy local family managed to sponsor an intense interest in architecture. Most of the newer public buildings are examples; there are churches and houses by the Saarinens, fo rinstance. Much of the building happened from the 60’s and 70’s, into the present, so it’s an example of the transition from modern to post-modern. And it worked: today, this unexceptional city is both inspiring to visit and very prosperous. Its architecture is a source of tourism; the Chamber offers guided tours – my nephew is one of the guides. If you’re interested in contemporary architecture, along with a well-preserved old downtown and spectacular courthouse, the city is worth visiting and the tour is worth taking.

    And in reference to the article: I think the “Guild House” is a travesty. It’s a very ordinary cheap apartment building with some irrelevant and annoying decoration on the front. The Vanna Venturi house is at least interesting to look at. So far, not impressed, but that is his early work.

    1. SerenityNow

      I’m with you. I’ve always found post modernist architecture tacky and not very functional. It’s great to make a statement, but did they have to do it with objects that were meant to last 40-50 years? Buildings and the built environment are best when they make places that people like to be in, it just seems like a waste to show off your deep and nuanced knowledge of the classical forms at the expense of a pleasant and usable building.

  29. Synapsid

    On Brexit:

    Anyone notice that Abe said the UK would be welcomed into the TPP with open arms?

    (Even though they gave Hong Kong back?)

  30. Oregoncharles

    I suppose it had to happen: Camille Paglia now sounds like an old biddy. Amusing, if a little sad.

    That said, this is Paglia’s business model: her field is popular culture, and she makes a point of being outrageous – I gather that’s who she is. And she does put her finger on some real questions, like work garb, which traditionally is designed to downplay sexuality (except for a few obvious vocations) when it isn’t dictated by practical considerations. There’ve always been ways to game it, but that was the plan and the reason for the near-uniform in offices. When women entered those workforces as more than clerks, they refused to accept the uniform, and the guys weren’t all that into it, either. (It still applies in some situations, like lawyers in court.)

    But unless everybody uses discretion, that can introduce a distraction and an unwanted power dynamic.

  31. g3

    Reg the teacher shortage, Diane Ravitch has been repeatedly warning atleast since 2009 that the real problem is teachers quitting the job in record numbers in the first 3 years or so of their jobs. This while the bipartisan education deform gang was wrecking it all, crying “OMG! greedy teachers unions”….

    1. knowbuddhau

      I hear ya. Maybe, like I did as a dementia nursing assistant, they found that no matter how much they love the work, they can’t stand the job.

      One of our biggest problems is the substitution of scientifically managed “jobs” for sustainable livelihoods. They’ve even got us demanding them. Demanding to be turned into a cog in someone else’s wealth-concentration engine.

      It’s so bad, you’ll even hear obvious organisms refer to themselves literally as “machines.” For one thing, machines aren’t all related by universal common descent. I mean, rlly.

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